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    Nodes Change Sign | The Planets | Moon's Nodes | Moon's Phases | The Moon | Eclipses | Signs

    Full Moon Rising
    The Fishing Party by Fitz Hugh Lane

    The Moon Wobble
    destructive cosmic phenomenon affects us all

    2008 Wobbles |2009 Wobbles
    Note: This article was originally written in May 2008. We expect to update it for current events ASAP.

    The world has been undergoing a massive and painful transformation during past weeks. A number of astrological factors point to this, including the stations of Saturn and Jupiter, the two Great Chronocrators, with Neptune and Mercury about to turn retrograde – but the significant trigger might well be the stressful square aspect of the Sun to the Moon's Nodes on May 13, known as a Moon Wobble. Rob Tillett, one of the founders of Astrology on the Web, explores the meaning of this major cosmic phenomenon. If you thought Mercury retrograde was a problem, compare the Moon Wobble!

    In addition to the planets, asteroids, comets and moons that revolve in our solar system, astrology considers the effects of two "Shadow Planets" called the Moon's Nodes, the Dragon's Head and Tail. These nodes are not real rocks, like the Moon, Mars or Venus, but sensitive points that mark the movement by declination of the Moon from the southern celestial hemisphere to the northern (the North Node) and vice versa (the South Node), where the path of the Moon around the Earth sweeps across the ecliptic, intersecting the apparent path of the Sun. The nodes form an axis, so the South Node is always directly opposite the North Node in a stately cosmic quadrille. Neverthless, the Moon's Nodes are vitally important in terms of the destinies of all who dwell on Planet Earth. See The Moon's Nodes for more on this.

    I have been prompted to write this article because the world has evidently been undergoing a massive transformation in past weeks. The devastation wrought by the earthquake in Sichuan province of China which has killed thousands, the horrors of Cyclone Nargis in Burma (Myanmar) which has slaughtered tens of thousands and left millions homeless, deadly tornados in the USA, bombings in the Middle East and so on have leapt onto the front pages, our TV screens, and into the blogosphere. There are a number of astrological pointers, including the stations of Saturn and Jupiter, the two Great Chronocrators, with Neptune and Mercury about to turn retrograde, but the significant trigger might well be the stressful square aspect of the Sun to the Moon's Nodes on May 13. This phenomenon is known as a Moon Wobble.

    Crushed Cars in 2008 Sichuan Earthquake
    Crushed Cars in 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

    Moon Wobbles were discovered in the 1930's, when research by astrologer Carl Payne Tobey (1902-1980), the original editor of Astrology Magazine, revealed that disasters occur in cycles associated with the conjunction (0°), opposition (180°) and square (90°) from the Sun to the Moon's Node. These powerful contacts occur when the Sun and the Node are in the same sign, or the opposing sign, or when the Sun is in a square aspect to the nodal axis. They are especially potent when the New Moon or Full Moon are square to the Nodes.

    As he discovered after a painstaking examination of a large number of major disasters, many of the most serious and traumatic catastrophes involving fire, bad weather and loss of life occur in association with eclipses, when the Sun and Moon are conjunct the Moon's Nodes, especially when other unfortunate planetary aspects coincide. However, not all of these evils are exclusively linked with eclipses, for many are associated with the Sun forming a T-square to the nodal axis, i.e. when the Sun is in a 90° aspect to the nodes. This he called a "Moon Wobble", because in fact it is when the Moon is "wobbling" in its path by declination. So when the Sun forms an aspect to the nodes of 0°, 90°, or 180°, we experience a significant likelihood of massive environmental damage with much loss of life and property. These Moon Wobbles occur every 86.5 days on average, with an orb of approximately 5 degrees (days) on either side of the precise date, when the Sun forms either the T-square with the nodal axis, or the conjunction with the North or South Nodes. Tobey notes that when the Sun squares the Nodes, people's judgement is notoriously poor and unstable, especially for people under stress or in leadership positions. Some astrologers hold that the two weeks before the partile aspect are problematic, with the week following the aspect also being notable in terms of disasters.

    The Sun takes a year to complete one revolution of the Zodiac, usually making four contacts with the Lunar Nodes in the process. For example, during the current Aquarius/Leo nodal transit, the Sun in Aquarius made the conjunction with the North Node on Feb 17, 2008. When the Sun is in Leo, we will see the opposition to the North Node (a conjunction with the South Node) on August 10. These mark eclipse cycles. When the Sun is in Taurus (May 13) or Scorpio (Nov 5) it makes a square aspect to the Nodes, so they are not accompanied by eclipses. Nevertheless, each of these configurations generate a Moon Wobble. The Lunar Nodes move through each sign of the Zodiac in a little over eighteen months, so for a Moon Wobble to occur in the same sign and configuration with the Nodes it takes around 19 years. Each Moon Wobble pattern is thus unique until repeated some 19 years later.

    Man picks through debris of 2009 Samoa Tsunami
    Man picks through debris of 2009 Samoa Tsunami

    As Jim D'Amato points out, ancient astrologers associated the beginnings and ends of wars, major battles, mine explosions and animal stampedes with eclipses, both solar and lunar. These two types of eclipses generally happen about two weeks apart every six months and really make a notable splash once every two years. Tobey found that disasters happened about every three months; he correlated them as well to the geometric and mathematical square to the possible eclipse points, the Moon's Nodes. During these Moon Wobble periods, time and space seem to be more unstable, almost as if the fabric of the heavens has somehow weakened. People die – sometimes in great numbers – through dramatic releases of energy, especially explosions, fires, mass murders, earthquakes, floods and transportation accidents.

    Even though Tobey gave it an orb of 5 degrees (days), the effects of the Moon Wobble tend to appear some 10 days before the partile (exact) configuration, the peak date, and cease pretty much around 10 days after the peak date, especially when associated with major planetary aspects involving the outer planets. That makes a sensitive period of up to 20 days, four or five times a year. I'd say this is due to the wide orb of the Sun, which moves on average slightly over one degree per day through the zodiac.

    Needless to say, disasters are not the exclusive province of Moon Wobbles, but they are disaster-prone phases, especially when associated with problematic planetary aspects, or with major retrograde periods. The effects on individuals depends on where the aspect falls in the chart, but by and large these phases are warnings to be appropriately prepared and not to undertake major decisions, as reality is clouded during these periods.

    Some notable example of disasters that occurred during the Moon Wobble phase will drive home the point. There is a very long list of them, far too many to list, but I will update the list when I can. Disasters occur not only in the lead up to malefic aspects around an eclipse or Moon wobble, but also as the affected degrees are subsequently activated. See Ian Thurnwald's detailed analysis of the aftermath of the massive Solar Eclipse in Aug 99 for examples of this.

    Moon Wobbles 2008
    PhasePeakMajor Aspects
    • Solar Eclipse Feb 7
    • Lunar Eclipse Feb 21
    Feb 17• Mars opp Pluto:
    • Feb. 3, Congo: 45 killed and about 450 injured after two strong earthquakes, of 6.0 and 5.0 magnitude.
    • Feb. 5-6, U.S.A..: 55 killed and hundreds injured after violent tornadoes rip through southern United States.
    • Feb. 7, U.S.A.: explosion at sugar refinery near Savannah, Georgia kills 14 and injures many more.
    • Feb. 21, Venezuela: Passenger plane crashes into mountain in Sierra La Culata National Park killing all 46 aboard.
    • Taurus Sun sq NodesMay 13• May 2, Burma: Cyclone Nargis, when hundreds of thousands were killed or displaced
    • May 12, China: Sichuan Earthquake killed nearly 100,000, leaving 4.5 million homeless.
    • Solar Eclipse Aug 1 Aug 10• Mars opp Uranus:
    • July 24 Japan: 90 injured & thousands of homes lose power in a 6.8 magnitude earthquake near Iwate.
    • July 27 S.E. Europe: major flooding in Ukraine and Romania kills 18 causing $300 million in damages.
    • Aug 1 Pakistan: avalanche on K2, world's second-highest mountain, kills 11 climbers, injures others.
    • Aug 4, India: 150 die as landslide rumours cause stampede in Hindu Goddess fest. at Naina Devi temple.
    • Aug 5, N. California: 9 firefighters die in helicopter crash/burn in Shasta-Trinity Nat. Forest. Cause unknown.
    • Lunar Eclipse Aug 16 Aug 10 • Mars sq Pluto:
    • Aug 10, Canada: explosions at gas facility force thousands in Toronto to evacuate. Some injured, 1 dies.
    • Aug 20, Spain: 153 die as passenger plane skids & bursts into flames during takeoff in Madrid.
    • Aug 23, U.S.A.: 12 die & thousands of properties flooded as trop. storm Fay makes landfall 4 times in Fl. and Ga.
    • Scorpio Sun squ NodesNov 06• Oct. 29, Pakistan: 6.4 magnitude quake hits S.W. Pakistan, kills 170 & wrecks 15,000 homes.
    • Oct. 30, India: explosions in Assam kill 55 and wound over 200.
    • Nov 7, Haiti: 90 students die & over a hundred injured in school collapse in Port-au-Prince.
    • Nov 9, Sea of Japan: 20 die and 21 injured in Russian submarine fault.
    Moon Wobbles 2009
    PhasePeakMajor Aspects
    • Solar Eclipse Jan 26Jan 29• Venus opp Saturn:
    • Jan. 24, France & Spain: 15 die & a million homes without power as 100 mph winds hit; worst storm since 1999.
    • Jan. 26, Turkey: avalanche slams 17 Turkish hikers on Mt Zigana, dragging them 1,640 ft, killing 10.
    • Jan. 27-28, S.W. U.S.A.: 23 die in severe storms. Schools close; a million homes left without electricity.
    • Lunar Eclipse Feb 9Jan 29• Saturn opp Uranus; Mars sesquisq Saturn; Mars semisq Uranus :
    • Feb. 9, Australia: over 160 die when arsonists start about 400 wildfires—some of the worst in Australia's history.
    • Feb. 10, U.S.A.: cluster of tornadoes rip through Oklahoma, killing 8 and injuring over a dozen.
    • Feb. 12, U.S.A.: 50 passengers and crew die as flight from Newark crashes near Buffalo, killing 1 on the ground.
    • Taurus Sun sq NodesApr 24• April 6, Italy: earthquake magnitude 6.3 kills 200, injuring 1,000. Town of L'Aquila is the epicenter.
    • Lunar Eclipse, Jul 7Jul 22• Mars sq Neptune; Mars sq Jupiter:
    • June 30, Italy: freight train derails and crashes into small town, killing 12, injuring 50. LNG container explodes.
    • June 30, Indian Ocean: Yemeni Jet hits ocean trying to land at Comoros. 152 killed; 1 survivor, a 14-year-old girl.
    • July 6, China: ethnic riots in Urumqi between Muslim Uighurs & Han Chinese & the police kill 156.
    • July 15, Iran: Caspian Airlines plane crashes en route to Yerevan, Armenia, killing all 168 passengers.
    • Solar Eclipse, Jul 22Jul 22• Mars sq Neptune; Mars sq Jupiter:
    • July, India: massive flooding in Western India kills scores and leaves hundreds of thousands homeless.
    • July 24, Iran: 16 die as Aria Air flight skids off the runway, catching fire in Mashhad, Iran.
    • Lunar Eclipse, Aug 6Jul 22• Mars sq Pluto:
    • August 7, Philippines: 22 tourists on Mount Pinatubo trapped and killed in heavy rain, flooding & landslides.
    • August 8, New York: helicopter and plane collide over Hudson River, killing all 9 on the private plane.
    • August 10, Taiwan: Typhoon Morakot causes mudslide burying schools, homes, killing 600.
    • Libra Sun sq NodesOct 18• Mercury opp Uranus; Sun sq Pluto; Saturn contra Uranus:
    • Sep 28, Philippines: 90 die in and around Manila in flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana
    • Sep 29, Samoa: hundreds die, thousands left homeless in tsunami caused by magnitude 8.0 undersea quake
    • Sep 30, Indonesia: thousands die, buildings destroyed in mag. 7.6 quake near Padang, Sumatra. Massive aftershocks.
    • Oct 1, Indonesia: further death and destruction in mag. 6.6 quake near Bengkulu, Sumatra.
    • Oct 2, Tonga: Further deadly quakes in the region, including mag. 6.1 near Hihifo, as undersea volcano erupts.
    • Oct 5, India: millions affected, hundreds dead in worst flood on record across Central India.
    • Lunar Eclipse Dec 31Jan 11Watch this space...

    In the meantime, check out these references:

    [This is the end of the article. Check back regularly for updates.]



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