Lunar Cycle Astrology

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The Progressed Full & New Moon, Progressed Lunation Cycle, Online Astrology Calculator. Progressed Full/New Moons in Natal Chart, Conjunctions with Birth Natal Chart, Online Astrology Full Moon Calculator, Full Moon in Natal Houses - Seek and meet people born on the same date as you. AstroSeek, Free Horoscopes and charts 2021 May 26, 2021 7:14 AM Full Moon Total LUNAR Eclipse 5 Sagittarius 26 (Super Full Moon – near the Moon’s perigee, near) Jun 2, 2021 3:24 AM Last Quarter Moon Jun 10, 2021 6:52 AM New Moon Annular SOLAR Eclipse 19 Gemini 47 Jun 17, 2021 11:54 PM First Quarter Moon Jun 24, 2021 2:40 PM Full Moon. The zodiac was based on Chinese astrology and was used as a way to count years, months, days, and hours in the calendar. It was formed from two components: the Celestial Stem and the Terrestrial Branch. Each of the 12 animals stands for a year in a 12-year cycle, a day in the a 12-day cycle, and for every two hours in a 24-hour day. In the Chinese astrology and Feng Shui systems, there are five elements (metal, water, wood, fire and earth) and each one governs a full year. Metal: Lunar Years ending in 0 or 1 Water: Lunar Years ending in 2 or 3 Wood: Lunar Years ending in 4 or 5 Fire: Lunar Years ending in 6 or 7 Earth: Lunar Years ending in 8 or 9.

by Linea Van Horn

© Linea Van Horn - first published by Infinity Astrological Magazine, 2017 /17.07.2017

Our companion the Moonhas a wonderful, little-known but highly visible cycle which anyone can watch unfold over the next several years. I speak of the “StandstillCycle of the Moon,” a pattern of lunar visibility whichdramatically affects where Luna rises and sets, bringing highly unusualevent locations when it reaches its extremes. The last occurrence was in2006. The next event, called a Major Standstill, arrives in 2025. If thatsounds far away, trust me when I say it will pass in the proverbial blinkof an eye! And fortified with the knowledge you are about to gain, youwill observe the Moon with new eyes, knowing exactly what to look for asthe Moon’s swings become ever wider.

The Standstill Cycle may be news in the modern era, but our ancientsky-watching ancestors grasped it thoroughly. In fact, they found itimportant enough to build stone monuments to mark the precise locationswhere these extreme risings and settings of the Moon took place. Dozensof such sites still exist, and who knows how many that are now extinct orunrecognized. They did not go to all this trouble for no reason.

Declination – Why Should You Care?

One of the most important considerations ofvisual planetary work is where on the horizon a planet is rising orsetting. This is a function of declination, and if your eyes just glazedover like donuts, please come back. Truly, it’s simple. Declinationis a measurement that occurs north and south of the equator. If you imagine a globe, it is equivalent to extending lines of latitude out into space.

Declination determines where a planet will rise and set, and howhigh it will get in the sky. Any time you have seen a sunrise orsunset, or watched the Moon or any other planet rise or set, you werehaving an experience in declination, and you didn’t even know!

The visual part of declination iseasiest understand when considering the Sun’s solstices. You willhave observed personally that the Sun rises at a different place on your horizon in June than it does in December, and shines through differentwindows during the course of the day. This is declination in action.

Figure 4 shows the Sun’s changes indeclination over the course of a year. At the Equinoxes, which occur inMarch and September, the Sun’s declination is 0. In December,it’s at its maximum (23.25 degrees) south declination. It changesdirection and heads towards the June solstice where the solar declinationis 23.25 North.

From our perspective on earth, the solaryear looks like this: this figure shows a six month range of the Sun.

In December, the Sun will rise and set far south, and stay low in thesky, creating short days here in the Northern Hemisphere where I live.The farther north a planet rises and sets, the higher it will culminate.It’s opposite in the Southern Hemisphere; southerly planets havehigher culmination. The word “solstice” actually means“Sun standing” (“Sol” = Sun; “stit”=to make stand) and is the place where the Sun literally does pause and change direction at the apex months of December and June. (SeeFigure 4)

The solstices mark the maximum points on your local horizon wherethe Sun will rise and set. In December, it’s at its furthestsouth. In June, it rises and sets furthest north. If you are at theequator, the difference of the two solstice sunrise points along yourvisible horizon is less than 50 degrees (only about 1/8 of the entire360-degree horizon). But the further away from the equator one is themore extreme the distance between these rising points. Finally, abovelatitudes of about 60 degrees North and South, the Sun refuses to rise orset at all for weeks at a time. What a world we live on!

Another fun declination fact is that no matter where you are on theplanet, twice a year, the Sun will rise due east and set due west. Thisoccurs on the Equinoxes. Sunrise and sunset on these days are the easiesttimes to directly mark the cardinal directions on your personal horizonview.

You might have already deduced thatthere’s a direct relationship between declination and thezodiac. After all, the ecliptic (path of the Sun) crosses theequator (0 degrees of declination) twice a year – when the Sun is either0 degrees of Aries or Libra. In fact, the very definition of theequinox is when the Sun crosses the equator! At the June solstice,the Sun is at 0 degrees of Cancer, and at the December solstice,it’s at 0 degrees of Capricorn, and these turning points are as faraway from the equator/0 degrees of declination as can be. This isthe foundation and the legitimacy of the tropical zodiac.

It’s easy to understand that Cancer and Capricorn are farapart in the sky, and you have the Sun to help you identify wherethey are on your personal horizon. Understanding this simple fact isthe key to observation of the grand unfolding of the Major Standstill.

Learning from the Moon

The Moon is our Teacher. While the apparent habits of the Sun(actually, the Earth) are extremely regular and consistent, the Moon is much more difficult to understand and even harder to predict. Its monthlyphases are apparent and influential: indeed the Moon in the first markerof time. Because she is fastest in motion, and has the most visiblevariability of any planet, many principles of sky watching and ofastrology in general are telescoped into understanding by watching theMoon.

The Sun, Moon (and in fact all the planets, but that’s beyondthe scope of this article!) have a similar wavelike pattern of rising andsetting points along the horizon (see Figure 5). This wave is measured in declination which is hinged to the zodiac. However, the Moon differs insome important ways!

The first difference is thatthe Moon swings much more rapidly than the Sun! It takes Old Sol six fullmonths between turnarounds, a downright sluggish pace when compared withthe Moon, who takes only two weeks! Check it out.

Consider again: Between one turnaround point to the next, the Moon moves in fourteen days as much as the Sun does in six months.The turnaround points always happen at 0 degrees of Cancer andCapricorn.

In December, as it approaches the solstice point, the Sun is at itsfurthest south. We’re told it hangs out there “for threedays,” but in fact if you examine a declination ephemeris,you’ll see it stays at the same degree of declination for a full three weeks! It rises at exactly the same point on the horizon, notchanging in declination, even as it continues to move through the zodiac.(That’s because it’s really the earth, not the Sun that ismoving!) The solstice occurs right in the middle of this three-weekperiod. So at its southernmost position, the Sun isin Sagittarius and Capricorn. AND SO IS THE MOON and all the planets!Check both things out in this declination ephemeris for December2017: The Sun is at 23 degrees south of declination from December 11 –31. Right in the middle is the solstice on the 22nd. Then check out theMoon: its maximum declination this month is 20 degrees south and thisoccurs on December 19th. Checking in the left table, we see that the Moonis in Capricorn on that day. This particular month, the New Moon inCapricorn is happening very near the solstice. It isn’t always thisway, though. The Moon’s phases operate independently from theseasonal cycle, although they do interact in a predictable manner.

Think of this: When full, the Moon is opposite to the Sun not only inzodiacal longitude but also in declination. This means that when theSun rises and sets at its northernmost and achieves its greatest altitudenear the summer solstice, the full Moon rises far south and rides low inthe sky. In the winter, when the Sun rises and sets far south, the fullMoon is high in the sky, as well as rising and setting at itsnorthernmost point.

Every month when the Moon is in Sagittarius andCapricorn, it will be in your southern sky, more or less near to the paththe Sun follows in December. Two weeks later, when the Moon transitsGemini and Cancer, it will be considerably further north and much higherin the sky, close to the Sun’s June path.This is true no matter what phase the Moon is in, soyou already have it within your reach to really grasp this visualprincipal by seeking out the Moon in the sky when it transitsthese four signs. Except for the new moon, the Moon will be visible in the sky at some point in the day or night!


In addition to speed, another way that the Moon’s declinationcycle deviates from that of the Sun is in what we might call“amplitude.” While the solstice points of the Sun areconsistent, the Moon’s pattern is more like a tide going in and out.When traced out on a graph, the swings are clear.

The declination scheme seen below is easy to understand: Across thetop, time units are designated. Down the left, the decrees of declinationare marked at 5-degree intervals north and south. 0 degrees is right inthe middle. The graph only goes up to 30 degrees (in both directions)because nothing we use extends beyond this boundary.

Observe 3 years of the Sun’sdeclination swings (Figure 9). Each peak is located at 23.25 degrees North or South. The Sun’s extreme declination varies only a tiny bitover long periods of time, so it can be considered very stable. Thepoints occur every six months, and each year contains a north and southpoint. And where do these peaks occur? All together now: The Solstices!Cancer (North) and Capricorn (South)!

Unlike the Sun, there is dramaticvariability in the Moon’s waves. There are years at a time when itnever reaches the Sun’s turnaround point, having what we might call “low amplitude.” Here’s a graph of the Moon’sdeclination for 90 days starting Sept. 10, 2015. Notice that the maximumdeclination maxes out at just over 18 degrees. Remember, the Sun achieves23.25 degrees – an addition five degrees! This may not seem like much,but when extended outward onto your horizon or into the sky, it’squite a bit of real estate.

At other times, things are different. Hereare the Moon’s swings in declination for 90 days starting June 15,2006. Notice how extreme the swings are! Now this is “high amplitude!”

The two extremes are called the Minor and the Major Standstill.

They are connected to the Nodes of the Moon. It’s quite simple,really. We have the Major Standstill when the North Node isin Aries. The swings are at their widest, over 29 degrees ofdeclination – the furthest of any planet! When the North Node transitsthrough Libra, we have the Minor Standstill, and the swings havetheir smallest amplitude, reaching just over 18 degrees of declination.

When projected out onto the horizon, this phenomenon produces hugevariations in the locations of Moon risings and settings, and how highthe Moon gets in the sky. It was these visual extremes that our forebearsacknowledged with their stone monuments.

To get a better understanding,let’s start again with the Sun. A photographic technique called asolargraph will help tremendously. In this technique, a camera is anchored and programmed to capture regularly timed images of the Sun’s dailymotion over a period of at least six months. Here’s one from theNetherlands by Jip Lambermont(1). Each line records the Sun’s motion for oneday. The bottom line shows the December Solstice. Note the low profile in the sky, and location of rising and setting points. Six months later isthe June Solstice is represented by the top line: notice how far theSun’s rising and setting points have moved (in fact they’reoff the graph) and how high the Sun climbs in the sky. This is aphotographic representation of the principles of declination. You can seehow dramatically different is the Sun’s path between June (Cancer)and December (Capricorn).

There are no similar photographic records of the Lunar Standstillprocess; it would be impossible. Still, it’s possible to visualize the difference between the Minor and the Major Standstill. The following diagram is complex but informative. Put yourself in the middleand check out the following: First locate the Solstice sunrises andsunsets. These rising and setting points are consistent, year in and yearout.

Now locate the “minorstandstill” moonrise and moonsets (the inner curved dotted line).Notice that the rising and setting points never reach the Sun’sturnaround points – in fact, they fall several degrees short. The swingsof the moon (which remember takes only two weeks, from one turnaroundpoint to the next) are not dramatic and produce very sedate lunar changesfrom day to day.

Now locate the “major standstill” moonrise and moonsets,shown by the outer curved dotted lines. Notice how much more distance iscovered between respective Moonrises at the Major Standstill than at theMinor Standstill. Remember that the time lapse between the NorthernMoonset and the Southern Moonset is only two weeks. During these times,the daily difference in the location of the Moon is remarkable. On your visible horizon, it makes an astounding difference in where you see theMoon from one day to the next.

Here’s anotherway to look at it: In Figure 14 you can see the stability of the SolarSolstice sunrises and sunsets. You can also determine that in some years(1993 – 2000) the moonrises and moonsets never reached the point wherethe solstice Sun rises and sets. Other years (2001 – 2011), moonrises andmoonsets occur far outside the parameters of the solstice sunrises andsunsets.

This diagram of the variations of risings andsettings as seen along the horizon is very informative, bringing thewhole concept down to earth: Where are we now in this process? Well – the NorthNode is just entering Leo as I write these words. So we are moving from aMinor Standstill (N.N. in Libra) towards a Major Standstill (N.N. inAries), since the nodes move backwards. So we are currently shifting froma smaller, more sedate swing to the wider dramatic swings that will peakin 2025. That’s the point of this article and why it’sworthwhile to start watching it unfold now. When the Moon starts showingup in freakish places, you’re going to really appreciate whatyou’re seeing.

The Technical Stuff

Why does this happen?

We know that the earth is tilted withrespect to its orbit around the Sun. That’s why we have seasons,the tropical zodiac and a host of other peculiarities. Just as the earth's axis is tilted to its orbit by 23.5 degrees, the Moon's orbit istilted 5.2 degrees to the orbit of the earth (see diagram). Otherperturbations can account for an additional .7 degrees variation, sothe Moon's declination can differ from the Sun's by almost 6degrees. This means that the Moon can achieve more than 29degrees of declination (23.5 + 6), far more than any other planet. Gemini leo relationship compatibility. But it rarely does so!

Only in the years surrounding the Major Standstill, and only when theMoon is transiting Gemini, Cancer, Sagittarius or Capricorn will it reachthis extreme.

Let’s review

The Major Standstill

The Moon reaches its most maximum declination of 29 degrees N and Swhen in the appropriate signs. Since it takes 14 days between the maximumnorthern and southern points, the Moon's daily changes in position arequite dramatic at this time. It will reach its maximum declination for 2 - 5 days twice a month for about 3 years around the time of the majorstandstill. Once or twice it will reach its very maximum declination, andthis is set off by eclipses. It will rise and set noticeably more northand south than usual, and will attain its greatest height (north) andlowest position (south) in the sky. In fact, at in far north latitudes,the Moon is circumpolar at the major standstill. The greatest declinationoccurs when the moon's nodes are at O degrees of Aries.

Major Standstill Dates from 1900 – 2050 are:

  • 1913
  • 1931
  • 1950
  • 1969
  • 1987
  • 2006
  • 2025
  • 2043

The Minor Standstill

Moon cycle astrology

Nine years later, the Moon reaches its minor standstill. It followsexactly the same monthly motion pattern, however now it only reaches amaximum of 18 degrees declination for the 3 year period when the nodesreach O degrees Libra. Its monthly and daily swings are far less dramatic. It must be stressed that the Minor Standstill is not verynoticeable or visually interesting except as a way to compare the moreextreme swings. The Minor Standstill dates are 1941, 1959, 1978, 1997,2015, 2034 and 2052.

The years in between, the Moon reaches ever increasing or decreasingmonthly declinations as it moves between one standstill and the next. Themost recent Minor Standstill was 2015. In June 2020, the Moon’sdeclination will finally reach the Sun’s maximum 23.25 degrees.After that, the Moon will begin to move beyond the Sun’s declination; a position called “Out of Bounds.(2)” We are moving towardsa Major Standstill in 2025.

Major standstills affect tides and weather conditions and probablyother lunar related phenomenon such as birth rates, public reaction, realestate and the stock market (more volatile during Major Standstill) aswell as the economy. Since the Moon repeatedly goes OOB, there may be anoverly zealous public response. The further OOB, the stronger theresponse. There is a maverick quality. Reactions and perceptions areextreme and not as controlled. The environment is not very stable. AtMinor Standstills, reaction is more controlled and action is taken.

What You’re Watching For

As I’ve repeatedly said, it’s really easy to observewhat’s about to happen. Here’s how to do it:

  • Just like the Sun, the Moon will “turn around” whenit enters either Cancer or Capricorn
  • Pay attention to your astrological calendar for the Moon eitherin:
    • Gemini or Cancer
    • Sagittarius or Capricorn
  • Go out and look for it!
  • The phase doesn’t matter! Except for the 3 dark days of themonth, the Moon will be visible, very often in the daytime
  • Look again in two weeks when Moon is in the opposite signs
  • Notice the difference between the north and south extremes
  • Observe the amount of “swing” or distance between thetwo ends
  • Over the next 9 years, these “swings” will graduallyincrease
  • You become very familiar with your local sky with consistentviewing
  • With your Moon watching experience, you’ll be able toappreciate the unfolding of the Major Standstill before your veryeyes!

My aspiration in writing this article is to encourage allastrologers to have an intimate relationship with the sky. It’s allabout bringing heaven down to earth. We have in our immediate future awonderful opportunity to engage in a marvelous unfolding of theStandstill Cycle of the Moon. It thrilled our ancestors. Let us, as theguardians of this body of knowledge, once again grasp the profound wonderof participating in it.

1 For more information on his fascinatingsolargraphs visit
2 Out of Bounds is a fascinating topic beyond thescope of this article. Karen Christino and Stephen Forrest have doneexcellent work on interpreting out of bounds Moon. Tony Howardspecializes in out of bounds Mercury, Venus and Mars.

Sources, references and additionalinformation:
Brown, Peter L. Megaliths, Myths and Men: An Introduction toAstro-Astronomy
Boehrer, Kt Declination, The Other Dimension
Cornelius, Geoffrey, Secret Language of the Stars and Planets
Goodale, Rene, 'Venus Out of Bounds' Geocosmic Magazine, Fall1996
Hebel, Doris A. 'Progressed Declinations' NCGR Journal, Fall1997
Jayne, Charles, Parallels of Declination
Krupp, Dr. C.E., Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of LostCivilizations
Krupp, Dr. C.E., Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun,Moon, Stars and Planets
Scofield, Bruce: 'The Moon and the Megaliths: The MountainAstrologer (TMA), June 1996
Westin, Leigh: Beyond the Solstice by Declination Willner, John: ThePowerful Declinations
The following articles from NCGR Geocosmic Magazine, Spring 1998
Westin, Leigh, 'What on Earth is Declination'
Christino, Karen, 'The Progressed Moon in Declination'
Ramsey, Martha, 'Declination - the Basics'
Gillman, Ken, 'Stations of the Moon'
McEvoy, Francis, 'Out of Bounds Gallery'
Vaughan, Valerie, 'Occultation: The Conjunction in Longitude and Declination'
More information on solargraphs:
More information on the Standstill Cycle:
Astrid Fallon’s excellent site:
More information on archeoastronomy and ancient sites: and
Information on Callanish:

Image sources:
Declination and Zodiac: K.T. Boehrer: Declination, the outer dimension
Ephemeris: Rosicrucian Ephemeris for the 21st century
Solargraph: Jib Lambermont,
Major and minor standstills:
Variations in lunar risings and settings:
Risings and settings along the horizon: Juri V. Stork, Astrodienst

First published in:, May/Jun 2017.

Linea Van Horn, C.A., NCGR, is the Astrologer at Large.Linea is Founder and President Emerita of the San Francisco AstrologicalSociety (1992-2014) and has served on three NCGR boards, including theBoard of Examiners. Formerly employed in the astrology Internet industry,Linea is a respected teacher, published author, and popular, livelypublic speaker. She now devotes herself to client work, teaching,writing, and community building in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit Linea's website:
Member of AFAN, ISAR and OPA.
Email Linea: [email protected]

© 2017 - Linea Van Horn - published by Infinity Astrological Magazine

The Lunation Cycle

A lunation cycle in birth chart interpretation follows the timetable of the synodic month of one new moon to the next, but associates the different moon phases with different personality types. The esoteric astrologer Dane Rudhyar popularized the interpretation of moon phase in natal and event charts in the 1940s, culminating with his book, The Lunation Cycle. Rudhyar divided the moon's phases into eight stages of 45 degrees each.

  • 1. New moon to new crescent
Youthful, instinctive, spontaneous. Natives are 'subjective, impulsive, and emotional'
  • 2. New Crescent to first quarter (half moon)
Individualization. People born during this phase are assertive and self-confident
  • 3. First part of second quarter
Willful activity, the individual confronts his environment. Natives wish to build new structures, perhaps to replace the old ones
  • 4. Late second quarter to full moon (gibbous phase)
Increasing maturity, objective understanding. Natives pursue self-understanding and may devote themselves to a cause
  • 5. Full moon to early third quarter
Fulfillment, development of collective consciousness. This phase confers objective thinking and communication ability
  • 6. Latter part of third quarter (disseminating phase)
Sharing of ideas made manifest, social purpose. People born under this phase feel a need to teach and communicate
  • 7. Early fourth quarter
Social crises, but 'seeds' for the coming new order. Natives are devoted to principles, perhaps inflexibly so
  • 8. Late crescent to dark of the moon (balsamic phase)
Dissolution of old structures, personal sacrifice, preparation for new phase of development. Individuals may sense themselves as owning a social destiny, and heralding a new world order

Moon Cycle Astrology 2020

The lunation cycle is also used in electional astrology. New enterprises are best undertaken during the new moon. The waxing moon is a good time to bring projects to completion.

Lunar Cycle Graph

See also


  • The Progressed Lunation Cycle (Frédérique Boele, 2005)
  • The Sun and Moon in Families (Erin Sullivan; excerpt from The Astrology of Family Dynamics. Weiser, 2001)

Lunar Phases Astrology 2019


  • Steven Forrest, 2010, The Book of the Moon: Astrology's Lost Dimension, Seven Paws Press, Inc.
  • Demetra George, 1994, Finding Our Way Through the Dark: The Astrology of the Dark Goddess Mysteries, ACS Publications
  • Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle - a key to the understanding of personality. Servire (Aurora Press), Wassenaar 1967; Shambhala, 1974 ISBN 978-0394730202

Lunar Zodiac Cycle

Notes and References

Lunar Cycle Astrology

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