Lucky Moons for 2018

An important part of doing magic is being in touch with the flow of energy as it expresses itself through the universe, especially through the cycles of the stars, the sun and the moon. Keeping track of these cycles is easy if you have any one of the popular calendars which list the moon sign like the WeMoon Almanac or the Pocket Astrologer or the Moon Phases card.

During every lunar cycle (or moonth, the term Donna Henes uses to remind us of the root of the word month), the moon passes through your astrological sun sign. This is often a time of personal power, when you feel truly in sync with your personality. Helen Farias noted that wishes (prayers, affirmations, spells) expressed on the day the moon was in her sun sign were usually granted. If you know your moon sign, you may also notice a shift of energy when the moon moves through this sign, which will also happen once every lunar cycle. Often this is a time when you are sensitive and aware of your feelings.

You also have several other moon power points during the year. The moon will be new in your sun sign once a year and full in your sun sign once a year. The New Moon, when the moon is dark or invisible is a seed point, a time for going deep within and attuning with spirit. Since it always happens near your birthday, you can use it as a time for setting an intention for the upcoming year. The full moon in your sign is more likely to be the time for a party (too bad it’s half a year away from your birthday), a time for going out into the world, connecting with other people and expressing yourself creatively.

The moon will pass through all of its phases in your sign during the year. You might also want to note when it is in your sign in the first quarter and the last quarter. The first quarter moon in your sun sign would be a good time for initiating a project or casting a spell, planning or going on a vision quest. The last quarter moon is a time for reflecting on your achievements, evaluating your experiences and grieving your losses (perhaps with a ritual of letting go).

Now that you know the principles, you can also pay attention to these power points when they fall in the same sign as your natal moon or the sign of your Ascendant. Each one can be occasion for a ritual.

Charting Your Moon Power Points
The chart below can help you identify your Moon Power Points for the coming year. Dates are taken from Jim Maynard’s 2018 Pocket Astrologer for Pacific Time. Lucky Virgos get two chances to start a new project with two first quarter moons, while Libras get two chances to wrap things up or let go of what’s not working with two last quarter moons, one at the start of the year and one at the end. Leo and Aquarius are experiencing multiple eclipses. For a great description of how eclipses affect you, see this article by Susan Miller.

Moon Phase New Full First Quarter Last Quarter
Seed point,
make wish
Celebrate Initiate a project,
state intentions
Reflect, evaluate,
let go, banish
Aries Apr 15 Sep 24, harvest moon Jan 13, 2019 Jul 6
Taurus May 15 Oct 24 Jan 24 Aug 4
Gemini Jun 13 Nov 22 Feb 23 Sep 2
Cancer Jul 12, eclipse Dec 22 Mar 24 Oct 2
Leo Aug 11, eclipse Jan 31, eclipse Apr 22 Oct 31
Virgo Sep 9 Mar 1 May 21, Jun 20 Nov 29
Libra Oct 8 Mar 31 Jul 19 Jan 8, Dec 29,
Scorpio Nov 7 Apr 29 Aug 18 Feb 7
Sagittarius Dec 6 May 29 Sep 16 Mar 9
Capricorn Jan 16 Jun 27 Oct 16 Apr 8
Aquarius Feb 15 eclipse Jul 27 eclipse Nov 15 May 7
Pisces Mar 17 Aug 26 Dec 15 Jun 6

References:
This article first appeared in the Winter 1998 issue of The Beltane Papers: A Journal of Womens Mysteries.

Farias, Helen was the founding mother of The Beltane Papers. Until her untimely death in 1994, her wisdom and scholarship could be found in every issue. She frequently wrote about calendar customs and working with lunar and solar energies.

Henes, Donna, Celestially Auspicious Occasions: Seasons, Cycles & Celebrations, Perigee/Berkley 1996

Ask about these calendars at your local bookstore. If you can’t find them there, contact the publisher directly.
Pocket Astrologer is a handy guide created by Jim Maynard containing detailed astrological information for the year. It is available in a wall calendar, an engagement calendar, or, my favorite, the little pocket-sized book, for either Eastern or Pacific time. Order it from Quicksilver Productions.
Lunar Phases card: A simple tool for tracking the moon’s cycles, a one page card on stiff paper which can be ordered from Snake and Snake Production
WeMoon Almanac, a lovely engagement calendar, featuring original art, good writing and astrological lore, published by Mother Tongue Inc. For more information, go here.  Their theme for 2018 is La Luna.

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Sleepy Moon

Xi Wang Mu ("Godmother of the West"), a daoist deity Decor on a Qing dynasty porcelain plate, famille-rose-style, Yongzheng period, approx. 1725 Displayed in the Porcelain collections of Dresden Zwinger Photographer: User:Dr. Meierhofer Date: 25 July 2006

Xi Wang Mu (“Godmother of the West”), a daoist deity
Decor on a Qing dynasty porcelain plate,
famille-rose-style, Yongzheng period, approx. 1725
Displayed in the Porcelain collections of Dresden Zwinger
Photographer: User:Dr. Meierhofer
Date: 25 July 2006

The new moon at the start of the third month of the Chinese lunar calendar is known as the Sleepy Moon. On the first three days of this month, the Chinese honor the Mother of the Western Heaven.

Blackburn, Bonnie and Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Oxford Companion to the Year, Oxford University Press 1999

Photo of Xi Wang Mu  found here.

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New Moon in Libra: Comparisons are Odious

by April Elliott Kent

There is a popular expression that warns, “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides,” and it’s particularly good advice for this Libra New Moon season. [The new moon of October 16 was in Libra.] Libra, as the relationship sign, symbolizes a keen awareness of others that can work to our advantage in relationships and in certain careers, too. But that same awareness can become a liability when it leads us to draw comparisons between ourselves and others – comparisons that can damage self-esteem and breed envy.

All aggression comes from comparison. The Dalai Lama

We humans are social animals, and we take our cues about what to do and be and desire from watching the people around us. The problem is that we rarely have access to the full story behind their outward appearances. We may envy a man for driving a new, expensive vehicle, yet for all we know he may park that car in front of a dumpy apartment building each night. Most of us admire the sleek figure of a supermodel, but is there a healthy, happy woman inside that beautiful body? Possibly not, if rumors about eating disorders in the modeling business are to be believed.

Born with the Moon in the seventh house – the house associated with Libra – I confess that I spend a lot more time and energy than I should comparing myself with other people. This friend has a more graceful home; that one has a sweeter personality; the other, more clients. All that energy wasted on anxiety, envy, and guilt! It’s as disempowering as when I used to leaf through fashion magazines in my twenties and compare myself to their unrealistic images of feminine beauty.

I wasn’t always this way, though. Years ago, before I became an astrologer, I was a musician. I never recall looking over my shoulder to figure out which musicians were better or more successful than I was; all I cared about was expressing myself exactly the way I wanted to. But as I developed more musical skill, I occasionally dealt with fellow musicians who were envious of me. I always wondered: why were they so focused on what I was doing instead of simply concentrating on sharpening their own abilities?

Now that I’ve moved on to a career that is less suited to rugged individualism and much more Libran in its emphasis on counseling and salesmanship, I understand envy a bit better. It’s all good and well to become skilled at the technical parts of my job, but it’s not enough; to make a living, an astrologer has to become skilled at reading people, not just their charts, and to market herself in a way others find appealing. Somehow I’ve gotten it into my head that my colleagues have figured this stuff out in a way that I haven’t, and I can’t seem to stop comparing my achievements with theirs. Are their websites more popular than mine, their mailing lists larger, their resumes more impressive? What do they know that I don’t?

Being ruled by comparisons is odious. But is it ever a good thing, a healthy thing to cultivate a heightened awareness of other people? Of course. Being sensitive to others is the basis of a society’s laws and rules of etiquette. Growing up, we learn social skills by comparing ourselves to our parents, our brothers and sisters, and our playmates, who show us how to behave and let us know when we’ve stepped out of line. In astrology, this civilizing process is symbolized by Libra. How attuned are we to the needs of others? How adept at blending into society, at least to the extent necessary to stay out of jail and enjoy the occasional dinner party?

Looking back at my musician days, it’s clear that while I didn’t suffer the pain of constant comparisons and envy, my lack of social grace made me an insensitive and ineffective collaborator. I often made tactless comments, insisted on having my own way, and generally played poorly with others. Had I made a career in music, I’m not sure I’d have developed any social skills at all; I might well have ended up with success in my work but none at all in my personal life.

When you spend too much time looking through another's eyes, it can be all too easy to lose track of your own truth.

Becoming an astrologer has civilized me a bit, even if (and perhaps because) it has made me more vulnerable to criticism and comparisons. To be of any value as an astrologer I’ve had to nurture the promise of my seventh house Moon, with its ability to get inside another’s skin and see the world through their eyes. But developing a heightened awareness of others can be a difficult skill to switch off at the end of the day. When you spend too much time looking through another’s eyes, it can be all too easy to lose track of your own truth.

As the (very Libran) adage goes, “Moderation is best in all things.” Marching to the beat of your own drum, Aries-style, is vitally important, but so, too, is knowing how to appeal to your audience and how to connect with other people in an effective way. Most of us are a little more comfortable at one end of the spectrum than the other, but each of us can learn to navigate the balancing act more deftly.

The Full Moon in Aries earlier this month offered valuable preparation for this New Moon season by reminding us to love what we are, pursue our dreams, and let our individual lights shine. A strong self of self makes us less vulnerable to Libra’s shadow side of envy and of comparing our insides to other people’s outsides. At this New Moon, let the Libra spirit add the polish of sensitivity and balance to your Aries self-confidence – a lovely lampshade that needn’t obscure your individual light in order to soften it to a warm, inviting glow.

scalesApril Elliott Kent has been a professional astrologer since 1990 and is a longtime member of both ISAR and NCGR. A regular contributor to Llewellyn’s Moon Sign Book and The Mountain Astrologer magazine, she has also contributed articles to the websites MoonCircles.com, Beliefnet.com, and AOL Horoscopes. Her first book, Star Guide to Weddings, was published in 2008 by Llewellyn Worldwide. April lives in San Diego with her husband of 15 years and their two cats. She can be reached by email; enjoy her web site Big Sky Astrology.

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