Full Moon in Virgo
The Full Moon in Virgo on March 9 illuminates the finale of the Mercury retrograde period we have been experiencing ever since Mercury stationed retrograde on February 16. The Full Moon is in the exaltation and nocturnal home of Mercury, bringing amplified potency to Mercury stationing direct at 28°12′ Aquarius about ten hours after the Moon reaches its peak light. The Virgo Full Moon will center awareness within the streams of changing circumstances and relationships that have been taking place during the past three liminal weeks of Mercury looping retrograde. While the lunation may spark perception of concrete actions that need to be taken as well as adjustments that need to be made, the simultaneous conjunction between Neptune and the Sun in Pisces will cast a mist over proceedings we will need to clarify.
Virgo is the inwardly directed, earthy home of Mercury that facilitates analyzing, sorting, organizing, and synthesizing the kind of ineffable, immaterial insights we can receive when Neptune unites with the Sun in Pisces. The Virgo Moon can be a keen aid in discerning revelations and understanding regarding whatever has been shifting and rearranging during the past month of Mercury retrograde. In particular, if you have been feeling confused as if you have been swept out into a sea of illusion or excessive idealism, the Virgo Full Moon will provide dry land for you to wash up onshore and regain your bearings. If there is melancholy to deal with due to disillusionment, there are galvanizing aspects to the Virgo Full Moon that will enliven efforts to reorient as needed to whatever has been unveiled about reality.
The Full Moon in Virgo is separating from an invigorating trine aspect with Mars in Capricorn and is applying toward a flowing and stabilizing trine aspect with Jupiter in Capricorn. The Virgo Moon weaving in between Mars in its exaltation and Jupiter in its fall of Capricorn will focalize attention toward the conjunction between Mars and Jupiter that will occur on March 20 during the Aries Equinox. There is extreme potency being stirred up between Mars and Jupiter that can be directed toward work and creative expression, and so it will be vital to set clear intention for where and for whom you wish to invest your energy and time.
The Virgo Full Moon is also forming a flowing trine aspect with the asteroid Pallas Athena, which is currently mediating in between Mars and Jupiter. Pallas Athena will form a conjunction with Mars on March 17 and then will slowly build toward an eventual conjunction with Jupiter on March 28 that will also be less than one degree away from Pluto in Capricorn. Pallas Athena accentuates our capacity for visualizing a blueprint to follow in achieving goals, yet we need to be prudent and wisely explore options. Rather than simply following the whims of desire for ambitious growth, work with the creative contraction of Capricorn and distill the essential work that is most deserving of attention. We will need to navigate volatile changes within collective events as Saturn enters Aquarius on March 21 while Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto come together in Capricorn, yet within the corresponding catharsis we can make significant breakthroughs and advancements if we have a clear target to direct energy toward.
Mercury in Aquarius rules the Full Moon as it is standing still and stationing direct at 28º12′ Aquarius. Mercury finally became visible again in its Morning Star phase in the days leading up to the Virgo Full Moon, and so the Star of Hermes will be heralding the rise of the Sun on the morning of the lunation as birdsong fills the air. It’s more important than normal to bring mindfulness to every moment when Mercury is stationing so that we can be alert to unexpected twists and turns in storylines brought by the tricky messenger planet. It will also be important to pay close attention to the symbolism of signs and omens within our daily actions and nightly dreams, as Mercury will be delivering guidance through a multitude of forms within nature.
Indeed, it will be vital to listen to nature and watch for signs as Mercury pauses in stillness as the Virgo Moon forms an opposition with Neptune and the Sun in Pisces. Contact with Neptune opens us to the wisdom found in the otherworldly and wherever we feel the presence of the interconnected, underlying fabric of reality. As the solar rays infused with Neptune prepare to emerge once again from the fertile night, as Mercury flashes its morning light above the dewy mist covering the earth as we awaken from dream, we can release ourselves from old illusions and engage with the arising inspiration that brings life to our imagination. Neptune injecting its mystifying qualities into the Pisces Sun may make us want to drift into daydream, lay near water, listen to rapturous music, or engage in any other way we can journey into imaginal fantasy. It may be harder than normal to take care of monotonous tasks, but the foggy mists of Neptune united with the Sun is a passing influence.
During the waning half of the current lunar cycle, Mercury will slowly begin to move forward again and will return to Pisces on March 16. As Mercury returns to Pisces, you may notice a return to some of the topics and themes you were especially immersed in during the retrograde movement of Mercury in Pisces from February 16 through March 4. Now that Mercury is shining in light again in the liminal space before dawn, it will be taking on a more active, diurnal quality of being curious about new information and actively forging new connections between ideas and developing plans. Mercury will pick up speed and return to moving faster than the Sun as it reaches its maximum elongation as a Morning Star on March 23, just in time for the New Moon in Aries on March 24. Thus as the light of the Moon wanes from its peak at the Virgo Full Moon into darkness, Mercury will be increasing in light and speed and in its capacity for initiating new lessons and achieving results.
As the Virgo Full Moon rises in the east following sunset, Venus in Taurus will be burning brightly in the twilight of the west. Venus is separating from a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus it completed on March 8, and so the Virgo Full Moon is providing critical insight not only into our relationship with Neptune in Pisces but also with Uranus in Taurus. This is only the second time that we have experienced Venus uniting with Uranus in Taurus (previously they conjoined on May 18, 2019), and so as Venus is receiving Uranus into its inwardly directed home we may experience an enlivening of flavorful aesthetics, sensuality, and sense of harmony. Within relationships, Venus combined with Uranus in Taurus can help in finding allies and forming fellowship with those who resonate with and support our authentic values and passions.
Furthermore, Venus in Taurus is also forming harmonious aspects with the transiting lunar nodes, forming a sextile with the North Node of the Moon in Cancer and a trine with the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn. During March, Venus shining bright as an Evening Star in her earthy home will be serving as a gift bearing goddess who can help in bringing balance within our relationship with others, with the divine, and with our own body and being. While Venus remains in close proximity with Uranus, however, there will be a greater likelihood for erratic or unexpected gains and losses in pursuit of goals. Fortunately, Venus provides a stable presence in the fixed earth sign of Taurus to regulate shifting elements so as to bring about eventual success. Moreover, under the emancipatory influence of Uranus we can feel motivated to take creative risks and discover innovative breakthroughs we would never find by doing things the way we have in the past.
While Venus is forming stabilizing aspects with the transiting lunar nodes, Chiron in Aries is applying to a catalytic and volatilizing square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes. Chiron at the southern bending of the lunar nodes will bring attention to recovering whatever you have felt you needed to abandon about your essential purpose to fit in with cultural expectations. A key aspect of the collective wound Chiron in Aries will be tending is the intersection between systems of oppression within civilization with one’s identity and core purpose. Chiron will form an exact square aspect with the true calculation of the lunar nodes on March 13, but the aspect will be in close proximity for all of March. In fact, the upcoming New Moon in Aries on March 24 will be conjoining Chiron while also forming a square with the lunar nodes. If you want to read more about the meaning of Chiron squaring the transiting lunar nodes, I recently wrote an article for astrology.com that you can read here.
Virgo 2 Decan
The Virgo Full Moon arises within the second decan of Virgo associated with the Nine of Pentacles illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is saturated with a golden aura, with an elegant woman covered in flowing, golden robes. On her hand sits a hooded falcon, its capacity for swift flight and hyper vision temporarily restrained. Surrounding her are ripening grapevines and a large estate upon which we can imagine numerous marvels of nature and art residing. Since it is a tarot card associated with gains in wealth and creation of beautiful works, it makes sense that Venus and Saturn are the co-rulers of the second face of Virgo. While Venus is like the guiding star of beauty and love that gives us an overarching reason to seek wealth we can share with others, Saturn functions as the force of necessity, discipline, and hard work required to seed, cultivate, and gather a bountiful harvest or shape primal material into rarefied form.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Hammer and the Anvil” to the second face of Virgo. Coppock described a theme of continual reshaping and refinement of matter in this decan that results in beautiful products and gains in wealth, yet “conceals the pain and toil utterly necessary for its creation.” Coppock concluded that this face brings alchemical “understanding of the many beautiful and repulsive states the matter attains throughout the Magnum Opus,” while the “residents of this decan oversee the ever-transforming world, guiding and shaping the Great Work on a microcosmic level,” inspecting and keeping track of how efficiently material processes are running.
Interestingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs linked the Moirai to the second face of Virgo. These are the daughters of Necessity, the goddesses of fate: Clotho the spinner of the threads of life, Lachesis the measurer of fateful threads, and Atropos who cuts the threads. These goddesses of fate appearing in this decan remind us to center within the actual currents of life so that choices can be discerned that will allow one to navigate accordingly. In Plato’s Myth of Er, the Moriai not only ascribe ones destiny but also the guardian daimon who can bring guidance in accordance with virtue and authentic character. While there are many upsetting events occurring in collective events we cannot change, we do possess the inherent character to respond with responsible virtue rather than in a way that goes against the nature of our higher self. Within the light of the Virgo Full Moon, shed attachment to the false, illusory entrapments of surface desires and ambitions to kindle connection with the primal, burning, daimonic light of your essential self and character that can provide guidance during the coming changes in season and circumstance.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.
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Thanks again, Gray, for your incisive commentary.