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In many traditions and cultures stars are thought to be the souls of either unborn souls, or those who had passed away. In some cultures a shooting star foretells a birth, and is said to be the soul racing to animate the newborn baby, while in other places the shooting star foretells a death, or a soul released from purgatory. In some Native American traditions the Milky Way was considered a soul-road, where souls travelled on their journey after death, and that the brightest stars were campfires by which they rested on their travels.
It is unlucky to point at a star, or to try to count them. However, making a wish on the first star of evening will ensure its fulfilment, espeically if the wisher repeats the old rhyme:
'Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
Wish I may, wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight'.
A wish made while a shooting star is seen in the sky will be granted if it is made very quickly; an old French cure for pimples was to pass a cloth over them while a shooting star fell.
Star Weather Lore: If the stars look larger and brighter than usual, and very flickery, rain or a storm may be on the way.
If faint stars have disappeared and cannot be seen at all, the wind is about to rise.
Storms have usually been considered an omen of divine wrath, and in most cultures a person struck and killed by lightning was thought to have been directly struck down by a deity. In ancient Rome a person killed this way was hastily buried without extensive mourning rites, and it was also frowned upon to rebuild any home struck by lightning.
In Britain in past centuries, a storm was usually considered the work of the devil; witches were also often accused of raising storms and at witch trials accusations were often made of deliberate attempts to damage property or sink ships by raising a storm. Some wise-women and cunning-men sold knotted threads to sailors which were supposed to have the power of the wind bound into them; one knot would be untied to release a wind until the sailor had as much as he needed.
Some people still cover all the mirrors in their house during a thunderstorm; it used to also be believed that windows and doors should be left open so that if the thunder got into the house, it could get out without having to damage anything. A comforting superstition states that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but since many high buildings have been struck repeatedly, it is also untrue.
An old rhyme speaks of which tree is least likely to attract a lightning strike, and therefore should be sheltered under if caught outside during a storm:
'Beware of the oak, it draws the stroke,
Avoid the ash, it courts the flash,
Creep under a thorn, it will save you from harm'.
A winter thunderstorm was once thought to be an omen of death for a great man.
Storm Weather Lore: 'Thunder in spring rain will bring'.
Thunder in the evening often means several days of wet, sultry weather.
The sun has been worshipped as a symbol of life itself in many cultures since the dawn of humanity. The bonfires that our ancestors lit at Midsummer, Beltane and Samhain were intended as rituals to encourage and strengthen the sun on its journey throughout the year.
In common with most other heavenly bodies and phenomena, it is unlucky to point at the sun, and in Hungary if a girl threw house dust from the broom towards the sun, it was said that she would never marry. It is a fortunate omen to be born at sunrise, and also considered to be lucky for a bride if sunlight surrounds her: 'Happy is the bride the sun shines on'.
An eclipse of the sun was feared by primitive peoples, who worried that the source of light, warmth and light was being devoured forever. From this arose the idea that an eclipse heralded a prominent death or a great disaster such as war, plague or famine. It was believed to be unlucky to view an eclipse directly (as well as bad for the sight).
Sun Weather Lore: When the sun appears hazy with a thin, watery light, bad weather is on the way. However, if it looks like a large bright ball as it rises, that day will be fair and warm.
A bank of heavy dark clouds at sunset indicates that the next day may be stormy. A ring around the sun during rainy weather indicates a period of sunny weather and clear skies to come.
If the sun comes out while it's raining, the showery weather will continue for a few more days.
A red sunrise means rain, but a red sunset means fine weather the next day. Three old sayings:
'Red sky at night, shepherd's delight
Red sky at morning, shepherds take warning'
'If red the sun begins his race, be sure the rain will fall apace,
If the sun goes pale to bed, 'twill rain tomorrow, it is said'.
'Evening red and morning grey sets the traveller on his way,
Evening grey and morning red brings the rain upon his head'.
The Moon travels through each one of the Zodiac signs about once a month--she stays in one sign about 2 1/2 days before moving on to the next one. As you can see from the table below, there are different tasks assigned to each Sign according to it's planetary influences. This is a very ancient system, and I, for one, can attest to it's accuracy. Factoring in other issues, such as what planting Zone you are in, how much you water or fertilize your plants, and weather conditions, the chart below will add an extra measure of success to your gardening techniques.
The best way, other than the Farmer's Almanac, to tell when the Moon is in a particular Sign, is to get a good Ephemeris: a book which contains the exact minute, hour, day & time when each one of the planets (including the Moon, of course!) goes through the various Zodiac signs. I use "THE AMERICAN EPHEMERIS for the 20th CENTURY: 1900 to 2000 at NOON " compiled and programmed by Neil F. Michelsen; it uses Universal Time (UT) which is basically the same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), except that UT is expressed in military fashion, 00:00 to 24:00.
Planting by the Zodiac
the Ram Aries/Fire/Masculine/Day/Cardinal-The Moon in Aries is a dry & barren time; plant onions, hot peppers & garlic, cultivate what is all ready there, and kill weeds & insects.
the Bull Taurus/Earth/Feminine/Night/Fixed-The Moon in Taurus is a moist and productive time; a good time for planting--especially root crops such as turnips, potatoes, carrots and for cultivating bulbs.
the Twins Gemini/Air/Masculine/Day/Mutable-The Moon in Gemini is a dry and barren time--a good time to stir up and aerate the soil, subdue weeds, pinch buds to stop unwanted growth; also good for keeping a garden diary to write down new ideas.
the Crab Cancer/Water/Feminine/Night/Cardinal-The Moon in Cancer is THE most moist & fertile time in the Zodiac. Seeds germimate quickly! Time to plant above ground, irrigate, do grafting, and to transplant new seedlings.
the Lion Leo/Fire/Masculine/Day/Fixed-The Moon in Leo is the driest, most barren of times. *No* planting should be done, or trimming of vines or trees; you can kill weeds & insects, and burn out old growth in the fields.
the Virgin Virgo/Earth/Feminine/Night/Mutable-The Moon in Virgo is a moist, but barren time; cut weeds, tie up pole-plants, clean the dirt & rust off your garden tools, tuck new straw around the plants--generally tidy up the garden.
the Scales Libra/Air/Masculine/Day/Cardinal-The Moon in Libra is a moist and fairly productive time, good for vigorous pulp growth, and hearty grain yields. This is the best time to plant any ornamental flowers or sow flower seeds.
the Scorpion Scorpio/Water/Feminine/Night/Fixed-The Moon is Scorpio is a very moist and productive time. This is the best time for fertilizing your crops; good for planting too--especially vines; also a good time to irrigate.
the Archer Sagittarius/Fire/Masculine/Day/Mutable-The Moon in Sagittarius is a dry and barren time--*do not* plant now or try to trim plants ; harvest now only during the *dark* of the Moon (also during Aquarius and Aries).
the Goat Capricorn/Earth/Feminine/Night/Cardinal-The Moon in Capricornus is a fairly productive time; it is especially good for planting root crops such as carrots and potatoes. This is also the time to wean your pets.
the Water-Bearer Aquarius/Air/Masculine/Day/Fixed-The Moon in Aquarius is a dry & barren time, not good for planting, but good for stirring the soil & killing weeds. Harvesting during the last quarter of the New Moon is best.
the Fishes Pisces/Water/Feminine/Night/Mutable-The Moon in Pisces is a moist and very productive time; excellent for the growth of fruits and berries, and to fertilize the garden. Good for short, quick growth and deep roots, and for planting bulbs.
The Simplest Rule For Moon Planting...
The moon planting rule says to plant crops that produce above the ground during the increasing light of the moon (from new moon to full moon) and to plant crops that produce below the ground during the decreasing light of the moon (from full moon to new moon).
= New Moon To Full Moon: Sow, Transplant, bud and graft.
= Full Moon To New Moon: Plow, Cultivate, weed and reap.
= New Moon To First Quarter: Good for Planting above-ground crops with outside seeds,flowering annuals.
= First Quarter To Full Moon: Good for planting above ground crops with inside seeds.
= Full Moon To Last Quarter: Good for planting root crops, bulbs, biennials, and perennials.
Last Quarter To New Moon: Do Not Plant At All! But begin compost heaps and worm farms. Remove noxious growth, weeds and pests. Harvest. Have a nice rest and chill out a little.
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