Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation

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by Maya del Mar.

Lunar Shadows: the Lost Key to the Timing of Eclipses by Dietrech J. Pessin. Galactic Press, 1997.

You often hear me referring to "moon families" or referring to a related date in the past, 9 months, 18 months, or 27 months ago. Sometimes I say ,"The New Moon which began this was on xxx." Other times I’ll say things like, "Events now will culminate on xxx," or, "This cycle will end on xxx."

Sometimes it sounds like I’m getting these dates out of the blue. This is astrology, not psychic predictions, so we know that’s not the case. But where do they come from?

Moon Families is a very simple idea, an "of course!" which Dietrech provides for us, along with Moon Family charts. We know about the one-month lunar cycle—new, first quarter, full, and last quarter, which describe a cycle of beginning, fulfilling, and ending. The constant here is the sign. For instance, most of April, which begins with New Moon in Aries, is about taking initiative in new ways, Aries’ specialty.

But at the same time every New Moon starts a new Moon Family, where the constant is the degree (or close to the degree) as well as the sign. Each moon phase is 9 months from the last one, and the whole cycle lasts four times nine, or 36 months.

For instance, New Moon on this April 1 is at 11 Aries 39. The next moon phase around this degree is First Quarter Moon at 8 Aries 17 on next December 30. This means that seeds sown now have, besides their April first quarter moon, another breakthrough time at the end of December, with the Moon Family First Quarter. We all experience cycles within cycles, and we know that few things are completed in a one-month moon cycle.

The next step is Full Moon at 5 Aries 45, which occurs on September 28, 2004. This is the culmination, or the fruition, of projects begun now and set into motion in December. Last Quarter occurs at 7 Aries 08 on June 28, 2005. This begins 9 months of winding down this month’s new beginnings. A new Aries cycle will start with the Aries New Moon of 2006, although every Aries New Moon in between times starts its own Aries Moon Family, with 9 months between quarters.

Dietrich puts the Moon Families into tables, which makes reference a snap. She also makes charts of the phases of each lunar cycle, which is another timing signal. One could make their own Moon Family tables from these charts or, in fact, from any ephemeris. (Ephemerises are so great!)

For me, this is the core of this precious little book. However, it is absolutely chock-full of relevant information about eclipses and moon phases, and how to use them as timing signals.

For instance, do you want to do power points for the year? Easy. (Dietrech makes everything easy.) Make a cross. Most years have two solar eclipses. Put the North Node Solar Eclipse on the "ascendant" and the South Node Solar Eclipse on the "descendant." On the "midheaven" and "IC" put the the two new moons which fall between the eclipses.

This diagram works well because the majority of events related to an eclipse fall within a six-month period around the eclipse, three months before and three months after. The greatest stress points of the year will cluster around those four power points.

For instance, solar eclipses for 2003 occur at 10 Gemini in May, and 2 Sagittarius in November. We would also look at the period of the Pisces New Moon on March 2. On March 2, N. Korea warned of nuclear disasters around the world, and urged greater cooperation between North and South Korea.

The New Moon at 5 Virgo occurs on August 27. At the same time, powerhouse Pluto turns direct, Vesta enters Scorpio, Jupiter enters Virgo, and Mercury and Pallas Athena turn retrograde. Indeed, this is an eventful time, despite Mars retrograde around 7 Pisces. (Mars is, however, opposing the New Moon place and squaring the two Eclipses.)

Dietrech’s book has enough exciting details that one could peruse it any time, for any purpose, and come up with relevant and interesting information. Part of what she does is a whole basic astrology course—simply, of course, for that’s her style. You don’t need to be an astrologer to use this book. Dietrech gives you the basics—accurately, interestingly, and briefly.

I consider Dietrich’s book a book of magic for the astrologer or the aspiring astrologer or for anyone who just wants more of a grip on timing in their lives.

Dietrich did much of this study under fire. She worked as a 900-line astrologer for five years, where she was constantly on the firing line in regard to timing. She has also written for magazines and newspapers, and appeared on TV and radio.

I purchased this book from Dietrech at 62 Walnut Park, Newton, MA 02458. Her email at that time was I don’t know the price, but this book is paperback, spiralbound for easier reference and use.
[Ed. Note: we found this book listed as available online at We have no experience, either positive or negative, with this source.]