The Moon in the Chart

The solar system is composed by the sun and nine planets that most of us can name with more or less ease but there are also 190 satellites or moons, four dwarf planets and a couple of important planets that have not been discovered yet and will become the rulers of the constellations of Virgo and Libra.

Some of the planets in our solar system are impressively big some others are small and have created controversy in the scientific community about whether they even deserve to be called planets, Pluto is a good example and yes, Pluto is really important in astrology.

It was decided thousands of years ago, that the Sun and the Moon were to be called “planets” because most astrologers use a geocentric perspective of the solar system. Everything is based on the apparent course of all of these planets around the Earth and around us and we can “map” their trajectories from our location as observers. When we map their positions, we are creating a Chart. The Natal Chart is a map that shows the positions of all 10 planets and 12 constellations at the very exact moment of birth, for the particular place of birth.

The moon, our own little satellite, determines, in judiciary astrology, many aspects of who we are and how we emotionally react in our interactions with others. It determines the way we express ourselves, whether our mother was nice to us or not while growing up and even how many times we move from one address to another. Thinking of relative sizes, it seems like that little satellite has the capacity to influence some aspects of our lives that are somehow sensitive. And that is an important concept to remember because the moon rules our emotions and, to understand how the moon operates in any of us and our interactions with others, we have to be in tune with our basic emotions.

Ever changing moon

Many poets have written under the inspiration of the moon. Many movies show the most amazing full moon in the night sky, as the only seemingly possible background to the romantic moment close to the end of the movie. We could even take a look at it to understand how the moon determines the minute when it’s time for someone to go up the stairway to heaven, the final move at the end of their life.

Calculations about the moon motion in a period of two and a half days are at the core of TV and newspaper horoscopes, they are based on the emotions of the one particular day the horoscope is calculated for. Therefore, the horoscope we read in a magazine is the result of a system of time calculations that forecasts people’s reactions based on emotions that are not long lasting and can change at the drop of a hat. It is a tricky thing when we forget the size of the moon, even if emotions can be powerful sometimes, they shouldn’t be given the importance of seemingly set the tone for our whole day or week. Bigger planets may have more powerful influences and can easily offset the emotions caused by the moon. It is the lightness promoted by horoscopes what has always given astrology a bad name, it is difficult to prove that someone may feel happy emotions while going through a long ordeal. In those cases, the possibility of a little relief for some hours, pales in front of the bigger, darker picture painted by other planets.

I think a natal chart is like a fine and precisely crafted cocktail: you put each planet’s influence in the cocktail shaker and you mix them together. The resulting concoction will have a completely different color and flavor than any of the separate ingredients. Which explains why every human being is so very different from all others, even twin siblings have their own unique characteristics because they were not born at the same exact minute, in the gigantic scenario around us, that is enough for the planets to move far enough to create differences between them.

So many possibilities

But how do we define emotions if we want to understand the role of the moon in our charts?

Emotions are those fleeting moments when we get carried away as a response to something we see or hear. The butterflies in the stomach when we happily meet someone dear or our fear or anger during any unfortunate event of road rage, are based on primal emotions that most of us learn to control as we grow up. Our emotions, even if we repress them, are always there, right underneath the skin and ready to makes us blush or twitch uncontrollably.  

It is fundamental to remember these images about emotions when we study the influence of the moon.

Think, for example, of the early night sky and the moon rising on the east, maybe over a lake, the ocean or a snow capped mountain.
Sometimes, when the moon appears right above the horizon, it makes us stop in awe at the sight of that gigantic “planet” looking at us? Let’s think of the emotions of the moment: we all do the same things, we look at the moon and we snap photos and write poems about that amazing vision.  But, let’s wait a couple of hours until the moon is at a higher position in the sky, at about 30 degrees over the horizon or slightly higher, the moon seems to shrink to a third of the size of what it was when it rose over the horizon.

Those are the images to remember, how changing and deceiving the moon can be. When it first appeared over the horizon it looked like an alien mothership peeping to see what we mortals were up to. Two hours later, that first impression is gone, and the moon is back to being our charming little satellite again. Because that is what the moon does: it deceives us with those changes. It makes our emotions go up and down as in a roller-coaster.

It can look so big
It is so small

The other aspect to remember is that the moon is the fastest “planet” in our solar system. As a side note remember that in astrology we say the moon is a planet because the planets or stars do not adjust to the terms of astronomy, they correspond to rules set by archetypes and mythological characters and, using the imagination to qualify the planets will help enormously at the time of interpreting the chart.

The orbital speed of the moon, around us, is 27.32 days if we consider sidereal time which is used to describe the orbit of a planet returning to the same place in the sky in front of the same constellation where we first looked at it. If we consider the return of the moon to the same position as of the sun, we will be looking at the synodic month which takes the moon 29.5 days to complete.

In general terms, for our calculations, we will consider 28 days as a safe basic measure when we talk about the movement of the moon to calculate a horoscope. A transit of about two and a half days in front of each constellation.

So far, we have mentioned all the concepts we have to keep in mind when we study the moon in a chart. There are key words for each planet and their influence, a coding system that becomes very useful.

For the moon we will consider the most important words and concepts by remembering these key words:

  • emotions
  • mood changes
  • fast speed at which those changes occur
  • mutability
  • instability
  • captivation
  • deception
  • the night
  • small scale (compared to the other planets)
  • femininity

Everything we can discuss about the moon is quite simple and easy to remember if we keep those concepts of changing appearances and the Charm the moon represents.  

As we make progress through the analysis of each planet in the chart, we are going to consider the weight of a planet compared to the others. Being the moon significantly smaller than all the other planets, its influence is proportionally smaller as well and that is a key factor when reading a chart. If a person has a very strong Saturn and they are extremely rational, their emotions, ruled by the moon, will be constantly repressed and tamed because the size and weight of Saturn is considerably larger.

In astrology everything is a matter of balance, weight and speed of the planets are important factors to understand what traits will be dominant. A well-balanced cocktail is the result of precisely calculated amounts of each ingredient. If there is too much alcohol, sugar or lemon juice, the excess factor will overpower the others and the cocktail will not be the nice drink we were expecting. We are a mix of many traits, not just emotions. Considering the moon alone is not going to be enough to understand who we are in all our complexity.

Being able to see the whole combination of the 10 planets in a chart is a very complicated exercise of analysis, we have to find the perfect balance of all the aspects of the chart, consider the planets and their positions, the interactions between them, even their temperature or whether they are showing in the night sky or under the influence of the day in each chart.

In our next post we will study how the moon is influenced by each constellation…

Photos by Jeremy Bishop, Mark Tegethoff, Cody Chan, filmplusdigital on Unsplash


© Adriana Avellino and Questions from Life – 2019-2099. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author / owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adriana Avellino and Questions from Life – with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Immigrants of Minnesota

Immigrants of Minnesota

Someone told me recently that the first settlers who came to Minnesota were from the Nordic countries in Europe and were determined to preserve their traditions and beliefs in a pure and uncontaminated way. Their essence of privacy and modesty, of not showing emotions and being dedicated to good deeds and pure thoughts struggles today, with the challenges new generations are forcing upon them, trying to maintain thought purity in a world that screams of more inclusion, action, openness and most of all, change. All of this may explain why Minnesota can be so frugal and traditional in some aspects and so progressive and open minded in some others. Those differences make this people burst at the seams because The Times They Are A-Changin’…

When I first came to Minnesota, I wanted to walk the streets of Duluth where Bob Dylan was born and grew up. One of the coldest cities in the United States, with an all-time record of   -39 degrees Fahrenheit (-39 Celsius) on January 15, 1972, Duluth is, as other cities in this State, a sharp mixture of tradition and refreshing, albeit uncomfortable, progressiveness.

It is fascinating to me how Bob Dylan was able to perceive and denounce so much injustice and greed in society.
Probably the stark contrasts he witnessed made him imagine how people live very different lives. Growing up in a town that becomes alive in the summer, with joyful, merry-go-lucky visitors who enjoy the beautiful lake views, and then dies during the winter months when walking outside turns into one of the most painful and dangerous experiences in the world, must have been a deep lesson in differences between humans and their realities. Those stark contrasts that can be applied to the very essence of humankind: people in Minnesota can be as unconcerned and carefree as summer birds or as committed to what is really important as the most extreme survivors in the planet.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

(Songwriter: Bob Dylan. The Times They Are A-Changin’)

And because this is a land of contrasts, I wanted to think of Bob Dylan’s origins from a Jewish family and those of the family of my friend, Irene, who came from Germany several generations ago.

A couple of weeks ago, Irene invited me to visit the consecrated land where her whole family rests. Not different, at first, from any other little town cemetery, the reality set in quite quickly, all these German names and the frugality they contributed to this State is evident in the solid stones chosen to mark the presence of these people who had to deal with frozen lands and scarce resources.
The deeply rooted traditions preserved for posterity and the knit-tight family bonds are still alive and well in the humble respect of Irene and the stories she tells about her ancestors. One of the ones that moved me: the devoted love between her father and mother.

The respect for the name and the bloodline is still breathing and well preserved here, even if a hint of big change is gaining momentum.

Minnesota is rich in tradition, many towns remind us of the people who came here to brave the elements and forge a destiny. Immigration should be understood as a normal process of humanity and doors should remain open out of respect for the traditions that are at the foundation of these lands.

Germans like Irene and Jews like Bob Dylan, thrived here, together, way before nationalist ideas divided them in hatred in the rest of the world. Nowadays it is the turn of Somalians and Latinos to come share this land of 10,000 lakes. Taken in full context, it is difficult to ignore the amazing melting pot Minnesota is, because even if some locals still try to hold on to their Nordic origins, reality is sinking in and showing them that the times they are a-changing.  

Will the new generations take the time to visit these minuscule villages and pay homage to those first European ancestors or are these beautiful little towns condemned to be read as just one more page of the history of Minnesota that is maybe doomed to be forgotten?


Photo by ginger juel on Unsplash; Adriana Avellino.

© Adriana Avellino and Questions from Life, 2019-2099. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adriana Avellino and Tell me about it! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How Karma got me

How Karma got me

Many of those who know me, and share life with me on a regular basis, know that I see life through the eyes of astrology which is not the same as saying that I believe in the moon horoscope (what your newspaper horoscope goes by: the rotation of the moon around planet earth, a very disposable influence in my view) because I prefer to observe the slow motion planets and their influence on us.

Nothing is absolute…

In my series of astrology classes we will discuss the importance of taking into account the orbital speed of each planet and the relative pattern of their trajectory and how those two concepts change the interpretation of the events in our lives.

Slow motion planets are the ones who transform us. In his book “Astrology, Karma and transformation” Stephen Arroyo, considers the orbits of the slowest ones:  Saturn, Uranus, Neptune… and Pluto. I like the idea of adding Pluto to that formula because it is clearly a planet, regardless of what scientists consider as necessary requirements before a stone may be upgraded to planet status. If they can’t be sure of such a thing, how come they can affirm planets do not influence our lives? So much to be learnt…

I am writing this as Dorian is playing plays pranks on Florida… will it hit, will it not? And since I had to change my plans to visit my Goddaughter/niece/teacher Clara, I take some time to reflect on the “Malefic Planets” and the malefic condition of those planets. For centuries, astrologers regarded these planets as the evil ones, the ones with the capacity to drastically change our lives. Still, there is a double-entendre between the concept of the quality of change as an evil one and the acceptance that some changes open the door to greater opportunities. Therefore, the concept of evil may very well be the center of discussions in the classes of astrology/philosophy we will share in days to come.

Dorian is being particularly “interesting” due to its extremely slow motion and it creates fear, uncertainty and disbelief. The disbelief factor is what I think is the most dangerous side of it: people lose interest in paying attention to the hurricane, they might stay back and not hear the evacuation orders with possibly sad consequences if the storm switches path and surprises them.

But that quality of slow motion is what makes Dorian so potentially harmful as is the capacity of Saturn to make you understand what it feels like to be deprived of basic needs and losing loved ones, of Uranus to make us experience unexpected life-changing events, like the change of life around our 42nd birthday and of Neptune that causes us to move to a different country with a different culture and stay there for a long time, thus making it interesting to consider the slow motion of the planet.

But I started talking about karma. Do you believe in karma? I want to.

I was born Virgo, the sign of solitude, maybe that is why “100 years of solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is my favorite book.
Virgo is a sign that has to learn how to live alone and appreciate the value of loneliness. And I was born to a Taurus mother who taught me value of material things. Until I learned that objects don’t make you happy I had to live life as she taught me to: always afraid of walking away and being on my own in fear of not having enough. My sister is a Capricorn and, ruled by Saturn, she had to learn what being deprived of her loved ones and buried in responsibilities while juggling three alarm clocks at a time really means, she is a prisoner of calendars and clocks, my mother is a prisoner of her material possessions and I am a prisoner of my loneliness. Unfortunately, and just to share that part of the story with you, my sister is learning to let go of those capricornian fears, I am enjoying being alone and how beautiful my time with myself is, and my mother hasn’t been able to learn that material objects are the ones that are making her profoundly unhappy and bitter.

Any other astrologer would tell you that, a home with those three earth signs in it would be an extremely productive, clean and functional home buzzing with energy. Those three bees working in harmony for the benefit of the beehive, what could be more earthy and peaceful?

Well, nothing more far removed from the truth, mother dearest made me love my moments without her and taught my sister to be terrified of almost everything.

That is how karma gets us, it shows us the possibility of the perfect picture, like that one of an earthy and stable home that could have been, just to change our perception, either abruptly or in a chain of relentless changes that happen one at a time, slowly altering our surroundings, just like Dorian teases Floridians these days in a way so nobody can be really sure how or where changes are going to hit.

For those who firmly believe in karma it is easy to understand how life presents us with the maze we have to walk in order to learn what the roadblocks and the exits are.

For those who don’t, the exercise of reflecting on those life stories may be a turning point towards considering that maybe something is out there, something we can’t wrap our heads around, just the same as scientists doubt whether Pluto is a planet or just a stone in space.

Photo by Alex, NASA, Manu and Diane Helentjaris on Unsplash


© Adriana Avellino and Tell me about it!, 2019-2099. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adriana Avellino and Tell me about it! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Memories edited

Memories edited

My friend Patrick, read a science fiction book by Blake Crouch, “Recursion”, that elaborates on the possibility of removing those cells in the brain where bad memories are stored.

The concept is quite tempting if we consider how many people re-live their darkest nightmares over and over again without being able to move forward with their lives because their pain is like an anchor around their souls.

The question is: would you contemplate the idea of deleting forever your painful memories?
When we think of that question, there seem to be two major groups of memories that one may be tempted to remove from the memory: those that are general and those that are very specific.

Let’s analyze those dark memories and see if we would really want them removed for good. The sole idea of having just good memories is quite appealing, mostly because the relief of not having bad memories constantly coming back to haunt us may feel like a dream come true.

What could happen if we could remove the general bad memories? What if we could remove those cells of our brain that store our most basic fears? Removing the memories of those moments when we were rejected, for example, seems like the panacea for some of the biggest problems any human being may have to live with every day.

Let me introduce you to one guy I used to date. He may be similar to many other people you may know.
Life was not fair to him. A never-ending succession of episodes of rejection left him in a state of total mistrust and constant pain. He was not fully aware he was harboring all that pain without been able to let go and up to what extent he would constantly allow those memories of his past influence his every action and reaction of each minute of his days.
What happened was certainly tragic, he had been removed from his natal home when he was only six months old because his parents were neglecting him. Imagining those first six months of a baby in such a precarious environment explains many of his weak traits. He was then taken to an orphanage and he was adopted three months later. He had to adapt to three different homes before he even turned one. He had to learn all those faces and voices and it was impossible for him to experience attunement or attachment of any kind.

His adoptive parents changed his birth name negating his very essence, making him more convenient.
His adoptive mother was authoritarian and his adoptive father would beat him regularly to make him a good person.
Even if he succeeded later in life and amassed fortune, his soul was so broken that he couldn’t give anything to anybody else. The concept of living by strict rules made his life really cold and limited. He was absolutely incapable of being happy. Every time something good came his way, he would feel guilty and boycotted any and all chances of laughter and peace. He walked all the paths necessary to poison his health and his spirit and when he could have opened up and trusted, he retreated in fear and disbelief. To this day, torture never leaves his side, I had to leave him and his torture behind.

Now, if those horrible memories of persistent rejection could be erased, would someone like that be able to be optimistic and trusting to open up to receive and enjoy love? The idea seems so noble and worth exploring that we could only wish scientists get some inspiration from Crouch’s idea. As a Jules Vernes, Crouch may be a prophet of the future of psychology.

But the philosophical conundrum my friend Patrick posed is way more interesting: what if some more specific memories of pain could be removed from our brains? Would we be who we are today without the pain of those memories?

What if the memory of the loss of a loved one could be removed forever? Wouldn’t that be like travelling a road to nowhere? Should we remove the memory of that loved one altogether? Just so our life makes sense. Would removing them from our memory honor our own existence?

The memory of losing my father is a pain that never goes away. If those cells in my brain that remember the day I lost him, could be removed, what kind of perception of his existence would I be left with?

I would certainly remember him, but I would be very aware that I lost him because he is nowhere to be found, therefore, my logical brain would know he is no longer here, and the pain would be back. Messy right?
Faced with that alternative, should I remove every memory of him?
Still, how would I justify my own existence?

An idea that may be tempting, the idea of avoidance of pain, seems to be defeated by the logical conclusion that we are essentially made of myriads of memories that are needed to make our lives real.

May it be that we need some level of pain to make us what we are?

Is the pursuit of absolute peace of mind and happiness unrealistic?

Maybe it is just a matter of balance…

Photos by Francisco Gonzalez, Gustavo Torres and Gabby Orcutt on Unsplash.

© Adriana Avellino and Questions from Life – 2019- 2099. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author / owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adriana Avellino and Questions from Life – with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.