Familiar Astrological Themes

ASTROLOG: A Daily Planning Guide for ALL Sun Signs – January 1983 – Updated January 2013


Retrograde is the apparent backward motion of a planet in its orbit as seen from our viewing point on earth. Retrograding planets, like everything in astrological symbolism, are not “good” or “bad” but rather indicators as to which way the energy is flowing. People often have difficulty going with the flow when the flow changes from the direction they have become accustomed to going with.

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury goes Retrograde more frequently than any other planet. Mercury goes Retrograde for three and a half weeks every three months.

When Mercury is in Direct motion, the energy flows stronger through the left hemisphere of the brain, the so-called masculine side. When Mercury is Retrograde for three and a half weeks, the energy shifts to the right hemisphere, or so-called feminine side.

This time period of three and a half weeks tends to be most difficult for people who depend on their logical, mechanical or masculine aggressive capabilities. In reality, the planets don’t cause letters to get lost, cars to break down or misunderstanding in communications. When Mercury is Retrograde it is important to be spontaneous, mindful and attuned to the intuitive, or feminine, side of consciousness. This is called the “action of inaction,” that is, sensing the pattern and allowing it to unfold.

Some Mercury Retrograde time periods are easier or more difficult to handle depending on which sign of the zodiac Mercury is transiting through. It is also important to observe how it is activating your Natal Chart and what planetary combinations you are experiencing at the time.

Individuals born during a Mercury Retrograde time period often have the opposite experience. When Mercury goes Retrograde, they are like a fish in water. These people have new ideas, catch up on correspondences, finally get their cars and mechanical devises repaired, etc. During the first month of Mercury Direct, they still seem to operate fairly well. By the second month, and certainly by the third month, it becomes more difficult to make decisions. The last two weeks prior to Mercury going Retrograde, these people seem lost and confused until Mercury changes direction and their brains click on once again.

Mercury Retrogrades 2013

February 23 to March 17; June 26 to July 20;
October 21 to November 10

Saturn Retrograde

During the time period Saturn is Retrograde, there doesn’t seem to be any particular difficulties. With Saturn it seems to be the two weeks prior to Saturn’s going Retrograde that is most significant. During these two weeks, the pressure builds urging individuals to make haste in completing whatever projects or tasks they are involved in. Work-a-holics seem to suffer the greatest amount of anxiety. Then Saturn goes Retrograde and everyone relaxes once again as the pressure to achieve is relieved.

In 2013, Saturn goes Retrograde

February 18 to July 8.

Other Planets Retrograde

All planets go Retrograde at some time or another during the course of a year. The Retrograding of the outer three planets seem to have the least amount of influence on everyday activity. With the outer most planets it is usually the few hours before the planet is Stationary, whether Stationary Direct or Stationary Retrograde, that the energy seems to be a bit disjointed. Once the planet has finally shifted direction than one’s life seems to run smoothly or not in accordance with other planetary factors involved in the Natal Birth Chart.

Other Planets Retrograde 2013

  • Venus – December 21 to February 1, 2014
  • Mars – no change in 2013
  • Jupiter – January 30 to November 7
  • Uranus – July 17 to December 17
  • Neptune – June 7 to November 13
  • Pluto – April 12 to September 20

Moon Wobbles

Another name is Lunar Instability. It is when the Moon’s Node squares the Sun. Steve Hines of Microcycles (astrological software supplier) was the first to clue me into this occurrence in 1984. It always seems significant and is often to “blame” for difficult times when no other planetary events are evident. It lasts for two weeks, and seems to correspond to international difficulties two to three week before and personal difficulties the next. It doesn’t always coincide with Mercury Retrograde but when it does it’s effect seems to be somewhat worse. As Steve Hines explained to me, “difficulties do not have to happen but due to the emotional shakiness, some individuals do dumb things or react in dumb emotional ways to challenging situations.”

2013 Moon Wobble Exact Days

Feb. 10. May 7, Aug. 5 and Oct. 31


The Moon makes thirteen circles around the earth each year. As each circle is made, the Moon changes its appearance as it changes its relationship between the Earth and the Sun. The Dark of the Moon is called a New Moon. This when the Sun and the Moon are in the same sign of the zodiac. When the waxing Moon is 90° from the Sun, it is called the First Quarter, 180° is the Full Moon. A Full Moon is when the Moon is in the sign of the zodiac opposite the sign the Sun is traveling through. When the waning Moon is 90° from the Sun, it is called the Last Quarter.

These changing phases of the Moon are called the Lunation. They synchronize to the waxing and waning of all activities. Some projects have a greater sustained momentum when started during the waxing phase, while other projects seem to come to completion just before the New Moon. Noticeably, emotional energy is strongest during the few days leading up to a Full Moon. This can be exciting or hysterical depending on each individual’s emotional state at the time the Moon is coming to fullness.

The days of the First and Last Quarter Moons are when the Moon is in square aspect (90°) from the Sun. On these days, the urge is toward re-evaluation, re-orientation and self-observation. Individuals who feel good about where they are at in their progress and their accomplishments will feel good on these days and move forward with confidence and determination. Individuals who feel they have fallen behind in fulfilling their goals or in some other way feel frustrated, experience the Quarter Moon days as days of tension, anxiety, uncertainty, melancholy or uptightness with themselves and others.

Void Of Course Moon – Moon V/C

The Moon Void of Course (MOON V/C) is the time after the last aspect the Moon makes while passing through one of the signs of the zodiac and the time it enters the next sign. For example: if the Moon is in the sign of Gemini and the last aspect it makes is a trine to Jupiter at 2am and enters the next sign of the zodiac, Cancer at 11am then the MOON V/C is from 2am to 11am.

The Moon equals ‘mood.’ When the Moon is V/C, you might say there is no ‘mood’ to stimulate action, consequently there is a ‘feeling’ of being out of synch. The Moon can remain V/C for different lengths of time, from a few minutes to a couple of days. Each MOON V/C is different according to which sign it is passing through. For example: the MOON V/C in fiery Aries can be like spinning your wheels and going no place; in airy Gemini, it can be all talk and no action; in sensitive Pisces, the energy can be spacey.

Given the structure of our society, we usually ‘feel’ we much be ‘doing’ something. As action taken during a MOON V/C is out of synch, the results of such action are usually not what was, or could have been, expected had the Moon not been V/C. Sometimes it feels like the rug just got pulled out from under and a lot of time is spent trying to rescue a situation. Sometimes it appears that much is being accomplished, only later to discover that the effort was useless or not done correctly. Therefore, do not delude yourself just because you feel sharp and alert. Sometimes results are successful and long lasting but this hard to know before hand and rarely the case. Though sometimes it is worth taking a chance, or is it?

When the Moon is V/C, it is usually suggested to avoid initiating new projects. Even coming up with a new idea is considered unrealistic. If you can not spend the time ‘doing nothing’ than it is suggested you do routine chores or work that does not require spontaneity and concentration. Dealing with the beauracracy, legal or mechanical matters are especially to be avoid. Planning in advance will enable you, or the work you are doing, not to get lost in the Void-of-Course.

Void Of Course Planets

All planets go Void of Course as they make their last aspect to another planet before entering the next sign of the zodiac. It is not always easy to anticipate the energetics of these time periods as there are often other patterns and influences modifying the likely effects of any specific planetary Void of Course. The too or three hours prior to the planet changing signs seems to be consistently difficult and challenging. During these two or three hours many individuals experience muddle mindedness, anxiety, clumsiness, irritations, frustrations, etc.