Interpreting Lunar Returns

Q&A and discussion on Sidereal Lunar Returns.
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Jim Eshelman
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Interpreting Lunar Returns

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue May 09, 2017 12:36 pm

Recommended protocol for analyzing a
Sidereal Lunar Return (SLR)

  1. Make a quick, basic assessment of whether this will likely be experienced as a good month or a bad month.
    1. Good month: Predominance of foreground natal and/or SLR Venus, Jupiter, and Uranus.
    2. Bad month: Predominance of foreground natal and/or SLR Mars, Saturn, and Neptune.
  2. Note which planets (both natal and SLR) are foreground in the SLR. Frame the core of your delineation around these factors alone, trying to come to some kind of integrated assessment of the map's general tone.
    1. The planets closest to the angles have the most to say. This consideration often will help prioritize and weight planetary involvement.
    2. SLR planets are interpreted as describing circumstances the world brings to the individual. Natal planets represent the individual's reactions to these circumstances or, sometimes, the actions which invoke them.
    3. If the same planet is foreground in both the natal (inner) and SLR (outer) wheels, it takes on special significance as a theme planet.
  3. Observe which SLR planets are background and how they color the picture so far obtained.
    • USEFUL TIP: Think of planets in terms of natural opposites, and whether one, the other, neither, or both are foreground. For example, note the difference of:
      • Venus foreground, Mars background
      • Venus background, Mars foreground
      • Venus and Mars both foreground
      • Venus and Mars both background
      • Don't dwell too much on this point; but it may be helpful in sorting through complex charts in particular.
  4. Note conjunctions, oppositions, and squares between/among foreground planets (ideally 3°-4° orb, may extend to 5° especially if few aspects)
    1. Aspects to foreground SLR planets help refine judgment on what to expect from the outside world.
    2. Interpret foreground natal planets in terms of what they represent in the nativity (shown by their natal aspects and, to some extent, sign placements).
    3. Note foreground SLR (transiting) planets aspecting foreground natal planets.
  5. Stop at this point to make sure the delineation is consistent and makes sense.
  6. Consider any remaining hard aspects (conjunctions, oppositions, squares) within about 1°. These represent supplementary, background considerations (and often will identify ongoing outer planet transits important in the life at the same time).

In brief...
  1. Make a quick assessment: Will it likely be experienced as a good month or a bad month.
  2. Note which planets (both natal and SLR) are foreground in the SLR. Frame the core of your basic delineation around these factors alone.
  3. Observe which SLR planets are background and how they color the picture so far obtained.
  4. Note aspects (conjunctions, oppositions, squares) between/among foreground planets (SLR to SLR, natal to natal, SLR to natal)
  5. Consider any remaining partile hard aspects.
Jim Eshelman
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Jim Eshelman
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How I "break down" a Lunar Return

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:06 pm

Here is how I mechanically prepare the SLR to prepare for the analysis outlined above.

1. Determine what is angular foreground.
Identify which planets are angular/foreground, both natal and transiting. (Natal planets have to be corrected for precession before calculating their mundane positions.) As with other phases of astrology:

Proximity to MC, IC, Asc, Dsc is taken in prime vertical longitude, with a maximum orb of 10°.
Conjunctions with EP or WP are taken in right ascension, with a maximum orb of 3°.
Squares to Asc or MC are taken in longitude with a maximum orb of 3° for square to Asc and 2° for square to MC.

2. Determine aspects between/among foreground planets.
Transit-to-transit, natal-to-natal, transit-to-natal. These are valid both in longitude and in mundo, according to whichever has the smaller orb. Tabulate these out to 5° orb, though the closer ones will be more important.

3. Determine other partile transits.
If any other partile transits occur, tabulate them. If not foreground, they tend to represent "background considerations" that are important for the life of the return.
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Example

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:21 pm

An example in breaking these down:

Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, KY at "sunup," which was 6:54 AM.

He died in Washington, DC April 15, 1865, 7:22 AM, after having been shot the night before.

His final Sidereal Lunar Return occurred March 22, 1965, 8:55:14 AM LMT, Washington, DC.

TRANSITING PLANTS ANGULAR
t Pluto on EP -0°15' &- s. MC -0°26' & conj. Asc 0°13'
t Venus on EP +2°19'

IMMEDIATE BACKGROUND:
t Neptune 0°39' from XII
t Mercury 2°07' from XII
t Sun 5°32' from XII
t Moon 5°43' from IX

NATAL PLANETS ANGULAR
r Saturn on Dsc -1°49'
r Neptune on Dsc -3°57'
r Uranus sq. MC +0°58'

FOREGROUND ASPECTS
t Pluto op. r Uranus 1°24'
t Pluto op. r Saturn 2°02' in mundo
t Venus-Pluto conj. 2°34' (in RA)
r Saturn-Neptune conj. 3°33'
t Pluto op. r Neptune 4°10' in mundo

OTHER PARTILE ASPECTS
Mars-Uranus conj. 0°07'
t Neptune op. r Venus 0°28'
Moon-Saturn sq. 1°04'
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Re: Interpreting Lunar Returns

Post by SteveS » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:09 am

8-)

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Re: Interpreting Lunar Returns

Post by mikestar13 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:53 am

Excellent summary! Since I read ISR, I've been using the "return chart style" portion of the techniques for reading SSR'S to read SLR's with excellent results.In addition, I give significance to aspects of SLR Sun in comparable degree to aspects of SSR Moon. Also, I note that foreground Sun and especially Pluto tend to make a good return better and a bad one worse (if their aspects concur).
Time matters

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Re: Interpreting Lunar Returns

Post by Jim Eshelman » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:24 am

mikestar13 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:53 am
In addition, I give significance to aspects of SLR Sun in comparable degree to aspects of SSR Moon.
I used to. I'm less inclined to do so except I usually tend to use an "early Bradley" pass - just in case there is something legitimate to the house model that I might miss - in which I got, "House and aspects of Sun, check. House and aspects of Moon, check. Anything foreground and their aspects check..."

Aside from that, I've fallen away from my conviction that Sun aspects are always important (or always important unless in the immediate background and non-partile, or some variation on that theme).
Also, I note that foreground Sun and especially Pluto tend to make a good return better and a bad one worse (if their aspects concur).
That's interesting. Just in the sense of "pumping it to more extreme"?
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Re: Interpreting Lunar Returns

Post by mikestar13 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:47 am

Yeah, pretty much. Sun tends to add energy and focus, either your own (natal) or the universe's (transiting). Pluto's "all-or-nothing" tendencies factor in when present. Pluto with aspects in discord with the main theme leans in the contrary direction. For example . For example, in a strongly negative return foreground Pluto in partile aspects to Venus and Jupiter may act as a "saving grace", mitigating the negativity a fair amount. Similarly, a badly afflicted Pluto foreground in an otherwise good chart can be a very nasty joker in the cosmic deck.
Time matters

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Re: Interpreting Lunar Returns

Post by SteveS » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:59 am

Mike wrote:
In addition, I give significance to aspects of SLR Sun in comparable degree to aspects of SSR Moon.
I keep looking for the 'same significance' in my life, but I can’t find it. By far, I see much more significance with SSR Moon than SLR Sun. Why? I don’t know. Jim would probably have the best explanation. Maybe t. Sun has some unique importance involved timing to the exact day with partile aspects important life incidents, but I can’t correlate in a strong manner. It could be the only time a SLR Sun is highlighted in a significant manner-- only when the SLR is partile aspected (0,90,180) to a natal planet on the DAY of a SLR, but again, I don’t know. Fagan said the SLR Sun was important—but I have yet to see/understand the importance compared to SSR Moon.

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Re: Interpreting Lunar Returns

Post by Danica » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:51 am

Chiming in on the matter of t Sun aspects in the SLR: I've been observing these for years now, and the conclusion is - they are definitively of far less importance (almost incomparable) than the Moon-aspects in SSR.
But I do keep observing them.
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Jim Eshelman
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Re: Interpreting Lunar Returns

Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:55 am

Yes, back in, oh, about 1970 when I first started reading reprints of "Solunars," one of the first things I registered as that you watch planets on the angles for both, and those aspecting (0 - 90 - 180) Moon in the SSR and Sun in SLR.

It's all true. Except, I haven't been able to confirm the "Sun in SLR." It's much easier to justify that Moon in SLR is always important - perhaps not in the sense of Moon in the SSR, but certainly in the same sense as Moon in solar and lunar ingresses.
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