Astrology: Moon Phases and Eclipses

Moon Phases diagram courtesy of University of Iowa

Working with the Moon puts us in harmony with our world, and awakens in us deep understanding of our innate connection with life.  The Moon governs our emotions, our need for nurturing and our capacity to nurture others, psychological habits, body consciousness and habits of personal care, psychic connectivity, dreams, the Unconscious, women in general and how we relate to them, food, anything to do with water from baths to the oceans, our idea of home and home life, our inherited habits and proclivities, menses, the public and how we relate to the public, our digestive and reproductive systems, one’s wife, tides, and how we protect what we care about. Important stuff that bears careful attention!

The Moon changes sign within 48 – 60 hours, making it the fastest moving factor in our charts. Watch as people’s moods fluctuate: a grumpy, touchy Moon in Scorpio on Monday gives way to gregarious and philosophical Moon in Sagittarius on Wednesday, and all is well again with the world. Working with the Moon can ease our passage as we learn to go with the flow, and give up futile attempts to push the river where it’s not going. Particularly keep an eye on the major phases detailed below to allow deep personal work and development to occur more effectively, bringing greater success, peace and satisfaction.


New Moon: The moon stands between the Sun and the Earth, and the face that we normally see is almost invisible while the dark side that faces away from us is fully illuminated, so we rightly call this the Dark Moon. The Sun and the Moon are conjoined and will appear at the same zodiacal degree, creating a powerful one-note vibe. Ego and Emotion are aligned as we experience the most subjective time of the month, and we feel a sense of invigoration and spontaneity, ready to go on any new adventure that arises. However, this time can also reflect the idea of something being too close to see – we cannot separate Ego from Emotion, and this can lead to believing that what we feel must be who we are. This is a time to consolidate our energy and focus on positive visions. Strive for objectivity if possible, and consider your habitual blind spots. Listen to what feels out of balance, for it is now that sticking points can arise. Set pure intentions as the combined force of Sun and Moon allows us to access personal power at this time, but understand that patience and deliberation are required before fruition occurs. What is planted in the dark will grow with the light of the waxing moon, so do be careful what you wish for. Don’t wallow in darkness, but rather protect what needs nurturing. Plant your seeds.

First Quarter: Also known as the Half Moon, as the Moon appears as a half-circle in the sky. (Sometimes also erroneously called the Second Quarter Moon). The Moon is waxing towards Full, and is 90º into its monthly cycle, placing it at a square aspect to the Sun. Ego and Emotion are at odds with each other. This is a time for action, as tension spurs us to change, but do not expect culmination now. A good time for hard work, motivated intentions, building up and adding substance to existing foundations, but beware workaholic or obsessive tendencies, as well as impetuosity or callousness in our striving. People get pushy, but don’t necessarily have details that back up their direction. Watch plans take nascent form and nurture their development.

Full Moon: The Moon is at its greatest visibility, and is directly opposed to the Sun at 180º, standing behind the Earth as we face the Sun together.  The Sun illuminates the entire visible hemisphere of the Moon amplifying light, shining a spotlight in normally dark, unconscious places. This phase allows us objectivity and insight into things which usually remain hidden, as the power of Ego reveals the recesses of the Heart, showing clearly what needs to be understood.  A time of fulfillment, we are empowered in our ability to see more details of our situation than usual, though the Full Moon can also bring disillusionment if we are not following our heart’s path.  Poorly executed motivations can be fully viewed now, and adjusted.  Anything which has been a source of distress can rear its ugly head, driving many to escapism as they seek to dive deeper into unconsciousness and avoidance to get away from things we may not wish to see (think lunacy).  A good time to harvest what is working well, or to cull what is unnecessary or unhealthy, allowing dissemination and release of the energy back to earth. Intentions blossom now, whether they were consciously seeded and beautiful, or unconsciously strewn and self-negating.

Last Quarter: Also variously called Third Quarter or Fourth Quarter Moon. The Moon is waning, and has moved 270º away from the Sun.  This is also a square aspect, full of dynamism.  We have the impetus to clear up what we haven’t dealt with and address things that tripped us up with the recent Full Moon.  The insights gained with the Full Moon’s brightness give us a checklist allowing further refinement of our goals. If we haven’t followed our best interests, high tension and compulsion to change can occur at this phase; beware anxiety and spinning out in high stress. This is a good time for working with details, and outlining what needs to be addressed at the next New Moon. As we define our situation, we find ourselves descending, drawing back into a state of concentration which can become tunnel vision if we don’t come up for air occasionally.  Release negativity and think ahead to the next Moon cycle, considering what worked and what did not with previous intentions.


Eclipses:  Eclipses occur in repetitive cycles, which take approximately 18 years (or 223 synodic months) to recur. Solar and Lunar Eclipses occur consecutively, with a Lunar Eclipse always occurring fourteen days before or after a Solar Eclipse, with the complete eclipse cycle taking approximately 37.5 days.   On June 10 2021, we saw the last of the eclipse of the Gemini/Sagittarius cycle, and on December 19, 2021 we saw the beginning of a Taurus/Scorpio cycle.  The Aries/Libra cycle will begin on April 20, 2023, which will coincide with the ingress of the Sun into Aries, quite a potent day for early Aries natives.  Eclipses can be either total, partial or annular.  Total solar eclipses in particular are quite rare as the window of opportunity for the Moon to obfuscate the Sun is very short; most eclipses that we experience are either partial or annular.  Total lunar eclipses can last up to 2 hours, whereas total solar eclipses are only last for about 2 minutes. The next total Solar Eclipse will be April 8, 2023 and the next total Lunar Eclipse will occur on May 15/16, 2022.

Solar Eclipse: Also known as a New Moon Eclipse. Solar eclipses are conjunction of the Sun and Moon which occur on the axis of the Lunar Nodes.  The Sun and Moon are in the same sign as the North Node (within 15-18º)   and in opposition to the South Lunar Node.  Indicates an alignment of the Earth, Sun and Moon, with the Moon blocking visibility of the Sun from our perspective here on Earth. Traditionally considered malefic, as the Sun, source of power and life, is obscured and eliminated, however briefly. Significant in that issues of Destiny, Ego and Emotion are aligned, a Solar Eclipse is a powerful time to set intention for major change, altering life course, beginning new paths in directions previously untrodden.

Lunar Eclipse:  Also known as a Full Moon Eclipse. Lunar eclipses occur when the Sun and Moon are in opposition from one another and aligned with the axis of the Lunar Nodes (within 15-18º)  .  The Moon falls in the same sign as the Earth and the South Node, in opposition to the North Node and Sun, which fall in the same sign. The shadow of the Earth falls on the lunar surface and creates an impression that the Moon is being eaten up, either partially or entirely. Lunar Eclipses are powerful times for realization and manifestation.  Clarity of vision is profound, and many can experience watershed moments around these times if their natal placements are activated. If the process of change has been conscious, then Lunar Eclipses can provide a significant boost in direction, pushing one up to the next level. If change has been resisted, Lunar Eclipses can often provoke crisis that initiates one onto seeking a healthier, truer path. 


The effects of eclipses are most significant if the transiting Moon aspects natal points – particularly the natal Sun, Moon, or personal points like the Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant, Imum Coeli or the Nodal Axis.  These points are usually sufficient to provoke a response, however, you can also look to Arabian Parts, Black Moon Lilith or asteroids for interest.  Such factors will usually only be of importance if aspect to personal planets or points anyway, so keep that in mind and spare yourself unnecessary digging. The Vertex is another point which some astrologers use as a marker of fate, destiny, or wish fulfillment as well as being an indicator of relationship matters.  It is always housed in the western half of the chart, usually near the Descendant, and if touched closely by an Eclipse could herald significant changes in relationship – either status of existing, or initiation into a new love relationship.  Also consider the house in which an eclipse falls, and look to the rulership of the house, the position of the house ruler and if it is aspected by the Eclipsing Moon.  The chart ruler, in particular, if aspected by an eclipse should be considered as significant, indicating an invigoration of approach to the core personality. 

If a Solar or Lunar Eclipse aspects a personal planet or point within an 8º orb, you may feel the effects anywhere from one to three months prior to the actual event.  Consider this as rumblings in the deep soul trying to be heard.  All change that we experience has deep roots, created by seed thoughts which may be conscious or unconscious.  As our soul ripens to the impetus for growth, we will find that events align around us to facilitate our development.  Oftentimes, we cannot consciously admit what we want, but the soul knows how to sort the wheat from the chaff, and will subtly steer us in the direction which is best for our personal development.  A person may offhandedly say something, we see an image or an article that resonates with something deep within us, and the path of change is initiated, however quietly at first. If we choose not to listen to these happenchance messages then often after enough chances have passed by, something jarring and overt occurs which snaps us to attention, forcing issues of change that we have been avoiding.  It’s best not to let things go that far, needless to say, so take the time to meditate and listen to your Soul’s yearnings.

Eclipses can be the tipping points that we require to grow into personal well being. As they occur in cycles, we have multiple opportunities for spurring growth, and each passing eclipse will build on the progress made with the last. The effects of eclipses can be permanent, resulting in changed paths, the opening of new doors and a deeper knowledge of self. This does not happen for everyone, every time, so don’t be expecting every eclipse to be a profound cataclysm. However, if you watch the cycles and see how they line up with the particularities of your own chart, you can work with the energy in a focused, concentrated way – opening yourself up to growth and greater self-fulfillment. For most eclipses you can expect to see culmination of change within six months to one year. It’s good to remember that sometimes even little changes, bit by bit, can result in positive shifts in direction, so be patient and be kind to yourself, always.

For dates of this year’s major lunations see here: LUNAR EVENTS 2022 – FULL MOONS, NEW MOONS AND ECLIPSES

For more information on the science of eclipses, see these references:

Wikipedia: Solar Eclipses

Wikipedia: Lunar Eclipses

Short video: PBS Solar Eclipses Explained

Short video: PBS Lunar Eclipses Explained

And for a good online Moon Phase calendar that you can customize to your choice of year and location see here:

Time and Date Moon Phase Calendar

Astrology: Full Moon in Cancer January 17, 2022

Galileo Galilei, ‘Sketches of the Moon’, ink on paper, 1609. Image: Museo Galileo

The first Full Moon of 2022 arrives on January 17 at 23:48 UT (18:48 EST, 15:48 PT).  It’s a busy time – Mercury is retrograde, Venus is retrograde, Uranus moves direct on January 18th, and the Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th.  This Full Moon chart is dominated by the tight opposition from the Moon to the Sun/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, the Mercury/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius squaring off with tetchy Uranus, and a quiet but pervasive square between Venus and Chiron adding a touch of melancholy to the air as people grapple with things that seem unfixable. Mars adds smoky fire to communications, leaving open to debate what’s true and what’s fantasy.

Pluto’s presence in this Full Moon configuration brings current issues to a core level for all, and people feel compelled to expose their emotions, even if talking feels hard going (Mercury/Saturn). Pressures exerted from society at large are causing even the most placid to feel anger and frustration.  We look around to see that more than ever before the actions of total strangers affect our personal lives in very direct ways.  Patience and good humor have worn down as we are faced with ongoing restrictions, increased security and powerful monitoring measures that are unavoidable for even the most mundane actions.  Going to the grocery store, seeking personal fitness goals, international travel, working with other people, sending our kids to school – all of these things, once commonplace are now subject to officiated governmental scrutiny and societal commentary in a way that hasn’t been seen since WWII.  While this time feels heavy, the stricture is currently as pronounced as it will be this year, so bear with it and do the shadow work that needs doing.  Energies will shift as we move into the Spring Equinox  – it will still be an intense year, mind you – but won’t feel quite so bleak.  Right now, though, the overbearing powers of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are knocking hard, requiring everyone to manage global issues on a personal level.

However, there is a silver lining to all this gloomy cloud cover. It is through the pressure of universal energies that we gain greater understanding of the world around us. What we have happening here, folks, is evolution in action.  It’s been easy for people to retreat into their respective shells over the last few decades, as the spread of internet technology, social media and virtual reality (Uranus and Neptune’s influence) has allowed people to block out the world and carry on as if what we do on an individual basis doesn’t matter. The events that grip our planet at this time speak otherwise, and the message that is being brought to bear overall is strongly this: we are all One, we all impact each other, no matter where we are, and to move forward personally and collectively in health and well-being, we need to open our hearts, release fear and be willing to learn, to grow and to be more than we are as individuals.  Allow the light of this Full Moon to shine on what you need to see most – and don’t be afraid, we are all in this together.

“The world is evolving from imperfection to perfection, it needs all love and sympathy. Great tenderness and watchfulness is required from each one of us.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Current planetary events:

Sun ingress to Aquarius January 19, 2022 21:39 EST (January 20, 2022 2:39 UT)

Mercury Retrograde until February 2, 2022, exits shadow on February 2, 2022

Venus Retrograde until January 29, 2022

Uranus Direct January 18, 2022 until August 24, 2022

Next Full Moon February 16, 2022 16:58 UT, 11:58 EST, Leo 29º

Forecasts for the month:

Aries: Home/work balance is under the spotlight this Full Moon, as surprising shifts in your values make existing social scenes and alliances feel sombre, with much reflection on what came before. Inspiration is calling – be who you want Aries, when was that ever a problem for you? Settle down a bit and meditate on it (really, do it!).  You’ll find what emerges most fruitful. Write it down when it comes.

Taurus: You feel inspired by beauty and called to find your deepest truth, and you want to talk about it, though it feels more emotional than usual.  Sex and money feel energized but elusive, so seductive, pushing you to the chase.  Light is available to heal your oldest wounds, though it may take some serious thinking on the career front to get you there.

Gemini:  The spotlight this full moon is on money – yours vs theirs.  What do you value, and how strong is your value structure when put upon by the wishes and pressures of the outside world?  There’s an underlying seriousness to you these days as you seek to gain lessons, and that may spell opportunity in career. Don’t let sniping undermine you.  You may have a foot-in-mouth moment.  Be careful what you say! 

Cancer:  Your emotions are on your sleeve, and partnerships feel intense as deep levels are being plumbed.  Watch for power plays that compromise self-identity. The heavy stuff – sex, death, commitment – feels serious, however, details remain to be clarified on the work front which raise questions on the ethical front. Career feels a bit Sisyphean but don’t fret, surprises and inspirations come through networking.

Leo:  Don’t let compulsions and old habits be your self-undoing.  Now’s the time to look at self-undermining behaviour, particularly in how you approach relationships, work and how you treat your body.  The heavy stuff inspires and creativity is energized – let it out, it’s gold.  Career could offer breakthrough over the next month, be open to your subconscious mind for inspiration.

Virgo: The spotlight right now for you Virgo is learning to have fun again.  What does pleasure mean to you?  Do you have people you can share yourself with, or have you been holed up? Reach out, allow romance back into your heart, and don’t be afraid to shake things up. Open up to new philosophies and dreams, and you’ll find new friends knocking at your door.

Libra:  Career vs home feel intense as you seek to manifest your deepest desires. Compulsions are surprising and add tension to pleasure, but on the other hand, you want to be serious about what excites right now. You might come across as aggressive at the wrong moment – say what’s on your mind truthfully, it will be easier on everyone. Have a spa day soon, it will be of greater than usual benefit. Beauty heals.

Scorpio:  Deep change pushes you to walk your talk, and embody your highest ideals. Romance is inspiring, and you look with a critical eye on long-term changes in the home.  Watch your health this month as old issues may come home to roost, requiring a stepped-up plan of action. Money talks – go for that brass ring now, but don’t be prodigal.

Sagittarius: You feel the Force as your values are overhauled, and your persona is energized and powerful.  The spotlight is on why you do what you do and who you do it with.  You are able to cut to the chase and isolate details that have been tripping you up for a while.  Home life comforts and inspires.  Even the most valiant knights need respite sometimes – don’t be afraid to slow down.

Capricorn:  This Full Moon allows you to expose your underbelly, Capricorn. You’ll want to talk seriously about your tender spots, as subconscious material pushes to the surface requiring an outlet.  You have lots of support, be willing to reach out and touch base, you’ll be surprised at how conversation flows.  Let work lie and pay attention to the foundational core stuff, even if it’s hard going.

Aquarius:  This Full Moon feels very businesslike for you, Aquarius, as you focus on how to bring what is hidden to the fore.  Deep subconscious material stirs up dreams, and mediation allows for core problem solving.  Don’t let old insecurities nip at your heels, identify them and put them in their place. Watch for surprises and accidents on the home front – keep any potential hazards under control.

Pisces:  This Full Moon feels romantic and inspired, Pisces.  What gives you joy? Where do you find romance and pleasure – or do you anymore?  Let yourself be inspired by the beauty of the world, and let your dreams unfurl. Communications can be surprising, and your subconscious wants to be heard.  Impressions of the day can surface at night – keep your notebook handy and pay attention.

Born on this day – January 17: Benjamin Franklin (1706); Anne Brontë (1820); Konstantin Stanislavski (1863); Al Capone (1899); Betty White (1922); Eartha Kitt (1927); Vidal Sassoon (1928); James Earl Jones (1931); Maury Povich (1939); Muhammed Ali (1942); Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952); Jim Carrey (1962); Michelle Obama (1964); Kid Rock (1971); Zooey Deschanel (1980); Jake Paul (1997)

Sadly, January 17 would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Happy Birthday Betty, blessings to you as you travel on your journeys.

January 17, 2022 Full Moon 23:48 UT, Greenwich, UK. Chart courtesy of astro.com

ASTROLOGY: LUNAR EVENTS 2022 – FULL MOONS, NEW MOONS AND ECLIPSES

Caspar David FriedrichTwo Men Contemplating the Moon , Germany, 1819. metmuseum.org

January 2, 2022 – 18:35 UT, 13:35 EST, New Moon 12º 20′ Capricorn

January 17, 2022 – 23:50 UT, 18:50 EST, Full Moon 29º 51′ Cancer

February 1, 2022 – 5:47 UT, 12:47 EST, New Moon 12º 20′ Aquarius

February 16, 2022 – 16:58 UT, 11:58 EST, Full Moon 28º 60′ Leo

March 2, 2022 – 17:36 UT, 12:36 EST, New Moon 12º 07′ Pisces

March 18, 2022 – 7:19 UT, 2:19 EDT, Full Moon 27º 40′ Virgo

April 1, 2022 – 6:26 UT, 1:26 EDT, New Moon 11º 31′ Aries

April 16, 2022 – 18:56 UT, 13:56 EDT, Full Moon 26º 46′ Libra

April 30, 2022 – 20:29 UT, 15:29 EDT, New Moon (Solar) Eclipse 10º 28′ Taurus

May 16, 2022 – 4:15 UT/May 15, 2022 23:15 EDT, Full Moon (Lunar) Eclipse 25º 18′ Scorpio

May 30, 2022 – 11:31 UT, 6:31 EDT, New Moon 9º 03′ Gemini

June 14, 2022 – 11:53 UT, 6:53 EDT, Full Moon 23º 25′ Sagittarius

June 29, 2022 – 2:53 UT/June 28, 2022 21:53 EDT, New Moon 7º 23′ Cancer

July 13, 2022 – 18:39 UT, 13:39 EDT, Full Moon 21º 21′ Capricorn

July 28, 2022 – 17:56 UT, 12:56 EDT, New Moon 5º 39′ Leo

August 12, 2022 – 1:37 UT/August 11, 2022 20:37 EDT, Full Moon 19º 21′ Aquarius

August 27, 2022 – 8:18 UT, 3:18 EDT, New Moon 4º 04′ Virgo

September 10, 2022 – 10:00 UT, 5:00 EDT, Full Moon 17º 41′ Pisces

September 25, 2022 – 21:56 UT, 16:56 EDT, New Moon 2º 49′ Libra

October 9, 2022 – 20:56 UT, 15:56 EDT, Full Moon 16º 33′ Aries

October 25, 2022 – 10:50 UT, 5:50 EDT, New Moon (Solar) Eclipse 2º 00′ Scorpio

November 8, 2022 – 11:03 UT, 6:03 EST, Full Moon(Lunar) Eclipse 16º 01′ Taurus

November 23, 2022 – 22:58 UT, 17:58 EST, New Moon 1º 38′ Sagittarius

December 8, 2022 – 4:09 UT/December 7, 2022 23:09 EST, Full Moon 16º 02′ Gemini

December 23, 2022 – 10:18 UT, 5:18 EST, New Moon 1º 33′ Capricorn

Full Moon in Libra March 28, 2021 – Relating

Elihu Vedder, “The Fates Gathering in the Stars”, American, 1887. Art Institute of Chicago.

It’s a powerhouse day today – Palm Sunday, first day of Passover, and a Full Moon in Libra, exact at 8º 18′ Libra, 18:49 UT. This Full Moon offers beautiful insights into how we move in our relationships, where we seek pleasure, enjoyment and society. A conjunction between the Sun, Venus and Chiron, in opposition the Full Moon offers the opportunity for gaining perspective on how we function in our relationships, how we juxtapose ego against emotional needs and proclivities. The light that we now have available opens the path to clearing old wounds around how we seek to satisfy our urge to enjoyment, society, romance and interaction. It’s a particularly good time for us to consider the meaning of the word “relationship”. We usually assume this means an interaction between two or more people, but it can be an interaction between yourself and anything which you consider important in your life – your work, habits, routines, your home, abstract ideas, spirituality, your nation, the institutions we all have to deal with, etc.


What is it in your life that you have a relationship with that might need some review, some consideration and adjustment? Now is the perfect time to reflect on this, and work out how you can make that relationship better, more insightful and inspired. A good time for discipline and meditation. Hoping you are all well.

Full Moon in Libra March 28, 2021 18:49 UT Greenwich, UK. Image courtesy of astro.com