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For many millennia the constellations have been used as a navigational tool. Whether migrating across land or over sea, the shifting stars in the night sky can help us orient and find our way.

This week at the BIODYNAMIC WORKSHOP at GLOBAL GARDENS we learnt about the links between plants, planets and the cosmos.

Planetary influences

We are probably familiar with the effects of the moon on tides and human bodies. Planets within the solar system have also been found to have an influence on planet earth.

According to biodynamics philosophy, the moon, the planets in our solar system and the cosmic bodies beyond influence on earthly bodies including the earth, water and living things.

Planting calendars

Biodynamic planting calendars offer a framework for gardening, based upon the cycles of the moon, the planets within our solar system - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto and the influences of the wider cosmos.

In the workshop, we focused upon Maria Thun's Planting Calendar which is based on 50 years of her research on the planetary influence on plants.

Kai introducing the calendar

Sowing seeds and transplanting

As Kai explained, according to the planting calendar, there are optimum times to sow seeds, transplant seedlings and harvest. These are particularly influenced by the cycles of the moon. As Kai explained, "because plants contain so much water, they are influenced by the moon." Generally, it is suggested the optimum time for sowing seeds are so that germination occurs in the few days leading up to full moons.

There are also optimum times to transplant seedlings - generally, this is considered in the northern hemisphere the time when the arc of the moon is above that of the sun (ascending).

Learning more about the solar and lunar orbits.

As well as the influences of the moon, the calendar considers the influences of wider cosmic bodies. The planting calendar presents optimum times for LEAF, ROOT, FRUIT and FLOWER, drawing upon the cyclical nature of certain cosmic bodies, as codified by the zodiac.

Storm Gareth

The calendar also notes points in time when not to garden and when there are likelihoods of storms and even traffic accidents. With Hurricane Gareth blowing a storm outside, it is interesting to note that the 14th and 15th March in the Maria Thun Calendar are indeed noted as times where storms are likely!

Spot the storm!

This research is still evolving. Upon reflection of the weather of 2018, Maria Thun suggests that the mis-forecasting of the very cold period in March in 2018 was due to the effects of a heavenly body or planet that has not yet been discovered.

To find out more, we recommend starting off by getting a calendar and beginning to take note of when you sow seeds and do work in relation to the lunar and zodiac cycles. You can get a calendar at the Biodynamic Association UK online shop. Follow this link for more info. And watch this space for more workshops!

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