issue nine : here comes the night
So you've heard all about organic ingredients, right? You may know that organic farming means that crops are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers and that they need to be rotated to retain soil integrity, among having a host of other positive environmental impacts. You will probably know about the health benefits too - not only for us but also for the farmers and the planet as a whole. But have you ever heard about biodynamic farming and how they use the moon cycles to delve even deeper into natures ability to nature?
A naturally perfect fit for this issue.
According to the Biodynamic Association, although biodynamic and organic farming share many of the same principles - most notably, sustainable [food] production - there are also significant differences.
What biodynamics have that organics don't necessarily posses are the "metaphysical and spiritual roots." It seeks to transform and regenerate not only the soil and wildlife, but through the interconnectedness of our relationship with the Earth, it rewards our own health on a physical and transcendent plain too.
In essence, it's the belief that life is omnipresent. It's the practice of embracing the power of invisible forces. It's the art of honouring the sun, the moon and the planets to garner its vitality that in turn, live on in our beauty products...and in us.
By the light of the moon
If you, like me, are more inclined to base your life - and beauty - decisions on science (and by science, I mean rigorous testing. Trial and error. Proof.) and not some esoteric 'mambo-jambo', well then, I am pleased to tell you that biodynamics and its relationship with the moon are, in fact, very much based on science - certainly enough for it to be considered more than just folklore. Granted, not all scientists will agree, but there is evidence (and logic) that biodynamic farming in relation to the lunar cycles is a sound practice. Even The Prince of Wales notes that moon planting is "a profound knowledge neglected by modern techniques" in his 2010 book, Harmony.
We all know that the tides are affected by the (gravitational) pull of the moon (even the 'scientists can't argue with that). Why, then, would water - say, for instance, found within the cells of a plant - not share the same relationship? Earths water table certainly responds to the call of that bright ball in the night sky.
Lunar planting is based on where the moon is on the ecliptic. Each of the constellations of the zodiac charts onto a different element. Namely; earth, air, fire and water - which in turn has a bearing on different parts of the plants' cycle. So, for instance, plant roots (earth), seeds (fire), flowers (air) and leaves (water) all have an optimal time to harness the power of these elements to grow healthy and vital. There was an experiment done with radishes that determined the best times for planting and nurturing growing plants. Parsons explains that radishes were planted every hour for a full calendar year. This research resulted in a pattern that echoed the lunar cycle.
Fascinating, isn't it?
Not only is the planting and growing method crucial, but the real beauty is when and how the plants are harvested to retain their "life-force". Allowing us the privilege to lather ourselves in their sacred ingredients daily.
Demeter is the certification for biodynamic beauty products to look out for. It’s the oldest certification for wine, food and cosmetics - and whats more, it’s the only internationally recognised certification for biodynamically grown ingredients (unlike natural and organic certifications, which sometimes feel a dime a dozen). As you know though, not all brands choose to be certified, for various reasons. In some cases, they don’t even bother to howl about the fact that their products contain biodynamically grown ingredients at all.
Naturally, biodynamic skincare is easier to come by, but I’ve included well performing colour cosmetic brands that have biodynamic ingredients in their formulations too.
Here are some of my favourite certified and non-certified lunar infused beauty brands.