Full Moon in Aquarius

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

Full Moon in Aquarius

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psyche and Eros by Edward Burne-Jones

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 1 Decan

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

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

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

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References

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

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

New Moon in Cancer

Pelican Dream 1 by Michelle Doucette

New Moon in Cancer

The zodiacal, living image of Cancer is the watery home of the Moon. A place of deep emotional content where we hold memories of sentimental nostalgia as well as painful wounding; lunar patterning that draws and magnetizes us into resonant relational dynamics. Within the reflection of the water streaming through the landscape of Cancer, we catch glimpses of our essential nature and the changing face of our emerging psyche. The nonlinear aspect of memories, feelings, and the kind of lunar content stored by Cancer may make evoke rumination over past memories, yet the lunar cycle that follows the New Moon in Cancer on July 9 in fact contains extraordinary potential for making new memories that will enliven our passion for life and bring sustenance to our inner sense of soulfulness. The lunation brings an opportunity for a replenishing descent into inner realms of imagination that can bring both a regenerative resourcing as well as important guidance for the next steps to take along our evolving path forward.

The New Moon in Cancer is separating from an invigorating sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus and is applying to a flowing trine with Neptune in Pisces as well as a cathartic opposition with Pluto in Capricorn. Notably, it is the first New Moon in Cancer since 23 June 2017 to not be a solar eclipse or have to face Saturn opposing it in the opposite sign of Capricorn. Since the Cancer New Moon is in harmonious relationship with Uranus in Taurus and out of aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, we can utilize the fertile darkness of the Moon being reanimated in her home to deepen into whatever dreams of future growth, love, and livelihood have been gestating within. The Full Moon in Aquarius on July 23 that will illuminate the meaning of the forthcoming lunar cycle will be in the sign of Saturn and so can facilitate grounding into whatever tangible, practical adjustments will be necessary in the cultivation of personal visions. As a result, the more we can sink into the depth of soulful meaning during the Cancer New Moon, coming into closer contact with what we wish to create and nurture in our lives, the better we will be able to navigate through the continued collective, societal rupturing that will be erupting in correspondence with the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus.

The ongoing square aspect between Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius is the dominant theme of our present movement, yet it is only one movement in a much larger sweep of time that will have long reaching effects over the course of the next five years. The difficulty we can witness so many people around our planet experiencing in the midst of so many radical changes, the weight of history and the collapse of longstanding sources of societal security can all feel incredibly overwhelming with no way to know for sure which way the unknown future will unfold. Yet the New Moon in Cancer invites a return to more private and personal concerns, feeling into whatever vulnerable, unconscious material is calling to be noticed within. We can monitor inner feelings to see if we are reacting based upon the crystallized remnants of past patterns, or if we are instead being open to a new vitality of emergence full of unformed potential. The more we can claim our own sense of inner authority to create what we wish to develop with our life, the better we will be able to find our way forward through a period of history that will continue to be filled with great collective volatility.

Fairy Tale – III (1907) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis 

The waxing Moon will form a conjunction with Venus and Mars in Leo on July 12, a day before Venus and Mars form a conjunction on July 13. Thus the darkness of the Cancer New Moon can help us listen to whatever messages Venus has to share as she brings her previous cycle with Mars that began on 24 August 2019 to an end. The union of Mars and Venus in the week following the lunation can revitalize passions and help nurture the courage needed to pursue meaningful visions and the dreams we hold dearly. While Mars supplies the burning desire to go after what we want, protect what we cherish, and separate from what may harm us, Venus in Leo will inject the radiance of our inner desires, values, and creative potential into their union. Following sunset each night, we will be able to witness Venus and Mars coming closer and closer to one another against the backdrop of the stars. Listen for the new meaning they are bringing into your life, welcoming whatever new sources of inspiration and creativity emerge.

Notably, Venus and Mars will be carrying messages gathered from the ongoing square between Saturn and Uranus into their union. In the week before the Cancer New Moon, Venus formed an opposition with Saturn in Aquarius on July 6 and a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus on July 8, after Mars had formed the same aspects in the previous week. As a result, there likely have been both fears and anxiety as well as excitement over inspiring passions stirred up recently by Venus and Mars mixing it up with Saturn and Uranus. However, while Venus and Mars have been testing our relationship with the boundaries of Saturn as well as the liberation of Uranus, there has been stronger synergy between Venus and Mars with Uranus in Taurus. Not only was the square between Venus and Uranus mediated by Venus receiving Uranus into her earthy sign of Taurus, Venus is also antiscia Uranus from July 9 through July 11. This brings the electrifying, emancipatory influence of Uranus into direct contact with Venus. Thus the liminal borders of Saturn in Aquarius will need to make space for the vivifying desires emanating from Venus, Mars, and Uranus, finding ways to slow things down enough to make wise choices rather than impulsively throwing all caution to the wind.

Anna Mae Wong, New York by Edward Steichen

While Mercury and Jupiter are not forming as pivotal of aspects as Venus and Mars during the Cancer New Moon, their movement during the forthcoming lunar cycle will also be important to pay attention to. Mercury in Gemini has now moved beyond his retrograde shadow zone, finished his third and final square aspect with Neptune, and is moving fast as a Morning Star. Mercury will finally leave his airy home of Gemini that he has occupied since May 3 on July 11, two days after the New Moon in Cancer. After entering Cancer, Mercury will complete a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Pisces on July 12 that will bring a boost of underlying vision to support the new desires of creativity emanating from the union of Venus and Mars. Once in Cancer, Mercury will begin applying to a visionary sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus that he will complete on July 20 a few days before the Full Moon in Aquarius. As a result, Mercury will be in a supportive position to help us make progress on whatever dreams we nurture during the New Moon in Cancer.

The New Moon is in the exaltation of Jupiter and initiates us into the final lunar cycle in which we can enjoy the presence of Jupiter in its oceanic home of Pisces until the very end of 2021. Following the Full Moon in Aquarius on July 23, Jupiter will move backwards into Aquarius on July 28 where he will return to address whatever issues we have been dealing with related to the transit of Saturn in Aquarius. Make space to reflect upon whatever new visions of growth have entered your life since Jupiter entered Pisces on May 13 and however Jupiter has been inspiring you to expand your vision beyond what you thought was previously possible to create with your life. While Jupiter’s return to Aquarius may call us to fine tune plans, problem solve and make necessary adjustments, whatever treasure Jupiter in Pisces has brought you into contact within the depth of its oceanic expanse deserve to be protected and cultivated. Once Jupiter returns to Pisces at the end of the year we will have renewed potential to bring them into fuller manifestation.

3 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 2 Decan

The New Moon in Cancer is in the second decan of Cancer associated with the Three of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The merry image of dancing women evokes the three graces and signifies harmonious collaborations of inspired thought and creativity.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “a walled garden in which something precious is kept” to this face, adding an element not obvious from the above image:  the need of protection and nurturance in order to create an incubating space that can bring forth joy, beauty, and abundance.  With the New Moon in Cancer occurring in this decan just before Venus and Mars initiate a new cycle together, we will want to consider whatever we have been letting in as well as keeping out from our life with the barriers we have erected to protect whatever is most important to us. It’s likely we will need to restructure and renegotiate boundaries in order to cultivate the inner process of creativity and intimacy we desire. It will also be helpful to find ways of finding joy with others similar to the image of the Three of Cups as a way of navigating through the societal, collective rupturing that will be continuing to accelerate.

In comparison, the Hellenistic text Liber Hermetis, “Book of Hermes,” described the image of the second face of Cancer as having the body of a vulture with the face of the great goddess Isis wearing a crown. In part we can imagine how this image connects with the brilliantly bright fixed star Sirius which was associated with Isis and heralded the flooding of the Nile, as well as the significance of vulture goddesses within Egyptian cosmology. Vultures connect the upper wold with the underworld through the eating of the dead, and in the story of Isis searching for her dismembered lover and twin Osiris she also transformed into a Kite, a raptor which is also known to feed on the dead. Yet vital to the story of Isis and Osiris is the courageous passion of Isis to not only relentlessly search for her true love, but to bring it back from the dead through her magical reanimation. Similarly, we may use the space around the Cancer New Moon to notice what is passing away from our life and how the death of old issues or patterns may feed and nourish the new growth to come.

As we connect with the desires we wish to devote ourselves to as Venus and Mars unite in the days following the Cancer New Moon, we also will need to become aware of what sort of protective boundaries and containers will need to be created, strengthened, and developed in order to facilitate fruitful collaborations and exchanges. The cathartic experiences we may experience within the forthcoming lunar cycle hold the potential to break us free from ways in which we have become stagnant, releasing us from old patterns and initiating new ones in the process. Allow the essential heart of your true desires to guide your way forward step by step, even if there is uncertainty over how things will or could develop.

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

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References

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

Capricorn Full Moon

Agate ring stone (ca. 1st century B.C.–3rd century) 

Full Moon in Capricorn

The Full Moon in Capricorn on June 24 will illuminate the solstice turning point of the year, the time of peak light in the northern hemisphere and peak darkness in the southern hemisphere. Capricorn is zodiacal terrain ruled by the resilient endurance of Saturn which further exalts the courageous desire of Mars, a zodiacal place that nurtures our capacity for facing adversity and persevering through experiences of uncertainty and changing conditions. Fittingly, the surrounding astrological atmosphere is full of volatility and oppositional aspects that call for internal and external confrontations concerning the evolving nature of underlying dynamics. The Capricorn Full Moon will be the first of three full moons in a row ruled by Saturn retrograde in Aquarius, as there will be a Full Moon at 1°26′ Aquarius on July 23 followed by a Full Moon at 29°37′ Aquarius on August 22. As a result, rather than latching onto quick solutions we need to keep the long game in mind, patiently tending to whatever tensions are present to slowly and surely develop whatever we desire to build and create.

First and foremost, the Capricorn Full Moon will shine light on whatever has been stirred up by the recent eclipse season that began with a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on May 26 followed by a Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10. Furthermore, with the Capricorn Moon applying to a flowing trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus, it will deepen our relationship with whatever storylines and structural elements of our life have been radically reshaped by the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that became exact for the second time of the year on June 14. With the Full Moon ripening within the cardinal, earthy sign of the Sea Goat, we can draw upon Capricorn’s immense capacity for sensing its surrounding environment in order to initiate a needed reordering of priorities and plans for the future.

With the Capricorn Full Moon separating from a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Pisces and applying toward an enlivening trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus, the visionary side of the Sea Goat will be present that can utilize its aquatic tail for sensing into the roots of surrounding forms and circumstances to distinguish what ideas and directions to cultivate. Although the lunation is ruled by Saturn, it’s important that the Full Moon is not forming an aspect with Saturn but is rather aspecting Jupiter and Uranus, two planets that are capable of piercing past the boundaries and limitations erected by the star of Cronus. A balance needs to be struck in being open to inspiration and whatever we most passionately wish to develop while also recognizing the hard aspects of reality that will need to be addressed and worked through step by step with the steady focus of Saturn. Rather than leaping ahead impulsively, a more careful approach will be needed that is capable of recognizing and resolving deeper issues so that plans can be developed with enough flexibility to adapt and last through the unknown changes to come.

It’s especially important to consider the impact of Mars in Leo upon the lunation, as Mars in Leo is applying toward an opposition with Saturn, the ruler of the Capricorn Full Moon. The tension building between Mars with Saturn will be exacerbated and amplified by Uranus in Taurus, who is forming a square aspect with both Mars and Saturn. Mars in the fiery sign of Leo, sparked by the emancipatory impulses of Uranus, will call us to confront whatever fears and anxieties connected with Saturn are creating an overly restrictive and stifling impact upon present developments. Yet at the same time, Saturn will be bringing a level of restraint and enduring patience that can prevent the influence of Mars and Uranus from trying to force things to happen to quickly without enough forethought. The friction between Mars, Saturn, and Uranus will be building in intensity in the week following the lunation, as Mars will form an exact opposition with Saturn on July 1 and an exact square aspect with Uranus on July 3. Keep in mind during this time that if feelings become overwhelming that it’s part of the immense push for change emanating from the hard aspects between Mars, Saturn, and Uranus. We may need to surrender to a period of unknowingness as we allow for the changes to take shape, finding our way through a process of centering, de-centering and re-centering amidst changing circumstances. Those who have been resisting change may realize they have to release control, while those who have been already crossing thresholds and accepting changes may experience an acceleration of developments.

Remedio Varo, Mujer con Esfera

There is another major opposition occurring within the astrology surrounding the Capricorn Full Moon between Venus in Cancer with Pluto in Capricorn. Venus formed its exact opposition with Pluto a day before the Full Moon in Capricorn, but will still be within close range of an opposition with Pluto when the light of the lunation peaks. Moreover, the waning Moon will form a conjunction with Pluto followed by an opposition with Venus on June 26, further illuminating whatever has been stirred up within the tension between Venus and Pluto. While in some cases the hard aspect between Venus and Pluto may bring visceral awareness of desires that have been previously resisted, in other cases it can dredge up deep material sourced from the shadows of desires. By sitting with and sifting through any fears, anxieties, or insecurities brought to light by the Full Moon combined with Venus opposing Pluto, we may further deepen into relationship with the changes we have been experiencing. While some of the feelings may be uncomfortable, they can also allow us to address inner dynamics that need our tender care and attention so that we may ultimately feel more empowered in being able to reshape our life in desired directions.

After the Moon in Capricorn forms an opposition with Venus, Venus will enter the solar, fiery sign of Leo on June 26. The entrance of Venus into Leo will come at the same time that Mars will be enflaming the change inducing friction between Saturn and Uranus, further deepening our relationship and emotional involvement in whatever processes of change have been corresponding with the radical reshaping that has been incited by Saturn and Uranus during the past six months. Venus will follow behind the charge of Mars into the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus, forming an opposition with Saturn on July 6 followed by a square with Uranus on July 8. In some cases Venus can help unify and harmonize elements that have been separated and disrupted by the impact of Mars upon Saturn and Uranus, while in other cases we may be able to find ways to be more creatively active and expressive with Venus involved.

It’s further important that Venus will be receiving the square from Uranus in her earthy home of Taurus, as well as the fact that both Mars and Venus will be in antiscia with Uranus by degree within days of forming their degree based aspects with Saturn and Uranus (Mars will be antiscia Uranus from July 5 – 8, while Venus will be antiscia Uranus from July 9 – 11). Altogether this means there is a lot of synergy and connection between Uranus with Venus and Mars, whereas there will be a greater degree of tension constellating between Venus and Mars with Saturn. There will be a pull toward moving more rapidly into the desires and relationships that feel exciting and authentically passionate, yet we will simultaneously need to hold whatever tension is present from Saturn so that we may allow for an emergence of what wants to be born out of all of the changes occurring.

Venus and Mars are nocturnal planets that connect us with primal feelings and passions we discover within our inner darkness. While Mars stokes inner flames to pursue and protect what we desire, Venus reveals the underlying values and attractions of our desires. With both Mars and Venus activating the square between Saturn and Uranus during the same week, we will have the opportunity to deepen into whatever ways our desires for relationship and what we wish to create in our life have been changing during not only the past six months, but also across the past two years. This is due to Venus and Mars also being at the very end of a cycle that began with a conjunction between Venus and Mars on August 24, 2019 in Virgo. Venus and Mars will form their next conjunction on July 13, 2021 at 19°48′ Leo following the New Moon in Cancer on July 9. Between now and then as Venus and Mars close down their previous cycle, we may have an activation of old relationship patterns and issues that need to be cleared, released, or putrefied in order to make space for and fertilize the new relationship desires, patterns, and directions presently taking shape.

Antonio Muñoz Degrain, Nymphs bathing

The Capricorn Full Moon also occurs within four days of both Jupiter and Mercury stationing, creating a strong influence from both Jupiter and Mercury within the surrounding astrology. Jupiter stationed retrograde at 2°11′ Pisces on June 20; after spending another month in Pisces, Jupiter will return to Aquarius on July 28 where it will continue to move retrograde until stationing direct on October 17, 2021 at 22°20′ Aquarius. Since the Full Moon in Capricorn is forming a sextile with Jupiter it is an ideal time to make space for reflection upon whatever new sources of inspiration, hope, and growth have emerged since Jupiter entered Pisces on May 13. Now that Jupiter is beginning to move backwards through the zodiac we may find we are less consumed with finding new sources of growth and development and more interested in deepening into and solidifying the new sources of desires that have already been developing with Jupiter in Pisces. There is one more month left of Jupiter operating with direct strength and sovereignty within its watery home of Pisces, making it a powerful period for making further developments within whatever exciting directions have developed during Jupiter’s time in Pisces so far.

While Jupiter stationing retrograde in Pisces calls for deep reflection, the stationing direct of Mercury in Gemini will generate new movement and ways of mediating and working with changing storylines. Mercury stationed direct at 16°08′ Gemini on June 22, after having stationed retrograde at 24°43′ Gemini on May 29. The days surrounding the stationing of Mercury are important to be especially mindful with, but as Mercury begins to pick up forward momentum will will likewise discover greater agency in making things happen and generating change and development based upon whatever was shed and regenerated during the previous three weeks of Mercury being retrograde.

Now that Mercury will be moving forward again it means that Mercury in Gemini will complete its third and final square aspect with Neptune in Pisces on July 6. Mercury formed its first square aspect with Neptune while direct on May 22 and its second square aspect while retrograde on June 5. If you have been involved in any disillusioning experiences or undergoing a process of evaluating areas of life or your work where you have needed to question your beliefs, the final square between Mercury and Neptune may bring a needed piece of information or insight to bring greater clarity. Within the wider context of the longstanding square aspect between Uranus and Saturn that will be activated by Venus and Mars, the third square between Mercury and Neptune may help us gain a sense of the vaster reality possible to cultivate out of present circumstances, bringing realizations of how to make possible things that may have previously appeared impossible. In other situations the friction between Mercury and Neptune may reveal where we have been deceiving ourselves and need to reorient toward the actual circumstances we find ourselves within rather than what we wish was occurring.

2 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 1 Decan

The Capricorn Full Moon will illuminate the first decan of Capricorn associated with the Two of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is fitting for the volatile astrological atmosphere centered around Saturn in Aquarius in square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, as the juggling magician set against a backdrop of a pivotal sea change embodies the capacity of Capricorn to penetrate into structural forms and impact matter from the underlying fabric of reality.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Headless Body” to the first face of Capricorn, stating it “entails the descent of the spirit into the body of the world itself,” bringing consciousness to deeper and deeper levels of matter to “set those powers in motion” as well as “use the higher, logoic functions to guide them along their course.”  Coppock analyzed the ancient attribution by Ibn Ezra of a bestial man carrying a cattle prod to this face, suggesting it reveals the capacity of this decan to not only set material forces in motion but also steer them in order to create change such as new sources of work and sustenance.

The “atavistic consciousness” Coppock described within the first decan of Capricorn that “descends into the natural world with ease” connects well with the ancient Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac attributing the ancestor of earth and body-based healers, Asklepios, to the first face of Capricorn. Furthermore, there is also an Asclepius asteroid #4581 which will be in Libra and forming a catalyzing square aspect with the Capricorn Full Moon.  Asclepius, son of the Sun god Apollo and a mortal woman, embodies a centered focus which integrates all surrounding realms, both material and immaterial.  Rooted in Earth, Asclepius is a healer who emerges in times of crisis and cathartic change, reverent of Nature, in balance with masculinity and femininity,  and reliant upon ritualistic incubation to find healing cures. Asclepius is associated with healing through dreams, an incubatory process that reveals the connection between external symptoms and the underlying unconscious.  With his hermetic staff planted in the ground, Asclepius weaves together meaning from celestial and chthonic realms through discernment centered in his sensual nature, applied to his work through disciplined spiritual practice. The capacity of Asclepius to monitor synchronicities in waking and dreaming life for deeper meaning will be especially helpful to cultivate in our own lives with Mercury having stationed direct only a couple of days before the Full Moon.

Jupiter is the ruler of the first face of Capricorn in the Chaldean descending rulership scheme, Saturn the ruler in the triplicity scheme, making it a face ruled by the two planets that ushered in the dramatic changes of 2021 with their great conjunction in Aquarius on the Capricorn Solstice. As the Full Moon in Capricorn initiates us into the second half of 2021, it will be worthwhile to reflect upon all of the changes that have happened since Jupiter and Saturn formed their conjunction on December 21, 2020. While there are many more changes to come within both societal systems and personal relationships, making some space to consider how much has already changed will help in reorienting to how you wish to creatively participate in the changes going forward. Let the Full Moon stimulate your full presence, drawing upon the capacity of Capricorn for bringing sensual awareness to the myriad fluctuations of growth and decay occurring all around. Find ways to center within the integrity of your own essential values so that as you remain open to flowing with the wider changes occurring, you will be able to stay rooted in creating and directing in line with what matters most to you.

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References

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

Solar Eclipse in Gemini

Play Shadow by Leonora Carrington

“I hazard the explanation that a shock is at once in my case followed by the desire to explain it. I feel that I have had a blow; but it is not, as I thought as a child, simply a blow from an enemy hidden behind the cotton wool of daily life; it is or will become a revelation of some order; it is a token of some real thing behind appearances; and I make it real by putting it into words. It is only by putting it into words that I make it whole; this wholeness means that it has lost its power to hurt me; it gives me, perhaps by doing so I take away the pain, a great delight to put the severed parts together. Perhaps this is the strongest pleasure known to me. It is the rapture I get when in writing I seem to be discovering what belongs to what; making a scene come right; making a character come together. From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we- I mean all human beings- are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself. And I see this when I have a shock.”

— Virginia Woolf from A Sketch of the Past (born with Mercury square Neptune and Jupiter)

Solar Eclipse in Gemini

Solar eclipses turn the golden Sun black and bring a liminal space of night into day, the kind of paradoxical puzzle that delights the nimble mindset of Gemini and its curiously ingenious ruler Mercury. The Gemini Solar Eclipse on June 10 is an annular eclipse, creating the visual effect of a “ring of fire” due to the Moon’s shadow only partially covering the face of the Sun and leaving a halo of fiery light surrounding the blackened Sun. Eclipses can bring pivotal endings and new beginnings within relationships and storylines, and this will be especially the case if you have important natal placements impacted by the eclipse taking place at 19°47′ Gemini. Yet due to Mercury being retrograde and applying closely to a conjunction with the eclipse at 20°41′ Gemini, Mercury will be in position to guide all of us into the fertile, black void of the eclipse in order to experience a deeply cathartic regeneration of perception.

Solar eclipses occur when a New Moon aligns at one of the intersections of the Moon’s orbit with the apparent path of the Sun from our earthbound perspective, known as the North and South Nodes of the Moon within astrology. Dane Rudhyar described the symbolism of the Moon casting a shadow that blackens the light of the Sun during a solar eclipse as signifying memories and unconscious patterns and perceptions overcoming our present awareness, creating greater potential for integrating and coming to terms with deep seated material normally kept out of mind. Since the Sun and Moon will be both on the side of the North Node of the Moon, there will be new visions arising out of the flood of feelings and memories unleashed by the eclipse that will catalyze new directions.

Mercury retrograde in Gemini is not only insisting on plunging into inner depths and soulful memories, but also questioning, investigating, connecting, distilling, and gathering a synthesis of insight from the subterranean material found there. Mercury stationed retrograde in Gemini on May 29 while forming a conjunction with Venus in Gemini; while both Mercury and Venus were visible as evening stars during sunset at the end of May, Venus in contrast to Mercury was at the very beginning of her evening star phase and therefore full of new desires for Mercury to sift through and integrate. By the beginning of June Mercury shifted into its invisible phase of guiding us into the underworld of unconscious material, shedding and releasing what needs to be let go of from the past as we come to terms with the new desires sparked by Venus.

While Mercury in Gemini may bring to mind images of galavanting go-betweens, it’s vital to bear in mind that Mercury is in the depths of its psychopomp phase of guiding awareness into inner caves of imaginal depth to encounter what has been lurking within the shadows of new desires, curiously exploring whatever new life force has been incubating within and yearning to emerge into manifestation. Mercury is sovereign and at home in the airy, inquisitive sign of Gemini lending increased capacity for Mercury’s retrograde movement to take us into the deepest recesses of inner life and dreams, turning over and examining each remnant retrieved from inner realms through multiple perspectives and reflections, weaving together new understanding without insisting on definitive conclusions. Mercury delights in the unexpected twist and turn that changes the way we have previously understood our story, and so the more we can surrender to the way Mercury is helping us rewrite our story the better we may be able to situate ourselves within the new chapter of our story that the Gemini Solar Eclipse is opening.

In contrast to Mercury ruling the North Node of the Moon from its airy home of Gemini, Jupiter is ruling the South Node of the Moon from its watery home of Pisces. The dark, waning Moon formed a square aspect with Jupiter on June 8 on its way to forming a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon on June 9, altogether giving Jupiter in Pisces a strong influence over whatever old material and memories are being released and reseeded into new narratives and visions of future potential by the eclipse. Jupiter in Pisces ruling the South Node of the Moon is a gift to be grateful for, as it can help us come to terms with whatever old fears and emotions are being dredged to the surface of awareness while simultaneously facilitating both a sinking into feelings as well as a re-emergence that may gather and cohere meaning that can be constructively and creatively brought into the reality of present circumstances. While past experiences and memories may inform our understanding of whatever is presently developing, the far reaching vision of Jupiter in Pisces will also illuminate how things are presently different and developing in new ways that are completely different from our past experiences.

Apártalos Que Voy De Paso by Remedios Varo

“I am only the container of the feeling of ecstasy, of the feeling of rapture.”

— Virginia Woolf, from A Sketch of the Past

The imaginal, unbounded and limitless realm of Neptune has an especially strong influence over the eclipse. The Solar Eclipse in Gemini is applying to a catalyzing square aspect with Neptune in Pisces, with Mercury retrograde in Gemini separating within three degrees from an exact square aspect with Neptune. Mercury retrograde formed an exact square aspect with Neptune on June 5 after previously having formed a square aspect with Neptune while direct on May 22. Following the Gemini Solar Eclipse, Mercury will gain a little more distance from Neptune but will never get further than about seven degrees from an exact square with Neptune. Mercury will return to form its third and final square aspect with Neptune in the sequence on July 6, creating an extended period of time during which to relate to the friction and inspiration being generated between Mercury with Neptune.

It has become common within astrology to hear people blame Neptune for causing illusions and misperceptions, which is interesting as in fact Neptune is often revealing the delusional mindframe people are already living within and perceiving their life from. In The Odyssey, an epic that pits the wily, complicated and mercurial hero Odysseus against Poseidon, the Greek precursor to the Roman Neptune, Zeus toward the beginning of the story remarks upon the absurdity of mortals blaming the gods: “They say we cause their suffering, but they themselves increase it by folly.” It’s possible that the square aspect between Mercury with Neptune has been revealing illusions you have held about circumstances or people in your life, but if this is the case the deeper meaning of the revelations can open awareness to the greater mystery of what has been occurring as well as to help reorient you to the truth of your reality so you may make more informed decisions and come to deeper understanding of whatever has been occurring. With Mercury presently within the deepest and darkest phase of its retrograde motion, there may be significant dreams, omens, synchronicities, and other living symbols occurring around you that will be able to help you further explore the meaning and understanding you have been gathering and engaging with.

While Neptune engaging with Mercury may have brought about disillusioning experiences, it’s also possible they have opened your heart and mind to inspiring visions and dreams to cultivate and nurture as well as expanded your sense of being interconnected in a meaningful way within the web of innumerable relationships within the world around you. While Neptune may have been dissolving whatever has been in the way of opening to the new potential ready to emerge, the retrograde motion of Mercury has been digging into the shadows cast by the brightness of new dreams, rooting out whatever old hangups and thought circles are ready to be shed so that we may more fully be present with the ways our life and direction are radically being reshaped. There is a balance to be struck by accepting and not negating the inspiration opened by Neptune while also allowing Mercury to mediate the interweaving forces of eros and necessity so that we may come to terms with what needs to be attended to in our daily reality. In this way Mercury and Neptune can help in guiding us toward the adjustments needed to be made so that the exciting visions of future potential will be able to be more securely developed.

Eclipses come in families known as the Saros cycle, and so it is further fascinating that the eclipse family that the Gemini Solar Eclipse belongs to is strongly connected with Neptune. 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. Thus the Gemini Solar Eclipse on June 10, 2021 is part of the Saros 147 eclipse family that has its origin in an eclipse on October 12, 1624. Fascinatingly, the Libra Solar Eclipse that originated the series in 1624 was forming a conjunction with Neptune within a degree. Bernadette Brady in her book Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark wrote that it is an “unusual Saros series involving sudden flashes of ideas that seem to have a psychic or unconscious flavor,” and that it is a “truly creative series which should leave the individual enriched,” able to draw from hunches, visions, and prophetic dreams.

Keeping in mind that when Mercury stationed retrograde on May 29 it was forming a conjunction with Venus in Gemini, it is further significant that the asteroid Juno is retrograde in Sagittarius near the South Node of the Moon during the Gemini Solar Eclipse. Juno has been moving retrograde along with the South Node of the Moon and will be continuing to get closer to the South Node until eventually forming a conjunction with it in the beginning of July. Furthermore, just like Mercury is presently engaging in a square aspect with Neptune, so did Juno previously in recent months as Juno formed a square with Neptune on March 4 while direct followed by a second square with Neptune on May 5 while retrograde. Juno retrograde on the South Node side of the eclipse signifies the importance of old relational patterns and commitments resurfacing for reflection and release, as we renegotiate present commitments as well as form new ones.

Moreover, Vesta in Virgo is moving direct into an exact square aspect with Juno in Sagittarius during the eclipse, as well as moving toward a square aspect with Mercury retrograde in Gemini that will become exact on June 16. Vesta in Virgo is furthermore heading toward an opposition with Neptune in Pisces it will complete on July 2, drawing to a close a series of oppositions that Vesta has been forming with Neptune that previously occurred on December 20, 2020 and February 9, 2021. Whereas Juno has been bringing awareness to our needs within our relationships and who and what we wish to commit to, Vesta has been drawing attention to our own inner needs so that we may create relational dynamics with others that are mutually empowering and interdependent. Vesta will remove herself from external involvement when necessary to replenish and restore her sense of centeredness, which ultimately will also help in creating the kind of relational dynamics we desire. While both Vesta and Neptune can inspire devotion, one of the main differences is that the dissolving and disintegrating impact of Neptune can wash away our sense of egoic control and increase yearning for merging with sources of idealism. In contrast, Vesta will facilitate being in devotional service and relationship while maintaining connection with the sacred flame within so that we do not lose ourselves in external sources of ideals or become too decentered. You may notice that you began going through disillusioning experiences related to the tension between Vesta and Neptune at the end of 2020 that you now are beginning to more deeply reconcile and integrate so you can make constructive use of the insight you have gained.

While Venus re-emerging into visibility in the past month while forming a square aspect with Neptune and a conjunction with Mercury may have made us aware of important new desires and feelings within relationship, the presence of Juno retrograde in Sagittarius and Vesta in Virgo reveals the necessity of sifting through old relational patterns and perceptions to bring to the surface unconscious feelings and blockages that could otherwise inhibit our capacity for healing old relational patterns and forming healthier relationships with others. With Mercury retrograde on the side of the North Node and applying toward a regenerative conjunction with the Sun, we have the opportunity to lay to rest old fears and patterns from past relationships so we may better orient to the actual dynamics developing in present relationships. Juno in Sagittarius can also help us realize what we are ready to release regarding commitments from the past as well as become more deeply aware of who and what we wish to commit to going forward and the reasons why. Vesta in Virgo can help in tending to our inner needs so we may engage with our work and relationships from a more centered and restored sense of self that is in touch with our own needs and capable of communicating them to others.

Photograph by Laurel Ilvonen

Mercury in Gemini will enter the sacred heart of the Sun on June 10 at 20°21’ Gemini, later on the same day as the Gemini Solar Eclipse. A moment of epiphany for Mercury within the cavernous depths of Mystery, the solar conjunction of Mercury is both an ending and beginning, a rebirth moment for Mercury that deserves time set aside for contemplation and consideration as Mercury will be revitalized with the creative potency of our solar light. During its solar re-seeding, Mercury becomes purified and regenerated, yet this time around it will be doing so less than a day after the Sun has been eclipsed by the Moon. During this time of otherworldly light, when the Sun is in the midst of recovering from being veiled in shadow, we will be able to draw from the potent capacity of Mercury in Gemini for dissolving, blending, and mediating polarities and paradoxical tensions between opposites. There will be extraordinary potential available for receiving deep insight into the underlying, unconscious patterns at work in our life at the same time we will need to surrender to the changes to storylines brought in correspondence with the Gemini Solar Eclipse.

Unfortunately, popular astrology often mischaracterizes Gemini as having dilettante tendencies that keep it on the surface level of meaning, when in actuality Gemini has extraordinary capacity for poring underneath surface relationships for a depth of understanding that can find connection between disparate parts that would otherwise be overlooked. Mercury retrograde in Gemini can go especially deep through research, reading, reflection, writing, and when in dialogue and conversation with others, and so we can utilize its skills for flexibly weaving strands of meaning and connection together as we adjust to the changes that come with the Gemini Solar Eclipse. Mercury retrograde in Gemini can hold multiple ideas and issues at once, allowing a process of discovery to sort itself out rather than insisting on finding definitive answers or pretending it’s even possible to know for sure. As Mercury retrograde in Gemini separates from its conjunction with the Sun and begins to slow down and then station direct on June 22, be curious about asking questions, continuing to explore potential answers, and being willing to look at issues and experiences from multiple perspectives and viewpoints.

The strength of Mercury in Gemini for being flexible, listening and communicating with a depth of presence will be needed as we deal with the other major influence occurring with the Gemini Solar Eclipse: the friction between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus. The second exact square between Saturn with Uranus will occur on June 14 at 13°06’ Aquarius and Taurus, with Saturn retrograde and Uranus direct. The propulsive force of change brought forth between their dynamic is not new, as we already experienced an exact square between Saturn and Uranus on February 17, 2021 and we will continue to be heavily influenced by them for the rest of the year, as there will be one more final exact square between Saturn and Uranus that will take place on December 23, 2021 at 11°05’ Aquarius and Taurus. However, there likely has already been significant change occurring as we approach their second exact square or at the very least a buildup of tension that is ready to be released through dynamics shifting and changing. The square between Saturn and Uranus is the dominant astrological theme of 2021 and is at the root of all the dramatic changes taking shape on personal and collective levels.

Although Mercury retrograde in Gemini will not go far enough backwards through Gemini to form an exact trine aspect with Saturn, Mercury will end up being about three degrees away from an exact trine with Saturn when it stations direct on June 22. As a result, the ability of Mercury retrograde in Gemini to dig into the roots of present dynamics will be especially helpful in terms of working with the longterm scale of planning that pleases Saturn. While Uranus in Taurus is electrifying dynamics and causing the boundaries of Saturn to loosen so that new shapes and forms that are authentically exciting and passionate can come into being, the influence of Saturn retrograde in Aquarius requires us to be patient while slowly and steadily building and cultivating things so that we develop new structures, forms, and relationships that will last and stand up resiliently to external stress and pressures.

Mercury retrograde in Gemini can be helpful for mediating any disruption emanating from the dramatic changes occurring in correspondence with the clash between Saturn and Uranus. Saturn and Uranus in hard aspect can completely overturn our lives so that it seems as if everything has suddenly changed in ways that can feel extremely disruptive to the ways we have previously formed our security and identity around the attachments that we must release as part of moving with the changes. We can become at risk of dissociating or splitting off our awakened potential rather than finding ways to begin integrating it into our life. Mercury in Gemini can help us ground within the volatility of letting go of old forms of stability as we embrace the more expansive sense of wholeness emerging for us. As our perceptions about our future direction as well as our past that led to the present undergo radical shifting, Mercury in Gemini can be a great aid in holding multiple perceptions and experiences while allowing for whatever wants and needs to be born from the process at work.

Chariot of Ceres (ca. 1509) by Pinturicchio

There is another integral figure to recognize and relate with regarding the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus: Ceres in Taurus. Ceres in her chariot pulled by double dragons is forming a conjunction with Uranus at 12’55 Taurus on June 10, the same day as the solar eclipse and inferior conjunction of Mercury. There are multivalent potential meanings for Ceres being present with Uranus during the eclipse on both personal and collective levels, for example there could be significant mobilizations and activations with labor and agricultural movements within current events. However, with Mercury retrograde in the underworld and the light of the Sun becoming blackened by shadow, the union of Ceres with Uranus has clear resonance with the kind of revelatory insight gained by ancient cultures through undergoing the mystery initiations that were said to have been brought by Demeter, the Greek counterpart to the Roman Ceres. If old grief, trauma, wounds, or difficult emotions surface in the wake of the eclipse, the presence of Uranus with Ceres suggests the potential for a liberating jolt to occur that dislodges us from being stuck in old narratives with insight gained in how to begin relating in new ways with the old memories.

Demetra George has also spoken about Ceres being connected with attachment styles and issues of attachment related to one’s childhood, and so experiences within relationship may also lead to significant insight regarding how to heal old issues at the root of ways we have felt blocked from opening to deeper intimacy with others. Fortunately, Venus in Cancer is applying to a harmonious sextile aspect with Ceres that she will complete on June 13 as well as a sextile with Uranus she will complete the day before on June 12. With Venus receiving both Ceres and Uranus through a harmonious aspect within the watery sign of Cancer, there will be increased opportunities and potential to integrate and embody significant growth out of all of the emotional material that may be stirred up. As Ceres is also a signifier for the abundance and harvest that come from natural cycles in addition to the necessity of passing through periods of decomposition and regenerative death, we may gather a deeper sense of what needs to be released from our past into a process of putrefaction in order to receive and integrate the emerging new presence sparked by Uranus that is full of creative life force and passion.

9 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Gemini 2 Decan

The Solar Eclipse will blacken the light of the Sun in the second decan of Gemini associated with the Nine of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The Nine of Swords image of nightmarish worry and anguish under a cover of astrological symbols takes on new meaning when considering that Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Hermaphrodite” to this face. Coppock described the second face of Gemini as being a place of mediating “continuing duality” in which “we must learn to reconcile angels and demons within a single soul.” The obsessive, negative thought cycles shown in the Nine of Swords through this lens reveals an “inability to reconcile dualities within oneself, within the world,” to Coppock, “the moments of despair” which can occur within the “irreconcilable places” found within this decan. Yet to Coppock there is a great gift to cultivate in the second face of Gemini in terms of recognizing how each side of dualities like love and war perpetually turn back into one another through the “arts of union and separation.” Coppock concluded that whoever “accepts these oscillations comes to understand the whole of interaction- they are unbothered by either, knowing the other waits in turn.”

Fittingly for a hermaphroditic decan, the second face of Gemini is ruled by both Mars and Venus, and numerous ancient texts have ascribed images of dualistic forms. The Hellenistic text 36 Airs attributed the ancient goddess Cybele to this face, whose creation story involves an original hermaphroditic form. The Liber Hermetis described a double faced man holding a bow and arrows, treading on rabbits with both feet. Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom described another man holding a bow and arrow, but one whose head is bound in lead with an iron helmet featuring a silk crown, who is enjoying “ridicule and mockery” while walking around a garden playing music and picking flowers. While the Picatrix described an eagle-faced man also with bow and arrows, iron helmet, and silk crown, the Yavanajataka described a graceful black woman in bright garments who delights in the arts, singing and storytelling and who is pleased to be holding a lyre.

The hermaphrodite is also a living image resonant with the new presence and meaning that Mercury in Gemini may gather and birth from the tension of opposites in the weeks ahead as it completes its retrograde movement, stations in stillness, and proceeds to generate forward momentum as a bright Morning Star heralding sunrise. It will not be a time for black and white thinking during the period following the eclipse, but rather embracing the grayness of being in between thought and expression, conscious and unconscious awareness, the daily responsibilities we must attend to and the limitless expanses of imagination we may soar to within a moment of respite. If you feel fooled by an unexpected turn of events, see how the perspective of Hermes who delights in the twist of storylines can help you recenter and gain a sense for the meaning to be found in the mishap. As we draw closer to the finale of the first half of 2021, make space for reflecting on the many things that have been changing and how you wish to deepen into the transfigurations already underway for you.

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References

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

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

The Odyssey by Homer. (2018). Translated by Emily Wilson. Norton.

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

Ultimum Conjunction: Jupiter and the Royal Eagles of Projection (2019) by Marlene Seven Bremner

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

The usual silvery luminescence of the Moon turns blood red during a total lunar eclipse. The thrust of primal change, the disruption of existing stability, the awakening of what had been dormant that pours down from one can feel as extraordinary as glimpsing the Moon cloaked in rose. It can feel like the emptying of bloodletting that imbalances while rebalancing, as storylines surge with stunning developments, old forms and relationships leave our life as vital new forms and relationships take root. After the Moon’s glow transfigures into vermillion vibrancy only to have its red mask peeled back again, the wake of the eclipse may bring about a shedding of crucial elements of past patterns that allows for new stories to emerge.

While total lunar eclipses normally have a more powerful impact than the usual full moon, they tend to correspond with dramatic life changes when impacting important degrees in one’s natal chart. The Total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on May 26, 2021 will be at 5°25′ Sagittarius with the South Node of the Moon at 10°43′ Sagittarius, and so if you have important parts of your natal chart in the first ten degrees of the mutable signs you will be more likely to be experiencing life altering events. In some cases, eclipses can correspond with experiences that result in radical changes that take us in completely new directions as we must let go simultaneously of the way things have been. For others an eclipse may come and go without obvious external changes appearing, but even in these cases there is typically an important inner metamorphosis happening in correspondence.

During the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse the Sun will be on the side of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, casting the shadow of Earth across the face of the Moon. Dane Rudhyar described lunar eclipses as facilitating the emergence of new presence in how we meet experiences due to the Moon being covered in shadow, since the Moon holds memories and material from our past as well as unconscious patterns we have replicating. With the Moon forming a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, while the Sun is joined by both Mercury and Venus on the side of the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, we may experience a confrontation with inner beliefs that have been dictating what we do and do not engage with or conceive as being possible. We may be drawn back into old stories or have fears of old storylines repeating in the new stories we are beginning. Yet the dissolving impact of the South Node of the Moon can facilitate an emptying and release of the thought forms and belief structures that are no longer serving us and in fact are getting in the way of embracing inner changes, embodying and expressing the new desires emerging from within.

Jupiter in Pisces not only rules the eclipse but is also forming a catalyzing square aspect with the syzygy, further facilitating a deepening into disassembling old beliefs in order to synthesize and weave together new meaning and vision. The eclipsed Moon will be separating from a square aspect with Jupiter in Pisces and applying toward a trine with Chiron in Aries and a sextile with Saturn in Aquarius, aspects which can foster growth and development within any chaotic changes happening. It’s especially important that Saturn in Aquarius stationed retrograde only a few days before the eclipse on May 22, giving extra prominence to the influence of Saturn and the lessons that Saturn has been demanding that we face and develop understanding from. With Jupiter at full strength in Pisces and Saturn making the weight of its gravity felt through the stillness of its stationing, pay attention to the inspiring new visions and desires being stirred up, devoting yourself and committing to putting in patient and steady work that will please Saturn. At the same time, if we wish to align with what Jupiter in Pisces has to offer we need to expand our vision of the potential we can bring into reality and embody in our life.

With the eclipse moving in between aspects between Jupiter in its home of Pisces and Saturn in its home of Aquarius, its tidal force will bring propulsive developments to the ways we have been changed and are continuing to change in correspondence with the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that rippled outward on the solstice at the end of 2020. In fact, the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse on May 26 as well as the Gemini Solar Eclipse on June 10 are the first eclipses to follow the Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius that occurred on December 14, 2020 only a week before the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn. It’s hard to properly conceptualize the enormity of the Jupiter Saturn conjunction arriving on the solstice while simultaneously ushering in a new elemental era of air conjunctions between them, and we are only at the beginning of recognizing how our collective structures and personal lives will be irrevocably transfigured in correspondence. Yet we may certainly say that the forthcoming eclipse season will bring about an acceleration of the elements that have been shifting, breaking down, reforming, and recombining into new mixtures full of vital potency.

Moreover, as the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn was applying to a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, and since the waning square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that will be occurring three times in 2021 is the predominant astrological theme of the year, it’s further significant that the trajectory of the Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on May 26 followed by the Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10 will be leading us into the second exact square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that will take place on June 14, 2021. While in the past month the liberating impulses of Uranus in Taurus were stoked by stimulation from Venus, Mercury, and the Sun, whatever far reaching visions and desires were awakened must now be brought into relationship with the reordering of Saturn in Aquarius. With Saturn stationing only a few days before the eclipse and Saturn in Aquarius forming major aspects with the eclipses in Sagittarius and Gemini, we can now begin the process of discovering how to tend to both our imaginal landscape as well as our physical reality so that we may slowly and surely build and modify, create and recreate whatever is needed for the new visions to be nurtured in their roots so that they may blossom into vibrant strength.

In the Night by Morris Graves

Waiting in the wings of the eclipse with a patient intensity ready to pierce through the underlying dynamics of events is perhaps the most important character in the eclipse story to come: Hermes. Just like Saturn is carrying extra intensity due to stationing a few days before the eclipse, so is Mercury as the star of Hermes will station retrograde a few days after the eclipse on May 29 at 24°43′ Gemini. Mercury not only carries important influence over events associated with the eclipses due to stationing, but also due to the fact that Mercury is ruling the North Node of the Moon and will be ruling the upcoming Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10. In fact, in between Mercury stationing retrograde on May 29 and the solar eclipse on June 10, Mercury will be descending into the underworld in its psychopomp role of releasing what needs to be shed from our past, bringing us into deeper relationship with the new interests and ideas incubating within our inner darkness. Amazingly, Mercury will be forming its inferior conjunction with the Sun, when it is reseeded with the creative potency of its forthcoming cycle, at the same time as the Gemini Solar Eclipse. The powerful role Mercury will be playing in the weeks to come will be important to remember, and so we will need to maintain a flexibility of consciousness that is curious about the unexpected, finds meaning in synchronicities and changes in plan, and is willing to shift and move with the twists and turns in storylines that will occur.

Yet Mercury will not be retrograde when the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse occurs, and instead will be twinkling with light in the liminal shifting of hues following sunset. Most importantly, Mercury will be joined in the sky by Venus who is getting brighter and brighter as an Evening Star each day. The applying conjunction between Venus with Mercury, the ruler of the North Node of the Moon, suggests being mindful of our relationships and the ways our relational needs are changing. It will be important to engage in communication within relationships, and the link between Venus and Mercury further suggests it may be a time of transition in relationships with certain ones passing away as new ones grow in strength. It can also be a fruitfully creative time for experimenting with writing, art, or any crafts where Venus and Mercury can combine. Since Venus is only at the beginning of her new Evening Star phase and we are still settling into what has been reborn in correspondence with her superior conjunction with the Sun at the end of March, the fact that Mercury is pausing to wait for her suggests he will receive an important message from her regarding our desires and creativity to carry with him during his upcoming retrograde journey through the underworld and back again.

Mercury and Venus previously formed a conjunction on April 25, 2021 in Taurus a few degrees away from Uranus and also closely in range of a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. Their next exact conjunction will be on May 28 at 24°41′ Gemini at the same time that Mercury is stationing retrograde, with both Venus and Mercury forming a catalyzing square aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Since they are uniting while also forming a square with Neptune in Pisces, on one level we can observe how Mercury and Venus have been weaving together storylines and setting off foreshadowing that links together the events connected with the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus with the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces that will be a pivotal influence during 2022. However, rather than being swept away by dreams of the future we will need to focus on how things are developing in the present, drawing inspiration from whatever exciting new visions are being stimulated by the tension between Neptune with Venus and Mercury.

Indeed, the square aspect between Mercury and Neptune will be unusually long and merits closer examination. Mercury first formed a square aspect with Neptune on May 22, moving within three degrees of a square with Neptune on May 18. Mercury will remain within three degrees of a square aspect with Neptune until June 11, meaning that it will be tightly forming a square with Neptune from now all the way through the upcoming Gemini Solar Eclipse. It will be a potent period for dreaming and exploring imaginal landscapes, surrendering to feelings and letting old blockages erode within the oceanic waves of Neptune. Yet at the same time, Mercury being strong in its own airy home will be capable of retrieving pivotal insight, curiously exploring and examining the shells washing up on the shoreline of our psyche. There will be added intensity to the square between Mercury and Neptune during the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, as Venus will be amplifying their dynamic as she passes through an exact square aspect with Neptune on May 27 and a conjunction with Mercury on May 28.

In addition, another major underlying influence during the eclipse will be the opposition forming between Mars in Cancer with Pluto in Capricorn that will eventually become exact on June 5. Mars in Cancer will be forming a flowing trine aspect with Neptune that it will complete on May 30, while Neptune is also in range of a harmonious sextile aspect with Pluto. The opposition between Mars and Pluto can have multivalent meaning in many different contexts, ranging from an intensification of desire, enmeshment within difficult power dynamics, or a need to be resiliently empowered in the face of strong opposition among many other possible impacts. Due to Mars and Pluto also forming aspects with Neptune, it will be important to pay close attention to inner feelings and any way we may be projecting internal dynamics on others. At the same time, these same aspects could be bringing genuine ideals and visions of authentic actualization to develop within our relationships and work. Combined with everything else, it will be important to avoid negating the beautiful vision of what can potentially be developed while also making sure to remain grounded and tend to whatever needs care within relationships and what will need to be altered or modified within work and creative projects.

Temperance by Leonora Carrington

Although there are a lot of intense astrological aspects surrounding the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, the fact that Jupiter in Pisces is ruling the eclipse brings greater potential for integration and being able to gather deeper meaning and inspiration from our experiences. Within the nocturnal water of Pisces, Jupiter can facilitate a sinking into deeper embodiment the more we let things slow down and take shape rather than trying to force things to happen or speed up events. Jupiter in Pisces can assist in seeing through and feeling into experiences, finding coherence through relating to what is happening within us as well as listening and relating within our external relationships. No matter what sort of volatile events erupt in the weeks ahead, see how you can draw on the combined strength of Jupiter in Pisces (ruling the South Node) and Mercury in Gemini (ruling the North Node) for blending, moderating, and measuring how you are internally impacted, finding outlets for circulating and moving the energy through you. As old beliefs and dreams are released into the eclipse portal aligned with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, the presence of Jupiter in Pisces will be ready to spin new tales and construct new stories that will be more aligned with whatever new presence is emerging from within.

The XIV Temperance arcanum in tarot has been syncretized by many with the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. In their book on the tarot, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa wrote the following message spoken by Temperance:

“I’ve been called ‘guardian angel’; that is how the Church imagined me, with the appearance of a child. I am that, but I am also much more than that. I am a part of your subconscious, its benevolent part, the part that helps and keeps watch over you even when you are sleeping. I am there to urge you to act when an action is good for you. Trust me: I am here to balance you. Those who suffer and torture themselves do not know me, yet I am also there for them. I am only waiting for them to see me and to call upon me.

“I ask only one thing of you: that you recognize that you are not alone. But then you ask, what must be done to reach me? I shall answer you: you must begin by imagining me. You may first invoke my childish image of a guardian angel; that’s a good start. Play with me like a child speaking to his angel. Act as if I existed. Imagine me, there, right next to you, all the time, and that my sole purpose is to help you. Most importantly, like a trusting child, you must accept my aid.”

The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa
8 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 1 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the first decan of Sagittarius associated with the Eight of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we can see eight staffs or wands sailing swiftly across the sky and above a flowing river, evoking a focus on movement. Indeed, the Eight of Wands signifies a multiplicity of developments as well as the speed of thought applied to a passionate goal, which fits well with Mercury being the ruler of the first face of Sagittarius. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces described the chief meaning of this decan being “the speed of an idea or vision, the velocity of imagination,” writing that “the essence of this decan entails the swift emergence of a motivating vision and the attainment of a vehicle to move one toward the pictured goal.”

Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “The Poisoned Arrow” to the first decan of Sagittarius, describing the complex relationship between the speed of vision found within this face and the potential to have thought manipulated by external sources. In part Coppock related this concept to the attribution of daimons of plague by the Hellenistic text 36 Airs to this face, noting this decan also involves “the secrets of propaganda” and other viruses that can “infect the psyche” and hijack our bodies, emotions, and minds, like influential ideas and propaganda that goes viral on the Internet. Coppock further noted that the “energy patterning of this decan is linear and ruthless,” like an arrow shot with violent precision at a target. As a result, the first decan of Sagittarius teaches the importance of remembering that our mind, body, and emotions are vulnerable to infections from external sources. By protecting our psyche from external manipulation, Coppock further pointed out that we can instead become infected with “enthusiasm.” Indeed, also present within this face is “the ideal self, the half divine hero . . . composed entirely of spirit fire” from whom “a story unfolds – a quest, a target, a driven myth.”

With Jupiter in Pisces ruling the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, we can expect new myths and stories to emerge within our collective psyche. As Wole Soyinka wrote in his introduction to his interpretation of The Bacchae of Euripedes, “Myth is part wish-fulfillment through hero projections” as well as “an outline for action, especially for groups within society who have experienced loss and deprivation.” Regarding the figure of Dionysus who is deeply resonant with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, Soyinka wrote that the history of Dionysus “was extravagantly rich in all the ingredients of a ravaged social psyche: displacement, suppression of identity, dissociation, dispossession, trials and the goal of restoration.” Just like Soyinka pointed out how Dionysus as “deity of the moist elements” connected the masses with the rhythms of Nature as well as allowed for the release of “the pent-up frustrated energy of all the downtrodden,” so can we expect a regeneration of collective myths and stories to emerge giving voice to those who have been on the outskirts of consensus, central narrative viewpoints. Within your personal life, listen for the voice of your guardian daimon/angel and the enlivening quests and stories ready to emerge from a new chapter in your life. The illuminated intuition found within, vivified by inner spirit fire, may guide the way forward if we trust it.

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

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References

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

Jodorowsky, Alejandro and Costa, Marianne. (2004). The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards. Destiny Books.

Soyinka, Wole. (1973). The Bacchae of Euripedes: A Communion Rite. W.W. Norton & Company.

New Moon in Taurus

New Moon in Taurus

The darkness of the Moon in Taurus has a richness like none other, its subterranean soil serving as a gestating matrix within which desires may take root and receive the inner nourishment needed to emerge vibrantly into the world. The New Moon in Taurus on May 11 holds a pulsating potency underneath the pleasing astrological aspects it is forming, including a creative sextile with Neptune in Pisces, an empowering trine with Pluto in Capricorn, and a catalyzing square with Jupiter in Aquarius. As the lunation is happening within the exaltation of the Moon, the slow and steady processes favored by the living image of Taurus can cultivate and nurture new growth that can endure with resiliency and long lasting effects. The atmosphere of the New Moon in Taurus does not foster rushing forth like a charging Bull, but rather slowing down to sink and deepen into what’s emerging within and being present to listen to new developments within our myriad relationships. 

Although a New Moon in Taurus can be helpful for finding greater stability, the upcoming astrology will in fact be quite volatile. The lunar cycle beginning with the Taurus New Moon will wax into a total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius that will reflect its blood red light on May 25, signaling endings and beginnings in storylines.  Mercury will then facilitate further twists and turns in stories by stationing retrograde on May 29, followed by a Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10 and then the second exact square aspect of the year between Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius on June 14. Knowing that numerous astrological events are coming that can deeply reshape and alter structures and relationships, the Taurus New Moon is an ideal time for inner reflection and examination of how your desires and priorities have been changing so you may better navigate the approaching astrological volatility in better alignment with what you wish to create and cultivate. 

At the center of the disruptive and change inducing astrological transits that will be occurring in the next month is the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that will be increasingly swelling with intensity. Previously we experienced the first exact square aspect between Saturn and Uranus on February 17, a period in which the influence of Saturn in Aquarius was being amplified due to it being engaged in numerous astrological aspects. In contrast, during the past month there has been an intensification of the influence of Uranus in Taurus, with Mercury, Venus, and the Sun all forming conjunctions with Uranus. While you may already be aware of numerous elements of your life that have completely changed since February 17, the recent stoking of Uranus suggests that an even deeper level of change is presently taking shape. The impact of Uranus will unleash feelings and visions beyond the present boundaries and borders of circumstances, bringing inspiration that can help guide the way forward as long as we do not neglect the reality of Saturn that will require patience and building things one step at a time. 

Yet being mindful of Saturn does not mean limiting your sense of what will be possible to create, change, and bring together, for the square between Saturn and Uranus means that we must necessarily come to terms with ways we perceive unnecessary limitations as we simultaneously open to a more enlivening and expansive sense of reality. It may not be clear yet how you will go about creating, establishing, or developing the new desires that have been stirred into stable forms, but not knowing how it will happen is less important at the moment than gaining a deeper sense for what you do want to have happen, which directions you want to move in, which relationships you wish to further develop, and which interests and skills you wish to cultivate and pursue. As we transition in the coming lunar cycle from the fertile solidity of Taurus into the diverse multiplicity of Gemini, remember to make space and time to continually come back to center, sifting through the parts of your inner multiplicity ready to emerge so you may better integrate and embody the authentic new desires you want to reshape your life with. 

The New Moon in Taurus is ruled by Venus in Gemini as the star of Aphrodite is finally re-emerging into visible light as an Evening Star following sunset. Venus has been veiled from view under the beams of the Sun since the beginning of February, and after being reanimated by the noetic potency of the Sun on March 25 she will now be bringing her dazzling presence to the shifting hues of twilight every sunset. There are different gods and goddesses syncretized with Venus in different cultures, but no matter your cultural background the divine being of Venus will have an intensified presence in our lives during the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle as the star of Aphrodite is reborn into the world again. As the waxing Moon in Gemini will unite with Venus on May 12, we may become more deeply attuned with the desires that have been forming within hidden recesses of our senses within the past month and a half. 

Although Venus is not at home in Gemini, she will be benefitting from Mercury also being present in its airy home of the Twins. As a result, Venus will have access to the full resources of Mercury and we may discover greater capacity to give voice to and communicate the new ideas and desires that have been taking shape within during the past month. Venus combined with Mercury in Gemini can blend aesthetic sense and design with intellectual analysis and flowing fluency in communication, making it a powerful period for any form of creativity especially in the realms of writing, music, art, and crafts. Due to Mercury stationing retrograde on May 29, we will be able to enjoy the social and creative atmosphere fostered by Venus and Mercury being together in Gemini from now until June 2 when Venus enters Cancer. It will be a potent time for making connections with those who share our interests, as well as for sustaining dialogue and listening to those who have different viewpoints and perspectives from our own. 

Just like Mercury and Venus can be fruitful for aesthetically arranging colors, words, and sounds, so can they also help us explore what aspects of our changing desires to pursue as we experience many collective and personal shifts during the coming season of eclipses. Significantly, Mercury is forming a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon during the time of the Taurus New Moon, followed by Venus forming a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon a week later on May 18. With Mercury in Gemini ruling the North Node of the Moon as we approach a Lunar Eclipse on May 25 and a Solar Eclipse on June 10, the presence of Venus in Gemini can help us hold the tension of opposing desires until giving birth to something that transcends the polarity, not unlike the Hermaphrodite Rebis (res bina) found in alchemical text that reconciles the spiritual and material (1).

Venus being under the influence of Mercury in Gemini for an extended period of time will create a more fluid and adaptable atmosphere for Venus that can lead to dispersing energy in multiple directions while multitasking between numerous projects and goals.  Mercury and Venus together in Gemini will also draw us into a deeper search for meaning and connections, curiously questioning and synthesizing meaning within the myriad relationships that interconnect us within reality. Moreover, the living image of the Twins conjures the relationship between our mortal and immortal sides, the illuminated spark of vision and the darkness of the shadow it casts, our felt sense of soulfulness we may idealize as a soul mate yet ultimately returns us to a stronger awareness of our own deep material we need to integrate and embody. 

The New Moon in Taurus is applying to a jolting square aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius that it will complete on May 12, a day before Jupiter enters Pisces on May 13.  The return of Jupiter to its own sign adds an additional vivifying influence to the beginning of the lunar cycle, further amplifying potential for deepening into desires and coalescing ideas and inspiration in the process. Jupiter entering Pisces will bring a boost toward new desires because the sovereignty Jupiter possesses in Pisces allows it to express its significations for prosperity, growth, and fertile creativity with fullness and directness. While Jupiter has been sharing the sign of Aquarius with Saturn we may have found ways of being more expansive within present life structures or renovated systems to allow for greater vision and progress, but with Jupiter occupying its own sign we may experience leaps of imagination that stretch and elevate our sense of what will be possible to create with our life. With regard to the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus, it is further significant that Jupiter will no longer be in the home of Saturn and will instead be out of aspect to Saturn and instead forming a creative sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus. 

In contrast to Sagittarius, the fiery and diurnal home of Jupiter where it accelerates the speed of events and reaches outward to new vistas beckoning over the horizon, Pisces is the watery, nocturnal home of Jupiter that facilitates descent into the boundless, oceanic realm of desires within our bodily senses and unconscious. Jupiter in Pisces will support slowing down to sink into fuller sensations regarding our circumstances, letting the waves of Pisces wash over the parts of ourselves that have become fragmented or disconnected, dissolving places that have become stuck or hardened. Jupiter in Pisces is magnetically receptive, drawing new sources of inspiration to itself and synthesizing insight through assembling and unifying separate influences into new forms of vital meaning. Like soaking in a hot spring overlooking a sweeping view of breathtaking nature, Jupiter in Pisces can allow for a release of stress and tension so we may immerse ourselves in whatever brings a stronger sense of soulfulness and passion. By taking our time and letting the intuitive strength of Jupiter in Pisces guide us in the direction of inner promptings, we can ultimately discover a more productive and flowing path forward than if we try to rush ahead and force things to happen. 

It’s further important that as soon as Jupiter enters Pisces it will be present within the same sign as Neptune. Although Jupiter will not form its conjunction with Neptune in Pisces until April 12, 2022 we will begin to gain a foreshadowing sense of the meaning that Jupiter and Neptune will be bringing into our lives. Jupiter and Neptune have one of the most important cycles to consider within astrology, forming a conjunction roughly every thirteen years in typically a successive sign of the zodiac. Due to there being two straight conjunctions of Jupiter and Neptune in Capricorn in 1984 and 1997 followed by a conjunction in Aquarius in 2009, we have lived through three straight cycles of Jupiter and Neptune being initiated in a domicile of Saturn. Their conjunction in Pisces in 2022 will be the first conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in a domicile of Jupiter since the three conjunctions they formed in Sagittarius in 1971, and we can therefore expect to catch a powerful wave of imaginal force in the year ahead. 

Jupiter and Neptune in many ways have a meaning that is diametrically opposed and in stark contrast to the meaning of Saturn and Pluto that held significant influence over the events of 2020. While mundane astrologers such as Andre Barbault have recognized it as a combination that incites waves of liberal and progressive movements within global politics, other astrologers such as Dane Rudhyar have found it to be a disorienting yet extremely powerful impetus for letting go of desires to conform to societal expectations of success in favor of following an unorthodox and untrodden path illuminated by the inner light of imaginal, unconscious sources. Due to the illusory impact of Neptune, however, we will also need to be mindful of how we are navigating the way forward so that we are not swept out to sea.  Since Jupiter is only going to be occupying the first three degrees of Pisces from now until July 28, however, we will only be gaining an initial taste of the otherworldly fruit that will be offered to us by Jupiter and Neptune. For now, let your mind open to new stories, mythos, muses, and founts of inspiration that can disintegrate the ways you have kept yourself controlled or bound to old storylines that no longer serve your best interests and highest good. 

Within the darkness of the Taurus New Moon is another aspect that deserves attention: Mars in Cancer receiving Chiron in Aries through a square aspect. We may notice that some of the new desires forming within and beginning to emerge not only feel exciting and inspired but also make us feel vulnerable due to them testing the ground of past wounds and insecurities. Indeed, the tension between Mars and Chiron is also playing a role in the ways our conception of past forms of stability have been disrupted by the square between Saturn and Uranus, as Mars is additionally forming a sextile aspect with Uranus and Chiron is forming a sextile aspect with Saturn. Since Chiron has a primal role in astrology of mediating and bridging the realms of Saturn with Uranus, the square between Mars and Chiron is leading us to encounter emotional material and relational issues that necessarily must be confronted if we wish to step into more of the liberating impact of Saturn and Uranus. 

It’s often the case that as we prepare to cross the threshold of breakthrough experiences or significant alterations of old patterns we with to reshape, for one reason or another we get pulled back to face old issues connected to the old stories we have emerged from. Chiron in Aries can help instill the sense of agency we need to make empowering choices that align with our core purpose and desires, while Mars in Cancer can propel us to take action toward cultivating the relationships and experiences that will fulfill our emotional needs, courageously protecting whatever is most important for us to nurture. Be tender with yourself if you need to create space to process, release, or come into deeper relationship with old emotional material that  has caused pain in the past. The more we can release and empty of what needs to be let go, the better we will be able to move through the accelerated pace of change that will be coming with the eclipses at the end of May and beginning of June.

7 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 3 Decan

The New Moon in Taurus is arising 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 integrate the new desires being formed within the darkness of the New Moon into a long range perspective that will be capable of carefully tending to and nurturing the needs of our relationships and endeavors so that they may ultimately bloom in healthy wholeness.  

The fact that the New Moon in the third face of Taurus is leading us into the destabilizing storms of an eclipse season 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. 

As the lunar cycle initiated by the New Moon in Taurus will culminate with a total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius, we have forewarning that unexpected changes will be coming that may involve difficulty as well as exciting inspiration. 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 in the next couple of months. Since Jupiter in Pisces will be ruling the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, we can also have faith that support will be available from the unseen realm of spirit. While we may need to temporarily navigate through a period of volatility in the month ahead, the New Moon in Taurus points us toward the enduring new forms and relationships we will be able to cultivate and develop that will continue to support us for a long time beyond the present. 

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

(1) 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.

 

NORWAC 2021

Norwac blog graphic

NORWAC 2021

I will be speaking as part of an exemplary gathering of astrologers at the 2021 Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC) that will take place from May 27 – 31, 2021. It will be a virtual conference and so there are no travel costs associated and you will be able to watch recordings of all the lectures following the live event.

If you have not yet bought a ticket now is the time, for the early registration discount ends on April 30. Go to the NORWAC site to register.

My talk is entitled “Oracular Light: Heliacal Rising and Setting Planets” and is scheduled for Friday, May 28 at 4:30 pm.  It’s a topic that has fascinated me for years and continues to show up as an important aspect of my consultations.

Anyone with a heliacal rising or setting planet has a more intensified experience with that planetary deity. At these important planetary phases, the divine being of the planet makes its presence strongly felt in the world. It can be oracular in terms of the planet strongly speaking and acting through the life of the person. In mundane events there are important messages to decipher.

Description: This talk will explore the meaning of planets arising in light after being invisible (heliacal rising) and planets making their final appearance before descending into darkness (heliacal setting). We’ll examine the importance and nuances of their interpretation in natal astrology, including how they make a crucial statement regarding one’s purpose and calling in life. We’ll also discover how to utilize secondary progressions to determine pivotal time periods in the life of those born with a heliacal rising or setting planet.

Above image by Michelle Doucette aka @thedreamingcanvas on Instagram

Full Moon in Scorpio

Scorpion Scarab (about 1550–1186 BCE)

Full Moon in Scorpio

The Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26 will uproot and open emotions, sinking senses down into contact with the ceaseless stream of circulating desires within subconscious sources. Since Scorpio penetrates into the roots of desires like no other sign in the zodiac, the Scorpio Full Moon will dig underneath the surface of our motivations to the primal forces that fuel our resiliency in persevering with participation in life despite the suffering we experience. There is an eruptive quality to the lunation, as the Scorpio Moon is separating from a flowing trine with Mars in Cancer and applying to a volatilizing opposition with Uranus in Taurus and a disruptive square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius that can engender breakthroughs and dramatic shifts in storylines.  Although the feelings unleashed by the Full Moon in Scorpio may involve difficult emotional material to process, the cathartic and purgative pulse of the lunation will also draw us into deeper relationship with our inner vitality so that we may intuitively coalesce a more strongly felt sense of the direction forward and what we want to create within our relationships.

In the northern hemisphere the Full Moon in Scorpio will arrive at the height of spring, whereas in the southern hemisphere it will illuminate descent into the season of fall. Taurus and Scorpio are a fixed polarity that anchor our seasons as well as our consciousness, not only rooting us into the ground we stand upon but also pulling us under the earth into the fecund source of the blooming life around us. While the Sun in Taurus centers purpose within our senses, patiently cultivating sources of security from our inner values, the Full Moon in Scorpio will probe into the shadows cast by our yearnings, unearthing the deeper source of  our desires and how they interface with our needs for security. Being fixed signs, the immense capacity of Taurus and Scorpio for stabilizing can also lead us to become stuck through fixating upon controlling dynamics so as to avoid the grief of loss when things end and change.  Due to the Full Moon activating the clash between Uranus and Saturn, however, change will be unavoidable and so we can allow the piercing night vision of Scorpio to open our bodily senses into a more visceral sense for how our inner desires are changing so that we may come into greater alignment with the essential transmutations emerging.

Indeed, while the activation of Uranus by the Full Moon may incite desire for rapidly rushing in an exciting new direction or bursting free from constraining influences, the harsh square between the lunation with Saturn in Aquarius will make us acutely aware of the limitations and restrictions present within our current circumstances. Ideally the emotive impact of the Scorpio Full Moon can help us find a balance between the tension constellating between Saturn and Uranus rather than becoming excessively frustrated by their friction. Due to the Sun applying to a conjunction with Uranus and Mercury and Venus also being present in Taurus, there will be more emphasis on the liberating side of Uranus that seeks to force open the walls of Saturn to let in more inspiring sources of creativity and far reaching vision. Yet we must also relate to the hard reality of Saturn if we wish to be effective, and so we will need to apply steady effort and discipline while keeping in mind the longview of what we will be capable of building over time rather than insisting on rushing forward too fast.

It’s important to consider the mutual reception between the Full Moon and its domicile ruler Mars, as the Full Moon is in the watery home of Mars and is separating from a trine aspect with Mars in the watery home of the Moon. Since both the Full Moon and Mars are in the signs of their fall, the lunation will call for a descent into boggy terrain that will necessitate coming to terms with the feelings we have been harboring within our inner darkness as well as within the shadows cast by the work we have been projecting into the world. Due to being in signs of their fall, the Moon in Scorpio and Mars in Cancer are in zodiacal terrain where they are not exalted by the dominant culture and therefore can be overlooked until demanding attention. Constructively, Mars and the Moon in their fall can draw us into material that is undervalued by the dominant culture and the manner in which we have been conditioned to pursue whatever is considered to be successful within our culture. As a result, the passionate potency of their watery convergence can instill greater fortitude in following an unorthodox path that is aligned more so with our inner authenticity than the external expectations of society. 

Mars in Cancer can be a fierce protector, and so we also need to be aware that the emotional material dislodged by the Full Moon may feel so overwhelming that the defense mechanisms of Mars will be standing ever ready at guard. Rather than shutting down, lashing out at others, or closing oneself off from feelings, see if the slow, steady, and stabilizing presence of the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Taurus can help modulate emotions to a level that can be more securely felt and integrated.  Due to Mars being more strongly influenced by the polarized force of the Full Moon than normal, keep in mind that feelings will be especially sensitized including triggers to our anger that can lead us into conflict. In some cases we may need to get in stronger contact with our anger and use it to make change or separate from a problematic situation, but in other cases there will be greater potential than normal to overreact before fully understanding the larger context of the issue.

The Moon in the Marsh by Earl Reed

Pulsating underneath the tension of the Full Moon will be the primal potency of Pluto. Pluto will be saturating the astrological atmosphere with its influence due to stationing retrograde less than twenty-four hours after the lunation on April 27 at 26°48′ Capricorn. The howl from Pluto in the underworld will amplify the deep potency of Mars in the sign of its fall ruling the Full Moon in the sign of its fall, as Pluto can intensify whatever needs to be released with a volcanic force. 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 therefore accentuate our capacity for peering into the emotional sources at the root of our interpersonal dynamics with others.

After stationing retrograde on April 27 at 26°48’ Capricorn, Pluto will slowly creep backwards through Capricorn until eventually stationing direct on October 6, 2021 at 24°19′ Capricorn. Since this will be the second time that we will experience Pluto traversing twenty-seven to twenty-four degrees of our natal charts, over the course of the next five months the retrograde movement of Pluto will catalyze reorientation to the deep-seated shifts that have been taking shape within that we may have previously been resisting. However, the necessity of coming to terms with any feelings we have been denying or resisting will be more pronounced in the week following the Scorpio Full Moon as Pluto stands still, as unconscious material that has been simmering under the surface may arise into awareness for the first time. Over the course of the retrograde movement of Pluto, however, we will have an extended period of time to surrender to whatever process of breakdown and purification needs to happen.

After the Full Moon forms an opposition with Uranus and a square aspect with Saturn, it will form a flowing trine with Neptune in Pisces on April 27 followed by a galvanizing sextile aspect with Pluto and a catalyzing square aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius on April 28. While the square aspect between the Full Moon with Saturn may bring realization that some of the desires being stirred up by Pluto and the lunation are presently out of reach, we can utilize our felt sense for what we want versus what we do not want to begin taking steps and setting plans in motion to reach our desired end. The stern glare from Saturn demands taking accountability and claiming the inner authority we possess to do what we can to restructure and realign in our desired direction. Look for ways to bring the inspired vision and excitement stoked by Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter into relationship with the patient endurance of Saturn in Aquarius that will slowly build something solid with long lasting benefits. 

Fairy Land (1881) by Gustave Dore

The abundance of fertile desires that can be activated by the Scorpio Full Moon is resonant with the fact that it is taking place during the time of Beltane in the northern hemisphere, when the veil into the otherworld of fairies, daimons, and spirits of the land is lifted to allow for more direct relationships. Fittingly for one of the most magical times of the year, the Full Moon involves a conjunction between Mercury with Venus in Taurus. Venus is luxuriating within her earthy home of Taurus where she can directly access her gifts for harmonizing and finding delight within our body and the recesses of our sensory, sensual natures. In contrast to the unifying nature of Venus, Mercury can destabilize, contest, and move with volatility and so the star of Hermes can connect the emancipatory and breakthrough impulses of Uranus with the stabilizing inclinations of Venus in Taurus. Since Mercury is the connective mediator between the world animating spirit and our material realm, the union of Mercury with Venus in the instinctual sign of Taurus can allow for our diverse inner senses to bring guidance into how to move with the changes in storylines being incited by the overarching influence of Uranus and Saturn. With the Full Moon applying to an opposition with Mercury and Venus, there can be a propulsive impact creatively that can be channeled into any sort of art, writing, music, design or other realms that draw upon the combined skills of Mercury and Venus. 

Mercury and Venus will continue moving through Taurus in close proximity with one another during the waning half of the lunar cycle, with Mercury returning to its home of Gemini on May 3 and Venus entering Gemini on May 8. As they journey through Taurus together they will form harmonious aspects with Neptune and Pluto followed by a square aspect with Jupiter that will deepen our sense for how to adjust to surrounding changes while being creatively active with our new desires that are forming. While Mercury and Venus are both secluded from view under the beams of the Sun during the Scorpio Full Moon, Mercury will burst into visibility as an evening star with significant messages for us to receive on May 2 as it is moving from a trine with Pluto into a square aspect with Jupiter. At the same time, Venus will be continuing to gestate the meaning of her new solar cycle until finally beautifying the western horizon at sunset as an evening star following the upcoming New Moon in Taurus. For now, listen for the new sense of meaning that Mercury and Venus are shaping together within inner senses.

fairy tree

The Fairy Tree at Colinton (1846) by David Hill and Robert Adamson

Fittingly for the season of Beltane during which diverse fairies and daimons are more readily present, there are a number of asteroids playing significant roles within the astrology surrounding the Full Moon. Vesta recently stationed direct at 6º41′ Virgo on April 21 and is mediating the polarity of the lunation through forming a sextile with the Full Moon in Scorpio and a trine with the Sun in Taurus. Vesta is the goddess of the hearth and the keeper of the sacred flame who has primal significations around centeredness and dedicated devotion. Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses described Vesta as having a role of centering the psyche within its coordination of our inner multiplicity to allow for one pointed focus and unobstructed commitment to our purpose in the world. Demetra George also noted that Vesta will retreat from the outer world in order to purify, replenish, and reintegrate following periods of being depleted of resources from excessive external involvement, and so we can imagine that while retrograde that Vesta had been bathing in a sacred spring in order to regenerate a sense of wholeness. As Vesta emerges from her time in retreat she will be in position to help us generate momentum sourced from our essential nature and authentic values. During the waning half of the lunar cycle, Mars in Cancer will be applying toward a sextile with Vesta that it will complete on May 5, an initiatory encounter in which Vesta can instill Mars with firmer resolve to persist in leading us forward while rooted in our inner purpose.

In contrast to Vesta recently stationing direct, the asteroid Juno stationed retrograde following the recent New Moon in Aries and is now mutually applying to a disintegrating square aspect with Neptune in Pisces. The square between Juno with Neptune may stir up the influence of our ideals and fantasies concerning relationships upon the actual circumstances of our present relational dynamics. We may become aware of ways in which we may be projecting our ideals on a partner or relationship, giving us the opportunity to pull back the projection and find ways to relate better with the actual presence of our primary relationships. On the other hand, if we have been resistant to opening ourselves to forming more intimate relationships we may experience a dissolution of inner blocks that will allow us to deepen into new relational dynamics with others. 

Further revealing desires presently underlying relational dynamics are the asteroids Psyche and Eros. Eros is at 9º43′ Capricorn and forming a sextile with the Full Moon and a trine aspect with the Sun and Uranus in Taurus, adding another layer to the intensifying desires unleashed by the lunation. In contrast, the Psyche asteroid has been traveling close to Mars by zodiacal degree recently, forming a conjunction with Mars on April 20 at 28°15′ Gemini. Psyche is occupying the first degree of Cancer during the Full Moon, less than two degrees away from Mars. The continued presence of Psyche with Mars points to the importance of following internal desires and devoting oneself to one’s eros and undergoing whatever processes ensue. Fittingly for the placement of Mars within its fall of Cancer, Psyche’s journey toward uniting with Eros necessitated repeated falls that took her not only to the depths of her being but all the way to the underworld and back. Due to the Eros asteroid beginning to slow down to station retrograde (it will station retrograde at ten degrees of Capricorn on May 3), Psyche is heading toward an opposition with Eros that will be building with tension until becoming exact on May 18. It appears that the Psyche and Eros asteroids are illuminating the point of Psyche’s journey in which Eros is out of reach yet begins to be called back to her through her resilient devotion and capacity for completing each impossible task given to her by Aphrodite. 

5 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 1 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the first decan of Scorpio associated with the Five of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is full of desire and despair, as a figure cloaked in black stares with fixation upon three spilled chalices. Yet the remaining two upright chalices suggest the possibility of quenching the thirst of desire elsewhere, regenerating the cycle of desirous pursuit and sudden loss all over again. There is also a river flowing underneath a bridge behind the figure, evoking the flux philosophy of Heraclitus that no one ever steps in the same river twice due to the river as well as the person always changing. It is a fitting image to associate with the first decan of Scorpio as it captures the fundamental nature of having desires within our constantly shifting world in which we must deal with the loss of what we desire most of all. As T. Susan Chang has written, “by facing the 5 of Cups, we learn what matters most in life and resolve to fight for it.” Fittingly, Mars is the ruler of the first face of Scorpio. 

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Jawbone” to the first decan of Scorpio, declaring hunger as its chief concern. Coppock synthesized the ancient textual images of this face around the constantly circulating cycle of desire, including consuming hunger, satiation, the loss of what one desires, and the competitive violence that can be constellated when pursuing desires. Coppock concluded that within the first decan of Scorpio “we are brought to confront the cycle of hungers which are the price and pleasure of incarnate being,” yet by coming into relationship with it “we are less bound to it, and less blind, than if we ignore it.”  

Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed a different representation of desire to this face: the Numphai (Nymphs), feminine nature spirits who reside in sacred streams, springs, groves, and grottoes. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces speculated that the attribution of the nymphs to this face relates to them being shown as objects of desires for mortals and immortals in mythology. Combined with the desirous nature of this face, the presence of the nymphs also brings to mind the ecstatic Dionysus who often ran freely with wild nymphs and whose all consuming desires incited dismemberment and rebirth. 

Returning to the image of the Five of Cups, the flowing river in the background can also be viewed as a habitat of nymphs that contains the medicine we need for coming to terms with the endless cycle of desires present in the first face of Scorpio. Like Psyche who repeatedly leapt into rivers during her quest to unite with Eros, we must follow desires through their mysterious initiations and reckonings of soul in order to have a fully lived life. In commentaries in the appendix of Liber Novus, Carl Jung described Eros as a force of “dissolution and movement” that runs counter to the “ordering and insistence” of Logos. Jung declared Eros to be “a principle that contains a commingling of all the fundamental activities of the soul,” stating that it “is not form-giving but form-fulfilling . . . it is not the bed and direction of the stream but the impetuous water flowing in it.” May the light of the Scorpio Full Moon plunge you into contact with the gushing stream of desires within and the the enlivening currents of its magical potency and strength. 

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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.

George, Demetra with Bloch, Douglas. (1986). Asteroid Goddesses. ACS

Jung, C.G. (2009) The Red Book (Liber Novus). Translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani. Philemon Series. WW Norton & Company.

 

New Moon in Aries

Winged Goddess figurine, possibly Artemis Orthia (late 7th to 6th Century BC)

New Moon in Aries

Like the primordial Eros who emerges from dark-winged Night in Orphic cosmology, the potent light of celestial fire that erupts out of the abyss of darkness, the New Moon in Aries on April 11 is bursting with propulsive force. The New Moon in Aries is loaded: it is applying closely to creatively activating sextile aspects with Mars in Gemini and Jupiter in Aquarius as well as intensifying aspects with Venus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn.  Whether you are experiencing the excitement of new beginnings or the grief of having to let go through loss, the sweep of the New Moon can penetrate into the passion that has been laying dormant within, awaiting revival and vivification. Just like the absolute boldness of Artemis and the directness of her aim, there is an enlivening spirit within the New Moon that can guide the way forward like the purity of a flame piercing through mists of obsfucation. 

The New Moon in Aries is the second lunation in a row to amplify the new cycle of Venus that began on March 25, as the recent Full Moon in Libra formed an opposition with Venus. Since the New Moon is applying to a conjunction with Venus at the same time that Venus is applying to an exact square aspect with Pluto, it will be necessary to express and relate with whatever emotional material has been stirred up in the past month. Venus combined with the New Moon is catalyzing growth out of the fecund soil and dark depths of Pluto, the place of so much decomposition in the past couple of years when Pluto was joined by Saturn, Jupiter, and the transiting South Node of the Moon in Capricorn. Part of the strife and shattering of what has been stable in the past couple of years has also been associated with the square aspect between the dwarf planet Eris in Aries with Pluto; whatever influence Eris has been wielding will also be energized as the New Moon is applying closely to a conjunction with Eris, further amplifying the activating thrust of the lunation to make change and break out of old patterns. 

Venus is galloping like a wild horse across the final decan of Aries where she has greater agency to influence and make an impact (due to being the decanic ruler of the final ten degrees of Aries), yet she is still not at full strength due to being invisible under the beams of the exalted Sun in Aries. Venus is full of the enlivening spirt and life force she has received from her recent embrace with the Sun, excitedly rushing toward her stable, fertile home of Taurus which she will reach on April 14. Once Venus is home again in Taurus she will be able to better ground and harmonize with the inner promptings of passion, new desires and creative inspiration she has received during her recent time of racing across the fiery sign of Aries. Yet there is a strangely eccentric, inventive guest full of revolutionary ideas awaiting Venus in her domicile: Uranus.

Once Venus reaches Taurus it also means she will begin applying toward a conjunction with Uranus and a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, bringing her into the heart of the square between Uranus and Saturn that has been impelling breakthroughs, breakdowns, and a release of the way things have been. Unlike in February when Venus was on the side of Saturn, her upcoming union with Uranus will be more animating and electrifying with regards to the new directions and desires Venus is presently incubating. Venus will form a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus on April 22, followed by forming a tense square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on April 24 only two days before the upcoming Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26. The Scorpio Full Moon promises to be an especially emotional and cathartic lunation, and so we will be well served by coming to terms with how our emotions and underlying values become reshaped by Venus entering into the volatility of the square between Uranus and Saturn. 

As the Moon waxes toward fullness, it will be important to remember the sequence of aspects Venus will make: Venus will first be incited by the emancipatory influence of Uranus to create change sourced from the burgeoning new desires of Venus, followed by immediately meeting the boundaries, restrictions, and harsh reality of Saturn which will limit the full extent of what may be felt within. Compromises will be necessary so that the inspiration emanating from Venus and Uranus can be grounded and integrated into the reality of one’s present circumstances. Through relating with Saturn and taking responsibility for wherever we need to claim our authority and be accountable, we will be more effective in creating the change we wish to have happen as well as facilitate shedding, molting,  and growth within the systems and structures governed by Saturn. 

Artemis holding a cornucopia and phiale (3rd Century BC)

Mars in Gemini is receiving the New Moon into its fiery home through a harmonizing sextile aspect while also applying to a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius.  Mars has spent recent weeks engaging in aspects bringing about confusion at the same time they have opened new avenues for desires and drive: first Mars passed through a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon at the end of March around the Full Moon in Libra, followed by Mars applying toward a disorienting square aspect with Neptune that it finally completed on April 9. Considering that Mars has also been out of bounds during this period, there may have been new sources of inspiration to pursue entering your awareness making you ready to leap before having a place to land. With Jupiter overcoming Mars through a trine aspect, we will have opportunities for greater coherence and meaning-making with whatever new passions and creative stimulation has been felt within.

Mars will complete its exact trine aspect with Jupiter on April 16 and will remain under the beneficial influence of the star of Zeus until Mars enters Cancer on April 23. Mars in Gemini can shoot off in many directions at once, getting numerous projects and relationships in motion simultaneously. While Mars in Gemini is mentally active, intellectually curious, and capable of discovering and pioneering inventive pathways that have been overlooked by others, it’s driving force can become dissipated and dispersed by having its attention spread too thin across too many interests. The stabilizing trine aspect from Jupiter in Aquarius can be a great aid in bringing a centered focus to projects while remaining open to being flexible and experimental. It can be an opportune period for conducting thought provoking and groundbreaking research that can be deftly integrated into any medium of communication or creative expression.

Venus Wounded in the Hand Conducted by Iris to Mars (1805) engraved by Tommaso Piroli after John Flaxman

Providing a searing boost to the interplay between Mars and Jupiter will be the blazing motion of Mercury in Aries. Mercury is moving at its fastest speed heading toward a conjunction with the Sun it will complete on April 18 at 29º14′ Aries; while it has swift motion capable of making myriad connections and gathering many ideas, Mercury is also in a solar phase in which it is burning off dross and excess to get to the heart of the matter. As Mercury ends and begins a new cycle with the Sun on April 18, there will be opportunities to gain clarity and glean insight from anything we have been researching, developing, or experimenting with. 

In the week following the New Moon there will be a potent mutual reception taking place between Mercury in Aries with Mars in Gemini that will become exact on April 17 through a harmonizing sextile aspect. In addition, Mercury will be forming a collaborative sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius that will become exact on the same day. Altogether these aspects are ideal for writing projects but can also be effective in any realm of work involving design, craftwork, and vision. Due to Mercury moving fast under the beams of the Sun, however, it may be necessary to find ways to ground so that your mind does not become excessively heated and stimulated. 

While Venus is presently moving fast, Mercury is moving even faster. Mercury will catch up to Venus as the Moon is waxing toward fullness, entering Taurus on April 19 and forming a conjunction with Venus on April 25 a day before the Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26. This also means that Mercury will be moving through its aspects with Mars, Jupiter, and the Sun into the catalytic cacophony of the square aspect between Uranus and Saturn. Mercury will form a conjunction with Uranus on April 23 followed by a square aspect with Saturn on April 25, the same day that Mercury will later form a conjunction with Venus.

Mercury uniting with Venus and Uranus may increase the volatility occurring from the tension with Saturn, yet at the same time can create the impetus needed to set the next stage of storylines in motion. It can also be a creatively fertile time within personal projects, collaborations with others, and stimulating conversations that lead to important new ideas. If you have been feeling disoriented by recent shifts in circumstances and old forms of security slipping away, this can also be a good time to get a better sense for how Uranus is disrupting previously stable aspects of your life so that you can access more authentic passion and creative expression.  

4 of Wands

4 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries 3 Decan

The New Moon in Aries is in the third decan of Aries associated with the Four of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. It’s not clear who the figures in the center of the image are, if they are performers being celebrated or celebrants participating in communal festivities. What is clear is the lovingly decorated garland filled with vivacious blossoms and the combined symbolism of a bridge and large castle in the background: the figures are in a centering and protective place from which to express their creativity and charisma. T Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets on tarot and the decans described the Four of Wands as a “temporary refuge” and “safe haven” similar to Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a moment to take comfort and refuge from whatever ordeals you have been enduring. Although Aries is the domicile of malefic Mars, the third decan of Aries is ruled by the two benefics, Venus and Jupiter. With Venus transiting through the third face of Aries and the New Moon applying to Venus, the meaning of the third decan of Aries will be amplified.

While Venus is not naturally comfortable in Aries, she is capable of manifesting success and achievement in the third face of Aries despite it being an environment suited for the fiery assertiveness of Mars and the radiant grandeur of the Sun. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Burning Rose” to the third face of Aries, attributing to it “the power of art to overcome hostility,” and “the power of the spirit to unify and seduce, to motivate and to bond those of confluent passions.” Coppock further noted this decan requires “the martial heat of the battlefield,” as it is the battle-ready ferocity of Aries turned toward artistic performance and charismatic presentation that gives this decan its power “to create a commonality of spirit even in the most hostile conditions.” Yet Coppock also pointed out that the bonds formed within this face require its burning intensity to endure, whereas less intense passions are needed within longterm relationships. Thus it’s a face of “peak experiences” and “inspiring unions amidst life’s greatest struggles,” a place where “bonds are forged and spirits raised,” a decan which “grants the charisma to motivate and attract.”

Aries 3 Decan by Francesco Del Cossa

Third decan of Aries image from Allegory of March: Triumph of Minerva (1476) by Francesco del Cossa

The image above by Francesco del Cossa of a figure who resides within the third face of Aries encapsulates aspects of numerous images found in ancient text. The trinity of Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Picatrix, and Liber Hermetis all reveal figures dressed in red and holding a staff or sword. This passionate figure is wearing either a golden or wooden bracelet depending on whether you consult Three Books of Occult Philosophy or the Picatrix, but both texts indicate the figure embodies the unrest of not being able to do desired good. The reason for not being able to manifest these good wishes is not stated, but Three Books proclaims there is “talent, tameness, joy, and beauty” to be found. The figure in the Picatrix is an iron worker and so has a medium through which to transfigure frustrated anger into works of vivifying creation.

In contrast, the figure in Liber Hermetis wears a gold crown with glistening emeralds decorating her belly. She is full of magic and her staff has the heads of four serpents facing a polarity of directions. Her garments of dark rose are lined with golden strings and she seems to possess the grace of the figure painted by Francesco del Cossa rather than the fury over constraints described by other texts. The focused countenance in del Cossa’s figure suggests they have an inner knowing of being able to make a targeted impact, as they seem to be summoning an inner force to project through the golden bracelet held delicately with their fingers. Francesco del Cossa placed an arrow in the other hand, evoking the mythic Eros or Cupid.

Eros is in fact resonant, as the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the figure of Eros to the third face of Aries. Indeed, the capacity of Eros to arouse passions into creations that inspire collective forces lies at the heart of the decan’s meaning. While some spiritual lineages place Eros as a primordial, hermaphroditic deity at the dawn of Creation, later traditions made Eros into the cunning son of Aphrodite who constantly stirred up the troubles brought forth by lust in both mortals and gods with his bow and arrows. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces stated it is more likely that the 36 Airs had the son of Venus in mind with the third face of Aries as “Eros’ escapades make clear that the desire for unification is inflamed by separation, love by war, lust by forbiddance.”

Another version of Eros is found in Plato’s Symposium, where Eros is portrayed as a great daimon and described by Socrates as the child born from the union of the divine forms of Poverty and Resource. To Socrates, Eros is always poor, always in a state of need, but is also always resourceful in being able to gain what it needs. Within the polarity between Poverty and Resource, the daimonic force of Eros weaves together awareness of the wisdom to be found through our earthly desires that lead us to experience Beauty and Love. If you have been experiencing loss or lack recently, allow the necessity of your circumstances to guide you into relationship with the eros and passionate purpose harbored by Venus and the New Moon uniting within darkness. 

“And yet life is transformation: all that is good is transformation and all that is bad as well. For this reason he is in the right who encounters everything as something that will not return. It does not matter whether he then forgets or remembers, as long as he had been fully present only for its duration and been the site, the atmosphere, the world for what happened, as long as it happened within him, in his center, whatever is good and what is bad – then he really has nothing else to fear because something else of renewed significance is always about to happen next. The possibility of intensifying things so that they reveal their essence depends so much on our participation. When things sense our avid interest, they pull themselves together without delay and are all that they can be, and in everything new the old is then whole, only different and vastly heightened.

— Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters on Life (p. 21-22)

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!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.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2006). Letters on Life: New Prose Translations. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer. The Modern Library Classics. 

 

Full Moon in Libra

Aphrodite Anadyomene (ca. 1st–2nd century) Bronze, gold, with Emerald beads

Full Moon in Libra

Once every nineteen months or so, Venus will race into the sacred heart of the Sun with speed. Called a superior conjunction of Venus, this rhythmically regular renewal of Venus occurs when Venus is moving direct on the far side from the Sun from us in orbit. It’s more of a celestial conjunction of Venus with the Sun than an earthy one, as Venus is more removed from earthly matters than when she forms a conjunction with the Sun when retrograde and at her closest point in orbit to the Earth. As the Sun in its exaltation of Aries rises, culminates, and sets so will Venus as she undergoes a process of being reanimated and reseeded with the creative potency of the Sun. As Venus is laying to rest one cycle and being purified to be reborn into a new cycle, so may we experience a catharsis of past relational patterns and desires as new desires become kindled within. The superior conjunction of Venus occurred on March 25, only three days before the Full Moon in Libra on March 28. As the Libra lunation is within the domain of Venus, the reflective light of the Libra Full Moon will fully illuminate an inner process of renewal and regeneration regarding relationships, desires, and our creativity.

The full arc of the cycle Venus is closing now can be traced back to the last time there was a superior conjunction of Venus on August 13, 2019 at 21º11′ Leo: you may notice cyclic patterns and storylines from then being regenerated. Venus has two main phases within her total cycle, one sharing her light as a Morning Star before sunrise and the other sharing her light as an Evening Star following sunset. The superior conjunction we are experiencing now demarcates a liminal transition in which Venus is invisibly shifting away from her Morning Star phase into her Evening Star phase. Venus will eventually return to visibility as an Evening Star by the middle of May and will then become increasingly visible rising higher and higher each evening. The Morning Star phase of Venus that has now ended began last June when Venus emerged into visibility before sunrise during her retrograde phase in Gemini after forming her inferior conjunction with the Sun on June 3.  Thus there may also be important internal shifts forming that go back to the last time Venus underwent renewal last June.

However, if you wish to dig deeper into the quality of time governed by Venus, you may consider the last time there was a superior conjunction of Venus in Aries eight years ago on March 28, 2013 at 8º10′ Aries for patterns that could relate to now.  Every eight years, the Sun reanimates Venus around the same time near the same place within the zodiac. Although one full cycle of Venus with the Sun lasts for about nineteen months (584 days), there are five different Venus phase cycles within an eight year period that repeat. If you trace the points of the five unions of Venus with the Sun across every eight years, it forms a five pointed star within the circle of the zodiac. In addition to superior conjunctions of Venus occurring very eight years around the same time and zodiac degree, we also experience an inferior conjunction of Venus retrograde uniting with the Sun in the same general area of the zodiac at generally the same time on an alternating eight year cycle. There was an inferior conjunction between Venus retrograde in Aries with the Sun in Aries four years ago on March 25, 2017 at 4º57′ Aries, so although it was a different phase of the Venus cycle you may also realize there are important developments regarding storylines from that time emerging now.

Venus burning up with an exalted Sun can vivify passions that had become dormant, clearing space within for new desires to take root and grow within its cycle to come. Venus in Aries is fast and direct just like the present solar phase of Venus, wanting and making things to happen faster than can be comfortable for Venus. The fast moving desires of Venus are further being enhanced by its domicile ruler Mars forming a sextile with Venus in Gemini while also forming a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon. Venus in Aries is ardent and direct in its affections and desires, and will courageously go after what it wants to create and form relationship with. With Venus so close to the Sun, however, there is much that is hidden to the eye of the observer as well as concealed within our own churning unconscious. The Full Moon opposing Venus while also forming a flowing trine aspect with Mars in Gemini is complex due to unleashing the influence of Mars while bringing up contrary, polarized perspectives and reflections regarding the new sense of meaning Venus is beginning to form.

The Libra Full Moon is in the exaltation of Saturn, while also applying to a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. As a result, the Full Moon is creating an air triangle between the Libra Moon, Saturn in Aquarius, and the combination of Mars with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini.  Regarding our creativity and work, whatever projects and visions we have been developing can benefit greatly through these airy aspects enabling both contemplation regarding the direction forward as well as burning drive to complete the tasks at hand. If there is work to be done and ideas in need of cultivation and expression, the Libra Full Moon is ideal for making significant progress on work that can be inventive as well as in depth.

After the Libra Moon moves through its trine aspects with Saturn and Mars, it will move on to complete another flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius and then form a catalyzing square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn just after moving fifteen degrees beyond the opposition with the Sun. We need to hold the tension of opposing polarities constellating between Venus with the Sun and the Full Moon, letting the illumination of the lunation deepen our awareness of what is taking shape within and how we wish to express our desires moving forward. Although Venus has recently been regenerated, we still have a couple of months of her continuing to gestate her revivified desires until they become more visible with her light in mid to late May. For now we need to incubate the tension of the pulsating potency driving the tidal force of the lunation. Fortunately, the quality of time governed by Venus with the golden mean found within the five petaled form of her solar cycle brings the magical intersection of Eros and Necessity front and center for us to face and reflect within.

Ankh amulet

Ankh Amulet (1070–332 BCE)

Venus and the Sun are also forming a conjunction with Chiron in Aries and are also in process of moving from a union with Chiron into conjunctions with Ceres in Aries that will occur later in the week. Chiron is the Wise Mentor while Ceres is the Great Mother and together they reveal the intrinsic relationship between grief and loss with the courage needed to cultivate productive growth and abundance. The lunation is especially focalized upon Chiron, however, with Chiron forming a conjunction with the Sun at the same time the Full Moon is happening. The union of Chiron with Venus and the Sun will take us to the depths of whatever internal blocks or wounds are presently in the way of us more fully actualizing our creative potential. At the same time, Chiron will be speaking to the importance of tending to the mystery of internal spaces that source our external expression, rather than insisting we know what is best while focusing completely on external achievement. Chiron advises to listen and relate to the vibrant meaning found within the vast realm of visible and invisible nature surrounding us.

During the past year of the global pandemic, longstanding issues of societal oppression and social injustice were forced into the awareness of greater numbers of people who for whatever reason had previously not been paying as much attention to them. At the same time, the same attention given to issues of societal oppression also provoked polarized conflict with groups of people who do not wish to see a radical reshaping of reforms brought to societal institutions on behalf of reparation. The present and forthcoming astrology does not suggest any end to polarized conflict, but the connection of the Full Moon to Chiron as well as Ceres in Aries does highlight the importance of deep contemplation and conversation regarding the intersection between our own identities with the wider network of oppression found within societal hierarchies of power. The work of Dr. Bayo Akomolafe is resonate with the placement of Chiron here, as he has said that decolonial emancipation is not the work of struggling with what is, but a place of occupying what we are becoming. As Dr. Akomolafe has taught, there is an importance of contemplating our circumstances so we do not react in ways that reinforce the very systems of societal oppression we wish to change. 

Chiron bridges the realms of Saturn and Uranus within its orbit, and when it is in Aries it is in the part of its orbit when it travels to the outer reaches of Uranus away from Saturn. The presence of Chiron with the Full Moon is essential for mediating whatever events and experiences have been happening in correspondence with the waning square aspect between Saturn and Uranus. The last quarter square between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus is the dominant astrological theme of the year, and the Libra Full Moon is in a flowing trine to Saturn in its exaltation while also in an uncomfortable quincunx aspect with Uranus in Taurus. Yet both the Full Moon as well as Uranus are in the domicile of Venus who is forming a conjunction with both the Sun and Chiron. The clash between Saturn and Uranus can dislodge us from wherever we have felt secure and stable in the past, while simultaneously opening spectacles of increased authenticity and freedom beyond the present confines of our circumstances. The presence of Chiron with the Full Moon can help in sitting with whatever has been stirred up and discerning the path forward. 

Evocation, from the series Brahmsphantasie, Opus XII, no, 2 (1894) by Max Klinger

The Full Moon is also in the bounds of Mercury, with Mercury applying closely to a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces where Venus is exalted. This marks the second lunation in a row featuring a major activation of Neptune: while the New Moon in Pisces that began the present lunar cycle involved Venus applying closely to a conjunction with Neptune and the New Moon barely separating from Neptune, the Full Moon that now illuminates the meaning of the current cycle involves Neptune being activated by Mercury. While Neptune may dissolve the usual boundaries and focusing instruments of Mercury within its oceanic expanse, Mercury brings its gifts with language, divination, and analysis to the mysterious realm of Neptune.

The union of Mercury with Neptune under the light of the Full Moon can be potent when using any form of divination to illuminate the meaning of the present relational and creative story cycles beginning and ending under the auspices of Venus beginning a new solar cycle. Immersion in nature through exploration of one’s local or surrounding habitat can also provide opportunities for finding meaning through noticing the multiplicitous relationships amongst the surrounding beings within nature. Mercury combined with Neptune can also be powerful for receiving significant messages through dreams as well as deciphering them more creatively with active imagination rather than dry analysis. Mercury with Neptune wants us to utilize our imagination for inspired research and creative output that transcends the limits of materialist perspectives that do not recognize we are embedded within living universes.

At the same time, the fact that the present lunar cycle began with a conjunction between Venus and Neptune and now has a Full Moon featuring a conjunction between Mercury and Neptune also means discernment will be important to apply to whatever dreams and visions have been emerging. Some may be available and some unavailable within present circumstances, so we will need to draw from the inspiration of the unavailable to bring greater inspiration and imagination to what we can do with what is available within our current circumstances. 

2 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 1 Decan

The Full Moon in Libra is in the first decan of Libra associated with the Two of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image a blindfolded woman sits in front of an oceanic expanse while crossing two swords in front of her.  The blindfold and ocean suggest contact with the instinctual inner realm and unconscious, and indeed this card in tarot has a meaning of mediating between opposing forces to find equipoise, resolving conflicts within a protected space of exploring internal balance.  T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets about the intersection between the astrological decans and tarot, stated that the blindfolded woman reveals how the “Swords have do to do with what can and can’t be known,” and that the covered eyes in the image “represent minds that only partly grasp their situation” yet want to know more. Chang links the Two of Swords with setting aside preconceptions, giving opposing points of view “equal airing,” utilizing practices that help “clear your mind, and listen for silence.”

Austin Coppock in 36 Faces referenced Smith’s illustration by ascribing the image of “A Blind Fold and a Sword” to the first face of Libra, describing it as a place which awakens awareness to injustice and disequilibrium within both societal and personal levels of interaction. Coppock wrote of the significance of the Two of Swords holding symbols that “allude to the arousal of an as yet unconscious force” such as the nocturnal and oceanic setting making it a landscape “beneath the threshold of waking consciousness.” Since the Moon is the ruler of the first decan of Libra and the Moon is being fully illuminated in its own face, the meaning of the first decan of Libra will be amplified. Coppock emphasized the essence of this face being about relationship and “the balance between two entities” in all forms within the social order, stating it “shines a light on these dynamics, bringing what is troublesome to the light of conscious recognition.” Coppock declared that the first decan of Libra not only illuminates dynamics of “fairness and reciprocity” based upon “core principles of ethical interaction with other beings,” but also can incite assertive attempts to address injustice or imbalances. 

It is further notable that the Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed the Erinyes (also known as the Furies) to the first face of Libra. As the Erinyes are chthonic goddesses who serve natural law and punish transgressors, the first face of Libra is a place of becoming aware of previously hidden evidence that reveals inequities.  While it is possible that those who have been extremely out of balance will  be facing a karmic reckoning, all of us will need to come to terms with the hidden unconscious material being stirred and awakened by the Full Moon opposing the union of Venus with the Sun. If you are feeling the festering of the Furies within, the fiery union of Venus with the Sun can help purify and release their toxic components while facilitating a coming to terms with the deeper meaning found within our own shadow. May the light of the Full Moon illuminate whatever has come out of balance we need to bring into balance, helping us create the stillness of space needed to contemplate matters deeply.

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.

New Moon in Pisces

New Moon in Pisces

The New Moon in Pisces on March 13 will serve as an expansive container for imaginal activation and revisioning the way forward. Pisces is a boundless sign of nocturnal water, providing the lunation a moist environment ideal for sinking into embodiment of whatever sense of soulfulness has been stirred up recently. The underwater zodiacal terrain of Pisces can blur and erode the places we have been fixated with certainty, nurturing intuitive flexibility in how to adapt in alignment with the flow of changing dynamics. Yet the capacity of Pisces for bending boundaries and remaining open to new influences is not about fickleness, for Pisces can sustain faith in its vision against all odds and challenges that arise with surprising strength and determination. The undulating rhythm of the New Moon in Pisces favors slowing things down to fully absorb surrounding influences and feel into what aspects of plans and perspectives need to be washed away, realizing the essential pearl of meaning to continue forming and shaping within.

The New Moon in Pisces is separating from a conjunction with Venus and Neptune in Pisces and applying to a harmonious sextile with Pluto in Capricorn. The astrological movements surrounding the Pisces New Moon in mid March are less volatile and overwhelming than they were a month ago, creating an opportune time for contemplating all of the deep seated material that has been stirred up, collected and gathered in our mind and body over the past year of a global pandemic that has affected all of us in one way or another. The New Moon at 23º03′ Pisces is not only forming a constructive sextile aspect with the present placement of Pluto in Capricorn, it is also forming a sextile to the degree of the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto that formed last year on January 12, 2020. At the bottom of the oceanic expanse of the New Moon are buried gems of purposeful vision that the subterranean senses of Pluto may detect. Sink down into what the Moon, Venus, and Neptune may discover and retrieve under the waves of the fertile lunation.

2021 began with the thrust and chaotic volatility of a new era of Jupiter and Saturn conjunctions in tropical air signs spiraling outwards. Whatever new ideas, plans, and projects have been incubating since then will be able to be more readily developed and creatively expressed during the course of the lunar cycle ahead. Indeed, the Full Moon in Libra that will occur on March 28 will provide a catalytic impetus to push forward with significant development on the ideas and plans we have been formulating. In contrast, the New Moon in Pisces is less suited for action and more in accord with deep dreaming akin to taking a long luxurious bath wrapped up in our own thoughts, fantasies, and ruminations.

by Gustave Le Gray (1856/57)

Neptune in Pisces is at center stage of the lunation. The New Moon is separating from Neptune within three degrees, with Venus applying within one degree of an exact conjunction with Neptune during the moment that the Moon unites with the Sun. The influence of Neptune can lull us into a trance, and while in some cases this can lead to confusion and ungrounded decisions, the billowing bliss of Neptune can also sensitize perception to the divine life force pulsating through our material circumstances. Neptune can open a portal to other-worlds, like a diversion into a faerie realm where we become absorbed with the non ordinary rather than the routine. From the outside being seized by Neptune may seem unproductive, like a procrastinating paralysis, yet the imaginal insight that can be revealed under the waves of Neptune can become incomparable treasure once brought back to dry land.

With Venus closely applying to Neptune as the New Moon forms, we will encounter the strange solutions and numinous notes of Neptune within our relationships and creative expression. The conjunction between Venus and Neptune in Pisces on March 13 will be the ninth time they have united in the exaltation of Venus since their first conjunction in Pisces on February 28, 2013. Neptune dissolves the boundaries of Venus in her exaltation of Pisces, functioning like an oceanic chariot pulled by brilliant dolphins and seabirds carrying the star of Aphrodite blissfully high above the turbulent waves below. Venus is in fact soaring toward a union with the Sun that will come at the end of the month, with the fiery rays of the Sun burning off what needs to be purged and shed from her past cycle. The influence of Neptune upon Venus can help bridge what previously felt like an uncrossable impasse, dissolving the complexity of problems so that the essential issue in need of addressing reveals itself.

Venus is wrapped up in dreams and mystery within the darkness of the New Moon in Pisces, undergoing a secretive metamorphosis away from the light of day. From the New Moon on March 13 until Venus forms its superior conjunction with the Sun on March 25 at 5º50′ Aries, Venus will be in the process of ending a cycle and so we may need to focus on laying to rest and resolving older issues rather than initiating something new. Yet the storylines ready to burst open with the new cycle of Venus may already be building and deeply felt, and so we may simultaneously find ourselves beginning to embark on exciting new creative directions at the same time we may experience a cathartic release of old patterns. With the Moon increasing in light, waxing into the blossoming of the Full Moon on March 28 at the same time Venus is ending and beginning a cycle, it will be an especially illuminating period for deep patterns related to Venus in your life.

The Morning Star phase of Venus ending now began last June when Venus emerged into visibility before sunrise during her retrograde phase in Gemini after forming her inferior conjunction with the Sun on June 3. The full arc of the cycle Venus is closing now can be traced back to the last time there was a superior conjunction of Venus on August 13, 2019 at 21º11′ Leo. However, if you wish to dig into the five pointed star timing of the synodic cycle of Venus, you may also wish to consider the last time there was a superior conjunction of Venus in Aries eight years ago on March 28, 2013 at 8º10′ Aries for patterns of your story beginning and ending then that could relate to now. There was also a conjunction between Venus with the Sun in Aries four years ago on March 25, 2017 at 4º57′ Aries, but Venus was retrograde then and so it was a different phase of her cycle than now.

Horus

Jupiter in Aquarius rules the New Moon in Pisces, but is in the twelfth place from the lunation and not forming any aspect with the Sun, Moon, Venus, and Neptune in Pisces. Jupiter’s lack of a major aspect to the lunation will craft a liminal atmosphere that amplifies the influence of Venus uniting with Neptune. It’s as if Jupiter in Aquarius is away on pilgrimage or sabbatical, removed in contemplative isolation or immersive travel from the fantastical festivities taking place in its home of Pisces. Once the Moon is waxing in light in Aries it will form a sextile with Jupiter on March 15, making the first aspect between the Moon and Jupiter within the new lunar cycle.

Jupiter is at the beginning of its solar cycle, freshly emerging into the sky each day before dawn, heralding sunrise along with Saturn and Mercury. The triple alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury in the sky before sunrise recently has been a stunning visual symbol for the renewal and creative potency available as Jupiter and Saturn bring forth the new movements emanating from their union on the Capricorn solstice. The forthcoming lunar cycle is ideal for making strident effort to develop and move forward with whatever ideas have been gestating, as the Full Moon in Libra on March 28 will be applying closely to a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius as well as a trine with Jupiter in Aquarius.

Mercury in Aquarius is moving fast in its explorative Morning Star phase, carrying forward the insight and information it gathered from an extended period of time it spent in proximity with Jupiter in Aquarius. Mercury has been in Aquarius since January 8 and formed its first conjunction with Jupiter on January 11, its second conjunction with Jupiter while retrograde on February 14, and its third and final conjunction with Jupiter on March 4. Mercury will speed through the final degrees of Aquarius in the days following the New Moon, not forming any major aspects with other planets until entering Pisces on March 15, at which point it will begin applying toward a sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus.

Mercury in Aquarius combines the fluid volatility of air with a fixated focus that inventively cultivates enduring forms and covers the ground needed to bring work to completion. Though the massive pileup of planets in Aquarius in February could have felt overwhelming in whatever aspect of life they impacted for you, the capacity of Mercury for mediating polarity and holding tension means that ultimately it was a gift for Mercury to spend so long digging into the complexity of issues stirred up by the gathering of planets in Aquarius. Mercury reached maximum elongation as a Morning Star on March 6 and is now in a phase in which we can implement whatever realizations and revelations we gathered during its period of being retrograde in February.

In addition to forming a collaborative sextile aspect with Uranus on March 21, upon entering Pisces Mercury will also begin applying toward a catalytic square aspect with Mars in Gemini that will become exact on March 23. This means that Mercury will now begin investigating the disruptive influences that Mars and Uranus have been playing this year in relation to the new narratives initiated by Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. The sextile between Mercury and Uranus can feel like an emancipatory breakthrough in projects and plans that experienced delay or needed repair during February. Mars is in the airy home of Mercury, and so the fact that Mercury will be receiving Mars will bring more opportunities for constructively applying the fiery and frenzied force of Mars in Gemini to the imaginal visions gathered by Mercury in Pisces.

Complicating matters will be the additional factor of Mars applying to a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini and Mercury applying to a square aspect with the lunar nodes at the same time they form their exact square aspect with one another. Information warfare within global politics as well as extreme verbal combat within social media platforms could be one manifestation, but there will be an especially important emphasis placed upon the relationship all of us have with technology and the flooding of information and viewpoints through the technological screens it is commonplace to now carry everywhere. We will be well served by prioritizing our use of time so we are not needlessly distracted and can instead utilize the blazing speed and insatiable curiosity of Mars in Gemini to make significant progress on plans and projects. Yet we will have to navigate extreme tidal forces and tumultuous air currents as Mars approaches its conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in the days surrounding March 26 through March 28.

Fishing Boats at Choshi in Shimosa from “One Thousand Pictures of the Ocean” (1833:34) by Katsushika Hokusai

Around the same time that Mercury completes its sextile with Uranus and square with Mars, the red planet will soar out of bounds in northern declination to an extreme height in the sky. Mars out of bounds in Gemini truly knows no bounds in its pursuit of information and desire to communicate its discoveries. While we will need to find ways to bring balance and grounding into our daily routines, the wild nature of Mars out of bounds in Gemini can lead to the kind of inventive solutions and unorthodox creativity that may be exactly what we need. Mars will remain out of bounds in Gemini until April 23, and then will continue being out of bounds in Cancer until May 24; as a result, the propulsive force of Mars out of bounds will be something we will need to get used to.

Fortunately, Mars in Gemini will also be applying to a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius it will complete on March 21 followed by an empowering trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius it will engage for an extended period of time and not complete until April 16. Previously in January, Mars in Taurus united with Uranus while causing problems and forcing movement and reactions from the issues related to Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. In contrast, Mars is now out of aspect with Uranus and forming aspects with Saturn and Jupiter that can be utilized constructively and productively. While the massive breakdowns and breakthroughs constellated by the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus will continue to be an underlying theme during the rest of the year, Mars in Gemini in the weeks ahead will be in position to make rapid responses to address issues stirred up by Saturn and Uranus. If we can maintain our own sense of balance with Mars in Gemini, it can also play a liberating role in catalyzing development of the larger inspirations and visions we have been forming within our minds in recent months.

It’s also worth considering that Mars is receiving the conjunction forming between Ceres and Chiron in Aries on March 13 through a harmonious sextile aspect. Mars will then form an exact sextile with Chiron on March 17 and an exact sextile with Ceres on March 25. Ceres and Chiron will form their exact conjunction at 7°56′ Aries, close to the degree in Aries where Venus will form its superior conjunction with the Sun on March 25. Within the darkness of the Pisces New Moon, Ceres and Chiron will be ritually preparing and purifying the space where Venus will be reanimated by the Sun. The receptive sextile between Mars with Ceres and Chiron can spark courageous action in protecting and tending to those in need in our community and environment, with Mars in Gemini supporting those willing to speak out and take a stand for justice when necessary. Ceres and Chiron can utilize the unorthodox inventiveness of Mars in Gemini and its capacity for multi-tasking to find ways of bringing resources that can help nurture and activate the agency of those who have felt marginalized or on the outskirts of dominant cultural networks.

With Ceres and Chiron also forming a constructive sextile aspect with Saturn in Aquarius in addition to the sextile they will form with Mars in Gemini, the New Moon in Pisces can also be potent for those healing ancestral wounds as well as ways their own experience of growing up in family and cultural systems have created issues in their ability to form healthy attachments and connections with others. After Ceres begins to separate from Chiron, Venus will renew her cycle with the Sun on March 25 within three degrees of Chiron. Three days later there will be a Full Moon in Libra on March 28 that will form an opposition with Venus, Chiron, and the Sun in Aries. Chiron in Aries is the wise mentor focused on clearing the issues getting in the way of us claiming our authority to live authentically even if it means departing from working and serving within established power structures. As the Moon waxes toward fullness in the forthcoming lunar cycle, we will shift away from the deep visioning of Pisces into the creative actualization of Aries. Whatever internal or external issues we need to tend that are getting in the way of following our essential path and embodying our purpose will be revealed by the strong activation of Chiron in the coming lunar cycle.

Pisces 3 Decan

10 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 3 Decan

The New Moon in Pisces is in the third decan of Pisces associated with the Ten of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of idealized happiness, it’s form of a joyous couple enraptured by a rainbow, their children blissfully dancing in front of their picturesque home is one manifestation of countless images that could be used to display the inspirational vision underlying and driving inner motivation. An earlier image for this face is found in Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy in which a nude male is present near a beautiful maiden whose head is decorated in flowers. Other old images for the third decan of Pisces show the other side of having a great dream: the terror of loss. For example, in Ibn Ezra’s The Beginning of Wisdom the image ascribed for the third face of Pisces involves another nude male, but this one is armed with a lance and yelling for fear of thieves and fire. The New Moon regenerating in this face asks us to contemplate the inner images of inspiration that have been motivating our work in the world, the full implications of our dream as well as how well it truly fits our sense of soul purpose.

The rainbow pregnant with abundant cups in Pamela Colman Smith’s image for the Ten of Cups evokes the great daimon of Hope found in of the ancient story of Pandora’s box. After Pandora opens the box that unleashes evils and ills into the world of humanity, the only presence left in the box is Elpis, the spirit of Hope. It’s the spirit found in cultural ideals such as a young Judy Garland wistfully singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” musing that somewhere exists where the most precious dreams you dare to dream really can come true. Fittingly, the ancient Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac attributed the figure of Elpis, the daimon of Hope, to the third decan of Pisces. The guiding star we wish upon, the guardian angel we pray to for assistance, the hope we are able to muster in even the bleakest and most desperate of times, is essential to the meaning found in the third face of Pisces, the final face of the zodiac full of the passion required to move through the end and rebirth of the entire cycle of the zodiac.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Cup of Blood” to the third face of Pisces, describing it as a place revealing one’s willingness to “sacrifice everything” for the “attainment of one’s greatest desire, no matter the cost.” Noting the images of romantic happiness found in the Ten of Cups card as well as in Agrippa’s masterwork, Coppock wrote that the third face of Pisces “inspires the lust and desire implied” by the images, “but the true object of the passions is a merger with the universe itself . . . The face and body of the beloved are a mask, an entry point into the experience of all-as-bliss.” Coppock noted that “the third face unfolds as the quest for true and perfect love,” yet the willingness to sacrifice all for the dream leads to the third face of Pisces becoming “littered with broken dreams and failed martyrs- those who sacrificed themselves for an illusion.”

The  burning desire pulsating through the third decan of Pisces, its grandiose dreams of ecstatic bliss as well as the agony of loss that comes from the failure to materialize dreams all fit well with the fact that Mars is the ruler of this decan. Along these lines its further compelling that the New Moon’s proximity with Neptune is demarcating the establishment of Neptune in the final decan of Pisces for the rest of Neptune’s journey through Pisces that will last until 2025. While Neptune spent part of 2020 in the very beginning of the third face of Pisces, Neptune will spend the entirety of the next four years within this face. As a result, the New Moon in Pisces is ideal for putting you in contact with the inner visions and desires driving your conscious action from unconscious sources. May the darkness of the New Moon in Pisces aid in deepening your relationship with the inner images, patterns, and desires that have been shaping your external goals in the greater world.

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References

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

Full Moon in Virgo

Beatrice (1897) by Odilon Redon

Full Moon in Virgo

The Full Moon in Virgo on February 27 serves as a lighthouse guiding us from a period of great volatility and tumultuous rupturing toward a restorative shore. The light of the Sun reflected from the Moon in Virgo will accentuate a sensual attuning to the deep changes underway and emerging processes at work. No matter what trouble or difficulties you have had to endure recently, it will be essential to stay with the processes underway to see where they lead, altering navigation and changing the ways you are participating within dynamics as needed. The polarity between Virgo and Pisces serves transitions and liminal passages, possessing facility for mixing together insight from our past with discerning guidance into where our path is heading into the future. Make whatever space is available for deepening into the changes of the past month, sifting through shifting feelings and the nostalgia of what is passing away as you turn toward what is entering your life and arising anew.

The Full Moon is separating from a trine with Uranus in Taurus and applying to an opposition with Neptune in Pisces. The Virgo Moon is also applying toward a square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes at their northern bending, placing the lunation at the midpoint between the eclipses of December and the ones that will be coming in May and June.  With Uranus forming a flowing trine with the Virgo Moon and a harmonizing sextile aspect with the Sun in Pisces, there can be an exciting reception of inspiring vision regarding future potential as well as insightful revelations regarding how to deal with present challenges. Yet we need to also take account of our dreams with grounded awareness that will enable our imagination to discover creative solutions and innovations that will make a practical, tangible impact within our current circumstances. There can be an experience of forward momentum unleashed that can create meaningful progress and results in the month ahead as long as we do not become unrealistic about available resources and relational dynamics.

Before the Moon forms its opposition with Neptune it will unite with Vesta retrograde in Virgo. Vesta is separating from an extended opposition with Neptune that has been in effect for months, as Vesta formed its first opposition with Neptune while direct on December 20 and its second while retrograde on February 9. The meeting between Vesta with the Moon on February 27 can help in focusing with devotion on the work and interpersonal relationships we wish to prioritize. Since we are in the middle of so many large scale collective changes as well as dramatic personal shifts, it can feel overwhelming to orient within it all especially with so much accumulated grief from the lingering pandemic impacting us. The Full Moon with Vesta can help in centering as much as possible within a period of time full of immense decentering and deconstruction. For some it may be necessary to get extra rest and relaxation for restorative recovery, while for others it may be necessary to become more active in bringing certain tasks to completion. Let Vesta guide you toward whatever needs to be prioritized so that you do not waste time and effort on inessential and unnecessary distractions.

And Another Angel Came Out of the Temple Which is in Heaven, and He Also Having a Sharp Sickle (1899) by Odilon Redon

Mercury in Aquarius rules the Full Moon as a Morning Star visible before sunrise along with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Mercury stationed direct a week before the Full Moon on February 20 and is presently generating forward momentum as it applies toward a conjunction with Jupiter that will become exact on March 4. As Mercury moves forward for the third time through Aquarius (it first entered the degree it is occupying at the Full Moon on January 16) we will be in position to craft inventive solutions to issues we have been confronting for the past month and a half. Mercury traveling with Jupiter through Aquarius can envision longterm plans and facilitate important decisions that will have enduring consequences. While the groundbreaking changes brought by 2021 are far from over, the week following the Full Moon is an especially fruitful time for reorienting and revisioning the direction forward.

Mercury is at 13°01′ Aquarius during the lunation, and so is not forming a traditional aspect with the degree of the Full Moon at 8°57′ Virgo. However, the Virgo Moon is in an otherworldly seventh harmonic with Mercury and later in the day the Moon will form a quincunx aspect with Mercury. Moreover, the Full Moon is forming a close quincunx aspect with Saturn at 8°17′ Aquarius. There is no common ground between Aquarius (diurnal, fixed, air) and Virgo (nocturnal, mutable, earth) and so the strange connections between the Full Moon with Mercury and Saturn is illuminating material out of the direct line of sight of the planets in Aquarius. Since the lunation is forming a propulsive trine aspect with Uranus, we may receive far reaching visions of potential that feel beyond our present scope to manifest and materialize. Although we may realize certain inspiring dreams are currently beyond our capacity to create, we can continue to incubate ideas in our imagination while finding ways to experiment with bringing smaller aspects of larger visions into reality.

With Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn visible in pre-dawn skies and increasing in light, we will have opportunities during the waning half of the lunar cycle to make productive steps in developing whatever new ideas have been germinating since the seeds of the great conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter were planted a couple of months ago.  You may notice greater clarity emerging regarding the visions that have been swirling within without taking definite shape. The astrology of the month ahead is not as volatile as it has been since Saturn and Jupiter formed their conjunction, and so it will be an ideal time for making forward progress while continuing to deepen in imaginal engagement with larger goals we can develop that can have far reaching impact within our own lives as well as in the wider community.

Fisher King by Leonora Carrington

Fisher King by Leonora Carrington

Within the light of the Full Moon, Venus in Pisces is applying towards a conjunction with the Sun that will eventually occur on March 26. Venus will spend the next month traveling close behind the Sun, rising and setting under the beams of solar radiance as it remains invisible from view.  Although combust under the burning rays of the Sun, Venus presently has protection due to not only being in its exaltation and triplicity, but also its own bounds. Venus will remain in its bounds until March 3, lending extra potency to Venus during the same time that Mercury is applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter. With Venus possessing a lot of essential dignity while traversing the underworld, there will be deep reservoirs of imaginal resources to access and explore creatively in the week following the Virgo Full Moon.

Vitally, Venus and the Sun will be applying toward conjunctions with Neptune in Pisces during the waning half of the lunar cycle. The Sun will form a conjunction with Neptune on March 10 followed by Venus uniting with Neptune on March 13, the same day as the upcoming New Moon in Pisces. Venus and the Sun ending and beginning new cycles with Neptune within days of one another will create a quality of time vastly different than the recent period in which Venus and the Sun passed through conjunctions with Saturn in Aquarius. The combination of the Sun, Venus, and Neptune within the oceanic realm of Pisces may dissolve and wash any anxiety or emotional overwhelm constellated by the large gathering of planets in Aquarius during February. During the first two weeks of March we can sink into the soulfulness of our senses, finding ways to nourish emotional needs and nurture the imaginative ideas we have been gathering and gestating.

Running Horned Woman, (6,000-4,000 B.C.E.) Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria

Ceres recently entered Aries on February 20 and will be applying toward a conjunction with Chiron in Aries during the waning half of the lunar cycle. Ceres will form a conjunction with Chiron at 7°56′ Aries on March 13, the same day as the New Moon in Pisces. The mythology of both Chiron and Ceres involves sacrifice, with the sacrifice of Chiron resulting in the liberation of Prometheus and the sacrifice of Ceres resulting in her daughter Persephone claiming rulership in the underworld as well as bringing the mystery initiations to the upperworld of humanity. Ceres and Chiron in astrology also can relate to both core wounds and grief we carry, abandonment and attachment issues we must work through to form healthy relationships, as well as profound capacity for being creatively productive in ways that can bring vital resources to others. Ceres and Chiron together in Aries can foster resilience in following an unorthodox path even when we fear it could lead to us being rejected or misunderstood by others.

In the fiery, cardinal sign of Aries both Ceres and Chiron will be empowered to take action and will be pleased when we go after what we want and determinedly makes things happen. Ceres in Aries has a mothering style focused upon fostering interdependence rather than dependence, tending to needs in ways that will animate a sense of sovereignty and nurture capacity for creatively self-actualizing one’s purpose. If we have been feeling wounded or angry due recent changes that have been occurring, find ways to regenerate just like Ceres in myth did in river currents so that you may regain your ability to productively make change happen in your surroundings. If you feel you are lacking agency in certain areas of your life, make an effort to actively seek the support you need through resources within your relationships or wider community.

While the last time Ceres entered Aries was on 14 April 2016, the last time Ceres and Chiron were together in Aries was in 1975 when they formed a conjunction on April 20, 1975. The last time that Ceres formed a conjunction with Chiron in any sign was on March 24, 2016 at 21°50′ Pisces; there was also a Solar Eclipse in Pisces on March 8, 2016 that was separating from Ceres closely and applying closely to Chiron. It will be revealing to reflect upon what parts of yourself Ceres and Chiron have nurtured into development over the course of their past cycle.

8 of Pentacles

8 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 1 Decan

The Full Moon in Virgo arises in the first decan of Virgo associated with the Eight of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image of the Eight of Pentacles a craftsman is fully engrossed with his art, concentrating with full attention and focus in the moment. This image evokes the importance of taking things step by step, one task at a time, completing each aspect of the process with loving care and attention. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Tree Bearing Fruit” to this face, noting the prevalence of images associated with “fruitful works” developed through “humble observation of, and careful tending to, the created world” in ancient texts. Coppock noted the significance of the “humility” present in the Eight of Pentacles image, writing that “the old apprentice represents a willingness to put away pride and submit instead to the demands of the craft itself.”

The Sun and Mercury are the rulers of the first face of Virgo, pointing toward a potent animistic capacity for relating to the spirit of the land within this face. Indeed, Austin Coppock described the first decan of Virgo as essentially being connected with watching, listening, and tending to the creative processes of Nature rather than imposing or forcing one’s will “rashly.” Both the Picatrix as well as Three Books of Occult Philosophy give agricultural images to this face involving sowing, plowing, and gathering a harvest and wealth. The chthonic nature of this face is further shown in the image found within Liber Hermetis of “a serpent put together awry” whose “head is the likeness of the Moon.” Coppock wrote that the first face of Virgo invites us “into the mysteries of incarnation . . . the prudence of postponing delight until the fruit is ripe.” While Coppock noted the first decan of Virgo involves “humility” at a core level, “it results in works of surprising glory.”

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the Titaness Themis, the divine embodiment of order and natural law, to the first face of Virgo.  To Coppock, the presence of Themis in the first decan of Virgo is significant in relation to “mindfulness” and “observance of divine law,” as Themis spoke with the voice of the Earth from her seat at the Oracle of Delphi. In some stories Themis built the Oracle of Delphi, whereas in others she received it from Gaia before passing it on to Apollo. The divine order of Themis found within the first face of Virgo carries the gravitas of oracles and weighs matters on her scales in accordance with divine, natural law rather than the regulations constructed by humans. In the ancient Greek play Prometheus Bound, Themis is none other than the mother of Prometheus and the one who gave him his gift of foreknowledge. Approach the insights received during the Virgo Full Moon with the humility you would bring to deciphering an omen. Under the radiant light of the Moon, let the sword of Themis cut through confusion so that you may come into deeper relationship with the creative process you need to tend and nurture in the month ahead.

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References

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

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

Light in Heavy (1929) by Wassily Kandinsky

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

Every person is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

— from “The Half-Finished Heaven” by Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly

Mercury is a friend to humanity, albeit a tricky guide who enjoys sleight of hand and cunning words that catch us off guard. In astrology, when Mercury pauses in motion to change direction it’s necessary to be mindful with focused curiosity that can intuit the emerging issues that need our attention. The airy terrain of Aquarius will provide contrasting wind currents for Mercury to ride, sometimes forcing us in certain directions out of necessity, at other times opening an expansive vision that simultaneously draws from our well of memory while seeing new pathways to follow into the future.

Mercury is the most changeable planet, and when stationing retrograde shifts from its fleet footed pace when direct into intensifying stillness that calls for introspection. As Mercury begins its slow, churning backward motion it pulls us into a quality of time aligned with dissolution, purification, and regeneration. Rather than insisting on controlling outcomes to push forward, we need to surrender to the changes in storylines and meaning delivered by Mercury when retrograde. Although we may at times become disoriented by destabilizing dynamics, if we listen closely we will hear the guidance we need from Hermes and discover a gleaming gem of realization left where only we may find it.

Following the stationing of Mercury on January 30 at 26°29’ Aquarius, the star of Hermes will spend twenty-two days backtracking through the sign of the Water Bearer until stationing direct at 11°01’ Aquarius on February 20. As Mercury retraces the zodiacal terrain from eleven to twenty-seven degrees of Aquarius, it will excavate material that we need to deepen our engagement with, returning our perception to issues we need to release, rework, or reintegrate. After passing through a phase of putrefaction and purification, we may gain a rejuvenated presence and felt sense of renewal on the other side. Mercury first crossed 11°01’ Aquarius on January 15 and will not move beyond 26°29’ Aquarius until March 12, creating two months of mercurial focus in this range of your natal chart. 

In addition to changing speed and direction while retrograde, Mercury also transitions from being visible as an evening star in twilight into an invisible phase during which it comes closest to us in orbit and amplifies its impact in our life. In between the descent of Mercury into darkness and its eventual re-emergence into light as a morning star heralding sunrise, Mercury’s underworld journey demarcates a threshold we must cross into our own liminal passage of descent and internal processing. While we always need to attune and adjust to changes emerging from internal and external sources during the three weeks Mercury is retrograde, the period of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius in 2021 will be taking place during a collective time of immeasurably immense transition and liminality in global events.

During Mercury’s retrograde movement the Sun, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn will all be gathered together with Mercury in Aquarius like a grouping of clouds whose shaping and reshaping brings new realizations of our past and new inspiration for our way forward. We are still coming to terms collectively with the systemic shifts emanating from the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, with disruption and volatility continuing to increase in correlation with the first exact square aspect formed between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus on February 17. Since Aquarius is a zodiacal sign that connects the known with the unknown, as Mercury moves back to reconnect with Jupiter and Saturn we will be given the opportunity to realign and recalibrate with the rapidly developing movements, accelerated growth, and sudden collapses within societal systems that have been taking place. 

Explorador Piloto (1960) by Remedios Varo

Through a backdoor in the landscape
the magpie arrives,
black and white, bird of the death-goddess.
A blackbird flies back and forth
until the whole scene becomes a charcoal drawing,
except for the white clothes on the line:
a Palestrina choir.

The whole universe is full!

— from “Morning Bird Songs” by Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly

The significance of Mercury, Venus, the Sun, and Jupiter all joining Saturn in its home of Aquarius cannot be overstated. Since this great gathering of wandering stars in Aquarius will also be forming a sign-based square aspect with Mars and Uranus in Taurus, we can expect it to be an especially disruptive and unstable period of Mercury retrograde. Especially during the first two weeks when Mars and Mercury will be more intensely engaged in a square aspect, we will need to navigate the stereotypical breakdowns in technology and communication emphasized in popular astrology. Yet due to Saturn being rooted in its airy home of Aquarius the entire time,  we will be able to lean on the endurance, slowly pondering analysis, and special skills in deconstruction and reconstruction possessed by the ringed star of Cronus. 

It’s further notable that Mercury is the nocturnal ruler of air signs and shares an affinity with the air element in being mobile, flexible, versatile, and facile in communication. The slow, intensified nature of Mercury when retrograde can be excellent for in-depth research, and so it can be a fruitful time for poring over reading material or penetrating deeper into learning within fields of interest. The flexibility of consciousness that Mercury brings to the potent contemplation of Saturn in Aquarius will also be beneficial in critically examining media sources as well as separating true revelation from false conspiracy on social media and elsewhere. In particular, it will be a powerful time for shedding outdated mental frameworks and thought patterns that no longer align with the changing wind of the time.

The fixed nature of Aquarius means that the changes brought into our life through the deluge of planets in Aquarius may slowly take shape in some cases but will create long lasting impact. Since Aquarius is a human sign connected with the relationship between humans with one another in our vast network of intersecting societal constructions, humanitarian concerns will take precedence. The numerous crises impacting people around the world in relation to the global pandemic as well as the collapse of formerly reliable structures means that it’s simply going to take a long time to find the needed solutions and work through the difficulties involved in reform and repair. Bring patience and willingness to persist in problem solving into the passage of Mercury retrograde, and by the end of it you will likely find new insights to apply to issues and new pathways to follow forward. 

As we continue to orient with the new era of air initiated by the recent conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn, we can utilize the three weeks of Mercury retrograde to notice synchronicities and discover revelations in connection with all forms of air symbolism. One realm will be in the use of language itself, rethinking how we use language to communicate. With the tension from Mars and Uranus to the gathering of Aquarius planets there will continue to be cultural battles over the use of language and the ways we tell our collective stories of humanity, with escalating conflict swirling like whirlwinds. In verbal conflicts of any sort, the mediation offered by Mercury retrograde is to pause, slow down, and rethink your perspective, finding ways to de-escalate discord so that a bridge between view points can be made.

Within our personal relationships, we will also have opportunities for uncovering ways to more directly express the heart of the matter through our choice in words. As the living symbolism of Aquarius involves how humans draw from sources of spirit within earthly matters, one constant intersection is in how we express the flight of our thoughts through language. As Dr. Mervat Nasser wrote in Hermopolis, “the Egyptian alphabet took the shape of birds that were seen as capable of flying high into the sky to mediate between the knowledge of heaven and earth, between god and humanity.” 

We may also gain insight through the appearance of airy omens and signs, whether they appear through images soaring through our mind when asleep or through the flight patterns of birds within our waking time in nature. Just like Owen Barfield emphasized in Saving the Appearances, rather than forming an “I-it” relationship with nature in which we desire to observe the beautiful flight of birds separate from ourselves, we can instead seek to learn what we can understand about ourselves from the sudden appearance of a Blue Heron or Peregrine Falcon along our path. There is a depth of symbolic insight accessible when Mercury is retrograde that can be more nonlinear and intuitive than linearly logical.

When possible it will be worthwhile to spend time with the muses of your creativity while Mercury is retrograde, as the gathering of planets in Aquarius making creative tension with Mars and Uranus can lead to breakthrough ideas and important brainstorms that dislodge you from a formerly stuck position. In myth the Muses were known as the daughters of Mnemosyne (memory) and Zeus (creative divine mind), and so with Jupiter and Venus both present in Aquarius with Mercury we may draw from streams of memories in the creation of new expressions and thought forms. According to Tim Addey, who drew upon the work of Plato in his book The Seven Myths of the Soul, engaging in arts and sciences requires both creative thought and “the memory of our pre-terrestial vision of the celestial realm.” To Addey, this creative process can put us in touch with a sense of morality drawn down from the spirit of stars above, a rather Aquarian process as ethics are an important ideal for Aquarius:

“The theory of reminiscence is Plato’s explanation of why we as human beings are able to recognize abstract, universal and spiritual truths, such as justice, beauty, and goodness: it is because the soul once possessed this knowledge..but forgotten when she descended into the world of matter; the soul’s activities in arts and sciences helps her remember it.”  – Tim Addey, The Seven Myths of the Soul

odilon redon pilgrim from a sublunar world

Pilgrim from a Sublunar World (1891) by Odilon Redon

. . . Oh, but just beyond that,
behind the last of the billboards, plastered with signs for “Deathless,”
that bitter beer which tastes sweet to those drinking it
as long as they have fresh distractions to chew . . . ,
just beyond those boards, just on the other side: things are real.
Children play, lovers hold each other, off in the shadows,
pensive, on the meager grass, while dogs obey nature.
The youth is drawn farther on; perhaps he’s fallen in love
with a young Lament . . . . . He pursues her, enters meadowland. She says:
“It’s a long way. We live out there . . .”

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Tenth Elegy of Duino Elegies translated by Edward Snow

Venus and Mercury will both be entering the underworld together within the first few days of Mercury being retrograde, meaning that both the Mercury and Venus aspects of our life will begin to enter a phase of putrefaction and decomposition. However, while Mercury will be stationing retrograde to descend from visibility as an evening star in the west at sunset, Venus will be disappearing from view as a morning star in the east at sunrise; while Mercury will be moving slowly through the zodiac backwards in between our orbit with the Sun, Venus will be moving fast and direct on the other side of the Sun from us in orbit.

Soon after disappearing under the beams of the Sun, Venus will run straight into the unsettling square aspect being formed between Saturn and Uranus. On February 5 there will be a conjunction of Venus with Saturn in Aquarius followed by square between Venus and Uranus in Taurus on February 6. As a result, the increasingly purgative phase of Mercury being retrograde that leads up to its union with the Sun on February 8 will also involve a cathartic process of Venus setting off the friction building between Saturn and Uranus. Just as Mercury will be increasingly burning off material built up from its last union with the Sun on December 19, so will Mercury also help us shed and release aspects of the issues being volatilized by Venus engaging with Saturn and Uranus. 

To dig deeper into the meaning of the aspects we need to remember that Venus will be in the home of Saturn when they unite on February 5, followed by Venus having a catalyzing encounter with Uranus who will be in the earthy home of Venus. While potentially disruptive there is also more potential for integration due to astrological reception being involved in the aspect sequence. The union of Saturn with Venus can bring a sobering view of reality, coming into contact with the confines of our circumstantial context. Yet the airy nature of Aquarius can help move with the emancipatory impulse from Uranus that can push desires to break free from present restrictions.

Fundamentally, the sequence of Venus moving from Saturn into Uranus combined with Mercury undergoing its own regenerative process of purification will create opportunities to deepen into the ways in which our values are being reshaped and reforged during a period of great collective transition. If we have been unconsciously letting go of old ideals and desires, as Mercury approaches its union with the Sun on February 8 we can begin discovering ways to embody the ways in which our values are undergoing a process of renewal and rejuvenation. Yet before full embodiment will be possible, we will need to come into greater clarity and realization of the ways in which our known understanding is transfiguring into unknown, emerging potential.

Across time the myth of Prometheus has been increasingly connected to the meaning of Uranus in astrology, perhaps most notably by Rick Tarnas. Within the Uranian themes of emancipation, innovation, invention, and rebellious individuality in the story of Prometheus, there are also lessons centered around the hubris of humanity. When we are struck by Uranus in astrology, we may ask ourselves what we have been creating with the divine gift of fire, what we most wish to bring to civilization, and what we most wish to awaken in ourselves and others. Just as Prometheus knowingly sacrificed his boundless nature to be chained to an earthly rock as punishment for delivering the gift of fire to humanity, so do we need to find ways to ground the searing visions of Uranus into our material forms with awareness of its repercussions across our world.  As Tim Addey in The Seven Myths of the Soul wrote, “The mystic’s initiation into the mysteries of Prometheus is the voluntary acceptance of the limitations of matter, not its rejection.”

Whatever innovative ideas, clarifying insights, and new desires are gathered by Venus moving across Saturn and Uranus will be brought into the conjunction that will form between Venus and Jupiter in Aquarius on February 11, the same day as the New Moon in Aquarius. While this will be a period in which to come into deeper contact with the new visions gestating within, we will first experience the reanimation of Mercury with the Sun on February 8.

Vision by Odilon Redon

Vision (1895/97) by Odilon Redon

Task: to be where I am.
Even when I’m in this solemn and absurd
role: I am still the place
where creation works on itself.

Dawn comes, the sparse tree trunks
take on color now, the frostbitten
forest flowers form a silent search party
after something that has disappeared in the dark.

But to be where I am . . . and to wait.
I am full of anxiety, obstinate, confused.
Things not yet happened are already here!
I feel that. They’re just out there:

a murmuring mass outside the barrier.
They can only slip in one by one.
They want to slip in. Why? They do
one by one. I am the turnstile.

— from “Guard Duty” by Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly

Chthonic Cazimi

Mercury will become reanimated by its conjunction with the Sun on February 8 at 20°01′ Aquarius. The reseeding of Mercury in solar light occurs as it 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. 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.” 

Guarding the entrance of Mercury into the heart of the Sun will be Pallas Athene, whose asteroid will unite with Mercury on February 7 and will be at 20°51′ Aquarius when Mercury unites with the Sun at 20°01′ Aquarius on February 8. The union of Pallas Athene with Mercury is the second in a three part sequence: Mercury formed its first conjunction with Pallas Athene on January 16 at 13°05′ Aquarius, and will form its third and final conjunction with Pallas Athene on March 18 at 3°25′ Pisces. With her glaring gray-eyes that penetrate with far reaching vision, Pallas Athene will be present with her sharpened spear, slithering snake, and protective aegis to foster the courage of a burning heart that can pierce through previous blockages to enliven a fuller sense of our potential.

A goddess of arts and crafts, prophecy, and warfare, Walter Burkett noted in Greek Religion that what unites Pallas Athene’s “divergent spheres of competence is not an elemental force, but the force of civilization: the just division of roles” among the populace as well as “the organizational wisdom which achieves this.” Burkert further noted that “more than any other deity Athena is always near her protégés,” declaring that “wherever difficulties disappear and the impossible becomes possible, Athena is at hand.”  In astrology, Demetra George has described Pallas Athene in Aquarius as representing “futuristic perception ” that creates “forms that will benefit generations to come,” as well as artists and others “on the forefront of the future, translating the tone of what is coming  in for the masses.” While the issues in need of addressing across society seem impossibly large, the presence of Pallas Athene with the inferior conjunction of Mercury is a sign of significant progress being possible in terms of reorganizing structures, roles, and responsibilities within societal and personal systems of all sorts.

The union of Pallas Athene with Mercury will precede the movement of Mercury from the heart of the Sun into a discordant square aspect with Mars in Taurus. Mercury will form its exact square aspect with Mars on February 10 during a dark Moon in Aquarius that will be moving through a sequence of conjunctions with Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury as it draws its lunar cycle to a close, intensifying our feelings of transitioning in between what has been and what will be. The disruptive influence of Mars in Taurus upon the inferior conjunction of Mercury will be modulated by Pallas Athene, amplifying the penetrative visioning available as well as the inspiration for activism on behalf of social justice concerns from groups who have been marginalized in one way or another by the cultures in power.

If you experience any significant breakdowns, conflicts, or obstacles as Mars and Mercury clash, keep in mind that as soon as Mercury begins to separate from Mars it will begin applying toward a beneficial and restorative conjunction between Jupiter and Venus in Aquarius. There may be a need to come to stark terms with what isn’t working in the middle of February, but there will be celestial support available to diagnose solutions and ultimately begin moving forward again from a more solid foundation. 

The Buddha (1895) by Odilon Redon

The airy sky has taken its place leaning against the wall.
It is like a prayer to what is empty.
And what is empty turns its face to us
and whispers
“I am not empty, I am open.”

— from “Vermeer” by Tomas Tranströmer, translated by Robert Bly

A few days after the inferior conjunction of Mercury, there will be an extremely potent New Moon in Aquarius on February 11 at 23°17’ Aquarius that will involve a conjunction between Venus and Jupiter in Aquarius as well as all of the seven traditional planets and lights occupying Aquarius except for Mars. Following the New Moon in Aquarius, Mercury will form a conjunction with Venus in Aquarius on February 13 followed by a conjunction with Jupiter in Aquarius on February 14. These days following the Aquarius New Moon can be extremely fertile for creativity and coalescing greater clarity regarding the path we need to follow into the year ahead. The more we can strip away the inessential and what is ready to be shed from our life in the period leading up to these days, the more space we will have to welcome exciting new developments. 

As Mercury begins slowing down to station direct on February 20, it will become visible again in the darkness before dawn around February 16. There will be a burst of new movements and ideas for future plans at this time, as the reappearance of Mercury as a morning star to deliver a vital message will be combined with the fact that both Saturn and Jupiter will have also renewed their own visible cycles as morning stars in the days before Mercury. Yet we will have to navigate an extremely turbulent atmosphere while integrating new visions due to the first exact square aspect between Saturn and Uranus taking place on February 17. There will be rupturing in collective events creating division while sudden shifts and movements continue to reorder and rearrange systemic structures and alliances between societal structures and groups.

Some of the ways Mercury may assist in ferrying us across the volatile middle of February involves Mercury being within its own decan of ten to twenty degrees of Aquarius. Mercury will possess both decan as well as triplicity dignity as it slows down to station, giving it added potency in helping us forge links of support with relationships and resources that can help us handle being at a threshold in-between the way it’s been and the way of what’s to come. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “Heaven and Earth” to the second face of Aquarius, noting that the “principled but fierce wisdom” found in this face “stabilizes commerce between heaven and earth” while also allowing for “the connection of the orthodox and the unorthodox, the known and the unknown,” as well as “the ideal and the practical.” 

Further adding to the instability and creative tension of the days surrounding Mercury stationing direct, Venus in Aquarius will form a catalyzing square aspect with Mars in Taurus on February 19. The waning square between Venus with Mars will necessitate adjustment and reorientation within our relational dynamics in accordance with whatever larger collective changes are taking place as well as whatever kind of internal shifting in values and needs we have been experiencing. As Mercury will be stationing direct at the same time, make the time and space needed to gather a deeper sense of how your life and desires have been reshaped. After Venus forms its square with Mars it will form a conjunction with Pallas Athene in Aquarius on February 21, helping us formulate strategies to handle any difficulties that were set off by Mars as well as gain a stronger sense of  ways we need to alter plans and goals for the future in light of however our inner values have been shifting. 

As a result of numerous destabilizing astrological aspects occurring simultaneously, it will be important to be as mindful as possible in the days surrounding the stationing direct of Mercury on February 20 at 11°01’ Aquarius. Mercury will station close to the midpoint between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, giving us an opportunity to deepen in our understanding of how our life has been altered in correspondence with the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn that arrived at the end of 2020. Mercury will next slowly begin moving forward again as it applies toward a conjunction with Jupiter that it will not complete until March 4. As a result, we will have a couple of weeks following the stationing direct of Mercury to benefit from the star of Hermes applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter in Aquarius. Utilize this period for pushing forward with goals and generating forward momentum toward whatever ways your purpose in life has undergone a metamorphosis.

Mercury will reach its maximum elongation as a morning star and begin speeding up on March 6. The maximum elongation of Mercury demarcates the point in which Mercury will have picked up enough speed to match the steady course of the Sun again. From this day forward, Mercury will move increasingly faster as it proceeds through its morning star phase. 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.

In all, the period of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius promises to be full of ups and downs as we move through an unstable stretch of time. Although the collective changes that will be developing may feel unsettling, we could not ask for a better guide through the volatility than Hermes. Give praise to Mercury and welcome his wild wisdom into your life, as you need to allow for all of his tricks in order to receive all of his gifts. Be on the constant lookout for the windfalls of fruitful fortune that Mercury may deliver unexpectedly, while making the time to formulate long-term strategies to achieve the goals and larger visions that have been consolidating in your mind. By the time Mercury is heading direct again at the end of February, you may feel renewed with a rejuvenated excitement about what you can create and bring into form in the year ahead.

Mercury Riding Pegasus, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris

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References

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

Barfield, Owen. (1988). Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry. Second Edition. Wesleyan University Press.

Burkert, Walter. (1985). Greek Religion. Harvard University Press. 

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

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

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

George, Demetra. (1986). Asteroid Goddesses. With Douglas Bloch. ACS.

Nasser, Mervat. (2019). The Path to the New Hermopolis: The History, Philosophy, & Future of the City of Hermes. Rubedo Press. 

Full Moon in Leo

Hearts of the Revolutionaries: Passage of the Planets of the Future 1955 by Joseph Beuys

Hearts of the Revolutionaries: Passage of the Planets of the Future (1955) by Joseph Beuys

Full Moon in Leo

Cast the emptiness from your arms
into the space we breathe: perhaps the birds
will sense the increase of air with more passionate flying.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the First Elegy of Duino Elegies translated by Edward Snow

The fiery Full Moon in Leo on January 28 will set events in motion that have been building in tension, enflaming the underlying astrological aspects that have correlated with volatile events as well as major changes in storylines during the past month. The Full Moon is separating from a catalyzing square aspect with Uranus in Taurus and applying to an opposition with Jupiter in Aquarius as well as a disruptive square aspect with Mars in Taurus. With the Moon fully illuminated in the zodiacal home of the Sun, find your center within the immense changes taking shape around and within you. Like a calyx protecting and nurturing the flaming colors of the bloom ready to open, within heart space you may deepen into the glowing meaning that is emerging from whatever difficulties you have been through recently.

There is stunning timing at play between the peak radiance of the Leo Full Moon with the synodic cycle of Jupiter, as Jupiter is at the very end of its solar cycle when the Moon forms its exact opposition with the Sun. Jupiter in Aquarius is in the underworld, experiencing both the putrefaction of its past cycle as well as the purifying regeneration of being reseeded by the Sun. Jupiter will be reanimated by its conjunction with the Sun about six and a half hours after the Moon forms its opposition with the Sun, giving an amplified charge to the inner illumination we may experience with Jupiter being reborn.

As Jupiter signifies hope, prosperity, and optimism, we may experience a renewal of faith regarding the path we are following into the unknown as Jupiter is revivified by the Sun. Jupiter will continue to be gestating the new meaning of its cycle while invisible until re-emerging into the visible light of its Morning Star phase in mid February. As Jupiter helps with creation of new growth and life, synthesizing meaning and wisdom from our experiences, so may we gain greater understanding of the shifting structures within personal and collective movements during the waning half of the present lunar cycle.

We are also at the beginning of a new Saturn cycle with the Sun, as the Sun formed a conjunction with Saturn in Aquarius on January 23. Thus the Leo Full Moon is also illuminating how the new solar seeds of Saturn are beginning to gestate, as Saturn continues to make its way through its invisible underworld phase. We are only at the beginning of Saturn’s journey through Aquarius that will stretch into March 2023, and so the Leo Full Moon is also shining a spotlight on the tests and challenges that Saturn will be bringing to our attention.  The solutions to larger problems may not be ready to emerge, but the dazzling light of the lunation can help us realize what areas of life need our focus in the month ahead.

Moreover, since the Sun formed a square with Uranus in Taurus on January 26, the Full Moon will heighten awareness of whatever breaking points or innovative changes are emerging with the discordant square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that will be intensifying in the next few weeks. Since the Full Moon is separating from Saturn and Uranus and applying to Jupiter and Mars, the lunation is setting off all of the dynamics between Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars that have correlated with numerous protests and cacophonous volatility in global events during the past month.


Dawn Moon and Tumbling Snow (1889) by Kobayashi Heihachirō, from the series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

The catalyzing square between the Leo Full Moon with Mars in Taurus may bring stressful events or conflicts to mediate, but on a constructive level can also provide the impetus to make a needed change happen. If it’s necessary to create separation from a troubling source or inject motivated passion into making a certain movement happen, the triggering of Mars by the lunation can supply an amplified boost in the desired direction. It will also be important to pay attention to whatever symptoms of difficulty we experience, as they may indicate deeper issues below the surface of events that we will need to focus on to repair and heal in the month ahead.

While the Leo Full Moon will enflame the friction between Uranus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, it also demarcates the beginning of Mars and Jupiter slowly moving away from the shattering square aspect taking shape between Saturn and Uranus. The first exact square between Saturn and Uranus will take place on February 17, and so from now until then the rupturing emanating from their clashing dynamic will continue to intensify. However, since Mars and Jupiter have recently set off the volatility building between Saturn and Uranus, we are already gaining a sense of what sorts of collective and personal disruptions are developing in correlation.

When the slow contractions of Saturn come into conflict with insistence from Uranus on rapid innovation, we need to come to terms with the elements of life we previously relied upon for security that need to be released to make space for the new forms emerging. We also need to keep in mind the longview that the radical shifts and breaking apart in personal foundations and systemic structures that will correlate with the tension between Saturn and Uranus will be taking place over the next two years. We are only at the beginning of the story, and since we know that Saturn and Uranus will be bringing irrevocable change we can begin to deepen into the internal shifts we are experiencing and make space to sort through the visions of expansive growth we receive. In the short term, there will be a need for rapid responses to address immediate concerns and cultivate the stability needed to navigate the liminal passage ahead.

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau

Although not in an exact aspect with the Leo Full Moon, Mercury in Aquarius is a major underlying influence of the lunation due to it stationing retrograde two days later on January 30. As a result, the intensification of all things related to Mercury in the days following the Full Moon will necessitate being as mindful as possible and paying attention to whatever early signs are emerging regarding the upcoming Mercury retrograde in Aquarius. Mercury will be retrograde from January 30 until February 20, backtracking from 26°29’ Aquarius to 11°01 Aquarius. Mercury while retrograde will pull us back into the volatile tension between Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus and so there will be opportunities to continue to address whatever issues are emerging with the Leo Full Moon in the month ahead.

When Mercury stations to begin shifting retrograde it can be especially helpful to pay close attention to your dreams and any omens or synchronicities you experience in daily life that can help you better understand the message that Mercury will be delivering during its retrograde. This is especially the case now due to Neptune in Pisces also forming an exact square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes.  The disorienting square between Neptune with the transiting lunar nodes can be confusing and make crisp clarity difficult to grasp, but can be powerful in terms of imaginal activation. While the conspiracy theories running rampant in collective events is one side of Neptune forming a square with the lunar nodes, at the same time in our personal life we may receive otherworldly insight that can unveil illusions we had been holding as well as important new perspectives to consider. With Mercury shifting into retrograde movement for the rest of the waning lunar cycle, the psychopomp nature of Mercury when retrograde can facilitate descent into inner mysteries to gather important understanding that will ultimately help us in navigating external events.

profile of shadow by Odilon Redon

Profile of Shadow (1895) by Odilon Redon

The other major astrological aspect embedded within the Leo Full Moon is the conjunction between Venus with Pluto in Capricorn. When Venus is uniting with Pluto during a Full Moon, there is a greater intensity of depth within relationships, with volcanic and volatilizing feelings breaking through awareness. The potency of Pluto’s influence on Venus penetrates under the surface of relational dynamics, bringing the potential for honest communication and the cultivation of greater intimacy or mutual empowerment if both sides are able to listen and share. Since Pluto dramatically amplifies compulsive and obsessive feelings, it will help to sift through the feelings being stirred up to contemplate what truly needs to be communicated versus what does not.

In addition to Venus catalyzing descent into the underworld desires of Pluto, in the week following the Full Moon we will also experience the heliacal setting of Venus as the star of Aphrodites shares its final light as a Morning Star before disappearing into the shadows of its invisible, underworld phase. Venus will continue to be visible as she makes her way through the rest of the sign of Capricorn, but will begin disappearing from view once she enters Aquarius on February 1. This amplifies the importance of whatever messages you are receiving from the union of Venus and Pluto, as Venus may awaken important desires that will need to be tended and nurtured as she makes her way through her underworld phase in the months ahead. Venus will eventually re-emerge into visible light as an Evening Star in early May.

5 of Wands

5 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 1 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the first decan of Leo associated with the Five of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. A tarot card associated with conflict and competition, the strife in the image suggests a need to stand ground and fight to achieve a desired position, or could instead be viewed as an inner battle of different aspects of one’s personality contending for control. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Spotlight” to the first face of Leo, describing its power as focusing “a mass of attention on one point or person,” while bringing karmic consequences to the role or mask one bears in public performance for an audience. Coppock in particular noted the importance of aligning one’s public persona with one’s inner authenticity so that we do not become trapped in a public role ill-suited to our nature.

Saturn and the Sun are the rulers of the first face of Leo, suggesting the necessity of putting time and concerted effort into constructing an effective vehicle to broadcast our work and radiate meaning to a receptive audience. The meaning of the lunation in this decan is especially notable for those who were born with Saturn in the first decan of Leo, as they are not only experiencing their Saturn opposition but it also being illuminated by a Full Moon in square with Mars and Uranus. Whether you are dealing with a Saturn opposition or not, it will nonetheless be wise to use the slow and steady contemplation of Saturn to consider the ways in which your engagement with the world has felt inauthentic. As Saturn in Aquarius was recently regenerated by the Sun, allow whatever aspects of your old identity and ambitions need to be shed to make space for a more authentic presence to emerge.

It’s further compelling that the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Hephaistos to the first face of Leo, the greek god of artisans, craftsman, sculptors, blacksmiths, and all manner of fire. Like Hephaistos, we may transfigure the pain of wounds and rejection into artistic forms, tending the fire of the forge as we melt down old structures that can be refashioned anew. The work of Hephaistos is not about speed and making something happen fast, but rather taking the necessary time to work and rework the matter into rarified manifestation. Similarly, we need to take our time and not demand quick results as we transition from a volatile month of January into a month of February that will be dominated by Mercury being retrograde in Aquarius with Venus, the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn also occupying Aquarius. Let the light of the Leo Full Moon guide your creative process so it may align with the changes of nature taking shape within internal and external realms. As the Orphic Hymn to Hephaistos sings:

Strong, mighty Hephaistos, bearing splendid light, unweary’d fire, with flaming torrents bright:  /  Strong-handed, deathless, and of art divine, pure element, a portion of the world is thine:  /  All-taming artist, all-diffusive pow’r, ’tis thine supreme, all substance to devour:  Æther, Sun, Moon, and Stars, light pure and clear, for these thy lucid parts to men appear.  /  To thee, all dwellings, cities, tribes belong, diffus’d thro’ mortal bodies bright and strong.  /  Hear, blessed power, to holy rites incline, and all propitious on the incense shine:  /  Suppress the rage of fires unweary’d frame, and still preserve our nature’s vital flame.

Orphic Hymn to Hephaistos, translated by Thomas Taylor

References

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