Virgo Full Moon

The Heron (1853–56) by John Dillwyn Llewelyn

Virgo Full Moon

The Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 illuminates an astrological atmosphere split between the hard edges of Mars-Saturn and the boundless vision of Jupiter-Neptune. Full Moons bring storylines and emotions to a head, and so to avoid becoming overwhelmed by stress it will be necessary to mediate whatever tests and challenges we are facing in association with Mars and Saturn heading toward a conjunction in Aquarius, while simultaneously being open to receiving the insight and inspiration available in correspondence with Jupiter and Neptune heading toward a conjunction in Pisces. Both alignments will not occur until April: Mars and Saturn will conjoin on April 4 at 22°24’ Aquarius and Jupiter and Neptune will unite at 23°59’ Pisces on April 12. In between now and then, Venus will move through Aquarius past a conjunction with Saturn into Pisces, weaving and leaving a golden thread to follow through whatever creative processes you engage. Moreover, the Full Moon in Virgo is ideal for discerning how to utilize time and prioritize tasks to configure how to best utilize energy. The Virgo Full Moon can help in probing and sifting through available resources and time, analyzing how to best achieve outcomes out of all of the infinite possibilities being offered by Jupiter and Neptune.

Vitally, the Virgo Full Moon announces the heliacal rising of Jupiter, the period in which the star of Zeus returns to visibility as a Morning Star heralding the rise of the Sun. This brings the divine presence of Jupiter into a more intensified expression in our daily lives. Listen for the messages being transmitted by Jupiter for creative solutions, deepening of understanding, opening of compassion, and kindling of inner purpose. It’s a mistake, however, to think that Jupiter becoming visible in its nocturnal home of Pisces means that the events in personal and collective events will all be positive and beneficial. This is not the work of Jupiter in Pisces. Jupiter in Pisces loves the flaws in humanity, the imperfections of forms, the mistakes and the leaps toward grand vision that fall short of perfectionist vision. Jupiter in Pisces supplies love and heart-centered focus, compassion for those that are oppressed, fallen, and vulnerable. Jupiter in Pisces supplies the fertile life force that can lift us through periods of despair, the grace of an angelic hand helping us find a trail of light to follow through a passage of darkness.

Moreover, Jupiter becoming visible in Pisces also will amplify the potency of the conjunction forming between Jupiter and Neptune (to read an article I previously wrote about the Jupiter Neptune conjunction in Pisces, click here). As I previously wrote:

” . . . the nocturnal water of Pisces slows down the pace of Jupiter and invites inward exploration that can enable us to sink into embodiment of our soulful essence. The waves of Jupiter in Pisces can wash over and weave in between the places where we have been fragmented, coalescing a presence that can bring together parts of our inner multiplicity that have become disconnected. By taking our time and acting with the flow of surrounding natural cycles rather than trying to force things to happen, Jupiter in Pisces can create an experience of abundance that allows us to feel more expansive with less by aligning us with our authentic nature and values.

Yet with the dissolving whirlpool of Neptune present with Jupiter in Pisces, the coherence we gain through Jupiter will be important to question. The combination of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will necessitate a descent into the dissolution of our previous beliefs, embodying the essence that will eventually coagulate out of the disintegrating stirring of our inner life. There will be a need to embrace nonlinear processes rather than insisting on linear progress, as we may need to pass through a disorienting phase of fluidity before we are able to differentiate and clarify the deeper meaning we receive.”

There is an invigorating and pragmatic earth triangle formed during the lunation between the Full Moon in Virgo, Pluto in Capricorn, and the north node of the Moon in Taurus. Rather than insisting on absolute perfection of ideals, the earthy triangle supporting the Virgo Full Moon can be best utilized in focusing on the tasks and work at hand in the moment, allowing the creative process to open up possibilities of new directions that go astray of initial ideals of vision and expectation. Allowing for the communion of creativity can bring the incredibly immense imaginal potential of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces into the forms that want to emerge from being fully engaged in the creative process. Assisting in this process is Mercury. Mercury in Pisces rules the Virgo Full Moon and is applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter it will complete on March 20 and a conjunction with Neptune it will complete on March 23. A true synthesis between Virgo and Pisces is possible at this time, and the results can be stunningly beautiful when allowing for new directions to emerge from the process.

Snake and Moon (1938-1939) by Morris Graves

While the zodiacal sign of Pisces features Mercury, Jupiter, and Neptune coming together, the zodiacal sign of Aquarius has Mars, Venus, and Saturn coming together. However, before Venus and Mars form conjunctions with Saturn in Aquarius, they first must pass through catalyzing square aspects with Uranus in Taurus. Venus will first square Uranus on March 19, followed by Mars forming an exact square aspect with Uranus on March 22. The tension between Venus and Uranus is especially creative and inspirational, as Venus is receiving Uranus into her earthy home of Taurus. There can be liberating flights of creative vision and exciting new developments within relationships, especially when experimenting with new directions and experiences rather than staying stagnant in old patterns and routines.

Venus and Mars have been on a long journey together, moving across the sign of Capricorn into a conjunction with Pluto within the past month. Now that they are engaging Uranus, whatever deepening of feelings and desires have been building now seek release. It will be helpful to find creative outlets and ways to express the energy, allowing the “body electric” as penned by Walt Whitman to sing the song of whatever inspirational force is passing through awareness.

During the waning half of the present lunar cycle, Venus will form a conjunction with Saturn on March 28 only days before the New Moon in Aries occurs on March 31. During this time we can work with Saturn and Venus to apply hard work and diligent effort into bringing into form whatever visions of inspiration we receive in the days following the Virgo Full Moon. We may also experience a sobering of perspective regarding anything we have become too inflated about. It can be a productive time for bringing new forms into reality as long as we remain remain realistic about available time and resources and do not try to take on too much or stretch ourselves past the limits of what is truly possible.

10 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 3 Decan

The Full Moon in Virgo will illuminate the third decan of Virgo associated with the Ten of Pentacles card illustrated about by Pamela Colman Smith. Fitting for an image of a family enjoying the fruits of their ancestral legacy, the third face of Virgo is ruled by Mercury and Venus. T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets named special attributes of the Ten of Pentacles including the study and practice of magic, ancestral communication, “an ability to finalize the process from raw material to usable product, a through understanding of monetary infrastructures,” and “the judicious use of rest and silence.” Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces connected the image of “the pensive nature of the elder” in the Ten of Pentacles card with a fundamental question this face asks about wealth: “What, given the fate of all created things, is truly valuable?”

Coppock ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to the third decan of Virgo, writing that “the spirit gazes upon its inevitable separation from matter here, contemplating the consequences of its brief union.” A decan of decay and death, old texts such as the Picatrix and Liber Hermetis contain images of mummification, while Abraham Ibn-Ezra pictured a woman praying with leprous hands. Coppock stated that the third decan of Virgo “has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end,” yet through facing this inevitability “it grants far reaching sight . . . the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions.” It’s a decan that asks us to come to terms with the legacy and value we wish to leave behind for our future ancestors, a face of learning to embrace the moment due to the death that awaits all of our loves in the end.

Doubling down on the long game during the Virgo Full Moon, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Hestia to the third face of Virgo. Hestia is a sublime guide for the Full Moon, as she holds within her purified gaze the focus necessary to stay true to the essential value we wish to invest into our relationships, work, and community. Hestia is the devoted one with roots in a legacy of sisterhood we can draw from, a spiritual lineage that across tumultuous centuries has sustained respect with every breath for the living force of creation. Hestia holds within her heart a moral compass impossible to manipulate or distract away from the path of love and service that does not abandon. During the Virgo Full Moon, follow the guidance of the life force flowing through your heart as Hestia devotes herself to her flame, allowing the authority of your heart to help in navigating whatever sea changes come your way.

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References

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

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

Capricorn Full Moon

Agate ring stone (ca. 1st century B.C.–3rd century) 

Full Moon in Capricorn

The Full Moon in Capricorn on June 24 will illuminate the solstice turning point of the year, the time of peak light in the northern hemisphere and peak darkness in the southern hemisphere. Capricorn is zodiacal terrain ruled by the resilient endurance of Saturn which further exalts the courageous desire of Mars, a zodiacal place that nurtures our capacity for facing adversity and persevering through experiences of uncertainty and changing conditions. Fittingly, the surrounding astrological atmosphere is full of volatility and oppositional aspects that call for internal and external confrontations concerning the evolving nature of underlying dynamics. The Capricorn Full Moon will be the first of three full moons in a row ruled by Saturn retrograde in Aquarius, as there will be a Full Moon at 1°26′ Aquarius on July 23 followed by a Full Moon at 29°37′ Aquarius on August 22. As a result, rather than latching onto quick solutions we need to keep the long game in mind, patiently tending to whatever tensions are present to slowly and surely develop whatever we desire to build and create.

First and foremost, the Capricorn Full Moon will shine light on whatever has been stirred up by the recent eclipse season that began with a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on May 26 followed by a Solar Eclipse in Gemini on June 10. Furthermore, with the Capricorn Moon applying to a flowing trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus, it will deepen our relationship with whatever storylines and structural elements of our life have been radically reshaped by the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that became exact for the second time of the year on June 14. With the Full Moon ripening within the cardinal, earthy sign of the Sea Goat, we can draw upon Capricorn’s immense capacity for sensing its surrounding environment in order to initiate a needed reordering of priorities and plans for the future.

With the Capricorn Full Moon separating from a harmonious sextile aspect with Jupiter in Pisces and applying toward an enlivening trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus, the visionary side of the Sea Goat will be present that can utilize its aquatic tail for sensing into the roots of surrounding forms and circumstances to distinguish what ideas and directions to cultivate. Although the lunation is ruled by Saturn, it’s important that the Full Moon is not forming an aspect with Saturn but is rather aspecting Jupiter and Uranus, two planets that are capable of piercing past the boundaries and limitations erected by the star of Cronus. A balance needs to be struck in being open to inspiration and whatever we most passionately wish to develop while also recognizing the hard aspects of reality that will need to be addressed and worked through step by step with the steady focus of Saturn. Rather than leaping ahead impulsively, a more careful approach will be needed that is capable of recognizing and resolving deeper issues so that plans can be developed with enough flexibility to adapt and last through the unknown changes to come.

It’s especially important to consider the impact of Mars in Leo upon the lunation, as Mars in Leo is applying toward an opposition with Saturn, the ruler of the Capricorn Full Moon. The tension building between Mars with Saturn will be exacerbated and amplified by Uranus in Taurus, who is forming a square aspect with both Mars and Saturn. Mars in the fiery sign of Leo, sparked by the emancipatory impulses of Uranus, will call us to confront whatever fears and anxieties connected with Saturn are creating an overly restrictive and stifling impact upon present developments. Yet at the same time, Saturn will be bringing a level of restraint and enduring patience that can prevent the influence of Mars and Uranus from trying to force things to happen to quickly without enough forethought. The friction between Mars, Saturn, and Uranus will be building in intensity in the week following the lunation, as Mars will form an exact opposition with Saturn on July 1 and an exact square aspect with Uranus on July 3. Keep in mind during this time that if feelings become overwhelming that it’s part of the immense push for change emanating from the hard aspects between Mars, Saturn, and Uranus. We may need to surrender to a period of unknowingness as we allow for the changes to take shape, finding our way through a process of centering, de-centering and re-centering amidst changing circumstances. Those who have been resisting change may realize they have to release control, while those who have been already crossing thresholds and accepting changes may experience an acceleration of developments.

Remedio Varo, Mujer con Esfera

There is another major opposition occurring within the astrology surrounding the Capricorn Full Moon between Venus in Cancer with Pluto in Capricorn. Venus formed its exact opposition with Pluto a day before the Full Moon in Capricorn, but will still be within close range of an opposition with Pluto when the light of the lunation peaks. Moreover, the waning Moon will form a conjunction with Pluto followed by an opposition with Venus on June 26, further illuminating whatever has been stirred up within the tension between Venus and Pluto. While in some cases the hard aspect between Venus and Pluto may bring visceral awareness of desires that have been previously resisted, in other cases it can dredge up deep material sourced from the shadows of desires. By sitting with and sifting through any fears, anxieties, or insecurities brought to light by the Full Moon combined with Venus opposing Pluto, we may further deepen into relationship with the changes we have been experiencing. While some of the feelings may be uncomfortable, they can also allow us to address inner dynamics that need our tender care and attention so that we may ultimately feel more empowered in being able to reshape our life in desired directions.

After the Moon in Capricorn forms an opposition with Venus, Venus will enter the solar, fiery sign of Leo on June 26. The entrance of Venus into Leo will come at the same time that Mars will be enflaming the change inducing friction between Saturn and Uranus, further deepening our relationship and emotional involvement in whatever processes of change have been corresponding with the radical reshaping that has been incited by Saturn and Uranus during the past six months. Venus will follow behind the charge of Mars into the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus, forming an opposition with Saturn on July 6 followed by a square with Uranus on July 8. In some cases Venus can help unify and harmonize elements that have been separated and disrupted by the impact of Mars upon Saturn and Uranus, while in other cases we may be able to find ways to be more creatively active and expressive with Venus involved.

It’s further important that Venus will be receiving the square from Uranus in her earthy home of Taurus, as well as the fact that both Mars and Venus will be in antiscia with Uranus by degree within days of forming their degree based aspects with Saturn and Uranus (Mars will be antiscia Uranus from July 5 – 8, while Venus will be antiscia Uranus from July 9 – 11). Altogether this means there is a lot of synergy and connection between Uranus with Venus and Mars, whereas there will be a greater degree of tension constellating between Venus and Mars with Saturn. There will be a pull toward moving more rapidly into the desires and relationships that feel exciting and authentically passionate, yet we will simultaneously need to hold whatever tension is present from Saturn so that we may allow for an emergence of what wants to be born out of all of the changes occurring.

Venus and Mars are nocturnal planets that connect us with primal feelings and passions we discover within our inner darkness. While Mars stokes inner flames to pursue and protect what we desire, Venus reveals the underlying values and attractions of our desires. With both Mars and Venus activating the square between Saturn and Uranus during the same week, we will have the opportunity to deepen into whatever ways our desires for relationship and what we wish to create in our life have been changing during not only the past six months, but also across the past two years. This is due to Venus and Mars also being at the very end of a cycle that began with a conjunction between Venus and Mars on August 24, 2019 in Virgo. Venus and Mars will form their next conjunction on July 13, 2021 at 19°48′ Leo following the New Moon in Cancer on July 9. Between now and then as Venus and Mars close down their previous cycle, we may have an activation of old relationship patterns and issues that need to be cleared, released, or putrefied in order to make space for and fertilize the new relationship desires, patterns, and directions presently taking shape.

Antonio Muñoz Degrain, Nymphs bathing

The Capricorn Full Moon also occurs within four days of both Jupiter and Mercury stationing, creating a strong influence from both Jupiter and Mercury within the surrounding astrology. Jupiter stationed retrograde at 2°11′ Pisces on June 20; after spending another month in Pisces, Jupiter will return to Aquarius on July 28 where it will continue to move retrograde until stationing direct on October 17, 2021 at 22°20′ Aquarius. Since the Full Moon in Capricorn is forming a sextile with Jupiter it is an ideal time to make space for reflection upon whatever new sources of inspiration, hope, and growth have emerged since Jupiter entered Pisces on May 13. Now that Jupiter is beginning to move backwards through the zodiac we may find we are less consumed with finding new sources of growth and development and more interested in deepening into and solidifying the new sources of desires that have already been developing with Jupiter in Pisces. There is one more month left of Jupiter operating with direct strength and sovereignty within its watery home of Pisces, making it a powerful period for making further developments within whatever exciting directions have developed during Jupiter’s time in Pisces so far.

While Jupiter stationing retrograde in Pisces calls for deep reflection, the stationing direct of Mercury in Gemini will generate new movement and ways of mediating and working with changing storylines. Mercury stationed direct at 16°08′ Gemini on June 22, after having stationed retrograde at 24°43′ Gemini on May 29. The days surrounding the stationing of Mercury are important to be especially mindful with, but as Mercury begins to pick up forward momentum will will likewise discover greater agency in making things happen and generating change and development based upon whatever was shed and regenerated during the previous three weeks of Mercury being retrograde.

Now that Mercury will be moving forward again it means that Mercury in Gemini will complete its third and final square aspect with Neptune in Pisces on July 6. Mercury formed its first square aspect with Neptune while direct on May 22 and its second square aspect while retrograde on June 5. If you have been involved in any disillusioning experiences or undergoing a process of evaluating areas of life or your work where you have needed to question your beliefs, the final square between Mercury and Neptune may bring a needed piece of information or insight to bring greater clarity. Within the wider context of the longstanding square aspect between Uranus and Saturn that will be activated by Venus and Mars, the third square between Mercury and Neptune may help us gain a sense of the vaster reality possible to cultivate out of present circumstances, bringing realizations of how to make possible things that may have previously appeared impossible. In other situations the friction between Mercury and Neptune may reveal where we have been deceiving ourselves and need to reorient toward the actual circumstances we find ourselves within rather than what we wish was occurring.

2 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 1 Decan

The Capricorn Full Moon will illuminate the first decan of Capricorn associated with the Two of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is fitting for the volatile astrological atmosphere centered around Saturn in Aquarius in square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, as the juggling magician set against a backdrop of a pivotal sea change embodies the capacity of Capricorn to penetrate into structural forms and impact matter from the underlying fabric of reality.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Headless Body” to the first face of Capricorn, stating it “entails the descent of the spirit into the body of the world itself,” bringing consciousness to deeper and deeper levels of matter to “set those powers in motion” as well as “use the higher, logoic functions to guide them along their course.”  Coppock analyzed the ancient attribution by Ibn Ezra of a bestial man carrying a cattle prod to this face, suggesting it reveals the capacity of this decan to not only set material forces in motion but also steer them in order to create change such as new sources of work and sustenance.

The “atavistic consciousness” Coppock described within the first decan of Capricorn that “descends into the natural world with ease” connects well with the ancient Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac attributing the ancestor of earth and body-based healers, Asklepios, to the first face of Capricorn. Furthermore, there is also an Asclepius asteroid #4581 which will be in Libra and forming a catalyzing square aspect with the Capricorn Full Moon.  Asclepius, son of the Sun god Apollo and a mortal woman, embodies a centered focus which integrates all surrounding realms, both material and immaterial.  Rooted in Earth, Asclepius is a healer who emerges in times of crisis and cathartic change, reverent of Nature, in balance with masculinity and femininity,  and reliant upon ritualistic incubation to find healing cures. Asclepius is associated with healing through dreams, an incubatory process that reveals the connection between external symptoms and the underlying unconscious.  With his hermetic staff planted in the ground, Asclepius weaves together meaning from celestial and chthonic realms through discernment centered in his sensual nature, applied to his work through disciplined spiritual practice. The capacity of Asclepius to monitor synchronicities in waking and dreaming life for deeper meaning will be especially helpful to cultivate in our own lives with Mercury having stationed direct only a couple of days before the Full Moon.

Jupiter is the ruler of the first face of Capricorn in the Chaldean descending rulership scheme, Saturn the ruler in the triplicity scheme, making it a face ruled by the two planets that ushered in the dramatic changes of 2021 with their great conjunction in Aquarius on the Capricorn Solstice. As the Full Moon in Capricorn initiates us into the second half of 2021, it will be worthwhile to reflect upon all of the changes that have happened since Jupiter and Saturn formed their conjunction on December 21, 2020. While there are many more changes to come within both societal systems and personal relationships, making some space to consider how much has already changed will help in reorienting to how you wish to creatively participate in the changes going forward. Let the Full Moon stimulate your full presence, drawing upon the capacity of Capricorn for bringing sensual awareness to the myriad fluctuations of growth and decay occurring all around. Find ways to center within the integrity of your own essential values so that as you remain open to flowing with the wider changes occurring, you will be able to stay rooted in creating and directing in line with what matters most to you.

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References

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

Full Moon in Libra

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Soap Bubble mezzotint by M. Rapine from Le Monde Physique (1882)

Full Moon in Libra

Amidst so much uncertainty around the world, the Libra Full Moon will illuminate the changes that have been taking shape during the pandemic and how we have been adjusting. The Full Moon has a relational focus due to being in the outwardly directed home of Venus, with its pull to examine relationship patterns being further amplified by the Moon forming a conjunction with Juno retrograde in Libra as it waxes into fullness. There are more planets in air signs now than we have had recently, making it a lively time to catch up with friends far away or instead make space for reflection and attentive listening to what’s going on within. Tending to your inner life in some way will be wise, for the Libra Full Moon is applying toward a square aspect with Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn, stirring up deep material we will see surfacing within our interactions.

The timing of some countries such as the United States beginning to come to terms with the full impact of potential deaths from the pandemic is the type of astrological correlation we do not want to experience, yet it nonetheless correlates with the fact the Libra Full Moon is intensifying some extraordinarily difficult astrological transits. “Unprecedented” has seemed to become the word of the year, with people around the world forced to confront an unknown future with no clear timelines yet for when the time of renewal will occur. We will need to draw upon the intellectual strength and heart-centered drive of Libra, its vast capacity for understanding the triggers of tensions within systems and how the constant changes of life require ceaseless rebalancing. It’s a time for reimagining the next chapter of life and ways to alter personal as well as systematic structures to address the strange reality of quarantines and shutdown businesses.

Though the Full Moon is in the diurnal, airy home of Venus, the lunation has a strong connection with Saturn as it is in the exaltation, face, and triplicity of Saturn. The Libra Full Moon is highlighting the archetypal polarity between the Sun and Saturn in a way, due to the lunation being aligned with the exaltation degrees for Saturn and the Sun. While the Sun will be at the degree of its exaltation in Aries during the lunation’s peak light, the Full Moon itself is applying within a few degrees to the degree where Saturn is exalted in Libra. Though Saturn in Aquarius is in a whole sign trine with the Libra Full Moon, the Moon is actually applying toward a degree based square aspect with Saturn it will complete after it enters Scorpio on April 8.

Thus we must temper the radiant expanse of our solar purpose with the defensive and protective boundaries of Saturn to ensure containment; likewise we can bring the vivifying warmth of our personalities to enliven those dealing with the dejection, rejection, and melancholia of Saturn. It’s a difficult tension to hold, but a necessary one of tending to difficult feelings within us and our relationships. The way in which we respond to internal distress as well as the needs of others will mean everything. Due to Mars in Aquarius simultaneously forming a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, it will be helpful to find creative outlets for pent up frustrations and tensions so that we do not cause unnecessary discord within relationships.

There has been a dramatic series of major planetary alignments recently, but the most directly relevant one to the Full Moon is the conjunction between Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn. The new cycle taking shape this year between Jupiter and Pluto is one of the most significant astrological influences of the year, and they formed their first of three conjunctions on April 4 only three days before the lunation. The Libra Full Moon will be insisting that we face whatever associated issues are arising from the depths of Jupiter and Pluto, since the Full Moon’s next aspect will be a catalyzing square aspect with Jupiter and Pluto.

roberto matta untiltled

Roberto Matta (1942-43) Untitled

It’s important to realize we are only at the very beginning of understanding what the Jupiter Pluto alignment will mean for us: their second conjunction will not be until June 30 (24º) with both retrograde, while the third and final conjunction in the series will occur with both moving direct on November 12 (23º), 2020. When Jupiter combines with Pluto, new knowledge and growth opportunities come from eruptions and catharsis that can make us confront figurative or literal death, pulling us to descend into underworld experiences that can ultimately expand vision beyond previous restrictions by the end of the process.

Jupiter and Pluto form conjunctions roughly every twelve and a half years. The most recent unions between Jupiter and Pluto took place in 2007 in Sagittarius, in 1994 in Scorpio, in 1981 in Libra, in 1968 in Virgo, in 1956 in Leo, in 1943 in Leo, in 1931 in Cancer, in 1918 in Cancer, and in 1906 in Gemini.  You may note some past periods of economic recession and depression from the list above: what makes the current Jupiter Pluto alignment similar to the 1931 conjunction that took place during the Great Depression is that they were each part of larger, disruptive outer planetary alignments. The 1931 conjunction between Jupiter and Pluto was in opposition with Saturn in Capricorn while Uranus in Aries was forming square aspects with both Saturn as well as the Jupiter Pluto conjunction.

The worst side of Jupiter Pluto conjunctions can be seen in the rise of totalitarian groups following the economic instability surrounding the 1931 conjunction. In Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology, André Barbault demonstrated how the roots of the totalitarian surge in 1931 can be found in nationalist groups that began rising in power following the Jupiter and Pluto conjunction in 1918 and the economic crises of that period. This is the compulsive side of Jupiter and Pluto that involves obsessive desire for power sourced from shadowy fear that we need to be on guard against as we enter a time period of economic uncertainty now.

There is also positive potential for great good that can arise out of the unfathomable depths of Jupiter and Pluto coming together, and it is this side of their meaning that needs our full participation. Facing loss, grief, fear, and death demands that we get in touch with authentic feelings that leads to an intensification of what matters most to us. Jupiter in its fall in Capricorn must meet the constraints of circumstances, but through its alignment with Pluto it can regenerate new possibilities from whatever has been torn down or released. Jupiter and Pluto can put us in touch with our primal passions that can resiliently stand up against the conditioning of culture to question and break free from conformity with systematic structures. The shutting down of productivity around the world is scary for many, but is also creating the potential for radical reforms to be made when productivity is renewed.

The connective capacities of the Libra Full Moon may be brought into receptive dialogue with our external relationships as well as the realms of our ancestors and unconscious so that we may reorient toward what will be most essential for us to focus our time and energy on. While the discordant square aspect formed between Mars in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus can unleash anger and aggressiveness, within protected spaces of contemplation it can incite breakthrough insights that will lead us to make fundamental changes in our life going forward.

After the Moon enters Scorpio on April 8 it will immediately form an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, followed by an opposition with Uranus in Taurus and then another square aspect with Mars in Aquarius. As a result, the Full Moon is bringing together insights from the Jupiter and Pluto conjunction with the difficult volatility stemming from Mars moving in between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus. The fact that this incredibly activating lunation is occurring within secluded spaces of quarantine for so many means it is more likely to lead to profound self realizations as a result. Allow yourself to take in a new perspective about what you can create with your life without worrying yet how exactly you will make it happen.

Henri_Rousseau_-_A_Carnival_Evening

Carnival Evening (1886) by Henri Rousseau

The Libra Full Moon is in the airy home of Venus, who is shining brightly at night in Gemini. Venus will be continuing to shine bright until reaching her brightest phase at the end of April and then beginning to slow down to station retrograde on May 12. Venus is also out of bounds, meaning that her excessive height in northern declination leads her to be more freedom seeking than normal and capable of soaring above barriers. In Gemini, Venus has a taste for diverse flavors and has ever changing interests and curiosities she adores exploring. Venus in Gemini delights in connecting through conversation, writing, intellectual activities, music, crafts, art, games, design, decorations, and any other aesthetically pleasing activities that will keep its ruling planet Mercury engaged and inspired. Venus in Gemini can be an asset in finding fun ways to connect with others while in quarantine.

At the same time that Venus will be getting brighter at night as the Moon wanes in light in the forthcoming lunar cycle, Venus will also be getting closer and closer to a conjunction with Neptune. As a result, the waning half of the present lunar cycle can be a wildly creative time for writing, music, and any other art you enjoy. It will be an ideal time to take creative risks and experiment with your craft, as you will be more likely than normal to discover some unexpected and fascinating new directions to follow. Venus in Gemini moving direct while out of bounds and increasing in brightness is also perfect for sharing your creativity in order to inspire and uplift others who are experiencing difficulties.

During the Libra Full Moon, Venus in Gemini is separating from a trine with Saturn in Aquarius and is seemingly in range of a trine aspect with Mars in Aquarius that will never complete due to the upcoming retrograde of Venus. Venus will be moving across the same terrain of Gemini in the waning half of the present lunar cycle that it will later move back and forth across two more times. By paying attention to what happens this month you may begin to get a sense for what will become major issues during the upcoming Venus retrograde in Gemini period in May and June. Venus will be in Gemini from now all the way until August 7, so we are entering an extended period of time in which Venus will be activating issues related to whatever house in your natal chart belongs to Gemini.

Meanwhile, Mercury is in Pisces and in a harmonizing sextile aspect with the Jupiter and Pluto conjunction in Capricorn.  Mercury is in position to receive a vital message from the Jupiter and Pluto conjunction as well as transfigure subconscious material being stirred up by Jupiter and Pluto into creative work that can accentuate the creative expression of Venus in Gemini. Mercury in Pisces is not in the best place for linear logic and communicating clearly and quickly, but after Mercury enters Aries on April 10 the speed and fiery spiritedness of its communication style in Aries will be an asset in responding quickly to emergencies stemming from the pandemic.

swords03

3 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 2 Decan

The Libra Full Moon is in the second face of Libra associated with the Three of Swords 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 like the global pandemic we can access a newfound strength that ultimately increases our capacity for expressing 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 ascribed the image of “Two Links in a Chain” to the second decan of Libra. Coppock 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 one’s oaths and commitments in relationships is vital to bear in mind at the Full Moon, especially for those partnerships who are spending more time alone together than normal due to being in quarantine. It’s a time for investing care and attention into the relationships that matter most to us.

The Full Moon in the sign of the Scales also conjures the Egyptian imagery of Maat and the weighing of souls after death.  Maat is also the balancing of natural, terrestrial, and cosmic order arising from the field of chaos and its constant flux.  Whether you have been dealing with death, a major loss, or not, we are all coming to terms with so much that has come out of balance in the world that will require a united effort from all of us in rebalancing.  Allow the light of the Full Moon to illuminate at least one step you can take in rebalancing, whether it be through getting more rest or doing a certain task. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote concerning death and loss:

“All of our true relations, all of our penetrating experiences reach through the Whole, through life and death; we have to live in Both, be intimately at home in both . . .

Through loss, through great, immoderate loss, we are actually quite introduced into the Whole. Death is only an unsparing way of placing us on intimate and trusting terms with that side of our existence that is turned away from us. (What should I emphasize moreour or existence? Both are here of the greatest significance, as if balanced by the weight of all the stars!)”

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References

Barbault, André. (2014). Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology. The Astrological Association.

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

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2005). Letters on Life: New Prose Translations. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer. The Modern Library Classics.

 

Scorpio New Moon

beau-v-tree-branch-cloud

photograph by Beau Vandendolder (2016 all rights reserved)

New Moon in Scorpio

Just feeling human
the way a cloud’s a cloud
tinged with blue or
walking slow across the sky or
hastening,
but not a Thursday cloud
formed for the anxious glance of Thursday people,
simply a cloud, whose particles
may fall Tuesday, just as well,
on anyone’s spring hair, on any
taciturn winter buds it chooses
and no one say no. Human,
free for the day from roles assigned,
each with its emblem
cluttering the right hand,
scroll of words in the left.
Human, a kind of element, a fire,
an air, today.
Floating up to you I enter, or you
enter me. Or imagine
a house without doors,
open to sun or snowdrifts.

— Denise Levertov, “Today” from To Stay Alive 

Water flows inexorably and like our desires will dissolve blockages in the currents of its path.  Scorpio like all water signs in astrology is inwardly directed, magnetic, receptive, and capable of allowing life and events to take shape according to natural cycles instead of focusing upon speeding up the timing.  The watery nature of Scorpio symbolizes its capacity to tap deeply into the psychic and emotional content of its environment, as well as its ability to merge and transmute with external relationships and sources of power.  Scorpio is distinct among the water signs, however, in its fixated nature and its association with the heated, aggressive, divisive, and willful force of Mars.  The apparent paradox of a cold and wet sign such as Scorpio being home to Mars, a planet whose temperament in astrology is considered to be excessively hot and dry, becomes clear when contemplating concepts such as yin and yang.  There is a line in Zhāng Jièbīn’s Lèi Jīng which can be translated as the generation of qì inside water is precisely true fire.  This relates to what we can also find in the symbolism of the yin and yang image, in which yang is found within yin, just as yin is found within yang.  Scorpio as the nocturnal home of the nocturnal planet Mars in astrology signifies the deep essence of our fiery nature we can discover within.

Astrologers have written excessively about the symbolic resonance of Scorpio with the season of Fall, and while this association with the depth and fertile darkness of Scorpio fits, the issue remains that in the Southern hemisphere the season of Scorpio is at the fullness of Spring.  The important concept here is that Scorpio is a fixed sign, meaning that it supports stabilization, even if the stability of the Scorpion differs from mainstream conceptions of being stable.  The seasons of Spring and Fall are extremes of life and bloom, death and decay, that we experience in between the season of equinox and the season of solstice.  Although these seasons are associated with the “Fixed” signs, they are temporary and transitory like all of the changing nature of our material world and we must witness their loss and passing like everything else.  The persistent, persevering nature of Scorpio and its ability to penetrate into the emotional and psychic undercurrents of its circumstances is one of the sign’s greatest strengths.  However, its fixed nature is the source of the Scorpion’s shadow we are familiar with, in that fear of losing the source of one’s desire leads to controlling behavior that can ultimately drain the vitality out of their connection.  The lesson we experience in Scorpio is in letting go and having a healthy level of non-attachment with our desires. This does not mean being detached, but rather embodying the intimacy of Scorpio without the fixated obsession of manipulating the object of one’s desires.

The Scorpio New Moon on 30 October 2016 is conjoining Mercury while in trine to Neptune in Pisces.  It’s ruling planet Mars is exalted in Capricorn and separating from a square with Uranus.  Significantly, in the past lunation cycle Mars moved away from a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn and then formed a last quarter square to Uranus in Aries.  During this period Mars has been out of bounds by declination, and in fact has been out of bounds since August 2016.  Mars out of bounds is wilder and more rebellious, which dramatically exacerbated the catalytic square between Mars and Uranus that occurred in the Dark Moon preceding the New Moon.  At the time of the New Moon in Scorpio, however, Mars is finally at the threshold of leaving its out of bounds status.  The Scorpio New Moon supports accessing ambition from within that has been limited by past restrictive patterns of thought and emotion.  Any recent jarring, explosive experiences can be used to untether us from how we have held ourselves back.  The desires emerging with the Scorpio New Moon call for nurturing and cultivation, and allowing ourselves to be guided by unleashed instincts and impulses.

beau-vandendolder-sound-trees

Photograph by Beau Vandendolder (2016, all rights reserved)

The trine between the Scorpio New Moon and Neptune in Pisces gives emphasis to the imaginal realm of Neptune that has been in harsh aspect to the hard reality of Saturn in Sagittarius over the past year.  The darkness of the Scorpio New Moon invites allowing dissolution to occur while opening to the feelings emerging from within.  Neptune in Pisces is conjoining the South Node of the Moon in Pisces, and will become increasingly close to the South Node of the Moon over the course of the next month.  In the collective unconscious there has been old conditioning beliefs and dreams exposed that the luminaries uniting in Scorpio can cleanse, and as we purify ourselves from the corruption of external conditioning misaligned with our authenticity, the resilient fecundity of Scorpio can aid in realigning with distilled essentiality.

The Scorpio New Moon supports nurturing belief that our cherished dreams and visions are possible to manifest, no matter how many wounds and barriers we have struggled through over the past year of the square between Saturn and Neptune.  With Mars in Capricorn finally emerging from its recent contacts with Pluto and Uranus, there is activated drive and will force available to inject into building the ideal life we wish to live step by step, action by action.  Unfortunately in our global collective, the wildness of Mars empowered in Capricorn and triggered by Pluto and Uranus has coincided with horrific destruction, violence and warfare in world events, leading many to experience a dark night of the soul.   Nonetheless, we can draw from the potency of Mars in the final decan of Capricorn to persist with determination on our own path, utilizing the mutable placement of Saturn in Sagittarius to shift and mutate structures as needed to accommodate the unavoidable change happening.

beau-v-tree-branch-stretch-river

photograph by Beau Vandendolder (2016, all rights reserved)

The transiting North Node of the Moon in Virgo forms a sextile with the Scorpio New Moon, signifying an ability to discern purified choices resonant with our arising vision of meaning.  The North Node of the Moon is further bound to the Scorpio New Moon through its ruler Mercury forming a sextile to the North Node and a conjunction with the New Moon.  Mercury in Scorpio is at beginning of its synodic cycle with the Sun at the New Moon, and further in trine to Neptune and the South Node of the Moon in Pisces. There is a deep presence to be found within the volatility of Mercury, and though it may feel difficult to articulate the full extent of our perceptions it will be worthwhile to make space to descend into internal streams of sensations that may only be able to be transmitted through nonverbal and extrasensory mediums.  As the Moon waxes toward the Full Moon in Taurus that will arrive on 14 November, Mercury will remain invisible from the sky as it swiftly moves through the entirety of Scorpio, capable of soaking up and translating the emotional undercurrents surrounding us.

beau-v-fall-tree

photograph by Beau Vandendolder (2016, all rights reserved)

And virtue? Virtue lies in the heroic response to the creative wonder, the utmost response.

— D.H. Lawrence

Although not in actual aspect to the lunation itself, one of the most powerful elements of the Scorpio New Moon is the new phase conjunction between Venus and Saturn in Sagittarius (the last conjunction of Venus with Saturn was on 8 January 2016 at 12 degrees of Sagittarius).  Venus combined with Saturn pulls us into the bare bones of reality and demands we become serious and committed to developing the foundational supports for the vision of what will bring us pleasure and a sense of harmony.  Saturn and Venus together is also about allowing to decay and putrefy whatever needs to now become decomposed to allow for change and new birth.  In his essay on Saturn entitled On Senex Consciousness, James Hillman in his typically verbose style illuminated numerous connections between Kronos-Saturn and Aphrodite-Venus, such as Saturn’s link to fertility and agriculture, prosperity and materialism being a feminine mirror to the earthiness of goddesses.  Hillman also connected the Saturnine trials that result from Venusian affairs, and the difficult feelings that can come from a meeting between Saturn and Venus:

The hidden connection between falling-in-love with the dazzling seduction of foam-borne Aphrodite and the seed and scythe of old senex is not easy to discern.  But how else account for the terrible cruelties, the vicious eat-or-be-eaten fights that break out of the most translucently lovely love affairs?  And, when Venus departs, Saturn returns with brooding melancholy, devastating loneliness feelings of ugliness- even psychic crippling or suicide.

— James Hillman, On Senex Consciousness

The new phase between Saturn and Venus beginning at the time of the Scorpio New Moon is not about debilitating cycles of feelings and thoughts, but rather is about taking complete accountability for one’s presence within one’s myriad relationships in the world.    Saturn together with Venus points to the karmic effects of feeling drawn toward and deciding to commit to a desired person or outside source.  By choosing one to focus upon, there is a resulting detachment or rejection of others necessitated by our decision to commit exclusively.  The Scorpio New Moon asks us to choose wisely, to align and merge with those most capable of receiving and understanding us, deciding to collaborate with those most able to support us with interdependent and balanced equality.  Saturn and Venus want us to seize life and create opportunities for peak experiences whose impact will continue to reverberate within.  Saturn is containing a volatile Venus, as Venus will have recently crossed the threshold into being out of bounds by declination at the New Moon.  The wild side of Venus will be further amplified by it forming a trine to Uranus as the Moon waxes in light, remaining as a rebellious out of bounds planet all the way through the upcoming lunation cycle.

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5 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 1 Decan

The first face of Scorpio holding the New Moon is associated with the Five of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image appears desolate at first glance, with a figure full of despair staring with fixation upon three spilled, empty chalices on the ground. However, upon closer look we notice that there are still two upright chalices behind the figure, suggesting hope.  In fact, the two remaining cups could be deeply fulfilling despite the grief over losing the other three cups. We can also notice a river flowing underneath a bridge behind the figure, bringing in the ancient flux philosophy of Heraclitus that no one ever steps in the same river twice since the river is always changing as well as the person. As a result, this card is a fitting image to associate with the first decan of Scorpio as it captures the fundamental nature of having desires within our constantly shifting world in which we must deal with death and the loss of what we desire most in the world.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces synthesized the images found in ancient text associated with this face around the repeating cycle of desire, including consuming hunger, the satiation of desire, the loss of what one desires, and the competition and violence that surrounds pursuing the desired. Coppock concluded:

In this decan we are brought to confront the cycle of hungers which are the price and pleasure of incarnate being. The object of desire always skirts the edges of this face while its inhabitants give chase. Some gain the object of their desire, some fail. All come to know hunger again. Though this may seem a particularly tortured decan, it is merely one which exposes a hard truth. Confronting the cycle, we are less bound to it, and less blind, than if we ignore it.

— Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, p. 176

Mars rules the first face of Scorpio, and since Mars is in the third decan of Capricorn ruled by the Sun, while the Sun is in the first decan of Scorpio ruled by Mars, there is mutual reception through decan between the Sun and Mars at the Scorpio New Moon.  This brings more of a connection between the Scorpio New Moon with the square formed by Mars in Capricorn with Uranus in Aries.  While a square between Mars and Uranus can bring unexpected, shocking loss, it can also spark incredible individuating growth through the toil of adversity.   Mars in hard aspect to Uranus can also bring revelation into the cycle of desires we have been circulating.  Through facing our desires fully without denial, we develop awareness for which desires to continue pursuing and which desires are not in our best interest to regenerate.  The Scorpio New Moon beckons the release of attachment to whatever desires are not manifesting in our life in the moment, while embracing all elements of our actual reality with full presence and passion.

References

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

Levertov, Denise. (2013). Collected Poems. New Directions.

Hillman, James. (1970). On Senex Consciousness. Spring: An Annual of Archetypal Psychology and Jungian Thought.

Wilms, Sabine. (2016). Randomn Thoughts on “Water is Yin, Fire is Yang.”  Happy Goat Productions.