The Winter Solstice

So here we are moving towards the end of another cycle.  Earlier today the Moon was full and the rest of 2013 sees the closing out of this lunar cycle before the new Moon on January 1st.  We are also moving towards the Winter Solstice, the point when the Sun moves into the cardinal sign of Capricorn.  For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the tilt of the Earth puts us furthest from the Sun creating Winter.

tiltI’ve blogged a bit this year on cycles, especially the lunation cycle, but the nature of astrological cycles is the same whether we are talking about the Moon, Pluto, or the whole astrological year.  Long before Christmas this time of year was a period marked as important in the calendar.  This is the point in the cycle which equates in the lunation cycle to the dark of the Moon, the point just before the new Moon where the sky is dark and the Moon is invisible to us.  It is a point for introspection and reflection.  We celebrate the year giving gifts to those we love and cherish, but will we make it through the winter?  This was a genuine concern for our ancestors.  Had they stored enough food to get them through the dark and cold months until Spring? 

winter-solsticeWhatever this time of year means for you, I hope over the next week you’ll be able to celebrate the Solstice (and Christmas) with those you love.  Eat, drink and be merry, but spare a thought for that waning phase of the Moon that follows and look inward to see what comes next.  What are you hoping to give birth to in the New Year?  What does 2014 look like in your mind’s eye?  Reflect on your highs and lows of this year and consider what you want from the next.  This is a time to remember that the answer isn’t always ‘out there’, in fact it rarely is.  The answer is inside, you just need to give yourself time and space to find it.

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The Balsamic Moon: dissolving into darkness

This evening we reach the end of the lunation cycle for this month and my promise to blog at each point in the cycle.  I’m already thinking about next month (one foot in the past and one in the future) and using some examples of individuals born at each phase.  For now, let’s finish this cycle before moving on to the next.

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We enter the balsamic phase and move towards the dark of the moon where the moon is now between 45 degrees and 0 degrees behind the sun in the natal chart.  The equivalent point in the solar cycle is Halloween or Samhain, as the days grow shorter and shorter.  In the plant cycle the plant draws the vital essence back underground and waits for the next germination.

For those born at this phase they have one foot in the future and one in the past.  Their life purpose is about tying up the loose ends in order to move forward.  They have a vision of a future but are living within the confines of an old structure.  These natives tend to form frequent and very intense short-term relationships.  They often meet people and there is a sense of familiarity or recognition, perhaps from previous existences?  Then one day these people are gone from their lives.  They can come to question whether they are capable of long-term connections.  Although they are perfectly able to have long-term relationships, these short lived connections are important for finishing the larger cycle we are all part of.  Realising that these brief meetings are all that is needed changes the way they handle the relationships.  They learn the importance of saying or doing things at that moment, rather than waiting and putting it off.  They need to learn to look at the other person and know that they are at peace and it is time to move on.

The other major theme for balsamic moon people is the sense that there is something different about them from other people.  This is often strongest and most challenging during adolescence.  They may try to share with peers how they are feeling, but often it is only through sharing with older people that they can start to make sense of this feeling.  Their peers will be unlikely to understand or be equipped to help, unless they too are balsamic moon people!

The balsamic moon people are the visionaries of the cycle as they hold within them the stored energy of the cycle ready to be rebirthed into something new.  They are in some ways ahead of their time as they hold the essence of the future within them.

Finally, there is a sense of special destiny or being here for a purpose with these individuals.  Their purpose is to take meaning from all of their life experience and distil this into seed form so it can be passed on to another person.  They are meant to leave a legacy or testimonial so the new cycle can be enriched by it.

For the rest of us, when we reach this phase in our progressed cycle we have reached the bridge between one cycle of activity and another.  It is a time for letting go, purifying, healing and preparing for renewal.  We may feel a great loss as things that previously gave us purpose seem less important, but we need to let them go in order to make room for the birth of the new at the next new moon.  Astrologers frequently first see clients who are at this point in the cycle.  They are subconsciously aware that the old cycle is declining and they are wondering what may come next.  It is a point for reflection and taking stock; what is still important to me and what can I let go?  Something new is coming, but the seed is yet to germinate.

The Last Quarter Moon: the dark force increasing

This evening the moon reaches the last quarter of the monthly cycle.  We’re nearly at the end of my month of blogging the lunation cycle and what it means for our natal charts.  I thought it might be good to look at some examples next month.

The moon is now between 90 degrees and 45 degrees behind the sun in the natal chart.  As with the other posts in this series, you can check out your own lunar phase at http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/vphase.html.  In our solar cycle this point in the lunar cycle equates to the Autumn equinox when day and night are in balance again, but the night is about to win out.  In the plant cycle, the harvest has been taken in and the fruit remaining on the vine starts to rot.  The build up of energy needed to produce the fruit has peaked and starts to pull back.

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For those born at this point in the cycle, crises of consciousness are how they progress on their journey.  Some of their biggest crises are internal as they make radical shifts in their lives away from what they have already done towards something else.  They reach a realisation that they can’t carry on doing the same they have always done and need a change.  Their family may ask why aren’t they every happy, everything’s fine and why throw it all away for something new or a crazy scheme?  However, the natives of this phase will not be content without making the change.  Periodically they will realise that what had once given meaning and purpose to their life no longer does.  They have learnt things that no longer validate their assumptions and beliefs.  The crisis comes and they need to disengage themself from the old situation.  They may keep the crisis hidden from those around them until they are ready to externalise the change.  Whilst the internal upheaval is going on, they will appear the same to everyone else until they are ready to lift the mask and move to the next stage.  Family and friends may be surprised when they announce their new direction, but it is the job of last quarter people to tear down old structures and recognise where change needs to happen.  They are the people who realise these old forms do not work and need changing.

For the rest of us, when the moon reaches this point in our progressed cycles we start to turn away from what we have done in that cycle.  We have reached the peak of this cycle and it is time to reorganise our thoughts into a new vision.

As always, if you want a better exploration of this subject then Demetra George’s book Astrology and the Authentic Self is definitely the place to start.  She also has lectures on her website where she explores this in even more detail.

The Disseminating Moon: dark begins to win over light

Here we are, with the moon in Pisces not helping my dreaminess or Neptunitis, as some might call it, we reach the disseminating phase of the lunation cycle.  The moon is now between 135 degrees and 90 degrees behind the sun in the natal chart.  As with the other posts in this series, you can check out your own chart at astro.com or just your lunar phase at http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/vphase.html.images

In the solar cycle wheel of the year this is Lammas, the first harvest festival.  The heat of the sun ripens the grain and traditionally a feast was held to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest.  Our plant yields fruit; this is the apex where the rewards of the hard work of the first part of the cycle are reaped.disseminating

For those born during this phase their life work is about dissemination.  They are driven to communicate and convey information that they themselves have found to be of value.  They find their truth and want to share and teach others what they have learnt.  This may be in a verbal or written format, but often is about living their life in a particular way which embodies their values.  They become a walking, talking demonstration of their principles.  These individuals need to have a passion or a message to communicate and are at their most content when they do.  When they struggle to find something to believe in or there is no one to communicate their ideas to, they can feel overwhelmed by the futility of everything and life can feel meaningless.  Although they need to have a ‘message’, they need to learn to understand that not everyone is going to be committed to their beliefs as they are.  The danger is they can develop a fanatical edge and they need to learn that although it is important to communicate their ideas, it is not vital that others take immediate action.  They can throw out the seeds and whether they take root or not is not for them to worry about.

In our progressed moon cycles this is the point where the intention we started out with at the new moon phase bears fruit.  It is a culmination point and we are now living out the intention.  The success of this does depend on the work put in during the first half of that cycle.  The plant grown in poor soil with little food or water may bear fruit which is small and tasteless, but a plant that is nurtured and cared for will produce a bountiful harvest.  I suppose the key is to remember to nurture and care for ourselves.

The Full Moon – and a Supermoon at that!!

001_moonWhat is more beautiful and hypnotic than a full moon?  On a clear night when the moon is full and your eye is drawn towards her in the sky, I can entirely understand why our ancestors first looked up and worshipped her as a goddess.  For those of us (me included!) who missed the Supermoon in June because of cloud cover, we get another chance in July.  Although not quite as super as the June opportunity, July’s full moon is not far off.  The description on this blog tells us that we may even get a little colour thrown in for good measure – let me know if you see any pink, purple or orange!!

So, in my journey through the lunation cycle we reach the culmination of the cycle, the full moon.  The moon is now between 180 degrees and 135 degrees behind the sun in the natal chart.  The moon is exactly full this month at UK time 19:15 on 22 July.  The maximum amount of light from the sun is now reflected on the surface of the moon.  In our solar world it’s equivalent to the summer solstice where we experience the greatest amount of daylight.  Our little plant has finally come to fruit, the flower has bloomed turning towards the light and we can see the beauty that has been building for so long.

For those born during this full moon period they are seeking to make meaning and give form to the ideas developed earlier in the cycle.  There is a desire for connectedness with others and they seek the ideal in all encounters.  Think of the flower opening and the birds and bees pollinating it in order that it might bear fruit.  Only by taking something else into itself can it produce the fruit.  Through interactions and relationships with others the meaning these natives seek can be illuminated.  There can be a desire to constantly seek out the perfect partner or seek a cause or belief system which offers a larger meaning to their lives.  They seek to fulfil the project through connecting with others.  ThichUnlike our subjective new moon babies, the full moon native must ensure they are objective and entirely conscious of what they are doing.  They must think before they act and recognise the potential impact of their actions.  This is due to the importance of other people in helping them on their journey, without others they cannot progress.

For those not born at this point, we experience the progressed full moon once every thirty years or so.  This is the climax, or anti-climax of the progressed lunar cycle.  Depending on the first half of the cycle this may be the point where we fulfil a dream or reach a goal.  Alternatively, it can be the point where we fail to reach something we have strived for.  However there is always some release of energy as we reach a high point of the cycle.  Even if we fail or are disappointed, there is a sense of liberation as our struggles are over.

Check out your own chart at astro.com or just your lunar phase at http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/vphase.html

As always, if you want a better exploration of this subject then Demetra George’s book Astrology and the Authentic Self is definitely the place to start.  She also has lectures on her website where she explores this in even more detail.

The Waxing Gibbous – the moon increasing in light

We continue with our journey through the lunation cycle and what each stage means for the individual born at that point.  It’s a funny word gibbous, isn’t it?  It means more than half, but less than fully illuminated when referring to a planet or the moon and comes from the Latin for hump and means to be humpbacked.  It’s one of those words that I just don’t use in any other context than astrology.  This is where our moon is currently up to, now almost fully visible well on its way to being full.  In our solar calendar it equates to Mayday or Beltane where we celebrate the increasing hours of daylight and the fertility of the land this brings.  Our plant is beginning to grow buds and the flower is definitely on its way.  It is now between 135 degrees and 180 degrees in front of the sun in the natal chart.  Check out your own chart at astro.com or just your lunar phase at http://www.astrodreamadvisor.com/Moon_Phases.html

Those born at this point in the cycle have personalities which are similar to the bud on the flower.  They have a quality of anxious expectancy and appear on the edge of a great discovery, like the flowers in the garden who are threatening to open up.  They experience this expectation on an emotional level and have questioning minds looking for opportunity.  Individuals born at this phase are seeking to refine and perfect the structure which was built in the first quarter.  They ask questions such as ‘what about if we do it this way?’ or ‘what would happen if?’  Their skill comes from an ability to find techniques that are better than the ones already being used.  They often find themselves in the position of the apprentice, learning a new skill or technique.  They desire nothing more than to contribute something useful to society.  The danger for these individuals is to be seen as too critical as they seek to improve and make things better.

In our progressed charts we all experience this phase and it is the point where we are looking to refine and perfect the intention which began at the new moon.  We evaluate and analyse the point we are at and look how it can be improved.  We are subconsciously looking to ensure that the temple is clean ready for the full moon.

Any waxing gibbous babies out there who recognise this?

As always, if you want a better exploration of this subject then Demetra George’s book Astrology and the Authentic Self is definitely the place to start.  She also has lectures on her website where she explores this in even more detail.

The First Quarter Moon: light and dark in balance

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First Quarter Moon taken by http://peterdesmidt.com/blog/

Here we are on our journey through the lunation cycle at the first quarter, a point of balance between the light and dark.  The moon is now between 90 degrees and 135 degrees ahead of the sun in the chart.  In our solar cycle it’s the spring equinox where day and night are equal.  Our little plant is working hard at putting down roots and pushing out new leaves and stems to create a structure which will support fruit and flower.  Did you know that it is believed that the equinox is the only point in the year when it is possible to balance an egg on point?  I’ve never tried it, but it does allow for a gratuitous West Wing mention, just how far from the pack have I strayed, a question I frequently ask myself…

Anyway, back to the moon!  Think about the plant exerting huge amounts of energy to create stems and roots; this needs big amounts of energy released very rapidly in order to create the rapid growth to consolidate and move forward.  Our individuals who are born at this point in the cycle often experience a series of external crisis during their lives.  They are going along happily doing their thing when unexpected issues are thrown into their path.  I know we all feel like this at some point, but this is a theme throughout the lives of these individuals.  This causes them to expend a huge amount of energy in order to correct their course and continue on their way.  The question for these natives is how can they create a structure that supports them to go on living their lives no matter what is thrown at them.  If they are successful in this they become star trouble shooters who can deal with these crisis points, not just for themselves, but for everybody.

The danger here is that they need to be careful not to create unnecessary crises in their lives.  They may feel the crisis comes from outside, but are they really creating it for themselves?  This may be on an inner level.  They need to learn to make the tough decisions and stick to them during periods of difficulty.  Once they are able to do this then they can truly take charge and deal with any resistance or conflict which may come their way.

For everyone else, when we experience this point in our progressed cycle it is the point when whatever was trying to emerge begins to truly show itself.  We can look back at this point and see the idea which was birthed at the new moon start to emerge from the shadows and take form.

Remember you can check your own moon phase with your full chart at astro.com or just your lunar phase at http://www.astrodreamadvisor.com/Moon_Phases.html

Or find out more about Demetra George at http://www.demetra-george.com/