Why do astrologers study the Moon?
‘Astrology’ comes from Greek and means ‘the study of the stars.’
Humans have been studying and recording the phases of the Moon for at least 25, 000 years. The Moon, though our satellite and not a planet, is the closest celestial body to Earth, an average of 238,855 miles (384,400 km) away depending on its orbit.
The Moon provides us with a map and a guide to the seasons, with a measure of predictability as to when certain things will happen, such as the tides or the migration of animals for hunting and much more besides, for example, the spawning of corals, animal mating seasons, crop growth, hormonal cycles and quite possibly human behaviour (lunatic, moody, moonstruck, love-struck mooncalf and so on).
Cave paintings show that early humans collected and correlated Moon observations, and this created a database of information for their very survival in timing the organizing of hunts, and much later, now living in built settlements, planting and harvesting crops.
The mass of anecdotal evidence gathered over many millennia, describing the effects of the Moon on human health and behaviour is simply too great to be dismissed.
The Winter Solstice
The key astronomical event this month is the winter solstice 21 December. And in astrological terms too, this is especially significant in 2020, with the Sun moving into conjunction with Mercury in the first degree of Capricorn and then Jupiter, making an exact conjunction Saturn in the first degree of Aquarius.
This marks a symbolic shift, called by some astrologers a new Age of Aquarius, described as an age of high technology, balanced by greater collectivism and less individualism in a world with a human population currently double the size that it was in 1970.
Earth’s resources are finite. This ‘shift’ may mean ‘working smart,’ with less available resources per person, in effect, and the effects could be seen for the next few centuries as humanity adapts tries to reconcile itself with best practice with rising use of digital and other technology on the one hand, and urban design, food production and our connection to the natural world on the other.
None of this is new. It is a conversation that has been taking place for some time. But this coming conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, happening on the solstice of all days, marks this as a symbolic doorway.
The Victorian era was not like the Regency era. We are entering a new post-post modern era of social change, but only history will enable us to see it more clearly…such that we will name it. The Industrial revolution sent us away from home to work. This era may well bring far more of us us home again to work enabled by new, rising digital alt-tech, a necessary check, as the tech giants grow ever more powerful, monstrous, even to the operational detriment of legitimate, democratically elected governments.
Saturn warns, don’t get carried away with this digital revolution. Be aware of the downsides as well as the benefits. These are very serious downsides, as prejudicial to liberty as the upsides potentially enabling, and I for one, am thankful for the opportunities it has brought me to work from home during illness.
I remember, teaching evening class in college in 1992, telling adult students in that this ‘thing’ was coming, called ‘The Information Superhighway’.
And with what shocking speed it became part of our daily lives. But hour after hour online is not what our bodies were made for, and over-sharing online compromises the privacy and security of your physical space, finances and personal safety. Our feet, and those of our children, for their future well-being, must stay firmly grounded, earthed and rooted in the real, living, sensate, world.
This month, watch for the Geminid Meteor showers, starting around 4 December, peaking 13-14 December when it will be New Moon and the skies will be darkest, providing optimum brightness in 2020, cloud cover permitting. The Geminids are matched only by the Perseids in August, the brightest meteor showers of the year. The Geminids come from a rocky comet near the bright stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation of Gemini the Twins, and are also visible but less dramatic in the Southern Hemisphere. The meteors are very white and bright with 50 or more meteors per hour. The best show is in the small hours after midnight, around 2 a.m. local time (the time on your clock no matter where you are on Earth)
There is another, less spectacular, but symbolically significant meteor shower, the Ursids, during the night of 22/23 December, as if the Giant Sky Bears wake briefly from their winter hibernation to welcome the returning sun after solstice.
The Ursids come from the Big and Little Dipper in the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
Find the Big Dipper high up in the north-northeast at around 1 a.m. That’s the best time to start watching. This year, 2020, the first quarter moon sets in the evening, with dark skies at late night and the morning hours for maximum visibility, the Ursids falling at a rate of about ten meteors an hour.
Humanity around the globe looked up and saw Sky-Bears more than 13,000 years ago.
December is the month when winter begins for most of the Northern Hemisphere, and the Full Moon is called the Cold Moon. The Old English/Anglo-Saxon name is the Moon Before Yule
Dec 14 New Moon in Sagittarius (and a solar eclipse)
Dec 21 Winter solstice and waning half moon in Pisces and Aries
Dec 22 Look out for shooting stars- The Geminids Meteor shower
Dec 30 Full Moon in Cancer
- The Full Moon is when the moon is on the opposite of the Earth from the Sun on the same celestial longitude and we can see the entire illuminated face of the moon.
- The New Moon is the first/last lunar phase when the moon is between the Earth and the Sun, and the moon is largely invisible, hidden in the sun’s glare.
What do the moon phases mean symbolically?
A waxing Moon as we approach Full Moon is the optimum time to grow, build, add to, make or get something. It is about bringing in something new, or bringing something to completion or fruition.
A Full Moon is the optimum time to take stock and evaluate, or to gather, collect, harvest or cash in on something.
A waning Moon after the Full Moon is the optimum time for ending something, clearing out what’s no longer wanted or needed, including unhelpful or unhealthy habits. It may mean releasing something, or even getting rid of something (someone.)
A New Moon is the optimum time to launch something, make a plan, start from scratch.
15 November 2020: New Moon in Sagittarius
The major arcana Tarot card associated with this New Moon is Temperance.
Traditional meanings: Upright Vision, Inspiration, fun, friendships, Timing, Travel, Healing, Patience, Moderation. Reversed: Hastiness, temper, excess
This could be an auspicious time for a job interview, audition or other important meeting or contract, especially if it is attached to Teaching, Publishing, the Arts, Entertainments or Travel industries.
This New Moon and its total solar eclipse suggests a dynamic mood with a lively, fun and friendly feeling, but watch out – things could suddenly turn quarrelsome and we could be slightly more accident-prone than usual.
Temper temper? Time to cool it. Just give it a rest, will ya?
30 December 2020: Full Moon in Cancer
The major arcana Tarot card associated with this full moon in the cardinal water sign of Cancer is The Chariot.
Traditional meanings: Upright: ambition, direction, focus, self-control, teamwork, progress, determination. It can refer literally, to a journey, a new car or other vehicle. Reversed, impatience, self-indulgence, ploughing a trail of damage, car trouble.
The first full moon of 2020 was on 10 January, and was also in Cancer. This last full moon of the year makes a circle to wrap up the lunar year on a calmer note.
What new page has been turned in 2020? What is our own new normal going to look like? What lifestyle changes have we made in 2020, possibly as a consequence of the Covid- 19 emergency, that we did not choose to start with but that may actually be working OK for us?
The Tarot’s Comment
Here we have the gentle, harmonizing, summertime card of the Two of Cups.
Traditional Meanings: romance, friendships, offer, invitations, partnership, trade, positive exchanges
Here we have the words HEALING and MERCANTILE symbolically conjoined. Or MEDICINE and TRADE, and how entirely apposite is this, with Vaccines the topic of the day, and with a fast looming deadline for a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU.
I have blogged about this before, back in 2018 and it looked like a Hard Brexit-But-with some Add-on- or Sub-deal-Not-Hard-Enough for many who voted to leave on the basis that Out meant Out, and that the mutual needs of trade would take care of the rest. I may look again, though, ahead of time.
Curiously, in addition, this Two of Cups coincides symbolically with this December’s Full Moon in the zodiac sign of Cancer the Crab.
The constellation of Cancer was known as ‘The Gate of Men.’ Platonic legend said the souls of Mankind descended through the stars of Cancer to be born on Earth.
Babies conceived in December during or after the winter solstice will be born during Virgo, at harvest-time, late August to early September.
Lock-down may result in more Virgo born babies in 2021. Virgo is already the most common birth sign in the northern hemisphere for this reason, that arrivals in harvest time, especially in late September, meant a mother in optimum nutritional health for bearing and nursing a baby. The most common birthday of all, according to various sources, is 25 September.
The least common birthdays are in December and January.
This positive card is about partnership and romance, but in more general terms, talks about give and take, and could be a sign for recovery in the retail sector from summer 2021, and a boom in Fair Trade consumer choices as suggested by the staff of Mercury with the Lion’s head on top.
This card is a good omen for a global return to greater normality by late June 2021 if not sooner, and March-April seems likely to see a turning in this tide.
There is such a lot of noise on social media, much of it angry and abusive.
The worry and frustration are only natural, but none of all this shouting changes the difficult reality governments all over the world are trying to deal with, in their own different ways, some distinctly less libertarian in their approach than our own.
The Two of Cups says now more than ever, this is not about ‘me me me’ and my rights. It’s about ‘us us us’, and our reciprocal responsibilities and duty of care.
They boarded people up alive inside their houses in London, is how desperate it got in 1665/6.
I looked in my cards last night, looking at the Pfizer vaccine, inquiring as to its safety only, and the picture was largely reassuring. There were no spades cards saying DANGER, though future problems were detected in terms of the logistics of supply, storage and delivery, as we have already seen in public discussion.
Cartomancy and The Line of Five
The Queen of Hearts (Cancer)- Ace of Diamonds (Ace of Science.) -8 Cups (Stability-vaccinate staff to help protect care homes)- 2 Clubs (Contract, logistics, delivery is the challenge) -9 Diamonds (obstacles, delays)
These are the individual card meanings, but my question was about the safety of this vaccine. For this I note the suits and colours.
We had four red suit cards and one black suit card, and no Spades cards. Taken as a whole this indicates a strong likelihood that this will prove a safe vaccine. Had I drawn any one of 3, 9 or 10 Spades, or heaven forbid, all three, I would be thinking, oo-err, I no likee this.
That Queen of Hearts indicates that we may be coming out of this tunnel late June-late July 2021.
It yet remains to bring the lens of cartomancy to bear on the same question for the vaccines from Moderna and the vaccine in Astrazeneca. But I will, when it would feel like a less idle, hypothetical or inflammatory question.
The results from the Oxford Astrazeneca trials which were recently halted are currently expected in late January. Read HERE.
Meanwhile, the Two of Cups says, we do what we can. We look to our dear ones, wherever they may be, and we say to one another- and to ourselves, ‘chin up and…here’s to the journey!’
“Not for ever by still waters/ Would we always ask to be…”
Well, we might ask, but that’s not what we’re getting, any more than those earth-bound bears of winter get an easy ride of this thing called Life, waking or even sleeping in hibernation, mere calories from death.