The so-called fixed stars always maintain the same distance between each other and create the same shapes: constellations. The zodiac is a band of constellations in front of which the sun, the moon and all the other planets in our solar system trace their trajectories. This passage in front of the constellations stimulates the forces of the four elements: Heat or fire, air or light, water and earth. These elements exercise their influences on the earth and give plants their growth rhythms, just as the moon influences the tides.

The four elements have a bearing on the formation of a plant’s different organs: The heat element is linked to the fruit, the earth with the roots, water with the leaves and the air with the flowers. The viticulturist can stimulate the required organ by choosing the date of work according to the lunar or sowing calendar.

The ascending moon: This is the period when the sap is rising. The plants are filled with strength and flourish. This is a time for sowing and harvesting. In the cellar, rack off to extend the ageing period.

The descending moon: This is the period when the soil is most receptive and thus the time for planting. The sap is falling and the earth better integrates the elements worked in. This is also a period when the least harm can be done to the vine; time for removing unwanted new shoots, and trimming. Prune on a “root” day, rake the soil. Rack off for bottling.

Bad periods: Ellipses, lunar nodes. Period of bad influences. Avoid pruning and bottling during these periods.