Taurus Full Moon 2016

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A Lake by Moonlight by Joseph Wright

Full Moon in Taurus

In Taurus we discover our capacity to surround ourselves with a sense of beauty, comfort, and stability.  When lacking material resources or in fear of threats to our survival, we have a choice to succumb to fearful paralysis or instead draw from our fathomless inner reserves in order to nourish ourselves and ground into the roots of our present.  Taurus is the inner home of Venus, the exaltation of the Moon, and a living image of our zodiac containing the essential value within we can foster and then share with others through acts of love, creation of arts and sciences, and collaborative efforts that increase the welfare of our surrounding community.  The Full Moon in Taurus on November 14 is ruled by Venus in Capricorn, bringing additional meaning of taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions, being accountable to embody and live from our inner integrity.  The past year has brought a steady stream of shattering world events that have caused many to fear impending doom.  The full light of the Moon in Taurus is a moment to illuminate the current opportunities available to bring greater solidity and stability into your daily life, as well as to liberate your will force in service of the greater good for all.

Writing in the United States of America, it is impossible within the current vicious, divisive political atmosphere to ignore the fact that many are currently panicked about the future few years of this country, just as innumerable other people around our planet whose nation is in even more dire circumstances have reasons to fear for their future.  The Taurus Full Moon connects into some longer term planetary cycles I will discuss that reveal the importance of fully embodying and living from our inner values in order to contribute to the collective shifts coming in the years ahead.  However, as Taurus is a fixed sign, it is likewise vital to deeply question the current state of your values and whether or not the perspective you have been fixated upon is truly for your own best interest as well as the greater good of all.  The need of Taurus to feel secure leads to obstinate attachment to the way things have been, yet the light of this Full Moon in Taurus arrives in a period of collective dissolution calling for radical change.  No matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, we possess imagination to envision a more fulfilling tomorrow, creativity to transfigure elements of our struggle into cathartic work of quality, humor and compassion to find solace with others.

The Scorpio Sun is conjoining both the mean and true nodes of Black Moon Lilith at the Full Moon.  There is a vast collective shadow perceptible further exacerbated by Neptune being tightly bound with the transiting South Node of the Moon.  Abuse and degradation of women, oppression and persecution of anyone labeled an “other” outside of societal “norms,” greed and avarice in the material realm at expense of safeguarding surrounding nature, all of this and much more has been flooding collective events.  The resolution found through Black Moon Lilith is in embracing and accepting ourselves four our own authentic nature in spite of societal judgment or cultural conditioning.  Black Moon Lilith bound to the Taurus Full Moon can coalesce understanding into how to reclaim and assert ourselves in the face of oppressive cultural forces, creating a life that enables us to discover our inner happiness, desires, and spirituality.

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photograph by Beau Vandendolder (2016)

Venus in Capricorn rules the Full Moon, on her way toward a union with Pluto as the Moon wanes into darkness in the forthcoming cycle.  Last month we experienced a conjunction between Mars and Pluto that awakened new desires we can now feel more sensually alive within, as the full feeling nature of Venus is more tactile, earthy, and deeply felt in the body in Capricorn.  In romantic relationships the waning half of the lunar cycle supports erotic depth and cathartic release, while in mundane and work related relationships we can feel more ambitious drive and the need to responsibly implement plans of action.  While passions can become enflamed as Venus and Pluto approach each other, their placement in Capricorn stresses the importance of honestly asserting one’s needs without fear of judgment or rejection.  This  will be the balsamic close of the cycle between Venus and Pluto that began in early February 2016, and so there will also be a sense of wrapping up deep relational issues from the past year while opening to regenerated depth in the coming cycle.

Within the context of the collective disillusionment of Neptune tightly conjoining the South Node of the Moon in Pisces, the coming together of Venus with Pluto is an opportunity to be completely accountable to bring your sense of harmony and unity into manifestation in the face of external disharmony.  Realms of art, writing, and social activism will be fertile arenas to pour and shape energy into creative forces that will not submit to oppressive systems of power and instead subvert and inspire active change.   The self-determination of Capricorn is healthier and capable of creating greater stability when coming from a place of inner emotional security, rather than wielding power or control as compensation for emotional issues.  As Venus approaches Pluto, each of us needs to dive into and face our own shadow without denial, rather than only projecting rage at the shadow of collective events that trouble us.

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photograph by Beau Vandendolder (2016, all rights reserved)

In addition to Venus being at the beginning of a new sign at the Full Moon, Mars is freshly in Aquarius in sextile with Mercury also at the beginning of Sagittarius.    Mercury in Sagittarius has not quite come out from under the beams of the Sun at the Full Moon, but in the waning half of the coming lunar cycle will emerge with an important message for us to receive as it forms a sextile with Jupiter in Libra and a conjunction with Saturn in Sagittarius.   The current sextile between Mercury and Mars is highly visionary in quality, as Mars in Aquarius has a persevering drive to set future-oriented vision into motion while also having more objective clarity than Mars normally has.  Mercury in Sagittarius is fast and radiant in expression, and though its coming conjunction with Saturn will bring more of a sobering seriousness, it simultaneously being received by Jupiter through a sextile will make this a fertile period to not only receive a vision but take direct action in implementing it into reality.  There is also strong Mercurial vision available into our relationships with an eye toward what is developing on the distant horizon.  Jupiter in Libra is entering a period of becoming strongly activated by multiple surrounding transits, and so clarifying what we want in our relationships will make the direct expression of Mercury in Sagittarius able to transmit our needs and desires with immediate spirit.

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Into the Darkness by Judy Chicago

Jupiter + Pluto + Saturn

This Full Moon ushers us into a period of Jupiter in square to Pluto and Jupiter in sextile with Saturn.  Jupiter is being initiated by Pluto, as it hits the square with Pluto prior to forming its sextile with Saturn.  It is paramount to realize these are last quarter, or waning aspects between Jupiter with Pluto and Saturn that involve reorientation and turning away from past beliefs while undergoing a process of disillusionment and decomposition.   The current cycle between Jupiter and Pluto began in 2007, and we reached the opposition point of their cycle in 2013 and 2014.    While we could interpret the current square through the lens of visionary forces of justice with Jupiter confronting the manipulative, controlling, and judgmental forces of Pluto power structures, this is only one small side of a much vaster whole.  On personal levels we need to claim the responsibility to create the life we want to live instead of repress and restrict ourselves to fit into conditioned roles we feel enslaved to perform.  Often people are afraid to quit soul sucking jobs for good reason, such as needing to be responsible for loved ones, but we are also being called to strike a greater balance in terms of liberating our ability to go after what will bring us greater fulfillment and harmony.  We must confront our inner judgement that restricts us from opening to greater love and abundance in relationship, allowing old limitations of belief to evaporate.

In terms of the ripening last quarter sextile between Jupiter with Saturn, there is a fascinating aspect that the Full Moon happens to be at the degree of the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn that began their current cycle in May 2000.  As a result, the Full Moon appears to be illuminating important collective events which will be continuing to resolve until the end of 2020 when Jupiter and Saturn will begin a new cycle in Aquarius.    There is a window of vision into this 2020 threshold available now:  where do we want to be as individuals and a collective then, and what in turn do we need to be accountable to do in our lives now to make that happen.  There is mutual reception between Jupiter and Saturn since Jupiter is in the exaltation of Saturn, and Saturn is in the home of Jupiter.  This is not a time to be passive or hold back from going after what you want, but rather is a time for decisive action and movement that can be a step-by-step or nonlinear process.  The important element is making clear choices to align with supportive surrounding structures and relationships or to bolster one’s own inner resources, and to boldly begin moving in a new direction without becoming overly fearful of the old way dying.

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Ceres & Uranus in Aries

There has been a lot of speculation into the meaning of the newly discovered dwarf planet Eris being aligned with Uranus in Aries in the past year, and this duo welcomes a third in the flowering of the Full Moon:  Ceres retrograde in Aries.  You may remember that at the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere earlier this year, there was a conjunction between Ceres, Uranus and Eris:  now Ceres has moved back retrograde to join Uranus and Eris once again.  Ceres in Aries is a fierce protector and nurturer who does not want to foster co-dependency or enable people to keep themselves within helpless, needy relational patterns.  Ceres in Aries wants to foster relationships rooted in equality and interdependence, wants to embolden your courage to be yourself fully in the face of any cultural conditioning, and wants to nurture a sense of freedom and independence relationally while maintaining a supportive, attached presence.

The combination of Ceres with Uranus and Eris in Aries makes it easy to think of the myth of Ceres in which she becomes so enraged over the abduction of her daughter by the lord of the underworld that she refuses to produce growth, food, and the creative force of nature on our planet.   Ceres in Aries united with Uranus brings the lesson that anger and rage over traumatic experiences can ultimately be redirected and channeled into activism and productive work that will nurture and feed the souls of our surrounding community.  This is not an easy lesson, yet the willingness to grieve and lay our souls bare in a dark night of the soul ultimately brings profound spiritual revelations and understanding through the release of pain.  Ceres combined with Uranus now on a collective level brings echoes of past collective traumas into our personal experience of current collective traumas, yet there is also strength we can find in the knowledge that for ages upon ages others before us have faced even more difficult circumstances than we currently find ourselves within.

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7 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 3 Decan

The Full Moon falls in the third face of Taurus associated with the Seven of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  For what it’s worth I’ve always loved getting the 7 of Pentacles card in a reading, even though it signifies delayed gratification.  To me it’s a card that suggests a process is at work, a harvest full of delicate ripeness is on its way, which requires patience and nurturance but also involves a savory climax to come.  Applied to the full light of the Taurus lunation, the illumination we receive can be integrated into a long range perspective that will carefully tend to and nurture the needs of our endeavors and relationships so that they may ultimately bloom in healthy wholeness.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces brings up the shadow side of this meaning of the 7 of Pentacles, noting figures of “toil, destruction and poverty” reside in this face due to everything that can go wrong in between the germination of a seed and its ultimate flowering and fruiting.    Coppock noted that forces of destruction such as “floods, drought, and pestilence” will destroy what we have carefully planted, and that a lesson of this decan is that “sometimes catastrophe befalls us through no apparent fault of our own” (p. 81).    As Saturn is the ruler of this decan, it is fitting that the positive virtues of Saturn, such as “wisdom, patience, humility and foresight are the unexpected fruits of the destructive forces which prowl this face” (p. 81).  Coppock concludes that as this is a face which entails confronting catastrophe and disaster, it is also a place from which we can call for support from higher powers and worthy allies.

Saturn’s journey through Sagittarius has brought unexpected shifts and endings befitting the mutable nature of the Centaur, and the danger is that our inner fire can become stifled through Saturn’s attempts at control and exclusion in defense.  Mercury is now on its way toward a union with Saturn at the same time Jupiter forms its mutually receptive sextile, aspects that can open and expand the parameters of Saturn beyond previous limits.  As Saturn has now made it halfway through the sign of Sagittarius, we are at the cusp of Saturn breaking into new degrees of Sagittarius not previously traversed as it also approaches a trine with Uranus in Aries that will open the boundaries of Saturn wider.  This is a time to contain the visionary nature of Sagittarius within the protective boundaries of Saturn and face the coming challenges with the support of resonant alliances.  There is incredibly important work in need of doing in the world right now, and we would not all be here together in this moment for it to be any other way.  Saturn in Sagittarius is not looking to support complaints and grievances, but rather spirited vision bound to disciplined, resilient effort.

References

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

Full Moon Solstice

Joan Miro joy of a girl

Joy of a Girl in the Sun (1960) by Joan Miro

All colors come from the sun. And it does not have
Any particular color, for it contains them all.
And the whole Earth is like a poem
While the sun above represents the artist.

–Czeslaw Milosz

Which yet joined not scent to hue,
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind
In the deep east, dun and blind,
And the blue noon is over us,
And the multitudinous
Billows murmur at our feet,
Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal sun.

–Percy Bysshe Shelley

Awed by her brightness
Stars near the beautiful moon
Cover their own shining faces
When she lights earth
With her silver brilliance
Of love ….

–Sappho

Cancer Solstice

The Sagittarius Full Moon on June 19 arrives on the day of the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere.  At the solstice the Sun reaches its zenith, a time ancient cultures celebrated as the New Year.  The solstice is a peak moment, in the northern hemisphere the peak height of the Sun, in the southern hemisphere the peak descent into darkness.  To have a Full Moon precede the Cancer Solstice by less than twelve hours adds to the climactic energy, as Full Moons are also a moment of the peak amount of solar light received by Luna.  Yet nothing expands inexorably forever, and all must return to source, must spiral back.  The serpent circles back to bite its own tail in its eternal ouroboros. At the height of the apex, there is the bliss of the high and the knowing of a coming fall.  We fall at this Solstice Full Moon into the revivifying rays of Sol, our Solar Light that stimulates growth in our receptive Earth, our Sun that brings its clarifying heat illuminating what was previously darkly hidden.

The dragon, or serpent, represents the initial state of unconsciousness, for this animal loves, as the alchemists say, two dwell in “caverns and dark places.” Unconsciousness has to be sacrificed; only then can one find the entrance into the head, and the way to conscious knowledge and understanding. Once again the universal struggle of the hero with the dragon is enacted, and each time at its victorious conclusion the sun rises: consciousness dawns, and it is perceived that the transformation process is taking place inside the temple, that is, in the head.

— Carl Jung, “The Visions of Zosimos” para. 118

The polarity between Gemini and Sagittarius lit by the Full Moon carries the concept of sacrifice, as all of the Mutable signs in astrology mark the transition between the death of the previous season, and the birth of the coming season.  When our conscious personality sacrifices its grip on keeping out the whole multitude circulating in the unconscious, we can experience our own rebirth, sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly, in the process.  In current events recently there have been many chaotic crises tearing open barriers to raw, primal emotions. There is anger, there is outrage, there is grief and fear, as across the globe innumerable streams of strife have people on edge within a palpable field of destruction.  Within the folds of the places that mainstream awareness ignores, there is the cry of desperation in what feels like a cruel, unconcerning world.  Though this has been a difficult time for many, the Solstice celebrates the Sun’s ascension from its descent, that the solar rays will return with their warmth as surely as flowers will continue to bloom and fruit ripen.  The Solstice can be seized for sensing within the radiant living force of our world that orbits within multiverses, that even when feeling alienated there is a loving embrace to be found between the Earth below and the Sun above.

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The Gold of the Azure (1967) by Joan Mira

Jupiter in Virgo rules the Full Moon and is within five minutes of an exact conjunction with the North Node of the Moon.  This alone would bring a catalytic force to a Full Moon on a Solstice, yet there is much, much more.  Jupiter is received by Mercury in Gemini applying to a square with Jupiter, while Mercury is in opposition to Saturn in Sagittarius.  Saturn in Sagittarius is exactly square to Neptune in Pisces, as Neptune is conjoining the South Node of the Moon while in opposition to Jupiter and in square to Mercury.  The New Moon in Gemini that began this lunar cycle featured a Mutable Grand Cross between Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and a conjunction between Venus and the Sun.  At the Full Moon, we once again have a Mutable Grand Cross, with Mercury in Gemini filling the space previously occupied by the Sun and Venus.  The larger context of this configuration highlights the importance of the squares between Saturn and Neptune, and Saturn and Jupiter, as these aspects are the sort that demarcate eras of human history and notable shifts within the collective.  On a personal level, Mercury at home in Gemini as a Morning Star is the trigger point to pay attention to, as Hermes is transferring the light between the other three giants of astrology.

So, what the hell does this all mean you may be asking.  There is no way to encapsulate the full meaning of these aspects within an astrology article, nor is it possible to realize the meaning on a personal level without reflection that roots these aspects into your birth chart and your present experience.  However, there is some general guidance to keep in mind.  Mercury in Gemini is a worthy point of focus as it is in position to bring all of the reflections that have been stirred up in the past couple of months into the rushing currents of change found within the Mutable Grand Cross.  Mercury is often described as correlating with reason and logic, though that is only one aspect of Mercury’s mental potency.  The reason available to Mercury now connects with more than what is observable and measurable in visible consensus reality, as the boundaries of Saturn are being blown open. This is not your everyday transit of Mercury opposing Saturn, which typically correlates with rigorous and disciplined mental focus.  Maintaining mental focus through Mercury is still possible and in fact important, but there is a far vaster realm of reality and research than normal accessible through these catalytic aspects.

The Full Moon occurring at the final degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius means the entire arc of both signs are activated, signs that are ruled by Mercury and Jupiter.  In fact, all four places of the Mutable Grand Square are home to Mercury and Jupiter.  As Jupiter helps us create meaning out of our experiences and stabilize a vision or philosophy of life to live from, Mercury can destabilize preexisting beliefs through new information, arguments, and connections.  The Full Moon activating this Solstice is a perfect time to open your mind to the potential beyond whatever you had previously been limiting yourself to within your mind. A writing, research, or artistic project can be taken to a new level, or a passing conversation or experience can stimulate a completely different way of looking at your life.  Though instability can be felt within these aspects, there also remains extraordinary inspiration and a huge potential for ingenious insight.

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Toward the Rainbow (1941) by Joan Miro

Ceres, Uranus and Eris are conjoining in Aries at the Solstice, an aspect that some choose to ignore while others proclaim to be an Earth shattering amalgamation.  In fact, the widely divergent opinions astrologers have regarding the conjunction of Ceres, Uranus, and Eris is absolutely perfect with regards to the simultaneous Mutable Grand Square that is occurring.  Furthermore, Ceres, Uranus, and Eris are uniting in Aries, the home of Mars, in an exact quincunx to Mars retrograde in Scorpio.   Since all four of these celestial bodies are at the 23-24 degree range of their respective signs, the quincunx is full on.  To me, associating the shattering of previous paradigms with this aspect is fitting, and it furthermore reflects the many terrifying, traumatizing recent current events that are forcing people to reexamine their beliefs at fundamental levels.  Everything has been thrown up into the air in fractured splinters, and in their falling they reform, they coalesce, they commingle in ways never dreamt of before.

Ceres in Aries nurtures as Ceres always does, yet in Aries she fosters self-reliance and independence more so than co-dependence.  Ceres here is not a nurturer who wants you to become dependent upon her nurturing, but rather is a caring presence who nurtures creative actualization and the ability to get yourself back on your feet and moving again after a period of dormancy.  Ceres combined with Uranus and Eris is able to apply her creative force into collective mobilizations for change.  Ceres combined with Uranus and Eris will be most effective when transmuting the anger and outrage felt over systematic oppression into direct, creative action that makes a difference for others.  The quincunx to Mars retrograde in Scorpio demands integration with the needs of the greater society and collective.  This is not just about having a brilliant idea, but mobilizing thoughts into plans of action to manifest in your community.  Ceres, Uranus, Eris, and Mars retrograde can thus facilitate the creative impulse of Aries yoked to the investigative depth of Scorpio in order to express your gifts within a interconnected network of collaborators and co-conspirators.

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10 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 3 Decan

The third face of Sagittarius is associated with the 10 of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The image has a resonance with the Titan Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders, as we sense the plowing drive necessary to take on and carry the weight of massive responsibilities.  Being the final decan of Sagittarius, this image illustrates how the mind, body, and spirit can become unified through dedicated work and effort applied to a goal.  In tarot this card has been associated with oppressive dynamics and limitations, and in fact is called Oppression in the Thoth deck.  Tarot writer Kelsey Lynore analyzed the dilemma of this card as having “taken on far too many responsibilities” that “are not strictly yours,” resulting in the creative potency of the fire element becoming “extinguished by the heaviness of an earthy reality.”  Lynore advised sifting through the burdens and responsibilities in order to discern which “are truly your own” so you can refrain from overextending yourself and instead sustain the energy needed to be accountable for the issues truly belonging to you.

Fittingly, Saturn is the ruler of this face and so this decan has a strong resonance with the current transit of Saturn in Sagittarius within the Mutable Grand Cross.  As the Sagittarius Full Moon is occurring at the final degree of Sagittarius, the associated imagery of the 10 of Wands card is a fitting symbol for making a sacrifice of hard work to prepare for the darkest time of the year at the Winter Solstice, currently occurring in the southern hemisphere.  In relation to the Summer Solstice occurring in the northern hemisphere, it is akin to a rush of activity and preparation commiserate with the peak of solar light.

 Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Horse’s Skull” to this face in his book 36 Faces, as it “points toward those circumstances in which the vehicle must be sacrificed in order to achieve the will,” as it involves “those circumstances where the body and the spirit are at odds” as “the spirit, the will, must press the body beyond comfort’s boundaries” to achieve the aim (p. 204-5).  Some ancient texts attribute acts of evil to this face in the context of those who will do whatever is necessary to achieve a goal.  Coppock concluded:

The subject of this decan is what one is willing to sacrifice in order to achieve what one wills. It is thus the formula for the perfection of the will and subjugation of all to it, granting power for both good and evil. Yet those who would apply it must consider the cost of the sacrifice required, for some offerings can be made only once. Those who walk this face must choose which burdens they will bear to the bitter end, and which are not worthy of such feats of will and endurance. The formula of this face is of greatest value to those who know their true will, and the true works which proceed from it.

–Austin Coppock, 36 Faces

Saturn in Sagittarius is retrograde applying closely to an opposition with Mercury in Gemini at the time of the Full Moon.  At the Sun’s ingress into Cancer at the Solstice, Saturn will only be a few days past an exact square with Neptune, in a time period that has also seen it complete its final last quarter square with Jupiter.  This is a pivotal moment in the transit of Saturn through Sagittarius, and so it is important to consider what the stimulating transits are asking from Saturn.  Neptune demands awareness of whatever is outside the lines of what you define with your beliefs, recognizing the impact of your own perceptual force and judgment in co-creating reality and importance of exploring your inner imaginal space.  Mercury demands opening to other perspectives, being curious how other viewpoints experience existence and bridging your current understanding with those who express a contrasting point of view.  Jupiter conjoining the North Node of the Moon, the ruler of the Full Moon, calls us to distill the essence of what we most deeply value and aspire to achieve, modifying plans in accordance with changes in the arising moment, and most of all taking the risk to make new choices free of the restrictions of our past.  The Sun burns bright at the Solstice indiscriminately:  bask in its radiance and open your heart to delight and euphoria.

SagittariusFullMoonWRIGC10

References

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

Jung, Carl. (1967). Alchemical Studies. Bollingen.