Time Range of Horoscopes & Transits

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:

New Moons

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 Moons

Full Moon energy can usually be felt for about 2-3 days before and after.

For more information about New Moons and Full Moons, read my article about Sun-Moon cycles.


The Solar and Lunar Eclipses are actually New and Full Moons, but have supercharged energy because they are so precisely aligned. A Solar Eclipse is also a New Moon, and a Lunar Eclipse is also a Full Moon.

Most of the time, eclipses happen in pairs - Solar-Lunar or Lunar-Solar, each spaced about 2 weeks apart (just like New and Full Moons). The two weeks in between these eclipses often feel very intense – like two weeks of Full Moon energy! We get a set of eclipses about every 5½ months. That means there are 2 sets of eclipses each year – sometimes sort of 2½ if a set from the previous or following year overlaps at the turn of the year.

How long the effect of an eclipse lasts varies a lot depending on several factors—including which astrologer you ask! One view is that there can be added intensity during the 2-3 days before and after the eclipse, like a supercharged New or Full Moon but more powerful. Another view is that the longer the eclipse is in totality, the longer the effects will last—months or years after the eclipse itself.

My own sense about eclipses is that, similar to regular New and Full Moons, a Solar Eclipse releases energy will culminate at the Lunar Eclipse of the next set of eclipses (5-6 months later). In the same way, a Lunar Eclipse become a turning point for the previous Solar Eclipse's themes which play out over the next 5-6 months, up to the next Solar Eclipse.

The house and aspects the eclipse makes to your natal chart can indicate how you might be affected by the eclipse. It's a good idea to watch for the themes in your own life, especially those that last for months or even years, as they unfold from the eclipses, to see how sensitive you are to eclipse energy.

For more information, read about Solar Eclipses, Lunar Eclipses and eclipse times in our dictionary, or read my article about Sun-Moon cycles.

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 significant astrologically.

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 planet.

For more information, read my article series about retrograde planets, stations and the retrograde shadow.

Planetary Aspects

(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 powerful.

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 after.

Planet in Sign

The time range for a planet travelling through a sign is given in the text.

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