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Like Pulling Teeth
Reprinted from the 2004 WHTC. Used with permission.
Moon lore applies to more than just planting and animal behavior; it also applies to everyday actions. According to those who study such things such mundane matters as haircuts, holes and housekeeping are also governed by the Moon's position in the heavens. Should you want your hair to grow faster have it cut when the moon is waxing. If you dislike haircuts and want to put off the next one for as long as possible be sure and cut it when the moon is waning as this is supposed to retard hair growth.
Holes (of all things) are also governed by the moon. An archaeologist friend assures me that any hole dug during the waning moon will produce less dirt for refilling than one dug when the moon is waxing (and he's dug a lot of holes). When refilling holes dug in the waning moon extra dirt is required to fill it. The opposite problem occurs when the moon is waxing - you always have extra dirt left over (which I presume is used to top off waning moon excavations). He admits that he's never actually done a controlled study of this but it's apparently a common enough phenomenon to have become a bit of archaeological folklore.
Housecleaning is also apparently ruled by the Moon. Houses given a thorough cleaning when the Moon is waning are easier to clean and stay clean longer than when cleaned when the Moon is in a waxing mode. An easy way to remember this is to always wax when it's waning. This waxing/waning dichotomy apparently holds true for a great many things since it's supposedly easier to get things done when the moon is waning - everything is supposed to go more smoothly - than when the moon is waxing.
The rules get more complicated when it comes to things surgical: dehorning and castrating livestock, tooth extraction and other oral surgery, and surgery in general. All of these operations are best performed during a waning moon and are best done when the moon is in Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio, Virgo, Capricorn, Leo or Sagittarius (in descending order of effectiveness). Wounds heal faster and with far fewer complications when the Moon signs are observed.
As for tooth extraction I can personally vouch that my experience bears this out. I had a number of teeth pulled over a period of several weeks (coincidentally while researching this very topic) and kept track of the moon's position at the time they were pulled. Those done according to the accepted lunar wisdom, bled very little, healed rapidly and with very little pain while the teeth that were pulled during the worst possible period (waxing moon in Aquarius) bled for days, hurt like the devil and developed dry sockets. It sold me on the matter.
As far as dehorning and castrating livestock, my cousin-in-Iaw who raises beef cattle swears by the moon and will only perform those actions when the moon is in a favorable sign. He says he's done it both ways and when one does it contrary to the moon all sorts of complications and aggravations arise: bleeding, infection, and in one case the regrowth of horns. When the moon is followed the cattle seem to be more docile, experience less trauma, and heal up quickly.
Of course why this should be is anyone's guess. In my case one could put it down to expectations and wish fulfilment since what I expected to happen did. In the case of the cattle however the cause is less obvious since they obviously had no expectations at all. Should I discover any mechanism for this phenomenon I'll let you know in future editions of the Almanac.
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Copyright © 2006 Jim Jung