Updated: Jul 21, 2021
So let’s pause and connect to one of astrology's most fundamental components:
When there was no electricity, the human life experience was altered based on the phases on the Moon. For instance, during the Full Moon phase, the entire landscape is lit up at night. In contrast, during the New Moon phase, when the Moon’s light disappears, we can no longer see at night.
For early humans, this had a significant impact on their survival. Going outside during the dark lunar phases might mean being a predator’s next meal.
The monthly #waxing (growing illumination) and #waning (decreasing illumination) #lunarphases therefore prompted times of outward activity as well as inward retreat. They provided symbolic understanding for periods of growth, creation, manifestation and harvest with its complimentary counterpart of slowing down, death, decay and rebirth.
The Moon phases had practical implications for fertility, agriculture, hunting and migration cycles. They were also used as a method for tracking time. Did you know that the monthly calendar is actually based on the cycles of Moon, hence the word “month” deriving from the term “moonth”? Not to mention the impact of the Moon’s gravitational pull on the tides and the blood running through our veins.
As Luna orbits around #Earth, different parts will be illuminated by the Sun which make up its different phases. While this occurs, the Earth orbits around the Sun while it circles through the #ecliptic - or the #Zodiac. We could get into astronomy at this point, but for the purpose of this article, know that this dance between the Sun, Moon and Earth also corresponds to the #seasons of nature.
Stephen Forrest states in The Book of the Moon that “Astrology is, at root, at #pagan system” meaning that there is a strong connection to the seasonal #cycles and an appreciation of earthly #nature. In fact, we can see that the 8 phases of the Moon reflect the 8 #Celtic seasonal festivals. These celebratory points mark the 4 seasons of natural as well as the midpoints or cross quarters as followed:
[Moon Phase - Celtic Festival - Season or Cross Quarter]
1. New Moon - Yule - Winter Solstice (Christmas)
2. Waxing Crescent - Imbolc
3. First Quarter - Ostara - Spring Equinox (Easter)
4. Waxing Gibbous - Beltane
5. Full Moon - Litha - Summer Solstice
6. Waning Gibbous - Lammas
7. Last Quarter - Mabon - Fall Equinox
8. Waning Crescent - Samhain (Halloween)
*In the Southern Hemisphere, these are reversed. For instance, the Winter Solstice would correspond to the Summer Solstice.
We can also appreciate the level of insight this provides on #psychological development and human #personality. Hint: You can learn a lot about yourself, your mood and emotional needs through understanding the #Moonphase you were born under. (Book a reading if you want to find out!)
I like to draw on this Celtic framework to expand my understanding the Zodiac signs. For example, as I’m writing this, we’re days away from the Sun entering the 5th sign of the Zodiac; #Leo. In #evolutionaryastrology, every Zodiac sign has evolutionary goals or purposes. One of Leo’s evolutionary goals is to enjoy life with enthusiasm.
Leo season, that is when the Sun travels through the constellation of Leo, coincides with the Celtic festival of #Lammas. This cross-quarter point of the seasonal cycle acknowledges the waning cycle of the Sun. It’s still warm out and the harvest is abundant, yet the days are getting shorter. In other words, we know it won’t last forever. To our Celtic #ancestors, the waning cycle of the Sun signals the approach of colder seasons, which would quite literally imply death. Not only for the crops, but also for many humans.
This poignant reflection enriches my interpretation of Leo’s evolutionary goal of “enjoying life”. We enjoy life and appreciate all it has to offer while it lasts, with the acknowledgment that it will soon end.
Lammas traditionally implies the “breaking of bread” and the soul-level connection over a shared meal. How much would you enjoy a meal with friends, family and even strangers knowing that it may soon be your last?
As you can see, our relationship with the Moon and seasonal rhythms is rooted in ancestral memory. When were referring to lunar astrology, specifically, we can be sure that we’re working with an ancient earth-based system.
The next time you use the days of the week, months of the year, the seasons of nature, and celebrate (the now modernized versions of-) Halloween, Easter and Christmas for example; you can bet that you’re referring to astrology.
With more people than ever spending time in their homes, on their tech devices, with artificial light pollution, disconnected from nature; we’ve lost touch with this #ancientwisdom and thus, our #naturalrhythms. This disconnection coincides with our lack of connection with ourselves, each other and the Earth.
In the 21st century, most of us don’t have to worry about how we'll get food and survive through winter, but I believe we could benefit from this ancient wisdom to bring more meaning, depth, appreciation and connection in our lives.
We know that we are merely scratching the surface here when considering the fact that there are also the cycles of 9 other planets, the lunar nodes and over 60,000 asteroids. This is why there are professional #astrologers who devote their lives to studying and developing their craft!
To me, the complexity, richness and beauty of astrology is evident as it mirrors the cycles of life. We don’t need scientific evidence for this. If we simply take a moment to feel the experience of our ancestors, we can gain valuable #intuitive understanding of our intimate connection with one of the most fundamental components of astrology: the Sun and the Moon.
One of the best ways to learn astrology is through following its cycles. Start by gazing at the Moon in its phases and take it a step further by subscribing to my mailing list to receive monthly Zodiac-cycle newsletters or joining monthly Astrology for Self-Care group sessions.
Wild love. XO
Alex, Wild Astrology