Sagittarius New Moon

Greek, 460 – 450 BC

Sagittarius New Moon

Sagittarius kindles the fire that warms the spirit and sparks the inspiration needed to persevere through challenges. Sagittarius ignites the burning motivation needed to take action and set things in motion just when we’d thought all had been lost. The Sagittarius New Moon on November 23 brings a welcomed boost of celestial fire to apply toward the bigger picture of what we wish to develop and accomplish in the months ahead. It’s the first lunation to follow the incredibly intense eclipse season that featured a Solar Eclipse in Scorpio followed by a Lunar Eclipse in Taurus. Eclipses in fixed signs bring long term changes and with the eclipses activating the tension between Saturn with Uranus, the changes that have been taking shape during the past year of eclipses in the same sign as Uranus have been especially unsettling and destabilizing for many. The New Moon in Sagittarius arrives just in time to help adjust to the plot twists that have manifested in the past month while re-configuring long-term goals and plans in accordance. The fiery Sagittarius Moon is applying to a conjunction with Venus and Mercury closely together in Sagittarius, providing an ideal lunar mixture for deepening into a renewal of values and desires that can fuel our work with resilient, procreative force.

The Sagittarius Moon will unite with Venus and Mercury at the very beginning of its lunar cycle, producing a richly creative time for gathering ideas that can be implemented into form and set into motion. The influence of the mutable fire of Sagittarius will accelerate the pace of events while also possibly dispersing our focus with too many issues or choices to handle at once. However, being the fiery, diurnal home of Jupiter, Sagittarius is a place where Venus and Mercury can join forces in applying their fused artistic and creative capacities to focused goals. Whereas Venus can accentuate sensual perception and mixing of relational dynamics, aesthetic arrangements, and creative options, Mercury can help in distinguishing options, blending influences, and making decisions. While it’s an exceptionally inspirational mixture of influences, we need to be mindful of the quick sharpness of Sagittarius that can set off wildfires with the enthusiastic speed with which it can gallop ahead without pausing for reflection.

Providing a presence of hopeful resiliency is Jupiter stationing direct at 28º48′ Pisces at the same time as the Sun and Moon unite on November 23. Jupiter stationing in stillness will deliver the numinous presence of life giving Zeus more strongly into the world in the days surrounding the Sagittarius New Moon. Jupiter stationed retrograde at 8º43′ Aries on July 28, and so it will be fruitful to consider the ways in which you have grown or needed to release matters during the past four months. Marsilio Ficino in Three Books on Life wrote that “no star supports and strengthens the natural forces in us – indeed all the forces – more than does Jupiter, nor does any star offer more or more prosperous things.” Ficino elaborated that although the bodily forces of attraction, retention, digestion, and expulsion are all aided by Jupiter, that the star of Zeus is especially beneficial for “the power of concocting or digesting and of generating, nourishing, and growing, because of his airy and abundant moisture and his ample heat which moderately dominates the moisture.” With Jupiter stationing in its own domicile, no matter how dark the night of your soul appears, search for the ways in which you are being guided toward a renewal of nourishment, growth, and meaningful vision.

While the moderate heat of Jupiter can enliven the cold, nocturnal water of Pisces, the wet and downward-trending nature of Pisces combined with the temperate moistness of Jupiter and the oceanic vastness of Neptune can also lead one to become temporarily lost in a maze of psyche, imaginal meandering, and external stasis that will requiring passing through a phase of confusion and disorientation en route to recovering deeper truth and purpose. Jupiter stationing direct only six degrees away from Neptune in Pisces brings the renaissance of their conjunction on April 12 back into effect for one final passage from now until December 20 when Jupiter will enter Aries. As I previously wrote about the passage of Jupiter through Pisces in 2022:

“. . . the inwardly directed nature of Pisces allows for extraordinary insight and inspiration to be found through exploration of our boundless inner realms. In contrast to Sagittarius, the fiery domicile of Jupiter where it swiftly gallops with outward enthusiasm, the nocturnal water of Pisces slows down the pace of Jupiter and invites inward exploration that can enable us to sink into embodiment of our soulful essence. The waves of Jupiter in Pisces can wash over and weave in between the places where we have been fragmented, coalescing a presence that can bring together parts of our inner multiplicity that have become disconnected. By taking our time and acting with the flow of surrounding natural cycles rather than trying to force things to happen, Jupiter in Pisces can create an experience of abundance that allows us to feel more expansive with less by aligning us with our authentic nature and values.”

Jupiter in Pisces stirring our internal, watery unconscious can create a downward spiral in need of mediation, yet within its oceanic domain the star of Zeus is more than capable of revealing profound treasure. More so than the luxurious treasure of the material realm, the immaterial prowess of Jupiter in Pisces can deliver the treasure of our own essential nature and creative potential. Jupiter will remain in Pisces through the waxing phase of the present lunar cycle and most of the forthcoming lunar cycle until entering Aries on December 20 during a waning Moon in Scorpio. The weeks following the Sagittarius New Moon with Jupiter generating forward movement in Pisces will be ideal for coalescing insight from whatever visions and deepening of purpose you have gathered during 2022 in order to develop plans for how to implement them into your life. Jupiter will be making it clear which dreams of vision have traction and can be developed into strong foundational structures and which ideas need to be washed away by oceanic tides.

Morrígan as a crow

Mars retrograde in Gemini has been playing tricks and causing disruption now that it has picked up speed in its retrograde motion and passed through its second volatile square aspect with Neptune in Pisces on November 19. Although Jupiter in Pisces is traditionally labeled a purely beneficial influence, as we know human nature can become morally corrupted and utilize the nourishing growth of Jupiter for excessive enlargement of power, overconsumption of resources, and invasive conquering stimulated by misguided notions of manifest destiny. Mars retrograde in Gemini will be remaining in a whole sign square aspect with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, though at the same time Mars will be slowly backtracking away and creating greater space between them in the lunar cycle ahead. The catalyzing of conflict, tension, and friction within mutable signs by Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune has created an atmosphere of pivotal transition that comes with great uncertainty, and so we may have had to face issues of unreliability in the places we had come to depend on, or faced personal conflicts of self-doubt and confusion. Ultimately, Mars retrograde in Gemini will be forcing change. With Mars intensifying in strife in the weeks ahead it will feel uncomfortable and unsettling at times, yet we can also allow for Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces to open up a larger picture for us within which we can place the temporary conflicts of this time to gain perspective on the ways in which we need to make changes in our lives and develop new creative directions.

There will be a heated buildup of tension and activity between the Sagittarius New Moon and the Gemini Full Moon on December 7, for the upcoming Gemini Full Moon is not only forming a conjunction with Mars, it is also creating a lunar occultation of Mars. The Full Moon temporarily obscuring the sight of Mars is an incredible celestial alignment due to it being the peak moment of both the Moon’s cycle and the retrograde phase of Mars. As a result, the illumination of the Gemini Full Moon will plunge us into the initiation that comes at the midpoint of the retrograde journey of Mars when the star of Ares is closest to us in orbit and at its brightest red coloring in the night sky. As the Sun sets in the west, Mars will rise in the east; as the Sun rises in the east, Mars will set in the west. Adam Gainsburg has described the solar opposition phase of Mars as being a period for making a radical commitment to one’s authentic vision, as well as reframing the meaningful motivation of Mars from being all about one’s own needs into serving societal needs. As the Moon’s peak light overcomes Mars in the night sky, we can gain insight into the transmutation of deeper mission in life, and greater clarity into how to act on our larger personal vision. 

Crucially, Mars retrograde in Gemini will be applying to a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius that will become exact on November 28. As Jupiter in Pisces begins to gain forward momentum in the week following the Sagittarius New Moon, Mars and Saturn will be open to exchanges with one another that can facilitate a separating from what needs to be shed or released from the past, while simultaneously making solid and steady progress in the development of goals. As we come into deeper relationship with what dreams or visions have emerged from the recent season of astrological chaos, the flowing trine between Mars and Saturn is ideal for applying discipline toward our life, cutting away excess, and focusing our energy and time into the work and relationships that truly matter to us.

8 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 1 Decan

The New Moon in Sagittarius is in the first decan of Sagittarius associated with the Eight of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image of eight staffs sailing swiftly across the sky above a flowing river evokes a focus on fast movement that is fitting for the Sagittarius New Moon and its forthcoming waxing phase. Mercury is the ruler of the first face of Sagittarius, revealing the necessity of managing and mediating a multiplicity of developments while applying the speed of thought to passionate goals. T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets described the Eight of Wands as signifying the movement of goods, thoughts, and ideas as well as taking quick action on insightful revelations. Change wrote that the speed of Mercury combines with the “great range to shrink distances and shorten times” of Sagittarius to enable fast action that can be deadly accurate. As a result, the fast moving powers of the first decan of Sagittarius stress the importance of creating the internal space necessary to ensure we are acting from our own integrity and are aware of then consequences of our actions.

In Henrich Cornelius Agrippa’s The Celestial World, the swift directness of the image for the Eight of Wands is directed toward warriorship: “In the first face of Sagittarius rises the form of a strong man armed with a coat of mail, holding a naked sword in his hand: the operation of this is for boldness, militancy, and freedom.” Austin Coppick in 36 Faces combined the militancy of Agrippa’s image with the velocity of the Eight of Wands image into the symbol of “The Poisoned Arrow” for the first decan of Sagittarius. Coppock described “the speed of an idea or vision, the velocity of imagination” as being the chief meaning of the first face of Sagittarius, writing that “the essence of this decan entails the swift emergence of a motivating vision and the attainment of a vehicle to move one toward the pictured goal.” Yet Coppock also stressed the importance of realizing how our thoughts can be manipulated by external sources, noting that the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the daimons of plague to the first face of Sagittarius. Coppock noted that “the secrets of propaganda” and other viruses that can “infect the psyche” and hijack our bodies are also amongst the spirits of the first face of Sagittarius. Coppock elaborated that since the “energy patterning of this decan is linear and ruthless,” that manipulative propaganda can strike like an arrow show with violent precision at a target.

As we live in a time period in which so many people attached to their phones and other devices of Internet streaming also means that more people than ever are vulnerable to manipulative propaganda, the Sagittarius New Moon is a call for remembering our essential integrity and how our mind, body, and emotions are vulnerable to infections from external sources. For the first face of Sagittarius not only contains the perils of spirited propaganda, it also provides habitation for the spirit of our own inviolable soul. Indeed, Austin Coppock stated that while we can become infected by the enthusiasm of external propaganda within this face, we can also encounter “the ideal self, the half divine hero . . . composed entirely of spirit fire” and from whom “a story unfolds – a quest, a target, a driven myth.” May the fertile darkness of the Sagittarius New Moon lead you to encounter the mystery of the essential myth most aligned with your creative destiny.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Ficino, Marsilio. Three Books on Life. A critical edition and translation by Carol Kaske and John Clark. (1998). Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies.

NORWAC 2023

NORWAC 2023

I will be speaking as part of an exemplary gathering of astrologers at the 2023 Northwest Astrology Conference (NORWAC) that will take place from May 25 – 29, 2023 in the Seattle, Washington area. For the first time ever, NORWAC will be an in-person conference while simultaneously streamed online, providing access to those who would like to attend virtually from anywhere in the world. There is presently an “early bird” discount for registration that will last until December 1.

My talk will take place on Sunday, May 28, 2023 and is entitled The Moon in the Four Elemental Roots.

Description: “The Moon experiences different affinities, sensations, associations, and other lunar qualities when placed in earth, water, air, or fire signs. We’ll dive deep into the symbolism of each of the four astrological elements and how they distinctly color the expression of the Moon in natal charts. We’ll also explore the way in which lunar phases modulate the expression of the Moon within each element, depending on if the Moon is in a waxing, full, or waning phase.”

Register for the conference here, and to read more about attending the conference virtually on-line or in person.  See the full schedule here and a list of speakers here.

I hope to see you there!

Saturn in Pisces Talk

by Gustave Courbet, born with Saturn in Pisces

Saturn in Pisces: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

I will be giving a talk on Saturn in Pisces for NCGR in Philadelphia next Sunday, November 20 from 2 – 4 pm in Eastern standard time. It will be online via zoom and the suggested donation is $10.

It’s called “Saturn in Pisces: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.”  Here’s a description:

Saturn’s entrance into Pisces on March 7, 2023 will bring a sea change in collective and personal events, as the star of Kronos will begin sharing the same mutable water as Neptune. Marking the end of the Saturn and Neptune cycle that began in 1989, Saturn will spend an extended period of time in close proximity with Neptune in Pisces before eventually forming an exact conjunction with Neptune in the first degree of Aries on February 20, 2026.

This talk will explore the meaning of Saturn transiting Pisces as well as Saturn’s cyclical relationship with Neptune that has correlated with dissolution of old orders and the emergence of idealistic movements. We’ll discuss the potential of Saturn sailing through the oceanic expanse of Pisces and what we may discover washed up on shore from its tides.

Here’s a link to register:

I hope to see you there!

Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

Red Sunset on the Dnieper (Dnipro) by Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi

Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

The Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 8 has carried a big reputation long before its manifestation. For starters, it’s a Total Lunar Eclipse in which the face of the Moon will become completely veiled by red shadows. Secondly, it is igniting the friction between Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius that has dominated the astrological landscape since the beginning of 2021. The clash between Saturn and Uranus has correlated with systemic disruptions and collapses across global societies, while within the personal sphere many have experienced drastic and immense changes in life direction. The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will loudly open the final chapter of the Saturn-Uranus story with a bang. The eclipse at 16º00’ Taurus will be applying closely to a conjunction with Uranus retrograde at 16º56’ Taurus, with the North Node of the Moon nearby at 13º24’ Taurus and Saturn occupying the ninety degree angle of 18º48’ Aquarius. Adding to the volatility of these aspects is the tricky presence of Mercury, who will be adding a large dosage of regenerating spice into the mixture due to forming a reanimating conjunction with the Sun at the same time as the eclipse.

One of the reasons astrologers predicted 2022 would be an extremely volatile year was due to not only one, but two total lunar eclipses occurring in hard aspects with Saturn and Uranus. Total lunar eclipses do not happen every year, and in fact after the Taurus Lunar Eclipse there will not be another total lunar eclipse until 14 March 2025. While new moons and full moons set the rhythm of events on a monthly basis, eclipses carry a larger charge of impact that can last at least six months long, with total eclipses tending to have the most jarring influence. One way astrologers forecast the length of an eclipse’s impact is by how long the light is consumed by shadow, and so it’s also significant that the Taurus Lunar Eclipse has an unusually long duration of totality of around 85 minutes. Moreover, the eclipse occurring in a fixed zodiac sign further magnifies the interpretation that the eclipse will mark turning points in storylines that will have long term ramifications.

Saturn facing off with Uranus demands change. However your life has changed in the past couple of years, the eclipse setting off Saturn and Uranus will demand coming to terms with the larger implications of your choices at the same time new developments and information will require digestion and integration. As we have witnessed over the course of the past couple of years the process of Saturn and Uranus at times can involve a slow buildup of tension that eventually erupts with a propulsive release, at other times striking unexpectedly with the force of lightning while instantly changing everything. Saturn involves consolidated contraction that can build enduring structures at a slow and steady pace, whereas Uranus operates with accelerated vision and movement that resists restrictions and insists on making innovative changes to the status quo. If there remain places within life where you have been resistant to letting go of past dynamics that have kept you from fully stepping into a more vibrant and exciting path forward, the Taurus Lunar Eclipse can serve as the catalytic astrological influence needed to jettison you forward into the new direction.

With the Sun and Mercury combined together in Scorpio near the South Node of the Moon, and Venus not too far away in Scorpio, it will be important to make space for reflection and contemplation of the past patterns and dynamics that have led to present circumstances. The chaotically creative combination of the eclipsed Moon with its North Node and Uranus can be exciting yet can also lead us into becoming overwhelmingly swept up inside the collective storms that will be sweeping through current events. The inward nature of Scorpio being catalyzed by the contraction of Saturn calls for a turn within and focus upon the depth of the in-breath rather than rushing toward the release of the exhale. With Mercury rushing at full speed into the heart of the Sun in Scorpio, the star of Hermes is calling for a descent into embodiment of one’s essential character in order to act and speak from one’s core values rather than being rashly reactive to the unsettling winds of change that will be blowing through collective and personal events.

Mercury is the ultimate mediator of polarities within astrology. While Mercury has a disruptive side that will show up in events aligned with the eclipse, its capacity for mediating polarities can also facilitate important internal growth and development. It’s superior conjunction with the Sun is unusually significant due to it occurring within a few degrees of its own node, with Mercury descending across the ecliptic from north to south in latitude. Mercury aligning with the Sun near its own node means that it will truly be in the heart of the Sun during the eclipse. Within external events we can expect that significations of Mercury such as communication, technology, commerce, and the media will be major themes within the big eclipse stories that will be emerging, an obvious example being the longterm implications of the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk. Yet with Mercury experiencing the purifying, reanimating, regenerative renewal of its solar conjunction at the same time as the eclipse, turning our attention within can help us attune to the seeds of new ideas that will play pivotal roles in our future development. We can also shed the influence of past conditioning on our thoughts and perception more readily. Consider what thought-forms and opinions you hold due to being told you have to think that way, or due to wanting to conform with or be accepted by others. Mercury in Scorpio is in position to help you cut through to the heart of your present state of being.

Whether or not your external life has dramatically changed during the past couple years of Saturn facing off with Uranus, the internal changes you have experienced will be essential to reflect upon. In what ways have you been releasing yourself from past conditioning and attachment to past sources of security? The emancipatory presence of Uranus will be extreme within the eclipse, and while this will correlate with unsettling news and changes in many cases, it can also shake us free from where we have been stuck. Due to the Sun forming an opposition with Uranus at the same time as the eclipse, Uranus will be as close to us as possible within its orbit. Listen to what messages Uranus is sharing amidst all of the tumult for how to become more engaged with your authentic presence and follow a more creatively fulfilling direction forward. Before being able to follow the path illuminated by Uranus, however, the eclipse will also bring up the old issues and emotional material in need of resolution.

Bison in red ochre in the Cave of Altamira, Spain, from upper Paleolithic era (36,000 BC)

Eclipses come in families connected with the Saros cycle. The origin of their ancestry begins at either the south or north pole and then traces a serpentine path around our world every eighteen or so years, moving ahead eleven degrees of celestial longitude each time. The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is part of the Lunar Saros 136 family that have all occurred at the north node of the Moon, with the most recent eclipses in the family happening on 28 October 2004, 17 October 1986, 6 October 1968, and 26 September 1950. The origin eclipse in this family occurred on 13 April 1680 and involved a conjunction between Mars and Uranus in Aries that was in a square aspect with Pluto, as well as a square aspect between Jupiter in Taurus with Neptune in Aquarius. The combination of Mars, Uranus, and Pluto seeding the origin eclipse gives this family a theme of disruptive, volcanic force that fits well with the turbulent aspects within the Taurus Lunar Eclipse. The contact between Jupiter and Neptune in the origin eclipse also adds further weight to another significant aspect within the present eclipse: Jupiter and Neptune together in Pisces forming a square aspect with Mars retrograde in Gemini.

After the Taurus Moon passes through a conjunction with Uranus and a square aspect with Saturn, it will move into a sextile aspect with Neptune retrograde in Pisces followed by a trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn and then another sextile aspect with Jupiter retrograde in Pisces. More impactful than the sextile between the Taurus Moon with Neptune and Jupiter in Pisces, however, is the square aspect between Mars retrograde in Gemini with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces. Within a week of the recent Solar Eclipse in Scorpio, Mars stationed retrograde in Gemini on October 30 and so Mars has barely been moving during the strange vortex of time that occurs in between eclipses. Mars stationing at a standstill is always incredibly dramatic, as Mars stations retrograde less frequently than the other planets and the stationary status of non-movement is at odds with the action oriented nature of Mars. Mars wants freedom of movement and expression, and when it is moving direct it enjoys the hunt of going after goals and competing for whatever we view as the treasured prize. Yet when Mars stations to shift retrograde it isn’t moving, and so there is increased potential to feel frustrated or blocked. The simultaneous friction between Mars with Jupiter and Neptune can be disorienting and amplify frustrations due to difficulty in focusing.

Mars stationing retrograde requires adjustment and although it can coincide with difficult feelings and experiences, it is an extraordinary agent of change in our lives. Mars may not be moving much by zodiacal degree during the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, but we will nonetheless be experiencing an intensification of its heat in ways that can shatter our complacency and unleash new desires that pierce our defenses and call us to shift directions. Moreover, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and the South Node of the Moon are all transiting through the nocturnal, watery domicile of Mars and so the red planet will be claiming a powerful role of influence in the week ahead until Venus leaves Scorpio for Sagittarius on November 15, Mercury does the same on November 17, and the Sun follows them into Sagittarius on November 22. With all of the Scorpio placements activated during the eclipse, deepening into whatever processes of putrefaction, purging, and shedding you are experiencing will provide the compost needed to nurture whatever new fiery desires of Mars emerge.

The more we can become clear about our goals and what we wish to create in the month ahead, the better we will be able to make use of the abundant creative potential available through Mars activating the combination of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces. Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces is an immensely imaginative combination. However, we can be in danger of merely daydreaming with Jupiter and Neptune or becoming drawn into internal processes to such an extent that we have difficulty expressing their imaginal insight through material forms. The positive side of an intensified Mars volatilizing Neptune and Jupiter is that we can become activated to bring creative visions into form. Setting goals and making space to focus on the steps required to achieve aspirations will help us be focused and productive rather than distracted and dispersed. A helpful aid in focusing on work will be the flowing trine aspect between Mars retrograde in Gemini with Saturn in Aquarius that will continue to build with intensity until becoming exact on November 28. The harmonious aspect between Mars with Saturn will be helpful for making significant strides in our most meaningful work.

Though there is a positive side to the tension between Mars retrograde with Jupiter and Neptune, we need to be wary of becoming blinded by our beliefs under their influence or acting like a self-righteous crusader against perceived evildoers. All of us live in an illusion in one way or another, the difficulty being that we typically have no idea that we are living in an illusion and instead become critical of those acting in ways that go against our own illusions and beliefs about reality. Jupiter and Neptune combined in Pisces can become overly inflated about beliefs, with the intense heat of Mars leading us to persecute and attack others who appear to go against our beliefs. Rather than being dogmatic or fixated in your beliefs, be curious about asking questions and make it a point to practice active listening skills so you can relate to where others are coming from instead of projecting on them where you believe they are coming from. Though many portray Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces as fostering delusion, their combination can actually reveal deeper truths about reality when we are willing to experience disillusionment and pierce through our self illusions.

Roses in a Vase (1881/83) by Georges Seurat

Venus in Scorpio rules the Taurus Lunar Eclipse while under the beams of the Sun and separating from a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. Venus is still traversing her underworld journey due to being in her invisible phase with the Sun, and so with both Venus and Mercury being too close to the Sun to be visible, there will be ample support available for internal processing and descending into hidden depths and places of psyche to attune with the ways in which our internal landscape has been shifting. Venus formed her superior conjunction with the Sun on October 22, and since that time we have been in a process of incubating the new sense of values and desires that will be emerging. Venus will not become visible as an Evening Star for another month, and so the changes brought by the eclipse will help facilitate greater awareness for the ways in which we have been internally shifting. Venus is in the third decan of Scorpio that she rules during the eclipse, and her dignity within the third decan of Scorpio is ideal for deepening into the depths of desires to bring about regeneration. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces wrote that the essence of the third face of Scorpio involves the putrefaction of desire that leads to direct contact with the nature of desire. Coppock posited that through the loss of unfulfilled desire, the process of separating our desire from the external objects of desires brings the ability to reseed and regenerate core desires. Coppock wrote that the third face of Scorpio contains a “formula of liberation, for if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”

Mercury and Venus will remain in Scorpio in the week following the eclipse while in their invisible phases and forming flowing trine aspects with Neptune and Jupiter in Pisces. Venus will trine Neptune on November 10, Mercury will trine Neptune on November 12, Venus will trine Jupiter on November 15, and Mercury will trine Jupiter on November 16. As you lay to rest whatever old desires need to be fully let go, listen deeply to whatever new creative desires and ideas flow into your awareness as Venus and Mercury pass through their harmonious aspects with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces. If you are experiencing difficulties in connection with events that erupt with the timing of the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, do your best to make some time and space for creative brainstorming. With Jupiter and Neptune in the exaltation of Venus, Venus in particular will be able to receive the imaginative revelations of Jupiter and Neptune in ways that can open up exciting new avenues of creative development.

6 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 2 Decan

The Moon will become eclipsed in the second decan of Taurus associated with the Six of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we witness a mercantile figure carrying scales of balance in his left hand, while dispensing gold coins with his right hand to figures kneeling on the ground with tattered blankets begging for money. The Six of Pentacles card is typically associated with giving and receiving on the material plane. Like in the prayer of Saint Francis, there is receiving found in the giving and giving found in the receiving, with the image of the scales further signifying a sense of internal balance and authenticity found in the process. Through inner harmony transmitted within collaborative exchanges with others, great success and productivity can be achieved in the material realm. Despite whatever difficulties we face with the Moon becoming eclipsed in the second face of Taurus, focusing on the mutual support available within our relationships will be a key to navigating any unexpected challenges that arise.

The Moon is the ruler of the second face of Taurus, adding to the potency of the Moon in her exaltation becoming eclipsed. T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets on tarot and the decans described the second face of Taurus as involving “Mysteries at the Threshold,” in part due to the major arcana of the High Priestess (Moon) and Hierophant (Taurus) having symbolic association with the second face of Taurus. Chang noted that the Six of Pentacles card involves both “an act of benevolence that visually echoes the Hierophant card,” while the High Priestess is also involved in the image of the Six of Pentacles as “the spirit that moves one to generosity.” Chang further wrote that the Six of Pentacles reveals the importance of taking the opportunity that arises within a window in time, “a moment in weaving when the warp threads have separated just enough for the shuttle to fly through.” Chang advised that drawing the Six of Pentacles can indicate finding “harmony between your inner and outer selves,” accepting and creating “material opportunities, for yourself and others,” as well as finding “the sweet, cross-quarter magic of the present moment.”

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Linga-Yoni” to the second face of Taurus, bridging images of “procreative unions” and “wanton fertilization” with the practice of virtuous action. Coppock described an alchemical process for the second face of Taurus, advising that the matters generated in this face “must be attended to carefully and consistently,” as “dedication must join fecundity and passions to complete the picture this face provides . . . Passion is necessary for continuing fructification, but those raw powers must be tempered by means of an ordered effort.” Coppock’s description of alchemical effort fits well with the transit of Mars retrograde in Gemini forming an activating square aspect with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces during the eclipse, with Mars also applying toward a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius that will support the ordered effort needed to bring the fruits of Jupiter and Neptune into form.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Horai to the second decan of Taurus, a trinity of goddesses of the seasons and natural cycles of time who are the daughters of Zeus and Themis, goddess of divine law and order. Diodorus of Sicily wrote in the 1st century BC that each of the “Horai was given a responsibility named after her for the ordering and arranging of life for the greatest benefit of mankind” and “furnishing a prosperous life” through “lawfulness {eunomia}, justice {dike}, and peace {eirene}.” In keeping with the Taurean metaphor of cultivating crops, the Horai were worshipped by those planting and tending their field of harvest in alignment with the rising and setting of stars. The presence of the Horai in the decan where the Moon will be eclipsed suggests the wisdom of knowing the right time for action performed in the right way. Rather than reacting rashly to challenges or trying to rush ahead too fast in pursuit of desires, keep in mind the long game as you listen to what your situation demands and respond from your core values of integrity.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. (2004). Edited and translated by S.M. trzaskoma, R.S. Smith, and S. Brunet. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Solar Eclipse in Scorpio

Ring of Hatnefer ca. 1492–1473 B.C.

Solar Eclipse in Scorpio

Eclipses shroud the Sun’s radiant light with the black of night, momentarily turning the blue skies of daylight into darkness. The closer the eclipse occurs to the transiting lunar nodes, the more fully the shadow of the Moon covers the solar sphere and extinguishes its light. The Scorpio Solar Eclipse on October 25 is over ten degrees away from the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio, and so will partially obscure the Sun with a sliver of solar light remaining observable not unlike the shape of a crescent Moon. The Scorpio Solar Eclipse will initiate us into an extremely volatile eclipse season that will culminate with a Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 8 aligned with Uranus. While eclipse periods are known for demarcating major turning points in narratives, the eclipse season beginning with the Scorpio Solar Eclipse will be especially tempestuous and tumultuous.

An obvious symbolic theme involves the eclipsing of the exalted by the fallen. The Moon in its fall of Scorpio will eclipse the Sun with its shadow on October 25, followed by the Moon becoming eclipsed in its exaltation of Taurus on November 8 while uniting with the electrifying influence of Uranus. There could be an influx of people and topics holding exalted positions of cultural significance falling in status, or people and topics that have been undervalued within society or are associated with countercultural qualities gaining attention. We may also become drawn to critically examine and shed values and beliefs we have been conditioned by society to exalt, or release identities we have been conditioned to take on in order to achieve greater success within the surrounding culture.

The Solar Eclipse at 2º00’ Scorpio is applying closely to a conjunction with Venus at 2º39’ Scorpio, as the star of Aphrodite is barely beginning to separate from her regenerative conjunction with the Sun. The reanimation of Venus by the Sun on October 22 marked a point of renewal in our relationship with Venus, but we may need to traverse a period of liminal mystery regarding the way our values, aesthetics, and desires are in process of transmutation due to Venus being so closely bound to the warping impact of the eclipse. Significations of Venus such as the arts, creativity, music, relational dynamics, and sexuality will be major aspects of events occurring with the eclipse, and with Venus and the eclipse aligned with the South Node of the Moon we may have old memories and feelings deeply stirred by experiences of Venus. Experiences of nostalgia through music or other forms of Venus, for example, can bring significant memories in need of digestion, integration, or release as part of the regeneration underway. There may be a need to circumambulate memories as part of the rebirth that will be unfolding in the weeks ahead. Yet we will need to be mindful of not becoming stuck in a quagmire of past patterns that restrain us from embracing the changes needing to move us now.

The eclipse stirring the waters of Scorpio can amplify regenerative processes when we penetrate deep into dynamics, dissolving the places we have become fixated or stuck and allowing for a more essential form to coagulate out of the dissolution. The boggy environment of Scorpio can create incredibly intense trials for us to traverse, yet just as bogs have played a traditional role of supplying fuel, so can the cathartic emotional experiences propelled by the Scorpio Solar Eclipse ultimately catalyze new found strength in the months ahead. Scorpio is not only a place of burial and decomposition, but also nourishing aquatic terrain that feeds the growth of orchards and vineyards that will eventually produce fruit. Just as Scorpio natives are known for keeping to themselves, we may not be able to articulate the chthonic churning we are experiencing until the deeper meaning of eclipse experiences become clearer in the weeks ahead, allowing for the conservation of energy in the meantime.

Cleopatra the Alchemist (10th Century)

The synergy between the Scorpio Solar Eclipse with the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio, known as the tail of the dragon, fits well with the alchemical ouroboros image of a dragon devouring its own tail. Eclipses are typically times of endings and beginnings simultaneously weaving together, even more so when volatilizing the nocturnal waters of Scorpio. Myth reminds us that creation always emerges out of destruction, eros out of chaos, and that the arising of creative new forms also necessitate the dissolution of the old. The strong influence of the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio during the coming month of eclipses means that the way forward will require returning to the patterns of the past that need to be more fully laid to rest so that their putrefaction can more fully fertilize new growth. Any space that can be cleared during the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle can also help in finding a flow with the propulsive changes likely to erupt in correspondence with the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 8.

The Scorpio Solar Eclipse is in the home of Mars, while Mars in Gemini is dramatically slowing down in speed to station retrograde less than a week after the eclipse on October 30 at 25º37’ Gemini. With Mars slowing down to a standstill there can be frustration over not making forward progress, yet simultaneously there can be a burning inner fire calling for change and movement. As Mars stations retrograde it slowly turns the separating and dividing function of Mars inward, stoking our inner flames and initiating a process of realignment with our most deeply felt desire and purpose. While the retrograde movement of Mars can ultimately help bring release from past restrictions and set powerful change in motion in the months ahead, it’s intensified presence due to stationing in the week following the eclipse will require centering and taking a step back when becoming overheated to attune with the deeper shifts beginning to take shape. With Mars turning retrograde in the mutable, double-bodied sign of the Twins, we may be pulled in several directions at once and so will require discernment in where to focus and how to best utilize available time.

The closest aspect forming with Mars during the eclipse is a flowing trine from Mercury in Libra that will become exact on October 26, a day after the eclipse. With Mars in the airy home of Mercury their harmonious aspect will magnify mental activity that can be utilized in creative brainstorming and intellectual pursuits. Those dealing with difficulties will also need to be mindful of taking steps to calm nerves so as not to become excessively anxious. Mercury is moving fast in its invisible phase under the beams of the Sun, and so there will be a hidden quality to information exchanges that will require time to fully illuminate in meaning. Mercury will move quickly through a square aspect with Pluto on October 27, enter Scorpio on October 29 and then trigger the degree of the Scorpio Solar Eclipse on October 30, the same day that Mars stations retrograde. As a result there will be significant developments occurring at the end of October related to whatever storylines are developing with the eclipse.

Another indicator of monumental turning points in narratives occurring at the end of October is Jupiter changing signs and returning to its watery, nocturnal home of Pisces. Three days after the eclipse, Jupiter will return to Pisces on October 28 and rekindle the boundless imaginative potential of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces coming together again within seven degrees of one another within the same sign. While the resilient hope of Jupiter becoming strengthened will be an asset in persevering through difficulties and inspiring others to do the same, there will also be increased friction, confusion and conflict to manage due to Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces coming into range of a square aspect with Mars. In particular, the contentious square aspect between Mars in Gemini with Neptune in Pisces will be slowly building with intensity over the next month until culminating in an exact aspect on November 19. In contrast, Jupiter in Pisces will not come closer than four degrees away from an exact square aspect with Mars.

Mars and Neptune are commonly viewed in astrology as difficult archetypal forces to bring together in combination, as the boundless and unifying imaginal force of Neptune brings obscuring fog to the focusing of Mars, making it trickier for Mars to cut through options into focalized action in some cases, over inflating the hubris of Mars in other cases. Liz Greene in her book on Neptune wrote that “Mars-Neptune inherently avoids any overt expression of the will because of Neptune’s longing for fusion,” yet also described how they can come together effectively in the arts and the therapeutic field, as well as in fields requiring collective inspiration such as politics and the military. To Greene, the shared aspirations that can come from Mars and Neptune are necessary to bring hope within our world of suffering, writing that “we would have a sadly impoverished world” without Mars and Neptune, “for there would be no artists to bring us our Dionysian ecstasy, nor imaginative leaders, teachers, scientists, or healers to help us achieve our collective dreams.”

Yet after Jupiter returns to Pisces on October 28, it will join forces with Neptune to create a more potentially productive dynamic with Mars in Gemini. During the Scorpio Solar Eclipse, Jupiter will be on the cardinal axis at zero degrees of Aries within the fiery home of Mars, infusing its fiery resilience into whatever trials we may be facing. Jupiter’s retreat back into its watery home of Pisces will considerably slow down its pace and allow us to sink into circumstances so we may deepen understanding of the meaning and growth taking shape for us. Jupiter and Mars can be an incredibly productive and visionary combination, and so the presence of Jupiter with Neptune in Pisces can be helpful for bringing imaginative visions and inspiring ideas into form when expressing our creativity.

While there is great creative potential possible with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces clashing with Mars stationing in between volatile eclipses, we will also need to descend into a dissolution of longstanding beliefs, passing through a disorienting phase of fluidity before we are able to differentiate and clarify the deeper meaning we are receiving.  We can utilize the friction between Mars with Jupiter and Neptune to cut through the places we have deluded ourselves, allowing our experiences to reveal deeper truths and insight that bring about a reorientation to our reality. Embracing the states of emptying and not knowing that can be facilitated by the eclipse will invite and allow for the profound to enter our lives.

Black Circle by Kazimir Malevich

The polarity of signs activated by eclipses and the transiting lunar nodes tell a story over the course of eclipses moving back and forth within the signs of the North and South Nodes of the Moon. Consider the meaning of the natal houses in your birth chart containing Taurus and Scorpio, and reflect upon the trajectory of storylines that have developed across the timespan in which we have had eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio: the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on 15 May 2022, the Solar Eclipse in Taurus on 30 April 2022, and the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on 19 November 2021. Occurring within the fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio, these eclipses will have long ranging impact. Fixed signs can be resistant to change, but once they set change in motion they catalyze enduring effects.

Eclipses also come in families known as the Saros cycle. The origin of their ancestry begins at either the south or north pole and then traces a serpentine path around our world every eighteen or so years, moving ahead eleven degrees of celestial longitude each time. The Scorpio Solar Eclipse is part of the saros 124 eclipse family that originated with a partial solar eclipse in the southern hemisphere on 6 March 1049 at twenty-two degrees of Pisces; all of the eclipses in this family have occurred on the south or descending node of the Moon. Interestingly, at the time of the origin eclipse in 1049 there was also a close conjunction between Venus with the eclipse in Pisces. Venus at the time was moving direct into her superior conjunction with the Sun which occurred less than a week later at 27º28’ Pisces. The difference between this origin eclipse and the present one is that in the 2022 eclipse Venus already completed her superior conjunction three days before the eclipse, rather than having her regenerating union with the Sun occur after the eclipse as happened in 1049.

Bernadette Brady in her book Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark gave the name of “6 South” to the eclipse family of the Scorpio Solar Eclipse, connecting her interpretation with the fact that there was an opposition between Pluto in Aquarius with Mars retrograde in Leo during the 1049 origin eclipse, as well as that the conjunction between Venus with the Pisces eclipse was at the midpoint between Uranus and the lunar nodes. Brady declared that this eclipse family “is about being forceful and taking power” to the extent of even having “a manic flavor about it, with great force or strength manifesting in the relationship area.” Brady also said there can be “sudden events” within relationship, “like falling in or out of love, or sudden sexual encounters.” With Venus being closely aligned with the Scorpio Solar Eclipse, and Venus ruling the subsequent Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus that will be conjoining Uranus, one possible manifestation could be sudden shifts within relationship. However, for those within relationships possessing enduring bonds, rather than a relationship suddenly ending there could be significant changes within inner desires or within other realms of Venus such as artistic expression and inspiration.

Brady’s description of this eclipse family being connected with the seizure of power has obvious associations with numerous current events unfolding around the world. The gravity of the various crises erupting within world events can be further shown by the intensified presence of Saturn in Aquarius during the time of the Sun’s light becoming eclipsed by the Moon. Saturn stationed direct three days before the eclipse on October 22, saturating the astrological landscape with its significations of authority, tests, pressure, rejection, containment, structuring, and deep contemplation. The intensification of Saturn during the eclipse makes its longstanding square aspect with Uranus in Taurus even more powerful, amplifying the potential for sudden changes in storylines that completely change the course of events. The shattering influence of Uranus upon Saturn can dislodge the places where we have been stuck, forcing Saturn to release its grip so that new vistas of expansive opportunities may enter our minds.

Moreover, in between the Scorpio Solar Eclipse and the Taurus Lunar Eclipse on November 8, Venus, Mercury and the Sun in Scorpio will form harsh square aspects with Saturn and volatilizing opposition aspects with Uranus. The fact that the Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus will be conjoining Uranus and forming a square aspect with Saturn means that we can expect an acceleration of change picking up speed in the weeks following the solar eclipse. With Saturn in Aquarius forming a square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes at the southern bending of the lunar nodes, we can draw upon the stalwart capacity of Saturn in Aquarius for stepping back from overheated conflict to contemplate and analyze the strategy needed to address developing difficulties. Saturn in Aquarius can support us when we to stand our ground alone, yet we will ideally be able to form alliances of support with those aligned with our values who can engage in mutually beneficial relationship with us. As old systems and structures continue to fragment in the wake of the tension between Saturn and Uranus, there will be opportunities to form alliances with those who share our ideals for the kind of world we wish to create together.

5 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 1 Decan

The Solar Eclipse in Scorpio falls in the first face of Scorpio associated with the Five of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is full of desire and despair, as a figure cloaked in black stares with fixation upon three spilled chalices. Yet the remaining two upright chalices suggest the possibility of quenching the thirst of desire elsewhere, regenerating the cycle of desirous pursuit and sudden loss all over again. There is also a river flowing underneath a bridge behind the figure, evoking the flux philosophy of Heraclitus that no one ever steps in the same river twice due to the river as well as the person always changing. It is a fitting image to associate with the first decan of Scorpio as it captures the fundamental nature of having desires within our constantly shifting world in which we must deal with the loss of what we desire most of all. As T. Susan Chang has written, “by facing the 5 of Cups, we learn what matters most in life and resolve to fight for it.” Fittingly, Mars is the ruler of the first face of Scorpio. 

In Henrich Corenelius Agrippa’s The Celestial World, translated by Eric Purdue, the image for the first face of Scorpio reveals the destructive side of desire: “In the first face of Scorpio rises a woman with a good face and condition, along with two men beating each other.” Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Jawbone” to the first decan of Scorpio, declaring hunger as its chief concern. Coppock synthesized the ancient textual images of this face around the constantly circulating cycle of desire, including consuming hunger, satiation, the loss of what one desires, and the competitive violence that can be constellated when pursuing desires. Coppock concluded that within the first decan of Scorpio “we are brought to confront the cycle of hungers which are the price and pleasure of incarnate being,” yet by coming into relationship with it “we are less bound to it, and less blind, than if we ignore it.”  

Demetra George’s translation of The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius (a Greek language text ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus during early Roman Imperial period, possibly around 50 CE) revealed the image of the first decan of Scorpio to be a man with a bull’s face and four wings who is girdled, carrying a small water urn in his right hand and a sceptre in his left. Containment of this powerful figure by a belt evokes the image of Aphrodite’s girdle that has been associated with her many charms of desire, and in connection with the emptying release of the Scorpio eclipse the water urn could connect with the experience of purification and regeneration that will ultimately occur in relation to our attractions and desires due to Venus in Scorpio being within a degree of the eclipse.

Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed a different representation of desire to this face: the Numphai (Nymphs), feminine nature spirits who reside in sacred streams, springs, groves, and grottoes. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces speculated that the attribution of the nymphs to this face relates to them being shown as objects of desires for mortals and immortals in mythology. Combined with the desirous nature of this face, the presence of the nymphs also brings to mind the ecstatic Dionysus who often ran freely with wild nymphs and whose all consuming desires incited dismemberment and rebirth. Yet perhaps most of all, the presence of the Nymphs in the first decan of Scorpio represents the eros of spirit incarnating in matter and the infusion of the worldly matter surrounding us with divine spirit and desire.

Returning to the image of the Five of Cups, the flowing river in the background can also be viewed as a habitat of nymphs that contains the medicine we need for coming to terms with the endless cycle of desires present in the first face of Scorpio. Like Psyche who repeatedly leapt into rivers during her quest to unite with Eros, we must follow desires through their mysterious initiations and reckonings of soul in order to have a fully lived life. In commentaries in the appendix of Liber Novus, Carl Jung described Eros as a force of “dissolution and movement” that runs counter to the “ordering and insistence” of Logos. Jung declared Eros to be “a principle that contains a commingling of all the fundamental activities of the soul,” stating that it “is not form-giving but form-fulfilling . . . it is not the bed and direction of the stream but the impetuous water flowing in it.” Rather than insisting on the control of ordering and paddling against the forceful currents of collective events that will be rushing with speed in the month ahead, find ways to enter the stream of flowing life force in ways that will allow for fulfillment of your purpose.

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References

Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark. Weiser Books.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

George, Demetra. (2021). Egyptian Decans: Star Gods of Time. Astrology University.

Greene, Liz. (1996). The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption. Weiser.

Full Moon in Aries

scarab ca. 1550 – 1480 BC

Full Moon in Aries

The Full Moon in Aries on October 9 will bring the rapid rushing and instinctual speed of the fire element into personal and collective events. Aries is the fire sign ruled by Mars that can foster decisive action and burning desires that lead to swiftly moving pursuits and instantaneous action. With the Sun and Venus in Libra forming an opposition with the Moon in Aries, however, there will also be an amplified polarity activated between Aries and Libra that can lead to powerful insights following a period of active contemplation. There is always much more happening under the surface of Libra than appearances suggest, as it is a sign possessing extraordinary prowess in thinking through matters and weighing the balance of numerous factors at play within any dynamic. The propulsive power of the Full Moon in Aries will speed up the tempo of events and push matters to a head in need of a decision, yet we can utilize the artful mentality of Libra to discern the best choice to act on. The Aries Full Moon will initiate us into a month of monumental turning points occurring in storylines, with the two weeks following the lunation ideal for making progress on plans and preparing remedies for any arising difficulties. The next lunation to follow will be a Solar Eclipse in Scorpio on October 25 that will open up a tumultuous and extremely volatile eclipse season.

The Aries Full Moon at 16°33′ Aries  is separating from a conjunction with Chiron and an opposition with Venus while fully illuminating the opposition between Chiron in Aries and Venus in Libra that will become exact on October 10. Chiron retrograde in Aries will oppose Venus in Libra at fourteen degrees of each sign, creating opportunities for deepening awareness of numerous issues occurring within our relationships, particularly the way in which our own inner patterns connected with past wounding and alienation have been creating important matters to work through in our present relational dynamics. Attuning with whatever issues arise with the opposition between Chiron and Venus can further deepen our relationship with the underworld journey Venus in Libra will be experiencing in October. Venus in Libra is at the end of her Morning Star phase and approaching a liminal rebirth with the Sun on October 22. Her present phase invites engagement with processes of release and renewal, laying old relational issues to rest, being present with difficult emotions that emerge, and undergoing a purgation of old matters that can help bring purification when Venus unites with the Sun.

The Full Moon is also separating from a conjunction with Jupiter retrograde in Aries. With the full Moon illuminating the sign of Aries, it’s an ideal time to reflect upon the passage of Jupiter in Aries that will be coming to an end during October. Jupiter has been residing within the fiery, galvanic sign of Aries since 10 May 2022 and will return to its nocturnal home of Pisces on October 28. Jupiter being co-present with the Full Moon in Aries can help in coalescing growth-oriented insight from whatever tension becomes triggered by the opposition between the Sun and Venus in Libra with the Moon and Chiron in Aries. We may gain realization of inner patterns and issues that are getting in the way of us reaching the next stage of our external development or embodying our authentic creativity through our work and relationships in the greater world.

It’s likely that deep seated internal patterns and issues will be rising to the surface of awareness due to Pluto stationing direct at 26°07′ Capricorn on October 8, a day before the lunation. Pluto stationing and changing directions will bring the gravity of the distant lord of the kuiper belt much closer within our visceral senses, with the significations of Pluto saturating collective and personal events with its influences. While previously hidden information especially concerning power plays and power dynamics may be revealed, within personal spheres there will be a necessity of coming to terms with feelings and information that’s been veiled within our inner darkness as Venus and Chiron oppose one another at the same time. We may also feel a surge of empowerment and a drive to claim more of our personal power and agency within situations in which we have previously resisted asserting ourselves or repressed our full engagement. Pluto will call us to peel back the way we have been conditioned to view our motivations to deepen awareness of the true desires operating within the depths of our being. Though this will not be the final time that Pluto stations direct in Capricorn, the direct motion of Pluto this time around will take it all the way through Capricorn into Aquarius for the first time next March 23, making it an especially potent turning point for Pluto.

The productive potential of the Aries Full Moon can be found in the way it is separating from hard aspects with Jupiter and Venus and applying to harmonious sextile aspects with Saturn in Aquarius and Mars in Gemini. These harmonious aspects between the lunation with Saturn and Mars are ideal for problem solving and dissecting dilemmas in order to figure out the next course of action as well as make productive strides forward in spite of any challenges we are facing. It will be a good time for making distinctions between options and separating yourself from paths and circumstances that are not aligned with the work you need to be doing in order to focus on the tasks at the heart of what matters most to your core purpose.

Moreover, after Mercury enters Libra on October 10 there will be a predominance of planets in the air element, making it an ideal period for becoming inspired, engaging creative influences and bringing together ideas, and taking direct action on behalf of your idealistic vision for whatever you wish to create with your life. In the waning half of the lunar cycle there will be an air triangle forming within the zodiac that can coincide with getting into a flow of many ideas coming together: the Sun in Libra will form a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on October 11, Venus in Libra will trine Saturn in Aquarius on October 13, the Sun in Libra will trine Mars in Gemini on October 17, Venus in Libra will trine Mars in Gemini on October 18, and Mercury in Libra will trine Saturn in Aquarius on October 22.

Mars by George Pencz

Mars in Gemini

Mars in Gemini rules the Aries Full Moon and will be receiving the Moon into its fiery home through a creative sextile aspect that will promote action and assertion. With Saturn in Aquarius also in range of a trine aspect with Mars and a sextile aspect with the lunation, the Aries Full Moon will illuminate the major dynamics of any difficulties we are facing so we can become more aware of what needs our focus and where we need to take decisive action. However, there is also a complicated and tricky relationship with Neptune in Pisces that Mars must face: Mars in Gemini will form a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces at 23°21′ of each sign on October 11. The applying friction of the square aspect between Mars with Neptune makes it an overriding influence over the lunation, and so we will need to be mindful of becoming overly idealistic and self-righteous with our beliefs so that we do not needlessly amplify conflict through the illusions of dogmatic perspectives. Moreover, since Mars will station retrograde on October 30 at 25°37′ Gemini, the catalyzing square aspect that will be forming between Mars and Neptune during the Aries full moon will endure across the entire month ahead as Mars will ultimately form a second square aspect with Neptune on November 19.

As a result, we will need to find the balance between the life-affirming inspiration and idealism that can be kindled from the heat kindled between Mars clashing with Neptune versus the kind of delusion that clouds critical thinking that comes from dogmatic belief systems. As we prepare to enter an extremely volatile eclipse vortex at the end of October, it will be imperative to apply critical thinking skills to question not only others, such as information sources in the media, but to also question our own belief systems. Mars is incisive and can cut through matters, and while Neptune can bring a misleading fog to perception, it can also open up new vistas of perspective that we have been unwilling to accept within our conception of reality. There will be numerous ideological wars erupting around the world as Mars and Neptune create friction together during the next month, yet we can also utilize their tension to cut through the places we have deluded ourselves, allowing our experiences to reveal deeper truths and insight that bring about a reorientation to our reality.

The square aspect between Mars and Neptune does not need to be illusory and instead can be utilized in extraordinarily creative ways. Entering a period of accelerated collective change can lead to creative breakthroughs in our personal lives, and the astrological aspects during the waning half of the lunar cycle will support applying energy and focus to our creative pursuits. Injecting spirituality, archetypal forces, imagination, fantasy, the ancestral realm, or any other way of embracing more of the interconnected field of reality into our creativity can help give avenues for Neptune to stream through whatever we are applying the heat of Mars to in our work. The square between Mars and Neptune can also unify mass groups of people aligned together through social justice protests, especially with Mars in Gemini also forming flowing trine aspects with Saturn in Aquarius as well as the Sun and Venus in Libra. The mass protests in Iran over the oppression of women are one of many examples that will be able to continue building momentum like the breaking waves of storms at sea.

Mercury by George Pencz

Mercury: from Virgo to Libra

The Full Moon in the element of fire can also help distinguish and separate insight that has accumulated from the recent retrograde phase of Mercury, as Mercury will be picking up speed due to having reached its maximum elongation as a Morning Star on October 8. During the time of the exact Full Moon, Mercury will be at 28°41′ Virgo in its own exaltation and domicile as it’s simultaneously picking up speed, bringing numerous opportunities for analyzing and integrating whatever changes and transmutational processes occurred during its retrograde phase last month. Mercury moving increasingly faster can add to the atmosphere of volatility, disruption, and contention, yet the curious activism of Mercury moving fast as a Morning Star will be helpful in mediating polarities of tension, asking questions that will elicit the answers we need, and making the adjustments necessary to move into a more dynamic phase of life.

As I previously wrote about in my article on Mercury retrograde in Libra and Virgo, an essential aspect to track has been the three trine aspects Mercury formed with Pluto in Capricorn as well as the three opposition aspects Mercury forms with Jupiter in Aries. As the Moon reaches peak illumination in Aries, Mercury will be separating from its third and final trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn (previous ones were on October 6 while direct in Morning Star phase, September 27 while retrograde, and August 22 while direct in Evening Star phase) and applying toward its third and final opposition with Jupiter in Aries. Mercury will enter Libra on October 10 and then complete its third and final opposition with Jupiter in Aries on October 12. Pay attention to storylines that have developed across the three oppositions between Mercury and Jupiter on September 2, September 18, and October 12 and how the final opposition ties the meaning of experiences together. We can expect major movements in the storylines of current events that have been developing across this time, and in our personal lives we can utilize the tension between Mercury and Jupiter to take account of additional factors that can help in synthesizing meaning from whatever ideas or work we have been developing.

The amplification of the air element that will follow Mercury entering Libra on October 10 can make the two weeks following the Aries Full Moon an intellectually stimulating time with vast potential for generating and synthesizing ideas, yet the instability of the air element also stresses the importance of flexibly shifting with the larger changes taking shape in the collective. With the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Libra in flowing trine aspects with Saturn in Aquarius and Mars in Gemini, the overabundance of information circulating could become overwhelming and anxiety provoking. Engaging in reflective and centering practices can help with being productively focused on the tasks that need completion while remaining motivated by larger inspiration. It can be a powerful time for research and gathering many strands of information together to form effective strategies for whatever problems we are facing. It will be easier than normal to become distracted by the swirling cacophony of crisis and change that will be sweeping through collective events at an accelerated pace as we approach the end of October, yet it can also be an extremely generative period for growth and creativity when we are able to make the space to focus on our work.

Venus by George Pencz

Venus in Libra

Venus in Libra will be entering the heart of her underworld journey during the rest of October as she approaches her superior conjunction with the Sun on October 22 at 29°26′ Libra. The superior conjunction, also called the exterior conjunction, for Venus occurs when Venus is on the far side of the Sun from us in orbit, moving direct and fast in speed. In contrast to her inferior/interior conjunction when retrograde in which Venus is as close to us in orbit as possible, the distance of Venus can make the underworld process of release and renewal she experiences when approaching her superior conjunction less gut wrenching than when she is retrograde. Nonetheless, as Venus is at the end of her Morning Star phase it will be important to apply mindfulness as we engage in a process of releasing and emptying old relational and aesthetic patterns in preparation for the reanimation of Venus by the Sun on October 22. During the weeks surrounding the purifying solar conjunction of Venus, pay attention to ways in which you are shedding old values, needs, and desires as well as the ways in which your sense of aesthetics and relational dynamics are transmuting.

Before experiencing her rebirth, however, Venus will pass through a trine with Saturn on October 13, a trine with Mars on October 17, and a square aspect with Pluto on October 19 that will accentuate the process of underworld purgation she is passing through. Moreover, at the same time that Venus will be in the heart of the Sun on October 22, Saturn will also be stationing direct at 18°35′ Aquarius. The stationing of Saturn in Aquarius has a great deal of synergy with the superior conjunction of Venus not only due to the wide trine aspect between them, but also due to Venus and the Sun being in the exaltation of Saturn. Moreover, Mercury in Libra will also be forming an exact trine aspect with Saturn on October 22 which will be extremely potent due to Mercury being in the exaltation of Saturn as well as the airy domicile of Venus at the same time she is experiencing her rebirth. Altogether, these harmonious aspects between Mercury with Saturn stationing makes it an incredibly fertile time to seize for making a pivotal turning point in your creative and intellectual life, opening to whatever new styles, desires, inspirational lineages and influences emerge to grab your attention.

Arielle Guttman in her book Venus Star Rising about the monumental significance of the Venus synodic cycle highlighted the extreme significance of the Venus superior conjunction we will experience on October 22 that has far reaching implications beyond the present moment. It will be the first union between the Sun and Venus in Libra since 1879 and will initiate a new era of solar conjunctions for Venus in Libra that will occur over the course of the next century. Venus forms a five pointed star of “Venus star points” within her eight year synodic cycle, and the star point renewal we will experience on October 22 has been in Scorpio ever since 1926. However, four years from now in 2026 there will be one final Venus inferior conjunction in Scorpio on 24 October 2026 before the full transition into the Libra star point takes effect in October 2030. Guttman wrote that the eight-year transitional period from 2022 to 2030 “will be an eight-year period of tumult and uncertainty, such as those that often occur when there is a major shift,” and further shown by the 2022 superior conjunction forming a square aspect with Pluto, which she described as “the mastermind of transformation (death and rebirth).”

Indeed, the last time we experienced a transitional period in between Venus star point sign changes was when the Taurus star point transitioned into the Aries star point from 1929 through 1937. This period involved the stock market crash, the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and the buildup to the second world war. The previous time before this that we experienced a transitional star point period was when the last Libra star point transitioned into the Virgo star point from 1875 through 1883. This period encompassed the “Long Depression” from 1873 through 1879 that had been known as the “Great Depression” until the economic depression in the 1930s claimed the title. Clearly this is one further astrological indicator that the numerous economic issues occurring around the world that have been exacerbated by the global pandemic and warfare will be taking us into a period of great economic uncertainty and volatility.

Fascinatingly with regard to the history of the USA, the last time we experienced a transition between the Venus in Scorpio and Venus in Libra star points was in 1771 during the buildup to the Revolutionary War. This also happened to be yet another transitional star point period that involved the transition from the Scorpio star point into the Libra star point from 1771 through 1779. As Pluto was also in Capricorn then at the same degree it is today, this overlap between the Venus star point transition and the Pluto cycle considerably amplifies the significance of the Pluto return the United States of America has been experiencing. Taking this larger cyclical context into account broadens the scope and significance of the numerous ideological battles occurring around the world, particularly those involving the oppression of women as Venus has a long history in astrology of having significations connected with women’s issues. We are in the middle of monumental societal changes and when caught up in the difficult crises and trauma occurring in the present it can be difficult to have a sense of the much larger societal shifts that they are part of.

In our personal lives, the initiation into a new Venus star point in Libra can correlate with innovations, emerging desires, and new creative directions related to any of the significations of Venus. It can be especially fruitful for anyone engaged in the creative arts due to the strong link between the arts and humanities with Venus in the humanitarian sign of Libra, but there will be many other ways in which we will be able to notice changes taking shape in our lives in correlation. Moreover, simply having Venus close to the Sun in Libra up until October 23 can bring greater ease and opportunities for pleasant social interactions and gatherings during a time period that otherwise involves a lot of volatile astrological factors building with intensity. Making space and time for the pleasures of Venus will be an antidote to the troubles of the times during the waning half of the lunar cycle.

3 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries 2 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the second decan of Aries associated with the Three of Wands minor arcanum illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. As the second face of Aries holds the degrees of the exaltation of the Sun, we fittingly find an image of solar sovereingty with a heroic figure overlooking a numinous landscape from a mountainous peak.  There are ships heading off into the vast expanse beyond into other worlds for communication and commerce.  Similarly, numerous ancient texts attribute images to the second face of Aries that depict resources and rulership. T Susan Chang in 36 Secrets wrote that the Three of Wands goes with “faith in the good efforts you have already made,” investing “in well thought through acts of benevolence,” and “mak[ing] your own rules, and liv[ing] by them.” The sovereignty of being able to create your own world according to your own rules fits well with the fact that the Sun is the ruler of this decan in both the descending and triplicity rulership schemes, the only decan in which the Sun is the ruler for both.

In Henrich Corenelius Agrippa’s The Celestial World, translated by Eric Purdue, the second face of Aries is clearly shown as being rooted in sovereignty: “In the second face of Aries rises the form of a woman, dressed in red garments on the outside and under them white. She is stretching out her foot. This image is made for nobility, loftiness of kingdom, and great dominion.” While the color red is a match for the sign of Aries and its ruling planet Mars, it also can symbolize the living of a passionate life with embodied eros through acts of creation. In alchemy the color red is associated with the rubedo or reddening alchemical phase that is not only known as the “crowning” stage of the opus, but also involves the incarnation and embodiment of freshly enlightened consciousness into the blood and flesh of the body. The woman stretching out her foot further shows the expansiveness inherent in this decan that can nurture a stretching of forms through creation into new territories of development.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Crown” to the second face of Aries.  Coppock described the focus of this face as being “the world which emanates from an individual” and “the qualities which they choose to embody.”  Coppock wrote that the potent capacity to create one’s own world found in this face leads to not only the attraction and magnetism of others of like-mind, but also to “the key to creating pocket realities which do not obey the laws of the collective reality field in which they exist.”  These associations with the second face of Aries work well with the Full Moon in Aries initiating us into a period of accelerated collective change, as it will be vitally important for individuals to claim their authority and agency in creating their own world as part of helping to reshape the larger world in life affirming ways.

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs attributed Persephone to the second decan of Aries, an interesting association as she is also a noble figure who bridges the world of the visible and invisible, the goddess who rules the underworld of soul, death, release, and resurrection. The association of underworld sovereignty can also be gleaned from Demetra George’s translation of The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius (a Greek language text ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus during early Roman Imperial period, possibly around 50 CE) as she revealed an image for the second face of Aries associated with another guardian of the underworld: the dog. George translated the image for the second decan of Aries as being a figure with the face of a dog, sceptre in right hand, disc in left hand, robed to the ankles. Whether or not this dog faced sovereign is associated with the underworld, Persephone’s presence with the Aries Full Moon calls us to honor being an eternal soul fully embodied within a material realm of continual life and death.  While we must reconcile ourselves to living in a world of great suffering and death, Persephone also signifies our capacity for discovering newfound power and strength within ourselves in spite of the wounds we must bear. An image of underworld sovereignty is further fitting for the period that follows the Aries Full Moon as Venus in Libra will be traversing the underworld en route to becoming enthroned in the chariot of the Sun on October 22.

Under the spotlight of the Aries Full Moon, allow yourself to envision the creative realm you can create and inhabit through the wielding of your own sovereign gifts and talents. Not only will claiming this agency bring about a renewal of life force within your own personal sphere, it can also provide uplifting inspiration for others to do the same.  

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

George, Demetra. (2021). Egyptian Decans: Star Gods of Time. Astrology University.

Guttman, Arielle. (2019). Venus Star Rising: A New Cosmology for the 21st Century. Sophia Venus Productions. First edition, second printing.

New Moon in Libra

Justice (1550/69) by Bernardino India

New Moon in Libra

Libra is a sign of weighing balances, associated with the fall equinox in the northern hemisphere and the spring equinox in the southern hemisphere when there is an equality of day and night around the world. The New Moon in Libra on September 25 is only a few days after the equinox, initiating us into a new season that will feature the most volatile astrology of the year. Libra excels at contemplation, intellectual pursuits and aesthetic arrangement, a sign that exalts the calculations of Saturn and consideration of consequences, a place where the centeredness of the Sun has its fall. The New Moon in Libra following the equinox so closely makes it ideal for reflection upon our path, ruminating upon the many strands of present development to lay plans for the meaning and purpose we wish to explore for the rest of the year.

The Libra New Moon is opposite Jupiter retrograde in Aries, amplifying themes of justice associated with the sign of the Scales and the necessity of taking the time needed to think through options and issues in order to distill the essence of what needs our focus. The Sun in Libra will oppose Jupiter a day after the lunation on September 26, an alignment that demarcates the heart of Jupiter’s retrograde passage when Jupiter is at its brightest peak in the night sky, as close to earth as it gets within its orbit. As a result, Jupiter is in a liminal passage during the Libra New Moon, transitioning from its morning star phase into its evening star phase that will bring increased opportunities for aligning our purpose with the needs of our surrounding community. The brightness of Jupiter can illuminate the deeper meaning within our circumstances, helping us to separate from what is no longer serving our purpose and distinguishing the decisions that need to be made in our next steps forward. 

The tension of the opposition between Jupiter and the lunation invites the objectifying analysis of Libra that can reflect upon ways in which we may have been too full of hubris, too ungrounded with the visions we are developing, too idealistic or too righteous in our own personal sense of justice. Not only is the Sun in its fall of Libra, but Venus as the ruler of the Libra New Moon is also in her fall of Virgo. As a result, there’s a need to ground and step back from ambitions enough to analyze if the goals we are developing our truly aligned with our authenticity or focused too much on fitting into cultural standards and conditioning of success. 

Fortunately, there is a productive trine aspect between Mars in Gemini with Saturn retrograde in Aquarius that will become exact on September 27 a couple of days after the lunation. The flowing trine between Mars in Gemini with Saturn in Aquarius can help in focusing the inventive qualities of Mars in Gemini that can become too scattered at times or indecisive regarding the numerous options available to pursue with its multifaceted talents and skills. Due to Mars stationing retrograde at the end of October, this will be the first in a long sequence of trine aspects that will be forming between Mars and Saturn over the next six months, with the next exact trine occurring on November 28 with Mars retrograde and Saturn direct in motion. The careful consideration of the Libra New Moon can be applied to contemplating one’s present relationship with Mars as the red planet begins to slow down over the course of the subsequent lunar cycle. Mars in Gemini will have an increasingly intensified presence, and while it may bring increased volatility it also holds the promise of dramatic change and exciting new desires and passions to pursue and cultivate. 

Aphrodite by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Venus rules the New Moon while separating from an opposition with Neptune and applying toward a trine with Pluto in Capricorn and toward a conjunction with Mercury retrograde in Virgo. The flowing trine between Venus and Pluto is the closest aspect within the lunation, and combined with Mercury simultaneously applying toward a conjunction with Venus and a trine with Pluto brings penetrating depth of insight into hidden patterns and patterns that have been operating under the surface. Both Venus and Mercury are in the midst of underworld journeys while empowered by the forces of Pluto. Mercury recently was reborn by its union with the Sun on the Libra Equinox, but is still in its invisible phase due to being in close proximity with the Sun. In contrast, Venus more recently has descended into the underworld in her invisible phase and will eventually become reanimated through her solar conjunction on October 22. Mercury and Venus are considered to be the two rulers of the third decan of Virgo (Mercury in descending order; Venus in triplicity order), a face that facilitates incisive awareness regarding the consequences of actions.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces on the decans ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to the third face of Virgo as there are many associated images of decay in old texts. Coppock stated that the third decan of Virgo “has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end,” yet through facing this inevitability “it grants far reaching sight . . . the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions.” There is a strong contrast of essential dignities between Venus and Mercury, with Venus in her fall and Mercury exalted as well as fully resourced by being at home. There are themes of Nemesis and Necessity within the relationships between Venus, Mercury, and Pluto, with the potential to cut through places we have obscured our viewpoint by pride in order to open deeper awareness. Venus in her present phase mirrors the mythology of Inanna’s descent to the underworld during which she must remove her talismans and release her pride in order to prepare for the mystery of her rebirth.

At the same time, with both Venus and Mercury in range of an opposition with Neptune we can open perception beyond the ways in which we typically restrict our awareness, sifting through any recent experiences of disillusionment in order to realign with the deeper truth we are coming into relationship with. With Venus separating from Neptune and applying to both Mercury and Pluto, there will be opportunities for grounding and coming back into more pragmatic relationship with reality if we have more recently been overly idealistic or inflated. Mercury will not complete an opposition with Neptune due to stationing direct in Virgo on October 2, yet will remain in Virgo in range of an opposition with Neptune during the waxing phase of the forthcoming lunar cycle. As a result, as the Moon waxes toward fullness we will have opportunities for coming to terms with our larger dreams and inspirations, our idealistic hopes that can sustain our excitement about life despite difficulties we are facing. Neptune will be a key player in the volatile astrology that will developing in the season ahead, and so it will be worthwhile to utilize the Mercurial focus available within the Libra New Moon for cutting through illusions to come into relationship with the deeper truths and meaning that can be revealed by Neptune.

2 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 1 Decan

The New Moon in Libra is in the first decan of Libra associated with the Two of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image a blindfolded woman sits in front of an oceanic expanse while crossing two swords in front of her.  The blindfold and ocean suggest contact with the instinctual inner realm and unconscious, and indeed this card in tarot has a meaning of mediating between opposing forces to find equipoise, resolving conflicts within a protected space of exploring internal balance.  T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets stated that the blindfolded woman reveals how the “Swords have do to do with what can and can’t be known,” and that the covered eyes in the image “represent minds that only partly grasp their situation” yet want to know more. Chang links the Two of Swords with setting aside preconceptions, giving opposing points of view “equal airing,” utilizing practices that help “clear your mind, and listen for silence.” It’s a fitting image for the New Moon involving an opposition between the lunation with Jupiter as well as an opposition between Venus and Mercury with Neptune.

Austin Coppock in 36 Faces referenced Smith’s illustration by ascribing the image of “A Blind Fold and a Sword” to the first face of Libra, describing it as a place which awakens awareness to injustice and disequilibrium within both societal and personal levels of interaction. Coppock wrote of the significance of the Two of Swords holding symbols that “allude to the arousal of an as yet unconscious force” such as the nocturnal and oceanic setting making it a landscape “beneath the threshold of waking consciousness.” Since the Moon is the ruler of the first decan of Libra and the Moon is being reanimated within its own face, the meaning of the first decan of Libra will be amplified. Coppock emphasized the essence of this face being about relationship and “the balance between two entities” in all forms within the social order, stating it “shines a light on these dynamics, bringing what is troublesome to the light of conscious recognition.” Coppock declared that the first decan of Libra not only illuminates dynamics of “fairness and reciprocity” based upon “core principles of ethical interaction with other beings,” but also can incite assertive attempts to address injustice or imbalances. 

It is further notable that the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed the Erinyes (also known as the Furies) to the first face of Libra. As the Erinyes are chthonic goddesses who serve natural law and punish transgressors, the first face of Libra is a place of becoming aware of previously hidden evidence that reveals inequities.  The fearless insight into hidden matters signified by the Furies fits well with both Venus and Mercury being in the middle of invisible, underworld phases while also forming flowing trine aspects with Pluto. If you have been feeling the festering of the Furies within, make space for purifying and releasing the associated toxic components while coming to terms with the deeper meaning found within your own shadowy inner realm. The image of blind Justice fits well with the darkness of the Moon opposing the full brightness of Jupiter retrograde in Aries. Making space to explore the inner patterns behind recent events in the days following the Libra New Moon will help in coming to terms with the adjustments to plans and goals that will be needed in the season ahead.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in the Oak branch level we are presently exploring the meaning of the planetary nodes and deepening our understanding of the lunar nodes. 

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press. 

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Full Moon in Pisces

The Ocean by Harry Brodsky

Full Moon in Pisces

Pisces is a zodiacal place of unbounded vision and emotion, the watery sign that exalts the star of Aphrodite and serves as the nocturnal home of Jupiter. The oceanic expanse of Pisces invites union and deep merging, making the yearly Full Moon in Pisces an opportune time for dissolving restrictions, releasing inhibitions, and opening sensations to deeply feel the fullness of being. With the Full Moon in Pisces on 10 September 2022 applying toward an enlivening sextile aspect with Uranus and a dissolving conjunction with Neptune, siren songs from the deep below will call from the realm of dream, luring us away from straight and narrow paths to take in more of everything that lies beyond the limitations of our conditioning. The deep well of feeling accessible through the lunation may bring about an immense emotional release concerning all we are suffering, yet the flooding of feeling can help in dislodging us from where we have been stuck to bring about a renewal of perception. The Full Moon in Pisces will illuminate the dream that makes life worth living, the hope that inspires resiliency when facing the darkest nights of our soul.

The Full Moon in Pisces is separating from a volatile square aspect with Mars in Gemini while applying toward creative aspects with Uranus and Neptune, creating opportunities for channelling the drama of life into creative insights that can be developed in the weeks ahead. Recent current events have been filled with stories of economic collapse, massive food shortages, and other immense disruptions to societal systems, all stories that correspond with the longstanding square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus. Yet the Full Moon in Pisces is not in relationship with the cold walls of Saturn and instead will be activated by the electrifying storms of Uranus, creating a window of time that can bring focus to the liberating experimentation of Uranus combined with the transcendent expanse of Neptune. It’s an excellent time for brainstorming and being patient with an upwelling of ideas, allowing a process of reordering and clarification to take shape in the coming weeks.

Illustration by Willy Pogany (1911) from Walk Me Through My Dreams (A Picture book of Verses) by Joe Lindsay

“This road / As far as one can see / A string of valleys deep / This road.

Late Trees stripped naked / By sweeping winds / Soy and corn are harvested / I sift through season’s end.

The dreaded part is not the past / Nor the state that I am ridden / Not the sight of numbing end / But being captive to what’s hidden.

. . . Forgive us as we forgive . . . / Lead us over pastures, Lord / And the weight of our chores / To trespass no more.”

Verse from Walk Me Through My Dreams, Again by Joe Lindsay

The Full Moon in Pisces is ruled by Jupiter retrograde in Aries. Although Jupiter put some distance between itself with Neptune after entering the fiery home of Mars on May 10, the star of Zeus stayed within an orb of fifteen degrees from Neptune and at the time of the Pisces Full Moon has returned to being in an almost exact contra-antiscia relationship, bridging the archetypal forces of Jupiter and Neptune together. Planets in contra-antiscia occupy zodiacal signs of equal ascension that agree on their journey through traveling at the same speed, while also forming a midpoint at zero degrees of Aries and Libra, a zodiacal point many astrologers connect with the world axis due to it’s potency in channeling archetypal forces directly into world events. With the Full Moon applying to a conjunction with Neptune that will take place later in the day on September 10, and then waning through its full phase into a subsequent conjunction with Jupiter retrograde in Aries on September 11, the Moon will be pouring down the dissolving, creative, and visionary influence of Jupiter and Neptune into daily life.

While the lunation is kindling the spiritual, creative fire of Jupiter and Neptune, Mercury will be saturating the astrological landscape with its archetypal presence due to stationing retrograde less than seven hours before the lunation. Moreover, Mercury retrograde in Libra will begin slowly peeling backwards in the coming week toward applying to an opposition with Jupiter that will eventually be completed on September 18. Thus not only is the Moon in Pisces opposite the Sun in Virgo during the lunation, but Jupiter as the ruler of the Moon and Mercury as the ruler of the Sun are also applying toward an opposition with one another. The stillness and intensification of Mercury invites applying mindfulness and being curious about exploring the meaning of signs and omens that appear within our dreaming and waking life for guidance.

Even though Mercury has stationed in order to move backwards through the zodiac, it will still be possible to move forward with actions, business dealings, and intellectual pursuits. In fact, the drawn out opposition between Mercury with Jupiter can make the waning half of the present lunar cycle particularly creative and thought provoking. Yet the intensity of Mercury is not to be taken lightly, and instead requires conscious relationship with however the tricky nature of Mercury will be leading us to make insightful connections. Making time and space from the busyness of life for deep reflection and contemplation will be especially helpful.

The other major aspect taking shape within the astrology of the Pisces Full Moon is the waxing square being formed by Venus in Virgo and Mars in Gemini that will eventually become exact on September 16. With both Venus and Mars under rulership of Mercury retrograde in Libra, it will be important to bring extra attention to listening within relationships with others as well as listening to the ways in which our own needs are changing. The influence of Mercury retrograde in Libra approaching its regenerative conjunction with the Sun upon Venus and Mars will create a process of burning off past relational dynamics at the same time we experience the friction of new desires emerging. The waxing square between Venus and Mars can constellate passion and desire to pursue the new sense of direction emerging from within. In the context of the overall cycle between Venus and Mars, the present waxing square is rooted in the past conjunction between Venus and Mars that took place on March 6, 2022 at 00°01’ Aquarius and so there are likely key relational dynamics emerging now directly linked back to March.

Yet the initiation of the present Venus and Mars cycle actually involved three conjunctions, with the first two occurring on 13 July 2021 at 19°48’ Leo and on 16 February 2022 at 16°53’ Capricorn. The second of these conjunctions on February 16 was especially powerful due to Venus having recently reemerged into visibility in her Morning Star phase following an extended retrograde phase in Capricorn. Fascinatingly, the conjunction between Venus and Mars at seventeen degrees of Capricorn on February 16 (that occurred at the time of a Full Moon in Leo) forms a harmonious sextile aspect with the Full Moon taking place at 17°41’ Pisces. Moreover, while Venus had recently begun her Morning Star phase of visibility on February 16, she is now at the end of it as she is in process of descending into the underworld of invisibility, regeneration, and rebirth en route to her reanimating conjunction with the Sun that will occur on October 22. As a result there are aspects of relationship and creative desire that need to be released and laid to rest at the same time we are coming into a deeper sense of the desires being reseeded and activated.

Altogether the Pisces Full Moon will be illuminating a pivotal stage within our relationship with Venus and Mars, the planets of night which connect us with passion and not only what we find valuable and pleasurable, but also what activates us to pursue our desires, fight for our values, and separate ourselves from whatever we find intolerable. With Venus and Mars coming into a catalyzing square aspect over the next week, we may feel anger when facing limitations especially when they reflect old issues that have led to suffering or heartbreak in the past. It will be necessary to hold the tension of courageously standing up for our values while mediating relationships that may or may not align with our values to varying degrees. As we come into deeper relationship with the ways in which our desires and values may be changing, it can also become an opportune time for discovering new collaborators, alliances, and relationships that involve a resonance of values and shared purpose.

9 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 2 Decan

The Full Moon in Pisces will illuminate the second decan of Pisces, a face associated with the Nine of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a pleased figure in a scarlet cap with a showy plume, signifying his passionate mind dressed with the Eros of his desires. The Nine of Cups is often associated with wish fulfillment, with the golden cups behind the figure signifying the resources needed to gain greater abundance being found within the unconscious and unseen realm of Spirit. The Nine of Cups has also been associated with happiness on both external and internal levels, enjoying feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, and getting what we think we want.  T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets astutely observed that the Nine of Cups is “the card of wishes, not expectations” that involves the necessity of “appreciating the unexpected,” a good reminder with the Pisces Full Moon in aspect with Uranus. Fittingly, Jupiter is supremely powerful in this face, as it is not only the domicile ruler of Pisces but also the ruler of its second decan.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Net” to the second decan of Pisces in honor of Indra’s net with its many mutually reflective jewels, an overhanging cosmic net that has been interpreted as signifying magic and illusion as well as the interconnectedness of our universe. Coppock wrote that the luxurious satisfaction of the figure in the Nine of Cups card is the product of engaging the process of maintaining “a harmonious relationship between material and spiritual layers of life . . . [such as in] the art of following the Tao itself . . . at play in the material world but not beholden to it.” Coppock declared it to be a face in which “the central conflict is how to reconcile one’s understanding of the true nature of reality with the world-as-it-is,” a “phase in which we are challenged to reconcile beliefs, ideals, and the way things are.”

Coppock concluded that the crux of this decan centers on fulfillment coming from the harmonizing of one’s inner perceptions with one’s outer life, as torment and grief will overcome those unable to harmonize their outer and inner worlds. Seeking fortune for fortune’s sake will not bring happiness if our visible goals are misaligned with our invisible priorities. As older forms of astrology prioritize the relationships between Daimon and Fortune as well as Eros and Necessity, we must enact Daimon and Eros from our depths rather than only responding to the Necessity and Fortune of our times.  The satisfaction and joy that can be reached through the second face of Pisces comes from a deeper success that is aligned with our soul purpose and embodying the meaning of why we are here at this time. 

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the daimon Dolos to the second face of Pisces, a spirit of deception and trickery. Dolos was an apprentice to Prometheus who famously attempted to duplicate a statue of Aletheia (Truth) that had been perfectly constructed by Prometheus, yet ran out of clay before being able to complete its feet. In Aesop’s version of the tale, the duplicate statue was called Pseudologos (Falsehood) and brought the moral that something false can start off successfully, but with time the real truth will be revealed. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces wrote that the “protean” figures of the second face of Pisces can be “tricksters, liars who try to paint the portraits of their understanding and sculpt the form of their visions,” yet they necessarily fall short as “form utterly fails the profound,” and “the truth cannot be copied.” In fact, Coppock concluded that their creative acts are essential to the meaning of this face, as their “flawed copies are the only manner in which dreams can become real.” 

With the Pisces Full Moon applying toward a conjunction with Neptune while Jupiter and Neptune come together through contra-antiscia, the balance of the Scales amplified by Mercury simultaneously stationing retrograde in Libra will be important to keep in mind. A balance will need to be found by allowing flights of fantasy to stoke inspiration while not allowing yourself to become carried away by an illusive reflection of your true inner needs and desires. The more we can open to our deepest desires becoming illuminated by the Full Moon in Pisces, the better we will be able to prioritize our most important values during the coming months that feature chaotic astrological signatures.

The link between the second face of Pisces with the depths of the underlying source of our visible reality is especially relevant given that the Pisces Full Moon is applying toward an invigorating sextile with Uranus and a dreamy conjunction Neptune. The 12th century philosopher and astrologer Abraham Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom described an image of a beautiful woman sitting on a ship at sea for this decan, wishing to come to land. Similarly, Coppock described the figures of the second face of Pisces as being “anchored in the invisible, yet step forward to play important roles in the visible world.” Make space during the Pisces Full Moon to discover the aspects of your inner beauty that have been patiently waiting in the oceanic realm of your unconscious, ready to come to shore to be realized. 

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in the Oak branch level we are presently exploring the meaning of the lunar nodes as entryway into understanding the meaning of the planetary nodes.

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra and Virgo

Victor Brauner, The Nuptial March of the Sorcerer

Mercury Retrograde in Libra

Mercury in astrology is known for guiding us across thresholds and making his presence known in the plot twist, sudden slip or surprising boon that changes the direction of narratives. When Mercury stations retrograde, the star of Hermes demarcates a turning point in events as well as whatever processes of development we have been experiencing. Mercury’s retrograde in Libra and Virgo in 2022 will be especially pivotal as it’s regenerative process will be centered upon the Libra Equinox with Mercury helping to bridge the change of seasons from summer to fall in the northern hemisphere, winter to spring in the southern hemisphere. Just like the time of the harvest in the northern hemisphere in which cool air begins to rebalance the excessive heat of summer, Mercury’s retrograde movement from Libra to Virgo will facilitate a separation of wheat from the chaff, stepping back from heated dynamics to gain clarity for what to deepen in cultivation versus what needs to be released or reformed.

Mercury will station retrograde on September 9, embarking upon a three-week journey in which the star of Hermes will backtrack from 8°55’ Libra until stationing direct at 24°11’ Virgo on October 2. As Mercury retraces the zodiacal terrain from twenty-four degrees of Virgo to nine degrees of Libra, personal material in need of deeper engagement will become excavated, bringing opportunities for insight that can catalyze significant growth and foster breaking out of stuck patterns. As part of the process, however, we may need to return to longstanding issues in need of release, reworking, or reintegration. After passing through a phase of putrefaction and purification that will be especially intense leading up to Mercury’s union with the Sun on the September 22 equinox, we may experience renewal on the other side as Mercury returns to forward motion in October. Mercury first crossed 24°11′ Virgo on August 20 and will not move beyond 8°55’ Libra until October 16, creating almost two months of mercurial focus in this range of your natal chart. 

Mercury will station retrograde in Libra as the Moon in Pisces will be waxing toward fullness, with the Full Moon in Pisces on September 10 applying to a conjunction with Neptune. The lunar spotlight upon Neptune at the beginning of Mercury’s retrograde passage is fitting, for Mercury’s descent through his underworld, retrograde journey will mine the underbelly of idealistic dreams to aid us in examining how to build a more solid foundation underneath the visions for creative expression and growth that have been developing. By questioning our beliefs and being willing to consider where we are misleading ourselves with illusions, by the end of Mercury’s retrograde we will be able to realize what aspects of our future visions are too idealistic and lack grounding in practical potential. Mercury will be in position to stress-test dreams due to beginning his retrograde with a prolonged opposition with Jupiter that will not become exact until September 18, and ending his retrograde by stationing direct on October 2 in range of an opposition with Neptune. In the bigger picture, Mercury’s retrograde passage will draw us into deeper exploration of whatever meaning, plans, events, and relationships have been developing in correspondence with a new cycle between Jupiter and Neptune commencing during 2022.

The conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces on 12 April 2022 was one of the most important astrological alignments of the year, as it was both the beginning and end of another cycle within the transcendent dance between Jupiter and Neptune. Jupiter and Neptune form conjunctions every thirteen years or so, but their union in Pisces was especially potent due to it taking place in the nocturnal domicile of Jupiter with the star of Zeus receiving Neptune into its oceanic home. Unions between Jupiter and Neptune evoke the feeling of dreams coming true, yet the waves of expansive hope and inspiration that correspond with their conjunction can also be counterbalanced by experiences of disorientation and disillusionment. While Jupiter and Neptune created powerful tides during the first five months of 2022 while they were co-present in Pisces, they have remained within fifteen degrees of one another after Jupiter entered Aries on May 10. In fact, they were brought back together into a sacred marriage of intermingling influences by being contra-antiscia to one another during the first two weeks of June. Crucially, at the time of Mercury stationing retrograde on September 9 there will once again be a close contra-antiscia relationship formed by Jupiter and Neptune. Planets in contra-antiscia have their midpoint on the world axis of zero degrees of Aries (the point at which the celestial equator of Earth intersects with the ecliptic), bringing their combined influence into a powerful impact within world events.

Not only will the influence between Jupiter and Neptune be powerful within current events when Mercury stations retrograde on September 9, there is the added significance that Jupiter’s retrograde motion will eventually lead it back into Pisces on October 28 and into close proximity with Neptune. Jupiter will remain in Pisces with Neptune until 20 December 2022, creating almost two months of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces once again rippling their tidal forces through personal and collective events. Thus the reorientation toward the meaning of the new cycle between Jupiter and Neptune we can gather through Mercury’s retrograde passage will be helpful not only in reflecting upon connections between our present circumstances with experiences and ideas that developed during the previous conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in April, it can also provide a beneficial review of where we currently stand in relation to our creative visions so we can be better prepared to bring our dreams into material manifestation when Jupiter and Neptune combine forces in Pisces again at the end of October.

The dissolving impact of Jupiter and Neptune combined in Pisces during 2022 has been amplified in intensity due to it occurring during the same time as the shattering square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus that has been dismantling global systems that previously brought a sense of security to many. The influence of Jupiter and Neptune can be tricky to handle due to it washing away the stability of the familiar while simultaneously revealing the deeper truths that will endure the mists of misguided perception. Dane Rudhyar in a 1958 article described the confusion that accompanies the call from Jupiter and Neptune to take a visionary step forward, writing that many people out of fear can experience a regressive pull back toward the security of familiar institutions and beliefs rather than risk the unknown.

Yet while we are collectively traversing a period of accelerated destruction of familiar institutions and beliefs that will become even more intense during the eclipses in October and November that will accompany the return of Jupiter to sharing the sign of Pisces with Neptune, there will be increased opportunities for seeking success free from the dominant power structures instead of feeling a need to conform to them. Ultimately, Dane Rudhyar wrote that it can be the accumulation of the smaller changes with our relationships that occur in correspondence with the merging of Jupiter and Neptune that later allow for the greater revolutionary events in the wider world to materialize. Mercury’s retrograde journey that will take it from an opposition with Jupiter into an opposition with Neptune will be an ideal time for recalibration of relational dynamics and deepening into the path that will lead us into creating the life we truly desire to live rather than resigning ourselves to fitting into societal systems that are falling apart.

Mercury functions well in the airy, intellectual environment of Libra and is at his greatest strength in his earthy home and exaltation of Virgo, and so the skill Mercury possesses for recalibrating dynamics and mediating polarities will be amplified during his retrograde journey. Mercury’s initial retrograde passage in Libra will beckon re-examination through the Scales, a re-balancing that necessitates extremes, tension, polarity, counterpoints, and contrariness. The awareness we can access through Mercury retrograde can help us transcend rigid parameters of duality by swinging wildly at times between extremes of perception in a continual process of experiencing oscillating oppositions. It’s necessary to embrace being in between states and forms during periods of Mercury retrograde, and while it will be possible to bring matters into definite form, in some situations we will need to accept the flux of formlessness and fluidity, recalibrating our perceptions and decisions in accordance with changing conditions. With Mercury beginning his retrograde passage while engaging Jupiter in a tense oppositional aspect, a major theme that will initially emerge will be justice; there will be an exacerbation of tensions around injustice, while many will also be inspired to take action on behalf of social justice.

Themis and Nemesis by Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard

Once Mercury moves within fifteen degrees of the Sun on September 14, he will be considered to be invisible under the beams of the Sun by traditional definition. Mercury at this point in his solar phase takes on the role of psychopomp guiding us into interior depths with a chthonic sense of penetrating insight, yet we may find we are more effective at gathering and exchanging information away from the spotlight. Mercury retrograde periods can be excellent for in-depth research in general, but during the initial phase of Mercury’s retrograde passage we can get especially powerful results when breaking free from stuck patterns and old habits as well as when releasing ourselves from aspects of our past that need to be burned off. The closer Mercury gets to his conjunction with the Sun on September 22, the greater his capacity will be for purgation and putrefaction of the past. Since Mercury will simultaneously be picking up the influence of Jupiter leading up to their exact opposition on September 18, we will also become aware of new opportunities for growth that can emerge from the composting of past dynamics.

At the same time, issues involving fairness and balance within relational dynamics will draw our attention as there will be a catalyzing square aspect between Venus in Virgo with Mars in Gemini on September 16 at 14°23’ of each sign. Since both Venus and Mars will be occupying the domiciles of Mercury, the regenerative influence of Mercury being retrograde will facilitate a release of old relational dynamics while we simultaneously come into deeper relationship with new passions, desires, and ways of relating that feel more genuine and authentic. The waxing square between Venus and Mars links back to the previous conjunction between Venus and Mars on March 6, 2022 at 00°01’ Aquarius, another sign that there is an important connection between Mercury’s retrograde movement this month with the experiences that were taking shape in the beginning of the year.

While Venus relates to what we find beautiful, pleasurable, valuable, and distasteful, Mars represents our ability to pursue our desires, fight for our values, and separate ourselves from whatever we find intolerable or displeasing. The waxing square between Venus and Mars signifies a period for discovering the emerging desires we will want to pursue, embody, and protect, yet the new desires we wish to experience may create instability and volatility within our relationships. With Venus and Mars clashing while in both signs of Mercury, it will be important to make space for listening to our own needs within relationship and then finding ways to effectively communicate them to those we are in relationship. Even though periods of Mercury retrograde are characterized in popular astrology as signifying communication mishaps and breakdowns, the intensified presence of Mercury during its retrograde in actuality can lead to breakthrough conversations when both people are committed to engaging and working through whatever trouble is present within relational dynamics.

Mercury by Bertel Thorvaldsen

In the Heart of the Equinox

Mercury will become reanimated by its conjunction with the Sun on September 22 at 00°14′ Libra, the same day as the Libra Equinox when we experience equal day and night everywhere around the globe. The reseeding of Mercury in solar light occurs as it aligns in between the Earth and Sun by zodiacal degree, as close to us in orbit as possible for Mercury within its cycle. Known as the inferior conjunction of Mercury, it’s a moment of clarifying rebirth that can enhance realization and seed new ideas for the Mercury cycle ahead in which it will transition into becoming a visible morning star. While Mercury is within one degree of conjunction with the Sun, even more so within sixteen arc minutes of its solar conjunction, there can be empowerment for tasks associated with Mercury since it is enthroned upon the solar chariot. Older astrological texts named this moment of Mercury’s rebirth cazimi, or being in the heart of the Sun. It’s the cyclical moment when Mercury enters what Demetra George has named the “sanctum sanctorum,” or “the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations” found within “the protected space at the heart of the Sun.” 

The inferior conjunction of Mercury occurring on the same day as the Libra Equinox, the day of equal day and night that marks the turning of the seasons, is unusual. In mundane astrology, Libra ingress charts for when the Sun enters Libra are used to forecast the three month season that follows for events occurring in the location of the chart, and so Mercury applying to its regenerative conjunction with the Sun will be a theme that shows up in different ways and plays an important role in charts forecasting the season ahead for nations and cities. Moreover, zero degrees of Aries and Libra has been likened by some astrologers to being the nodes of the Sun, as it marks the intersection between the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun that defines the zodiac) with the projection of the celestial equator of the Earth; when the Sun enters Libra it is at this exact intersection en route in the northern hemisphere to descending to the nadir of its southern declination during the Winter Solstice when the Sun enters Capricorn. Mercury will be applying within thirty arc minutes of its union with the Sun when the Sun enters Libra, bringing the death and rebirth process of Mercury into world events with more intensity than normal.

Though the Libra Equinox is traditionally a day for sacred attunement and renewal, it will be especially potent this year when making sacred space for reflection and rebalancing. Allow Mercury to help guide you into insights and realizations regarding whatever has led you to the present moment in your personal journey, letting go of what needs to be released from the past while opening to new directions that may emerge to follow in the season ahead. It will be a powerful time for reseeding ideas and listening for messages and signs indicating new directions to follow in creative and intellectual pursuits.

Astarte by John Singer Sargent

Mercury Stationing Direct in Virgo

Mercury’s underworld journey will bring him into chthonic connections with Venus and Pluto once he leaves Libra and enters Virgo soon after uniting with the Sun. Mercury will backtrack into Virgo on September 23 and immediately apply toward a conjunction with Venus in Virgo that will be completed on September 26, as well as apply toward a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn that will be completed on September 27. Both Mercury and Venus will be in the midst of underworld journeys when they meet, with one crucial difference. While Mercury will have already experienced its rebirth from its union with the Sun, Venus will still be experiencing her descent into darkness that will eventually lead her to be reanimated by a conjunction with the Sun during her superior conjunction at 29°26’ Libra on October 22, 2022. Moreover, in addition to Mercury and Venus being invisible under the beams of the Sun, the Moon will also be veiled in darkness as there will be a New Moon in Libra on September 25. The waning dark Moon will form a conjunction with Venus and Mercury on September 25 before the New Moon occurs later in the day. There will be a mysterious exchange in the heart of darkness between the Moon, Mercury, and Venus at this time that invites curiosity. If feelings become difficult or emotions spiral, keep in mind that it could be part of a larger process of release and shedding taking place.

The meeting between Venus and Mercury at 26°47’ Virgo will take place in the third decan of Virgo, a decan ruled by both Venus and Mercury. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces on the decans ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to this decan as there are many associated images of decay in old texts. Coppock stated that the third decan of Virgo “has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end,” yet through facing this inevitability “it grants far reaching sight . . . the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions.” The potency this decan possesses for revealing what is truly valuable will be worth remembering during Mercury’s extended stay here from September 23 through October 10, but especially while Mercury and Venus are both present here from September 23 through September 29. There may be hard experiences related to whatever needs to be laid to rest from the past, but the process of putrefaction will be capable of revealing potent insights regarding the path forward.

After Mercury passes through its conjunction with Venus and trine with Pluto it will slow down in speed until stationing direct at 24’12 Virgo on October 2. Mercury’s stationing degree places it within range of an opposition with Neptune in Pisces and a trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. With Mercury stationing in its place of domicile and exaltation rulership, there may be volatile events and changes in direction to traverse, yet Mercury will be capable of providing a sobering analytical perspective grounded in the details we need to pay attention to.

Once Mercury is moving direct it will form its final exact trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on October 6, only two days before Pluto stations direct on October 8. The intensified prescence of Pluto will be picked up and transmitted by Mercury at the same time that Mercury will be reaching maximum elongation as a Morning Star on October 8. The maximum elongation of Mercury demarcates another threshold to cross, as it initiates us into the phase of Mercury speeding up as well as accelerating our capacity for integrating the many inner changes that took shape during the retrograde. Gary Caton described this solar phase of Mercury as being similar to the rubedo phase within alchemy in his book Hermetica Tryptycha. As we work to integrate the insights and changes in perspective realized during Mercury’s retrograde journey, Caton noted that we should expect to endure a phase of chaotic volatility as we make a commitment to embody a new presence of being. With Mercury forming its final trine aspect with Pluto at the same time Pluto is stationing, we can expect the sort of chaotic processes to emerge that can also give birth to exciting new forms of creative expression and presence.

Mercury will return to Libra on October 10, form its final opposition with Jupiter in Aries on October 12, and then leave its retrograde shadow zone on October 16. As Mercury continues to pick up speed this week, pay attention to how storylines shift as Mercury completes its final opposition with Jupiter. The first opposition in the series was on September 2 with Mercury moving direct, followed by the second opposition on September 18 with Mercury in the middle of its retrograde journey, and so there may be insights to be found within the arc of narratives across these dates. With Mars stationing retrograde in Gemini and Jupiter returning to Pisces at the end of October at the same time we enter a powerful eclipse season, there will be immense changes taking shape on the horizon. May the fleet footed messenger guide us into reflection, focus, and action on the matters that need our attention as we enter another period of accelerated collective and personal change.

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References

Caton, Gary. (2017). Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Rubedo Press.

George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: a Manual of Traditional Techniques. Rubedo Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1958). The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle. Horoscope Magazine.

Full Moon in Aquarius

Still Life with Fragments by Paul Klee

Full Moon in Aquarius

The annual Full Moon in Aquarius always activates the inherent polarity between Leo and Aquarius, zodiacal signs that serve as the celestial homes of the Sun and Saturn. Selene reflecting her fullness of silvery light in Aquarius can bring opportunities to question and probe experiences, sifting through the fragmentary artifacts of memory within our psyche in need of reflection. While the Sun in Leo has a centering force that helps us embody our authenticity and express our essential creativity, the Full Moon in Aquarius offers the prospect of intellectual distancing and the degree of detachment necessary from recent drama to contemplate the next steps needed for effective growth or inner integration.

The polarity between Aquarius and Leo will be especially acute during the Full Moon in Aquarius, as the Moon will be applying toward a conjunction with Saturn in Aquarius and the Leo Sun will be approaching its annual opposition with Saturn that it will complete on August 14. Moreover, the Aquarius Full Moon will illuminate the key turning point in Saturn’s synodic cycle when the star of Kronos comes closest to Earth within its orbit during its solar opposition, glimmering at its brightest level in the night sky. Adam Gainsburg has taught that Saturn initiates us into a pivotal stage of our relationship with external and internal authority when we cross the threshold demarcated by Saturn’s retrograde passage forming an opposition with the Sun. There is a maturation available in how we participate authentically within the world around us, as new potential emerges to gain greater confidence in taking the responsibility to contribute meaningfully based upon a process of having questioned the reliability of external and internal authority figures since Saturn began its retrograde passage on June 4. The activation of Saturn’s opposition with the Sun by the Aquarius Full Moon is especially powerful due to the necessity of each of us taking greater personal responsibility mediating the volatility of current events in which societal structures have been falling apart in correspondence with the longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus as well as the more recent tumult triggered by Mars forming a catalyzing conjunction with Uranus and a stormy square aspect with Saturn.

Indeed, the Aquarius Full Moon not only will illuminate a major shift in the solar cycle of Saturn, it also will spotlight a critical turning point of 2022. The Full Moon in Aquarius on August 11 is situated in between the eclipses that occurred on April 30 and May 15 and the eclipses that will occur on October 25 and November 8. The Aquarius Moon will be at the southern bending of its own nodes, separating from a square aspect with Uranus while applying toward a square aspect with Mars as well as the lunar nodes. The Aquarius Moon at the bending of its own orbit brings an additional level of objectivity and detachment from mundane affairs, as the Moon will be at its greatest southern latitude and the farthest distance the Moon can be within its orbital plane from the path of the Sun. With the Moon at its lowest point in its orbit, the Aquarius Full Moon is a calling to sink into sensation and get to the bottom of root causes in circumstances. The proximity between the Moon with Saturn can further accentuate contemplation in order to bring about needed reordering from our inner depths.

Recent world transits have had the symbolic impact of the Tower arcanum, as Mars moved from a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon and Uranus in Taurus on August 1 into a harsh and combative square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on August 7. Moreover, Venus in Cancer recently formed an opposition with Pluto in Capricorn on August 8, dredging up deep emotional and relational issues that have been impacted by the shattering shocks and liberating releases that were unleashed in correspondence with Mars, Uranus, and the North Node of the Moon joining forces while clashing with Saturn. As a result, the Full Moon in Aquarius will bring light into the darkness of whatever has been stirred up on unconscious levels as well as facilitate realizations regarding how to adapt to larger collective changes taking shape.

Enki

The Aquarius Full Moon applying toward a conjunction with Saturn in Aquarius has deeper meaning when considering that Saturn is still in range of a close conjunction with the fixed star Deneb Algedi. Deneb Algedi is the star marking the tail of the Sea Goat constellation and is associated with the Babylonian creator god Ea and the Sumerian creator god Enki who brought the gifts and arts of civilization from his realm of subterranean water. A trickster and wise magician bent on reordering civilization with the greater good of the community in mind, the flowing freshwater of Enki transfigures the landscape of dry land, creating wetlands and fertile soil in which the food and resources needed to fuel civilization can grow. Gavin White in Babylonian Star-lore wrote that “Enki’s waters bring progeny to all creatures” and “bring life to the cultivated fields.” Similarly, old magical texts on the fixed stars declared that the image of Deneb Algedi brings prosperity and increases wealth, as well as enhancing one’s home and keeping it secure.

Furthermore, the vast intellect and sacred eye of Ea/Enki understands the fathomless depths of metaphysical laws and how they may be integrated into human systems of law and order. Bernadette Brady wrote that like the “justice-oriented ancient god who was seeking to bring civilization to his people,” the star Deneb Algedi “continues to be reflected in the laws of the establishment, and the structure of civilizations that yield ordered societies.” Yet while Deneb Algedi can correspond with established law, its deeper meaning lies within the type of reordering law from chaotic change that we have been collectively experiencing and will continue to experience in the years ahead.

As the Aquarius Moon waxes full near the star of the Sea Goat’s tail in the sky, we can turn awareness into the oceanic, immaterial expanse underlying our reality where the roots of form take shape. Take space from the cacophony of current events to discover how you can reorder personal structures and systems to be in flow with the changing currents altering the landscape, while staying centered within your own sense of integrity. Deneb Algedi is a powerful ally when reflecting upon the visions from subconscious senses ready to manifest without regard for external standards of judgement, while simultaneously discerning how to integrate innovate ideas into the societal systems and codes of laws presently operating in the world. It may not be clear how to bring new ideas into reality yet, but by setting intention to nurture and foster their manifestation we can begin the process of patiently discovering the best course of development for them.

Destruction and Hope by Paul Klee

The cunning wisdom of Enki will be further available through the fortunate role that Mercury in Virgo will be playing within the surrounding field of astrological transits. Mercury is visible as an Evening Star within its domicile and exaltation of Virgo, while applying toward a flowing trine with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus it will complete on August 16. Mercury is out of aspect with the polarity between the Leo Sun and Aquarius Saturn, instead picking up the emancipatory revelations available to be accessed through the close proximity between Uranus and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus. Mercury is the ultimate mediator of polarities, and its potent capacity for analysis and reflection while in Virgo will be needed medicine for whatever difficulties we will be facing.

The Aquarius Full Moon will also illuminate the entrance of Venus into Leo. Venus in Leo loves to spark inspiring desires to actualize our creativity in everything ranging from daily tasks to larger projects connected with our life purpose. The dramatic flair that Venus in Leo possesses for bringing awareness of our fertile potential and igniting desire to actualize it will be amplified due to the fact that Venus will be applying to a flowing trine with Jupiter in Aries. Venus will complete her trine aspect with Jupiter retrograde in Aries on August 18, and so we will have a week following the lunation to be creatively active with the supportive fire of Venus in Leo and Jupiter in Aries. Since Venus in Leo will simultaneously be heading into an activation of the volatile fixed cross that the Aquarius Full Moon is also triggering, Venus in Leo will be in position to shake up the places that have become stagnant through resisting change in favor of the comfort of stability. If you have already been embracing change while in a process of dismantling the stability of the past, Venus in Leo can help in finding greater flow and harmony within the changes taking place. During the waning half of the present lunar cycle, Venus in Leo will form a square aspect with the lunar nodes in Taurus and Scorpio on August 25, a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus on August 26 (at the same time Uranus will have an intensified presence due to stationing retrograde on August 24), and an opposition with Saturn in Aquarius on August 28.

The capacity of Venus in Leo to help us adapt to our present state of becoming within volatile current events will be further amplified due to the co-presence of Venus and Ceres in Leo. Venus is applying toward a conjunction with Ceres in Leo that she will complete on August 22 at 13º24′ Leo. The last time Venus formed a conjunction with Ceres was on 3 April 2021 in Aries, and so it could be helpful to reflect upon the changes that have taken place over the course of their cycle together. Ceres connects with many of the current issues impacting world events, such as the food shortages and economic collapses occurring around the world. Yet Ceres also has psychological significations connected to the grief and difficult emotions many are experiencing due to not only personal experiences but also the wider field of intergenerational trauma that can be activated during the kind of volatile astrological world transits we have been experiencing. As Venus in Leo moves through a conjunction with Ceres into a catalyzing square aspect with Uranus during the waning half of the lunar cycle, it will be necessary to strike a balance between the abundant productivity Ceres is capable of nurturing and making space for rest and release of emotional material as we process the complex and difficult emotions that arise during times of immense collective and personal rebirth.

6 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 2 Decan

The Aquarius Full Moon will illuminate the second decan of Aquarius associated with the Six of Swords. The six swords in the image are anchored, suggesting firm resolve and grounded focus. Yet the swords are also staked into a boat journeying through watery, liminal space. There is a vision behind the image, a bold determination to follow foresight into foreign territory. The ferryman is in a role of guidance not unlike the psychopomp Mercury, which is fitting since Mercury is the ruler of the second face of Aquarius. T Susan Chang in 36 Secrets wrote that the Six of Swords excels at “problem solving,” being “excellent for symbol manipulation and masterful at metaphor . . . good for writing your way out of a paper bag and thinking outside of the box.” 

As the ferryman in the Six of Swords is creating a network in between shores, linking the known with the unknown, he is an apt symbol for Mercury being the ruler of the second face of Aquarius. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “Heaven and Earth” to this face, writing that it connects multiple territories with a sense of “principled but fierce wisdom,” as well as that the fixed nature of this face “stabilizes commerce between heaven and earth” while also establishing “independence between multiple worlds.” Coppock declared it to be a decan “of independence, of living and becoming according to one’s principles” so that one may “connect worlds without becoming beholden to them.” Like the ferryman and Hermes, those who occupy this face mediate a “steady commerce between heaven and earth” according to Coppock, allowing for “the connection of the orthodox and the unorthodox, the known and the unknown” as well as “the ideal and the practical.”

Furthermore, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Phobos to the second decan of Aquarius, the divine son of Ares and Aphrodite who is associated with the fear evoked in battle and war. Austin Coppock noted that as Phobos is connected with the etymology of “phobia,” its presence in this face also reveals “the fear that people have of what lies outside their small worlds.” It also brings to mind the double edged sword of fear that can also be associated with Saturn, in the way fear can lead to poor choices rooted in paranoia as well as the kind of inspired action that erupts when we have our backs against the wall and the odds stacked against us. If paralyzing fears arise in the time surrounding the Full Moon in Aquarius, seek the steady hand and patient pace of Saturn in Aquarius that can help in grounding into the present moment and addressing the practical issues most in need of our attention and action. May the mountainous magnitude and solid sentience of Saturn be available for guidance, bridging the eternal with the present moment, illuminating the next steps to take in our process of becoming.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to discover the benefits and learning opportunities you will gain by joining.

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

White, Gavin. (2007). Babylonian Star-Lore: An Illustrated Guide to the Star-lore and Constellations of Ancient Babylonia. Solaria Publications.

Leo New Moon

from the Rosarium Philosophorum

Leo New Moon

The monthly unions of Sun and Moon purify and impregnate meaning for the lunar cycle ahead, initiating new growth and movement within the fertile blackness of moonless night. The Leo New Moon on July 28 is particularly potent as a threshold guardian that will lead us into one of the most volatile astrological months of 2022. Fortunately, the Sun and Moon in Leo are applying toward a close trine aspect with Jupiter in Aries, constellating a harmonious flow of uplifting spirit that can inspire creative solutions and expressions. With Jupiter in the exaltation of the Sun, there is a passionate, resonant interplay between the Leo New Moon and the star of Zeus that kindles faith in the unknown to come. The radiance of Leo with its indomitable fire that resiliently persists in the face of adversity is at the heart of the lunation.

The longstanding volatility across societal structures that has correlated with the catalytic square aspect formed between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus has been exacerbated during 2022 due to the presence of the North Node of the Moon in Taurus and the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio. With the friction between Saturn and Uranus amplified by eclipses taking place in the signs of Scorpio and Taurus, the missing fixed sign within the dynamic has been Leo. Call it a “grand square,” “fixed cross,” or whatever term you prefer; the Leo New Moon initiates us into a period in which all four fixed signs have a notable occupant: Mars, Uranus, and the North Node in Taurus, Saturn in Aquarius, Mercury and the Sun in Leo, and the South Node in Scorpio. As a result, the political and economic turmoil of recent current events will likely become even more amplified over the course of the forthcoming lunar cycle, with popular unrest in reaction stoked into even greater magnitude.

While the activation of Leo within the dynamic is not enough to solve issue of food shortages and economic collapse occurring in some regions of the world, it will be capable of facilitating significant growth and dynamic movement for many. As the missing fire element within the cross of fixed signs, Leo supplies the inspirational spirit necessary to fuel movements of political resistance so they may endure across times that feel bleak with little hope. The enormous activation of fixed signs also means that the changes occurring now are for the long haul and will have longterm ramifications. Although fixed signs are the most resistant to change, once they are set into motion they are able to conduct total overhauls of systems with focused thoroughness that brings things to completion in the end. Leo as the domicile of the Sun nurtures a sense of sovereign agency in taking the responsibility to creatively actualize and direct life in desired directions. There may be a need to strike a balance between enduring certain difficulties patiently while in other instances bringing mindfulness to rapidly changing dynamics that require quick, sharp responses.

by John Duncan

The Leo New Moon is resonant with the stage in Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey in which supernatural aid comes to the hero as they prepare to cross the first threshold from the known into the unknown. The key aspect of this phase is the willingness of the hero to accept the call of their own destiny and venture forth from the stability of the familiar into the volatility of the unfamiliar and uncertain outcomes. As the crossing of the threshold involves entrance into treacherous terrains where the hero may encounter fearsome foes, the hero’s decision to accept the trials that will occur by claiming their destiny invites the appearance of a mentor or magical helper of some form who usually delivers a talisman or magical gift that will become a crucial key to their journey ahead. The trine aspect between the Leo New Moon with Jupiter in Aries resonates with not only the willingness to fully accept the responsibilities of one’s destiny but also reception of beneficial aid in following the call wherever it leads.

The flowing trine between the Leo New Moon with Jupiter in Aries is extremely powerful not only because Jupiter is in the exaltation of the Sun, but also because Jupiter is stationing retrograde. When planets station they saturate the astrological landscape with their influence, as their divine presence takes on an amplified impact in daily events. Jupiter has a life-giving numinous presence, an archetypal force which nourishes growth, coheres, affirms, and inspires generous actions and leadership capacities. Jupiter also can facilitate reverence for the divine and communing with the sacred, as well as opportunities for material growth. Jupiter stationing retrograde at 8º43′ means that the star of Zeus has travelled as far into Aries as it will in its present synodic cycle, and so the trine between the lunation with Jupiter is an opportune time for reflecting upon gains in material as well as spiritual growth since Jupiter formed a conjunction with the Sun in Pisces on March 5, distilling whatever wisdom can be gained from events that have transpired over the past five months.

Le Désir, Remedios Varo

The inspirational force held within the trine from the Leo New Moon to Jupiter will be especially helpful for finding creatively productive ways to work with the most impactful configuration within the lunation: the triple conjunction forming between Mars, Uranus, and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus. There are multivalent meanings involved in their alignment, including an intensified acceleration within current events of the numerous economic crises, food shortages, and political conflicts already under development. Yet while it is easy to see how the combination of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node can be disruptive in chaotically challenging ways in world events, its worth remembering how extremely powerful their union can be in our personal lives. Their shattering impact liberates within the disruption, like the chaos at the origin of all creation stories. Their union happening within the sign of Taurus points to the longterm impact of the changes brought by their combination, breaking us free from past patterns we have been overly attached to identifying with into a more authentic presence. The strife that comes in their wake, though difficult, may also simultaneously put us into palpable touch with our own essentiality in need of emergence.

As the triple conjunction of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node is occurring within the exaltation of the Moon, and the signs of Leo and Taurus also share sympathy due to being antiscia to one another, there is extremely creative resonance between the catalyzing impact of the square aspect occurring between the Leo New Moon with the triple Taurus conjunction. When Uranus entered Taurus in 2018, I wrote an article linking the meaning of Uranus being in the exaltation of the Moon to the work of Peter Kingsley, a scholar of ancient philosophers such as Parmenides and Empedocles, and his emphasis on incubating within your own inner sensations. Kingsley described inner sensations as “sacred ground” akin to the sacredness of the underworld to the ancient Greeks, yet in this case sacred ground you bear everywhere. Kingsley described the practice of lying down with full immersion within inner sensation a “practice of abandonment, the practice of giving up . . . when nothing else worked.”  Kingsley described how ancient people would seek a shrine to lie down within and be as close to death as possible when doctors were not able to diagnose a cure, and how through this process a healing remedy would emerge through submergence within inner senses.

To Kingsley the ancient Greeks had a fundamental need for the wisdom and understanding that comes through the incubation of inner sensation, stating “there was fundamentally no difference between a body that is sick, a mind that needs understanding, and a city that needs new laws.” Kingsley described that just as personal imbalances could be remedied through incubation, so could new systems of laws be brought to civilization by those who had entered and come back from “another state of consciousness by practicing incubation.”  Through incubation we become  “drawn into the underworld, into the depth . . . into that mysterious access point which is available in the underworld that gives you access to every level of existence.” With Mars and the North Node of the Moon amplifying the impact of Uranus in Taurus, it may be necessary to traverse dark nights of soul which force us to let go of old attachments. Yet as Kingsley described, the alchemy of incubation reveals the midnight Sun and that “the real light is found at the heart of darkness” and realization that “the source of light is inside.”

It’s worth noting how rare this exact alignment of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node is, as it has not happened in many centuries. The last time that all three came into somewhat of a hard aspect was not a conjunction, but rather an opposition: in November 1915 there was a wide opposition between Mars with Uranus, with Mars in Leo on the side of the south node of the Moon and Uranus conjoining the North Node in Aquarius. The last time there was somewhat of a close alignment between all three was December 23, 1458 with Mars at the beginning of Virgo and Uranus conjoining the North Node at the end of Leo; yet in this case Mars had moved on to a different sign when Uranus conjoined the North Node.

Fortunately, Venus in Cancer is in a harmoniously collaborative sextile aspect the Mars Uranus North Node union and is further more the planet responsible for its care. Mars will form a conjunction with Uranus on August 1 followed by Venus forming a sextile with Uranus on August 2, a few days after the lunation. With all three entities in the earthy home of Venus, and Venus occupying the watery exaltation of Jupiter and home of the Moon, there is increased potential for finding creative ways of working with the alignment. The presence of Venus in Cancer can help in making space for nurturance within relationship or within private places of solitude, creating the time needed to work through whatever disruptive issues emerge. It can be an extremely productive period of time for any work of creativity as a result of the synergy between Venus with the triple alignment of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node of the Moon.

TEJIDO ESPACIO-TIEMPO by Remedios Varo

Meanwhile Mercury is in position to receive a sense of nonlinear time within whatever linear processes become set off by the friction of the fixed cross of planets, gaining a sense for how the events of the upcoming time period have larger implications that will stretch out across the years ahead. Mercury is emerging into visibility as an evening star during the Leo New Moon, bringing the divine presence of the star of Hermes strongly into our lives. Moreover, Mercury is setting off the dynamics of the fixed cross, forming a square aspect with the Mars, Uranus, and the lunar nodes, as well as an opposition with Saturn. As a result, Mercury can help in deeply attuning to the volatile dynamic forming with the fixed cross as it forms a square aspect with Uranus on July 28 and then moves through an opposition with Saturn it will complete on July 30.

Within the forthcoming lunar cycle after Mercury moves through its opposition with Saturn, the Sun in Leo will move into a square with Uranus on August 11 followed by an opposition with Saturn on August 14. The upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius on August 11 will deeply trigger the dynamics by forming a close conjunction with Saturn while also forming a square aspect with Uranus, Mars, and the lunar nodes. During a year of especially volatile eclipses that ignite the fracturing friction of Saturn facing off with Uranus, the present lunar cycle places us at the midpoint between the eclipse seasons, as well as deeply sets off the longstanding tension between Saturn and Uranus that has dominated the astrological landscape since the beginning of 2021. As s result it will be even more important than normal to pay attention to the changes taking shape and the directions they may lead us within the lunar cycle to come. Thankfully, about a week before the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius, Mercury will enter Virgo on August 3 and become a fortunate point of focus for clarifying now to mediate and navigate through the changes occurring on both personal and societal levels.

5 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 1 Decan

The New Moon in Leo strides forward in the first face of Leo, associated with the Five of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. A tarot card associated with conflict and competition, the strife in the image suggests a need to stand ground and fight to achieve a desired position, or could instead be viewed as an inner battle of different aspects of one’s personality contending for control. T Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets wrote that it’s worth remembering that the “Strife” associated with the Five of Wands “is just another way of saying ‘Striving.’ No matter how daunting the task, there is always a prize to be won. It may not be something we can polish and display on a shelf; it may not even be something we’d choose- but it might just be the making of our personal legend.”

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Spotlight” to the first face of Leo, describing its power as focusing “a mass of attention on one point or person,” while bringing karmic consequences to the role or mask one bears in public performance for an audience. Coppock in particular noted the importance of aligning one’s public persona with one’s inner authenticity so that we do not become trapped in a public role ill-suited to our nature. The need to align one’s persona with one’s authentic nature in relation to the responsibility that will result fits well with Saturn and the Sun being the rulers of the first face of Leo.

Saturn ruling the first face of Leo suggests the necessity of putting time and concerted effort into constructing an effective vehicle to broadcast our work and connect with a receptive audience. As the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius on August 11 will be conjoining Saturn, we will do well by using Saturn’s gifts for slow and steady contemplation to consider whatever has been feeling inauthentic regarding the persona through which we have been engaging the world. The alignment of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node can force changes suddenly, but it may bring about the exact set of circumstances necessary to help shed the old aspects of your identity and ambition that need to be released in order to make space for more vital passions to emerge you may follow forward.

While the New Moon in Leo is in the first decan of Leo, it is also within the Egyptian bounds of Jupiter, meaning that Jupiter will be setting the terms of the lunation while forming a flowing trine with the lunation and stationing retrograde. Thus the potency of Jupiter stationing can help guide us in contemplating how to remake the mask we wear in public, drawing us into interior depths to discover inspiration attuned to our soul. Fittingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Hephaistos to the first face of Leo, the greek god of artisans, craftsman, sculptors, blacksmiths, and all manner of fire. Like Hephaistos, we may transfigure the pain of wounds and rejection into artistic forms, tending the fire of the forge as we melt down our old mask that can now be refashioned anew. The work of Hephaistos is not about speed and making something happen fast, but rather taking the necessary time to work and rework the matter into rarified manifestation. Similarly, we need to take our time and not demand quick results in August, letting our creative process align with the changes of nature taking shape within us and outside us.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Capricorn Full Moon

by Soga Nichokuan (17th Century)

Capricorn Full Moon

The Full Moon in Capricorn involves the polarity of Cancer and Capricorn, cardinal homes of the Moon and Saturn which utilize inward receptivity as part of their potent ability to initiate change and new growth. While Cancer is a watery place of fresh springs and tidal currents that nurtures life and amplifies emotional response, the cold stones and dark forests of Capricorn test resolve by bringing the adversity and suffering necessitated by mortality and time into focus. Cancer and Capricorn have ancient associations as being gateways of life, with Cancer linked to life and the descent of souls into incarnation, Capricorn connected to the ascent of souls following death to the realm of the ancestors. Porphyry in On the Caves of the Nymphs described Cancer as the northern gate “adapted to souls descending into generation,” and Capricorn as the southern gate that is “adapted to ascent” and “dissolves life . . . send[ing] it upward to the heat of a divine nature.” Capricorn holds the wisdom and guidance found in the ancestral realm as it’s also a place where the putrefaction and deep contemplation of Saturn finds its home. The knowing strength of our ancestors who survived extraordinary collective crises will be an important resource to draw from under the light of the Full Moon in Capricorn on July 13.

The silvery fullness of Selene will illuminate great depths of desires during the Capricorn Full Moon, spreading open what had been tightly concealed and bringing the influence of previously hidden undercurrents into awareness. The Capricorn Full Moon holds the tension of Mercury applying to a conjunction with the Sun in Cancer while the Moon applies toward a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, an especially volatile and chthonic dynamic that can involve both anxieties over the chaos of changing conditions as well as penetrating insight into the complexities of present circumstances. Political and economic crises have been erupting around the world as global structures continue to dissolve and mutate, making the impact of the Full Moon’s alignment with Pluto potent for letting go of the places within us that have been resistant to facing the ways we need to make personal changes adjusting to the immense systemic disintegration that has been intensifying. The incredible craftiness, cunning contemplativeness, and fertile imagination present within the sign of the Sea Goat can be a benefit in facing facts while coming up with inventive plans that open new possibilities for forward movement.

The Capricorn Full Moon is applying to both a conjunction with Pluto as well as a creative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces, evoking the imaginal depth of the Sea Goat who draws sustenance from the oceanic expanse underlying reality to churn vision of what to manifest from subconscious senses. With the plutonic Full Moon in the nocturnal domicile of Saturn, there’s a need for descent into the darkness of whatever processes of death and rebirth we are experiencing, patiently allowing for a gathering of resources in situations that do not demand immediate action. While external stressors may necessitate immediate responses and adjustments in some circumstances, on internal levels we will need to make the space and time to deepen into our personal underworld where we not only face our core issues but also come into contact with the internal source of power we may wield creatively in the world. Experiences of Pluto can coincide with experiences of powerlessness in the face of titanic forces, yet ultimately the role of Pluto is to guide us into greater embodiment of our power to creatively make change with the fortitude of inner resolve in support.

Our collective experience of having so many people around the world simultaneously facing a liminal and precarious threshold is reflected by the fact that we have gone through an extended sequence of full moons in aspect with Pluto during the past year. The Full Moon in Pisces on 20 September 2021 was sextile Pluto, the Full Moon in Aries on October 20 was square Pluto, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19 was trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Cancer on 18 January 2022 was opposite Pluto, the Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 was trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Libra on April 16 was square Pluto, and the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on May 16 was sextile Pluto. Pluto’s long journey through Capricorn that began in 2008 is coming to an end, as Pluto will enter Aquarius for the first time on 23 March 2023 where it will remain until backtracking into Capricorn on 11 June 2023, eventually moving into Aquarius for good by the end of 2024. Pluto’s time in Capricorn has been a major astrological factor in both the exposure of toxicity within collective structures as well as the dismantling of societal systems, and though Pluto’s journey through Capricorn has coincided with collective fear of being controlled by external forces it has also brought experiences reminding people of not only their power to reshape their life structures but the need to take responsibility in doing so.

In the United States of America the Capricorn Full Moon also aligns with the second exact Pluto return for the astrology chart most often associated with the USA, set for 4 July 1776 at 5:10 pm in Philadelphia, PA. The idea behind this chart is to set it for when the Declaration of Independence was signed, placing Pluto at 27°33′ Capricorn. Pluto returns to this degree and minute three times in 2022: the first time was on February 20, the second time was on July 11 only two days before the Capricorn Full Moon, and the third time will be on December 28. Whether you agree with using this exact time for the USA chart or not, there is strong logic behind the idea that Pluto has returned to the general area of where it was astrologically when the USA was born by declaring its independence from the British Empire. The experience of the USA’s Pluto return has brought innumerable toxicities from the nations’s past into current events, including systemic racism, military interventions, and mass shootings among many others. Most recently the role of the Supreme Court has taken center stage, with rulings that have deprived women of their equal rights to make private choices concerning their bodies, dissolved boundaries separating church and state, and limited the power of environmental protection agencies to monitor pollution, among others. The Capricorn Full Moon will bring greater illumination to the plutonic process underway within the USA, with the opposition between Mercury and Pluto likely bringing further information and insight into light. The dark night of the soul being traversed by the USA brings the possibility of regeneration ultimately occurring from so many critical issues being dredged to the surface, yet the astrology of 2022 reveals that the internal conflicts will continue to intensify during the rest of the year.

by Joseph Mallord William Turner

The hazy influence of Neptune hangs over the Capricorn Full Moon, with the Capricorn Moon applying to a sextile with Neptune and Venus in Gemini applying to a disorienting square aspect with Neptune. The tension between Venus and Neptune can manifest in many ways, such as experiencing a beneficial and inspiring lift from idealism to becoming ungrounded by dogmatic attachment to overly idealistic beliefs. Experiences of disillusionment with the state of the world or personal dynamics may occur, yet with Venus also separating from a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius the cunning connectivity of Venus in Gemini can help in reorienting to whatever deeper truths or insights we receive, as well as in reaching out to networks of needed support. Venus in Gemini can facilitate questioning our circumstances and digging under the surface of dynamics to make meaningful connections that can help in devising plans going forward. Yet we must also keep in mind how the idealistic influence of Neptune could make us prone to see things how we wish they were rather than the actual reality. By staying grounded we can utilize the imaginal potency of Neptune in receiving meaningful insights that open new possibilities of perception regarding our circumstances.

Mercury in Cancer is also making extremely important aspects during the Capricorn Full Moon, as Mercury is applying closely toward a creative sextile with Uranus as well as toward a trine with Neptune and an opposition with Pluto that Mercury will complete in the days following the lunation. Vitally, Mercury is hidden under the beams of the Sun during the lunation and speeding into a conjunction with the Sun that Mercury will complete on July 16. The superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun on July 16 can bring clarity regarding the various dynamics we have been experiencing personally and collectively, with the trine Mercury will form with Neptune opening imaginal inspiration and the opposition Mercury will form with Pluto opening penetrating insight into underlying undercurrents. At the time of the Capricorn Full Moon, however, Mercury’s close sextile aspect with Uranus can help in unearthing innovative insights as well as making connections in meaning that can help shake up where we have felt stagnant and bring a spark of liberating momentum.

Mercury will remain under the beams of the Sun until emerging again into visibility toward the end of July in Leo, making the waning half of the present lunar cycle a time in which exploration of hidden realms may be more productive than making the meaning being explored visible. Around the same time Mercury becomes visible as an evening star at the end of July, Mars in Taurus will be forming an incredibly disruptive and disorienting conjunction with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon that can also be extremely creative and open completely new paths of exploration forward. Mars in Taurus will get closer and closer to its impending conjunction with Uranus and the North Node each day during the waning half of the present lunar cycle, with Mars moving within three degrees of its conjunction during the upcoming New Moon in Leo on July 28. While the activation of Uranus and the North Node of the Moon by Mars promises to further intensify the shattering of systemic systems and amplify the political and economic turmoil already occurring, it also holds extraordinary potential on a personal level to activate a liberation from past dynamics in order to pursue a more authentically creative and passionate life.

4 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 3 Decan

The Capricorn Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Capricorn associated with the Four of Pentacles tarot card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of empire building and wielding influence from a seat of power, the Four of Pentacles signifies a cultivation of inner talents to make an impact in the material world that aligns with the third decan of Capricorn being ruled by the Sun and Mercury.  The crowned and enthroned figure is surrounded by the weight of matter with pentacles below and above, as a fourth pentacle cradled at heart level evokes a spinning wheel of fortune. The figure towers in the foreground, suggesting someone sovereign and able to manage structures to bring material prosperity and security within the wildly fluctuating changes in fortune that come and go within surrounding society.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Facesascribed the image of “The Throne” to the third face of Capricorn, a fitting image given that the Sun rules the decan.  Coppock wrote that this face of Capricorn involves administering from a throne to control the elements of the world needed to attain material gain and positions of greater power and responsibility.  Notably, Coppock cautioned that hubris can tempt those grasping for power in this face to overlook the weight of responsibility and the loneliness of isolation that accompany achieving ambitions.  Coppock warned that accumulations of material wealth, power, and responsibility “may end up crushing them,” the idealized palace turning into a restrictive prison as “only high places bring with them the danger of terrible falls.” Coppock concluded that although the third face of Capricorn draws us “close to high seats of power,” we need to remember that influential “positions always come with responsibility, and to sit in them is to be tempted by hubris.”

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy wrote that within the third decan of Capricorn “rises a woman chaste in body and wise in her work, and a banker gathering money on a table; this [image] is the significator for prudent government and for ambitious and greedy substances.” The duality between wise governing and excessive greed found within the third face of Capricorn, combined with the Full Moon conjoining Pluto, points to the necessity of examining the ways in which we are governing our lives in accordance with ambitions tied to the status symbols of society such as extreme wealth.

In a time of systemic collapse across global societies, with the old and familiar forms of hierarchical structures falling apart, new pathways and connections for vocational calling will be continuing to open and mutate. The Full Moon in Capricorn is ideal for centering within the deep purpose found within the limitless recesses of one’s inner soul, making contact with one’s core motivations removed from external symbols of success and status. As the image of “The Throne” suggests, it’s also a potent lunation for coming to terms with the full range of responsibilities we will need to claim and be accountable for in pursuit of goals and in co-creation of the kind of world we wish to live within.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs (1917) English translation by Thomas Taylor.

12th House Webinar

I’m giving a webinar on the 12th House for the ISAR Star Club this upcoming Sunday, July 3 at 12 pm Pacific / 3 pm Eastern time. 

Here’s the description:

Shadow Casting of the 12th House

The twelfth house has a difficult reputation in astrological lore. Known as the place of the bad daimon where Saturn finds joy, it has associations with solitude, loss, and suffering. Yet it is also a liminal place in between time and space, symbolized by the Sun’s rise at dawn cracking open the darkness of night with its radiant light. Like our ancestors who erected stones to cast the shadows of the rising sun, we may discover rich resources within the darkness of the twelfth house in spite of the difficulties inherent within its terrain. We’ll explore the depth of meaning to be found in the twelfth house in natal charts as well as timing techniques.

The webinar is free for ISAR (International Society for Astrological Research) members and otherwise costs $14.99 – you need to be present for the webinar if you aren’t a member of ISAR, and won’t have access to the recording unless you are an ISAR member. 

Here is a link to register:

https://isarastrology.org/event/shadow-casting-of-the-12th-house/

Cancer New Moon

Study for ‘The spirit of the new moon’ 1888 by Arthur Loureiro

Cancer New Moon

The New Moon in Cancer on June 28 comes only a week after the seasonal turning point of the solstice, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. Since the New Moon is in the watery, reflective and receptive sign of Cancer, the zodiacal sign where the Moon finds her home, our emotional needs, drives, hungers and desires will become palpably felt. With the New Moon forming an amplifying square aspect with Jupiter in Aries, feelings regarding one’s present circumstances can become magnified, with the fiery presence of Jupiter inducing yearning for satiation of unsatiated hungers, demonstrations on behalf of what we wish to nurture and cultivate within our relationships and community, conflict from the impact of ambitious plans on personal relationships, and courage in taking risks to leave the familiar for the inspiration found in the unknown. The Cancer New Moon harbors a renewal of vision for goals to pursue that will nurture an enlivening of purpose and meaning in the season ahead.

The Cancer Moon is also forming a conjunction with Black Moon Lilith, indicating that the Moon will be at the outskirts of its apogee or farthest point in its orbit. As the wide ranging motion of the Moon signifies the wide range of our perceptions and feelings, the Cancer New Moon being at the point farthest away from us in orbit will bring to the surface insights, symbols, and reflections that have been farthest from our conscious awareness. As Black Moon Lilith is an unconscious balancing point connecting our conscious awareness with what has been cast off or kept in the subconscious, it’s fitting that it is named for a mythological figure who has taken a multiplicity of forms across different cultures but has consistent associations with the wild feminine and being cast off from civilization into the outskirts of the wilderness. As Lilith is also a figure who has been demonized and exiled, the New Moon conjoining Black Moon Lilith can also put us into deeper contact with parts of our inner multiplicity that carry the burden of feeling judged or being ostracized. The tension of the square aspect between the New Moon and Black Moon Lilith in Cancer with Jupiter in Aries can catalyze inner conflicts that create opportunities for bringing parts of our personality out of exile and more fully into the scope of our personality.

In current events, the numerous economic and political crises erupting around the world involving mass populations facing hunger and lack of foundational resources have continued to inspire mass protests. There has recently been a wave of protests and workers’ strikes around the world due to inflation and political turmoil, with the build up of tensions erupting into mass demonstrations such as in Sri Lanka where the longstanding economic crisis has more recently shifted into complete economic collapse. The synergy between the Moon and Jupiter that can inspire mass movements was intrinsic to the Cancer Solstice chart which signifies mundane astrological themes for the season ahead, as there was an applying conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter in Aries when the Sun reached zero degrees of Cancer demarcating the solstice. Furthermore, the forthcoming Leo New Moon on July 28 will form a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aries, with Jupiter’s presence intensified due to stationing simultaneously. As a result, we can expect the numerous conflicts exacerbating food and resource shortages, a well as other societal conflicts, such as the recent reinterpretation of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution by the Supreme Court in the United States to take away a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, to continue to mobilize widespread action in the season ahead.

There are numerous planets occupying air and fire signs, diurnal zodiacal signs that support active direct action in the world, as the Sun and Moon form their conjunction in Cancer. As a result, there is astrological support for taking action to create change and make significant movement regarding whatever ways personal storylines have been reshaping due to shifts emerging from within and due to a need to adjust to the impact of disruptive external events from around the world. Fortunately, within the emphasis of planets in air and fire signs (Mercury and Venus in Gemini, Mars and Jupiter in Aries, Saturn in Aquarius), Venus in Gemini is applying toward a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries during the lunation. The creative collaboration present within the sextile between Venus and Jupiter can show up through the formation of alliances of support as well as in creative collaborations, and suggests there are opportunities available to find greater support to help with whatever difficulties one is presently experiencing.

Providing an underlying lift of inspirational support drawn from Spirit for mass movements and individual motion is Neptune, as Neptune will be stationing retrograde during the Cancer New Moon at 25°27’ Pisces. Neptune stationing places it in a phasis condition of saturating the astrological landscape with its numinous significations, with the divine archetypal presence of Neptune becoming more present in our daily lives. Neptune in Pisces unleashes a tidal wave that can disintegrate the structures that have been defining identities, dissolving patterns and boundaries as part of a radical reshaping process. Neptune stationing retrograde is an opportune time to reflect upon however Neptune has been washing away the familiar and contemplating the messages we have been receiving from intuition, imaginal realms, and spiritual exploration. Any disillusionment being experienced will be important to pay attention to and remain curious about however it may be bringing reorientation to deeper truths.

From June 28 until December 3, Neptune retrograde in Pisces will slowly recede from 25°27’ to 22°38’ Pisces, bringing a second opportunity to experience its impact in this degree range. Allow the stationing of Neptune to release the illusions of the past that need to be carried out to sea, while opening you to waves of inspiration that can help carry you further than you would otherwise imagine. The stationing of Neptune during the Cancer New Moon makes the forthcoming lunar cycle ideal for taking action on whatever dreams and inspired revelations have been developing.

Seated Giant (1818) by Francisco Goya

Dredging up volcanic volatility underneath the flowing waters of the Cancer New Moon is a tumultuous square aspect between Mars in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn that will become exact on July 1. Moreover, Mars is moving in between Saturn and Pluto, separating from a productive sextile aspect with Saturn retrograde in Aquarius and applying toward a turbulent square aspect with Pluto that may correlate with significant developments in the reordering of personal and global structures. In the United States, the stormy square between Mars and Pluto will be especially potent as the USA approaches its second exact Pluto return on July 10 (meaning Pluto will be returning to the same degree and minute of Capricorn where it was on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed). In current events we will likely witness an intensifying of conflicts, while in personal events the intensity may be felt in the deepest recesses of psyche. Mars clashing with Pluto can feel relentless and ferocious, supplying a fuel of fierceness to relentlessly pursue goals in the face of opposition and contention. While we may feel a tenacious resiliency in pursuit of objectives, we also need to temper expectations so we are not consumed by anger if results fall short of our ideals. The tension between Mars and Pluto may feel like being dragged down into the fires of the underworld, yet the intense heat of associated challenges can reforge our will force and put us in touch with new found sources of strength from within.

In the midst of the titanic tension brewing between Mars and Pluto, Mercury in Gemini will be playing an intermediary role as it applies to a trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and a square aspect with Neptune it will complete on July 2. Mercury will then separate from Saturn and Neptune and fly swiftly through the rest of its airy home of Gemini while applying to a sextile with Mars that it will not complete until Mars enters Taurus and Mercury enters Cancer on July 4. Mercury is moving fast as a visible Morning Star in its airy home, and so while in an optimal solar phase and sign position possesses the full skillset of Hermes for listening, questioning, communicating, mediating conflicts and paradoxes, as well as brokering deals. With Mercury simultaneously in a flowing aspect with Saturn and a tense aspect with Neptune, the Star of Hermes can help sift through the fog of Neptune relative to dreams and ideals to separate out the illusory aspects from that which can be effectively brought into reality, as well as how to effectively organize and structure plans to be grounded while retaining the inspirational influence of Neptune.

The dual entrance of Mars into Taurus and Mercury into Cancer on July 4 is important not only due to them finally completing their sextile aspect, but also due to Mars and Mercury leaving their diurnal domiciles where they directly express themselves with great speed and outwardly directed action into earthy and watery nocturnal signs where they will take a slower pace with greater emphasis on being reflective. Mars entering Taurus is additionally significant because it begins an immense build up of extreme tension that will culminate at the end of the month when Mars in Taurus will form a conjunction with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus. The combined presence of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node will likely correspond with another wave of increased volatility regarding the present economic and political crises already taking shape, as well as opportunities for incredible innovation and breaking new ground in development. While the influence of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node will be more acutely felt during the forthcoming Leo New Moon on July 28, the entrance of Mars into Taurus on July 4 with Mercury forming a harmonious aspect will deliver early warning signs and messages regarding the shape of what is to come.

2 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 1 Decan

The New Moon is in the first decan of Cancer associated with the Two of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we find two lovers coming together in passion and longing, with a caduceus of intertwining snakes and a winged lion arising in the space between their merging desire. Fittingly for the erotic reciprocity found in the symbolism of this image, the first face of Cancer is ruled by Venus and the Moon. Yet Venus is not only about the romanticism of Eros and Psyche, nor the Moon only about the enclosure of their fertile love in the palace of Eros. The Cancer New Moon can thus connect us with the Eros of care, love, and fellowship that weaves community together when focused upon a common purpose that brings practical help and resources to those in need. It can also reveal those in our relational field who we can form mutually supportive dynamics with. As we are entering an extended period of collective volatility, we will need to be actively co-creating community that can flexibly mutate in accordance with the changing societal dynamics.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Mother and Child” to the first face of Cancer, as he wrote that the face holds the hungers of our emotions and biology, the womb that gives birth to us and all of our resulting needs. Yet the nurturance and sustenance present in this face for both biological children and what we birth from our creativity must also be placed within the waxing and waning nature of the Moon and the fact that hunger and loss can lead to “the chain of mothers and children becom[ing] an endless cycle of beasts devouring and being devoured in return.” Coppock further connected the themes of mother and child to the pursuit of romantic love found in the Two of Cups since “it is the perfect support, half-remembered from the womb, that gives rise to the human dream of similarly nursing bonds between committed partners.” Coppock wrote that idealized unions can be realized in the first decan of Cancer, and that the “face’s magical virtue is to establish mutually nurturing relationships.” Coppock declared there is an alchemy of love and need blended together in the first face of Cancer, with the energy circulating between the two participants “as if the two reside in each other’s wombs, simultaneously devouring and being devoured, yet neither is depleted.” The ideal entwining of vessels found in the first face of Cancer can be found within all manner of collaborative relationships and is not limited to the realm of romantic love.

In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Nike, the goddess of victory, to the first face of Cancer. A daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx, Nike allied herself with Zeus in the war against the Titans, a mythic war resonant with the astrology of the past few years that has involved a massive reordering of society due to a global pandemic and numerous conflicts and power plays for control that have resulted in reaction. Nike served as the divine charioteer of Zeus in battle, while also rewarding victors of competition with the glory of wreathed laurel. In 36 Faces Austin Coppock connected the presence of Nike in the first face of Cancer with the ancient symbolic link between chariots and the body as the vehicle of the soul, symbolism also resonant with the connection in tarot between the VII Chariot arcanum and the zodiacal sign of Cancer.

In connection with Coppock’s symbol of “A Mother and Child” for the first face of Cancer, it’s worth contemplating the significance of Nike being the daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx. Residing in the heart of the underworld, Styx allied herself with the Olympians in their revolution against the Titans, eventually becoming the source of the water by which gods swore oaths, ensuring that the Olympians who replaced the Titans would keep their oaths. Nike and the other children of Styx helped enforce order even amongst the gods, with Nike’s emphasis on victory not only limited to the climatic moment of the victor but also the devoted care and commitment necessary to ensure that what has been gained in victory will not be lost due to carelessness or forgetting what one has sworn to do.

Within the darkness of the Cancer New Moon, give yourself the space to feel all the limitless, nonlinear emotions and messages emanating from the Sun and Moon coming together and fertilizing the lunar fields of Cancer. Though emotional processes unfolding within the darkness of the lunation may feel messy, the harmonious sextile aspect between Venus and Jupiter can correspond with finding support through relationships of mutual care for the new directions emerging to follow. With Venus and Jupiter in the active signs of Gemini and Aries, it’s also an opportune time for helping to organize networks of support within community to care for those in need and helping to mobilize effort on behalf of the changes you wish to materialize in society. The astrology for the rest of 2022 will bring increasing waves of disruptive change across global societies, yet within the chaos will be found great sources of creativity to engage with.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.