# Dark Moon Rising

**The Astronomical Lilith**

(Astrodienst) The Moon travels along an elliptical path around the Earth. An ellipse has two focal points, and the other focal point, not occupied by the Earth has been called the Dark Moon, the Black Moon or Lilith. This is a slightly simplified definition, since, actually, the Moon and the Earth both move around their common centre of gravity, and the path of the Moon is not a neat ellipse, but a rather wobbly affair. One must distinguish between the mean orbit of the Moon, which is a slowly elongating ellipse, and the actual orbit, which vaccilates around the mean path, due to interference of various kinds. Just as there a “mean” and a “true” Lunar Node, so there is a “mean” and a “true” ellipse and a “mean” and a “true” Lilith. I write “true” in inverted commas, because the Moon’s Node is only “true” about twice per month, when the Moon is actually on it, for the rest of the time, it is as “untrue” as the mean Node. In fact, when working with a point so close to the Earth, one should also take the great parallax into consideration, i.e. consider, from which point on the Earth one is actually looking at a point in the heavens. Astrology observes the planets geocentrically, as if from the Earth’s centre, and not topocentrically, from the actual place of the observer.

The Dark Moon has also been defined as the apogee of the Moon’s orbit, or that point in the orbit farthest from the Earth. Both these points, the apogee and the second focal point, lie on the long axis of the orbital ellipse, the line of apsides. Seen from the Earth, they lie in the same direction, and therefore occupy the same place in the zodiac. The second focal point lies at a distance only about 36´000 km from the Earth, the apogee at about 400´000 km. Apart from this, both definitions can be regarded as being equivalent. Because the orbit of the Moon continually shifts forward in space, the Dark Moon moves along the zodiac at about 40° per year. A complete revolution takes 8 years and 10 months.

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**See Also **

Rare Black Moon to rise on Friday (30 September 2016) for the Western Hemisphere

Black Moon 2016: What It Is (and Why You Can’t See It)