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Lunar Strategies

Each month, the Moon passes through each of the twelve signs of the zodiac, spending two and a half days in each one.  Every sign is particularly suited to a specific domain of activity and style of working.  Like our fluctuating moods writ large, the sign of the Moon can describe the temperament or feel of a current period of time. I’ve created this free calendar showing the Moon’s travels for the rest of 2013 (August through December).  Times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Working with the Moon through the Zodiac
Free 2013 Lunar Calendar from Dave Mockaitis Astrology

  • ARIES  Start something new, proceed independently, develop self-awareness
  • TAURUS  Take things one step at a time, indulge your senses, be resourceful and productive
  • GEMINI  Work with information, ideas and communication, engage your curiosity
  • CANCER  Address your emotional needs, interact with home and family
  • LEO  Express yourself creatively, give and receive appreciation, enjoy leisure
  • VIRGO  Delve into the details, critique, analyze, activate your mental acumen
  • LIBRA  Create harmony amongst others and in your surroundings, build collaboration, compromise, teamwork
  • SCORPIO  Go deep, encounter hidden emotional tendencies and investigate your personal sense of power
  • SAGITTARIUS  Expand your horizons through adventure or encounters with philosophy/ideals
  • CAPRICORN  Engage with structure, organization, discipline
  • AQUARIUS  Innovate, undertake something new, work with progressive causes
  • PISCES  Connect with your dreams, ideals or spiritual practices

LunarStrategiesGuideIn addition to watching the sign that the Moon’s traveling through, it’s good to also consider when the Moon is Void of Course.  As the Moon passes through each sign, it forms aspects or angular relationships to the other planets.  When it reaches the end of the sign, there’s a window of time between when the Moon has formed its last aspect to a planet and enters the next sign.  This time period, when the Moon is considered Void of Course, is generally unfavorable for starting new activities.  Instead, it is a time for reflection and wrapping up loose ends before the Moon’s ingress into the next sign initiates a new mood with which to work.  On the Lunar Strategies calendar, the Void of Course Moon is indicated by the initials vc printed next to the last aspect of the day.  The Moon is no longer void of course once it enters the next sign.

The house that the Moon passes through along its course is quite significant as well.  While the signs show what type of activity is most supported, the house indicates the area of life where those actions can have the greatest impact.  Deciphering your natal chart or consulting with an astrologer to learn about your individual sign and house combinations can be an invaluable tool in making the most out of the always fluctuating movements of the Moon.

The Moon’s phase is a final detail that rounds out our understanding of the lunar journey.  As the Moon moves from New to Full, energy is building and increasing. As it moves from Full to New again, energy is disseminating and fading.  I’ve published a guide to the Moon’s phases that can shed some light on these aspects.  The phase of the Moon that an individual is born under is also significant in understanding one’s temperament or outlook on life.

Lunar Phases

The lunar cycle’s been used for centuries for planting, scheduling, and even manifesting. As the Moon completes a full revolution of the Earth during its 28 day cycle, it passes through eight phases or angular configurations with the Sun. Each phase is a part of the continuum of the cycle, and has a distinct character of its own that’s relevant to both working with the process and understanding an individual’s birth chart. The table below presents the eight phases, and explains them in terms of the lunar cycle and their significance in an individual’s birth chart.

Lunar PhaseCycle SymbolismNatal Characteristics
New Moon
0° - 45°
Birth/emergence of a new possibility, new beginning, opportunity to break with the past and start off in a new direction, opening to new experiences/perspectives, fusion of internal and external realities/will & imaginationPioneering, impulsive, dynamic, enthusiastic, behaves instinctively, need for spontaneity, a life of breaking new ground and initiating action, can be naive, gullible, have a hard time seeing things through to completion
Crescent Moon
45° - 90°
Expansion, struggle between the past and emerging future, areas of growth and opportunity emerge to help facilitate your new undertaking, the call to develop new talents and skills to support your new endeavor - list-makingVulnerable, impressionable, drawn to personal growth and self-exploration, need to develop perseverance, can be overly influenced by others which emphasizes the importance of finding worthwhile people and situations to help you cultivate your dreams and goals
First-Quarter Moon
90° - 135°
Crisis of action as you stand between the past and future, time for action & the expression of ideas, definite decisions and actions are required at this time, tension between the old and new can block your process, good time to remove any obstacles/remnants of the past that have emerged up until now, need for courage & confidence to move in the direction of your intentionActive, motivated, decisive, urge to get things done, prone to tension & nervous energy, can steamroll over people if energy and urge for refinement isn't directed towards a higher cause
Gibbous Moon
135° - 180°
Tentative results and insights start to appear, time for preliminary analysis & evaluation of how you're progressing, overcoming of obstacles, productive time if you continue to refine your approachSelf-directed, goal-oriented and focused, introspective and curious, tendency towards perfectionism or being overly analytical or self-critical
Full Moon
180° - 225°
You've caught your stride and momentum's at its peak, time of culmination/fulfillment/realization, both your successes and failures are illuminated, structures and accomplishments become infused with meaning now, deeper understandings of why you took this endeavor on in the first placeSocial, expansive, generous, exuberant, potential to overextend yourself or overdo it, idealistic, relationship-oriented, may need to develop greater awareness of the effects of their actions on others
Disseminating Moon
225° - 270°
Your progress becomes public as your insights and achievements begin to move out into the world and link with other people and structures, time of demonstration & performance, distribution and sharing of progressCommunicative, quick to share information/insights, social, may tend towards dogmatism or have a hard time taking advice from others
Last-Quarter Moon
270° - 315°
Crisis of consciousness as your new achievements complete integrating into your life, new areas of life emerge for inspection as you give your accomplishments some space for integration, aspects of your life that are incongruent with your new approach may emergeIntrospective, carries a strong sense of destiny, searches for deeper meaning/significance from life, tendency to feel alienated from the status quo, sense of being ahead of your time, need for more private time and sleep/rest than others
Balsamic Moon
315° - 360°
Releasing the past/personality aspects that no longer serve you - especially those that have come to your attention in this process, preparation for & commitment to the future, opening to the next cycle of growth and development, time of endings and possibly mourning as you leave the past behind, often a period of low energyObserver/outsider/loner, tendency to feel detached from or at odds with society, may be prone to focus on what is unseen/hidden, relationships are often short-term and may have a karmic quality

Lunar Phase table (Print-ready PDF)