Super Pisces Full Moon

Morris-Graves-1941-The-Moon-The-Sea

Morris Graves, The Moon and the Sea (1941)

The Full Moon on September 8 is another Super Moon, meaning that the Moon will be as close to Earth as it gets in orbit, appearing larger in our sky, having a more extreme impact on the tides of our water, and looming larger in our consciousness as well (the term Super Moon was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle and can refer to either a New Moon or Full Moon).  This Pisces Full Moon is also the traditional Harvest Moon in the northern hemisphere, meaning it is the Full Moon closest to the Autumn Equinox.  This is the fifth and final Super Moon of 2014, and the third “Super” Full Moon in a row (July 12 and August 10, 2014 were also Full Super Moons): a time to reap insights from this past year of experiences before we head into the eclipse season of October 2014.

This Full Moon will be stirring up the lunar waters of our emotions and perceptions in the second decan of Pisces (there are three decans, ten degrees each, in the thirty degrees of each sign in the zodiac).  In the recently published 36 Faces, Austin Coppock discerned a core concept of Pisces II: integrating into our material realm the spiritual insights and ideals found in the seeker’s plunge into the deep:

Here the central concept is how to reconcile one’s understandings of the true nature of reality with the world-as-it-is. It is thus a face of finding harmony with apparent reality of things while living and embodying one’s ideals . . . This is the phase in which we are challenged to reconcile beliefs, ideals and the way things are. The result of this successful reconciliation is “Happiness,” which the associated Nine of Cups takes as its name in The Book of Thoth. The result of an inability to reconcile one with the other, will, however, yield the inverse- misery, the state of one for whom there is no harmony between their inner and outer (p. 251-52).

During 2014 we have had many transits correlating to a greater capacity to go within and explore the subterranean world of our unconscious, our deep-set patterns, and all the gems and ghosts within our psyche.  If we have done the hard work of connecting to our true ideals we may feel shocked when re-entering the world at large and not sensing an outlet or receiver for the cherished beliefs we unearthed, the vision resonate with our more fully realized self.  A Super Moon illuminating the polarity of the Pisces and Virgo axis in the Pisces II decan is like wading out of the ocean under a starry sky ablaze with the glow of a luminous white Moon, feeling aglow with an inexpressible sense of pure being as we take our first steps onto moist sand that turns drier with each step back toward land and away from water.

As the insights into the divine or the eternal we received in our oceanic sojourn are essentially inexpressible or impossible to be captured in a true form, the importance at this time is what we do exactly with the presence we have felt within and how we integrate what we have sensed of the profound into our mundane daily reality.  If we deny ourselves our blissful yearning, if we choose to focus on the realistic, secure, and safe direction instead of risking faith in the unknown beckoning us from our depths, we run the risk of living an unfulfilled life that no level of material security may remedy.  And yet this is the crux of this potent lunation, as the Virgo to the Pisces going on wants us to integrate what we have managed to perceive beyond the boundaries of our consensus societal reality into this same society whose folly we can see through.

Jupiter is a key at this time to help us intuit how to function in our world, as Jupiter is a ruler of the second decan of Pisces in addition to ruling the sign of Pisces traditionally.  Jupiter is in Leo at the time of the Harvest Full Moon, and this fiery Jupiter that wants us to creatively actualize our destiny is holding intense aspects to two mythic figures rooted in harvest equinox time:  Pluto and Ceres.  As a result, we likely have attachments that we will have to release, crippling inner fears that must be made aware to be overcome.  There could be a sacrificial element in all of this in which we must willingly or unwillingly release what is no longer useful to the future that is calling us forward, to which we feel we must surrender.

Neptune and Amphitrite

Amphitrite and Neptune, 16th Century French, Lead

Many modern astrologers believe that Neptune in Pisces, and not Jupiter in Leo, is ruling this Full Moon. No matter what your astrological belief, however, Neptune in Pisces looms large at this time, as Venus in Virgo is opposite it.  In fact, Neptune in Pisces has been integral to the entire waxing Moon we have been experiencing, as the last New Moon in Virgo was opposite Neptune.  While Neptune enjoys itself in Pisces, Venus has not been known to have such a rollicking time in Virgo and in fact has been given the label of being in its “fall” in Virgo.  This is because Virgo is seen as a mental sign of critical discrimination that may not be open to all of the pleasure that Venus has to offer.  But while Virgo may be seen by some as too judgmental and too much of a perfectionist for the good of Venus, we also find here in the fertile Virgin the ultimate spiritual receptacle capable of receiving the full expanse of the illumination available at this time.

Venus in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces at a time of the Sun in Virgo being opposite a Pisces Moon of great gravity brings with it the issue of reality versus illusion, and spiritual discernment versus spiritual delusion.   Everything depends upon the quality of one’s consciousness at this time and one’s capacities of perception:  some could experience an epiphany whereas others could find themselves lost in a fog of illusion.   Going within, getting away from the associations overwhelming your everyday reality, re-connecting with your source inside of yourself, all of these are ways to help you figure out what is really brewing in between your gut, heart, and mind.  Venus in Virgo can help us with discernment, but we also do not want to discriminate to such a degree that we cut ourselves off from desires connected to us getting more in touch with our authentic self because of a judgmental sense that these desires are not realistic, practical, or capable of manifesting for us in our reality at this time.  This is tricky terrain with no easy answers, so do not take the easy way out.  Connecting with your authentic nature, actualizing more of your core calling, is not only good for you, it is good for all of us.

Along these lines this intensity between Virgo and Pisces is amplified to the highest extremes by Chiron in Pisces being conjunct the Full Moon and opposite the Virgo Sun. In combination with Venus in Virgo opposing Neptune in Pisces, there is an electrical charge to the atmosphere at this time instigating flashes of insight into the entire collective story swirling around all of us, including not only the full arch of this epic storyline across time but also how exactly we are fitting into it in this moment of now.  Yes, Chiron is associated with wounds and we may have a gaping wound of our psyche exposed at this time. Yes, Chiron is associated with unflinching heroism, and we may seize the opportunity to take a courageous stand against the sickening oppression saturating our collective.  Yes, Chiron is associated with healing, and we may suddenly notice something in our environment at this time that is the exact remedy capable of nurturing our needs or injuries.  It may be an overplayed storyline that we are all connected but it is nonetheless true, and we can now more easily feel the inter-connectivity of all and the resulting significance of every daily choice we make contributing at least a small ripple to the wider tides.

amaranth by leo kenney

Amaranth by Leo Kenny

If one opens perception to the asteroid goddesses, there is a Grand Water Trine occurring at this Full Moon between Juno in Cancer, Saturn conjunct Vesta in Scorpio, and the Full Moon conjunct Chiron in Pisces.  This triangular circuit is a mainline into the undercurrents and emotional atmosphere of our surroundings and beyond into the greater collective consciousness of this time.  As there has been a lot of darkness and despair in current events, it would be wise to focus on self-care to purify and nourish our sense of self so that negativity around us does not lead us to turn it on ourselves.  It will please Juno to withdraw for a time in order to develop a greater capacity to return to relationships with a renewed ability to nurture, and Vesta collaborating with Saturn in Scorpio is not going to want us to be in denial of where our focus truly needs to be directed at this time.  All together these aspects align well with the earlier stated intent of this Full Moon in Pisces being about integrating our ideals in some way into our environment.  If we cut ourselves off from our ideal, from that cherished person, desire, or belief that makes us feel alive, these same aspects could make us spin out in despair. We need to use the supreme sustaining power of Vesta and Saturn in Scorpio to find a way to bring our dreams into our reality in whatever way we can right now.

A fortuitous ally in this pursuit will be Pallas Athena, who is joining her supreme creative intelligence with Mercury in the sign of Libra.  This Pallas Athena-Mercury conjunction has a lot of aspects at this Full Moon:  opposite Uranus in Aries, square Pluto in Capricorn, sextile Jupiter in Leo, opposite the South Node of the Moon in Aries, and conjunct the North Node of the Moon in Libra.  Mercury and Venus are having somewhat of an affair at this time, as they are in the mutual receptivity of Venus being in the sign ruled by Mercury and Mercury being in the sign ruled by Venus.  Add in the crafty Pallas Athena to the equation and we have a mix that can help us strategize a creative use of our spiritual perceptions, as both Mercury and Pallas Athena can perceive in between worlds.  Since the material world may seem to be operating on a more distasteful wavelength than the vibe of our desired vision, we may need to be assertively evoke Pallas Athena to preside over the manifestation of our ideal:

Female and male, the arts of war are thine,
Fanatic, much-formed dragoness, divine:
Over the Phlegrean giants, roused to ire,
Thy coursers driving, with destruction dire.
Sprung from the head of Jove, of splendid mien,
Purger of evils, all-victorious queen.
Hear me, O Goddess, when to thee I pray,
With supplicating voice both night and day,
And in my latest hour, give peace and health,
Propitious times, and necessary wealth,
And, ever present, be thy votaries aid,
O, much implored, art’s parent, blue-eyed maid.

–from the Orphic Hymn to the Goddess Athena

http://www.goddess-athena.org/Encyclopedia/Rituals/Hymns/Orphic.htm

We will need Pallas Athena to lend all of her dynamic power to a Mercury in Libra that can move between worlds to unite us with our beloved in the form of a Venus in Virgo receiving emanations from Neptune, because we must face the crisis and catharsis associated with Pluto in Capricorn.  For many of us this is the power structure surrounding us and the constraints and impositions of hierarchical societal systems that do not seem to be open to us pursuing our yearnings and instead seem to want to enslave us through needs to pay off debts, rents, bills, and so on.  Coming in for additional support, however, are a couple of heavyweights who know how to handle Pluto:  Jupiter in Leo and Uranus in Aries.  At the time of the Full Moon, Jupiter and Uranus are beginning to enter a trine of Fire, and though Mercury, Pallas Athena, and Uranus are all square to Pluto, the Sun and Full Moon hold harmonious aspects to the Lord of the Underworld.  All together these are yet another sign that we can have the ability at this time to ignite ourselves from within and configure a way to integrate more of our ideals into our reality.

morris graves offering

Offering by Morris Graves, 1957

All of the Scorpio energy in recent times seems to be heavy on the hearts of many: Ceres, Vesta, Saturn, and Mars all in Scorpio, with Ceres tightly in a square to Jupiter in Leo at the moment.  Jupiter is also inconjunct Pluto in Capricorn, and so our desire to integrate our ideals or insights into our society at this time will be difficult, it will mean we have to release attachments and suffer losses, but it is entirely possible.  There has been a piercing quality to this energy making it difficult if not impossible to be in denial of our core feelings or hide from the truth being revealed about the identity for ourselves we have been fixated upon.  However, Mars is now entering the end of the final decan of Scorpio, giving us a final period of time to root ourselves further into our deepest soul desires.  The more we can connect with our authentic desires with the aid of this luminous Full Moon, the better, for Mars next enters Sagittarius and by the end of September we will have a Grand Fire Trine of Mars in Sagittarius, Uranus in Aries, and Jupiter in Leo to propel us forward with passion toward our ideal.

So much Scorpio energy could have been coinciding with fears of betrayal or being betrayed, grasping and clinging to attachments we are afraid we could lose.  And yet, in Scorpio we also find our capacity to release and regenerate, to enter a death of our old ego identity in order to rebirth a more fully realized self. For now, remember that dark times are necessary in order to fully savor the light, we must become aware of our fears to overcome our inner inhibitions, and we have to realize what we do not want in order to know what we do want.  And if you allow me to insert yet another cliche here, we are at a reaping time: so don’t fear the reaper.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces. Three Hands Press.

Alchemical Mercury, Aquarius Moon

alchemical mercury

The alchemical Mercury, from Tripus aureus (The Golden Tripod) by Michael Maier, c. 1618.

August 8 presents a moment of legendary proportion to center within a superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun in Leo, as the Moon waxes toward another potent astrological moment two days later on August 10, when we will experience a loaded Full Moon in Aquarius.  Since Mercury goes retrograde into an inferior conjunction and then swings round again into a superior conjunction three times a year, we have three of these superior conjunction moments every year to experience Mercury moving at it’s fastest speed into the heart of the Sun.  However, this is a uniquely special superior conjunction as at this time Mars in Scorpio is square Jupiter in Leo, the Moon in Capricorn is conjunct Pluto and square to Uranus in Aries, and most of all the superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun in Leo is in trine to Uranus in Aries and in square to Saturn in Scorpio.

Demetra George compares the superior conjunction of Mercury to the detriment label of Mercury in Sagittarius as it can be like an insight of genius as well as a mad overflow of information to process- in either case this is because our minds can be full of so much unintegrated information at this stage of Mercury’s cycle that we can be challenged to fully digest the material.  This meaning corresponds to the speed of Mercury at this time, moving as fast as the fleet footed messenger ever moves, as from our perspective with Mercury on the other side of the Sun, it appears that Mercury is flying into the Sun.  Once Mercury gets close to its conjunction with the Sun, however, it takes on a “cazimi” meaning (some consider this to be less than one degree, others less than seventeen minutes) in a moment in time that brings the potential for a re-integration of all the material collected in the mind since Mercury moved direct in its last retrograde cycle on July 1.

If you want to be a pure astrological magician you may take advantage of this exact moment of Mercury merging into the Sun to center within yourself and within connection to the world soul, but in case you miss this moment it is still possible to gain profound insight into not only recent events and mental exploration, but concepts of our identity and self that go back across our entire lifetime.  This is because of the archetypal meaning of the Hermes of the Greeks who is the guardian of souls, a gatekeeper in between states of being who is always present with us during times of a death of an old identity and the birth of a new sense of self.  The astrological aspects for this particular superior conjunction are especially profound in this sense:

MercurySuperiorConjunctWRIGC1

In the chart above one can see the intense interactions occurring between planets in Leo and planets in Scorpio, including the close conjunction between the calculation of the mean Black Moon Lilith and the superior conjunction of Mercury in Leo with the Sun, all in square to Saturn in Scorpio. This is a square of manifestation that is an apt symbol of this entire astrological period leading up to the Full Moon in Aquarius. Like the idea of Dane Rudhyar that at the Full Moon we can receive illumination and vision that gives symbolic expression to the fulfillment of our past, the square from Saturn in Scorpio to Mercury’s superior conjunction enforces the necessary limitations and structure upon our perception and experience to cause what has been felt inside to now be seen within our reality and consciousness.  With Black Moon Lilith included in this aspect, it can also mean a feeling of any inauthentic aspects of our recent identity being cut away from us as we integrate the illumination of the superior conjunction.  We can emerge with a purified boldness to radiate like the Leo Sun.  Just as the Full Moon receives the full light of the Sun to illuminate us, so Mercury orbiting close to the Sun at the time of its superior conjunction receives insight to transmit to us.

However, at the time of the superior conjunction the Moon is in Capricorn, square to Uranus in Aries, and conjunct Pluto in Capricorn. This is another deep and hard aspect that while challenging, all together makes it possible to receive real knowledge about our self and our world from the trine between Mercury’s superior conjunction and Uranus in Aries.  A dear friend of mine recently told me that she sometimes hardly notices a trine, and that it can feel more like she is going out for some ice cream; however, when she experiences a square from a power agent like Saturn, it can feel like her entire world and reality is shifting.  This is very true of this moment in time-  Uranus can correlate with shocking insight, Pluto with cathartic confrontation, and so this ongoing square between these heavyweights is completely activated by this Leo superior conjunction of Mercury.  With Saturn further squaring it, there is no escape from the truth. If we are centered in our truth at this time we can express it fully and courageously.

But hold on folks, we cannot forget to mention Mars loving it up in the sign of Scorpio, a zodiac sign giving Mars a full expression of all of his passionate, desirous, and yes, manipulative and maleficent nature.  Mars in Scorpio at this time is in square to Jupiter in Leo as well as in trine to Neptune in Pisces.  Our desires and sense of personal will  as a result can lead us into experiences that reveal disillusionment in one way or another- it will be the hands-on knowledge we gain from our experiences that our desires magnetized that cause this disillusionment.  In combination with Mercury’s superior conjunction that is conjunct Black Moon Lilith and in square to Saturn in Scorpio, this can be an essential stripping away of what is false to reveal a more authentic presence.  It may feel very fiery in nature, like the ancient concept of the “art of fire” from alchemy that inspired modern psychologists such as Carl Jung and James Hillman to develop alchemical psychology.

de-Rola-the-Green-Lion-176

emblem by Baltzer Schwan from Johann Daniel Mylius‘s 1622 Philosophia reformata

While some purists like to argue against the plausibility of constructing psychological theory inspired by the chemistry of alchemy, there are nonetheless countless aspects of alchemical psychology that are not only thought provoking but can be very pragmatic at times, no matter how “far out” the ideas may feel to some.  For those who get pushed to the edge of consciousness and beyond, theories like alchemical psychology can actually be an essential guide.  I heard a lecture by Robert Bosnak on the Jung Platform in which he described alchemy as a lyrical mode of perception in an emotional way that is far removed from logic- it feels expressive, emotional, passionate, and deeply felt, like the idea of the world being born as a sea of sparks arising from the unknowable.  Our bodies form around this essential spark and so like an alchemist we can work to connect with this spark of matter inside of us.   Embodied imagination is essential in this process, and all of our imaginations can be sparked by Mercury’s superior conjunction.

The elements of alchemy include sulfur as desire, salt as a slowing down to crystallize, the mutable nature of Mercury, and the lyrical dance of all three.  It describes a quality of heat more so than a quantity of heat, and includes four levels of quality.  Particularly resonant to me about this time is the boundary between the third quality (that is like a burning heart of courage and the isolating anger of Mars driving the work harder) and the fourth quality (that is like a clarification into realization, like endless nights of wandering into penetrating insight).  In the transition between the third and fourth qualities, we can feel like we are too hot, too angry, and yet if we keep going anyway then seemingly out of nowhere clarity and insight will arise.  This feeling could very well correlate now to this time of Mercury’s superior conjunction transitioning into the Full Moon in Aquarius two days later:

AquariusFullMoon2014WRIGC2

Of course, many of the aspects in the Full Moon chart above are the same as at the time of Mercury’s superior conjunction, but the difference is that the full lunation is illuminating everything in starker contrast.  It is important to remember as well that Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, and so from that perspective the square between Scorpio Saturn and Leo Mercury/Sun is emphasized.  In addition, if you prefer the modern rulership of Uranus of Aquarius, then the trine between Uranus in Aries and the Mercury/Sun conjunction in Leo is highlighted.  Either way, this is a very powerful Full Moon, and not just because it is a Super Moon so close to our Earth.  Whatever sparks of creative inspiration emerge for us now, we will want to take responsibility to integrate this insight into our daily work.

Dane Rudhyar in his Astrological Mandala described an interesting Sabian Symbol for this Full Moon at 19º Aquarius:  “a forest fire is being subdued by the use of water, chemicals and sheer muscular energy.”  Rudhyar wrote that the keynote for this symbol is about “the skill and courage necessary to bring under control the destructive potential of carelessness of karmic visitations” (p. 261).  Our world is full of immense and extraordinary conflict, destruction, and trauma at this time.  As the world servers among us want to find areas to focus on and help facilitate productive change in one way or another, many of us are also confronting our own personal demons that we want to shift into more of a connection with a universal “higher mind” that will help navigate us in a direction in line with the “good” of all beings everywhere.  The aspects of this Full Moon make solutions to both of these scenarios a real possibility.

Finally, it is worthwhile to note that there is “sympathy in the square” between Leo and Scorpio according to the ancient astrologer Rhetorius the Egyptian, because they are signs of “equal rising” that are contra-antiscia across the equinox axis of Aries and Libra.  In the days leading up to Mercury’s superior conjunction, both Mercury and the Sun in Leo became contra-antiscia to Saturn in Scorpio, meaning that Saturn could “hear” both Mercury and the Sun.  In addition, at the time of the Full Moon in Aquarius, Mars in Scorpio will be contra-antiscia to Mercury in Leo, meaning that Mars will be able to “hear” Mercury during the Full Moon.  These aspects mean that although these squares between Leo and Scorpio may seem intense, they also hold strong resonance for manifestation, and can help us work productively with whatever conflicts arise.  If you want to read more about antiscia, a good resource is the website of Seattle astrologer Kate Petty.

Life may feel like a whirl wind at the moment, so it will be best to go into the spiral.

Barchusen-Elementa-chemiae-18

Copperplate 7 (of 19) from Johann Conrad Barchusen’s 1718 Elementa chemise, appearing in Johannes Fabricius’s 1976 collection, Alchemy (p18)