The definition is very simple: the apogee is the furthest from the Earth point of the Moon's orbit, and the perigee is the closest point. You might know that the orbit of the Moon around the Earth isn't circular, it's an ellipse, and when the Moon is in perigee, it is noticeably closer to the Earth and looks bigger.
It would be logical to assume that the strength of the Moon's influence, gravitational or any other, increases at perigee and decreases at apogee, but how exactly this increase will show itself in our life? Some of the most interesting and practical ideas come from a person who doesn't use any astrology: meet Ken Ring.
Ken Ring's approach is unique in its simplicity, and it is quite efficient at the same time, as Ken Ring was able to predict the recent strong earthquake in New Zealand. He doesn't use any astrology and explains everything through the gravitational influence of the Moon. You can read about Ken Ring's work in his book The Lunar Code. Apogee and perigee are some of the most important factors in Ken Ring's toolbox. Here are a few facts from The Lunar Code:
Here the main authority is Maria Thun and her book Work on the Land and the Constellations. Here is what Maria Thun writes in this book on the apogee and the perigee:
When the Moon recedes from the Earth in the course of its monthly cycle, the effect on plant growth can in some ways be compared with that time of year when the Earth is furthest away from the Sun, i.e. midsummer; the tendency in the plant-world is then to run to seed, whereas the growth forces decrease. Thus the effect of the Moon's apogee on the seed plants can still be comparatively beneficial. For the sowing of leaf crops, however, this time is definitely unfavourable. Carrots sown during these days easily become woody. The only plant to react positively to being planted at apogee is the potato.
The Moon's perigee, which can be compared to midwinter when the Earth is nearer to the Sun, has a very different effect. If we prepare a seed bed on this day and sow our seeds, germination is poor. Most of these plants are somewhat inhibited in their growth and are also more subject to attacks from fungus diseases and pests. Apogee-days are mainly clear and bright, while those at perigee are mostly dull, heavy or rainy.
It might be surprising, but apogee and perigee per se aren't mentioned in mainstream astrology. However, the speed of the Moon (which is measured in the number of degrees of the ecliptic the Moon covers in 24 hours) plays an important role in the traditional astrology. The Moon is the fastest in perigee and the slowest in apogee, so whenever you see in astrological literature a mention of the fast Moon, that's the Moon in perigee, and vice versa.
Typically, a fast planet is considered to be strong. It has more influence in the astrological chart (horoscope), be that chart natal or horary. If the Moon is slow in a horary chart, that is considered as a debility.
Some schools of astrology make use of so called Black Moon, or Lilith, and one of the popular versions of the location of this fictional planet is the apogee of the Moon. Therefore, whenever the Moon is in apogee in a natal chart, it is in fact in conjunction with Lilith, and this is typically interpreted in a negative way.
There are also schools of astrology that make use of the White Moon, and one of the popular versions of its location is the perigee of the Moon. The Moon in perigee therefore can be considered as in conjunction with the White Moon, and an interpretation given in such cases is typically very positive.
If I (occasionally) consider the Black or the White Moon when studying a natal chart, I prefer to follow the point of view that was formulated many years ago by a Russian astrologer Tatyana Romanova. If you can read in Russian, the original article about the Black and the White Moons can be found here. The general idea is that the Black Moon is the factor of separation while the White Moon is the factor of integration. As a basic example, a person who is unique, different from the others in one or another way, expresses the idea of the Black Moon, while a person who is indistinguishable from the surrounding people is a manifestation of the White Moon principle.
This was a collection of bits and pieces of information about the apogee and the perigee of the Moon. I am planning to extend this collection whenever I will find an interesting opinion or illustration for these undoubtedly important but seldom used astronomical and astrological factors. If you would like to keep in touch, please subscribe to the Lunarium Newsletter.
© 2021 Alexander Kolesnikov