Dane Rudhyar - Photo1

Dane Rudhyar


The Lunation Birthday

Modern astrology gives considerable importance to the birthday of the individual, the life and character of whom are being studied. Astrological magazines, which have to rely upon simplified and generalized data in order to reach a great number of people, have been partly responsible for this over-emphasis on what is called the "sun sign" of a person. As a rule, everyone knows which day of the year he or she is born, and that day — the birthday — tells within a couple of degrees the position of the sun in the zodiac. Thus the habit has developed among people interested, even most superficially, in astrology of saying: "I am an Aries" or "I am a Virgo," etc. — meaning that, at their birth, the sun was located in the zodiacal sign Aries or Virgo.

Such an identification of the "I" with the zodiacal position of the sun has undoubtedly a very real validity; yet, even though the sun can be considered the most basic factor in a birth-chart, it is not the only factor of fundamental importance — and the sun's position in the zodiac is not the only way of characterizing its particular significance in the birth-chart of an individual person. The zodiac, as I already said, is a cycle of positions recording the apparent yearly motion of the sun with reference to a supposed fixed starting point: the vernal equinox. What the zodiacal position of the sun reveals, therefore, is how far the sun has traveled since the vernal equinox (the point designated Aries 0°), that is since it crossed the plane of the equator in a northward direction.

However, the zodiac records the path of the sun as if nothing existed or moved around except this splendid and magnificent autocrat of the sky — the sun, our "king"! As most people consider their "I" also as such a type of kingly and grandiose figure which alone counts in their little universe, it is natural that they should seek to identify the essential character of their own self with the zodiacal position of the sun. The sun is understood to be that which exists of itself alone and from which all vitality and power flows. It is said to refer to the basic "purpose" of the life, to the "will" of the "real" man. These solar factors are not inherently affected by any change or relationship; it is the earth-nature which, by orienting itself differently to them, makes them seem to be different. Yet in geocentric astrology the earth has no part in celestial relationships; It is only the recipient of celestial influences, the thing acted upon by celestial bodies. Astrological relationships refer only to the motions of two or more celestial bodies, and the relationship of the moon to the sun is normally the first to be considered. It is indeed absolutely basic.

The cyclic relationship of the moon to the sun produces the lunation cycle; and every moment of the month and the day can be characterized significantly by its position within this lunation cycle. Thus, a person can say: "I am a first quarter phase," or "I am a full moon phase" with just as much reason as he says: "I am a Libra." Human beings can be divided into types according to the symbolical meaning of the most important periods of the lunation cycle as well as according to that of the signs of the zodiac. But when this is done, the basic factor used as a foundation for the classification is not the sun alone, but the soli-lunar relationship; and the classification refers to an aspect or level of the total human being in which the element of relatedness is of paramount importance.

If man is described, and human types are classified, in terms of the archetypal purpose of his life (i.e., of God's "idea" of what the man should be or develop into), then the zodiacal position of the sun at birth is a logical and sufficient symbolic indication. But man is not only a unitarian entity in splendid isolation or transcendent aloofness from all relationships. The sun shines for a purpose, let us say: but the fulfillment of that purpose involves other factors beside the shining of the sun. It involves intermediaries and distributive agencies which bind together, within adequate organic structures, the emanation of the solar spirit and the chaotic materials of the earth.

These agencies operate in man in two basic realms: the realm of duality and bi-polar "life" represented by the soli-lunar relationship (i.e., the lunation cycle), and the realm of multiple integration represented by the solar system as a cosmic whole, with its many inter-planetary cycles. In this work I am exclusively concerned with the first realm — with the basic process according to which the need of the earth and its creatures summons forth from the heart of the sun a new impulse or vibration which can be assimilated and used thanks to the various concrete structures or organs which the moon builds. Solar purpose alone would mean little without the ways and means to make this purpose actual. The most spiritual impulse is quite futile, unless one discovers a method and adequate instrumentalities to make it work.

The solar impulse must be made workable — this is the first step. It must in due time reveal the purpose back of it to the consciousness, which can then transform the instinctual and blind impulsion into a conscious, meaningful, and creative type of human activity — this is the second step. The first step refers to the waxing half of the lunation, while the second step refers to the waning period.

Here I should emphasize once more that the "phases of the moon" are not to be considered as lunar factors. They are the results of the soli-lunar relationship. The sun moves, as well as the moon. The lunation cycle is the combination of their periodical motions. Thus, if we say of a man that he is a "first quarter type," we do not evaluate him from a lunar point of view, but instead in terms of a soli-lunar factor. This must be emphasized because, caught by the obvious fact of the change in appearance of the moon, men have implicitly believed that, during the lunation period, the moon herself underwent change. But the moon does not change. Her light does; and her light is the gift of the products of the soli-lunar relationship to earth-creatures.

The "lunation birthday" of an individual is, then, the particular phase of the soli-lunar relationship which was operative at his birth; just as his official birthday (in terms of the solar year cycle) represents, approximately, the point reached by the sun in his yearly zodiacal journey. From the latter, we can discover the nature of the root-energy and basic archetypal purpose of a human being; from the former, we learn to understand how the process of life operates in the individual person, and what is his characteristic attitude in solving life's actual problems of relationship and in working out concretely and practically the archetypal purpose revealed by the zodiacal degree of the natal sun.

The first type of indication shown by the lunation birthday depends upon whether it occurred during the waxing or the waning period of the lunation. The waxing hemicycle emphasizes the power to build organic structures; the waning hemicycle, the power to release creative meaning — or to tear down antiquated shells which can no longer meet the "need of the times." And if we apply this very general classification to a few public personalities of our day, we will see at a glance how useful the indication can be in "placing" the individual and in characterizing his work of destiny among the men with whom he establishes relationships.

Typical is the case of Joseph Stalin who, practically speaking, was one of the most successful structure-builders of history. He was born with a conjunction of the moon and Saturn (the principle of structure) early in Aries, just past a "first quarter" square to the sun at Sagittarius 29°. He is then a "first quarter phase" person. And he has proved his ability to use exactly the type of power expressed by such a period of the lunation cycle: a period of crisis in action — one which should see the building of organic structures, while the ground on which they are to stand is being cleared of lifeless remains of the past. Stalin demonstrated, to the most extreme degree of efficiency and ruthlessness, the ability both to repudiate old allegiances and to build the new. He was a typical "empire builder'' — with all the unpleasant characteristics this inevitably implies.

In contradistinction to Stalin, we find that both Lenin and Trotsky were born around a last quarter phase of the soli-lunar relationship. They were, in one sense, professional revolutionists symbolizing the disintegration of a civilization and, in another sense, men focused upon the task of discovering and teaching a new meaning, a new approach to society. The power they used was of a polarity opposite to that of the power Stalin has put to work. Thus, when the time for building strong national structures came, Lenin died and Trotsky was defeated! In back of these three men stands, as it were, Karl Marx, born exactly at new moon (also an eclipse); and he it was who gave the initial impulse which released the idees-forcees, that fecundated the minds of the Russian leaders.

With Franklin D. Roosevelt we have an example of a birth less than three days before the full moon (moon in Cancer 7° and sun in Aquarius 12°). Here we have also a personage able to handle the power of building "organic" social structures; but he is closer than Stalin to the full moon illumination. His nation had already passed through much of the period of building social structures when he came to lead it toward the fulfillment, in consciousness and in world-relationship, of the solar purpose back of its foundation. Our nation had its ideological birth at the time of the Declaration of Independence; and this occurred during the waning period of the lunation. On the other hand, when Washington come to be inaugurated on April 30, 1789 — and thus the actual work of building up a concrete national organism from the blue-prints (archetypes) of the Declaration and the Constitution began — the moon was increasing in light (moon on Cancer 17°, sun on Taurus 11°).

In the cases of a thinker-scientist like Benjamin Franklin, a poet like Walt Whitman, and a philosopher like Ralph Waldo Emerson, we have personalities who built with words and with faith. They were men riding on the wave of a national life filled with instinctual life and passionate with the structuring of new organizations, new forms, new faculties. They were born during the waxing period. But with Richard Wagner and Victor Hugo we are faced with personalities who came at the end of a long cycle of culture, and who returned to the ancient myths and legends of the early days of that culture, intent on giving them a new formulation, a new meaning, which could later arouse new vital energies. These two men were born as the light of the moon was decreasing.

The next logical step in determining the meaning of the lunation birthday is taken by dividing the lunation cycle into four basic periods: new moon to first quarter phase — first quarter to full moon — full moon to last quarter — last quarter to new moon. We find, moreover, that the mid-points of each of these periods are moments of significant confrontations in relationship and of release of energy (constructive or destructive). This gives us the following pattern, which is cyclic — thus ceaselessly repeated:


1. New Moon to First Quarter

This is a period of instinctive, youthful, essentially unconscious and irrepressible activity. What consciousness there is, is essentially subjective, with a tendency not to distinguish accurately between inner wishes, dreams or feelings, and the actual realities of the external world. The person born during such a period of the lunation will seek above all to discover what he himself is; which means, at this level of personal experience, how far he can expand by releasing his vital energies and, at their core, the "tone" (or solar power) which is compelling the formation of new organic structures and new psychic faculties. Impulsiveness and spontaneity are characteristic of this period; but also, in a negative sense, confusion of values and lack of rhythmic balance in releasing the tidal flow of vitality — physiological and psychological.

This is the crescent phase of the waxing moon, and it ends when the moon and the sun are 45 degrees apart. This occurs during the fourth day of the lunation cycle, as the moon's motion averages about 13½ degrees per day, and the sun also advances about 1 degree per day. The "semi-quarter" phase thus takes place when the moon is just over 48 degrees away from the zodiacal position of the new moon. At this point a state of tension of a more or less acute character begins to appear. The momentum of the soli-lunar will to expansion is stronger than ever — in the sense that it operates through better organized bio-psychological (lunar) instrumentalities; but the resistance of the outer world against it increases even more sharply, and the activity born of the soli-lunar contact at the new moon finds itself checked by other activities. This begins a process of transformation in the lunar structures, and from then on, objective awareness develops in earnest. The "new" meets the "old" on the basis of a struggle of wills; and out of this struggle (which may be a clash) emotions, complexes, and physiological deviations develop. Generic "life" finds itself increasingly modified by an individual type of accentuation. Individualization begins. It increases until the first quarter phase is reached.     


2. First Quarter to Full Moon

As we already saw, the first quarter phase symbolizes a crisis in relationship — an actional crisis which involves, both, the repudiation of what does not harmonize with the growing life, and the deliberate building of new structures and faculties which will make it possible for the coming full moon illumination to be held and assimilated. The period following the first quarter phase is one in which obstacles must be overcome, the enmity of the old world must be met. Wilfull activity is at its peak at the mid-point of this second period of the lunation, when the moon and the sun form a 135° aspect (sesquiquadrate). This aspect can be said to be a semi-square (45°) plus a square (90°). But while the semi-square establishes a confrontation, the shock of which is sharp and at times devastating for the unprepared organism, the sesquiquadrate aspect represents a deliberate type of struggle, in which the growing organism or personality forces its own issues for the sake of a gradually clarified individual goal. One might say that, in most cases, at the 45° phase of the soli-lunar cycle the outer world attacks the expanding organism, while at the 135° phase it is the individual who deliberately seeks to crush any obstacles in his path. If however the attempt is unsuccessful, then some organic-psychic trouble may develop, of which consumption is a characteristic instance.

As we come closer to the full moon the indications of personal maturity and enlightenment become stronger. With such a lunation birthday an individual should reach some kind of fulfillment, objective understanding or illumination.  


3. Full Moon to Last Quarter

With the full moon the waning period of the cycle begins, and I have already amply discussed the positive and negative meanings of this phase. It reveals either a culmination of relationship or the impossibility to go on with the relationship. In the first instance, this starts the process of development of the fruits of the relationship. The dynamic "tone" of the new moon becomes at the full moon a concrete "image," a symbolical vision in light. The contrast between lunar and solar factors is perceived as a "chiaroscuro" enhancing the element of form — for the perception of form implies an opposition of lights and darks, of blacks and whites. Form, revealed in a moment of lucid perception at the "full moon" phase of any cycle of relationship, gradually releases its meaning (or significance) as the moon decreases in light. The waning period of the lunation is thus a period of growth for the active power of consciousness. Consciousness, once it is formulated, can be shared with others, and thus can actively affect and transform others. As a result, the vision of the purpose of the cycle-as-a-whole can become incorporated in the substance of human society.

On the negative side of the picture, this period witnesses the progressive crystallization, later the disintegration, of organic structures. The energy of the solar tone released at the new moon and sustaining the entire cycle becomes gradually exhausted. It can however be replaced, to some extent, by the new type of power made possible by the sharing of purpose and will with an organized group of human beings. This sharing is symbolized by all true kinds of rituals and, perhaps most clearly of all, by the Christian Mass and the sacrament of "communion" — and in general by the ceremony of "breaking of bread" which, in one form or another, is practically universal. Social power thus energizes the consciousness and the mind, which in turn hold together the organism whose biological power is waning. Social power is also, in a sense, solar power; but it is more. It is the power of the sun focused on consciousness within a human individual. It is seed-power; whereas the solar power released at the new moon is root-power.

The turning point of this full-moon-to-last-quarter period is the phase produced by a 135° angle relationship of the moon to the sun. This sesquiquadrate aspect, however, is now a waning aspect; and this differentiates it from the sesquiquadrate aspect found in the waxing hemicycle of the lunation, and already described. Such a differentiation is neither recognized nor appreciated by astrology as taught or practiced today; and this, I believe, represents a real lack in astrological theory. It is true that a square remains a square, and a trine a trine, whether they belong to the waxing or to the waning period of the soli-lunar cycle — or of any other significant cycle of relationship. But their actual significance is profoundly modified or colored by the place they occupy with reference to the entire cycle.

Again, the point at stake is: whether any astrological factor (here, an "aspect") can be given meaning as an isolated and separate entity, or only as an integral part of a larger whole. The larger whole to which any aspect belongs is the cycle of relationship; and any such cycle has a tidal ebb and flow. The power and character of a receding tide are different from those of an advancing tide. And it is more important to know whether the tide is advancing or receding than to note accurately the level (i.e., the angular aspect) it is reaching on the shore at any particular moment.

The waning 135° phase of the lunation cycle is seen by present day astrologers as merely indicating that the moon and the sun are 135 degrees apart. What is as important is the fact that, at such a time, a point in the lunation cycle has been reached as far from the full moon as the semi-square in the waxing period is from the new moon. Both the new moon and the full moon can be understood as "beginnings." There is for man — let me stress it again — a beginning in the darkness (unconsciousness, that is) of instinct, and there is a beginning in the full light of conscious intelligence. There is a beginning in scarcity and in need, and there is also the possibility of a birth out of plenitude and clear vision. It is this possibility which the usual analysis of the soli-lunar aspects ignores — and this omission characterizes significantly indeed our civilization and its beliefs.

The waning 135° phase of the lunation cycle is illustrated by the United States chart erected for July 4, 1776, around 5 p.m. (Sagittarius rising). The moon is at Aquarius 28°, the sun at Cancer 14°; thus they are 136 degrees apart. This phase reveals the emergence of consciousness and of its formulations from the realm of subjective illumination to that of objective applicability. In other words, ideals are no longer to be enjoyed by the individual as wonderful subjective possessions; they must be shared and made objectively workable. And this is precisely the main task confronting "these United States." The waning 135° phase in the soli-lunar relationship is one of demonstration of consciousness intent upon the carrying out of the "full-moon" vision. It demands an increased awareness of objective participation in a greater whole. It produces a mounting sense of responsibility in terms of basic social purposes —or else, if the configuration operates negatively, a sense of defeat or of "what is the use?; and the individual reacting against it may lose himself fanatically in big religious movements, thus relieving himself of the trouble effacing his larger responsibilities.     


4. Last Quarter to New Moon

The last quarter phase is, like the first quarter, a moment of crisis and repolarization; but the crisis now involves problems of consciousness and formulation, rather than issues dealing with the building of organic structures. The element of conflict is strong, at least at the ideological level; and if we consider the waning period of the cycle as an ebbing tide of biological-cultural power, we find that the breaking down of all idols and images likely then to occur tends to create physiological or social crises — illness and revolution. Catabolic forces within the body increase in momentum. Socially speaking, born revolutionists (as for instance, Friedrich Engels, Lenin and Trotsky) rise on the downward tide, challenging old social structures and establishing a demand for new power — the "virgin" power of submerged collectivities. There is also "building" ability connected with such a waning square aspect; but it is the type of building remarkable demonstrated by Lenin — that is, essentially, the building of tight and utterly consecrated groups of men who are to act as "seeds" for the future order. Seeds are very tough on the surface, and their main external attribute is unalterability. They are built on the principle of bare necessity and uncompromising self-perpetuating strength.

As the 45° soli-lunar relationship is reached — and, soon after, the so-called "balsamic moon" the meaning of which has already been discussed — we enter the realm of the sowing of seed, and of personal sacrifice. The symbolic personage who focuses upon himself a social drama and the martyr may well be born during these days preceding the new moon. They are the incorporation of the need of their collectivity for a new birth of spirit. They call down the creative spirit; they summon forth the future — even if it be through their own death.  



In analyzing thus the four basic phases of the lunation cycle, which become eight when we consider the divisions created by the 45° and 135° aspects, we have the outline of a cyclic pattern which can serve as the basis for defining eight human types. Such a classification of types according to the lunation birthday is fully as significant and valid, within its proper limits, as a classification based on the season of the year in which a man is born. Of late there have been quite a few "scientific" and statistical attempts to establish such a seasonal classification of human beings, and, within the limits resulting from the type of data used as a basis, this classification is the twelve zodiacal types. The point to emphasize is that, as the basis for the classification is, so will be the meaning of the description of types it produces. What we discover when we use the lunation birthday as a foundation is above all the manner in which a person meets the challenge of relationships, and uses his life-force and his consciousness in order to work out in actual, everyday practice the basic purpose of his life as a concrete human personality.

This is what we might call the "existential" approach; for all existence is an expression of relatedness, and all that we know as "reality" — in the simple non-metaphysical sense of the term — is the working out of an infinite number of relationships. It refers to our participation, deliberate or automatic as the case might be, in the "work of the world."

But why should one use an eight-fold division of the lunation cycle rather than the twelve-fold type of classification generally adopted when one deals with the zodiac and its signs? I might answer that we have become so accustomed to the twelve-fold patterns that we forget that it has not always been used in astrology. There appears to have been a time when only ten zodiacal signs were used; and the eight-fold division was not unfamiliar perhaps as a way of apportioning the apparent daily motion of the sun.

As I see it, a twelve-fold division is essentially valid when we deal with "cycles of positions," as in the cases of the solar year and the sidereal day. But when we deal with the cyclic interplay between two moving factors, and thus with the constantly changing results of their relationship, an eight-fold classification of these results seems to me the most logical and practical.

Relationship generates power; without relationship there is no power available for release. The rhythm of basic releases of power, at least in the realm of life (of bio-psychic, organic activity), should be essentially symbolized and measured by the number 8. This was so in Hindu, Chinese and Christian Gnostic symbolism; the Gnostic symbol of Christ was 888. Moreover, the eight-fold division of a circular field of electromagnetic energy is a very basic one, even in modern scientific techniques. The four-fold cross, foundation of both the twelve-fold and the eight-fold divisions of the circle (or of a cycle of time) establishes the points of basic crisis in the relationship between the two polar factors being considered. But four more points, bisecting the four quarters, are necessary to mark the positions (or the moments) of greatest momentum and most critical release.

What gives an added value to this eight-fold type classification is that it refers, in its simplicity, to a fact of human experience most easily and directly discernible. Unless one has a calendar or ephemeris it is not always existentially easy (i.e., a matter of concrete experience) to define the zodiacal sign in which the sun is found at any time and to realize directly that one's birthday has come. But a simple look at the moon in the night-sky can tell us whether it has reached the same of eight discernable phases as the one at the moment of our birth. That is to say, our "lunation birthday" can be a matter of concrete, simple and repeated experience every month. This allows us to feel frequently and visibly our attunement to the great rhythm of life — to resonate consciously every month to that aspect of the soli-lunar relationship which is imprinted indelibly upon the electro-magnetic field of our total psychosomatic being. Every person born at full moon, or first quarter time, should be able every month to feel a deep, direct elemental sense of "recognition" as his or her lunation birthday brings back this phase representing, in an archetypal sense, his or her basic capacity for relationship to all earthly lives. Is not astrology essentially a means for individuals to feel aware, deep within their own nature, of their relationship to the planetary and solar "fields" within which they live, move and have their being — aware, especially, of the place and basic function which life or God established for them on this planet, earth, of which humanity as a whole is the one Mind?

In naming the eight lunation types of personality I have used the simplest possible words referring to the ordinary known phases of the soli-lunar relationship. The phase's name characterizes all the people born within the period which follows that phase. This is the usual astrological practice, for astrology is "the science of all beginnings" (Marc Jones); it always deals with the original impulse of every cycle, sub-cycle or phase — with the little "germ" bursting out of the "old seed" for a new cycle of existence.    



New Moon Types

All persons born exactly at new moon, or within about three and one-half days following the new moon — thus with the moon less than 45° ahead of the sun. This type of person tends to be eminently subjective, impulsive and emotional in his responses to human relationship and social processes. This may produce a state of confusion, a tendency to project oneself upon others and the world at large, to live life and love as if they were dreams, or screens upon which to cast one's image — and often one's shadow. People and situations are met, in most cases, without much regard to what they actually are in themselves; they become symbols.

Sigmund Freud, and Karl Marx (born under an eclipse) are typical examples; so, in another sense, were Woodrow Wilson and Queen Victoria who sought to impress their ideals and personal characters upon the world. The Queen became identified with an era and its mores in matters of human relationship.

Other examples: The Persian Prophet, the Bab, who in 1844 ushered in a new religious era and experienced martyrdom — Amos Bronson Alcott, the Transcendentalist, well known for his subjective idealism and spiritual youthfulness — Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, a woman of intense vital energy and subjective vision, fired with one basic "solar" purpose — Ludwig Erhard who succeeded in reviving German industry and finances — Gamal Nasser, head of a reborn Egypt — President L. B. Johnson.


Crescent Type

All persons born with the moon from 45 to 90 degrees ahead of the sun in the zodiac.

Here we see the new impulse for action, or quality of activity, theoretically released at the new moon, as it challenges the old in a more or less intense struggle. This leads usually to self-assertiveness, faith in oneself and an eagerness to overcome obstacles in carrying out an inwardly felt command or vital urge. As every type has its negative aspect, this crescent type may be characterized in some cases by a deep, subconscious sense of being overwhelmed by the momentum of the past and the power of "ghosts" or karma. This negative feeling comes as the result of a failure to repolarize one's capacity for personal or social relationship.

The unfortunate French King, Louis XVI typifies the negative aspect. Among positive representatives of the type we can list Ralph Waldo Emerson, who sought to bring new spiritual and existential values to his New England culture — Franz Liszt, who succeeded in changing the social status of musicians and in challenging traditional musical concepts, yet felt the need to return to the Church of his troubled adolescence — Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate whose Foundation became a model for many similar projects — Louisa May Alcott, the author of "Little Women," etc. — and President John Kennedy.


First Quarter Type

All persons born with the moon from 90 to 135 degrees ahead of the sun, i.e., from 7 to 10½ days after new moon.

This represents in the lunation cycle a time of crisis in action, a time for managerial, forceful activity. The essential drive in the person is the building of frameworks (or scaffoldings) which may serve for the future objectivation of new social ideals and of a new sense of interpersonal relationship. A strong will is usually present in the positive instance of the type, and perhaps a feeling of self-exaltation when faced with crumbling old structures, and the (at times) ruthless attempt at consolidating the new ideal.

Joseph Stalin and Oliver Cromwell, also Howard Scott of "technocratic" fame are positive types; the French poet, Baudelaire, is a negative instance, yet a remarkable "manager" of words. The Russian composer Shostakovich and President Charles de Gaulle tenaciously intent upon building a New France belong also to this type, and so does perhaps less characteristically, Queen Elizabeth of England, though her country may see a new attempt at rebuilding itself within the framework of a future Europe.


Gibbous Moon Type

All persons born with the moon 135 to 180 degrees ahead of the sun, thus a few days before full moon.

These persons tend to pay much attention to the development of their capacity for personal growth. They desire to contribute value and meaning to their society, their culture, or in general to "life." They ask repeatedly "Why?"; they work toward a clarification of personal or social-cultural issues, with some kind of, to them, important goal in view. They generally have keen minds and a capacity to associate ideas and concepts, seeking thereby to make possible some kind of revelation or illumination. They may devote themselves to a great personality or cause, and/or want others to work for them with the same devotion.

Among men of that type one finds the unorthodox and brilliant German philosopher, Count Hermann Keyserling, the inspired mystic Jacob Boehme, Lord Byron, and composer Gershwin who gave a new distinction to popular music. Among scientists Newton and Pasteur can be mentioned. The great international banker J. P. Morgan, and presumably Napoleon I, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Khrushchev belong also to this type.


Full Moon Type

All persons born at full moon time and during the three and a half days which follow. The moon is therefore from 180 to 135 degrees behind the sun in the zodiac and, we might say, racing to meet the sun. This is the first of the types belonging to the waning hemicycle of the soli-lunar cycle; and it carries out the symbolical meaning of the full moon, apex of the cycle.

Objectivity and clear consciousness as the result of interpersonal and social-cultural relationships are, theoretically, the basic factors in character. The original impulse of the lunation cycle (its fundamental ever-sounding "tone") has now become a formed concept, a more or less clear image. What was mainly felt in the past is now seen. This may mean a revelation or illumination, and normally some kind of fulfillment; but it can also mean, negatively, separation or divorce — perhaps even a divorce from reality, or inner division ("man against himself"). Relationship means everything to the person of the full moon type, or else he repudiates all relationships except perhaps those with an ideal or "absolute" character.

Mary Baker Eddy, prophet of Christian Science is an excellent example of what has just been said. In the nearly opposite sense we have the "Apollinian" thinker, Goethe, and Rudolf Steiner, the occultist-seer, also a fervent admirer of Goethe. Joan of Arc is another "visionary" example of the type, prophet of a united France and of modern nationalism. The Hindu spiritual "wayfarer," Krishnamurti, presumably belongs to this category of personality; but so does the Spanish dictator Franco, and the astrologer Evangeline Adams.


Disseminating Type

All persons born with the waning moon from 135 to 90 degrees behind the sun in the zodiac. This is also a "gibbous" moon astronomically speaking, but pointing to a direction opposite to that of the gibbous moon belonging to the waxing hemicycle.

I use the term "disseminating" because, in the positive sense, such a person tends to want to demonstrate to others what he or she has learned or experienced. Thus an individual of that type often acts as a disseminator of ideas — as a popularizer of what has impressed him most forcibly in his studies or his experiences, in his tradition. He may become a real crusader; but the negative type can easily be lost in a Cause and develop fanaticism or be swayed by mass emotions.

Among statesmen, this disseminating type is represented by Jefferson, Disraeli, Teddy Roosevelt, Bismark — and Hitler. Among thinkers and artists we find in this category Carl Jung, and before him, Dante and Wagner.


Last Quarter Type

All persons born with the waning moon from 90 to 45 degrees behind the sun.

While the first quarter type represents basically a state of crisis in action, this last quarter type is essentially characterized by a tendency to experience crisis in consciousness; at least what seems mainly important to these persons is the embodiment of their ideological beliefs in definite systems of thought and/or concrete institutions. In personal as well as social relationships they tend to force issues on the basis of some more or less important principle which they feel they must uphold, perhaps at all costs. They may lack flexibility, as they often consider themselves pioneers whose work only posterity will appreciate. They are geared to a future of which however they only see the structural outline or prenatal glow. In some cases they are able to display an irony or sense of humor which they put at the service of their Cause — or else they are unable to take criticism.

To this type belong reformers like Luther and Gandhi, statesmen such as Washington, Lenin, Trotsky, Mussolini. The apostle of the "Single Tax" movement, Henry George, the humanitarian poet Victor Hugo, the scientist Einstein, and the humorist George Bernard Shaw can be added as significant examples of the type.


Balsamic Moon Type

All persons born with the moon less than 45 degrees behind the sun, thus about 3½ days before new moon. This is symbolized by the inverted lunar crescent seen before sunrise — thus announcing as it were, the new day.

The approximately three days of this "balsamic" soli-lunar relationship represents one tenth of the whole lunation cycle. In the old Hindu doctrine of cycles, the last tenth part of a cycle (and, but not quite as significantly so, the first tenth of the next) constitute a transition state (sandhya) — and we might say also the seed state. In these last three days of the lunation cycle of thirty days, the cycle, as it were, comes to seed; and this seed is to become the foundation of the future plant, provided conditions for germination are adequate.  

This type of personality is, in its highest manifestations, prophetic and completely turned toward the future, even though it feels itself the end-product of the past — yet, a past which outwardly or consciously it has left behind. At times the individual feels himself possessed by a social "destiny," or led by a superior power. He is more or less aware of being a kind of shrine (or "field") within which something greater than his personal selfhood is taking place; thus he may readily accept sacrifice or martyrdom for the sake of the future, be it the future of a small group or of humanity as a whole. He tends to sense a character of finality in all important relationships he experiences; that is, he sees them both as ends of some process and as means to reach some transcendent goal.

This may lead to fanaticism — as in the case of the French revolutionist, Robespierre, who initiated the cult of the goddess, Reason—or to great political vision, as in Thomas Paine, surnamed rightly the "Father of Democracy," and in Lincoln, the Emancipator. The philosopher Kant, Havelock Ellis, student of the end-results and perversions of the sexual drives, Cecil Rhodes, who had a vision of an African empire, President McKinley under whose Administration the United States began to operate in the field of international politics as a world-power with immense potentialities for leadership — and who was killed in office — and Pope Paul VI, born just before new moon and who revolutionized a good many things in his Church; these men belong to the balsamic type.  



In applying the above characterizations of the eight lunation types one must evidently consider first of all the limitations imposed upon an individual by his social environment, his culture, etc. It matters little whether we deal with a statesman who dies a martyr to the political Cause he has espoused, or with a teacher of a small rural school (perhaps in an undeveloped region) whose life becomes utterly consecrated to raising the level of education of the village's children. What counts is the quality of the relationships entered upon by the person being considered — the manner in which his or her life of personal, social, cultural relationship is polarized, and thus the nature of the contribution the individual makes to his community or nation.

This eight-fold classification of lunation types does not, however, fill all the requirements of a thorough analysis of personality, and it should be supplemented by another kind of astrological approach to the Lunation cycle. This approach leads us to the study of what is called the "Part of Fortune," and in general to a consideration of the real meaning of all so-called Arabian Parts.


  The Lunation Cycle