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The Old Ways – The Signs Part 1

We are living in a modern age that is moving faster than I can keep up. Technology, such as smartphones, smart refrigerators, smart houses, smartwatches and smart cars, are everywhere, and just when I think that I understand the technology, it changes and leaves me behind in a cloud of microchip dust.
We have cars that drive themselves and boxes that you can ask the time and temperature or any other question and it will answer it for you. We even have computers that allow you to call someone and hold a conversation with them face to face on the computer screen.
It seems that the only thing that is not smart anymore are people. Yes, children can use a computer and travel to any part of the world, but they can’t change a tire or check the oil in their car. We are raising a generation of people who have to have a cell phone in their hands, and not long ago, the cell phone was declared the greatest invention of all time. The greatest invention of all time?!
We are so dependent on technology (me included) that we have lost a lot of the old ways, and to me that is sad.
When I was growing up several decades ago, we depended on raising crops on a farm and on the “signs.” The signs are a way of looking at the gravitational pull of the moon as it relates to the signs of the Zodiac. Old-timers used these signs to tell them when to plant, when to harvest, when to can vegetables, when to pickle corn or beans and most important, when not to do any of these.
My parents and grandparents were obsessive about following the signs, and they usually read the Farmer’s Almanac or relied on calendars given out by hardware stores and feed stores to tell them the signs of the Zodiac.
I remember thinking what does it matter? Put the bean in the ground, hoe it and let nature take care of the rest, but my mother was quick to tell me that did not work. You had to watch the signs carefully to get a good crop.
I remember one year my dad decided to plant potatoes when the signs were wrong. Mom warned him in her I-know-more-about-this-than-you tone, but dad was going to prove her wrong.
When the potato crop was harvested, dad had potatoes about the size of a tennis ball. The potatoes were not only small, there were very few of them. Dad harvested as many as he planted, but it was close. I never knew dad to ignore the signs again.
The logic behind this is that the movement of the moon affects almost everything in nature. Why would it not affect crops?
The moon affects human behavior, tides, fish and animals. Ask an Emergency Room nurse when they have the most patients and the answer is usually during a full moon. Some even say a woman who is pregnant will have her baby within three days of a full moon or new moon.
Fish bite better during certain phases of the moon. Game such as deer and bear feed at night more during some phases of the moon. Some people even claim the moon affects people who have mental disorders, and they have more problems during a full moon.
Scientists can study the moon phases all they like, but one thing is for sure, farmers have been following the “signs” for centuries, and they are better at predicting a good crop than the best of machines.
It has taken a big part of a lifetime for me to believe in the signs of the Zodiac, but I too believe in the “signs.” This, along with many of the old ways, are good ways if we learn to follow what they have to teach.
Next week, we will talk more about the “signs” and try to understand the reasoning behind them in Part 2 of “Signs.”