I like to glance at lunar charts to see what’s going on with regards to dignity and reception, two key principles in traditional astrology. This is useful for learning purposes and is good practice, especially for students.
This year I’ll write a brief piece about new and full moon, focusing on what’s salient within the charts. These will be set for my location of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Keep in mind that if you live elsewhere in the world, the Ascendant and house cusps will be different.
Let’s be clear on something before we start. All the stuff you read about what new or full moons mean, in general, for everyone? That’s creative writing. It may even be good creative writing, inspiring or helpful to the reader in some way; but there is no validity in such interpretations from an astrological standpoint.
If a new or full moon falls on something important in an individual’s birth chart—such as a planet, or one of the four angles—it may serve as a spotlight on the matters signified by that planet or point, if this occurs during a time of major events in the life. If there is nothing major going on, it probably doesn’t matter. The primary methods we use to identify major life events are secondary progressions and solar/lunar returns.
On to this January chart, then (click on the image below to see the chart).
Look at the four angles here, meaning house cusps 1, 4, 7, and 10. All four are at 0 degrees of the cardinal signs, exact to the minute of arc! They’re all square each other: 90 degrees exactly between them. This doesn’t happen automatically at full moon; I’ve checked at least a dozen others and seen nothing close, let alone exact.
Next, look at the North and South nodes: tightly square the Sun-Moon opposition at 14 degrees of the cardinal signs. This is not a given, either. There is a lot of tension in this chart, then, considering all of the squares in play. Squares signify tension or conflict that is difficult to resolve.
As always when the Sun is in Capricorn, the full Moon is essentially strong because it’s in Cancer, its own sign. Accidentally, though, Moon is strongly debilitated because opposite a Sun that takes it into detriment. This is true of every Cancer full moon, of course.
The Moon is the high in the sky in this chart. In fact, it is the most elevated planet. I wasn’t up at 11 p.m. on January 4th but even a few hours earlier the Moon was high and bright: a lovely sight indeed! Jupiter is the only other planet of our seven that’s above the horizon here. The remaining five—Saturn, Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars—are all in the lower half of the chart, under the earth.
Who’s got power in this chart, from the standpoint of reception? It is Saturn! Saturn rules four planets: Sun in Capricorn, and Mercury, Venus, and Mars in Aquarius. But the Moon and Jupiter also have a direct relationship with Saturn by reception because they are in the signs of Saturn’s detriment. All six planets, then, have strong feelings about Saturn, one way or another! Meanwhile, Saturn loves Jupiter, but it’s unrequited love. Same situation for Mercury. Mercury loves Saturn but Saturn hates him.
Last (and very possibly least) the Sun is closely conjunct Pluto here. No doubt this is where some of the creative interpretations spring from. Traditional astrologers treat Pluto as a fixed-star-like object: potentially meaningful according to the myth from which it is drawn. Pluto is Mr. Maiden-Snatcher, definitely not someone you want to hang out with for a good time! But that’s another story.
And that wraps up our brief tour of the January Full Moon for 2015! Back in two weeks for a look at the new moon on January 20th.
The photo above is my own.