Lunar Gaps - Taking Advantage of the Lunar Cycle
by Michael ErlewineThe phases of the moon have beenobserved for ages. The moon, from aSanskrit term for measure, is theprimary means by which the majority ofthe people in the world (even in this 20thcentury!) measure time and the eventsin their own lives. This article takes alook at what astrologers (and ordinarypeople) have come to understand aboutthe lunation cycle -- the phases of theMoon. In particular, we will contrastmethods of using the lunar cycle in theEast and West.
Lunation Cycle in Western Astrology
Eastern and Western astrologies usethe lunar cycle in the same and differentways. In the West, the lunar cycle ismost often seen as a key to thepersonality and the birth chart. Althoughbooks like Rudhyar's The LunationCycle and many others describe thecycle as a dynamic process that unfoldseach month, the practical result of theirfocus is not so much with this day-to-day process as with individualsnapshots (the various lunar types)taken from the overall process. And thenthere are also books along the lines ofWilliam Butler Yeat's A Vision. Thisextremely involved intellectual studyattempts to deal with concepts of animaand animus -- the endless process ofpsychological self-projection and itsresolution. Although somewhat of amental challange analogous to atongue-twister in speech, the practicalbenefit to this kind of writing isquestionable. In this article we will notdeal with these highly intellectualapproaches to the Moon. Instead, let'stake a quick look at the how the Moonhas been considered in Westernastrology. Here is a summary as anycompetant astrologer might present it tous:The phases of the Moon are known toall. From the dark of the New Moon...the cycle builds through 1st Quarter andon to the brightness of the Full Moon(start of 3rd Quarter), after which thelunar light begins to diminish. Aften FullMoon, as the Moon's light starts to fail,comes the quarter moon phase, whichrapidily darkens until the New Moon.The lunar cycle is perhaps the easiest tograsp of all astrological cycles. It islonger than the cycle of a day andshorter than the cycle of a year -- bothwhich are hard to keep in mind.As mentioned, the lunar cycle extendsfrom the New Moon (Moon and Sunconjunct the same point in the zodiac)through the Full Moon (Moon and Sunon opposites sides of the Earth), andback to another New Moon. The NewMoon point is considered a time ofconception and beginning, the FullMoon a time of fruition and fullness. It isoften stated in the astrological literaturethat a seed idea, impulse, or insightpresent at the New Moon is externalizedthrough the first two quarters (waxingmoon) and reaches completion orfullness at the Full Moon. After the FullMoon, the implications or "meaning" ofwhat was achieved through theexternalization process of the waxingmoon is seen, the lesson learned, andpreparation takes place for a new andperhaps more perfect idea to form at thenext New Moon.Keep in mind that the cycle of the Moonresembles all cycles (the heartbeat, thebreath, the day, the year, etc.); the cyclehas a point of greatest inwardness or