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(X.) HISTORY - Towards the Dark

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Author Topic: (X.) HISTORY - Towards the Dark  (Read 771 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2007, 07:58:00 am »

American farmers in the 17th and 18th centuries seem to have paid special attention to astrological and veterinary advice: an almanac argued that 'for the better success in letting blood, taking physick, cutting of cattle, sheep and hogs, it's necessary to know where, or in what part of the body the sign is', and in The Husbandman's Magazine of 1718, John Smith set it down that horses should be gelded 'in the wain of the Moon, the signs being either in Virgo or Aries' and that 'Candlemas (observing it to be in the increase of the Moon) is the best time to let your sows be covered.'

The efficient American farmer must have lived his life entirely according to the zodiac and the planets, if we are to believe the magazines of the period; in 1712 The Husbandman's Guide advised its readers to 'geld sheep and other cattle the Moon being in Aries, Sagittarius or Capricorn. Sheer sheep the Moon increasing in Taurus, Virgo or Libra, and their fleeces will grow the thicker and faster, the like observed in cutting hair; and if the Moon be in a friendly aspect to Venus 'tis much better.'

Fifty years later The Citizen's and Countryman's Experienced Farrier advised farmers who wanted 'to get horse colts' to 'take your mare to the horse before the full of the Moon, and when the sign is a female. To get mare colts, cover after the full, and in the male signs.'

There was horticultural advice too - (trees should be set and dug up in winter, 'especially at new Moon', fruit trees planted and grafted when the Moon was waxing, transplanted trees set when it was waning - for the waning Moon helped a plant send its root downwards, while the waxing Moon helped a plant to grow upward), and some personal ('it is good to bathe the Moon being in Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn; it is best bathing two or three days after, or at the full of the Moon').
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