Astrologers are familiar with the 12 signs of the solar Zodiac – Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so on. But did you know there is also a lunar Zodiac, that’s far older than the solar one?
Each night as the Moon travels along her orbital path, she appears amidst a new handful of stars, called “asterisms.” These baby constellations are the basis of a 28-sign lunar Zodiac.
In India the lunar zodiac constellations are called nakshatras, but in Western astrology they are known as the Mansions of the Moon, or just lunar mansions for short.
In Medieval and Renaissance astrologers saw the lunar mansions as an important tool for choosing the best times to take action – whether mundane or magical.
To make the lunar mansions a little easier for me to use, I gave them all nicknames to help me remember their essential meanings.
|1: Al Sharatain||The Lance||To passionately pursue a course of action||0° Aries||12°51’22″ Aires|
|2: Al Butain||The Olive Branch||For diffusing anger and resolving conflicts||12°51’22″ Aries||25°42’51″ Aries|
|3: Al Thurayya||The Lady||To receive blessings, good fortune and support||25°42’51″ Aries||8°34’17″ Taurus|
|4: Al Dabaran||The Rider||For strength and tenacity overcoming obstacles||8°34’17″ Taurus||21°25’40″ Taurus|
|5: Al Hak’ah||The Crown||For applying creativity and intelligence||21°25’40″ Taurus||4°17’09″ Gemini|
|6: Al Han’ah||The Lovers||For inspiring love||4°17’09″ Gemini||17°08’34″ Gemini|
|7: Al Dhira||The Open Hand||For generosity and abundance||17°08’34″ Gemini||0° Cancer|
|8: Al Nathrah||The Eagle||To achieve victory||0° Cancer||12°51’22″ Cancer|
|9: Al Tarf||The Eye||For separation and division||12°51’22″ Cancer||25°42’51″ Cancer|
|10: Al Jabhah||The Lion||To dispel sadness and inspire courage||25°42’51″ Cancer||8°34’17″ Leo|
|11: Al Zubrah||The Bracelet||For respect, prestige and charm||8°34’17″ Leo||21°25’40″ Leo|
|12: Al Sarfrah||The Dragon||For self-improvement through conflict||21°25’40″ Leo||4°17’09″ Virgo|
|13: Al Awwa||The Alchemist||For passionate and creative union||4°17’09″ Virgo||17°08’34″ Virgo|
|14: Al Simak||The Harvest||To separate the wheat from the chaff||17°08’34″ Virgo||0° Libra|
|15: Al Ghafr||The Scribe||For trade and communication||0° Libra||12°51’22″ Libra|
|16: Al Jubana||The Scales||To gain wealth through negotiation||12°51’22″ Libra||25°42’51″ Libra|
|17: Iklil al Jabhah||The Monkey||For protection from deceivers, loss and theft||25°42’51″ Libra||8°34’17″ Scorpio|
|18: Al Kalb||The Caduceus||To heal or prevent illness||8°34’17″ Scorpio||21°25’40″ Scorpio|
|19: Al Shaulah||The Stinger||For discernment||21°25’40″ Scorpio||4°17’09″ Sagittarius|
|20: Al Na’am||The Hunter||For success in attaining your goals||4°17’09″ Sagittarius||17°08’34″ Sagittarius|
|21: Al Baldah||The Closed Door||To end a situation||17°08’34″ Sagittarius||0° Capricorn|
|22: Al Sa’d al Dhabih||The Winged Messenger||For freedom from constraints||0° Capricorn||12°51’22″ Capricorn|
|23: Al Sa’d al Bula||The Jackal||To destroy what imprisons you||12°51’22″ Capricorn||25°42’51″ Capricorn|
|24: Al Sa’d al Su’ud||The Mother||To nurture yourself and your projects||25°42’51″ Capricorn||8°34’17″ Aquarius|
|25: Al Sa’d al Ahbiya||The Butterfly||For protection, patience and hope||8°34’17″ Aquarius||21°25’40″ Aquarius|
|26: Al Fargh al Mukdin||The Muse||To inspire love and beauty||21°25’40″ Aquarius||4°17’09″ Pisces|
|27: Al Fargh al Thani||The Water Wheel||For the ebb and flow of fortune||4°17’09″ Pisces||17°08’34″ Pisces|
|28: Al Batn al Hut||The Fish||To gather riches and resources||17°08’34″ Pisces||0° Aries|
“Double, double, toil and trouble,” the Planets are brewing the perfect potion for devilishly delicious Halloween season. Wanna taste?
Jupiter, that planet of integrity, truth-seeking and eternal optimism, plunges into the fathomless depths of Scorpio, which he’ll be exploring for the next year. He’ll bring his wit and wisdom to make you laugh, even in the gloomiest moments. Of which there may be plenty.
Of course, what kind of story would this be if it didn’t have a love interest. Venus and Mars, gods of beauty and war, celebrate their passionate union of opposites. Making you ponder the question: “Love? Magic? What’s the difference?”
And with Pluto winning the award for Best Supporting Actor this month, you know there’s power waiting to be unearthed from your decent into the depths.
Here’s the story’s week-by-week unfolding. If you dare…
“I believe it’s Magic” Mick Smiley (Ghostbusters)
Alchemical magic simmers this week at the goddess of desire Venus makes her annual union with hot-and-ambitious Mars at 18 Virgo on Thursday, Oct. 5.
Turning up the intensity on their union is their dual trines to Pluto – Oct. 1 for Mars, Oct. 3 for Venus. As the underworld god Pluto, who oversees the primal forces of creation, harmonizes with the complimentary opposites of Venus and Mars, you’re sure to have sex, or magic, or maybe even sex-magic, on your mind.
Adding more fuel to their simmering fire, the Aries Full Moon at 12 Aries squares Pluto on Oct. 5. This full moon is formed by the alignment of Sun in Venus-ruled Libra, Moon in Mars-ruled Aries, just a couple hours since Venus’ and Mars’ first union. Can you say: “That was fun. Let’s do it again!”
Sunday’s an ideal day to give yourself a mini-retreat to reflect and get organized for the month ahead. Oct. 8 features a 12-hour extra-long void moon, so things are likely to seem a little quieter-than-usual as people withdraw and recharge. Venus gets down to business when she squares Saturn in the morning; you might find knocking a few things off your to-do list more soothing than Sunday brunch.
The rational Mercury meets the Sun’s practical wisdom on Monday morning at 15 Libra; both squaring Pluto at 16 Capricorn. Set aside some time to think things through and come up with action plans for what you really want. Now’s the time to start taking steps to make it happen.
The big news of the astrological week — jovial Jupiter’s entry into brooding Scorpio on Oct. 10. For the next year, we’ll all feel Jupiter’s truth-telling urge well up in the deepest, most private places of ourselves. Good luck with keeping your mouth shut!
Roll up your sleeves on Wednesday and Thursday: disciplined Saturn receives visits from chatty Mercury and driven Mars. These days may be extra-productive, if you can stick to it and resist distraction’s temptation – especially distracting people (especially social media). The Last Quarter Moon in Cancer on Oct. 12 may leave you feeling a little out-of-sorts in any case; so you might as well suck it up and get whatever you’ve been avoiding done…
… because on Saturday when sweet Venus comes home to Libra, you’ll want to go out and play. And, if you’ve been following the script this week. You’ll deserve the break. Make a date to do something you enjoy.
Keep your note-taking implements at hand this week to catch the fresh insights beaming in from cosmic realms. Mercury and the Sun both face off with the evolutionary revolutionary Uranus this week, prodding you with his lightning shocks to perceive the world new ways (well, new to you at any rate.)
Still adjusting to Jupiter’s shift into the Scorpionic lair? Mercury’s stopping by to help you clarify a few things. As he meets Jupiter on Oct. 18, set aside some extra journaling time to dig deep and ask yourself about your deepest desires, and how social expectations, shame or anger may be keeping you from pursuing them.
The New Moon at 26 Libra on Oct. 19 would ordinarily be a moment for making peace with the world, finding diplomatic ways to make peace with the world. However, this lunation occurs doing the Uranus opposition to the Sun – the time of year when Uranus is closest to the Earth. It’s also one time a year Uranus emerges from his retrograde shadow, to jump start the next cycle. Keep your eyes – and mind – open for the unexpected.
The cosmic tides shift again early this week. Just-do-it Mars is forced to don his dress uniform when he enters Libra on Oct. 22; he’ll be stuck dancing at the cotillian for the next six weeks.
Then on Monday, Oct. 23, the Sun joins the planet party in Scorpio. It’s officially that time of year when things go bump in the night. Prepare to embrace the Dark Side, or scare yourself silly, whichever you prefer.
Fair warning: Oct. 24 is a complicated day. The Moon’s aspects to Saturn and Mars will make you feel like you need to work. Meanwhile Mercury’s trine to Neptune, plus a Void Moon for much of the afternoon, may leave you more prone to day-dreaming rather than day-doing. Be gentle with yourself.
You may find yourself breaking into the Halloween candy early as the Sun meets Jupiter on Monday. This annual meeting often feels fantastic; just remember, Jupiter’s happy to expand your horizons, as well as your waistline. So, perhaps the candy, at least, in moderation.
The Halloween season is in full swing as trickster Mercury and sensual Venus trick-or-treat at Pluto’s lair on Oct. 17. If you’re brave enough to enter the abyss, who knows what treasures await inside?
With fires stoked high this month your choice is clear: epic meltdown or allow the heat to forge you into something stronger than you’ve dared imagine.
Consider the “Hero’s Journey” as Mars, the Cosmic Warrior, takes center stage July 2017. Though valiant Mars is usually eager to embark on the quest, slogging through the sign Cancer in recent weeks has left him feeling a bit water-logged.
Nevertheless, sometimes it’s in the moments when we’re feeling our least heroic that challenges matter most. Because it’s when we’re feeling vulnerable, out-of-sorts or defensive, and yet we still choose a higher road, the stronger we become because of it.
Mars meets his underworld dragons around the July 8 Cancer Full Moon, followed by a rebirth of his essential creativity at the July 23 Leo New Moon.
While the journey may not be easy, if you journey with eyes open, the treasure you’ll return with will make your quest worth the effort.
Here’s the story’s week-by-week unfolding…
July opens with a tense face-off between the gods of War and the Underworld. You don’t need to be an astrologer to guess what that might mean: tempers flare as the Machiavellian “the ends justify the means” approach rules the week.
Though Venus counsels reconciliation, her shift into Gemini on July 4 leaves many with a short attention span and a preference for instant gratification. Mercury’s move into Leo a day later turns minds further toward light-hearted entertainment rather than deep thought on the issues of the day.
The July 8 Capricorn Full Moon aligns with the Mars-Pluto standoff, upping the ante on all-or-nothing thinking. What we do without forethought we may come to regret later. Don’t take on the role of Nero fiddling as Rome burns. Engage with the world, if you can do so without lighting fires yourself.
After the annual Pluto opposition on Sunday, July 9 — that’s the moment when Pluto is at its perigee, the Earth’s closest approach to the dwarf planet for the year – this week is the welcome quiet lacuna in an overheated month.
An opportunity knocks on Friday, July 14, as Mercury and Jupiter align to reveal the truth you’ve been seeking, or even bring someone new who can help you see your situation more clearly.
We’re back into the thick of it as the July 16 last quarter Moon aligns with quirky Uranus, squaring off with Pluto on the one side, and the Sun and Mars on the other.
Flip a coin for this pair – Moon Uranus may bring the flash of insight you’ve needed, or the lightning strike that breaks you out of an impasse. Difficult aspects between Venus and Neptune, Mars and Uranus, the following day could leave you struggling to make sense of the rapidly-changing world. Have patience with yourself; this too shall pass.
Catch your breath quick on July 18 and 19, as a pair of fortuitous trines between Venus and Jupiter, Mercury trine Saturn, will once again have you looking for the silver lining — how you can turn even the difficult bits into an opportunity.
The heat is on at the end of the week as the two blazing planets – Mars and the Sun – race together into fiery Leo July 20 and 22 (respectively). On a mundane level, heat waves and wildfires make headlines. On a personal level, it’s an opportunity to learn how to channel your internal heat into creative pursuits.
Get ready to roar. Sunday, July 23, sees the first Leo New Moon of two (the second one being the upcoming Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21.) The New Moon with Mars brings your first opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. If you overdo it, don’t worry; consider it a practice round for your next opportunity.
Tap into the cosmic inspiration field on July 24 as Mercury aligns with think-outside-the-box Uranus, then enters its shadow period for the upcoming Mercury retrograde. Over the next week it enters its home sign Virgo, all the while slowing dramatically to begin its three-week retrograde on Aug. 12. Don’t expect perfection; continuous quality improvement should be your mantra for the week.
The slow-burn friction generated by the titanic square of Jupiter and Pluto climaxes at week’s end on Aug. 4. With Uranus also near its Aug. 3 retrograde station point, we may feel the urge to “fish or cut bait,” especially with regards to relationships or other partnerships that feel stagnant or holding you back from what you really want.
Venus blows Uranus a good-bye kiss as she saunters into Cancer on July 31. In Gemini, the love goddess may have sampled the field, but in Cancer, she’s now looking to meet her essential needs. Get ready for some adulting; you are the one best able to care for your own inner child’s demands.
For the June 2017 astrology forecast, what if I wrote:
Big picture: It’s a bit like boiling a frog slowly. The month begins quietly, but by the last week, some of the most fractious and challenging aspects of the year dominate the sky.
But, thanks to Venus in Taurus for most of the month, your best chance for centering yourself (instead of living in fear of what might be) is to find pleasure in what you are doing right now. For in the end, this moment – this Now – is all we really have.
Could you actually do that? Or would your mind endlessly spin frightful tales of what-might-be?
If you’re being honest with yourself you already know: being present isn’t easy – it’s hard.
There are myriad distractions in the external world. But even more challenging, we are all constantly bombarded by our own inner sensations, thoughts, projections and memories.
Finding stillness within the cacophony is the hardest work you’ll ever do. But it’s also the MOST important. Because it’s the beginning of a life of wonder.
Every moment, even the hard ones (especially the hard ones), is a chance to be more aware.
“Awakened” is not some prize you claim in self-congratulations when you pass a finish line. It’s how you choose to experience every day. Every hour. Every breath.
(A hint: When you allow yourself to feel the deep pleasure flowing through each moment, mindfulness becomes something you cherish.)
June certainly brings plenty of opportunities to practice “waking up.” Here’s the week-by-week forecast.
Tenacity in the face of obstacles is the message of June’s first quarter Moon in Virgo. Make your to-do list, and grind through the details. Pleasure goddess Venus harmonizes with self-restrained Saturn the same day; if you need a lift to keep moving forward, plan a “reward” for your if you manage to stay on task.
A few sweet surprises may be in store for the weekend, as Venus makes her annual conjunction with unpredictable Uranus. Keep your eyes, and your options, open.
Energy shifts this week. Mercury comes home to Gemini (June 6) and Venus returns to her abode in Taurus (June 6). Both are in an excellent position to deliver the goods, if you’re planet-savvy. Mercury’s eager to explore all the options; Venus wants to slow down and savor the good things in life. Find ways to honor both, and you’ve got the secret to a successful month.
Meanwhile, Mars wades into Cancer (June 6). Emotional, moody Cancer leaves Mars with surly, passive-aggressive edge (exacerbated by Mars sojourn out-of-bounds between May 14 and June 28). Remember, almost everyone is trying their best; give them the benefit of the doubt before you overreact.
Summer wanderlust is usually the hallmark the Sagittarius Full Moon (June 9), but not so this year. Luna is conjunct Saturn, and Sagittarius’ ruler Jupiter is stationing (i.e. not moving at all), suggesting you might be more in the mood for a “stay-cation.” Keep it simple, take some time to read a book, or do something around the house you’ve been putting off.
Beware brain fog this week. Intellectual Mercury squares off with dreamy Neptune (June 13), while Neptune is slowing to retrograde (June 16). Neptune stations are notorious for fuzzy minds and confused conversations. Be careful on the road, and especially in the bars, on Friday night.
There’s a break in the clouds on Tuesday (June 13), as a grand air trine forms between Moon in Aquarius, Mercury and the Sun in Gemini, and Jupiter in Libra. It’s your best day of the week to sneak in some clear thinking. Plus, Mercury joins Mars out-of-bounds this week, making it a great moment for some innovative brainstorming. If you can manage to stay focused on the topic that is.
You may need to buckle down and catch up on your work on Thursday (June 15) during the annual Saturn opposition. It’s the Earth’s closest pass to self-disciplined Saturn, making him big, bright and looming.
Don’t expect much from Saturday morning (June 17); the last quarter Moon’s in Pisces, after which the Moon turns void for a few hour. Sleep in, so you’ll be well rested for the evening hours as the Moon in Aries fires.
Summer solstice on June 20 heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern hemisphere. It also marks the moment of greatest light; from this day through Dec. 21 darkness deepens.
A complex Cancer New Moon (June 23) follows soon after, foreshadowing the tense alignments of the upcoming week. Wrap up the month’s business by this lunation, so you have a clean slate to work with.
Ending the week, sweet Venus embraces intense Pluto on Saturday (June 24), which may make for some deep conversations. But, as the potent-though-waxing New Moon meets feisty Mars, squares Jupiter and opposes Pluto, remind yourself that all-or-nothing thinking rarely helps satiate desires. Obsess less and enjoy more.
A fractious T-square between Mercury and Mars in Cancer, Pluto in Capricorn, Jupiter in Libra dominates June’s final week. Mercury moves through the T-square quickly between June 27-29; Mars takes his time between June 25-July 2. The climax may be the meeting of the Moon and Jupiter (July 1).
Power struggles, violence, and other nastiness are some of the most negative manifestations of Mars opposite Pluto. Mercury and Mars are also both still out-of-bounds, which just adds a tendency to irrationally over-react.
Seeking a silver lining, the week may bring the energy you need to spark you out of your lethargy. Jupiter in Libra provides a middle path, if you’re willing to respect others and actively seek the win-win scenarios.
Plus, the love goddess Venus still holds her ground in Taurus, lending Jupiter in Libra some very deep roots. If the week’s energies prove too intense, don’t hesitate to take a time out. Get out in nature, hug a tree, and get some perspective. Life does go on.
It’s time to bravely confront our fears and learn to manage uncertainty. If you can keep your mind focused on the positive that is.
Which do you want first? The good news or the bad?
Let’s get the hard stuff out of the way. That way, you’ve got something to look forward to.
The month begins with a a heavy emphasis on watery Scorpio. The Sun enters Scorpio on Oct 22, Mercury on Oct. 24. The New Moon in Scorpio follows on Oct. 30.
Planets in Scorpio are usually a whiz at understanding the dark undercurrents of any situation. But what they’ve seen has been so intense, it may have left them feeling more paranoid than purged.
Scorpio’s certainly taken a walloping this year. It’s ruler, Mars, spent many months retrograde — some of it in Scorpio. And now that bellicose Mars has moved on, he’s landed in the original plutocrat’s living room; it’s got to make him wonder how his actions have gotten him in this situation.
And so once again, we’re dredging up the same sludge.
It’s all of our broken bits — the things we’re ashamed of or don’t want to see. So we push them off to the shadows. Assign them to others so we don’t have to own the issues ourselves.
As soon as you start blaming someone else, you’re no longer speaking with them. You’re trying to cope with the shadow bits of yourself. It creates an echo-chamber or microphone-feedback effect — where no one can hear each other, only the reverberations from one’s own fears.
Until the blame game stops, there’s no way out. Your best solution may be a time out, at least until you can own up to your own fears. Quiet time isn’t such a bad idea.
See? That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now let’s get to the good news.
For the next few weeks until Nov. 8, Scorpio’s ruler Mars is in Capricorn, where he can be effective at doing his business. That means, he’s more likely than when he’s in other signs to take the high road. To recognize the need to slow down and take responsibility for his actions.
Yes, it may mean some tough clean-up work, but Mars has the fortitude to do it.
But there’s even better news. From Oct. 18 through Nov. 11, the “benefic” planets Venus and Jupiter are in what’s called a “mutual reception.” They are trading spaces, so to speak. Venus is in Jupiter’s sign Sagittarius, while Jupiter is in Venus’ sign Libra.
That’s going to make it easier for both of them to express themselves. Venus wants to make peace, and Jupiter wants integrity and right-relationship with oneself. Together, they can hold hands and encourage “cooler heads to prevail.”
But that can’t happen if folks keep self deluding. You have to look in the reality mirror first, and learn to love what you see without flinching.
Energies reshuffle mid November. In the days following the US Election Day, we see Mars moving into Aquarius on Nov. 8, Venus entering Capricorn on Nov. 11, Mercury entering Sagittarius on Nov. 12.
All in the run-up to the Taurus Full Moon in Nov. 14, and Neptune slowing to a crawl in preparation for turning direct on Nep. 19.
So, what does this mean for the non-astrologers? Well, don’t expect the election jitters to calm down immediately. With the extra emotional juice of the Full Moon, and the planet of illusion (and delusion) Neptune just lurking, there’s going to be a hold-your-breath-are-we-still-okay? feeling.
Hopefully the sigh of relief will come from the Venus, Jupiter and Saturn energetic triumvirate holding steady the following weeks. That means if our pragmatism and self-discipline (Saturn), our sense of forgiveness and fair-play (Jupiter) and our desire to “make love not war” (Venus), all coincide, we’ll find a way even through the darkest moments.
The Sun enters fiery Sagittarius on Nov. 21. No matter what’s happening, that usually brightens the mood. Or at least allows us to be distracted by something else.