Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This June I want to talk to you about how familiarity with the Moon in astrology can open your astral awareness, an awareness that is an invaluable asset in being able to navigate through the chaotic times looming on the horizon but also through life in general, and especially in magical initiation.
Specifically a knowledge of your natal Moon and an understanding of how that Moon develops through life are the key tools that astrology provides in developing your astral awareness. There are other factors involved in this of course, for example the Water signs, but for the purposes of this article I will focus on the Moon because it is the primary indicator.
First we have to address the question of what astral awareness is so that we can understand why developing it is going to be helpful to us. Simply put it is a measure of our awareness of life as a mutual personal experience. Stated more exactly, everything that exists in the physical universe is positioned somewhere in time and space and this positioning in time and space provides it with a unique personal perspective, yet at the same time no individual thing is completely discrete and disconnected, the entire physical universe is interconnected with invisible threads, pulses, waves and connections that stem outward from that personal experience, resonating with the personal experience of other things in varying degrees. Sometimes that resonance is repulsive and sometimes it is attractive but it is always fluctuating and adapting because the realm of personal experience is always changing. Stuff keeps going down! Externally our personal circumstances are always changing around us, one day is never exactly like another day nor is one second or moment. Internally our personal circumstances are just as changeable, our moods and our internal experience is continuously changing although some things tend to remain stable and relatively constant while other things come and go. In order to cope with this constant fluctuation of astral circumstances we develop a personality, a relatively stable and consistent way of interacting with it.
This personality is still highly impressionable, though, because it has to be. A static and unchanging personality is a prison that will eventually crumble under the continuous onslaught of change. On the other hand a personality that is too responsive to change will lack the stability that it is intended for in the first place. We are forced to engage in a perpetual interaction with our personal experience as well as with the personal experience of others, seeking a balance, an astral equilibrium that is neither too static nor reactionary. This can be both an uncomfortable and an exhilarating experience. Take the murder of George Floyd for example. It is uncomfortable because it forces us to face up to repulsive things in our collective astral experience, and it is exhilarating because it offers opportunity for transformation of that sickness as a collective personal experience. We have to deal with that murder, with that video, it forces us to examine our personality, to ask questions of who we are, and to express that in some kind of response. This is the power of the astral awareness, the power to bring about change at a deep inner and outer level in the way we treat not only one another but all things.
Just think about how much we need that right now.
Ages ago we had spiritual intermediaries called shamans who navigated between us and this shifting realm of astral experience. They were specialists in being able to deal with this reality. They understood their people as well as the spirits which guided them, and so they were prepared to give guidance on how to navigate through the ever-changing circumstances of life. They knew what their people needed to be healed, they knew what was troubling the community and how to deal with it, they knew how and where to find the wisdom they needed when they did not know what to do. Today the closest things we have to this are therapists, priests, sociologists, psychologists – and astrologers. What many of these guides do not provide that the shamans did is some kind of spiritual guidance that connects us to the natural world. Universally – in every culture of the world – what shamans taught us was that their connection depended upon a particular bond, a totem, and this totem was a part of nature, a plant, an animal or a feature like clouds or the wind which was also perceived as a form of animal like life because everything was alive, having its own personal experience, it had what we call a soul, and this extended all the way up to the world soul. This means that tribes (social contracts) also had a soul, a personality, and sometimes it got sick. It could die.
The thing about astral awareness is that it is deeply instinctive, we human beings experience it as a feeling, hunch or knowing within us even when it relates to things which are external (because it is all interconnected). We have all I think had the sense of inexplicably knowing who a caller was before answering the phone – the knowing is just suddenly there. Astral awareness is, in a word, spooky.
In addition, all of the personal experiences that we have all of the time are continuously influencing our expression of our personal self and some of these things become habitual (this can happen with painful experiences as well as joyous ones) and the total effect of this is to give us personal predispositions towards feeling certain things and reacting in certain ways towards them.
The problem then is that if we are not consciously aware of what these predispositions are then the astral conditioning we gain from our personal experiences, the sum effect of all the things that we feel and go through on a personal level, combined with the way that personally affecting experiences are felt at such an instinctive level of feeling and are inherently mysterious, means that we can easily be led astra-y by the hunches and reactions that arise. We have to know ourselves on a personal level so that we can avoid misinterpretation of what is really going on, and that is a demanding path of self exploration and examination.
But consider what is at stake. Developing your astral awareness makes you more aware of your personal predispositions, more aware of how your personality has been shaped by people and events in your past, more aware of what you and other people are going through, more aware of how we are all connected together, more aware of what is really going on beneath the surface and more aware of the importance of animals and plants and our relationship to nature. It makes you more comfortable with yourself and enables you to ride the waves rather than be swept up in them, and thus to feel that you are prepared to face uncertain times. It makes you a better person.
All of this necessity, the need for us to engage in this continuous interaction with life and ourselves at the personal level, the need to strike our own personal astral equilibrium in the eternal emergence of novelty, is related to the Moon, Earths satellite, as she sails through its electromagnetic field and exerts an influence upon every kind of tide and rhythm of our world. In space, outside of this continual activity, there is a sense of quiet, empty tranquility, which is the absence or suspension of the Moons stirrings on our astral being.
She changes her visible form to show us the process of keeping up with her is one of ebb and flow, of filling up and emptying out, of darkness in balance with light, and that what we sow we reap. She is mystery, for she not only reveals the deeper astral mysteries to those who are ready but also because the mystery of who we are is unending. She is compassion and nurturing, because personal experience is not just private it is also shared experience, and because the deepest instinct of life is to care for all life. Yet she is also a huntress, the instinct for personal survival as well as the capacity for a person or people to identify, track and overcome its prey, the ability we have to direct our own personal development. In the case of the soul of the USA at this time, this is extremely pertinent.
This post covers three levels at which you can engage with the astrology of your Moon – through its natal position, its transiting position, and its progressed position. In the beginning you should focus on understanding the implications of its natal position because this position is the basis for the other two ways in which you can engage with it.
THE NATAL MOON
The natal Moon – the position of the Moon in our birth chart – is the primary indicator of the way in which we craft a personality from within and without. Our initial exposure to being a discrete person inside the physical-astral realm makes a deep impression that shapes the way we will personalize our life experience from that moment on. There is no changing this, it is a deep impression in the soul or astral body from which we can only proceed, not escape. Proceeding from this initial impression we will be free to elaborate, improvise, expand and adapt our personality, but it will always be from a basic attunement to this formative impression. For example if your Moon is placed in a Water sign then there is no avoiding the fact that you will always be one of the emotionally sensitive people, while if it is in an Air sign then you are destined to be curious and to ask a lot of questions.
It is important to understand that this impression arises not just from our environment and the circumstances of what is going on around us as we are growing in the womb and then being born, followed by the conditioning that early experiences bring, but also from many invisible factors. For example having musicians around playing music when you are inside your mother or when being born does not necessarily mean that you will have an inborn affinity for music. It will only help you to bring this affinity out if it already exists within you, because we come into this life not as newborn souls but as souls with prior experiences, and these experiences form instinctive impressions that carry over from one life to another. In other words, there is always some kind of baggage (be that a natural aptitude or a burden), and there is a plan for us (one of our own devising) that concerns that baggage. Existence is an intentional exercise in mastering the soul – by exploring all kinds of personalities, like an actor playing many roles, it is able to gather the insight to perceive its own nature, the spirit that animates the personalities with the same light, time after time, age to age.
Mastery of this process can only occur while we are incarnate in physical form, which means it has to be attained while subject to the ever changing scenery of astra-physical existence – mundane life. You cannot master dancing without the music, or act a role without having a stage of some kind to do it on. This is further complicated by the fact that for complex reasons we do not remember what our tasks are or even that we have been here before. We know only the singular role that we find ourselves playing in the present. We suffer greatly because we do not know that we will survive this whole experience. However, with a sufficient degree of astral awareness we can recover this knowing, and even prove it to ourselves. Proving it to others is not so easy, as it is, ultimately, the most personal journey of all.
All of this takes us back to the natal Moon. By its aspects, sign and house position, as well as by details like its dignity, a good astrologer can illuminate all of these areas. If you know which sign your Moon was in when you were born, that is the best place to start. You can discover this information easily online, or just ask an astrologer you trust to tell you. You may need to know your time of birth, but on many days it is not necessary. It is only necessary if you are born on a day when the Moon switches signs, which happens once every 2.5 days, taking about 28 days to orbit the Earth (store this fact away for later).
Once you know the Moon sign you were born under, read about that sign. I have in depth articles on each zodiac sign in the archives. Consider which of that signs characteristics you resonate with personally – the qualities that you take ownership of. Personal qualities are not usually displayed openly, they are personal after all, so they often require some ‘getting to know you’ to happen before they are apparent to others. Some signs are more open to displaying their personality than others (Leo vs. Scorpio, for example). There is no right or wrong judgment to make here, only what feels comfortable to us personally.
THE NATAL MOON & THE SOUL MIRRORS
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a soul mirror is an extremely personal written document that describes all of the character traits we perceive in ourselves. There is a black mirror for the negative traits and a white mirror for the positive ones. Each trait is given an association with one or more of the 4 Elements and an intensity depending on how often it asserts itself. In order to become a genuine magician the vast majority of black mirror traits have to be dealt with (they are either transformed or banished) and the representation of all 4 Elements must be worked on (through meditation and other character transformation) to attain an equilibrium, a dynamic balance. It is this equilibrium that allows us to then be able to work magically with the 4 Elements.
By the way, I think its long time we dropped those terms and instead used light and dark mirrors, and that is what i will be doing from now on.
If you are a practitioner of Initiation into Hermetics then knowing your Moon sign gives you a great advantage in any work with the soul mirrors. Knowing your Sun sign and its astrological qualities is just one half of a picture that is completed by knowing your Moon sign. The two Lights are the primary indicators of our soul mirror characteristics. A third and fourth primary indicator are the sign of the ascendant and the ruler of the ascendant (I use the traditional but you may also use the modern ruler).
In some cases a chart will show that the Sun, Moon, ascendant and/or ascendant ruler are in the same sign, which means that the qualities of that sign will be exceptionally strong in the character. To have all 4 of these primary indicators in the same sign you have to be born near dawn close to a new Moon when the ruler of the ascendant is rising. This is pretty rare; the only chart I can locate with this heavy an emphasis on one sign is Lyndon B. Johnson (Virgo), who assumed the presidency after the assassination of JFK. Apparently he worked 18- to 20-hour days without break and was seemingly absent of any leisure activities.
In most cases people are less extreme because these primary indicators will be in different signs . Sun in Leo and Moon in Scorpio with ascendant in Capricorn and Saturn in Aquarius, for example. This can be confusing as the traits of these signs are all very different. Here it helps to understand what, for instance, the difference between a Sun sign trait and an ascendant sign trait is.
The difference between them is actually fairly easy to explain. The Sun sign shows general overall characteristics that are highly visible to everyone whose lives we connect with, it is often how others view us as well as who we actually are. These characteristics are always “on” and assume a commanding role over other characteristics we might possess – these qualities can be blinding, or outshine others. They generally dominate when we are awake and during the daytime hours. In terms of analogy with Initiation into Hermetics the Sun sign illuminates the process of mental equilibrium (awareness of the realm of the spirit) and all the mental steps. It sets a level to which all other traits must aspire in the pursuit of mental equilibrium. The Moon sign on the other hand shows more how we view ourselves and how others who know us personally tend to view us, and it is more adaptable and changeable and tends to dominate our character when we are asleep and during the night hours. In terms of analogy with Initiation into Hermetics it illuminates the process of astral equilibrium (awareness of the realm of the soul) and all the astral steps. It has great powers of command over the process of attaining an astral equilibrium, for good or ill. The ascendant sign shows character traits that we employ to integrate and express all of the above, often in our appearance and style as well as our general first impression, and the sign of the ascendant ruler elaborates on this with tactics and details. Taken together, the signs connected to the ascendant are direct analogues for traits that help us complete the physical steps and our ability to maintain a concentrated triple awareness in the present moment, as well as to care for our physical wellbeing.
There is an important 5th primary indicator of our soul mirror character traits, and that is the aspects between planets in the chart. This is a huge and complicated area that is best left to an experienced astrologer to figure out, but there is some basic insight I can pass on here that is helpful in terms of seeing how traits that we have in our mirrors complement and support or clash and aggravate one another (i.e. the really important details of the mirror work which involve perceiving our complexes). To understand this you only have to know about the two basic structural components of all aspects – Elements and Modalities.
You already know what the 4 Elements are if you are working with soul mirrors or the zodiac. What is important here is to know how they are arranged in astrology. The sequence is Fire-Earth-Air-Water (x3, making 12 signs). The arrangement established in the zodiac places each Element in sympathy with itself plus one other and into dynamism with 2 other Elements:
Fire and Air are in sympathy with other Fire and Air signs and dynamically interact with Earth and Water signs
Earth and Water are in sympathy with other Earth and Water signs and dynamically interact with both Fire and Air signs.
So we can see that the grouping by Elements is divided into two camps which are connected to the Fluids – Fire and Air contain a preponderance of the Electric Fluid, and Water and Earth contain more Magnetic Fluid. The sympathies of the Elements in the zodiac are an expression of the Fluids.
There is however one major exception to this sympathetic Elements rule, and that is that opposite signs of the zodiac will not be as naturally sympathetic, they will instead represent the polarity of balance between opposing character traits. For example, Aries is a Fire sign in sympathy with the the other 2 Fire signs as well as itself and also with Air signs Gemini and Aquarius, but it is polarized (opposite in the zodiac) with the last Air sign, Libra. Aries is (for example) ‘do this without hesitation immediately’ and Libra is ‘put what is good for my companion before my own wants’. So there is always one sign that does not harmonize as well as the other 5 until a polarity is bought into balance, a polarity that involves either Fire/Air or Water/Earth.
Aries and Libra oppose one another
Gemini and Sagittarius oppose one another
Leo and Aquarius oppose one another
Taurus and Scorpio oppose one another
Cancer and Capricorn oppose one another
Virgo and Pisces oppose one another
These exceptions arise because there is a second way in which signs are grouped, not by Elements but by 3 Modalities, these being Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable signs. Unlike in the grouping by Elements where there is internal harmony as signs that share the same Element or ones that are related by Fluid have a basic sympathy and support one another, signs that share a Modality do not, they are instead dynamically arranged. Thus the Cardinal signs clash dynamically with the other Cardinal signs, the Fixed signs clash dynamically with the other Fixed signs and the Mutable signs clash dynamically with the other Mutable signs. The only sympathy occurs when the signs are not different i.e. when the two objects share the same sign (a sign is obviously sympathetic to itself).
Cardinal or Active signs (denoting a personality designed to take action): Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn.
Fixed or Stable signs (denoting a personality designed to hold ground): Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius.
Mutable or Reactive signs (denoting a personality designed to embrace change): Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces.
All this being understood you can use this in your soul mirror work. If you know that some of your Aries Sun sign traits in the light mirror are motivation, creativity, sense of adventure and courage and some of your dark mirror traits from your Moon in Sagittarius are restlessness and idealism, then you can use this insight as a starting point for meditation on how these traits relate to one another.
If the Sun sign is in Aries (a Fire sign), for example, then you know that if your Moon sign is in any other Fire or Air sign except for Libra, then the two groups of character traits that belong to the Sun and Moon will naturally tend to reinforce, support and strengthen one another, and you will generally not experience this kind of trait complex as being problematic. This does not mean that these complexes are automatically light mirror qualities because that really depends on what you do with them. There are some dark mirror qualities that we do not recognise as problematic, and these can stem from this kind of situation – we enjoy many things that are not good for us, and these complexes can supply opportunities for indulgence easily. Again no judgment about good or bad can be made here, but what we are seeing here is that (in this case) one group of character traits is supporting and strengthening another and vice versa. The sympathy is always going both ways, although one set of traits may dominate over another.
Taking this first example a bit further lets say that you have identified that one of the traits of your Aries Sun sign is that you are impatient (dark mirror) and another is that you are motivated (light mirror). Firstly you can see that the impatience and the motivation are related (both connect with Aries, Cardinal Fire) which means that as you work on your impatience your motivation will probably be liberated to find better ways of expressing itself – because they are actually more like a single trait, like two sides of a coin.
But let’s now imagine that you also have the Moon in Sagittarius. This is another Fire sign which means it is in harmony or is supportive of the Aries Sun sign. Here let’s imagine that you have identified one of your dark mirror Sagittarius traits as being restless and one of your light mirror Sagittarius traits as being visionary. Again you can see that your visionary and restless character traits are actually related and as you work on becoming a master of your restlessness you will become more visionary or at least your visionary qualities will become more effective.
However we can also tell from this that your restlessness (negative Sagittarius) naturally supports and strengthens your impatience (negative Aries), and also that your visionary qualities (positive Sagittarius) support and strengthen your motivational qualities (positive Aries) – and vice versa in both cases. You can also perceive that it’s possible for you to use your motivation (positive Aries) in dealing with your restlessness (negative Sagittarius) and your visionary qualities (positive Sagittarius) can help you deal with your impatience (negative Aries). There is a lot here for you to unpack in terms of qualities and traits and how they support one another in both soul mirrors. Astrology gives you guidance on where to direct your inner contemplation and reflection.
What if instead we have the same Sun in a Fire sign but the Moon is in a Water sign? Then we have a dynamic arrangement of Sun/Moon qualities that will clash with and energise one another rather than blend smoothly together, but this has its advantages. As an example, if that Moon is in Cancer then the urge of the Aries Fire to keep moving forward could easily be held in check by some kind of tidal rhythm that continually pulls it back. This might sound bad, but that is situational – what if the person needs to be held back because they rush ahead impetuously? Then its just what you need. However, in a dynamic arrangement of qualities or traits the general rule is that dark mirror traits will tend to make one another worse while the light mirror traits will be forces to reckon with. So in a generic sense a dynamic arrangement of traits causes an aggravation or excessive energizing of both traits and this aggravation must be soothed and worked through or reigned in somewhat so that we can direct it. We lose control of these complexes easily while with sympathetic complexes we find control to come far more flowingly. These dynamically arranged traits often turn out to be the most important ones for us to get a handle on in order to attain a true astral equilibrium (especially when the Moon sign is involved), but when they have been mastered their light mirror equivalents become extremely powerful traits which can lead us forward toward great achievements.
For example if that Aries Sun is related to impatience and motivation, and the Cancer Moon is related to anxiety and nurturing, then the impatience and anxiety work together to form a very hard complex to crack but once it is cracked it transforms itself into the light mirror quality of motivation and nurturing combined which is then channeled into some kind of action (the Cardinal signs lead the personality to take action). This activity is then perpetually supplied with all the energy it needs and you have basically a recipe for (for example) a confident supermum who never gives up where before there was a woman struggling to cope with all her anxieties and at her wits end from demanding kids. It can be that dramatic with a dynamic complex once you get to grips with it. The soul is a miraculous device.
Remember also that the general rule is that the Sun sign relates to the training of the spirit or the mental steps, the Moon sign relates to the training of the soul or the astral steps and the ascendant and its ruler relate to the training of the body or the physical steps. This is a simplification but it is a working one. So, if the Sun sign is in a sympathetic or harmonious relationship with the Moon sign but in a dynamic relationship with the ascendant sign, it is an indication that there is a challenge when it comes to integrating the lessons of the mental and physical steps, a challenge which may manifest at one or more times during initiation as problems with one of the mental or physical exercises. The nature of that problem is also being indicated by the Element involved. However because in this example the Sun sign is in a sympathetic or harmonious relationship with the Moon sign, there will be a strong foundation in integrating the lessons of the mental and astral steps at some level and this can help to break through the challenge. So we can see here how different traits can be given different tasks in order to overcome specific challenges that we encounter during initiation, and this kind of knowledge only increases as we grow in either astral awareness or our understanding of astrology.
To make all this easier to digest concentrate first on the Sun and Moon sign and their compatibility, and only add the ascendant and the ascendant rulers sign later (in the cases where they are different signs). This is especially true if your birth time is uncertain because the ascendant is extremely sensitive to the birth time. In cases where you do not know your birth time it is best just to forget about the ascendant and its ruler and concentrate instead on the interaction and placement of the Sun and Moon.
TRANSITS AND PROGRESSIONS & THE SOUL MIRRORS
After you have a handle on all of that turn your attention to transits and progressions of the Moon. A transit is a movement currently happening in the sky. For example if the Moon is in Pisces, then it is referred to as transiting through or in Pisces. A transit is something that applies collectively to every single person in every single thing, but each of them will receive it differently at the personal level. A progression is instead a symbolic movement of the position of a planet from its natal place. There are many different ways to symbolically progress the position of planets from their natal places, the one we will use here is called secondary progressions because it is based on the secondary motion of astronomy (primary motion is our rotation on an axis every 24 hours, secondary motion is our orbit around the Sun). A progression is something that applies personally and not collectively (unless the chart being considered relates to something collective, like a country).
With transits there are two ways in which you can work with your natal Moon. Firstly you can create your Moon key which will show the conjunction transits of major slow-moving planets to your Moons natal position over the course of your life. Instructions on how to do this are provided in my book and also available for free on this website here. There are also many articles available on various transits through signs.
The Moon key shows you a history of interaction that your natal Moon has with powerful planets, interactions which shape and permanently change its expression at different times in your life. These patterns are cyclical and are mostly composed of interaction with Jupiter and Saturn with some also involving Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and sometimes Pluto. Jupiter interacts with your Moon key once every 11 to 12 years, greatly expanding and enlarging its expression and forcing it into new territory. Saturn interacts with your Moon key once every 28 to 29 years because it takes that long to go around the Sun (store this fact alongside the early one I asked you to store about the Moon taking 28 days to go around the Earth). This influence is one which causes our expression of the Moon qualities to mature and show their age. The other planets have unique effects that will occur only once if at all in any human lifetime. Chiron helps us to heal the wounds that arise from our Moon, thus healing the astral awareness, while at the same time it makes all that is painful more acute. Uranus introduces some kind of radical change, a once-in-a-lifetime shakeup of how our astral awareness operates and it is opened up to new levels of awareness very easily, sometime shockingly and outside of our control. Neptune is more subtle and will often manifest as some kind of psychic experience or a dream-like sequence which can last several months or even a year or two in which symbols and mysterious omens play a mysterious role in our astral awakening. Pluto puts is in touch with the deeper levels of our Moon, levels which we have probably been unaware of, and this will often force us to make a major transformation of our personality.
The Moon key can be studied to uncover how our astral awareness has been affected by major life events, as well as indicate when we are about to experience another one. These are the two main advantages of using the Moon key, it helps to make sense of the past in terms of how our character and personality has developed and why and when, as well as giving us a heads up about when we can expect a similar pattern or further developments to emerge in the future. In initiation the main advantage of knowing this latter information is that you can use a time when the Moon key is being influenced to make a planned alteration to your behaviour or to ‘feed’ your astral awareness in a certain way. You don’t need these influences to make the alteration but they will greatly assist.
An important thing to understand about this way is that it is more collective as it is based upon the actual current positions of planets in the sky which are the same for everybody in the world at the same time, and these planets move slowly. This greatly differentiates them from progressions and allows different generations of people with the same Moon sign to work together during a particular period. This massively increases the effect of their activity. This is a way in which change that occurs within people at the personal level can overflow to change at the level of the personality society or culture which those people partake in.
One particular and specific way in which this happens is via symbols. Symbols clearly have a personal meaning which is derived from how people personally experience them. They mean different things to different people because of different personal circumstances. A dog means one thing in the west and another in China (because of the Chinese zodiac, for example) and it also means one thing to a person who raises puppies and a very different thing to someone who has just been attacked by a dog. All of these symbols are also undergoing a constant process of change and re-evaluation of their use and meaning, and sometimes their souls depart. Take for example the recent move to finally retire the racist iconography of 130 year old Aunt Jemima, a black woman used to promote a pancake mix by Quaker Oats. Her depiction went through a succession of changes designed to make her less and less racist, but in 2020 her use as a marketing symbol has now fully expired, and so out she goes. She is finally considered too toxic to make money from.
Here it’s also noteworthy not only that symbols change what they signify to people on a personal level and that they are adapted to reflect this change, but also that when enough people personally claim a symbol as their own, then that symbol attains a new collective significance. When I was a young child a rainbow had something to do Noah and the flood story, something to do with hope, rain and sunshine, something to do with leprechauns and pots of gold (not really unicorns yet, but ‘My Little Pony’ was happening) and (for me at least) something to do with a popular UK television show for children with puppets, a person in a bear costume and musicians. Then in 1978 artist Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag as a symbol for the gay community to rally behind, and because enough people personally adopted this symbol it was elevated at the collective level to take that new space almost exclusively in my astral awareness. Show me a rainbow now and I primarily think of all the Pride marches I have been on.
I mention this about symbols in relation to the Moon key and transits because it’s important to understand that the Moon is extremely receptive to work with symbols. Symbols are the currency of the personal realm, they hold significance which is to the astral what oxygen is to the physical. Suck the significance out of a symbol and its soul expires. Pump them up with it and they attain greater power and eventually assume a collective significance. Symbols store our personal astral power and allow us to exchange it with one another. Groups of people working with symbols during mutual Moon key activations can literally shape the collective soul.
You can also use Magnetic conduction to explore all of your chart, but in particular future activations of your Moon key. This is the far more personal way of developing your astral awareness and it has the advantage of being available all the time. Remember that the Moon takes about 28 days to go around the Earth and thus to orbit through all 12 signs? Well, that means that you can use Magnetic conduction at any time because it is not dependent on long cycles like the 11 year cycle of Jupiter. The individual influences that make up these cycles only last a few hours or days, however, so they are not really good for collective work. Instead this form of using transits to explore your Moon is ideal for getting into the nitty-gritty of your own personality, your soul and your astral awareness and for effecting change within or through it. Full instructions on how to do Magnetic conduction are in my book and also in an abridged but practical form on this website are free (at the end of the previously provided link). You can also find several articles in the archive by searching for conduction.
What about progressions? As I said before there are numerous methods and the method that we will be using are secondary progressions, but all progressions basically start with the natal chart and then apply a symbolic change to it as time passes. In secondary progressions this symbolic change is “1 day equals 1 year”. So for each day that passes after your birth, the positions of the planets are recalculated and these positions represent your experience starting from the time when you are one years old. So the positions 30 days after your birth represent the 30th year of your life when you turn 30 until you are 31.
Because we only live for about 80-90 years, it is only the first 80-90 or so days after life that will be relevant. Since the slow moving planets (from Uranus out but also Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron) will only move a very small amount in 80 days they do not provide much information of use. Instead it is the fast moving planets and the Lights which are significant because they will cover a lot of ground in three months.
Progressions represent the psychological state of change that we go through internally with regard to our natal positions. There are numerous ways in which progressions can affect us.
First of all an object in our birth chart can be progressed to a place where it forms an aspect to one of our natal planets. For example our Moon in Leo could progress to the position of our natal Mars in Virgo. In this case the progressing object interacts with the natal principle and both are altered.
A progressed planet can also form an aspect with another progressed planet instead of a natal planet. For example our Moon in Leo could progress to a place where it forms a conjunction with our progressed Mars in Libra. This might happen after the progressed Moon interacts with the same planets natal place, such as after it interacts with natal Mars in Virgo from the example above. In this case it can be seen as a further development of those alterations. Sometimes, because of retrograde motion, a progressed planet will interact with another progressed planet before and not after it interacts with that planet’s natal position. In these cases the result is the same, the two interactions are related and the second becomes a further development of the first. In the case of the progressed Moon there can be days, months or sometimes a few years at most between these two developments.
There is only a very subtle difference between these two types of interaction but it’s an important one. Any interaction with a natal planet is rooted and grounded. Interactions between progressed planets are not so rooted and grounded. They exist in a more ephemeral state and often they are experienced as internal dialogs and developments which others can perceive only if they look very closely. This is only a general rule however.
In both of these cases the influence will be stronger if there is actually some kind of natal aspect between the objects that are interacting by progression. For example if you have the Sun and the Moon in a square aspect in your natal chart, then any progressions involving both the Sun and the Moon will be especially significant.
An object could also progress into a new sign or a new temple. In this case the progressing object begins to assimilate experience in a new way, adapting its natal influence to different circumstances and developing new tactics.
To begin putting all this into practical use that will help you to develop your astral awareness I recommend that you start with this last avenue. Calculate the progressed Moon for 100 years starting from your birth, and make note of all the sign and temple changes it makes. Software, online tools or an astrologer can make this effortless. You will notice that it makes a complete cycle of all 12 signs (and thus also all 12 temples) every 28 years or so. Do you understand why? It’s because the Moon takes 28 days or so to go around the Earth, and in progressions one day equals one year. So if the Moon goes through all 12 signs in 28 days by transit then it goes through all 12 signs in 28 years by secondary progression. Given this fact, we can also calculate that it takes about 2.5 years to go through one sign by progression, since 28 years divided by 12 signs equals 2.5 years for each sign. This is however an average as the speed of the Moon is variable.
So, every 2.5 years we have our Moon progressing into a new sign. This also means that it has progressed into a new Element and a new Modality. The natal Moon will always retain its initial impression and characteristics, but it will adapt. Like anything which changes, our personality is a living being. Living beings require fuel and sustenance. The progression of our natal Moon into signs and temples shows how our appetite for new experience for the soul and our taste in astral sustenance develop. In effect by following the guidance of the progressed Moon and introducing it to the natal Moon we are feeding our astral awareness what it needs to develop.
Remember that the order of the Elements as they are arranged in the zodiac follows the sequence of Fire, Earth, Air and then Water before repeating. With this information you can now understand that every 2 1/2 years the soul begins to absorb and digest the materia of a new Element through its astral awareness. It begins to hunger more for that Element. This means that your living equilibrium will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new hunger, and your soul mirrors probably need adjusting to reflect the changes that occur in your character. I ask you, where else can you find this kind of insight, except within yourself? This fact alone is a good enough reason to practice the use of astrology in your magical life.
Remember earlier when I said to remember that Saturn takes 28 years to transit around the zodiac? It is synchronised with the cycle of the progressed Moon. The Saturn return by transit happens at the same time as the progressed Moon has made a complete orbit of the chart and has returned to its own natal position. This is an expression of the shared ownership of the Moon and Saturn with the principle of karma or cause and effect, and the import these things have for the soul.
It’s also worth noting here that progression of the Moon into a new sign also brings it into a new Modality, and this is also an important shift. A Moon in Leo that is very Fixed and Stable in the expression of its Fire nature (perhaps showing itself as pride in the personality) might progress into Reactive Earth (Virgo) and grow more humble in response, perhaps because it feels drawn to be more analytical and critical of itself, or just because being helpful to others starts to feed the souls appetite more and becomes something that it can take pride in. It learns to adapt (Reactive) rather than hold ground in a commanding way (Fixed). Progressions of the Moon into a new Modality can help us with the challenge of crafting a personality that is neither too static nor too reactionary. The Elements can also be applied here – Fire is the most reactionary Element by nature, followed by Air, then Water, with the most static Element being Earth. If we feel that our personality is too stuck on something, or not stuck enough onto it, or not motivated and active enough, progressions of the Moon can help us to make a shift (or avoid sliding further down a slope into an extreme).
Once you have looked at the progressions of the Moon into new signs and temples the next logical step to take is to look at when the Moon makes conjunctions to the natal positions of other planets. These are times in which your astral awareness becomes aware of the significance of these natal positions. If already aware, it becomes aware of them in a new context. For example if your natal Moon progresses to make a conjunction with your Venus in Cancer, then you are looking at a time in which your astral awareness is flooded with strong feelings and emotions, particularly of an empathetic and nurturing kind, and you might become aware of this in the context of meeting new feminine influences in your life. What is actually happening here is that your own astral development has externalized itself so that you can interact with it. Psychic states do this all the time with the help of astral beings. Sometimes it is a form of unhealthy projection, but at others its just a manifestation of natural law as what we feel within magnetically draws to us a matching resonance.
All of these progressed Moon cycles occur once every 28 years, and the second time they happen is often the most significant as far as our personality and soul is concerned. The first cycle is formative, the second corrective.
Finally with respect to progressions of the Moon to other progressions, at least for initial purposes and for people wanting only to use astrology lightly or wit their mirror work, I recommend focusing on only the progressions that exist between the Sun and Moon, otherwise called the progressed Moon/lunar phases. Basically these are the phases of the Moon for the first three months of your life expressed as progressions. So if there was a Full Moon 10 days after you are born then there is a progressed full Moon when you turn 10 years old. These progressions are about the relationship between the spirit and the soul, therefore they are related to how much of the soul we are willing to show to others. During a progressed New Moon period we are more insular and introspective because the soul is looking within for answers. During a progressed Full Moon period the opposite is true. But the progressed lunar phase also describes the battery of astral energy flowing into our transits. During a progressed Full Moon period all of our transits have greater astral energy flowing into them while during the New Moon period there is much less with the Half Moons representing the average or medium.
I also have a theory (one I am confident enough to share here) that in general the work that we do on our progressed influences has a direct influence upon and is reflected within our experience of transits i.e. that by working on ourselves at the level of progressions we change the way that future transits will manifest. I propose that transits (the more collective level) are responsive to progressions (the more personal level). Going back the other way, transits have an effect on our psychological and psychic state that changes how we respond to future progressions, but I do not think that they fundamentally alter what future progressions will bring.
That’s all for this month, take care everyone and don’t forget to love each other!