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Page 1

Your Lunation Birthday by dane Rudhyar

Part One

The Soli-Lunar Relationship

It has become customary among people interested in astrology to say: "I am a Leo," "I

am a Sagittarius." What is meant by such statements is that the individuals in question were

born when the Sun was located in the zodiacal signs Leo and Sagittarius. Zodiacal signs —

which must be clearly differentiated from zodiacal constellations (groups of actual stars) —

are simply 30-degree sections of the path which the Sun describes in its apparent yearly

motion from one spring equinox to the next — more precisely, from two successive northward

crossings by the Sun of the celestial equator.

The Sun is in Aries when it is located from 0 to 30 degrees away from the vernal equinox

point (Aries 0°). It is in Taurus when it has travelled from 30 to 60 degrees from this same

starting point of the yearly solar cycle. To say, "I am a Taurus native," means, thus, that one

chooses to characterize one's own nature or human type by using as a "frame of reference"

the apparent motion of the Sun every year from one vernal point to the next.

The position of the natal Sun within this zodiacal frame of reference defines what we call

the "birthday" of the person — at least, within the limits of accuracy of our modern calendar.

The birthday is, thus, exclusively a "solar" factor and has meaning solely in terms of the

significance of the Sun.

It should be clear that any other important natal factor which has a regular cycle, for

which a precise and logical starting point can be easily ascertained, might also be used in the

same way as we normally use the Sun in order to determine a different kind of "birthday".

For instance, a planet like Jupiter crosses the equatorial plane northward at regular

intervals; these crossings could be considered (and are so considered in mundane astrology)

as the beginning of a Jupiter "year", lasting nearly twelve solar years. Then, the position of

Jupiter at birth could be defined with reference to this Jupiter "year"; when Jupiter returns to

its natal place, a person could then be said to have his "Jupiterian birthday".

Such a procedure would be followed in any civilization which would consider the Jupiter

factor as being more basic than the Sun factor and which would base its calendar upon the

cycle of Jupiter instead of upon that of the Sun. This would be logical and feasible, whether or

not it has ever been done.

Actually, because astrology and the use of a calendar began in societies mainly concerned

with agriculture and the need to establish as clearly as possible the rhythm of seasonal

changes, the position of the Sun — the one basic source of heat and light — has always been

featured in the making of a calendar. It has not, however, always been featured as exclusively

as it is in our present "solar calendar". There have been so-called "lunar" calendars, and the

Islamic calendar still belongs to this category.

It is incorrect, however, to call "lunar" any calendar or time pattern which is established

by considering as the basic unit of time the period from one New Moon to the next-that is the

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"lunation cycle". Such a lunation cycle is soli-lunar, not really lunar, for it refers to the

recurring period of the successive conjunctions of the Sun and the Moon. New Moons and Full

Moons are not, strictly Speaking, "lunar" factors; they are phases in the relationship of the

Moon to the Sun, as it is seen from the point of view of the Earth.

The Lunation Cycle is a cycle by the related motions of the Moon and the Sun. It

belongs, therefore, to a different type of cycle than the yearly cycle of the Sun from vernal

equinox to vernal equinox. The former is a "cycle of relationship" — the latter, a "cycle of

positions". The distinction between these two categories of cycles is basic and must be made if

astrology is to have solid and logically consistent foundations.

This distinction is that between the "sidereal" and the "synodic" periods of the planets.

The former refers to the regular motion of a planet to a (theoretically, at least) fixed starting

point. The vernal equinox point, a characteristic star which is supposed to be "fixed",

constitutes the beginnings of such cycles. The year, the sidereal day, the transits of a planet

from its natal position to this same position years later are, all "cycles of positions"; they refer

to the distances of a moving factor (Sun, earth meridian, planet) from one set point to this

same point again. Only one basic factor and its motion are considered.

On the other hand, where "cycles of relationship" are studied, two moving factors are

considered. The cycle begins at the time of their conjunction, climaxes at the time of their

opposition, begins again at the next conjunction. Not only the lunation cycle belongs to this

category, but all usually called "cycles of planetary conjunctions" — such as the well-known

cycle of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, which lasts about twenty years.

The soli-lunar cycle extending from New Moon to New Moon is, in my opinion, just as

important in practical astrology as the cycle of the solar year; but while it has a most

fundamental and recognized place in mundane astrology and in all agricultural and climacteric

approaches to the study of astrology, it is not given sufficient meaning in natal astrology, in

psychological-astrological studies and also in the type of personal guidance featured in

astrological magazines.

We consider as basic the twelve-sign zodiacal cycle of the Sun (the year) and the twelve-

house pattern derived from the daily motion of the horizon and meridian of the Earth, both of

which are "cycles of positions". But just as basic are all "cycles of relationships" between

planets, the prototype and model of which is the soli-lunar cycle — the measure of the true

monthly periods of time. This period, the month, is necessary as a vital intermediary between

the year and the day — just as, philosophically speaking, "mind" is the necessary intermediary

between the realm of "spirit" (the Sun and its yearly rhythm) and that of "material body" (the

Earth and its daily rotation).

There is but one Latin word for "mind" and "month", mens, from which also is derived the

word for "measure". Mind — and also in a certain sense, soul — belongs to the middle realm in

all trinities of principles of being. Mind is the "formative principle"; this principle, which is the

controlling factor in all actual manifestations of life (i.e., in all "organisms"), can be understood

only in terms of the interplay of polarities — the yang and yin of old Chinese philosophy, the

solar and lunar factors in Alchemy and in the more profound systems of modern psychology

(particularly C. G. Jung's).


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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


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


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You belong to the Disseminating Type if you were born from eighteen and one-

half to twenty-two days after a New Moon or three and one-half days to seven days after the

Full Moon.

Your typical personal characteristics are: the ability to demonstrate to others what you have

learned or envisioned, to disseminate ideas, to participate in social-religious movements and to

fight for what you see as the right, to be a crusader and a disciple; negatively, to become lost

in social or moral fights, to develop mental confusion or fanaticism.

Examples of the type: Thomas Jefferson, Disraeli, Teddy Roosevelt, Hitler, Bismarck,

Richard Wagner.

LAST QUARTER TYPE Soli-Lunar Arc: 270° - 315°

You belong to the Last Quarter Type if you were born twenty-two days after a

New Moon or seven days before the next, or about seven to eleven days after the Full Moon.

Your typical personal characteristics are: the ability to manage and organize people on the

basis of ideas and social-political concepts, the eagerness to force issues and to produce crises,

to change people's beliefs, to reform and transform, to build ideological structures or systems,

to work hard toward some future goal regardless of the immediate results; a tendency toward

humor or the inability to take criticism; a dictatorial attitude.

Examples of the type: Gandhi, Annie Besant, Lenin, Trotsky, Mussolini, George

Washington, G. B. Shaw, Victor Hugo.

BALSAMIC MOON TYPE Soli-Lunar Arc: 315° - 360°

You belong to the Balsamic Moon Type if you were born from twenty-five and

one-half to thirty days after a New Moon — or less than three and one-half days before the


Your typical personal characteristics are: an eagerness to serve social institutions and

organized groups, to bring the past to a conclusion and to sacrifice yourself for the future's

sake, to become completely identified with great ideals or causes regardless of consequences;


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