4 – The Star Calendar

 In BD we see the moon as a lens, focusing the energies of each of the 12 star constellations onto the Earth as she passes through them every month.

Moon as Lens

“Planting by the Moon” has become very much better known over the past ten years or so and many people think this is what biodynamics is. In fact, it’s only a part of the whole, a means of knowing when to do what. Also, in biodynamics we use much more than the phases of the moon. In fact, in the BD process, we don’t use the phases of the moon at all, we use another quality of the way the moon orbits the Earth, what used to be called in the old almanacs “moon riding high” and “moon riding low”. These are the way the moon rises and travels across the sky each night. They give us the Northern and Southern planting times.

  • NB – we don’t use the Latin astrology names for the constellations because we try to keep focused on the stars in the sky and not on astrology. Biodynamics isn’t astrology and doesn’t use it. The star patterns in the sky are what we use – as seen from the Earth. Remember, if you were on Mars or Sirius or Alpha Centauri these patterns would NOT look the same – they are as they are because we see them from Earth.

Without the star calendar we wouldn’t know when to apply the preparations. The star calendar can appear confusing at first. And some biodynamic practitioners can get so wordy about astrological thingamajigs that it can boil one’s brain. You really don’t need to boil your brain to do biodynamics, it isn’t that hard and Steiner certainly never intended it to be! However, there are a few things to get your head around first so we’ll try to go slowly through them and make things as obvious as possible. You probably have some idea already as we’ve been talking about parts of the plant and what you want to enhance.You use the star calendar to help with applying the preparations …

  • Sowing – all seeds you start in pots, and/or soak in water as well as those you sow directly into the ground
  • Planting – including planting out annual and herbaceous plants either bought in from garden centres or grown on by you from seed or plugs; planting shrubs and trees from a nursery or plant centre; and planting out your vegetables after germinating them in pots
  • Cultivation – that’s weeding, thinning, pruning, feeding, etc
  • Harvest – i.e. cutting flowers, picking fruit and vegetables

By the way, Tesco now uses the star calendar to help in buying wine 🙂 … we’re getting there.