Wheel of the Year

Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year

Diagram

The wheel of the year is a diagram that shows the Sun’s movement through the twelve signs of the tropical zodiac from Aries to Pisces.

You can draw a wheel of the year in many ways, but they still represent the passing of time throughout a twelve-month period.

Flow

Typically, the diagram flows clockwise like time on a clock face, but astrologers flow them counterclockwise to align with the zodiac from which the dates originally come and the rising of the Sun at the Ascendant.

The special eight celebration days have been used for centuries in many cultures around the world.

If you draw your own wheel of the year, you can color it and add the symbols that resonate with you.

In the modern world, there is no right or wrong way to tap into this ancient calendar.

Follow your instincts and create a wheel of the year diagram that speaks to you.

Astrology Journal

As an astrologer you would typically draw the wheel of the year in your astrology journal.

If you are more of a pagan, you can create your wheel of the year in your book of shadows or grimoire.

The Sun’s Path

We have watched the Sun mark time as it rises and sets every day.

At a broad stroke, the Sun’s rising position on the horizon moves slightly each day.

The daylight hours are longer in summer and shorter in winter.

Every year the Sun transits through the 360º of the tropical zodiac, and in its passing, marks special days in the year.

Cardinal Points and the Four Seasons

The Sun’s path crosses the four cardinal points each year which mark the beginning of the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Please note that these dates are for the northern hemisphere.

Quarter Days

The four quarter days divide the year up into four quarters.

They are the dates of the two equinoxes and two solstices.

  • March 21st – equinox
  • June 21st – solstice
  • September 21st – equinox
  • December 21st – solstice

 

Cross-Quarter Days

The cross-quarter days divide each of the four quarters of the year.

The cross quarter days are midway between the equinoxes and the solstices.

These dates are around the 8th of the inbetween months and each year is slightly different.

The definition of a cross-quarter day is when the Sun reaches fifteen degrees of the fixed signs.

 

  • February 8th
  • May 8th
  • August 8th
  • October 8th

Spring Equinox – Ostara

Around March 21st, the Sun crosses the celestial equator at 0º Aries, moving north for three months.

It is the Aries ingress and this is springtime.

The pagan celebration of Ostara is aligned with the equinox when the day and night is the same.

Beltane

The pagan festivity of Beltane is the day the Sun reaches 15 º of Taurus.

This is often celebrated on May 1st each year.

Midsummer Solstice – Litha

Around June 21st, the Sun reaches its highest declination at around 23.5º north at 0º Cancer.

Now the Sun moves back towards the celestial equator for three months.

The Cancer ingress heralds summer.

The pagan celebration of Litha is on the midsummer’s day which is the longest day of the year and the day with the most sunlight.

 

Lammas

As the Sun reaches 15 Leo, which is typically on August 8th, it is the cross-quarter day of Lammas.

However, the pagan celebration of Lammas is usually celebrated on August 1st.

 

 

Autumn Equinox – Mabon

Around September 21st, the Sun crosses the celestial equator moving south at 0º Libra and continues for three months during autumn or fall.

The Libra ingress happens at the autumn equinox and the start of the new season.

The pagan celebration of Mabon is usually celebrated on October 1st which is a date close to the equinox.

Samhain – Halloween

The pagan celebration of Samhain is when the Sun passes over 15º of Scorpio, which is around November 8th.

In general, this special day is usually celebrated on October 31st as Halloween.

All Saint’s Day follows of November 1st.

Midwinter Solstice – Yule

Around December 21st, the Sun’s declination reaches around 23.5º south as it enters 0º Capricorn.

Now the Sun moves back up towards the celestial equator which takes three months and it is wintertime.

As the Sun enters Capricorn it is known as the Capricorn ingress when the winter season begins.

The pagan celebration of Yuletide is celebrated on midwinter’s day.

Imbolc

Imbolc occurs when the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Aquarius which is usually around February 8th, although Imbolc is celebrated around February 1st each year.

One symbol for Imbolc is Brighid’s cross made from wheat sheaves or corn dollies.

Conclusion

As an aspiring astrologer, it is valuable to understand when the dates for the cardinal signs and the cross-quarter days happen as they shift a little each year.

These special days are not just plucked out of thin air.

Often at the start of a new season, the news channels will state that, “Spring is starting on March 21st at 4:37pm” and this statement may seem weird.

Now that you know how each season is timed (by the Sun’s ingress into a cardinal sign), you can fully understand the seasonal changes and the cross-quarter days that occur at around six-week intervals.

If you are just starting out, pay attention to the equinoxes and solstices first.

Then explore the cross-quarter days afterwards.

The whole year begins at the vernal equinox when the Sun enters Aries around March 21st every year.

Starzclass

Aspiring Astrologer Activity: Wheel of the Year

In your astrology journal and with a compass and protractor, please do the following:

  • Draw the diagram for the wheel of the year with four concentric circles.
  • Divide the outer wheel into the four seasons.
  • Divide the second wheel in, into the months of the year.
  • Divide the third wheel in, into the twelve signs of the zodiac starting with Aries in the ascendant position.
  • Divide the center wheel into the eight celebrations of the wheel of the year.

Extend Yourself

  • Color in your wheel of the year and decorate it as you see fit. Use your intuition as a guide.
  • For the next celebration that is coming up, give some thought and list what you want to manifest for your life during that period.

Share your drawing on social with the hashtag #starzologywheeloftheyear or send a link to your artwork to me at starzology@gmail.com.

 

The Lunar Nodes

The Lunar Nodes

Lunar Nodes

The Lunar Nodes are points in a chart and they are an interesting part to the whole story when you read a chart.

When I first started doing astrology I was not thrilled with lunar nodes as a concept as I was more interested in solar astrology being a Leo.

Over time I learned to understand the Moon’s nodes better. 

It just goes to show that not everything in astrology is interesting to everyone.

You need to find your focus as well.

The Luminaries Path Intersection

The Sun’s path is called the plane of the ecliptic.

The Moon’s path is angled at close to five degrees to the plane of the ecliptic.

The Moon crosses the plane of the ecliptic twice a month, once traveling north and once going south.

The Moon’s north node is found at the point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic moving north (NN).

The Moon’s south node is located at the point where the Moon crosses the Sun’s path moving south (SN).



Eclipses

When the Sun is near the conjunction to the nodes there is the chance of a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse.

This occurs roughly every six months as the Sun moves halfway around the zodiac and goes from one node to the other node.

Lunar Nodal Axis

In your chart, the Moon’s nodes are an axis with the north node at one end, and the south node at the other end.

Some charts only show the north node and you can determine the South Node’s position as it is always directly opposite the north node.

Mean and True Nodes

The mean node is the average placement of the Moon’s nodes.

The Moon’s mean nodes are always retrograde as they precess through the signs in longitude.

The Moon’s true nodes can be direct, stationary or retrograde.

Lunar Nodal Speed

The Moon’s nodes precess (or move backward) at a rate of approximately 18.6 years through the whole zodiac.

At age 19, 38, 56, and 75 when the nodes return to their birth position, you will experience a nodal return.

Lunar Nodes Transit the Signs

The lunar nodes spend around eighteen months in each sign.

Planetary Nodes

All the planets (except the Sun) have north and south nodes.

For example, Pluto’s nodes are at +/- 20 degrees Cancer and Capricorn.

The planetary nodes are not exactly opposite each other in the chart.

The Meaning of the Nodes

 

The North Node

The north node is also known as the dragon’s head or Caput Draconis.

Connections to new people are shown through your north node.

Meetings, get-togethers, and rendezvous are likely to happen.

The north node is concerned with things that occur at a hub (computer routers, airports).

The north node shows your current incarnation in this life. It suggests your karmic objectives.

The north node is related to consciousness.

The north node indicates your future path and where you can grow and evolve.

The South Node

The south node is also known as the dragon’s tail or Cauda Draconis.

The south node suggests connections with people from your past.

It indicates the things that you already know. The south node shows your past incarnations – past lives.

This point is related to unconsciousness and sub-consciousness.

The south node clearly shows your past and your past lives.

It is a place where stagnation can take place.

Lunar Nodal Interpretation

The Nodal Complex

The north and south nodes are usually interpreted as an axis.

  • Note the zodiac sign polarity is it active or passive.
  • Note the two houses as a pair.
  • Note any aspects from the Moon to the nodes as they need careful consideration.
  • Note and planets that conjoin a node, and thus opposes the other node, as they are significant.
  • Note any planet that squares to the nodal axis as they will square both nodes, and this needs some consideration.

Personal Eclipse Points

In your natal chart, the nodal positions are referred to as personal eclipse points as they show where the eclipses would have been that year.

Nodal Degrees

The zodiac degree of the north and south nodes is known as your nodal degree, and any planet on that degree is vital in the nodal interpretation.

Aspects to the Nodes

If a planet aspects one node it usually also aspects the other node, except for some of the trine/sextile combination as the sextile aspect orb is only 4°and the trine is 8° degrees.

Conjunctions and Oppositions

Any planet conjunct a node will influence the nodal axis in a meaningful way.

This planet suggests that you are being pulled forward in life (north node conjunction) or by being held back by your past (south node conjunction).

Squares to the Nodal Axis

Planets square will aspect both the north and the south nodes in a square and will in a way stop either future or past dominating the life.

This person may not move forward without significant challenges.



The Lunar Nodes in the Signs

Aries – Libra

The north node in Aries fears but should push towards, independence.

The south node in Libra falls back to the partner to find balance.

Taurus – Scorpio

The north node Taurus fears but should push towards, stability.

The south node in Scorpio falls back on reliability.

Gemini – Sagittarius

The north node in Gemini fears but should push towards communication.

The south node in Sagittarius falls back on adventure.

Cancer  –  Capricorn

The north node in Cancer fears but should push towards self-reliance.

The south node in Capricorn falls back on the tried and tested.

Leo – Aquarius

The north node in Leo fears but should push towards creativity.

The south node in Aquarius falls back on being awkward.

Virgo – Pisces

The north node in Virgo fears but should push towards, kindness.

The south node in Pisces falls back on the sympathy of others.

Libra – Aries

The north node in Libra fears but should push towards, finding a partner.

The south node in Aries falls back on attacking others.

Scorpio – Taurus

The north node in Scorpio fears but should push towards, transformation.

The south node in Taurus falls back on resisting change.

Sagittarius – Gemini

The north node in Sagittarius fears but should push towards, philosophy.

The south node in Gemini falls back on empty comments and gossip.

Capricorn – Cancer

The north node in Capricorn fears, but should push towards, setting goals in life.

The south node in Cancer falls back on withdrawing to home.,

Aquarius – Leo

The north node in Aquarius fears, but should push towards, being humble.

The south node in Leo falls back on arrogance.

Pisces – Virgo

The north node in Pisces fears, but should push towards, empathy and support.

The south node in Virgo falls back on criticism.

The Lunar Nodes in the Houses

First and Seventh houses

The north node in the first house is the quest to take a leadership role.

The south node seventh house is the quest to influence others.

Second and Eighth houses

The north node in the second house is the quest to establish personal security.

The south node in the eighth house is the quest to enable others financially.

Third and Ninth houses

The north node in the third house is the quest to know before speaking your mind.

The south node in the ninth house is the quest to realize that knowledge is already in you.

Fourth and Tenth houses

The north node in the fourth house is the quest for security in life.

The south node in the tenth house is the quest for a status-conscious family.

Fifth and Eleventh houses

The north node in the fifth house is the quest to procreate and take risks in life.

The south node in the eleventh house is the quest to find allies.

Sixth and Twelfth houses

The north node in the sixth house is the quest to have a satisfying work ethic.

The south node in the twelfth house is the quest to understand the meaning of life.

Seventh and First houses

The north node in the seventh house is the quest for a partner.

The south node in the first house is the quest for self-happiness.

Eighth and Second houses

The north node in the eighth house is the quest for deeper understanding.

The south node in the second is the quest for self-respect.

Ninth and Third houses

The north node in the ninth house is the quest for knowledge. The south node in the third house is the quest for learning.

Tenth and Fourth houses

The north node in the tenth house is the quest to do well in life. The south node in the fourth house is the quest to be supported by your family.

Eleventh and Fifth houses

The north node in the eleventh house is the quest to collaborate with others.

The south node in the fifth house is the quest to be sure about things.

Twelfth and Sixth houses

The north node in the twelfth house is the quest for understanding.

The south node in the sixth house is the quest for daily work.

Starzclass

Aspiring Astrologer Activity: Lunar Nodes

In your astrology journal and referring to your chart or the chart of a potential client do the following:

  • Determine the Moon complex.
  • Name the Lunar phase.
  • List the Lunar Nodal complex.

Extend Yourself

  • Interpret the Lunar Nodal complex and consider the signs, houses, and important aspects (conjunctions and squares) (250 words).
Lunar Phases

Lunar Phases

The Lunar Cycle The Sun and Moon’s synodic cycle The Moon takes one month to orbit the Earth. The Moon phase cycle starts at New Moon when the Sun and the Moon are conjunct. This happens once every month. At New Moon we can’t see the Moon when it is close to the Sun...

The Dispositor Tree

The Dispositor Tree

Dispositor Trees

Your Chart’s Backstory

There are many techniques that you can use to read a chart and one method that I particularily enjoy is the dispositor tree.

Your dispositor tree shows the back story and how the energy is flowing behind the scenes of your chart.

When you draw a dispositor tree, you lift the veil and can see dynamic links joining planets that are not seen on the main chart.

This can provide you, as an aspiring astrologer, insights to the person and how they really operate.

A Dispositor Tree

A dispositor tree is a diagram that shows the connections between the planets in a chart.

This is done by their essential dignity position and specifically their dignity or rulership of signs.

A planet that rules a sign is the dispositor to any planet in that sign.

Typically, we only use the visible planets for dispositor tree creation as dispositors, although we do add the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto into the tree.

Planetary Rulerships

The seven visible planets are; the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

  • The Sun rules Leo.
  • The Moon rules Cancer.
  • Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo.
  • Venus rules Taurus and Libra.
  • Mars rules Aries and Scorpio.
  • Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces.
  • Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius.

Dispositor trees have a top tier, middle tiers and bottom tiers.

The stronger placed planets are at the top of the tree.

A dispositor tree can have a little as one planet or as many as ten planets in it.

How to Draw a Dispositor Tree

Planetary Dispositor

A planet will dispose any planet in its own sign.

Planets in the sign of their dignity cannot have a dispositor.

 

Planets that dispose others are drawn vertically.

The disposing planet is placed on a level above the planet being disposed.

Example:

Venus disposes Uranus in Libra and Venus is Uranus’ dispositor as Venus rules Libra.

Mutual Reception

Two planets are said to be in mutual reception when they are in the signs of each other’s dignity.

Mutual reception relates two planets even if they are not in aspect.

Mutual reception joins the pair in a supportive relationship and allows their energies to work together.

Planets in mutual reception are drawn on the same level horizontally.

They have equal strength to each other.

A double ended arrow joins them.

Example:

The Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Leo are in mutual reception.

Circular Dispositorship

Circular dispositor chains can be found in a chart.

Three or more planets can be in a circular dispositorship chain.

Example:

Mars in Leo, Jupiter in Scorpio, and the Sun in Sagittarius form a circular dispositorship.

You still draw them on the same level as they have equal weight in the dispositor tree.

Final Dispositor

A disposed planet will also dispose any planets in its sign, and this can form a chain of dispositorships.

In some charts there is a final dispositor.

This is the planet which is in its own sign and the dispositor chain falls below.

The final dispositor is a powerful placement for any planet and it should be noted in the chart analysis.

Example:

The Sun disposes Jupiter in Leo, Jupiter disposes Saturn in Sagittarius etc.

Top Dispositor Tree Planet

Position

This planet is only found on the top line of the dispositor tree.

Location definition; a top planet may link to other planets through links below only.

Possible planets in this location are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn. In other words, the visible planets only.

The top planet may only be the final dispositor, a planet in rulership, or a top line mutual reception planet, or a top line committee tree planet.

Interpretation

Top planet location keywords; leads, takes, drives, extroverted, masculine and positive.

The top planet has affinities with; the cardinal mode, the angular houses, the Midheaven, and the fire element.

The top planet energy is expressed through; taking action, beginnings, the future, and being available.

Middle Dispositor Tree Planet

Position

A middle dispositor tree planet is only in the middle of the dispositor tree.

Location definition; a middle planet must link to other planets through links both above and below.

Possible planets in this location are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn. In other words, the visible planets only.

A middle planet may not be in dignity, but may be in exaltation, detriment, fall, or peregrine.

A middle planet may also be a “Gateway” planet, which is one with three or more planets below it, so it acts as a gateway for their energies.

Interpretation

Middle planet location suggested keywords; does work, gives and takes, a conduit, links, connects. joins, and neutral.

Some affinity for a middle planet is indicated with the astrological meanings of; fixed mode, succedent, the air element, nodes, and 1st/7th axis.

The planetary energies of a middle planet are expressed through: Being acted through, within, and the present.

Bottom Dispositor Tree Planet

Location

This planet is only in the bottom of the dispositor tree.

Location definition; a bottom planet must link to other planets through links above only.

The possible planets in this location may be all the visible planets and outer planets Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, including Chiron, the Asteroids, TNO’s and Eris etc.

A bottom planet may not be in dignity, but may be in exaltation, in detriment, in fall, or peregrine.

Interpretation

Bottom planet location suggested keywords; supports, serves, gives, introvert, accepts, feminine, and the negative polarity.

Some affinity for a bottom planet is indicated with the astrological meanings of the mutable mode, cadent houses, the IC, the water element, and the northern hemisphere.

The planetary energies of a bottom planet are expressed through being acted upon, endings, the past, and waiting to be asked.

Final Dispositor Tree

Details

Number of planets in the tree = ten

The final dispositor tree’s relationship to natal chart’s planetary energies, cohesive energies and works as one unit.

Tree structure suggested keywords; A focused individual, pulls towards the common good, the whole chart is connected, subjective, and works as one “team.”

Internal decisions are made by; dictatorship, president, and hierarchical.

Single Planet in Rulership Tree

Only one planet in the single planet in rulership tree.

Trees relationship to natal chart’s planetary energies; an important planet, not integrated, and consider any aspects.

Tree structure suggested keywords; the purest form of energy, a wild card uninhibited, highly specific house meaning, and similar to an unaspected planet.

Internal decisions are made by; a wild card and can be the joker?

Planet in Rulership Tree

Number of planets in the tree is less than ten

The planet in rulership’s dispositor tree’s relationship to the natal chart’s planetary energies; this is a strong placement, always check the link aspects to confirm any connection.

The planet in rulership dispositor tree’s structure suggested keywords are; independent, and solitary

Internal decisions are made by, vice president, and the second in command

Mutual Reception Tree

In this tree there will be from two to ten planets.

The mutual reception dispositor tree’s relationship to natal chart’s planetary energies suggest there are two teams with related alliances. This person may be conflicted by the two sides of the mutual reception as the planets below will be on their team.

Mutual Reception Tree structure suggested keywords; objective, dual “sides”, two distinct wings of the personality, and one side may dominate over the other usually the side with more planets and thus weight.

Internal decisions are made by; debate and mutual respect.

Committee Dispositor Tree

The number of planets in the tree will be from three to ten.

Interpretation

Committee dispositor tree’s relationship to the natal chart’s planetary energies; confusion, lack of focus, and always look to any exalted planet for guidance.

Tree structure suggested keywords; multi-dimensional, varied interests, motivations are flexible, and they cannot see the wood for the trees.

Internal decisions are made by; democracy, and a committee.

Starzclass

Aspiring Astrologer Activity: Dispositor Trees

In your astrology journal and referring to your chart or the chart of someone you are working on, please do the following:

  • Draw the dispositor tree.
  • Name the type of dispositor tree.
  • List how many planets are in the top position.
  • List how many planets are in the middle positions.
  • List how many planets are in the bottom position.
  • Note any gateway planets.
  • List any planetary links in the dispositor tree between two planets that also have an aspect between them in the chart.

Extend Yourself

  • Write a brief interpretation for this dispositor tree, and mention the nature of the tree itself, the prominent planets (top tier), and anything else of interest (100 words).

The Opposition Aspect

The Opposition Aspect The circle divided by two. 360°/2 = 180° Same polarity Planets in opposition are usually in the same polarity. The opposition can be disassociate if one planet is in an active sign and the other in a passive sign. Opposition Aspect Meaning...

Retrograde Planets

Retrograde Planets

Retrograde

Retrograde motion is a phenomenon that occurs due to our vantage point here on Earth when we look at the planets in our Solar system.

When astrologers use the term retrograde, they are referring to apparent retrograde motion.

Definition: To go or to seem to go backwards, to become worse or to decline.

In a chart a retrograde planet has the letters or symbol “Rx” next to their glyph and degrees.

In some charts the planet and degrees are written in red to indicate the planet is retrograde.

A planet that is retrograde is seemingly moving backwards but it is that the Earth is moving forward swifter than the planet in question.

There may be several retrograde planets in each chart or there may be no retrograde planets, it depends on the chart.

Astronomy of Retrogradation

Retrograde motion affects all the planets with the exception of the Sun and Moon.

The luminaries are always direct and never retrograde.

When a planet is retrograde it is closer to the Earth than at other times.

As an outer planet draws towards the opposition to the Sun, it becomes well placed for viewing through a telescope, as the full light of the Sun is on the planet.

Station Retrograde and Station direct

In a birth chart, the station retrograde, and station direct points are marked with an “S” symbol for stationary.

Typically, planets are considered to be stationary when they are within an orb of 0°10’ of the station.

The orb depends on the aspect set settings in your computer program.

The slower the planet, the longer it lingers in the orb of the station.

How Retrograde Periods are Shown in an Ephemeris

In an ephemeris all retrograde periods are indicated by a capital “R” and are shaded.
When the retrograde period is complete a capital “D” for direct is printed.

Retrograde Interpretation

Retrograde Planet Expression

A retrograde planet in a natal chart is retracing its steps over the same degree and minutes of the zodiac as it passed before birth.

The planet would have crossed that spot in the zodiac previously (moving direct) and is now retrograding back over a previously passed area of the sign.

It is going back over what has gone before and symbolically this imparts a reduced energy flow to the planet.

Retrograde motion is as if you are jogging down the road quite confidently, and then you realize you dropped your keys, so you stop and walk backwards looking for them, then pick them up and then once again start to jog forwards again.

This shows that retrograde motion is much slower than direct motion.

Reduced expression of the planet

The state of being retrograde appears to change a planet from its natural urges and direction and cause it to manifest effects similar to its opposite planetary pair attributes such as; Venus and Mars (female/male), and Jupiter and Saturn (expand/contract).

The Sign of the Retrograde

The sign in which the planet retrogrades needs to be considered. A planet may sometimes retrograde over one or two signs.

A Retrograde Sign Ruler

When a retrograde planet in a birth chart rules a sign, it takes momentum from that sign and makes it harder for that planet to rule the sign in a confident way.

Any planets in a sign ruled by a retrograde planet may show their own urges more so than the sign placement may indicate.

A Retrograde House Ruler

When a retrograde planet in a birth chart rules a house, the affairs of that house may initially be thwarted and held in abeyance until later in life when the retrograde planet stations direct by progression.

 

Sun and Moon Retrograde

This is a joke so do not get caught.

The Sun and Moon are never retrograde! To say someone has a retrograde Sun is an old astrology joke.

Retrograde Motion Cycle

Normally a planet which is direct moves along at a regular pace. As planets approach their retrograde period their movement changes in the following way:

  • The planet enters its pre-shadow period. This is at the point where it will station direct later in the retrograde cycle.
  • The planet slows down.
  • The planet appears to stop, and this is the station retrograde.
  • The planet begins to move retrograde at a slower speed than when direct.
  • After a few weeks or months, the planet slows down again.
  • The planet appears to stop at the station direct.
  • The planet begins to move direct again and gets back up to speed in its after-shadow period.
  • The planet leaves the shadow period at the point of the original station retrograde point.

Retrograde Motion Sequence

  • Direct motion (D)
  • Stations retrograde (SRx or S)
  • Retrograde motion (Rx)
  • Stations direct (SD or S)
  • Direct motion (D)

Retrograde Period

In each retrograde period a planet will make its two stations at particular degrees and minutes of the zodiac.

Each retrograde period will cover a different part of the zodiac and will last for a varying amount of time.

The Shadow

The section of the zodiac where the planet will retrograde is known as the shadow period.

The planet enters the pre-shadow or shadow, moving direct, before the actual retrograde period starts.

After the retrograde period at the point when the planet stations direct, the planet remains in the after-shadow or shadow, moving direct, until the planet passes the original station retrograde point again.

The Inferior Planets Retrograde

The pattern for the inferior planets when retrograde is specific. In the diagram the Sun is in the center. The orbit of either Mercury or Venus is shown in the next circle out. The Earth’s orbit is shown by the outer circle.

Diagram

It is only as the inferior planets move into the most westerly and most easterly position that the retrograde cycle starts. Positions 1 and 3 show the station retrograde and the station direct respectively.

Sun Conjunctions

During a retrograde cycle there are three conjunctions to the Sun. The first direct pass, the retrograde conjunction, and the final direct conjunction with the Sun.

Retrograde Time Period

The time in days for the retrograde period depends on the positions of the inferior planets and the earth and how far each body is from the Sun. This is why each retrograde period may be slightly longer or shorter than the previous one.

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury is probably the most well-known retrograde planet where it is even common knowledge outside astrological circles. Mercury is usually retrograde for three weeks and about three times a year or every four months. In any one year Mercury will typically retrograde in the same elementthen the retrograde period shifts into another element.

Mercury Retrograde Keywords

  • Suggests a hesitation in learning and school life
  • Indicates that learning to read and write may be slower
  • Considers thoroughly before contracting or speaking
  • Rehearses to eliminate imperfect speech

Mercury rules the nervous system delivering messages to and from the brain.

Mercury retrograde oriental

  • Quiet and retiring.
  • Reviews and weighs all angles before speaking.
  • Deep thinker and someone who contemplates.
  • Reviews information and files for the future.

Mercury retrograde occident

  • Halting speech and may lisp or stutter
  • Shy
  • Nervous
  • Ultimately accomplished in education. 

Venus Retrograde

Venus is retrograde about every eighteen months for about forty days (six weeks). Venus’s retrograde motion begins when she is one sign ahead of the Sun, and direct motion resumes when she is one sign behind the Sun. Venus rules the feminine principle and is a receiver of both material goods and love.

  • Suggests a hesitancy in giving and receiving love
  • Indicates time is needed to appreciate money
  • Seems like another Mars
  • Ability to acquire material possessions
  • Early in life financial reversals, then acquires financial savvy
  • May be tactless and rude, learns social skills the hard way

Venus retrograde oriental

  • The urge to connect
  • Sensitive and easily hurt
  • Financially careful

 

Venus retrograde occidental

  • Beauty is appreciated later
  • Wealth growth later in life

The Superior Planets Retrograde

The superior planets have their obits outside that of the Earth’s.

They are the planets from Mars to Pluto.

The superior planets are retrograde every year except Mars, which is on an almost two year retrograde cycle.

The superior planets begin their retrograde periods when they are near the trine to the Sun.

Whilst the Sun travels the four months (i.e. one third of the chart) towards the next trine, the superior planets are retrograde.

Around the point when the Sun passes the perfect to the trine to a superior planet, the superior planet again begins direct motion.

When a superior planet is in opposition to the Sun it is always retrograde.

Mars Retrograde

Mars is retrograde every twenty-two months for about eleven weeks.

This means it is retrograde about every second year.

Mars Retrograde Interpretation

Suggests a hesitancy in assertive matters.

The individual is likely to retain anger inside.

Jupiter Retrograde

Jupiter is retrograde for around four months and direct for around nine months every year.

Interpretation

  • Suggests a hesitancy in vision, expansion, and philosophy.
  • The ability to build bridges is reduced.

Saturn Retrograde

Saturn is retrograde for about four and a half months each year.

Interpretation

  • Suggests a hesitancy in establishing boundaries, and limitations.
  • Indicates that maintaining boundaries is reduced.

Uranus Retrograde

Uranus is retrograde for about five months each year.

Interpretation

  • Suggests a hesitancy in expressing uniqueness and original ideas.
  • The urge to step outside the norm is reduced.

Neptune Retrograde

Neptune is retrograde about six months every year.

Interpretation

  • When Neptune is retrograde it suggests a hesitancy in sleep patterns and dreams.
  • The urge to be artistic is reduced.

Pluto Retrograde

Pluto is retrograde for about six months each year.

Interpretation

  • Suggests a hesitancy in establishing a personal power base.
  • The urge to purge the unwanted is reduced.

Starzclass

Aspiring Astrologer Activity: Retrogrades

In your astrology journal please do the following:

  • Name two types of planetary station.
  • State how a the retrograde period shown in an ephemeris.
  • Note at what two points in the retrograde cycle a planet enters and leave its shadow period.
  • Name any planets that are never retrograde.
  • Note how often Mercury goes retrograde each year.
  • Name which planet is generally retrograde every second year.
  • Note which planet has the shortest retrograde periods.
  • Name the typical aspect at which the superior planets go retrograde.

Referring to your chart, please do the following:

  • Note which planets are retrograde.
  • Note if any planets are stationary.
  • Decide if  you have a retrograde chart ruler.
  • Write out all your retrograde planet complex’s using astrological short form code.

Extend Yourself

  • Choose one planet that is retrograde and suggest how it may have manifested in your life (100 words).

Extend Yourself Further

  • Choose one retrograde planet and interpret it fully (500 words).
Horoscopes Overview

Horoscopes Overview

June 2021 Horoscopes Overarching Astrological Theme Each month there are different themes brought forward as the celestial bodies dance around the Sun. These movements create a never-ending rhythm of cosmic energy shifts that I have interpreted for you. ...

The Yod – Major Aspect Pattern

The Yod – Major Aspect Pattern

A Yod is an astrological planetary configuration also know as a major aspect pattern which is formed when three planets line-up in a particular way.

A yod looks like a triangle. See image.

This week the three planets in the current yod are Jupiter in Gemini, Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn.

You can also refer to this current pattern as a Jupiter Yod because Jupiter is the focal planet.

Lunar Phases

Lunar Phases

The Lunar Cycle

The Sun and Moon’s synodic cycle

The Moon takes one month to orbit the Earth.

The Moon phase cycle starts at New Moon when the Sun and the Moon are conjunct. This happens once every month. At New Moon we can’t see the Moon when it is close to the Sun

The Moon starts to grow in light every day in the waxing part of the cycle. Around day fourteen it reaches the Full Moon when we can see the most light from the Moon. It begins the waning part of the cycle reducing in light back to the New Moon.

The Light and Dark of the Moon

The Moon is mainly dark for half of the month and mainly light for half of the month. The darker half is during the last quarter, balsamic, new moon and crescent phases. The light half is the first quarter, gibbous, full moon and disseminating phases. This light/dark difference is symbolic and has much to say about the meaning of the Moon and its phases.

Lunar Phases in the Chart

lunar phases are based on the angular relationship between the Sun and the Moon.

If the luminaries are in aspect to each other it must be considered highly in the chart interpretation.

Moon Timing

The synodic cycle is around twenty-nine and a half days.

The Moon is in each phase for around three and a half days.

The Moon is in each sign around two and a half days.

Planetary Phases

The planets also have phases shown by their relationship to the Sun. Particularly the inferior planets Mercury and Venus.

Eight Lunar Phases

There are eight lunar phases, four in the waxing period and four in the waning period.

Even if the Moon is not in aspect to the Sun it will be in the phase shown below.

Each phase begins at the exact aspect and runs through until the next aspect.

Lunar phases are closely related to the aspects between the Moon and the Sun.

Four Waxing Moon Phases

In the waxing half of the Moon’s cycle the four phases are new moon, crescent, first quarter and gibbous. During the waxing half of the month the light of the Moon is growing.

New Moon

Instinct

You see life through your own eyes, and not the eyes of others.

Subjective

You are subjective and struggle to see another person’s point of view.

Starts projects

You enjoy beginning new projects. You are good at starting jobs but not so good at finishing them. You have lots of energy and are independent.

Emergence

You have the potential to emerge and do good things. At this stage we don’t know.

Self-involved

Concerned with your life and your issues.

Crescent

Forward

You feel compelled to move forward in your life. You can do this when you have a strong foundation underneath from which to launch.

Self-belief

You have an opportunity to grow in your belief in yourself. As your life unfolds and expands you will become more comfortable with the feelings you have about your future path.

Eager confidence

You will probably face the future eagerly. In time you probably will develop inner confidence.

First Quarter

Forceful

You perhaps have the forcefulness of youth and there will likely be much subjective activity throughout your life. You prefer to lay a good base for your future and will take action to make this so.

Growth and building

You are likely to construct your own plans to suit yourself. Your life is likely to be filled with lots of personal growth and experiences with which you can build a firmer foundation on for your personal future.

Strong willed

You are usually strong willed, and some may even say ruthless.

Crisis in action

You have controlled energy expenditure. This comes in bursts and much can be done.

Gibbous

Contribute

You generally have a desire to contribute something of value to society.

You probably understand broad concepts and may have an impulse to clarify and work towards your personal goals or for a cause.

Overcome

You are the type of individual who can overcome obstacles.

You have a youthful approach to life.

Perfection

There is effort spend to get better at what you do.

Four Waning Moon Phases

The four phases in the waning half of the Moon’s cycle are full moon, disseminating, last quarter and balsamic.

During the waning half of the lunar cycle the light of the Moon is diminishing.

Full Moon Phase

Clarity

You can see the other person’s point of view and it is clear to you. You are very self-aware. You can discriminate between truth and lies.

Illumination

You can see the big picture and use broad strokes. It is all quite clear to you now.

Mature

You are supremely confident and have a mature outlook on life. You are realistic and accept things as they are.

Relationships

You can build fulfilling relationships confidently. You approach life through an adult’s eyes, there are no illusions.

Disseminating Phase

Transmit information

You are likely to have the desire to transmit what you have learnt through both study and your personal worldly experiences.

Probably you easily disseminate ideas to pass on to others.

It is as though you are on a crusade to share your learning.

Knowledge dispersal

Perhaps you wish to spread your wisdom and knowledge with other people as a disciple would.

You can probably use demonstration as a tool to impart your grasp of situations.

Convey Awareness

It is important for you to let others know what you know and share your beliefs with them.

You wish to make contact.

Last Quarter Phase

Objective

This indicates that you are fundamentally objective and can pass on your experience and sow seed for the future.

Crisis in consciousness

You may spend much time reorienting your outlook.

You may have a crisis in consciousness and be able to change your beliefs into concrete thoughts.

Old values become useless.

Pioneer

You perhaps can be a pioneer in your day, and, with time, posterity will appreciate you.

You may be tiresome and stubborn.

Readjustment and Reorientation

You may feel it has all come to naught and that it was not worth the bother.

A transformation emerges as you process life’s cycles.

Balsamic Phase

Release

You can become released from issues.

You are likely to be visionary and have belief in the future.

Sacrifice and Surrender

You may be called upon to sacrifice something in your life as a martyr perhaps.

You need to surrender to the karmic cycle of life.

Closure

You are good with closure of both relationships and situations but will mourn for what has past.

Starzclass

Aspiring Astrologer Activity: Lunar Phases

Referring to your chart.

Write the answers in your astrology journal.

 

  • What is the Sun’s position in degrees and minutes?
  • What is the Moon’s position in degrees and minutes?
  • What is the exact angular distance from the Sun to the Moon?
  • Name the lunar phase
  • Approximately how much light can we see of the Moon?
  • Is the Moon in the waxing or waning half of the cycle?
  • What is the Sun Moon aspect?
  • Write a paragraph about the Moon’s position by sign and house.
  • Write a paragraph about the Moon’s aspect to the Sun.
  • Write a paragraph about the lunar phase.
  • Write a paragraph about the Moon’s other aspects excluding the Sun’s aspect.
  • Over which houses, hemispheres and quadrants does the Moon have influence?
  • Explain the Moon’s essential dignity.