Full Moon Solstice

Joan Miro joy of a girl

Joy of a Girl in the Sun (1960) by Joan Miro

All colors come from the sun. And it does not have
Any particular color, for it contains them all.
And the whole Earth is like a poem
While the sun above represents the artist.

–Czeslaw Milosz

Which yet joined not scent to hue,
Crown the pale year weak and new;
When the night is left behind
In the deep east, dun and blind,
And the blue noon is over us,
And the multitudinous
Billows murmur at our feet,
Where the earth and ocean meet,
And all things seem only one
In the universal sun.

–Percy Bysshe Shelley

Awed by her brightness
Stars near the beautiful moon
Cover their own shining faces
When she lights earth
With her silver brilliance
Of love ….

–Sappho

Cancer Solstice

The Sagittarius Full Moon on June 19 arrives on the day of the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere and the Winter Solstice in the southern hemisphere.  At the solstice the Sun reaches its zenith, a time ancient cultures celebrated as the New Year.  The solstice is a peak moment, in the northern hemisphere the peak height of the Sun, in the southern hemisphere the peak descent into darkness.  To have a Full Moon precede the Cancer Solstice by less than twelve hours adds to the climactic energy, as Full Moons are also a moment of the peak amount of solar light received by Luna.  Yet nothing expands inexorably forever, and all must return to source, must spiral back.  The serpent circles back to bite its own tail in its eternal ouroboros. At the height of the apex, there is the bliss of the high and the knowing of a coming fall.  We fall at this Solstice Full Moon into the revivifying rays of Sol, our Solar Light that stimulates growth in our receptive Earth, our Sun that brings its clarifying heat illuminating what was previously darkly hidden.

The dragon, or serpent, represents the initial state of unconsciousness, for this animal loves, as the alchemists say, two dwell in “caverns and dark places.” Unconsciousness has to be sacrificed; only then can one find the entrance into the head, and the way to conscious knowledge and understanding. Once again the universal struggle of the hero with the dragon is enacted, and each time at its victorious conclusion the sun rises: consciousness dawns, and it is perceived that the transformation process is taking place inside the temple, that is, in the head.

— Carl Jung, “The Visions of Zosimos” para. 118

The polarity between Gemini and Sagittarius lit by the Full Moon carries the concept of sacrifice, as all of the Mutable signs in astrology mark the transition between the death of the previous season, and the birth of the coming season.  When our conscious personality sacrifices its grip on keeping out the whole multitude circulating in the unconscious, we can experience our own rebirth, sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly, in the process.  In current events recently there have been many chaotic crises tearing open barriers to raw, primal emotions. There is anger, there is outrage, there is grief and fear, as across the globe innumerable streams of strife have people on edge within a palpable field of destruction.  Within the folds of the places that mainstream awareness ignores, there is the cry of desperation in what feels like a cruel, unconcerning world.  Though this has been a difficult time for many, the Solstice celebrates the Sun’s ascension from its descent, that the solar rays will return with their warmth as surely as flowers will continue to bloom and fruit ripen.  The Solstice can be seized for sensing within the radiant living force of our world that orbits within multiverses, that even when feeling alienated there is a loving embrace to be found between the Earth below and the Sun above.

Joan Miro the-gold-of-the-azure

The Gold of the Azure (1967) by Joan Mira

Jupiter in Virgo rules the Full Moon and is within five minutes of an exact conjunction with the North Node of the Moon.  This alone would bring a catalytic force to a Full Moon on a Solstice, yet there is much, much more.  Jupiter is received by Mercury in Gemini applying to a square with Jupiter, while Mercury is in opposition to Saturn in Sagittarius.  Saturn in Sagittarius is exactly square to Neptune in Pisces, as Neptune is conjoining the South Node of the Moon while in opposition to Jupiter and in square to Mercury.  The New Moon in Gemini that began this lunar cycle featured a Mutable Grand Cross between Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and a conjunction between Venus and the Sun.  At the Full Moon, we once again have a Mutable Grand Cross, with Mercury in Gemini filling the space previously occupied by the Sun and Venus.  The larger context of this configuration highlights the importance of the squares between Saturn and Neptune, and Saturn and Jupiter, as these aspects are the sort that demarcate eras of human history and notable shifts within the collective.  On a personal level, Mercury at home in Gemini as a Morning Star is the trigger point to pay attention to, as Hermes is transferring the light between the other three giants of astrology.

So, what the hell does this all mean you may be asking.  There is no way to encapsulate the full meaning of these aspects within an astrology article, nor is it possible to realize the meaning on a personal level without reflection that roots these aspects into your birth chart and your present experience.  However, there is some general guidance to keep in mind.  Mercury in Gemini is a worthy point of focus as it is in position to bring all of the reflections that have been stirred up in the past couple of months into the rushing currents of change found within the Mutable Grand Cross.  Mercury is often described as correlating with reason and logic, though that is only one aspect of Mercury’s mental potency.  The reason available to Mercury now connects with more than what is observable and measurable in visible consensus reality, as the boundaries of Saturn are being blown open. This is not your everyday transit of Mercury opposing Saturn, which typically correlates with rigorous and disciplined mental focus.  Maintaining mental focus through Mercury is still possible and in fact important, but there is a far vaster realm of reality and research than normal accessible through these catalytic aspects.

The Full Moon occurring at the final degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius means the entire arc of both signs are activated, signs that are ruled by Mercury and Jupiter.  In fact, all four places of the Mutable Grand Square are home to Mercury and Jupiter.  As Jupiter helps us create meaning out of our experiences and stabilize a vision or philosophy of life to live from, Mercury can destabilize preexisting beliefs through new information, arguments, and connections.  The Full Moon activating this Solstice is a perfect time to open your mind to the potential beyond whatever you had previously been limiting yourself to within your mind. A writing, research, or artistic project can be taken to a new level, or a passing conversation or experience can stimulate a completely different way of looking at your life.  Though instability can be felt within these aspects, there also remains extraordinary inspiration and a huge potential for ingenious insight.

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Toward the Rainbow (1941) by Joan Miro

Ceres, Uranus and Eris are conjoining in Aries at the Solstice, an aspect that some choose to ignore while others proclaim to be an Earth shattering amalgamation.  In fact, the widely divergent opinions astrologers have regarding the conjunction of Ceres, Uranus, and Eris is absolutely perfect with regards to the simultaneous Mutable Grand Square that is occurring.  Furthermore, Ceres, Uranus, and Eris are uniting in Aries, the home of Mars, in an exact quincunx to Mars retrograde in Scorpio.   Since all four of these celestial bodies are at the 23-24 degree range of their respective signs, the quincunx is full on.  To me, associating the shattering of previous paradigms with this aspect is fitting, and it furthermore reflects the many terrifying, traumatizing recent current events that are forcing people to reexamine their beliefs at fundamental levels.  Everything has been thrown up into the air in fractured splinters, and in their falling they reform, they coalesce, they commingle in ways never dreamt of before.

Ceres in Aries nurtures as Ceres always does, yet in Aries she fosters self-reliance and independence more so than co-dependence.  Ceres here is not a nurturer who wants you to become dependent upon her nurturing, but rather is a caring presence who nurtures creative actualization and the ability to get yourself back on your feet and moving again after a period of dormancy.  Ceres combined with Uranus and Eris is able to apply her creative force into collective mobilizations for change.  Ceres combined with Uranus and Eris will be most effective when transmuting the anger and outrage felt over systematic oppression into direct, creative action that makes a difference for others.  The quincunx to Mars retrograde in Scorpio demands integration with the needs of the greater society and collective.  This is not just about having a brilliant idea, but mobilizing thoughts into plans of action to manifest in your community.  Ceres, Uranus, Eris, and Mars retrograde can thus facilitate the creative impulse of Aries yoked to the investigative depth of Scorpio in order to express your gifts within a interconnected network of collaborators and co-conspirators.

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10 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 3 Decan

The third face of Sagittarius is associated with the 10 of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The image has a resonance with the Titan Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders, as we sense the plowing drive necessary to take on and carry the weight of massive responsibilities.  Being the final decan of Sagittarius, this image illustrates how the mind, body, and spirit can become unified through dedicated work and effort applied to a goal.  In tarot this card has been associated with oppressive dynamics and limitations, and in fact is called Oppression in the Thoth deck.  Tarot writer Kelsey Lynore analyzed the dilemma of this card as having “taken on far too many responsibilities” that “are not strictly yours,” resulting in the creative potency of the fire element becoming “extinguished by the heaviness of an earthy reality.”  Lynore advised sifting through the burdens and responsibilities in order to discern which “are truly your own” so you can refrain from overextending yourself and instead sustain the energy needed to be accountable for the issues truly belonging to you.

Fittingly, Saturn is the ruler of this face and so this decan has a strong resonance with the current transit of Saturn in Sagittarius within the Mutable Grand Cross.  As the Sagittarius Full Moon is occurring at the final degree of Sagittarius, the associated imagery of the 10 of Wands card is a fitting symbol for making a sacrifice of hard work to prepare for the darkest time of the year at the Winter Solstice, currently occurring in the southern hemisphere.  In relation to the Summer Solstice occurring in the northern hemisphere, it is akin to a rush of activity and preparation commiserate with the peak of solar light.

 Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Horse’s Skull” to this face in his book 36 Faces, as it “points toward those circumstances in which the vehicle must be sacrificed in order to achieve the will,” as it involves “those circumstances where the body and the spirit are at odds” as “the spirit, the will, must press the body beyond comfort’s boundaries” to achieve the aim (p. 204-5).  Some ancient texts attribute acts of evil to this face in the context of those who will do whatever is necessary to achieve a goal.  Coppock concluded:

The subject of this decan is what one is willing to sacrifice in order to achieve what one wills. It is thus the formula for the perfection of the will and subjugation of all to it, granting power for both good and evil. Yet those who would apply it must consider the cost of the sacrifice required, for some offerings can be made only once. Those who walk this face must choose which burdens they will bear to the bitter end, and which are not worthy of such feats of will and endurance. The formula of this face is of greatest value to those who know their true will, and the true works which proceed from it.

–Austin Coppock, 36 Faces

Saturn in Sagittarius is retrograde applying closely to an opposition with Mercury in Gemini at the time of the Full Moon.  At the Sun’s ingress into Cancer at the Solstice, Saturn will only be a few days past an exact square with Neptune, in a time period that has also seen it complete its final last quarter square with Jupiter.  This is a pivotal moment in the transit of Saturn through Sagittarius, and so it is important to consider what the stimulating transits are asking from Saturn.  Neptune demands awareness of whatever is outside the lines of what you define with your beliefs, recognizing the impact of your own perceptual force and judgment in co-creating reality and importance of exploring your inner imaginal space.  Mercury demands opening to other perspectives, being curious how other viewpoints experience existence and bridging your current understanding with those who express a contrasting point of view.  Jupiter conjoining the North Node of the Moon, the ruler of the Full Moon, calls us to distill the essence of what we most deeply value and aspire to achieve, modifying plans in accordance with changes in the arising moment, and most of all taking the risk to make new choices free of the restrictions of our past.  The Sun burns bright at the Solstice indiscriminately:  bask in its radiance and open your heart to delight and euphoria.

SagittariusFullMoonWRIGC10

References

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

Jung, Carl. (1967). Alchemical Studies. Bollingen.

Gemini New Moon

spiral-shell

Spiral Shell (1921) by Edward Steichen

New Moon in Gemini

In the darkness of the New Moon on June 4, 2016 there is a pulsating syzygy of creative force, breaking open new vistas amid the falling apart of forms that had previously felt secure.  From the dark womb of the Gemini New Moon, the twins who have been communing in watery nourishment are separated with shock into their distinct existence.  Instead of oneness the awareness of duality emerges, along with a sense of the contrast between the wants and needs of the Self in comparison to the Other found in relationship.  The constellation of Gemini holds the binary stars Castor and Pollux, the immortal twin and the mortal twin.  Gemini twins can also be found in the twins of darkness and light, twins of good and evil, twins of materialism and spiritualism, and our own twin nature of having a conscious personality that senses its own deeper essence.  The astrology surrounding the Gemini New Moon is a whirling dervish within which we must find a center of balance as the illusions we have been carrying about our reality spin off, and the swirling intensity pulls us in disparate directions.

The yearning of Gemini for its twin is the aching desire for a soul mate to merge and unite with, yet what is called for in the lunar darkness is a descent into the wetness of one’s own Soul to rediscover the primordial purity underlying motivation and decision.  Mercury in Taurus rules the Gemini New Moon as it is applying to an opposition with Mars retrograde in Scorpio.  Mercury in Taurus is also separating from, but still in range of, a Grand Earth Trine with Pluto in Capricorn and Jupiter conjoining the North Node of the Moon in Virgo.  As a result there is a dense, earthy quality to be found within the New Moon’s stormy tides opening access to the full range of feelings we have regarding the current state of our desires.  Perception through Mercury can penetrate into the deepest recesses of our sensual nature and its interplay with the fresh desires emerging into awareness as well as the older desires in need of release.  The enlivening snake within is shedding its skin to reveal a consciousness both solid and flexible, capable of slivering through the sweeping currents and ranging over the rocky divides of these times.

ClavisArtis.MS.Verginelli-Rota.V1.002

From the Clavis Artis

Solar Venus

In the dark of the Gemini New Moon, the Queen of Heaven is close, ever so close to reuniting with her solar consort as Venus is within a degree of a conjunction with our Sun.  This is the Superior Conjunction of Venus in which Venus is on the other side of the Sun from Earth in orbit, and so the Gemini New Moon embodies the finale of the previous Venusian solar cycle.   The last time Venus was conjoining the Sun was during the Venus retrograde on August 15, 2015 when Venus was in between the orbit of Earth and the Sun at 22º51′ Leo, as close to Earth as possible in her orbit.  When Venus goes into the heart of the Sun by exact zodiac degree, all things Venusian are purified in the fiery heat and regenerated.  As a result, in recent weeks Venus has been undergoing a molten metamorphosis in which the old has been burned off while the Venusian values, needs, and relationships which will bloom in the forthcoming cycle have been reseeded.  This regenerative process could feel disorienting and frustrating for those not already in desired Venusian circumstances, as the fruits that will eventually ripen are not yet visible.  The last time there was a Superior Conjunction of Venus was on October 25, 2014 in Scorpio at 1º49′ and so this is the close of the cycle that began then.  Within the dark of the Gemini New Moon we feel both the fear and elation of standing on the precipice of a new cycle of Venus in our lives.

Venus uniting with the Sun on the other side of our Solar Light brings a quality of far off yearning, a sense of becoming reacquainted with transcendent Venusian desires that inexorably magnetize us toward the horizon where Venus will eventually emerge again as an Evening Star.  An allegory can be found in the ancient Persian epic poem Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, in which the noble outcast Zal is consumed with otherworldly love for the glimmering Rudaba, a woman whose circumstances brought barriers obstructing their union similar to the obstacles placed upon later lovers of literature such as Romeo and Juliet.  The mesmerizing Rudaba’s name has etymological roots in both the “shining child” as well as “she of the river water,” a meaning apt for the Venusian atmosphere of reconnecting with our inner radiance within currents of dramatic change.  At one point in the drama, similar to the later echo of Rapunzel, Rudaba lowers strands of her dark hair so that Zal may climb and cross the threshold between them:

About her silvern shoulders two musky black tresses curl, encircling them with their ends as though they were links in a chain.
Her mouth resembles a pomegranate blossom, her lips are cherries and her silver bosom curves out into breasts like pomegranates.
Her eyes are like the narcissus in the garden and her lashes draw their blackness from the raven’s wing.
Her eyebrows are modelled on the bows of Teraz powdered with fine bark and elegantly musk tinted.
If you seek a brilliant moon, it is her face; if you long for the perfume of musk, it lingers in her tresses.
From top to toe she is Paradise gilded; all radiance, harmony and delectation.
(Shahnameh 1:21-3 courtesy of Wikipedia)

The release of old longings within arising passions will not necessarily be focused upon a lover, but rather in any manner in which Venus is operating in your life.  The Venusian correspondence will have to do in some way with recreating livelihood and a revivification of the seeking and reception of pleasure.  Venus will enter her Superior Conjunction on 6 June 2016 at 16º36′ of Gemini, a day that may be seized for fertile intention setting.  As Venus in her synodic cycle possesses exquisitely ordered timing, you may gain further insight through reflection upon the recent years that Venus united with the Sun in Gemini:  6 June 2012 with Venus retrograde at 16 degrees, 9 June 2008 with Venus direct at 19 degrees, 8 June 2004 with Venus retrograde at 18 degrees, and 11 June 2000 with Venus direct at 21 degrees.

Hiroshige,_Rough_Sea_at_Shichirigahama_in_Sagami_Province,_1852

Hiroshige (1852) Rough Sea at Shichirigahama

Mutable Grand Cross

The New Moon in Gemini forms a Mutable Grand Square with Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Virgo, Neptune in Pisces, and the transiting lunar nodes in Pisces and Virgo.  Sudden emotional swings could overtake us as we question why we are pursuing this over that, as it is likely that numerous potential paths can be seen in misty focus.  Saturn opposing the New Moon brings concrete realization of the limitations of time and space, and a need to prioritize what we can actually achieve and manifest within the time and space currently available to us.  With so much unraveling, fear is liable to become an unwanted influence on our dreams and desires if we allow ourselves to spin out in the spiraling currents.  There is a strong element of simply not being able to know what will happen and a need to have faith in the unknown while centering our decision making within intuitive resonance.  Creating a blueprint to follow or a list of objectives to achieve will bring clarity as long as you remain open to the necessity of modifying the blueprint when demanded by the needs of the changing moment.

Similar to the “hopes and fears” space in a Celtic Cross tarot spread, the twin nature of the Gemini Moon contains the duality of hopes and fears ebbing and flowing.  While there can be great confusion and disorientation felt within these aspects, they simultaneously hold extraordinary power to completely reshape your path and surrounding structures.  If you have managed to get yourself into the right place at the right time, these aspects hold incredible inspiration that can be applied into any endeavor. Take the time to reflect on the house and aspects made by each corner of the Grand Square, as each of these areas of your life will be pulling you in different directions based upon the planetary influence.  The more you can draw upon the frantic, radical energy of the Grand Cross in order to purge emotional hangups that have been limiting your ability to declare and go after what you truly want, the more you can realize the potential being opened by the Gemini New Moon coinciding with a rebirth of Venus within incredibly catalytic Mutable aspects.

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Asclepius and his daughter Hygieia. 5th Century B.C. Greek marble relief.

Asclepius

The asteroid Asclepius is opposite the New Moon and conjoining Saturn in Sagittarius at the time of the lunation.  Asclepius has been moving retrograde and now joins the Mutable Grand Cross, being in square to Jupiter in Virgo, Neptune in Pisces, and the transiting lunar nodes (Asclepius stationed retrograde at 7 degrees Capricorn on April 22 and will station direct at 25 degrees Scorpio on July 22, 2016).  Asclepius is an intriguing archetype to include in the mix, as he embodies a centered focus which integrates all four axes of the Mutable Grand Cross.  Rooted in Earth, Asclepius is a healer who emerges in times of crisis and cathartic change, reverent of Mother 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.

In addition, Chiron in Pisces is forming aspects at the Gemini New Moon that further enhance an appearance of the Asclepius archetype, as Chiron is in sextile to Mercury in Taurus and in trine to Mars retrograde in Scorpio.  Chiron was a mentor and foster parent of Asclepius, and in astrology holds similar meaning of being able to bridge connections between mind, body, and spirit to find whatever is out of harmony for healing.  Asclepius and Chiron as part of the Gemini New Moon call us to stand resolutely and face whatever is occurring without denial and escapist distractions that are more of an illusion than medicine.  The fertile, regenerative snakes of Asclepius are activated and by opening to what wants to emerge from within, while acting with nurturing integrity with yourself and those in your surroundings, the changes necessarily manifesting may be handled in a way that facilitates eventual healing of the associated ruptures.

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9 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Gemini 2 Decan

The second decan of Gemini is associated with the 9 of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  An image of nightmarish worry and anguish, the 9 of Swords reveals the danger of the mind running in negative circles of repetitive thought, a fitting image of the difficulties found in the Gemini New Moon being surrounded by a Mutable Grand Square.  Tarot writer Kelsey Lynore stated that when one pulls the 9 of Swords, “you are suffering from obsessive thoughts, unable to let go of myriad abstractions over which you ceaselessly fixate . . . a victim of your own mind’s relentless machinations and meanings.”  If you find yourself entering this state of mind, use whatever resources are available to nurture yourself back to center, calming and relaxing your anxiety.  The astrology of this time is overly stimulating with unknowable change, and unless you are fortunate to be in ideal circumstances, you will not be alone in facing a dark night of the soul.  Again, the archetypal figure of Asclepius is fitting here in terms of opening awareness to what meaning and guidance can be found within the psyche, rather than fearing it.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Hermaphrodite” to the second face of Gemini, as it is a decan of “continuing duality” in which “we must learn to reconcile angels and demons within a single soul” (p. 92).  Coppock wrote that the 9 of Swords image connects to this decan through its revelation of an “inability to reconcile dualities within oneself, within the world . . . the moments of despair which occur within this face, the irreconcilable places” (p. 93).  Coppock concluded that both the “arts of union and separation, love and war” are found within this talented, complex decan:

Within this decan are two- and these two in turn relate to each other in a pair of ways- love and war, solve et coagula.  The mind which accepts these oscillations comes to understand the whole of interaction- they are unbothered by either, knowing the other waits in turn.

— Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, p.94

Mars is the ruler of the second decan of Gemini, adding to the emphasis of Mercury in Taurus, the ruler of the New Moon, applying to an opposition with Mars retrograde in Scorpio.  Mars rejoices in Scorpio and has its full arsenal at its disposal, and so will simultaneously be seen in great creative works as well as horrific conflicts in the external world.  The mission of the second face of Gemini to reconcile dualities is important to consider, as the polarity between Mercury and Mars retrograde holds the danger of creating conflict out of opposing forces and viewpoints.  If you can instead use the tension of opposites between Mercury and Mars retrograde to make the deepest recesses of your feelings fully conscious, no matter how painful,  Mars retrograde is in position to midwife a vital regenerative process reconnecting you with the desires that bring you most alive.  In the end, the pain and difficulty felt today will be part of the creation of a personal matrix from which the extraordinary gifts and talents you possess to share with the world will emerge.

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References

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