Full Moon in Scorpio

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Configuration No. 16 by Max Ernst

Full Moon in Scorpio

Soon after our Sun enters Taurus this year, the stabilizing home of Venus, we experience its polarity through the darkly desirous sign of Scorpio becoming illuminated at the Full Moon on April 21/22, 2016.  While the Sun in Taurus facilitates centering within the body, patiently cultivating security from inner values, and luxuriating within whatever one finds beautiful, the Full Moon in Scorpio reveals the shadow of yearnings in its light, unearthing the deeper source of what we need to feel secure.  Within the reflection of this Scorpio Full Moon, feelings overflow from everything that has been denied or controlled as suppressed memories and passions arise to surface awareness.  Perception opens to the surrounding emotions of whatever has not been previously expressed, lending a keener, penetrating capacity to peer into the source behind or at the root of surrounding relationships, people, and myriad other forms.

Taurus and Scorpio are a Fixed polarity, signs that anchor the seasons as well as anchor consciousness in our material world.  Both Taurus and Scorpio hold the potential, however, for their capacity to anchor to lead one to becoming stuck through over fixation upon a desire or a way of being.  The range of extremity can be found in stubborn refusal to merge and open oneself to other perspectives and people, to becoming so compulsively drawn to merging with another person or source that covert manipulation is utilized in an attempt to sustain the connection and guard against the threat of loss.  The polarity between Taurus and Scorpio also bears the potential to discover one’s essentialness within the osmosis of uniting with others emotionally, sexually, mentally, or spiritually, making it possible to participate in committed relationships focused on authentic growth without compulsive dependencies being present.

The Scorpio Full Moon itself is not making any major aspects to planets, but is applying to a conjunction with the asteroid Juno retrograde in Scorpio.  Juno being with the Full Moon activates a focus on partnership via Scorpio, and fittingly in Asteroid Goddesses Demetra George described the Juno archetype as embodying issues that align with Scorpio such as  (1) fear of abandonment, (2) fear of betrayal, (3) fear of sexuality, (4) the giving away of power, (5) subtle manipulation, and (6) projection and repression (p. 161-163).  With Juno retrograde conjoining the Full Moon in Scorpio, and both Mars and Pluto having stationed retrograde the week prior to the lunation, the bright Moon will bring a pull into the inner vastness where we find the source of the relational dynamics we create.

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Birds Swooping Down and Arrows (1919) by Paul Klee

The Full Moon is ruled by Mars retrograde in Sagittarius and illuminates our entry into the long retrograde journey ahead with the red planet.  Mars is moving backward along with Saturn in Sagittarius, about seven degrees apart at the time of the lunation, but the movement of Mars is barely beyond a standstill.  It is too early to know what catalyzing and cathartic experiences will be coming during the Mars retrograde, but the Scorpio Full Moon will deliver a visceral sense of the major issues coming to the forefront at its initiation.  With Mars in range of a square to Neptune, there are elements of disillusionment happening that in the end will fuel a fiery rebirth of primal purpose, but at this moment feels disorienting and upsetting.

The modern viewpoint of Pluto ruling this Full Moon further emphasizes eruptive shifts in our world, as Pluto also recently stationed retrograde.  The Scorpio Full Moon heavily highlights Pluto in Capricorn, as it is not only standing still but involved in numerous potent astrological aspects.  Pluto has been direct since September 2015, and as it begins to recede so will our minds descend into the ineffable fabric of our Soul and unconscious where dormant memories and meaning will be regenerated.  Pluto is also known to initiate a death process or letting go of whatever we have been resisting releasing. The overall synthesis of surrounding aspects to Pluto indicate that the material being dredged up for digestion, no matter how painful and no matter how much grieving it necessitates, ultimately is feeding growth and essential self-realization that will bring rewards in the future.  At this moment, however, it will be difficult to fully understand what is being stirred up by Pluto.

While the stationary influences of Mars and Pluto brings an underworld awakening focus to the Scorpio Full Moon, Mercury in Taurus is shining bright in stark contrast, a role the star of Hermes delights in playing.  Mercury in Taurus is sharing the home of Venus along with our vivifying Solar Light, continuing to increase in light as an Evening Star.  Mercury in Taurus is also in range of a Grand Earth Trine at the Full Moon with Pluto in Capricorn and the conjunction of Jupiter with the North Node of the Moon in Virgo.  Moreover, Mercury is conjoining the asteroid Vesta in Taurus, adding an emphasis of focused devotion to the Winged Messenger.  Mercury here in Taurus is in prime position to assist with the discovery of personal resources carried at a core level that foster self-sufficiency.  With both the Sun as well as Mercury in the home of Venus, this emphasis of Taurus bolsters capacity to harmonize elements of life based upon inner values as a remedy to the obsessive extremities of Scorpio as well as the accentuated influence of stationing Mars and Pluto.  In addition, since Mercury is also now in the shadow zone of its retrograde phase coming at the end of April, the Scorpio Full Moon will illuminate some of the issues that will demand attention during the forthcoming Mercury retrograde.

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by Pablo Picasso (1922)

Venus in Aries is separating from a square with Pluto in Capricorn at the time of the Scorpio Full Moon and carrying this catalytic tension into a union with the unsettling force of Uranus.  These explosive aspects of Venus are paramount to consider since both the Sun and Mercury are in the home of Venus, and the closely applying conjunction between Venus and Uranus is occurring in the home of Mars, with Mars at the beginning of its long retrograde journey.  Although only a temporary transit this week, the square between Pluto and Venus can ramp up the compulsive relational dynamics signified by the Scorpio Full Moon, such as addiction to sex or obsession with the presence of another, and can also bring up hard feelings from the loss of a relationship.  The square between Venus and Pluto is in its first quarter phase, and so on a deeper level the Venus-Pluto dynamic is about making deep structural changes in the aspects of life that will ultimately enable greater fulfillment.

Venus uniting with Uranus can correlate with electrifying experiences that destabilize and open up freeing, higher frequency opportunities.  The overwhelming emotional desires that can come up with Pluto and Venus can lead to expectations in relationship that the freedom-oriented Uranus rebels against.  The conjunction between Venus and Uranus culminating at the Full Moon can reveal the projections we make in relationship and the underlying dynamics of the relationships being created.  There is a quality of objectifying ourselves and our relationships that can be accessed through Uranus, and so with Venus uniting with Uranus the intense feelings around relationship have the potential to transmute from obsessive compulsions into objective self-realization.  Shocks in relationship can rip us apart and bring feelings of complete dismantling, and yet ultimately there can be found in the experience vital insight into how to rebuild our life and surrounding relationships so that liberation from past restrictive patterns is realized.

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5 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 1 Decan

The first face of Scorpio holding the Full 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 that all is not lost.  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.

Mars rules the first face of Scorpio, further deepening the relationship between the Full Moon and Mars retrograde in Sagittarius.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces synthesized the images 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

The timeless stories that have moved people across centuries involve tragedy, perhaps, because it is through loss of what we want most in life that we often discover our most profound lessons of wisdom and enact the greatest periods of individuating growth.  Or perhaps it is the loss that necessitates grief or putting a desire to rest that can most readily open our hearts fully to the tragedy and trauma inflicting innumerable humans across time and space.  After one cycle of desire concludes, another one arises and again brings the potential for ecstatic fulfillment or painful loss.  Through facing our desires fully without denial, we develop awareness for which desires to continue pursuing with resilience and which desires are not in our best interest to regenerate.  With Mars, the ruler of this face as well as this Scorpio Full Moon, now beginning to awaken in its rupturing retrograde movement, we are presented with a period in which to discover the deepest levels of our desires.

References

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

George, Demetra with Bloch, Douglas. (1986). Asteroid Goddesses. ACS.

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Tending the Fire of the Virgo Full Moon

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Emblem XXII by Michael Maier from Atalanta Fugiens

The Full Moon on March 5 glows radiant in the sign of the winged Virgin, and her presence can help us tend the fiery trine between Jupiter retrograde in Leo and the new conjunction between Venus and Uranus in Aries.  What’s more, the flames of the exact trine between Jupiter, Venus and Uranus are further ignited by Saturn in Sagittarius and an exact conjunction between Mars and the South Node of the Moon in Aries.  Virgo is an internally contemplative sign, and so this Full Moon appearing with Jupiter in the depths of its retrograde journey will reveal the self-absorbed delusions of grandeur we have been harboring that need mitigating.  As a result the inspiration of the grand fire trine of transits can spark realization of how to shed ego obsession and re-align to serve the larger whole of our reality, a helpful course of action considering the multitude of people angrily operating without self-awareness currently.  Yet we do not want to hold ourselves back with self-criticism to the extent that we rationalize away the possibility of pursuing our dearest desires, or avoid examining pressing issues out of fear of wounding ourselves.  Instead, like the woman in the alchemical image above minding the fire cooking her cauldrons, it will be best to take action aligned with our vision and withstand the heat to remain actively mindful of the ever-changing point we are enacting in our process.

Mercury in Aquarius rules the Full Moon and is our guide to how to infuse spirit into our work and inspired vision into daily grounding.  Crucially, Mercury at the time of the Full Moon is closely conjunct Vesta in Aquarius and so integrates the focused, sacred fire sustaining priestess into a greater clarification of Aquarian perception.  In the classic Hermes: Guide of Souls, Karl Kerenyi described the connection between Hermes (Mercury) and Hestia (Vesta):

Hermes’ connection to the center of the house, to the goddess of the hearth, is attested by a Homeric hymn to Hestia . . . He guides souls out of his realm- the world of paths and roads- back into the warm life of the household, which in Greek signifies the “family.” In his official capacity as mediator between the worlds of night and day, spirits and men, and (standing before the temple) between the worlds of gods and mankind, he is . . . closely related to door hinges and therefore to the entrance but also to a middle point, to the socket, about which revolves the most decisive issue, namely the alternation life-death-life . . . Through Hermes, every house became an opening and a point of departure to the paths that come from far off and lead away into the distance.  Standing at the doorway, he indicates that here is a source of life and death, a place where souls can break in, as through he were pointing out a spring of fresh water.  — Karl Kerenyi, Hermes: Guide of Souls, pages 102-103

Being centered at “home” will accentuate our ability to receive the light of this Virgo Full Moon, and the revelation could guide us into how best to house the vivifying spirit or soulful desires we feel deeply and wish to experience manifested.  We do not need to be living in our ideal home or even necessarily have a home, but rather we need to claim a personal space to feel secure within and create an outlet through which to express ourselves.  Since Mercury was recently exactly opposite Jupiter in Leo, our Hermetic guide brings an objective analysis of our developing truth to its conjunction with Vesta in Aquarius.  Vesta unveils the importance of focused, determined action and concentration we can wield with discipline to cut through any fogginess or cacophonous clutter in our environment.  With the illumination of this Virgo Full Moon, Mercury has finally exited its retrograde shadow zone and so the mental processing we have been engaged in since the recent Mercury retrograde cycle began on January 21, 2015 can now more fully elucidate the relevant issues.  Since Mercury and Vesta in Aquarius are also now sextile to the Uranus and Venus conjunction in Aries, the full reflected light of this coming full moon can bring breakthrough insight to help solve our recent dilemmas.

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Sardonyx cameo of a nymph riding a centaur (Hellenistic, 1st century B.C. – 1st century A.D.)

Our two great lights of this Full Moon are each conjunct symbols of wounding, rejection, and heroic salvation, with the Sun in Pisces conjunct Chiron, and the Moon in Virgo conjunct Black Moon Lilith.  Since Mars is also conjunct the South Node of the Moon in Aries, we could experience amplified feelings of anger and frustration if we become overwhelmed by shadow side connections to Virgo such as guilt, lack, emptiness, and perfectionism that leads to self-criticism for falling short on our ideals.  However, Mars affixed to the South Node in Aries can also coincide with an impulsive or instinctual release of an essential element of our nature that will be vital for us to reflect upon.  In this atmosphere the full light of the Virgo Moon will spiral deep within our core, and the reflected awareness will sharpen our discernment on which practical strategies will be best to focus on to modify our behavior and goals to flow more harmoniously with the chaotic changes erupting in our surroundings.  The key is to tune into the spirituality we can find in the ever changing moment of our mundane livelihood, and to listen to the messages found in the soul material of our environment.  A Virgo Full Moon is perfect for shining light on a prudent path to follow that will help us utilize our essential gifts if we keep our consciousness focused on self-acceptance rather than harsh self-judgment.

In this way it is important to realize this Virgo Full Moon is in a harmonious aspect to Pluto in Capricorn and is connected to the seventh and final first quarter square between Pluto and Uranus that will occur in a couple weeks in the waning phase of the current Moon cycle.   The Virgo Moon will be in trine to Pluto and the Pisces Sun will be in sextile to Pluto, meaning that instead of resisting or being in denial of the deep pull of our Plutonic soul desires, the Full Moon can help us realize the changes of necessity we will need to surrender to that we can no longer avoid experiencing.  With the Sun conjunct Chiron and the Moon conjunct Black Moon Lilith, we can then not only uncover and embody more of our deepest nature, we can also foster the courage to assert our beliefs and passions in the face of surrounding criticism, knowing that by pursuing our deeply felt passion we will in turn manifest a creation that will be meaningful for others of like-mind.

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The Passing of Venus (1898) Sir Edward Burne-Jones

Indeed, the burning fires of passion that can coincide with Venus being conjunct Uranus in Aries and in trine to Jupiter retrograde in Leo is the great gift of this Full Moon to open.  In the sequence of zodiac signs that begin with Aries and end in Leo, there is a journey of our personal development from a sense of essential individuality in Aries to it’s ultimate creative actualization in Leo.  The brilliant light of Jupiter illuminating our night these days is like the traditional wishing star that pulls forward our unique gifts and talents (Venus conjunct Uranus in Aries) into such a strong desire to make them real that we discover a way for us to make our sense of destiny actually happen.

Virgo is the sign that follows Leo and tempers the Lion’s delusions of grandeur so that we can interact harmoniously in our intimate partnerships and effectively in our collaborative relationships.  Virgo also makes the tense and awkward 150° inconjunct aspect to Aries, and this Virgo Full Moon will be closely inconjunct the conjunction of Venus and Uranus in Aries.  In evolutionary astrology developed by Jeff Green, this waxing inconjunct aspect is associated with the Virgo archetype and correlates to a feeling of special destiny or vision that we feel deeply called to pursue, and yet simultaneously brings a sense that we are not ready to achieve our ambition.  A potential negative consequence is that instead of taking action toward our desire we instead make excuses through rationalization why we should not bother asserting ourselves toward our dream, all the while observing with tremendous envy other individuals successfully actualizing the same desired path, ambition, or vocation.  The conjunction between Venus and Uranus that is also in trine to Jupiter in Leo is so full of great promise that it would be a huge missed opportunity to follow this line of thought and talk ourselves out of making liberating choices forward.  A solution is to focus on understanding why we do not feel ready to successfully manifest our dream, and then actively engage in strategies and actions to improve and work on the areas of our Self we realize we need to enhance in order to be effective.

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The Mirror of Venus (1875) by Edward Burne-Jones

We are filled with a sense of magic and lightness when we stare into a luminous Full Moon, and this lustrous dazzlement is a moment to seize in remembrance of what we hold dear to our hearts, in contrast to the heartache caused by the disappointments felt in our day-to-day existence.  For those tuned into the news cycle of current events, there is no end to the horror show of savage murders, betrayals, and mass killings berating our perception.  In our personal lives, the huge influx of Mars, Venus, Uranus, and the South Node of the Moon combined in Aries has likely made us need to confront anger from others or feelings of anger wanting to erupt from within ourselves.  The South Node of the Moon is often connected to either our past lives or habitual complexes in astrology, but remembering that all of the planets have nodes and not just the Moon, we can also think of it as signifying the entire past arc of the Moon archetype in our lives.  Mars and Venus having initiated a new cycle of relationship and desire for us around the time of the past New Moon, at this Full Moon we can feel a burning sense of all our past desires we have not yet experienced, or confront issues from our past that did not turn out the way we had originally hoped.

Instead of feeling guilty or mired in lack, wanting to distract ourselves with meaningless busyness, gaze into the mirror reflection of this Full Moon with the awareness of how beautiful it is also to be simply alive and incarnate in your body.  In the space between our current self and societal position and the sense of where our higher nature wants us to be, open your mind with discrimination toward practical, simple steps you can begin to take today to bridge the distance.  There is a Mercurial discernment of Venusian refinement into our essential nature available now that will lead to discovery of key ingredients in our process of creating our desired work of beauty.

pixie imagination

by Pamela Colman Smith

Opening our mind to new visions found along our daily path can bring true inspiration now.  Instead of searching far and wide for an imagined ideal Muse, sometimes we need to remember that we already have Muses surrounding us and we simply need to invite them to lay down with us in our field of awareness.  When the Moon is full in Virgo in opposition to the Sun in Pisces, we receive signs of how we can align our personal will with a higher will, how we can align our thoughts and behavior with the soul of our surroundings.  This current Virgo Full Moon is in trine to Pluto in Capricorn and so brings in productive, fertile earth energy into an otherwise stormy mix of planets in fire, air, and water signs.  A personal sojourn into the green world, removed from as much of the modern excess of electronics as possible, will be a fantastic activity for this Full Moon time if you can manage it.  Connecting with trees and birdsong on wild paths of untended decomposition and burgeoning growth is a perfect setting to contemplate the concerns coinciding with a full lunation in the mutable Earth sign of Virgo.

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9 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

This Virgo Full Moon by zodiac degree falls within the Virgo II decan which is ruled by Venus.  The associated tarot card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith displays a golden aura surrounding a Venusian figure lifting her trained falcon within a grapevine estate.  This tarot card is traditionally associated with gains in wealth, and Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces astutely analyzed how the hooded falcon (a symbol of spirit enclosed in matter) is a protector of the grapevine resources linked to her wealth since it is a bird of prey that feeds on the creatures who would damage the growth of the grapes.  In this way, Coppock stated that when we delight in the end product of a glass of wine, “The beauty of the finished product of the process conceals the pain and toil utterly necessary for its creation . . . It is only through heat, force and sweat that the most delicate and elegant works are created” (p. 145).  Coppock found a theme of continual reshaping and refinement of matter in this decan that unveils the diverse extremes of experiences that unite within the final form of a created work that contains spirit:

Alchemically, this face provides understanding of the many beautiful and repulsive states the matter attains throughout the Magnum Opus.  On an emotional level, the visions that stain this face teach one not to be repulsed by process, nor to be glamoured by the apparent perfection of a finished thing.  On a practical level, this face brings one to inspect material processes and note the efficiency or lack thereof.  The residents of this decan oversee the ever-transforming world, guiding and shaping the Great Work on a microcosmic level.

–Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, p. 146

There is nothing easy about this time we inhabit, but the hard work we exhibit today, the monstrous emotions we feel temporarily overwhelmed by, the radiant glow of bliss we contact in a perfect moment, it all feeds the form we are breathing within in this moment.  Discard feelings of anxiety over not being in the exact job or relationship you want right now, or having not enacted your envisioned plan yet.  This is an important Full Moon to listen to, as it prepares us for the upcoming eclipse season that stretches from the March Equinox into the month of April, pointing us in the direction of necessary modifications needed in our current process.  In the end we will all benefit from the final product you create out of your present dilemmas and circumstances.

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References

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

Kerenyi, Karl. (1976). Hermes: Guide of Souls. Spring Publications.