October 2011-March 2012: Many Moons to Go

by Boots Hart, CAP on October 1, 2011

lunar astrology moon phases

Lunar astrology, as different from solar astrology (my normal perspective), is greatly built around “phase relationships”: the step-by-archetypal-step birth-growth-maturation-decline-death process. The most common and visible example of this kind of cycle is our local celestial satellite—the Moon. The eight phases from New Moon to New Moon illustrate this sort of phase relationship, and lunar astrologers see much of life as “phase progressions,” using not just lunar phases, but solar, Jovian (Jupiter), Saturnine (Saturn), Mercurial (Mercury) and every other celestial object as a basis for examining “phase growth.”

We’ve touched on this idea before in other discussions, most notably in referring to the periodic and predictable synodic conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter, which are astrological markers for the rise and fall of various human structures (nations, religions, economies, etc.).

But the “common” version of this is to use a given planet or satellite against its own “marker” of whatever sort. So you might be born with a Moon at 14 degrees of Aquarius 5 minutes, and every time the Moon gets back to the 14 degrees, 5 minutes of Aquarius, you get a new “lunar return” which pictures personal doings for that month.

Yet since we live with a full 12-sign zodiac, there is a sign-to-sign consideration to be figured in too. And we’re moving into another period of months when this counts rather pointedly. This month (October 2011) is going to see a Full Moon occurring at 18 Aries. Next month (November 2011) is going to see a Full Moon occurring at 18 Taurus (and let’s remember here that the Full Moon (Sun opposition Moon) always occurs in the sign opposite that which the Sun is passing through at the time).

And it doesn’t stop there. October, November, December 2011 and January, February, March 2012 are all going to be seeing Full Moons occur at 18 degrees of progressing signs: Aries (October), Taurus (November), Gemini (December), Cancer (January), Leo (February) and Virgo (March).

This is plainly a celestial chain of progression which says we will all be learning about ourselves… either through our own efforts or through situations which now arise. How do we know this? We know it because the first half of the zodiac—generally pictured as the signs below the “natural” horoscope horizon—are signs which are “personally experiential.” They’re about our “inside” world and learning about ourselves or growing into being who we are, should be, or want to be.

First six signs of the natural zodiac

First six signs of the natural zodiac

So there’s a definite, perhaps behind-the-scenes (or under our skin!) emphasis on personal growth and experiences which will promote (even force) that growth coming down the pike. And as we say this, let’s also recognize that signs which are right next to each other (in a 30-degree, semi-sextile relationship) are general indicators of ego bumps and bruises.

They don’t share elements (earth, air, fire or water) and they don’t share modalities (pro-active, consideration-prone, experimental). So we know that as the monthly lunar (feeling, emotional, emotion-provoking) cycle comes to “full phase” over these next months, with each Full Moon is likely to come some degree of…frustration? Disappointment? Realizations other than or beyond the ideal we were hoping for?

First six signs by modality

First six signs by element

This doesn’t have to be dastardly. Nor does it mean we won’t make gains. But even where we make gains, they’re more likely to be of the “I got this far, now do I really have to tackle/wait for that next phase of the project?” sort. We should expect that there will be points when our desire to share the good will coincide with someone else not being so gleeful. Or when we’re all ready and someone else just isn’t.

First six signs by modality

First six signs by modality

There isn’t going to necessarily be anything essentially wrong with what will happen going forward…it’s just not likely to suit us to the proverbial “T.” Or it’ll happen after more effort than we had counted on. Or there will be compromises or inconveniences along the way.

And if you don’t like that…well, that may be—metaphysically—exactly why these incidents are now arising in your life. Life is, after all, all about growing.

A few other notes here before we get to it…through the first five of the next six lunations, Neptune will be completing its 2011/2012 cycle. To be more specific, October, November and December will all have Neptune at 28 degrees of Aquarius—the degree it goes direct at during November.

Twenty-eight degrees of Aquarius is by definition social, societal and about what you give versus what you get and your “place” in this world. It’s also a highly unpredictable degree. So we can expect some ups and downs—some of which will be volatile. Relationships, income, “faith in the world,” friends and friendships, all these things will ask us whether we are able to “live in the moment” without expectations. That’s the Neptune rule! Those who “expect” or have the greatest need to “define” or “glue things down” will have the hardest time…but then again, those who try to “believe and make it so” or delude themselves will also pay a big price.

During January 2012 and into the first few days of February 2012, Neptune will be at 29 Aquarius, a degree all about “societal structures.” The uprisings and rebellions which began in many Middle Eastern countries during late February, March and early April 2011 all occurred under Neptune at 29 Aquarius—as did Japan’s earthquake/tsunami and the resulting meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, an event which dissolved much of Japan’s standard operational procedures.

Testing and melting away farces and fantasies, be they about love, income, economics or spirituality/belief and who “our people” really are…that’s also part of Neptune’s completing of its transit of Aquarius. Things we thought plain will prove to be illusions as things we thought couldn’t be true become plainly true. Neptune transits always work this way in order to prevent us from trying to “glue” ourselves into some position or belief.

So be prepared: all will become much more emotional, visceral and personal as Neptune commits to its transit of Pisces in early February 2011. And if you’re American, you probably recognize that as bracketing the Presidential primary season…for better and worse, yes.

Neptune’s February committing to a transit of Pisces will also mark a time when we all feel more vulnerable, AND when we can expect others to play on our vulnerabilities if for no other reason so that they don’t feel vulnerable themselves. Critiques may cause us to wonder about the validity of many things. But as you go there remember, the feeling is yours and though how you “feel” is one thing, how you feel about “how you feel” (your willingness to deal with your feelings and reactivity) is really the pro and con here. Above all, Pisces is a sign about our ability to have the dream while understanding the difference between the optimism of hope and motivation against the reality we have to work with, move through and be challenged by.

And now that we’ve said all that, a few lunar notes on each of the 18 degree Full Moons heading our way…!

October 12, 2011 (2:07am UT/+0): Full Moon at 18 Aries

Aries full moonEighteen degrees of any sign being “emotional,” in fire sign Aries this translates more to the idea of fervency, excitement, even anxiety. With Eris (Discord) standing close to the Moon in this picture and 18 Aries known as a peace-loving degree which invites volatility, this is an interesting place to start the “Full Moon sequence” as it’s plainly a lesson in metaphysics all by itself.

Put simply: what we refuse to deal with in our own lives becomes an “available quotient” others can use…and often use against us. So the idea here is not to refuse to be strong, and to differentiate between those who are helplessly vulnerable and vulnerable by refusal to deal with the Aries reality of what life really is.

With Circe also associated with the Moon here and shape-shifter Haumea plus Rhadamanthus and Saturn conjunct the Sun, those who allow themselves to be part of the “herd” (Circe/Moon) will find themselves being manipulated. This Moon marks a moment when the deft among us will defend hard realities as facts without fighting.

November 10, 2011 (8:17pm UT/+0): Full Moon at 18 Taurus

full moon in taurusTaurus is a sign which seeks security and satisfaction. In Taurus, everything starts with self worth and a conviction that you have what it takes to make something happen. Those who have in the preceding cycle learned to not fight but deal in plain facts (which you’re free to like or dislike but which remain facts nevertheless!) will now move on to a moment of grappling with what is actually possible to do.

Where Aries is a fire sign which envisions and learns from results, the Taurean desire for security and “tangible results” tends to favor the known—yes, even when the known is wrong. Proving to yourself that you are capable of growing and learning now would be a really good thing. And why is that, you ask? Well, Moon/Sedna conjunct in this figure asks whether some “immature” vision of having things your own way (the “easy way”) is getting in your way. And with Sedna (but not the Moon) conjunct fixed star Algol, let’s be real: the more immature your vision of life is, the more likely it is you’re going to get all ticked off at someone for reminding you that you really do need to grow up!

Against this we have Huya-Sun-Europa: the invitation to get involved in giving to others based on what you have learned. Europa here is an interesting signal as it may say things are moving so fast that you don’t know where they’re going (yet…) …or that you may get carried away. With all three of these symbols being positioned in Scorpio, we know success is sweet and the temptation to try to control things too much, very strong.

A final note here: there will be a solar eclipse during the waning portion of this lunar cycle. Occurring in Sagittarius, the theme would certainly seem to be a form of “nature abhors a vacuum.” In other words, to have something new and better, you have to let go of the old and dysfunctional first. Easier said than done—yes. But life now makes such things mandatory.

Those who have mastered the “fact versus ideal” Aries phase of this sequence are less likely to control and more likely to participate in teaching and helping others, this being in the truer Huya “Rainmaker” spirit which in the end brings blessings raining down on the giver.

December 10, 2011 (2:37pm UT/+0): Full Moon/LUNAR ECLIPSE at 18 Gemini

full moon in geminiBeing that this Full Moon is a lunar eclipse, its effects are likely to be more “dramatic” in nature, which is not to say this is either good or bad. By themselves, lunar eclipses seldom indicate a total change of life, though they can indicate a change of plans or change of heart.

As for 18 Gemini, this is one of Gemini’s mental “tofu” degrees—meaning it seems to derive its “flavor” from that which is positioned here (the Moon) or associated with that object. In this case, the Moon is within 4 degrees of the South Lunar Node; there is a marked desire for things to be easy now, and with Circe exactly conjunct the South Node there’s a temptation and yearning for acceptance.

However! Since the Moon is even more closely conjunct fixed stars Rigel (the teacher) and Bellatrix (tough mental slogging), and the Sun in this figure conjunct TNO Ixion and Kalypso, there’s a real question being posed. Are we willing to “be accepted” if that requires us to kow-tow to demands which compromise quality and/or ultimate viability?

People often think air signs like Gemini aren’t emotional. That’s incorrect! The element of a sign merely tell us the medium through which the energy works. So expect a lot of highly charged opinions, thoughts and statements to be made now. Gemini is an air sign, it’s conceptual—it’s about the information or the idea, or the process involved—how something comes to be or has come to be as it is. One of four “mutable” zodiac signs, Gemini is also a sign which experiments first then builds on what works, charting a course as it goes.

That lunar eclipse effects diminish over the course of three months means these will finalize as the series of Full Moons at 18 degrees ends in March 2012. If you consider this a “viability test” or “course correction” to the whole of the series of Full Moons, you’ll probably be more or less on target.

January 9, 2012 (7:31am UT/+0): Full Moon at 18 Cancer

full moon in CancerCancer is the sign of home, hearth, family, culture and our innermost psyche and the “habits” (or conditioning) with which we have become “programmed” to operate (programmed by self, others, society or tradition). And in the Cancer family of degrees, this is a degree known for its insistent self-concern. Such a heightened sense of need (or for some, entitlement) may be an outgrowth or assertion of necessity, but often this is simply a case of “I can, I want, screw everybody else”—a mode (modality) of action often associated with Cancer, a sign which is “cardinal” (pro-active) and emotional.

Where Scorpio emotionalism may be desire and Pisces emotionalism is often romantic, Cancer’s emotionalism is conviction. With this being a Full Moon (meaning the Sun is in definitive Capricorn) the aura of determination is likely to be particularly evident now.

There are no asteroids closely associated with either the lunar or solar end of this configuration, though having the Sun widely conjunct Vega (eclipsed by opposition in July 2011) and Niobe (pride which brings about its own fall) and the Moon here four degrees past Kallisto (surviving beastly doings) and dog-star Sirius (the importance of small things) suggests that people have pretty much had enough.

Of what? That’s individual…and maybe also collective. But plainly we will all be reacting and reactive to this January moment (and the couple of weeks of waning Moon which follow) in terms of how well or not well we have dealt with growth of ourselves thus far. Let’s remember—Neptune, which is not at a critical 29 Aquarius—is “dissolving” our old ways of doing things. We must change. Whether you have taken this seriously or not, what you have done about it or not done about it, that will be what determines your position at this time.

Even the best of us will face some challenges now. They may be economic, cultural…or having to do with home, family or career. With Edisonia just ahead of the Moon there is an opportunity to discover a new way of thinking and/or proceeding, but loss—particularly loss of public stature and position (Niobe) will precede any new advances.

February 7, 2012 (9:55pm UT/+0): Full Moon at 18 Leo

full moon in LeoThis moment is all about one’s strength of prowess. But as always, there’s a catch. Any object positioned in Leo can indicate where we are “blinded by the light” and as such, full of ideas and ideals and not so aware of what anybody else thinks or even likes.

Leo is a curious sign in that as magnanimous as it can be, it’s often the heartfelt soul of disappointment when others don’t feel the same way you do. It’s fiery and idealistic, yet fixed and therefore as often defensive as courageous. In this combination of qualities, Leo displays its vulnerability; the very fact that Leo wants so much to be liked and loved can be entirely endearing and cute providing we don’t go around hitting others in the head with our need to be agreed with, biting and banishing them every time they disagree.

Here we have the Leo Full Moon as a figure of personal creativity “shining” (and hopefully not whining!) in full reflection of an Aquarius (social, societal, “group”) Sun which stands with Chaldaea (the “old way”), Echo (repeating what you’ve been told), Damocles (dangers seen only once you get into it) and Child/Nessus (either immature jealousy or abuse/killing of children either physically, emotionally or mentally).

With Mercury conjunct the Sun here to the degree, this can be a contentious time, and one when ideas are being bandied about as to how to do things. The idea is to remain creative while being realistic. Trials and tribulations need to be faced and hopefully we will do that with care. Finding the “fitting place” for ourselves is important now and finesse, not braggadocio is our best tool.

March 8, 2012 (9:41am UT/+0): Full Moon at 18 Virgo

full moon in VirgoThis degree is all about the use of time, ability and power. Altruism is strong and those of us who are able to accept working on ourselves and with others (or within parameters set by others or society) are certainly likely to do better than those who insist on going it alone or doing things their own way.

Certain costs are apparent now—the Moon has just passed Medea and there’s a lesson to be learned about loving something so much that we ignore the harm we do ourselves in neglecting that which in the long run is really the most important thing. Sun conjunct Lachesis and Kassandra indicates an emotional grappling with the amount of time we do or don’t have …maybe to do something, or maybe in the whole of our lifetime.

As the second of the zodiac’s mutable signs, Virgo is well suited to efforts which require figuring out the “best” way to do things; mutable signs are very good at “finding their way.” The earthy quality of Virgo looks for tangible results and that is often the crux of Virgo problems since Virgo is the “process” and yet Virgo wants proofs generally associated with results or completion. In lieu of this, Virgo energies will sometimes simply focus ON the problem—this being the infamous “getting lost in details” part of the Virgo character which is better served when it accepts the process of gaining ground as Virgo effectiveness.

As the closing Full Moon of this semi-sextile sequence we can expect all the good or bad to come out now in the “emotional wash.” Have we learned that the process of learning is its own reward? Through some mistakes we have learned, through our own foolishness we have been both protected and tripped up. This is a restabilization point from which we now move forward, and hopefully at this point we’re more willing to feel the inspiration, love the fantasy but live in a real world.

It is our expectations, not a lack of willingness to try, which creates emotional havoc.

Print Friendly
Terry Lamb October 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Great overview of the coming months, Boots – very perceptive! I would add two points. First, that this phenomenon of the Full and New Moons at the same degrees occurs every year for 5-6 months; and second, that for Sabian lovers and traditionalists, the Full Moons are at 19 degrees.


Boots Hart October 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Hi, Terry!
About the sequencing of New or Full Moons at ‘same’ degrees of different signs, yes – it isn’t an uncommon occurrence. I find differences between the series being presented as a New Moon (beginnings) or a Full Moon cycle (endings – at least of a given phase) interesting and worth noting.

We had a New Moon series which began in November 2010 and ended with the New Moon of April 2011. That one seems to have marked the ‘beginnings’ of the huge (and messy!) world shifts we see going on in governments and financial systems around the world. That this has happened at a time when Uranus had just entered Aries and Neptune was just starting its back-and- forth ‘clearing out’ of Aquarian (in entering Pisces) marks the ‘dissolution’ of social restraints and supports/structures we have counted on…and the fact that all feels so ‘transpersonal’ (i.e., not in our individual control).

I don’t expect any sort of ‘settling down’ to begin until Neptune commits to its transit of Pisces in February of 2012 – and we of the astrological ilk are likely to look at Neptune in Pisces and say ‘settle down is a relative term there’ anyway.

As for the Sabian being read as one “number'” higher, thanks for reminding us all of that. When using Sabian symbols, because Sabians count ‘degree zero to degree 1 as the FIRST degree’ that’s the way to use the reference, certainly. That the Maya counted that way too, makes me a bit quizzical about how some count out the Mayan calendar, too – but that’s a whole other subject. Thanks for the Sabian reminder – though I don’t currently use Sabians much I’ll have to make a note to mention their proper usage more often.

Thus…back to the your point! Though lunar cycles set up the emphasis on certain degrees as a yearly pattern, what that means as a ‘series,’ especially given other influences is what struck me important here. Apart from the worldly affect of Neptune’s shift into Pisces, the emotional/personal side of same in combination with this Full Moon series in the first six (personal/more internal or private) signs of the zodiac strikes me as important.

Especially given social/societal times. Especially considering how the holidays are moving in. I’m already hearing from clients and friends about their lives being in emotional turmoil. That the answer lies (as they say) ‘in ourselves, not in our stars’ – to paraphrase the Bard – seems vital to happiness and personal stability. Hopefully people will to reach out to each other and share…by doing so, we are all likely to learn much and feel less ‘alone.’ And isn’t that a great Neptune in Pisces point?

BarbK October 30, 2011 at 10:34 am


Thank you so much for this all new (to me) approach to astrology forecasting; just wish I had gotten to reading it sooner in the month! Even so, it is an enormous help in understanding my own present situation and how immature I was at the beginning of it. Obviously, something I needed to learn and to that I would add ‘better late than never’. I am going to print this out and refer to it for the duration of the cycle.

Previous post:

Next post: