Full Moon in Aries

scarab ca. 1550 – 1480 BC

Full Moon in Aries

The Full Moon in Aries on October 9 will bring the rapid rushing and instinctual speed of the fire element into personal and collective events. Aries is the fire sign ruled by Mars that can foster decisive action and burning desires that lead to swiftly moving pursuits and instantaneous action. With the Sun and Venus in Libra forming an opposition with the Moon in Aries, however, there will also be an amplified polarity activated between Aries and Libra that can lead to powerful insights following a period of active contemplation. There is always much more happening under the surface of Libra than appearances suggest, as it is a sign possessing extraordinary prowess in thinking through matters and weighing the balance of numerous factors at play within any dynamic. The propulsive power of the Full Moon in Aries will speed up the tempo of events and push matters to a head in need of a decision, yet we can utilize the artful mentality of Libra to discern the best choice to act on. The Aries Full Moon will initiate us into a month of monumental turning points occurring in storylines, with the two weeks following the lunation ideal for making progress on plans and preparing remedies for any arising difficulties. The next lunation to follow will be a Solar Eclipse in Scorpio on October 25 that will open up a tumultuous and extremely volatile eclipse season.

The Aries Full Moon at 16°33′ Aries  is separating from a conjunction with Chiron and an opposition with Venus while fully illuminating the opposition between Chiron in Aries and Venus in Libra that will become exact on October 10. Chiron retrograde in Aries will oppose Venus in Libra at fourteen degrees of each sign, creating opportunities for deepening awareness of numerous issues occurring within our relationships, particularly the way in which our own inner patterns connected with past wounding and alienation have been creating important matters to work through in our present relational dynamics. Attuning with whatever issues arise with the opposition between Chiron and Venus can further deepen our relationship with the underworld journey Venus in Libra will be experiencing in October. Venus in Libra is at the end of her Morning Star phase and approaching a liminal rebirth with the Sun on October 22. Her present phase invites engagement with processes of release and renewal, laying old relational issues to rest, being present with difficult emotions that emerge, and undergoing a purgation of old matters that can help bring purification when Venus unites with the Sun.

The Full Moon is also separating from a conjunction with Jupiter retrograde in Aries. With the full Moon illuminating the sign of Aries, it’s an ideal time to reflect upon the passage of Jupiter in Aries that will be coming to an end during October. Jupiter has been residing within the fiery, galvanic sign of Aries since 10 May 2022 and will return to its nocturnal home of Pisces on October 28. Jupiter being co-present with the Full Moon in Aries can help in coalescing growth-oriented insight from whatever tension becomes triggered by the opposition between the Sun and Venus in Libra with the Moon and Chiron in Aries. We may gain realization of inner patterns and issues that are getting in the way of us reaching the next stage of our external development or embodying our authentic creativity through our work and relationships in the greater world.

It’s likely that deep seated internal patterns and issues will be rising to the surface of awareness due to Pluto stationing direct at 26°07′ Capricorn on October 8, a day before the lunation. Pluto stationing and changing directions will bring the gravity of the distant lord of the kuiper belt much closer within our visceral senses, with the significations of Pluto saturating collective and personal events with its influences. While previously hidden information especially concerning power plays and power dynamics may be revealed, within personal spheres there will be a necessity of coming to terms with feelings and information that’s been veiled within our inner darkness as Venus and Chiron oppose one another at the same time. We may also feel a surge of empowerment and a drive to claim more of our personal power and agency within situations in which we have previously resisted asserting ourselves or repressed our full engagement. Pluto will call us to peel back the way we have been conditioned to view our motivations to deepen awareness of the true desires operating within the depths of our being. Though this will not be the final time that Pluto stations direct in Capricorn, the direct motion of Pluto this time around will take it all the way through Capricorn into Aquarius for the first time next March 23, making it an especially potent turning point for Pluto.

The productive potential of the Aries Full Moon can be found in the way it is separating from hard aspects with Jupiter and Venus and applying to harmonious sextile aspects with Saturn in Aquarius and Mars in Gemini. These harmonious aspects between the lunation with Saturn and Mars are ideal for problem solving and dissecting dilemmas in order to figure out the next course of action as well as make productive strides forward in spite of any challenges we are facing. It will be a good time for making distinctions between options and separating yourself from paths and circumstances that are not aligned with the work you need to be doing in order to focus on the tasks at the heart of what matters most to your core purpose.

Moreover, after Mercury enters Libra on October 10 there will be a predominance of planets in the air element, making it an ideal period for becoming inspired, engaging creative influences and bringing together ideas, and taking direct action on behalf of your idealistic vision for whatever you wish to create with your life. In the waning half of the lunar cycle there will be an air triangle forming within the zodiac that can coincide with getting into a flow of many ideas coming together: the Sun in Libra will form a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on October 11, Venus in Libra will trine Saturn in Aquarius on October 13, the Sun in Libra will trine Mars in Gemini on October 17, Venus in Libra will trine Mars in Gemini on October 18, and Mercury in Libra will trine Saturn in Aquarius on October 22.

Mars by George Pencz

Mars in Gemini

Mars in Gemini rules the Aries Full Moon and will be receiving the Moon into its fiery home through a creative sextile aspect that will promote action and assertion. With Saturn in Aquarius also in range of a trine aspect with Mars and a sextile aspect with the lunation, the Aries Full Moon will illuminate the major dynamics of any difficulties we are facing so we can become more aware of what needs our focus and where we need to take decisive action. However, there is also a complicated and tricky relationship with Neptune in Pisces that Mars must face: Mars in Gemini will form a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces at 23°21′ of each sign on October 11. The applying friction of the square aspect between Mars with Neptune makes it an overriding influence over the lunation, and so we will need to be mindful of becoming overly idealistic and self-righteous with our beliefs so that we do not needlessly amplify conflict through the illusions of dogmatic perspectives. Moreover, since Mars will station retrograde on October 30 at 25°37′ Gemini, the catalyzing square aspect that will be forming between Mars and Neptune during the Aries full moon will endure across the entire month ahead as Mars will ultimately form a second square aspect with Neptune on November 19.

As a result, we will need to find the balance between the life-affirming inspiration and idealism that can be kindled from the heat kindled between Mars clashing with Neptune versus the kind of delusion that clouds critical thinking that comes from dogmatic belief systems. As we prepare to enter an extremely volatile eclipse vortex at the end of October, it will be imperative to apply critical thinking skills to question not only others, such as information sources in the media, but to also question our own belief systems. Mars is incisive and can cut through matters, and while Neptune can bring a misleading fog to perception, it can also open up new vistas of perspective that we have been unwilling to accept within our conception of reality. There will be numerous ideological wars erupting around the world as Mars and Neptune create friction together during the next month, yet we can also utilize their tension to cut through the places we have deluded ourselves, allowing our experiences to reveal deeper truths and insight that bring about a reorientation to our reality.

The square aspect between Mars and Neptune does not need to be illusory and instead can be utilized in extraordinarily creative ways. Entering a period of accelerated collective change can lead to creative breakthroughs in our personal lives, and the astrological aspects during the waning half of the lunar cycle will support applying energy and focus to our creative pursuits. Injecting spirituality, archetypal forces, imagination, fantasy, the ancestral realm, or any other way of embracing more of the interconnected field of reality into our creativity can help give avenues for Neptune to stream through whatever we are applying the heat of Mars to in our work. The square between Mars and Neptune can also unify mass groups of people aligned together through social justice protests, especially with Mars in Gemini also forming flowing trine aspects with Saturn in Aquarius as well as the Sun and Venus in Libra. The mass protests in Iran over the oppression of women are one of many examples that will be able to continue building momentum like the breaking waves of storms at sea.

Mercury by George Pencz

Mercury: from Virgo to Libra

The Full Moon in the element of fire can also help distinguish and separate insight that has accumulated from the recent retrograde phase of Mercury, as Mercury will be picking up speed due to having reached its maximum elongation as a Morning Star on October 8. During the time of the exact Full Moon, Mercury will be at 28°41′ Virgo in its own exaltation and domicile as it’s simultaneously picking up speed, bringing numerous opportunities for analyzing and integrating whatever changes and transmutational processes occurred during its retrograde phase last month. Mercury moving increasingly faster can add to the atmosphere of volatility, disruption, and contention, yet the curious activism of Mercury moving fast as a Morning Star will be helpful in mediating polarities of tension, asking questions that will elicit the answers we need, and making the adjustments necessary to move into a more dynamic phase of life.

As I previously wrote about in my article on Mercury retrograde in Libra and Virgo, an essential aspect to track has been the three trine aspects Mercury formed with Pluto in Capricorn as well as the three opposition aspects Mercury forms with Jupiter in Aries. As the Moon reaches peak illumination in Aries, Mercury will be separating from its third and final trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn (previous ones were on October 6 while direct in Morning Star phase, September 27 while retrograde, and August 22 while direct in Evening Star phase) and applying toward its third and final opposition with Jupiter in Aries. Mercury will enter Libra on October 10 and then complete its third and final opposition with Jupiter in Aries on October 12. Pay attention to storylines that have developed across the three oppositions between Mercury and Jupiter on September 2, September 18, and October 12 and how the final opposition ties the meaning of experiences together. We can expect major movements in the storylines of current events that have been developing across this time, and in our personal lives we can utilize the tension between Mercury and Jupiter to take account of additional factors that can help in synthesizing meaning from whatever ideas or work we have been developing.

The amplification of the air element that will follow Mercury entering Libra on October 10 can make the two weeks following the Aries Full Moon an intellectually stimulating time with vast potential for generating and synthesizing ideas, yet the instability of the air element also stresses the importance of flexibly shifting with the larger changes taking shape in the collective. With the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Libra in flowing trine aspects with Saturn in Aquarius and Mars in Gemini, the overabundance of information circulating could become overwhelming and anxiety provoking. Engaging in reflective and centering practices can help with being productively focused on the tasks that need completion while remaining motivated by larger inspiration. It can be a powerful time for research and gathering many strands of information together to form effective strategies for whatever problems we are facing. It will be easier than normal to become distracted by the swirling cacophony of crisis and change that will be sweeping through collective events at an accelerated pace as we approach the end of October, yet it can also be an extremely generative period for growth and creativity when we are able to make the space to focus on our work.

Venus by George Pencz

Venus in Libra

Venus in Libra will be entering the heart of her underworld journey during the rest of October as she approaches her superior conjunction with the Sun on October 22 at 29°26′ Libra. The superior conjunction, also called the exterior conjunction, for Venus occurs when Venus is on the far side of the Sun from us in orbit, moving direct and fast in speed. In contrast to her inferior/interior conjunction when retrograde in which Venus is as close to us in orbit as possible, the distance of Venus can make the underworld process of release and renewal she experiences when approaching her superior conjunction less gut wrenching than when she is retrograde. Nonetheless, as Venus is at the end of her Morning Star phase it will be important to apply mindfulness as we engage in a process of releasing and emptying old relational and aesthetic patterns in preparation for the reanimation of Venus by the Sun on October 22. During the weeks surrounding the purifying solar conjunction of Venus, pay attention to ways in which you are shedding old values, needs, and desires as well as the ways in which your sense of aesthetics and relational dynamics are transmuting.

Before experiencing her rebirth, however, Venus will pass through a trine with Saturn on October 13, a trine with Mars on October 17, and a square aspect with Pluto on October 19 that will accentuate the process of underworld purgation she is passing through. Moreover, at the same time that Venus will be in the heart of the Sun on October 22, Saturn will also be stationing direct at 18°35′ Aquarius. The stationing of Saturn in Aquarius has a great deal of synergy with the superior conjunction of Venus not only due to the wide trine aspect between them, but also due to Venus and the Sun being in the exaltation of Saturn. Moreover, Mercury in Libra will also be forming an exact trine aspect with Saturn on October 22 which will be extremely potent due to Mercury being in the exaltation of Saturn as well as the airy domicile of Venus at the same time she is experiencing her rebirth. Altogether, these harmonious aspects between Mercury with Saturn stationing makes it an incredibly fertile time to seize for making a pivotal turning point in your creative and intellectual life, opening to whatever new styles, desires, inspirational lineages and influences emerge to grab your attention.

Arielle Guttman in her book Venus Star Rising about the monumental significance of the Venus synodic cycle highlighted the extreme significance of the Venus superior conjunction we will experience on October 22 that has far reaching implications beyond the present moment. It will be the first union between the Sun and Venus in Libra since 1879 and will initiate a new era of solar conjunctions for Venus in Libra that will occur over the course of the next century. Venus forms a five pointed star of “Venus star points” within her eight year synodic cycle, and the star point renewal we will experience on October 22 has been in Scorpio ever since 1926. However, four years from now in 2026 there will be one final Venus inferior conjunction in Scorpio on 24 October 2026 before the full transition into the Libra star point takes effect in October 2030. Guttman wrote that the eight-year transitional period from 2022 to 2030 “will be an eight-year period of tumult and uncertainty, such as those that often occur when there is a major shift,” and further shown by the 2022 superior conjunction forming a square aspect with Pluto, which she described as “the mastermind of transformation (death and rebirth).”

Indeed, the last time we experienced a transitional period in between Venus star point sign changes was when the Taurus star point transitioned into the Aries star point from 1929 through 1937. This period involved the stock market crash, the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, and the buildup to the second world war. The previous time before this that we experienced a transitional star point period was when the last Libra star point transitioned into the Virgo star point from 1875 through 1883. This period encompassed the “Long Depression” from 1873 through 1879 that had been known as the “Great Depression” until the economic depression in the 1930s claimed the title. Clearly this is one further astrological indicator that the numerous economic issues occurring around the world that have been exacerbated by the global pandemic and warfare will be taking us into a period of great economic uncertainty and volatility.

Fascinatingly with regard to the history of the USA, the last time we experienced a transition between the Venus in Scorpio and Venus in Libra star points was in 1771 during the buildup to the Revolutionary War. This also happened to be yet another transitional star point period that involved the transition from the Scorpio star point into the Libra star point from 1771 through 1779. As Pluto was also in Capricorn then at the same degree it is today, this overlap between the Venus star point transition and the Pluto cycle considerably amplifies the significance of the Pluto return the United States of America has been experiencing. Taking this larger cyclical context into account broadens the scope and significance of the numerous ideological battles occurring around the world, particularly those involving the oppression of women as Venus has a long history in astrology of having significations connected with women’s issues. We are in the middle of monumental societal changes and when caught up in the difficult crises and trauma occurring in the present it can be difficult to have a sense of the much larger societal shifts that they are part of.

In our personal lives, the initiation into a new Venus star point in Libra can correlate with innovations, emerging desires, and new creative directions related to any of the significations of Venus. It can be especially fruitful for anyone engaged in the creative arts due to the strong link between the arts and humanities with Venus in the humanitarian sign of Libra, but there will be many other ways in which we will be able to notice changes taking shape in our lives in correlation. Moreover, simply having Venus close to the Sun in Libra up until October 23 can bring greater ease and opportunities for pleasant social interactions and gatherings during a time period that otherwise involves a lot of volatile astrological factors building with intensity. Making space and time for the pleasures of Venus will be an antidote to the troubles of the times during the waning half of the lunar cycle.

3 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries 2 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the second decan of Aries associated with the Three of Wands minor arcanum illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. As the second face of Aries holds the degrees of the exaltation of the Sun, we fittingly find an image of solar sovereingty with a heroic figure overlooking a numinous landscape from a mountainous peak.  There are ships heading off into the vast expanse beyond into other worlds for communication and commerce.  Similarly, numerous ancient texts attribute images to the second face of Aries that depict resources and rulership. T Susan Chang in 36 Secrets wrote that the Three of Wands goes with “faith in the good efforts you have already made,” investing “in well thought through acts of benevolence,” and “mak[ing] your own rules, and liv[ing] by them.” The sovereignty of being able to create your own world according to your own rules fits well with the fact that the Sun is the ruler of this decan in both the descending and triplicity rulership schemes, the only decan in which the Sun is the ruler for both.

In Henrich Corenelius Agrippa’s The Celestial World, translated by Eric Purdue, the second face of Aries is clearly shown as being rooted in sovereignty: “In the second face of Aries rises the form of a woman, dressed in red garments on the outside and under them white. She is stretching out her foot. This image is made for nobility, loftiness of kingdom, and great dominion.” While the color red is a match for the sign of Aries and its ruling planet Mars, it also can symbolize the living of a passionate life with embodied eros through acts of creation. In alchemy the color red is associated with the rubedo or reddening alchemical phase that is not only known as the “crowning” stage of the opus, but also involves the incarnation and embodiment of freshly enlightened consciousness into the blood and flesh of the body. The woman stretching out her foot further shows the expansiveness inherent in this decan that can nurture a stretching of forms through creation into new territories of development.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Crown” to the second face of Aries.  Coppock described the focus of this face as being “the world which emanates from an individual” and “the qualities which they choose to embody.”  Coppock wrote that the potent capacity to create one’s own world found in this face leads to not only the attraction and magnetism of others of like-mind, but also to “the key to creating pocket realities which do not obey the laws of the collective reality field in which they exist.”  These associations with the second face of Aries work well with the Full Moon in Aries initiating us into a period of accelerated collective change, as it will be vitally important for individuals to claim their authority and agency in creating their own world as part of helping to reshape the larger world in life affirming ways.

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs attributed Persephone to the second decan of Aries, an interesting association as she is also a noble figure who bridges the world of the visible and invisible, the goddess who rules the underworld of soul, death, release, and resurrection. The association of underworld sovereignty can also be gleaned from Demetra George’s translation of The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius (a Greek language text ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus during early Roman Imperial period, possibly around 50 CE) as she revealed an image for the second face of Aries associated with another guardian of the underworld: the dog. George translated the image for the second decan of Aries as being a figure with the face of a dog, sceptre in right hand, disc in left hand, robed to the ankles. Whether or not this dog faced sovereign is associated with the underworld, Persephone’s presence with the Aries Full Moon calls us to honor being an eternal soul fully embodied within a material realm of continual life and death.  While we must reconcile ourselves to living in a world of great suffering and death, Persephone also signifies our capacity for discovering newfound power and strength within ourselves in spite of the wounds we must bear. An image of underworld sovereignty is further fitting for the period that follows the Aries Full Moon as Venus in Libra will be traversing the underworld en route to becoming enthroned in the chariot of the Sun on October 22.

Under the spotlight of the Aries Full Moon, allow yourself to envision the creative realm you can create and inhabit through the wielding of your own sovereign gifts and talents. Not only will claiming this agency bring about a renewal of life force within your own personal sphere, it can also provide uplifting inspiration for others to do the same.  

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References

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

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. (2021). Egyptian Decans: Star Gods of Time. Astrology University.

Guttman, Arielle. (2019). Venus Star Rising: A New Cosmology for the 21st Century. Sophia Venus Productions. First edition, second printing.

Full Moon in Leo

lion head 4th centurcy bc

Achaemenid Gold (6th – 4th Century B.C.)

Full Moon in Leo

Leo is the place of fixed fire, the indomitable flames that endure and resiliently persist in the face of extinguishing forces. The Full Moon in Leo on February 8 (or 9th, depending upon time zone) is an invitation for sustaining focus on the creations you most dearly wish to forge from your inner furnace, no matter how dire the collective crises of the time appear.  The Full Moon is applying toward a flowing trine with Mars in Sagittarius, inciting passionate heat and radiant inspiration that can enliven any downcast spirits. Since 2020 began with the intensifying conjunction of Saturn and Pluto combined with volatile eclipses, the Leo Full Moon can stoke movement driven by the undercurrents of whatever deep material has been stirred up in the past month.

Heroism and courage are character traits associated with Leo we will need to embody in 2020, as it is a year that promises immense collective change with numerous cycles within astrology coming to endings and beginnings. Yet while heroines will be needed, the trine between the forthright Leo Moon and crusading Mars in Sagittarius also warns against hubris and righteously exerting your will in conflicts in which you think you know best.  The Leo Full Moon is ruled by the Sun in Aquarius, giving it the unique characteristic of being the only Full Moon in which the polarity between Sun and Moon is mitigated by the Sun receiving the Moon into its fiery home. The cool, contemplative nature of the Aquarius Sun can help in detaching from emotional reactivity, discerning choices for authentically contributing the skills we are excited about developing within the wider community.

While the trine with Mars is the only aspect the Full Moon is making with other planets, if we are willing to welcome the dwarf planet Eris into consideration there is a fire triangle formed by the Full Moon, Mars and the distant trans-Neptunian entity named after the goddess of discord. While there hasn’t been a lot of time to compile astrological research concerning the meaning of Eris since her discovery in 2005, astrologers have begun to construct significations based in large part upon her meaning in mythology and wildly eccentric orbit. The chaotic strife Eris delights in instigating can be witnessed clearly in current events, and so it is fitting that the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto on January 12 formed a harsh square aspect with Eris. The fiery triangle between Eris, Mars, and the Full Moon can propel breakthroughs that have their source within the volatility of collective breakdowns and personal tensions that have sharpened awareness of what matters most to us.

The Full Moon is also engaged in aspects with asteroid goddesses, as the Leo Moon is separating from a square aspect with Vesta in Taurus and applying toward a sextile with Juno retrograde in Libra. As we become clearer about what gifts we wish to cultivate from exploration of our inner darkness, we will need to form mutually beneficial relationships with collaborators who can help bring the imaginal potency we have been developing into the light in ways that can be received by a resonant audience. We also need to reflect upon the balance of power and responsibility within our relationships, making adjustments so that there is a fair distribution of tasks and reciprocal attention to having emotional needs met. There is stormy astrology on the horizon we will be able to navigate more effectively by addressing relational imbalances that the Leo Full Moon illuminates.

John_Duncan_-_007

by John Duncan

There will likely be important relational issues brought to attention by the passage of Venus in Aries forming conjunctions with Chiron and the mean calculation of Black Moon Lilith. Allow the full light of the Moon to expose whatever material has been harbored in your shadow and projected into your relationships. It’s a good time for the practice of reflecting upon how not only those you desire but also are repulsed by can reveal key patterns about yourself you have not been consciously aware of.  Venus expresses ardor directly in Aries and once struck by the arrow of Eros, Venus in Aries will claim the agency required to draw closer to the source of attraction. With Venus continuing to shine brightly in twilight as an Evening Star, though impulsively following desires can lead to trouble it will be the kind of trouble that can also trigger vital lessons.

Venus is also applying toward a sextile with Ceres in Aquarius as Ceres is in an exact square aspect with Uranus in Taurus. Venus in Aries is not afraid to fight for whatever it considers to be true, good, and beautiful, and so one way this configuration may show up is through increased interest in social activism and protest movements building around issues of environmental and social justice. The square between Ceres and Uranus can feel upsetting and enraging regarding any personal or collective events in which greed and power dynamics harm or threaten life, yet the invigorating sextile between Venus and Ceres will stoke intrinsic motivation to take action as needed. In some cases this may mean taking the risk to initiate direct movement toward goals, in other cases there may need to be a staking out of space and time in which to actively contemplate the next course of action.

In the week following the Full Moon, whatever issues surface that involve Venus in Aries will continue to demand attention as Venus will be applying to a square aspect with the lunar nodes that it will complete on February 13. Venus in Aries delights in the creation of movement, and so if facing dilemmas related to Venus it will be helpful to be physically active such as taking hikes in nature while reflecting upon the next steps to take. Interestingly, although Venus is at the zodiacal point of being at the southern bending in relation to the lunar nodes, it is simultaneously applying toward a conjunction with its own geocentric north node and so will be passing across the ecliptic in the next week from southern into northern latitude (fittingly on February 14 aka Valentine’s Day). This means that the instinctual, subjective emotions and desires that Venus in Aries stirs up will be absolutely essential to integrate and can serve as important guidance in how to more fully engage in the larger changes that want to take shape in our life.

the-turn-of-the-tide.jpg!Large

John Duncan The Turn of the Tide

Just like Venus, Mercury in Pisces is also visible during sunset and in fact will reach maximum elongation as an Evening Star on February 10 at ten degrees of Pisces. The maximum elongation of Mercury as Evening Star demarcates a shift in speed as it slows down to match the steady course of the Sun. Although Mercury will continue to be visible in the week following the Full Moon, it will increasingly become slower until stationing retrograde on February 16 at 12º53′ Pisces. This means that issues that will become deeply involved in the upcoming Mercury retrograde phase that will last from February 16 until March 9 will be more obviously rising to the surface in the week following the Full Moon. If you notice old patterns and storylines emerging that could be laid to rest, they can serve as worthy compost during the initial putrefying phase of Mercury retrograde that will last from the stationing of Mercury on February 16 until the inferior conjunction of Mercury on February 25 that will occur two days after the upcoming New Moon in Pisces.

It is notable that not only is Mercury in its fall in Pisces, it is further under rulership of Jupiter in its fall in Capricorn. This does not signify doom but does invite contemplation of ambition and desires for greater power and status within society. Rather than insisting on having our expectations of higher achievement fulfilled, Mercury and Jupiter are in position to facilitate descent into the depths of inner darkness and shadow. There is wisdom and depth to gather in our unconscious underworld if we are willing to undergo the trials we must necessarily encounter when journeying there. From now through the back and forth of Mercury retrograde, we will have the opportunity to regenerate our beliefs and visions of meaning and what we want to create with our life.

Mercury is also mediating the polarity between the lunar nodes, forming a sextile with the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn and a trine with the North Node of the Moon in Cancer. Furthermore, Mercury is applying to an exact sextile with Pallas Athena in Capricorn, as Pallas Athena is beginning to separate from a recent conjunction with the South Node of the Moon. The collective wounds associated with the misogyny of patriarchy that has its roots in the ancient times that astrology itself was developed have been on full display in the current events that have corresponded with a new cycle beginning between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Since Mercury in Pisces is more about feeling than articulation, symbol more so than thesis statement, we will have opportunities to deeply feel and reckon with how our thoughts and ideas are systematically conditioned by the times we are living in. These insights will go far beyond words, yet by opening to the possibility of making the inner changes we are capable of making we can begin to strip away however we have been inauthentically conditioned by dominant cultural forces.

Pallas Athena in Capricorn will be an overlooked player in the great planetary drama that will be enfolding in February and March after Mars enters Capricorn on February 16. Pallas Athena will be applying to a conjunction with Jupiter in Capricorn that will last all the way through the Aries Equinox into April, with Pallas Athena being present with Jupiter and Pluto when they form their first conjunction on April 4. Pallas Athena is ultimately a symbol of sacred feminine wisdom, and though her mythology has had her wielded as a weapon in the hands of empires of the past, so may she side with the forces of liberation in the present.

paul klee ghost chamber with tall door

Paul Klee (1925) Ghost Chamber with the Tall Door (New Version)

The major outer planetary aspect that will form during the waning half of the current lunar cycle will be Jupiter in Capricorn receiving Neptune in Pisces through a waning sextile aspect that will complete on February 20. This will be the first of three sextile aspects that will form between Jupiter and Neptune during 2020 (the others will be on July 27 and October 11), making it a key aspect for the year. The harmonious interplay between Jupiter and Neptune can be helpful in realigning our vision of life this year to be more congruent with all of the changes that have been taking shape in the past year, especially changes corresponding with the last quarter square formed between Jupiter in Sagittarius with Neptune in Pisces during 2019.

Within the volatile breakdown of societal structures during 2020, Jupiter and Neptune’s relationship can inspire imaginative ideas for coalescing new growth from whatever dissolution and shedding we have been undergoing personally. In particular, we can gain awareness of old beliefs we need to release that have been interfering with our capacity for more deeply understanding our present circumstances. During the Leo Full Moon, Jupiter is applying within two degrees to an exact sextile with Neptune, as Neptune is simultaneously conjoining the true calculation of Black Moon Lilith. The combination of Neptune with Black Moon Lilith is a potent symbol for how we can become distracted and seduced away from our true authenticity by the myriad forms of illusory media surrounding us and the polarizing political conflicts that have become further exacerbated through manipulative media.

wands07

7 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 3 Decan

The Leo Full Moon is in the third face of Leo associated with the Seven of Wands illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a figure 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.

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. As the peak illumination of the Leo Full Moon wanes in the week ahead, open yourself to discovering a symbol of your most soulful purpose to carry through the challenges to come in 2020. Not as a banner to use in imposing your will upon others, but rather as a guiding star you may follow through whatever difficulties and darkness arise.

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References

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