In the map of the sky that is the astrology chart, the positions of the planets are noted by the sign they are in and, more precisely, the degree they inhabit within that sign, each sign being 30° wide. However, because the planets move and their relative position to each other is not fixed like the signs (until we freeze them into place in an astrology chart for a time and place), they can wind up anywhere within the range of 30° of a sign when a chart is calculated. A planetary aspect is therefore defined more specifically by the actual degree distance between two planets. So how are aspects defined? And what do they mean? Amy Herring, author of the new Essential Astrology, explains.
The Moon is a happily familiar sight when we gaze into the night sky. And thanks to cycles of rotation and celestial motion that are both constant and continuous, we needn't simply admire them from afar; we can also use the Moon to judge time of day and the passing of each month. In this article from Llewellyn's Moon Sign Book, Susan Pesznecker illustrates how we can use the Moon as both a calendar and as a gauge of time.
A midlife crisis is a household phrase in Western culture conjuring up images of middle-aged men in red sports cars trying to recapture their youth. Is there more to it than this stereotype? What lies at the heart of the midlife crisis, and does it truly exist? In this excerpt from Llewellyn's 2016 Moon Sign Book, Astrology of the Moon author Amy Herring discusses the psychological purpose of midlife transitions and how your natal Moon Sign can help us anticipate what to expect and to navigate the best outcome of these transitions.
The Moon is your heart—your tender, vulnerable insides. Your natal Moon sign is the central place to look in your chart for clues on how to understand your emotional needs, as well as the experiences and types of environments that feel nurturing to you. In this article from Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book, astrologer Amy Herring discusses why we sometimes have to be willing to explore the "dark side" of our Moon Sign to be able to turn our frowns upside down.
The word trust can mean different things to different people. Some people measure trust in reference to how reliable (trustworthy) they think someone is—that they can rely on someone not to lie to them or to keep their promises, for example. Some people consider themselves trusting of others because they have a conviction that people are generally good. People often extend the word beyond...
Our relationship to the celestial body Ceres is as complicated and volatile as our relationship to that which it rules: food and nourishment. In astrology, Ceres represents how we approach nourishment—physically, emotionally, and psychologically. At its worst, negative manifestations of the Ceres energy may result in the manipulative use of food as a control mechanism, while in its best, most harmonious manifestation, Ceres represents food that is used as a conduit of love. In this excerpt from Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book, examine how Ceres manifests itself through the signs.
Many of us are cognizant of the Sun's affect on our moods. Yet, a planetary object even closer to the earth affects our tides, our body rhythms, fertility cycles, even mood changes, and is seldom considered in conjunction with our moods. The moon has captivated poets, philosophers, songwriters, and lovers for millennia and is, by far, the most notable object in the night sky. Here, astrologer and author Sally Cragin details how the moon's phases and transits affect our moods and our lives.
In astrology, the Sun symbolizes aspiration, the desire to reach our ultimate potential. But rather than earning our Sun sign’s gifts from the outside world, what if we carry the seeds of their potential within us from the moment we’re born? In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her companions each wish for the very qualities that they already possess. In this article from Llewellyn's 2012 Sun Sign Book, learn what strengths each Sun sign possesses—and may not be fully realizing.
Most people are familiar with the concept of compatibility in astrology. "I’m an Aries, he’s a Cancer; are we a good match?" Person A’s astrological chart is then compared to Person B’s chart to determine how easy or difficult it will be to get along, understand each other, and have great sex. Then much giggling or moaning commences upon looking at each chart overlaid on the other. Once a...
The twelve astrological signs represent character traits and styles of
expression. Almost any word that can be expressed as an adjective
belongs to one of the twelve signs, but the signs represent more than
just a list of personal quirks. They represent paths of development,
and the processes and methods that illustrate how to walk along
those paths. Not just the character trait of...
Opposites attract—wouldn’t you agree? In millenia past, the earliest stargazers apportioned each of the four elements to a particular gender. So
fire and air are masculine; earth and water are feminine. But that means
that the oppositions (which are fire and air and earth and water) are both
the same gender. This adds an element of harmony and compatibility for
gay couples, who share a...
Saturn’s twenty-nine-and-half-year transiting cycle as personal evolution represents most directly the process of maturity. Not just getting older, but gaining wisdom through what we learn in our experience of growing up. During highlights in our personal Saturn cycle, we are often asked to confront a certain reality, whether it’s about how the outside world works or whether it’s our internal state of being, along the theme of what Saturn represents in our birth chart by sign and house. Our personal Saturn cycle can also have us confronting authorities, again whether they are external laws, judges, teachers, or parents, and our internal lesson of claiming our own natural authority and governance over our own lives. Amy Herring, author of Astrology of the Moon, explains.
Fire SignsFire sign folks can decide at a very early age that yes, they want to be a fire
fighter or an EMT or a police officer—and then happily follow through.
Those professions aside, there is nothing ignoble about fire sign folks
having a variety of career interests and pursuits.
Fire sign people, and those with heavy fire sign influence in their
chart, are most content in jobs where...
Some sign combinations that have traditionally been considered to be stress-producing: signs that square. These are the pairs that often rub each other the wrong way,until they realize that they can also produce energy-releasing sparks. Any two signs that square each other are actually dynamic duos that help us powerfully grow,once we learn how to consolidate their energies better in a...
Affirmations for Mercury (and for Gemini and Virgo) I am brilliant and clever to boot.Scintillating intelligence pervades my aura. I am so logical, logical, logical. I speak in intelligent, melodious tones. Universal mind is my essence. I am incredibly versatile and oh-so perceptive. I am curious, inquisitive, and expressive. I analyze and see clearly all my patterns. Wise thoughts stream out of...
Affirmations for Venus (and for Taurus and Libra) I am at peace with my life.I relate harmoniously with everyone. I create beauty in all my endeavors. I am perfect even now. I embody and radiate impersonal love for all. Diplomacy and tact are my friends. I bring people together in joyous unison. Love is my strength. I yield and by yielding grow stronger. I am attached to the most beautiful One. I...
Your astrological moon sign can help you better understand what “feeds” you at a deep level, helping you to stay grounded and supported even in the midst of chaos and transitions. The moon sign gives us inside information on what keeps us feeling nurtured and at home in the world. From the food we eat for sustenance to the home environment in which we live, the moon rules over our basic needs in life. Learn how to meet these needs by feeding and caring for your own astrological moon sign.
Could it be that the length of a woman’s skirt has more to do with the weather than the fashion prescriptions of designers in Paris and Milan? Mini-skirt, maxi skirt, slacks, shorts, global warming, global cooling. What to wear? Many high-profile women, such as Oprah and Michelle Obama, are now wearing skirts below their knees. It must be the fashion, right? A long time ago, fashionable women...
The Moon’s natal sign shows how we instinctively react in overly emotional and stressful situations. Water sign Moons retreat, cry, or maybe cook; earth Moons endure, but clean the house or do the gardening; air Moons intellectualize and talk incessantly about the situation; and fire Moons get angry, shout, and throw things about. All action is expressed to get the emotions out. All action is...
Every time an individual or small group recognizes a problem that could be addressed in the community, country, or around the globe, and decides to do something about it, the spirit of volunteering ignites. America has a history of volunteering, and many unpaid positions serve vital needs in our cities and towns.
Groups often start by raising awareness around a cause or issue, attracting other...
Here are a few examples of some planetary invocations—one for each of the planets. Most of these invocations are nonspecific and invoke the symbolic power of the archetype but they can easily be tailored to your particular needs and desires. Experiment with the power of invocations and see your life transformed daily.
An Invocation of the Sun
Great Sun of Life, primal radiance, beloved of my...
Affirmations for Aries:
I am the beginning of all beginnings.
I am the fire of cosmic mind.
I am the sublime and mighty warrior.
I will things to happen.
I embody the intelligent power of the life force.
I am the pulsating radiance of new life.
The universal intelligence stands behind all my endeavors.
I am one with the Source of All Power.
I am one with the Doer of All; yet by myself...
This summary of the principles of lunar gardening includes an outline of what activities to undertake during each lunar quarter and zodiacal sign. It is important to note that the planting dates are selected according to the Moon’s sign before 12 pm. If the Moon goes void-of-course or changes sign after 12 pm, the date is not selected. If you live in a time zone with more than three hours...
What roles do the celestial archtypes play in our lives? With analysis of Pluto, Charon, Eris, Ceres, and more, discover the mythical and astrological ways these heavenly bodies affect you and your birth chart.
Ancient astrologers observed the blazing morning star Venus vanish once every eighteen months and re-emerge as the brilliant evening star. Venus has phases just like the Moon, only we cannot see them as easily as we can the waxing and waning Moon. Have you noticed a brilliant star due west in the sky after sunset? That would be Venus. She grows bigger and brighter as she moves closer to Earth...
What will the weather forecast be today? Will it rain, snow, sleet, or hail? Does it seem to be clear sunny skies, along with a gentle light breeze? To determine what the weather is, you can look outside your window, read the barometer, or check the ...
The asteroid Lilith is one of a pantheon of astrological pulse points in a chart - along with Ceres the nurturer, Pallas the wise one, Vesta the guardian of hearth and home, and Juno the wife or partner. These asteroids give us information on ...
What exactly is a lunar return? Every month, the moon returns to the exact position it held in your natal chart at your time of birth. Factor in the location of your current place of residence, and you’ve got a lunar return. What does a lunar ...
Mercury retrograde gets blamed for a lot things that go wrong in our lives. Does it deserve all the attention? What exactly is a Mercury retrograde? For those of you who don’t know about this astrological “happening,” here’s the lowdown in ...
Anyone can use astrology in their daily lives, but it hasn’t always been that way. Once astrology was reserved for kings and nations, and only the court astrologer/ astronomer could cast and interpret the chart. Now anyone with a computer can obtain ...
If you prefer the song of a flute to the ring of a cell phone, or a private conversation with an intimate friend to an extravagant party, then the return of Uranus to Pisces on December 30, 2003 should refresh your energy and restore your faith in ...
I understood the word “returns” long before I knew about astrology, as most of us did. Returning home, returning to school, returning money, returning clothes, returning compliments (or insults), or even returning tides (I grew up on a boat, where ...