Thursday, March 23, 2017

La Maison Rustique - Knowledge of the Movements of the Moon and Sun (part 5)

From: L'agriculture et maison rustique, Charles Estienne (Rouen, 1658).


That the Farmer should have 
the knowledge of the movements of the Moon and the Sun,
of their abilities and effects upon rustic things.

(Chapter 9)

-=-=-

[continuation of the introduction]

When there is a surplus, gather it for feeding the animals, the Moon being new will fertilize the land, and enrich it in the waxing, especially as the Moon gives no less strength to the manure for softening the earth, she makes the trees and seeds germinate, growing and multiplying each in their way, watering them close at the waning of the Moon.

And be not content to know the virtues of each quadrant of the Moon on animals, trees, herbs, plants, fruits, and other things contained in the world below: but be careful to observe the powers of each day of the moon, not just on the animals and plants: but also on the disposition and governance of man to make use of it in case of necessity in time and place, according to the constant and continued observation that our fathers have made of it, which is as follows.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

La Maison Rustique - Knowledge of the Movements of the Moon and Sun (part 4)

From: L'agriculture et maison rustique, Charles Estienne (Rouen, 1658).


That the Farmer should have 
the knowledge of the movements of the Moon and the Sun,
of their abilities and effects upon rustic things.

(Chapter 9)

-=-=-

[continuation of the introduction]

As to the fruits, pick the plums, pears and other fruits, and harvest the vines at the waning of the Moon, especially as it will cause the wines to be better, and well preserved, which would otherwise be in danger of turning and ceasing in the following month of March, in the house all that one wants to last, when the Moon is waning.  Sow the corn, wheat and other grains, weed, winnow, sieve, and press the grains, grind the corn to better keep the flour at the end and aging of the Moon. It is good and true that bread grows and profits more if the milling is done when the Moon waxes and is new. Harvest and mow the corn, when the Moon is waning, pluck the linen and the vegetables in the same time. It’s true that vegetables pulled up by the roots during the waxing of the Moon are easier for cooking.

As for the herbs, sow them when the Moon is new, and gather them when the moon grows in light, as being of much more virtue than when it is waning. At the same time, harvest the cucumbers, squash, melons, citrulls [Citrullus lanatus], pumpkins, and all the roots which grow heads, harvest garlic, radishes, turnips, leeks, lilies, grapes, saffron, and the like, except onions, which proceed all to the contrary: for they are better, larger, and more nourished in the waning than waxing or full Moon, while they are not so vigorous and fleshy, however if planted or transplanted at the waning, and on their end, the onions are much stronger, sharper, and biting than if it were in the waxing or full Moon.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

La Maison Rustique - Knowledge of the Movements of the Moon and Sun (part 3)

From: L'agriculture et maison rustique, Charles Estienne (Rouen, 1658).


That the Farmer should have 
the knowledge of the movements of the Moon and the Sun,
of their abilities and effects upon rustic things.

(Chapter 9)

-=-=-

[continuation of the introduction]

The falconer will rather choose the full Moon to go to the rookery than the absence, because the birds of prey are much lighter, sharper and ravishing about the full moon than at other times. The horse, and other animals suffer from diseases of the eyes more in the absence of the moon than in the crescent or full Moon. Set aside a supply of fat and marrow of sheep's bones, deer, ox, and others, if need be, in the full moon not in waning. Castrate boars, rams, young bulls, or kids and goats when the Moon wanes, cover the eggs of chickens, or other fowl at the new Moon, and especially on the first crescent.

As for the trees and other plants, the wise farmer will plant his fruit trees and others when the Moon is new, not after the time around the first crescent. At the same time cut and chop wood for heating; On the other hand, that which he will reserve for building when the moon wanes, being assured that all matter (whether for building houses, presses, bridges, and other things) having been cut in the waning moon, sustain a long duration marvelously well; Even more so if it is cut in the evening rather than the morning; Which can also be accommodated to free-stones and to rubble [for building walls], when they are pulled from their quarries.

Plant the vine at the crescent Moon, or in the first four or five days after it has passed; Trim thin vines and plants in fairly bad soil, also during the waxing of the Moon, and those which are lively in waning, seeing that they will produce more grapes, which if they were cut in the crescent, especially when the Moon, stopping to soften and fatten them, would only cause an abundance of branches and foliage, and cutting them when the Moon ages, the wood restrains itself and only makes it produce fruit in abundance. Purge, prune, and trim the roots of fruit trees at the waning of the Moon, as they will be more loaded with fruit, making the nurseries of the moon on earth.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

La Maison Rustique - Knowledge of the Movements of the Moon and Sun (part 2)

From: L'agriculture et maison rustique, Charles Estienne (Rouen, 1658).


That the Farmer should have 
the knowledge of the movements of the Moon and the Sun,
of their abilities and effects upon rustic things.

(Chapter 9)

-=-=-

[continuation of the introduction]

It is from this that we say the moon grows and decays, not that in truth it grows or decays (except when it suffers eclipse and defect) being always illuminated by the Sun, but grows or decays its clarity only, which it spreads and reverberates on earth. And this splendor as it grows or fades,  has more and less force to move the humors of natural things to execute their effects. For so much the more this light is increased, so its humor is bountiful, and is spread to the extremities, and on the contrary, so much the more it diminishes, the natural humor also withdraws and is limited to the smallest part. This is why the moon is called the nourishing mother, the queen and governess of all the waters that are in terrestrial bodies.

In order to speak first of all of the country beasts, the well-educated farmer will never kill at any time pigs, sheep, oxen, cows, and other beasts, flesh of which they can prove themselves for the food of his Family, during the waning of the Moon. For the flesh killed in the absence of the Moon diminishes from day to day, and requires a great deal of fire and time to cook it, but it is not possible to eat it. If it be considered for making sausage or similar meat it is reduced by a quarter when cooked.

Nor should account be taken of, nor buy horses, and others which were born during the waning and old age of the Moon, as they are more stupid and weak than the others, but do not grow up, and their flesh does not have of sufficient weight when killed. Never fish the ponds, ponds, ponds, and rivers, in the absence of the Moon, for the fish and other aquatic animals, chiefly those which are clothed and covered with shells and large scales, such as crayfish, crabs, oysters, mussels, and the like, are found very much lessened in their substance, and meager in old age and absence of the moon, on the contrary, fat, full, and full, when it is in strength and full light.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

La Maison Rustique - Knowledge of the Movements of the Moon and Sun

From: L'agriculture et maison rustique, Charles Estienne (Rouen, 1658).




That the Farmer should have 
the knowledge of the movements of the Moon and the Sun,
of their abilities and effects upon rustic things.

(Chapter 9)

-=-=-

Several years back I posted a series of translations from "La Maison Rustique" about "The works that the laborer should do for each month of the year." I recently was looking through the text again and came across a set of instructions on what a farmer should do for each day of the lunar cycle and thought folks might find it interesting, so I'll start posting them a bit at a time and see where it goes.

-=-=-

Introduction

Again, the consideration and observation of the movements, abilities and effects of the stars, and chiefly of the two great and admirable lights of the universe, called Illuminaries by God from the mouth of Moses. Known as the Sun and the Moon, they belong more to the excellent Astrologer than to the simple laborer.

However, as most of the rustic materials, animals, plants, trees and grasses take their generation, nourishment, advancement and complete perfection by the vital inspiration, action, radiation, and marvelous movement of these two organs and principal instruments of the whole world, it is well expedient that the farmer and governor of the country house should have the knowledge acquired by long experience of the virtues and abilities of them over rustic things in order to treat them, and to work and guide according to the movement of these two great governors.

Thus, to speak in the first place of the moon, which is to be the closest to us of all the planets and celestial bodies, having also its effects on us with regard to the body, and on all earthly things, it is quite certain that in less than a month it makes the whole route and road which the Sun makes all along the year, and that it has no light of it's own, but retains it and receives everything from the sun, giving the repulsions and reflections to the earth with more vehemence, thus as it feels itself far from the Sun, and to the contrary, the more it approaches the conjunction with it, so much less does it lend its clarity and to the earth.