Best Days: When's The Best Time to Castrate Your Bull and More

Judson Hale

From the beginning, The Old Farmer's Almanac has been calculated on astronomy, not astrology. But just as we include a few pages of astrology in each edition today, so too did Robert B. Thomas (our founder) include an annual page about the Signs of the Zodiac.

After each sign of the Zodiac is a body part—Virgo, belly; Sagittarius, thighs; Capricorn, knees; and so forth. These body parts appear in the Moon's Sign Calendar to indicate where in the heavens the Moon's astrological place will be each day of the year.

Almanac readers were very familiar with “The Man of the Signs.” Before you had a diseased arm bled, for instance, you wanted to be very sure the Moon was located in Gemini. (Gemini is in charge of your arms.) Along the signs, or separate from them, the phases of the Moon determine the most propitious times for weaning a baby, planting certain vegetables, making sauerkraut—you name it. Providing an insight into the timing of day-to-day activities was a major function of the Almanac.

Just as in our founder's time, our readers today use both our astronomical data and the astrological tables to determine timing. Common queries I receive, beside what the weather will be on a future date, have to do with when, according to the Almanac, it would be best to, say, have a tooth pulled or plant the peas. If the query is from Texas or Oklahoma, however, I know that more than likely it will be about castrating bulls.

“In the next ten days,” a caller will ask, “when would the Almanac say would be the best time for me to castrate my bull?”

I always tell the caller to do it when the Moon is waning (from the time it's full to the time its new), as there should be less bleeding then. But sometimes the caller persists in having a more precise time, and that's when I recall the answer my uncle gave in similar circumstances: “Why don't you try it,” I'd hear him say into the telephone, “when he's asleep.”

I've found that when I give that answer, no matter how serious the caller may be about wanting the information, it invariably provides a few seconds of shared laughter.

See the Best Days by the Moon Timetable for the current and next month.



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knee replacment

born in April wondering when would be the best time to have this done thank you very much your reply will be most appretive

When is best ro have

When is best ro have hysterectomy ?

Would have loved to read the

Would have loved to read the article bout the castration, however, could not CLOSE that Discover New England AD to read it ... GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrr

Hi Raymond, The alternative

Hi Raymond,
The alternative signs for planting are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.

When I initially commented I

When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox
and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

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You list, on page 246 (2014)

You list, on page 246 (2014) the astrological signs of Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces as the best signs for planting. In your 2012 issue you listed the best three alternative signs. I don't remember what they were but I really would appreciate your help if you could look in the 2012 book on the page "Secrets of the Zodiac" and tell me the alternates. About this time each year I mark my planting calendar and it is not always possible to plant on the three best days. Sometimes you have to rely on the best alternatives. I always plant according to the moon but if you throw in the astrological signs as well you should get the best results. I don't always get that but I need to try. I would appreciate your help.