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Lunation Charts

Lunation ChartsLunation forecasts give you a complete breakdown of all major planetary activity on a daily basis. You can use them and follow them in the same way you use and follow newspaper and television weather forecasts. If the weatherman tells you it is likely to rain today, you'll wear your raincoat or take your umbrella. If the lunation forecast warns you of potential problems, you can be prepared for them before you are confronted.

If you follow an aspectarian, or list of daily aspects, in a general ephemeris, you know that times are listed in Greenwich Mean Time. The times given here are listed in Eastern Standard Time. To determine the exact minute the aspect affects you, you will first need to adapt the listed time to the time zone where you live. Remember to adjust for Daylight Time by "springing" forward one hour during the summer months.

Once you have the standard time of the zone where you live, you can determine the exact minute of the peak of each aspect by noting how many degrees of longitude you are east or west of the local time zone meridian. (For Central Time, the zone is 90 degrees west of Greenwich, for Mountain Time the zone is 105 degrees west of Greenwich, for Pacific Time the zone is 120 degrees west of Greenwich, etc.) For each degree you live away from the standard longitude you will need to adjust the listed time by four minutes.

Example: Chicago is in the Central Time zone, which is one hour earlier than the Eastern Time listed with the aspects. Therefore the planetary energy peaks one hour before the listed time. The exact longitude of Chicago is 87W39. This is 2 degrees and 21 minutes of longitude away from the Central Time zone of 90 degrees west of Greenwich. For each degree we need to make a further adjustment of four minutes; for Chicago this adjustment would be approximately 8½ minutes (2 degrees and 21 minutes of longitude times 4). Since Chicago is east of the center of the Central Time zone (90 degrees west of Greenwich), we need to add this adjustment to the listed time. Remember as you move east, the time is later, and as you go west, the time is earlier.

You will note that you do not see aspects for every day in the month. It doesn't mean that nothing is happening. What it does mean is that things are shaping up for the next major aspect–news that you may get tomorrow or the next day. Just like the weather, it's a lull before the next heat wave or storm system.

On the other hand, some days may have two, three or more major aspects. You know from a single glance that lots of things will be happening on these days. If you note the times of the aspects, you will have a good idea of how to structure your day–morning for one activity, early afternoon for another, and so on. Using this guide to planetary energy can be especially helpful on busy days.

The only planet (in reality, a really luminary) not included in the lunation forecast is the Moon. The Moon moves very quickly, spending only about 2½ days in each sign. Along the way it is continually making aspects to the slower moving planets, and very quickly moving into new aspects.

The lunation, rather, is geared to the cycles of the Moon. In the period from the New Moon to the Full Moon, the Moon is increasing the amount of light it reflects from the Sun. This is a two-week cycle when you can begin activities, especially those relating to the sign of the New Moon. From the Full Moon to the next New Moon, the Moon is decreasing in the amount of light it reflects. Use this two-week cycle to complete projects and wrap up loose ends. Note that the Full Moon is usually the peak of the cycle, the end of building up and the time for winding down. Wait for the next New Moon to start things going again.

With the above-mentioned exception of the Moon, the lunation forecast provides information on the three major activities of all transiting planets. These activities are:

When a planet moves from one sign to another sign.
When a planet makes a major aspect with another planet.
When a planet changes direction.
When a planet moves from one sign to another sign, consider first the planet which is involved, and what it represents in general. Take into consideration the sign it is leaving, and more importantly, the sign it is entering. Some planets work better and more freely in certain signs. For those of you who are more advanced, note if the planet is in its own sign, its exaltation, its detriment, or its fall. This will give you an idea as to how the planet will work in general.

When a planet makes a major aspect with another planet we must begin our consideration by taking into account the type of aspect involved: hard aspect (square and opposition), soft aspect (sextile and trine) and emphasis (conjunction).

A hard aspect is one which you cannot avoid. A decision must be made and action must be taken; even your decision not to act is an action. A square can be considered an obstacle in your path which must be overcome, or in some way accommodated. An opposition shows two entirely different paths which in some manner must be reconciled. It works in the same way that two magnets repel each other. The best way to describe its effect is the need to somehow be in two places at once.

A soft aspect is usually not so easy to see. By nature things will run well and smoothly, and you hardly seem to notice a good aspect is really helping things along. Sextiles bring you opportunities, where what you do will determine how favorable the outcome will be. The more energy you put into the aspect, the more benefits you will receive from it. A trine is just plain good luck; no matter how things may be going, they will naturally fall into place. A trine by nature is protective and even when heavy planets are involved, good can come from the aspect.

A conjunction is usually considered as an independent aspect, neither hard nor soft in and of itself. The conjunction emphasizes the area in which it falls. Again, like a magnet, it draws energy to itself. Whether this energy is positive or negative depends upon the planets in the conjunction, and the aspects the conjunction makes to other planets in your own chart. This aspect points the way and says, "Pay attention here!"

The times when a planet changes direction are probably the most important listing in the lunation forecast. In fact, centuries ago astrologers developed their own branch of mathematics to determine planetary changes in speed and motion. This branch of math is called calculus and is now used for many things beyond the movement of planets.

However, you don't need to be a mathematician to know when and where a planet makes its stationary point, which is its zodiacal location and the time it changes direction. It is extremely important to note whether the planet is moving from apparent retrograde motion to direct, or if the planet is turning retrograde. While we know that planets never really go backwards, a retrograde planet does not function as clearly and easily as it does when it is direct. The stationary point is referred to as a critical position. You can always count on a turn in events if a planet changes direction.

After you have considered the general nature of the daily activity as indicated in the lunation forecast, look to see which houses of your own chart are involved. This will identify the areas of your life the planets will directly affect. If the activity falls in aspect to a planet in your own chart, this planet and house will also be involved in that day's events. If, in fact, the activity falls conjunct within one degree of a planet in your natal chart this aspect will affect you personally.

It is likely, however, that you will have no planets within one degree of the transiting activity. Consider then whether or not you have any natal planets which fall at the same degree, even if they are in other signs. See what aspect this natal planet makes to the daily activity. Good aspects to a natal planet will help good transiting aspects. Hard aspects to a natal planet can make a difficult transiting aspect worse. It is, however, within your ability to use these transiting aspects for your own greatest benefit.

If you have a good transiting aspects in good relationship to planets in your own chart, use your own natal ability to make the most of the transits for your benefit. If good transiting aspects make hard aspects to your chart, let the benefits work on their own; your action could gum up the works!

If there are difficult transits in good aspect to your chart, you may be able to capitalize on a situation and be the knight in armor there to save the day (and benefit yourself, too). When you have difficult transiting aspects in hard aspect to planets in your natal chart, you can be sure that outside problems will affect you; this way you can at least be prepared before you are confronted with a situation.

Transiting activity shows areas of change in your life. Because planets are continually moving onward, an orb of one degree is the best way to determine whether or not an aspect will directly affect your life. Using an orb of up to three degrees may sometimes be helpful, but an orb of one degree will always show where the action involves you. The lunation forecast is meant to highlight the major planetary activity, and give you enough information to determine how directly the transits influence you.