| BRIAN KEATS
Biodynamic Planting Calendars, Naked Eye Astronomy, Weather Forecasting
BIODYNAMIC PLANTING CALENDARS
AID TO WORKING WITH RHYTHMS
(extracts from "Betwixt Heaven & Earth")
The Antipodean Astro Calendar has changed
to colour printing since this book was written (1999) and has had
a sister publication for the northern hemisphere called
Northern Hemisphere Astro Calendar (Northern Star Calendar) since 2001.
The reduced sized coloured diagrams included here are from these calendars but are not included in the book "Betwixt Heaven & Earth".
To see examples of full sized diagrams of The Antipodean & Northern Star Calendars
This supplement is designed to help those starting
out with planting calendars. The three calendars that are mentioned below
all have some basic information about rhythms like Moon phases and lunar
ascensions and descensions.This aims to supplement that and offer more instruction
in the use of calendars.
Some of the charts are peculiar only to the Antipodean Astro Calendar and there have been instructions for their use in past calendars which newcomers to the calendar have not seen................ this saves repeating information.
It also offers a third possibility and that is for those who have never had a calendar and would like to get an idea of what they are like.
We can of course, just use calendars for practical purposes, like growing plants, pruning roses and managing stock. In doing these activities, it helps to be in touch with their innate rhythms and in a quest to do so, you are invariably brought into contact with the source of these rhythms - the planets and the stars.
There are many Biodynamic planting calendars and this publication is mainly using examples from the Antipodean Astro Calendar & Northern Hemisphere Astro Calendar (Northern Star Calendar) for purposes of illustration. An understanding of one calendar will help you with any of the others. Refer to the Appendix section to see examples from Stella Natura, and Working With the Stars as well as the Antipodean Astro Calendar. The calendar you choose to use could be determined by the hemisphere and time zone you live in, as well as your relationship to the information offered.
Aspects and Trines
Sky at Sunset Chart
Inside Front Cover Diagram
Outer Planet Opposition
Outer Planet Conjunction
Excerpt from "Stella Natura" Calendar
Excerpt from "Working with the Stars" Calendar
On each monthly page there are pictures of roots, leaves, flowers and fruits in columns under, or next to each day of the week. They represent the 4 parts of any plant and each plant tends to have a single part emphasised over the other 3. Through cultivation practices a beetroot, for example, has had development emphasis placed upon its roots and this has been at the expense of its leaf, flower and fruit development. One cultivation practise is to work with cosmic rhythms; and a way of starting to work with the calendar would be simply to use these glyphs as a guide for when to plant a crop to get a particular developmental emphasis. All plants can be divided into these 4 types which are determined by their most enhanced part. Lettuce are leafy crops, carrots have more root nature, etcetera.
Please note that the example calendar page will be different to the one you have in front of you even if you have the Antipodean Astro Calendar. Every month and every year is different - a calendar compiler has to recompile a calendar each year!
If you would like to plant a root crop such as carrots or radish select a day that has a picture of a ( ) under it to sow your seed, tuber or bulb. The numbers below the glyph (between 0 and 24) denote the time range (24 hour clock). 10-14 would mean from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Plant leaf crops such as lettuce and cabbage with
a leaf (
) under it and within the time range indicated.
To further emphasise the quality of leaf development for a plant already
growing you could weed or water within those times too.
|Constellation the Moon is in and the time that the Moon enters
Day of the week
Suggested crop type to plant within time range given
Note 24 hour clock
The time that the Moon rises each day
The time that the Moon sets each day
Flower times (
) can be used for plants harvested for their essential
oils as well as for the planting, cultivating & harvesting of flowers.
( ) for fruit & seed plants and besides the obvious ones include beans, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, capsicums, pumpkins, sweet corn, rice & cereals. Fruit days include seeds for production and something like a cucumber, which its plump juiciness, can be considered a fruit. The Leo Moon (Moon under the constellation of Leo) in particular, being said to produce seeds of high quality.
|Moon moves from Libra into Scorpio on Saturday 4th at 21:02
ie just after 9 pm
Up until 20:00 (8pm) flower influence due to Moon in Libra (air constellation)
1 hour allowed for changeover as Moon enters new constellation
From 21:00 (9pm) there is a leaf effect due to
PLEASE NOTE THAT ANY PLANTING CALENDAR NEEDS TO ACT AS A TOOL OR A GUIDE RATHER THAN BE TAKEN AS A SET RECIPE!
Planting in accordance with the Zodiac is more of a qualitative aspect than a substantial one. People do not always get consistently greater yields and some researchers dispute this method. Refer to Calendar Research.
Once you have familiarised yourself with those 4 glyphs and what they relate to, try and link them to the Moon rhythm of 29.5 days where the phases of the Moon change from Full Moon to New Moon and then back to Full Moon again.
The top wavy line in the next example shows 4 of
When the Moon is moving from Full Moon (no dark in circle) to New Moon (darkened circle) it is waning. From there it heads back to Full Moon and is said to be waxing. In the example above the Full Moon is on Saturday 1st at 00:56 (56 minutes past midnight - not taking daylight savings into account). New Moon is on the 15th. You have a series of leaf days each month with some being more favourable than others. Leaf qualities are emphasised with a waxing Moon whilst root qualities are better with the Moon waning. Observe the Moon and try to see how it correlates to the calendar. Days leading up to Full Moon work strongly as a life force into the water organisation of the plant.
N.B. In the illustration given the
symbols are placed horizontally along the wavy line. Some calendars have
a vertical formatting for their monthly information.
Look at other calendar examples given in the APPENDICES.
CHECK - What Time Zone are you in? Calendar times given have to be Time Zone specific and you may have to make adjustments to these times if you live in a different Standard Time Zone. Your calendar should give you guidance on this.
| Calendar is based on AUSTRALIAN EASTERN STANDARD TIME
Times are on a 24 hour clock where 0800 is 8 A.M. and 2000 is 8 P.M.
No account is taken of daylight saving. A.E.S.T. is based on longitude
150 degrees East of Greenwich, 10 hours ahead of Universal Time.
Adjustments need to be made in different time zones accordingly:-
NZ Standard Time is 180 degrees east
i.e. 2 hours ahead of Greenwich
On each page above the date are symbols for the constellations of the Zodiac.
The Ram, the
Bull, the Heavenly Twins
And next the Crab, the Lion shines,
The Virgin and the Scales,
The Scorpion, Archer and Sea Goat,
The Man who held the watering pot
And Fishes with glittering tails.
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
It helps to form a dynamic and colourful picture of them as a memory aid. The 4 plant types each have 3 Zodiac signs associated with them, and you could with the 3 earth (root) signs Virgo, Taurus and Capricorn, create a mental picture of Mother Earth (Virgo) feeding carrots (root crop) to a bull and a goat. You could also build similar pictures for the 3 water (leaf) signs, the 3 air (flower) signs and the 3 fire (fruit) signs.
Once familiar with the glyphs it becomes much easier to read the planting guides.
In the above description I have mentioned the 4 elements: earth, water, air and fire. More about them in the articles ELEMENTS and ETHERS in the book "Betwixt Heaven & Earth".
This explanation for planting times is based on
a simple and straightforward example. The times are solely based on the
Moonís journey through the constellations. Other cosmic events
like nodes and trines influence the plants too and make the constellation
effect on the plants less certain. For information on TRINES see the article
|Ascending Node symbol.Moon crossing above the Sunís
path at 19:00. (7 pm) Sun, Moon and Earth are on the same plane.
If the Moon was crossing below the Sunís, path it would
be a descending node.
SEE ARTICLE ON NODES
2 hours either side of the lunar node disrupts the leaf influence of Moon in Pisces.
ie 4 hours from 17:00 - 21:00 of uncertain influence
The Moon moves across the sky very rapidly (approximately 130 a day). Consequently the node influence is not very long. Generally one could allow 12 hours (either side of the node time makes 24 hours) for Mercury or Venus crossing the Sunís path (ecliptic). A Mars node would last about 2 days, Jupiterís nodes, and the slower planetsí nodes, would spend upwards of a week close to the ecliptic. Whether you could afford not to plant for a week or two is another matter and should be left to your discretion. It may even be of benefit for some plants.
In human terms, I imagine these node points as meeting places. For us to have a meeting we need to be in the same room i.e. on the same plane. It meetings we generally undergo some sort of angst until we can decide upon a course of action. At the beginning of the meeting things are unclear and, by the end of the meeting, hopefully things are clearer and we can carry out decisions. Every 2 weeks the Moon has a meeting with the Earth and Sun. The plan of action for the preceding 2 weeks has come to an end. They undergo a 4 hour meeting at the end of which they come out with action plans for the next fortnight and begin carrying them out. Saturn would only have a board meeting every 15 years with the Earth and Sun. A 15 year plan takes a lot of sorting out and the meeting could take a week or longer.
What about the Sun? We all know that growth
is primarily determined by the Sun. We have to take note of the seasons.
Summer and winter are vastly different. Every BD calendar should indicate
somewhere the constellation in which the Sun is in. On the top of each
Antipodean Astro Calendar page are glyphs of the Sun either side of
the monthly heading.
|Denotes:- That the Sun is in Capricorn from 19th until the 31st
i.e. for the rest of the month.
The time of entry into Capricorn on th e19th is 05:45
i.e. quarter to six in the morning.
The Sun is descending (downward pointing arrow).
Next to each glyph is an arrow with 2 dates and a Zodiac sign in the middle. The sign indicates which constellation the Sun is in, the dates indicate the duration that the Sun is in the constellation. The Zodiac symbol has a time above it to indicate the precise time the Sun enters the constellation. The arrows also have a direction; up or down. Up indicates that the Sun is ascending, as from winter solstice to summer solstice, where the Sunís midday position climbs higher each day. Down indicates a descending Sun heading for winter and getting lower in the sky daily.
After several months try to bring in some of the other lunar rhythms. Each Full Moon is different with some being more powerful than others. Perigee and ascensions strengthen, apogee and descension weaken. A Moon towards peak ascension can be stronger than a Moon low in the sky. Begin to observe how the Moon ascends and descends as opposed to waxes and wanes.
The ascending and descending of the Moon is denoted in the Antipodean Astro Calendar by the use of the wavy line. When the curve goes up the Moon is ascending (different to waxing) and when the curve is going down the Moon is descending and no longer getting as high in the sky as it used to. When the Moon reaches its highest orbital path (like the Sun in Summer) it is at Peak Ascension. In the example the Moonís peak ascension is at 20:00 on Monday 6th as indicated by the symbol. Peak descension is marked with the symbol inverted at the bottom of the curve. The Moonís Perigee and Apogee points are marked Pg and Ag respectively.
Detailed explanations of the lunar rhythms are generally given in the various calendars. Of course there is much more one can glean from biodynamic planting calendars, there always is!
Above all have patience, do not try to assimilate it all at once and do not disregard environmental factors such as a warm moist soil for seed planting. We are only beginning to understand the effects of cosmic rhythms and in learning, we are bound to make some mistakes. There is no place for dogmatism.
COMMON SENSE NEEDS TO PREVAIL!!
ASPECTS AND TRINES
In the dance of the planets relationships between
them keep changing. Sometimes they are well aspected to each other and
sometimes they do not make music together as they are badly aspected. If
2 people are dancing, it matters what angle they are to each other
if the dance is to be harmonious and flowing.
|Planetary interrelationships can be related
to as angles of circle, as the Zodiac circumscribes a circle and the planets
are all within it. Distances between planets, as seen from Earth, can be
measured as an angle rather than a linear distance. Saturn can be 300
from Mars for example, or any aspect between 00 and 3600.
In the adjacent example Venus is shown approaching its farthest distance east of the Sun, as seen from Earth. In this case the angular distance is 480.
In music you have very particular ratios of string lengths that will strike a chord with you. Not any ratio makes music. Most are in fact discordant. So it is with planetary relationships. An aspect of 600 makes a ratio of 1:6 to a whole circle (60:360). Planets in this aspect can harmonise together, can dance and express their gifts.
The more influential aspects are given names. When planets are seen together they are 00 apart. This aspect is called a conjunction (Ñ is the symbol for a conjunction). This relationship can be beneficial if the planets have similar qualities working together. It does not work for Mars and Saturn thus aspected (refer to article on Lawrence Edwards). A series of conjunctions can bring on cloudy weather and precipitation.
On the other hand the clear weather of a high pressure cell can be brought on by oppositions - 1800 aspects (â is the symbol for oppositions). Planets are exerting influences from opposite poles and creating an atmospheric tension. A balance can also be created when inner and outer planets are opposite each other. Better still if these oppositions are spread through the Zodiac, rather than concentrated at 2 poles.
Squares or 900 aspects ( is the symbol for square), where there is no pulling together or creation of balance, can be seen as a more challenging aspect (not necessarily negative). Can be stormy, but good can come out of it too.
Trines ( €is the symbol for trines) are planetary aspects whereby two planets are 1200 apart from each other. On an average the constellations are 300 wide and a sequence of signs EARTH ... WATER ... AIR ... FIRE spans 1200. So when two planets are in a trine relationship they are usually in constellations that have elements in common. I state ìusuallyî because this is not always the case using the Sidereal Zodiac of unequal sized constellations. Virgo, for instance, spans 460. When considering a Tropical Zodiac all the signs are 300 apart; every 4th sign is 1200 away; and every 4th sign influences the same element.
Maria Thun, in her work, found that the trine
influence over rode the lunar influence. Trines are denoted by a triangle
in the Antipodean Astro Calendar, with a symbol of the relevant plant
part affected in the middle. The planets involved in the trine, and the time
of aspect are indicated in the line below the space for work notes, at the
bottom of the page. (The first part of the line shows oppositions of the
Moon with Jupiter and Saturn). If there is an asterisk in the column next
to the trine sign, then there is a particularly strong force, as the Moon
and trine effected planets are in front of constellations of the same sign.
They might all be in FIRE signs for example which would benefit fruiting
|Supported Trine Example: the Moon is in Sagittarius denoted
by (?) at the top of the column. This
means the Moon is enhancing FIRE qualities beneficial to FRUIT.
A trine (€) is also indicated and it too shows FRUIT. 2 planets are 1200 apart and both of them are in FIRE signs. The Moon and the planets concerned are mutually supportive and to indicate this an asterisk is below the trine. This favourable fruiting influence lasts all day as indicated by 0-24 in the column. If one wishes to determine which were the planets involved inh the trine one could look at the row at the bottom of the page below the WORK NOTES where they will be listed thus:
If there is a black dot adjacent to the trine
sign indicated in the calendar then the trine has no lunar support. The Moon
might be in a WATER sign and the trined planets in an AIR sign.
It should be noted that not everyone is in agreement
with Maria Thunís findings and research undertaken by Hartmut
Spiess' "Chronobiologische Untersuchungen mit besonderer Berucksichtigung
lunarer Rhythmen im biologisch-dynamischen Pflanzenbau". That does not
make her work incorrect either - an open mind neeeds to be kept and more
|Unsupported Trine example: The Moon comes into Pisces
(ª) at 06:58.
Before this time it would have been in (*). The Moon is coming out of AIR (FLOWER) and into WATER (LEAF). Therefore a flower is represented with 0-6 above it. i1 hour is generally allowed for the Moon's transition between signs. At the bottom of the column the leaf effect is indicated.
In addition to this attention is drawn to the planetary trine effect (€). The triangle has a carrot in it indicating a ROOT crop. The planets in this trine relationship must be in EARTH signs. The triangle also has a dot next to it (as opposed to an asterisk). This shows that the planets are favouring a different element to the Moon.
Whether the Moon effect or the planetary trine effect is the more dominant, is left to observe and decide! It is open to research. In the Antipodean Astro Calendar the Trines are shown, and a duration of effect noted as a guideline only. Generally speaking the effect is considered to come in 6 hours before the actual aspect happens and finish 2 hours afterwards. However this wouldary depending whether the Moon, Sun or planets where supporting this element as well, or countering it. It could be of a longer or shorter duration.
Effects from planetary aspects can come into being before and after the exact alignment and can have an ìorbî of a few degrees other side of the exact degree of the aspect.
When a planet enters into a new constellation, the quality of that constellation does not necessarily begin to flow straight away. It can need a ìkickstartî through planets entering into a major aspect. The period before the ìkickstartî but in the new constellation is known as ìvoid of courseî.
Monthly ìSky at Sunsetî diagrams
in the Antipodean Astro Calendar can be used to gain an overall perspective
of planetary activity. You may efer to the article and chart on the subject.
If all the planets are concentrated in 1 part of the sky for example,
the spread is very unbalanced and one could expect extreme weather conditions.
The ideal would be to have a good balance of FIRE, WATER, AIR and EARTH
signs represented; outer and inner planets opposite each other; and a variety
of aspects. More often than not, for a period of time, there are imblances.
Being conscious of them enables us to prepare ourselves inwardly to counter
them and, if one is farming or gardening biodynamically, there are preventive
and balancing measures that can be taken.
SKY AT SUNSET CHART
The Antipodean Astro Calendar has a monthly chart depicting the positions of all the planets at sunset in the middle of the month.
The charts can be read in three ways:
1. GEOGRAPHY OF SUNSET. The circular chart is taken as a horizontal plane and represents your horizon with you in the middle, on Earth. The upper part of the page represents north, and the left hand side west. From this one can determine where the Sun is setting in relation to west. If the Sun is setting north of west, as it does towards Winter, it follows then, the Sun would have risen north of east too i.e its path is more northwards (in the southern hemisphere). Check the charts for June and July in your calendar. The Sun is in Taurus and Gemini in these months and you will always find these 2 constellations low in the northern skies.
In January the Sun sets south of west in the constellation Sagittarius; and rose to the south of east. The Summer Sun rises and sets in southerly positions in contrast to the Winter Sunís northerly positions. Sagittarius always rises in the south east and sets in the south west.
If the Sun, Moon or any planet is in Sagittarius they will rise and set in southerly positions too. The constellations move across the sky as do the planets. When a planet is in a constellation, it means that it is in front of that constellation and they will be tracking across the sky together. Gemini is opposite Sagittarius and always rises in the north east. Look at a January page in the Antipodean Astro Calendar. The Sun is setting in Sagittarius in the SW whilst Gemini opposite is rising in the NE. The line between the two helps you to orientate yourself to the rising and settings of the Zodiac. The left, or western side, represents the Sunís compass position at sunset (and the constellation it is in); opposite on the right, or eastern, side shows what constellation would be rising and at what compass position.
It is most rewarding when you can obtain the sense of the rising and setting positions on your horizon!
2. PLANETARY POSITIONS. Where do I look in the broad expanse of the sky to find the planets? Basically if you know where the Zodiac band is in the sky - that is where you look for the planets. However if you are still learning:-
Take the chart to represent a vertical plane. The calendar is held upwards to give a picture of celestial longitude as well as the latitude of the Sun, Moon, planets or Zodiac. Longitude is an orientation between east and west, whereas latitude is a north / south bearing. To find a planet we need to fix its position between east and west and between north and south. The line (on the chart) projected from the Sun through the Earth to the opposite side represents the horizontal horizon plane. Anything above this line is above your horizon at sunset and, therefore, potentially visible. You can only see half the sky at any point in time). Anything below the line is blocked from visibility by the Earth i.e. you cannot see through the Earth to the other half of the sky below. To orientate yourself for outside observations in the southern hemisphere you should face north with this chart. The stars and planets will then be rising on your right and setting on your left.
The next step is to know our latitude (how far north or south of the equator we are), and then appreciate how this effects where we see what!
At the equator the celestial equator runs directly overhead from east to west. Its celestial latitude is 00. As you move away from the equator the celestial equator moves a correspondingly lower distance in the sky. If you move to 350 south (Sydneyís latitude), the celestial equator, at its highest culmination, appears northwards 350 down from the vertical (where it was viewed from the equator). 350 down from the vertical is exactly the same as 550 up from the horizontal as 350 + 550 = 900. From Sydney the celestial equator at its highest point is 550 above the horizon and due north. The further south you go the lower becomes the celestial equator in the north. At the south pole the celestial equator skirts your whole horizon!
Hopefully, after a bit of practice, you might have the celestial equator sorted out. Now to the ecliptic. The plane of the ecliptic intersects that of the celestial equator at 23.50, due to the tilt of the Earthís axis (23.5o) . The ecliptic is the Sunís path through the heavens as seen, or plotted, by an observer on Earth. It is also the centre line of the Zodiacal band. You could imagine that the constellations of the Zodiac are some kind of freeway and the ecliptic is one lane on this freeway on which the Sun travels along.
The Sun, Moon and planets all travel along this constellation freeway. The ecliptic is the master lane along it and the Moon and planets are bound within a range 70 of the ecliptic. They are allowed to cross the Sunís lane twice an orbit (the node points) but you will always find them somewhere on the freeway of the Zodiac. You will not find them near the Southern Cross or Ursa Major - they are only to be found in the Zodiac band of 12 constellations (13 if you include Ophiuchus).
Now to relate the celestial equator to the ecliptic. At the intersection points of the ecliptic and the celestial equator are the constellations Pisces and Virgo. Pisces and Virgo are the only 2 constellations that are part of the Zodiac and on the celestial equator.
Sagittarius, on the other hand, lies 23.50 above (south) of the ecliptic and Gemini lies 23.50 below (north). These 2 constellations are the farthest north and south of the celestial equator (only considering the Zodiacal constellations). Consequently, when Sagittarius is at its highest altitude, its elevation above the northern horizon would be the celestial equatorís height plus 23.50. At Sydney this would equate to 900 - 350 + 23.50 = 78.50. For Gemini this would be 900 - 350 - 23.50 = 31.50. If a planet is in Gemini you would look low in the northern sky for it, whereas in Sagittarius you would look high. The other constellations range in between, with Pisces and Virgo in the middle on the celestial equator.
Positions after sunset can be found by rotating the sketch anticlockwise, 150 for every hour past sunset. The Sun acts as your hour hand and you rotate the chart accordingly. If it is midnight the chart is rotated until the Sun is at the bottom. In a 24 hour period the relationships between the Sun and planets remains fairly constant. If Mars is opposite the Sun at sunset it will still be opposite the Sun at dawn. If a planet is in a particular constellation it will stay with that constellation as the sky rotates. The movement of the sky approximates to one constellation every two hours. Every 2 hours a new constellation rises eastward and one sets westward.
3. A PLANETS PROXIMITY TO THE EARTH. The Sun weaves a circular form around the Earth represented by the dotted line. It could be seen as a membrane within which forces are more condensed within it (closer to Earth the densest planet). Outside of the membrane (closer to the stars) forces could be seen as more rarefied.
The planets can be divided into 2 groups each with differing qualities. The first group, which consists of Mercury and Venus is able to cross this membrane and enter into this ìSun Sphereî enabling a diffusion process to take place. They bring in more spiritualised forces and condense them into forces more suitable for processes on Earth when they cross the membrane. They also take denser forces from the Earth and spiritualise them on their journey towards and beyond the Sun Sphere.
From each monthly chart in the calendar one can gauge the activity of spiritual beings behind the movements of Mercury, Venus and Mars by seeing whether they are inside the membrane (dotted line) and closer to Earth or not. The above mentioned planets all do their loops inside the membrane, when they are closest to the Earth.
The planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto do not cross this membrane of the ìSun Sphereî. They are beyond the ìSun Sphereî and always stay beyond it. The task of the beings behind these planets could be seen as spiritualising further that which is brought into this ìzoneî by the first group from the Earth. It has to be spiritualised further to the extent that it can be taken out of space and time to the mighty spiritual beings that lie behind the Zodiac, another membrane.
Their task is also to receive impulses(forces) from these sublime beings and condense them to a state that can be picked up in the ìPlanetary Sphereî by Mars, Venus and Mercury to bring to the Earth via the ìSun Sphereî. These outer planets move closer to and farther from the Earth as well, even if they do not enter into the ìSun Sphereî. Whenever they are closest to Earth they are doing their loop and are opposite the Sun and at their greatest brilliance in the night sky.
In the chart the outer planets have a dotted arrow with them, to denote whether their gesture is towards the Earth, or going away from it.
Mars is the link between the 2 groups, it can dynamise both into action. Mars forms a loop and is closest to Earth at opposition (like the outer group) and is able to enter into the ìSun Sphereî like Mercury and Venus.
In summary, from a geocentric perspective, there are 2 main gestures for all the planets - they are either communicating / interacting with the Earth; or towards the stars.
1] For Mars, Venus and Mercury they are inside the dotted
line (Sun Sphere); or not.
2] For the outer planets (Mars belongs here too) they will have:-
a dotted arrow towards the Earth; or towards the stars.
Two membranes have been mentioned. There is also a third - that which the Moon weaves around the Earth. The beings associated with the "Moon Sphereî, known as Angels, interface more directly with life on earth ìgroundingî the activities brought in from beyond the starry realms. They also take up our activities on Earth and begin the spiritualisation process for its journey up and outwards.
REFER TO IMAGINATIONS OF STARS AND PLANETS.
Beauty is Truth,
That is all you know on Earth;
And all you need to know.
Imagine yourself as a beneficent being interested in the goings on of the Earth within this solar system, but you are outside of the solar system (to give yourself some objectivity). Your focus would be on the Earth, and so the other planets are moving relative to the Earth, making the Earth appear stationary. You could - over the course of a year - attain a picture of the movement of the planets similar to the inside cover (appendix chart).
Technically speaking this chart view is from a celestial latitude of -350 and a longitude of 2650. I chose this position to give the same perspective as southern hemisphere residents have. We can have the same picture of the movement of the planets from the centre, as an observer on the Earth, as does an observer outside the solar system, on the periphery. The star background would be very different though!
I had to work with different scales to fit this on the page. The planets up to Mars are viewed 4 AU (astronomical units) from the Sun. The other scales for the planets vary from 10 to 50 AU from the Sun. 1 AU is the average distance of the Earth from the Sun and is equal to 149,597,870 kilometres.
From a geocentric (Earth centred perspective) the Sunís path can be imagined as a circle (bold inner circle) around the Earth. As Mercury and Venus (inner planets) go around the Sun they are sometimes closer to the Earth than the Sun (coming within this circle) and sometimes farther out. One can appreciate they would have a stronger affect when closer to the Earth than when beyond the Sun. Their gesture is towards the Earth when within the circle. When they are beyond the Sunís sphere (out of inner circle) their gesture is away from the Earth; towards the outer planets and the stars. Mercury does 3 loops a year and makes a track somewhat like a clover leaf.
Every second year Mars too comes within this bold
circle scribed by the Sun and has its closest approach to Earth (perigee).
It can even be the closest planet to Earth at these times. In the appendixed
chart you will see that the bottom of the loop formations are closest to
the centre of the drawing (where the Earth is). You will also notice
that the loops are not always complete for the outer planets. That is because
they are entering into opposition towards the end of the year and complete
it the following year. The chart shows from January 1st to December 31st
only. Mars is the link between the inner and outer planets. The planets
farther out than Mars can never be closer to the Earth than the Sun, they
never enter into the circle on the diagram. The outer planets (those extending
from Mars to Pluto) are at perigee (and at their brightest) when they are
opposite the Sun and apogee when in conjunction.
From an observer on Earth's point of view - Sun and Mars are in opposition
ie they are opposite each other.
N.B. It is a conjunction from a heliocentric perspective.
Mars is at perigee ie it is at its closest distance to Earth.
They are at apogee (farthest distance from the Earth)
when in conjunction with the Sun.
From an observer on Earth's point of view - Sun and Mars are in conjunction
ie they are in line with each other and Mars is hidden behind the Sun.
N.B. It is an opposition from a heliocentric perspective.
Mars is at apogee ie it is at its farthest distance from the
To give an idea of the proximity of a planet to
Earth, I have used the points of greatest elongation (G.W. & G.E.)
as the turning points between a planets drawing closer or going further
away from the Earth. Greatest elongation points are those at which a planet
appears furthest, west or east, from the Sun as seen from Earth. Because
it is a geocentric perspective, line of sight makes it an angular distance
and so these points are not half way orbital points as seen heliocentrically.
If you plot the course of the planets against the star
background, they will be found to have a retrograde (go anticlockwise or
backwards) motion at certain times. They normally progress from west to east
(clockwise from a southern hemisphere perspective) through the Zodiac.
The start of retrograde is also the start of loop formations. The outer
planets Mars to Pluto form their loops when in opposition to the Sun, at
which times they are at their closest approach to Earth (perigee) and at
their brightest. When Venus and Mercury are looping they too are at perigee,
but are not visible as they are at inferior conjunction (in line with and
in front of the Sun). Apogee for Venus and Mercury is at superior conjunction
(in line with and beyond the Sun) and for the outer planets is at conjunction.
Rudolf Steiner indicates that the outer planets have
the strongest influence upon the Earth when in the loop phase
(around retrograde motion and opposition); whereas for the inner planets,
it is in the non loop phase (greatest elongation points and superior
EXCERPTS FROM "STELLA NATURA" CALENDAR
EXCERPTS FROM "WORKING WITH THE STARS" CALENDAR