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For thousands of years, sailors, fishermen and farmers have believed that the movements of the Moon correlate with the life cycles of many living things on planet Earth. Today this belief is a fact; scientists have demonstrated that many marine organisms and mammals do indeed behave in accordance with lunar cycles. But what about humans? We know that a woman's menstrual cycle is, on average, the same as the monthly lunar cycle, and some researchers have pointed to a similar monthly cycle in men. Here's where astrology steps in. This ancient science has not only recognized a lunar influence on human emotion and behavior, it has developed a way of mapping it.

The Moon in the Signs

The monthy cycle of the Moon is one that should be of special interest to those learning astrology. This cycle is tracked, or mapped out, by the movement of the Moon through the zodiac. In one month, the Moon travels through each of the twelve signs. As it passes through each sign, its impact on our lives varies.

Most people experience a cycle of emotional highs and lows throughout the month that correlate with the movement of the Moon as it travels from sign to sign. Everyone is different. Some people may experience emotional highs when the Moon is in Leo, others may experience lows. These variations are explained by the arrangement of planets in our personal horoscopes. We can discover our normal cycle by keeping notes on how we feel each day for several months. Over the course of several lunar cycles, a pattern should emerge.

Using printed tables called ephemerides, or computers, we can find the dates and times that the Moon enters each of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The Moon passes through each sign in about two and a quarter days, on average.

As the Moon passes through each sign, it reflects the properties of that sign. For example, when the Moon is in the sign Aries, people seem to be more impulsive and anxious to do something. This may be particularly true for people born under Aries. When in Taurus, the desire for comfort and security is strong. In Gemini, people are more curious and nervous. When the Moon is in Cancer, people seek out the past and tradition. Leo brings out a need for creativity and recognition. In Virgo, the Moon moves us to sweat the details and clean things up.

When the Moon is in Libra, people are generally more social. Scorpio  intensifies emotion while Sagittarius stimulates a desire to take risks. In Capricorn, people tend to be more practical. The Moon passing through Aquarius brings out friendliness and in Pisces, it stimulates a need to escape from normal conditions. Understanding the nature of the signs of the zodiac will allow for a deeper understanding of the Moon's passage through each sign.

If you follow the news, you'll see that many front-page events follow the Moon's cycle. Of course, major events are also triggered by alignments of other planets as well, but the Moon's sign alone counts for something. Groups of people are strongly affected by the Moon and the sign it is currently passing through. I noticed this years ago when I used to play with a band four or five nights a week. When the Moon was in Cancer, people wanted to hear oldies. When it was in Gemini, they wanted happy, simple tunes, and in Capricorn or Scorpio, it was the blues that got people involved with the music.

The Phases of the Moon

Another way that astrology maps the lunar cycle has to do with the aspects  the Moon makes with the other planets. Aspects are the angles and alignments that form as the Moon moves from sign to sign and changes its relationship to the other planets. The new Moon, Full Moon and the quarters are aspects between the Moon and the Sun. Since ancient times, the lunar aspects have been used to make weather predictions and to select times to do things. They are still found in some almanacs and on astrological calendars. The phases of the Moon that appear on nearly every calendar are a relic from the days when almanacs and calendars were one and the same.

The New Moon

The New Moon, which occurs when the Sun and Moon pass near each other in the same part of the zodiac, marks the beginning of the Sun-Moon cycle of 29.5 days (the synodic cycle). This close passage between them, when they are 0 degrees apart, is called the conjunction. If the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, it's a solar  eclipse—a particularly high-powered New Moon.

The sign that the New Moon happens to be in can describe the emotional energies of the public over the next week or two. For example, the recent New Moon in Aries. Occurred around the time that the stock market took a big dip. Aries is a sign of impulsive action and many traders were getting panicky. The New Moon in Taurus can bring out security needs and people will most likely make conservative choices then. Check out the sign that the New Moon falls into for insight into public trends.

The Quarters of the Moon

The quarters of the lunation cycle mark periods of tension. They occur when the Moon is halfway between New and Full, at an angle of 90 degrees (the square) to the Sun. Stress is often high during the day of the quarters, and even the day before and after. The First Quarter marks a time of pressure to do things, the Third Quarter pressure to understand things. Don't commence a major undertaking, like opening a business or getting married, when the Moon is at either of the quarters.

The Full Moon

At the Full Moon, the lunation cycle reaches its halfway point. The Sun and Moon are now at opposition, 180 degrees apart. Like the New Moon, the sign that the Moon is in when it is full can offer us valuable information on public trends. Very often important decisions or announcements are made at the Full Moon. Peace treaties may be signed and agreements between competitors reached. It can be a time of clarity and objectivity. But there's also a darker side to the full Moon. Sometimes emotions get out of hand and the Full Moon marks a time of riots and social disruption.

In Part Two of this article, we’ll look at more aspects of the Moon and at the Moon void-of-course.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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
  • Your Astrological Navigation System   3/4/2012
  • Using the Moon’s Cycles Part 1   7/25/2001
  • Travel with Electional Astrology   9/30/2000

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