Using planetary impacts is a method of widening the system you work with to create greater productivity in your food growing activities. The planetary system is all around us and it costs nothing to access, all you need is the knowledge of how to use it and an openness to raise your consciousness around your food growing activities.
The first planet we all work with is the sun. You can see its direct impact in your garden each day. When it comes to using the unseen impacts of other planets and constellations around us, new challenges arise and yet. awareness of planetary forces is as old as agriculture. Its just gone out of common use over the last 100 years or so, as reductionist science twisted agriculture into its current toxic chemical craziness.
The good news is that food gardeners and farmers who are now embracing organic and biodynamic methods are realising from practical experience that using planetary impacts creates better seed strike rates, more robust seedlings, healthier plants, better shelf life for picked plants and more effective soil improvement and pest/disease management processes. The two key methods of working with the planets are shown below
The moon has a very powerful affect on the earth, especially on reproduction and moisture. The cycle we are most familiar with is the moon’s 28 day lunar cycle going from full moon to new moon, each 14 days apart. The other cycle relates to the moon’s eliptical path around the earth, with the closest point being the perigee (340,000- 365,000km) and the most distant being the apogee (400,000- 410,000). When the full moon occurs, moon forces are very strong on earth and if this is combined with a perigee, then the forces are amplified.
With regard to plant growth, the activities for the lunar cycle are summarised as follows):
- Week 1 after new moon – leaf plants
- Week 2 after noon moon reaching full moon – fruit, flower and seed
- Week 3 – week following full moon – root plants and soil improvement
- Week 4 – no planting – as moon forces are the weakest at this point
With the moon’s impact on moisture, it is much more likely to rain at times close to the full moon and/or the perigee. The beauty of nature’s model can be seen here when it rains close to the full moon. The rain brings nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil and I think you have all seen how plants always grow better with rain water.
If you take the time to observe full moon periods you will also see much greater seed germination (especially weeds), much more flowering (I normally do pumpkin pollination in the week before the full moon as that’s when more femail flowers come out). Sometimes moon forces can be too strong, especially at perigee and you will see excess growth and proliferation of mould (fed by moisture and reproduction)). The impact of these excessive moon forces can be effectively managed by some biodynamic preparations.
The biodynamic calendar creates the opportunity for using planetary impacts to a much deeper level than moon planting. It considers the impact of the other planets in our solar system as well as the 12 constellations. Research since Rudolf Steiner commenced the biodynamic movement in 1924 has developed daily planetary indications of plant groupings into leaf, root, flower/seed and fruit. This is based on the moon’s position in relation to the 12 constellations. Each constellation has a particular relationship to the 4 elements of earth (root), water (leaf), air (flower) and fire (fruit). The moon takes about 2.5 days to pass a new constellation in its 28 day path around the earth. The moon is effectively a lense for these forces coming from the constellations.
The planets in our solar system and their relative positions over time also impact life and the climate on earth. These can be in conjunction or oppostion to forces coming from the constellations, thereby amplifying or reducing such forces. I have been following the Astro Calendar now for 20 years. This calendar reveals moon, solar systems and constellation timing on a daily and monthly basis, thereby simplying how to apply these complex movements from the heavens into practical use in your garden or farm.
Some examples in using using planetary impacts are:
- planting your seeds or seedlings on the correct sign day (say a bean on an fire sign) will give better germination,
- making your compost, planting green manure or applying soil conditioners on an earth sign will create better compost and green manure and stronger impact of your soil conditioners,
- harvesting a water sign plant such as cabbage on a leaf day will make it store longer,
- harvesting grapes for wine on a fire sign (fruit) will create stronger flavour,
- applying certain biodynamic preparations before strong moon forces (full moon and perigee) on mould senstive plants such as zuccinis will greatly reduce mould potential.
Like most things connected to the garden, as you dig deeper in your understanding, more questions are likely to arise. This is the wonderful mystery of life and when your picture of life includes planetary impacts and constellations that surround us, its a whole of other level to bring into your consciousness.
Even though the concept of using planetary impacts looks daunting, in practice its not difficult to work with and to prove. In our regular biodynamic gardening workshops, we have a strong focus on understanding and working with planetary impacts as they are a critical framework for biodynamic methods and why biodynamics can consistently produce the highest quality organic food with the least inputs.
Our last biodynamic workshop for 2017 will be on November 18-19 in Brisbane. Register here. Our recent 2 day workshop in Darwin was a big success with 15 eager gardeners and farmers.
Authored by Peter Kearney – www.myfoodgarden.com.au