Lett's Set A Spell

Living by the moon on the Lett family farm
Mar. 17, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

Aunt Gladys, who lived with Grandpa (Puzie Lett) in the old home place, was an expert on planting flowers, and their yard always looked like a showcase. She imparted knowledge about how the Moon in a particular phase and in a specific sign guided farmers and gardeners in the science of sowing seeds and setting out various plants. 

Like generations before them, country folk in the Buckhorn community watched carefully the moon’s monthly rotation in the heavens and considered this celestial companion a divine indicator of the seasons for growth. Grandpa planted and cultivated his crops in line with the moon’s position and was rewarded with many healthy and bountiful harvests.

Everyone knew that the new moon’s appearance in the spring meant it was time to sow seeds that grew plants above the ground like tomatoes, cucumbers, peas and green beans. The two-week period between the new moon and the full moon is called the waxing phase. Grandpa said the first week is especially good for planting crops that have their seeds on the outside, such as cabbage, broccoli, celery and spinach. The second week is best for crops that produce seeds on the inside, like peppers, tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers and melons. Since the moon is growing in size and brightness, this time is known as “the light of the moon.” 

When the full moon arrived, farmers’ thoughts turned to setting out plants that grew beneath the ground. From the full moon to the next new moon – the waning phase of the moon – Grandpa and the family planted root crops such as potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, rutabagas and peanuts. When the moon is getting smaller, it is known as “the dark of the moon,” and this time is also right for planting perennials, biennials and other plants that produce from the same roots every year, including trees and shrubs. Both the waxing and waning phases last approximately 14 days each since the lunar cycle is a little longer than 28 days.

THE MOON PASSES through each sign every month and has an effect on people’s health, according to Aunt Gladys and many moon watchers. 

These ideas are from Aunt Gladys and The Farmer’s Almanac:

Moon in ARIES affects the head and the face, and these parts of the body are vulnerable so folks should not have dental work or brain surgery during this time. 

Moon in TAURUS rules the throat and neck so people are more likely to have a sore throat and can benefit from using remedies to treat the thyroid and ailments like a goiter.

Moon in GEMINI influences the arms, hands and lungs, and folks are more likely to have ailments in these areas. 

Moon in CANCER can cause the breasts and chests to be subject to tenderness, and the stomach is vulnerable.

Moon in LEO calls for healing of the upper back, spine and heart. 

Moon in VIRGO is the best time for treating ailments related to the intestines and nervous system.

Moon in LIBRA is when the lower back and kidneys are more likely to experience pain and discomfort. 

Moon in SCORPIO is often the weakest period for the “private parts,” Gladys’ term for the reproductive organs.

Moon in SAGITTARIUS indicates that the liver and thighs are more likely to have problems.

Moon in CAPRICORN affects the knees, bones, teeth, skin. “It’s a good time for weaning babies,” Gladys noted.

Moon in AQUARIUS is the time of the month when the calves, ankles and blood could use the most attention. “This is when we are most likely to have cramps and pains in our legs,” she said. 

Moon in PISCES presents a tendency for the feet to be cold and to experience more arthritic pain.

Aunt Gladys consulted the The Farmer’s Almanac daily to see where the moon was located. She said that through the years the Lett family and friends kept track of the moon’s movement in the sky and knew what areas of the body were affected every day. “These theories are true – they have stood the test of time,” she said.

AlexSandra Lett is a professional speaker and the author of “Natural Living, From Stress to Rest;” “A Timeless Place, Lett’s Set a Spell at the Country Store;” “Timeless Moons, Seasons of the Fields and Matters of the Heart;” “Timeless Recipes and Remedies, Country Cooking, Customs, and Cures;” and “Coming Home to my Country Heart, Timeless Reflections about Work, Family, Health, and Spirit.” Lett can be reached at (919) 258-9299 or LettsSetaSpell@aol.com.