29 Aug 2009

Canning by the Signs of the Zodiac

Ever since I wrote about the Signs of the Zodiac and the body parts they are associated with, I've been fascinated to see how many people read this post and I've found out why.

It seems that it's important to can/pickle/preserve food according to the agricultural calendar, which is closely associated with the 12 Signs of the Zodiac and the planting, harvesting and dormant/non-growing times of the year.

I've always been interested in the tasks or labours of the year associated with the different Zodiac Signs, and this approach to canning by the Signs (especially it seems, for sauerkraut) makes a lot of sense. You can read what I write about the Signs and some of the agricultural tasks associated with them in The Cosmic Egg Timer available from the APA on-line Book Shop.

You can also read up ideas on canning and preserving for yourself at Appalachian Voices where there is an item about Eula Vines, an elder and an experienced bottler/canner/pickler of vegetables. I quote here:

Eula believes in canning by the signs. It is a long-standing belief among food preservers that zodiac signs can affect the outcome of any batch of canned vegetables, especially those that are pickled.
You can find the signs -marked as tiny fish (Pisces) and lions (Leo) among others- on certain calendars and in many almanacs, often with a corresponding graph of the human body. Each date has a designated zodiac sign, and each sign indicates a relationship to a specific body part.
“I never pickle when the sign is in the feet,” Eula said, flipping through her wall calendar. “I pickle when the sign is in Aries or Leo. One of them’s in the head; one’s in the heart.”
She explained, “I know the signs work. Yesterday was an Aries day, but I’ll pickle through next week because the sign will still be in the neck. I’ve pickled when the signs are in the legs, but I won’t pickle when they get into the feet. I’ve had kraut smell bad and be soft when it’s in the feet.”
That makes a lot of sense. Pickling or preserving when the Sun is moving through the Sign of Pisces, which rules the feet, is the time of year, in the northern hemisphere, when it's still winter and stocks of produce are running low. Freshness and suitability would be doubtful; the produce to be preserved could have been touched and ruined by frosts.
Right now the Sun is in Virgo, the Sign associated with harvest and the bounty of the Earth. This image is of one of the roundels in the Zodiac window in the cathedral of Chartres, France. All 12 Zodiac Signs are depicted in the window, along with the 12 labours for each Sign, which follow the agricultural cycle of the year. Virgo rules the intestines and as a Sign is associated with health, well-being and healing. It would follow, then, that if canning or preserving at this time of year it's important to do so with really fresh produce which has just been harvested and is at its best.
I know that right now I'm picking berries, apples and other soft fruits from my garden and am either eating them right away when their at their best, or am freezing or preparing them for storage on the same day.


Anonymous said...

It is best to not pickle anything when the signs are in the reins, loins, bowels or feet. Thighs are fair and anything else is good. Hope this is helpful to others. Thank you and good luck.

Joyce Hopewell said...

Thank you - I'm sure other readers will find this useful/interesting. But I don't know what the "reins" are! Which part of the body do they refer to?? In English, reins are used to guide and control a horse...!!

garry said...

Balance-Libra- rules the reins...what are reins? according to the almanac.. reins are the vasomotor system, which is the dilating and constricting of the blood vessels. It also governs the lumbar region of the back, the adrenals, kidneys and the skin.