Richard Nolle is the first astrologer since Johannes Kepler to have an astrological term picked up by the scientific community. That word? Supermoon.
From an astrological perspective, these special Moons give us an extra sweet dose of sacred lunacy.
What's a Supermoon?
While Nolle was teaching a sailing course for the U.S. Navy, he stumbled across the term “perigean spring tide” in a book by hydrologist Fergus Wood.
A spring tide is the extra-high tide that occurs each month during the new and full Moons. A perigean spring tide occurs when the new or full Moon is near its closest approach to Earth, a point known as perigee. The result is an extra-high spring tide, which coincides with the highest tidal surges of the year.
Nolle coined the term Supermoon to refer to these super-sized New and Full Moons (those that occure within 90 percent of the Moon's perigee, to be precise). According to NASA, a Supermoon will appear approximately 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter in the sky.
In addition to extreme tidal events, Nolle has found historical evidence linking the occurrence of Supermoons with severe storms, and the increased frequency of seismic events such as earthquakes and volcanoes.
There's even evidence that the extreme Supermoon of January 1916 may have led to a rise in iceberg activity, one of which resulted in the sinking of the Titanic a few months later.
By themselves, these extra-strength lunations are not unusual events. They occur 4-6 times a year; half are new Moons and half full Moons. The effect of the Supermoon seems to last from three days before and after the new or full Moon, Nolle adds.
Advice for a Supermoon
What advice does Nolle have for Supermoon season?
On a practical level, says Nolle, when there's a Supermoon, there's also an increased chance of severe weather or seismic events. So make sure you've checked your stock of batteries, water or supplies you keep just in case of emergencies.
Astrologically speaking, Supermoons reflect an intensification of the lunar energy. Nolle says for a few days before, during and after the Supermoon, “you may feel edgy, or find it difficult to focus.” In the case of a new Supermoon, people may feel exceptionally internally focused. When the full Supermoon lights the skies, relationship issues may come to a boiling point.
In a natal chart, a “Supermoon suggests the intensification of the whole lunar dimension,” says Nolle.
For those born with a natal full Supermoon “relationships may be hugely central to their lives, almost as if they are trying to get it right” says Nolle. “New moons are different. It's as if they have an instinctive agenda that nothing will derail them from.”
Nolle adds: “Don't fight it, understand it. Get your arms around it. Amplify the good wherever you can.”
Nolle's website AstroPro.com features a list of all Supermoons occurring in the 20th and 21st centuries.