To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 3:1

This morning Emilio Burgos called on the pone and in the conversation he said that he had heard me say that there was a special time to Castrate a horse. He said that some men had brought a young horse to his corrals up in Buena Be and they wanted to castrate him. Emilio felt that if anything happened to the colt that he would feel responsible. He said the colt had good breeding and that he didn't want anything to happen to it.

I told him that it had been my experience that the only time to Castrate a horse was in the waning of the moon and when it was not too cold. He looked it up on the calendar and saw that we are still in the last quarter of the moon and the day is a nice spring day so he decided to go ahead with the castration of the colt.

When I was teaching school in the Dublan Grade School I was the principle but also I taught the seventh and eighth grades. At that time Dr. Di Peso came down with his crew to excavate the Paquime Ruins. He was sent by the Amerind Foundation to be in charge of the excavation. The foundation had made arrangements with the Mexican Government to do the excavation.

He brought his family with him and put his two sons, Cory and David, in our schools. As I remember David was in the seventh grade class with our daughter Mary.

While the excavation was going on we took our older classes of the school up to learn about the Paquime ruins. Dr. Di Peso was very attentive and took us through telling the classes of the customs and the details of their findings in their work.

He showed us a walk in well that had winding steps dug into the side of the well that went around and around down to the water. This well was inside of the courtyard of the ruins. Dr. Di peso explained that this well was a reserve water supply in case their enemies should poison or polute the water that came through the whole of the Ruins through two stone Aqueducts. One was used for drinking water and house use. The other was used as the waste carrier for all of the waste of all of the houses.

He showed where they had excavated a flat round stone that was used for a base for a big log pillar to help hold up the second story houses. Under the round flat stone base they had found a small skeleton of a baby wrapped carefully in a straw mat. He suggested that the infant had been used as a sacrifice to please the Gods and protect the important pillar.

Then he took us out to where they had excavated a built up cross that had been built exactly with extensions pointing to the North and South and to the East and West. He explained that this was their observatory where they determined the times and seasons. He said they were very strict in doing everything at just the right time according to the sun and the moon. They planted their crops according to the season but especially according to the Moon and it's position in that season. They also harvested their crops according to the season and the position of the moon. All of their worship and their every action was centered around the right time according to the sun and the moon.

He showed us the big blackened rock lined pits that they used to cook their mescal in. They gathered the Sotol plant and the Quiotes at the precise time according to the season and the position of the moon. These cooked plants provided them with a very healthy food that they used for cleansing their digestive system.

At the time I thought about these ancient people and their customs that had been handed down for centuries. If they did everything according to the moon, I thought there must be something to it that was not just superstition.

At one time we were considering running sheep on the ranch to give us more income. We went to talk to Don Tomas Azumendi who was a Sheep Man from his infancy. He was a Bask from northern Spain. He had come to the U.S.A. as a sheep herder and had herded sheep for many years in Utah and Nevada. He earned enough money to buy a big flock of sheep. He brought them to Mexico and rented places to graze then on. Finally he bought, in partnership with Agustin Chinolla, the Top of the mountain ranch that was called La Mesa de la Avena. He tended his sheep there very successfully until he retired and turned the ranch over to his son. Emilio.

Emilio sold the sheep and bought cattle and established a beautiful ranch putting dams in the washes to establish water storage lakes. He stocked these little lakes with cat fish and blue Gill.

When we went to Talk to Don Tomas he told us his history as a sheep man and gave a lot of good advice about raising sheep. He said that the best way to keep sheep healthy was to not to use the same bedding ground for more than once or twice. Especially he said, "When you castrate the little Rams do it only in the waning of the moon. If you do it at any other time many of them will bleed to death". He said that he had brought knowledge from his people in Spain and had proven it through the years.

We thanked him for all of the information and as we left her repeated again, "Castrate only in the waning of the moon".

The next round up time came along and we remembered the advice of Don Tomas Azumendi and planned our round up in the middle of the waning of the moon. To our surprise when we castrated and dehorned the calves there was very little blood. We put aside the Blood Stopper powder and the dehorning paste and the calves healed up very quickly without any infection or trouble of any kind.

When we worked the calves before without paying attention to the moon we always had a blood bath. The blood would spurt in streams getting all over our clothes and faces and even bathing the corral board fence. When we did 150 or more calves that was a lot of blood.

After a few years of paying attention to the waning of the moon one year I forgot and went to round up and brand the calves. We got all ready and started putting them through the calf chute and dehorned and castrated two or three until we got showered with the streams of spurting blood. I suddenly remembered about the moon and saw that it was the wrong time to work the calves. I said, "That's it, turn 'em loose and well work them when the moon is waning."

My brother Muarice was helping us and he said that he was going to go ahead and work his calves. We all went over and helped him do his calves. I remember the blood bath we got. One of his calves bled to death being the only one on record on our ranches to die of that cause.

I learned to Castrate Horses from watching Uncle J. Robinson castrate some of his colts. I learned how to tie them down so as to minimize the movement while castrating. He washed the area thoroughly with soap and water then made the incision holding the Testicle. He cut through the outer bag and the inner tough sack until the Testicle popped through the incision. Then he would extend the testicle as far as he could and clamp it with a wooden clamp that he had made for the purpose. Then he would burn through the Testicle Chord with a red hot iron. This was to seal it so that it would minimize the bleeding.

I followed his example and became good at Castrating horses and many people came to get me to Castrate their colts. I used the hot iron method until I realized the benefit of doing it in the Waning of the moon. Then I tried Castrating the Colts using my castrating calipers and not burning off the Chord with a hot Iron. It was very successful and was less painful for the horse and they healed up quicker and didn't swell up as much.

There is a time to work the calves on the ranch and to Castrate the colts. I am sure there is a time to plant certain seeds and plants. I often wondered when it would be and wished that I had the knowledge of the ancients to know the time of the moon to plant and to water and cultivate. Also the time to harvest to get the best results.

I know there is a special time to cut the medicinal herbs to get the optimal benefit from them. I have not studied enough to know that exact time for the different herbs. I am sure that it has to do with the flowering of the plant and even the time of the moon.

  1. TO every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
    Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 3:1 - 8