About the Planetary Events
"How long do the planetary events last?"
Unless otherwise stated, the time range of influence for planetary events
given in the Low-Down columns is usually as follows:
The New Moon begins a process of influence that lasts 29 days (until the next New Moon). The
immediate energy of the New Moon can usually be felt about 2-3 days before and after.
Full Moon energy can usually be felt for about 2-3 days before and after.
The Solar and Lunar Eclipses are
actually New and Full Moons, but have supercharged energy because
they are so precisely aligned! Eclipses typically happen in pairs -
a New Moon (solar) eclipse and a Full Moon (lunar) eclipse, that
happen 2 weeks apart. The two weeks in between these eclipses often
feel very intense - like two weeks of Full Moon energy! There is a
pair of eclipses about every 5½ months.
Eclipses are visible in different locations around the world at
different times, so you might not notice anything where you live.
You should NEVER look
directly at the Sun during a solar eclipse, since the Sun's
harmful rays can still burn your eyes, even though the Moon is
blocking much of the Sun's light. Special glasses and gadgets are
available to allow you to watch solar eclipses without damaging to
your eyes. There is no danger in looking directly at the Moon during
a lunar eclipse though. How can you tell whether you're seeing a
solar or lunar eclipse? Easy! If it's daylight and you can see the
Sun, it's a solar eclipse. If it's dark out and you see only the
Moon, then it's a lunar eclipse. For more about the astronomical
side of eclipses, check out mreclipse.com.
Planetary Stations and Retrogrades
Retrograde motion is when a
planet appears to go backwards in the sky for a period of a few
weeks to a few months, depending on the planet. Planets don't really
go backwards; it is actually an optical illusion, when we view the
planet from Earth's perspective, but it is still considered
When a planet
changes direction, it's called a "station" or "being
stationary." When a planet changes direction, it goes retrograde
(backwards) after being direct for a time, or it goes direct again
(forwards) after its retrograde period. During a station, the planet
appears to slow down, pause, and then resume its motion in the other
direction. The whole process of changing direction takes place over
a few days to a couple of weeks.
All planets (except the Sun and Moon) go
retrograde some of the time. Mercury goes retrograde about 3
times per year (for about 3 weeks each). Venus only goes
retrograde every 1.5 years (for about 6 weeks), and Mars goes
retrograde every 2+ years (for about 2 months). All other planets
go retrograde once a year (for about 4-5 months). The duration of
retrograde periods is given in the column text.
When a planet stations, the astrological
effects last for up to a week before and after. We may feel a
general intensity, heaviness, pressure or scattered energy on a
mental, emotional and/or physical level. It can also be a time when
you experience a "turning point" in areas of life related to that
(conjunction, opposition, square, trine, sextile, etc.)
Aspects involving the Sun, Mercury
or Venus can usually be felt for about 1-2 days before and after
the event. If involving Mercury or Venus when they are within a week
or so of making a station, the effect can be longer and more
When only slower planets
are involved (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto,
Chiron), the effect can be felt up to a week or more before and
Planet in Sign
The time range for a planet travelling through a sign is given in the text.
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© 2004 Wendy Guy