Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

‘Saz’-Style Drawing of a Dragon (ca. 1540–50) by Shah Quli

Scorpio Lunar Eclipse

“Fate, up against your will . . . “

from “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen

Total lunar eclipses are one of the most striking visual phenomenons of night, as the usually bright, silvery Moon turns bloody, crimson red. The reddening likeness to blood speaks to the catalytic life force that can be released through personal storylines during times of eclipses, with major new developments and desires often overturning the familiar into directions careening off course into a great unknown. There can be passions of eros present as well as overwhelming emotional tides of psyche unleashed that can make a sense of stability difficult to sustain. Dragons have long been a symbol for the chaotic creation unleashed by eclipses, linking the Moon being consumed by shadow with the image of a dragon devouring her light. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with the ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail, mirroring the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms. The changes that come during periods of eclipses similarly require us to release fixation upon elements of life passing away, while simultaneously the promise of new forms coming together can be felt. The Total Lunar Eclipse on May 15 or 16, depending upon your time zone, is particularly potent in terms of its disintegrative and dissolving impact, corresponding with much larger and sweeping tides irrevocably altering our collective landscape.

According to the essential dignity scheme, Scorpio is a place where nothing is exalted and where the Moon has her fall. Planets and lights in their fall are brought down to low lying places, depressions in the ground and of the mind, yet within their subterranean journey they come to terms with matters that cannot be reached anywhere else. The Moon in her fall of Scorpio feels things intensely and deeply, necessitating a descent into buried emotions and previously hidden sources of information and insight. The eclipsed Moon at 25º17’ Scorpio will have only barely passed through her own South Node at 22º22’ Scorpio when her opposition with the Sun becomes exact.  The nodes of the Moon are intersections between the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun that forms the zodiac belt) with the arc of the Moon’s orbit. While the nodes of the Moon demarcate the places of eclipses whenever a New Moon or Full Moon forms in close proximity, they also mark dynamic points of change in lunar latitude that have been tracked by astrologers as far back as the cuneiform tablets utilized by ancient Mesopotamian sky watchers. When the Moon passes through her own south node, it means she has descended from northern latitude to cross the ecliptic en route to traveling as far south as possible within her orbit.

Thus not only does the Moon in her fall symbolize descent, the fact that the Moon is crossing the ecliptic to descend into southern latitude through the gate of her south node further signifies descending into depths. Releasing, emptying, purging, detoxifying, decluttering and decomposing are all typical keywords that astrologers generally link to lunar eclipses aligned with the south node. Similar to how the south node can be a place of sacrificial fires of purification in Vedic astrology, Dane Rudhyar also described the south node as a place of sacrifice as in “making sacred” rather than egoic sacrifice in which we expect something in return.  When the Moon descends across her south node from northern into southern latitude, it is as if the entire arc of material being assimilated since the most recent union with the north node (in this case the recent Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30) becomes focalized for processing and release. Rudhyar further stated that positive relational material can become assimilated and integrated to produce new seeds of values and experiences when the Moon passes through her own south node, whereas there will be a disintegrative release of more negative relational material.

During the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse the Sun at 25º17’ Taurus will be closely aligned with the North Node of the Moon at 22º22’ Taurus, casting the shadow of Earth across the face of the Moon. Since the Moon holds memories and material from our past as well as unconscious patterns we have been replicating, the alignment of the Moon with her own south node can facilitate a release of past accumulated material as new developments, desires, and presence emerge through the alignment of the Sun with the North Node. Due to the Sun being co-present with Uranus in Taurus while also forming a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn, the breakthrough experiences arising in the wake of the eclipse could feel like stepping off a precipice into untold potential like the Fool arcanum in tarot. The trine between the Sun with Pluto as well as the sextile between the Lunar Eclipse and Pluto can help in letting go of resistance to the transformational impact of Pluto that ultimately empowers despite needing to face fears of having to let go of familiar sources of stability in the process.

There has been a long string of previous full moons in aspect with Pluto since the Pisces Full Moon last September 20, 2021 that was sextile Pluto: the Full Moon in Aries square Pluto on October 20, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19 trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Cancer on January 18 opposite Pluto, the Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 trine Pluto, and the Full Moon in Libra on April 16 square Pluto. Combined with the extended relationship between Venus with Pluto from December through early March due to Venus passing through her retrograde phase, we have collectively journeyed through a long stretch of needing to surrender to the underworld processes of decay and regeneration brought by Pluto. With the Scorpio Lunar eclipse sextile Pluto, whether we are feeling a new sense of power to claim or feeling powerless in the face of difficult challenges, by facing whatever issues are arising and staying present rather than avoiding through denial or resistance, there will be opportunities for integrating a deeper sense of resilient empowerment out of any experiences of loss or letting go.

The aspect that makes the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio especially jarring is that it is forming an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. Saturn is moving slower than normal in preparation for stationing retrograde on June 4, bringing increased gravity into the tension formed by the star of Kronos with the eclipse. Saturn’s penetrating gaze and sinuous contemplation will be interfacing with the emotional dynamics and life changes unleashed in correspondence with the eclipse. Saturn demands the taking of responsibility and claiming of authority in acting with accountability and integrity. Yet with emotions and fears collectively running high due to multiple economic crises, polarizing political conflict, and violent warfare, Saturn grinding its motion to a halt while occupying the southern bending of the lunar nodes speaks to the potential for fears and overwhelming emotions having a dissolving impact upon the required boundaries, structures, and dutiful work needed to be implemented. The harsh square aspect between Saturn with the eclipse will make things real, forcing to the surface underlying emotional dynamics and previously hidden material that can be utilized to reassess boundaries within relationships as well as the needed use of time and space in our daily work and relating.

The longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that dominated the volatile astrology of 2021 and will continue to do so throughout 2022 is acutely triggered by the present eclipse season, as the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 was applying to a conjunction with Uranus and the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is in a close square aspect with Saturn. There are innumerable sources of rage and grief occurring around the world and within personal storylines, making the process of grieving and processing emotional content especially intense with the Moon also being eclipsed within her fall of Scorpio. Saturn’s tension with the eclipse can bring guidance in how to work with the grief and difficult emotions in ways that can help channel them into needed work and care within our communities and personal circles. Saturn will be bringing lessons in how to sustain the persevering resilience required to patiently, consistently, and reliably persist in building the life we desire for ourselves while contributing to the creation of the kind of world we wish to live in through embodying our most essential values within our thoughts and actions.

tapestry by Leonora Carrington

While the Lunar Eclipse is making a harsh aspect with Saturn, it is forming a flowing trine aspect with Mars and Neptune in Pisces. Mars rules the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse while applying to a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces that will become exact on May 17. The direct channel between the watery Scorpio eclipse and its fiery ruler Mars occupying the extremely passionate, final decan of Pisces can create a tipping point within emotional dynamics that require care and compassion. With Mars closely conjoining Neptune, many may feel a need to dissociate or escape from difficult emotional challenges and entanglements. Pay attention to what can be a healthy distraction or emotionally nurturing pursuit versus forms of escapism that will only lead to becoming further stuck in the quagmires of Scorpio. Mars with Neptune in Pisces ruling such a potent eclipse can also swing toward victimizing and blaming behavior or becoming overly self-righteous and aggressively crusading with belief.

Mars is not only applying toward a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces but also an integrative sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Altogether these aspects can also facilitate taking inspired action rooted within one’s spiritual as well as personal relationships, finding ways for sources of spirit and imagination to open a larger view of reality and future goals to work through. The alignment between Mars and Neptune is occurring near the same place where there was a conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces on April 12. Whatever new dreams and visions of creative possibility or insight were experienced during the time of Jupiter and Neptune coming together will likely be experiencing an acceleration of development with Mars now coming into contact with Neptune. There will also be a need to contend with whatever disruptions to life structures and relationships were created by the impact of Jupiter and Neptune dissolving the familiar while opening awareness to exciting new possibilities.

In contrast to the ruler of the eclipse and the South Node of the Moon, Mars, forming a conjunction with Neptune, the ruler of the North Node of the Moon in Taurus, Venus, is in close proximity with Chiron in Aries. Venus and Chiron in Aries bring up the wounds we hold within our numerous relationships with humans and the other-than-human, the collective wounds involving the separation of humanity from nature as well as the way our wounds and trauma create separations within our personal relationships. Although Venus and Chiron in Aries can activate relational wounds, they also hold the medicine within their union for discovering the agency required to tend and work through the wounding we carry. Venus and Chiron in Aries also can nurture extraordinary resiliency in bearing one’s personal wounding in order to take action on behalf of what we love and desire to create. Take whatever space is needed for rest and restoration during the time period around the eclipse, finding the relationships in which mutual support and listening are present to engage in.

The Pomps of the Subsoil by Leonora Carrington

Adding to the subterranean quality of the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse is the fact that Mercury is retrograde in Gemini. Mercury is at the threshold of his retrograde journey when he crosses into his phase of combustion with the Sun, entering his most intense psychopomp phase of putrefaction and regeneration as the Moon turns blood red. Fortunately, Mercury is also applying toward a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries that will become exact on May 19. The sextile between Mercury with Jupiter can bring support for attending to whatever issues become stirred up by the eclipses so that we can better understand how to situate ourselves within the life changes we are experiencing. Furthermore, within a week of the eclipse on May 21, Mercury will pass through his regenerative conjunction with the Sun which will bring a reanimation of ideas, seeds for new visions of development, and greater clarity concerning the changes being experienced.

Jupiter in Aries is also receiving Ceres through a catalyzing square aspect in his exaltation of Cancer. Ceres in Cancer in square with Jupiter is another indication of difficult emotional content being brought to the surface for processing and grieving, yet also speaks to the potential of finding ways to take action on behalf of one’s values of care for others in the wider community. Jupiter occupying the first degree of Aries and Ceres occupying the first degree of Cancer place them on the equinox and solstice points of the cardinal axis, pointing to the likelihood that numerous issues relating to the tension between Jupiter and Ceres will become manifest in personal and collective events. Making their dynamic even more powerful is the fact that Uranus in Taurus is occupying the midpoint between Ceres and Jupiter while also at the cross-quarter, fifteenth degree of Taurus. The collective tragedies and crises emerging in timing with the eclipse will have an especially shattering emotional impact as a result, revealing the fault lines of collective issues that need attention and will be the sources of further conflict if left unaddressed. On a personal level, the dynamic between Jupiter, Ceres, and Uranus can activate acute awareness of old emotional patterns in need of release in order to step more fully into the dynamic creative potential emerging.

7 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 3 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the third decan of Scorpio associated with the Seven of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The third face of Scorpio has an amplified alchemical quality that is well suited for the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio. Ruled by Venus and the Moon, it is a decan in which we must come to terms with the essential desires driving us through experiences of loss and decay, revealing the heart of whatever matters we are facing in the process. In the image of the Seven of Cups each of the seven chalices holds an embodiment of a desire, such as fame, fortune, lust and other earthly powers. The veiled figure in the center brings to mind the burning desire of Sophia in gnostic texts to gain ultimate understanding, a desire that cast the shadowy veil of the material world we traverse while often overwhelmed by desire like the shadowy figure in the image. Some interpret the image as signifying that through discernment we may choose to follow the one desire that will bring clarity needed to make choices aligned with our inner values and desires.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked the Seven of Cups to the third face of Scorpio through their shared meaning of becoming dominated by obsessive desires. Coppock ascribed the image of “A Crow” to the third decan of Scorpio, noting that the essence of this face involves the putrefaction of desire that leads to direct contact with the nature of desire itself. Coppock posited that through the loss of unfulfilled desire, the process of separating our desire from the external objects of desires brings the ability to reseed and regenerate core desires. Coppock wrote that the third face of Scorpio contains a “formula of liberation, for if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”

 In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the curious deity Kairos to the third face of Scorpio. You are likely familiar with the term kairos referring to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time. Yet Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities. Kairos was seen as always moving with winged feet, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect. The presence of Kairos in the third face of Scorpio points toward the importance of being in touch with the ripening of the moment and taking action on behalf of our true desires ripening instead of refraining out of fear.

T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets linked the Seven of Cups tarot card with the third decan of Scorpio through the power “to transform what is broken, spent, and corrupted into something new and beautiful,” writing that “the way to reap the Seven of Cups’ treasure is to pay your tribute in the form of art: paint, write songs, make music, poetry, dance.” Chang wrote that Venus ruling the third face of Scorpio reveals her secret strength in this decan for works of imagination that see beyond appearances, such as when “the painter who captures the fleeting vision of her inner eye metabolizes her inspiration into art.” Artistic processes and creativity of all forms will be one way to process the material coming up in the weeks surrounding the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse. As the meaning of the third decan suggests, the more deeply we can come into relationship with the material and our associated desires, the greater potential we will have for shedding what needs released from the past in order to experience a renewal and regeneration of our true desires.

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References

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

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

Rudhyar, Dane. (1971). The Planetary and Lunar Nodes. CSA Press.

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini & Taurus

Gold ring with Hermes (late 4th century B.C.)

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini

To tell the beauty would decrease, / To state the Spell demean, / There is a syllableless sea / Of which it is the sign.

My will endeavors for its word / And fails, but entertains / A rapture as of legacies- / Of introspective mines.

Emily Dickinson

Ever ready and restless, slippery and sinuous, Hermes is usually imagined as constantly on the move in between places and thoughts, making the necessary connection at the same time his sleight of hand trickiness takes something away. Yet when the star of Hermes stations retrograde, the stillness of Mercury magnifies mindfulness more so than movement and activates wordless revelation rather than wordiness. Synchronicities, signs, and omens take center stage when Mercury stations retrograde, as the pause in the fleet footed messenger’s movement typically delivers vital messages to guide our entrance into a liminal portal of time that can bring about major revisions in storylines. As Mercury will station retrograde in Gemini in between eclipses that activate the radical tension between Uranus and Saturn, the intensification of Mercury’s presence will facilitate attuning to how to most effectively flow and adapt to the life changes emerging from an especially potent eclipse season.

Mercury will station retrograde on May 10, embarking upon a three-week journey in which the star of Hermes will backtrack from 4°52’ Gemini until stationing direct at 26°05’ Taurus on June 3. As Mercury retraces the zodiacal terrain from twenty-six degrees of Taurus to five degrees of Gemini, personal material in need of deeper engagement will become excavated, bringing opportunities for insight that can catalyze significant growth and foster breaking out of stuck patterns. As part of the process, however, we may need to return to longstanding issues in need of release, reworking, or reintegration. After passing through a phase of putrefaction and purification that will be especially intense leading up to Mercury’s union with the Sun on May 21, we may experience renewal on the other side as Mercury returns to forward motion in the beginning of June. Mercury first crossed 26°05’ Taurus on April 26 and will not move beyond 4°52’ Gemini until June 18, creating almost two months of mercurial focus in this range of your natal chart. 

When Mercury stations retrograde he descends from view as an Evening Star following sunset into an invisible phase during which he takes on an underworld role of psychopomp, dredging up whatever issues need our attention. Mercury’s stationing always demarcates an important shift in storylines, however this time it will be taking place during a time period especially ripe for groundbreaking change due to Jupiter entering Aries on the same day that Mercury stations retrograde. Jupiter’s entrance into Aries on May 10 means that the star of Zeus will no longer be inhabiting his nocturnal, watery home of Pisces where he can sink deeply into imaginative, boundless vision. The borderline between Pisces and Aries is perhaps the most catalytic in the tropical zodiac, due to zero degrees of Aries demarcating the intersection between the celestial equator of our planet with the ecliptic. It’s a point of dramatic change and material manifestation, and so with Jupiter entering the first degree of Aries we can expect the changes that have been building in the background to take form as we also experience a speeding up of events.

Fortunately, Mercury is stationing retrograde in one of the most potent sections of the zodiac for the star of Hermes. Within the first five degrees of Gemini, Mercury possesses four out of the five essential dignities for planets: domicile, triplicity, bounds, and decanic dignity. The quicksilver connectedness of Mercury stationing here is ideal for carefully minding the ingress of Jupiter into Aries, surveying the scene for all of the signs and synchronicities mixing and intermingling in surrounding landscapes. Mercury retrograde in Gemini holds vast potential for turning over every facet of the experiences emerging, looking at events from every angle possible, polishing thoughts through rumination and careful contemplation. As Jupiter’s entrance into Aries kindles the fire needed to take a propulsive leap forward, Mercury will tease and probe with a mindful presence ready to peer under the surface of appearances and flexibly facilitate the necessary mutations and shifts.

Mercury (ca. 1538) by Andrea Schiavone

In Between

“Give, and it shall be given unto you / is still the truth about life. / But giving life is not so easy. / It doesn’t mean handing it out to just some mean fool, or / letting the living dead eat you up. / It means kindling the life-quality where it was not, / even if it’s only in the whiteness of a washed pocket-handkerchief.”

from “We Are Transmitters-” by D.H. Lawrence

After Mercury stations retrograde on May 10, the star of Hermes will slowly shift into backwards motion while applying toward an invigorating sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries that will become exact on May 19. While the collaborative sextile aspect between Mercury and Jupiter can facilitate harmonious growth, it will be taking shape during an extremely volatile astrological period. In between the stationing of Mercury and its exact sextile with Jupiter there will be a total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on May 15 that will be forming an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. As the previous Solar Eclipse in Taurus was conjoining Uranus, the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse catalyzing Saturn means that this particular pair of eclipses hold immense potential for unleashing pivotal turning points in storylines that change everything. As a result, the building sextile between Mercury and Jupiter can help guide awareness to release what needs releasing and reorder what needs reordering as we undergo a period of accelerated chaotic change within collective and personal events.

Notably, Mercury will be entering its most intense phase of putrefaction and regeneration as the Moon turns blood red during the Scorpio eclipse. As Mercury gets closer and closer to its purifying conjunction with the Sun on May 21, the increasing proximity between Mercury and the Sun will amplify the capacity of Mercury to burn off aspects of personal patterns that need to be let go so that we can find our way to a more vibrant and renewed presence on the other side of the Mercury retrograde period. Mercury can help in attending to whatever issues become stirred up by the eclipses so that we can better understand how to situate ourselves within whatever life changes we are experiencing. Although the symptoms of larger changes taking shape may feel intensely disruptive, Mercury retrograde in Gemini can help unearth and understand the information found within the symptoms that increase awareness for the inner parts and issues of ourselves that need our attention so that we may more fluidly adapt to the external shifts occurring.

It’s further significant that Mercury will ultimately station direct on June 3 while forming a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius as well as an opposition to the degree of the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse. As a result, whatever issues of personal boundaries emerge with the activation of Saturn by the eclipse will be especially important to pay attention to, as Mercury will ultimately bring us back into an intense encounter with Saturn at the end of its retrograde. Mercury’s retrograde journey has the potential to help us regenerate boundaries within our personal relationships so that they maintain a healthy protectiveness while also remaining capable of flexibly shifting as needed. However, since Mars will be applying toward a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces during the eclipse, we may need to pass through a phase of amorphous fluidity in which personal boundaries and structures mutate before coming into more solid form once Mercury ends its retrograde journey in the earthy, fixed sign of Taurus.

In between the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse on May 15 and the purifying conjunction between the Sun and Mercury on May 21, Mercury will be empowered to help us empty and let go of whatever needs to be released so that we have more space available for an influx of new developments and growth instigated by Uranus, the Sun, and the North Node of the Moon being together in Taurus. At the same time that Mercury will form its harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries on May 19, there will also be a conjunction between Mars and Neptune in Pisces on May 17 and a flowing trine between the Sun in Taurus with Pluto in Capricorn on May 19. Altogether these aspects can help us work with the powerful mental facility available with Mercury retrograde in Gemini so that we may find the thread to follow through the volatile changes occurring that will lead us to a more authentic and inspiring path moving forward. While some elements of life may need to be sacrificed as part of the process, the active connectivity of Mercury in Gemini will be a great aid in bridging between the known and the unknown.

Pleiades (1885) by Elihu Vedder

Son of the Seven Sisters

Not knowing when the dawn will come / I open every door; / Or has it feathers like a bird, / Or billows like a shore?

“Dawn” by Emily Dickinson

Mercury will be reanimated by uniting with the Sun on May 21. The reseeding of Mercury in solar light occurs as Mercury aligns in between the Earth and Sun by zodiacal degree, as close to us in orbit as possible for Mercury within its cycle. Known as the inferior conjunction of Mercury, it’s a moment of clarifying rebirth that can enhance realization and seed new ideas for the Mercury cycle ahead in which it will transition into becoming a visible Morning Star. While Mercury is within one degree of conjunction with the Sun, even more so within sixteen arc minutes of its solar conjunction, there can be empowerment for tasks associated with Mercury since it is enthroned upon the solar chariot. Older astrological texts named this moment of Mercury’s rebirth cazimi, or being in the heart of the Sun. It’s the cyclical moment when Mercury enters what Demetra George has named the “sanctum sanctorum,” or “the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations” found within “the protected space at the heart of the Sun.”

Mercury will enter the heart of the Sun at 00°43’ Gemini near the projected zodiacal degree of Alcyone, the brightest star within the Pleiades star cluster. In the birth story of Hermes told in the Homeric hymn, Mercury is the child of Zeus and Maia, one of the seven sisters of the Pleiades: “Maia, the modest daughter of Atlas, bore [Hermes] after joining in love with Zeus. The company of the blessed gods she shunned, and she dwelled in a shadowy cave where the son of Kronos used to lie with the fair-tressed Nymph in the dark of night . . . and neither immortals nor mortal men knew of it.” The secrecy of the affair between Maia and Zeus that gave birth to Hermes reflects the mysterious secrecy of Mercury during its reanimation by the Sun. It’s important to make space to sift through thoughts and feelings and allow the deeper meaning of insights to emerge in unexpected directions. Mercury becoming reborn in such a powerful place for the star of Hermes has enormous potential for reseeding ideas and visions we will be able to carry forward with our work and presence long into the future. The Pleiades influencing Mercury can open portals of perception into insights formerly hidden from awareness, insights we may continue to clarify until Mercury eventually returns to visibility as a Morning Star in the beginning of June.

There are several supportive astrological aspects surrounding the inferior conjunction of Mercury that portend positive growth and integration eventually emerging from whatever internal process we engage with. Mercury’s conjunction with the Sun is forming a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries, while at the same time Venus in Aries is forming a sextile with Saturn in Aquarius and Mars in Pisces is forming a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn. While Jupiter and Venus together in Aries can inspire leaps of desires and accelerating toward goals and dreams, the intensification of Mercury retrograde in Gemini reveals that a deepening into full presence is required in order to comprehend the larger implications of our present growth process, seeing through appearances into the heart of the matter.

And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur by Leonora Carrington,

Mercury Stationing in Taurus

And again my inmost life rushes louder, / as if it moved now between steeper banks. / Objects become ever more related to me, / and all pictures ever more perused. / I feel myself more trusting in the nameless: / with my senses, as with birds, I reach / into the windy heavens from the oak, / and into the small ponds’ broken-off day / my feeling sinks, as if it stood on fishes.

“Progress” by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Edward Snow

Mercury will move backwards into Taurus on May 22. A day later on May 23 there will be an exact sextile aspect between Mercury retrograde in Taurus with Mars at the final degree of Pisces, just before Mars enters Aries on May 24. Simultaneously, the Gemini Sun will be in an exact sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries. Altogether, especially due to the ingress of Mars into Aries on May 24, the return of Mercury into Taurus will take place within an astrological climate otherwise indicating a speeding up of events and acceleration of storylines. Mercury’s time in Taurus is thus fascinating due to the sign of Taurus slowing down the tempo of Taurus on top of the fact that Mercury will be literally slowing down in speed in order to station direct in stillness on June 3.

Mercury’s movement into Taurus is further important due to Mercury no longer being sovereign in his own domicile of Gemini and instead occupying the home of Venus. Venus will initially be in Aries and passing through a supportive sextile aspect with Saturn in Aquarius when Mercury enters her earthy domicile of Taurus, creating an opportunity to perceive what lesson that Saturn has in store for Mercury as Mercury heads into a catalyzing square aspect with Saturn. Less than a week later on May 28, Venus will join Mercury in her home of Taurus and as a result will be able to supply her full arsenal of pleasurable, creative, and artistic resources for Mercury to engage with. Mercury’s movement through Taurus will slow down the pace of mental pursuits and focus minds on more practical and tangible concerns, such as how to reorganize and restructure whatever material and relational concerns have been undergoing a metamorphosis. Making the process incredibly deep will be the presence of Pluto, as Mercury will form a flowing trine aspects with Pluto in Capricorn on May 25 (the trine between Mercury retrograde with Pluto is the second of a three part sequence: the first was on April 28 when Mercury was direct and the third will be on June 10 after Mercury shifts back into direct motion).

The week after Mercury backtracks into Taurus will bring a major shift in movement: on May 29 there will be a conjunction between Jupiter and Mars in Aries one day before there is a New Moon in Gemini on May 30. The Gemini New Moon will announce the stationing of Mercury, as the star of Hermes will be barely moving during the lunation and saturating the astrological atmosphere with his presence due to simultaneously returning to visibility as a Morning Star during his heliacal rise at dawn. A few days later Mercury will station direct on June 3 at 26°05’ Taurus while forming a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and in range of an imaginative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Moreover, Saturn will also be stationing retrograde at 25°15’ Aquarius on June 4. Thus the end of May and beginning of June is a time for making it real and bringing into form whatever changes have been brewing as both Mercury and Saturn take on an amplified presence at the same time they will be catalyzing changes through their square aspect. Saturn will bring its penetrating gaze to bear upon whatever work and plans that Mercury has been developing. Knowing this ahead of time, be prepared to face and pass the tests and challenges you can expect Saturn to bring. It’s a powerful moment for bringing the unmanifest into manifestation and initiating the work needed to build a strong foundation of support for future growth.

A week after Mercury stations direct the star of Hermes will still be in the sign of the Bull at the same time a liberating conjunction will take place between Venus and Uranus in Taurus on June 11. Since Mercury will still be in the domicile of Venus and beginning to pick up speed during this time, the union of Venus with Uranus will accelerate developments with dynamic power that may feel volatile while also full of emancipatory propulsion. There will be a lot of empowerment for growth available to utilize due to Mercury simultaneously passing through his final flowing trine aspect with Pluto on June 10. As a result, we can expect the stationing direct of Mercury and shift into forward momentum to unleash major currents of change once Mercury begins to pick up speed and begins to distance himself from the presence of Saturn.

Silver ring with Hermes (late 5th Century BC)

Gemini Returning

Mercury will return to his airy home of Gemini on June 13, a day before the Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 14. Mercury will then reach maximum elongation as a Morning Star on June 16 at the third degree of Gemini a couple of days after the Sagittarius Full Moon, a few degrees away from where he formed his inferior conjunction on May 21. The maximum elongation of Mercury demarcates another threshold to cross, as it initiates us into the phase of Mercury speeding up as well as accelerating our capacity for integrating the many inner changes that took shape during the retrograde. Gary Caton described this solar phase of Mercury as being similar to the rubedo phase within alchemy in his book Hermetica Tryptycha. As we work to integrate the insights and changes in perspective realized during Mercury’s retrograde journey, Caton noted that we should expect to endure a phase of chaotic volatility as we make a commitment to embody a new presence of being.

As a result, the slivery Sagittarius Full Moon on June 14 will announce the return of Mercury to his swift, direct motion as a Morning Star in which he excels at making mental connections, asking questions, and bridging ideas and material resources. As the Sagittarius Full Moon will be forming a sextile aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces, it will interestingly aspect the same two planets that Mercury did when it stationed direct on June 3. When Saturn and Neptune become activated we need to reconcile the dream with the reality, and so Mercury in Gemini will help in attuning with whatever changes have been happening and the adjustments that will need to be made to securely ground developing visions into tangible forms.

Mercury will move past the zodiacal degree where he originally stationed retrograde on June 18, a couple of days before the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere. As we collectively cross one of the most important turning points of the year, Mercury moving quickly direct in Gemini will be able to draw upon the many lessons learned over the course of the past month of retrograde movement to help us reorient and plan for the season ahead. With an easy ear, loquacious lift, and ready response, Hermes will once again, as always, be present to help humanity as we collectively cross yet another crossroads.

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 – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. (2004). Edited and translated by S.M. trzaskoma, R.S. Smith, and S. Brunet. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Caton, Gary. (2017). Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Rubedo Press.

George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: a Manual of Traditional Techniques. Rubedo Press.

Taurus Solar Eclipse

No. 8 – Special (1916) by Georgia O’Keeffe

Taurus Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipses cloak the life-giving light of our Sun with the blackness of night. The otherworldly experience of night overcoming day has long provoked fear due to the extinguishing of light by eclipses, as well as the dramatic reputations eclipses carry within astrology for irrevocably changing the landscape of our lives. Yet like ancient stories of creation in which life and the spirit of eros emerge from the chaotic chasm of a fertile void, the changes catalyzed in correspondence with eclipses have immensely vast creative potential. The Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 is partial rather than total, yet the Moon will still eclipse a substantial portion of the Sun’s light. Due to the eclipse occurring in the fixed, stable, and enduring sign of Taurus, we can expect the impact of the eclipse to have long lasting effects.

The partial solar eclipse at 10º28’ Taurus is closely applying to a conjunction with Uranus at  14º32’ Taurus. The influence of Uranus in Taurus upon the eclipse makes it even more likely than normal for its impact to include unexpected revelations, surprising changes in storylines, and eruptive, propulsive change. The eclipse corresponding with fast changing developments and opportunities is further accentuated by the eclipse aligning with the North Node of the Moon while also applying to a close sextile aspect with Mars in Pisces, as Mars is simultaneously applying toward a sextile aspect with Uranus. The extraordinary volatility of these aspects can overturn and disrupt whatever was formerly stable, yet the supportive sextile aspects involved will also bring opportunities for recovery and readjustment so we may take action while attuning to the changing conditions.

Since Taurus is the earthy fixed sign, it can be the most resistant and stubborn to change, preferring a slow and steady pace that can sink into experiences and sustain as much stability as possible. While it will be helpful to slow down as much as possible, there likely will also be events set into motion that require rapid responses and a willingness to let go of how things had been in order to flow with the currents of change. The fixed nature of the eclipse also means it’s likely that the changes being set into motion will have long-term impact, and so it will be important to slow down as much as possible and find ways to ground into the present moment even when having to adjust to unexpected twists and turns of narratives. It will be best to create space for rest, reflection, and restoration as much as possible.

There was previously a Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 30, 2021 and so there may be important developments taking shape now that link back to the first eclipse to occur in Taurus. However, although the Taurus Lunar Eclipse was in the same sign as Uranus, it was not applying to Uranus and so did not activate Uranus to the same level that the Taurus Solar Eclipse will ignite the Promethean fire of Uranus. With the transiting north node as well as the eclipse in the same sign as Uranus, the whirling vortex of alchemic fire brought by Uranus will be more fully capable than normal of shaking up and reshaping matter, creating deep-seated, tectonic shifts within personal and collective events. We can witness this in numerous collective events presently creating uncertainty in terms of economic policies and supply chains of needed material resources, yet within our personal lives we can also expect to experience a massive reordering of dynamics. While dramatic change can feel scary and precarious, it also unleashes vast potential for the emergence of new creative directions that are more aligned with one’s inner authenticity than the older circumstances becoming dislodged and dissolved.

Taurus is the exaltation of the Moon, and so solar eclipses in Taurus have the unique aspect of the Sun’s light becoming eclipsed by an exalted Moon. Moreover, the domicile ruler of the eclipse, Venus, is not only in her exaltation of Pisces, but also applying to an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Pisces. With the exalted Moon also applying toward a conjunction with her own north node, altogether there can be a felt sense of exalted desire for growth and development that may or may not align with one’s present circumstances. The essential dignity of exaltation is linked to the turning of the wheel of fortune, not only the rising toward desires and honors but also the potential to fall from great heights of achievement or acclaim. Mindfulness and discernment need to be applied to circumstances, whether it feels like a dream is coming true or a dream has been dissolved through disillusionment. The Taurus Solar Eclipse demarcates a major turning point in collective and personal narratives, and so as storylines continue to shift we need to be ready for the unexpected and capable of flexibly making adjustments as needed to bring about desired outcomes.

Eclipses come in families known as the Saros cycle, with the Taurus Solar Eclipse being part of the Saros 119 family. The origin of the Saros cycle ancestry begins at either the south or north pole and then traces a serpentine path around our world every eighteen or so years, moving ahead eleven degrees of celestial longitude each time. Bernadette Brady connected the Saros 119 family of eclipses with father or authority figures, the need to take responsibility, or being a time to accept the commitments that are presented, due to the node of the origin eclipse (May 15, 850 C.E.) being on the midpoint between the lunation and Saturn.

The origin of the eclipse family having a relationship with Saturn further connects with how the Taurus Solar Eclipse is applying toward a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, although Saturn is just outside the thirteen degree orb many astrologers are willing to give the Moon. No matter what orb you give the Moon, however, Saturn has a strong influence over the eclipse due to forming a close square aspect to the transiting lunar nodes at the southern bending of the nodes. Saturn is also close to the fixed star Deneb Algedi by zodiacal degree as well as in paran in certain locations, a star that is often associated with the ancient creator deity Enki. Enki is furthermore a deity resonant with Saturn being at the southern bending of the nodes, a celestial circumstance not unlike Enki’s habitation of subterranean water.

Within the collective chaos of so much unraveling and reordering, we each need to claim the authority of steering our lives and the lives of our loved ones forward. In some places this may necessitate a confrontation between one’s personal sense of justice and natural law against the societal laws and regulations constructed by governing institutions. The connection between Saturn with Deneb Algedi and furthermore with Enki brings up not only the present laws of the establishment and ordered society, but also the ancient association of new laws and reordering emerging from the depths. A trickster and wise magician bent on reordering civilization with the greater good of the wider community in mind, the flowing freshwater of Enki transfigures the landscape of dry land, creating wetlands and fertile soil in which the food and resources needed to fuel civilization can grow. It will be helpful to take space from the cacophony of current events when possible for restorative descent into inner depths so we may come into deeper embodiment of our authentic integrity.

Drawing No. 2 – Special (1915) by Georgia O’Keeffe

“It was after a day’s rain: / the street facing the west / was lit with growing yellow; / the black road gleamed.

First one child looked and saw / and told another. / Face after face, the windows / flowered with eyes.

It was like a long fuse lighted, / the news travelling. / No one called out loudly; / everyone said ‘Hush.’

The light deepened; the wet road / answered in daffodil colours, / and down its centre / walked the two tall herons.

Stranger than wild birds, even, / what happened on those faces: / suddenly believing in something, / they smiled and opened.

Children thought of fountains, / circuses, swans feeding: / women remembered words / spoken when they were young.

Everyone said ‘Hush;’ / no one spoke loudly; / but suddenly the herons / rose and were gone. The light faded.

“Night Herons” by Judith Wright

Venus is the ruler of the Taurus Solar Eclipse, luxuriating within her exaltation of Pisces while applying to an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Pisces. In fact, Venus is experiencing an otherworldly transit of moving in between Neptune and Jupiter in Pisces, having formed an exact conjunction with Neptune on April 27. The combination of an exalted Venus ruling the eclipse while moving in between Neptune and Jupiter can correspond with vastly different scenarios for people, ranging from blissful experience of the sublime to despair stemming from disillusioning experiences. Even when experiencing the most difficult of experiences, however, the presence of Venus with Jupiter in Pisces delivers the promise of hope and the potential to feel the power of love. When things are falling apart, it’s worth remembering the potential for renewal and rebirth. While we may need to traverse experiences of sadness or suffering, we also have the capacity to imagine ways of moving forward more aligned with the creative force of our eros. Neptune, Venus, and Jupiter in Pisces are aligned with the force of love and the benevolent gifts of love that emerge in even the most difficult of circumstances.

While Venus moving in between Neptune and Jupiter can correspond with a sense of a great dream we wish to have manifest in reality, they also can correspond with disillusioning experiences that bring about a necessary reconfiguration to the reality of one’s situation. There are many examples in current events of inflated egos and economics as well as delusions of grandeur to be wary of, yet at the same time we need to remember our vast capacity to join with others in working to recreate the world in ways that align with our inner values. Within the emptiness of the eclipse’s void is the heart of creation itself, and though it is easy to become cynical and disheartened by the state of the world, the extraordinarily powerful influence of Pisces upon the eclipse points to the ways in which we can persevere in creating the life we wish to live rather than giving up hope.

The Spinner (1873) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau  

Not only are Venus and Jupiter coming together into a conjunction during the eclipse, they are also both applying closely to a sextile aspect with Pluto stationing in Capricorn. Pluto stationed retrograde a day before the eclipse at 28º36’ Capricorn on April 29, saturating the astrological atmosphere and the week surrounding the eclipse with its subterranean influence. The applying aspect between Venus with Pluto is fascinating due to the fact that Pluto has been a large part of the story with Venus over the course of recent months (due to their close proximity with one another in December and January), plus that the recent Full Moon in Virgo formed a close trine aspect with Pluto and the recent Full Moon in Libra formed a close square aspect with Pluto. While it’s likely you have already been engaged in a process of coming to terms with Pluto related material in recent months, the Taurus Solar Eclipse may correspond with a deeper layer of engagement becoming necessary.

Pluto can intensify whatever needs to be released with a volcanic force, and so we need to make space to come into relationship with whatever material is being dislodged by Pluto. Feelings may overflow from places and inner parts that have been denied or controlled, as suppressed memories and passions arise to surface awareness. The powerful presence of Pluto can accentuate our capacity for peering into the emotional sources at the root of our interpersonal dynamics with others, yet we also need to be mindful of how wounds and betrayals from our past can distort perceptions when under the influence of Pluto. Working effectively with Pluto requires honesty, being honest in communication with others and honestly addressing one’s inner feelings rather than avoiding them through denial.

Continuing the theme of underworld initiation within the forthcoming lunar cycle, Mercury will station retrograde at  4º52’ Gemini on May 10. Mercury’s stationing, full presence, and shift into psychopomp role will occur within whatever reverberations from the eclipse are taking place within our lives as we move in between the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30 and the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio that will take place on May 15. As Mercury shifts into retrograde motion there may need to be adjustments and changes in plans in some cases, in other cases a deepening of focus upon objectives already being developed leading up to the eclipse. At the time of the Taurus Solar Eclipse, however, the fresh ingress of Mercury into his airy home of Gemini can bring a helpful injection of curiosity and capacity for making needed connections and insights.

6 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 2 Decan

The Taurus Solar Eclipse will be in the second decan of Taurus associated with the Six of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we witness a mercantile figure carrying scales of balance in his left hand, while dispensing gold coins with his right hand to figures kneeling on the ground with tattered blankets begging for money. The Six of Pentacles card is typically associated with giving and receiving on the material plane, whether that be through monetary sources or tactile, healing touch. The unifying theme is that there is receiving found in the giving, and giving found in the receiving, with the image of the scales further signifying a sense of internal balance and authenticity found in the process. Through inner harmony transmitted within collaborative exchanges with others, great success and productivity can be achieved in the material realm.

The Moon is the ruler of the second face of Taurus, giving the exalted Moon extra potency in her ability to veil our solar light in mystery. T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets on tarot and the decans described the second face of Taurus as involving “Mysteries at the Threshold,” in part due to the major arcana of the High Priestess (Moon) and Hierophant (Taurus) having symbolic association with the second face of Taurus. Chang noted that the Six of Pentacles card involves both “an act of benevolence that visually echoes the Hierophant card,” while the High Priestess is also involved in the image of the Six of Pentacles as “the spirit that moves one to generosity.” Chang further connected the meaning of the Six of Pentacles with the second face of Taurus as taking the opportunity that arises within a window in time, “a moment in weaving when the warp threads have separated just enough for the shuttle to fly through.” Chang advised that drawing the Six of Pentacles can indicate finding “harmony between your inner and outer selves,” accepting and creating “material opportunities, for yourself and others,” as well as finding “the sweet, cross-quarter magic of the present moment.”

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Linga-Yoni” to the second face of Taurus, bridging images of “procreative unions” and “wanton fertilization” with the practice of virtuous action. Coppock described an alchemical process for the second face of Taurus, advising that the matters generated in this face “must be attended to carefully and consistently,” as “dedication must join fecundity and passions to complete the picture this face provides . . . Passion is necessary for continuing fructification, but those raw powers must be tempered by means of an ordered effort.” With the eclipse joined to Uranus and Venus joined to Jupiter and Neptune, we will need to be mindful that whatever passionate dreams emerge from the shadows of the eclipse will require patience and dedicated effort in order to bring them into reality.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Horai to the second decan of Taurus, a trinity of goddesses of the seasons and natural cycles of time who are the daughters of Zeus and Themis, goddess of divine law and order. Diodorus of Sicily wrote in the 1st century BC that each of the “Horai was given a responsibility named after her for the ordering and arranging of life for the greatest benefit of mankind” and “furnishing a prosperous life” through “lawfulness {eunomia}, justice {dike}, and peace {eirene}.” In keeping with the Taurean metaphor of cultivating crops, the Horai were worshipped by those planting and tending their field of harvest in alignment with the rising and setting of stars. The presence of the Horai with the eclipse suggests the wisdom of knowing the right time for action performed in the right way.

In her concluding remarks upon the second decan of Taurus, T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets quoted the opening lines of “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot: “April is the cruellest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain.” No matter what mixture of desire and memory you have been experiencing, may their stirring with the rains from above bring about a fertilization of your deepest desires from within.

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 – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. (2004). Edited and translated by S.M. trzaskoma, R.S. Smith, and S. Brunet. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark. Weiser Books.

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

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

Libra Full Moon

Cygne Crépusculaire (Twilight Swan) by Joseph Cornell

Libra Full Moon

The Full Moon in Libra illuminates the polarity between Aries and Libra, the fiery surge of the Ram’s direct passion set against the thoughtful contemplation of the Scales that carefully measures myriad ways of addressing circumstances and relations, turning issues over and over again to explore every facet imaginable. Aries and Libra are movable signs that initiate new directions and set things into swift motion. With the Full Moon in the airy home of Venus and Venus in her watery exaltation of Pisces, desires and emotions may take on heightened importance and catalyze significant momentum along new pathways of development.

Libra is also the exaltation of Saturn, increasing the connectivity and receptivity between the Moon and her flowing trine aspect with Saturn. The patient endurance and mindful ponderousness of Saturn can help in slowing down desires amplified by the lunation in order to come into deeper relationship and embodiment with emerging creative directions. The discernment and discrimination of Saturn can further facilitate clarity in making decisions regarding which paths to follow and which relationships to invest greater time and attention to, as well as what aspects of life need clearer boundaries, greater space and separation.

While the Libra Full Moon is separating from a trine with Saturn, it is applying toward an intensifying square aspect with Pluto. The tension between Pluto and the Libra Full Moon may resurrect core relational patterns and themes that have been operating below the surface of awareness within dynamics with others. Feelings that have been buried or we have tried to be in denial of may erupt and demand attention. Opportunities may emerge to gain greater honesty and clarity regarding relational dynamics, with the propulsive force of Pluto facilitating an excavation of old entanglements to allow for greater freedom of movement forward. While the impact of Pluto upon the lunation can potentially dislodge overwhelming emotions, the transformative influence of Pluto will also allow us to penetrate into the heart of whatever matter we are facing.

The Annunciation (1887) by George Hitchcock

Venus in her exaltation of Pisces is the ruler of the Libra Full Moon, glowing bright in predawn sky within her morning star phase. Within the waves of her watery exaltation, the sensual nature of Venus is amplified by the boundless dissolution of Pisces to allow for release as well as sinking into sensations and knowing of the body. Although Venus is given an exalted status within Pisces, she is not within her celestial home and so does not possess the sovereignty she does in Taurus or Libra. However, during the waning half of the present lunar cycle the star of Aphrodite will be applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter, the planet responsible for her care due to her occupying his home. Periods in which Jupiter and Venus come together are stereotypically in stark contrast to the recent period in which Mars and Saturn came together in conjunction; while it certainly does not mean everything will go well and that there will in fact be many difficult events to contend with, the combination of Jupiter and Venus amplifies desires for procreation and creativity and delivers inspiration where it is needed most. Venus will ultimately form a conjunction with Jupiter on April 30 at 27°58’ Pisces, close to her exact degree of exaltation, at the same time she will be ruling a Solar Eclipse in Taurus at 10°28’ Taurus.

As a result, the unique signature of Venus and Jupiter uniting in a sign in which they both have essential dignity will be set against the strange astrological atmosphere of an eclipse season as we approach the end of April. Eclipse seasons typically bring major shifts in circumstances and relationships, with pivotal new developments arising as older situations and relationships experience a recalibration and rebalancing to make space for the new to more fully arise. This will especially be the case with the eclipse on the side of the North Node of the Moon and in close proximity with the liberating force of Uranus in Taurus. Making the dynamic between Jupiter and Venus even more extreme, however, is the fact that Venus and Jupiter will simultaneously be forming conjunction with Neptune in Pisces. Venus will form a conjunction with Neptune on April 27 at 24°28’ Pisces a few days before the eclipse, with Venus moving in between Neptune and Jupiter at the exact moment the Sun will become blackened by the shadow of the Moon.

I previously wrote an extended exploration of Venus forming conjunctions with Neptune in Pisces you can read through the link here. Within the article I wrote the following:

” . . . These ideas connect to the transformative feelings of love that come with transits of Neptune and Venus, as well as destructive feelings of disillusionment that can awaken self realization. Projections in relationships can be most harmful when they do not have authentic resonance with one’s soul but instead have been conditioned by societal forces. These external conditioning influences are often wrapped up in systematic oppression, necessitating a need to shed the way they impact our gender, sexual, and other personal identities. The more we are able to take responsibility for this work, similar to Jung’s concept of individuation, the better we can gain self acceptance for the authentic desires of our soul. As we do so, we can attract partners who genuinely resonate with our inner life, drawing us into a deepening of the lessons we need on a soul level. We also can gain a healthier relationship with ourselves so that we can foster recovery and restoration when a relationship ends.

It’s not really possible to prevent our unconscious from shaping the relational dynamics we form with others, and this is a gift in terms of the creativity and growth cultivated by the commingling of unconscious fields. We can at least gain awareness that the phenomenon is happening and open to the actual presence and needs of a partner instead of confining them to our own projection . . . As Venus and Neptune begin a new cycle together . . . we can claim the opportunity to reflect upon our unconscious projections. It’s essential that once becoming aware we do not bury the realization in denial but instead sustain contemplation so that it’s pattern may mutate and we may receive insight.”

Furthermore, Venus is receiving both Mercury and Uranus into her earthy, stable home of Taurus. Mercury is applying toward a sextile aspect with Venus during the lunation, while Venus simultaneously is applying toward a sextile aspect with Uranus. At the same time, Mercury is carrying an intensified presence due to rising into visibility again as an Evening Star following sunset as it heads into a conjunction with Uranus it will complete a day after the Libra Full Moon. Altogether, the aspects between Venus, Mercury, and Uranus are full of enormous creative potency that can be directed into any sort of creative work of imaginative vision or practical application. In particular, the combination of Mercury with Uranus in Taurus can help bring down the flights of imagination that Venus within her exaltation of Pisces may gather into embodiment within material forms.

4 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 3 Decan

The Libra Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Libra associated with the Four of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image above we see what looks to be a knight in prayer, or perhaps a sarcophagus, under a stained glass window of “PAX” or “peace.” This image also evokes a pilgrim in meditative silence within a protected, sacred space, and likewise it can help us find our own balance at this time if we can manage to create our own space for solace in silence. Johannes Fiebig and Evelin Burger in their book on the tarot noted symbols in the image that contrast “inner and outer issues, the abstract world and daily life, perfect ideals and limited reality.” Within the balance of these dualities, we can sense how the figure’s positioning is like a re-balancing of our body and mind, the sword below the figure a tool to cut away the false in order to reveal our essential and genuine presence that can emerge now. In her book on the tarot and astrological decans 36 Secrets, T Susan Chang wrote that when drawing the Four of Swords, “consider it a complex invitation (a) to take a break from the toiling and spinning imposed on us by the external world, and (b) to explore the rich landscape of the inner world . . . the Four of Swords may call for meditation, active imagination, divination work, or sleep. Or it might simply be a general call to recreate and rest for awhile, so you can restore your natural equilibrium.”

Jupiter rules the third face of Libra in the descending rulership scheme, a decan that Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Gyroscope” to in 36 Faces. Coppock equated the third face of Libra with “equilibrating movement through a chaotic universe,” linking its meaning to the Four of Swords image with facing that “justice must reconcile itself to an injust world, and peace to a world riven with conflict.” Coppock notably pointed out that earlier images associated with the third decan of Libra as found in such text as the Picatrix and Three Books of Occult Philosophy featured images of “furious indulgence” and “extremes of revelry” such as “violence, gluttony, deviant sexuality, and boisterous joy.” If we can find balance within the wild forces moving through this decan, Coppock suggested it “allows one to see through the eye of the storm” to learn that “equipoise may be maintained in any circumstance- shelter in any storm.”

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs linked Nemesis to the third face of Libra. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces linked the presence of Nemesis in this decan to her role as “a force which restored balance to life’s chaotic wheel,” acting “to consciously correct the injustices whirl of blind forces” by “restoring right proportion.” One way Nemesis restores balance is through bringing retribution against those carried away by hubris who arrogantly act out of balance with natural forces of change. Her presence with the Libra Full Moon emphasizes the need to rebalance whatever has become out of proportion in our life. We may recognize aspects of our shadow we have been denying, or realize we have been suppressing desires that need to be accepted and cultivated. There are many crises coinciding in collective events calling for action, but in addition to playing a role in creating the change we wish to see in external events, we likewise need to bring attention to tend to the changes occurring internally. May the Libra Full Moon illuminate what needs to be known within and without.

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 – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

become_a_patron_button

References

Burger, Evelin & Fiebig, Johannes. (2013). The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot. Llewellyn Publications.

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

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

Pisces New Moon

The Window (1924) by Marc Chagall

Pisces New Moon

Creation stories begin with chaos and water. Perhaps this speaks to the immense, mysterious creativity inherent in Pisces, a sign of ever changing water in touch with the primordial chaos underlying reality. Thoughts and feelings meld and mutate in Pisces, flicker in reflection and mingle in spaces of reciprocity. In spite of whatever disruptive and difficult events have been occurring, the watery New Moon in Pisces on March 2 can enliven awareness for vital forms of creative potency that can emerge in the months ahead. The dark inner ground of the lunation is fertile with imaginative potency bringing sustenance to explorative processes of curiosity, as Pisces is less about claiming definitive meaning and more about absorbing all possibilities. The New Moon in Pisces can serve as a vessel allowing for the mystery of the unsolved in heart and mind, the hidden places of dark thoughts that cloak reason and swirl in dissolution. Like an appearance of Dionysus that shatters stagnancy, unleashes life force, and seeds new visions, the New Moon in Pisces can kindle faith that light and love will return in even the darkest moments of despair.

The New Moon at 12°06’ Pisces is applying to an inspiring conjunction with Jupiter, while separating from a dynamic sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus. The powerful influence of Uranus and Jupiter upon the lunation will invigorate the soul of liberty, impulses to gain greater freedom through taking in a more expansive vision of potential paths forward. Within the ongoing tension between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus that has set desires for breaking free against constraints that frustrate with obstruction, the recent movements within astrology have emphasized the slow, measured steps of Saturn that stress the need for boundaries and can be cold at times in calculation. The synergy between the New Moon with Jupiter in Pisces and Uranus in Taurus will breathe life and creative inspiration into the containers cultivated by Saturn, allowing a widening array of influences to seep through conditioned boundaries so that a vaster wholeness of one’s present and future possibilities may be taken in.

We may imagine the dazzling Hekate as an intermediary presence for the lunation, helping us mediate the intersection of three major astrological pathways: Jupiter, Neptune, Sun, and Moon combined in Pisces, Mercury and Saturn combined in Aquarius, as well as Venus, Mars, and Pluto combined in Capricorn. Within the potency of their mixture, we may sense a weaving together as well as an untangling of major storylines that have been developing during the past few months. Exploring the multiplicity of feelings and perceptions that may emerge during a New Moon under such an extremely strong Piscean influence can allow for the mystery of the unknown, curiosity in following feelings without an agenda, and sensing more deeply where to focus creative engagement with the wonders of one’s imaginal inner realm.

Zeus holding Hekate (190 – 180 BC)

Jupiter is at the very end of its synodic cycle with the Sun during the Pisces New Moon, releasing what needs to be let go from the visions of the past year to make greater space for what can blossom in the year ahead. Jupiter will form a conjunction with the Sun on March 5 at 14°58’ Pisces, creating an ideal opportunity to envision what you wish to nourish with your soul in the year ahead . As Jupiter becomes reanimated by the Sun, seeding a new Jupiter cycle for the year ahead, quiet moments of stillness and contemplation may bring direct connection with divine inspiration. As a vision begins to take shape, the forthcoming lunar cycle can correspond with implementing the smaller steps and goals that will lead to the bigger dream.

The Pisces Moon is not only applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter during the lunation, but also with Neptune. This means that the lunation will demarcate the crossing of a threshold into an intensification of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces becoming an overwhelmingly powerful influence within the astrological landscape. Although Jupiter and Neptune will not unite until April 12 at 24°58’ Pisces, their ethereal and otherworldly impact will begin to be palpably felt. This may be confusing at times, as the combined influence of Jupiter and Neptune may open doors to other realms and dimensions usually outside one’s day to day perception, feelings and emotions that arrive and even crash like a wave only to recede into the dissolution of the wide open sea. The creative potential of their coming conjunction is boundless, and so the Pisces New Moon marks a time to begin actively engaging with ones dreams and imagination rather than merely daydreaming. [Note: click here to read my full article on the influence of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces]

Ring depicting Eros (3rd Century)

Providing a primordial thrust of emotional impact underlying the lunation is the union of Venus, Mars and Pluto in Capricorn. Venus and Mars will each form an exact conjunction with Pluto within a day of the Pisces New Moon on March 3, with Mars at 27°50’ Capricorn and Venus at 27°51’ Capricorn. Of all three, Mars is at a place of greatest power as their union is occurring at the exaltation degree of Mars. In current events the extreme potency of Mars has corresponded with the eruption of brutal, bloody warfare in Ukraine creating a refugee crisis, while in personal events there may have been eruptions of difficult emotional material from within due to intense relational encounters. Whether the passions being felt are pleasant or unpleasant, it is likely that the alignment of Venus, Mars, and Pluto is dredging up incredibly deep relational material and feelings. Staying with the feelings and curiously exploring them can lead eventually to important insights that can help transform one’s present relational dynamics and patterns. Though transform is often mocked as an overused astrological term, it is very true in this case. There is much more going on than whatever present relational encounters are occurring, as the dynamics will be unlocking deep reservoirs of memories and issues that need one’s attention and inner nurturance.

Vitally, the union of Venus, Mars and Pluto will be bringing together themes and storylines stretching as far back as November 5, when Venus first entered the sign of Capricorn to join Pluto within the same terrain. Looking back to the month of December is particularly important to contemplate as it was when Venus and Pluto became more intensely involved in relationship, in particular leading up to December 11 when they formed their first conjunction, December 19 when Venus stationed retrograde nearby Pluto, and December 25 when Venus formed her second exact conjunctions with Pluto. Their union does not mean that clear answers will be found, only that a deeper layer of emotive material will be unearthed that can continue to be worked with and explored.

It’s further important that within the waxing of the forthcoming lunar cycle, Venus and Mars will form their third and final conjunction of the past eight months on March 6, 2022 at  00°02’ Aquarius. The previous conjunctions between Venus and Mars were at 19°48’ Leo on July 13, 2021 and more recently at 16°53’ Capricorn on February 16 during the time of the Full Moon in Leo. Their present proximity with Pluto is therefore vital to explore in terms of receiving a vaster awareness of whatever desires and creative processes have been stirred up. Since their final union is at the same degree where Jupiter and Saturn formed their great conjunction in Aquarius on Decemberr 21, 2020, we likely will begin to gain greater clarity for the shape of all the relationship changes and reorderings we have experienced since the end of 2020. We are only at the beginning of a new Jupiter and Saturn cycle, yet far enough along to gain greater understanding for all of the changes we have been experiencing and how to best guide ourselves forward. It’s a good time to reflect upon any significant new relationships that have started or deepened since the end of 2020 and how they serve as threshold guardians to the new sense of oneself to claim within ones relationships and creative processes going forward.

Winchelsea: Steps to Queen Elizabeth’s Well by Frederick Evans

The third and final major alignment within the Pisces New Moon is the conjunction between Mercury with Saturn at 19°00’ Aquarius on the same day as the lunation. The stars of Hermes and Kronos uniting supports clear headed vision and an ability to be pragmatic and incisively realistic regarding the stark reality of present circumstances. It’s a beneficial aspect to counter the nebulous influence of Jupiter and Neptune beginning to take shape. The capacity of Mercury to hold polarities and linger within paradox can help in probing the structures and boundaries in place within our relationships and work. We may realize places that need more boundary within communication or areas that have become too constricted and restrained and need loosening.

Furthermore, the conjunction between Mercury and Saturn will bring resolution to the previous Mercury retrograde in Aquarius period that began on January 14 when Mercury stationed a few degrees away from Saturn. It was as if Mercury got just close enough to pick up a message from Saturn without completing the exchange, before backtracking all the way back across the border between Aquarius and Capricorn into a conjunction with Pluto on January 28 and February 11 before returning to finally complete the conjunction with Saturn on March 2. Whatever plans and ideas came up to develop since the middle of January that have gone through periods of delay and renovation can now be returned to with active engagement that has undergone needed time for exploration. There also may be penetrating insights that shatter illusions we have had about situations that have developed in the past few months. Allow the combination of Mercury and Saturn to bring a no nonsense analysis of present dynamics, as things are likely to get much more warpy once Mercury leaves Aquarius in order to join the Sun, Jupiter, and Neptune in Pisces on March 9.

9 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 2 Decan

The New Moon is in the second decan of Pisces, a face associated with the Nine of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a pleased figure in a scarlet cap with a showy plume, signifying his passionate mind dressed with the Eros of his desires. The Nine of Cups is often associated with wish fulfillment, with the golden cups behind the figure signifying the resources needed to gain greater abundance being found within the unconscious and unseen realm of Spirit. The Nine of Cups has also been associated with happiness on both external and internal levels, enjoying feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, and getting what we think we want.  T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets astutely observed that the Nine of Cups is “the card of wishes, not expectations” that involves the necessity of “appreciating the unexpected,” a good reminder with the Pisces New Moon in aspect with Uranus. Fittingly, Jupiter is supremely powerful in this face, as it is not only the domicile ruler of Pisces but also the ruler of its second decan. With Jupiter present within its own face, the meaning of this decan is especially powerful during the days surrounding the lunation.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Net” to the second decan of Pisces in honor of Indra’s net with its many mutually reflective jewels, an overhanging cosmic net that has been interpreted as signifying magic and illusion as well as the interconnectedness of our universe. Coppock wrote that the luxurious satisfaction of the figure in the Nine of Cups card is the product of engaging the process of maintaining “a harmonious relationship between material and spiritual layers of life . . . [such as in] the art of following the Tao itself . . . at play in the material world but not beholden to it.” Coppock declared it to be a face in which “the central conflict is how to reconcile one’s understanding of the true nature of reality with the world-as-it-is,” a “phase in which we are challenged to reconcile beliefs, ideals, and the way things are.”

The link between the second face of Pisces with the depths of the underlying source of our visible reality is especially relevant given that the Pisces Moon will be moving from a sextile with Uranus into a conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune. The 12th century philosopher and astrologer Abraham Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom described an image of a beautiful woman sitting on a ship at sea for this decan, wishing to come to land. Similarly, Coppock described the figures of the second face of Pisces as being “anchored in the invisible, yet step forward to play important roles in the visible world.” Make space during the Pisces New Moon to discover if there any aspects of your inner beauty that have been patiently waiting in the oceanic realm of your unconscious, ready to come to shore to be realized. 

Coppock concluded that the crux of this decan centers on fulfillment coming from the harmonizing of one’s inner perceptions with one’s outer life, as torment and grief will overcome those unable to harmonize their outer and inner worlds. Seeking fortune for fortune’s sake will not bring happiness if our visible goals are misaligned with our invisible priorities. As older forms of astrology prioritize the relationships between Daimon and Fortune as well as Eros and Necessity, we must enact Daimon and Eros from our depths rather than only responding to the Necessity and Fortune of our times.  The satisfaction and joy that can be reached through the second face of Pisces comes from a deeper success that is aligned with our soul purpose and embodying the meaning of why we are here at this time. 

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the daimon Dolos to the second face of Pisces, a spirit of deception and trickery. Dolos was an apprentice to Prometheus who famously attempted to duplicate a statue of Aletheia (Truth) that had been perfectly constructed by Prometheus, yet ran out of clay before being able to complete its feet. In Aesop’s version of the tale, the duplicate statue was called Pseudologos (Falsehood) and brought the moral that something false can start off successfully, but with time the real truth will be revealed. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces wrote that the “protean” figures of the second face of Pisces can be “tricksters, liars who try to paint the portraits of their understanding and sculpt the form of their visions,” yet they necessarily fall short as “form utterly fails the profound,” and “the truth cannot be copied.” In fact, Coppock concluded that their creative acts are essential to the meaning of this face, as their “flawed copies are the only manner in which dreams can become real.”

With the Pisces New Moon activating the coming conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, it will be worthwhile to keep in mind the lesson that something false may start off successfully only later to have the real truth revealed. A balance will need to be found by allowing flights of fantasy to stoke inspiration while not allowing yourself to become carried away by an illusive reflection of your true inner needs and desires. The more we can get in touch with our deepest inner feelings and desires during the darkness of the Pisces New Moon, the better we will be able to focus on the work and relationships that will bring true nurturance to our soul.

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 – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

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

Leo Full Moon

Lion-headed Goddess Amulet (1070 – 664 B.C.)

Leo Full Moon

The Full Moon on February 16 is in Leo, the living image of the Lion, whether you use the tropical or sidereal zodiac. In fact, the Moon will illuminate the night sky nearby the fixed star Regulus, known as the heart of the lion within the Leo constellation. Across astrological traditions, Regulus has been associated with leadership and power, the type of fiery strength that can achieve success and victory against all odds. Yet the true strength of Regulus is the essential dignity and integrity we bear within our heart, the strength and wisdom of our core, our central self around which our vast, inner multiplicity revolves. Within a period of time emphasizing Saturn and its current placement within Aquarius, the Leo Full Moon will inject a charge of coherence as fragmented strands of past storylines come together into greater understanding. The Full Moon pouring down the star fire of Regulus will kindle an inner flame of knowing that can guide us into the next steps to take, whether we are continuing on course or in need of a dramatic change in direction.

Yet the royal power and fierce leadership associated with Regulus is also a quality some wish to seize for fame, wealth, influence, and other ambitious desires that can lead to inflation and hubris. Bernadette Brady described the nemesis of Regulus as being revenge, stating that its ambitious qualities need to be balanced by restraint from seeking retribution and vengeance if we wish to secure the success it can bring. Within Indian astrology, the nakshatra of Regulus where the full moon will ripen is Magha, the seat or throne of the king that has been linked with splendor, regality, prosperity, power, and the will force needed to achieve important endeavors and victories. Dennis Harness described the shadow side of Magha in connection with the extreme ambition that resides here, such as “arrogance” and “prejudice,” over attachment to “material prosperity” and “identification with class status,” as well as “divine restlessness or chronic discontent” for falling short of high aspirations and perfectionist standards. Harness further described the danger of constant courting of external approval at expense of the essential self.

Magha’s ruling deities are the ancestor spirits Pitris, making the nakshatra associated with gifts and benefits brought by ancestors, as well as loyalty to spiritual lineages. Harness described Pitris as “the great Fathers of Humanity, who function as guardian angels giving protection in the event of major calamities on earth.” Indeed, the true nobility of character offered by Regulus lies within the agency of the heart and contact with our deep sense of inner sovereignty. Rooted in our core value, the polarity between the Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Leo can foster drive and desire sourced from inner values rather than based upon ambition for external approval and acting in accordance with however we feel we need to fit in with the status quo of trends and popularity contests. The Leo Full Moon can ignite curiosity about where we have felt powerless and why, helping us make contact with our inner wellspring of power from a place of openness to mystery rather than insistence on control. We may also gain insight into whatever forms of power dynamics within relationships we have become entangled by and the adjustments necessary to make.

Supplying an uplifting, liberating influence to the Leo Full Moon is an invigorating sextile aspect between Jupiter in Pisces and Uranus in Taurus. For over a year we have been experiencing the amplified volatility constellated by the catalytic square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus, with the jolting impact of Uranus dislodging and breaking open longstanding structures and systems of Saturn. While the shattering of old structures and forms that have previously been part of our identity and sense of security may have been difficult during the past year, the clashing between Uranus and Saturn have also created vast potential for new directions, patterns, and ways of being to emerge that can be creatively liberating and free from past restraints. With Jupiter in Pisces forming a harmonious aspect with Uranus, we will have increased support in discerning the larger vision for growth that is emerging out of the dismantling of the past.

Babylonian Lion, associated with Ishtar (604 – 562 BC)

Intensifying the potential for the Leo Full Moon to brings things to a climax and a turning point in direction is the fact that the Moon will be forming a square with the lunar nodes at the northern bending. The northern bending of the Moon’s orbit is a dynamic point of change in which the Moon has reached maximum northern latitude, a peak from which the Moon will begin to immediately fall in descent back down toward the ecliptic. Demetra George wrote that since the Moon at her bending has reached “the farthest distance of the plane of the lunar orbit from that of the Sun’s path on the ecliptic,” it “suggests both a state of objective awareness between the lunar body and solar soul, but can also indicate the potential for disassociation and lack of connection.” George further noted that Ptolemy stated the Moon forming a square to her nodes at her bending “helps with the character of the soul in the direction of greater versatility, resourcefulness, and capacity for change.”

Thus while the Leo Full Moon forming a square to the lunar nodes may correlate with amplified emotional volatility or feelings of disconnection for some, in other cases it may accentuate the capacity to gain distance from emotional entanglements in order to gain a clarifying perspective. The Full Moon forming a square to the lunar nodes is further significant due to it demarcating the midpoint between eclipses, with the Leo Full Moon forming a square aspect to the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus which occurred on November 19, 2021 and the Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio which will occur on May 16, 2022. It’s an opportune time to reflect upon whatever changes arrived with the previous eclipses on November 19 and December 4 last year, taking stock of however you have already made adjustments as well as stepping back to see the bigger picture of how present dynamics appear to be developing into the future and where changes need to be initiated.

Since the transiting north node of the Moon in Taurus is ruled by Venus, and the transiting south node of the Moon in Scorpio is ruled by Mars, the union of Venus and Mars in Capricorn during the time of the Leo Full Moon will increase the likelihood of the lunation illuminating the passions, anger, frustrations, and desires at the root of present relational dynamics and creative processes. Relationship tests have likely arisen recently as Venus and Mars have approached their conjunction in Capricorn, and so if the Leo Full Moon brings feelings of dissatisfaction to light, allow your curiosity to explore what your symptoms reveal about your sense of soulfulness and what needs to change so you may rebalance your relational dynamics with others and realign with your deepest sources of creativity and inner security. While events leading up to the Leo Full Moon may have caused underlying emotional challenges within relationships to burst forth into awareness, if both partners are willing to engage with the needed inner work while also listening and engaging in dialogue, the lunation can also help bring forth new ways to relate to one another that are mutually supportive and respectful of one another’s dignity.

Pan and Nymphs by Ignaz Elhafen

Venus will form a conjunction with Mars at 16°53’ Capricorn on February 16, about two and a half hours before the exact opposition between the Moon in Leo and the Sun in Aquarius. Mars and Venus are nocturnal planets that orbit on either side of Earth in closest proximity, connecting us with primal feelings we discover within our inner darkness, away from the rationalism and judgment of daylight. The union of Mars and Venus initiates us into a process of rediscovering what we want in relationship, as well as how we wish to creatively express ourselves. Venus and Mars coming together calls for embodiment, getting in touch with bodily senses to uncover desires untethered from societal conditioning. While Venus relates to what we find beautiful, pleasurable, valuable, and distasteful, Mars represents our ability to pursue our desires, fight for our values, and separate ourselves from whatever we find intolerable or displeasing. With their union occurring within the cardinal sign of Capricorn, their conjunction will bring a significant initiation into new relational dynamics emerging within coming weeks. Their union in the earthy, nocturnal home of Saturn calls for the need of forming the boundaries necessary to contain and nurture the seeds of new desires, making space for greater embodiment of one’s own inner eros separate from its mixture within external relational dynamics. As we come into deeper relationship with our own feelings and desires, so will we be able to more effectively make the adjustments needed within our many relationships within the world.

The conjunction between Venus and Mars on February 16 is the second Venus Mars conjunction in a sequence of three taking place within a span of eight months. The previous conjunction between Venus and Mars was at 19°48’ Leo, in the same zodiacal sign as the Leo Full Moon, on July 13, 2021. The final conjunction in the series will be on March 6, 2022 at  00°01’ Aquarius. The present conjunction on February 16, the middle one of three, is especially significant due to it occurring with both Venus and Mars visible as morning stars heralding the rise of the Sun. Their previous conjunction on July 13 occurred with Venus and Mars as evening stars following sunset, and since then we have experienced both Venus and Mars traversing the underworld in transition from evening to morning sky. Most significantly, Venus was recently retrograde in Capricorn from 19 December 2021 until 29 January 2022 and now is increasing in speed, light and elevation having been reborn in her morning star phase. She is only slowly beginning to pick up speed, however, which is why Mars has been able to recently overtake her in speed and form a conjunction with her by moving from behind and in front of her by zodiacal degree. As a result, during the waning half of the present lunar cycle as Venus continues to slowly pick up speed she will remain in close proximity with Mars, eventually overtaking Mars and forming their final conjunction in the series on March 6, a few days after the upcoming New Moon in Pisces.

While the time from the Leo Full Moon until the final conjunction of Venus and Mars on March 6 will be full of new developments and desires within relationship and creativity to be mindful of, the union of Venus with Mars during the Leo Full Moon is especially potent in terms of bringing numerous streams of relational storylines together into a flowing, charged river bed that is fertile with the potential for new patterning within relationship to develop. It’s also worth noting that both Venus and Mars have essential dignity within the zodiacal degree of their conjunction, as it is the exaltation of Mars and the bounds of Venus. The second decan of Capricorn where their union takes place also has rulership association with both Mars and Venus (Mars is the ruler in the Chaldean descending rulership scheme; Venus is the ruler in the triplicity scheme). It’s a place ripe with potential for launching new enterprises and building great works of imagination and vision step by step with groundedness and receptivity to the input needed within collaboration with others.

The fact that both Venus and Mars have zodiacal agency within the place of their union is further accentuated by their close proximity with Vesta in Capricorn. As Venus and Mars will continue to move closely together during the waning half of the lunar cycle into their upcoming conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn on March 3, so will Vesta in Capricorn. Venus will form a conjunction with Vesta in Capricorn on February 27 while Mars will form a conjunction with Vesta on February 25, less than a week before Venus and Mars unite with Pluto. The presence of Vesta alongside Venus and Mars can help in finding greater coherence for how our relational desires and needs have been transformed within recent months, especially when making space for sacred time with one’s self. The devotional aspect of Vesta can also help us in realizing what forms of creativity and new goals to develop are most authentically aligned with our core self, as well as the relationships most resonant with our true path to cultivate and deepen in relationship. Vesta traveling with Venus and Mars during the waning half of the lunar cycle can help initiate the process of building the strong foundations of a new legacy, maintaining the boundaries necessary to do so.

EXPLORACIÓN DE LAS FUENTES DEL RÍO ORINOCO by Remedios Varo

Further adding to the intensity of the Leo Full Moon is the fact that Mercury will be at maximum elongation as a Morning Star, meaning that Mercury will be increasing in speed and curious connectivity in the coming weeks. Mercury finally left Capricorn and its extended time in close proximity with Pluto in Capricorn on February 14, and during the day of the Leo Full Moon will be close to the early degree of Aquarius where Mercury formed its regenerative conjunction with the Sun on January 23. Whatever new ideas developed, whatever shifts in storylines needed attending, whatever ways the catalytic and volatile period of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn from January 14 to February 3 impacted and transformed you is important to consider under the glow of the Full Moon in Leo. Mercury is now entering its solar phase as a Morning Star that Gary Caton likened to the rubedo phase within alchemy in his book Hermetica Tryptycha. As we work to integrate the insights and changes in perspective realized during Mercury’s recent retrograde journey, Caton noted that we should expect to endure a phase of chaotic volatility as we make a commitment to embody a new presence of being

During the waning half of the lunar cycle, Mercury will form an invigorating and volatile square aspect with Uranus in Taurus on February 24 followed by Mercury forming a conjunction with Saturn in Aquarius on March 2, the same day as the New Moon in Pisces. Mercury began its recent retrograde phase on January 14 while in close proximity to activating the longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus, and during the waning half of the lunar cycle we will finally experience Mercury moving forward to finally complete the activation. The present path of Mercury is vastly significant, connecting the present moment with the larger waves of change signified by the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on December 21, 2020 as well as the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus dominating the astrological landscape in 2021 and 2022. It’s a time to feel into how your inner shifts relate with the much larger waves of change rippling across global societies. Ways in which our lives began to change in the beginning of 2021 can become clearer as Mercury leads us out of the dreamscape of night into the brightness of day in coming weeks, helping us clarify how to formulate our next stage of development.

7 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 3 Decan

The Full Moon in Leo is in the third decan of Leo associated with the Seven of Wands illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image a warrior is bravely fighting for their life, using their wand to fight off the onslaught of six attacking wands. They are standing on a cliff in a precarious position, yet their stance and face suggest someone putting their whole being into their struggle with extraordinary determination.  We can further connect this image with the struggle of the individual in asserting their personal truth in the face of an angry mob or judgment from the dominant opinions of culture. Fittingly, Mars is the ruler of the third face of Leo, suggesting the indomitable spirit present in the warriors who reside here. The martial figure in the Seven of Wands further relates to the asymmetrical significations of Mars in astrology through standing his ground in footwear that does not match. T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets wrote that the Seven of Wands in a reading can signify facing a “daunting challenge” requiring discernment of whether or not it’s a situation or position worth fighting for. Chang described that while the Seven of Wands “shows a human capacity to persevere,” it still requires facing “whether persevering through the difficulty will be the making of us the building of our character- or whether it is simply not meant to be.”

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Banner” to the third face of Leo, writing that it signifies “the tenacity to fight for the place one has gained, to struggle and be victorious over contrary forces within and without” through “the power of the utterly steadfast heart, which never fails to rise to the challenges present.”  For Coppock, it is the “unconquerable heart” which is the source of the power found in the third decan of Leo, as “what resides in the heart is untouchable, invincible” and most radiant when enlivened with passionate spirit. Coppock described its symbol of “The Banner” as revealing a principle of “Truth, Justice, or Beauty” that “must be invoked” to fully rouse the fiery spirit found here, “for it is only to such flags that the heart truly salutes.”

There is an interesting connection in the Hellenistic text 36 Airs to the third decan of Leo with the Greco-Egyptian deity Serapis. Similar to how a banner can unite a populace behind a common cause, Serapis developed as a divinity who could unify Greeks and Egyptians living within the same Hellenistic realm. Serapis is an underworld deity similar to Osiris who bears both solar and serpent symbolism, and who also became associated with the agathos daimon, or Good Spirit. Just as Jupiter has its joy in the 11th house of Good Spirit associated with fellowship and the hopes we aspire to achieve, so can we connect “The Banner” of the third face of Leo with the essential desires rooted in our higher self that bring out the best in us and motivate us to take action or make a stand as needed. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces described the link between the third face of Leo with the underworld aspects of Serapis as revealing “the important decisions that those who walk this decan face- when to give up and let go, for even the Sun surrenders the earth to darkness.”

Whether you are engaged in battle with external or internal forces under the light of the Leo Full Moon, beware of the shadow of defensiveness and feeling the need to fight off those perceived as invaders at all costs. Particularly within inner processes of conflict, the various parts of self that seem to be at odds with one another may also lead to new insights and awareness as we let go of the need to control and allow seemingly paradoxical impulses to deepen into the tension of relationship with one another. The Leo Full Moon will illuminate the night at a pivotal turning point of astrological cycles- may its brilliant light nurture the turning of mind needed to make the decisions and choices most aligned with the creative potential ready to emerge from within you.

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 – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

become_a_patron_button

References

Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. Wessex Astrologer.

Caton, Gary. (2017). Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year. Rubedo Press.

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

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

de Fouw, Hart & Svoboda, Robert. (1996). Light on Life: Introduction to the Astrology of  India. Lotus Press.

George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology: In Theory and Practice. Rubedo Press.

Harness, Dennis. (1999). The Nakshatras: the Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology. Lotus Press.

Aquarius New Moon

Le Temps Jardis by Rene Magritte

Aquarius New Moon

The Aquarius New Moon on January 31 calls for deep contemplation during a turning of the tides and a primal change in seasons. The lunation will occur during the cross-quarter holidays in between the winter solstice and spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, in between the summer solstice and fall equinox in the southern hemisphere. Saturn in Aquarius is receiving the Aquarius New Moon within its airy domicile, as both luminaries will be applying closely toward a union with the star of Kronos. Saturn was named in connection with Kronos, called the “sinuous-minded” by Hesiod, and similarly throughout the astrological tradition the trials and tests brought by Saturn have been balanced by the thoughtfulness of Saturn, such as being given “the power of thought” in the 12th Century by Abraham Ibn Ezra and named “profound in Imagination” in the 17th Century by William Lily. The depth of contemplation experienced through Saturn is at full strength within Aquarius, as it is an airy, intellectual, and humanitarian zodiacal sign that can foster analysis of interpersonal dynamics as well as vast societal concerns impacting the wider world. Within the fertile darkness of the lunation, we may access the sinuous mindfulness of the Water Bearer who gathers insight from the flowing river of thoughts that bend and turn over again and again through the currents of life.

Saturn is known for constructing boundaries that can protect yet also constrain through becoming too hardened and set against change. Yet the deep contemplation of Saturn also allows for a testing of the limits of known boundaries that can bring about a reconstruction and renovation of the boundaries and structures we implement. Since the beginning of 2021 there has been a radical testing of personal and societal boundaries and structures brought about by the volatilizing square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus. The Aquarius New Moon is opportunely positioned to bring about reflection of the ways in which personal and societal dynamics have radically changed in the past year, as the Sun and Moon are separating from a square aspect with Uranus and applying toward a conjunction with Saturn.

As Saturn has long been viewed as the threshold guardian between the visible planets and the fixed stars, between time and timelessness, between the known and unknown, the profound influence of Saturn in Aquarius during the past year has stressed the importance of examining the ways in which our perception can become clouded, obscured by the mists of illusions about reality. In Aquarius, Saturn’s role of defining boundaries is applied to all matters of thought, highlighting the importance of how we utilize our perception to cultivate critical thinking skills in reception of information through external sources and internal rumination.

Crucially, the Aquarius New Moon is timed with the end of a Saturn cycle and the reseeding of a new Saturn cycle for the year to come. Saturn will be reanimated by the Sun on February 4 at 15°56’ Aquarius, bringing opportunities to more deeply examine the structures and boundaries of our life in order to make the changes needed to adapt to the changes taking place on personal and societal levels. This also means that Saturn is invisible in the underworld during the lunation, and will not emerge into visibility as a Morning Star until the week of February 20; as a result, while Saturn continues to operate in the darkness of its cycle in the weeks ahead we will need to take the time and construct the boundaried containers necessary to face the full reality of our circumstances and discern what requires shifting and restructuring.  With Saturn passing through a phase of death and rebirth, we can similarly shed what needs emptied and released from the past cycle as we hone in on what can serve as the solid stone foundation to build upon in the year ahead.

As we reflect and gestate the new meaning and messages that will take shape through Saturn in the year ahead, the Aquarius New Moon is further timed with the recent stationing direct of both Uranus and Venus, as well as the stationing direct of Mercury a few days after the lunation. Saturn needs to take time to probe the complex depth of reality, time to make the necessary adjustments and come to terms with the inner insights that can help with building the forms that will endure as well as contain the authentic qualities we desire to embody and express. With so many planets stationing as Saturn is simultaneously regenerated, we may slow down and ground into deeper presence with whatever challenges and difficulties we have been contending with. We can engage with the side of Saturn open to the mystery of the unknown and willing to reflect upon the fullness of the moment, rather than being overly defensive, rigid, and righteously insisting on control or trying to force what we want to have happen.

Iris Carrying the Water of the River Styx to Olympus for the Gods to Swear By, Guy Head, (c. 1793)

The astrological atmosphere will be saturated with the archetypal presence of Venus and Mercury during the Aquarius New Moon, as both planets are in the process of stationing direct following extended retrograde phases. While Mercury will station direct on February 3 at 24°23’ Capricorn a few days after the lunation, Venus is only barely beginning to shift forward after having stationed direct on January 29 at 11°05’ Capricorn a couple days before the Aquarius New Moon. Mercury will now be joining Venus as a visible Morning Star before the sunrise, making their impact within our lives intensified as we begin to recover from their retrograde phases that began on December 19, 2021 for Venus and on January 14 for Mercury. As Venus and Mercury will be continuing to occupy their stationing degrees for an extended period, it will be beneficial to take the time needed for reflecting upon the experiences that aligned with their retrograde phases in order to distill the lessons and insights that will inform the new directions that will emerge in the coming weeks. While old patterns can be released, new patterns will be taking shape aligned with the desires emerging in awareness.

Pivotally, while the Aquarius New Moon is activating Uranus through a catalyzing aspect, there will also be a flowing trine aspect in place between Uranus with not only Venus in Capricorn, but also Mars and Vesta in Capricorn. Furthermore, Mars in Capricorn is also applying closely to an invigorating sextile aspect with Jupiter in Pisces it will complete on February 4. During the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, Mars in Capricorn will be getting closer and closer to Venus until eventually forming a conjunction with Venus on February 16, the same day as the upcoming Full Moon in Leo. The close proximity between Mars and Venus can enflame passions and conflicts in some cases, yet can also supply the heat needed to activate desires and create vital movement on goals and projects. With Mars joining Venus and Mercury in the sky each day before dawn, we can claim a more empowered presence in changing our lives in accordance with the inner shifts that has occurred during the recent period of both Mercury and Venus being retrograde.

It’s further significant that Vesta in Capricorn is applying toward a conjunction with Venus during the Aquarius New Moon, and in the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle will be transiting in close alignment with Venus and Mars in Capricorn. In the Astronomica, a first century astrological text, Manilius connected Vesta as being the deity associated with Capricorn, writing that “Vesta tends your fires, Capricorn: and from her you derive your skills and callings. For whatever needs fire to function and demands a renewal of flame for its work must be counted as of your domain . . . That hot furnaces melt iron and bronze, and ovens give to the wheat its final form, will come as gifts from you.” The presence of Vesta with Venus and Mars can help in focalizing our attention on what we want to create with our life and what we need in relationship with others, strengthening our ability to take the space needed to make thing happened. Just like the sign of Aquarius holding the union between Saturn and the lunation can foster independence and acting from a place of inner reliance rather than external dependence, so will Vesta be able to bring the same quality of influence to the union of Venus and Mars.

Moreover, at the same time that Mars, Venus, and Vesta will be traveling together through Capricorn, Mercury will be spending and extended period of time in close proximity with Pluto in Capricorn. Pluto has now moved past the point it previously stationed retrograde on 27 April 2021, and so is journeying deeper into the terrain of Capricorn while stirring up deeper layers of conscious and unconscious content. Mercury will remain close with Pluto until leaving the sign of Capricorn on February 14, forming its third conjunction with Pluto on February 11 at 27°17’ Capricorn. The material that Mercury is connecting with through Pluto not only connects with its previous two conjunctions with Pluto on January 28 while retrograde and on December 30 while direct, but also with the fathomless depths of relational patterns and desires that Venus stirred up by being in close proximity with Pluto for the entire month of December 2021. As Mercury stations direct in the days following the Aquarius New Moon, pay attention to the signs and synchronicities emerging in your daily travels as well as nocturnal dreams.

The material brought up by Mercury with Pluto can feel painful and requires tender care and compassion. Yet rather than falling back into past patterns that need to be changed or shed,, there will be opportunities for changing relational and perceptual patterns to be in greater alignment with hour our internal sense of values and desires are beginning to emerge, revitalized by the bright presence of Venus along with Mercury and Mars at dawn.

6 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 2 Decan

The New Moon in Aquarius is in the second decan of Aquarius associated with the Six of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The six swords in the image are anchored, suggesting firm resolve and grounded focus. Yet the swords are also staked into a boat journeying through watery, liminal space. There is a vision behind the image, a bold determination to follow foresight into foreign territory. The ferryman is in a role of guidance not unlike the psychopomp Mercury, which is fitting since Mercury is the ruler of the second face of Aquarius. The destination on the far shore is not capable of being reached by the passengers without the utility of the boat and the labor of the ferryman, and so there is also a need to surrender to being along for the ride. T Susan Chang in 36 Secrets wrote that the Six of Swords excels at “problem solving,” being “excellent for symbol manipulation and masterful at metaphor . . . good for writing your way out of a paper bag and thinking outside of the box.”

As the ferryman in the Six of Swords is creating a network in between shores, linking the known with the unknown, he is an apt symbol for Mercury being the ruler of the second face of Aquarius. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “Heaven and Earth” to this face, writing that it connects multiple territories with a sense of “principled but fierce wisdom,” as well as that the fixed nature of this face “stabilizes commerce between heaven and earth” while also establishing “independence between multiple worlds.” Coppock declared it to be a decan “of independence, of living and becoming according to one’s principles” so that one may “connect worlds without becoming beholden to them.” Like the ferryman and Hermes, those who occupy this face mediate a “steady commerce between heaven and earth” according to Coppock, allowing for “the connection of the orthodox and the unorthodox, the known and the unknown” as well as “the ideal and the practical.”

Furthermore, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Phobos to the second decan of Aquarius, the divine son of Ares and Aphrodite who is associated with the fear evoked in battle and war. Austin Coppock noted that as Phobos is connected with the etymology of “phobia,” its presence in this face also reveals “the fear that people have of what lies outside their small worlds.” It also brings to mind the double edged sword of fear, in that it can lead to poor choices rooted in paranoia as well as the kind of inspired action that erupts when we have our backs against the wall and the odds stacked against us.

As the Sun in the second decan of Aquarius unites with the Moon on January 31 followed by uniting with Saturn on February 4, we will be experiencing the cross-quarter holidays of Brigid and Candlemas. In the northern hemisphere, it’s the midpoint of Winter and the welcoming of increasing light when the goddess Brigid would be welcomed alongside her associations of poetry, protection, medicine, wisdom, crafts and blacksmithing. As Mercury stations direct and the New Moon conjoins Saturn, may the cunning arts of Brigid and the cunning presence of Mercury help guide us in using the scythe of Saturn to clear what needs releasing while preparing the ground for the harvest we desire to cultivate in the year ahead.

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 – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

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

Hesiod. (2004). Theogony, Works and Days, Shield. Second edition. Translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis. The John Hopkins University Press.

Ibn-Ezra, Avraham. (1998). The Beginning of Wisdom. Translated by Meira Epstein. ARHAT.

Lilly, William. (2004 edition). Christian Astrology. Astrology Classics

Full Moon in Cancer

Wschód Księżyca (Moonrise), 1884, by Stanisław Masłowski

Full Moon in Cancer

” . . . There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience . . .

All that is said here grows out of a tragic misconception of time. It is the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time is neutral. It can be used either destructively or constructively. I am coming to feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be coworkers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation . . .

One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, courageously and with a majestic sense of purpose facing jeering and hostile mobs and the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy-two-year-old woman of Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride the segregated buses, and responded to one who inquired about her tiredness with ungrammatical profundity, “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.” They will be young high school and college students, young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience’s sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters they were in reality standing up for the best in the American dream and the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage.”

Martin Luther King, Letter from a Birmingham Jail

The Full Moon on January 17, 2022 is in opposition to Pluto in Capricorn, with the Sun involved in a conjunction with Pluto. There is meaning found in Pluto being named after a deity who ruled the underworld, for experiences of Pluto transits often take us through underworld experiences of darkness and despair through which we may retrieve a renewed sense of empowerment and meaning eventually. The Full Moon opposing Pluto will activate inner, subterranean realms of deep soul patterns circulating within our unconscious which drive reactions in ways we are not wholly aware. While Pluto positively can cultivate empowerment through the intensity of associated experiences, it can also activate power struggles and dynamics of power and control that brings feelings of powerlessness. There can be a volcanic, cathartic force to Pluto demanding release that also requires exploration of the shadows cast by the desires for greater power that Pluto may constellate. One way or another we need to surrender to the process of decay and regeneration brought by Pluto, for resisting its transformative charge due to fear of letting go of the ways things have been can ultimately intensify experiences of upheaval and breakdown which force change.

Yet surrendering to processes of Pluto may also make us aware of where we do not have control and need to find acceptance for present circumstances. Attempting to be over controlling and grasp for greater power at all costs during experiences of Pluto can lead to great damage within ourselves as well as within our relationships. By accepting places out of control, we may also more strongly attune to where we do have agency to be in deeper relationship with our inner nature and desires. Ultimately, experiences of Pluto can lead to purifying processes in which we shed old restrictions and evolve into a more potent vitality.

Since the Full Moon is in the watery home of the Moon, there is great potential for emotional release and coming into relationship with the information and sensory insights that may be retrieved through the catharsis. The intense emotions that may arise in the days surrounding the Cancer Full Moon can tap us into hidden, unconscious currents that demand attention and require differentiation and probing to process. The shadow side of the Moon activating Pluto so strongly can emerge when projecting unconscious content into relationships, such as becoming upset when unconscious expectations are not being met or distorting relational exchanges rather than questioning whether or not our initial reaction was an accurate reflection. The propensity for deep emotional patterns to be revealed is amplified due to Venus being retrograde in Capricorn within the same sign as Pluto. Patience may be needed to process feelings and pass through an emotional purging that leads to the root of old wounds and vulnerabilities. It will be possible to realize important insights about yourself and your present relational dynamics, and so it will be helpful to cultivate practices that enhance your capacity for self reflection or activities which can give you a safe harbor when emotions become to overwhelming to focus on.

As the United States of America approaches the first exact return of Pluto to its placement on July 4, 1776 on 20 February 2022, it is fitting that there is a Full Moon opposing Pluto on the national holiday honoring the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, junior. The recent legislative controversy over voting rights, judicial controversy over abortion rights, and innumerable other manifestations of the oppressive underbelly of the American Dream will continue to be emerging with increased intensity through the course of 2022. The urgency that Dr. King brought to the necessity of taking action and refusing to look the other way to gross inequities of oppression will be highlighted. Yet to be most effective within external ways of activism simultaneously requires attending to the kind of inner nurturing and relational care within our community that the Cancer Full Moon will activate.

Ceres and Cyane (ca.1792–95) by Jean-Guillaume Moitte

The Full Moon at 27º50′ Cancer is applying closely toward a sextile aspect with Ceres at 27º59′ Taurus, while Ceres is simultaneously forming a conjunction with the transiting North Node of the Moon. Ceres has an intensified presence of steadfast stillness during the lunation, as she recently stationed direct on January 14, 2022 at 27º58′ Taurus. Ceres previously stationed retrograde on October 8, 2021 at 12º08′ Gemini, creating a region from twelve degrees of Gemini to twenty-seven degrees of Taurus to pay attention to in your natal chart with regard to her retrograde journey that took shape over the past several months. An incredible additional synchronicity is that the Persephone asteroid stationed retrograde at the same time as Ceres within a few degrees from Ceres (Persephone stationed retrograde on October 8 at 14º11′ Gemini), and so Persephone has been on a retrograde journey during the same time period. Remarkably, the Persephone asteroid will also be stationing direct one day after the Cancer Full Moon on January 18 at 00º24′ Gemini in range of a conjunction with the transiting North Node of the Moon.

The mythology of Demeter and Persephone, or Ceres and Proserpina, is inextricably linked with the mythology of Persephone’s abduction by Hades (Pluto) into the underworld where she eventually ruled as Queen. As the present Venus retrograde transit in Capricorn began with a month-long conjunction between Venus with Pluto, you may have been undergoing your own underworld journey during the course of the Venus retrograde that has pulled you into memories of old relational dynamics that include places of deep wounding that have continued to influence your recent relational patterns. Though Ceres is most often portrayed as the great goddess of agricultural and abundant fertility, her roots are within times when the great goddess ruled both realms of life and death. Thus Ceres is known for not only bringing the gifts of civilization to humanity, but also the rites of mystery initiation that led ancient people through rites of rebirth. Indeed, many believe that the Eleusinian Mysteries involved a reenactment of Persephone’s descent into the underworld, Demeter’s search, and Persephone’s ascent and reunion with Demeter, which connects to the versions of Deneter’s grief that took place in Eleusis.

Yet there is also an alternative version of Demeter’s search for Persephone that takes place in Arcadia in which Demeter gives birth to a daughter after being raped by Poseidon, a daughter whose name cannot be known by the uninitiated. In order to flee from the pursuit of Poseidon, Demeter turns herself into a horse that although swift placed her into the patterning of Poseidon due to him being the god of horses. After experiencing a replication of her daughter’s rape, Demeter takes refuge within a cave in the Arcadian wilderness to mourn and grieve. She is finally found by Pan, the wild shepherd god of nature who also happens to be one of the living images of the Capricorn constellation. After Pan notifies Zeus of Demeter’s whereabouts, the Morai (also known as the Fates) are sent to mediate and are able to coax Demeter back into the world.

In addition to the narrative differences between Demeter’s journeys, since Arcadia was more of an uncivilized and wild region it can equate with wounding and trauma cast far off from conscious awareness in the deepest regions of wilderness within the unconscious. While Ceres is retrograde or in periods of intensification such as stationing, we may find ourselves re-enacting old patterns associated with wounding, loss, or trauma that dredge up old pain while also tearing at the fabric of the relational dynamic between those relating within the enactment. Such heartbreaking experiences can be recoverable when each person involved within the relationship takes accountability for whatever form of repair is required, conducts their own inner work and processing, and continues to relate with understanding they are within an equally mutual relational field. When repair is carried through responsibly and patiently with care, the catharsis can help free space for new relational patterns to take root.

Thus the combination of both Ceres and Persephone stationing direct, combined with Venus being retrograde in Capricorn and the Full Moon being opposite Pluto, presents opportunities for reflection upon ways we may have re-enacted past wounding within relationships in recent months, while also coming into deeper attunement with how to relate to old narratives in new ways and work toward shifting their influence within present relational dynamics going forward. There may be pain that necessarily must be felt as emotive material reemerges into awareness from hidden depths. The region of Arcadia as the setting for this version of Demeter’s story is fascinating due to it not only being a wild, uncivilized, and liminal landscape, but also that it is the birthplace of liminal deities such as Hermes and Pan who serve in roles of shepherding us through dark nights of the soul as well as putting us back in touch with the primal eros we may recover from within.

The Arcadian region was also the source of the River Styx according to Herodotus, one of the rivers of Hades whose flowing water consecrated oaths that even the gods themselves had to swear by. Hesiod in fact named Oath as the most severe of the children of Strife (Eris), “who, more than any other, brings pains on mortals who of their own accord swear false oaths.” The pain of past betrayals and broken oaths may reemerge with the activation of Pluto and Ceres with the Cancer Full Moon, yet due to the sextile between the lunation with Ceres and the alignment of Ceres with the transiting North Node of the Moon, there is potential for a new relationship with memories of broken trust to emerge from the dissolution of emotional release. Time may need to be spent within the cave of Ceres to grieve, yet through the shedding and purgation of old emotions we may come into deeper contact with the renewed sense of vitality waiting to emerge from within.

Crystal Gradation by Paul Klee

The quality of time surrounding the Cancer Full Moon will be saturated with the confounding presence of Uranus in all of its wide ranging, revelatory disruption. Uranus will station direct one day after the lunation on January 18 at 10º49′ Taurus, intensifying the impact of Uranus within our daily interactions and world events. With Venus retrograde in Capricorn also having an intensified presence due to reappearing in visibility as a heliacal rising Morning Star, the flowing trine aspect between Uranus with Venus can lead to unexpected insights emerging that may feel uncomfortable or painful at first, but ultimately lead to important awareness of underlying relational patterns we are in the process of reshaping through the retrograde journey of Venus. During the waning half of the present lunar cycle, Venus will station direct on January 29 at 11°05’ Capricorn a couple days before the New Moon in Aquarius on January 31. Whatever relational issues erupt around the period of the Cancer Full Moon will need to continue to be processed as Venus completes her retrograde journey and then slowly begins moving forward again, but the impact of Uranus stationing at the same time may make them take on an accelerated intensity.

In addition to Uranus having an intensified presence during the time period of the Cancer Full Moon, Mercury does so as well as Mercury stationed retrograde in Aquarius a few days before the lunation on January 14. In addition, Mercury stationed retrograde in range of an extremely close square aspect with Uranus as well as only a few degrees away from Saturn in Aquarius, thereby setting off the longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus. As a result, the Cancer Full Moon will bring illumination to deep emotional patterns related not only to Pluto and the present Venus retrograde phase, but also the ways in which we have been coming to terms over the course of the past year with the ways our own desires for personal liberation and structural change have been interfacing with titanic disruptions to societal systems. Read my article on Mercury retrograde here for more information about how the Cancer Full Moon relates to the stationing of Mercury and the forthcoming retrograde phase of Mercury that will extend through the duration of the waning half of the present lunar cycle.

4 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 3 Decan

The Full Moon in Cancer will illuminate the third decan of Cancer associated with the Four of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the Four of Cups image we see someone sitting on the roots of a tree considering three golden cups ready to be filled in the foreground. While the figure appears be engrossed in contemplative thought, allowing inner exploration to guide subsequent choice, a fourth cup has become magically offered by an otherworldly hand. T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets wrote that the Four of Cups “is a complex card, because it evokes opposing states: scarcity vs. surplus, temptation vs. apathy.” Chang further pondered that if the image evokes the refusal of the call of the Hero’s Journey (see Joseph Campbell), it may also contain the hidden polarity of the call itself. Chang wrote that the Four of Cups represents the “restlessness” that comes after satisfying the pursuit of a new interest and while it could correlate with states of boredom, it can also be seen as an invitation. Chang advised listening “to those dissatisfied voices till they quiet down: they will tell you what is not leading you toward purpose and fulfillment,” and thus through “process of elimination,” we may attune to another inner voice prompting us to consider what we would do if we “could do anything in the world?”

Ruled by the Moon and Jupiter, the third decan of Cancer is a face in which we must come to terms with available resources and questions of our fair share and how much is enough. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Facesgave the image of “The Overflowing Cup” to the third face of Cancer, declaring that it reveals the conflict of choosing “luxurious excess” within “a world of limited material resources” in which “the attainment of luxury for one entails deprivation for others.” Coppock noted that the ascetic air of the figure in the Four of Cups refusing to accept more than he needs reflects having awareness of the “hidden violence and secret competition entailed within the quest for luxury.”  Yet in the way the figure also appears to be conjuring the magical fourth cup, Coppock declared that the third face of Cancer also involves the spiritual dimension of abundance and luxury,  the “ever-refilled” cup offered by Spirit, “the endless luxury of the limitless,”  and the “ever present energy of the natural world- the chi which emanates from all living things.”

Resonant with cycles of creation and destruction that bring limitless luxury and spiritual gifts, Coppock also noted that the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac connected the goddess Hekate with the third face of Cancer. Hekate rules over the phases of the Moon, all realms of the upper world and the underworld, crossroads, magical craft, midwifery, and prophetic mediation among many other significations. The connection of Hekate with this face in the 36 Airs also reveals the chthonic fertility of the third decan of Cancer and its capacity to help guide us toward manifesting and receiving what we need to survive. Hekate’s presence in this face also points to the need of cultivating faith in the unknown; just like she guided the grieving Demeter toward the next step she needed to take within her journey of finding her lost daughter Persephone, so may Hekate’s presence in this decan do the same for us.

Due to the Moon ruling the third face of Cancer, the Full Moon taking place within this decan takes on amplified potency related to the imagery and themes of this decan. May the emotional content it unleashes be received with the wisdom of Hekate, mediated with her inner knowing which can surely guide us through liminal spaces into the choice we need to make at the crossroads intersecting with our present path.

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 – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

become_a_patron_button

References

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

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

Hesiod. (2004). Theogony, Works and Days, Shield. Second edition. Translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis. The John Hopkins University Press.

ISAR 2022

I will be speaking at the upcoming ISAR 2022 Astrology Conference that will be held from August 25 – 29, 2022 in Westminster, Colorado. This will be the largest astrological gathering of 2022. There is currently a discounted registration rate that will end on January 15, so if you are interested in attending and wish to register at the lowest rate possible you will want to do so as soon as possible.

Click the link here to see a list of the exemplary group of astrologers who will be speaking at teaching during the conference.

Click the link here for registration information.

I was selected to speak as part of the “Mythology and Archetypes” track of speakers. My talk will be entitled “Eros, Necessity, and Creative Thresholds” and will be taking place on Friday, August 26 at 9 am. Here’s the description:

Clients seek astrological consultations when feeling they are at a threshold of moving into a more authentically creative life, yet simultaneously frustrated over facing resistance.This talk will utilize mythic stories of Eros, Necessity, threshold guardians, crossroads, and liminal initiations to imaginatively explore ways astrological symbolism can help in validating and empowering inner visions. How can astrology help when feeling stuck at the precipice of pursuing a more vibrantly soulful calling?

I hope to see you there!

Capricorn New Moon

Nereid riding a Sea Goat, Greek bronze from 4th Century B.C.

Capricorn New Moon

Though the beginning of every lunar cycle is a cyclical cusp of renewal to cross, the New Moon in Capricorn on January 2 is more transitional than normal as it will announce the beginning of a new year as well as new cycles with both the Moon and Venus. The threshold guardian Janus with his two faces simultaneously looking forwards and backwards will be strongly felt within the darkness of the lunation, as old memories and patterns will become deeply felt at the same time that new desires for future growth contend with the familiarity of the past. The presence of Pluto has been radically reshaping the landscape of Capricorn ever since 2008, with the more recent alignment of Saturn, Jupiter, and the South Node of the Moon with Pluto during 2020 bringing about a total reshaping of global civilization at the same time we experienced our own individual transfiguration. With Venus presently retrograde in Capricorn and applying toward a conjunction with the Capricorn New Moon, there will be a need to embrace nonlinear perceptions and feelings, reaching back into the depths of our past at the same time as we envision a more authentically creative direction forward.

The dark forests and alpine terrain of Capricorn encourages the development of strategies to deal with the challenges of life as well as the mental fortitude to bear suffering while persevering toward goals. Yet its living image of the Sea Goat speaks to the more complex capacities of Capricorn for entering the dissolution of chaotic processes at the heart of creation, as the Sea Goat’s watery tail can draw vision from imaginal sources that bring about a necessary renewal and reordering of material being reshaped on the dry land of everyday life. The strength of Capricorn for constructing effective boundaries can be utilized for creating space to deepen into a letting go of old forms of identity and security, allowing whatever wild off shoots from inner fertility need to emerge. Due to the interplay between the lunation with the present state of Venus retrograde in Capricorn, it will be necessary to accept the mystery of present emotions and events rather than insisting on gaining certainty or a quick fix. Venus has much more to reveal in the coming weeks.

Venus stationed retrograde within close range of Pluto on December 19, forming her second conjunction with Pluto within two weeks on December 25. Since then Venus has been slowly moving away from Pluto and towards the flames of the Sun, intensifying the presence of the star of Aphrodite in our lives. You may be simultaneously experiencing inner desires lit by the approaching heat of the Sun while also undergoing a purgation of what needs to be burned off from the past. Venus is still only three degrees away from Pluto during the Capricorn New Moon, and so while Venus may still be hearing the chthonic siren songs of underworld desires within the darkness of the lunation, her approaching union with the Sun on January 8 will demarcate a slow shift away from the pull of old relational patterns stirred up by her close proximity with Pluto. During the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, the sensual sultriness and inner wildness of Capricorn will be available to explore as part of coming into relationship with the new desires and values that we will be continuing to develop in the months ahead.

The Capricorn New Moon is closely separating from an invigorating trine aspect with Uranus retrograde in Taurus and applying toward a sextile with Neptune in Pisces and a conjunction with Venus and Pluto in Capricorn; these aspects amplify the breakthrough quality of the lunation, whether in relation to old memories and patterns or becoming more deeply stirred by present desires emerging. The harmonious aspect between the Capricorn New Moon with Neptune can facilitate imaginative engagement with the flux of desires, using the felt sense of images, films, music, and other artistic or creative processes to deepen into awareness of what needs to be let go from the past to clear space for new growth to take root. The strange, magical quality of time that can be experienced during Venus retrograde will be bringing opportunities to make foundational alterations in your relationship with Capricorn, eventually bringing awareness for how to claim greater authority and agency in creatively reshaping your direction in the year ahead. Yet within the coming weeks we may first need to confront the challenges to our future growth lurking within the shadows, necessitating a descent into whatever material within our interior depths needs our attention.

The Sibyl and a Child Bearing a Torch (1520-40) unknown artist after Ugo da Carpi

Less than a week after the Capricorn New Moon on January 8 we will experience a rebirth of Venus, as she will be reanimated by her union with the Sun at 18º43′ Capricorn. Demetra George in Ancient Astrology wrote that “the protected space at the heart of the Sun is the sanctum sanctorum, the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations,” symbolizing the felt sense of mystery and revelation that may be felt when the Sun and Venus come together. Venus will be enthroned within solar light, bringing about a purification that can help in receiving greater clarity regarding the inner metamorphosis of Venus that has been in process. It will be worthwhile to reflect upon the placement of 18º43′ Capricorn in your natal chart to gain a sense of what areas of your life may be especially impacted by the renewal of Venus on January 8.

The inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on January 8 demarcates the shift from Venus away from being in her Evening Star phase into entering her Morning Star phase. Her inferior conjunction also places Venus upon one point of the five pointed star pattern that Venus forms within the five inferior conjunctions she forms every eight years while retrograde in between our orbit with the Sun, as well as within the five superior conjunctions she forms every eight years while moving direct on the other side of our orbit around the Sun. The nonlinear nature of the solar conjunctions formed by Venus can often resurrect memories and patterns associated with the stories taking shape in our lives during previous alignments of Venus with the Sun. For example, it will be helpful to reflect upon whatever storylines were taking shape when the present Evening Star phase of Venus was seeded at the superior conjunction of Venus on March 25, 2021 at 5º50’ Aries; these storylines in particular will be experiencing significant developments. It will also be important to contemplate the storylines taking shape during the previous inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on June 3, 2020 at 13º35’ Gemini, as this was the last time that Venus united with the Sun while retrograde. The last time there was a conjunction of Venus with the Sun in Capricorn was the superior conjunction of Venus on January 8, 2018 at 18º57’ Capricorn; this solar conjunction was additionally relevant due to it occurring near Pluto. Moreover, the last time that Venus was retrograde and conjoining the Sun in Capricorn was eight years ago on January 11, 2014 at 21º11’ Capricorn; this previous Venus retrograde phase in Capricorn was additionally significant due to Venus stationing direct while forming a conjunction with Pluto on January 31, 2014.

Fortunately, the inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on January 8 is taking place within a section of Capricorn that pleases Venus: her own bounds. The bounds or terms of each zodiacal sign are sections in which planets have greater agency to express their nature even if they are not the domicile ruler of the sign. For example, Demetra George has compared a planet being in its own bounds to being like a classroom that the planet can manage within the larger context of the zodiacal sign. Since Venus has her bounds from fourteen to twenty-two degrees of Capricorn, she will begin operating from her own terms beginning on January 3 and will remain within her own terms until January 17. The presence of Venus within her own bounds during her inferior conjunction as well as the surrounding time period will enhance our capacity for deepening into whatever changes in our values and desires are taking shape and being able to experience the pleasures of Venus in the process.

The deep alterations to inner values we experience on personal levels will be taking place within a larger context of disruptive societal change due to the final exact square aspect that formed between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus on December 23. Indeed, Saturn in Aquarius rules the New Moon in Capricorn while beginning to separate from its exact square aspect with Uranus. Due to the recent entrance of Jupiter into Pisces, Saturn will no longer be sharing space with the cohering and uplifting presence of Jupiter. Instead, Saturn will be sharing space with Mercury in the coming weeks. Mercury recently entered the sign of Aquarius on January 1 within his curiously explorative Morning Star phase, full of questions and new ideas to develop that can be strengthened and deepened by the influence from Saturn.

During the end of the previous lunar cycle, Mercury swiftly moved through the end of Capricorn and formed conjunctions with Venus retrograde on December 29 and Pluto on December 30, picking up important messages and insights regarding our experience of the present Venus retrograde phase. With Mercury in Aquarius along with Saturn and applying toward a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, the star of Hermes will be in position to help us adjust our inner changes taking shape in correspondence with the larger shifts erupting in the surrounding world. Mercury and Saturn together in Aquarius can be extremely effective in the development of intellectual research and ideas, and so it will be worthwhile to create space for focused work on projects, with the influence from Uranus enhancing our capacity for being experimental with new approaches that can lead to revelatory insights.

3 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 2 Decan

The Capricorn New Moon will emerge within the second decan of Capricorn associated with the Three of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a skilled sculptor in process of creating a divinely inspired masterwork in stone. There is a consultation taking place between the artisan and authorities associated with the institution, with carefully drawn plans for the masterpiece on display. Fittingly, Mars and Venus are the co-rulers of the second decan of Capricorn, as it is a face in which great works can be created through collaboration, careful planning, and incredible effort bonded with artistic vision. With the inferior conjunction of Venus on January 8 also occurring within the second decan of Capricorn, the visionary blueprints of this decan are in the process of experiencing major renovations.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Pyramid” to the second decan of Capricorn, noting it is a place where sublime works of material manifestation are completed. Coppock described this face as showing “visions of what might be wrought upon the earth, blueprints as a type of revelation.” There is not only a necessity for blueprints but also disciplined, hard work in collaboration with numerous resources in order to complete the grand visions that emerge in this face. Coppock wrote that while it is necessary to bind effort to accomplishing ambitious goals, he also cautioned to take care in the “enduring consequences” created by becoming consumed by the creation of a grand magnum opus. Images in both the Picatrix as well as Three Occult Books of Philosophy speak to this face inspiring a search for what cannot be known and seeking what cannot be done, leading Coppock to note the importance of finding a balance between having enough ambition to envision worthy goals while refraining from the kind of hubris that can envision “impossible or ill fated projects.”

Thus with the Capricorn New Moon on January 2 and the inferior conjunction of Venus on January 8 both taking place within the second face of Capricorn, we can explore if we need to release ourselves from past ambitious goals that are no longer aligned with the emerging values we are coming into relationship with. The revelations from the retrograde phase of Venus may also bring realization that continuing to purse a particular vision will make you complicit in a pyramidal hierarchy of power you no longer wish to be involved with. While some may link the symbol of pyramids with problematic hierarchies, pyramids were also associated in ancient Egyptian culture with creation itself, as they represented the mounds of earth that would arise out of the fertility of water. Within the darkness of the New Moon in Capricorn, let the Sea Goat of Capricorn lead you into the depths of your inner fertility in order to contact the vibrant visions ready to emerge through your work and planning in the year ahead.

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References

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

Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces

Jupiter in Pisces Vija Celmins

ocean image by Vija Celmins; astrology glyphs by Bradley Naragon

Jupiter in Pisces

Like the nine muses who dance with pounding feet around violet-stained springs to awaken desire, the transit of Jupiter in Pisces during 2022 will give life to imaginal visions and elevate idealistic inspiration. Pisces is the oceanic home of Jupiter where the star of Zeus can directly express its gifts for synthesis, shaping, ordering, nourishing, expanding, creating, and sustaining faith in the unknown. During a time of unprecedented collective crises and a year bearing extremely volatile astrological themes involving the ongoing tension between Saturn and Uranus, the presence of Jupiter in Pisces will deliver moments of epiphany that cohere greater understanding within our experiences while also planting seeds of revelatory ideas that may blossom in the decade ahead. 

The mystical and otherworldly Neptune awaits Jupiter underneath the waves of Pisces, promising that Jupiter will expand the dissolution of old forms, bringing about a reshaping and reordering of values, perspectives, and beliefs through a disintegrative process. We will need to be mindful of the ways Neptune combined with Jupiter can lead us astray through illusion, escapism, and intoxication, influencing us to be unfocused on mundane responsibilities that need our attention. Although we will need to keep in mind the potential for deluding ourselves when hearing their call from the far-off sea, following the siren songs of Jupiter and Neptune can also reveal insight that unites diverse perspectives and traditions.  Just like the muses as daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus share truths that cannot be forgotten, so may Jupiter in Pisces retrieve essential meaning that will emerge from the dissolution brought forth by Neptune and stand the test of time. 

Jupiter will return to its watery home of Pisces on December 28, 2021 after previously occupying Pisces from May 13 until July 28, 2021. Jupiter will then swiftly sail through its oceanic domicile in less than five months, entering Aries on May 10, 2022. After an initial foray into Aries, Jupiter will come back home to Pisces on October 28, 2022 for a sojourn until leaving Pisces for a final time on December 20, 2022. The pivotal conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune will take place on April 12, 2022 at twenty-four degrees of Pisces, with the influence of Neptune upon Jupiter intensifying once Jupiter moves within fifteen degrees of Neptune on January 27. Jupiter will remain within fifteen degrees of Neptune for the rest of 2022 (ending the year within nine degrees of Neptune), creating a lingering effect from their conjunction that will last well beyond their April meeting.

blue grotto

Blue Grotto (Capri Island, Italy) Detroit Publishing Co., ca. 1890

Pisces is the nocturnal home of Jupiter, an aquatic landscape of gushing springs and expansive seas that accentuates the fertile life force of Jupiter. Although the reputation Jupiter has in astrology for being the “great benefic” does not mean that transits from Jupiter always bring positively joyful experiences, it is important that significations of Jupiter involve relief from troubles, generosity, charity, growth, abundance, elevation, truth, reverence, affirmation, and coherence. Since Pisces is Jupiter’s home it can fully express its beneficial significations, with the moist mutability of Pisces amplifying the capacity of Jupiter for synthesizing meaning, distilling wisdom, and generating new mixtures of ideas. For example, a list of famous Jupiter in Pisces natives includes Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Kepler, Freud, Darwin, Nietszche, Goethe, and Rousseau. The brilliance of Jupiter in Pisces may also be heard in the music of Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder, the writing of Edgar Allen Poe, JRR Tolkien, Louisa May Alcott, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Arthur Miller, as well as in the art of Paul Klee, Max Ernst, and John Singer Sargent.

Indeed, the inwardly directed nature of Pisces allows for extraordinary insight and inspiration to be found through exploration of our boundless inner realms. In contrast to Sagittarius, the fiery domicile of Jupiter where it swiftly gallops with outward enthusiasm, the nocturnal water of Pisces slows down the pace of Jupiter and invites inward exploration that can enable us to sink into embodiment of our soulful essence. The waves of Jupiter in Pisces can wash over and weave in between the places where we have been fragmented, coalescing a presence that can bring together parts of our inner multiplicity that have become disconnected. By taking our time and acting with the flow of surrounding natural cycles rather than trying to force things to happen, Jupiter in Pisces can create an experience of abundance that allows us to feel more expansive with less by aligning us with our authentic nature and values.

Yet with the dissolving whirlpool of Neptune present with Jupiter in Pisces, the coherence we gain through Jupiter will be important to question. The combination of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will necessitate a descent into the dissolution of our previous beliefs, embodying the essence that will eventually coagulate out of the disintegrating stirring of our inner life. There will be a need to embrace nonlinear processes rather than insisting on linear progress, as we may need to pass through a disorienting phase of fluidity before we are able to differentiate and clarify the deeper meaning we receive. Liz Greene has taught that while Jupiter seeks personal meaning that helps cohere understanding for how our personal lives are meaningful within a larger context, Neptune is the antithesis of personal enrichment due to it revealing our sense of egoic control as being a fantasy that we need to transcend or release (1).

Within Irish folklore, the concept of “seachran si” or “fairy straying” is interesting to consider in terms of the disorientation and disillusionment that can occur under the influence of Neptune. When under the spell of fairy straying, wayfarers become confused while journeying across liminal landscapes as they experience a sudden shift into the strange and unfamiliar. An impassable fog or mist may obsfucate their view of the path ahead, or a river may block all forward progress no matter which way they turn. In this way Neptune can function like the Otherworld of fairy as all familiar reference points dissolve, forcing an interfacing with the indeterminate. Interestingly, a remediation from Irish folklore concerns turning your coat or clothes inside out in order to counterbalance the enchantment (2). Similarly, we may need to take on the inverted stance of the Hanged Man arcanum from tarot, allowing our perspective to be turned inside out while navigating the waves of Jupiter and Neptune.

As a result, the disorientation and disillusionment that can occur under the influence of Jupiter and Neptune must be kept in mind while also remembering their capacity for fostering hopes and aspirations that go beyond the conditioning of past identities and beliefs. Dane Rudhyar wrote that a key issue with Jupiter is the tendency for people to seek success through conformity with the expectations and rules of the present power structures, whereas the influence of Neptune may render a future form we may seek which transcends the problematic and oppressive aspects of the dominant cultures we live within. However, Rudhyar also noted that the confusion that can accompany taking a visionary step forward can also create a regressive pull in many toward the security of familiar institutions and beliefs. Nonetheless, Rudhyar stressed that it can be the accumulation of smaller changes within our relationships that occur in correspondence with the merging of Jupiter and Neptune that later allow for the greater revolutionary events in the wider world to materialize (3).

Fish Magic by  Paul Klee

Fish Magic (1925) by Paul Klee, born with Jupiter in Pisces

“To use the world well, to be able to stop wasting it and our time in it, we need to relearn our being in it . . .

Relationship among all things appears to be complex and reciprocal — always at least two-way, back-and-forth. It seems that nothing is single in this universe, and nothing goes one way.

In this view, we humans appear as particularly lively, intense, aware nodes of relation in an infinite network of connections, simple or complicated, direct or hidden, strong or delicate, temporary or very long-lasting. A web of connections, infinite but locally fragile, with and among everything — all beings — including what we generally class as things, objects . . .

I guess I’m trying to subjectify the universe, because look where objectifying it has gotten us. To subjectify is not necessarily to co-opt, colonize, exploit. Rather it may involve a great reach outward of the mind and imagination.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin from Late in the Day (published in 2015 with Jupiter in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces and square Saturn in Sagittarius)

Jupiter and Neptune Cycle

Although unions between Jupiter and Neptune can open awareness beyond the usual limits of material reality, their cycle in mundane astrology is one of the most orderly and consistent. In fact, the Jupiter and Neptune cycle stands out from all others as it occurs in a successive order of zodiac signs, typically moving from one sign to the next with an occasional repeat of a sign. For example, the 1958 conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune was in Scorpio, the 1971 conjunction was in Sagittarius, the 1984 conjunction was in the beginning of Capricorn, the 1997 conjunction was at the end of Capricorn, and the 2009 conjunction was in Aquarius. It takes Jupiter and Neptune approximately 166 years to move through their entire cycle, forming conjunctions with each other every thirteen years or so. Since Neptune was discovered in 1846, the first conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune to occur following Neptune’s discovery was their union on March 17, 1856 at nineteen degrees of Pisces. Thus the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune on April 12, 2022 will demarcate the first time that humanity has experienced the full cycle of Jupiter and Neptune forming conjunctions in every sign of the zodiac sequentially since becoming aware of the existence of Neptune.

It’s further important to realize that the last three conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune have occurred in signs ruled by Saturn, with the 2022 conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune occurring within a recent astrological period dominated by Saturn. Indeed, the visionary potential of Jupiter uniting with Neptune in Pisces will follow the new cycles initiated between Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in 2020 that correlated with the onset of a global pandemic, the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius at the end of 2020 that established a volatile new era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting within the air triplicity, and the waning square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus that has coincided with rapid innovations and sudden collapses across society in 2021 and will continue to do so in 2022. We are at the beginning of a two hundred year era of air involving rapid dispersal of previously solid power structures and dynamics, with Saturn in the middle of transits bringing a radical reordering of boundaries. Though the ideas we generate from Jupiter and Neptune conjoining will have to face the reality tests of Saturn, their union will be taking place removed from the restrictions of Saturn in astrological terrain where both Jupiter and Neptune possess maximum capacity for visioning creative potential.

Furthermore, there is a harmonious sextile aspect between 23º58’ Pisces where Jupiter and Neptune will unite in 2022 and 22º46’ Capricorn where Saturn and Pluto formed their massively influential conjunction in 2020. The union between Jupiter and Neptune having a supportive aspect with the union between Saturn and Pluto suggests that the inspiring vision of Jupiter and Neptune can provide a counterbalance to the difficult despair brought by Saturn and Pluto, helping to nurture new dreams and ways of recovering from the setbacks and resets brought by the pandemic. Though the astrology of 2022 suggests that there will continue to be numerous collective crises to contend with, the union of Jupiter and Neptune can provide moments of relief in which significant new ideas and sources of inspiration may be found within surrounding challenges.

In many ways the meaning of the Jupiter and Neptune cycle is diametrically opposed to the meaning of the Saturn and Pluto cycle. Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche described Saturn and Pluto as aligning with “conservative empowerment” and “eras of international crisis and conflict, empowerment of reactionary forces and totalitarian impulses, organized violence and oppression” (4). In contrast, Andre Barbault wrote that conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune emphasize “unified collective global power” and a “collective liberal order,” with “collective movements that have liberal democratic tendencies” favoring “universal moral values” (5). For example, women finally gained the right to vote in the United States of America through the 19th Amendment being ratified less than a month before the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Leo in 1919. Moreover, both the first and second world wars ended during periods of conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune, with the League of Nations being formed following their conjunction in 1919 and the United Nations being fomed following their conjunction in Libra in 1945. It’s remarkable that both attempts during the 20th century to form governing bodies which brought world powers together on behalf of avoiding another world war occurred in exact alignment with Jupiter and Neptune. In fat, the ubiquitous peace symbol commonly used today was in invented in 1958 with Jupiter and Neptune within a few degrees from one another in Scorpio.

Barbault also stated that the unions of Jupiter and Neptune tend to bring “a swing to the left” with “democratic, socialist, or even more or less revolutionary” tendencies. There can thus be tension between the more revolutionary manifestations of Jupiter and Neptune with efforts by global powers to expand their influence and power. For example, while the League of Nations mandated the territories of Palestine and modern Iraq to the United Kingdom and Syria to France during the period of the 1919 conjunction, the Cuban revolution achieved victory following the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in 1958 and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation was founded in 1983 with Jupiter and Neptune within fifteen degrees of one another in Sagittarius. Across the world there has often been an upsurge in strikes and protests on behalf of the labor movement and workers’ rights when Jupiter and Neptune come together. For example, the Coxey’s Army march of unemployed workers to Washington D.C. during the time of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Gemini in 1894 was the first significant protest march in history upon the capital of the United States of America.

Concerning the most recent cycle of Jupiter and Neptune that began in 2009 in Aquarius, within the United States of America there was not only the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the first African American president in the nation’s history, there was also the landmark Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama that dramatically expanded healthcare coverage to the US populace. The ability of President Obama to lead congress in the passage of liberal legislation had a parallel to the election of Franklin Roosevelt to the presidency during a previous conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in 1932. Roosevelt became president during the initial stages of the Great Depression and was able to have his New Deal legislation passed to address the economic depression gripping the nation, bringing hope and increased opportunity to many during a bleak period. The push from the present Biden administration to pass legislation aimed at addressing the economic crises emanating from the pandemic is thus in line with past historical examples of the cycle.

Max Ernst

by Max Ernst, born with Jupiter in Pisces

Jupiter combined with Neptune in Pisces will also stimulate and galvanize new trends and imaginative forms of creative expression across diverse disciplines around the world. The last time that Jupiter and Neptune formed a conjunction in Pisces, the fashion and textile industries were revolutionized by the accidental discovery of the first synthetic organic dye by William Henry Perkin, who was trying to synthesize quinine for the treatment of malaria. Only eighteen years old when he discovered aniline purple, known today as mauveine, Perkin was primed for the impact of Jupiter and Neptune as he was born with a stellium of Mercury, Uranus, Venus, Mars, and the Sun in Pisces. Before Perkin’s discovery the only materials available for textile coloration came from plants or animals and involved long, laborious processes to extract color. Significantly, the brilliant purple hue revealed by Perkin had previously only been accessible to the wealthy. There was even an initial thought to name the dye Tyrian purple after the legendary coloring created from sea snails that was a signature of eminence in ancient cultures. After the discovery of mauveine, there was an immense wave of clothing and textiles dyed purple as the color became widely accessible for the first time in human history.

The thrill of wearing brilliant colors and the lift they can provide to the spirit corresponds with the imaginal potency that trends within art possess that emerge within the zeitgeist when Jupiter and Neptune form conjunctions. The archetypal mixture of Jupiter and Neptune brings together the expanding and elevating functions of Jupiter with the fantasizing functions of Neptune, kindling desire for fusion with transcendent sources of idealism that can temporarily remove us from the travails and limitations of mundane reality. In the 20th century there were numerous grandiose releases such as “Purple Rain” by Prince and “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin timed with their unions, as well as smaller moments that led to later epic releases such as The Quarrymen (later renamed The Beatles) paying for their first ever recording session. The crux becomes whether or not we become led to avoid our purpose in the world through Jupiter and Neptune, or whether we can drink from their enlivening well in order to instill a deeper sense of our destiny. For example, the virtual reality technologies likely to emerge within the new cycle between Jupiter and Neptune simultaneously have the potential to open new avenues of therapy and creativity as well as massive escape from reality.

Mid-Ocean-Mid-Winter John Singer Sargent

Mid-Ocean, Mid-Winter (1876) by John Singer Sargent, born with Jupiter in Pisces

The purpose and passion that can be uncovered beneath the waves of the oceanic unconscious when Jupiter and Neptune unite is exemplified by the publication of The Red Book: Liber Novus by Carl Jung during the period of their conjunction in Aquarius in 2009. A testament to the deep meaning that can be extracted from disorienting, disillusioning, and disintegrative experiences of the unconscious, the long-awaited publication of Jung’s personal odyssey has revolutionized not only the understanding of Jung’s work during the past cycle of Jupiter and Neptune, it has also expanded the potential meaning all of us can gain through encounters with the mystery of unconscious forces. The field of depth psychology has important links with the Jupiter and Neptune cycle, as the famous meeting between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud took place during the period of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Cancer in 1907. Moreover, Sigmund Freud was born with both Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces.

Not only was Jung’s Red Book published during a period of Jupiter and Neptune conjoining, he was actively working on it and beginning to excavate insights regarding his unconscious process to share publicly during a previous period of Jupiter and Neptune uniting in Leo during 1919 and 1920. In a paper presented in 1919 on “The psychological foundations of the belief in spirits,” Jung distinguished between two ways the collective unconscious can become activated: as part of personal crises of lost hope and as part of extraordinary societal and cultural upheaval (6). This insight is crucial for everyone during 2022, but especially for those in the United States as the USA will be experiencing its first Pluto return at the same time the conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune will be forming an opposition to the natal Neptune for the USA. Jung’s revelation that suppressed cultural content can accumulate in the collective unconscious and erupt with disturbing, disorienting effects during times of societal turbulence points to the importance of differentiating oneself enough to explore what emerges within the unconscious and translate the meaning we may retrieve through dialogue and forms of creative expression.

Indeed, due to the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in April occurring in the same time period as a conjunction between Mars and Saturn, as well as the final contact between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces at the end of 2022 occurring in range of a disruptive square aspect from Mars retrograde in Gemini, we can foresee that there will be difficult and tragic collective events occurring alongside whatever inspired experiences correlate with the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction. Yet while difficult collective and personal events may invoke the muse of tragedy, Melpomene, her melodious voice within the collective storms of 2022 can guide us in resiliently persevering through the challenges and inspiring others to do the same. In a time of widespread propaganda and conspiracy theories reminiscent of the themes involved in the dystopian novel 1984, it is fitting that not only was the author George Orwell born with Jupiter in Pisces but also that the famous commercial that introduced the Macintosh personal computer with imagery from the novel 1984 was broadcast at the same time as the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in the year 1984. Though our personal technology devices point to how we give power away to those in power, Jupiter and Neptune coming together can also remind us of ways we can each take back and claim greater personal power from within.

Within the sweep of planetary alignments to come in the next few years, the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will interface with the disruptions to the status quo brought forth by the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus in 2021 and 2022. As Uranus forces open the gates and boundaries of Saturn, so will Neptune inspire flights of boundless imagination from Jupiter. The new visions unearthed will be key, for in 2024 we will experience a conjunction between Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus followed by a conjunction in 2026 between Saturn and Neptune in Aries at the first degree of Aries following a period of Saturn being co-present in Pisces along with Neptune that begins in March 2023. While these years will witness another wave of rapid change across global societies, the extended alignment between Saturn and Neptune can support making real the imaginative leaps in thought inspired by the union of Jupiter and Neptune in 2022. May the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune aid you in dreaming well and deepening into the meaning of your myriad relationships within the world around you.

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Works Cited

  1. Greene, Liz. (12 October 2004). Centre for Psychological Astrology (CPA) seminar at Regents College, London. Neptune.
  2. Bluirini Bealoidis Folklore Podcast. (9 April 2021). Episode 30 – The Stray Sod.
  3. Rudhyar, Dane. (1958). The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle. Horoscope Magazine.
  4. Tarnas, Richard. (2007). Cosmos and Psyche. Plume.
  5. Barbault, Andre. (2016). Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology. Translated by Kate Johnston. The Astrological Association.
  6. Jung, C. G. (2009). The red book: Liber novus (S. Shamdasani, Ed.,& trans: Kyburz, M., Peck, J., & Shamdasani, S.). New York: W. W. Norton.

Goethe

Colour Wheel by Johann von Goethe, born with Jupiter in Pisces, from his book Theory of Colours published during a year of a conjunction between Saturn and Neptune in Sagittarius

Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

The Hall of Stars in the Palace of the Queen of the Night, from The Magic Flute by Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

Eclipses are portals of intersecting pathways, signaling an upswing of new relational developments entering our life while older storylines end in release or fade from focalization. Lunar eclipses occur when a Full Moon occurs near the intersection between the Moon’s orbit and the ecliptic, the apparent pathway of the Sun from our perspective on Earth. As the crossroads of the Sun and Moon becomes illuminated, so does our sense of soulful direction and destiny. Since the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19, 2021 is the first eclipse to occur in Taurus and is co-present with an activated Uranus in Taurus, there is greater likelihood for new attractions, revelations, disruptions, challenges, and opportunities to emerge in the surrounding time period. There may be a need to create time and space for restorative rest and resourcing to help digest what needs to be integrated into one’s life and understanding.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is the first eclipse of the series that will be going back and forth between the fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio, initiating new narratives involving the signs of Scorpio and Taurus that will last until the final eclipse in the series occurs on October 28, 2023 in Taurus. In addition to activating a new zodiacal sign polarity, it is also the first eclipse to occur in the same sign as Uranus since Uranus entered Taurus in 2018. Later eclipses in the series will be exactly aligned with Uranus and more potent in their promethean expression, and so the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will bring an initial sense for how the combination of eclipses occurring in the same sign as Uranus will be accelerating change and inspiring breakthroughs in the next couple of years.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will catalyze the recent release of tension and dynamism created by Mars in Scorpio forming an exact opposition with Uranus in Taurus on November 17, after Mars previously formed a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on November 10. The ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus has been underlying all of the radical structural changes that have been rippling across 2021, as it has been bringing the consolidating contraction of Saturn that builds enduring structures into conflict with the accelerated vision of Uranus that resists restrictions and insists on making innovative changes to the status quo. Though dramatic external changes that have correlated with Mars in Scorpio igniting the friction between Saturn and Uranus may already be obvious, the Moon being eclipsed only a couple of days after the exact opposition between Mars and Uranus will bring a stronger sense for how inner processes are being transmuted in correlation. Since Venus in Capricorn rules the eclipse and is forming a trine aspect with Uranus and a sextile aspect with Mars, we will be able to attune to deep changes within our inner realm while we simultaneously receive a felt sense for how our interpersonal relationships are likewise shifting in correlation with the larger changes at work.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is separating from a sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn and a propulsive square aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius, bringing vital insight into whatever goals and projects connected with our core purpose and values we have been contemplating and developing. As the Moon becomes eclipsed while inhabiting her sign of exaltation, there may be old idealizations that will be brought down from their formerly lofty heights as we realize what their exalted light has been obscuring within shadow. It will be necessary to become clear about the challenges we are facing, while also kindling visions of vivifying growth and creative expression that can emerge within the dismantling and regeneration underway.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be partial, meaning that while the shadow cast across the face of the Moon will become ruddy in color, it will not become the more vibrant blood red color that occurs during a total lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse will be unusually long, in fact the longest partial lunar eclipse since 1440, and visible across North and South America, Asia, and Australia. The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is also a member of an eclipse family associated with the saros series 126, and is the first partial lunar eclipse following a long sequence of total lunar eclipses. The last lunar eclipse in the series was total and took place on 9 November 2003, with the previous total lunar eclipses in the series occurring on 28 October 1985 and 18 October 1967. You may notice some strange recurrences or replicating patterns associated with events that took place during previous lunar eclipses in the series.

Salome and the Apparition of the Baptist’s Head (1876) by Gustave Moreau

Astrological tradition imagines eclipses as a great dragon or serpent consuming the light of our Sun and Moon, with the North Node of the Moon symbolizing its head and the South Node its tail. The Lunar Eclipse at 27º14’ Taurus will be aligned with the head of the dragon, as the North Node of the Moon will be at 1º47’ Gemini, introducing a symbolic dragon with a head in Taurus and tail in Scorpio that will take much stronger form over the course of 2022. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail that has been used in Hermetic arts for ages. The dragon devouring itself mirrors the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms. In alchemical work the arts of separation and union tied to this imagery reflect our capacity for purifying material attachments. The inner and outer changes we experience in correlation with eclipses can facilitate a letting go of fixation to enable release, while a burgeoning sense of new forms coming together to emerge can be felt.

Since the meaning of a lunar eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of the Sun casting the Earth’s shadow onto the face of the Moon, Dane Rudhyar interpreted the solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past as shadows veil the lunar impact of past conditioning and attachments on our present consciousness. Since the Taurus Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon while the Sun is illuminating the side of the South Node of the Moon, growth will come from the resolution and release of old issues, emotional material, and familial conditioning that have shaped our actions and relationships. Engaging whatever insights may be excavated or new growth nurtured from the putrefaction of the past will continue to be important as we traverse the strange vortex of time that occurs in between eclipses, as the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4 that will be aligned with the South Node of the Moon. The intersection of the past into the coming eclipse portal brings a dragon’s pearl to the surface that has been born from the darkness of the beast’s belly, a natural gem purified across time that now opens awareness to future potential and growth that may emerge from decomposition of the past.

Gorgon (around 580 BC), as depicted on a pediment from the temple of Artemis in Corfu

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse occurs near the fixed star Algol, known as the severed head of Medusa in some traditions and the head of the demon in others. Algol fits well with eclipses due to it being a three star system containing an eclipsing binary which causes Algol to blink in the night sky, as it contains stars that are constantly eclipsing themselves. Just like astrologers have long feared the volatile impact of eclipses within mundane events, so have they also feared Algol. However, although Diana Rosenberg wrote that Algol has been correlated with horrific events in human history, in natal charts “it is not necessarily malevolent and may, in fact, bestow considerable benefits, including intellectual brilliance, creativity and originality.” Rosenberg wrote that having Algol strongly connected to a nativity “does not necessarily mean one will commit or experience violence; it is, rather, that one will not be able to remain aloof from the awareness of that level of human experience, and will be led to come to terms with it in some manner.” Rosenberg gave the examples of a journalist covering tragedies or those called to comfort or assist victims of disaster or those recovering from trauma.

Yet Rosenberg also warned of the potential for one to “lose one’s head” under the influence of Algol, going against better judgement through “dictatorial” and “absolutist” tendencies with an “unwillingness to see any humanity in their opponents,” leading to “wanton aggressiveness,” “criminal intolerance,” and using “religion or intense patriotism to justify violence against others.” Similarly, Bernadette Brady wrote that “Algol represents a strong consuming passion that may devour you with anger and rage.” Yet Brady also wrote that if “one can contain an unconscious compulsion to take revenge, and focus that passion into a more productive outcome, Algol is one of the most powerful stars in the sky.” Along these lines Rosenberg wrote that there is a strong artistic and intellectual side to Algol that can lead to great ambition and accomplishment.

As a result, the eclipse occurring near Algol may bring increased awareness of the ways systemic oppression has been causing devastation within the natural environment and landscape of human relationships. There may be increased waves of anger and rage unleashed in retribution, as well as polarized conflicts within politics continuing with each side locked in projecting back and forth without listening to one another or reflecting on how one’s own shadow may be influencing their behavior. Yet within our personal experience we may gain a deeper sense for how some of our own wounds and frustrating patterns are connected to must vaster ancestral patterns underlying the present conflicts within surrounding culture. Turning within to explore one’s shadow when needed, making effort to pull back one’s projections when possible, and deeply listening to internal processes and the messages received within relationship can help in finding creative ways to engage with whatever material becomes stirred up by the eclipse.

Queen of the Night by Marjorie Miller

Venus in Capricorn rules the eclipse while shining brightly as an evening star following sunset. Venus is out of bounds in southern declination, and so is appearing low in the sky in the northern hemisphere. The freedom oriented nature of Venus being out of bounds is further amplified due to Venus actively engaging and mediating the recent opposition between Mars in Scorpio and Uranus in Taurus that has dislodged and jarred loose stuck material and issues. Venus is separating from a trine aspect with Uranus and applying to a sextile aspect with Mars in Scorpio, both aspects that suggest opportunities being available to become creatively activated. Moreover, there is reception involved in the aspects Venus is making with both Uranus and Mars, as Venus is receiving Uranus within her earthy home of Taurus and Mars is receiving Venus through Venus being in the exaltation of Mars. Venus in Capricorn is capable of enforcing boundaries and cultivating containers within which shared intimacy and creativity may flourish, and her supportive aspects with Mars and Uranus suggest opportunities for deepening our engagement with whatever relational processes and revelations become activated while also having the courage to embrace the depths of our experience.

Yet Venus is also beginning to approach another significant aspect with Pluto in Capricorn that will become stronger as we approach the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4. Venus will be within three degrees of a conjunction with Pluto during the upcoming solar eclipse, eventually forming a conjunction with Pluto on December 11 the first time and then again on December 25 after stationing retrograde on December 19. Venus will then remain within three degrees of Pluto until January 1, 2022. Although Venus is twelve degrees away from Pluto during the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, during the waning half of the lunar cycle we will be gaining a stronger sense of whatever deep material that Venus and Pluto will be bringing to the surface for an extended process of engagement.

The approaching confrontation between Venus and Pluto conjures the myth of Persephone aka Proserpina and her mother Demeter aka Ceres. During the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, Ceres is retrograde in Gemini near the north node of the Moon, with the eclipsed Moon applying toward a conjunction with Ceres. There is a fascinating link between the Taurus Lunar Eclipse and the present period of Ceres retrograde: the degree of the lunar eclipse at 27º14′ Taurus is the same degree where Ceres will eventually station direct on January 14, 2022 at 27º58′ Taurus. Thus whatever material emerges from shadows in connection with the lunar eclipse may have an important relationship with whatever material that Ceres is leading us to remember and integrate during the course of her present retrograde. Ceres previously stationed retrograde on October 8, 2021 at 12º08′ Gemini, creating a region from twelve degrees of Gemini to twenty-seven degrees of Taurus to pay attention to in your natal chart. An incredible additional synchronicity is that the Persephone asteroid stationed retrograde at the same time as Ceres, within a few degrees, and so is also on a simultaneous retrograde journey nearby Ceres.

Ceres produces the resources needed for vitality as well as bears the seeds of renewal. Yet the swing of her scythe that brings the harvest necessitates loss as much as it brings forth gain, and her retrograde passage can correlate with her passage of grief following the loss of her daughter to the underworld.  Just as the Taurus Moon will be eclipsed by shadow, so was Ceres eclipsed by pain and rage over her own personal tragedy.  In an element of her myth that parallels the story of Isis and Osiris, Ceres was willing to incarnate into human form as part of fully embodying her grief. Ceres reveals the importance of taking time and space away from production in order to grieve and tend to inner darkness, while also illuminating the resolve necessary to return to the world of suffering in order to bolster strength in others. Just as the myth of Ceres/Demeter tells the story of how the mystery initiations were brought to humanity, so does the connection of the dwarf planet Ceres with the Taurus Lunar Eclipse suggest paying mindful attention to the deeper mystery of your experiences and what important aspects of soul are emerging within your interactions with others that contain a wealth of insight to reflect upon and slowly integrate across the course of Ceres being retrograde.

7 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 3 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the third decan of Taurus associated with the Seven of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of a farmer or gardener carefully watching over the growth of green foliage he hopes will ultimately ripen into a bountiful harvest, it is a card of delayed gratification that necessitates patiently cultivating the process at work so that a savory climax of fulfilling ripeness can later be enjoyed. Fittingly, Saturn rules the third face of Taurus as it is zodiacal terrain where the calm, prudent, and attentive countenance of the farmer in the image of the Seven of Pentacles is needed to make sure all of the necessary planning and responsibilities will be completed even when facing adversity. Similarly, we will need to mediate whatever blessings or burdens emerge with the Taurus Lunar Eclipse while maintaining a long range perspective that will allow for carefully tending to and nurturing the needs of our relationships and endeavors so that they may ultimately bloom in healthy wholeness.  

The destabilizing nature of eclipses aligns well with the meaning that Austin Coppock gave to the third face of Taurus in his book 36 Faces. Coppock ascribed the image of “A String of Prayer Beads” to this face, stating that it “represents a confrontation with destructive factors which impede completion,” as well as the need to enact remediation and “make plans to accommodate the unforeseen.”  While Coppock acknowledged that we must face toil and difficulty at times in this decan due to everything that can go wrong in between the germination of a seed and its ultimate flowering and fruiting, he also listed virtues such as “wisdom, patience, humility, and foresight” as being “the unexpected fruits of the destructive forces which prowl this face.” Indeed, Coppock concluded that while this face may make us confront potential disaster, it is also a place from which we can call for support from higher powers and worthy allies while developing the remedies needed to overcome threats. 

T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets made the astute observation that it is important to “consider the nature of boundaries” in all of the decans ruled by Saturn, as “freedom depends on its limits.” Chang also noted that the image of the farmer staring into space in the Seven of Pentacles image suggests “a sort of timelessness” inherent in the card’s meaning, not unlike the role Saturn plays in astrology as the threshold guardian between time and timelessness. To Chang there is a lesson in this face found within the relationship between our finite perception of time and the truly infinite nature of time. Indeed, by patiently attending to what needs to be completed or cared for in accordance with the finiteness of time, we may also gain wisdom from and find strength within the infiniteness of time in ways that can help us withstand hardship and toil. 

Since the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4, we have forewarning that significant changes will be occurring, especially for those whose natal charts have natal placements impacted by the eclipses. The wisdom of the third decan of Taurus suggests we may prepare through patient attention to whatever needs attending to, as well as by reaching out for support from those who will be able to assist us through whatever transitions we will be moving through. Choose rest and personal nurturance rather than burning yourself out through overproduction, as there will be much to gain through focusing on mutually supportive relationships and taking the time to attend to foundational elements of life that will bolster your long-term health and prosperity.

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References

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.

Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.

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

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

George, Demetra. (1994). Finding Our Way Through the Dark: an astrological companion to Mysteries of the Dark Moon. AFA.

Rosenberg, Diana. (2012). Secrets of the Ancient Skies, Volume 1. Ancient Skies Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1980). The Astrology of Transformation. Quest Books

Scorpio New Moon

City Beyond the Tree by Margo Hoff

Scorpio New Moon

Ancient astrology texts give the fixed, watery sign of Scorpio a special status due to being the place where the Moon experiences her fall. Being the place where Fortune has her fall, Scorpio is considered zodiacal terrain where nothing can be exalted. When planets are considered to be exalted, they are elevated into the highest strata of fame and status within the dominant culture. Considering the current state of those in hierarchical positions of power and the value to be found by playing into the games of present political and popular power structures, the fallen quality of the Moon in Scorpio deserves honoring and embrace. Scorpio penetrates through the false gloss of superficial interactions, cuts through appearances, demands the honesty of the depths and the desire to go there. During a period in which people all around the world are simultaneously poised on the precipice of an enormous threshold, when the structures of civilization are being challenged and torn asunder when incapable of enduring, we need to drink deeply from the dark well of Scorpio.

The New Moon at 12º40′ Scorpio is exactly opposite Uranus retrograde at 12º47′ Taurus. The Sun in opposition with Uranus is the heart of the Uranus retrograde passage, when Uranus is as close to Earth in orbit as possible within its cycle and can be more intensely felt than normal. Uranus stationed retrograde on August 19 at 14º48′ Taurus and will eventually station direct on January 18, 2022 at 10º49′ Taurus, demarcating the lunation as dead center on whatever internal journey Uranus has been calling you to fully commit to. The tension between the Scorpio New Moon with Uranus in Taurus can be released suddenly, striking with revelatory force into a moment in which a completely new understanding or path forward becomes revealed. Uranus electrifies the fallen quality of the Scorpio New Moon, like an otherworldly vision of healing and mystery received while laying low, incubating.

In addition to activating Uranus, in the bigger picture the Scorpio New Moon is triggering whatever tension has been building up between the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus. The Scorpio Sun recently formed a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on October 30, and in the week following the lunation both Mercury and Mars in Scorpio will form a clashing square aspect with Saturn on November 10. The speed of change and dismantling within collective events has been feeling overwhelming and anxiety provoking to many, yet in keeping with the mythic connection many astrologers make between Uranus and Prometheus, within the suffering can also be found the seeds of liberation. Prometheus brought the creative potency of fire, the arts, and sciences to humanity, yet his story also necessitates a confrontation with hubris and questioning of what kind of civilization has been constructed by humanity with the gifts of Prometheus.

Indeed, Tim Addey in Seven Myths of the Soul wrote that Prometheus requires the soul to ask, “what am I not?” Addey stated that “the mystic’s initiation into the mysteries of Prometheus is the voluntary acceptance of the limitations of matter, not its rejection.” Like Prometheus, integrating and embodying the radical awakening of Uranus necessitates a voluntary sacrifice to bring its emancipatory vision into the incarnated world of limitation, suffering, and death. Within the shattering to collective systems wrought by Uranus in Taurus, by going within and finding our center amidst the chaotic tumult we may liberate our authentic values from their concealment within cultural conditioning. To follow one’s true path in the face of consensus conditioning necessitates the risk of abandonment and fears of experiencing shame and betrayal.

With Mars ruling the New Moon while at full strength within its watery home of Scorpio, there is enduring courage waiting to be seized like an ancestral sword long bound by stone, awaiting release. Make the space and time needed, no matter how painstakingly slow it seems to be taking, to allow the decomposition and putrefaction of Scorpio to work its magic on the ways in which the conditioning of consensus culture has led you to believe you need to live your life. Ask yourself what you wish to awaken in yourself and others, and what you want to bring to civilization from the soulfulness of your own inner depths. We are in a crucial time full of crucial choices that deserve the thought and contemplation needed to align our actions with our essential integrity.

Egyptian Scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs (ca. 1479–1458 B.C.)

Mars is as strong as possible at the degree he is inhabiting during the Scorpio New Moon, as he is in his own domicile, bounds, decan, and triplicity. Meanwhile, Saturn is also especially strong due to being in his own domicile and triplicity. The fact that both Mars and Saturn are so powerfully positioned amplifies the tidal force of the tension building between them as they prepare to clash on November 10. Mars and Saturn are the planets most associated with being tested and learning how to traverse periods of difficulty and strife. While Mars can incite pushing forward with passion and making things happen with direct action, Saturn can push back through restraint, slowing things down with contemplative containment, and erecting boundaries and defensives to keep the red hot heat of Mars at bay. Yet Mars in Scorpio is in the dominant position by being in the tenth place from Saturn, the first time all year that Mars has been engaged with Saturn through being in a superior square. Thus while Saturn may attempt to clamp down on Mars, the propulsive force of Mars will topple the towers of Saturn, especially those systemic structures which lack a strong foundation and capacity for flexibly adjusting to changing conditions.

Adding to the intense, explosive quality of the conflict brewing between Mars and Saturn will be Mercury, as the star of Hermes will enter Scorpio on November 5, the day after the Scorpio New Moon. Mercury will form a conjunction with Mars in Scorpio on November 10, with both Mars and Mercury simultaneously forming an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. As a result the days leading up to November 10 may feel especially charged, with an extended release in the following week. Mercury will form a tense opposition with Uranus in Taurus on November 13, followed by Mars forming an opposition with Uranus on November 17.

The union of Mercury and Mars can weaponize language as well as increase the capacity of Mars for being cunning and tricky when implementing strategy. It will be wise to avoid unnecessary conflicts and walk away when possible to avoid escalation. Yet when brought to bear on one’s inner depths, the penetrative force of Mercury and Mars in Scorpio can dislodge potent desires to express through creativity as well as through protective support of one another within community.

While Saturn in Aquarius will be extremely activated with all of its defenses by the charge from Mercury and Mars in Scorpio, the star of Cronus will also be applying toward a potentially integrative sextile aspect with Chiron, who is retrograde in Aries and mutually applying with Saturn. Saturn will not complete his sextile aspect with Chiron until November 26, allowing for an extended period of time to explore what sort of dialogue and relationship can be bridged between Chiron and Saturn. Adding to the complexity, Ceres retrograde in Gemini is also involved in the dynamic between Saturn and Chiron, as Ceres is applying toward a trine with Saturn and a sextile with Chiron (Ceres will sextile Chiron on November 8 and trine Saturn on November 14).

Thus both Chiron and Ceres are available for tending to whatever wounds and burdens we have been experiencing related to Saturn. We may need to make space for grief related to loss, issues of identity, and feelings of alienation or dislocation that we have been experiencing. Yet the harmonious aspects between Ceres and Chiron with Saturn can also help retrieve a deep sense of the inner treasure we may find within ourselves, buried underneath the accumulation of so much stress circulating within collective crises and personal difficulties. Relationships we may turn to involving secure bonds of attachment can be particularly helpful in exploring whatever medicine can be alchemized between Ceres, Saturn, and Chiron.

Doorways by Margo Hoff

We can expect the unexpected in the weeks following the Scorpio New Moon not only because of the activation of both Uranus and Saturn by transit, but also because we will be entering an eclipse season. Indeed, the lunar cycle beginning with the Scorpio New Moon will reach peak light with a Lunar Eclipse on November 19 at 27º14′ Taurus. Since this will be the first eclipse to occur in the fixed signs of Taurus or Scorpio, there will likely be important endings and beginnings in storylines taking shape in correspondence as we get closer to the eclipse. Pay attention for signs of what new stories may emerge in correspondence with eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio.

Another sign of changing narratives will be the entrance of Venus into Capricorn on November 5, the day after the Scorpio New Moon. Venus in Capricorn will begin activating a storyline that will have a long arc, extending across the threshold between 2021 and 2022. Venus will remain in Capricorn from November 5, 2021 until March 5, 2022 due to stationing retrograde in Capricorn on December 19, 2021. Tellingly, the first major aspect that Venus in Capricorn will complete with a planet besides the Moon will be a harmonious sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus on November 18. Since Venus will be receiving Uranus into her earthy home of Taurus, their contact on the day before the Lunar Eclipse can help us find ways to relate and be more creative with the more explosive tension that will be released by the opposition between Mars in Scorpio with Uranus in Taurus on November 17. Venus in Capricorn knows how to play the long game, and while Venus can enjoy the lust of earthly delights in Capricorn she can also utilize boundaries to create the space needed for whatever she desires to gestate and birth.

6 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 2 Decan

The New Moon in Scorpio is in the second decan of Scorpio associated with the Six of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image reveals the virtuous innocence of receiving through giving, which connects with the Sun and Jupiter being the rulers of the second face of Scorpio. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “An Apparatus for Mutual Distillation” to the second decan of Scorpio, describing it as a face in which mutual distillation within relationship allows for matters to be passed back and forth as in an alembic, “growing increasingly rarefied and potent.” Coppock wrote that while “it is easy to imagine these dynamics between romantic partners, all relationships which rely on trust and continuous exchange generate such circuits.”

Coppock’s description of ideal relational exchanges rooted in trust also brings to mind its antithesis of broken trust that unleashes overwhelming emotions and catalyzes separations and letting go. Twelfth century astrologer Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom wrote that within the second face of Scorpio there “ascends a woman who has left her house; she is naked and has nothing on and she is entering the sea.” Austin Coppock described the second decan of Scorpio as warning that we need to be careful to whom we bare ourselves to, because the “virtuous circuit of exchange can become vicious in this face . . . the process of dual cultivation becomes one of mutual degradation, each destroying the quality of the other with each pass.”

Further showing the importance of separating from degrading relationships in the second decan of Scorpio, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Titan goddess Leto to the second face of Scorpio. Sister to the starry, divinatory goddess Asteria and mother to the twin lights of Artemis and Apollo, Leto’s presence in the face where the Scorpio New Moon will darken reveals the need to protectively nurture and cultivate whatever we hold most dear and wish to bring into the world. Leto had to flee and take refuge on an isolated island unattached to the ocean floor in order to escape the wrath of Hera, who had made all lands exclude Leto from entry due to her anger over the affair between Leto and Zeus.  It was said that the twin offspring of Leto would stabilize the new order of Olympian deities, and so her persistence in nurturing the birth of Apollo and Artemis was additionally a birth of a new collective age. In this time of great global shifts and collective thresholds, Leto is a fitting symbol for taking the necessary steps to give birth to the world you wish yourself and the generations to follow to inhabit.

As the power found in the second face of Scorpio involves distillation and cultivation from intimate exchanges, the closeness of our relationships and the mutual support and love found within them will be the vessel to tend and drink from in the coming weeks. Let the darkness of the Scorpio New Moon bring you closer to the community and relationships needed to help bring forth the blessings and beauty of your lineages more brightly into the world.

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

Addey, Tim. (2000). The Seven Myths of the Soul. The Prometheus Trust.

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

Libra New Moon

Mirror of Venus by Edward Burne-Jones

“Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divining, perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”

Libra New Moon

Cycles are central to astrology, at the core of the rhythm within the nature around and within us that we perceive in correspondence; at the root of our imaginal revelations, feelings, and the stories we participate in with our lives. Each and every New Moon brings a death and rebirth. Approximately aligned with the calendrical timeframe of a month, each time the Moon approaches her regenerative union with the Sun, we experience a putrefaction and decomposition of matters belonging to the past month, while simultaneously experiencing the reanimation of meaning to be brought forth in the cycle ahead. During the dark of the Moon, when her silvery light is cloaked in night due to being too close to the Sun, we also draw sustenance and resources from the past. Cultures across time have used the dark, invisible lunar phase to feed and commune with their ancestors, receiving guidance on the path to come and the inborn gifts to cultivate in the process. Within the liminal embrace between Sun and Moon, we move through a threshold of intersecting narratives, sensing how to embody and tell our next chapter.

The New Moon on October 6 is much more regenerative than normal, as it involves new cycles between the Moon and Mars beginning with the Sun at the same time. Just after the Moon’s coming cycle of light becomes rekindled by her solar union, within an hour of clock time she will conjoin Mars, followed by Mars becoming reanimated by the Sun a day later on October 7. In contrast to the Moon’s monthly mingling with the Sun, it takes Mars approximately two years to move from one solar conjunction to the next. The last time there was a conjunction between Mars and the Sun was on September 2, 2019 in Virgo. And so the gestative darkness of the Libra New Moon also bears endings and beginnings of your relationship with Mars, a regeneration of patterns and stories related to courage, conflict, dynamic creativity, how you fight for what you love and want to protect, how you draw from the inner forge of fiery desire to pursue goals and dreams of purpose in the world.

Yet there is more, for also lingering nearby the Sun, Moon, and Mars in Libra is the star of Hermes. Mercury is also invisible, also traversing an underworld landscape as it moves backwards through retrograde motion toward its inferior conjunction with the Sun that will take place a few days later on October 9. In stark contrast to Moon and Mars, Mercury typically makes six conjunctions with the Sun every year, a six pointed pattern in which three solar unions occur while moving fast and direct, and three other solar unions occur while moving slow and retrograde. Just like the newly revivified Libra Moon will form a conjunction with Mars later in the day on October 6, so will she unite with Mercury and draw us more deeply into internal processing of the myriad aspects of our perceptual, intellectual, vocational, and relational patterns being actively transmuted by the liminal passage of Mercury.

Mercury so close to Mars and the Sun will be wielding their piercing heat which distinguishes and separates matters within the thoughtful terrain of Libra, where Mercury can deftly oscillate with probing analysis that turns issues around on every side, reflecting back and forth between questions and responses within relationship, deciphering where imbalances need reform and restoration. The Mercury cycle ending and beginning can be traced all the way back to the last time Mercury formed an inferior, retrograde conjunction with the Sun in Gemini on June 10, the same day as a Solar Eclipse in Gemini. More recently, Mercury was reanimated by the Sun while moving direct on August 1 in Leo while also setting off the propulsive tension of the ongoing square between Saturn and Uranus, as it formed an opposition with Saturn and a square with Uranus. As a result, Mercury’s past cycle has been connected to sources of immense, radical change within the astrology of the past six months, and so its skills for recalibration and noticing the pivotal way our stories are changing will be much needed medicine in the week following the Libra New Moon.

While the Libra New Moon is applying to conjunctions with Mars and Mercury, it is separating from a trine with Saturn in Aquarius and an opposition with Chiron in Aries. In between aspects with Saturn and Mars, the lunation calls for initiation into the next stage of our story. As in all initiations we must process loss as part of making a sacred transition across a new threshold of experience, and so whether we feel suffering over the present state of the world or more personal travails, the Libra New Moon forming in between aspects with Saturn and Mars will call attention to the challenges that need our attention. When possible find moments of stillness and rest to better orient with whatever personal patterns and issues need your full presence, so better to begin adapting to the new visions of future growth that will soon begin stirring within.

Themes of the underworld, death, rebirth, and what lurks in hidden places will be further amplified due to Pluto in Capricorn stationing direct on October 6, the same day as the Libra New Moon. Moreover, the Libra Moon will also be applying to an intensifying square aspect with Pluto within her orb of daily motion, deeply stirring the inner cauldron of unconscious desires and feelings. While stories in current events will involve major power plays and falls with those in positions of power, within our personal stories we may realize important revelations regarding how to shift balances of power within not only our external relationships but within our inner life. The stationing of Pluto brings the invisible gravity of Hades into palpable contact with our surface awareness, demanding we pay attention to issues at the root of embodying a more empowered presence. Old identities may need to be shed, old patterns released; let the psychopomp Hermes receive the message from Pluto most needed to be integrated, and allow the simultaneous rebirth of Mercury to shepherd you from where you have been to where you need to go with your full being.

from Anonymous version of Rosarium Philosophorum published in 1578

“I believe that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension that we find paralyzing because we no longer hear our surprised feelings living. Because we are alone with the alien thing that has entered into our self; because everything intimate and accustomed is for an instant taken away; because we stand in the middle of a transition where we cannot remain standing. For this reason the sadness too passes: the new thing in us, the added thing, has entered into our heart, has gone into its inmost chamber and is not even there anymore,- is already in our blood . . . We cannot say who has come, perhaps we shall never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to transform itself in us long before it happens . . . The more still, more patient and more open we are when we are sad, so much the deeper and so much the more unswervingly does the new go into us, so much the better do we make it ours, so much the more will it be our destiny, and when on some later day it “happens” (that is, steps forth out of us to others), we shall feel in our inmost selves akin and near to it.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”

As the Moon, Mars, and Mercury enter and pass through the sacred, inmost chamber at the heart of the Sun from October 6 through 9, Saturn will be saturating the astrological atmosphere with its sobering and ponderous significations due to stationing direct on October 10. As the New Moon is in the exaltation of Saturn and in range of a trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, we may receive meaningful insights into the aleatory aspects of changing conditions by moving slowly and patiently taking our time surveying the scene. Saturn previously stationed retrograde on May 23, and so its stationing direct signals a pivotal turn of the tide that promises important new developments beginning to take shape. Yet the shift most readily felt from Saturn as it stands motionless in stillness may be felt within moments of deep, solitary contemplation and reflection. Rather than trying to rush ahead, take your time coming into deeper relationship with the ways in which inner desires are continuing to be reshaped and will be continuing to alter forward trajectory.

While Mars and Mercury are both invisible during the Libra New Moon, Venus is continuing to glow bright as an Evening Star during twilight. As Venus is the ruler of the Libra lunation, her capacity within the nocturnal waters of Scorpio for absorbing surrounding emotions and underlying dynamics within relationships will bring an additional level of intensity to the insights that may be received during the New Moon in Libra. Venus is separating from a sextile with Pluto, a square with Jupiter, and a trine with Neptune that altogether has helped Venus bring whatever deep material has been inhabiting the underbelly of relational patterns and attractors to the surface of awareness. While Venus may have taken us into uncomfortable material and feelings to confront, she is ultimately leading us through an incredibly cathartic process that can enable us to redream our life to be more authentically aligned with the present state of our authentic desires and purpose.

After Venus leaves the churning waters of Scorpio for the fiery expansiveness of Sagittarius on October 7, she will first pass through a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon during the same period of time that Mercury will be regenerated through its conjunction with the Sun. The visionary flame kindled between Venus with the South Node of the Moon will provide a sacred spark for offering relational patterns in need of being burned off within the flames of Mercury becoming regenerated by the fire of the Sun. Yet while we may experience a decomposition of what needs to be released from the past, there may also be treasures of insight to excavate through measured contemplation. Regarding creative ideas and goals we wish to further cultivate in the future, we may also experience a sharpening of focus into the essential qualities that need to be prioritized versus the excess weight that can be shed. Listen for the new ideas, dreams, symbols, and meaningful purpose that Mercury will be calling your attention to on October 9.

Following the intensity of Mars being regenerated on October 7, Mercury being regenerated on October 9, and Saturn stationing direct on October 11, there will be a strong undertow of directional change emerging in the following week as Jupiter will station direct on October 17 and Mercury will station direct on October 18. Furthermore, there will be a flowing trine between Mars in Libra with Jupiter in Aquarius on October 18 that will provide supportive wind to spur movement on developing goals. Thus while we may need to sense where subterfuge is lurking within shadows in the days following the Libra New Moon, previously hidden matters will come to light with greater clarity as the Moon waxes into the Aries Full Moon on October 20. Since the Aries Full Moon will form an opposition with Mars in Libra, whatever new desires are beginning to emerge from the new cycle of Mars will be illuminated, enabling deeper attunement with whatever internal changes are simmering in the heat between Mars and the Sun.

3 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 2 decan

The New Moon is in the second decan of Libra associated with the Three of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Saturn rules the second face of Libra, and in the piercing heartbreak and cold atmosphere of the image we can observe the transcendence through painful experiences that can be facilitated by Saturn. In times of heartbreak we can access a newfound strength that can ultimately increase our capacity to return to love again, as well as opens us to greater levels of empathy, compassion, and awareness of those around us. The piercing of the heart by three swords is also resonant with the Moon, Mars, and Mercury all entering the heart of the Sun within days of the Libra New Moon, with Mars melting down its old blade to forge a sword anew.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked Saturn’s exaltation in Libra to the binding of “happy marriages and fruitful alliances” found in the second decan of Libra, as well as the breaking apart of such agreements.  Coppock described it as “a face of lasting unions and blended karma” in which “the power of obligation fixes volatile passions,” creating “a firm foundation for the good life.” Oaths and binding contracts are central symbols of this face that hold one of its central lessons: with whom and for what should one pledge themselves in oath. The second decan of Libra promises a bounty of abundance for those who stay true to their commitments in contracts of mutual beneficence. Yet it also contains the heartbreak of betrayal and becoming abandoned by the other side not holding up their end of the agreement. With the Moon, Mars, and Mercury all beginning new cycles with the Sun within the second face of Libra, take time to contemplate the commitments you are forming so that you do not later face the torment of being bound to a contract you do not want to uphold, nor a partner incapable of honoring their side of the oath.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed Kairos to the second face of Libra, a curious repetition as it also connected Kairos to the third face of Scorpio where Venus is transiting during the lunation. Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities. Kairos was portrayed as moving with winged feet, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect. In modern culture the term kairos refers to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time but rather connects us with a soulful sense of destiny thrust into the moment. We generally know to commit to blessed opportunities brought by the goddess Fortuna when they align with our purpose, but other times we can feel stuck and unsure if the opportunities presenting themselves to us are truly worthy of our commitment. When possible take your time in considering options and the path to commit yourself to in the days surrounding the Libra New Moon, letting the regenerative depth of multiple astrological cycles beginning simultaneously take root within you.

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References

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