Telling Time by Cycles – Part 1

Dane Rudyhar states that it is the “conscious awareness of Time which separates man from all other living creatures”. And, astrology, rightly understood, “can restore man’s sense of meaning through the study of cycles, particularly the lunar cycle.”

The study of astrology is the study of cycles unfolding over varying lengths of time.

A cycle can be defined as an orderly process of change that returns to the point from which it began. It repeats itself,  becoming a building block of experience, even though the actual events may not be the same.

A phase is part of a cycle. Phases always occur in the same sequence. Therefore they are quite predictable and systematic.

There can be any number of phases in a circle from 1 – 360, and more if you want to add decimal points. We’re not going to get into that level of detail here. For now, let’s work with the 8-phase model.  If you’re interested in the origins of the eight phases let me know and I’ll send you some links.

So now we have a cycle made up of 8-phases. The next question is how long is the cycle, in terms of time? If we’re working with ‘short’ time (days/weeks/months) then we’d look to the cycles of the moon, mercury, venus, and/or mars. If we’re more interested in years & decades, we’d look to Saturn & Jupiter. If we’re  more interested in centuries, eons, and paradigm shifts then we would study the cycles of Uranus, Neptune & Pluto. It all depends on what kind of information you’re looking for.  Personal?  Cultural?

Nodes, Asteroids & Stars also have specific cycles to measure.  Of particular interest to me are the cycles of the Lunar nodes & Chiron.

For example,  here are some planetary cycles to begin watching in your personal life…

  • Moon – 28.5 days to orbit the earth
  • Sun – 1 year orbit
  • Mars – 2 year orbit
  • Saturn – 28.5 year orbit
  • Pluto – 248 year orbit

If you divide the orbit-time by 8 you’ll arrive at the length of each phase. ie 1 year divided by 8 = 6-weeks to a phase.

As stated above, phases are sequential and always occur in the same order.

Each of the 8 phases carries a particular kind of energy with it and thereby creates a certain degree of predictability once you get in the flow.  Your ability to integrate body/mind/emotions and notice the differences in such during each phases will help to create a sense of balance, peace & confidence more often than not.


It’s been my experience that most people are seeking out a yoga therapist because they are frustrated with the mainstream solutions to their particular problems.  They want to try a different, or alternative approach to what has ailed them.  I like to conduct an intake session with new clients, and the first question I ask is, “When were you born?”  Over the years, more often than not, my clients age  coincides with a time-period that is a challenging one, astrologically.  These critical times are quite predictable  to skilled astrologers and “forewarned is for armed”.  Many people seek medical/holistic health care at these times .  Yoga practices such as asana, pranayama, toning, and meditation have therapeutic value for those who are suffering from the effects of both earthly and cosmic stress.

Astrology & life has taught me that you can’t heal something with the same thinking that created it. These critical time-periods are the turning points where change happens.