Excerpted with permission from "Moon teachings for July 2000" in Mooncircles Newsletter.

When the moon is waxing, the old ones advise: Plant broccoli and beans, but not your carrots. Harvest lavender blossoms for your bath, chamomile for making tea. Pick fruits to eat, but do not can them. I wish I could garden, gather herbs, and pick my fruit fresh. But I spend my weekdays in an office, making a 35-mile commute each way. Weekends I shop and do laundry, whether the moon waxes or wanes.

The earth listens to the moon. But how do office workers hear it? If we envy the old ones their moon knowledge, we must also envy their sense of place and time. This was their secret. Having a sense of place brought a deep relationship with earth and sky. Knowing where you lived meant you could also forget yourself there and, slipping into the background, spy on rich conversations all around. Much more than keeping to a list of moon rules, the old ones danced in rhythm to their surroundings.

During the two weeks of the waxing moon, they'd note a burst of blossoms in the garden; in the woods, how sap was rising in the trees; in the orchards, how fruits were growing plumper, juicier, sweeter. With each new moon, they observed how the earth "exhales." Everything above ground swells with the earth's life force, increasing with the growing moonlight, peaking at the full moon. If you bottle olive oil or wine at this time, the liquid will burst from its container.

The earth listens to the moon. But how do office workers hear it?

Today, I hurry through my landscape. I travel among factory-made objects where the life force is constrained. Manmade things are valued more for how they can resist time, or perhaps improve it, not dance with its changing nature. Fruit trees have a kind of intelligence that my stapler and office chair do not. What do fruit trees want? The same magic we do: They want to succeed. How?

They want their fruit to be picked. They want animals to walk away with them, eating the flesh from their precious seeds, then dropping them far from the mother tree. So they wisely fit themselves to earth's moon-breath. As the moonlight increases, they flush their fruits with color, fill them with sugars, in short, entice and allure, knowing, as the old timers warn, ripe fruits decay more quickly on a waxing moon--all the better for slipping seeds into the earth.

We don't have to know what the old ones knew or do what the old ones did. But we might learn to perceive our world with a similar sensitivity.

Earth is still exhaling with the waxing moon. How can we participate? From new moon to full, we might gather our positive energy and direct it outward. We might ripen our efforts, enticing the outer world to taste our gifts. Whatever our projects, we can designate these two weeks for relevant activities of attraction. We can be more receptive to others, too.

City life makes recovering a sense of place on earth more difficult. But our bodies give us a good place to start. During the waxing moon, as above-ground creatures, we also fill with earth's exhaling life force.

Dates for this month's waxing moon: July 1-16

Excerpted with permission from Mooncircles Newsletter by Dana Gerhardt and Pythia Peay.

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