Time Range of Horoscopes & Transits

About the Planetary Events

"How long do the planetary events last?"

Unless otherwise stated, the time range of influence for planetary events given in the Low-Down columns is usually as follows:

New Moons

The New Moon begins a process of influence that lasts 29 days (until the next New Moon). The immediate energy of the New Moon can usually be felt about 2-3 days before and after.

Full Moons

Full Moon energy can usually be felt for about 2-3 days before and after.

Eclipses

The Solar and Lunar Eclipses are actually New and Full Moons, but have supercharged energy because they are so precisely aligned! Eclipses typically happen in pairs - a New Moon (solar) eclipse and a Full Moon (lunar) eclipse, that happen 2 weeks apart. The two weeks in between these eclipses often feel very intense - like two weeks of Full Moon energy! There is a pair of eclipses about every 5 months. Eclipses are visible in different locations around the world at different times, so you might not notice anything where you live.

You should NEVER look directly at the Sun during a solar eclipse, since the Sun's harmful rays can still burn your eyes, even though the Moon is blocking much of the Sun's light. Special glasses and gadgets are available to allow you to watch solar eclipses without damaging to your eyes. There is no danger in looking directly at the Moon during a lunar eclipse though. How can you tell whether you're seeing a solar or lunar eclipse? Easy! If it's daylight and you can see the Sun, it's a solar eclipse. If it's dark out and you see only the Moon, then it's a lunar eclipse. For more about the astronomical side of eclipses, check out mreclipse.com.

Planetary Stations and Retrogrades

Retrograde motion is when a planet appears to go backwards in the sky for a period of a few weeks to a few months, depending on the planet. Planets don't really go backwards; it is actually an optical illusion, when we view the planet from Earth's perspective, but it is still considered significant astrologically.

When a planet changes direction, it's called a "station" or "being stationary." When a planet changes direction, it goes retrograde (backwards) after being direct for a time, or it goes direct again (forwards) after its retrograde period. During a station, the planet appears to slow down, pause, and then resume its motion in the other direction. The whole process of changing direction takes place over a few days to a couple of weeks.

All planets (except the Sun and Moon) go retrograde some of the time. Mercury goes retrograde about 3 times per year (for about 3 weeks each). Venus only goes retrograde every 1.5 years (for about 6 weeks), and Mars goes retrograde every 2+ years (for about 2 months). All other planets go retrograde once a year (for about 4-5 months). The duration of retrograde periods is given in the column text.

When a planet stations, the astrological effects last for up to a week before and after. We may feel a general intensity, heaviness, pressure or scattered energy on a mental, emotional and/or physical level. It can also be a time when you experience a "turning point" in areas of life related to that planet.

Planetary Aspects

(conjunction, opposition, square, trine, sextile, etc.)

Aspects involving the Sun, Mercury or Venus can usually be felt for about 1-2 days before and after the event. If involving Mercury or Venus when they are within a week or so of making a station, the effect can be longer and more powerful.

When only slower planets are involved (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Chiron), the effect can be felt up to a week or more before and after.

Planet in Sign

The time range for a planet travelling through a sign is given in the text.

Back to the Horoscope Index Page

Back to "The Low-Down on the Far-Out" ~ Current Planetary Transits

Back to the "Low-Down" archives

2004 Wendy Guy


© 1996-2017 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. The graphics, diagrams and articles on this site are copyrighted by Wendy Guy, public domain, fair useage, used with permission and/or credited to the copyright owner. Material on this site may be copied or printed off for strictly personal use. To use this material online (e.g. forum, social media, blog, website) or to print it off for distribution (e.g. classes), "fair usage" quotations may be used (e.g. a couple/few paragraphs), provided you include credit to the author and a link back to this website. Beyond strictly personal or fair usage, you may not copy or hotlink to content without written permission. Thank you! Please contact us for usage permission or to report website errors. The information on this website is presented for educational and entertainment purposes only. Space pictures courtesy of NASA. CSS Drop Down Menus on articles index page based on © 2009 PureCSSMenu.com. This page last modified on