Gold coin from India dated A.D. 1621–22, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Full Moon in Capricorn
Cancer and Capricorn are signs of solstices, peak times of birth and maturation, stages of intentional visioning and full illumination. This Full Moon in Capricorn is the first full lunation since the solstice, and holds a thread to the previous season as it is square to the Libra Lunar Eclipse that happened on April 4, 2015, thus triggering all associated issues. Cancer is connected to the living image of the crab, yet also associated with the child birthed from the womb of the mother. Capricorn is the living image of the sea-goat, a creature who emerges from the oceanic source of life to climb onto the elevated heights of the material plane. In the polarity from Cancer to Capricorn lit up in this Full Moon, we gain a sense of our personal identity that has emerged from the primordial oceanic matrix and the roles and responsibilities we are called to take on for the benefit of family, relationships, and community. There is a compulsive quality to the urge we can feel to manifest our ambitions at this Full Moon, as the Moon is conjunct Pluto in Capricorn and the Sun is conjunct Mars in Cancer.
We bask in the glow of this Capricorn Full Moon in the aftermath of the glorious conjunction between Venus and Jupiter that has been captivating our attention in the night sky for weeks. Not only is Venus separating from a conjunction with Jupiter at the time of the Full Moon, this Venus and Jupiter conjunction is also separating from a trine with Uranus in Aries. Since Neptune in Pisces is also forming a sextile to the Full Moon and trine to the Sun and Mars, there is a clear transpersonal activation in this Full Moon to our most pressing issues on a soul level. The expansive liberation that could have entered your life through Venus, Jupiter, and Uranus recently can be linked to the Sun and Mars in Cancer at this Full Moon through the symbolism of the crab and the molting of its crustacean shell. Crabs create a new shell for themselves through re-absorbing elements of the old exoskeleton in order to separate the old shell from their skin, and in this symbol we can interpret the crab’s shell as being the personality formed around our soul. Our soul likewise expands beyond our conditioned, personal identity in order to generate a new sense of self, reabsorbing some elements and shedding others, and this process is slow and in need of patience and nurturing.
The constriction and tension we could feel being compelled to expand beyond the limitations of belief conditioning our past can be seen in another aspect at this Full Moon, the square between Venus and Jupiter with Saturn in Scorpio. Saturn in Scorpio is the ruler of this Full Moon and can help in the release of what needs to die and be let go, and the re-structuring of a new form for our personality to live from. With the Full Moon conjunct Pluto, the aspect of Pluto taught by Jeff Green in his evolutionary astrology is important to keep in mind, as this shows that our personality will be emotionally bound to deep soul patterns we have been attached to. Self-care may be necessary if we feel overwhelmed by compulsive fixation on anything currently out of reach. The associated issues can vary from person to person, but the Full Moon being in Capricorn means in general a strong pull toward the role we desire to take responsibility for playing in our community. Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn holds resonance together at this Full Moon through their capacity to regenerate a more fitting structure for our life and calling, and we can receive a message in how to reformulate plans along these lines.
Cancer silver coin from India dated A.D. 1622–23, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Mars in Cancer
This Capricorn Full Moon follows the previous New Moon in Gemini that was connected with a new cycle between the Sun and Mars, and Mars is holding a pivotal place in aspect at this Full Moon. Mars in Cancer is conjunct the Sun and opposite the Capricorn Moon, and crucially is square to the lunar nodes just as the Full Moon is square to it’s own nodes. While the Full Moon in Capricorn has a strong pull to resolve its significations with external goals through the North Node in Libra, Mars in Cancer seeks resolution through the South Node in Aries that is closely conjunct Vesta at the time of the Full Moon. This connection between Mars in Cancer and the South Node of the Moon is further augmented by the fact that Mars is the transiting ruler of the South Node. As Mars is combust the Sun at an early, more vulnerable feeling stage of its new cycle with the Sun, this potent aspect reveals choices that must be made between desires to satisfy our Self versus feeling compelled to satisfy the needs of the Other in relationships.
In traditional astrology we know Mars is considered to be in it’s “fall” in Cancer, which means among other things that the direct, blood-pumping drive of Mars does not find an easy fit in the sign of the compassionate, considerate Cancer. The crab (Cancer) has a side-step motion in comparison to the signs of the charging ram (Aries) and venomous scorpion (Scorpio) that Mars favors. Cancer is a cardinal sign of active initiation, yet significations of Cancer tend to be around creativity and the arts, and creature comforts of home and family, rather than traditionally martial activities. Part of the conflict involving Mars at this Full Moon could center around wanting to simply relax in comfort and attend to emotional needs versus aggressively pursuing the drive toward goals associated with Capricorn.
Integrating the perspective of evolutionary astrology is helpful to sort out the meaning of Mars square the lunar nodes, as this system of astrology focuses more on the “why” of Mars being in Cancer rather than its “fall.” Jeff Green has taught that Mars in Cancer desires security and safety, and while we have the tendency to seek security through external structures such as career, salary, and validation from relationships, the core lesson to learn here is that to achieve true security we must feel it within without reliance on outside reinforcement. Until Mars in Cancer develops this inner security, Mars can tend to use the psychic sensitivity and claws of the crab to attempt to control others and manipulate situations in order to achieve its security needs. The Full Moon in Capricorn conjunct Pluto calls for an evolution of Mars in Cancer to take complete responsibility for our emotions and the actions that come out of our feelings. Through secure self-determination, we can more full embody the best qualities Mars in Cancer has to offer in terms of being protective, nurturing, compassionate, and empowering toward others.
With Vesta closely conjunct the South Node of the Moon in Aries and square to Mars in Cancer, we may face challenges in being able to devote ourselves to independent self-focus on our own needs at this Full Moon. Vesta here suggests that making the time to focus on our own deepest desires instead of attempting to accommodate others inauthentically in our relationships will increase our ability to achieve a genuine sense of inner security. Connecting Vesta conjunct the South Node of the Moon in Aries to the fiery conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in Leo that is in trine to both Uranus in Aries and Pallas Athena in Sagittarius, there is potential for true creative breakthroughs in our works of passion and artistry at this lunation if we consciously make the determined effort of focus.
Boat in the Moonlight by Odilon Redon
There are also strong aspects in this Capricorn Full Moon to both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, suggesting the symbolism of maintaining a workable structure for our boat that will carry us across the oceanic expanse before us. The Cancer Sun is trine to Neptune in Pisces, and the Moon in Capricorn is sextile Neptune. Furthermore, Pluto in Capricorn is also in range to a sextile with both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces. All together this suggests striving forward at this full lunation with steps and actions to further develop skills and build forms to work toward manifesting deep dreams and visions. In combination with the Jupiter conjunction with Venus separating from a trine with Uranus in Aries, these are additional signs of a dynamic leap forward in growth available.
The Venus and Jupiter conjunction in Leo is quincunx to Chiron in Pisces, and the adjustment necessary to bridge the differences between Leo and Pisces can be worked out well in the realm of creativity or the arts. Now that Saturn has moved back into Scorpio, we also have a return to a trine between Saturn with Chiron in Pisces that can help bring in Uranus to our process through its trine to Jupiter and Venus. Since Saturn in Scorpio is the ruler of this Full Moon, it opens up an opportunity for giving form to information and inspiration we are receiving from our environment or channeling through concentrated focus.
The importance of concentrated focus is further amplified by Mercury in Gemini applying to a square with Chiron in Pisces. Mercury is moving direct in Gemini free of its earlier retrograde shadow zone and picking up speed each day. Chiron is the master teacher in Pisces who can connect his knowledge of star patterns in the sky with the patterns of healing found in the green world, as well as instill discipline and skill building in the martial arts. Mercury in Gemini is the willing student who can soak up learning and discern profound meaning in the interconnections of multiple disciplines of study. This aspect is yet another sign of potent growth available by diving into whatever we are passionate about studying, exploring, and developing excellence in, all themes that this Full Moon in Capricorn supports.
Illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith
Capricorn I Decan
The Full Moon in Capricorn falls in the first decan of Capricorn, associated with the 2 of Pentacles tarot card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a Mercurial juggler or magician playfully dancing while holding the motion of two pentacles in the form of an ouroboros or infinity symbol. Behind the figure is an ocean in which ships are surging over large tidal waves. The image expresses the perpetual motion and movement of matter, the procreative spirit contained within the material plane. Interpretation of this card tends to focus on change and the adjustments required to attend to competing interests in changing circumstances, such as balancing relationship obligations with changing career concerns. This angle on the card fits well with aspects of the Full Moon, in particular Mars conjunct the Sun in Cancer and square to the South Node of the Moon in Aries and North Node of the Moon in Libra.
Jupiter rules the first decan of Capricorn, which further increases the significance of the conjunction of Venus with Jupiter that is barely separating at the time of the Full Moon. The visionary quality of Jupiter that helps us find meaning in our life on earth connects to the attributions Austin Coppock gave to the first decan of Capricorn in his book 36 Faces, including the descent of spirit into matter and the corresponding ability of our mind to descend through strata of the natural world (animal, plant, rock/mineral kingdoms) for deepening of understanding. Coppock explained the changing circumstances of this decan revealed in the image of the 2 of Pentacles as “ultimately a matter of the spirit, floating free, selecting the section of the world in which the drama of its incarnation will take place, and then taking root according to the law of the soil chosen” (p. 211).
Coppock further showed this first face of Capricorn holds not only images of moving across matter, but moving the material plane itself by a”cattle prod” carried by a “bestial man” being Ibn Ezra’s image for the decan. Coppock stated that while a cattle prod can be used “to drive great forces within the world, such as public opinion, or the direction of an institution,” in the end “the stubborn, heavy, powerful beast is ultimately a layer of self” (p. 211). Thus this decan holds the complexity set in motion by our attempts to stimulate and manipulate material power, and the vital importance to not only “bring consciousness to these deeper strata” but also to “use the higher, logoic functions to guide them along their course” (p. 212).
The inspirational beauty and reverence for all forms of life you can feel staring at the illumination of Venus and Jupiter joined together in the night sky of this Full Moon is a good start in terms of the quality of consciousness best able to help you make plans and take action in accordance with your highest good. We carry this beauty forward with us into astrological intensity building in the upcoming waning cycle of this lunation in the next two weeks, culminating with Mercury conjunct Mars in Cancer and opposite Pluto in Capricorn at the time of the Dark Moon transition to New Moon around July 15, 2015.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.