Eclipses are important events in astrology. They usually occur twice per calendar year and can come in a pair or a threesome. They mark significant periods in an individuals life if they aspect any personal points or planets in someones chart. The effect of an eclipse lasts approximately six months until the next set of eclipses.

Like the seasons and the tides, your emotions ebb and flow in cycles. Just as the Moon pulls the tides, it also pulls at your subconscious mind, rhythmically, subtly, mysteriously, but as predictably as the tide rolls in and back out again.

The Moon governs all kinds of cycles; you've probably heard that women's menstrual cycles are connected to its monthly phases. Your feelings and your subconscious mind also lie within this planet's domain.

Your emotional nature is influenced by where the Moon lies in your birth chart -- not only what sign of the Zodiac it's in, but how it aspects the other planets in your chart. It can tell you a lot about your emotional nature -- whether you process your feelings easily or bottle them up; whether you tend toward contentment, anger, sensitivity or what have you. Your attitudes toward love and intimacy are greatly influenced by the Moon's placement in your chart.

A soft, sensitive and receptive planet, the Moon has to do with how you nurture and need to be nurtured; therefore, it is also related to things like food, family, protection and caretaking. On a daily basis, whether you're feeling upset, nervous, calm, contented or just blah, you can look to where the Moon is in the sky at that particular moment and learn a lot about your emotional state.

The Moon rules the emotional sign of Cancer; read about Cancer to learn more about this sign and the Moon's influence on it.

The planets are: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

The Moon is second only to the Sun in terms of the brightness of all the celestial bodies we see here on Earth. Her regular monthly cycle has been imprinted on human consciousness since the dawn of time.

The Moon is a companion to the Earth, circling the Earth even as Earth circles the Sun and completing its entire lunar cycle in 29.5 days. Just like the Earth, half of the Moon is always lit by the Sun, but as the Moon orbits around us, the angles between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun change. We can only see a portion of the moon's surface as it orbits, and this creates the Moon's phases.

Like the Sun, the Moon never appears to turn retrograde, the way the planets do.

The Moon is large and close enough to have a gravitational attraction here on Earth. For example, the Moon pulls on our oceans, resulting in the tidal ebb-and-flow of all large bodies of water. Not surprisingly, the Moon is strongly associated with water, and since humans are mostly water, the Moon is also said to affect humans.

The Moon moves fast, taking only two to three days to move through each Zodiac sign -- all the while cycling through the eight lunar phases each month and repeating on a micro level the cycles of human endeavor.

The first of these phases is called a New Moon, which symbolizes the emergence of new ideas, new projects and thoughts brewing in the unconscious. The Moon then grows for almost two weeks until it reaches the culmination of the cycle at the Full Moon. The Moon then shrinks in size until the whole cycle starts anew.

These phases represent the trials, challenges and rewards of our labor.