Learning To Use Your Ephemeris Daily
Part I - The Moon & Lunar Nodes
By Theodore White; judicial Astrolog.S
September 18, 2009
In teaching basic Astrology to students in the age of
computers and software, the first thing I do is to
make sure students know how to use and to read
The Ephemeris is the most essential tool in learning
how transits work, and how to learn the timing of
events, and schedules.
I start with the positions of the Sun, and the Moon,
and the Dragon's Head and Tail - the lunar nodes
of the Moon.
The first thing to do when making any decision about
the general transit "climate" is to note in the Phases &
Eclipses box in your ephemeris - to see when the
phases of the New, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last
Quarter Moons occur.
This will tell you a few things. I learned to read
these phases when studying astrometeorology as
a boy studying astrology, and noted the effects
of lunar phases on nature, and the moods and
behaviors of people.
Each Lunar Phase lasts 6-7 days, and takes place
at northern and southern declinations, where the
gravitational effects of the Moon affect both
hemispheres of the Earth.
The lunar phases affect people's moods, energy
levels, and the general activity of society. Because
the Moon makes the fastest contact among all
the celestial bodies through aspects, knowing how
to read the Moon's transits will give you deep
knowledge about the daily, weekly, and monthly
"tone" of the atmosphere anywhere in the world.
New Moons: A quiet time when people are
recovering from the last quarter lunar phase.
The best times to begin any project is 2-3
days after a new moon has occurred. A
new lunar cycle starts off slow, people will
be sleepy for the first day or two after
a new moon until their energy level
picks up into the first quarter lunar
First Quarter Moons: The best time for
entertaining, going on a date, and for
continuing projects one has started. The
first quarter cycle is one that has a fine
balance where making things happen can
be accomplished during a first quarter
Full Moons: This is the time when the human
body's water level reaches maximum, and
brings an emotional instability to people
who are not mature enough to handle the
power of this lunar cycle. The human brain's
liquid level increases as well. It is a time when
people usually react emotionally to any
event, and when we see people act out.
Full lunar cycle weeks are not favorable
for making important decisions, however
this does not stop people from doing exactly
that. I always advise people to make decisions
during the New Moon and First Quarter
lunar weeks to avoid making serious mistakes
during full moon and last quarter cycles.
Last Quarter Moons: This is the time when
the energies from the third quarter full
moon is waning down, and the water
content in the human body and brain
levels off. This is a time for winding things
down. People slow down, and projects are
not favorable to being under a last quarter
lunar week. Rather, finish off anything that
has not been completed and wait until the
coming of the New Moon to begin again.
The Lunar Nodes are points on each side
of the Earth that move retrograde through
the Zodiac. They transit in each Sign for
18-19 months and repeat their cycles
every 18-19 years.
Every 8-9 years, the North Lunar Node
(Dragon's Head) and the South Lunar Node
(Dragon's Tail) switch opposite signs on
Each transit of the Lunar Nodes retrograde
in the Zodiac from cardinal to mutable to
fixed and back to cardinal every 18-19 months.
The nodes affect the "quality" and "tone" of
these year-and-a-half "mini-eras" from the
mode they are in - cardinal, mutable, or
The Moon's Nodes, and those of the planets
as well, are very much not understood well
by astrologers who have not studied the
effects of the transits of the Dragon's Head
These are mainly points in outer space that
show the intersections of the orbits of the
apparent path of the Earth around the Sun
and the orbit of the Moon around the Earth.
The plane of both orbits meet at about 5-degrees,
eight minutes and 40 seconds. The intersection is
where we find the axis that is the Dragon's Head
and Tail, or, the Lunar Nodes.
I use the Lunar Nodes in my client work, and
in Mundane forecasting. However, this is a basic
tutorial, so I will not go into detail on the advanced
use of the Lunar Nodes in astrology at this juncture.
Generally, when noting the positions of the Lunar
Nodes in your ephemeris, understand that the
climate of the times can be ascertained by the
positions of the nodes, whether they be in in
cardinal, mutable, or fixed signs, and whether
they are transiting on the earth/water axis
or the air/fire elemental axis. This will give
you a general sense of the qualities of the 18-19
For more on the lunar nodes, see -
For instance, the current nodal climate we
are now is that of the Capricorn/Cancer era,
with the North Lunar Node, or Dragon's Head
in tropical Capricorn and the South Lunar
Node (Dragon's Tail) in the water sign of
This period of time lasts from late August 2009
to early March 2011 when the nodes will change
quality to the mutable axis of Sagittarius/Gemini.
Right now, the North Lunar Node, in the sign
of Capricorn, is ruled by Saturn, showing the
"tone" and quality of this world era. This indicates
that earthy, and practical nature of Capricorn
will be strongly featured in the personalities of
others while the South Lunar Node highlights
Cancer, showing that the emotional, watery
content of people will undergo transformations
through 2009, all of 2010, and into March 2011.
As ruler of Cancer, the Moon itself will make
declinational changes to the north as it crosses
it's own southern node in Cancer from now to
early March 2011. Issues relating to the home,
and family, feelings, and emotions are highlighted
during this period. Because it is a time of economic
stress and uncertainty, the pressures in the domestic
sphere with the placement of the South Lunar Node
in Cancer will be great on people generally as they
attempt to balance out the need of Capricorn's
organizational demands and structure in their lives.
The Lunar Nodes in this earth/water element during
this time indicates that a pragmatic, disciplined perspective
along the lines of Capricorn will be most successful while
care must be applied as the South Lunar Node transits
the feeling, caring, and protective water Sign of Cancer.
The transits of the Moon on the Capricorn/Cancer
axis will bring to the forefront both needs - that
of career and that of home through the rest of
2009, into the entire year of 2010, and into
A "restructuring" is taking place in this lunar nodal
time cycle between the "outer" world of career and
professional life and that of the "inner" world of
home and domestic life - featuring Saturn's need
for structure and crystallization, and the Moon's
need for nurturing, safety, and comfort.
The mid-points of these transits of the Moon will
fall in the Signs of Aries & Libra, which square
Capricorn and Cancer. The signs of Aries and Libra
are ruled by Mars and Venus - so, one can ascertain
that the transits of the Moon, and of planets to
Capricorn and Cancer will force issues on Mars,
Venus. Aries and Libra - highlighting relationships
and issues of initiating relationships during this
period from now to early March 2011.
Any cardinal transits of the Moon will square and
oppose another cardinal sign, and with the lunar nodes
in Capricorn/Cancer during this period of time, one
can note that anything which needs to start, or, to
"initiate" as cardinal signs seek, will require care
and planning to see through and complete.
Using your ephemeris to note the positions of the
Moon and its Lunar Nodes will give you a sense
of how the month will "feel" and how to proceed.
In Part II - I will instruct how to use your ephemeris
to note the characteristics and qualities of the days
and forecast how each week and month will look,
with knowledge of general tone of the month to be able to
better schedule and navigate in daily life.
Theodore White; judicial Astrolog.S