Full Moon in Pisces: Flow into Fomalhaut

Pisces fish with ship hermetic

from the book of Lamspring (1607) kept in the library of Salzburg

Full Moon in Pisces

The Full Moon in Pisces on August 26 illuminates the lunar cycle that began with the partial Solar Eclipse in Leo on August 11, facilitating the finding of one’s place within all of the volatile changes that have been stirred up since June by Mars retrograde, Mercury retrograde, and a series of three eclipses in a row. Eclipse season has now ended, Mercury retrograde is over with Mercury firmly direct, and Mars is finally stationing direct as the Full Moon forms. The changes stirred up by the eclipses and Mars retrograde will be continuing to take shape in the next couple of months, but the Pisces Full Moon contains many supportive aspects that makes it an ideal time to recenter and revision plans in accord with recent shifts in storylines.

There is a stabilizing, flowing earth triangle formed at the Full Moon by the Sun in Virgo,  Uranus in Taurus, and Saturn in Capricorn. The Full Moon forms what some astrologers call a “kite” with the earth triangle, with the Pisces Full Moon at the midpoint of Saturn and Uranus, forming a harmonious sextile to each. Making this alignment even more potent, Saturn in Capricorn is slowing down to station direct on September 6, making the influence of Saturn especially strong in the week following the Full Moon. Altogether these aspects support breakthrough plans, taking new initiative cut free from inhibitions or restrictions from the past. Most importantly these aspects provide tangible, practical grounding into discerning how to structure and manifest innovative ideas and make real progress toward overarching goals that weave together diverse elements of core values.

The Full Moon is ruled by Jupiter in Scorpio separating from a trine with Neptune in Pisces, and applying toward a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn. As a result Jupiter in Scorpio brings a deepening and intensification to all manner of visionary projects and creative expression worked on in the light of the Full Moon.  These aspects with Neptune and Pluto form part of the central promise of Jupiter’s time in Scorpio that began in October 2017, and so the Pisces Full Moon highlights how we can find treasures within the underworld domain Jupiter has been inhabiting while in Scorpio. The gifts Jupiter brings while in Scorpio are not found within easy experiences so much as they are discovered when bravely confronting difficult questions and dynamics. Jupiter remains bright in night skies and is moving direct through its final passage in Scorpio that will end November 8 when Jupiter enters Sagittarius.

As there have been numerous difficult collective experiences occurring with regard to environmental and political toxicity, the Pisces Full Moon points to what positive growth we can cultivate for ourselves and surrounding communities. If things have been falling apart around you and you have been burdened by grief or anger over upsetting events, the Pisces Full Moon also offers a climate supportive for an outpouring of emotion that can bring cleansing through the release. In particular the Pisces Full Moon is well suited for transmuting difficult feelings through expression and creation in any of the arts, whether that process involves tactile building or more intellective, abstract processing.

piscis notius

Pisces Notius aka Piscis Austrinus “the Southern Fish” with Fomalhaut in the mouth drinking the water poured by Aquarius, from Uranographia (1801) by Johann Bode

Fomalhaut

The Pisces Full Moon is aligned closely by zodiacal degree with the great fixed star Fomalhaut, one of the four royal stars of Persia considered since ancient times to be one of the four watchers of the year. Due to precession, around 3,000 BC in Persia it became known as the “Watcher in the South” due to marking the Winter Solstice, according to Bernadette Brady in her book on fixed stars. Its heliacal rising was also aligned with Greek temples devoted to Demeter around 500 BC. Fomalhaut is a star in the mouth of the Southern Fish, a constellation distinct from the fish of the Pisces constellation. Fomalhaut is at the point of intake where the Southern Fish is drinking from the celestial water poured by the constellation of Aquarius, the Water Bearer. Bernadette Brady wrote that Fomalhaut and the Southern Fish can be associated with the fish in Celtic mythology holding great wisdom to be discovered by those willing to venture into its watery depths. Ptolemy linked Fomalhaut with Venus and Mercury and there has been a long tradition by various astrologers of describing it as an angelic, poetic, guiding star of mystics.

Bernadette Brady additionally wrote that Fomalhaut is not only associated with “charisma,” “beauty or perfect harmony,” but also “high ideals or lofty visions” that force individuals under its influence “to clash with mainstream thought in order to achieve these ideals.” Brady also noted the warning that comes with all of the Royal Stars, that while Fomalhaut can signify true success it can also lead to a total downfall “if the ideals or dreams are corrupt in any way.” Oftentimes Mars retrograde periods call us to do things differently, taking action in areas we have previously held back from engaging with. When our ideals clash with the status quo, unless we are rebellious by nature it can take time to cultivate the inner fortitude needed to buck convention. With Mars now stationing direct, Fomalhaut’s co-presence with the Full Moon will strengthen resolve to follow through with unconventional visions.

There is interesting symbolism with Fomalhaut drinking the water of the Aquarius constellation, since Mars stationed retrograde in tropical Aquarius and is stationing direct as the Full Moon aligns with Fomalhaut. Fomalhaut’s influence will aid in creatively actualizing whatever has been stirred up by the Mars retrograde, fueling achievement of idealistic visions. Interestingly, the Pisces Full Moon is the most auspicious full Moon we have experienced since the Sagittarius Full Moon on May 29 that was aligned with two of the other royal stars, Antares and Aldebaran (Sun was conjoining Aldebaran; Moon was conjoining Antares). The Sagittarius Full Moon occurred before the Mars retrograde, and so with Mars stationing direct now there can be significant movement on whatever has been developing since that time. The Pisces Full Moon signals a time to take action on developing vision.

lamspring unicorn and deer

from the book of Lamspring (1607) kept in the library of Salzburg

Venus & Mercury: Creative Visualization

The Full Moon is in the bounds of Venus, with Venus at her brightest phase during twilight as an Evening Star. Venus is also at home in Libra and so strongly sovereign in both phase and place: she is embodying her role as Queen of Heaven. Yet she has an important challenge to face and integrate from Pluto in Capricorn, as Venus is in a square aspect with Pluto. This aspect can dredge up deep, previously buried desires to process, as well as catalyze empowering ambition that will benefit from the spacial and relational perception of Libra that can discern how to take action without causing damaging disruption within relationships. Venus in Libra is on the superior side of the square with Pluto, suggesting that social justice conflicts involving plutocratic power structures will have the scales tipped in favor of those fighting for equity and possessing ethical concern for oppression caused by systematic bias. As the fullness in lunar light amplifies feelings, so will the tension between Venus and Pluto lead to an outpouring of emotional expression and catharsis.

After Venus completes her square with Pluto, she will begin moving toward a square aspect with Mars in Capricorn during the waning cycle of the Moon that will finally complete on September 8 during a Dark Moon in Virgo. Venus will also begin to descend lower and lower each night in elevation as an Evening Star as she approaches her retrograde phase in Scorpio that will begin on October 5. Venus will enter the zodiacal degree shadow zone of her upcoming retrograde phase on September 2 at 25°14 Libra, the degree at which she will eventually station direct at the end of her retrograde in November. Since we know a Venus retrograde period is coming in October, we can begin to gain awareness for shifting narratives and changes we can sense are beginning to take shape in relationships.

Fascinatingly, just before entering her shadow zone Venus will form a conjunction with the benefic fixed star Spica on August 31, a conjunction that will not only happen by zodiacal degree but also visually in the sky. Around August 31 we will be able to see Venus as an Evening Star in the same space as Spica, the fixed star that forms the wheat held by the winged goddess of the Virgo constellation. Spica is associated with Venus and has a long tradition of being connected with bountiful gifts, talents, and reception of important knowledge. As a result it as if Spica is initiating Venus into her upcoming underworld journey, giving us a gift of insight to take with us into our experience with Venus retrograde in Scorpio and Libra in October and November.

A day after Venus enters her shadow zone she will form an exact sextile with Mercury in Leo on September 3. At the time of the Full Moon Mercury is already within four degrees of a sextile with Venus and so will be in an extended harmonious relationship with Venus in the week and a half following the Pisces Full Moon. Mercury is also applying to a square with Jupiter in Scorpio at the Full Moon, the third and final time that Mercury has formed a square with Jupiter recently due to its retrograde (previously Mercury was square to Jupiter on August 11 and July 9). This is yet another element of the Pisces Full Moon supporting taking a leap forward toward visions we have previously not felt ready to devote ourselves fully toward.

At the time of the Pisces lunation Mercury will also be at maximum elongation as a Morning Star after having previously gone through its retrograde phase, which is in contrast to Venus being at the maximum elongation that precedes her upcoming retrograde phase.  Altogether this means there is an exchange of insight occurring between Mercury and Venus as we transition from a period of Mercury and Mars being retrograde into a period of Venus being retrograde. We now have the potential to embody increased levels of creativity sourced by the regenerative process of Mercury being retrograde in July and August during a series of eclipses. The week following the Full Moon will support taking risks and initiating change in alignment with whatever wants to emerge from the recent period of volatility.

Mercury will enter its home and exaltation in Virgo as the Moon wanes in light on September 5, forming a trine with Saturn as it stations direct in Capricorn on September 6. Immediately upon entering Virgo, Mercury will re-activate the earth triangle formed by Uranus in Taurus, Saturn in Capricorn, and Mercury in Virgo. Mercury is extremely effective with discerning analysis while in Virgo, and will prove to be a valuable ally in figuring out how to most effectively implement plans and problem solve whatever difficulties arise.

lamspring raptors in tree

from the book of Lamspring (1607) kept in the library of Salzburg

Mars Stationing Direct

An immense influence over the Pisces Full Moon comes from the fiery red planet Mars that is finally stationing direct. Mars will station direct on August 28 at 28°36′ Capricorn, dominating the astrological atmosphere with its assertive, separative, and martial influence in the surrounding week. Mars has been retrograde since it stationed at 9°13′ Aquarius on June 26, and with it finally beginning to slowly shift forward again in the week following the Full Moon, those who have felt frustrated by their experience and expression with Mars retrograde may get the sense of their full will force returning to them. The Pisces Full Moon will also serve as a final illumination of whatever inner transformation has coincided with Mars being retrograde and is now informing outer expression.

Although Mars stations direct a couple of days after the Full Moon, it essentially is not moving  and will remain between 28 and 29 degrees of Capricorn through September 3. Mars will eventually return to Aquarius on September 11, form its final conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius on September 25, and will finally exits its retrograde shadow zone on October 8. This means that we are going to continue dealing with all of the changes brought by Mars retrograde over the course of the next month and into October. Keeping this in mind, the stationing of Mars will bring revitalized desire to strike out in a new direction or go deeper in current direction. It’s also a good time to watch for triggers to conflict and avoid fights that are not necessary and drain energy levels. If you have been dealing with a lot of strife recently involving separations of some kind, there is likely a reborn presence you have recovered in the process to now embody more fully.

8_cups_rws_lg

8 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 1 Decan

The Pisces Full Moon falls in the first face of Pisces, associated with the 8 of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image the Sun appears to be becoming partially eclipsed, an interesting connection with the Pisces Full Moon illuminating a lunar cycle that began with a partial Solar Eclipse in Leo. The image contains a figure retreating into a watery, island realm of caves and seclusion ideal for contemplation. Their staff planted in earth, their red cape and boots signify the flowing vitality they may contact within a cultivated space of sacred meditation and ritual. The first face of Pisces is ruled by Saturn, which aligns perfectly with the image of a hermit turning away from the accepted and familiar in order to receive new visions of depth and penetrating insight.

Austin Coppick ascribed the image of “The Labyrinth” to the first face of Pisces, noting it signifies “a quest to map invisible walls of reality,” “the subtle structures which guide human life,” as well as the realization that our own unconscious is a primal progenitor of our current reality. Coppock wrote that in the first decan of Pisces we “recognize our imprisonment in our own reality construct” as well as “the possibility of liberation” from moving beyond our former boundaries into “a world as yet uncorrupted by our assumptions.”  Coppock concluded the “liberation is achieved through insight alone,” meaning not only that our soul can re-create our maze-like circumstances, but also that through acceptance of our present labyrinth we may discover what we felt to be a prison can instead be experienced as a palace.

The link between the primal, fertile potency of the unconscious with the first face of Pisces is interesting considering that the ancient Hellenistic text The 36 Airs linked the first face of Pisces with the titanic sea divinity Okeanos. More of a primal sea divinity than Poseidon, Okeanos was also known as the oceanic field surrounding the world where the Sun rises from at dawn and returns to at sunset. Tim Addey in The Seven Myths of the Soul stated that Okeanos was considered the “God of Separative Intellect” in Orphic theology. The following Orphic Hymn to Okeanos was translated by Thomas Taylor:

Ocean I call, whose nature ever flows, from whom at first both Gods and men arose; / Sire incorruptible, whose waves surround, and earth’s concluding mighty circle bound: / Hence every river, hence the spreading sea, and earth’s pure bubbling fountains spring from thee: / Hear, mighty fire, for boundless bliss is thine, whose waters purify the pow’rs divine: / Earth’s friendly limit, fountain of the pole, whose waves wide spreading and circumfluent roll. / Approach benevolent, with placid mind, and be for ever to thy mystics kind.

There is a sense of the fertile void that gives birth to all we can feel when staring into the ocean and smelling its scent, when drifting within its waves and aquatic life. Open to communion with soul at the Pisces Full Moon, and allow yourself to be guided from what emerges from within. The Pisces Full Moon signals a period of recovery from the stormy astrological weather of recent months, a time to nurture newfound strength and take initiative in helping to create the world we wish to live in. As Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote:

Whoever you are: in the evening step out / of your room, where you know everything; / yours is the last house before the far-off: / whoever you are. / With your eyes, which in their weariness / barely free themselves from the worn-out threshold, / you lift very slowly one black tree / and place it against the sky: slender, alone. / And you have made the world. And it is huge / and like a word which grows ripe in silence. / And as your will seizes on its meaning, / tenderly your eyes let it go . . .

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

 

References

Addey, Tim. (2000). The Seven Myths of the Soul. The Prometheus Trust.

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.

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

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (1991). The Book of Images. Translated by Edward Snow. North Point Press.

New Moon in Taurus

 

plantscape-Langsdorffia_hypogaea_vMH367

from Pflanzenleben (1887) by Anton Kerner von Marilaun

We drive and are driven.
But time’s stride—
think of it lost
in the ever-remaining.

All that’s hurrying
will quickly be past;
only what lingers
grants us credence.

Boys, don’t fling your courage
into the thrill of speed
or attempts at flight.

All that is at rest—
darkness and morning light,
flower and book.

—Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus, translated by Edward Snow

The New Moon in Taurus on May 6, 2016 is bountiful in blissful aspects, a sweet darkening of the Moon to savor and soak within the desires and intentions to manifest in the coming weeks.  The Full Moon in Sagittarius that follows this New Moon is extraordinary in dynamism, as it conjoins Mars Retrograde in Sagittarius at the time that Mars opposes the Sun and Mercury stations direct.  The Taurus New Moon is an awakening in the solace of pleasure, all the while an uproarious flood of events that will demand focused action awaits on the horizon.  The many harmonious aspects surrounding the Taurus New Moon can also bring keen realization into what does not feel right in life, and since the coming climate could create cacophony, it will be vital to utilize the waxing Crescent light of the Moon in the week ahead to make mindful choices aligned with the deepest intentions felt at this New Moon.

The New Moon in Taurus forms a trine to Pluto in Capricorn as well as a trine with Jupiter in Virgo.  Imagining lines connecting these three sections creates a triangular container in the sky, a configuration known as a Grand Earth Trine in astrology.  This passing transit will impact your chart in ways that require unique reflection, but in general signifies stabilizing, harmonious pathways linking the powers of Pluto, Jupiter, and the blackening union of Sun and Moon.  Furthermore, the New Moon is separating from a sextile to Neptune in Pisces, while Venus, the ruler of the New Moon, is applying to a sextile with Neptune.  The black elixir found in the Taurus New Moon induces magnetism with what comforts and soothes, brings security and safety.  Kindling feelings for what balms the Soul now will be valuable medicine to take into the unknown future that holds many climatic astrological aspects to traverse.

The lunar cycle commencing now will take us through the final of three last quarter square aspects between Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo that have been brewing since August 2015.  Squares between Saturn and Jupiter always signify monumental shifts in the collective, yet this particular one packs more power as Neptune in Pisces is in opposition to Jupiter and also in a last quarter square with Saturn- creating what is known commonly in astrology as a “T-square.”  Neptune’s invisible realm seeps through and erodes the walls constructed by Saturn to contain a sense of controlled reality, allowing Jupiter to expand vision beyond previous conditioned constraints.  With all of the earthy trines and sextiles mentioned involving Neptune and Jupiter with the Taurus New Moon, there will be tension between wanting to bask in the comfort of what gives a sense of security versus facing feelings that the underlying fabric of how one finds security is shifting and dissolving.  The melting of past forms and constructs that have brought meaning is further amplified by Mars Retrograde in Sagittarius, with Mercury Retrograde in Taurus pulling us inward to the roots of our senses and instincts.

Hathor Cedar

Hathor Column (380–200 BC Egyptian, Cedar)

Venus in Taurus

The pleasure principles of the Taurus New Moon are bolstered by Venus luxuriating in her home of Taurus, surrounded by her cherished, beautiful possessions.  The New Moon ruler being in her home sign signifies greater ease in manifesting Venusian forms, and since Venus also rules the transiting Mercury Retrograde some of the associated mercurial destabilization can achieve a sense of harmony.  Venus is also not forming any especially challenging or difficult aspects, and through her melodious aspects with visionary Neptune and Jupiter is in position to facilitate deep bodily awareness of what we need to feel fulfilled and satisfied in life.

As the Moon waxes through its First Quarter phase in the week ahead, Venus will also form a trine with Pluto while conjoining Mercury Retrograde.  These unifying aspects between Venus with chthonic, subterranean archetypes are fascinating from the perspective that Venus is additionally under the beams of the Sun and engaged in a process of solar purification that can unearth essential Venusian qualities from within.  The astrology surrounding the blackening of the Moon in Taurus clearly supports attuning as deep into internal realms as can be managed to uncover buried feelings and awareness of an authentic presence you have been resisting fully embodying for whatever reason.

Venus holding space for regeneration that leads to animated ardor is embellished by the asteroid Hathor conjoining Venus in Taurus, and the asteroid Juno in Scorpio separating from an opposition with Venus.  While Venus in Taurus brings images of the fertile soil through which green shoots and wildflowers emerge from the underworld, Hathor is the fertile sky that sources the water that brings life and the starstuff from which we are created.  Hathor is a Guide of Souls and a Solar Goddess whose alignment with Venus at the Taurus New Moon befits the Queen of Heaven being under the beams and on her way to a union with the Sun a month from now.  Combined with Juno in Scorpio in opposition, Venus with Hathor unveils the values needed to nourish joy from within so ecstatic union with a lover can be felt in our depths without fears of being betrayed, abandoned, or losing our sense of individualism in the merging.

Saules_sonata.Andante

Andante from Sonata of the Sun (1907) by M.K. Ciurlionis

Mercury Transit of Sun

As the New Moon perfects, Mercury Retrograde in Taurus is combust the Sun, less than five degrees away and becoming purified in the solar rays.  The last time Mercury was united with the Sun was at its Superior Conjunction that occurred at the time of the Libra Lunar Eclipse on 23 March 2016.  While Mercury is moving fast at its Superior Conjunction into the Sun and emerges on the other side as an Evening Star increasing in light, during Mercury Retrograde when Mercury unites with the Sun at its Inferior Conjunction it is moving backwards slowly en route to eventually emerging as a Morning Star.  This happened last on 14 January 2016 when Mercury was retrograde in Capricorn while trine to Jupiter in Virgo after Jupiter had recently stationed retrograde.  At the retrograde union between Mercury and the Sun that will occur on 9 May 2016, Jupiter in Virgo is stationing direct and once again in trine to Mercury being at the heart of the Sun.  All the changes in being, the ways in which we interpret and convey meaning from our experiences, that have come to pass since last January are becoming refined and regenerated through Mercury’s position at the Taurus New Moon.

A few days after the New Moon on May 9 when Mercury enters the heart of the Sun, it will not be a normal Inferior Conjunction but instead a Transit of Mercury that occurs about thirteen times every century.  There has not been once since November 2006 and will not be another until November 2019- with technological help you will be able to watch Mercury traverse across the face of the Sun, not unlike an eclipse though Mercury will only look like a tiny black dot rather than blackening the Sun’s light. Just as the Moon has nodes, and the nodes are the zodiac degrees that mark where eclipses occur, so do all of the planets possess nodes. Mercury’s solar union will occur at 19°25′ Taurus, which is within a degree of the heliocentric South Node of Mercury.

As a result, there is an element of the Taurus New Moon that is also connecting us with the descending arc of the full Mercury archetype. In part, the heliocentric South Node of Mercury being Taurus reveals inner senses, bodily instincts, sensory impressions, and memories as being the source of the Mercury archetype.  With Jupiter simultaneously stationing direct in Virgo, the home of Mercury, while in trine to Mercury and the Taurus New Moon, there is a deep reorientation occurring of how we discover and express meaning, as well as the sense of vision we will utilize to guide our choices and actions.

pents06

6 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 2 Decan

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

The Moon rules the second decan of Taurus, and since the Moon is also exalted in Taurus, there is tremendous potency found in the Taurus New Moon to set intentions for bringing greater abundance into one’s life.   As there is furthermore a Grand Earth Trine formed between the Taurus New Moon, Jupiter in Virgo, and Pluto in Capricorn, being mindful to take focused action aligned with the greater prosperity desired can be fruitful in the weeks ahead.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Linga-Yoni” to the second face of Taurus, bridging images of “procreative unions” and “wanton fertilization” with the practice of virtuous action:

The fecund but unquickened earth, the alchemical salt, is visited by the bright and active beams of the Sun, the sulphur . . . Yet the matter is not brought to fruition solely by means of a single conjunction, no matter how vigorous.  Once planted, the matter must be attended to carefully and consistently.  One cannot decide to water a plant when one chooses, nor can one make up for neglect by a double application of effort the next day.  Consistency and dedication must join fecundity and passion to complete the picture this face provides.

–Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, p. 75

While there are many harmonious aspects surrounding the Taurus New Moon, the larger astrological atmosphere also includes Mars Retrograde, Mercury Retrograde, and the t-square between Saturn in Sagittarius, Neptune in Pisces, and Jupiter in Virgo.  As a result the ease of undulating energy surrounding the Taurus New Moon is catalyzed by an actively shifting astrological environment.  Taking time for rest and regeneration if needed is always advisable, but to achieve the success and prosperity heralded by the Taurus New Moon will require disciplined acts of integrity followed through to completion.  We have an exciting month ahead, beginning with a New Moon supporting deep visions of abundance, followed by an electrifying Full Moon that will instigate dynamic movement.

References

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

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2004). Sonnets to Orpheus. Translated by Edward Snow. North Point Press.