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Your Lunation Birthday by Dane Rudhyar

Dane Rudhyar

First Published
Horoscope Magazine
December 1949

This four-part article is a short, popular version of some of the material which appeared in Rudhyar's 1946 book The Moon and Its Cycles - which was a precursor of sorts to Rudhyar's seminal 1967 book The Lunation Cycle.

Your Lunation Birthday provides an abbreviated and accessible introduction to the lunation cycle and the eight lunation types. If you find Your Lunation Birthday useful, please refer to The Lunation Cycle - use the link below to purchased it from - for a fuller and more significant treatment of the subject.

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Your Lunation Birthday by Dane Rudhyar.

Part Three
About Lunation Types

The "Lunation Type" to which one belongs has nothing to do with the time of the year or the season in which birth occurred — thus, with the serious problem of the reversal of seasons in southern latitudes. It has nothing to do with the zodiacal longitude of the Sun; therefore, there is no question to be raised by pseudo-scientific and confused minds as to how the sign Aries can retain the same astrological characteristics when it no longer coincides with the celestial span of the constellation Aries.

In defining this "lunation type", one refers only to the state or condition of the relationship between the Sun and the Moon at birth. This relationship can be measured accurately by referring to a modern ephemeris — [such as the aspectarian section of the online KhaldeaEphemeris] — giving the exact longitudes of both "lights" and the aspect which they make to each other. But the state of the soli-lunar relationship can be made as well a matter of direct sense experience simply by studying the shape of the lighted portion of the Moon visible in the sky.

It is not the Moon which changes, but only the amount and shape of the lighted portion of the Moon — and this amount and shape of lighted lunar surface is at all times an exact expression of the state of the relationship between the Sun and the Moon, as seen from the Earth.

What this relationship measures and represents is primarily how the life force and all life processes operate in the organic whole (body plus psyche) which modern psychologists call "personality". All life processes are bi-polar; all obey a tidal rhythm or to and fro motion; all include, likewise, both anabolic and catabolic (cell-building and cell-destroying) phases of activity. The individual person acts and reacts in everyday life according to a basic kind of balance between these life polarities. It is this particular kind of balance or dynamic equilibrium which establishes the dominant keynote of the personality.

In this keynote, two elements are blended: the spiritual and the psycho-mental elements — thus, symbolically, the solar and the lunar factors. If "solar" spirit represents the archetypal selfhood of the individual, the idea and purpose of the Creator for that particular individual — thus, the "greater will" of the Self or God within — the "lunar" life processes are those very agencies required to fulfill this divine purpose and will.

These life processes are physiological, psychic and mental-defining, thus, three levels of personality expression. At the biological level, the Moon refers to the circulatory systems of the body and particularly to the complex activity of all the endocrine glands, as they pour chemicals of all kinds into the blood and lymph streams. At the psychic level, the Moon symbolizes the flow of "psychic energy" or "libido" of modern psychology and the compensating influence of what Jung calls the "anima". At the mental level, the Moon represents the general function of adaptation to the challenges of life, which is at the root of all feeling judgments, all sense of good and evil, all intuitions of value.

It is, briefly said, upon all these functions and activities that rests the essential task of making the solar-spiritual will and purpose effective on earth and among men. It is within these functions and activities that God's "idea" of the individual person can and must become incorporated if life is to be a successful answer of the spirit to a poignant need of humanity and of a particular soul.

Thus, if we want really to "know" a person and the power, of his or her total being for achievement or failure, what we need first of all to understand is how the "lunar" agencies, organs, functions, etc., are related to the "solar" purpose which it is their one and only task — spiritually speaking — to exteriorize and make effective. To live a spiritual life is not to aspire or yearn for some remote spiritual realm or being. It is to make the spirit-emanated purpose of one's life actual and effective in one's personality and, through one's personality, in one's community and nation.

Every human being is born with the inherent, yet only potential, ability to achieve this task. How can he do it best, most easily, most effectively — and this means, how can he most successfully meet the constant challenges of life and everyday earthly existence? This is the basic question which any valid type — of astrological help and interpretation should be able to answer, at least tentatively. I maintain that the core of the answer is to be found in a study of the soli-lunar relationship at birth, when it is referred to the whole lunation cycle. The first thing is to ascertain the "lunation birthday" and the "lunation type" to which the person belongs.

The characteristics of the eight types are derived from an analysis and interpretation of eight sub-periods within the lunation cycle. They are based upon the realization that every lunation cycle means the working out of a solar purpose and impulse released at the New Moon — and (if all goes well) made clear, while it is being fulfilled through some adequate instrumentality, structure or organization, at the Full Moon, then spread out into society.

The second basic factor to recognize is that the inertia of past structures (personal and social), of habits, customs, institutional and class privileges, frustrations and fears (individual and collective, conscious and mostly subconscious) always resists the new creative spiritual impulse released at the New Moon. This release takes place in the "inner" life of the soul or psyche; it is born in relative darkness and unconsciousness, often surrounded by fear, despair or at least confusion — in a "manger", symbolically speaking. As it emerges into the conscious life, it arouses opposition, thus conflicts and a struggle of wills, often a clash or a crucial complex.

Thus we have, in simplified and sketchy outline, the following pattern of unfoldment from New Moon to New Moon:

The Waxing Period

A. Moon conjunct and up to 45 away from Sun: The vibration (or "tone") of the new solar impulse stirs the inner, subjective life and spreads outward.

B. Moon from 45 to 90 away from Sun: There is a struggle of wills, as the new impulse faces the resistance-inertia of crystallized forms, memories, etc. One notes a search for "new land", virgin fields of experience.

C. First Quarter Moon to 135 away from Sun: This is a period of crisis in action, repudiation of the past, building of new structures. There is a forceful, organizing approach to reality, decision.

D. Moon from 135 to opposition aspect to Sun: A critical, self-improving, evaluating approach to reality is noted. Devotion or clarification of individual goals takes place.

The Waning Period

E. Full Moon to 225 away from Sun: Objective, conscious approach to life and reality keynotes this. The original impulse ("tone") has become a (relatively) clear concept or "image". A new kind of power develops; it is mental-social, rather than biological-instinctual: the Apollinian or "classical" attitude. Negatively, it denotes separation from what had been built during the waxing period.

F. Moon up to Last Quarter phase (waning-square aspect): There is a demonstration of the concept or "vision" gained, dissemination of ideas. One feels increased awareness of participation in society or reaching beyond reality. Ideological struggle and perhaps fanaticism result.

G. From Last Quarter to waning semi-square of Moon to Sun: There is a crisis in consciousness. Social decisions are made. Revolution or reform results. Catabolic activity is noted. Building of strong, tight groups dedicated to ushering in the new cycle yet to come is undertaken. Negatively, dictatorial attitude and ruthlessness come to the fore.

H. From waning semi-square to New Moon: One notes a reaping of harvest and sowing of seed. Personal sacrifice and attitude of service to institutions and groups are keys. We see petition to the spirit, prophetic attitude. It is a linking of the past to the future — or total disintegration.

It is from this pattern that the basic characteristics of the eight lunation types presented below have been derived. These characteristics can take on, it is sure, an immense variety of aspects; yet they constitute the foundation for eight definite and typical approaches to reality and to everyday personal and social experience. To put it differently, for as many basic ways of meeting the task of demonstrating effectively and vitally the power and purpose of the spirit within — of incorporating, realizing, acting out and multiplying through new creations.

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