The second half of 2018 is tricky for those hoping to start a significant new project or make a major purchase. An unusually high concentration of retrograde personal planets makes this period unusually challenging for new beginnings.
This article explains basic astrological timing principles as it shows the best initiation windows for the rest of the year. If you’re not interested in learning these principles, but simply want to know the best initiation time frames, jump to the time frame list.
What is Electional Astrology?
Electional astrology is a specialized astrological system that calculates the best possible moment for something new to start. In effect, it creates a birth chart for the event.
Electional astrology is used to determine critical moments such as weddings, contract signings, elective surgery, and home sale listings. It’s also used to time major purchases such as cars and homes.
Is what you’re starting or purchasing going to be important in your life for a significant amount of time? If so, electional astrology can make sure that the stars are aligned in your favor when this new thing officially enters your life.
Even if you choose not to consult an electional astrologer to determine the optimal moment of initiation, there are certain basic electional principles you can use on your own. I’ll explain these principles, as clearly and simply as I can, as I present the optimal windows for initiation during the rest of 2018.
That Fickle Window of Opportunity
Not all moments within the following time frames are equal. In a post like this, the best I can do is give you broad time frames that avoid the most blatant malefic influences.
When I do electional work for clients, the duration of an optimal time frame can vary significantly. Sometimes an ideal window will stretch luxuriously on for an hour. In other cases, the client must be poised like a cat stalking its prey, knowing they must pounce within an uncompromising 87-second window!
If what you’re starting isn’t of major importance, the following guidelines should suffice. But if the downstream effects are critical, you’d be wise to have a skilled electional astrologer make sure the deck is stacked in your favor!
2018 Time Frames for Initiation
All dates and times are US Eastern Daylight Time. Be sure to make any needed time zone adjustment.
For starters, forget anything before September 9. The first reason for this is that Mars, the planet of initiation, is retrograde through 8/27. Beginning something new when the planet of initiation is retrograde is strongly contraindicated in electional astrology.
The day before Mars turns direct, on August 26, the Moon goes full and enters its waning period. Waning Moons are also a no-no for new beginnings. You want the light of the Moon brightening, not dimming, for an optimal election.
It’s only at the next New Moon, on September 9 at 2:02 PM, that we have our next viable electional period. It lasts from the moment of the New Moon until the Moon goes void on 9/10 at 11:12 AM. (To keep things simple, I round up to the next minute for the beginning of electional periods, and round back to the beginning of the minute for the end of electional periods.)
There’s more than one way to calculate when the Moon goes void. (Very little is cut and dried in astrology, and its practitioners must have a high tolerance for controversy!) The definition I use is that the Moon has made its last Ptolemaic aspect before entering the next sign. Ptolemaic aspects are the five defined by Ptolemy: conjunction (0°), opposition (180°), trine (120°), square (90°) and sextile (60°).
In this case, the Virgo Moon goes void as it trines Mars. When the Moon makes a conjunction, trine or sextile as it goes void, I’ll explore the Moon’s tenure in that sign for electional possibilities. But if the Moon goes void with a square or opposition, I eliminate the Moon’s tenure in that sign from consideration. The void-of-course period itself, between the last Ptolemaic aspect and the Moon’s entry into the next sign, is another disallowed period.
The Moon enters Libra on 9/10, but goes void with a square to Pluto on 9/11. This excludes the entire Libra Moon period from consideration.
The Moon’s next sign, Scorpio, opens up our longest window of opportunity so far! The Moon enters Scorpio on 9/12 at 2:15 PM. It goes void with a sextile on 9/14 at 4:53 AM.
Hard Moon Aspects Prior to Void
Technically, this entire period is usable. But now another technical consideration enters the picture: hard aspects made by the Moon as it passes through a sign. Each hard aspect (square or opposition) made by the Moon between the elected event and the void represents a challenge that will be encountered. These challenges won’t necessarily prevent a successful outcome, but they will make it more difficult to achieve.
Ideally, one would choose the “sweet spot” between the Moon’s last hard aspect and the void. In this instance, the Moon’s first two aspects after entering Scorpio are hard, while the remainder are soft. So the sweet spot in this sign would be from 9/12 at 5:51 PM – just after the Moon-Uranus opposition – through the previously mentioned void on 9/14 at 4:53 AM.
The Rest of September
Let’s continue our consideration of this waxing Moon period. The Sagittarius Moon ends with a hard aspect – sorry, no dice. But the Capricorn Moon initially appears to be a contender, starting on 9/17 at 7:08 AM and ending with a soft void on 9/19 at 1:09 PM. This period’s sweet spot, after the last hard aspect, starts on 9/17 at 7:54 AM.
However, there’s a nonlunar event – a Mars-Uranus square – on 9/18. This powerful hard aspect is volatile and unpredictable – too much of a wild card for me to be comfortable choosing a date during this Capricorn Moon.
The following Aquarius Moon ends with a hard void. But the Pisces Moon is 100% sweet spot! It’s free of hard lunar aspects from start to finish, from its sign entry on 9/22 at 8:27 AM to its soft void on 9/24 at 1:25 AM.
The Pisces Moon is our final electional window during this waxing Moon. The Aries Moon ends with a hard aspect, and also contains the Full Moon that marks the end of this increasing period of light.
Long Drought, Brief Rain
Now we enter a long period of electional drought, relieved only by one brief rain shower. The waning Moon lasts from 9/24 through 10/8. But Venus turns retrograde during the waning Moon, on 10/5. Venus retrograde is not an absolute deal-breaker for new elections, but it’s a definite no-no for some and a significant negative factor for others. It might be best to avoid Venus retrograde entirely.
Venus is retrograde for six weeks, from 10/5 until 11/16 at 5:51 AM. As if that wasn’t enough, Mercury turns retrograde at 8:33 pm on the same day Venus goes direct! This only leaves a gap of just under 15 hours between Venus direct and Mercury retrograde. (New beginnings and major purchases are best avoided during Mercury retrograde.)
Fortunately, this gap’s Pisces Moon period is viable. The Moon does make one hard aspect after this short window of opportunity before going void – a square to Mercury – but it’s a minor concern that I can live with. So there’s a brief window of opportunity on 11/16, starting at 5:51 am and ending at 8:33 pm.
Mercury retrograde ends on 12/6, immediately followed by a New Moon on 12/7 at 2:20 AM.
This New Moon finally puts us past these unusually dense months of personal planet retrogrades. The December Waxing Moon period offers several electional windows. Rather than repeat the level of detail I’ve used so far, I’ll simply list both the full and “sweet spots” for each viable period.
- Virgo Moon: viable 9/9, 2:02 pm through 9/10, 11:12 AM. Sweet spot is identical.
- Libra Moon: not viable.
- Scorpio Moon: viable 9/12, 2:15 PM through 9/14, 4:53 AM. Sweet spot starts 9/12, 5:51 PM.
- Sagittarius Moon: not viable.
- Capricorn Moon: 9/17, 7:08 AM through 9/19, 1:09 PM. Sweet spot starts 9/17, 7:54 AM. (This Capricorn Moon period not recommended due to Mars-Uranus square.)
- Aquarius Moon: not viable.
- Pisces Moon: viable 9/22, 8:27 AM through 9/24, 1:25 AM. Sweet spot is identical.
- Pisces Moon: viable 11/16, 5:51 am through 8:33 pm. (This is the brief gap between Venus turning direct and Mercury turning retrograde.)
- Sagittarius Moon. viable 12/7, 2:21 AM through 12/8, 5 AM. Sweet spot begins 12/8, 2:56 AM.
- Capricorn Moon: not viable.
- Aquarius Moon: viable 12/10, 6:40 PM through 12/13, 5:19 AM. Sweet spot begins 12/11, 6:01 AM.
- Pisces Moon: not viable.
- Aries Moon: viable 12/15, 7:44 PM through 12/18, 2:21 AM. Sweet spot begins 12/17, 10:20 AM.
- Taurus Moon: viable 12/18, 4:38 AM through 12/19, 7:41 PM. Sweet spot begins 12/19, 1:54 AM.
- Gemini Moon: technically viable, but not recommended because the Moon makes five hard aspects before its soft void … and the sweet spot after the last void is barely over an hour long.
- Cancer Moon: not viable.
The rest of December is unsuitable for new beginnings because of its waning Moon.
As technical as this article may have seemed, it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the subtle intricacies of electional astrology. I sometimes consider dozens of additional factors when electing an event for a client. Some time periods offer up several solid electional choices, while others are more stingy than Scrooge. All an electional astrologer can do is find the most favorable alignments available that fit the client’s needs.
If you’d like to learn more about electional astrology, Joann Hampars’ book Electional Astrology: the Art of Timing is an excellent introduction. (There’s even a Kindle edition.)
I hope this post has helped you determine the best time frames for new beginnings during the rest of 2018 … and perhaps helped you learn a thing or two about how to determine good astrological timing. As I said above, the windows of opportunity above will at least help you avoid the worst “gotchas.” If you need more precise timing, check out my electional astrology services.
I wish you infinite blessings … whatever you choose to do, whenever you choose to do it!