Volume VIII, No. 3, Spring 1981
Compiled by Allen Gage
The phases of the moon and the different signs of the zodiac have always been important to some Ozarkians who use the signs and phases of the moon to insure the success of various undertakings. According to them, doing a job in the right phase of the moon or correct zodiac sign would not only get the job done, but would get it done better than if they did not pay any attention to the moon or the signs. Following are some of the beliefs about planting garden vegetables that grow above the ground.
Some say that anything that grows above the ground should be planted only in the first quarter of the moon, but others say that planting any time during the light of the moon will make more tops.
Susan Capps gave the following directions:
Plant cantaloupes, cucumbers and watermelons when the sign is in the arms.
The best time to plant corn and cabbage is when the sign is in the heart.
Green beans, lettuce and squash should be planted when the sign is going up. Green beans should be planted in the afternoon rather than the morning. You should not plant them when the sign is in the bowels, but plant them when the sign starts at the feet and goes up to the thighs, knees and lap and goes on up to the heart. Lettuce is best to plant when the sign is in the head.
The following are some beliefs about planting vegetables that grow underground.
Lloyd Stowe said to plant anything that grows underground, such as potatoes, in the dark of the moon to ensure more body than tops. If you plant potatoes when the moon is growing, the plants will grow big, but the potatoes will be small underneath. Also dig the potatoes in the dark of the moon so they won't rot as bad and store in a dark, cool place.
Susan Capps said that you always want to plant onions and beets when the sign is going down--when it starts in the head and goes down into the legs and feet and into the toes.
Potatoes should be planted when the sign is going down toward the toes.
Following are some miscellaneous beliefs concerning the moon and signs.
The time to kill grass is when the moon is in the second quarter. Put a board on the grass to kill it.
Susan Capps has the following bits of advice:
Get your hair cut in a full moon.
Have your teeth pulled when the sign is in the thighs going down, but wait if it's in the mouth.
Wean the baby when the sign is in the thighs going down.
The best time to fish is when the sign is in the bowels.
Lloyd Stowe advises the following:
Set hens in the first quarter of the new moon.
Kill sprouts by cutting them in dog days. Dog days are the hottest days of the summer when the dog star rises and sets with the sun. Dog days got the name because that is the time when snakes molt. The idea is that they can't see for that period of time and because of fear, they bite anything they hit in the water, thus killing many swimming dogs.
Jim Chastain said:
If you want to kill oak trees or persimmons or any of that kind, go out and chop a little ring around the bark in May in the dark moon and when the sign's in the heart, and it'll kill that tree before
you can walk out from under it. It'll start withering.
Old-timers laid the ground worm for rail fences in the light of the moon because the rails and rocks that formed the worm wouldn't sink into the ground like it did in the dark of the moon.
Dehorn cattle when the sign is in the thighs.
If you want to dock a pig or lamb--you know what I mean by docking? You cut the tails--do that when the sign is in the thigh going down. I always done that, and I never lost but one animal in my life, and they ain't no telling how many thousands of horses, mules, hogs, dogs and all of that stuff that I have docked and castrated.
In order to use these signs, you need an almanac for the current year.
The date in the almanac will tell you the phase of the moon and the zodiac sign for that particular day. Then look at the drawing in the almanac of the twelve signs of the zodiac and their relation to the body (opposite) to see what that sign
means. For example, the sign may be which is neck. Then to find out if the sign is going up or down, look at the signs for the preceding and later days.
If the sign before was (head) and the sign for later dates was (arms) then the sign is going down the body.
The almanac also has weather predictions, statistics about the sun, moon and planets, planting and garden calendar, cooking hints and many other bits of information, sayings and quotations for interesting reading.
HEAD AND FACE - Aries - Ram March 20 to April 20
ARMS - Gemini - Twins May 21 to June 21
HEART - Leo - Lion July 23 to August 23
REINS - Libra - Balance September 23 to October 23
THIGHS - Sagittarius - Archer November 22 to December 22
LEGS - Aquarius - Waterman January 20 to February 19
NECK - Taurus - Bull April 20 to May 21
BREAST - Cancer - Crab June 21 to July 23
BOWELS - Virgo - Virgin August 23 to September 23
SECRETS - Scorpio - Scorpion October 23 to November 22
KNEE - Capricornus - Goat December 22 to January 20
FEET - Pisces - Fishes February 19 to March 20
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.