Full Moon in Aquarius

Andante (Sonata II) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1907)

Full Moon in Aquarius

Standing guard at the liminal boundary between the visible and invisible, the constraints of time and the expanse of timelessness, the ringed planet Saturn is always occupying a role of heavy gravitas within astrology. However, in recent years as Saturn has been transiting through its earthy home of Capricorn and airy domicile of Aquarius, the star of Cronus has been even more of a pivotal shaping influence than normal as it has been the key planet involved in the most impactful planetary alignments: the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in January 2020, the conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter in December 2020, and the volatile square aspects between Saturn with Uranus that will last from 2021 through 2022. While Saturn can feel like a stern taskmaster who delivers judgment on the degree to which we are being accountable and claiming authority in our lives, as we engage with the lessons of Saturn we can experience radical growth as we shed aspects of life no longer aligned with our authenticity, focusing instead on the work and relationships that are most deeply aligned with our essence and purpose.

As the Full Moon in Aquarius on July 23 is applying toward a conjunction with Saturn, the lunation will illuminate the ways our lives have been reshaped, honed, strengthened, and irrevocably changed under the influence of Saturn in Aquarius. The Aquarius Full Moon will also provide opportunities to gather a deeper sense for the massive changes that are presently in process in correspondence with the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus. Following the peak light of the Aquarius Full Moon on July 23, the waning Aquarius Moon will form a conjunction with Saturn and a catalytic square aspect with Uranus on July 24. It’s the first Full Moon to directly set off the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus since the Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26, and so it’s likely that certain storylines developing at the end of April are reaching new levels of meaning and turning points. While the amount of chaotic energy circulating throughout our greater collective can feel disorienting due to the diverse, widespread changes intersecting within processes of becoming, we can gather our courage to cross the threshold calling us onward, following the path that puts us into deeper touch with our creativity, passions, and core purpose.

Made of mountain, solid with the sentience of stone that endures the fleeting elements of time, Saturn holds a perspective that bridges the eternal with the present moment. Saturn within its airy home of Aquarius can combine the flexible, mobile, and coalescing qualities of air with the fixity of Aquarius that will doggedly persist through obstacles to develop longterm plans that last, taking care to be thorough in both preparation and implementation. As Saturn receives the full light of the Moon into its Aquarian abode, we may come into deeper contact and realization of far reaching visions to cultivate as well as the necessary next steps to take in the immediate period ahead. The gift of historical periods in which longstanding structures fall apart to be reshaped is that old personal patterns that have previously made us feel stuck can likewise shatter, creating potential for exciting new movements in storylines that are more personally meaningful and soulfully resonant with the ways in which the wider world is experiencing its own metamorphosis simultaneously.

The Full Moon is close to the same degree as the grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on the Capricorn Solstice of December 21, 2020. As the grand conjunction not only established a new historical era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs for two centuries but also formed during the deep potency of the solstice, it has taken time for us to begin to gain greater clarity regarding the monumental changes emanating from their era defining conjunction. While we will continue to come to terms for a long time with the ways in which our lives have been fundamentally altered and redefined in correspondence with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, the Full Moon in Aquarius can nonetheless serve as an important illumination of however we have been bringing dramatic changes into our life, work, and relationships. If you note an accelerated quality of time in which the end of 2020 feels much further back in time than a date seven months in the past would normally feel, it’s likely due to the extraordinary degree in which aspects of both your internal and external life have been completely changed. With the Full Moon in Aquarius returning us to the degree of the grand conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn while also triggering the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus, we may experience another surge of accelerated developments in the wake of the Aquarius Full Moon.

Since the Aquarius Full Moon will catalyze the propulsive potency of the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus, it is worthwhile to consider the details of their present phases. Saturn in Aquarius has been retrograde since May 23, backtracking against the backdrop of the fixed stars every night through the degree range that it previously occupied. For example, Saturn will be at 10°51′ Aquarius during the Full Moon, a degree it previously occupied around March 25, 2021. Astrologer Adam Gainsburg has taught that the present retrograde phase of Saturn can center our awareness around adjusting commitments and allegiances to authority figures or realities based upon the revelations we have been receiving from our experiences.

In contrast, Uranus in Taurus has been continuing to move direct and has made it farther into the sign of Taurus than it previously has during its present transit, occupying 14°29′ Taurus during the lunation. Uranus will eventually station retrograde at 14°48′ Taurus on August 19, and so will be spending an extended period of time between fourteen and fifteen degrees of Taurus from now until the beginning of October. With Saturn calling for internal reflection on how to readjust boundaries and commitments, and the liberating force of Uranus continuing to break new zodiacal ground, the Aquarius Full Moon can illuminate feelings of opening and deepening to the ways in which our old sense of order is dissolving and unraveling, helping us gain insight into how to develop a new sense of order amidst the continuing changes that will be occurring all around us.

Vitally, the Aquarius Full Moon will be the final lunation featuring Jupiter in its oceanic home of Pisces for the rest of the year. Jupiter will leave Pisces to return to the sign of Aquarius on July 28 within a week of the Full Moon, returning the coalescing and synthesizing qualities of Jupiter into tending to the Aquarius side of the ongoing friction between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus. The waning Moon in Pisces will form a conjunction with Jupiter on July 25, making it an ideal time for realizations regarding whatever new sources of growth and inspiration have deepened in your life since Jupiter entered Pisces on May 13. While Jupiter’s time in his watery domicile of Pisces has helped fertilize and gestate new dreams free from the constraints of Saturn, his return to Aquarius will necessitate utilizing the boundaries and containers of Saturn to foster growth. The airy nature of Aquarius is similar to the watery nature of Pisces when utilizing the paradigm of them both being moist astrological elements possessing flexible, unifying, and coalescing qualities; with Saturn in co-presence with Jupiter in Aquarius, we can draw upon their combined strength for concentrated focus which will continue to redefine our mental frameworks, problem solving issues and conceiving ideas and forms that will have longterm consequences.

Psyche and Eros by Edward Burne-Jones

Venus will be continuing to glow brightly in the evening sky and will be forming a quincunx aspect with the Aquarius Full Moon from her fall of Virgo. Venus in her fall of Virgo calls for descent into inner senses, turning away from whatever we have been conditioned to exalt by culture in favor of the treasure we may discover within the darkness of our own soul. Within the collective unraveling which will be continuing at an accelerated pace, Venus in Virgo can help in reweaving the threads of our destiny into new patterns and storylines. Rather than turning away from the less than ideal, Venus in her fall of Virgo will plunge into the issues that need our attention with her discerning, unflinching gaze. Venus being in the earthy home of Mercury can be helpful when weaving together disparate threads of experience and finding flow in the moment between the rational and emotional rather than being overly reactive, judgmental, and critical. Yet Venus in a sign of Mercury can also lead to anxiety when we become caught in mental loops and self-criticism. The cure for Venus in Virgo is being tactile and moving our active minds into expression through our bodies within the surrounding world of nature, utilizing any experiences of suffering to deepen into realizations of self discovery.

Resonant with the valleys of the soul and underworld journeys that Venus in Virgo can lead us down into, the Psyche asteroid is in a prominent position; indeed, the Full Moon in Aquarius is forming an opposition with Psyche, who is only two degrees away from the Sun. Furthermore, the Sun in its fiery home of Leo will form a conjunction with Psyche at 4°55′ Leo a few days after the lunation on July 27, reanimating the story of Psyche and her devotional search for connection with her Eros. The extremely solar nature of Psyche meeting the Sun in its fiery abode is evocative of her second task when Aphrodite demands that she gather the fleece of golden rams that shine like the sun. After Psyche prepares to throw herself into her own death from a river’s edge due to the seemingly suicidal nature of the task, a marsh-reed mediates and instructs her to seek cover in the shade of a sycamore tree during the heat of the noonday sun so she may avoid the rams, which possess deadly sharp horns, being agitated and viciously rabid from the highpoint of the Sun’s heat. The reed advises for her to wait until the rams begin to cool themselves in the river breeze, and then for Psyche to shake the branches of the nearby grove that will have collected the wooly gold of their fleece in its bush.

Marie-Louise Von Franz in her analysis of the Psyche and Eros story viewed the reed as corresponding to the “tiny hints of truth with we get from the unconscious,” whispering “the truth and anticipation of the future.” Von Franz noted that Carl Jung “always saids that truth does not speak with a loud voice,” but rather that “its low but unsuppressible voice announces itself as a malaise, or a bad conscience,” requiring quiet contemplation to feel and discern its hints. The capacity Psyche displays in waiting for the right moment to gather the golden fleece reveals the importance of waiting and patiently tending to unconscious processes as they work themselves out rather than reacting impulsively. Von Franz stressed the importance of finding out what overwhelming emotions mean, stating that “wherever there is a destructive emotion, there is possibly also light, and the art is to perceive this light without getting pulled into the primitiveness of uncontrolled emotion.” Similarly, whether we experience extreme heights, lows, or middle grounds of emotions following the Aquarius Full Moon, the importance will be in taking the time to fully explore the feelings demanding our attention to more fully realize the meaning they suggest for the path ahead.

In addition to the Psyche asteroid being at a prominent phase of her orbit, the Eros asteroid will station direct at 16°49′ Sagittarius within a week of the Full Moon on July 29. As Eros stations to begin forward movement again, we may similarly feel a kindling of new desires that spark important forward momentum. Psyche and Eros will continue to occupy fire signs that trine one another until September 25, 2021 when Eros will enter Capricorn (Psyche will leave Leo to enter Virgo on October 4). Eros previously stationed retrograde at ten degrees of Capricorn on May 3, with Psyche in Cancer beginning to apply toward an opposition with Eros; Psyche then formed an exact opposition with Eros on May 18 at 8°19′ of Cancer and Capricorn that may have coincided with tensions forming within new desires we needed to hold and tend. Now that the retrograde motion of Eros has brought Psyche and Eros back into a trine aspect by whole sign, there will be opportunities for integration of however our inner landscape has been altered by the new desires that have been forming in recent months.

Around the same time that Eros stations direct, Mercury will leave the watery sign of Cancer to enter the fiery sign of Leo on July 27. Mercury will then proceed to move at its fastest speed into the heart of the Sun, completing its superior conjunction with the Sun on August 1 while forming an opposition with Saturn in Aquarius. We may apply the same lessons of Psyche forming her conjunction with the Sun to Mercury, allowing our unconscious to sort out what needs to be burned off from the past cycle of Mercury as we become more clear and focused on whatever ideas we have been developing. The more we can listen closely to the messages Mercury will deliver from its union with the Sun, the better we will be able to work with the new ideas that will be catalyzed by Mercury in Leo forming a square aspect with Uranus on August 3 followed by the Leo Sun forming a square aspect with Uranus on August 6, only two days before the New Moon in Leo that will occur on August 8.

Before Mercury leaves Cancer, however, it will form an opposition with Pluto in Capricorn a couple of days after the Aquarius Full Moon on July 25. Again the lessons of Psyche completing her second task by patiently waiting for the right moment to gather the golden fleece apply, as the importance of this temporary transit suggests being mindful of whatever feelings become stirred up, taking the time to gather their deeper meaning rather than reacting rashly.

5 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 1 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the first decan of Aquarius, associated with the Five of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image of the Five of Swords, we see a swordsman pridefully watching his conquered rivals walk away, leaving him solitary in a freshly cleared domain. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Mark of Exile” to the first decan of Aquarius, calling it “a face of exclusion and intentional exile,” a place where “there are discoveries to be made and profit to be had on the periphery.” Coppock noted that many images in older texts for this decan “depict the difficulties of living on the margins, on the outside,” whereas others reveal figures “whose labor results in both beauty and financial reward.”  Coppock further linked the meaning of the Five of Swords to this face through the independence, liberation, and “wider and deeper understanding of reality” gained when breaking free from the orthodox of one’s time and accepting “the mark of the heretic.” In this way, the image of the Five of Swords card reveals how some relationships become necessarily sacrificed when entering exile away from societal norms, while new vivifying relationships will also arise in alignment with the liberated sense of Self that emerges in the process of becoming.

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs described the goddess of justice, Dike, as inhabiting the first face of Aquarius. Coppock in 36 Faces linked Dike appearing here with “the abandonment of relationships which do not live up to Lady Justice’s high standards.” Fittingly, the two rulers of the first decan of Aquarius are Venus (descending order) and Saturn (triplicity order), further revealing how the sword and scales of Lady Justice can cut through to the heart of the matter within the first face of Aquarius, weighing the relationships that deserve our full devotion versus the ones that are misaligned with our soulful essence. 

Thus the Full Moon in Aquarius is ideal for reflecting upon however your relationships have been impacted, changed, and had boundaries redrawn since the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn on December 21, 2020 that also took place in the first face of Aquarius. Consider the deeper meaning behind the relationships that have had to end as well as the ones that have emerged to become irreplaceable, as well as what qualities within relationship feel deeply aligned with your authentic purpose and meaning. When seeking pleasure, passion, and the resources needed to survive and thrive on the outskirts of consensus culture, there is a need for true allies and resonant networks of support. Let the light of the Aquarius Full Moon guide you toward deepening into relationship with those who can support your deepest calling, while also letting the silvery splendor of the Moon in the sign of the Water Bearer pour down upon you, filling you with the courage needed to pursue your true desires.

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References

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

Von Franz, Marie-Louise. (1992). The Golden Ass of Apuleius: the Liberation of the Feminine in Man. Shambhala.

New Moon in Aquarius

chartres cathedral noah ark

Ark panel from Chartres Cathedral

New Moon in Aquarius

Following the flooding of last month’s Capricorn eclipse season, the Aquarius New Moon on January 24 bears light within its darkness to discover and utilize in illuminating the emerging path ahead. Eclipses bring dissolution externally and internally, and  so whether recognized or unrecognized the past month of intense astrological alignments have deeply stirred and reshaped matters. There was a Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on December 25/26, a Lunar Eclipse in Cancer on January 10, and the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto on January 12 that also involved the Sun beginning new cycles with Mercury, Ceres, Saturn, and Pluto within a few days. The New Moon in Aquarius initiates us into the first lunation cycle of the 2020s, and further marks the Year of the Metal Rat beginning within Chinese astrology and culture.

Aquarius is the outwardly directed home of Saturn that utilizes the air element’s power of thought to diverge from the mainstream, gaining understanding that can only be found beyond the boundaries and barriers of the status quo. In the past month of Saturn commingling with Pluto, we have been invited to descend into inner depths far removed from the drama and contention impacting our surface engagement with the everyday. We have had the opportunity to confront our relationship with time, realize what truly matters, and commit toward engagement with whatever vitally moves our soul and inspires us to resiliently persevere in the preservation of life.

As the Aquarius New Moon is separating from a catalyzing square aspect with Uranus in Taurus as well as a harmonious sextile with Chiron in Aries, there is a gale behind the lunation to catch sail with on our journey through the tumultuous astrology of 2020. There is movement within the lunation to bridge inner visions of our unconscious with our conscious participation in daily life, as the New Moon is applying toward a conjunction with Mercury in Aquarius, while Mercury is applying toward an invigorating sextile with Mars in Sagittarius. Mercury is carrying a message from the Saturn and Pluto conjunction that requires more time for gestation, since Mercury is still invisible under the beams of the Aquarius Sun. After Mercury emerges into visibility as an Evening Star on January 31 (as the waxing Moon in Taurus unites with Uranus), we will be able to receive wider understanding regarding the shifts taking shape in the past month, and greater clarity regarding the direction to follow into the future.

In order to face the future from a centered position, however, we necessarily will have to embrace and draw from our past, not only our inspiring moments of success but also how we have learned from our wounding experiences.  As we are collectively coming to an ending and beginning of a new era in 2020, we also need to acknowledge the complex and traumatic clashes of civilizations across time and how they are continuing to impact the discordant strife within current events. The objectifying nature of Mercury in the airy sign of Aquarius can facilitate listening to the underlying meaning within our interactions to discern where we need to focus for our own growth, and how we can be in service to others in need of support. For those who have felt weighed down during the past month, the Aquarius New Moon can ideally facilitate a healthy dose of detachment that can lead to innovative insights and a far ranging perspective that contextualizes present difficulties.

Aquarius chartres cathedral

Aquarius panel from Chartres Cathedral

The Aquarius New Moon is ruled by Saturn in Capricorn, with Saturn being only one degree separated from its conjunction with Pluto. The Saturn and Pluto conjunction is in the twelfth place relative to the Aquarius New Moon, in position to facilitate deep contemplation of circumstances that can bring to light issues and matters that have previously been kept hidden in darkness. There will be enduring consequences stemming from the Saturn and Pluto conjunction, and although its impact will remain in effect within a fifteen degree orb into 2021, its most significant period of being within three degrees of separation will last until February 17, toward the end of the lunar cycle initiated by the Aquarius New Moon. Saturn governs slow, arduous processes necessitating determination and discipline, and so we will need to stick with any trouble we have been experiencing, patiently working our way through any challenges. There will be significant developments related to the Saturn and Pluto conjunction coming in the forthcoming lunar cycle, so make the space to give associated events the time and space they need for sorting through.

Even though we are only at the beginning of 2020, many astrologers and astrology enthusiasts have been looking forward to the end of 2020 when Jupiter and Saturn will finally conjoin in Aquarius on December 21, only four degrees away from the degree of the Aquarius New Moon. While there is reason for astrological excitement due to 2020 transitioning us from a two hundred year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in earth signs into a two hundred year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs, we have a lot of ground to cover in 2020 between now and then. As Jupiter in Capricorn moves through its closing, balsamic phase with Saturn during the year while uniting three different times with Pluto, there will be collective eruptions that reflect old historical issues of oppression and injustice rooted in the old era we are bringing to a close. There will be a great death of old forms and structures to endure, leading to the question of how to best work with the processes of putrefaction while simultaneously receiving visions of new ideas over the distant horizon.

SONY DSC

Marc Chagall stained glass from St. Stephan Cathedral in Mainz, Germany

As the Aquarius Sun sets into darkness, Venus will be shinning bright as an Evening Star in her exaltation of Pisces that gives her access to the full range of her sensuality and aesthetics. Venus is a key player within the dynamics of the lunation, as she is separating from a harmonizing sextile aspect with Jupiter in Capricorn and applying toward a heated square aspect with Mars in Sagittarius as well as an otherworldly conjunction with Neptune in Pisces. Venus will form her exact square with Mars on January 26 and her exact conjunction with Neptune on January 27. There is rich paradox within these aspects: on one side the unconditional, boundless love of Venus and Neptune that delights in merging, on the other side the fiery individualism and freedom seeking of Mars in harsh aspect that can create conflict and separation while maintaining independence.

Within the tension between Mars with Venus and Neptune, we need to strike a balance that draws upon their strengths and mediates their pitfalls. While we can summon the severing of Mars to shed the sort of illusions, projections, and over idealizations that Venus and Neptune can reveal together, we also need to discern when illusory projections are stoking desires for separation. Negatively, the crusading side of Mars in Sagittarius can become blinded by ideals to the extent of causing damage where destruction was unnecessary. Positively, although Venus and Neptune can become overly consumed by pleasure seeking and avoidant of mundane work, the catalyzing of Mars can light the fire of passions and inspire focused effort that utilizes the imaginative potency of Venus combined with Neptune. In the context of setting plans in motion with the beginning of a new lunar cycle, altogether it can be a powerful combination when focused on anything that enables integrating and bringing together the divergent elements of Mars, Venus, and Neptune.

Notably, Jupiter in Capricorn is ruling all three: Venus, Neptune, and Mars. While Jupiter is forming a sextile aspect with the Venus and Neptune conjunction in Pisces, it is also coming into range of a shadowy anti-scia with Mars in Sagittarius that will be potent between January 27 and 29. Jupiter is in position to help us learn from the challenging experiences of this period and buoyantly recover from setbacks, and is capable of coalescing growth or insight from any disillusionment, dissolution, or shedding taking place. With Jupiter co-present with Saturn in Capricorn, however, we need to guard against excess and instead focus on processes of creative contraction that take account of the constraints and limitations we are facing. Going to extremes or taking things too far with grandiose reactions can bring about a downfall that will force us to deal with difficult repercussions.

5 of Swords

5 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 1 Decan

The New Moon in Aquarius arises in the first face of Aquarius associated with the Five of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image of the Five of Swords we see a proud swordsman watching his conquered rivals flee, leaving him solitary in a newly cleared domain. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Mark of Exile” to the first decan of Aquarius, noting it “is a face of exclusion and intentional exile.” Coppock linked the meaning of this card to the independence, liberation, and “wider and deeper understanding of reality” to be found through breaking free from the orthodox and accepting “the mark of the heretic.” In this way, the image of the Five of Swords shows how we must sacrifice relationships when going into exile in frontiers beyond the known. Coppock stressed that the first face of Aquarius reveals that we often need to give up certain relationships as well as financial prosperity in order to gain the independence and spiritual understanding of the outsider.

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs described the goddess of justice Dike as inhabiting the first face of Aquarius. Dike is the daughter of Zeus and Themis who is often seen wearing a laurel wreath and carrying a balancing scale so she may measure injustice. While her mother Themis is the goddess of divine justice, Dike rules over the moral justice of humanity. In one of her stories she lived on Earth during the Golden and Silver Ages when there was peace and prosperity. However, over time as humanity became increasingly corrupted and greedy, she became so full of contempt for humanity that she left the Earth forever to become a constellation in the sky. Fittingly, the two rulers of the first decan of Aquarius are Venus (descending order) and Saturn (triplicity order), signifying the boundaries of our relationships and the moral guidelines we use to determine who we form relationship with and who we separate ourselves from.

The rulerships of Venus and Saturn over the first face of Aquarius also makes me think of the individuation process of Carl Jung that demands descent into the frontiers of our inner psyche beyond our known boundaries of conventional psychology. Peter Kingsley in Catafalque goes to great length in describing passages dictated by Carl Jung that were omitted from publication in his memoir Memories, Dreams, and Reflections in which Jung used the central image of a knight in pursuit of the Grail to describe individuation. Kingsley noted that Jung stressed the crucial importance of the knight “adhering to the unwritten laws of chivalry” in order to gain the Grail, a moral code befitting of Venus and Saturn ruling the first face of Aquarius. Vitally, Kingsley’s summation of Jung’s words concluded that “the secret of individuation is that the one and only way to discover the Grail is by being it.”

Of course, the lore of the Grail demands asking “Whom does the Grail serve?” Similarly, the potent inner work that can be engaged with during the darkness of the Aquarius New Moon can also be most effectively utilized by asking yourself whom or what to serve with the regenerated light you discover within your inner darkness.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron.

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References

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

Kingsley, Peter. (2018). Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity. Catafalque Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Moon in Aquarius

Dream by Yaroslav Gerzhedovich 2001

Dream (2001) by Yaroslav Gerzhedovich

Aquarius Full Moon

The Full Moon in Aquarius on July 31, 2015 triggers an intensification of mental activity and questioning of thought patterns conditioned by consensus culture, as Venus is retrograde and in its final hours in the sign of Virgo.  Venus retrograde can pulls us inward to experience a reorientation of values and generation of new visions, while simultaneously creating discord in our relationships when our inner realm of feelings suddenly flows unrestrained through our communication with startling bluntness.  During Venus retrograde we experience greater impetus to expand our vision for what is possible beyond previous conditioned limitations, and we also feel intrinsically motivated to act with rebellion from a place that throws off the binding of cultural expectations.  While the transit of Venus retrograde is stirring things up dramatically, this week’s Full Moon shines light on new angles of perception and insight into our recent experiences from a more detached, Aquarian objectification that contrasts sharply with the more subjective, passionate qualities of Leo and Scorpio that have been so strongly highlighted recently.

The Aquarius Full Moon is ruled by Saturn traditionally, and Saturn is further dominating this Full Moon as it is stationing direct in Scorpio on August 1 or August 2, depending upon your time zone.  Furthermore, Saturn is stationing direct as Jupiter in Leo creates a last quarter square with it on August 3, Venus combines with Jupiter in a square on August 4, and then Mercury also combines with Jupiter in a square to Saturn on August 6.   This means that the illumination we receive with this Full Moon at the end of July will face a stern test the following week as the Moon wanes toward a last quarter square of it’s own with the Sun on August 6.  While it is always important to listen to those around you in relationship, there is a strong sense that this Full Moon is more about realizing your own unique sense of your Self outside of the influences and opinions of those around you.  Augmenting the capacity to sense this Self-awareness in the emotional body is a grand water trine formed by Saturn in Scoprio, Mars in Cancer, and Chiron in Pisces at the time of the Full Moon.

Astrologer Robert Hand has taught that a “high Saturn,” meaning a Saturn that is aligned with one’s soul and spiritual path, helps one become who one is meant to become through Self-acceptance of being set apart and different from consensus, status quo culture.  Saturn was seen by the ancients as having it’s joy in the 12th House because Saturn can embrace alienation and lead one like a hermit to see things completely differently than the dominant culture attempting to shape public opinion to match it’s own.  We can receive insight at this Full Moon of what past thought patterns we need to now release in order to help us foster our developing new vision for our future.  We will then need to hold fast to our sense of Self-realization, as we will likely be confronted with tests and challenges that will require us to solidly embody our new perspective instead of repressing it due to a need to fit in and find agreement with others.  It is important to feel Self-acceptance at this time that it is perfectly fine that you may appear “weird” or “different” from others, like an alien from another planetary system.

Ganymede: Aquarius and Leo

Ganymede (1874) by Gabriel Ferrier

Myth of Ganymede

Ganymede to some sources is the Water Bearer of the sign of Aquarius, a beautiful young man with whom Zeus was so enamored that he swooped down in the form of an eagle in order to seize for his own.  In contrast to the myth of Persephone in which Hades pulls the goddess into the underworld, in the myth of Ganymede the coveted youth is pulled upward with ascension into the heavens.  Zeus gives Ganymede the role of cup bearer, the one who serves the nectar that keeps the gods and goddesses immortal, until Hera’s complaints lead to Ganymede being placed in the stars as the constellation of Aquarius.  Among other meanings, since ancient times this myth has been seen as representing the phenomenon of Spirit ascending from the body.  In modern times, we can further link this meaning into feelings of disassociation that Aquarius can struggle with and which could also come for us at the time of this Full Moon.

Jason Holley is a good friend of mine and brilliant astrologer who presented material on the Ganymede myth in relation to the polarity between Aquarius and Leo at the 2015 Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC), integrating the modern rulership of Aquarius by Uranus used in systems such as evolutionary astrology.  His talk was entitled “Aquarius/Leo – The Journey from Fragmentation to Wholeness,” and in it he explored themes associated with the myth of Ganymedes such as the split between innocence and experience, the split between the ordinary and the extraordinary, and disruptions of psycho-spiritual development that can occur as a result.  Relevant to this Full Moon in Aquarius with the Sun in Leo, Jason described the sign of the Lion in association with concepts such as heart, magnetism, coherence, center, creation, appearance, unity, and now;  in contrast, he described the sign of the Water Bearer in association with concepts such as brain, electricity, interruption, decentering, deconstruction, disappearance, multiplicity, and the past and future.  He then showed how a growth cycle of rupture and repair can come out of the meaning of the polarity between Aquarius and Leo.

To Holley, the stable system of self brought into coherence by Leo becomes decentered by triggering material associated with Uranus that activates the more nonlinear, invisible field of multiplicity and leads to two potential paths:  (1) achieving the challenge of expressing and integrating the new insights into Self, expanding our Self-concept while we continue to embody our Self-identity, or (2) a shattering or splitting off from our psyche parts of our Self that we feel like our environment and culture are not receptive to us embodying and integrating fully into our Self-concept. If we experience the second path of feeling so ruptured that we can not embody our new sense of consciousness, we can experience disembodiment, disassociation, depersonalization, abstraction, over intellectualization, and difficulty experiencing full connection with others.  Along these lines we can feel great anger at the world for not accepting us, and engage in patterns of avoidance, regression, and escape.  However, if we are instead able to repair this rupture, Holley explained that we are able to achieve an experience of greater wholeness, an activation of transcendent functions, and an eagerness to re-enter into the world around us with an openness to possibilities that leads us to have new experiences.

In connection with these ideas, it is further important to realize the significance of Uranus in Aries recently stationing retrograde at the same time that Venus stationed retrograde, and that Uranus is in range of a conjunction with Eris in Aries, a trine with Mercury and Jupiter in Leo, and a squares with Mars in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn.  Jason Holley further explained in his talk that being consumed by Ganymedes, not unlike the concept of the puer aeturnus, can lead one to prefer idealized worlds in favor of the actual world one is inhabiting, becoming lost in endless potentials and rejecting anything that takes form, also only sustaining contact with others dependent upon them having the same shared reality system.  The current transit of Venus retrograde can hopefully be seized to help with integration if we notice we are becoming too split off from reality like Ganymedes.  Instead of splitting off fragmented parts of yourself from the world around you, you can use the transformational energy of the Venus retrograde to work on integrating and embodying the parts of you that seem vastly different from the consensus around you, with full Self-acceptance of parts of your consciousness that seem to be expanding beyond the norms of the consensus.  The Venus retrograde transit can then become an appropriate healing space to work on re-entering society and the world with your full Self in order have new experiences of greater wholeness.

5 of Swords

5 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius I Decan

The Aquarius I decan holding this week’s Full Moon is ruled by Venus, further linking it strongly into the Venus retrograde transit and the corresponding shifting of tastes and values on individual and collective levels away from previous societal norms.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces noted that Aquarius I “is a face of exclusion and intentional exile,” and that a lot of images in older texts “depict the difficulties of living on the margins, on the outside” (p. 226).  In the image of the 5 of Swords card illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, we see a swordsman haughty with pride after becoming the master of his domain through clearing the field of rivals.  Coppock linked the meaning of this card to the independence, liberation, and “wider and deeper understanding of reality” to be found through breaking free from the orthodox of one’s time and accepting “the mark of the heretic” if necessary (p. 227).  In this way, the image of the 5 of Swords card above shows how many relationships become destroyed and sacrificed when one goes into exile away from the norms of society, though also bringing the potential that new relationships will arise in alignment with the developing liberated sense of Self.  Coppock concluded:

In this face we gather what we can from outside the norm. The frontier of any reality system is hard- there is a reason it extends no further.  Though exile from the core always comes with hardship, there are material, intellectual and spiritual riches on the frontier, but to seek them requires a break with the known. As a spiritual tool, this decan points towards what one gains from stepping outside of the self. Herein is the sweetness and peace which exists above the muddy tumult of life- the satellite’s view of the world is always beautiful, no matter how hellish the situation below. (p.228)

As we take in the insights we receive from this Aquarius Full Moon into a tumultuous week ahead that features Saturn stationing direct in Scorpio and then being in a last quarter square to Jupiter, Venus retrograde, and Mercury in Leo, keep in mind that the Venus retrograde transit holds the potential to take you into a space of greater authenticity that is more in tune with your inner truth than the version of truth propagated in surrounding culture.  Saturn stationed direct in a last quarter square with Jupiter, Venus retrograde, and Mercury is going to facilitate a process of clearing out all of the old thought forms that are no longer serving you with great finality through the swing of Saturn’s scythe.

Aquarius Full Moon

References

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