Starfire - April 2016
by Dr. Mary O'Gara, a writer and spiritual life coach from New Mexico.
Illustration © 2007 A.M. Scott
April 2016 - Creating with the Cycles of the Moon
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Creating with the Cycles of the Moon
If you stand on the curve of a long, long arc, your visual perception tells you you’re standing on a flat line. Who drives down a long highway thinking, “Ah, I must remember I’m driving along a 25,000 mile curvature-of-the-earth arc even though the road ahead looks like a flat line?”
In Western culture, we tend to set and work on goals as if they were linear, too. “How do you get from here to there?” we ask. The real question might be, “Where am I in the long cycle from the beginning to the end of (fill in the blank with your own project or relationship or period of life)?” Astrology, however, is the study of cycles; even when astrologers talk about an upcoming transit, we remember every relationship between two planets or points in the chart is about a cycle of time.
Those long arcs are hard to follow. It takes about 78-80 years for Uranus to make a complete circle in the sky. Humans don’t live long enough to experience a complete Neptune or Pluto cycle. Cycles, like manifestation (bringing ideas into form), are what often underlie or predict the success or failure of our “linear” goals.
Recently I had an opportunity to study the chart of a small company (small, but a leader in its own field) after two important product launches had failed. In both cases, good ideas crashed because they were launched at the wrong time. Another astrologer noticed that presidential candidates nominated when the Moon is void lose elections; that’s a cycle.
The truth is cycles are all around us and throughout our astrological charts. Even if two planets or points in the chart aren’t in aspect with each other (making a geometric figure based on the number of degrees between them), they’re circling or cycling around each other. If the planets come into some multiple of 45 degrees from each other, they tend to mark visible and sometimes dramatic decisions or events. If they’re 60 or 120 degrees apart (sextile or trine), or if two compatible planets are conjunct, they stay in the background but color everything happening, sort of like the backdrop and scenery on a stage play.
Each pair of planets has its own feel. Uranus and Pluto bring transformation and change. Jupiter and Saturn mark business and vocational and even political cycles, the cycles of success in the public realm. Look to Venus and Mars for romance.
And yet, each cycle has a lot in common, no matter which planets are part of the cycle. The key to managing cycles is always the same: harmony produces flow and good results. Plan your projects or works in alignment with important cycles, and the projects will be easier to manage.
Fortunately, the easiest cycle to study is also the one that’s most important for most projects: The Moon’s cycle from New Moon to Full and back to New Moon again. Every cycle has the same eight parts.
New Moon: New beginnings or set a new direction for a work or project; this is a very subjective period and ideas may seem vague and not well formed.
Crescent: Ideas crystalize, or projects expand. It’s a good time for small changes that will make something line up with your own ideas more effectively.
First Quarter: Conflicts may arise, or there may be stress (including excitement) around the activation of projects and ideas. This is often the first physical experience of an idea or work.
Gibbons: You know the challenges, and this is your change to analyze and learn from the process.
Full Moon: This is the full expression (for this cycle at least) of the original idea. It’s done–or as complete as you can make it this time around.
Disseminating: Now you move into marketing and distribution, whether that’s sharing a new recipe with the family, launching a book or making a public announcement. The work is finished and this is the time it goes out into the world.
Last quarter: The final quarter Moon may bring stress again as you see things you wish you’d done differently or celebrate unexpected successes. The final quarter Moon is more subjective than recent phases, so this is likely to be an internal awareness or change.
Balsamic: This part of the cycle, which includes the dark nights before the next New Moon, is a time for letting go of old projects and ideas and preparing for the future. One simple experiment is to spend the last night before the New Moon releasing the past or brainstorming ideas for future improvements (without choosing a new project until the New Moon).
If your astrological calendar only shows the New Moon, Full Moon and Quarter Moons, it’s not a problem. The Moon moves so quickly that most of us combine the New and Crescent phases, the First Quarter and Gibbons phases, the Full and Disseminating phases, and the Last Quarter and Balsamic phases. When you work with longer cycles, you’ll want to use all eight phases.
One simple way to get in the habit of following the cycles is to use an annual calendar that shows the Moon cycles. If you jot down the major events of each day throughout the year, you’ll find yourself at the end of the year with a clear picture of who and what shows up in your life during each part of the cycle.
Using the cycles is equally simple. It’s a lot like getting on a merry-go-round; it’s easier to jump on if you’re running along beside the merry-go-round at the about same speed as the merry-go-round before you jump on. It’s easier to jump into the rhythm of a Moon cycle if you start a project on the New Moon or take the next appropriate step on an ongoing project when the Moon’s in a harmonious cycle.
Mary O’Gara, Ph.D., D.D.