New Moon in Libra

Justice (1550/69) by Bernardino India

New Moon in Libra

Libra is a sign of weighing balances, associated with the fall equinox in the northern hemisphere and the spring equinox in the southern hemisphere when there is an equality of day and night around the world. The New Moon in Libra on September 25 is only a few days after the equinox, initiating us into a new season that will feature the most volatile astrology of the year. Libra excels at contemplation, intellectual pursuits and aesthetic arrangement, a sign that exalts the calculations of Saturn and consideration of consequences, a place where the centeredness of the Sun has its fall. The New Moon in Libra following the equinox so closely makes it ideal for reflection upon our path, ruminating upon the many strands of present development to lay plans for the meaning and purpose we wish to explore for the rest of the year.

The Libra New Moon is opposite Jupiter retrograde in Aries, amplifying themes of justice associated with the sign of the Scales and the necessity of taking the time needed to think through options and issues in order to distill the essence of what needs our focus. The Sun in Libra will oppose Jupiter a day after the lunation on September 26, an alignment that demarcates the heart of Jupiter’s retrograde passage when Jupiter is at its brightest peak in the night sky, as close to earth as it gets within its orbit. As a result, Jupiter is in a liminal passage during the Libra New Moon, transitioning from its morning star phase into its evening star phase that will bring increased opportunities for aligning our purpose with the needs of our surrounding community. The brightness of Jupiter can illuminate the deeper meaning within our circumstances, helping us to separate from what is no longer serving our purpose and distinguishing the decisions that need to be made in our next steps forward. 

The tension of the opposition between Jupiter and the lunation invites the objectifying analysis of Libra that can reflect upon ways in which we may have been too full of hubris, too ungrounded with the visions we are developing, too idealistic or too righteous in our own personal sense of justice. Not only is the Sun in its fall of Libra, but Venus as the ruler of the Libra New Moon is also in her fall of Virgo. As a result, there’s a need to ground and step back from ambitions enough to analyze if the goals we are developing our truly aligned with our authenticity or focused too much on fitting into cultural standards and conditioning of success. 

Fortunately, there is a productive trine aspect between Mars in Gemini with Saturn retrograde in Aquarius that will become exact on September 27 a couple of days after the lunation. The flowing trine between Mars in Gemini with Saturn in Aquarius can help in focusing the inventive qualities of Mars in Gemini that can become too scattered at times or indecisive regarding the numerous options available to pursue with its multifaceted talents and skills. Due to Mars stationing retrograde at the end of October, this will be the first in a long sequence of trine aspects that will be forming between Mars and Saturn over the next six months, with the next exact trine occurring on November 28 with Mars retrograde and Saturn direct in motion. The careful consideration of the Libra New Moon can be applied to contemplating one’s present relationship with Mars as the red planet begins to slow down over the course of the subsequent lunar cycle. Mars in Gemini will have an increasingly intensified presence, and while it may bring increased volatility it also holds the promise of dramatic change and exciting new desires and passions to pursue and cultivate. 

Aphrodite by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Venus rules the New Moon while separating from an opposition with Neptune and applying toward a trine with Pluto in Capricorn and toward a conjunction with Mercury retrograde in Virgo. The flowing trine between Venus and Pluto is the closest aspect within the lunation, and combined with Mercury simultaneously applying toward a conjunction with Venus and a trine with Pluto brings penetrating depth of insight into hidden patterns and patterns that have been operating under the surface. Both Venus and Mercury are in the midst of underworld journeys while empowered by the forces of Pluto. Mercury recently was reborn by its union with the Sun on the Libra Equinox, but is still in its invisible phase due to being in close proximity with the Sun. In contrast, Venus more recently has descended into the underworld in her invisible phase and will eventually become reanimated through her solar conjunction on October 22. Mercury and Venus are considered to be the two rulers of the third decan of Virgo (Mercury in descending order; Venus in triplicity order), a face that facilitates incisive awareness regarding the consequences of actions.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces on the decans ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to the third face of Virgo as there are many associated images of decay in old texts. Coppock stated that the third decan of Virgo “has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end,” yet through facing this inevitability “it grants far reaching sight . . . the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions.” There is a strong contrast of essential dignities between Venus and Mercury, with Venus in her fall and Mercury exalted as well as fully resourced by being at home. There are themes of Nemesis and Necessity within the relationships between Venus, Mercury, and Pluto, with the potential to cut through places we have obscured our viewpoint by pride in order to open deeper awareness. Venus in her present phase mirrors the mythology of Inanna’s descent to the underworld during which she must remove her talismans and release her pride in order to prepare for the mystery of her rebirth.

At the same time, with both Venus and Mercury in range of an opposition with Neptune we can open perception beyond the ways in which we typically restrict our awareness, sifting through any recent experiences of disillusionment in order to realign with the deeper truth we are coming into relationship with. With Venus separating from Neptune and applying to both Mercury and Pluto, there will be opportunities for grounding and coming back into more pragmatic relationship with reality if we have more recently been overly idealistic or inflated. Mercury will not complete an opposition with Neptune due to stationing direct in Virgo on October 2, yet will remain in Virgo in range of an opposition with Neptune during the waxing phase of the forthcoming lunar cycle. As a result, as the Moon waxes toward fullness we will have opportunities for coming to terms with our larger dreams and inspirations, our idealistic hopes that can sustain our excitement about life despite difficulties we are facing. Neptune will be a key player in the volatile astrology that will developing in the season ahead, and so it will be worthwhile to utilize the Mercurial focus available within the Libra New Moon for cutting through illusions to come into relationship with the deeper truths and meaning that can be revealed by Neptune.

2 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 1 Decan

The New 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 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.” It’s a fitting image for the New Moon involving an opposition between the lunation with Jupiter as well as an opposition between Venus and Mercury with Neptune.

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 reanimated within 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.  The fearless insight into hidden matters signified by the Furies fits well with both Venus and Mercury being in the middle of invisible, underworld phases while also forming flowing trine aspects with Pluto. If you have been feeling the festering of the Furies within, make space for purifying and releasing the associated toxic components while coming to terms with the deeper meaning found within your own shadowy inner realm. The image of blind Justice fits well with the darkness of the Moon opposing the full brightness of Jupiter retrograde in Aries. Making space to explore the inner patterns behind recent events in the days following the Libra New Moon will help in coming to terms with the adjustments to plans and goals that will be needed in the season ahead.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in the Oak branch level we are presently exploring the meaning of the planetary nodes and deepening our understanding of the lunar nodes. 

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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.

Full Moon in Pisces

The Ocean by Harry Brodsky

Full Moon in Pisces

Pisces is a zodiacal place of unbounded vision and emotion, the watery sign that exalts the star of Aphrodite and serves as the nocturnal home of Jupiter. The oceanic expanse of Pisces invites union and deep merging, making the yearly Full Moon in Pisces an opportune time for dissolving restrictions, releasing inhibitions, and opening sensations to deeply feel the fullness of being. With the Full Moon in Pisces on 10 September 2022 applying toward an enlivening sextile aspect with Uranus and a dissolving conjunction with Neptune, siren songs from the deep below will call from the realm of dream, luring us away from straight and narrow paths to take in more of everything that lies beyond the limitations of our conditioning. The deep well of feeling accessible through the lunation may bring about an immense emotional release concerning all we are suffering, yet the flooding of feeling can help in dislodging us from where we have been stuck to bring about a renewal of perception. The Full Moon in Pisces will illuminate the dream that makes life worth living, the hope that inspires resiliency when facing the darkest nights of our soul.

The Full Moon in Pisces is separating from a volatile square aspect with Mars in Gemini while applying toward creative aspects with Uranus and Neptune, creating opportunities for channelling the drama of life into creative insights that can be developed in the weeks ahead. Recent current events have been filled with stories of economic collapse, massive food shortages, and other immense disruptions to societal systems, all stories that correspond with the longstanding square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus. Yet the Full Moon in Pisces is not in relationship with the cold walls of Saturn and instead will be activated by the electrifying storms of Uranus, creating a window of time that can bring focus to the liberating experimentation of Uranus combined with the transcendent expanse of Neptune. It’s an excellent time for brainstorming and being patient with an upwelling of ideas, allowing a process of reordering and clarification to take shape in the coming weeks.

Illustration by Willy Pogany (1911) from Walk Me Through My Dreams (A Picture book of Verses) by Joe Lindsay

“This road / As far as one can see / A string of valleys deep / This road.

Late Trees stripped naked / By sweeping winds / Soy and corn are harvested / I sift through season’s end.

The dreaded part is not the past / Nor the state that I am ridden / Not the sight of numbing end / But being captive to what’s hidden.

. . . Forgive us as we forgive . . . / Lead us over pastures, Lord / And the weight of our chores / To trespass no more.”

Verse from Walk Me Through My Dreams, Again by Joe Lindsay

The Full Moon in Pisces is ruled by Jupiter retrograde in Aries. Although Jupiter put some distance between itself with Neptune after entering the fiery home of Mars on May 10, the star of Zeus stayed within an orb of fifteen degrees from Neptune and at the time of the Pisces Full Moon has returned to being in an almost exact contra-antiscia relationship, bridging the archetypal forces of Jupiter and Neptune together. Planets in contra-antiscia occupy zodiacal signs of equal ascension that agree on their journey through traveling at the same speed, while also forming a midpoint at zero degrees of Aries and Libra, a zodiacal point many astrologers connect with the world axis due to it’s potency in channeling archetypal forces directly into world events. With the Full Moon applying to a conjunction with Neptune that will take place later in the day on September 10, and then waning through its full phase into a subsequent conjunction with Jupiter retrograde in Aries on September 11, the Moon will be pouring down the dissolving, creative, and visionary influence of Jupiter and Neptune into daily life.

While the lunation is kindling the spiritual, creative fire of Jupiter and Neptune, Mercury will be saturating the astrological landscape with its archetypal presence due to stationing retrograde less than seven hours before the lunation. Moreover, Mercury retrograde in Libra will begin slowly peeling backwards in the coming week toward applying to an opposition with Jupiter that will eventually be completed on September 18. Thus not only is the Moon in Pisces opposite the Sun in Virgo during the lunation, but Jupiter as the ruler of the Moon and Mercury as the ruler of the Sun are also applying toward an opposition with one another. The stillness and intensification of Mercury invites applying mindfulness and being curious about exploring the meaning of signs and omens that appear within our dreaming and waking life for guidance.

Even though Mercury has stationed in order to move backwards through the zodiac, it will still be possible to move forward with actions, business dealings, and intellectual pursuits. In fact, the drawn out opposition between Mercury with Jupiter can make the waning half of the present lunar cycle particularly creative and thought provoking. Yet the intensity of Mercury is not to be taken lightly, and instead requires conscious relationship with however the tricky nature of Mercury will be leading us to make insightful connections. Making time and space from the busyness of life for deep reflection and contemplation will be especially helpful.

The other major aspect taking shape within the astrology of the Pisces Full Moon is the waxing square being formed by Venus in Virgo and Mars in Gemini that will eventually become exact on September 16. With both Venus and Mars under rulership of Mercury retrograde in Libra, it will be important to bring extra attention to listening within relationships with others as well as listening to the ways in which our own needs are changing. The influence of Mercury retrograde in Libra approaching its regenerative conjunction with the Sun upon Venus and Mars will create a process of burning off past relational dynamics at the same time we experience the friction of new desires emerging. The waxing square between Venus and Mars can constellate passion and desire to pursue the new sense of direction emerging from within. In the context of the overall cycle between Venus and Mars, the present waxing square is rooted in the past conjunction between Venus and Mars that took place on March 6, 2022 at 00°01’ Aquarius and so there are likely key relational dynamics emerging now directly linked back to March.

Yet the initiation of the present Venus and Mars cycle actually involved three conjunctions, with the first two occurring on 13 July 2021 at 19°48’ Leo and on 16 February 2022 at 16°53’ Capricorn. The second of these conjunctions on February 16 was especially powerful due to Venus having recently reemerged into visibility in her Morning Star phase following an extended retrograde phase in Capricorn. Fascinatingly, the conjunction between Venus and Mars at seventeen degrees of Capricorn on February 16 (that occurred at the time of a Full Moon in Leo) forms a harmonious sextile aspect with the Full Moon taking place at 17°41’ Pisces. Moreover, while Venus had recently begun her Morning Star phase of visibility on February 16, she is now at the end of it as she is in process of descending into the underworld of invisibility, regeneration, and rebirth en route to her reanimating conjunction with the Sun that will occur on October 22. As a result there are aspects of relationship and creative desire that need to be released and laid to rest at the same time we are coming into a deeper sense of the desires being reseeded and activated.

Altogether the Pisces Full Moon will be illuminating a pivotal stage within our relationship with Venus and Mars, the planets of night which connect us with passion and not only what we find valuable and pleasurable, but also what activates us to pursue our desires, fight for our values, and separate ourselves from whatever we find intolerable. With Venus and Mars coming into a catalyzing square aspect over the next week, we may feel anger when facing limitations especially when they reflect old issues that have led to suffering or heartbreak in the past. It will be necessary to hold the tension of courageously standing up for our values while mediating relationships that may or may not align with our values to varying degrees. As we come into deeper relationship with the ways in which our desires and values may be changing, it can also become an opportune time for discovering new collaborators, alliances, and relationships that involve a resonance of values and shared purpose.

9 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 2 Decan

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

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

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

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

With the Pisces Full Moon applying toward a conjunction with Neptune while Jupiter and Neptune come together through contra-antiscia, the balance of the Scales amplified by Mercury simultaneously stationing retrograde in Libra will be important to keep in mind. A balance will need to be found by allowing flights of fantasy to stoke inspiration while not allowing yourself to become carried away by an illusive reflection of your true inner needs and desires. The more we can open to our deepest desires becoming illuminated by the Full Moon in Pisces, the better we will be able to prioritize our most important values during the coming months that feature chaotic astrological signatures.

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

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in the Oak branch level we are presently exploring the meaning of the lunar nodes as entryway into understanding the meaning of the planetary nodes.

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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.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra and Virgo

Victor Brauner, The Nuptial March of the Sorcerer

Mercury Retrograde in Libra

Mercury in astrology is known for guiding us across thresholds and making his presence known in the plot twist, sudden slip or surprising boon that changes the direction of narratives. When Mercury stations retrograde, the star of Hermes demarcates a turning point in events as well as whatever processes of development we have been experiencing. Mercury’s retrograde in Libra and Virgo in 2022 will be especially pivotal as it’s regenerative process will be centered upon the Libra Equinox with Mercury helping to bridge the change of seasons from summer to fall in the northern hemisphere, winter to spring in the southern hemisphere. Just like the time of the harvest in the northern hemisphere in which cool air begins to rebalance the excessive heat of summer, Mercury’s retrograde movement from Libra to Virgo will facilitate a separation of wheat from the chaff, stepping back from heated dynamics to gain clarity for what to deepen in cultivation versus what needs to be released or reformed.

Mercury will station retrograde on September 9, embarking upon a three-week journey in which the star of Hermes will backtrack from 8°55’ Libra until stationing direct at 24°11’ Virgo on October 2. As Mercury retraces the zodiacal terrain from twenty-four degrees of Virgo to nine degrees of Libra, personal material in need of deeper engagement will become excavated, bringing opportunities for insight that can catalyze significant growth and foster breaking out of stuck patterns. As part of the process, however, we may need to return to longstanding issues in need of release, reworking, or reintegration. After passing through a phase of putrefaction and purification that will be especially intense leading up to Mercury’s union with the Sun on the September 22 equinox, we may experience renewal on the other side as Mercury returns to forward motion in October. Mercury first crossed 24°11′ Virgo on August 20 and will not move beyond 8°55’ Libra until October 16, creating almost two months of mercurial focus in this range of your natal chart. 

Mercury will station retrograde in Libra as the Moon in Pisces will be waxing toward fullness, with the Full Moon in Pisces on September 10 applying to a conjunction with Neptune. The lunar spotlight upon Neptune at the beginning of Mercury’s retrograde passage is fitting, for Mercury’s descent through his underworld, retrograde journey will mine the underbelly of idealistic dreams to aid us in examining how to build a more solid foundation underneath the visions for creative expression and growth that have been developing. By questioning our beliefs and being willing to consider where we are misleading ourselves with illusions, by the end of Mercury’s retrograde we will be able to realize what aspects of our future visions are too idealistic and lack grounding in practical potential. Mercury will be in position to stress-test dreams due to beginning his retrograde with a prolonged opposition with Jupiter that will not become exact until September 18, and ending his retrograde by stationing direct on October 2 in range of an opposition with Neptune. In the bigger picture, Mercury’s retrograde passage will draw us into deeper exploration of whatever meaning, plans, events, and relationships have been developing in correspondence with a new cycle between Jupiter and Neptune commencing during 2022.

The conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces on 12 April 2022 was one of the most important astrological alignments of the year, as it was both the beginning and end of another cycle within the transcendent dance between Jupiter and Neptune. Jupiter and Neptune form conjunctions every thirteen years or so, but their union in Pisces was especially potent due to it taking place in the nocturnal domicile of Jupiter with the star of Zeus receiving Neptune into its oceanic home. Unions between Jupiter and Neptune evoke the feeling of dreams coming true, yet the waves of expansive hope and inspiration that correspond with their conjunction can also be counterbalanced by experiences of disorientation and disillusionment. While Jupiter and Neptune created powerful tides during the first five months of 2022 while they were co-present in Pisces, they have remained within fifteen degrees of one another after Jupiter entered Aries on May 10. In fact, they were brought back together into a sacred marriage of intermingling influences by being contra-antiscia to one another during the first two weeks of June. Crucially, at the time of Mercury stationing retrograde on September 9 there will once again be a close contra-antiscia relationship formed by Jupiter and Neptune. Planets in contra-antiscia have their midpoint on the world axis of zero degrees of Aries (the point at which the celestial equator of Earth intersects with the ecliptic), bringing their combined influence into a powerful impact within world events.

Not only will the influence between Jupiter and Neptune be powerful within current events when Mercury stations retrograde on September 9, there is the added significance that Jupiter’s retrograde motion will eventually lead it back into Pisces on October 28 and into close proximity with Neptune. Jupiter will remain in Pisces with Neptune until 20 December 2022, creating almost two months of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces once again rippling their tidal forces through personal and collective events. Thus the reorientation toward the meaning of the new cycle between Jupiter and Neptune we can gather through Mercury’s retrograde passage will be helpful not only in reflecting upon connections between our present circumstances with experiences and ideas that developed during the previous conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in April, it can also provide a beneficial review of where we currently stand in relation to our creative visions so we can be better prepared to bring our dreams into material manifestation when Jupiter and Neptune combine forces in Pisces again at the end of October.

The dissolving impact of Jupiter and Neptune combined in Pisces during 2022 has been amplified in intensity due to it occurring during the same time as the shattering square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus that has been dismantling global systems that previously brought a sense of security to many. The influence of Jupiter and Neptune can be tricky to handle due to it washing away the stability of the familiar while simultaneously revealing the deeper truths that will endure the mists of misguided perception. Dane Rudhyar in a 1958 article described the confusion that accompanies the call from Jupiter and Neptune to take a visionary step forward, writing that many people out of fear can experience a regressive pull back toward the security of familiar institutions and beliefs rather than risk the unknown.

Yet while we are collectively traversing a period of accelerated destruction of familiar institutions and beliefs that will become even more intense during the eclipses in October and November that will accompany the return of Jupiter to sharing the sign of Pisces with Neptune, there will be increased opportunities for seeking success free from the dominant power structures instead of feeling a need to conform to them. Ultimately, Dane Rudhyar wrote that it can be the accumulation of the smaller changes with our relationships that occur in correspondence with the merging of Jupiter and Neptune that later allow for the greater revolutionary events in the wider world to materialize. Mercury’s retrograde journey that will take it from an opposition with Jupiter into an opposition with Neptune will be an ideal time for recalibration of relational dynamics and deepening into the path that will lead us into creating the life we truly desire to live rather than resigning ourselves to fitting into societal systems that are falling apart.

Mercury functions well in the airy, intellectual environment of Libra and is at his greatest strength in his earthy home and exaltation of Virgo, and so the skill Mercury possesses for recalibrating dynamics and mediating polarities will be amplified during his retrograde journey. Mercury’s initial retrograde passage in Libra will beckon re-examination through the Scales, a re-balancing that necessitates extremes, tension, polarity, counterpoints, and contrariness. The awareness we can access through Mercury retrograde can help us transcend rigid parameters of duality by swinging wildly at times between extremes of perception in a continual process of experiencing oscillating oppositions. It’s necessary to embrace being in between states and forms during periods of Mercury retrograde, and while it will be possible to bring matters into definite form, in some situations we will need to accept the flux of formlessness and fluidity, recalibrating our perceptions and decisions in accordance with changing conditions. With Mercury beginning his retrograde passage while engaging Jupiter in a tense oppositional aspect, a major theme that will initially emerge will be justice; there will be an exacerbation of tensions around injustice, while many will also be inspired to take action on behalf of social justice.

Themis and Nemesis by Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard

Once Mercury moves within fifteen degrees of the Sun on September 14, he will be considered to be invisible under the beams of the Sun by traditional definition. Mercury at this point in his solar phase takes on the role of psychopomp guiding us into interior depths with a chthonic sense of penetrating insight, yet we may find we are more effective at gathering and exchanging information away from the spotlight. Mercury retrograde periods can be excellent for in-depth research in general, but during the initial phase of Mercury’s retrograde passage we can get especially powerful results when breaking free from stuck patterns and old habits as well as when releasing ourselves from aspects of our past that need to be burned off. The closer Mercury gets to his conjunction with the Sun on September 22, the greater his capacity will be for purgation and putrefaction of the past. Since Mercury will simultaneously be picking up the influence of Jupiter leading up to their exact opposition on September 18, we will also become aware of new opportunities for growth that can emerge from the composting of past dynamics.

At the same time, issues involving fairness and balance within relational dynamics will draw our attention as there will be a catalyzing square aspect between Venus in Virgo with Mars in Gemini on September 16 at 14°23’ of each sign. Since both Venus and Mars will be occupying the domiciles of Mercury, the regenerative influence of Mercury being retrograde will facilitate a release of old relational dynamics while we simultaneously come into deeper relationship with new passions, desires, and ways of relating that feel more genuine and authentic. The waxing square between Venus and Mars links back to the previous conjunction between Venus and Mars on March 6, 2022 at 00°01’ Aquarius, another sign that there is an important connection between Mercury’s retrograde movement this month with the experiences that were taking shape in the beginning of the year.

While Venus relates to what we find beautiful, pleasurable, valuable, and distasteful, Mars represents our ability to pursue our desires, fight for our values, and separate ourselves from whatever we find intolerable or displeasing. The waxing square between Venus and Mars signifies a period for discovering the emerging desires we will want to pursue, embody, and protect, yet the new desires we wish to experience may create instability and volatility within our relationships. With Venus and Mars clashing while in both signs of Mercury, it will be important to make space for listening to our own needs within relationship and then finding ways to effectively communicate them to those we are in relationship. Even though periods of Mercury retrograde are characterized in popular astrology as signifying communication mishaps and breakdowns, the intensified presence of Mercury during its retrograde in actuality can lead to breakthrough conversations when both people are committed to engaging and working through whatever trouble is present within relational dynamics.

Mercury by Bertel Thorvaldsen

In the Heart of the Equinox

Mercury will become reanimated by its conjunction with the Sun on September 22 at 00°14′ Libra, the same day as the Libra Equinox when we experience equal day and night everywhere around the globe. 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 in which it will transition into becoming a visible morning star. While Mercury is within one degree of conjunction with the Sun, even more so within sixteen arc minutes of its solar conjunction, there can be empowerment for tasks associated with Mercury since it is enthroned upon the solar chariot. Older astrological texts named this moment of Mercury’s rebirth cazimi, or being in the heart of the Sun. It’s the cyclical moment when Mercury enters what Demetra George has named the “sanctum sanctorum,” or “the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations” found within “the protected space at the heart of the Sun.” 

The inferior conjunction of Mercury occurring on the same day as the Libra Equinox, the day of equal day and night that marks the turning of the seasons, is unusual. In mundane astrology, Libra ingress charts for when the Sun enters Libra are used to forecast the three month season that follows for events occurring in the location of the chart, and so Mercury applying to its regenerative conjunction with the Sun will be a theme that shows up in different ways and plays an important role in charts forecasting the season ahead for nations and cities. Moreover, zero degrees of Aries and Libra has been likened by some astrologers to being the nodes of the Sun, as it marks the intersection between the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun that defines the zodiac) with the projection of the celestial equator of the Earth; when the Sun enters Libra it is at this exact intersection en route in the northern hemisphere to descending to the nadir of its southern declination during the Winter Solstice when the Sun enters Capricorn. Mercury will be applying within thirty arc minutes of its union with the Sun when the Sun enters Libra, bringing the death and rebirth process of Mercury into world events with more intensity than normal.

Though the Libra Equinox is traditionally a day for sacred attunement and renewal, it will be especially potent this year when making sacred space for reflection and rebalancing. Allow Mercury to help guide you into insights and realizations regarding whatever has led you to the present moment in your personal journey, letting go of what needs to be released from the past while opening to new directions that may emerge to follow in the season ahead. It will be a powerful time for reseeding ideas and listening for messages and signs indicating new directions to follow in creative and intellectual pursuits.

Astarte by John Singer Sargent

Mercury Stationing Direct in Virgo

Mercury’s underworld journey will bring him into chthonic connections with Venus and Pluto once he leaves Libra and enters Virgo soon after uniting with the Sun. Mercury will backtrack into Virgo on September 23 and immediately apply toward a conjunction with Venus in Virgo that will be completed on September 26, as well as apply toward a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn that will be completed on September 27. Both Mercury and Venus will be in the midst of underworld journeys when they meet, with one crucial difference. While Mercury will have already experienced its rebirth from its union with the Sun, Venus will still be experiencing her descent into darkness that will eventually lead her to be reanimated by a conjunction with the Sun during her superior conjunction at 29°26’ Libra on October 22, 2022. Moreover, in addition to Mercury and Venus being invisible under the beams of the Sun, the Moon will also be veiled in darkness as there will be a New Moon in Libra on September 25. The waning dark Moon will form a conjunction with Venus and Mercury on September 25 before the New Moon occurs later in the day. There will be a mysterious exchange in the heart of darkness between the Moon, Mercury, and Venus at this time that invites curiosity. If feelings become difficult or emotions spiral, keep in mind that it could be part of a larger process of release and shedding taking place.

The meeting between Venus and Mercury at 26°47’ Virgo will take place in the third decan of Virgo, a decan ruled by both Venus and Mercury. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces on the decans ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to this decan as there are many associated images of decay in old texts. Coppock stated that the third decan of Virgo “has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end,” yet through facing this inevitability “it grants far reaching sight . . . the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions.” The potency this decan possesses for revealing what is truly valuable will be worth remembering during Mercury’s extended stay here from September 23 through October 10, but especially while Mercury and Venus are both present here from September 23 through September 29. There may be hard experiences related to whatever needs to be laid to rest from the past, but the process of putrefaction will be capable of revealing potent insights regarding the path forward.

After Mercury passes through its conjunction with Venus and trine with Pluto it will slow down in speed until stationing direct at 24’12 Virgo on October 2. Mercury’s stationing degree places it within range of an opposition with Neptune in Pisces and a trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. With Mercury stationing in its place of domicile and exaltation rulership, there may be volatile events and changes in direction to traverse, yet Mercury will be capable of providing a sobering analytical perspective grounded in the details we need to pay attention to.

Once Mercury is moving direct it will form its final exact trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on October 6, only two days before Pluto stations direct on October 8. The intensified prescence of Pluto will be picked up and transmitted by Mercury at the same time that Mercury will be reaching maximum elongation as a Morning Star on October 8. The maximum elongation of Mercury demarcates another threshold to cross, as it initiates us into the phase of Mercury speeding up as well as accelerating our capacity for integrating the many inner changes that took shape during the retrograde. Gary Caton described this solar phase of Mercury as being similar to the rubedo phase within alchemy in his book Hermetica Tryptycha. As we work to integrate the insights and changes in perspective realized during Mercury’s retrograde journey, Caton noted that we should expect to endure a phase of chaotic volatility as we make a commitment to embody a new presence of being. With Mercury forming its final trine aspect with Pluto at the same time Pluto is stationing, we can expect the sort of chaotic processes to emerge that can also give birth to exciting new forms of creative expression and presence.

Mercury will return to Libra on October 10, form its final opposition with Jupiter in Aries on October 12, and then leave its retrograde shadow zone on October 16. As Mercury continues to pick up speed this week, pay attention to how storylines shift as Mercury completes its final opposition with Jupiter. The first opposition in the series was on September 2 with Mercury moving direct, followed by the second opposition on September 18 with Mercury in the middle of its retrograde journey, and so there may be insights to be found within the arc of narratives across these dates. With Mars stationing retrograde in Gemini and Jupiter returning to Pisces at the end of October at the same time we enter a powerful eclipse season, there will be immense changes taking shape on the horizon. May the fleet footed messenger guide us into reflection, focus, and action on the matters that need our attention as we enter another period of accelerated collective and personal change.

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References

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

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

Rudhyar, Dane. (1958). The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle. Horoscope Magazine.

Full Moon in Aquarius

Still Life with Fragments by Paul Klee

Full Moon in Aquarius

The annual Full Moon in Aquarius always activates the inherent polarity between Leo and Aquarius, zodiacal signs that serve as the celestial homes of the Sun and Saturn. Selene reflecting her fullness of silvery light in Aquarius can bring opportunities to question and probe experiences, sifting through the fragmentary artifacts of memory within our psyche in need of reflection. While the Sun in Leo has a centering force that helps us embody our authenticity and express our essential creativity, the Full Moon in Aquarius offers the prospect of intellectual distancing and the degree of detachment necessary from recent drama to contemplate the next steps needed for effective growth or inner integration.

The polarity between Aquarius and Leo will be especially acute during the Full Moon in Aquarius, as the Moon will be applying toward a conjunction with Saturn in Aquarius and the Leo Sun will be approaching its annual opposition with Saturn that it will complete on August 14. Moreover, the Aquarius Full Moon will illuminate the key turning point in Saturn’s synodic cycle when the star of Kronos comes closest to Earth within its orbit during its solar opposition, glimmering at its brightest level in the night sky. Adam Gainsburg has taught that Saturn initiates us into a pivotal stage of our relationship with external and internal authority when we cross the threshold demarcated by Saturn’s retrograde passage forming an opposition with the Sun. There is a maturation available in how we participate authentically within the world around us, as new potential emerges to gain greater confidence in taking the responsibility to contribute meaningfully based upon a process of having questioned the reliability of external and internal authority figures since Saturn began its retrograde passage on June 4. The activation of Saturn’s opposition with the Sun by the Aquarius Full Moon is especially powerful due to the necessity of each of us taking greater personal responsibility mediating the volatility of current events in which societal structures have been falling apart in correspondence with the longstanding square aspect between Saturn and Uranus as well as the more recent tumult triggered by Mars forming a catalyzing conjunction with Uranus and a stormy square aspect with Saturn.

Indeed, the Aquarius Full Moon not only will illuminate a major shift in the solar cycle of Saturn, it also will spotlight a critical turning point of 2022. The Full Moon in Aquarius on August 11 is situated in between the eclipses that occurred on April 30 and May 15 and the eclipses that will occur on October 25 and November 8. The Aquarius Moon will be at the southern bending of its own nodes, separating from a square aspect with Uranus while applying toward a square aspect with Mars as well as the lunar nodes. The Aquarius Moon at the bending of its own orbit brings an additional level of objectivity and detachment from mundane affairs, as the Moon will be at its greatest southern latitude and the farthest distance the Moon can be within its orbital plane from the path of the Sun. With the Moon at its lowest point in its orbit, the Aquarius Full Moon is a calling to sink into sensation and get to the bottom of root causes in circumstances. The proximity between the Moon with Saturn can further accentuate contemplation in order to bring about needed reordering from our inner depths.

Recent world transits have had the symbolic impact of the Tower arcanum, as Mars moved from a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon and Uranus in Taurus on August 1 into a harsh and combative square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on August 7. Moreover, Venus in Cancer recently formed an opposition with Pluto in Capricorn on August 8, dredging up deep emotional and relational issues that have been impacted by the shattering shocks and liberating releases that were unleashed in correspondence with Mars, Uranus, and the North Node of the Moon joining forces while clashing with Saturn. As a result, the Full Moon in Aquarius will bring light into the darkness of whatever has been stirred up on unconscious levels as well as facilitate realizations regarding how to adapt to larger collective changes taking shape.

Enki

The Aquarius Full Moon applying toward a conjunction with Saturn in Aquarius has deeper meaning when considering that Saturn is still in range of a close conjunction with the fixed star Deneb Algedi. Deneb Algedi is the star marking the tail of the Sea Goat constellation and is associated with the Babylonian creator god Ea and the Sumerian creator god Enki who brought the gifts and arts of civilization from his realm of subterranean water. A trickster and wise magician bent on reordering civilization with the greater good of the community in mind, the flowing freshwater of Enki transfigures the landscape of dry land, creating wetlands and fertile soil in which the food and resources needed to fuel civilization can grow. Gavin White in Babylonian Star-lore wrote that “Enki’s waters bring progeny to all creatures” and “bring life to the cultivated fields.” Similarly, old magical texts on the fixed stars declared that the image of Deneb Algedi brings prosperity and increases wealth, as well as enhancing one’s home and keeping it secure.

Furthermore, the vast intellect and sacred eye of Ea/Enki understands the fathomless depths of metaphysical laws and how they may be integrated into human systems of law and order. Bernadette Brady wrote that like the “justice-oriented ancient god who was seeking to bring civilization to his people,” the star Deneb Algedi “continues to be reflected in the laws of the establishment, and the structure of civilizations that yield ordered societies.” Yet while Deneb Algedi can correspond with established law, its deeper meaning lies within the type of reordering law from chaotic change that we have been collectively experiencing and will continue to experience in the years ahead.

As the Aquarius Moon waxes full near the star of the Sea Goat’s tail in the sky, we can turn awareness into the oceanic, immaterial expanse underlying our reality where the roots of form take shape. Take space from the cacophony of current events to discover how you can reorder personal structures and systems to be in flow with the changing currents altering the landscape, while staying centered within your own sense of integrity. Deneb Algedi is a powerful ally when reflecting upon the visions from subconscious senses ready to manifest without regard for external standards of judgement, while simultaneously discerning how to integrate innovate ideas into the societal systems and codes of laws presently operating in the world. It may not be clear how to bring new ideas into reality yet, but by setting intention to nurture and foster their manifestation we can begin the process of patiently discovering the best course of development for them.

Destruction and Hope by Paul Klee

The cunning wisdom of Enki will be further available through the fortunate role that Mercury in Virgo will be playing within the surrounding field of astrological transits. Mercury is visible as an Evening Star within its domicile and exaltation of Virgo, while applying toward a flowing trine with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus it will complete on August 16. Mercury is out of aspect with the polarity between the Leo Sun and Aquarius Saturn, instead picking up the emancipatory revelations available to be accessed through the close proximity between Uranus and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus. Mercury is the ultimate mediator of polarities, and its potent capacity for analysis and reflection while in Virgo will be needed medicine for whatever difficulties we will be facing.

The Aquarius Full Moon will also illuminate the entrance of Venus into Leo. Venus in Leo loves to spark inspiring desires to actualize our creativity in everything ranging from daily tasks to larger projects connected with our life purpose. The dramatic flair that Venus in Leo possesses for bringing awareness of our fertile potential and igniting desire to actualize it will be amplified due to the fact that Venus will be applying to a flowing trine with Jupiter in Aries. Venus will complete her trine aspect with Jupiter retrograde in Aries on August 18, and so we will have a week following the lunation to be creatively active with the supportive fire of Venus in Leo and Jupiter in Aries. Since Venus in Leo will simultaneously be heading into an activation of the volatile fixed cross that the Aquarius Full Moon is also triggering, Venus in Leo will be in position to shake up the places that have become stagnant through resisting change in favor of the comfort of stability. If you have already been embracing change while in a process of dismantling the stability of the past, Venus in Leo can help in finding greater flow and harmony within the changes taking place. During the waning half of the present lunar cycle, Venus in Leo will form a square aspect with the lunar nodes in Taurus and Scorpio on August 25, a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus on August 26 (at the same time Uranus will have an intensified presence due to stationing retrograde on August 24), and an opposition with Saturn in Aquarius on August 28.

The capacity of Venus in Leo to help us adapt to our present state of becoming within volatile current events will be further amplified due to the co-presence of Venus and Ceres in Leo. Venus is applying toward a conjunction with Ceres in Leo that she will complete on August 22 at 13º24′ Leo. The last time Venus formed a conjunction with Ceres was on 3 April 2021 in Aries, and so it could be helpful to reflect upon the changes that have taken place over the course of their cycle together. Ceres connects with many of the current issues impacting world events, such as the food shortages and economic collapses occurring around the world. Yet Ceres also has psychological significations connected to the grief and difficult emotions many are experiencing due to not only personal experiences but also the wider field of intergenerational trauma that can be activated during the kind of volatile astrological world transits we have been experiencing. As Venus in Leo moves through a conjunction with Ceres into a catalyzing square aspect with Uranus during the waning half of the lunar cycle, it will be necessary to strike a balance between the abundant productivity Ceres is capable of nurturing and making space for rest and release of emotional material as we process the complex and difficult emotions that arise during times of immense collective and personal rebirth.

6 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 2 Decan

The Aquarius Full Moon will illuminate the second decan of Aquarius associated with the Six of Swords. The six swords in the image are anchored, suggesting firm resolve and grounded focus. Yet the swords are also staked into a boat journeying through watery, liminal space. There is a vision behind the image, a bold determination to follow foresight into foreign territory. The ferryman is in a role of guidance not unlike the psychopomp Mercury, which is fitting since Mercury is the ruler of the second face of Aquarius. T Susan Chang in 36 Secrets wrote that the Six of Swords excels at “problem solving,” being “excellent for symbol manipulation and masterful at metaphor . . . good for writing your way out of a paper bag and thinking outside of the box.” 

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

Furthermore, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Phobos to the second decan of Aquarius, the divine son of Ares and Aphrodite who is associated with the fear evoked in battle and war. Austin Coppock noted that as Phobos is connected with the etymology of “phobia,” its presence in this face also reveals “the fear that people have of what lies outside their small worlds.” It also brings to mind the double edged sword of fear that can also be associated with Saturn, in the way fear can lead to poor choices rooted in paranoia as well as the kind of inspired action that erupts when we have our backs against the wall and the odds stacked against us. If paralyzing fears arise in the time surrounding the Full Moon in Aquarius, seek the steady hand and patient pace of Saturn in Aquarius that can help in grounding into the present moment and addressing the practical issues most in need of our attention and action. May the mountainous magnitude and solid sentience of Saturn be available for guidance, bridging the eternal with the present moment, illuminating the next steps to take in our process of becoming.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to discover the benefits and learning opportunities you will gain by joining.

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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.

White, Gavin. (2007). Babylonian Star-Lore: An Illustrated Guide to the Star-lore and Constellations of Ancient Babylonia. Solaria Publications.

Leo New Moon

from the Rosarium Philosophorum

Leo New Moon

The monthly unions of Sun and Moon purify and impregnate meaning for the lunar cycle ahead, initiating new growth and movement within the fertile blackness of moonless night. The Leo New Moon on July 28 is particularly potent as a threshold guardian that will lead us into one of the most volatile astrological months of 2022. Fortunately, the Sun and Moon in Leo are applying toward a close trine aspect with Jupiter in Aries, constellating a harmonious flow of uplifting spirit that can inspire creative solutions and expressions. With Jupiter in the exaltation of the Sun, there is a passionate, resonant interplay between the Leo New Moon and the star of Zeus that kindles faith in the unknown to come. The radiance of Leo with its indomitable fire that resiliently persists in the face of adversity is at the heart of the lunation.

The longstanding volatility across societal structures that has correlated with the catalytic square aspect formed between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus has been exacerbated during 2022 due to the presence of the North Node of the Moon in Taurus and the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio. With the friction between Saturn and Uranus amplified by eclipses taking place in the signs of Scorpio and Taurus, the missing fixed sign within the dynamic has been Leo. Call it a “grand square,” “fixed cross,” or whatever term you prefer; the Leo New Moon initiates us into a period in which all four fixed signs have a notable occupant: Mars, Uranus, and the North Node in Taurus, Saturn in Aquarius, Mercury and the Sun in Leo, and the South Node in Scorpio. As a result, the political and economic turmoil of recent current events will likely become even more amplified over the course of the forthcoming lunar cycle, with popular unrest in reaction stoked into even greater magnitude.

While the activation of Leo within the dynamic is not enough to solve issue of food shortages and economic collapse occurring in some regions of the world, it will be capable of facilitating significant growth and dynamic movement for many. As the missing fire element within the cross of fixed signs, Leo supplies the inspirational spirit necessary to fuel movements of political resistance so they may endure across times that feel bleak with little hope. The enormous activation of fixed signs also means that the changes occurring now are for the long haul and will have longterm ramifications. Although fixed signs are the most resistant to change, once they are set into motion they are able to conduct total overhauls of systems with focused thoroughness that brings things to completion in the end. Leo as the domicile of the Sun nurtures a sense of sovereign agency in taking the responsibility to creatively actualize and direct life in desired directions. There may be a need to strike a balance between enduring certain difficulties patiently while in other instances bringing mindfulness to rapidly changing dynamics that require quick, sharp responses.

by John Duncan

The Leo New Moon is resonant with the stage in Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey in which supernatural aid comes to the hero as they prepare to cross the first threshold from the known into the unknown. The key aspect of this phase is the willingness of the hero to accept the call of their own destiny and venture forth from the stability of the familiar into the volatility of the unfamiliar and uncertain outcomes. As the crossing of the threshold involves entrance into treacherous terrains where the hero may encounter fearsome foes, the hero’s decision to accept the trials that will occur by claiming their destiny invites the appearance of a mentor or magical helper of some form who usually delivers a talisman or magical gift that will become a crucial key to their journey ahead. The trine aspect between the Leo New Moon with Jupiter in Aries resonates with not only the willingness to fully accept the responsibilities of one’s destiny but also reception of beneficial aid in following the call wherever it leads.

The flowing trine between the Leo New Moon with Jupiter in Aries is extremely powerful not only because Jupiter is in the exaltation of the Sun, but also because Jupiter is stationing retrograde. When planets station they saturate the astrological landscape with their influence, as their divine presence takes on an amplified impact in daily events. Jupiter has a life-giving numinous presence, an archetypal force which nourishes growth, coheres, affirms, and inspires generous actions and leadership capacities. Jupiter also can facilitate reverence for the divine and communing with the sacred, as well as opportunities for material growth. Jupiter stationing retrograde at 8º43′ means that the star of Zeus has travelled as far into Aries as it will in its present synodic cycle, and so the trine between the lunation with Jupiter is an opportune time for reflecting upon gains in material as well as spiritual growth since Jupiter formed a conjunction with the Sun in Pisces on March 5, distilling whatever wisdom can be gained from events that have transpired over the past five months.

Le Désir, Remedios Varo

The inspirational force held within the trine from the Leo New Moon to Jupiter will be especially helpful for finding creatively productive ways to work with the most impactful configuration within the lunation: the triple conjunction forming between Mars, Uranus, and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus. There are multivalent meanings involved in their alignment, including an intensified acceleration within current events of the numerous economic crises, food shortages, and political conflicts already under development. Yet while it is easy to see how the combination of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node can be disruptive in chaotically challenging ways in world events, its worth remembering how extremely powerful their union can be in our personal lives. Their shattering impact liberates within the disruption, like the chaos at the origin of all creation stories. Their union happening within the sign of Taurus points to the longterm impact of the changes brought by their combination, breaking us free from past patterns we have been overly attached to identifying with into a more authentic presence. The strife that comes in their wake, though difficult, may also simultaneously put us into palpable touch with our own essentiality in need of emergence.

As the triple conjunction of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node is occurring within the exaltation of the Moon, and the signs of Leo and Taurus also share sympathy due to being antiscia to one another, there is extremely creative resonance between the catalyzing impact of the square aspect occurring between the Leo New Moon with the triple Taurus conjunction. When Uranus entered Taurus in 2018, I wrote an article linking the meaning of Uranus being in the exaltation of the Moon to the work of Peter Kingsley, a scholar of ancient philosophers such as Parmenides and Empedocles, and his emphasis on incubating within your own inner sensations. Kingsley described inner sensations as “sacred ground” akin to the sacredness of the underworld to the ancient Greeks, yet in this case sacred ground you bear everywhere. Kingsley described the practice of lying down with full immersion within inner sensation a “practice of abandonment, the practice of giving up . . . when nothing else worked.”  Kingsley described how ancient people would seek a shrine to lie down within and be as close to death as possible when doctors were not able to diagnose a cure, and how through this process a healing remedy would emerge through submergence within inner senses.

To Kingsley the ancient Greeks had a fundamental need for the wisdom and understanding that comes through the incubation of inner sensation, stating “there was fundamentally no difference between a body that is sick, a mind that needs understanding, and a city that needs new laws.” Kingsley described that just as personal imbalances could be remedied through incubation, so could new systems of laws be brought to civilization by those who had entered and come back from “another state of consciousness by practicing incubation.”  Through incubation we become  “drawn into the underworld, into the depth . . . into that mysterious access point which is available in the underworld that gives you access to every level of existence.” With Mars and the North Node of the Moon amplifying the impact of Uranus in Taurus, it may be necessary to traverse dark nights of soul which force us to let go of old attachments. Yet as Kingsley described, the alchemy of incubation reveals the midnight Sun and that “the real light is found at the heart of darkness” and realization that “the source of light is inside.”

It’s worth noting how rare this exact alignment of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node is, as it has not happened in many centuries. The last time that all three came into somewhat of a hard aspect was not a conjunction, but rather an opposition: in November 1915 there was a wide opposition between Mars with Uranus, with Mars in Leo on the side of the south node of the Moon and Uranus conjoining the North Node in Aquarius. The last time there was somewhat of a close alignment between all three was December 23, 1458 with Mars at the beginning of Virgo and Uranus conjoining the North Node at the end of Leo; yet in this case Mars had moved on to a different sign when Uranus conjoined the North Node.

Fortunately, Venus in Cancer is in a harmoniously collaborative sextile aspect the Mars Uranus North Node union and is further more the planet responsible for its care. Mars will form a conjunction with Uranus on August 1 followed by Venus forming a sextile with Uranus on August 2, a few days after the lunation. With all three entities in the earthy home of Venus, and Venus occupying the watery exaltation of Jupiter and home of the Moon, there is increased potential for finding creative ways of working with the alignment. The presence of Venus in Cancer can help in making space for nurturance within relationship or within private places of solitude, creating the time needed to work through whatever disruptive issues emerge. It can be an extremely productive period of time for any work of creativity as a result of the synergy between Venus with the triple alignment of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node of the Moon.

TEJIDO ESPACIO-TIEMPO by Remedios Varo

Meanwhile Mercury is in position to receive a sense of nonlinear time within whatever linear processes become set off by the friction of the fixed cross of planets, gaining a sense for how the events of the upcoming time period have larger implications that will stretch out across the years ahead. Mercury is emerging into visibility as an evening star during the Leo New Moon, bringing the divine presence of the star of Hermes strongly into our lives. Moreover, Mercury is setting off the dynamics of the fixed cross, forming a square aspect with the Mars, Uranus, and the lunar nodes, as well as an opposition with Saturn. As a result, Mercury can help in deeply attuning to the volatile dynamic forming with the fixed cross as it forms a square aspect with Uranus on July 28 and then moves through an opposition with Saturn it will complete on July 30.

Within the forthcoming lunar cycle after Mercury moves through its opposition with Saturn, the Sun in Leo will move into a square with Uranus on August 11 followed by an opposition with Saturn on August 14. The upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius on August 11 will deeply trigger the dynamics by forming a close conjunction with Saturn while also forming a square aspect with Uranus, Mars, and the lunar nodes. During a year of especially volatile eclipses that ignite the fracturing friction of Saturn facing off with Uranus, the present lunar cycle places us at the midpoint between the eclipse seasons, as well as deeply sets off the longstanding tension between Saturn and Uranus that has dominated the astrological landscape since the beginning of 2021. As s result it will be even more important than normal to pay attention to the changes taking shape and the directions they may lead us within the lunar cycle to come. Thankfully, about a week before the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius, Mercury will enter Virgo on August 3 and become a fortunate point of focus for clarifying now to mediate and navigate through the changes occurring on both personal and societal levels.

5 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 1 Decan

The New Moon in Leo strides forward in the first face 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. T Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets wrote that it’s worth remembering that the “Strife” associated with the Five of Wands “is just another way of saying ‘Striving.’ No matter how daunting the task, there is always a prize to be won. It may not be something we can polish and display on a shelf; it may not even be something we’d choose- but it might just be the making of our personal legend.”

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. The need to align one’s persona with one’s authentic nature in relation to the responsibility that will result fits well with Saturn and the Sun being the rulers of the first face of Leo.

Saturn ruling the first face of Leo suggests the necessity of putting time and concerted effort into constructing an effective vehicle to broadcast our work and connect with a receptive audience. As the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius on August 11 will be conjoining Saturn, we will do well by using Saturn’s gifts for slow and steady contemplation to consider whatever has been feeling inauthentic regarding the persona through which we have been engaging the world. The alignment of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node can force changes suddenly, but it may bring about the exact set of circumstances necessary to help shed the old aspects of your identity and ambition that need to be released in order to make space for more vital passions to emerge you may follow forward.

While the New Moon in Leo is in the first decan of Leo, it is also within the Egyptian bounds of Jupiter, meaning that Jupiter will be setting the terms of the lunation while forming a flowing trine with the lunation and stationing retrograde. Thus the potency of Jupiter stationing can help guide us in contemplating how to remake the mask we wear in public, drawing us into interior depths to discover inspiration attuned to our soul. Fittingly, 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 our old mask that can now 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 in August, letting our creative process align with the changes of nature taking shape within us and outside us.

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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.

Capricorn Full Moon

by Soga Nichokuan (17th Century)

Capricorn Full Moon

The Full Moon in Capricorn involves the polarity of Cancer and Capricorn, cardinal homes of the Moon and Saturn which utilize inward receptivity as part of their potent ability to initiate change and new growth. While Cancer is a watery place of fresh springs and tidal currents that nurtures life and amplifies emotional response, the cold stones and dark forests of Capricorn test resolve by bringing the adversity and suffering necessitated by mortality and time into focus. Cancer and Capricorn have ancient associations as being gateways of life, with Cancer linked to life and the descent of souls into incarnation, Capricorn connected to the ascent of souls following death to the realm of the ancestors. Porphyry in On the Caves of the Nymphs described Cancer as the northern gate “adapted to souls descending into generation,” and Capricorn as the southern gate that is “adapted to ascent” and “dissolves life . . . send[ing] it upward to the heat of a divine nature.” Capricorn holds the wisdom and guidance found in the ancestral realm as it’s also a place where the putrefaction and deep contemplation of Saturn finds its home. The knowing strength of our ancestors who survived extraordinary collective crises will be an important resource to draw from under the light of the Full Moon in Capricorn on July 13.

The silvery fullness of Selene will illuminate great depths of desires during the Capricorn Full Moon, spreading open what had been tightly concealed and bringing the influence of previously hidden undercurrents into awareness. The Capricorn Full Moon holds the tension of Mercury applying to a conjunction with the Sun in Cancer while the Moon applies toward a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, an especially volatile and chthonic dynamic that can involve both anxieties over the chaos of changing conditions as well as penetrating insight into the complexities of present circumstances. Political and economic crises have been erupting around the world as global structures continue to dissolve and mutate, making the impact of the Full Moon’s alignment with Pluto potent for letting go of the places within us that have been resistant to facing the ways we need to make personal changes adjusting to the immense systemic disintegration that has been intensifying. The incredible craftiness, cunning contemplativeness, and fertile imagination present within the sign of the Sea Goat can be a benefit in facing facts while coming up with inventive plans that open new possibilities for forward movement.

The Capricorn Full Moon is applying to both a conjunction with Pluto as well as a creative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces, evoking the imaginal depth of the Sea Goat who draws sustenance from the oceanic expanse underlying reality to churn vision of what to manifest from subconscious senses. With the plutonic Full Moon in the nocturnal domicile of Saturn, there’s a need for descent into the darkness of whatever processes of death and rebirth we are experiencing, patiently allowing for a gathering of resources in situations that do not demand immediate action. While external stressors may necessitate immediate responses and adjustments in some circumstances, on internal levels we will need to make the space and time to deepen into our personal underworld where we not only face our core issues but also come into contact with the internal source of power we may wield creatively in the world. Experiences of Pluto can coincide with experiences of powerlessness in the face of titanic forces, yet ultimately the role of Pluto is to guide us into greater embodiment of our power to creatively make change with the fortitude of inner resolve in support.

Our collective experience of having so many people around the world simultaneously facing a liminal and precarious threshold is reflected by the fact that we have gone through an extended sequence of full moons in aspect with Pluto during the past year. The Full Moon in Pisces on 20 September 2021 was sextile Pluto, the Full Moon in Aries on October 20 was square Pluto, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19 was trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Cancer on 18 January 2022 was opposite Pluto, the Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 was trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Libra on April 16 was square Pluto, and the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on May 16 was sextile Pluto. Pluto’s long journey through Capricorn that began in 2008 is coming to an end, as Pluto will enter Aquarius for the first time on 23 March 2023 where it will remain until backtracking into Capricorn on 11 June 2023, eventually moving into Aquarius for good by the end of 2024. Pluto’s time in Capricorn has been a major astrological factor in both the exposure of toxicity within collective structures as well as the dismantling of societal systems, and though Pluto’s journey through Capricorn has coincided with collective fear of being controlled by external forces it has also brought experiences reminding people of not only their power to reshape their life structures but the need to take responsibility in doing so.

In the United States of America the Capricorn Full Moon also aligns with the second exact Pluto return for the astrology chart most often associated with the USA, set for 4 July 1776 at 5:10 pm in Philadelphia, PA. The idea behind this chart is to set it for when the Declaration of Independence was signed, placing Pluto at 27°33′ Capricorn. Pluto returns to this degree and minute three times in 2022: the first time was on February 20, the second time was on July 11 only two days before the Capricorn Full Moon, and the third time will be on December 28. Whether you agree with using this exact time for the USA chart or not, there is strong logic behind the idea that Pluto has returned to the general area of where it was astrologically when the USA was born by declaring its independence from the British Empire. The experience of the USA’s Pluto return has brought innumerable toxicities from the nations’s past into current events, including systemic racism, military interventions, and mass shootings among many others. Most recently the role of the Supreme Court has taken center stage, with rulings that have deprived women of their equal rights to make private choices concerning their bodies, dissolved boundaries separating church and state, and limited the power of environmental protection agencies to monitor pollution, among others. The Capricorn Full Moon will bring greater illumination to the plutonic process underway within the USA, with the opposition between Mercury and Pluto likely bringing further information and insight into light. The dark night of the soul being traversed by the USA brings the possibility of regeneration ultimately occurring from so many critical issues being dredged to the surface, yet the astrology of 2022 reveals that the internal conflicts will continue to intensify during the rest of the year.

by Joseph Mallord William Turner

The hazy influence of Neptune hangs over the Capricorn Full Moon, with the Capricorn Moon applying to a sextile with Neptune and Venus in Gemini applying to a disorienting square aspect with Neptune. The tension between Venus and Neptune can manifest in many ways, such as experiencing a beneficial and inspiring lift from idealism to becoming ungrounded by dogmatic attachment to overly idealistic beliefs. Experiences of disillusionment with the state of the world or personal dynamics may occur, yet with Venus also separating from a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius the cunning connectivity of Venus in Gemini can help in reorienting to whatever deeper truths or insights we receive, as well as in reaching out to networks of needed support. Venus in Gemini can facilitate questioning our circumstances and digging under the surface of dynamics to make meaningful connections that can help in devising plans going forward. Yet we must also keep in mind how the idealistic influence of Neptune could make us prone to see things how we wish they were rather than the actual reality. By staying grounded we can utilize the imaginal potency of Neptune in receiving meaningful insights that open new possibilities of perception regarding our circumstances.

Mercury in Cancer is also making extremely important aspects during the Capricorn Full Moon, as Mercury is applying closely toward a creative sextile with Uranus as well as toward a trine with Neptune and an opposition with Pluto that Mercury will complete in the days following the lunation. Vitally, Mercury is hidden under the beams of the Sun during the lunation and speeding into a conjunction with the Sun that Mercury will complete on July 16. The superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun on July 16 can bring clarity regarding the various dynamics we have been experiencing personally and collectively, with the trine Mercury will form with Neptune opening imaginal inspiration and the opposition Mercury will form with Pluto opening penetrating insight into underlying undercurrents. At the time of the Capricorn Full Moon, however, Mercury’s close sextile aspect with Uranus can help in unearthing innovative insights as well as making connections in meaning that can help shake up where we have felt stagnant and bring a spark of liberating momentum.

Mercury will remain under the beams of the Sun until emerging again into visibility toward the end of July in Leo, making the waning half of the present lunar cycle a time in which exploration of hidden realms may be more productive than making the meaning being explored visible. Around the same time Mercury becomes visible as an evening star at the end of July, Mars in Taurus will be forming an incredibly disruptive and disorienting conjunction with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon that can also be extremely creative and open completely new paths of exploration forward. Mars in Taurus will get closer and closer to its impending conjunction with Uranus and the North Node each day during the waning half of the present lunar cycle, with Mars moving within three degrees of its conjunction during the upcoming New Moon in Leo on July 28. While the activation of Uranus and the North Node of the Moon by Mars promises to further intensify the shattering of systemic systems and amplify the political and economic turmoil already occurring, it also holds extraordinary potential on a personal level to activate a liberation from past dynamics in order to pursue a more authentically creative and passionate life.

4 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 3 Decan

The Capricorn Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Capricorn associated with the Four of Pentacles tarot card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of empire building and wielding influence from a seat of power, the Four of Pentacles signifies a cultivation of inner talents to make an impact in the material world that aligns with the third decan of Capricorn being ruled by the Sun and Mercury.  The crowned and enthroned figure is surrounded by the weight of matter with pentacles below and above, as a fourth pentacle cradled at heart level evokes a spinning wheel of fortune. The figure towers in the foreground, suggesting someone sovereign and able to manage structures to bring material prosperity and security within the wildly fluctuating changes in fortune that come and go within surrounding society.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Facesascribed the image of “The Throne” to the third face of Capricorn, a fitting image given that the Sun rules the decan.  Coppock wrote that this face of Capricorn involves administering from a throne to control the elements of the world needed to attain material gain and positions of greater power and responsibility.  Notably, Coppock cautioned that hubris can tempt those grasping for power in this face to overlook the weight of responsibility and the loneliness of isolation that accompany achieving ambitions.  Coppock warned that accumulations of material wealth, power, and responsibility “may end up crushing them,” the idealized palace turning into a restrictive prison as “only high places bring with them the danger of terrible falls.” Coppock concluded that although the third face of Capricorn draws us “close to high seats of power,” we need to remember that influential “positions always come with responsibility, and to sit in them is to be tempted by hubris.”

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy wrote that within the third decan of Capricorn “rises a woman chaste in body and wise in her work, and a banker gathering money on a table; this [image] is the significator for prudent government and for ambitious and greedy substances.” The duality between wise governing and excessive greed found within the third face of Capricorn, combined with the Full Moon conjoining Pluto, points to the necessity of examining the ways in which we are governing our lives in accordance with ambitions tied to the status symbols of society such as extreme wealth.

In a time of systemic collapse across global societies, with the old and familiar forms of hierarchical structures falling apart, new pathways and connections for vocational calling will be continuing to open and mutate. The Full Moon in Capricorn is ideal for centering within the deep purpose found within the limitless recesses of one’s inner soul, making contact with one’s core motivations removed from external symbols of success and status. As the image of “The Throne” suggests, it’s also a potent lunation for coming to terms with the full range of responsibilities we will need to claim and be accountable for in pursuit of goals and in co-creation of the kind of world we wish to live within.

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

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References

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

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

Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs (1917) English translation by Thomas Taylor.

Cancer New Moon

Study for ‘The spirit of the new moon’ 1888 by Arthur Loureiro

Cancer New Moon

The New Moon in Cancer on June 28 comes only a week after the seasonal turning point of the solstice, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere. Since the New Moon is in the watery, reflective and receptive sign of Cancer, the zodiacal sign where the Moon finds her home, our emotional needs, drives, hungers and desires will become palpably felt. With the New Moon forming an amplifying square aspect with Jupiter in Aries, feelings regarding one’s present circumstances can become magnified, with the fiery presence of Jupiter inducing yearning for satiation of unsatiated hungers, demonstrations on behalf of what we wish to nurture and cultivate within our relationships and community, conflict from the impact of ambitious plans on personal relationships, and courage in taking risks to leave the familiar for the inspiration found in the unknown. The Cancer New Moon harbors a renewal of vision for goals to pursue that will nurture an enlivening of purpose and meaning in the season ahead.

The Cancer Moon is also forming a conjunction with Black Moon Lilith, indicating that the Moon will be at the outskirts of its apogee or farthest point in its orbit. As the wide ranging motion of the Moon signifies the wide range of our perceptions and feelings, the Cancer New Moon being at the point farthest away from us in orbit will bring to the surface insights, symbols, and reflections that have been farthest from our conscious awareness. As Black Moon Lilith is an unconscious balancing point connecting our conscious awareness with what has been cast off or kept in the subconscious, it’s fitting that it is named for a mythological figure who has taken a multiplicity of forms across different cultures but has consistent associations with the wild feminine and being cast off from civilization into the outskirts of the wilderness. As Lilith is also a figure who has been demonized and exiled, the New Moon conjoining Black Moon Lilith can also put us into deeper contact with parts of our inner multiplicity that carry the burden of feeling judged or being ostracized. The tension of the square aspect between the New Moon and Black Moon Lilith in Cancer with Jupiter in Aries can catalyze inner conflicts that create opportunities for bringing parts of our personality out of exile and more fully into the scope of our personality.

In current events, the numerous economic and political crises erupting around the world involving mass populations facing hunger and lack of foundational resources have continued to inspire mass protests. There has recently been a wave of protests and workers’ strikes around the world due to inflation and political turmoil, with the build up of tensions erupting into mass demonstrations such as in Sri Lanka where the longstanding economic crisis has more recently shifted into complete economic collapse. The synergy between the Moon and Jupiter that can inspire mass movements was intrinsic to the Cancer Solstice chart which signifies mundane astrological themes for the season ahead, as there was an applying conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter in Aries when the Sun reached zero degrees of Cancer demarcating the solstice. Furthermore, the forthcoming Leo New Moon on July 28 will form a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aries, with Jupiter’s presence intensified due to stationing simultaneously. As a result, we can expect the numerous conflicts exacerbating food and resource shortages, a well as other societal conflicts, such as the recent reinterpretation of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution by the Supreme Court in the United States to take away a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, to continue to mobilize widespread action in the season ahead.

There are numerous planets occupying air and fire signs, diurnal zodiacal signs that support active direct action in the world, as the Sun and Moon form their conjunction in Cancer. As a result, there is astrological support for taking action to create change and make significant movement regarding whatever ways personal storylines have been reshaping due to shifts emerging from within and due to a need to adjust to the impact of disruptive external events from around the world. Fortunately, within the emphasis of planets in air and fire signs (Mercury and Venus in Gemini, Mars and Jupiter in Aries, Saturn in Aquarius), Venus in Gemini is applying toward a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aries during the lunation. The creative collaboration present within the sextile between Venus and Jupiter can show up through the formation of alliances of support as well as in creative collaborations, and suggests there are opportunities available to find greater support to help with whatever difficulties one is presently experiencing.

Providing an underlying lift of inspirational support drawn from Spirit for mass movements and individual motion is Neptune, as Neptune will be stationing retrograde during the Cancer New Moon at 25°27’ Pisces. Neptune stationing places it in a phasis condition of saturating the astrological landscape with its numinous significations, with the divine archetypal presence of Neptune becoming more present in our daily lives. Neptune in Pisces unleashes a tidal wave that can disintegrate the structures that have been defining identities, dissolving patterns and boundaries as part of a radical reshaping process. Neptune stationing retrograde is an opportune time to reflect upon however Neptune has been washing away the familiar and contemplating the messages we have been receiving from intuition, imaginal realms, and spiritual exploration. Any disillusionment being experienced will be important to pay attention to and remain curious about however it may be bringing reorientation to deeper truths.

From June 28 until December 3, Neptune retrograde in Pisces will slowly recede from 25°27’ to 22°38’ Pisces, bringing a second opportunity to experience its impact in this degree range. Allow the stationing of Neptune to release the illusions of the past that need to be carried out to sea, while opening you to waves of inspiration that can help carry you further than you would otherwise imagine. The stationing of Neptune during the Cancer New Moon makes the forthcoming lunar cycle ideal for taking action on whatever dreams and inspired revelations have been developing.

Seated Giant (1818) by Francisco Goya

Dredging up volcanic volatility underneath the flowing waters of the Cancer New Moon is a tumultuous square aspect between Mars in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn that will become exact on July 1. Moreover, Mars is moving in between Saturn and Pluto, separating from a productive sextile aspect with Saturn retrograde in Aquarius and applying toward a turbulent square aspect with Pluto that may correlate with significant developments in the reordering of personal and global structures. In the United States, the stormy square between Mars and Pluto will be especially potent as the USA approaches its second exact Pluto return on July 10 (meaning Pluto will be returning to the same degree and minute of Capricorn where it was on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed). In current events we will likely witness an intensifying of conflicts, while in personal events the intensity may be felt in the deepest recesses of psyche. Mars clashing with Pluto can feel relentless and ferocious, supplying a fuel of fierceness to relentlessly pursue goals in the face of opposition and contention. While we may feel a tenacious resiliency in pursuit of objectives, we also need to temper expectations so we are not consumed by anger if results fall short of our ideals. The tension between Mars and Pluto may feel like being dragged down into the fires of the underworld, yet the intense heat of associated challenges can reforge our will force and put us in touch with new found sources of strength from within.

In the midst of the titanic tension brewing between Mars and Pluto, Mercury in Gemini will be playing an intermediary role as it applies to a trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and a square aspect with Neptune it will complete on July 2. Mercury will then separate from Saturn and Neptune and fly swiftly through the rest of its airy home of Gemini while applying to a sextile with Mars that it will not complete until Mars enters Taurus and Mercury enters Cancer on July 4. Mercury is moving fast as a visible Morning Star in its airy home, and so while in an optimal solar phase and sign position possesses the full skillset of Hermes for listening, questioning, communicating, mediating conflicts and paradoxes, as well as brokering deals. With Mercury simultaneously in a flowing aspect with Saturn and a tense aspect with Neptune, the Star of Hermes can help sift through the fog of Neptune relative to dreams and ideals to separate out the illusory aspects from that which can be effectively brought into reality, as well as how to effectively organize and structure plans to be grounded while retaining the inspirational influence of Neptune.

The dual entrance of Mars into Taurus and Mercury into Cancer on July 4 is important not only due to them finally completing their sextile aspect, but also due to Mars and Mercury leaving their diurnal domiciles where they directly express themselves with great speed and outwardly directed action into earthy and watery nocturnal signs where they will take a slower pace with greater emphasis on being reflective. Mars entering Taurus is additionally significant because it begins an immense build up of extreme tension that will culminate at the end of the month when Mars in Taurus will form a conjunction with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon in Taurus. The combined presence of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node will likely correspond with another wave of increased volatility regarding the present economic and political crises already taking shape, as well as opportunities for incredible innovation and breaking new ground in development. While the influence of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node will be more acutely felt during the forthcoming Leo New Moon on July 28, the entrance of Mars into Taurus on July 4 with Mercury forming a harmonious aspect will deliver early warning signs and messages regarding the shape of what is to come.

2 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Cancer 1 Decan

The New Moon is in the first decan of Cancer associated with the Two of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we find two lovers coming together in passion and longing, with a caduceus of intertwining snakes and a winged lion arising in the space between their merging desire. Fittingly for the erotic reciprocity found in the symbolism of this image, the first face of Cancer is ruled by Venus and the Moon. Yet Venus is not only about the romanticism of Eros and Psyche, nor the Moon only about the enclosure of their fertile love in the palace of Eros. The Cancer New Moon can thus connect us with the Eros of care, love, and fellowship that weaves community together when focused upon a common purpose that brings practical help and resources to those in need. It can also reveal those in our relational field who we can form mutually supportive dynamics with. As we are entering an extended period of collective volatility, we will need to be actively co-creating community that can flexibly mutate in accordance with the changing societal dynamics.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Mother and Child” to the first face of Cancer, as he wrote that the face holds the hungers of our emotions and biology, the womb that gives birth to us and all of our resulting needs. Yet the nurturance and sustenance present in this face for both biological children and what we birth from our creativity must also be placed within the waxing and waning nature of the Moon and the fact that hunger and loss can lead to “the chain of mothers and children becom[ing] an endless cycle of beasts devouring and being devoured in return.” Coppock further connected the themes of mother and child to the pursuit of romantic love found in the Two of Cups since “it is the perfect support, half-remembered from the womb, that gives rise to the human dream of similarly nursing bonds between committed partners.” Coppock wrote that idealized unions can be realized in the first decan of Cancer, and that the “face’s magical virtue is to establish mutually nurturing relationships.” Coppock declared there is an alchemy of love and need blended together in the first face of Cancer, with the energy circulating between the two participants “as if the two reside in each other’s wombs, simultaneously devouring and being devoured, yet neither is depleted.” The ideal entwining of vessels found in the first face of Cancer can be found within all manner of collaborative relationships and is not limited to the realm of romantic love.

In contrast, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Nike, the goddess of victory, to the first face of Cancer. A daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx, Nike allied herself with Zeus in the war against the Titans, a mythic war resonant with the astrology of the past few years that has involved a massive reordering of society due to a global pandemic and numerous conflicts and power plays for control that have resulted in reaction. Nike served as the divine charioteer of Zeus in battle, while also rewarding victors of competition with the glory of wreathed laurel. In 36 Faces Austin Coppock connected the presence of Nike in the first face of Cancer with the ancient symbolic link between chariots and the body as the vehicle of the soul, symbolism also resonant with the connection in tarot between the VII Chariot arcanum and the zodiacal sign of Cancer.

In connection with Coppock’s symbol of “A Mother and Child” for the first face of Cancer, it’s worth contemplating the significance of Nike being the daughter of the underworld river goddess Styx. Residing in the heart of the underworld, Styx allied herself with the Olympians in their revolution against the Titans, eventually becoming the source of the water by which gods swore oaths, ensuring that the Olympians who replaced the Titans would keep their oaths. Nike and the other children of Styx helped enforce order even amongst the gods, with Nike’s emphasis on victory not only limited to the climatic moment of the victor but also the devoted care and commitment necessary to ensure that what has been gained in victory will not be lost due to carelessness or forgetting what one has sworn to do.

Within the darkness of the Cancer New Moon, give yourself the space to feel all the limitless, nonlinear emotions and messages emanating from the Sun and Moon coming together and fertilizing the lunar fields of Cancer. Though emotional processes unfolding within the darkness of the lunation may feel messy, the harmonious sextile aspect between Venus and Jupiter can correspond with finding support through relationships of mutual care for the new directions emerging to follow. With Venus and Jupiter in the active signs of Gemini and Aries, it’s also an opportune time for helping to organize networks of support within community to care for those in need and helping to mobilize effort on behalf of the changes you wish to materialize in society. The astrology for the rest of 2022 will bring increasing waves of disruptive change across global societies, yet within the chaos will be found great sources of creativity to engage with.

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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!

References

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

Gemini New Moon

Knitting in the Library (ca. 1881) by Mary Cassatt

Gemini New Moon

Gemini is ever curious, changing, quick to respond and capable of transfiguring forms as swift as a change in wind currents. The Sun and Moon uniting in Gemini is an invitation to question, probe, and tease beyond the obvious into the multiplicity of messages circulating underneath the surface of relations. Gemini holds the archetypal image of the twins, one mortal and one immortal, one bound to the necessity of incarnation, one kindled with the soulful spirit of eros. There is a dynamically restless side to Gemini forever searching for deeper meaning and connections, forever curious in its questioning of all things interconnected within our reality and the multiplicity of selves and identities circulating within its human body. Within the mysterious darkness of the Gemini New Moon, new connections within our many inner parts are ready to be forged with a bridging that opens a brightening sense of new possibility.

The New Moon in Gemini on May 30 holds a burning, passionate force within its darkness that will initiate a period of amplified activity and opportunities for taking action aligned with whatever major life changes have coincided with the recent season of eclipses. The Gemini New Moon is the first non-eclipsed lunation since the Full Moon in Libra on April 16, and so will activate a coalescing into more solid form whatever has been dissolving and undergoing metamorphosis during the recent months of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Pisces on April 12, the Taurus Solar Eclipse on April 30, and the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse on May 15. Yet there is simultaneously a theme of stillness, intensified contemplation and discernment as Mercury is in process of slowing down to station direct.

The Gemini New Moon is in the airy domicile of Mercury slowing down in retrograde movement, placing Mercury in position to facilitate mindfulness regarding whatever process of change, loss, and new growth we are experiencing. The divine presence of Mercury saturates the lunation, as Mercury will be experiencing its heliacal rise into visibility as a Morning Star as well as stationing direct on June 3. The fixed, earthy essence of Taurus will be slowing down the tempo of Mercury on top of the fact that Mercury is literally slowing down in order to station in stillness. Thus the intensified nature of Mercury within its current solar phase can help with slowing down the pace of mental pursuits in order to focalize upon practical and tangible concerns, realizing what needs to be reorganized, restructured, rearranged or reordered due to the changing nature of circumstances.

With Venus also present with Mercury within its earthy domicile of Taurus, the arsenal of fertile material resources found within Taurus will be more readily available for the star of Hermes to utilize creatively. However, it’s unlikely to be a time of pure pleasure but rather one demanding discipline, endurance, patience, and artful analysis as Mercury will be stationing direct on June 3 at 26°05’ Taurus while forming a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius and in range of an imaginative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces. Moreover, Saturn will also be stationing retrograde at 25°15’ Aquarius on June 4, bringing an intensified presence of the divine nature of Saturn into taut tension with the divine nature of Mercury. With Saturn bringing its penetrating gaze to bear upon whatever work and plans that Mercury has been developing over the course of his recent retrograde phase, there will be a need to be decisive combined with flexibly adapting to whatever challenges emerge to test resolve. Yet it’s not a time for retreating back to the comfortability of one’s previous status quo, but rather to be receptive to unknown potentials and the way old identities and patterns are ready to wash away as a renewed presence emerges to integrate.

Panel with Horse Heads (11th Century)

The initiation of a new lunar cycle is also coinciding with the initiation of a new cycle between Mars and Jupiter, as Mars formed an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Aries on May 29 one day before the lunation. The conjunction between Mars and Jupiter in Aries will supply an upsurge of passionate, inspirational force that can catalyze brave beginnings and bold actions. With Mercury and Saturn simultaneously stationing while holding the tension of a square aspect, it will be important to be mindful of how we communicate, listen, and respond within relationship especially in situations where there is great uncertainty and fear due to the dissolution of what had previously brought stability and security. While there is potential for an increase of conflict within relationships, it’s important to remember how conflict is often necessary within the process of creation. Within the vast relational field between the personal and collective, the immense uncertainty we feel due to standing at a personal crossroads will be mirroring the vaster collective uncertainty stemming from a process of global structures and systems experiencing a great mutation that will continue to necessitate cultivating a flexible, adaptable presence in response.

Matching well with the powerful creative drive supplied by the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Aries is the fact that the Gemini New Moon is close to the projected zodiacal degree of the fixed star Aldebaran. Aldebaran is the bright rosy eye of the Bull whose reddish hue connects it with the planet Mars, as Aldebaran kindles the vitality needed to achieve the ambitious desires stoked by Mars. It’s therefore notable that the Gemini New Moon is in a whole sign sextile aspect with Jupiter and Mars in Aries, as the proximity of the lunation with Aldebaran will amplify the capacity to envision the world and forms we wish to create, develop, and build. While the stationing of Saturn in square aspect with Mercury will demand realistic planning and persevering determination, there is also a quality within the lunation that can facilitate expanding the scope of what can be realistically achieved beyond the constraints of previous conditioning.

In addition to Mars and Jupiter in Aries kindling a potent fire underneath the Gemini New Moon, Venus in Taurus will be approaching a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus on June 11 that can correlate with a break from past relationship dynamics or an acceleration of exciting new developments that have been forming over recent months. Since Mercury will still be in the domicile of Venus and beginning to pick up speed during this time, the union of Venus with Uranus will accelerate developments with dynamic power that may feel volatile while also full of emancipatory propulsion. At the same time, as Mercury in Taurus slowly picks up speed it will pass through a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on June 10 that will allow for a deeper integration of desire and felt sense of how to bring our true desires into reality. As a result, over the course of the forthcoming lunar cycle we can expect that as Mercury begins to separate away from its tension with Saturn, we will experience an unleashing of immense currents of change that can facilitate breaking free from old restraints into a more fully authentic, enlivened presence.

8 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

The New Moon in Gemini will arise in the first decan of Gemini associated with the 8 of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is apt for the fears and grief that have been overwhelming to many during the past years of a pandemic mixed with immense political turmoil and warfare, with old sources of security dissolving. The image of the bound woman has been interpreted as the paralysis that comes from fears running rampant within or triggered in present circumstances.  While some interpretations suggest that the same mental swords enveloping the figure could also be used to cut away the fabric of bondage, it is also important to note the moist and muddy fertility of the ground she is standing on. As Jupiter rules the first face of Gemini, the image also reveals how fear can arise in times when a huge new potential becomes available to step into.  As much as it is possible to release fears related to what has happened in the past that are being projected into the present moment, the more gracefully we will be able to flow into the tremendous change that will emerge from the recent season of eclipses.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Apple of Eden” to the first face of Gemini, linking Eve’s bite into the apple with emerging awareness of “the duality within all things” including the yin and yang of the self. Coppock described that the discovery of the binary and “the multiplicity within all unities, the complexity in apparent simplicities” unlocks “the capacity to code all things” and display clever skills in all of the arts and sciences. Yet in keeping with the image of the Eight of Swords card, Coppock also declared that this opening to abundant flow also “de-centers and sometimes paralyzes its inhabitants.” Coppock noted that the mental acuity of this decan not only generates all arts and crafts, it also directs its prodigious curiosity to explore the multitudinous found within, both the light and the shadow of the deep Self.

In contrast to the tightly bound woman in the Eight of Swords image, ancient texts ascribed a graceful woman of flowing mind and deft dexterity inhabiting the first decan of Gemini.  Ibn Ezra pictured “A beautiful woman standing in the air, and she can sew,” while in the Picatrix we find “A beautiful woman, a mistress of stitching, and with her ascend two calves and two horses.” Indeed, the Picatrix declares it to be “a face of the art of the scribe, of reckoning, of number, of giving and receiving, and of the sciences.” In keeping with the double-bodied nature of the sign of the Twins, we can imagine how the image of a woman gracefully prodigious in arts and crafts is another side of the first face of Gemini to remember in contrast to the Eight of Swords image.

Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Tethus, also known as Tethys,  to the first face of Gemini. Since Tethys is the Titan goddess of fresh water which interconnects and nourishes our earth, we can note her appearance in the Eight of Swords image as the water at the foundation of the figure. Tethys was also the wife of Okeanos, the primal sea divinity of the oceanic field surrounding the world where the Sun rises from at dawn and returns to at sunset, and the mother of river, cloud, spring, stream, and fountain spirits. Daughter of Gaia, Tethys fed her children through the subterranean waters of Okeanos as her name is derived from the Greek word têthê meaning “nurse” or “grandmother.” Moreover, she was often depicted in art with a pair of wings on her brow signifying her role as mother of rain clouds that fertilize the earth, revealing her role of supreme creatrix.

In Hesiod’s Theogony Okeanos and Tethys did not take part in the war between the Titans and Olympians, instead continuing to focus on their immense procreative capacity for generating new life together.  The extraordinary power Oceanus and Tethys produce together for creative generation and setting new life into motion resonates with the fertile quality of the New Moon in Gemini. Let yourself open to the world you may create with your life as the way the wider world has been continues to disintegrate and morph into new pathways of possibility.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

Tethys, Greek Titan Goddess of Fresh Water. https://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanisTethys.html

Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio

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

Scorpio Lunar Eclipse

“Fate, up against your will . . . “

from “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tapestry by Leonora Carrington

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

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

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

The Pomps of the Subsoil by Leonora Carrington

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

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

7 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 3 Decan

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

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

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

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

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

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

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

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini & Taurus

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

Mercury Retrograde in Gemini

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

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

Emily Dickinson

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

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

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

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

Mercury (ca. 1538) by Andrea Schiavone

In Between

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pleiades (1885) by Elihu Vedder

Son of the Seven Sisters

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

“Dawn” by Emily Dickinson

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

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

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

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

Mercury Stationing in Taurus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silver ring with Hermes (late 5th Century BC)

Gemini Returning

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

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

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

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

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

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

Taurus Solar Eclipse

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

Taurus Solar Eclipse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Night Herons” by Judith Wright

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

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

The Spinner (1873) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau  

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

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

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

6 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 2 Decan

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

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

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

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

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

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

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

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

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

Libra Full Moon

Cygne Crépusculaire (Twilight Swan) by Joseph Cornell

Libra Full Moon

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

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

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

The Annunciation (1887) by George Hitchcock

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 3 Decan

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

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

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

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

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

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

Pisces New Moon

The Window (1924) by Marc Chagall

Pisces New Moon

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

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

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

Zeus holding Hekate (190 – 180 BC)

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

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

Ring depicting Eros (3rd Century)

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 2 Decan

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron – in addition to the normal benefits patrons receive, I have a new Oak Branch tier featuring an astrological learning group that will be meeting monthly and exploring various astrological topics and techniques on an ongoing basis.

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References

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

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

Leo Full Moon

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

Leo Full Moon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pan and Nymphs by Ignaz Elhafen

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

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

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

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

EXPLORACIÓN DE LAS FUENTES DEL RÍO ORINOCO by Remedios Varo

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

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

7 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 3 Decan

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

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

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

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

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References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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