5 Lifehacks Every Astrologer Should Know

I realize the lifehack to this lifehack list is basically “Use an ephemeris or astrology software”. But even I, as someone from the tech-addled millennial generation can recognize the value of not exporting all brain functions to software and apps. There are some ways in which making quick calculations in your head enable you to make astrological connections that might not otherwise be so obvious. You can do astrology anywhere, whether you’re scanning magazine headlines at the grocery checkout or scrolling through Twitter on the toilet. Isn’t that the dream? Every astrologer should know these, but if you’re just starting out, here are 5 lifehacks I wish I knew about way back when.

5. Easily Figure Out When New/Full Moons Occur/red With Basic Math

Unfortunately, basic math also predicts we’ll probably see a reboot of this New Moon at some point.

Want to pull off the least impressive party trick ever? Try this one out.

  • For an upcoming New Moon, divide the degrees between the Moon and the Sun by 12, and add the result to the Sun. For the previous New Moon, subtract it.
  • For an upcoming Full Moon, divide the degrees between the Moon and the point opposite the Sun by 12, and add the result to the point opposite the Sun. For the previous Full Moon, subtract it.

And that’s the sound of panties dropping.

4. Know Whether a New or Full Moon is an Eclipse, Like a Boss

  • twilighteclipse
    Lifehack for watching this movie: Don’t.

    If a New Moon is within 19° of the Nodes, it’s a solar eclipse.

  • If a Full Moon is within 13° of the Nodes, it’s a lunar eclipse.


I looked at John Wayne Gacy’s chart to see if I could have told if he was a murderer. Once I realized his New Moon was actually a solar eclipse, his chronology fell into place. (He was executed on the day of a solar eclipse.) Turns out serial killer clowns have their purposes after all. #notallserialkillerclowns

3. Have an Idea of When a Planet is Retrograde Without an Rx Symbol

No Twilight joke here I’m afraid.

Retrogradation is not random! Any time the exterior planets (everything past Mars) are trine, “quincunx” or opposite the Sun, they are retrograde, or otherwise very close to stationing retrograde or direct around the trine.

“What about Mercury and Venus?”, you may be asking. They’re interior planets with a limited maximum elongation from the Sun so you can’t tell just from looking. “What about the Sun and Moon?”, I hope you’re not asking. If you don’t know this, consider yourself personally bitchslapped by the spirit of Copernicus.


2. Figure Out Someone’s House Issues Without a Birth Time Like a Freaking Wizard or Something

Lifehack for this lifehack: Use this diagram

Count from someone’s age to the nearest multiple of 12 to know which house issues and natal aspects are paramount that year. If someone’s 45, the closest multiple of 12 is 48, so age 45 is a 10th house profection. Career and reputation are most important that year.

Say they have Jupiter in Sagittarius and Saturn in Pisces. During 10th house profections, Saturn hands to Jupiter, indicating circumstances move from worse to better. During 4th house profections, Jupiter hands to Saturn, showing the reverse.

1. Discover Astrological Connections By Memorizing Planetary Cycles

Just memorize all the years when (a) planet(s) comes back to the same place in the zodiac.

Solar/Lunar Eclipses – 19
Mercury – 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, any combo of (6+7+7) etc.
Venus – 8, 16, 24, 32, multiples of 8.
Mars – 15, 17, 32, 47, multiples of 15, plus 2.
Jupiter – 12, 24, 36, multiples of 12, minus 1 every 84 years.
Saturn – 29, 59, 88
Uranus – 84
Neptune – 165
Pluto – 248

Divide the base returns by 2, 3, 4 and 6 to get the ages/intervals of oppositions, trines, squares and sextiles, respectively. As you memorize these returns, the more you’ll instantaneously make connections between things you hear about in the news and historical events.


Thinking about astrology in this way makes the world intelligible in a way that few people experience except for astrologers. It can make you look downright psychic although you’re just memorizing patterns in the ephemeris, as you can bet astrologers worth their salt are doing. It’s overwhelming at times. It’s like seeing the world in Matrix code or something. Except instead of doing fancy reality-bending kung fu, you’re sitting on the toilet.

5 thoughts on “5 Lifehacks Every Astrologer Should Know”

  1. How about showing off by calling the degree of someone’s Sun just by knowing their birthday? The first of every calendar month is about 10 degrees..you can check on the exceptions. Just add up the days in your head accordingly. For example if I told you my birthday was November 8, the Sun at the first day of November is always about 10 degrees, add 8 degrees for 8 days and you’d have 18 degrees of Sun. That’s a little off but you’d say to your impressee….Your Sun is about 18 degrees of Scorpio ..and wow them. maybe. Of course if they’re born later in the month you can calculate in your head from the 2ist to 23rd which begins every new Sun sign. So likewise if I told you my birthday was October 23 you could smart off…oh, well, your Sun is about 1 degree of Scorpio. Again, you’d be a little off but you could adjust later when you really got your hands on an ephemeris. This is also a fun thing to do when you see birthdays in the newspaper or if someone around you is having a birthday party, and I’m sure you can think of other uses for this hack. Have fun.

  2. Patrick, thanks for the excellent article. I am not sure I follow this piece. Can you please explain it? “Say they have Jupiter in Sagittarius and Saturn in Pisces. During 10th house profections, Saturn hands to Jupiter, indicating circumstances move from worse to better. During 4th house profections, Jupiter hands to Saturn, showing the reverse.”

    1. Hi Nina,

      Annual profections give you a profected house, sign, planet and aspect. The profected house’s whole sign aspectual relationship to the Ascendant gives you the profected aspect. The 10th is a superior square to the Ascendant, so superior squares (by sign) are activated in the chart that year. Just as the Ascendant “hands over” to the 10th, planets “hand over” to any planets in a 10th house relationship to themselves. Jupiter in Sagittarius is in superior position to Saturn in Pisces. In a 10th house profection, Saturn would hand over to Jupiter, showing worse to better. In a 4th house profection, Jupiter would hand over to Saturn, showing better to worse. The 3rd/11th would apply to sextiles, the 5th/9th would apply to trines, the 7th to oppositions and 1st to co-presences. I’d imagine the ordinary rules of mitigation of aversion would apply to any “handing over” of planets in 2nd/12th and 6th/8th house profections. Hope this helps!


  3. Thanks, Patrick! That is helpful. For the 2nd/12th, and 6th/8th house profections, we would still look for planets in a similar relationship to each other, as the profected year to the Ascendant, right?

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