All colors come from the sun. And it does not have
Any particular color, for it contains them all.
And the whole Earth is like a poem
While the sun above represents the artist.
Which yet joined not scent to hue,
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind
In the deep east, dun and blind,
And the blue noon is over us,
And the multitudinous
Billows murmur at our feet,
Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal sun.
–Percy Bysshe Shelley
Awed by her brightness
Stars near the beautiful moon
Cover their own shining faces
When she lights earth
With her silver brilliance
Of love ….
The Sagittarius Full Moon on June 19 arrives on the day of the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere. At the solstice the Sun reaches its zenith, a time ancient cultures celebrated as the New Year. The solstice is a peak moment, in the northern hemisphere the peak height of the Sun, in the southern hemisphere the peak descent into darkness. To have a Full Moon precede the Cancer Solstice by less than twelve hours adds to the climactic energy, as Full Moons are also a moment of the peak amount of solar light received by Luna. Yet nothing expands inexorably forever, and all must return to source, must spiral back. The serpent circles back to bite its own tail in its eternal ouroboros. At the height of the apex, there is the bliss of the high and the knowing of a coming fall. We fall at this Solstice Full Moon into the revivifying rays of Sol, our Solar Light that stimulates growth in our receptive Earth, our Sun that brings its clarifying heat illuminating what was previously darkly hidden.
The dragon, or serpent, represents the initial state of unconsciousness, for this animal loves, as the alchemists say, two dwell in “caverns and dark places.” Unconsciousness has to be sacrificed; only then can one find the entrance into the head, and the way to conscious knowledge and understanding. Once again the universal struggle of the hero with the dragon is enacted, and each time at its victorious conclusion the sun rises: consciousness dawns, and it is perceived that the transformation process is taking place inside the temple, that is, in the head.
— Carl Jung, “The Visions of Zosimos” para. 118
The polarity between Gemini and Sagittarius lit by the Full Moon carries the concept of sacrifice, as all of the Mutable signs in astrology mark the transition between the death of the previous season, and the birth of the coming season. When our conscious personality sacrifices its grip on keeping out the whole multitude circulating in the unconscious, we can experience our own rebirth, sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly, in the process. In current events recently there have been many chaotic crises tearing open barriers to raw, primal emotions. There is anger, there is outrage, there is grief and fear, as across the globe innumerable streams of strife have people on edge within a palpable field of destruction. Within the folds of the places that mainstream awareness ignores, there is the cry of desperation in what feels like a cruel, unconcerning world. Though this has been a difficult time for many, the Solstice celebrates the Sun’s ascension from its descent, that the solar rays will return with their warmth as surely as flowers will continue to bloom and fruit ripen. The Solstice can be seized for sensing within the radiant living force of our world that orbits within multiverses, that even when feeling alienated there is a loving embrace to be found between the Earth below and the Sun above.
Jupiter in Virgo rules the Full Moon and is within five minutes of an exact conjunction with the North Node of the Moon. This alone would bring a catalytic force to a Full Moon on a Solstice, yet there is much, much more. Jupiter is received by Mercury in Gemini applying to a square with Jupiter, while Mercury is in opposition to Saturn in Sagittarius. Saturn in Sagittarius is exactly square to Neptune in Pisces, as Neptune is conjoining the South Node of the Moon while in opposition to Jupiter and in square to Mercury. The New Moon in Gemini that began this lunar cycle featured a Mutable Grand Cross between Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and a conjunction between Venus and the Sun. At the Full Moon, we once again have a Mutable Grand Cross, with Mercury in Gemini filling the space previously occupied by the Sun and Venus. The larger context of this configuration highlights the importance of the squares between Saturn and Neptune, and Saturn and Jupiter, as these aspects are the sort that demarcate eras of human history and notable shifts within the collective. On a personal level, Mercury at home in Gemini as a Morning Star is the trigger point to pay attention to, as Hermes is transferring the light between the other three giants of astrology.
So, what the hell does this all mean you may be asking. There is no way to encapsulate the full meaning of these aspects within an astrology article, nor is it possible to realize the meaning on a personal level without reflection that roots these aspects into your birth chart and your present experience. However, there is some general guidance to keep in mind. Mercury in Gemini is a worthy point of focus as it is in position to bring all of the reflections that have been stirred up in the past couple of months into the rushing currents of change found within the Mutable Grand Cross. Mercury is often described as correlating with reason and logic, though that is only one aspect of Mercury’s mental potency. The reason available to Mercury now connects with more than what is observable and measurable in visible consensus reality, as the boundaries of Saturn are being blown open. This is not your everyday transit of Mercury opposing Saturn, which typically correlates with rigorous and disciplined mental focus. Maintaining mental focus through Mercury is still possible and in fact important, but there is a far vaster realm of reality and research than normal accessible through these catalytic aspects.
The Full Moon occurring at the final degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius means the entire arc of both signs are activated, signs that are ruled by Mercury and Jupiter. In fact, all four places of the Mutable Grand Square are home to Mercury and Jupiter. As Jupiter helps us create meaning out of our experiences and stabilize a vision or philosophy of life to live from, Mercury can destabilize preexisting beliefs through new information, arguments, and connections. The Full Moon activating this Solstice is a perfect time to open your mind to the potential beyond whatever you had previously been limiting yourself to within your mind. A writing, research, or artistic project can be taken to a new level, or a passing conversation or experience can stimulate a completely different way of looking at your life. Though instability can be felt within these aspects, there also remains extraordinary inspiration and a huge potential for ingenious insight.
Ceres, Uranus and Eris are conjoining in Aries at the Solstice, an aspect that some choose to ignore while others proclaim to be an Earth shattering amalgamation. In fact, the widely divergent opinions astrologers have regarding the conjunction of Ceres, Uranus, and Eris is absolutely perfect with regards to the simultaneous Mutable Grand Square that is occurring. Furthermore, Ceres, Uranus, and Eris are uniting in Aries, the home of Mars, in an exact quincunx to Mars retrograde in Scorpio. Since all four of these celestial bodies are at the 23-24 degree range of their respective signs, the quincunx is full on. To me, associating the shattering of previous paradigms with this aspect is fitting, and it furthermore reflects the many terrifying, traumatizing recent current events that are forcing people to reexamine their beliefs at fundamental levels. Everything has been thrown up into the air in fractured splinters, and in their falling they reform, they coalesce, they commingle in ways never dreamt of before.
Ceres in Aries nurtures as Ceres always does, yet in Aries she fosters self-reliance and independence more so than co-dependence. Ceres here is not a nurturer who wants you to become dependent upon her nurturing, but rather is a caring presence who nurtures creative actualization and the ability to get yourself back on your feet and moving again after a period of dormancy. Ceres combined with Uranus and Eris is able to apply her creative force into collective mobilizations for change. Ceres combined with Uranus and Eris will be most effective when transmuting the anger and outrage felt over systematic oppression into direct, creative action that makes a difference for others. The quincunx to Mars retrograde in Scorpio demands integration with the needs of the greater society and collective. This is not just about having a brilliant idea, but mobilizing thoughts into plans of action to manifest in your community. Ceres, Uranus, Eris, and Mars retrograde can thus facilitate the creative impulse of Aries yoked to the investigative depth of Scorpio in order to express your gifts within a interconnected network of collaborators and co-conspirators.
Sagittarius 3 Decan
The third face of Sagittarius is associated with the 10 of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image has a resonance with the Titan Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders, as we sense the plowing drive necessary to take on and carry the weight of massive responsibilities. Being the final decan of Sagittarius, this image illustrates how the mind, body, and spirit can become unified through dedicated work and effort applied to a goal. In tarot this card has been associated with oppressive dynamics and limitations, and in fact is called Oppression in the Thoth deck. Tarot writer Kelsey Lynore analyzed the dilemma of this card as having “taken on far too many responsibilities” that “are not strictly yours,” resulting in the creative potency of the fire element becoming “extinguished by the heaviness of an earthy reality.” Lynore advised sifting through the burdens and responsibilities in order to discern which “are truly your own” so you can refrain from overextending yourself and instead sustain the energy needed to be accountable for the issues truly belonging to you.
Fittingly, Saturn is the ruler of this face and so this decan has a strong resonance with the current transit of Saturn in Sagittarius within the Mutable Grand Cross. As the Sagittarius Full Moon is occurring at the final degree of Sagittarius, the associated imagery of the 10 of Wands card is a fitting symbol for making a sacrifice of hard work to prepare for the darkest time of the year at the Winter Solstice, currently occurring in the southern hemisphere. In relation to the Summer Solstice occurring in the northern hemisphere, it is akin to a rush of activity and preparation commiserate with the peak of solar light.
Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Horse’s Skull” to this face in his book 36 Faces, as it “points toward those circumstances in which the vehicle must be sacrificed in order to achieve the will,” as it involves “those circumstances where the body and the spirit are at odds” as “the spirit, the will, must press the body beyond comfort’s boundaries” to achieve the aim (p. 204-5). Some ancient texts attribute acts of evil to this face in the context of those who will do whatever is necessary to achieve a goal. Coppock concluded:
The subject of this decan is what one is willing to sacrifice in order to achieve what one wills. It is thus the formula for the perfection of the will and subjugation of all to it, granting power for both good and evil. Yet those who would apply it must consider the cost of the sacrifice required, for some offerings can be made only once. Those who walk this face must choose which burdens they will bear to the bitter end, and which are not worthy of such feats of will and endurance. The formula of this face is of greatest value to those who know their true will, and the true works which proceed from it.
–Austin Coppock, 36 Faces
Saturn in Sagittarius is retrograde applying closely to an opposition with Mercury in Gemini at the time of the Full Moon. At the Sun’s ingress into Cancer at the Solstice, Saturn will only be a few days past an exact square with Neptune, in a time period that has also seen it complete its final last quarter square with Jupiter. This is a pivotal moment in the transit of Saturn through Sagittarius, and so it is important to consider what the stimulating transits are asking from Saturn. Neptune demands awareness of whatever is outside the lines of what you define with your beliefs, recognizing the impact of your own perceptual force and judgment in co-creating reality and importance of exploring your inner imaginal space. Mercury demands opening to other perspectives, being curious how other viewpoints experience existence and bridging your current understanding with those who express a contrasting point of view. Jupiter conjoining the North Node of the Moon, the ruler of the Full Moon, calls us to distill the essence of what we most deeply value and aspire to achieve, modifying plans in accordance with changes in the arising moment, and most of all taking the risk to make new choices free of the restrictions of our past. The Sun burns bright at the Solstice indiscriminately: bask in its radiance and open your heart to delight and euphoria.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Jung, Carl. (1967). Alchemical Studies. Bollingen.