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Astro-Events in 2013

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_astro-clock-italy-sm_20121115-220151_1.jpgThe secular New Year is a great time to update your calendar, whether it’s in pixels or on paper. As much as I appreciate my ephemeris and all the astrological pocket planners out there, there are some astrological events that are worth adding to your daily calendar, particularly if your spiritual practice revolves around the cycles of the Sun and Moon, or if you work magic, Here are some events that you may find are worth calendaring, so you’ll be reminded to work with — or work around — the planetary energies at the appropriate times.

Retrograde Periods for the Planets

You may want to include only the Mercury retrograde periods in your calendar, since Mercury is the planet that screws up our daily lives the most. (Did you know that Mercury rules not only communications but our daily routines and our immediate environment, as well? This is why Mercury Rx tends to be so disruptive) But there is much to be gained —  practically, magically and spiritually — from being aware of the retrograde periods of the other planets as well. I’ll write more about those retrogrades as they come around this year, and you can read more about the current Jupiter Rx here. You’ll also want to check out this listing of the dates and degrees of all the planetary retrogrades for this year.

New and Full Moons, and Eclipses

The conjunction and opposition of the Sun and Moon (new and full Moons) are points of shift in the energy of every month, and they emphasize each sign and its opposite as the Sun passes through the Wheel of the Year -- an important consideration for magickal work. Magically, you may want to plan workings to coincide with appropriate New or Full Moons (New Moon in Gemini to begin a writing project, for instance). Some magicians prefer to wait until the aspect is separating, which can bring the Moon out of the appropriate sign if the aspect occurs late in the sign.

Eclipses bring Earth’s placement relative to the Sun and Moon into the equation of a new or full Moon, and eclipses serve as a planetary exclamation point. They can also serve as triggers for longer term transits.Opinions differ on whether or not workings during or near an eclipse are wise. Personally, I tend to avoid them, though I watch their placement carefully in my own chart.

Exact Times of the Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross-Quarters.

The solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarters (15 degrees of fixed signs) do not fall on the same day every year. There is a range of two or three days within which they always occur, but you'll want to check the exact timing.

There is also some confusion about what the cross-quarter days are. The traditional holidays (Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, Samhain) always fall within four or five days of the cross-quarter -- the exact midpoint between the solstice and equinox or equinox and solstice. This point is always at exactly 15 degrees of the Fixed signs (Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio). Traditionally, 15 degrees of the Fixed signs is considered a power point in the Zodiac, just like zero degrees of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), which is where the solstices and equinoxes occur. Here’s a nifty page that gives you the exact times of all these events.

Major transits to your own chart

Do you have a copy of your own chart, and enough basic knowledge to follow the transits? Then check when the major transits (from Jupiter on out, and remember that a Mars transit can trigger a slower-moving one) are within one or two degrees of exact (partile) and note those times on your calendar as well. You might also want to note when the planetary retrograde and direct stations aspect a planet or angle in your chart. Here’s a good overview of Mercury Rx transiting aspects.

I also suggest reading this wonderful post from 2011 written by my fellow blogger at Witches and Pagans, HecateDemeter, in which she discusses how to make a calendar a magickal tool.

If you would like my insights on how to manage these planetary events as they happen, go ahead and click that link up near the top of this page that says “Subscribe to blog”. I promise your email address won’t be shared or used for anything else.

Happy calendaring, and brightest blessings of the New Year to you!

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Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas. In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally. She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina. Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at


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