Full Moon in Scorpio
Soon after our Sun enters Taurus this year, the stabilizing home of Venus, we experience its polarity through the darkly desirous sign of Scorpio becoming illuminated at the Full Moon on April 21/22, 2016. While the Sun in Taurus facilitates centering within the body, patiently cultivating security from inner values, and luxuriating within whatever one finds beautiful, the Full Moon in Scorpio reveals the shadow of yearnings in its light, unearthing the deeper source of what we need to feel secure. Within the reflection of this Scorpio Full Moon, feelings overflow from everything that has been denied or controlled as suppressed memories and passions arise to surface awareness. Perception opens to the surrounding emotions of whatever has not been previously expressed, lending a keener, penetrating capacity to peer into the source behind or at the root of surrounding relationships, people, and myriad other forms.
Taurus and Scorpio are a Fixed polarity, signs that anchor the seasons as well as anchor consciousness in our material world. Both Taurus and Scorpio hold the potential, however, for their capacity to anchor to lead one to becoming stuck through over fixation upon a desire or a way of being. The range of extremity can be found in stubborn refusal to merge and open oneself to other perspectives and people, to becoming so compulsively drawn to merging with another person or source that covert manipulation is utilized in an attempt to sustain the connection and guard against the threat of loss. The polarity between Taurus and Scorpio also bears the potential to discover one’s essentialness within the osmosis of uniting with others emotionally, sexually, mentally, or spiritually, making it possible to participate in committed relationships focused on authentic growth without compulsive dependencies being present.
The Scorpio Full Moon itself is not making any major aspects to planets, but is applying to a conjunction with the asteroid Juno retrograde in Scorpio. Juno being with the Full Moon activates a focus on partnership via Scorpio, and fittingly in Asteroid Goddesses Demetra George described the Juno archetype as embodying issues that align with Scorpio such as (1) fear of abandonment, (2) fear of betrayal, (3) fear of sexuality, (4) the giving away of power, (5) subtle manipulation, and (6) projection and repression (p. 161-163). With Juno retrograde conjoining the Full Moon in Scorpio, and both Mars and Pluto having stationed retrograde the week prior to the lunation, the bright Moon will bring a pull into the inner vastness where we find the source of the relational dynamics we create.
The Full Moon is ruled by Mars retrograde in Sagittarius and illuminates our entry into the long retrograde journey ahead with the red planet. Mars is moving backward along with Saturn in Sagittarius, about seven degrees apart at the time of the lunation, but the movement of Mars is barely beyond a standstill. It is too early to know what catalyzing and cathartic experiences will be coming during the Mars retrograde, but the Scorpio Full Moon will deliver a visceral sense of the major issues coming to the forefront at its initiation. With Mars in range of a square to Neptune, there are elements of disillusionment happening that in the end will fuel a fiery rebirth of primal purpose, but at this moment feels disorienting and upsetting.
The modern viewpoint of Pluto ruling this Full Moon further emphasizes eruptive shifts in our world, as Pluto also recently stationed retrograde. The Scorpio Full Moon heavily highlights Pluto in Capricorn, as it is not only standing still but involved in numerous potent astrological aspects. Pluto has been direct since September 2015, and as it begins to recede so will our minds descend into the ineffable fabric of our Soul and unconscious where dormant memories and meaning will be regenerated. Pluto is also known to initiate a death process or letting go of whatever we have been resisting releasing. The overall synthesis of surrounding aspects to Pluto indicate that the material being dredged up for digestion, no matter how painful and no matter how much grieving it necessitates, ultimately is feeding growth and essential self-realization that will bring rewards in the future. At this moment, however, it will be difficult to fully understand what is being stirred up by Pluto.
While the stationary influences of Mars and Pluto brings an underworld awakening focus to the Scorpio Full Moon, Mercury in Taurus is shining bright in stark contrast, a role the star of Hermes delights in playing. Mercury in Taurus is sharing the home of Venus along with our vivifying Solar Light, continuing to increase in light as an Evening Star. Mercury in Taurus is also in range of a Grand Earth Trine at the Full Moon with Pluto in Capricorn and the conjunction of Jupiter with the North Node of the Moon in Virgo. Moreover, Mercury is conjoining the asteroid Vesta in Taurus, adding an emphasis of focused devotion to the Winged Messenger. Mercury here in Taurus is in prime position to assist with the discovery of personal resources carried at a core level that foster self-sufficiency. With both the Sun as well as Mercury in the home of Venus, this emphasis of Taurus bolsters capacity to harmonize elements of life based upon inner values as a remedy to the obsessive extremities of Scorpio as well as the accentuated influence of stationing Mars and Pluto. In addition, since Mercury is also now in the shadow zone of its retrograde phase coming at the end of April, the Scorpio Full Moon will illuminate some of the issues that will demand attention during the forthcoming Mercury retrograde.
Venus in Aries is separating from a square with Pluto in Capricorn at the time of the Scorpio Full Moon and carrying this catalytic tension into a union with the unsettling force of Uranus. These explosive aspects of Venus are paramount to consider since both the Sun and Mercury are in the home of Venus, and the closely applying conjunction between Venus and Uranus is occurring in the home of Mars, with Mars at the beginning of its long retrograde journey. Although only a temporary transit this week, the square between Pluto and Venus can ramp up the compulsive relational dynamics signified by the Scorpio Full Moon, such as addiction to sex or obsession with the presence of another, and can also bring up hard feelings from the loss of a relationship. The square between Venus and Pluto is in its first quarter phase, and so on a deeper level the Venus-Pluto dynamic is about making deep structural changes in the aspects of life that will ultimately enable greater fulfillment.
Venus uniting with Uranus can correlate with electrifying experiences that destabilize and open up freeing, higher frequency opportunities. The overwhelming emotional desires that can come up with Pluto and Venus can lead to expectations in relationship that the freedom-oriented Uranus rebels against. The conjunction between Venus and Uranus culminating at the Full Moon can reveal the projections we make in relationship and the underlying dynamics of the relationships being created. There is a quality of objectifying ourselves and our relationships that can be accessed through Uranus, and so with Venus uniting with Uranus the intense feelings around relationship have the potential to transmute from obsessive compulsions into objective self-realization. Shocks in relationship can rip us apart and bring feelings of complete dismantling, and yet ultimately there can be found in the experience vital insight into how to rebuild our life and surrounding relationships so that liberation from past restrictive patterns is realized.
Scorpio 1 Decan
The first face of Scorpio holding the Full Moon is associated with the Five of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image appears desolate at first glance, with a figure full of despair staring with fixation upon three spilled, empty chalices on the ground. However, upon closer look we notice that there are still two upright chalices behind the figure, suggesting that all is not lost. In fact, the two remaining cups could be deeply fulfilling despite the grief over losing the other three cups. We can also notice a river flowing underneath a bridge behind the figure, bringing in the ancient flux philosophy of Heraclitus that no one ever steps in the same river twice since the river is always changing as well as the person. As a result, this card 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 death and the loss of what we desire most in the world.
Mars rules the first face of Scorpio, further deepening the relationship between the Full Moon and Mars retrograde in Sagittarius. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces synthesized the images associated with this face around the repeating cycle of desire, including consuming hunger, the satiation of desire, the loss of what one desires, and the competition and violence that surrounds pursuing the desired. Coppock concluded:
In this decan we are brought to confront the cycle of hungers which are the price and pleasure of incarnate being. The object of desire always skirts the edges of this face while its inhabitants give chase. Some gain the object of their desire, some fail. All come to know hunger again. Though this may seem a particularly tortured decan, it is merely one which exposes a hard truth. Confronting the cycle, we are less bound to it, and less blind, than if we ignore it.
— Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, p. 176
The timeless stories that have moved people across centuries involve tragedy, perhaps, because it is through loss of what we want most in life that we often discover our most profound lessons of wisdom and enact the greatest periods of individuating growth. Or perhaps it is the loss that necessitates grief or putting a desire to rest that can most readily open our hearts fully to the tragedy and trauma inflicting innumerable humans across time and space. After one cycle of desire concludes, another one arises and again brings the potential for ecstatic fulfillment or painful loss. Through facing our desires fully without denial, we develop awareness for which desires to continue pursuing with resilience and which desires are not in our best interest to regenerate. With Mars, the ruler of this face as well as this Scorpio Full Moon, now beginning to awaken in its rupturing retrograde movement, we are presented with a period in which to discover the deepest levels of our desires.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
George, Demetra with Bloch, Douglas. (1986). Asteroid Goddesses. ACS.