Planting with Astrology: Creating Your Sacred Space
Misty Kuceris ©2012
Being involved with nature is one of the most beautiful things in the world. It gives you a chance to breathe in life and center your soul as well as your physical being. Creating a space where you enjoy nature gives you a chance to understand who you really are. You don’t need to live in a wide open space to create a place of nature. You can create this space in your home, on your patio, or in your yard. The key to this space isn’t the location. The key to this space is the desire which fills the need.
When you create your space, first look at your desire. This will help fill your need. The best way to understand this desire is to know what you feel when you need to feel safe. And the best way to understand what keeps you safe is to understand your Moon sign. Why? The Moon sign in your chart represents how you protect yourself when you feel threatened. It represents what you need to feel nurtured. And, most importantly, it represents where you want to keep secret those parts of you that still hold on to the need for a parent or person in your life who nurtures you.
The Moon is important in nature as well. Without the Moon there are no tides which regulate the flow of the water that surrounds you. Without water your body dries up: the world dries up. Is it any wonder then that plants which surround you and bring smiles to your face also need the moisture of the earth to survive?
Planting by the phases of the Moon is not a new concept. Ancients have known for years that the new Moon and full Moon time periods bring the moisture from the ground up to the surface of the earth. These are the time periods when the tide is at its highest. The quarter phases of the Moon, when the neap tides occur, are when moisture needed for the plants is not as available because the high tides are at their lowest point. Therefore, these periods of time are not always considered the best for planting.
What’s more important, creating a sacred space by using the knowledge of astrology also benefits both your personal environment and the world’s ecosystem. Plants are natural filters for the earth. By converting carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis, plants can clean the air in your home as well as the earth. This was shown in the late 1960s when it was discovered that swamp plants were actually eliminating Agent Orange from water near Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. (You can go to the NASA, Office of the Chief Technologist, website at http://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2007/ps_3.html for more information.) The importance of surrounding yourself with houseplants was further shown in another NASA study released on September 15, 1989. This study was jointly conducted by the NASA Office of Commercial Programs – technology Utilization Division, and the Associated Landscape contractors of America (ALCA). The end result of this study was a list of 19 plants which can be put into the home to help purify the earth and help alleviate “sick home” syndrome.
So, knowing all this, how do you create your sacred space?
The first step is to determine the need you have for your sacred space.
- Do you want this space in your home or outside?
- Do you want this space as a retreat for meditation purposes?
- Do you want this space as a recreational area for your family and friends?
Next, choice the location for your space. If you are creating a sacred space in your home or on your patio, you have a fairly well defined area to work in. If you are creating this sacred space outside, you need to select a portion of your yard and start in that one area.
The winter solstice months are usually the best time for planning. There’s a tendency to want to retreat into your being. The world is in its dormant stage right now. You spend more time in your home and gain a better understanding of what you need there to feel comfortable. You look outside your window and see the areas where you can create that outdoor space.
Use the time period of the waxing Moon, the Moon increasing in light, to jot down your thoughts and ideas. If possible, start this at the time of the new Moon. Conduct your research, not just on the web, but also at the library where you can find books with various gardening and landscaping ideas. Start making some sketches. By the time the full Moon occurs, you’re ready to re-evaluate your concepts. During the time period of the waning Moon, while the Moon is decreasing in light, modify your plans and also create a calendar of what you want to plant and when you need to plant. You may decide that you need to scale down your plans. Or, perhaps you need to think not only about the type of plants you want but also about the type of hardscape that’s important. Hardscape can be anything from statues to broken shards of pottery that add color and more of your personality.
If there are retrograde planets during this period, you’re in luck. It’s easier to re-evaluate your plans when Mercury is retrograde. Your mind is open to reshaping your concepts. If either Venus or Jupiter are retrograde, you can focus more on material things, such as the amount of money you’re able to budget, or on beauty items, such as the color of the flowers in a sun garden, or the structure of the leaves in a shade garden.
With the Spring Equinox approaching, you’re ready to create your outdoor sacred space. We live in different locations, so the actual time for planting will depend on the zone you live in. But, you can still start your outdoor garden. During the waning Moon, take time to clean out the area for your sacred space and mulch. You can place down any hardscape. And, when the weather is right, you can start to plant.
When you start planting, it’s important to know the phases of the Moon. If you took the time to create a calendar, this will be easier. The waxing Moon period, actually from just before the new Moon to just before the full Moon, is a time period when plants move from the soil and reach out into the earth. Flowers planted during this time period, especially in the first quarter of the waxing Moon, increase in strength and fragrance. Dane Rudhyar in his book, The Lunation Cycle, calls this time period the new Moon. Roses are best planted in the first or second quarter of the waxing Moon, which is called the new Moon or crescent Moon phase.
The waning Moon period, actually from just before the Full Moon to just before the Moon becomes new again, is the best time for root development as well as cleaning and harvesting your garden. If you want to plant root vegetables, this is the time to do it. During the fall, if you want to divide your perennial plants, the best time is when the waning Moon is in its third or fourth quarter, the last quarter and the balsamic Moon.
Trees and shrubs seem to be in their own category. You want your trees and shrubs to reach into the air. At the same time, you want good root development so these plants will last for years. Some experts recommend planting the trees and shrubs in the waxing period. Others recommend planting them in the waning period. My own experience is that they seem to do best when planted around the full Moon.
Once your sacred space is created, you need to maintain it. This means weeding, deadheading in some instances, and finally harvesting any crop if you’ve planted vegetables. When the Moon is waning, that’s the time to clean up your garden. Weed where necessary, and harvest any crop.
While much research has been done with planting by the phases of the Moon, the most incredible work was done by Maris Thun, German biodynamic farmer, in the 1950s. Her work showed that by planting by the astronomical constellations of the zodiac specific results were achieved. She divided her gardening time into root days, leaf days, flower days, and seed days. The earth elements of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are the root days. The water elements of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are the leaf days. The air signs of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are the air days. And, the seed days are those of the fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
Through understanding the cycles of nature, especially the Moon cycles, you can find ways to increase the area of your sacred space with beautiful plants, hardscape, and love.