Lunar Phases



The moon and earth revolve around each other moving around a common point called the barycentre which in turn revolves around the sun. The moon is very much larger in proportion to earth than any other planet’s moon in the Solar System, and although the moon and earth are subject to the sun’s gravitational pull, the gravitational pull of the moon on the earth has a far greater effect on earth than the gravitational pull of the sun.

From space, the earth shows phases basically analogous to those of the moon. The sunrise and sunset points on earth mark the earth’s terminator. At the time of the full moon on earth, an observer on the moon would see a new earth and at the time of the new moon on earth, the observer on the moon would see a full earth. The earth phases as seen from the moon are in reverse to the moon phases as seen from the earth.

From earth, the sun and moon appear to be moving in an anticlockwise direction from east to west against the background of the fixed stars.

The moon has different phases because it has no light of its own, thus, with the sun being in the apparent centre of the Solar System, and the earth and the moon both in their respective orbits around the sun, and considering the moon only shines by reflected light, we see the apparent regular changes in the phases of the moon. When the earth lies approximately between the moon and the sun, and the moon is above the plane of the ecliptic, we experience a  Full moon. This is because the moon’s sunlit hemisphere is facing the earth. When the moon is approximately between the sun and the earth, its dark side is facing the earth and so we experience a New moon. In the waxing cycle, other phases are the Crescent moon, the First Quarter moon, and the Gibbous moon. In the waning cycle there is the Disseminating moon, the Last Quarter moon, and the Balsamic moon (just before the New moon) visible in the dawn sky. The earth-shine can sometimes be seen at this phase.

The sun keeps our atmosphere in constant circulation through the winds, the moon through the oceans and tides. The gravitational force between the moon and earth pulls on the sea and brings the tides up to the shore twice a day. The Full moon tides (about half an hour after Full moon culmination) are the highest tides in the lunar cycle.

The moon is our nearest neighbour (the earth’s companion) and it affects the rhythms and fluctuations of the earth. The human body is almost 90% fluid and the rhythmic fluctuations of the human body (including the feminine rhythm of menstruation) are directly affected by the gravity of the moon.

The sun radiates energy outward and the moon absorbs energy inward. Both the sun and moon appear to be of equal size in the night sky.

Without the sun, life on earth would not exist, without the moon, life on earth would not continue as we know it.

Over the past two years, I have researched the characteristics of the lunar phases and noted that there is an overlap of 10 degrees between the actual lunar phase of birth, and the approaching lunar phase. People who are born within a 10 degrees orb of an approaching lunar phase seem to identify more strongly with the character of the approaching lunar phase. Therefore, I have allowed a 10 degree orb to accommodate (what I call) the lunar combination phase type. If you were born at the time of a lunar combination phase, please read the characteristics of the actual lunar phase of birth with the characteristics of the approaching lunar phase.

The relationship between the ascendant, sun, moon and earth in the lunation cycle highlight the electromagnetic points of sun/moon energy in the Parts of Fortune and Spirit.

These two parts shape the phase of the moon under which you were born, and for interpretation purposes, the phase of the moon, the Part of Fortune and the Part of Spirit are interrelated and they apply to each other in the natal chart.

To find out more about the phase of the moon under which you were born and what it means to you personally click here.