The Eight Lunar Phases
Sun-Moon Angle: 0-45 degrees
Seasonal Event: WINTER SOLSTICE
Pagan Holiday: YULE
The Teacher; The Avatar
Sweetness. Nurturing. Leadership. Guidance. Becoming symbolic to others; making others into symbols. Bringers of gifts. Luminosity.
We are fresh from the Dark of the Moon—the realm of mystery—still caught up in, and shrouded by, the archetypal perspective. We radiate powerfully, but we are relatively blind to the subtleties and complexities of the material world, especially other people. Everyone senses that “we know something,” and they are therefore drawn to us.
Sun-Moon Angle: 45-90 degrees
Seasonal Event: n/a
Pagan Holiday: IMBOLC/Candlemas
Drive to accomplish and to experience. Hunger. Imbalance. Success—and its costs. Radiant, infectious hope in the face of darkness.
We feel the fierce fires of life burning in us. The idealism of the archetypal New Moon realm is still very strong with us—perhaps blindingly so. But we are eager to make those ideals real, to bring them into manifestation. Our hair is on fire and our sense of mission is strong. We leap.
Intro to Lunar Phases in the Birthchart
Perhaps the most obvious lunar phenomenon is the monthly cycle of phases, but it is curiously marginalized in astrological practice. How is a Full Moon in Gemini different from a crescent Moon there? What about waxing versus waning? This lecture introduces an eight-phase interpretation of the lunar phase cycle based on The Book of the Moon.
Sun-Moon Angle: 90-135 degrees
Seasonal Event: Vernal Equinox
Pagan Holiday: OSTARA/E aster
Tension between self and group. Concern with justice. Battles. Group efforts; organizations. Sacrifice for group.
The abstract, idealistic principles of the archetypal realm collide with reality. We awaken to The Other—and we feel the power and resistance embodied in it, generally though other people. The imagery of Christ Crucified abounds. This is the birth of the need for compromise, realism, and teamwork.
Sun-Moon Angle: 135-180 degrees
Seasonal Event: n/a
Pagan Holiday: BELTAINE
The Helper; The Lover.
Service. Identification with group ideal. Sexual energy. Support offered to a person or a principle. Generosity. Freud’s “polymorphous perversity.”
We awaken with excitement to the synergistic potentials of team work. Our ideals are pulled out into the realm of partnership. The exchange of energies—creative or sexual—with other people looms compellingly. We want to help others shine, and to be swept along in ecstatic fellowship.
Sun-Moon Angle: 180-225 degrees
Seasonal Event: SUMMER SOLSTICE
Pagan Holiday: LITHA/Midsummer
The Healer; The Artist.
Care giving. Familial complexities; divorce. Wedlock as deadlock. Art and creativity made manifest. Nurture. Outward expression of light and dark. Drama.
The corner is turned; the process of turning away from the outer world and returning to the archetypal realm begins—but even as this homesick soul-hunger grows, we find ourselves enmeshed in the paradoxical webs of the world. The initial New Moon vision has come into full manifestation: it is now real (art and creativity are highly manifest), but it is also compromised, and caught up in polarized stand-offs (which often manifest now in “stuck” relationships). There is nothing easier to get out of than it was to get into!
Sun-Moon Angle: 225- 270 degrees
Seasonal Event: n/a
Pagan Holiday: LAMMAS
Deep inner work. Psychic intervention in others’ lives. Assistance around death, dying, and crisis. Attunement to “primitive” wisdoms. Death and rebirth. Gratitude.
The psyche is still very extended outward into the realm of the manifest, but it now seeks actively to unravel itself from the spider web. A hunger for liberation from the outer world arises—and corresponds with a hunger to create similar liberation in others. We begin to sense the way home.
Sun-Moon Angle: 270-315 degrees
Seasonal Event: AUTUMNAL EQUINOX
Pagan Holiday: MABON
The Pilgrim; The Actor.
Sensing the smell of home. Sweet sorrow. Longing. Romantic tragedy. Solitude. Art as an inner search. Service. Theater; ritual. The air of death and finality.
The corner is turned; psyche returns to the dark hemisphere of the unmanifest and the internal. The bittersweet feeling of necessary endings permeates everything. Mechanisms of transcendence move to the forefront—thus, ritual, cathartic theater, and the inner journey of the solitary artist all make themselves felt.
Sun-Moon Angle: 315-360 degrees
Seasonal Event: n/a
Pagan Holiday: SAMHAIN
The Mystic Wanderer.
Deep psychic sensitivity; possible imbalance. The Anthropologist, observing us. Ghosts and spirit visitations. Creative, visionary imagination. Sensitivity to ancestors and the dead.
The psyche goes over the waterfall, feeling the irresistible gravitational field of the spirit realm. The outer world begins to feel dreamlike; the veil between this world and the next becomes permeable and transparent. The “next world” enters us, as we enter it. Ego death.
©2010. Steven Forrest. Seven Paws Press. Do not reprint without permission.
Lunar Phases Workshop
A complete astrology workshop with Steven Forrest on the Lunar Phase system outlined in The Book of the Moon. Perhaps the most obvious lunar phenomenon is the monthly cycle of phases, but it is curiously marginalized in astrological practice. How is a Full Moon in Gemini different from a crescent Moon in the same sign? What about waxing versus waning? Based on Steven's latest work, The Book of the Moon, this lecture introduces an eight-phase interpretation of the lunar cycle based on the Pagan calendar of solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter days.
The Book of the Moon: Discovering Astrology’s Lost Dimension
Steven's newest book takes a fresh look at the moon, including new insight into the moon's phases, the moon's declination and the "out of bounds" moon.