Libra Full Moon

Blake angels

William Blake (1805) The Angels Hovering Over the Body of Christ in the Sepulchre

Full Moon in Libra

The Libra Full Moon on March 31 arrives at the heart of a tempestuous Mercury retrograde period, bringing a gale of Libra winds to a tumultuous astrological environment dominated by the fire and earth elements. We stand at the crossroads of tense, dynamic aspects among the cardinal signs of Libra, Aries, and Capricorn. The volatile atmosphere stokes inner flames and the heat necessary to reshape elements of life to craft change and incite new movement and growth. Frustration can come from feeling we lack time or being overwhelmed by responsibilities that disperse focus. Yet the Libra Full Moon supplies illumination that can lift us above sources of stress for a larger perspective that will bring creative solutions when we question how we can rearrange things to move more with the flow rather than dissipating energy through resistance. Moving into space in which we can focus on what we want to work on brings enormous potency with the current alignments. In the heat of engagement we may cooly detach from expectations and allow the alteration of matter to guide our drive rather than trying to force control.

The Full Moon perfects a day before Mercury retrograde in Aries enters the heart of the Sun to be purified and reborn in its inferior conjunction. The fiery union of Mercury and Sun incites desire for expression yet this is also an inner, sacred moment of Mercury’s cycle that is more about the grace of regeneration rather than loud declarations. It is an ideal moment to commit ourselves to an intention, change in lifestyle, or development of a project. At the same time Mercury and the Sun are uniting, Mars and Saturn are also uniting in a a square aspect to Mercury’s inferior conjunction that can be utilized to instigate change while also needing to reconcile with shifts in external realities that are out of our control. When we exert ourselves toward a goal, commit the entirety of our being to manifestation of an idealized vision, we arrive at a balancing point of our self-centered motivations and the needs of others. The Full Moon is opportune for simultaneously clarifying what we want to create as well as how to modify our creative process to serve the needs of others.

Libra is the outwardly directed home of Venus, a place of calibration where we measure our sense of inner value against external realities. Noticing disharmony enlivens our feel for harmony, while witnessing injustice shapes our conception of justice. While the Full Moon will bring significant messages informing our perspective of external events, it also brings strong capacity to enter an inner dialogue with one’s unconscious, whether messages come from our dreams or in moments of solitary contemplation. Mercury retrograde in this time of its solar union can help us engage what Carl Jung called auseinandersetzung, German for “taking something to pieces.”  This refers to confrontation in dialogue in which two people verbally engage without running away from the conflict.  By staying engaged in the dialogue, the differences inherent to the disagreement become clarified and distinct, making an agreement or compromise possible.  Jung believed it was also possible to engage in such a dialogue with one’s psyche, clarifying the unconscious being projected into relationships and keeping us from perpetuating past relational patterns.

As the Moon lingers in its full phase from March 31 through April 2, there is a liberating lunar atmosphere to embrace. While the Libra Full Moon is in opposition to the union of the Sun and Mercury in Aries, a day after the exact alignment the Moon will oppose Eris and Uranus in Aries. Simultaneously the Moon forms a square aspect with a union of Mars and Saturn in Capricorn as the Moon waxes full and then immediately begins to apply to a square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Only Jupiter and Neptune stand apart in water signs that do not belong to the cardinal modality. However, once the Moon enters Scorpio on April 2 it will form a harmonious trine with Neptune while moving toward union with Jupiter, while forming an integrative sextile with the Mars and Saturn conjunction. As a result the days following the Full Moon hold potential to inject imaginative visioning into whatever difficulties or hardship arise in correspondence with the union of Mars and Saturn.

PolyhymniA-Francesco_del_Cossa_001

Polyhymnia by Francesco del Cossa

The Full Moon takes place in the exaltation of Saturn, and Saturn furthermore has triplicity dignity in Air signs. Saturn is at home in Capricorn, in a strong position that pulls us down into earthly focus on how to build and develop supportive structures for whatever we want to implement.  Since Mars is in its exaltation as it unites with Saturn in Capricorn in the days following the Libra Full Moon, we have an incredibly powerful union of Mars and Saturn to work with.  When Mars and Saturn come together in their cycle, world events tend to be fear inducing while in personal realms we may feel like our driving desire has come up against a wall or blockage. Mars and Saturn last united on August 24, 2016 at 9°52′ Sagittarius, before that on August 25, 2014 at 17°40′ Scorpio, and before that on August 15, 2012 at 24°49′ Libra. These were difficult time periods in world events, yet you may also notice looking back that initiatives taken during these time periods have ended up having powerful staying power. Work developed under the union of Mars and Saturn may develop slowly at first, but patience and thorough follow through will bring a resilient, persevering quality to the endeavor.

Mercury’s interior union with the Sun in Aries is bound to the union of Mars and Saturn since it is occurring in the home of Mars. While imagination can be applied to whatever we engage with, this is not a lunation for wild leaps of fancy that lack grounding in real knowledge we have earned from actual experience. There is enormous potency for yoking inspiration to self-discipline and taking personal accountability for responsibilities. There are some responsibilities we may need to ease up on, however, in order to create space needed to focus on what feels most authentically resonant. Mars and Saturn together mean that it likely will not work to impulsively trail blaze or burn down obstacles in our way. Instead contemplate and discover what lesson the obstacle or limitation holds. Most likely with patience and analysis it will be possible to work around or through the restriction, with the work gaining increased strength in the process.

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Taurus 1 Decan image from Allegory of April: Triumph of Venus by Francesco del Cossa

Venus in Taurus

Venus rules the Full Moon from her sensual, stable home in Taurus. Venus enters Taurus hours before the Full Moon, making a dramatic entrance into her inner, earthly home. Venus enters Taurus immediately following a volatilizing conjunction with Uranus activating unconscious material she can ground, integrate, and wield while in Taurus. Its sort of like Venus just returned home from a wild, inspirational journey, and she has a lot of work to take care of once back home she must address immediately. Once in Taurus, Venus enters into facilitating roles with Mars and Saturn, forming a trine aspect to both. Venus as ruler of the Full Moon points to the lunation facilitating real progress in practical projects, as well as grounding support that can come from resonant relationships.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress you associate with Mars and Saturn, seek Venus and her pleasing, embodied significations. Focus on taking care of your body, making nutritious food, holding and supporting loved ones. Artistic works and projects can be especially potent to engage with as Venus moves across Taurus and into a closer trine aspect with both Mars and Saturn.  Venus will form an exact trine with Saturn on April 7 and an exact trine with Mars on April 10. As Venus forms these trine aspects with Mars and Saturn she simultaneously will be making her presence felt at the bendings, forming a square aspect to the transiting lunar nodes. There will be important messages and issues arising we will have to face involving Venus.

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3 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 2 Decan

The Full Moon arises in the second decan of Libra associated with the Three of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Saturn rules the second face of Libra, and in the piercing heartbreak and cold atmosphere of the image we can observe the transcendence through pain that can be brought by Saturn. In times of heartbreak we can access a newfound strength that can then increase our capacity to return to our love, as well as opens us to greater levels of empathy, compassion, and awareness of those around us.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked Saturn’s exaltation in Libra to the binding of “happy marriages and fruitful alliances” found in the second decan of Libra, as well as the breaking apart of such agreements.  Coppock described it as “a face of lasting unions and blended karma” in which “the power of obligation fixes volatile passions,” creating “a firm foundation for the good life.” The importance Coppock placed on being faithful to commitments within relationships as well as to oneself is vital to bear in mind at the Full Moon if we wish to reap a healthy harvest.

The Full Moon opposes the Sun in its own exaltation, and the second face of Libra integrates the meaning of its polarity with an exalted Sun in terms of revealing the necessity of tempering our solar expression with the responsibilities of our binding relationships. Saturn in Capricorn receiving an exalted Mars into its home demands accountability and discipline. Yet as mentioned the presence of Venus in Taurus signifies we can make work pleasurable and fruitful, and the union of Sun and Mercury in Aries signifies we can also make it inspirational. These are not easy transits, and we will need to avoid self-criticism and being too hard on ourselves for not getting everything done. Allow yourself to rest and relax as needed, for revitalized energy will be needed in the weeks ahead. Though challenging, on the other side of these transits you may look back with satisfaction on how you overcame difficulties and made important progress.

References

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

Stein, Murray. (1998). Jung’s Map of the Soul. Open Court.

 

Full Moon in Libra

max ernst whole city

La Ville Entière (1935/6) by Max Ernst

Oh, may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence; live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
For miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night
like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge men’s
search
To vaster issues.
So to live is heaven:
To make undying music in the world . . .

—George Eliot from “The Choir Invisible”

The Full Moon on April 10 or 11, depending upon your location, is united with Jupiter in Libra and ruled by Venus retrograde in Pisces.  The generous pleasures we might expect from a Full Moon so strongly bound with Jupiter and Venus, however, are significantly altered by the catalytic aspects surrounding each.  The Full Moon forms challenging aspects with Uranus and Pluto, while Venus is slowing down to stand still within a hard aspect to Saturn.  There is both immense destruction and inspiring creativity occurring, with those grasping for power locked in unyielding combat just as others are joining forces in dynamic co-creation.  The constant theme weaving through all is accelerated change instigating amplified feelings and the need to adjust and rebalance within turbulent, swift currents.

The Libra Full Moon is not for the faint of heart, as it calls for a courageous response to current circumstances.   Uranus demands empowered radicality willing to burst free from restrictive conventions, Pluto demands acting from a place of secure inner authority, while Jupiter is magnifying a yearning for connection and shared generosity that can empower those with shared interests.  Jupiter aligned with the Full Moon also can provoke overwhelming emotional reactions to whatever feels unjust within the numerous struggles swirling within society.  These aspects also shine light on selfish quests for wealth and power by groups and individuals attempting control without regard for the repercussions of their action on others.  The Full Moon in the outwardly directed home of Venus supports organizing networks to aid those in need as well as channelling tensions into artistry, creativity, and inventive responses that uplift, empower, and express love.

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The Hundred Headless Woman Opens Her August Sleeve (1929) by Max Ernst

In Love and Will I pointed out that behind will lies wish. This does not mean that whatever one wishes will then become the goal of one’s resolution, but it does mean that the deeper levels of human motivation must include wishing, whether one calls it yearning, longing, passionate desiring, or something else. Otherwise the willing is merely applied from the outside and is never transformed into action. We must have a conviction before an act of will can be effective. “Wish” is part of the area in human consciousness which includes hoping, yearning, imagination, believing– all of which have to do with the innate dimension of feelings that give birth to motivation . . .

Wishing, longing, yearning, myth making– all these activities of human consciousness are as central as they have ever been, and any teaching of resolutions or guiding rules that does not include these activities is doomed to failure. Wishing and hoping come directly out of the functions of dreaming and making myths. “In dreams begin responsibilities,” as the poet Delmore Schwartz so rightly reminded us, and we could say with even more cogency, if less poetically, in myths begin ethics and aspirations. It was a wise person who stated, “I don’t care who makes a society’s laws as long as I can make their myths.”

— Rollo May from The Cry for Myth

Venus retrograde in Pisces rules the Full Moon in square to Saturn and conjoining Chiron while slowly moving backward across her exaltation degree.  Venus retrograde is not known for wish fulfillment, but Venus retrograde arising as a Morning Star shortly before sunrise in exaltation can bring clarity to our deepest desires, most cherished values and priorities, and the relationships deserving our commitment.  Under the influence of Saturn’s scythe we also more acutely feel the limitations of time available to pursue passions and the necessity of persevering through separations or trying circumstances. Saturnine traits such as patience, discipline, and hard work will be needed, as well as walking the virtuous path of integrity.  Lessons may arise around how our Venusian natures must descend into our unconscious feelings and innermost yearnings in order to arise and manifest what will bring us our true pleasures as well as empowered presence.

The Full Moon in Libra under the influence of Venus in this position will magnify the suffering of the world and those oppressed and victimized by dominant power structures. As Venus is holding counsel with Chiron in a cave near her most sacred water, the incendiary inferno of dogmatism and its persecutory rage swirl and snarl with Saturnine constriction.  However, Venus in her degree of natural abundance has many resources at her disposal to address the demands of Saturn.  We must accept fate and our destiny that has brought us to this point, yet as our hearts guide us to who and what we wish to commit to, we will discover not only what we want to build but how to further develop it in the months ahead.  After Venus stations direct on April 15, she will form her final square with Saturn on April 21 during the last quarter phase of the current lunation cycle.  The challenges of Saturn will guide us toward creating the supports needed to bring our inner dreams and visions into reality.

Hokusai-fuji-koryuu

The Dragon of Smoke Escaping Mt. Fuji by Hokusai

The tumultuous conflicts among world leaders that have been increasing in magnitude recently can be viewed in astrology through the current retrograde movement of Jupiter that has taken it from an opposition with Uranus back through a square with Pluto.  On April 7 Jupiter experienced the heart of its retrograde phase by forming an exact opposition with the Sun, and as a result key events on both collective and personal levels have been occurring that illustrate the current trajectory of development and expansion.  Just as storylines in world events can be traced back seven years ago when the square between Uranus and Pluto was first forming, so may we sense the roots of our current dilemmas in our experiences of the past few years of immense change.  The Full Moon in Libra will highlight not only where we have greater potential for growth to manifest, but also show us the foundational issues we must address if we wish to reach the full potential.  The volatilizing influence Jupiter is bringing to Pluto and Uranus will be continuing to play out until early October when Jupiter finally leaves Libra for the sign of Scorpio.

Vesta in Cancer has been engaging with the challenging aspects between Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto since the beginning of February, as Vesta stationed direct in mid March in range of an opposition to Pluto and a square to both Jupiter and Uranus.  Vesta in Cancer is in square to the Full Moon and as a result the full meaning of Vesta challenging Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto will be illuminated.  Vesta in Cancer has been bringing focus to what needs nurturing within us, whether that be a wellness or spiritual practice, opening to a relationship or tending to one’s own inner realm in private sanctum.  Vesta is able to sustain focus with copious amounts of commitment, and so brings the importance of making time and space each day to invest energy into passionate work or personal ritual that activates authentic spirituality and creativity.

There is additional martial force underlying the Libra Full Moon as its ruler Venus is receiving Mars in Taurus through a sextile.  Mars is also separating from a conjunction with Ceres in Taurus, bringing both Mars and Ceres into contact with Venus retrograde.  On the one hand this means the widespread conflicts and violence that have been enflaming world events will continue to intensify.  On personal levels, however, the sextile between Mars, Ceres, and Venus makes a lot of desire available to inject into building supportive structures as well as guarding and protecting who or what we hold most dear.  This is not a fast and impulsive Mars vibe but rather one that is slow, steady, thorough, and capable of patiently developing goals rather than acting rashly and impatiently.

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Mercury’s Meditation (1973) by Giorgio de Chirico

Memory is the mother of creativity. This is a myth worth pondering. For it is in memory that one saves and savors the significant experiences, the dazzling sights, the critical events. In memory these precious experiences form themselves together into a myth which tells us a story. We say we “sleep on an idea,” and when we wake up we may feel we have arrived at a new insight, as though it were a gift from the gods. And who is to say it is not? Mnemosyne, or “Memory,” is the goddess who puts together our materials with which new discoveries are made and poems are written and great books and enduring paintings are inspired.

— Rollo May from Crying for Myth

Mercury is bearing a potent witness and influence to events surrounding the Full Moon, as Mercury stationed retrograde in Taurus a day before the lunation and is also symbolically descending into the underworld at sunset as it will be disappearing from view until reemerging again as a Morning Star around April 29.  These conditions were known as being phasis in ancient astrology and gives Mercury retrograde in Taurus increased prominence to deliver a vital message we are in need of receiving.  We may gain awareness of thoughts and memories buried within our inner recesses that dramatically alter our current perceptions, or a potent omen may cross our path while slumbering in dreams or journeying through our environment that proves to serve as a powerful guide in the time period ahead.

Mercury has some natural strength where it is stationing, for Mercury rules the first decan of Taurus.  The astrologer Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces noted that the Mercurial first face of Taurus holds resonance with the thorough and patient planning necessary to develop future harvests.  Yet Mercury is under the full influence of Venus at the Full Moon as it is in both the home and the bounds of Venus, drawing us into our bodily senses to find meaning through our subjective sensual faculties.  From the Full Moon in Libra through the last quarter phase of the forthcoming lunation cycle, Mercury will be in the process of being purified and regenerated under the beams of our Sun, and while we may notice some delays in Mercurial significations in our lives, we will also be able to strip away old mental habits and patterns in need of release.  Around April 19 or 20, Mercury will enter the heart of the Sun at the first degree of Taurus, uniting with our solar light and becoming empowered to bring about everything to do with the Mercury archetype in our lives. The powerful Venusian influence upon this moment further amplifies potential to reveal inner desires and values needing to emerge into awareness, with the last quarter lunation helping us dislodge from old preconceptions.

4 of Swords

4 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 3 Decan

The Full Moon in Libra falls in the third face of Libra, associated with the Four of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image above we see what looks to be a tomb with a statue of a knight in prayer, under a stained glass window of “PAX” or “peace.”  This image also evokes a pilgrim in meditative silence within a protected, sacred space, and likewise it can help us find our own balance at this time if we can manage to create our own space for solace in silence.  Since we are in a time of Mercury retrograde, we also can integrate the duality within this image, the concept of peace that necessitates the concept of conflict, the pilgrim/knight in prayer surrounded by swords.  Within the balance of these dualities, we can sense how his positioning is like a re-balancing of the chakras and re-integration of our body and mind, and the sword below him is a tool to be used to cut away the false and inessential in order to reveal our essential and genuine presence that can emerge now.

Jupiter rules the third face of Libra, a decan that Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Gyroscope” to in his book on the decans 36 Faces.  Coppock equated the third face of Libra with “equilibrating movement through a chaotic universe,” linking its meaning to the Four of Swords image with facing that “justice must reconcile itself to an injust world, and peace to a world riven with conflict.”  Coppock notably pointed out that earlier images associated with the third decan of Libra as found in such text as the Picatrix and Three Books of Occult Philosophy featured images of “furious indulgence” and “extremes of revelry” such as “violence, gluttony, deviant sexuality, and boisterous joy.”  If we can find balance within the wild oscillating forces moving through this decan, Coppock suggested it “allows one to see through the eye of the storm” to learn that “equipoise may be maintained in any circumstance- shelter in any storm” (p. 168-70).

Jupiter stationed retrograde in its own face around February 6, turning back within a place of strength to eventually station direct on June 9 in range of a square to Pluto.  As we experienced the heart of the Jupiter retrograde when it directly opposed our Sun a few days before the Full Moon in Libra, the Full Moon is illuminating important information for us to focus on in order to bring about the dynamic visions that have been entering our awareness since Jupiter turned retrograde back in February.  As the lessons of the third face of Libra suggest, we must strike balance within turbulent and contending forces surrounding us in worldly events, finding center within the true desires and love of our burning heart.

References

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

Eliot, George. (1926). One Hundred and One Famous Poems. Chicago: Cable.

May, Rollo. (1991). The Cry for Myth. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.