Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of May 13th - May 19th,  2011

Peeking beneath Nature's Skirts

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vegetable garden

Life in the garden

  Part of Creation's beauty is that it's reflected everywhere. Each person, enterprise or country is different from the others. Even a garden is an entire world unto itself. Each of the twelve signs of the zodiac have a role to play, and with the Earth signs making appreciative nods to each other, this week is a good time to advance your agricultural cycle a notch. Of course, more southerly latitudes are further along in the growing cycle, while more northerly climes tend to lag a little.

  After the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio Pisces), the Earth signs rank second in elemental fertility. Friday, Saturday and Tuesday of this week find the Moon in Capricorn and Pisces, some excellent lunar indicators for growth. With Mars, Mercury and Venus trining Pluto Friday and Saturday (20th & 21st), this is a good time to get your crops in the ground or prepare the beds themselves. Adding organic fertilizers (trine to Pluto) at this time can really help to bring up the mineral content of the soil.

red tomatoes

Tomatoes- annuals to be planted
with the waxing or increasing Moon

  Tuesday had the lunar vote, but with Venus and Mars each inconjuncting Saturn on Tuesday and Wednesday, we're working with limited time or materials. If you're breaking in new beds, you may find the ground rocky or reluctant. If Tuesday still speaks to you, then begin around 8:30, say a prayer (Pisces Moon), and get as much in as you can by the morning's end. Through mid-afternoon things are likely to slow down quite a bit.

  The rhythms of life cascade all around us, whether we're urban dwellers or country folk. Genesis tells us the Moon rules over the night, while myth suggest the ebb and flow of Nature. If you're working with the garden and young growing things, your chief barometer should be the Moon and its cycles.

  In general, plant annuals on the increasing (waxing) Moon and everything else on the waning (Full to New) Moon. The Moon moves through a sign of the zodiac once every two and a half days. If you are looking for fertile conditions, then the Moon in Water Signs is best. The Moon rules Cancer, and Mother's touch is most felt here. Then the Moon in Pisces and Scorpio fall into their respective channels.

root crops

Plant root crops in the
week after the Full Moon

  The Earth Signs are next in productivity, with the Moon in Taurus (its exaltation) taking fourth place, and the Moon in Capricorn taking fifth. If your crops receive limited moisture, this last is especially good, although the produce will tend to be hearty but more limited in both individual size and collective quantity. Virgo is a barren sign and is best for weeding, organization and harvesting.

  Air Signs are next, but they are best used for harvesting crops. Plants do not look kindly upon water after they are hung, and you want to make sure the leaves don't overlap for this reason. Planting ornamentals while the Moon is in Libra works well for both fragrance and beauty. You can try planting cosmos in Aquarius.

  Fire Signs are used if you don't want things to come back, as with weeding. Cutting back or pruning may either stimulate or retard plant growth. The mutable Sagittarius is the mildest of the three Fire Signs. Spices and condiments find favor here. Aries is good for onions, but Leo is too hot to handle. The Moon's placement here generally means you're trying to show the herbs the door, or in this case the garden gate.


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