That ancient rock face, rosecolor, / image of steadfastness, / gathers the light / through the day and after sundown / and makes of it / something one cannot / call light nor color : an artifact, / as if a smile / broke some ravaged face / and remained / in the glowing eyes, innocent.Courage by Denise Levertov
Blue Moon in Aquarius
The Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22 is the third of four full moons to occur within the same season, making it a “Blue Moon” according to traditional definition. It is also the second full moon in a row to occur within the sign of Aquarius, placing extra emphasis on the sign of the Water Pourer in a year in which there is already an unusual degree of prominence given to Aquarius due to the grand conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius that began the year. The Full Moon will culminate at the final degree of Aquarius, in the home and bounds of Saturn, forming a conjunction with Jupiter as it waxes into peak illumination. Since the Full Moon will be separating from a union with Jupiter and applying toward a square aspect with the lunar nodes at their southern bending, it will be an ideal lunation for taking a broad survey of what has been developing in your life, leaning into challenges to be present with the underlying dynamics of relationships and any insight arising from unconscious sources. In comparison with the more sobering Aquarius Full Moon on July 23 that was applying to a conjunction with Saturn, the close proximity of Jupiter in Aquarius with the lunation can help facilitate discovery of ways to not only mediate and problem solve whatever issues have been building in the past month, but also spread open vision and greater scope of the imagination in sensing new possibilities on the path moving forward.
Uranus in Taurus holds a strong influence over the Aquarius Full Moon, as Uranus will be saturating the astrological atmosphere with its influence due to having stationed retrograde on August 19 only a few days before the lunation. Moreover, following the exact opposition between Sun and Moon, the waning Moon will not complete an aspect with another planet until forming an invigorating sextile aspect with Uranus on August 23. While you may have already experienced unexpected events and jolting revelations in the days surrounding the stationing of Uranus, the Aquarius Full Moon may unveil a larger field of patterns and attracting influences that can bring a clearer sense of which directions forward are connected with authentic breakthroughs versus which potential moves are more about rebelling against sources of frustration. In some cases the Full Moon will align with rapid acceleration in an exciting new direction, whereas in other situations it will be more important to be deeply present with the complexity and nuances of surrounding issues, allowing reflection to gradually reveal greater clarity while simultaneously opening to new perspectives. The liberating impact of Uranus is often found within quiet moments of solitude and contemplation rather than the calamity of chaotic change.
With the Full Moon in the same sign as Jupiter and Saturn while Uranus is stationing in the same week, the Aquarius Full Moon will bring yet another key demarcation on the ways your life structures and relationships have been fundamentally reshaped by the ongoing square aspect between Uranus and Saturn that has been shaking up old systems and structures in 2021 and will continue to do so during 2022. While we are only at the beginning of adjusting and reorienting our life to the ways surrounding societies and our inner lives are being radically altered by Saturn and Uranus, the Full Moon in Aquarius carries important insight to gather and sift through regarding our relationship with our present process of creative change in motion. The astrological atmosphere during the next couple of weeks as the Moon wanes from the Aquarius Full Moon into the Virgo New Moon on September 6 is less volatile than at many other points of the year, creating opportunities for recovery, repair, and connecting with the resources need for nurturance as well as making steady progress on goals.
One of the most beneficial presences within the astrology surrounding the Aquarius Full Moon is Venus, as she will be glowing brightly in evening skies each night while also inhabiting her airy home of Libra. Venus can directly express her capacities for harmony, relationship, desire, pleasure, and aesthetics within her own domicile, with the unique qualities of Libra giving her increased skill in deciphering relational dynamics to bring about needed recalibration. Venus in Libra also brings a boost in creative and intellectual abilities, helping with the mental arrangement of ideas, aesthetics, and whatever creative processes we are engaging with. While Venus in Libra will not make troubles go away, she will be a potent ally in deepening in relationship with whatever process we are engaging with, helping us access the creativity needed to respond with intelligence and grace to whatever dilemmas we must address.
Fortunately, Venus in Libra is applying to a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius, the ruler of the Full Moon. Since Libra is also the exaltation of Saturn, the trine between Venus and Saturn will make it easier to find ways of not only noticing whatever has come out of balance within relationships but also creating the needed boundaries or adjustments to shift dynamics into the needed direction. With Venus bringing support to Saturn, it is a good time for those who have felt isolated or burdened with the weight of responsibilities to seek relief and support. Saturn has been retrograde in Aquarius since May 23, and from now until it stations direct on October 10 we will have increased opportunity to begin making movement forward based upon the insight we have been gathering through contemplating our relationship between what we desire to create from our inner authority versus the expectations and conditioning put upon us by external systems and authorities. Venus in Libra will be carrying the sword of Lady Justice, honed with sharpness by the enduring integrity of Saturn, helping us make important decisions on what needs to be released and what needs to be cultivated within our many relationships, cutting with clarity through both external and internal dynamics.
After forming a trine with Saturn, Venus will move toward forming an exact trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius on September 6, the day of the upcoming New Moon in Virgo. As Venus approaches her exact trine with Jupiter, she will also form a catalyzing square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on September 5. Whatever deep relational material becomes dredged up by the temporary tension between Venus and Pluto can be mediated by the harmony between Venus and Jupiter, helping us find ways of seeing the larger picture and ways to discover opportunities for growth within present circumstances. However, it will be worthwhile taking note of what arises as Venus engages with the underworld depth of Pluto, as later in the year Venus will spend the entire month of December in close proximity with Pluto due to Venus stationing retrograde in Capricorn on December 19 in range of a conjunction with Pluto.
Similar to the sovereign strength Venus possesses in Libra, Mercury is also in its earthy home and exaltation of Virgo. Mercury has recently returned to visibility as an Evening Star and will be separating from a conjunction with Mars and a trine with Uranus during the Aquarius Full Moon, applying to an opposition with Neptune it will complete on August 24. Neptune is always an important underlying influence to note in terms of the deep imaginal meaning we source our beliefs and perceptions from, but due to the planetary nodes of Neptune being involved in the ongoing square between Saturn and Uranus (Saturn has been transiting close to the South Node of Neptune while Uranus has been in square aspect with the nodes of Neptune) there has been a powerful undertow of Neptune involved in whatever fracturing and new sources of inspiration have been emerging in correspondence with the tension between Saturn and Uranus. As Mercury in its exaltation scrutinizes Neptune through an opposition, we will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into our imaginal inner landscape to investigate what treasures may be excavated beneath the waves, as well as where we have been leading ourselves astray through illusions of one sort or another.
After opposing Neptune, Mercury in Virgo will then move into a flowing trine with Pluto in Capricorn on August 26 before entering Libra on August 29. The strength and profound reflective insight possessed by Mercury in its home and exaltation of Virgo is ideal for exploring the fathomless depth of Neptune and Pluto, and the more we are willing to descend into our inner darkness the better we will be able to reorient our direction forward with the processes of creativity and meaning ready to emerge from within. Once in Libra the star of Hermes will quickly apply to a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius it will complete on September 4 a couple of days before the New Moon in Virgo, at the same time that Venus in Libra is applying to a trine with Jupiter. The combined forces of Venus and Mercury in Libra coming into harmonious relationship with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius will help in releasing what needs to be emptied at the end of the present lunar cycle while revisioning what to begin initiating as we enter a new lunar cycle and approach the turn of the seasons at the Libra Equinox on September 22.
While the Aquarius Full Moon illuminates the night, the nocturnal warrior Mars will be plunging downward as he descends into the underworld at his heliacal setting, becoming invisible by moving too close to the Sun to be seen in night skies. As Mars descends into darkness so may you notice external signs and messages correlating with an inner process of certain desires from the past two years of the present Mars cycle beginning to be laid to rest, noting whatever drives and motivations are no longer in alignment with your emerging purpose. The current synodic cycle of Mars was seeded by the Sun at their conjunction on September 2, 2019 in Virgo, with Mars emerging into visibility at its heliacal rise in mid October 2019 in Libra, and so reflecting upon your relationship with Mars from then until now can help orient you to whatever the underworld descent of Mars is calling you to discover from your own inner descent.
As Mars shifts from visibility into invisibility, he is separating from a trine with Uranus in Taurus and applying toward an opposition with Neptune in Pisces he will not complete until September 2. As Mars also recently completed a conjunction with Mercury in Virgo on August 18, there is a profoundly inventive, emancipatory, and mentally active quality that Mars will be carrying into the underworld from his recent contacts with Uranus and Mercury. The approaching opposition between Mars with Neptune signifies the vitality that may be contacted within inner imaginal landscapes through exploring whatever the fiery Eros of your unconscious is calling for you to burn away and regenerate in order to ultimately give birth to new forms of creative expression and burning purpose. Yet the opposition of Neptune also demands that you come to terms with illusory beliefs that need to be released so that the descent of Mars can help you become inspired to pursue a quest aligned with your authenticity.
Mars will be reanimated by the Sun on October 7 at 15º05′ Libra and then will return to visibility as a Morning Star in Scorpio in late November. This means that from the time of the Aquarius Full Moon until Mars enters the heart of the Sun to be regenerated on October 7, allow yourself to purge and release whatever needs to be let go from the current cycle of Mars. As Mars forms its union with the Sun in October, you may discover a better sense of how to come into relationship with the new desires taking shape. There will be a strong influence of Mercury upon the upcoming underworld passage of Mars, and so significations of Mercury such as writing, speech, research and commerce may be key elements of the creative changes coming from the catharsis of Mars.
As Mars entering the underworld will call for our own inner descent, Ceres in the curious, mentally active, and airy home of Mercury will be in position to help us tend to inner realms and their impact upon external relationships. During the peak light of the Aquarius Full Moon, Ceres in Gemini will be forming a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, while also creating an airy triangle with Venus in Libra and Saturn in Aquarius. With Ceres forming flowing trines with Venus and Saturn occupying their own airy domiciles, the scythe of Ceres will glow with a mysterious light that can help in cutting through relational dynamics, separating issues and tending to the underlying dynamics. We may become more clear about what we value in certain relationships and what aspects of other relationships need tempering, as well as if clearer boundaries or spaces of separation need to be formed. It can be a fruitful time for exploring issues of attachment and communicating our process to those we are close to in relationship, gaining greater insight into the inner relational patterns that have been attracting us to others.
In addition to creating nurturing spaces for healing conversations, Ceres in Gemini can also be a productive time for all things mercurial especially in any intellectual pursuits involving the research, cultivation, and communication of ideas. Ceres in Gemini can hold multiple perspectives and ideas, letting the paradox of polarities reveal necessary insight. As Ceres moves from a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon into a flowing trine with Saturn that she will complete on September 1, be open to new perspectives and allow your curiosity to continue asking questions rather than assuming you have found the only answer.
Aquarius 3 Decan
The Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Aquarius associated with the Seven of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Knot” to the third face of Aquarius, utilizing the symbol of a knot to reveal the karmic binds that keep us stuck in the known and familiar rather than liberating ourselves to enter the unknown. Coppock described the stealthy figure in the image of the Seven of Swords card as not only having decided to leave a frustrating situation, but also already contemplated what is worth taking and saving versus what is better left behind. The third face of Aquarius involves the risk that comes from exile and the uncertainty of no longer having the stability of the structures being left behind, but the figure in the Seven of Swords card has determinedly chosen the unknown over the known.
The Moon is the ruler of the third face of Aquarius, and so the meaning of this decan will be illuminated by the Moon reaching peak light here. The Aquarius Moon occupying its own face can help us gather the courage and inner resolve needed to experiment, take creative risks, and follow a new direction that may feel scary due to the uncertainty of leaving familiar sources of security behind, yet exciting in the ways it aligns with the leading edge of our emerging creativity and growth processes. Coppock in 36 Faces stated that the third face of Aquarius “illuminates karmic entanglements and oversees liberation from them,” but each of us may be occupying a different stage of this process. While some may have already broken free from the past during this period of accelerated astrological change, others may still be contemplating which direction to follow at the crossroads, oscillating back and forth between options. The Aquarius Full Moon calls for a deepening into coming to terms with what old aspects of the familiar need to be shed in order to embrace a more vital presence in the world.
Fittingly for a face favoring the unknown over the known, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Osiris, Egyptian lord of the dead and the otherworld, to the third face of Aquarius. The presence of Osiris with the Aquarius Full Moon brings themes of fertility and regeneration, mystery and becoming to the forefront. Osiris calls us to find resources and enrichment within the depth of our unconscious so we may nurture our own metamorphosis, rather than seeking external forms of validation that could condition the change underway. Osiris possess a sacred quality of surrender to the process of regeneration, surrendering to all of the suffering that must be endured in order to fully nurture and realize our own creative potential.
The fact that the 36 Airs linked Osiris to the third face of Aquarius is even more interesting due to the 36 Airs also linking Isis, the partner of Osiris, to the second face of Leo where the previous New Moon in Leo occurred. The courageous journey of Isis to search for her deceased and dismembered Osiris, her capacity for retrieving, remembering, and reanimating him back to life, may mirror our own ability within the present lunar cycle to place fears aside so we may embark upon a new orientation to life that brings us more fully alive and creatively actualized. Rather than regressing backwards, pulling away from the fires of transformation, allow the eternally wise presence of Osiris to guide you through whatever trials by fire you are experiencing so that you may become who you need to become on the other side.
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Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.