Virgo Full Moon

“Vision of Bernadette at Lourdes”, Church of Saint John the Baptist, Duhill, County Tipperary by Harry Clarke
audio recording of Virgo Full Moon article

Virgo Full Moon

All months are not created equal in astrology. The quality of time tracked by transits can vary significantly from month to month, and sometimes a particular month signals a turning point in reality; a collective threshold that demarcates a radical change in story arcs larger than our individual trajectory. The Full Moon in Virgo on 7 March 2023 heralds a month of seismic shifts within the astrological landscape. Saturn will enter Pisces less than an hour after the Moon in Virgo opposes the Sun in Pisces, while Pluto will enter Aquarius sixteen days later on March 23. The Full Moon in Virgo will support methodical analysis of the potential choices and paths available as we sense the way that the current changes taking shape can lead to both challenges and new opportunities in the months ahead. Yet a rising fog may obscure our ability to gain clarity in the week following the lunation.

The Full Moon in the earthy, mutable home of Mercury can normally support slowing things down and pulling back from action to make careful and pragmatic processing of information. Virgo can be helpful in breaking down issues into smaller concepts, picking apart and separating factors to gain insight into how the details combine in the bigger picture. Yet Mercury will be responsible for the care of the Moon while occupying its fall in Pisces while also moving quickly into its invisible phase of combustion with the Sun. Mercury will also be in the bounds of Venus. These factors increase the imaginative, artistic, creative, and poetic capacities of Mercury more so than its ability to dryly divide and sort through details with linear logic.

The Virgo Full Moon will be closely separating from a flowing trine with Uranus in Taurus and applying toward a disruptive square aspect with Mars in Gemini and opposition with Neptune in Pisces. The innovative and liberating influence of Uranus will be further emphasized by Mercury moving quickly toward a creative sextile aspect with Uranus that it will complete on March 11. The involvement of Uranus accentuates the prudent foresight of Virgo and gaining intuitive insight into circumstances, as well as the experimental nature of Virgo that can ingeniously discover new ways to combine and mix influences and sources of inspiration.

Even more importantly, however, the Virgo Full Moon will bring to a head rushing currents streaming from the Mars retrograde phase in Gemini that began in October 2022. Mars previously formed a square aspect with Neptune on 12 October 2022 and again on 19 November 2022 when retrograde. With Mars and Neptune coming together into a square aspect for the final time in the series, the Virgo Full Moon will amplify the pressure building between them. Neptune does not help Mars gain clarity and can inflate the self-righteousness of Mars, and so their friction may ignite ideological conflicts. Moreover, as Mars approaches an exact square aspect with Neptune on 14 March, the Pisces Sun and Mercury will also align with Neptune, creating an extended period from 14 March through 17 March in which the triple conjunction of Mercury, Neptune and the Sun will clash with Mars. The resulting tension may correlate with disillusionment that brings about an important reorientation to reality. Conflicts during this time will be confusing, requiring an extra dose of discernment to clarify. It will be best to avoid disputes and center attention on creative pursuits in need of imaginative inspiration.

At the same that Mercury will be speeding into conjunctions with Neptune and the Sun, Mars will leave its retrograde shadow zone on 15 March. Thus the Virgo Full Moon will illuminate the final passage of Mars moving forward over the degrees it formerly moved backwards over last November after it stationed retrograde on 30 October. Pay attention to how events in the week following the lunation bring tests and challenges related to storylines from last November, as well as ways in which you can notice newfound strength and courage in pushing through difficulties and achieving results in areas of life that had been previously frustrating.

The Source of the Loue (1864) by Gustave Courbet

Saturn in Pisces

Saturn will leave Aquarius to enter Pisces less than an hour after the Full Moon. The entrance of Saturn into Pisces will be intensified due to the peak of the lunar cycle happening at the same time, as well as the fact that Saturn will have recently returned to visibility as a morning star heralding dawn. Saturn’s ingress into Pisces will usher in a sea change in collective and personal events. Pisces is a boundless and oceanic water sign in which boundaries and containment can often be issues. Saturn will offer a cauldron to tend that can contain the dissolution of the solutio alchemical stage that we will be collectively experiencing in the years ahead with Saturn in Pisces. With Saturn occupying the same water sign as Neptune, old ruling principles and reality constructs will disintegrate as the stirring of Saturn’s cauldron facilitates the coagulation of new, regenerated forms. The force of Saturn’s gravity within the imaginal waters of Pisces can heighten awareness of the ways in which we perceive and shape reality. While Saturn in Pisces can enhance the melding of diverse sources of inspiration into new forms of creative amalgamation, we must also be aware of becoming lost, confused, or sorrowful within the downward spiral of its stirring.

Although Saturn will not move within its traditional orb with Neptune during 2023, coming no closer than twenty degrees away, we will begin to notice an amplification of the balsamic, ending phase of the cycle between Saturn and Neptune due to them occupying Pisces together. The cycle between Saturn and Neptune coming to an end now began in 1989 when revolutions swept across the globe, including Tiananmen Square in China, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the overturning of communist regimes in Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania that led to the end of the U.S.S.R. The three conjunctions between Saturn and Neptune in Capricorn in 1989 also correlated with the invention of the World Wide Web, the first attempts to genetically modify humans, and the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa. While the impact of Saturn and Neptune coming together will be especially intensified in 2025 and 2026, due to the nonlinear nature of planetary cycles we will have many themes connected with them becoming stirred up in collective events as they begin moving closer together within the same water.

One of the reasons the Saturn and Neptune cycle is of paramount importance is due to them being the two outermost planets – Saturn has always been significant as the outmost planet we can visibly see in the sky throughout its cycle, whereas Neptune is now considered to be the outermost proper planet now that Pluto has been reclassified as a dwarf planet. In these threshold roles Saturn and Neptune are all about the relationship between the visible and the invisible. They are fundamental to our perception and what we personally and collectively consider to be reality – the visible concrete forms and the multiplicity of invisible influences. The Saturn and Neptune cycle reveals how our collective perception of reality changes across time, and now that we are coming to the end of their cycle there will be a reckoning and a reseeding as we approach the rebirth.

With Saturn entering a water sign, the most obvious correspondence will be literal issues of water becoming increasingly important, including corruption of water issues such as toxic pollution and conflicts around water rights and territories. Saturn has traditional associations with water, wells, and waterside trades and this will be amplified by being in Pisces along with Neptune. Yet on a metaphorical, inner level of symbolism, we can expect to be brought back to watery states through the dissolution and coagulation of the solutio alchemical phase. The solutio phase involves the dissolution of solid, differentiated matter into its original undifferentiated state, known as the prima materia. One of the reasons water is associated with spiritual regeneration is due to the alchemical concept that substances cannot be transformed until reduced to prima materia. While the transit of Saturn through Pisces will ultimately deliver solutions by dissolving obstructions, we can expect to pass through some disorienting and confusing stages of development as we adjust to Saturn and Neptune residing in Pisces together.

Chauvet cave paintings

Jupiter & Chiron in Aries

The Virgo Full Moon is additionally significant for announcing the coming together of Jupiter and Chiron into a conjunction on 12 March at 14°26’ Aries, initiating a new cycle between them. The influence of Jupiter and Chiron in Aries will be brought into the mix of the lunation through forming an antiscia relationship with the Virgo Full Moon. Jupiter and Chiron have a cycle that lasts about thirteen years, with their current cycle beginning in 2009 with three conjunctions in the third decan of Aquarius that were also in close proximity with Neptune.

I’ve previously shared an article about the Jupiter and Chiron cycle written by Brian Clark due to feeling deep resonance with his description of its meaning. Though Jupiter and Chiron have vastly different meanings in astrology, Clark shared how their mythology shares the landscape of Mt. Pelion in Greece where two sanctuaries on either side of the mountain brought Chiron and Zeus together into contrasting sides of the same location. Clark made the insightful point that while the sanctuary of Zeus on the southern side of the slope received the full light of the Sun, Chiron’s cave on the northern side of the mountain was shaded. This connects well with how Chiron opens the door to the shady side of our psyche, tending the threshold of our conscious awareness with the deep well of wisdom found within unconscious depths and ancestral influences. As described by Brian Clark, “Chiron’s gaze was down, to an inner landscape, a cave of night. Yet in that cave was also one of the first mythic mystery schools where disenfranchised and orphaned youth were educated in the skills of healing and combat, learning the wisdom of the wound and the insight of a warrior.”

Clark further illuminated that “as an embodiment of suffering, of pain and mortality, Chiron confronts our compulsion to fix, to overcome and resolve . . . In his cave, the instinct to fix it and feel better is held long enough for the soulful symbols in our symptoms to be appreciated as images of healing.” The capacity to tend soulful material will be further accentuated by the presence of Vesta in Aries alongside Jupiter and Chiron. The sacred focus and inner fire of Vesta can help illuminate the messages and meaning found within whatever symptoms of deeper issues have been stirred up by Jupiter and Chiron. There is also an immense quality of courageous resilience constellated between Vesta, Chiron, and Jupiter in Aries, an indomitable spirt that can persist through the kind of difficulties that lead some to believe that all has been lost. Issues around societal oppression, marginalized identities, refugees and the displaced will become more prominent as Jupiter sparks a new cycle with Chiron. Jupiter’s presence with Chiron offers the hope of forming supportive alliances and envisioning ways of organizing action to address inequities.

9 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 2 Decan

The Virgo Full Moon will illuminate the second decan of Virgo associated with the Nine of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is saturated in 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 the second decan of Virgo is the face of Venus and Saturn. 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 prima materia into rarefied form.

In Henrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, a “black man” rises in the second decan of Virgo “wearing skins, and the man has wool and holds a satchel; this signifies gain and accumulation of substance and greed.” The Birhat Jakarta has a somewhat similar image, except for the figure being armed with a pen and bow: “a man with a pen in the hand, dark complexion, the head tied round by a cloth, counting gains and expenditure, covered over the body with dense hair and holding a bow.” A similar image was also described by Ibn Ezra, who pictured a man covered in hair with three garments: “one of leather, the second of silk, and the third is a red mantle.” The Picatrix gives a similar image of a man dressed in layers of leather and iron. T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets made the astute observation that the encasement found within the Nine of Pentacles is similarly found in these traditional images featuring figures covered in hair and different layers of clothing. Chang wrote that the “progression from comfort to protection to display reflects the turning of the mind’s eye from inward to outward, from concern for the self to awareness of the Other.” Chang wrote that the “gain” associated with the second decan of Virgo involves the “differential created by the outer appearance vs the inner reality; the image we put on in order to meet the world. The question is: does that outer glamor connect us to, or separate us from, that which we seek?”

Austin Coppock in 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Hammer and the Anvil” to the second face of Virgo. Coppock connected the covered traditional images for this decan as relating to the encasing of spirit within matter, a state which “fortifies but also conceals the spirit’s light,” resulting in the “inherent beauty of spirit” becoming “visible only in the clever and gainful manner by which it shapes the world.” 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 operating.

On one hand we can consider how the meaning of this decan holds the fact that the ease of comfort afforded by our modern technology conceals the oppression and trauma inflicted on those who must toil in harsh conditions as part of the chain which leads to the final product. On the other hand, we can consider what inner and outer hardships we inflict upon ourselves in order to achieve our conception of perfected form in the world. While there may be necessary trials we must endure to achieve our goals, in other cases we may realize ways to reorder external goals to tend to the quality of our inner life in more fulfilling and satisfying ways.

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. 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 one’s intrinsic virtue and authentic character. As the Moirai are central to the incarnation of our primal spirit within our material bodies, this connects back to how Austin Coppock described the second decan of Virgo as a place where “spirt has enclosed itself in a dense body here in order to gain control over gross layers of the physical plane and to oversee its processes with a keen eye.”

The presence of the Moirai with the Full Moon in Virgo demands questioning whether we are exerting ourselves in the true work of our destiny or if we are instead putting ourselves through difficulties so that we may merely get by and survive in our materialistic culture. With Saturn entering a new sign, imagine where you would like to be with your life and work by the end of its passage through Pisces in 2026. Let the light of the Virgo Full Moon illuminate the smaller steps you can take now that will lead toward your larger vision.

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References

Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

Clark, Brian. (2022). The Jupiter-Chiron Cycle: Weaving the Ways of Wisdom.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

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