In this week’s article, I’d like to focus on the present Sun/Moon cycle and what it might mean for us. Then, I’ll write a bit on the Mercury retrograde that begins on Friday, August 20, 2010. Each month there is a New Moon. It can be divided into either four or eight sub-sections. To keep it simple and understandable, let’s just look at the meaning of the four sub-sections.
This month’s New Moon began on Monday, August 9, 2010 and occurred at 17° of Leo. The New Moon in astrology marks the beginning of a new cycle and can be thought of as the arising of a new ‘seed,’ which will grow as the month develops. It is often called the Dark Moon, not only because we cannot see the Moon since it is too close to the Sun to be seen, but also symbolically because the ‘seed’ that is planted at this time is not yet visible or known. Often, we see articles suggesting that this is a good time for us to make a wish or create an image of what we want at this point in our life. While I do not disagree with this sentiment, it is often best for the wish to be a ‘soft’ one, one that has a built-in openness, so that it can grow and adjust to the proper context and demands of one’s life. I suggest that we encourage openness to new ideas, thoughts and actions, but also give ourselves space to allow for the emerging ideas to grow and CLARIFY. It isn’t time yet to act on anything, unless that action is necessary from the previous month’s activity.
The next phase is called the First-Quarter Moon. In the present cycle, it occurs on Monday, August 16, 2010 at 11:14am PDT. Dane Rudhyar referred to this as a ‘crisis of action.’ This is when we now have enough information about the newly planted ‘seed’ to be not only able to act, but it is where we need to act in order to allow for things to continue developing. It is helpful to understand that the process of growth I am speaking of is ORGANIC in nature. By this I mean that things develop naturally. When we are sensitive to the timing of things, we know what to do and when to do it and as a result, things will work out most of the time.
The Full Moon occurs on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 10:05am PDT at 1° of Pisces. This phase marks a time of fulfillment or culmination of what has been developing the last two weeks and is when we know clearly what the new ‘seed’ is about and where things are likely to moving towards this month. It is like planting an unknown seed we found somewhere so that we don’t know what it is. At the Full Moon we will see and know it for what it is as it is revealed at this time. The Full Moon reaps what is sown at the New Moon. It also is the beginning of the waning phase where the energy of the month begins to decrease, until the cycle ends at the next New Moon where the cycle starts again.
The final phase occurs on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 and is called the third quarter (or last quarter) phase. It represents what Rudhyar has called the ‘crisis of consciousness,’ which is a time to look and examine all that has developed so far. We can feel that the energy of the cycle is running out and we have little enthusiasm for starting something completely new, though we are beginning to consider what changes may be needed and what direction the coming new cycle will ask us to to move towards.
Cycles and Sub-Cycles
One way to describe astrology is that it is the study of cycles. One of the fastest and most frequent cycle is the one being described in this article, the monthly Sun/Moon cycle. But there are many other cycles, lasting for much longer periods of time. For example, there is a Saturn cycle that goes through the same general themes that I’ve described here, but the cycle is 29-30 years in length (rather than 29-30 days as is the Sun/Moon cycle) and instead of going through its phases every 7 days or so, it goes through its phases every 7 years.
This tells us that it helps us to think in terms of levels where the faster moving cycles are actually triggering the ‘Intention’ of the much longer and slower moving cycles of which it is only a part. So, each New Moon isn not just ‘coming out of nowhere.’ There is a definite context for it which can only be understood if you are aware of the longer cycles each of which is simultaneously unfolding for you. This is really what an astrologer is doing when they look at your transits. Transits actually do not come and go as randomly as some people think. They bring about developments and changes for us from existing cycles allowing us to move forward accordingly. We do, however, have to meet the ‘tests’ given to us if we are to fulfill the highest aims and potentials inherit in our chart.
How we are affected particularly by a Sun/Moon cycle is, of course, dependent on where the New Moon is occurring in your own natal chart. But one thing we can pay special attention to is the first New Moon in ones own personal 1st house. It is this New Moon that sets the stage for all of the subsequent Moon cycles that will occur for you on that year. Thus, again we see that each new Moon is a part of a broader cycle of emerging developments.
The Next Mercury Retrograde
In the midst of the present Moon cycle we also see that Mercury goes retrograde as it does approximately every 4 months. It begins on Friday, August 20, 2010 at 12:59pm PDT and is located at 19° of Virgo. It will retrograde back to 5° of Virgo, so if you have planets or your Ascendant or Mid-Heaven in this territory, this Mercury retrograde is likely to affect you more at this time.
As I always do, I want to remind you that during Mercury retrograde periods newspapers do get delivered, banks still work, and life does go on. Yes, problems occur more frequently at this time, especially in the area of communication, transportation, and scheduling, but if we pay close attention, the problems can be minimized. There is something much more important about these periods that suggests what the real value of this astronomical phenomenon is.
It is best to think of it as a time of necessary review and examination. When Mercury is moving forward, and it can move much faster than the Sun, we may unwittingly find ourselves rushing, going too fast and as a result, we miss taking care of important things that will come up later as problems that we MUST solve. For example, it is true that cars can break down at this time or computer problems can develop. But it isn’t really ’caused’ by Mercury retrograde. No, it is caused by the needed maintenance that was not performed earlier. So, the things we have neglected can suddenly appear during this period and we are forced to take care of them. It is just the way of things here on planet Earth.
But if we are so focused on the inconveniences that can happen at this time, we could miss the value, which is to take time to contemplate, take stock and discover what one must give more attention and thought to so that when the period is over, we can begin to move forward more productively.
As always, I want to encourage the readers to express how they are being affected by the present transits. Stories can give life to astrology, more than just raw data, so I hope to hear from many of you.
All the best!