Louise Riotte
Astro Computing Services, 1975

Planetary Planting is a classic work written for gardeners who want to follow the wisdom of planetary influences and cycles of the moon in planting their vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Riotte begins her work by looking at the history of planetary and moon planting and why it works. The great value of this book, however, comes as Riotte explains in detail how to prepare the garden for planting, covering the concepts of composting, tilling, fertilizing, and fencing, and which signs to accomplish them in.

The first half of the books is dedicated to the growing of vegetables: planting seeds, transplanting, harvesting, and storage, and the appropriate signs and moon phase to do each one. Riotte talks about how and when to water the garden, noting that research has established that "chances for a heavy rainfall in the week after the New Moon and Full Moon were up to three times greater than for the week preceding the New Moon." Times to weed and spray for pests are looked at. Riotte encourages organic gardening and includes directions to make organic sprays to discourage pests.

The remaining chapters cover the planting and care of herbs, flowers, trees, berries, vines, lawns, houseplants, and grains. These chapters include information on and appropriate timing of such things as pruning and grafting, cutting wood for timber, and the uses and folklore of individual herbs. The chapter on grains is of great value in itself for those of us raising wheat, barley, and oats for ritual purposes. Information on how to grow these plants in the garden is not always easily available, and knowing the appropriate astrological timing to observe in planting, tending, and harvesting them adds to their ritual significance.

Although not a new book, Planetary Planting can help the magic worker tap into planetary energy to give ritual meaning to everyday action.

Reviewed by Myrriah Lavin

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