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PlanetPulse describes the daily astrological patterns as they affect all of us, much like the changing weather.


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Do changes in the lunar cycle affect mental health? Scientific studies have shown a correspondence between lunar phases and the increase in crisis intervention calls, suicides, alcohol intake and patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals. However, for every experiment that supports the lunar effect, many more have been performed that show no apparent relationship. This is why most scientists deny any direct lunar connection to human psychology.

Why then do people persist in believing in the lunar effect? A similar question was once asked of Robert Millikan, a Nobel Prize winner and President of the California Institute of Technology. His answer was, "If man is not affected in some way by the planets, Sun and Moon, he is the only thing on Earth that isn't."

The Moon Affects Life on Earth

Each month, the Moon reminds us of its importance to life on Earth. Its waxing and waning is reflected in the behavior of animals and plants. Many marine species have totally adapted their life functions to the tidal rhythms set by the Moon. Seeds have been shown to germinate and grow at different rates, depending on the phase of the Moon. Researchers have found that trees alternately swell and shrink with the rhythm of the tides (a pattern that incidentally explains the almanac "folklore" about cutting trees before a New Moon in order to get the wood to dry faster). If seeds, fish and trees are affected by the Moon, then why not our equally "wet" human brains?

We all know that the Moon exerts a pull on the Earth's oceans that creates the tides, but the Earth's atmosphere also behaves like a huge ocean of air. Acting on the scattered particles in the atmosphere, the tidal influence of the Moon is the cause of cyclical variations in sky brightness, rainfall and global temperature. Scientists have also identified lunar-phase impacts on the frequency of thunderstorms, hurricanes, cloudiness and cycles of drought.

Humans are not separate from their environment. If the Moon influences the weather, then it affects the condition of food crops, which in turn has a direct bearing on the nutritional well-being of mankind. If lunar cycles cause changes in the behavior of fish, birds and other animals, then again, this will affect what is available for us humans who are at the top of the food chain. There is no scientific doubt that mental health is quite dependent upon diet. In the final analysis (the ecological view), humans are ultimately dependent upon all of those processes which scientists do believe are influenced by the Moon.

Atmospheric conditions are a very real influence on human moods and energy, as well as economics. It is no coincidence that 1998, the warmest year on record, was also the second worst in history for economic damage caused by natural disasters (such as hurricanes and droughts). If you have any doubts about how weather-affected economics can create mental anguish, just ask the insurance industry, which had to cough up nearly $17 billion for Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The Lunar Intermediary

The reason that the Moon is overlooked as an influence is that its role is intermediary and therefore somewhat invisible. While the Sun provides the obvious, direct source of light and energy, the Moon provides an indirect source by reflecting the Sun's rays. While solar radiation is the direct source of geomagnetic activity, recent research shows that the lunar cycle modulates this activity. Alterations in both light and geomagnetic activity can produce changes in the weather, and consequently, our response to weather. The Moon thus exerts an indirect effect on human psychology.

One of the best examples of this indirect influence is well known to women. No science is needed to convince women that mental and emotional states vary during the menstrual cycle, which is, of course, tied to the lunar cycle. One of the well-documented changes during the menstrual cycle is body temperature, which in turn affects the perception of time. The higher one's body temperature, the faster time seems to pass, a fact that explains some of the disorientation one experiences with a fever. But it also explains why a woman, whose body undergoes various temperature changes during a monthly cycle, can become more impatient at certain times of the month. It's a connected chain of events: The Moon sets the pace for the menstrual cycle, the woman's temperature goes up, she thinks more time has passed than actually has, and thus becomes more impatient.

Our word "Moon" comes from a Sanskrit word meaning measure. No matter how indirect or subtle the Moon's influence is, it provides a measuring or timing device for changing moods and conditions—precisely what astrology says it does. Indeed, this is the bottom line of all astrology—celestial bodies describe what time certain conditions or events will take place. Through the study of astrological cycles, we can attune ourselves to the intricate pattern of interconnections that make up the world we live in.


Influence of Lunar Phases on Daily Global Temperatures. Science. March 10, 1995, p. 1481.

Lunar Component in Precipitation Data. Science. September 7, 1962, p. 749.

Lunar Influence on Atmospheric Ozone. Nature. Vol. 237, p. 275.

Lunar Rhythms of the Meal and Alcohol Intake of Humans. Physiology & Behavior. Vol. 57, p. 439.

The Moon Influences Western U.S. Drought. Science. May 11, 1984, p. 587.

Moon Phases and Mental Hospital Admissions. Journal of Psychiatric Nursing and Mental Health Services. Vol. 6, p. 326.

Mysterious Monthly Rhythms. Natural History. December 1978, pp. 64.

Tree Trunks Swell in Synchrony with Tides. Science News. April 18, 1998, p. 245.



Valerie Vaughan graduated with honors from Vassar College, where she studied astronomy and mythology, and has a Master's Degree in information science. She has been practicing, teaching and writing about astrology for 25 years. She is the author of Astro-Mythology: The Celestial Union of Astrology and Myth and Persephone is Transpluto: The Scientific, Mythological and Astrological Discovery of the Planet Beyond Pluto, both published by One Reed Publications.

For more information about Valerie Vaughan, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Valerie Vaughan:

  • Accidents   8/31/2013
  • Astrology Takes an Eye-Opening Look at Sleep   6/8/2013
  • Woman as Lover or Mother: The Venus-Ceres Crisis   1/14/2012
  • Astrology Takes an Eye-Opening Look at Sleep   1/22/2005
  • Classroom Avengers: The Astrology of School Shootings   3/9/2001
  • When Lightning Strikes: The Shocking Story   12/18/2000
  • Careers in Health Care: An Astrological View   10/4/2000
  • Premature Birth: Astrology and the Ethics of Survival   9/28/2000
  • A Stellar Alignment: Astrology and Chiropractic   7/31/2000
  • The "Age-Old" Dilemma of Aging Gracefully: It's All a Matter of Timing   7/17/2000
  • All in the Family: Cloning, Genetics and Astrology   5/4/2000
  • Chronobiology: Astrology in a Lab Coat?   3/13/2000

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