Full Moon in Virgo

Full Moon in Virgo

Felix-Hilaire Buhot (1879) Lady of the Swans

Full Moon in Virgo

The Full Moon in Virgo on March 9 illuminates the finale of the Mercury retrograde period we have been experiencing ever since Mercury stationed retrograde on February 16.  The Full Moon is in the exaltation and nocturnal home of Mercury, bringing amplified potency to Mercury stationing direct at 28°12′ Aquarius about ten hours after the Moon reaches its peak light. The Virgo Full Moon will center awareness within the streams of changing circumstances and relationships that have been taking place during the past three liminal weeks of Mercury looping retrograde. While the lunation may spark perception of concrete actions that need to be taken as well as adjustments that need to be made, the simultaneous conjunction between Neptune and the Sun in Pisces will cast a mist over proceedings we will need to clarify.

Virgo is the inwardly directed, earthy home of Mercury that facilitates analyzing, sorting, organizing, and synthesizing the kind of ineffable, immaterial insights we can receive when Neptune unites with the Sun in Pisces. The Virgo Moon can be a keen aid in discerning revelations and understanding regarding whatever has been shifting and rearranging during the past month of Mercury retrograde. In particular, if you have been feeling confused as if you have been swept out into a sea of illusion or excessive idealism, the Virgo Full Moon will provide dry  land for you to wash up onshore and regain your bearings. If there is melancholy to deal with due to disillusionment, there are galvanizing aspects to the Virgo Full Moon that will enliven efforts to reorient as needed to whatever has been unveiled about reality.

The Full Moon in Virgo is separating from an invigorating trine aspect with Mars in Capricorn and is applying toward a flowing and stabilizing trine aspect with Jupiter in Capricorn. The Virgo Moon weaving in between Mars in its exaltation and Jupiter in its fall of Capricorn will focalize attention toward the conjunction between Mars and Jupiter that will occur on March 20 during the Aries Equinox. There is extreme potency being stirred up between Mars and Jupiter that can be directed toward work and creative expression, and so it will be vital to set clear intention for where and for whom you wish to invest your energy and time.

The Virgo Full Moon is also forming a flowing trine aspect with the asteroid Pallas Athena, which is currently mediating in between Mars and Jupiter. Pallas Athena will form a conjunction with Mars on March 17 and then will slowly build toward an eventual conjunction with Jupiter on March 28 that will also be less than one degree away from Pluto in Capricorn. Pallas Athena accentuates our capacity for visualizing a blueprint to follow in achieving goals, yet we need to be prudent and wisely explore options. Rather than simply following the whims of desire for ambitious growth, work with the creative contraction of Capricorn and distill the essential work that is most deserving of attention. We will need to navigate volatile changes within collective events as Saturn enters Aquarius on March 21 while Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto come together in Capricorn, yet within the corresponding catharsis we can make significant breakthroughs and advancements if we have a clear target to direct energy toward.

jmw turner norham castle, sunrise

JMW Turner (1845) Norham Castle, Sunrise

Mercury in Aquarius rules the Full Moon as it is standing still and stationing direct at 28º12′ Aquarius. Mercury finally became visible again in its Morning Star phase in the days leading up to the Virgo Full Moon, and so the Star of Hermes will be heralding the rise of the Sun on the morning of the lunation as birdsong fills the air. It’s more important than normal to bring mindfulness to every moment when Mercury is stationing so that we can be alert to unexpected twists and turns in storylines brought by the tricky messenger planet. It will also be important to pay close attention to the symbolism of signs and omens within our daily actions and nightly dreams, as Mercury will be delivering guidance through a multitude of forms within nature.

Indeed, it will be vital to listen to nature and watch for signs as Mercury pauses in stillness as the Virgo Moon forms an opposition with Neptune and the Sun in Pisces. Contact with Neptune opens us to the wisdom found in the otherworldly and wherever we feel the presence of the interconnected, underlying fabric of reality. As the solar rays infused with Neptune prepare to emerge once again from the fertile night, as Mercury flashes its morning light above the dewy mist covering the earth as we awaken from dream, we can release ourselves from old illusions and engage with the arising inspiration that brings life to our imagination. Neptune injecting its mystifying qualities into the Pisces Sun may make us want to drift into daydream, lay near water, listen to rapturous music, or engage in any other way we can journey into imaginal fantasy. It may be harder than normal to take care of monotonous tasks, but the foggy mists of Neptune united with the Sun is a passing influence.

During the waning half of the current lunar cycle, Mercury will slowly begin to move forward again and will return to Pisces on March 16. As Mercury returns to Pisces, you may notice a return to some of the topics and themes you were especially immersed in during the retrograde movement of Mercury in Pisces from February 16 through March 4. Now that Mercury is shining in light again in the liminal space before dawn, it will be taking on a more active, diurnal quality of being curious about new information and actively forging new connections between ideas and developing plans. Mercury will pick up speed and return to moving faster than the Sun as it reaches its maximum elongation as a Morning Star on March 23, just in time for the New Moon in Aries on March 24. Thus as the light of the Moon wanes from its peak at the Virgo Full Moon into darkness, Mercury will be increasing in light and speed and in its capacity for initiating new lessons and achieving results.

Shields Lighthouse circa 1826 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

JMW Turner (1826) Shields Lighthouse

As the Virgo Full Moon rises in the east following sunset, Venus in Taurus will be burning brightly in the twilight of the west. Venus is separating from a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus it completed on March 8, and so the Virgo Full Moon is providing critical insight not only into our relationship with Neptune in Pisces but also with Uranus in Taurus. This is only the second time that we have experienced Venus uniting with Uranus in Taurus (previously they conjoined on May 18, 2019), and so as Venus is receiving Uranus into its inwardly directed home we may experience an enlivening of flavorful aesthetics, sensuality, and sense of harmony. Within relationships, Venus combined with Uranus in Taurus can help in finding allies and forming fellowship with those who resonate with and support our authentic values and passions.

Furthermore, Venus in Taurus is also forming harmonious aspects with the transiting lunar nodes, forming a sextile with the North Node of the Moon in Cancer and a trine with the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn. During March, Venus shining bright as an Evening Star in her earthy home will be serving as a gift bearing goddess who can help in bringing balance within our relationship with others, with the divine, and with our own body and being. While Venus remains in close proximity with Uranus, however, there will be a greater likelihood for erratic or unexpected gains and losses in pursuit of goals. Fortunately, Venus provides a stable presence in the fixed earth sign of Taurus to regulate shifting elements so as to bring about eventual success. Moreover, under the emancipatory influence of Uranus we can feel motivated to take creative risks and discover innovative breakthroughs we would never find by doing things the way we have in the past.

While Venus is forming stabilizing aspects with the transiting lunar nodes, Chiron in Aries is applying to a catalytic and volatilizing square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes. Chiron at the southern bending of the lunar nodes will bring attention to recovering whatever you have felt you needed to abandon about your essential purpose to fit in with cultural expectations. A key aspect of the collective wound Chiron in Aries will be tending is the intersection between systems of oppression within civilization with one’s identity and core purpose. Chiron will form an exact square aspect with the true calculation of the lunar nodes on March 13, but the aspect will be in close proximity for all of March. In fact, the upcoming New Moon in Aries on March 24 will be conjoining Chiron while also forming a square with the lunar nodes. If you want to read more about the meaning of Chiron squaring the transiting lunar nodes, I recently wrote an article for astrology.com that you can read here.

pents09

9 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 2 Decan

The Virgo Full Moon arises within the second decan of Virgo associated with the Nine of Pentacles illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is saturated with a golden aura, with an elegant woman covered in flowing, golden robes. On her hand sits a hooded falcon, its capacity for swift flight and hyper vision temporarily restrained. Surrounding her are ripening grapevines and a large estate upon which we can imagine numerous marvels of nature and art residing. Since it is a tarot card associated with gains in wealth and creation of beautiful works, it makes sense that Venus and Saturn are the co-rulers of the second face of Virgo. While Venus is like the guiding star of beauty and love that gives us an overarching reason to seek wealth we can share with others, Saturn functions as the force of necessity, discipline, and hard work required to seed, cultivate, and gather a bountiful harvest or shape primal material into rarefied form.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Hammer and the Anvil” to the second face of Virgo. Coppock described a theme of continual reshaping and refinement of matter in this decan that results in beautiful products and gains in wealth, yet “conceals the pain and toil utterly necessary for its creation.” Coppock concluded that this face brings alchemical “understanding of the many beautiful and repulsive states the matter attains throughout the Magnum Opus,” while the “residents of this decan oversee the ever-transforming world, guiding and shaping the Great Work on a microcosmic level,” inspecting and keeping track of how efficiently material processes are running.

Interestingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs linked the Moirai to the second face of Virgo. These are the daughters of Necessity, the goddesses of fate: Clotho the spinner of the threads of life, Lachesis the measurer of fateful threads, and Atropos who cuts the threads. These goddesses of fate appearing in this decan remind us to center within the actual currents of life so that choices can be discerned that will allow one to navigate accordingly. In Plato’s Myth of Er, the Moriai not only ascribe ones destiny but also the guardian daimon who can bring guidance in accordance with virtue and authentic character. While there are many upsetting events occurring in collective events we cannot change, we do possess the inherent character to respond with responsible virtue rather than in a way that goes against the nature of our higher self. Within the light of the Virgo Full Moon, shed attachment to the false, illusory entrapments of surface desires and ambitions to kindle connection with the primal, burning, daimonic light of your essential self and character that can provide guidance during the coming changes in season and circumstance.

References

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

Full Moon in Leo

lion head 4th centurcy bc

Achaemenid Gold (6th – 4th Century B.C.)

Full Moon in Leo

Leo is the place of fixed fire, the indomitable flames that endure and resiliently persist in the face of extinguishing forces. The Full Moon in Leo on February 8 (or 9th, depending upon time zone) is an invitation for sustaining focus on the creations you most dearly wish to forge from your inner furnace, no matter how dire the collective crises of the time appear.  The Full Moon is applying toward a flowing trine with Mars in Sagittarius, inciting passionate heat and radiant inspiration that can enliven any downcast spirits. Since 2020 began with the intensifying conjunction of Saturn and Pluto combined with volatile eclipses, the Leo Full Moon can stoke movement driven by the undercurrents of whatever deep material has been stirred up in the past month.

Heroism and courage are character traits associated with Leo we will need to embody in 2020, as it is a year that promises immense collective change with numerous cycles within astrology coming to endings and beginnings. Yet while heroines will be needed, the trine between the forthright Leo Moon and crusading Mars in Sagittarius also warns against hubris and righteously exerting your will in conflicts in which you think you know best.  The Leo Full Moon is ruled by the Sun in Aquarius, giving it the unique characteristic of being the only Full Moon in which the polarity between Sun and Moon is mitigated by the Sun receiving the Moon into its fiery home. The cool, contemplative nature of the Aquarius Sun can help in detaching from emotional reactivity, discerning choices for authentically contributing the skills we are excited about developing within the wider community.

While the trine with Mars is the only aspect the Full Moon is making with other planets, if we are willing to welcome the dwarf planet Eris into consideration there is a fire triangle formed by the Full Moon, Mars and the distant trans-Neptunian entity named after the goddess of discord. While there hasn’t been a lot of time to compile astrological research concerning the meaning of Eris since her discovery in 2005, astrologers have begun to construct significations based in large part upon her meaning in mythology and wildly eccentric orbit. The chaotic strife Eris delights in instigating can be witnessed clearly in current events, and so it is fitting that the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto on January 12 formed a harsh square aspect with Eris. The fiery triangle between Eris, Mars, and the Full Moon can propel breakthroughs that have their source within the volatility of collective breakdowns and personal tensions that have sharpened awareness of what matters most to us.

The Full Moon is also engaged in aspects with asteroid goddesses, as the Leo Moon is separating from a square aspect with Vesta in Taurus and applying toward a sextile with Juno retrograde in Libra. As we become clearer about what gifts we wish to cultivate from exploration of our inner darkness, we will need to form mutually beneficial relationships with collaborators who can help bring the imaginal potency we have been developing into the light in ways that can be received by a resonant audience. We also need to reflect upon the balance of power and responsibility within our relationships, making adjustments so that there is a fair distribution of tasks and reciprocal attention to having emotional needs met. There is stormy astrology on the horizon we will be able to navigate more effectively by addressing relational imbalances that the Leo Full Moon illuminates.

John_Duncan_-_007

by John Duncan

There will likely be important relational issues brought to attention by the passage of Venus in Aries forming conjunctions with Chiron and the mean calculation of Black Moon Lilith. Allow the full light of the Moon to expose whatever material has been harbored in your shadow and projected into your relationships. It’s a good time for the practice of reflecting upon how not only those you desire but also are repulsed by can reveal key patterns about yourself you have not been consciously aware of.  Venus expresses ardor directly in Aries and once struck by the arrow of Eros, Venus in Aries will claim the agency required to draw closer to the source of attraction. With Venus continuing to shine brightly in twilight as an Evening Star, though impulsively following desires can lead to trouble it will be the kind of trouble that can also trigger vital lessons.

Venus is also applying toward a sextile with Ceres in Aquarius as Ceres is in an exact square aspect with Uranus in Taurus. Venus in Aries is not afraid to fight for whatever it considers to be true, good, and beautiful, and so one way this configuration may show up is through increased interest in social activism and protest movements building around issues of environmental and social justice. The square between Ceres and Uranus can feel upsetting and enraging regarding any personal or collective events in which greed and power dynamics harm or threaten life, yet the invigorating sextile between Venus and Ceres will stoke intrinsic motivation to take action as needed. In some cases this may mean taking the risk to initiate direct movement toward goals, in other cases there may need to be a staking out of space and time in which to actively contemplate the next course of action.

In the week following the Full Moon, whatever issues surface that involve Venus in Aries will continue to demand attention as Venus will be applying to a square aspect with the lunar nodes that it will complete on February 13. Venus in Aries delights in the creation of movement, and so if facing dilemmas related to Venus it will be helpful to be physically active such as taking hikes in nature while reflecting upon the next steps to take. Interestingly, although Venus is at the zodiacal point of being at the southern bending in relation to the lunar nodes, it is simultaneously applying toward a conjunction with its own geocentric north node and so will be passing across the ecliptic in the next week from southern into northern latitude (fittingly on February 14 aka Valentine’s Day). This means that the instinctual, subjective emotions and desires that Venus in Aries stirs up will be absolutely essential to integrate and can serve as important guidance in how to more fully engage in the larger changes that want to take shape in our life.

the-turn-of-the-tide.jpg!Large

John Duncan The Turn of the Tide

Just like Venus, Mercury in Pisces is also visible during sunset and in fact will reach maximum elongation as an Evening Star on February 10 at ten degrees of Pisces. The maximum elongation of Mercury as Evening Star demarcates a shift in speed as it slows down to match the steady course of the Sun. Although Mercury will continue to be visible in the week following the Full Moon, it will increasingly become slower until stationing retrograde on February 16 at 12º53′ Pisces. This means that issues that will become deeply involved in the upcoming Mercury retrograde phase that will last from February 16 until March 9 will be more obviously rising to the surface in the week following the Full Moon. If you notice old patterns and storylines emerging that could be laid to rest, they can serve as worthy compost during the initial putrefying phase of Mercury retrograde that will last from the stationing of Mercury on February 16 until the inferior conjunction of Mercury on February 25 that will occur two days after the upcoming New Moon in Pisces.

It is notable that not only is Mercury in its fall in Pisces, it is further under rulership of Jupiter in its fall in Capricorn. This does not signify doom but does invite contemplation of ambition and desires for greater power and status within society. Rather than insisting on having our expectations of higher achievement fulfilled, Mercury and Jupiter are in position to facilitate descent into the depths of inner darkness and shadow. There is wisdom and depth to gather in our unconscious underworld if we are willing to undergo the trials we must necessarily encounter when journeying there. From now through the back and forth of Mercury retrograde, we will have the opportunity to regenerate our beliefs and visions of meaning and what we want to create with our life.

Mercury is also mediating the polarity between the lunar nodes, forming a sextile with the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn and a trine with the North Node of the Moon in Cancer. Furthermore, Mercury is applying to an exact sextile with Pallas Athena in Capricorn, as Pallas Athena is beginning to separate from a recent conjunction with the South Node of the Moon. The collective wounds associated with the misogyny of patriarchy that has its roots in the ancient times that astrology itself was developed have been on full display in the current events that have corresponded with a new cycle beginning between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Since Mercury in Pisces is more about feeling than articulation, symbol more so than thesis statement, we will have opportunities to deeply feel and reckon with how our thoughts and ideas are systematically conditioned by the times we are living in. These insights will go far beyond words, yet by opening to the possibility of making the inner changes we are capable of making we can begin to strip away however we have been inauthentically conditioned by dominant cultural forces.

Pallas Athena in Capricorn will be an overlooked player in the great planetary drama that will be enfolding in February and March after Mars enters Capricorn on February 16. Pallas Athena will be applying to a conjunction with Jupiter in Capricorn that will last all the way through the Aries Equinox into April, with Pallas Athena being present with Jupiter and Pluto when they form their first conjunction on April 4. Pallas Athena is ultimately a symbol of sacred feminine wisdom, and though her mythology has had her wielded as a weapon in the hands of empires of the past, so may she side with the forces of liberation in the present.

paul klee ghost chamber with tall door

Paul Klee (1925) Ghost Chamber with the Tall Door (New Version)

The major outer planetary aspect that will form during the waning half of the current lunar cycle will be Jupiter in Capricorn receiving Neptune in Pisces through a waning sextile aspect that will complete on February 20. This will be the first of three sextile aspects that will form between Jupiter and Neptune during 2020 (the others will be on July 27 and October 11), making it a key aspect for the year. The harmonious interplay between Jupiter and Neptune can be helpful in realigning our vision of life this year to be more congruent with all of the changes that have been taking shape in the past year, especially changes corresponding with the last quarter square formed between Jupiter in Sagittarius with Neptune in Pisces during 2019.

Within the volatile breakdown of societal structures during 2020, Jupiter and Neptune’s relationship can inspire imaginative ideas for coalescing new growth from whatever dissolution and shedding we have been undergoing personally. In particular, we can gain awareness of old beliefs we need to release that have been interfering with our capacity for more deeply understanding our present circumstances. During the Leo Full Moon, Jupiter is applying within two degrees to an exact sextile with Neptune, as Neptune is simultaneously conjoining the true calculation of Black Moon Lilith. The combination of Neptune with Black Moon Lilith is a potent symbol for how we can become distracted and seduced away from our true authenticity by the myriad forms of illusory media surrounding us and the polarizing political conflicts that have become further exacerbated through manipulative media.

wands07

7 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 3 Decan

The Leo Full Moon is in the third face of Leo associated with the Seven of Wands illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a figure bravely fighting for their life, using their wand to fight off the onslaught of six attacking wands. They are standing on a cliff in a precarious position, yet their stance and face suggest someone putting their whole being into their struggle with extraordinary determination.  We can further connect this image with the struggle of the individual in asserting their personal truth in the face of an angry mob or judgment from the dominant opinions of culture. Fittingly, Mars is the ruler of the third face of Leo, suggesting the indomitable spirit present in the warriors who reside here.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Banner” to the third face of Leo, writing that it signifies “the tenacity to fight for the place one has gained, to struggle and be victorious over contrary forces within and without” through “the power of the utterly steadfast heart, which never fails to rise to the challenges present.”  For Coppock, it is the “unconquerable heart” which is the source of the power found in the third decan of Leo, as “what resides in the heart is untouchable, invincible” and most radiant when enlivened with passionate spirit. Coppock described its symbol of “The Banner” as revealing a principle of “Truth, Justice, or Beauty” that “must be invoked” to fully rouse the fiery spirit found here, “for it is only to such flags that the heart truly salutes.”

There is an interesting connection in the Hellenistic text 36 Airs to the third decan of Leo with the Greco-Egyptian deity Serapis. Similar to how a banner can unite a populace behind a common cause, Serapis developed as a divinity who could unify Greeks and Egyptians living within the same Hellenistic realm. Serapis is an underworld deity similar to Osiris who bears both solar and serpent symbolism, and who also became associated with the agathos daimon, or Good Spirit. Just as Jupiter has its joy in the 11th house of Good Spirit associated with fellowship and the hopes we aspire to achieve, so can we connect “The Banner” of the third face of Leo with the essential desires rooted in our higher self that bring out the best in us and motivate us to take action or make a stand as needed. As the peak illumination of the Leo Full Moon wanes in the week ahead, open yourself to discovering a symbol of your most soulful purpose to carry through the challenges to come in 2020. Not as a banner to use in imposing your will upon others, but rather as a guiding star you may follow through whatever difficulties and darkness arise.

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References

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