Full Moon in Capricorn
The Full Moon on July 19 being in Capricorn binds the lunation with Saturn. Saturn rewards those who take responsibility for everything occurring and honors those who are accountable. Saturn calls us to put in work and persevere through dark times, knowing that the suffering of today will become the soil from which future fulfillment will flower. As current events have been unraveling in chaotic waves since the Cancer New Moon on July 4, it is worth paying attention to how the current lunation cycle is intimately bound with the first quarter square between Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries. While the New Moon on July 4 was opposite Pluto, the Full Moon on July 19 is in square to Uranus. In between the longstanding issue in the USA of police officers killing African Americans exploded with the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, followed by the killing of law enforcement officers and heated debate. As the Moon continued to wax brighter as the Sun approached a square with Uranus, the traumatic terror of Nice, France was followed swiftly by an attempted coup in Turkey, a land that for ages has stood at the intersection of crusading conflicts among world powers. With collective events spinning so wildly out of control, the Full Moon in Capricorn is a call to claim full responsibility for your own thought forms and your every action that impacts the world. On a personal level, issues have arisen to face that stem from the sweeping changes that came with the square between Uranus and Pluto that was most exact between 2011 and 2015.
The square between Uranus and the Full Moon illuminates not only the grief and pain felt over the losses and tragedies of the past, but where in one’s life greater diligence is needed to build support to foster stability and security for oneself and others. Many will become mobilized to organize direct action to increase awareness of personal and collective causes, whereas others will find it necessary to attend to more personal wounds that need mending before worldly action can be taken successfully. With Mars in Scorpio slowly beginning to generate forward momentum and also strongly aspected by the Full Moon, taking small steps that are saturated in mindful intent is favored more so than launching quickly into big plans that are truly in need of further refinement. When dealing with heavy feelings or grief, like Psyche in her story of Eros all we can do is embrace the soul of our surroundings for sustenance and move forward on our journey step by step with full presence. By claiming the inner integrity of acting from authentic desires that are not being corrupted by external influences, we begin to build support while also discovering elements of our environment that will bolster strength.
With numerous collective issues reaching a critical boiling point, there is a need for open communication and listening to other perspectives. Yet the element missing from the Capricorn Full Moon is the Air element (with nothing significant in Air signs except Vesta and the true, oscillating position of Black Moon Lilith), and so the Full Moon does not foster mediation through objectifying issues or using clear communication to increase awareness. There will be a flooding of emotions and heat from enflamed passions, but this Full Moon supports earthy solutions that come from self-absorbed perspectives. Steam will be rising from the interplay of so much Fire and Water, and so there is potential for compassionately feeling the emotions and experiences of others to gain understanding. Extra effort will need to be made at this Full Moon for greater clarity in communicating and listening. The Full Moon being in the home of Saturn while in square to Uranus is a catalyst for moving beyond personal hangups to taking responsibility for one’s place within the global collective. This includes the places we hold privileges as well as the places we face oppression and the way we respond. It is also imperative to vigilantly witness attempts by those entrenched in power to take advantage of chaotic events to further increase their own interests out of greed.
Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius rules the Full Moon while being in square to both the transiting lunar nodes as well as Neptune in Pisces. In fact, the Full Moon is fairly close to the midpoint between the Saturn and Neptune square. The slow retrograde pull of Saturn brings gravity to the act of fully being responsible for one’s personal karma and past actions. Saturn demands this accountability in order to create healthy relationships in the present and to be able to effectively impact the collective. This is not a time to escape into privileged isolation, but to find the areas of the world in which you can take direct action to help others. Yet, we must at the same time attend to our own needs while using the boundaries of Saturn to seal one’s inner vessel from toxic contamination. Not easy work, but Saturn in square to Neptune and the lunar nodes has nothing to do with ease.
The Full Moon occurs in Capricorn at the same degree that Mars is exalted, and Mars in Scorpio also forms a sextile with the Full Moon. In addition, Mars in Scorpio is in a Grand Water Trine with Chiron in Pisces and the Sun in Cancer. While Mars has at least finally gotten beyond the degree it stationed direct at, it is still moving very slowly on its destined path of aligning again with Saturn and the fixed star Antares in August. The exaltation of Mars in Capricorn, binding the force of Mars with the discipline of Saturn, is the magical access point to these aspects. Mars in Scorpio is dredging up deep cathartic material that can be so overwhelmingly painful that those out of balance can become overcome by hateful anger and violence. To make use of these powerful aspects surrounding Mars, there is a need to accept the pain of loss and transmute the voracious emotions through tears and sweat, through appropriate outlets such as exercise and creative action. There is so much Fire and Water interacting in this Full Moon that healing can come from going into feelings intensely in order to release them into transfigured form, similar to the alchemical steam that arises from water catalyzed by fire into air.
Fittingly, Venus is the glamorous star of the Full Moon, deftly supported by her co-star Mercury in order to amplify her dramatic and comedic effect. Those looking for a positive omen need only gaze at the western horizon during twilight, as both Venus and Mercury have finally emerged as Evening Stars. We have not been able to see Venus since April when she was a Morning Star, and we have not been able to see her as an Evening Star since last August 2015 when Venus was retrograde in Leo. Venus in Leo conjoining Mercury in Leo as they have emerged from under the beams of the Sun together is a burning symbol of hope for living from deeper levels of embodied passion.
Mercury is separating from a trine with Saturn at the time of the Full Moon, while Venus is applying closely to a trine with Saturn. On the one hand, the fire from Venus and Mercury could be used for greed and avarice by those consumed with their own narcissistic self-interest. On the other hand, the radiance of Venus and Mercury beautifying twilight is an apt symbol for the potential available to replenish our personal system and structures with more creativity, harmony, joy, and pleasure. The trine from Venus and Mercury to Saturn is a powerful aspect for making strong commitments. There is also a quincunx formed between Venus and Mercury with the Neptune conjunction to the South Node of the Moon in Pisces, suggesting old illusions and beliefs could be getting in the way of opening to the creative actualization of Mercury and Venus joined together in Leo. Being alone in solitude out of romantic partnership is not something to curse for missing out on enjoying this aspect with a lover, but instead a situation to seize for the individuating flowering that becomes available when out of relationship in a place to know oneself more deeply.
Capricorn 3 Dean
The third face of Capricorn is associated with the Four of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a crowned figure seated on a throne that places him above two Pentacles placed under each of his feet, as well as below a Pentacle placed on top of his crown. The fourth Pentacle is cradled at heart level, with the arms wrapped around the Pentacle in a manner suggesting the potential to spin the Pentacle like a Wheel of Fortune. While this could be interpreted as being in flow with abundance, the Pentacle also appears to be tightly gripped suggesting an attitude of needing to control or be possessive of material resources. The figure towers in the foreground, overshadowing castles and towers in the background, suggesting someone in charge of their surroundings, perhaps at the expense of being a co-participant who is fully aware of their environment outside of how it impacts their goals. The Four of Pentacles signifies taking control and structuring boundaries so as to bring a sense of greater security within the chaotic world, including gaining greater material security.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Throne” to the third face of Capricorn, a fitting image given that the Sun rules the decan. Coppock interpreted this face of Capricorn as being about governing and administering from a seat of power, “the struggle for control between an individual and their world” and “the struggle to attain great position in the created world” (p. 221-222). Coppock cautioned that hubris can tempt those grasping for power in this face, and that each step toward achieving ambition requires tantamount levels of responsibility to meet the obligations found in the acquired position of power. If not, Coppock warned that their accumulated material wealth “may end up crushing them,” and the glittering palace could become instead a restrictive prison.
Since the Sun rules the third decan of Capricorn, there is added emphasis to the square between the Sun and Uranus as well as the trine between the Sun, Mars, and Chiron. While Venus and Mercury are already united in the home of the Sun, in the days following the Full Moon the Sun will join Venus and Mercury in Leo. As a result, in the waning phase of this lunar cycle the astrological atmosphere will shift toward an emphasis on Fire and spirited action and expression, as Mars completes its final pass through the tumultuous waters of Scorpio. There is no doubt that the numerous conflicts and crises circulating in the collective will continue to intensify, yet in the sphere one invests their inner energy into with responsible, dedicated effort there will be greater astrological support to bring matters into manifestation.
We play with dark forces that cannot be captured with the names we give them, like children playing with fire, and it seems for a moment as if all energy had rested dormant in all objects until now, until we arrived to apply it to our fleeting life and its requirements. But, again and again throughout millennia, those forces shake off their names and rise like an oppressed class against their little masters, or not even against them- they simply rise and the various cultures slide off the shoulders of the earth, which is once again great and expansive and alone with its oceans, trees, and stars.
— Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters on Life translated by Ulrich Baer
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.