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Have you ever paid good money for a vacation only to experience rain for five days and then lose your wallet? Has anyone you know opened a business that had to close because of overwhelming problems? How about all those people who buy lemons, the ones you drive in or live in? What did they do wrong?

Electional Astrology

There's an old branch of astrology called elections, or electional astrology. It's not about voting, but it is about making a choice—choosing to do something at a specific time. For cen­turies, people have used electional astrology to choose the time to lay foundations for buildings, to crown kings and queens and to launch ships. Today, people use electional astrology to select times for a marriage, open a business, medical procedures, travel and many other purposes. This branch of astrology is about using free will, along with the positions of the planets, to make an informed choice.

Serious electional astrology is complicated. Astrologers who practice this branch of astrology utilize a variety of astrological techniques to arrive at the optimum time for their clients to commence one activity or another. An accurate birth chart, one with the exact time of birth, is a prerequisite. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Nearly anyone, even those who don't know their time of birth, can use a few simple astrological clues to help chart their course. These clues are to be found in the motions of the Moon and Mercury.

Planning with the Moon

Watch the Moon as it moves through its phases. You can do this in real life, or by looking at most any calendar. The Moon, when it is New (once a month when the Moon passes near the Sun), is invisible. A few days later you can see it as a thin crescent in the west just after sunset. This part of the month is favorable for beginning projects that you expect to mature very gradually. As the Moon moves away from the Sun and on to its Full Moon phase (as it "waxes"), conditions are still good for beginning projects, but the closer to the Full Moon, the sooner the projects will mature. This period close to Full Moon is also very good for projects that require, or are about, publicity.

Tips for Moon Planning

Keep two things in mind about this rule, however. Don't force something that needs a long time to mature by beginning it just before the Full Moon. Start it earlier in the cycle. Second, avoid starting things on the day of the First Quarter (halfway between New Moon and Full Moon), or even the day before.

The Full Moon

Do things that have already been started, things that are more or less ongoing, after the Full Moon. The period from Full Moon back to New Moon (the "waning" Moon) is the time for completing things or bringing projects to their culmination. It is a good time for harvesting, storing and finishing, and also for ending personal matters. Again, avoid doing things on the Third Quarter or the day before.

The Void Moon

Ever hear of the "void-of-course" Moon? This is when the Moon has completed its alignments in any given zodiac sign, and then moves on to the next sign without making any further connections. What happens in real life is exactly that—these periods are not good at all for starting projects that have specific goals. It's a drifting kind of time, a time for processing life that is suit­able for ongoing projects and inner, more personal matters. Void-of-course Moon tables are found in many almanacs and astrological ephemerides. Check them out.

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury retrograde has been known to strike fear into the minds of many—especially people who have Gemini and Virgo prominent in their birth charts. These two signs are ruled by (that is, they are associated with) that tricky planet Mercury. Three times a year, Mercury appears to move backward against the zodiac, a motion created by the interaction of the Earth's orbit and that of Mercury's. These retrograde times often wreak havoc on our modern technological society, which is driven by communication devices. Communication devices are precisely Mercury's domain.

Mercury retrograde watchers know not to take major, first-time initiatives during its retrograde period. If you buy a car during the retrograde, you could find yourself going back to the dealer a week later. If you install a new computer operating system under it, you could lose some files and have to start over. A good example is the Hubble telescope, which was launched while Mercury was retrograde. NASA is constantly fixing it. What to do when Mercury is retrograde? Attend to projects that require completion and closure, or things that have been done before.

The theory behind electional astrology is that we do best when we follow natural cycles. We move faster, and also more accurately, when we move with the natural flow of energy around us. Step out of the rat race with electional astrology. It's like surfing, or setting sail. Using the natural movement of the wave, or the tide, we can hitch a ride and go much farther than we could on our own power. Try it out.


Bruce Scofield, C.A. NCGR, is an astrologer with a private practice in western Massachusetts who works with clients by telephone. He is the author of fourteen books and over two hundred articles. His interests include psychological astrology, electional astrology, Mesoamerican astrology and the history of astrology.

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For more information about Bruce Scofield, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Bruce Scofield:

  • Using the Moon’s Cycles Part 2   12/7/2013
  • Using the Moon’s Cycles Part 1   11/30/2013
  • Using the Moon’s Cycles Part 1   7/25/2001
  • Travel with Electional Astrology   9/30/2000

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