Agricultural Astrology

Agricultural Astrology (Planting by the Signs)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Agricultural astrology is the practice of choosing the time to plant and harvest crops according to the phase and sign of the Moon. As such, agricultural astrology is a branch of electional astrology. Planting according to the phase of the Moon—during the waxing phase for most yearly food crops that produce their yield aboveground—may be the human race’s oldest astrological practice. In the more recent history of the West, agricultural astrology has been referred to as “planting by the signs”—the practice of planting seeds according to the astrological sign of the Moon, which, because of the relative shortness of the Moon’s orbit, changes every two or three days. Planting by the signs has been a regular feature of almanacs, such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac, and in some agricultural regions (e.g., rural Appalachia) it is still practiced.

Agricultural astrology is the one area of contemporary astrology in which people still rely on the traditional classification of fruitful signs and barren signs. If planted while the Moon (which rules the principle of conception) is in a fruitful sign, crops supposedly grow bigger and better; planted in a barren sign, crops are less healthy and less tasty. However, periods during which the Moon is in a barren sign are good for cultivating the soil for healthy crops and for destroying weeds.

Sources:

Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: New American Library, 1980.
Riotte, Louise. Astrological Gardening: The Ancient Wisdom of Successful Planting and Harvesting by the Stars. Pownal, VT: Storey Communications, 1989.
Starck, Marcia. Earth Mother Astrology: Ancient Healing Wisdom. Saint Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1989.
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