The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - Soils, Manure and the Environment
Chapter: Chapter 4: Weather and Climate

The octants

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1424. The octants. Besides the lunar situations to which the above observations refer, attention must be paid also to the fourth day before new and full moon, which days are called the octants. At these times the weather is inclined to changes; and it may be easily seen, that these will follow at the next lunar situation. Virgil calls this fourth day a very sure prophet. If on that day the horns of the moon are clear and well defined, good weather may be expected; but if they are dull, and not clearly marked on the edges, it is a sign that bad weather will ensue. When the weather remains unchanged on the fourth, fifth, and sixth days of the moon, we may conjecture that it will continue so till full moon, even sometimes till the next new moon; and in that case the lunar situations have only a very weak effect. Many observers of nature have also remarked, that the approach of the lunar situations is somewhat critical for the sick. According to Dr. Herschel, the nearer the time of the moon's entrance at full, change, or quarters, is to midnight (that is, within two hours before and after midnight), the more fair the weather is in summer, but the nearer to noon the less fair. Also, the moon's entrance at full, change, or quarters, during six of the afternoon hours, viz. from four to ten, may be followed by fair weather; but this is mostly dependent on the wind. The same entrance during all the hours after midnight, except the first two, is unfavourable to fair weather; the like nearly may be observed in winter.