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Lunar Phases – Pt.1

I think in honor of the Full Moon phase today, I am beginning an extended lesson on The Moon. Part of AstroGardens is examining and living the affect of astronomy and astrology on my garden.  Anyone who has followed astrology or Oracle Report over the past 8 years will know that we follow the moon phases regularly and talk about it at length.

So, I will be putting together short posts to explain it. That way when I throw out some blanket statement like – “It’s Full Moon and you know what that means,” you will not first think that there will be werewolves all over the place. But you might take pause if you find yourself in the Emergency Room with a couple hundred other people.

Some notes on Astronomy

In my freshman year in college, I decided to take an Astronomy class. As a business major, I was required to take a science course with a lab. I had already studied both Chemistry and Biology in high school and was looking for something different.

And Astronomy sounded so cool. I could go on star gazing tours, go visit the observatory (Palomar Mountain was only about 30 miles away and the College had a partnership there). Learning about the planets and the solar system had more of an appeal to me than chemicals and dissections.

Besides this, it was one of the few classes that I could get. San Diego State University boasted over 45,000 students at the time. Most classes were held in large lecture halls, and still would fill to capacity. You took what you could get.

Day one in the class re educated me quickly about the “fun” in astronomy. Astronomy could be better described as applied mathematics, chemistry, and physics all together.

I have never taken physics, so most of my simplistic descriptions of physics principles will be borrowed from someone else’s work who knows WTF they are talking about.

As my major would eventually change from Business to Economics (which is another applied mathematics, specifically statistics and calculus, field) the mode of learning fit right into my own abilities.

Astronomy is all about DESCRIBING what is going on in the universe around us. It provides the descriptive information that has helped us to ask some of the more important questions about life, the universe and everything.

The location of the moon in relation to the earth and the sun is a significant source of the energy that we experience here on Earth. In fact, since it is the closest object in our solar system to the Earth, while not being the largest, it exerts the greatest gravitational influence upon us.

 

The Moon, as our satellite, travels around our planet every 28 or so days or about 13 times within each calendar year. See the diagram to the left that notes the basic synodic (monthly) path of the earth around the sun.

A few quick calculations will tell you that this means that it does not accurately match up with the standard Gregorian Calendar of 365.2422 days – requiring a leap-day every 4 years (and a curse to any kid born on that day – February 29).

 

 

 

For my purposes, I will be describing the phases by the following names:

New Moon –

Crescent Moon Phase –

First Quarter Phase –

Gibbous Moon –

Full Moon –

Disseminating Moon Phase–

Third Quarter Phase–

Balsamic Moon Phase –

I bring this up primarily because you will find the lunar phases called many different things. One of the most confusing that I have found are the difference between Waxing and Waning.

Between New Moon and Full Moon, the moon is Waxing, or getting bigger

Between Full Moon and New Moon, the moon is Waning, or getting smaller

But What about the Tides?

Remember that in addition to the moon moving around the Earth, remember that each day, the earth revolves once around on its axis. This means that during the course of the day, the planet will react (bulge) as it passes the moon. This compression in and out as the planet spins causes the tidal forces in all water on the planet. This is easy to see in the case of the oceans or in a large lake, where the movement of the water can be measured. But when you look at smaller bodies of water (like the 75 odd percent of each person’s body that is made up of water).

As a beginning point, this discusses some of the basics about our lunar satellite is a good start. In the end, all of these forces have impacts on our life. In this case, we want to know about what it does to our gardens.

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Looking Forward – New Year – New Moon in Aries

April 15, 2018

At 9:57PM EST this evening, the Astrological New Year will commence. This marks an important time with this blog mostly because it is a beginning point. I launched it on February 25th. And though I have added a few posts and some design work, this new year will be its real start time.

This Astrological New year is a time of new beginnings. And its energy, from the Sabina Symbol for 27 Aries, is,

“through imagination, a lost opportunity is regained “

so for the Astrology part of this blog, the message is about moving forward. And for me, the lost opportunity has been from my previous writing blog – BrighterSideNow. It’s intention had been all about positivity. When writing it, all things written had to be positive. Positive thoughts. Positive words. Positive comparisons. It began from the space of the Law of Attraction. By expressing in the positive, my goal was to attract exactly that, positivity. As a writing challenge, it was a hoot. You would be surprised at how much in our lives comes from the negative. This revelation would hit me often as I was writing. And would not even be able to write about it. So while it was a great challenge, it was a little restrictive.

AstroGardens will hold no such restrictions. Everything here is fair game. Each week will start with a Happy Monday. In fact, tomorrow’s will be:

Happy Monday! Today is a new opportunity, another chance, a new beginning. Embrace it!

I will continue to write about and share astrological aspects – including the sabian symbols. I will likely not hold myself to a regiment about it. But when the symbols speak to me, I will be sure to share whatever story comes to me. And I will also be sharing astrological aspects that specifically impact growing cycles. This is a Garden blog you know. And some of this may be important to some of the people who are reading.

And “Looking Forward” posts are to be expected. Here is one. This weekend I was beginning some of my planting. It has been cold. Too cold to put anything in the ground. And there has been snow and frost. Yesterday it was 80 degrees. Today did not get over 42. That is Spring back east. So I am starting seeds on my porch to see what comes of things.

And while looking at what what I was planting, I am most excited for lettuce. I am planning a bunch of different lettuce and leafy greens. I am looking forward to being able to go out each day and pick my salad and make green shakes. The varieties I have include:

Buttercrunch

Red Romaine

Paris Island Romaine

Iceburg

Slow Boat Arugula

Giant Noble Spinach

Georgia Collards

Swiss Chard

Red Acre Cabbage

Parsley

Cilantro

If it all comes up, I may be in trouble come the end of May. But I know a little grocery store and Organic Market stand within a mile that may be able to sell some. We will have to see. But they definitely could be an opportunity.

It is 9:30PM now. I will finish my cup of dandelion tea. Then I will be going outside soon to light a sage smudge and welcome in the New Year.

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Garden Astrology – The Almanac

Almanac

Do you read the Farmer’s Almanac?

Almanac
2018 Harris Almanac

If you don’t do you know anything about it?

Starting at the beginning of my 2018 Harris Farmer’s Almanac, the first line to its readers:

 

“Truth is indeed stranger than fiction” –Harris Almanac 2018

 

And in reading the Almanac, you find this to ring true. On the one hand, annual almanac is like the Reader’s Digest – with short articles about the weather, gardening, recipes and the like. Who doesn’t want to know about weather patterns in southern Iowa or bugs in South Carolina or how to make bread without a bread machine. Some are articles about wisdom from bygone days. Others are just trivia. Intelligent conversation starters that can be brought up while waiting in line somewhere.

 

But the articles are just window dressing. The real nitty gritty of an Almanac is the calendar. Especially before the Internet, sources were needed for people to be able to track cycles and events throughout the year. You have your calendar on the wall. The Almanac told you about what happens each day.

 

Is there a Holiday or special observance?

 

What is the phase of the moon?

 

How long is each day? Sunset? Sunrise?

 

What kind of weather are we expecting this month? (Can’t be any less accurate than the evening news here)

 

In American Culture, the most well-known Almanac was Poor Richard’s Almanac – published, written and sold by Benjamin Franklin. It is known as the place where he offered pithy, meaningful quotes. I will share them from time to time on this blog, as they often have great advice, and are funny as well. The quote for today:

 

“Lost Time is never found again.”

― Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack

 

Reminds me that I have not written enough for this blog and need to get to it.

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A Million Dreams – A Resolution for 2019

Every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make.

– “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman

 

Many people make New Years Resolutions. These are plans to improve themselves within the next year. For many, it becomes cliche as people often make them and break them as soon at the year begins.

These could include losing weight, quitting smoking, quitting drinking, being a better worker, make more money.

All may be good ideas, but it relies on follow through.

For me, I do not usually make specific resolutions. I do like to assess what has happened and make goals for how I would like to see the next year go forward.

For assessing the last year, I read a very interesting way of doing it from blog-god and author Tim Ferris. I am including it below as he shared it, because it is a great assessment.

For next year, I cannot express it any better than the song A Million Dreams as seen above. We are amazing creatures living here on this planet earth. And our minds have endless potential. Its about putting those dreams into action.

So I say, keep dreaming and keep making those dreams come true.

Happy New Year!

 

Tim Ferris’ New Years Resolutions

Im often asked about how I approach New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that I no longer approach them at all, even though I did for decades. Why the change? I have found “past year reviews” (PYR) more informed, valuable, and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions. I did my first PYR after a mentor’s young daughter died of cancer on December 31st, roughly eight years ago, and I’ve done it every year since. It takes 30-60 minutes and looks like this:

  1. Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
  2. Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.
  3. For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.
  4. Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
  5. Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar. That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2019. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.

That’s it! If you try it, let me know how it goes.

And just remember: it’s not enough to remove the negative. That simply creates a void. Get the positive things on the calendar ASAP, lest they get crowded out by the bullshit and noise that will otherwise fill your days. Good luck and godspeed!