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A New Type of Lunation Guidance.


by Dane Rudhyar

First Published
Horoscope Magazine
November 1951

In this article Rudhyar explores a new way of looking that astrological transits and progressions.
ADDED 31 December 2007.

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A New Type of Lunation Guidance.

I am introducing here what, to my knowledge, is a new approach to the use of the lunation cycle for the purpose of analyzing the weekly and monthly trends in the lives of individuals. To do this successfully, I must, however, first of all define the proper and legitimate field in which such an analysis is valid. The lunation cycle extends from one New Moon to the next, reaching an apex or turning point at the Full Moon. It is the cycle of the constantly changing relationship between the solar and lunar forces which affect the earth and the "earthly" nature of every human being. This relationship is the foundation and the very substance of what we generally call "life".

Life is an interplay between two polarities or forces. One releases energy (light, heat and other less-known types of radiations); it is the Sun. The other distributes this solar energy wherever it is needed to meet the demands of a living organism striving to maintain, reproduce and expand or transform itself in its earthly environment; it is the Moon. The Moon alters its countenance, symbolically speaking, because the needs of the organism constantly change. The organism has not only to face ever-renewed challenges in its environment or outer life; it also must grow from within, unfold its powers and faculties, mature — and eventually decay.

Decay is as much a part of the cycle of life experience as growth. We begin to die the moment we are born, as our organism is a field in which struggle the constructive (anabolic) and the destructive (catabolic) forces of life. Out of destruction and death, new life is born. As the seed of the new life cycle is formed, the leaves of the seasonal organism begin to die. As these leaves fall and decay on the ground, humus is formed which will feed the future, growth of life. The source of life (the Sun) remains always active, but it is active in various ways at various times; and the signs of the zodiac represent basic types of solar activity.

There are twelve such basic types; each is released in a focal manner at the time of the New Moon, when the Moon stands between the Sun and the earth (thus, inside the earth's orbit) and is, as it were, impregnated by the solar rays. The Moon then receives a new "solar impulse" which it distributes gradually to the earth in order to meet the needs of all living organisms on earth. Each lunation cycle is, thus, an attempt to release and make available to plants, beasts and men that power which they require to live more wholesomely.

The phases of the Moon are symbols of the basic steps in the cyclic process of distribution, by the Moon force, of the solar power received by the Moon when conjunct the Sun (New Moon). They are not really expressions of changes in the Moon itself, but of changes in the relationship between the Sun and the Moon. They are phases in the soli-lunar relationship, phases in the activities of bi-polar life. All that belongs to the field of "life" on earth is affected by these phases; and this field covers an infinite variety of activities, spreading from the biological realm to the psychological, from instincts to those psychological "drives" which are mostly compulsive and which, when frustrated, degenerate into "complexes" and the like.

The individual person can, in varying degrees — by acting as a thinking, rational and moral individual — reach beyond the mostly blind and irrational forces of "life". Human collectivities — i.e., people in mass — find it very difficult to do so. They respond directly to the ebbs and flows of "life". Therefore, they react strongly, as a rule, to the rhythmic tides represented by the lunation cycle. For this reason, a study of astrological conditions at each New Moon is one of the main features of "mundane astrology" — the branch of astrology which deals with human collectivities and organized social groups.

Whether or not an individual person succeeds in freeing himself from the compulsions of the life instincts and bio-physic urges, he is still affected by them.

His bodily health, his basic emotional behavior, the "tone" and radiance of his personality are strongly influenced by the soli-lunar tides. Any man is stamped at birth by the phase of the soli-lunar cycle at which birth occurs; this particular phase (for instance, New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon) defines his basic responses to "life", as much as (if not more than) the zodiacal sign in which the Sun is located at birth. We should not only speak of a person as being an Aries or Cancer type, but as being a New Moon or First Quarter Moon type.

In previous articles (Your Lunation Birthday), I defined eight basic lunation types. I refer the reader to these articles for a more detailed analysis of this important subject. Suffice it to say here that I consider an eightfold classification better, in this case, than the usual twelvefold classification which refers to the zodiac. In the zodiac, we have a "cycle of positions" in which one moving factor (the Sun) moves in reference to a starting point (the vernal equinox); but in the lunation cycle, we deal with a "cycle of relationship" in which what changes is the cyclic relationship between two moving factors (Sun and Moon).

The second kind of cycles refers to changes in the dynamic flow of energies (of one type or another). On philosophical and traditional grounds, the number eight is more appropriate in such a case. Thus, I have outlined eight "lunation types" as follows.

New Moon Type (birth from New Moon to about 3 1/2 days after New Moon, when the Moon is 45° ahead of the Sun) — main characteristics are: a strongly subjective, emotional and impulsive approach to life; often a tendency to be emotionally confused and to project one's feelings upon people and situations without much regard to what these actually are in themselves.

Crescent Type (birth with the Moon from 45° to 90° ahead of the Sun) — determined self-assertiveness, active faith, an eager desire to carry out an inwardly felt command or vital urge and to clear the way for its realization; negatively, a sense of frustration and of struggling against too heavy odds.

First Quarter Type (birth with the Moon from 90° to 135° ahead of the Sun — i.e., from 7 to 10 1/2 days after New Moon) — strong will and ability to organize and make decisions, to push through obstacles; self-exaltation in the thrill of activity and overcoming of difficulties; negatively, a tendency to defeatism and escapism.

Gibbous Moon Type (natal Moon from 135° to 180° ahead of the Sun — i.e., before the Full Moon) — eagerness for improvement of self and others; ability to evaluate things and people, to bring matters to some fulfillment; devotion to a personality considered great or the need to be surrounded by people devoted to and serving the native; spiritual aspiration.

Full Moon Type (birth from Full Moon to a soli-lunar aspect of 135° in the waning half of the lunation cycle) — mental objectivity; the ability to make ideals concrete, to receive illumination, to "image forth" what one feels, to fulfill social-religious trends; negatively, a sense of being divided against oneself or of being divorced from reality.

Disseminating Type (birth with the waning Moon from 135° to 90° away from the Sun) — ability to demonstrate to others what the native has learned or envisioned, to disseminate ideas, to fight for what he believes right, to be crusader for or disciple of a great cause; negatively, a tendency to become lost in social or moral conflicts, to develop mental confusion or fanaticism.

Last Quarter Type (birth from Last Quarter to Moon 45° behind the Sun — i.e., from 7 to 3 1/2 days before a New Moon) — managerial and organizing ability in terms of broad social ideals or business improvement; an eagerness to force issues and precipitate crises, to reform and transform, to build new systems and to work hard for future goals regardless of personal cost; a tendency toward humor or, negatively, the inability to take criticism; perhaps dictatorial attitude.

Balsamic Moon Type (birth less than 3 1/2 days before New Moon, Moon less than 45° behind the Sun) — eagerness to serve social institutions and organized groups, to bring the past (and its karma) to a conclusion and to sacrifice oneself for the sake of the future; a sense of personal destiny, of being led by superior powers, of finality in all things and in one's judgments or statements; prophetic gift, perhaps.

These characteristics are general and may seem rather remote from the trivialities of everyday commonplace existence; but if one studies them carefully, one will see how they can be interpreted specifically at whatever level of activity a person operates. What is at stake in this classification is the attitude which a person takes in responding to the challenges, small or big, of life.

Basically, it makes no difference whether the "Balsamic Moon type" is a Lincoln sacrificing himself for and identifying himself with a great human and national ideal or a teacher devoting herself utterly to the teaching of youngsters in a ghetto school. Both meet life in an inherently similar attitude, and this defines the character of their contribution to their everyday world. This contribution is the one thing that matters. The determination of its character is, therefore, extremely valuable if one is to appreciate objectively and more clearly the value and meaning of other people's contribution.

A study of the chart for the beginning of the lunar cycles (New Moons), month after month, is likewise a source of usually very significant information concerning how an individual can best meet the opportunities of the period and develop his power of contribution to the life of his world, his community. What I am presenting here is a new way of ascertaining this "how".

The old way is to erect an ordinary chart for the time of the New Moon in a particular location and to see how the planets in it are related as transits to the natal chart of the individual — or to a solar chart for the day of his birth. However, it seems to me that the usual type of chart with its twelve houses does not entirely fit the special need to which a lunation chart refers. It does not deal specifically with the particular factor being considered — that is, the release of solar power into and through the Moon and the distribution of this new life impulse during the whole soli-lunar cycle.

A chart divided into eight sector is far more able to show the character of this soli-lunar life impulse in itself — what it is, how it will unfold its potentialities. If such a chart is related to the above classification of human beings into eight "lunation types", the meaning of the particular lunation cycle (the month and its component days) for each of these eight types of individuals can be discovered.

Each sector occupies 45 degrees of the zodiac; and the planets at the time of a New Moon find their places in these sectors. The meanings of these eight sectors are, briefly stated, as follows:

The positions of planets in the sectors indicating points of accentuation and the direction and quality of the life impulse throughout the lunation cycle, from this New Moon to the next.

First sector: how to push things, to work ahead, to direct new powers, to flow spontaneously into life situations so as to make the most of your life and opportunities.

Second sector: how to overcome resistance, to meet frustrations, to face reactions to your actions and impulses . . . also toward the same goal of using the energies of life in you to your fullest advantage.

Third sector: how to meet actional crises, to build for a practical goal, to organize your environment, to make decisions which will enable you to give a successful response to the challenges of life.

Fourth sector: how to improve yourself, to criticize and revaluate the results of past actions, to gain new techniques and a progressively clearer grasp of what the present life cycle means for you.

Fifth sector: how to be fully objective to any situation and relationship, to reach a full consciousness of your present life goal, to give a concrete form to your ideals, to fulfill all relationships and to give to others (your associates, your public) what they need.

Sixth sector: how to demonstrate, disseminate what you have realized, seen, and experienced; how to participate effectively in your social environment and to overcome or compromise successfully with any resistance to your ideas and to what you stand for.

Seventh sector: how to force issues and decisions which deal with group relationships, social problems, business; how to push reforms, to break useless crystallizations and old habits in your family or social environment and to build your own group of friends and co-workers for united action — at whatever level and in however unimportant a field of action.

Eighth sector: how to reap a harvest from your efforts, to serve society and to pour creatively your energies into a work dedicated to the future (your own or that of your family, group, nation); how to take advantage of disintegrative processes, illness, social breakdowns and crises so that in the midst of these you can sow the "seeds" which in time will become the foundation of a new cycle of activity — and of future lives.

These meanings deal with the basic realities of life. They can be brought down to the level of the most trivial challenges of life, in a home or in a factory, just as they can be applied to the efforts of statesmen and creative artists with a vision which they have felt, realized and which they are urged to impart to other men.

I repeat that all life deals with the problems of meeting needs and challenges successfully. These may be inner needs for self-development at one level or another (physical, mental, emotional or spiritual); they may be outer challenges which one faces in everyday living wherever one acts, works, loves, fights for personal recognition, or for a cause, or quietly thinks thoughts which may change one's life and the lives of many. In any case, the eight-fold pattern of the lunation cycle helps us to orient ourselves, to find where and when to focus our efforts, to gauge objectively the requirements of a situation or of the coming period of days and weeks. The chart's indications end at the close of the lunation cycle, the next New Moon.

In order to apply such an eightfold lunation chart to an individual person (or to a national entity), the first thing to do is to ascertain the "lunation type" of this individual, according to the time of birth and the aspect (or angular distance, or "phase of the Moon") at this birth-time. According to whether the person belongs to one type or another, the lunation chart is interpreted one way or another.

The basic idea is that each of the eight lunation types responds normally in a different manner to the life impulse released at the New Moon. New Moons, in general, will mean something different to a "New Moon type" from what it does to a "Full Moon" or "Last Quarter" type; just as the entrance of the Sun into Aries will mean something different to the Aries individual and to the Libra or Capricorn individual.

For instance, September 30, 1950 there was a New Moon just past a conjunction with Saturn. If a person is a "New Moon type", he will react to this triple conjunction of Saturn, the Sun and Moon in a "first-sector" manner; but if he is a "Full Moon type", he will react to it in a "fifth-sector" manner; if he is a "Last Quarter type", he will react to it in a "seventh-sector" manner.

I shall take as an illustration the case of the historical New Moon which preceded the Korean War, the invasion of South Korea by North Korean armies, and see how the chart of the United States (for July 4, 1776) related itself to the lunation chart for June 15, 1950. The lunation occurred at Gemini 23° 58'; at once, we see that this New Moon was just past a conjunction with the natal U.S. Mars (21° 22'). This is a transit indication; so is also the position of Mars on that day at Libra 1° 1/2, which I consider to be very close to the midheaven of the true U.S. birth-chart (actually about 2° Libra, with Sagittarius 13° rising), that of Uranus very close to the U.S. Venus and Jupiter (Cancer 3° and 6°), and that of Neptune practically "stationary" half a degree away from the natal U. S. Saturn (Libra 15°).

These transits may be said to establish the pressure of outer events at the time, as transits always do, in my opinion. But events in themselves may mean many things, depending upon the response which an individual or a living organism of any kind gives to them. A man is understood not by what happens to him, but by the manner in which he reacts to events and asserts himself in answer to challenges confronting him.

The people of the United States collectively represented by the July 4, 1776, chart) belong technically to the "Full Moon type" previously described because the phase arc between the Moon at Aquarius 27° 12' and the Sun at Cancer 13° 21' (in the Sagittarius rising chart) measures to about 224 degrees. It is, however, so close to the dividing line between this and the next ("Disseminating") type that the characteristics of the latter seem more befitting, particularly for our present purpose.

We, therefore, erect an eightfold chart for the New Moon of June 15, 1950, with the Sun-Moon conjunction as usual at the left of the chart and the planets fitting in the eight sectors according to their zodiacal positions. But, as the soli-lunar aspect in the U.S. birth-chart is roughly 224 degrees, in considering the effect of any lunation upon the American people, we must turn the chart around. The normal sixth sector becomes, for the American people, the first sector. The Sun-Moon conjunction, as a result, falls at the cusp of the fourth sector.

Thus, to the "Disseminating type" of person, the days following a New Moon mean particularly an opportunity to improve himself, to criticize and revaluate the results of past actions, to gain new techniques and a progressively clearer grasp of what the present life cycle means. If as was the case on June 15, 1950 — the New Moon falls behind Uranus in the zodiac, the challenge to become improved, to gain new techniques and a new sense of values and particularly of purpose is stressed. The fact that the New Moon of June 15 was squaring the midpoint of the arc of Saturn to Mars (Mars being square Uranus) implies moreover that this lunation cycle was likely to see rather explosive events of some sort.

The conjunction of Mars and the Moon's south node, exact on June 19, was a particularly disturbing indication — especially as it occurred very near the mid-heaven of the U.S. birth-chart. It led the Executive to take a warlike attitude which could be considered either as along the "line of least resistance" and "self-undoing" — or as an act of spontaneous outpouring of power directed by more-than-personal forces; such are the meanings (negative and positive) of the south node.

The important point here is that this Mars and south node conjunction (plus Neptune nearby) falls in the sixth sector of the lunation as seen from the point of view of the American people. If we refer to the above described meaning of the sixth sector, we see that it reveals "how to participate effectively in your environment and to overcome (or compromise successfully with) any resistance to your ideas and to what you stand for. This obviously fits the confrontation which this lunation cycle presented to the United States.

The positions of the north and south nodes of the Moon are always very important in such a lunation chart. Here they fall, for the United States, in the second and sixth sectors, which speak, in different ways, of "overcoming of resistance". The second sector deals more with a physical and actional kind of overcoming; the sixth sector, with an ideological and mental kind. On June 15, 1950, the U.S. is shown to have been more positive (north node) in the former than in the latter.

From the presence of Jupiter in the U.S. first sector, we see the opportunity and the need to expand and spread out; but Saturn, in opposition in the fifth sector, establishes a polarization by demanding not only expansion, but a sober, objective outlook and a clear sense of destiny and world responsibility. Pluto, in this same fifth sector, stresses the vast global potentialities of the situation likely to arise for the U.S. during the lunation cycle; and Pluto's exact square to Venus and semi-square to Mars suggest strong emotional pressures and the need for crucial personal decisions.

The distance between the New Moon point and Uranus is 10° 32'. Translated in days (for the lunation cycle is only a period of 29 1/2 days), this points to June 25, around midnight. This was the time when President Truman and his advisers were deciding to intervene directly into the conflict. Pluto was coming to a conjunction with the President's Mars — exact on July 21, 1950. Neptune was on his ascendant late in September, about the time when our victorious troops were allowed to cross the 38th parallel, following General Mac Arthur's advice that the Chinese would not intervene.

Neptune had crossed for the third time the natal U.S. Saturn late in July. This might mean that seeds were sown which could in due time change the constitutional structure of our Government (Saturn in the tenth house of the U.S. chart); this could mean world federation, just as 165 years before it meant a slow process toward the federation of the American States.

In studying the lunation cycle in this manner, the chart for the New Moon is by far the most important. However, it is often valuable to make charts also for the Full Moon and the first and last quarters of the Moon. This helps to follow the progressive changes in the planetary structure. At first quarter, the Moon is at the cusp of the normal third sector; at Full Moon, at the cusp of the normal fifth sector; at last quarter, at the cusp of the normal seventh sector.

In the case which we have studied, the Full Moon occurred on June 29, at 2:58 P.M., at 7° 29' Capricorn; the Sun at 7° 29' Cancer. The Sun was in practically exact square to Mars and trine retrograde Jupiter. It was just past a conjunction with Uranus. Mars, thereafter, joined Saturn and the south node to make a rather destructive accent upon the normal second sector of the chart — or the fifth sector, as seen from the point of view of the American people. It became increasingly difficult and costly "to fulfill our relationships and to give to our associates what they needed" . . . and also to be clearly aware of our national "life goals" (the meaning of the fifth sector, as described previously).

I trust, this incomplete study of a lunation chart which brought such tragic confrontations to our nation and its leaders has at least indicated how such a type of chart can be used to make clearer to people the meaning and purpose of the challenges and opportunities which every new soli-lunar month (beginning with the New Moon) can bring them. The chart can, and should, of course, be first studied as it is; but when one can ascertain the lunation type to which one belongs individually, much more still can be learned from the charts.

I will close by restating my belief that one's "lunation birthday" — that is, the phase of the lunation cycle at which one is born — is as important an astrological factor as one's "zodiacal birthday".

Every month, we have such a lunation birthday. Think what an enterprising businessman could do with the idea. There would be no end to buying birthday presents! But the most valid of all presents is understanding; the understanding of the natural way in which every person can reach a vital realization of how to use the energies of life for the best and noblest purpose. To know one's "lunation type" may well be a great help in this.

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