Full Moon in Scorpio

Scorpion Scarab (about 1550–1186 BCE)

Full Moon in Scorpio

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

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

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

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

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

The Moon in the Marsh by Earl Reed

Pulsating underneath the tension of the Full Moon will be the primal potency of Pluto. Pluto will be saturating the astrological atmosphere with its influence due to stationing retrograde less than twenty-four hours after the lunation on April 27 at 26°48′ Capricorn. The howl from Pluto in the underworld will amplify the deep potency of Mars in the sign of its fall ruling the Full Moon in the sign of its fall, as Pluto can intensify whatever needs to be released with a volcanic force. Feelings may overflow from places and inner parts that have been denied or controlled, as suppressed memories and passions arise to surface awareness. The powerful presence of Pluto can therefore accentuate our capacity for peering into the emotional sources at the root of our interpersonal dynamics with others.

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

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

Fairy Land (1881) by Gustave Dore

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

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

fairy tree

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

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

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

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

5 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 1 Decan

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

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

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

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

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References

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

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

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

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

 

Aries Full Moon: Saturn’s Harvest

georgia-okeeffe-rams-head-blue-morning-glory-1938

Georgia O’Keefe (1938) Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory

Full Moon in Aries

The Aries Full Moon occurs two days after the Libra Equinox, the turn toward the deepening darkness of Fall in the northern hemisphere, while the southern hemisphere experiences the fecund flowering of Spring. A time of balance in light and darkness, the Libra Equinox offers the gift of clarity reflecting upon experiences of the past season and envisioning what’s to come in the season ahead. In the northern hemisphere, the colorful changes in Autumnal leaves correlate with crisp awareness into our changing circumstances and distilling the resources we may cultivate to endure the darkness which will increase with each subsequent dawn. In myth we associate this time with Persephone returning to her role ruling the underworld, mythic symbolism that is an apt metaphor for the shedding and intensification supported by the astrology the Full Moon is embedded within.

The Full Moon in Aries on September 24 is the traditional Harvest Moon, the Full Moon occurring closest to the Fall Equinox in the northern hemisphere. It’s a perfect fit with the astrology surrounding the lunation, as the Full Moon is applying to a square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn. The scythe of Saturn glows in the silvery luminescence of the Harvest Moon, its blade severing us from whatever is ready to be shed, its cut cleanly delivering a harvest of resources ripened for gathering. The past season was full of volatile, catalytic astrology transits, the type of transits that often correlate with monumental changes in relationships and the roles we embody in the world. Saturn in Capricorn can be a severe taskmaster, yet will bring reward and approval for hard work and consistent effort. Saturn has been in Capricorn now for three quarters of a year, with the Aries Full Moon illuminating whatever has been working well or is need of new strategies and modification.

The Full Moon is also united with Chiron in Aries, further revealing whatever has been developing in correspondence with Chiron’s time in Aries which began on 17 April 2018. Chiron re-enters Pisces a day after the Full Moon where it will stay until it returns to Aries for good on 18 February 2019. Within the dark caverns of our innermost recesses, Chiron is holding a lantern spotlighting a strength and talent we may resiliently rely upon in the season ahead. Ultimately, Chiron in Aries calls us to courageously fight for our ideals within not only personal spheres but within the wider collective, being willing to resist forces of oppression and totalitarian influence. Yet the dominant role played by Saturn in Capricorn in relation to Chiron and the Full Moon means containment is a necessary element. The influence of Chiron and Saturn calls for disciplined effort focused with precision upon the realistic confines of our circumstances; this does not mean restraining oneself from expansive, freedom-oriented goals but rather pinpointing whatever most needs attention in the moment.

georgia o'keefe horn and feathers

Georgia O’Keefe (1937) Horn and Feathers

Mars rules the Full Moon in Aries while applying to a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius. Mars in Aquarius first applied toward a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in the first week of June, coming into contact a second time during the catalytic time period of the Total Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius that occurred on July 27. As a result the Aries Full Moon brings closure to narratives that have been developing during the past four months and an opportunity for decisive action and choices in correspondence. Mars in Aquarius uniting with the South Node of the Moon purifies and hones our idealistic concerns for our greater global collective, as well as efforts we desire to initiate within local community. Aquarius is a visionary placement for Mars that can be future-oriented, yet its unbound desires for greater freedom have had to be tempered through the numerous martial tests we have had to face during the past few months of Mars shifting between retrograde and direct motion. Mars completing its final conjunction with the South Node takes on a sobering presence, and in correspondence we can make difficult choices we held back from enacting previously.

In addition to uniting with the South Node of the Moon, Mars is also in range of a conjunction with Black Moon Lilith in Aquarius. In combination with the additional influences of Saturn and Chiron upon the lunation, a wholistic awareness that takes account of subconscious influences will be a necessity for effective action and results. This is not a lunation for dreamy, overidealistic envisioning of potential but rather a stark assessment of circumstances combined with willingness to do whatever we must do to find solutions and initiate needed change. The trials and difficulties we need to work through will bring unconscious motivations to the surface.

Mars in Aquarius is also in a harmonious, airy trine with the Sun, Mercury and Ceres which are co-present in Libra, with Mercury applying to a conjunction with Ceres. Altogether these aspects point to support found in community, to the importance of reaching out to others who may bring support and needed insight. Deep, mutually introspective communication can be supported as long as those engaged in dialogue are willing to claim responsibility and sustain willingness to listen even when in disagreement. Unfortunately, due to the influence of Saturn and Chiron upon the Full Moon there is also potential for harsh and wounding communication. Certain relationships may emerge that can be particularly supportive in the changes coming in the next month with Venus stationing retrograde.

Cernunnos

Cernunnos on the Pillar of the Boatmen, from the Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris, France

Pluto is one of the strongest influences upon the Aries Full Moon, as Pluto will station direct in Capricorn on September 30, less than a week after the Full Moon. Furthermore, as the Moon in full phase begins to separate from its square aspect with Saturn, it will begin to form a square with the stationing Pluto, further dredging up the deep desires of Pluto. Pluto has been retrograde since 22 April 2018 when it was at 21°17′ Capricorn, now stationing at 18°45′ Capricorn. Thus those with cardinal placements (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) between 16 – 22 degrees will feel the plutonic shift most intensely. Pluto’s stillness brings an initiatory quality to the Aries Full Moon that incites impetus to penetrate into the heart of any matter we are engaged with. As strong, compulsive feelings are likely to emerge that were previously hidden or inaccessible, the week following the Aries Full Moon has the potential to facilitate an integration of powerful self realization.

During the waning half of the lunar cycle, Venus will station retrograde in Scorpio on October 5 a few days before a New Moon in Libra on October 8. With the Sun, Mercury, Ceres, and Uranus all in the domiciles of Venus, the stationing of Venus holds wide influence over the surrounding astrology. At the time of the Aries Full Moon, however, Venus remains a bright Evening Star and in combination with Mars in Aquarius and Saturn in Capricorn can be supportive in beginning to make adjustments and reorientation to the changes we can sense are on the horizon with the impending forty day period of Venus retrograde.

wands02

2 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries 1 Decan

The Full Moon arises in the first face of Aries associated with the Two of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image involves a conquering figure holding a globe in one hand as he gazes from a protective castle into an expansive terrain. It is the body of water that appears to have secured his focus in this moment, and the presence of the globe seems to imply a moment of reflection regarding expanding his influence or dominion. The grandiose ambition and confident assertion present in the image is fitting considering that Mars rules the first decan of Aries, giving Mars both domicile and face rulership over the Aries Full Moon.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the symbol of “The Axe” to the first decan of Aries, which has a long association with furiously martial figures who dominate enemies and assure victory in battle. For example, the Liber Hermetis ascribed an image of a man “standing on feet like claws,” while “holding above his head a double-sided axe with both hands.” Coppock deepened the symbolism of the axe through linking it to the splitting and separation from “the One” of ancient wisdom traditions, a severing necessary for creation and growth. Coppock linked this separation to “building a distinct and individual life . . . the individual yang struggling out of the collective yin” which he compared to both the cutting of the umbilical cord between child and mother and the cutting of trees to build homes in the wilderness.

In contrast to the emphasis on personal power within the first face of Aries, the sabian symbol for the degree of the Aries Full Moon is “a comedian reveals human nature,” highlighting a sense of humor accepting our vulnerabilities and dilemmas. Dane Rudhyar described it as involving “the triumph of objective consciousness over subjective feeling or moods,” a capacity “to laugh at the inadequacy of the form one sees” in the mirror. Humor and the release of tension that comes from laughter is always needed medicine during pivotal times, and as we know it is often the one playing the part of the fool who can claim a platform to speak truth to power. As Austin Coppock wrote regarding the first face of Aries, those wielding its raw power are not always successful as “some trials require the wits of tricksters rather than the sword-arms of warriors.” The Aries Full Moon is extremely powerful in terms of gaining clarity regarding our current circumstances, with a sense of humor and playfulness being as important to bear as dry analysis and assertive willpower.

References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1973). An Astrological Mandala: the cycle of transformations and its 360 symbolic phases. Random House.