You’ve likely heard about the incredible power of a New Moon or a Full Moon in astrology. Moon phases have great influence on our behavior and emotions as well as natural elements like ocean tides. While you may think that all New and Full Moons are alike, in actuality they are quite different depending on their proximity to the Earth. When the Moon is closer to the Earth than usual, it results in a Supermoon.

What Is a Supermoon?

If you think about the relationship among the Earth, Moon and Sun, it is one of great movement and activity. The Moon orbits the Earth, the Earth orbits the Sun and we are all on an amazing galactic journey through space.

When the Moon is closer to the Earth than usual, it results in a Supermoon.

As the Moon orbits the Earth elliptically, at certain times it will pass closer to us than others. This is known as perigee and the Moon will often appear up to one-sixteenth larger when full. This is only one part of the Supermoon set up. The other portion involved the direct alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun, called syzygy. When both conditions are met—voila! —You have a Supermoon.

The term Supermoon was originally coined by astrologer Richard Nolle back in 1979 for an article published in Horoscope magazine. Thanks to him we have a much easier term to use for what astronomers call perigee-syzygy. And while you may think these occurrences are rare, Supermoons happen about four to six times a year, just like eclipses.

Supermoons and Natural Phenomena

As you are probably aware, the Moon has a great deal of power over the Earth, particularly when it comes to ocean tides. When we experience a Supermoon, the tidal force is often greater—up to 18 percent. Although that sounds extreme, scientists tell us that much depends on the amplitude of tides and their variation around the world. Even so, a Supermoon will result in a noticeably stronger tidal wave force.

It has also been observed that other forces of nature may be impacted by the gravitational pull of a Supermoon. Occasionally events like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and severe weather have happened within a week or so of a Supermoon. Among the most notable examples were the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand and New Orleans’s Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Supermoons and You

Besides the potential impact of natural disasters, how else can a Supermoon affect you? Astrologically speaking a Supermoon is an intensified New Moon or Full Moon. With a New Moon you often focus on personal beginnings, however when a Supermoon is involved those new beginnings will take on an even greater momentous tone. The same applies to a Full Moon. Crescendos and culminations of events will seem even more dramatic and climactic.

The Moon is also associated with emotions and our feminine sides. When a Supermoon is involved expect to be even more emotional than usual. Tears and laughter will come more easily, moods will suffer extreme swings and there will be no shortage of drama—both good and bad.

The Moon’s effects will also cast its light on women in particular. Mothers, daughter, sisters and friends may be noticeably affected by the intensified energies. Husbands, fathers and boyfriends may be dismayed or exasperated by the behavior of females during these transits.

Emotional storms will come and go. These are opportunities for people to learn how to deal with feelings while developing patience and understanding. It is also a chance to grow closer. Not all emotions will be negative and floods of love and happiness can wash over us too. Supermoons can have all of us getting in touch with our feminine sides.

The next Supermoons due for 2013 are on May 25, June 23 and July 22. Prepare for the tidal wave of energy and embrace the opportunity for growth.