In This Issue:
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1) The Phases of the Moon
2) Understanding Eclipses
3) Moon Void of Course
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THE PHASES OF THE MOON
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The Moon's phases correspond to the growth cycle of every living thing. There are four phases to the Moon's cycle that are divided into four quarters: The First Quarter phase (New Moon), 2nd Quarter Phase, 3rd Quarter Phase (Full Moon) and 4th Quarter Phase. Each of these is described more fully below.
The best way to use the moon's phases is for guidance into "right timing" of activities and actions. Observing the lunations and journaling about your experiences during the phases (especially New Moon and Full Moon) will be your best teacher. It will help you to understand how you respond to the different moon's phases occurring in particular houses in your natal chart.
The New Moon phase begins when the Moon and the Sun are merged together in the sky or, in astrological terms, "conjunct" one another. This phase of the moon corresponds with all new beginnings and is an excellent time to begin a new project related to the areas of life indicated by the house in the natal chart which the New Moon falls into. (For house keywords, see the article on my website about Mercury Retrograde. A chart of house keywords is provided on that page.)
The New Moon's length of influence is one month, much longer if it involves an eclipse (see eclipses below). If the New Moon aspects (by conjunction, square, opposition, quincunx, sextile or trine) a planet or one of the angles in the natal chart within a 4 degree orb (and the closer the orb the stronger the influence), then the natal planet aspected, as well as the type of aspect, provides more information about what is being "initiated" that month and how easy or difficult the initiation might be (sextile and trine aspects represent flow and ease whereas the square, quincunx, and opposition can represent resistance, adjustments or challenges to overcome).
For example, let us imagine that you have your natal sun positioned at 27 degrees of Capricorn and in your natal 5th house. Each of the New Moon's for the remainder of this year are going to form an aspect to your natal sun. In July, that aspect would be an opposition (representing a challenge of integration). The New Moon would fall in your natal 11th opposing your natal sun in the 5th. The 11th house is the area of life "highlighted" by the New Moon. This would indicate group or organizational membership and activities, friendships, pursuit of hopes and wishes, and business income and assets (to name a few). With a natal planet in the 5th, opposing this New Moon, it could mean that while you're wanting to initiate something aligned with your hopes and dreams (11th house) that your commitment to your children (5th house) demands a lot of time and attention as well and you will have to find a balance. Or, as another example, joining a particular group or organization (11th) will further your personal creative self-expression (5th) but first you must overcome your fear of taking risks with self-expression (5th). The combinations or potential manifestations are personal to each person and it could be that more than one situation applies. What is certain with the opposition, is that the emphasis is on integrating the needs of both the issues and facets of your circumstances represented by the 5th and 11th house.
As another example, I have seen where a New Moon in the 2nd house when favorably aspected (especially by the ruler of the 2nd, 5th, 8th, or 11th natal house) could bring an increase in income. This is even more true when the Solar Eclipse is involved (a good time to buy lottery tickets!)
1st and 3rd Quarter Moon Phases
The 1st and 3rd quarter moon phases represent that period when the transiting moon forms a 90 degree or square aspect to the transiting sun. Therefore, since the square aspect is considered a stressful relationship, these two phases bring on minor irritative events. If at the same time the 1st or 3rd quarter moon makes a stressful aspect to a natal planet, within 1 degree, there could be a sort of mini-crisis situation. If a sextile or trine aspect is made to a natal planet, the natal planet aspected can indicate the means through which one can work out the issues highlighted by the Moon's house location. The length of influence for the 1st and 3rd quarter Moon phase is one week. These phases occur approximately seven days after the New Moon (2nd quarter) and seven days after the Full Moon (4th quarter).
Full Moon Phase
During this phase, the transiting Sun and Moon are opposite each other in the sky and the Moon is reflecting all of the Sun's light. This phase corresponds to the culmination of plans and completion. This is a good time for finishing up the activities and issues represented by both of the houses in the natal chart in which the transiting Sun and Moon are positioned. This is also the time period when something you've been working on related to the house position of this phase, will come to fruition or "bear fruit." Often the Full Moon will occur in the house of the natal chart opposite the New Moon and it is for this reason that we can start to see some concrete results for something initiated during the New Moon phase.
The period of influence for a Full Moon is 2 weeks (unless it is an eclipse, see below). If the Full Moon aspects (by conjunction, square, opposition, quincunx, sextile or trine) a planet or one of the angles in the natal chart within a 5 degree orb (and the closer the orb the stronger the influence), then the natal planet aspected, as well as the type of aspect, provides more information about what is being completed that month and how easy or difficult the completion might be (sextile and trines represent flow and ease whereas the square, quincunx, and opposition can represent resistance, adjustments or challenges to overcome).
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Eclipses can occur either during a New Moon or Full Moon Phase. The New Moon eclipse occurs when the transiting Sun and Moon are merged (or conjunct) in the sky and is called a Solar Eclipse (the moon eclipses the sun). The Full Moon eclipse occurs when the Transiting Sun and Moon are opposite each other in the sky and it is called a Lunar Eclipse (the sun eclipses the moon). The effects of an eclipse are far more powerful than the New or Full Moon. The meaning is the same (the Solar Eclipse representing a new beginning and the Lunar Eclipse representing a completion) but the period of influence is much longer and there's a lot of OOMPH with an eclipse. The period of influence for a Solar Eclipse (the most powerful) is one year and the period of influence of the Lunar Eclipse is six months.
Just as was true for the New and Full Moon, if the eclipse aspects a planet or one of the angles in the natal chart within a 5 degree orb (and the closer the orb the stronger the influence), then the natal planet aspected, as well as the type of aspect, provides more information about the nature and requirements of that particular eclipse.
Since the length of influence is longer when an eclipse is involved, it is a good idea to watch other transits to the eclipse degree, because the other transiting planets might set off a reaction. It is especially helpful to note any aspects made to the eclipse degree by the planet ruling the eclipse. For example, if the eclipse occurs in the sign Leo, you would want to observe the transiting sun's aspects to the eclipse degree. If it occurs in Aquarius, you would want to note the activity of transiting Uranus and Saturn.
INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING ECLIPSES
Full Moon Lunar Eclipse: On August 7th at about 7pm on the West Coast and 10 pm on the East Coast, a Full Moon Lunar eclipse will occur at 15 Aquarius 21. At the time of the eclipse, the Moon is within 5 degrees of being merged with transiting Uranus, modern ruler of the sign Aquarius. Again, the Lunar Eclipse relates to a "finishing up" or the achievement or completion of something. Since the transiting Moon will be in Aquarius, merged with the ruler of Aquarius, expect the unexpected in the areas of life (houses in the natal chart) in which this eclipse occurs. Of course, the completion won't occur overnight -- the period of influence for a Lunar Eclipse is six months. The transits of other planets to the eclipse degree will provide more insight.
When the Moon travels through the sign of Aquarius, it can bring out the rebel in all of us. We all want to break free from whatever confines the expression of the uniqueness of self. So it is highly likely that the completions which occur during this time will assist us in breaking out of some of our ruts and putting an end to some stagnating aspect of our life. Certainly this is what is best for us so that our lives are more of an expression of the unique individual that we are. The sign Aquarius relates to breaking free and the freedom can occur "instantaneously" and with great force -- like a bolt of lightning. Personal freedom and individuality are very important now in the areas of life represented by the houses of the natal chart in which this eclipse occurs.
New Moon Solar Eclipse: On August 21, at around 7pm on the West Coast and 10pm on the East Coast, a Solar Eclipse will occur at 28 Leo 48. As mentioned before, the Solar Eclipse always relates to a new beginning of some sort (as indicated by the house in the natal chart in which the eclipse occurs). This time the eclipse occurs in the sign Leo, ruled by the Sun. Since the Solar eclipse represents a period of time when the transiting sun and moon are merged, the moon is obviously in aspect with the ruler of this eclipse!
When the Moon is in Leo the emphasis is on dramatic and creative self-expression. Just as the Sun is the center of the universe, the sign Leo is related to our desire to stand center stage where we can receive recognition and appreciation for being our unique self. This Solar Eclipse represents an excellent time to creatively express yourself in royal, regal style in the areas of life represented by the house in your natal chart in which this eclipse occurs.
Full Moon Lunar Eclipse: On September 6th, at 4:30 am Pacific Time and 7:30 am Eastern Time there will be a FM Lunar eclipse at 13 Pisces 40. Again, the Lunar Eclipse relates to a "finishing up" or the achievement or completion of something. Since the transiting Moon will be in Pisces, we may feel a need to take a "time-out" from the areas of life represented by the house in the natal chart in which this eclipse occurs. When the Moon is in Pisces, she's influenced by her visions and ideals and prefers time to escape from the harshness of everyday human reality. One of the best uses of Pisces energy is to take time for reflection, introspection and meditation. It is an excellent time for forgiveness of self and other. Additionally, there is no better time to practice random acts of kindness and to demonstrate an attitude of compassion and non-judgment.
It can be a time of confusion and susceptibility and for feeling vague, dreamy, and wistful. In addition, it can be that we don't have all the information we need or that some aspect of the issue at hand is not available to us. It is also an excellent time for being "inspired" or actively participating in spiritual practices that enhance our sense of At-One-Ment with All.
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THE MOON VOID OF COURSE
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The transiting Moon make a loop around the Earth about every twenty-eight days. As she does so, she moves through each sign of the zodiac in about two-and-a-half-days. As she passes through each sign she communicates (via the formation of angular relationships) with the other transiting planets. Because she moves quickly (about one degree every 2 hours) her interaction with each of the other planets only last a few hours. As she moves into the last degrees of the sign she's transiting, she will form her last angular relationship (or aspect) and have her final communication with the other planets before she changes signs. From the time she forms her last aspect to the other planets until the time she enters the new sign the Moon is considered Void of Course.
The transiting Moon represents the emotional tone of each day. In addition, the Moon rules our instincts, intuition, or 6th sense. When the Moon is Void of Course (VOC), her instincts are on hold. Therefore, people that are highly sensitized to the Moon's energy (that is, there is an emphasis on the Moon, the sign Cancer or the element Water in the natal, progressed or return charts) may feel scattered, vague, undirected, or "spacey" when the Moon is Void of Course. Plans or decisions made while the Moon is VOC may not work out. Without the instinctual "knowing" the Moon provides as she touches each planet, we can be ungrounded, unrealistic or lacking in good judgment. For this reason, actions initiated during this time can be misguided, irrelevant, or lacking sound grounding.
When the Moon is VOC it is best to stick with things we do routinely.
Further, it is an excellent time for reflection over the things that have
occurred over the previous few days after her last VOC period. Use
the Moon's VOC periods as a time to meditate, ponder, and get in touch
with your feeling and intuitive nature.
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"The important point is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."
My Blessings and Best Wishes,