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NY Times Catches up to Astrogardens – Victory!

The New York Times seems to have caught on to the idea of planting your own garden. Saw this article posted March 25th in the NYTimes.


“The victory garden movement began during World War I and called on Americans to grow food in whatever spaces they could — rooftops, fire escapes, empty lots, backyards. It maintained that there was nothing more valuable than self-sufficiency, than working a little land, no matter how small, and harvesting your own eggplant and tomatoes.”

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Thursday April 2, 2020

Thursday, April 2, 2020

– First Quarter Moon Phase: Step out, Take action

– Best Days (from the Farmer’s Almanac) – Cut Firewood, Mow to Increase Growth, Dig Holes, Paint, Kill Plant Pests, THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO BECAUSE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING (but are good nonetheless) – Get Married, Entertain Friends, Host a Party, Travel for Pleasure,

– Aspect of the Aeon Sophia: (Wisdom): Chinnamasta, Goddess who expands the Mind

– Aspect of the Aeon Thelete: (Will/Desire): Ian, God of the East, God of Wisdom

– Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “A Triangle with Wings”

SUN: 14 ARIES – a serpent coiling near a man and a woman

EARTH: 14 LIBRA –  in the heat of noon a man takes a siesta

Two notes: First, I was able to finally connect with Phoenix from Patriot Intel Report and recorded an interview about the upcoming energetics and Astrogardens. The interview will air this Saturday evening at 7:00 PM. Second you will see above the inclusion of a new aspect to consider for the day. It is from The Farmer’s Almanac and notes recommended things you should do on different days. These recommendations are based on the lunar calendar and compliment the energy of the day. I will be looking for more advice like this to report in the daily reports.

So, What are you doing today to Move Forward?

During the First Quarter Phase this is a fine question to ask. But not one to dwell upon, because the energy is about Action. In the Northeast, it is clear an sunny. May be time to turn some more of my garden beds. We are still waking them up.

Next week is supposed to see some frost, confirming why I have not put seeds in the ground. I am planning to plant some trays under my porch within the next week. And then lettuce in the ground by the next new moon phase. Lettuce is generally the first in the ground. It will grow well in spring, but must be covered with plastic in case of frost, which will kill young plants into the 2nd week of May.

Serpent Energy is indicated by the Sun location today. This symbol invokes a couple thoughts in me. During the Spring, Rattlesnakes come out of hibernation in the Southwest United States. And when they do, they are not in a good mood. I have first hand experience with this as we used to camp in Southern California when I was growing up. I remember being struck at by a particularly angry rattler one weekend that scared the piss out of me. Reminded me the importance of sleeping above the ground that night.

But serpent energy also speaks to awakening and rebirth. The uncoiling is a perfect meditation point for those who do so. And Spring is a time of reawakening to the world.

For this month’s dance of the big conjunction,  (Mars-Saturn and Jupiter-Pluto) Today each of these are in opposition to the moon.  Mars-Saturn Squares Uranus and Trines Venus. What does all this mean? Let’s call that homework. Look up these energetics and see what you can find.

FURTHER, compare these with your own charts. Are you particularly affected by these energies? This is where you can find out more.

Remember, the Gnostics say, “Know yourself. Know the Universe?”


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Friday March 27, 2020 – The Apple Tree Project

Friday, March 27, 2020

-New Moon Phase: Begin, Set Intentions

-Aspect of the Aeon Sophia (Wisdom)

-Aspect of the Aeon Thelete: (Will/Desire): Ian, God of the East, God of Wisdom

-Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “A Triangle with Wings”

SUN: 08 ARIES – A woman’s hat with streamers blown by the east wind

EARTH: 08 LIBRA –  a blazing fireplace in a deserted home


Oh, the Lord is good to me,
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun, and the rain, and the apple seed.
The Lord is good to me.     – Johnny Appleseed

Who would know where a post might take me. As I was talking about trees yesterday, the wise old man in the body of my 10 year old son spoke up.

“Dad. Can we plant an Apple Tree in our backyard.”

And with that, an idea takes seed. And reminds me of Johnny Appleseed.

Funny thing about Johnny Appleseed. Growing up in the 70’s we would get to see the Disney, Johnny Appleseed movie a couple times a year. This would be when our elementary school teacher would roll out the Movie projector and string up the reel to reel films from the District Library. For the teacher, it was a great way to pass the time. And just think about want the Religion censors would say about it today.

It was so much a part of our education growing up, I always figured every kid knew the story. I only realized in the mid to late 2010’s that it was not the case. A beloved story of my childhood and my own kids had never seen it. I was teaching a Sunday School lesson that touched on apples and I decided to use it in the class. We started with the movie (which I Found on YouTube) and then ate apples. By the end of Sunday School, not only my class of 8 year olds, but the entire Sunday School had sat and watched it (having the class sing “The Lord is Good to Me” was a good incentive).

A little bit of History. A little bit of religion. A very catchy song. Americana all wrapped up with a message about how one man made the world a better place by planting apple trees.

Now. Is Planting Apple Trees That Easy?

As with pretty much every gardening issue I have come across, this will take some planning and research. Some things I know. Some things I do not.

First: Space. How much space will an apple tree take? If you read yesterday’s article, you see that I am a little bit space deficient. Its going to have to take some creative planning and moving things around to make it fit.

Second: What kinds of apples do we want to grow. I would love Honeycrisp apples – some of the best tasting right now. But will they grow here in Eastern Pennsylvania? (My initial research says no. But there are a number others that are perfect)

Third: I need more than one. Not many apple trees are self pollinating. How am I going to find space for two trees.

Fourth: Where do I get the trees? Can I grow them from seed (my son Mikey was eating an apple and pulled out 2 seeds yesterday and asked me to plant them)? It turns out you can’t due to size and root grafting and some other add things.

Fifth: Since I need more than 1 tree and I do not have enough space, can I get one or more of my neighbors to plant one in their yard?

Sixth: Will the Tree gestapo of Wyomissing want to come in and tell me how to do it? Our little borough is designated Tree City USA – a special “honor” bestowed upon it by the Arbor Day Foundation (I will have more to say about that next month on about April 24, 2020 – Arbor Day).

This is going to be fun.

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Thursday March 26, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

-New Moon Phase: Begin, Set Intentions

-Aspect of the Aeon Sophia (Wisdom)

-Aspect of the Aeon Thelete: (Will/Desire): Ian, God of the East, God of Wisdom

-Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “A Triangle with Wings”

SUN: 07 ARIES – a man successfully expressing himself in two realms a once

EARTH: 07 LIBRA –  a woman feeding chickens and protecting them from the hawks

One day I am going to figure out how to make an appealing looking inline textbox for this information. This is basic daily information that I have been following through Oracle Report for years. And I want it to be part of these posts. But look a little different. So if there are any WordPress gurus out there with an idea, I would love to hear it.

Planting Intentions

Before I was considering all the political machinations with the Coronavirus and the World coming to an end, I had decided that I was strongly going to focus this year on my garden and what I do with it. If you have been following Astrogardens, you have seen 2 years of what I will call me entertaining myself with my garden.

But the Zombie Apocalypse that I have talked about in the past has come to fruition with the Global shutdown. People who consider themselves “preppers” are not being looked at as if they were tin foil hat nuts. Though it happened in the winter (when nothing is growing here in the Northeast), people are now seriously wondering why they do not have a pantry full of food stocked away and a seed vault for their garden planned for Spring.

And since we are locked in for the most part, it is a good time to plan.

And What about Trees?

I do not have a huge yard. But still there are 2 large trees on it. In Front, our street is lined with ancient Lindon trees. They are a showpiece feature of our block that is well known throughout our little Borough. Starting in about April, the trees will bloom and create a virtual tunnel for our entire block. It was even chose by the Giant food stores chain a few years back to shoot a commercial that features a marching band and parade. Made us look like true Americana.

In addition, I have a huge Mulberry tree covering much of the backyard. I have a love hate relationship with that tree. When it is full, there is no more beautiful share tree with birds, chipmunks and squirrels. jumping from branch to branch. It overhangs our back porch and we love the shade. BUT . . . during the month of June it is the messiest thing imaginable. You do not walk out back with bare feet. Squish. Squish. Squish.

We used to have a third big tree in our yard. I called it the Christmas Tree that someone planted to be cool after Chistmas . . . an lo and behold it grew. When we moved in our house, It was growing beside our Chimney and over-topped that by a good 5 feet. We loved it. It was beautiful But my neighbor HATED it. I believe the real reason he hated it was because it grew over a spot on his lawn and the sap killed all his grass. So for 10 years he constantly hinted about it. My favorite of his hints was that he believed that Squirrels were jumping from that tree onto his roof . . . or he was afraid that they might. He went so far as to complain to the borough that it was a nuisance. I will talk more about that little argument later. But suffice it to say, we finally were able to remove it at almost no cost to us. In the end, it was better. Because of that tree, we were unable to have our chimney swept, and thus could not have fires in our fireplace.

I bring up my trees because part of my plan for planting this year is to plant a tree. I just do not have any idea where to put it or what I want to plant.

The idea really took root for me last year after reading a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect that one way to combat climate change was to plant a bunch of trees. It was much more insightful than that, but I did not save it. But it made me set an intention. It will be a theme that you will see here a lot over the next few months.

Another silly facebook meme I saw regarding trees was actually a DIY idea. It suggested that instead of throwing out lemon seeds (when you have fresh lemons that is) that you should throw them into some soil and turn them into house plants. Since I buy a lot of lemons (they go great in iced tea, which I make and drink at least 3 gallons of each week), I figured that it sounded like fun. So last December, I planted some.

The idea is that they are easy to care for and make a very fragrant house plant. They take 3-5 years to bear fruit, but are appealing in the meantime. So here is my first one. Since it was so easy, I am planning a doing a bunch of them. Maybe sell some, or give them away. Again, we are in the northeast. They will not last through a winter, so they will need to be potted. This will be fun.

Now this lemon tree exercise has been fun. It is a just microcosm in comparison to what it will be like to actually fulfill the idea of planting a lot of trees to save the world. And while this lofty goal sounds fun, but a little silly, I think it is something that should be pretty easy to do.

But is it? Have you ever planted a tree? Do you have any idea how to plant a tree?

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What the “F” is This?

What do you do when something comes up in your garden and you have no idea what it is?


The easy answer is that you pull it like the weed that it is (or may be). However sometimes something starts growing that in intriguing. Thus we have frankenplant here.

Frankenplant sits on the edge of what I would call my Pumpkin patch.  Last year, after the cucumbers finished themselves for the season, Pumpkins took over this patch. They were weird organic pumpkins, that provided more blooms for the local rabbit population than actual pumpkins (I think only 2 were harvested for decorations on our front porch). And they were bright yellow.

It also sits at the end of a row that had originally been planted with a number of things that never came to pass. As I noted above, we have a rabbit problem that I did not properly fence against. I saw trays of carrots, radishes, beans, cauliflower and broccoli all dug up and killed. Since all the plants were part of a collection of organic seeds I got off Amazon, they were mostly strange and unusual varieties of veggies.

So this year, after plowing the patch and letting is sit for a month, I was faced with Frankenplant here. I figured it was some weird thing I planted that has yet to reveal its nature. 4 feet later, I am still wondering. And thus the Game begins (because I have no clue).

Help me identify it.










My descriptions here are entirely non-horticultural (as I am just a garden-variety gardener whose knowledge comes from the back of a Burpee Seed package.

I offer you close ups. The leaves are broad like a banana tree or tobacco leaf. No discernible smell. New growth sprouts from intersections of leaves (much like a tomato plant that you squeeze off when you want to train it).

The branches are surprisingly thick like a succulent.

Its buds are little white flowers.

Hoping to find out whether this is a completely useless weed or if it may grow into something edible.


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How One New Tool Can Start Your Season Off Right – The Black-Steel Pickaxe

I have just made my first purchase for the 2019 Gardening season. A new Steel Pickaxe.

I have been thinking about how I will organize the garden for 2019. For a long time in fact. After last year, I had to think about how I might improve my experience. My goals include:

  1. Start earlier (I did not get the ground broken in 2018 until May 1. Crappy weather was the main cause.
  2. Create better fencing – Dirty Little Creatures decimated some of my crops.
  3. Improve my herb garden.


While 2018 I had purchased seeds and created a good layout for my yard, getting the work done was more of a challenge. And for 2018, the main issue was weather. We had a very wet April. It was late May before I could get a roto tiller to turn over my garden patches. In the end, it did a great job. But it was borrowed. So this year I needed something new.

One of the little issues that anyone deciding to embark on any new project like this is having the tools. Last year showed that I was very weak in this area. I have a lot of gardening tools. But as I found, many of them were either inadequate for my needs or just broken.

I have 4 or five bent or broken rakes. 3 bent shovels. No broom. Various hand digging implements.

As noted I borrowed a roto tiller last year. I started with a shovel, but really had not gotten very far. Way too strenuous and time consuming. The tiller got everything done in a little more than an afternoon.

Probably my biggest wishes last year were for a decent hoe or 2, and a pick. I remember growing up, we had a pick for our garden. It was always a little too heavy for me to use. My dad would get it out to turn the garden beds. I always liked it because it was as close to being an Ax and anything we had. And an ax just seemed so cool (not that we ever needed it).

So with my dreams of a fully plowed garden, no chance of using a roto tiller without paying a bunch for a rental, I wanted a pick. And a mere $31 later, I got my tool. A brand new, carbon fiber handle, black painted steel pickaxe. And I must say it looked a whole lot more cool than I expected.

I picked it up from Home Depot using the HD Gift Card my oldest son gave me for Christmas. I knew that card would come to good use.

When I got it back to the car, I declared that it is my new Maul. Seemed like a good name for it. And cooler than Mattock. My 15 year old laughed at the gleam in my eye as I looked at it in the back seat. And she absolutely howled

with laughter when I went to work on the garden soon after parking in the back next to my grass patch.

Now the job of digging up my grass has not been easy. Even with the roto tiller last year, it took me a couple days and a lot of clearing the blades of strands of grass.After 5 minutes plowing away with the pickaxe though, I am convinced that this is the way to go. The patch was recently wet with rain, so it was ripe for the ripping. And while there was grass grown over it, the soil was still relatively easy to chunk up.

The final confirmation that this was the right purchase was the look on Mikey and Brandon’s faces. Both of them are avid gamers and play both Minecraft and  Fortenite pretty much all day long. So here is a real life pickaxe – that they have been using in games all the time. And they get to use it. It was my turn to laugh , watching them try to heft the 5 lb maul and plunge it into the soil. Worth the purchase just to see the smiles on their faces.





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Woodchip Mulching

I am starting to compile ideas to improve my garden next year. I just came across a very good article on woodchip mulching. Putting this article right here so I do not forget it. But count this as one of my top plans for 2019 (along with raising the patches, and getting good fencing and and and. . .


Natural Weed Control: Organic Farmers Use Woodchip Mulch to Control Weeds, Increase Crop Yields

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Where Gardening, Harry Potter and The Zombie Apocalypse Meet


A funny thing happened on the way to the Quora today.

I came across a funny question that somehow brought these things together. The Question:

If humans disappear, and the only thing that survives is a Harry Potter book, would a species discovering it believe that it’s actual history?

You can read the question and answer here on Quora.

Now you may be asking, “What the hell is Quora and why on earth are they talking about this?” If you are unfamiliar with Quora, I will let you know that it is a wonderful Timesuck.

Quora is a social network allows people to pose questions about different subjects and encourage answers and discussion. You choose the subjects you see and jump in if you have an interest in the question.

For bloggers and other online marketers, it is an amazing little piece of social media. It allows you to answer questions and promote yourself as the “expert” in a certain esoteric field. Preferably its a field that might be interested in what you have to say (or sell).

When I started on Quora (last spring at some point), my interests were astrology, prepping and gardening. By connecting with these communities, I could see what others were talking about. And then write articles on these subjects. That way, I could come back and link the articles as another form of social proof in answering a question.

Early on, I decided to opt out of the Astrology discussions. I found that most of the questions were about Horoscope astrology. It took a lot of time to sift through it and I had no interest in most of it.

Now What about Harry Potter and Zombies?

So with the question I noted above, a couple of my favorite subjects came together. I follow the harry Potter discussion group. That started last May when I began reading the Harry Potter books again. This has become an annual thing – usually at the beginning of the summer. And as I am finding, the other followers of this group are way dorkier than myself – as if that was possible.

But as the question goes, it is like a Dead Sea Scrolls kind of find. What would this piece of pop fiction say to an extra terrestrial or our 2000 year ancestors in the future. Now forget for a moment the Harry Potter part of this equation. Chane the conditions of this story and make it about the Zombie Apocalypse.

Call it a Noah’s Ark flood. Another example is the movie 2012, where the crust of the Earth displaces and everyone dies. Author Graham Hancock talks about this in his books Fingerprints of the Gods and Magicians of the Gods.  Mr. Hancock suggests that the timing the the Flood of Noah may be provable in the archeological record.

And if you consider that civilized society could have existed (think Atlantis), and a flood covered the Earth, who would be left?

Imagine now if the Earth were to be hit by an asteroid, causing a catastrophic flood. Or a Volcano. Or a nuclear war. Would EVERYTHING be incinerated? Would there be survivors? What would happen to them  with all the trappings of life taken from them? No libraries. No internet. Food Shelter Clothing gone. Society gone. It would be full on survival mode. The strongest, the bravest, the smartest survive.

It is against that backdrop that you consider how they might see that Harry Potter novel. Ignore that they would have to figure out the language (remember how long it took history to remember how to read Hieroglyphics). Place it against the backdrop of a new reality. How would they see it?


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Preparing for Fall

My garden is looking forlorn. Between the buckets of rain we have received in Eastern Pennsylvania and the fact that my son “borrowed” our lawnmower, it is a little over grown.

I have not planned to grow much this fall. I am more ready to start winding it down and preparing it for winter. I will cover a lot of the winterizing of the garden in a future post. This is more about the sorry state of it now.

I would put much of the fault for the mess on the rain – and lack of available time for proper weeding. We have not see more than about 4 days pass in the last 2 months without rain. Is it wrong that I do not want to be elbows-deep in mud and muck? And while this is a bad reflection on my commitment to my garden, it speaks of truth. When I go out, it’s going to be a mess.

Like the tomatoes. The plants look horrible now. They are pretty much done, so I am not doing anything with it until I am ready to pull it all down. But we harvested a ton or so (meaning about 200 or so). Unfortunately due to getting them in the ground late and all the rain, we did not see any until very late in August.

Lettuce Patch – The rabbits ate most of the different varieties I planted. We were able to harvest Arugula and Green Romaine. They were great for salads.

Zucchinis and Cucumbers – Both the Zucchini and Cucumbers were a great success. We had experienced difficulties in the past with the rabbits chewing off the zucchini flowers. After finding fencing, we had success. Cucumbers were lots of fun. We had both regular cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.

Herbs – saw limited success, mostly due to the location. These were on the side of the house. Every storm they would get washed out by runoff from the gutters. We had lots of basil, parsley and cilantro. As of yet, I still have not been able to get my white sage seeds to sprout. I will complain more about that in a future post.

And the Pumpkins – Still Growing. In keeping with my plan to use all organic seeds, I planted what they sent. So far I am not so impressed. I suspect I will be buying large orange pumpkins in a few weeks to carve for Halloween.  I took this picture yesterday. It is about double this size today.

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Cycles within Cycles within Cycles within Calendars?

I have always had trouble finding just the right calendar to track the days, weeks months, years, what have you. Our lives revolve around the passing of days. And the days turn into weeks and months and years. It makes you think pretty hard about how these cycles came into being.

I especially think about calendars when the ones you buy every year around Christmas (secret be known I always shop for calendars the week after Christmas. All the calendars are about 1/2 price.) And while we like to follow the the progression of days, the standard calendar may not (who am I kidding, it doesn’t) describe everything that is happening.

What we find is that there are so many different ways of categorizing and counting the passage of time that settling on a single one may not cut it. So for now, we will start by discussing the passage of time itself and how we do it.

Natural Cycles

Actually, before getting into the nuts and bolts of calendars, we might consider how the natural world around us works. Time for us is a mechanical thing. Life here on Earth is made possible by a series of fortunate events that makes time very regular. In fact, you can set your watch by it (haha).

The Earth rotates on its axis. We count this rotation as a day – broken up in hours, minutes and seconds. It is a 24 hour day, with 60 minutes per hour and 60 seconds per minute.

The Earth revolves around the sun. This trip takes 365.25 days to complete. Along this trip, due to the tilt of the earth relative to the sun, we experience seasons. These are caused by the amount of sun visible to any one point on the earth. These quarters are categorized as the Seasons of the year (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter)

The illustration shows how at the extremes (Summer and Winter solstices) the difference in number of hours of light in the day. I just googled the difference for Pennsylvania – which they say is 5 hours and 41 minutes.  At the Spring and Summer equinoxes, the number of hours per day are equal (12 hours light and 12 hours dark). So if you split the 5 hours and 41 minutes in half, it says we have 2 hours and 51 and a half minutes more daylight in summer (about 14 hours and 51.5 minutes) and in winter it is 9 hours and 49 minutes.

In addition to the Rotation and Revolution cycles, we also are affected by other heavenly bodies in our solar system. Chief among them is them is the Moon. Counting its revolutions in terms of days here on Earth is a little more complicated. The moon revolves around the earth once every 27.32 days, or one sidereal month. This is if you count it in relation to the stars (or 360 degrees of a circle). When counted in relation to the Sun, it is every 29.53 days (or about 27 degrees more).  Why is this important? In a lunar calendar, the count of days begins at the new moon – when the moon is conjunct the sun and ends when the Moon is new again.

And while we are talking about the moon, it also presents another direct affect upon the world. And that is the tides. As we rotate on earth around its access, the moon exerts a gravitational force upon the side of the earth facing it. It pulls against the planet causing it to bulge – enough that the water on the planet will shift – causing tides.

In addition, the earth is affected by the other planets in our solar system, including Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (I count Pluto even though NASA has decided not to). The affects of these planets on our life here is largely part of the study of Astrology. Mainstream science counts these as a constant and tends to ignore them. I like to hope that all of these scientists may enjoy a particularly intense Mercury Retrograde 3 times a year. One day they will figure it out.

So to sum up, the Natural Cycles include:

Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Seasons, Years, Lunar months

Man Made Cycles

While Natural cycles describe aspects of nature and their affects upon our lives, Man Made Cycles are those we have imposed upon ourselves. The best description would be Calendars. We have days, but the calendar organizes them into weeks and months and weekends.We have holidays and observances that are marked at specific times of the year or specific days. Like Christmas is on December 25th. At least in the Western World. In the Eastern Orthodox world it is January 7th.

Where much gets confusing with these observances is that they occurred before the modern Gregorian Calendar was created. At the time, they were following any number of lunar calendars. And when the date of something becomes dependent upon the New Moon or the Full Moon during a certain cycle, the specific date will vary.

Examples would be the Hebrew Calendar, Islamic Calendar,  Indian/Hindu Calendar and Korean Calendar. I confirmed the existence of each of these with contacts on Facebook. They also noted that the use of these lunar calendars is primarily in determining the dates for religious holidays. In the case of Israel, it can be especially complicated due to laws forbidding work on the Sabbath. In these cases, many businesses employ muslims to stay open. But then they must pay attention to the Islamic Calendar to be sure that there are not additional conflicts on these dates.

And the Eastern Lunar calendars are nothing in comparison to the mesoamerican calendars (Think the Mayan Calendar and the Aztec Calendar) as far as being complicated.

For work in Astrology, I have spent a lot of time following lunar calendars. I have yet to find a printed calendar that was easy to follow. There is the Gregorian Date, the zodiac sign, the lunar aspect as well as aspects to all the planets. I have had the most luck with the the Almanac, which lists a lot of random information.

But the point is that there are many cycles that we follow. From the point of view of this backyard gardener, the important days involve planting and harvesting.

In researching Calendars, I got caught pretty deep in a rabbit hole. Definitely I will need to write more on this subject.