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.

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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.

Full Moon in Leo

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

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

Full Moon in Leo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau

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

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

profile of shadow by Odilon Redon

Profile of Shadow (1895) by Odilon Redon

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

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

5 of Wands

5 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 1 Decan

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

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

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

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

Orphic Hymn to Hephaistos, translated by Thomas Taylor

References

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