Blackouts and Void of Course Moon

by Hugh Courtney, 2019 Celestial Planting Calendar

Whenever we use any of the biodynamic agricultural calendars, one of the first things we notice are the periods when one or several hours are blacked out. 

While the cause of many of the longer blackout periods are due to recurring astronomical events, such as eclipses, lunar or planetary nodal points, most calendars indicate a blackout period when the Moon exits one constellation and enters the next one. This transition zone is an effort to account for the time-honored astrological phenomenon known as Void of Course Moon. 

From ancient times, it was deemed that the period after the Moon had made its last major aspect with another member of the solar system and before it entered the next constellation, all actions were essentially null and void. It was strongly recommended that no major decisions or contracts be undertaken at this time as they would end up being ineffective or even have a disastrous outcome.  The major planetary aspects are as follows: conjunction; sextile (60° angle); square (90°); trine (120°); and opposition (180°).  A Void of Course period can last as little as one minute or in some cases as long as a day or two. 

Since biodynamic calendars do not provide an exact calculation for Void of Course Moons, but merely hedging their bets with anywhere from one- to four-hour blackout periods to cover the Moon’s passage from one constellation to the next, there is a lack of exactness regarding this transition zone. Many astrological calendars, although using a tropical zodiac, no longer publish data regarding the Void of Course Moon.
I believe it is important to more closely examine these lunar transitions to determine whether or not they have any effect on the plant kingdom. To that end, Gary Caton has compiled the exact sidereal times when the Moon becomes Void of Course for the planting months of April, May and June of this 2019 calendar. If one plants the same crop in test plots both before, during and after the indicated Void of Course times and observes any significant differences in growth expression, that will provide some indication that this phenomenon is to be taken seriously.

If you are interested in participating in this research, the calculations for the Void of Course Moon for April, May and June are available at www.earthlegacyagriculture.   

Hugh Courtney - Writer, Mentor, Teacher, Researcher 

In addition to contributing articles, Hugh Courtney has taken on the advisory role of forecasting favourable and unfavorable times for this calendar. He has devoted more than 40 years to perfecting the art of making biodynamic preparations. Taking a cue from his own mentor, Josephine Porter, who declared, “These preparations are no secret, I will teach anyone who wants to learn how to make them,” he has mentored hundreds of people on the finer points of making quality preparations. 

Ever concerned about keeping this special art form alive into the future, in 2009, Hugh founded Earth Legacy Agriculture, LLC to provide quality preparations for discerning practitioners.

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