The Earth's celestial companion
* The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite. It is fashioned from the same components as Earth itself. Scientists believe the Moon was formed early in the Earth's existence when an object about the size of Mars collided with the Earth in a glancing blow that broke off a portion of the Earth & sent it deep into space. There it was ultimately slowed by the Earth's gravitational pull & began to orbit the Earth.
* Today, the Moon travels around the Earth in its lunar orbit. It completes the trip about ever 27.3 days -- which roughly coincides with the 30 - 31 days which define a "month" in human calendars. But clearly it's not exact -- something nobody really seems to care much about, but which we all "adjust to" somehow.
* The Moon is also spinning -- like the Earth, on an axis. It takes about 27 days for the Moon to make this rotation. Maybe these two similar intervals being so close in length is a coincidence. Maybe not. But there is an interesting result of this. The Moon is what astronomers call "tidally locked" with the Earth. The same side of the Moon always faces the Earth despite the fact that both bodies are in motion & both rotate.
The Full Moon in Astrology: Basic Stuff |
Quick Notes on the Full Moon
* This is why there is a "light side" and a "dark side" of the Moon -- a side of the Moon that never faces the Earth & goes through its own New Moon / Full Moon phases, despite never being seen by any of us. It calls up humorous questions such as "If the Moon is full on the dark side, but nobody sees it, did it really happen" -- and for a very long time when astronomy was a very young science, evidently the answer was "No." Humans are arrogant that way -- & that's not the only example.
* So, as the Moon orbits the Earth, & along with the Earth, orbits the Sun, sunlight hits the Moon from various angles. The Moon reflects portions of sunlight back to Earth -- in varying amounts as the cycles continue & time moves on. So, on different days (or nights) of the month, you'll see different shapes to the Moon -- which we all call "phases." Each phases tells the observer when the Moon is in its journey, if you know how to read the signs. Most people don't.
* On average, the Moon rises about 50 minutes later each day -- which explains why it sometimes is seen during the day & at other times at night. It depends entirely on its position in the sky, its "phase" of progress, relative to the Sun. (It sounds like the Sun is the boss & the Moon is just along for the ride, right?)
The Dark of the Moon -- and the Dark Side of the Moon
Location, location, location
* When it lines up exactly with the Sun, the New Moon phase begins. When it lines up directly opposite the Sun with the Earth in the middle, the gorgeous spectacle of the Full Moon arrives. For some people, that's the limit of their interest in the Moon & its story. Others build an interesting set of philosophies & rituals around these various stages of the Moon.
* Each month the New Moon forms at a precise moment, when the Moon & the Sun occupy the same degree & minute of arc ... or, to an Astrologer, the exact moment when the Sun & the Moon occupy the same degree & minute in the current Zodiac sign. This can happen at any time on the clock, daytime, night-time, afternoon, whatever. The New Moon is invisible anyway ... so you'll just have to trust that.
* The same goes for the Full Moon. It forms at an exact moment of time -- but a different one every month. However, the Full Moon in all its splendor is one of the great, free, regular celestial spectacles -- and as the Sun sets in the West, the Full Moon -- gorgeous & bright -- rises in the East. If you're half crazy (like most of us are), you note the day & at least take a moment to salute & appreciate the Lunar Show.
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Musings on the Full Moon Series
Musings on the Full Moon 1 -- Working with our closest celestial neighbor ---> It happens every month ---> The Full Moon is an unmistakable sight, one of the heaven's most awesome shows. There is at least one full moon every month. Every 2 - 3 years we get a second one in a calendar month. In all, we get 12 - 13 a year. The Full Moon is the visual climax of the Moon's monthly tango with the Sun -- the point at which the Moon and The Sun oppose one another in the sky. As one rises in the East, the other sets in the West -- and for a couple of days before and after the exact peak, as I said, the display is spectacular. The Full Moon is the point at ....
Musings on the Full Moon 2 -- Conflict and confrontation ---> Musings on the Full Moon 1 Part 1 ---> A conflict of opposites ---> For obvious reasons, Astrologers see the Full Moon as an opposition -- an aspect of confrontation and projection, and it is one of the highlights that graces every sign. Every month as the Full Moon forms, the Sun in one sign -- and the interests and qualities it represents, confronts the Moon in the opposite sign -- with a conflicting agenda of needs and desires. Somehow under the Full Moon, you have to find a balance point ....
Musings on the Full Moon 3 -- A different, special energy ---> Musings on the Full Moon 1 Musings on the Full Moon 2 ---> Full Moon energy is real & different ---> Over the years, I've written lots of stuff about full moons, the visual spectacle they provide, the special energy they carry ... & why they have such a notorious reputation. "Logical types" insist the whole idea is silly, that Full Moon energy is no different than any other. They say, "It's all in your head," like that solves the problem. It's one hazard of life on the ....
Musings on the Full Moon 4 ---> The eternal rhythm ---> Like the New Moon, the Full Moon forms on a predictable schedule. Not a regular schedule. The time intervals vary. But we know when it will happen, because we can calculate it. That makes it "close enough" for most of us & our various, general purposes. In general, the Full Moon forms about once a month -- on average every 29.53 days. This interval is called a synodic month. In practice, the Full Moon formed about 14 - 15 days following a New Moon.
The Full Moon
* Shadows in the Moonlight -- The Full Moon and its Testy Temper ---> The Sun Opposing The Moon Who you are now vs. who you used to be ---> The aspect of the Sun opposing the Moon is the classic celestial show the rest of the world calls The Full Moon. In Astrology, The Full Moon highlights tension between two conflicting desires, ambitions, requirements, or sets of values -- each a necessary part of life, and each somehow a problem for the other. In this, as in all oppositions, you need a compromise to try and meet the needs of both elements. Here you're working with ego desires, personal ambitions, and your wish to feel important and valuable ....
* Fractiousness and Fracture Lines: The Full Moon -- The crisis is predictable. It happens every month. ---> One of life's great divides ---> All Full Moons involve some kind of conflict. Usually, as the Full Moon forms ... and for several nights following, you feel pulled in two directions at once, required to try and serve two masters ... no matter how impossible you know that is -- logically. Life's demands in two opposing / competing areas become equally insistent and intense. They are always familiar. You've played this game before. Maybe you live with them constantly. (Were you born under a Full Moon? Do you have oppositions in your Natal Chart? Do you have a partner, friend or ....
* Full Moon Conflicts -- Full Moon Tension through the Signs ---> Full Moon Conflicts ---> Aries Sun / Libra Moon = My ambitions, my drive for self-definition, my need to assert myself and my independence vs. my need to take other people into account, my desire for meaningful partnerships, my habitual efforts to compromise, keep the peace, and get along. When stressed, the attitude of the Aries Sun is aggressive, bossy, and self-centered, and that of the Libra Moon is manipulative and pouting. Taurus Sun / Scorpio Moon = My income interests, my property rights and possessions, my desire to use my resources for my own benefit vs. ....
* Full Moon / New Moon? Or New Moon / Full Moon? -- Variations on the rhythms of life ---> Different rhythms ---> It's a subtle difference, I admit, but it's there nevertheless. Life's psychological rhythm has a different sequence, depending on whether the New Moon in a particular sign forms first, followed about two weeks later by the Full Moon in the opposite sign ... or whether the Full Moon forms first, followed then by the New Moon lining up with the Sun in its sign. Knowing where to put your attention and when simply helps you navigate your way through life's currents, eddies and slipstreams more easily. So, this is a situation where "details count" ... and so do ....
Learn more about The Moon in Astrology
These are the index pages to all our articles
on this topic.
The Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
The New Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
The Full Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
The Dark Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
The Void-of-Course Moon in Astrology -- Articles Index
Today's Everyday Astrology