Astrology and Anthroposophy

23 December 2008

Planetary Birthdays

Almost everyone is aware of their birthday and most people seem to enjoy the day. On our birthday the Sun returns to where it was in the heavens when we were born. Viewed from the earth (geocentric view) we can say the Sun has gone a full revolution through the twelve signs of the zodiac. Instead of just our birthday, we could call this our Sun birthday or Sun return.

We also have a Moon birthday, the day on which the Moon returns to the zodiac position it was in at our birth. This occurs once a month. Feelings of contentment, stable emotions, good mood and receptivity often accompany this return.

The planet Mercury never wanders far from the Sun when viewed from Earth. Our Mercury birthday occurs therefore not too far from our Sun birthday. It can be before or after but can not vary more than a month and a bit. It encourages effective communication.

The planet Venus also stays close to the Sun but not quite as close as Mercury. Our Venus birthday or the return of Venus to its position at birth can be before or after our birthday but not much more than three months. Harmonious interactions with others, a state of cooperation, agreement, friendship, participation and aesthetic judgments are its signatures.

The planet Mars takes about 2 years, a little bit less, to complete its cycle. So about every two years we have a Mars birthday. The effects of this are most noticeable on the first Mars Return. The young child begins at this time to exert its will by saying “no” and even taking a step backwards for the first time. The drive to assert oneself, to survive, the desire to make things happen can manifest on this return.

The planet Jupiter takes a little less than 12 years to complete its cycle. Jupiter has to do with thinking, especially in a philosophical or religious way. It was at age twelve that Jesus went through a huge transformation and was then able to teach in the temple. A Jupiter birthday or Jupiter return is generally experienced as a good and beneficial time and can feel quite expansive.

The planet Saturn takes about 29.5 years to complete its cycle. It could be considered the most important of the planetary birthdays and has a special connection to karma and destiny. A Saturn return is a time for us to realign ourselves with our pre-birth intentions. Life circumstances can change quite substantially at this time. See my previous blog post about Saturn return.

Moon Node
The Moon Node is the point where the Moon intersects the path of the Sun. Every month the Moon crosses the path of the Sun once on the way up-North Node and once on the way down-South Node. It takes about 18½ years for the Moon Node to return to its birth position. Rudolf Steiner stated that the days and especially the nights around the Moon Node return are the most important ones of our life and that at this time there is a thinning of the veil between the physical and spiritual world.

It is interesting and really worth while to look back over our lives, to pick out the significant events and see how they relate to the various planetary birthdays. To look up a previous or a future planetary birthday, you would need to have a computer program or you can purchase a booklet, called an ephemeris, that lists the position of the planets at various times. The computer program that I use is called Solar Fire.

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