New Moon in Pisces

spring veils

Edna Andrade (1973) Spring Veils

New Moon in Pisces

The New Moon in Pisces on February 23 arrives not only during a change in season but also demarcates a threshold to cross into an intensification of the catalytic astrology of 2020. In the northern hemisphere, the days are growing longer as green shoots emerge from frozen ground; in the southern hemisphere, the peak glare of fiery Summer has passed as the encroaching darkness of Fall begins to increase. The year began with a potent seeding of vision in Capricorn involving Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, Ceres, and Mercury that has required incubation and gestation to become more clear about its longterm ramifications. With the entrance of Mars into Capricorn, the Sea Goat stellium has become ignited just as the  Pisces New Moon forms a collaborative and harmonizing sextile aspect with all of it.

The New Moon in Pisces is separating from a sextile with Uranus in Taurusand applying toward a sextile with Mars in Capricorn. The New Moon is also waxing toward a sextile with its South Node in Capricorn and a flowing trine with its North Node in Cancer. Thus the Pisces New Moon opens the long range view of a falcon encircling the sea from above, with potential for rapid acceleration of vision sourced from inspiration. Yet as a larger picture of what can take form this year coalesces, so will a stronger sense of all of the necessary work that will be required to bring it fully into being. Mercury retrograde in Pisces mutually applying to a conjunction with the New Moon can be helpful in surveying resources and goals to determine where adjustment or additional support is needed. Some aspects of current plans may need to be shed, while the unorthodox motion of Mercury may also retrieve  old ideas or capture unexpected thoughts to integrate into developing projects.

The applying sextile between the Pisces New Moon with Mars in Capricorn is particularly invigorating due to Mars being co-present with the trio of Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn. Before Mars fully activates the Sea Goat trio, however, it must first cross the initiatory threshold of passing through the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn. One one hand, the union of Mars with the South Node also means that it is triggering the eclipse degree of the Solar Eclipse in Capricorn on December 26, 2019 and therefore enflaming collective events that have been simmering and ready to erupt. On the other hand, the conjunction between Mars and the South Node of the Moon will also draw attention toward the deeper motivations underlying our striving. Rather than insisting on continual expansion and progress, take the time to reflect upon the nature of your aspirations with willingness to lay some desires to rest while committing a deeper investment to what emerges as your most essential desire.

The potency of the collaborative sextile between the Pisces New Moon and Mars exalted in Capricorn demands movement, whether toward external goals or toward inner insight. Some additional symbolism describing the richness of the New Moon’s dark soil comes from its conjunction by zodiacal degree with two significant fixed stars:  (1) Fomalhaut, the mouth of the Southern Fish swimming beneath the Water Bearer of Aquarius, as well as (2) Deneb Adige, the brilliant white alpha star in the tail of Cygnus the Swan.

Fomalhaut is the mouth of the Southern Fish that Bernadette Brady has linked with the mystical salmon invested with wisdom in Celtic mythology, a point of intake for magically making change through relationship with Nature rather than through control or domination over Nature. Similar to how Ptolemy connected Fomalhaut with Venus and Mercury, Fomalhaut has been described as a poetic, visionary, and mystical star associated with the kind of magical charisma that can seductively influence the course of events.  Bernadette Brady further associated Fomalhaut with idealistic visions that necessitate conflict with the dominant culture in order to bring about manifestation. Fomalhaut’s presence near the zodiacal degree of the Pisces New Moon is a warning to be careful for what you wish for, utilizing the purging nature of Mercury retrograde in Pisces to come into deeper relationship with what you truly wish to create with your life.

Deneb Adige is the starry white tail of the Swan gliding gracefully across the great watery section of the heavens, the alpha star of Cygnus that Ptolemy also connected with Venus and Mercury, just like Fomalhaut. Water birds are sacred in Celtic traditions due to integrating the elements of earth, air, and water, and Bernadette Brady further connected Deneb Algede with not only the deep spirituality of the Swan but also the aggression and combativeness of swans when defending their territory. There is common ground with Fomalhaut here, in that Brady also connected Deneb Adige with the “journey of actively seeking spiritual awareness” that demands “a deeper step, to feel that one has to walk the less trodden tail.” Indeed, Brady declared Deneb Adige to be the “shaman’s star,” viewed by the ancient Egyptians as “the exit of the birth canal of Nut,” the starry goddess who continually gives birth, rebirth, to the Sun and its illuminating light. Deneb Adige brings the steely inner strength to the lunation also found by the New Moon forming a sextile with Mars in its exaltation of Capricorn.

New Moon in Pisces

Felix-Hilaire Buhot (1889-90) The Cliff – Bay of Saint-Malo

Jupiter in Capricorn is the domicile rule of  the Pisces New Moon, while the New Moon is also occurring in the exaltation, bounds, and triplicity of Venus in Aries. Venus and Jupiter ruling the New Moon is notable due to the fact that Venus in Aries is applying toward an exact square aspect with Jupiter in Capricorn as Luna and Sol unite in Pisces. This brings a wave of extreme desires to reach a peak, requiring a measure of tempering to avoid the type of overinflation that can bring about a painful fall. While you may feel the stirring of large appetites it must necessarily be set against the constraint and contraction of circumstances signified by Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto being hosted by Saturn in the Capricorn terrain being catalyzed by Venus in the fiery sign of Mars.

Adding immense depth to these aspects, Jupiter also formed an exact sextile with Neptune in Pisces a few days before the lunation on February 20, and is now slowly applying toward a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn that will be building throughout the next month. Simultaneously, Venus in Aries will also be applying toward a cathartic square aspect with Pluto as the Moon begins to wax in light, forming an exact square with Pluto on February 28. With Venus engaging in a sequence of square aspects with Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn, the realm of relationship will be a source of change where we may receive intimations of new possibilities and potential while also contending with whatever present Saturnine tests we are facing. Any disillusionment felt can be utilized in reconsidering the inner values you feel are truly worthwhile to embody and center choices around. With Mars in Capricorn ruling Venus, we must enter the fray rather than hold back from fear, being willing to shake things up rather than remaining stagnant.

It’s further significant that both benefics, Venus and Jupiter, are occupying challenging signs since Venus is in the sign opposite its home of Libra and Jupiter is in its fall in Capricorn. In contrast, both malefics, Saturn and Mars, are in places of great strength since Saturn is in its nocturnal, earthy home of Capricorn and Mars is in its exaltation of Capricorn. In part this signifies the lunar month ahead is not a time for lazily luxuriating in pleasure but rather gathering strength and resources to strike out resiliently with hard work and effort. While it may be necessary to experience change within relational dynamics and desires, any experiences of separation we must endure can facilitate penetrating more deeply into reconsidering inner ideals, value, and meaning. Even taking small steps in making space for contemplation free from the usual distractions and responsibilities of daily life will help in gaining clarity for where to let go versus where to focus for an influx of growth opportunities.

Turner_Ovid_Banished_from_Rome

JMW Turner Ovid Banished from Rome

Crucially, the New Moon in Pisces is mutually applying toward a conjunction with Mercury retrograde and combust under the beams of the Pisces Sun. While the New Moon in Pisces occurs during the most intense phase of purging and putrefaction within Mercury’s retrograde movement in Pisces, two days after the lunation on February 25 Mercury will experience the purification and rebirth of its inferior conjunction with the Sun. Mercury being in the heart of the Sun will be most intense when Mercury is within sixteen arc minutes from the Sun, from roughly 2:30 pm PST until 8:45 pm PST, with the exact solar union occurring around 5:41 pm PST on February 25. This is an ending and beginning, a rebirth moment for Mercury that deserves time set aside for contemplation and consideration, as Mercury becomes revitalized with the creative potency of our solar light.

During the same time that Mercury retrograde is conjoining the Sun, Mars in Capricorn will also be passing through a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn. Furthermore, this will all occur just as the waxing crescent light of the Moon forms a conjunction with Chiron in Aries and a square aspect with Mars in Capricorn. There is deep potency here for descent into inner realms of shadow and exploring our relationship with the ideals we use to generate our force of will in the external world. It’s an opportune time to contemplate our relationship with having agency in our life. The etymology of agency involves effectiveness, power, performing, setting things in motion, and driving things forward. We can also become agents of larger forces and institutions as part of going after what we want to possess in life. Who are you serving with your agency, your performance, and your power?

8_cups_rws_lg

8 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 1 Decan

The Pisces New Moon falls in the first decan of Pisces associated with the Eight of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image contains a figure retreating into a watery, island realm of caves and seclusion ideal for contemplation. Their staff planted in earth, their red cape and boots signify the flowing vitality they may contact within a cultivated space of sacred meditation and ritual. The first face of Pisces is ruled by Saturn, which aligns perfectly with the image of a hermit turning away from the accepted and familiar in order to receive new visions of depth and penetrating insight.

Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “The Labyrinth” to the first face of Pisces in his book 36 Faces, noting it signifies “a quest to map invisible walls of reality,” “the subtle structures which guide human life,” as well as the realization that our own unconscious is a primal progenitor of our current reality. Coppock wrote that in the first decan of Pisces we “recognize our imprisonment in our own reality construct” as well as “the possibility of liberation” from moving beyond our former boundaries into “a world as yet uncorrupted by our assumptions.” Coppock concluded the “liberation is achieved through insight alone,” meaning that through acceptance of our capacity for re-creating our maze-like circumstances, we may reframe the sense of imprisonment within our labyrinth as having dominion within our own palace. This meaning of the first face of Pisces fits well with the Pisces New Moon separating from a sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus.

The link between the primal, fertile potency of the unconscious with the first face of Pisces is interesting considering that the ancient Hellenistic text The 36 Airs linked the first face of Pisces with the titanic sea divinity Okeanos. More of a primal sea divinity than Poseidon, Okeanos was also known as the oceanic field surrounding the world where the Sun rises from at dawn and returns to at sunset. Tim Addey in The Seven Myths of the Soul stated that Okeanos was considered the “God of Separative Intellect” in Orphic theology. In its Orphic Hymn, Okeanos is described as the source of every river, sea, and spring that brings divine purification to our human realm. The nourishing mists from this fertile, oceanic void touch us when adrift upon waves of aquatic life or when staring into the sea. Allow the purifying waters of the New Moon in Pisces to cleanse your vision, fortifying your resolve to embody your most sacred values in relationship with others.

There, see, the new moon, / The King of life blessing her; / Fragrant be every night / Whereon she shall shine!

Be her lustre full / To each one in need; / Be her course complete / To each one beset.

Be her light above / With every one in straits; / Be her guidance below / With every one in need.

May the moon of moons / Be coming through thick clouds / On me and on every one / Coming through dark tears.

May God’s hand on me dwell / In every strait that me befalls, / Now and till the hour of my death, / And till the day of my resurrection.

— Traditional Scottish prayer

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References

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.

Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.

Carmichael, Alexander. (2006). Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations. Floris Books.

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.

New Moon in Taurus: Plowing Fields

John_Roddam_Spencer_Stanhope_-_Robin_of_Modern_Times

Robin of Modern Times (1860) by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

Taurus New Moon

The New Moon in Taurus on May 4 initiates a new lunar cycle from the middle of Taurus, the cross quarter point of Spring in the northern hemisphere otherwise known as Beltane. Pollination, burgeoning blooming, and the steady patience and diligent tending needed for cultivating gardens intersect with magical notions of veils being thinned between our usual reality with that of fairy spirits and intermediary daimons. Whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, the fertility focus of Taurus and its plodding pace that savors every second of sensual satisfaction is the ground in which to plant the seeds for what you wish to cultivate in the month ahead. However, we can hear in the wind forewarnings of challenging weather and changing fortune on the horizon that demand necessary preparation. Indeed, both traditionally benefic planets, Venus and Jupiter, are involved in challenging aspects with both traditionally malefic planets, Saturn and Mars, as Sun and Moon conjoin in the sign of the Bull. Fortunately, the Taurus New Moon is making aspects that support devising a successful strategy for making sure the seeds you are planting will eventually produce a worthy harvest.

The Taurus New Moon is in range of harmonious aspects with the intense union of Saturn, Pluto, and the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn, as well as with the imaginal potency of Neptune in Pisces. Since Saturn stationed retrograde within the week prior to the New Moon less than three degrees away from Pluto, their combined influence along with the South Node of the Moon has been forcing awareness to contend with whatever is necessary for us to confront, rather than whatever we wish we could be focusing on. This can include shadowy aspects of our subconscious or issues involving external relationships we had previously been ignoring, denying, or have been simply unaware of. Unions between Saturn and Pluto have a long historical track record of corresponding with global crisis and instability, and though Saturn and Pluto do not exactly align until January 2020, we are presently being initiated into an intensification of the tension that will be corresponding with the ending and beginning of their cycle.

As the Taurus New Moon is in a stabilizing trine aspect with the Capricorn trio, it brings the gift of making the necessary adjustments and modifications and being able to implement strategies for enduring present challenges. Since the New Moon is also in a creative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces, there is even something magical to be found in using common sense to address practical issues with grounded presence open to possibilities found in the moment. It will be necessary in the coming lunar cycle to actively cultivate the fertility of whatever ground we are working on and then follow through with sustained effort toward completing needed tasks. In order to access the full potential of the Taurus New Moon, however, we need to enrich our process with the full range of our imagination and creative visioning.

John_Roddam_Spencer_Stanhope_-_Thoughts_of_the_Past_-_Google_Art_Project

Thoughts of the Past (1859) by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

Venus in Aries rules the New Moon and is applying toward a square aspect with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn as well as the transiting lunar nodes. The tension between Venus and Saturn will be building until their aspect completes on May 7, bringing Venus into a complex relationship with both Pluto as well as Jupiter in Sagittarius.  On May 9 within hours Venus will move from a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter into a catalytic square aspect with Pluto, making the week following the New Moon pivotal as the Moon increases in light. Indeed, on May 9 the Crescent Moon will be in Cancer applying toward a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon opening awareness to important future-oriented choices to make. During this time there may be difficulties and stress to handle, but these aspects also suggest we can utilize the tension for our own benefit. Keep the larger vision of what you wish to manifest in mind as you work under the pressure of these aspects, sustaining belief in being able to achieve aspirations as you simultaneously apply effort and discipline to get the job done.

Yet, focusing too much on work and what we wish to build into the structures of our life can also distract us from another important side to these crucial aspects that Venus in Aries is passing through. Part of the story involves Mercury, as in the week before the New Moon the star of Hermes crossed the same terrain and teased open our psyche to the necessary issues that Venus needs to now mediate. There will likely be a lot of unconscious material stirred up, including vital memories from our past, that need to be reflected upon and sifted through in order to glean and integrate the needed lesson. As a result we will also need to make time and space for contemplation and allowing ourselves to set aside the demands of work so we may arrive at a deeper understanding of the present dynamics at play in our life. Venus in Aries engaging the intensity of Saturn, Pluto, and the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn suggests that while we will need to be shedding and clearing certain issues, there is also something essential and vibrant to uncover, protect and nurture within ourselves, something with a life force that will endure whatever obstacles are in the way now.

Mercury will be a key figure within the astrology of the coming month to track, as it can serve as a liminal guide through the transitions on the way. During the Taurus New Moon, Mercury in Aries is separating from a square with Pluto, a trine with Jupiter, and a mutually receptive sextile with Mars in Gemini, giving the star of Hermes a significant message to carry forward into the coming lunar cycle.  A couple of days after the New Moon on May 6, Mercury will enter Taurus and immediately begin applying toward a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus. May 6 through May 9 will be important days to pay close attention for signs of larger shifts opening up on the horizon. Mercury combined with Uranus can facilitate a liberated perspective able to receive insights that change our relationship with and understanding of our developing life narrative.  This is the first time Mercury will form an exact conjunction with Uranus in Taurus and so will likely bring additional clarity to whatever life events have been volatized by Uranus in Taurus.

kurt seilgmann knight in armor

Knight in Armor (1943) by Kurt Seligmann

Yet another dramatic aspect central to the dynamics of the Taurus New Moon is an applying opposition between Mars in Gemini with Jupiter in Sagittarius that will complete on the day after the lunation. The opposition between Mars and Jupiter is dynamic, propulsive and carries a double edge sword of inciting action while demanding caution toward pride that comes before a fall. The flames of ideological warfare and conflict will be stoked underneath the friction of Mars polarizing Jupiter, and so in personal realms be aware of when it is better to walk away and de-escalate conflict before it becomes more amplified. There may be arrogant accusers and cocky crusaders to contend with, and in the end the tension of this opposition can help clarify what beliefs we hold are worth fighting for and rising to defend and protect.

The opposition between Mars and Jupiter can also incite breakthrough decisions to move beyond previous boundaries, barriers or restraints. The liberating potential of their tension will be increased on May 6 once Mercury enters Taurus and initiates an emancipatory conjunction with Uranus that will complete on May 8.  While we will need to be careful of excessive actions and hubris, there will also be important lessons to learn from the experience of taking a leap to go after what we want during this time. Rather than passively surrendering to the intensity of the other astrological aspects previously mentioned, the opposition between Mars and Jupiter will encourage being an active co-creator with the catalyzed dynamics.

The Taurus New Moon is building toward a passionate and emotional Full Moon in Scorpio on May 18 that will have a Dionysian impact of loosening and dislodging.  Before the waxing light of the Moon becomes full, Mars in Gemini will receive Venus in Aries through a creatively dynamic sextile aspect on May 14. This is one day before Venus will enter its home of Taurus and Mars will enter is fall of Cancer on May 15, and so the sextile aspect between Venus and Mars will form at the final degrees of Aries and Gemini. There will be stress and tension present to manage within the surrounding astrology, but the receptive sextile between Mars and Venus holds the potential of using the friction for innovative creative manifestation. Work initiated during the Taurus New Moon may receive a propulsive jolt of development as Venus and Mars come into relationship in the middle of the month.

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6 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 2 Decan

The New Moon in Taurus will be seeded in the fertile darkness of the second decan of Taurus, associated with the Six of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we witness a mercantile figure carrying scales of balance in his left hand, while dispensing gold coins with his right hand to figures kneeling on the ground with tattered blankets begging for money.  The Six of Pentacles card is typically associated with giving and receiving on the material plane, whether that be through monetary sources or tactile, healing touch.  The unifying theme is that there is receiving found in the giving, and giving found in the receiving; the image of the scales could further be interpreted as signifying a sense of internal balance and authenticity in the process.  Through inner harmony transmitted through collaborative exchanges with others, great success and productivity can be achieved in the material realm. This is a key concept to bring into the meaning found with the New Moon in Taurus, as reaching out for support from others, as well as reaching out to support others, can bring us exactly what we need to endure present challenges.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Linga-Yoni” to the second face of Taurus, bridging images of “procreative unions” and “wanton fertilization” with the practice of virtuous action. Notably, Coppock advised that the matters generated in this face “must be attended to carefully and consistently,” as “dedication must join fecundity and passions to complete the picture this face provides” (p. 75).  Indeed, the fertile potential of the darkened Moon in Taurus is evident as the Moon rules the second face of Taurus, giving the Moon essential dignity through face, exaltation, and triplicity.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Horai to the second decan of Taurus, a trinity of goddesses of the seasons and natural cycles of time who are the daughters of Zeus and Themis, goddess of divine law and order. Diodorus of Sicily wrote in the 1st century BC that each of the “Horai was given a responsibility named after her for the ordering and arranging of life for the greatest benefit of mankind” and “furnishing a prosperous life” through “lawfulness {eunomia}, justice {dike}, and peace {eirene}.” In keeping with the Taurean metaphor of cultivating crops, the Horai were worshipped by those planting and tending their field of harvest in alignment with the rising and setting of stars. The presence of the Horai with the New Moon in Taurus suggests the wisdom of knowing the right time and season for action. Within the darkness of the New Moon, let yourself let go of the plans whose time is not now, while mobilizing the force of your conviction and integrity behind those goals whose time have arrived.

References

Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation. (2004). Edited and translated by S.M. trzaskoma, R.S. Smith, and S. Brunet. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

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

 

 

New Moon in Pisces

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Baptism II by T Thompson

New Moon in Pisces

The dreamy vision reverberating in mind, the eyes catch the mirrored sunlight caressing the waves from the deep.  Colors transfigure the sky, undulating with hues bringing passing magic to the senses.  We call it a brainstorm, the inspiration of inhaling divine guidance.  What comes next reveals the intersection between internal and external realms, the circumstances of our lives and our motivation to dedicate time and effort into manifesting a fragment of what our soul beheld in quiet, secretive contemplation.  The New Moon in Pisces on March 17 is a gate through which we enter an intensified quality of time, one which demands focused follow through if we wish to bring the inner workings of psyche into reality.

The New Moon is united with Chiron in Pisces and forms a catalytic square with Mars at the very, very end of Sagittarius.  Mars will enter Capricorn only a few hours after the lunation, and so the freshly waxing Moon will be in Aries when it forms an exact square with Mars later in the day.  Mars will therefore receive the reinvigorated dark Moon into its exaltation of Capricorn, and as the Moon continues to build toward new light it will find itself contained within squares with both Mars and Saturn in Capricorn.  Mars and Saturn glow these days as Morning Stars, full of essential dignity to bring about their significations in the empowered sign of the Sea Goat.  These combined influences on the New Moon in Pisces bring the inner fortitude required to bear the challenges and wounds of temporal matter in order to work toward sturdy development of goals.

The waters of Pisces wash ashore a seed that needs tending care yet has the resiliency to put down roots and bloom in even the harshest conditions.  In fact it may just be the difficulties of the surrounding environment that help to foster a beauty of form more unique than could happen anywhere else.  Plans enacted now will necessitate the type of mutable flexibility the sign of Pisces has been long renowned for, a capacity for shifting with fertile readiness to the angelic guidance found in the moment.

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Black Sunsets by T Thompson

Jupiter rules the New Moon having recently shifted into slow retrograde movement in Scorpio.   Interestingly, at the very moment of the New Moon perfecting, Jupiter will be ruling the New Moon in Pisces as well as Mars at the very end of Sagittarius.  Significantly,  the New Moon is separating from a trine with Jupiter, signifying a cherished vision or illuminated wisdom we are carrying forward into the coming lunar cycle.  Jupiter these days has a slow, churning, inwardly directed focus and is applying toward a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn that will perfect April 14.  The month following the New Moon will be an intense brewing of Jupiter and Pluto supporting a purging of inauthentic influences and a deepening of feeling into innermost yearnings.

Jupiter in Scorpio is in the middle of its most intense engagement with Pluto in Capricorn, having first formed an exact sextile with Pluto on January 15.  Jupiter has been harmoniously engaging with Pluto for the entirety of 2018, and after they begin to separate from one another toward the end of April, they will return to engage a final time again in August and September.   As always with Pluto we may experience secrets being revealed, taboos tested, and an initiatory journey, yet the supportive sextile formed with Jupiter suggests the underworld treasure and richness also associated with Pluto can be discovered.

These influences on the Pisces New Moon signify the importance of persisting toward goals aligned with inner essence rather than external influences of acculturation that are out of alignment.  This is of supreme importance for just as Jupiter is slowly peeling back toward Pluto, Mars and Saturn are blazing a trail forward to Pluto in Capricorn.

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Red Hues by T Thompson

In the wake of the New Moon, Mars will both move out of bounds by declination and also enter into Capricorn. Mars out of bounds is wilder, fiercely more independent and willful than Mars would otherwise be in Capricorn, while also applying to a conjunction with Saturn.  Capricorn is the exaltation of Mars, the nocturnal and earthy home of Saturn that tempers the inflammatory tendencies of the red planet.   Mars out of bounds in its exaltation is the wandering heretic genius who not only operates outside the confines of status quo conditioning, but also embodies the savvy wherewithal to strategize and effectively organize timeframes for work.  Mars wants the freedom to act out dynamic potential and has the motivation to seek outlets for expression.  Finding channels for Mars expression will be essential.

Mars will remain out of bounds until the first week of April, and it is on April 1 that it will form its exact conjunction with Saturn.  Mars will not unite with Pluto until the end of April, and so although that alignment is over a month away, as soon as Mars enters Capricorn we will begin to feel the intensity of its eventual perfection. In terms of collective events, there is no sugar coating the numerous tragedies that will be told in correspondence.  However, within protected personal spheres there will be opportunities to initiate and develop vital work.  Projects built under the intense eyes of Mars, Saturn, and Pluto may develop at a slower pace but will ultimately possess profound persistence to survive over the long haul.

Thus the 2018 narrative takes a dramatic turn at the Pisces New Moon, as the forces of Mars, Saturn, and Pluto promise a meeting with our nemesis and a forging of inner fire in response. While being one of the most challenging periods of the year, it will also be a timeframe that can lead to immense growth in strength and aptitude.

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Black Sunsets II by T Thompson

Fire will be found in the twilight of sunset in the forms of radiant Venus and glittering Mercury glowing bright.  Mercury is beginning to descend from maximum elongation as an Evening Star at the Pisces New Moon, falling lower toward the horizon each day as it approaches its upcoming retrograde period. Mercury will station retrograde following the Aries Equinox on March 22, meaning that the Pisces New Moon contains both the rebirth of the equinox as well as the regeneration of Mercury retrograde within its lunar cycle.  As a result we must be ready for the numerous twists, turns, and unexpected events that will accompany a Mercury retrograde period that looks to be more volatile than normal.

Take pleasure in the sunsets surrounding the New Moon, for the lack of moonlight will darken the backdrop of Mercury and Venus shining bright together in twilight.  As delightful as Mercury and Venus appear together in the sky, within the aspects of the astrological atmosphere they are in a challenging position of forming a whole sign square to the intense Capricorn conglomerate of Pluto, Saturn, and Mars.  After the Sun enters Aries on the equinox, we can add our solar light to the side of Venus and Mercury facing off with the Capricorn heavyweights.  While the Sun, Venus and Mercury together in Aries incite desires for freely boundless expression, the tension coming from Capricorn planets demands channeling expression through contained forms.

We have been presented with an extended period to integrate the heartfelt values of Venus with the mental reasoning and expression of Mercury:  Mercury and Venus recently united on March 4 and will again on March 19. The present union of Venus and Mercury is forming a trine to the North Node of the Moon in Leo and a sextile to the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius.  The fiery determination and willfulness of Venus and Mercury in Aries presents new choices to be made that are in greater alignment with our authentic path.  As Venus and Mars are in the home of Mars, and Mars will be applying to a conjunction with Saturn in the home of Saturn, it will be imperative to embody self-discipline and integrity of purpose in the process.  Challenges may feel overwhelming, yet sustaining focused determination will reap rewards in the end.

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10 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 3 Decan

The New Moon arises in the third face of Pisces associated with the Ten of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  An image and card linked with emotional fulfillment of creative dreams, it also carries warnings of becoming lost in romantic fantasy.  The image of rainbows, happy lovers, and playful children captures the essence of an ideal goal for many, and serves as a striving symbol for those with different goals in mind.   Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Cup of Blood” to this decan, as he wrote “the third face unfolds as the quest for true and perfect love” that ultimately requires sacrifice.  Coppock rightly described this decan as a place in which we can experience the “heights of agony and ecstasy,” both the disillusionment of betrayal as well as the bliss of rich reception.

Mars rules the third face of Pisces, and it is significant that the New Moon is also occurring within the Egyptian bounds of Mars.  This binds the lunation to Mars even more tightly than would otherwise be suggested by the looming influence of the red planet previously described above.  The Sabian symbol for the New Moon is “The Harvest Moon Illumines a Clear Autumnal Sky,” to which Dane Rudhyar gave the keynote of “the light of fulfillment that blesses work well done.”  Rudhyar described this symbol as signifying reaping the harvest of what we have sown and cultivated, emphasizing that “the seed of the new cyclic manifestation is already latent.”

With Mars, Saturn, and Pluto present in Capricorn in the coming cycle we have the power of the scythe on our side. Be mindful of what you cultivate, and generous in the harvest you share with others.  The sharing of love and resources in partnership and within collaborative community will bolster resiliency in the face of coming challenges.

References

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

Rudhyar, Dane. (1973). An Astrological Mandala. Random House.

 

Scorpio Full Moon

Ernst the Sea

The Sea (1928) by Max Ernst

Full Moon in Scorpio

As the Moon in full light illuminates the darkness of the surrounding landscape, you pause on your journey to draw water from a well.  The well is ancient and contains within its well worn stones the stories of generations and generations who have passed this way before you.  Feeling the nourishment of water quenching your depths, the primal vitality of your flowing blood circulates through your senses.  Your mind drifts into reflection upon the trials you have been undergoing and your efforts given, the obstacles you have been facing.  While there may be a trophy you long to capture, a treasure you wish to unearth, or a beloved you hunger to kiss, you realize the power you seek is truly found within the rhythmic beat of your own heart.

The Full Moon in Scorpio on May 10 has an intensity rooted in our relationship with power.  As the Moon waxes toward its apex of full light, the Moon will form an exact sextile with Pluto while the Sun will form a trine with Pluto.  Mars, the ruler of the lunation, is exceptionally active in Gemini and in strong aspect to both Neptune and Jupiter.   The Full Moon will be ideal for feeling into the subconscious depths that source our power and for simultaneously shedding dead skin while stepping into a more fully embodied authority and authorship in life.   A Full Moon in Scorpio beckons us to feel all of our emotions and the aching yearning for what we desire most to hold or possess.  Yet the crucial lesson we find in the polarity between Taurus and Scorpio is the necessity of embracing the transitory flux of our lives in which forms are constantly coming into manifestation and then passing away.

The Scorpio Full Moon is not applying to aspects with other planets, but does arrive at the crossroads moment of the lunar nodes shifting from Pisces and Virgo into Aquarius and Leo.  This shift results in the Full Moon applying to a square with the North Node of the Moon in Leo and the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius.  The lunar nodes have been in Virgo and Pisces since November of 2015, and so the Full Moon shines a spotlight on the creative empowerment that will come with the North Node of the Moon entering Leo.  The North Node in Leo is especially amplified as it forms a fiery triangle with Mercury conjoining Uranus in Aries and with Saturn in Sagittarius.  The conjunction with Mercury and Uranus is exact as the ascending node of the Moon enters Leo, bringing a Promethean message of emancipation and the challenge to claim full responsibility and authority in co-creating the life you most deeply desire to live.

The power available in the aspects surrounding the Scorpio Full Moon will bring genuine strength when sourced from an open heart in touch with both inner desires as well as the external emotions of others.  While the North Node shift into Leo sounds exciting in terms of increased creativity and a noble embrace of living life more fully, there are myriad levels of its shadow we will see playing out on personal and collective levels.  For one, the shadow of the North Node in Leo combined with the other astrological transits this year can lead those in power or benefitting from established power structures to cling even more tightly to their grip on what has been bringing them a sense of prosperity and security, at the detriment to others if necessary.  Likewise, the combination of the North Node in Leo with the South Node in Aquarius can lead many to act solely out of self interest without regard for the consequences of their actions.  The shadow of the South Node in Aquarius in this way is a disassociated, detached perspective that either rationalizes or ignores how one’s actions are impacting others.

However, the South Node moving through Aquarius also brings the capacity to harness awareness of collective concerns, dynamics, and needs to fuel strong and dynamic leadership that initiates direct action to heal and harmonize the divisive fragmentation currently overwhelming our global populace.  Aquarius is a sign of the humanitarian as well as the societal rebel, outcast, hermit, heretic, or outsider, and so the South Node in the sign of the Water Bearer also brings the opportunity to source our hearts with the feelings we have experienced when feeling on the outside, marginalized, exiled, or not fitting in with consensus views.  Instead of going into further isolation with feelings of being different, the North Node in Leo calls us to fully embody our radical nature and radiate our full capacities no matter how far from the norm they appear to others.  It is also a time to have greater compassion for those placed into exile and on the outside of the current dominant culture and power paradigm, and to take individual initiative to mediate the many collective crises erupting.

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White Fire (1949) by Enrico Donati

Mars in Gemini

Mars in Gemini rules the Full Moon in Scorpio and is applying closely to a challenging square with Neptune and a stabilizing trine with Jupiter.   The square between Mars and Neptune is applying tightly as the Full Moon peaks and brings the most dramatic coloring to what will be a very emotional lunation full of big feelings.  Mars in Gemini can be the heroic messenger who doggedly and determinedly finds a way to collect the information needed, retrieve the missing piece that will bring greater wholeness. Yet Mars in Gemini can also be a crusading idealist obsessed with one’s own vision, and the strong aspects between Mars with Neptune and Jupiter means there will be dissonant diatribes and cacophony, as players vying for power from different perspectives clash in clamorous uproar.

On a personal level the square between Mars and Neptune suggests overcoming a challenge or confrontation regarding one’s beliefs, spirituality, or idealistic vision, either realizing the necessity of persisting in the face of external challenges or gaining awareness that aspects of our beliefs have been illusory in one way or another and now need to be re-adjusted to our current experience.  The trine between Mars and Jupiter brings a lot of productive push into the social realm, being both more interactive within our collective networks as well as being able to bring a more lighthearted positivity into current predicaments rather than angry negativity.   Yet the square between Mars and Neptune is so tight at the Full Moon it will be important to feel all of ones emotions, listening and learning from them so as to release them, so that we do not become mired in difficult feelings we are trying to repress or deny.  Altogether the dynamic aspects surrounding Mars support connecting deeply within and using inner desire to fuel active engagement in the world.

During the waning half of the lunar cycle Mars will separate from its harmonious trine with Jupiter and begin applying to an opposition with Saturn in Sagittarius and a sextile with Uranus in Aries.  Mars in Gemini is very active and social with an ability to focus in numerous directions, but its encroaching opposition with Saturn on the horizon is a call to have focused accountability for our most important priorities and the work and visions we are most deeply invested in completing.  Mars will not perfect its opposition with Saturn until the very end of the month following the New Moon in Gemini, however, and so we have a few weeks to work with this building dynamic.  This will be the first opposition to come between Saturn and Mars since their dramatic dance during 2016 when Mars went retrograde as part of its initiatory conjunction with both Saturn and Antares at the end of August 2016.  Whatever we began to set into motion in our life in August and September of 2016 we can now reflect upon with regards to what has been working optimally and what needs greater adjustment or changed completely.

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Rivieres, Crepuscule (1943) by Enrico Donati

Venus in Aries & Jupiter in Libra

Venus is shining brightly as a Morning Star in the moist darkness before sunrise, retracing her steps in Aries that she has previously moved both direct and backwards across since February.  This is the third time that Venus has moved across the first decan of Aries, and she has now completely emerged from her meeting with Chiron and Saturn with the capacity to awaken newfound strength on the playing field of life.   Venus has a more competitive edge now and corresponds with feeling emboldened to go after what we want to create.  Saturn and Chiron have also now perfected their most recent challenging square aspect, which most likely brought up old wounds in need of tending regarding our identity and the old stories we identify with.  Saturn and Chiron have pointed Venus toward building life plans and goals in total integrity with true inner values, and Venus now calls us to boldly initiate accordingly.

During the waning half of the current lunar cycle, Venus will form an opposition with Jupiter at about the same time she finally leaves her retrograde shadow zone on May 19. The recent Venus retrograde in Aries and Pisces has been the pivotal phase of Jupiter’s time in Libra in which we have gained the opportunity to not only reevaluate our relationships but most importantly the way in which we have been engaging within them.  Since Jupiter is in the home of Venus it means that Venus will be receiving Jupiter as they form their opposition, a pleasing gift for Venus considering her harsh square with an unreceptive Saturn last month.  Oppositions always require effort to bring about optimal outcomes, however, and one prime area to focus on with this aspect will be in listening.  Listening to the needs of others, both spoken and unspoken, as well as listening to our own feelings and inner guidance, we will gain the capacity to make invaluable course corrections and deeper investments.

Adding an extra layer to the relational opposition between Venus and Jupiter is the asteroid Juno.  Juno is within one degree of a conjunction with Pluto at the time of the Full Moon, while also stationing retrograde. While the stationing of asteroids normally do not draw much astrological attention it highlights the fact that Juno has been in range of a conjunction with Pluto for the past month during a Venus retrograde time period.  Juno began getting close to Pluto back in early April when Venus moved retrograde back into the sign of Pisces, and since that time has remained within close proximity with Pluto, getting especially close once Venus stationed direct.  The focus for many is on finding their ideal partner, yet the proximity of Juno and Pluto begs us to open awareness to how we ourselves can become the ideal partner for others.  The Full Moon lights up the old relationship issues that could get in the way of creating our ideal relationship in this very moment.  Releasing resistance to what we need to own about ourselves, we gain the capacity to make true lasting change in the way we relate, fertilizing the fruitful potential of our relationships in coming months and years.

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Fortissimo screen (1925-6) designed by Seraphin Soudbinine

Mercury & Uranus in Aries

Mercury is finally beginning to separate from its conjunction with Uranus at the Full Moon, while applying closely to a trine with Saturn in Sagittarius.  As a result of its recent Mercury retrograde phase, the Star of Hermes has spent the past three weeks in range of a conjunction with Uranus.  The Full Moon will fully unleash the meaning we have been gestating and generating during this prolonged union between the messenger and the liberator.  Mercury is now fully visible as a Morning Star, joining Venus as a herald to the rising of our Sun each morning.  This means Mercury can eloquently and clearly transmit the Uranian message we need to receive in case we have been missing the signs in the past weeks.  Mercury and Uranus have been bringing opportunities to break out of old patterns that became too constrictive and to embrace new ways of perceiving that facilitate freely drifting into the currents aligned with our essentiality.

With Mercury in Aries now applying closely to a trine with Saturn slowly moving retrograde in Sagittarius, the Full Moon ushers us into a week in which to take direct action in restructuring the elements of our life needed to fully step into the liberation burst open by Mercury and Uranus.  With persistent effort drawing upon the disciplined focus of Saturn, this is an ideal time to clear out whatever has been holding you back from taking full authority in your life and simply go for it.  As the Moon begins to wane through Sagittarius in the days after the Full Moon, it will form a continuous stream of aspects with Venus, Mars, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury, Saturn, and the lunar nodes.  The waning lunar cycle following the Full Moon is full of fast moving and inspirational transits which will correspond with both heated conflict in the social realm as well as a potent charge that can activate greater self empowerment.

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7 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 3 Decan

The Full Moon arises in the third decan of Scorpio, associated with the Seven of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In the image each of the seven chalices holds an embodiment of a desire, such as fame, fortune, lust and other earthly powers.  The veiled figure in the center brings to mind the burning desire of Sophia in gnostic texts to gain ultimate understanding, a desire it is said that cast a veil whose shadow became the material world we traverse often overwhelmed by desire like the shadowy figure in the image.  Some interpret the image as signifying that through discernment we may choose to follow the one desire that will bring clarity and increased opportunities for more choices aligned with our inner values and desires.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked the Seven of Cups to the third face of Scorpio through their shared meaning of becoming dominated by obsessive desires.   Coppock ascribed the image of “A Crow” to the third decan of Scorpio, noting that its essence involves the putrefaction of desire that leads to direct contact with the nature of desire.  Coppock posited that through the loss of unfulfilled desire, the process of separating our desire from the external objects of desires brings the ability to reseed and regenerate core desires.  Befitting the union of Mercury and Uranus at the Full Moon, Coppock wrote that the third face of Scorpio contains a “formula of liberation, for if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”

While Coppock pointed out that many older images associated with the decan hold the symbolism of drunken, uncontrolled desires of a ferocious and violent quality, I am most intrigued by an image in the Liber Hermetis that contains “a human body and the form of a he-goat, holding eggs hanging from a thread in both hands.”  The eggs strung by thread suggests to me a meaning we can find in the final face of Scorpio that involves the fertility of destiny and the ripening of the moment.  Along these lines, it is further fascinating to consider that the ancient Hellenistic fragmentary text 36 Airs ascribed Kairos to the third face of Scorpio.  You are likely familiar with the term kairos referring to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time.  Yet Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities.  Kairos was seen as always moving with winged feet not unlike Hermes, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect.

Venus rules the third face of Scorpio, and though Venus is instead residing in the first face of Aries at the Full Moon, she is within her own bounds and so has some essential dignity to pursue and possess her desires.  As Venus is finally getting close to leaving her retrograde shadow zone, the Scorpio Full Moon illuminates whatever lessons we have had to learn regarding our desire nature over the course of the past months of Venus moving backwards and forward again.   What has come up for you in terms of worldly ambition, who you want to be, what you want to achieve, or who you want to be bound to in love and intimacy?  When the opportunity arrives in coming weeks to live a life more fully aligned with your true desires, don’t be afraid to take hold of it with aplomb.

References

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

Leo Lunar Eclipse

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Lunar Reflection by Remedios Varo

Lunar Eclipse in Leo

Life constantly brings change, yet eclipses always demarcate a period of accelerated change with synchronous endings and beginnings.  New relationships, attractions, experiences, and work opportunities appear seemingly out of nowhere with full force of manifestation, surprising us with their dramatic entrance into our surface reality.  Eclipses are also mysterious portals that hold profound shifts in the enfoldment of our destiny, as many of the changes signified by an eclipse are happening under the surface and not immediately observable in the surrounding period of the lunation.  We stand at the crossroads during eclipses bidding farewell to aspects of identity that can require grieving, while simultaneously welcoming exciting new experiences and relationships that need to be integrated into one’s life.

Lunar Eclipses occur when a Full Moon lines up with the degrees of the transiting North Node and South Node of the Moon.  The nodes of the Moon in this arrangement are symbolized by a great dragon that consumes our lights, since the Sun is overcome by shadow in a solar eclipse and the Moon is consumed with shadow during a lunar eclipse.  The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with the ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail that has been used in Hermetic arts for ages.  The dragon devouring itself mirrors the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms.  In alchemical work the arts of separation and union tied to this imagery reflect the ability to purify material attachments.  When eclipses form in our heavens, the corresponding changes similarly lead us to release fixation on the elements of our life in need of letting go, while a burgeoning promise of new form coming together can be felt.

The Leo Lunar Eclipse on 10 February 2017 is the first of a series to occur in the signs of Leo and Aquarius that will extend until January 2019.   During a lunar eclipse the Sun casts a shadow of our Earth upon the face of the Moon, turning it blood red during a total lunar eclipse.  This first Leo Lunar Eclipse is not total, but is instead classified as penumbral.  This stems from the fact that although the eclipse is fairly close to the North Node of the Moon, the eclipse is happening at 23º Leo while the North Node of the Moon is at the beginning of Virgo. The visual effect is that the shadow cast by the Earth onto the Moon by our Sun is not going to cover Luna in a total red glow, instead only projecting a diffuse outer shadow on the Moon that will be faintly noticeable.

The meaning of a Lunar Eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of our Sun casting the shadow of our Earth onto the face of our Moon. Dane Rudhyar viewed this solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past, as our solar awareness and purpose veils the lunar impact of past conditioning on our present consciousness. Linking the Moon to what we carry with us in our body and mind, these memories of the past can be released to allow for the emergence of new ways of being embodied in the moment. Since the Leo Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon, while our fiery Sun is burning  on the side of the South Node of the Moon, it corresponds that growth will come from the resolution and release of old karma. The influence of Leo furthermore brings an electrifying jolt of fiery creativity, actualization, and instinctual self assertion into whatever areas of our life the eclipse impacts through its aspects to our astrology charts.

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Toward the Tower (1961) by Remedios Varo

The diffuse penumbral shadow projected on the Moon signifies that while the eclipse heralds the eventual shift of the lunar nodes into Aquarius and Leo months from now, our work with the nodes in Pisces and Virgo is not yet complete.  The Leo Lunar Eclipse and the Pisces Solar Eclipse coming on February 26 are the final two eclipses to occur with the South Node of the Moon in Pisces.  As a result there will be an immense bursting of collective illusions forcing humanity to become wide awake to the discrepancy between fantasy and bare boned reality.  Eclipses have been occurring in Pisces and Virgo since the first Pisces Solar Eclipse in the series that occurred on 20 March 2015.  Idealized illusions and ghastly fears of the past have haunted collective events like ghosts weighed down by ball and chain, but in the storm of these final eclipses the chains of bondage will be blown open, releasing the delusive apparitions for all to see clearly.  The North Node of the Moon in Virgo continues to call us to embrace the moment with full awareness of everything occurring, whether we feel attraction or repulsion, and to discern choices that will bring greater fulfillment through service to the greater good.

The activation of Aquarius and Leo by the eclipse while the lunar nodes remain in Pisces and Virgo bring up innumerable issues concerning the current state of being for humanity within the complex networks of global civilization it has created.  While the archetypes of Pisces and Virgo can involve a sense of guilt over how our actions impact others, the shift of the nodes into Aquarius and Leo bring awareness to how we have been modifying our self expression to fit into group and societal norms.  The North Node of the Moon activated by Leo brings more emphasis to creative actualization and pursuing desires that make one feel viscerally alive, rather than restraining oneself.  Leo is also a loyal, heartfelt sign of solar power that will protect loved ones and fight for what it believes is good and noble.  The Leo Lunar Eclipse is ideal for creative collaborations in art and activism and for embodying greater passion for life in all mundane responsibilities.  Six months from now we will experience a second set of eclipses in Aquarius and Leo with the lunar nodes also in Aquarius and Leo, and so the storylines being set in motion now will experience further dramatic developments at that time.

The Leo Lunar Eclipse is especially potent because the opposition between the Leo Moon and Aquarius Sun crosses over the opposition between Uranus in Aries and Jupiter retrograde in Libra so that both ends of the oppositions form a harmonious sextile and trine to one another.  Uranus in Aries is sextile the Sun and trine the Moon, while Jupiter is trine the Sun and sextile the Moon.    As a result the tension between the Sun and Moon as well as Uranus and Jupiter have mediating aspects of stability that can help open awareness to opportunities that go beyond previously defined boundaries, and further support taking direct action with whatever surrounding resources are available to make inspiring visions and ideas take form.  The eclipse bears gifts for those willing to work with dedication and persistence, as sudden insights and revelations will emerge in the process once a commitment to sustaining effort has been achieved.

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Embroidering the Earth’s Mantle (1961) by Remedios Varo

Saturn in Sagittarius also holds harmonious aspects within the eclipse, as it is trine to Uranus and the Moon, sextile to Jupiter and the Sun.  Although Saturn has separated from its square aspect with Neptune that dominated 2016, its effect in the collective is still felt through the alternative interpretations of reality the masses are fighting over, with people struggling to recognize the difference between the factual and the imaginal.  Neptune in Pisces remains an influence on the eclipse through being widely conjunct the South Node of the Moon, as well as through connecting with Uranus in Aries through the shadowy aspect of contra-antiscia that was also in effect throughout 2016.  As a result one can draw a triangle with fire connecting Saturn with Uranus and the Leo Lunar Eclipse, with Neptune claiming a strong presence in the shadows cast by the flowing, harmonious exchange of fire.

For anyone with angles (ascendant, midheaven . . .), planets, or other key aspects of their chart in the final decan of the fire signs (20 – 30º of Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius), the Leo Lunar Eclipse marks the point in time in which many karmic knots within life will begin to become unravelled with the gravity of necessary fate.  As the strands formerly held tight release, potential arises to weave the threads back together into a more colorful, vivacious form that can be embodied with self confidence and courage.  As a lot can change rapidly in the wake of eclipses, its important to keep in mind what one can control and what one has to surrender to not being able to control.  The raging fire contained within the Leo Lunar Eclipse can be channeled with purpose and discipline into strategic directions that can create opportunities to express inspiration, spirit, and passion.   Within the innumerable global conflicts occurring, anger can become so overwhelming that it debilitates one’s ability to make healthy choices.  Yet an inner inferno can also be injected into productive actions intent on building worthy creative works and solidifying support for both inner desires and social causes aiding others.

Mars in Aries is hosting both Venus and Uranus in his domain, applying toward a square with Pluto at the eclipse.  As the lunar eclipse releases and we head toward the darkness of the coming Solar Eclipse in Pisces, Mars in Aries will assertively blow up the tensions between Pluto, Jupiter, and Uranus, in particular re-triggering the square between Pluto and Uranus that dominated astrology between 2011 and 2015.   The many heated global conflicts already occurring will reach new levels of discord as Mars burns his way across the space of the Ram, some unavoidable whereas others will require discernment regarding which ones to engage in with personal energy.  Collectively we can all observe how many traditional structures we had gotten used to counting on have been crumbling apart through the years of the square between Pluto and Uranus-  the current transit of Mars in Aries will amplify the dismantling.  In the personal realm, the highly catalyzed and empowered Mars is available to support both well structured work opportunities as well as taking risks in life toward goals one previously did not believe possible to achieve.  Mars in Aries is also willing to fight to defend loved ones, and so adds to the fiery atmosphere of the eclipse in which combatants may be drawn into conflict over desire to protect whatever is held dear by the heart.

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The Escape (1961) by Remedios Varo

In the nights surrounding the eclipse, Venus can be seen in all of her majesty burning brightly next to Mars in Aries.  Venus is known as being in her detriment in Aries, a misunderstood classification that does not mean Venus is weak, but does mean she is away from her own home in the place of Mars.  Since Mars is close by in his own home, the Venus Evening Star is full of fiery martial force and passion yearning to be expressed with direct ardor.  Potent creative collaborations are possible with resonant partners able to harmoniously receive and reciprocate.   In relationships that have felt stuck or weighed down by unresolved issues, the martial combination of Venus and Mars in Aries can create conflicts that dislodge blockages and open up opportunities to mediate solutions through direct communication.  As Venus is now within the shadow of her forthcoming Venus retrograde that will begin on March 4, paying attention to arising concerns within relationships and addressing divisions between the needs of the self and others will help prepare us for the coming relational changes when Venus stations and turns away from Mars in retrograde motion.

While Venus and Mars are shining bright in the transfiguration of twilight, Mercury is illuminating the shift of hues at dawn as a Morning Star.  Mercury in Aquarius is forming a harmonious sextile with Venus at the eclipse, and as the forthcoming lunar cycle wanes Mercury will progress into an additional supportive sextile with Mars in Aries.  Mercury in Aquarius can bridge divides between the formerly known and the unknown on the horizon, helping to facilitate initiation of inventive visions for the future.  Mercury in Aquarius is a blessing with regard to the fiery emphasis of the eclipse as it can help with listening to the clamor of dissenting opinions and devising ways to navigate conflicts while staying true to personal integrity and principles.  In collaboration with partners or within group dynamics, Mercury in Aquarius further supports attuning to the underlying issues in need of attention in order to bring about a productive outcome.  The accord between Mercury, Venus, and Mars adds to the innovative and creative potency available to access within the Leo Lunar Eclipse.

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7 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 3 Decan

The Lunar Eclipse illuminates the third face of Leo associated with the Seven of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In the image a warrior is bravely fighting for his life, using his wand to fight off the onrush of six attacking wands. He is standing on a cliff in a precarious position, yet his stance and face suggests someone putting his whole being into his struggle with extraordinary determination.  The image evokes the necessity of standing one’s ground against an onslaught from the masses or an angry mob, bringing the idea of what ideals, principles, and other forms of personal terrain are worth fighting to protect at all cost.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Banner” to the third face of Leo, for a banner “bearing the name of Truth, Justice or Beauty” unfurled symbolizes the sort of inspirational principle which transcends egoic concerns and animates a “spiritualization of the solar fire present in the Lion’s sign.”  To Coppock it is the “unconquerable heart” which is the source of the third face of Leo’s power, as “what resides in the heart is untouchable, invincible” and most radiant when enlivened with passionate spirit.  Coppock described the power of the third decan of Leo as a steadfast courage that rises to combat outside forces and protect beloved realms against external and internal threats, especially when resources are low and the odds are stacked against success.  Though Coppock praised “the solar-martial fire that moves broken limbs” found in the third face of Leo, he also warned:

Like any form of fire, divine or otherwise, there is danger. Though belief in a principle may give one the strength to hold on while all hope is lost, it is no guarantee that one’s cause is right. While this face may abound with images of noble heroes defending the right, just as many tyrants grace its halls, unwilling to yield their thrones, no matter the human cost.

Mars rules the third face of Leo, and Mars is extremely strong at the eclipse in its own sign of Aries and co-present with both Venus and Uranus. The third decan of Leo is impacted in an extraordinary manner in 2017 by eclipses, for there will be an incredibly intense Solar Eclipse in the third face of Leo coming in August 2017.  As a result the lessons we learn regarding the themes of the third decan of Leo now will return to us tenfold later in August to further wrestle with.  The overused adage of fighting fire with fire brings the question of how much conflict and destruction are worth inflicting over the issues we feel enlivened to defend and battle over.  While the power of our animated heart can lead us to resiliently contend and combat threatening forces beyond the point of exhaustion, it will also be worthwhile to discern our bodily limits and when rest and caregiving of our incarnated form is necessary.  The many fiery collective conflicts that will arise in 2017 are heralded by this first Lunar Eclipse in Leo, so gaining clarity over what is worth fighting for as well as how to best nourish and sustain our inner fire and fleshy form will be essential.

References

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

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.

Wesak Full Moon 2014

The Wesak Full Moon occurring on May 14 in Buddhist culture is a celebration of the birth of Buddha, as well as his enlightenment and death.  The connection between Wesak and the Full Moon that occurs when the Sun is in Taurus and the Moon is opposite in Scorpio is evident through the lens of esoteric astrology, a system in which Taurus, Scorpio, and the Moon are all associated with the 4th Ray and the crises of experience and consciousness we experience as a result of being incarnated in a human body.  Alan Oken has taught that the 4th Ray is known as “the art of living,” a ray connected to the “fourth plane of Buddhi” and an “Intuition” developed through hard won growth in the face of conflicts that polarize and contrast our “lower” and “higher” nature (Oken, 120).  Just as in the double tetrahedron image above, also commonly known as a “Star of David,” in the center, in the heart, we can integrate the essence of the contrasting movements of the lower to the higher, and the higher to the lower (similar to how the 4th chakra, the heart chakra, integrates the energy from the three lower and the three higher chakras).  From the soul-centered perspective, this integration also connects to the alignment of the personality with the soul and the wisdom gained to help us discern a path forward to devote ourselves toward.  In the life of the Buddha, we see an individual facing one crisis after another involving his human form and desires, creating new forms of belief and existence to live from only to destroy them in order to create another form anew.  As a result of experiencing many material and spiritual crises, however, Buddha was able to integrate the wisdom he found in his experience in order to reach enlightenment.

Every Full Moon shines it’s light on our path forward and what forms we have created to anchor and express our purpose in the world, as the Sun in astrology is connected to our soul purpose, and the Moon in astrology is connected to our personality, the human form and vehicle of our soul purpose.  Along these lines, during times in which the forms we have created in our lives align harmoniously with our soul purpose, we often experience a blissful sense of euphoria at times of a Full Moon.  In contrast, during times in which the forms we have created and are living from in our daily life do not adequately align with our soul purpose, we dramatically realize what feels wrong about our life, where it seems we have failed or where we feel a loss of meaning because of the discrepancy between our soul purpose and the forms our personality has been living from in our life.

This self-awareness of the degree to which the structures in our life integrate our soul purpose will be intensified at this year’s Wesak Full Moon because Saturn retrograde in Scorpio will be conjunct the Moon and opposite the Sun.  We recently experienced the exact opposition between the Sun in Taurus and Saturn retrograde in Scorpio on May 10, 2014.  Furthermore, the degree of Scorpio that the Full Moon will hold is the same degree of Scorpio at which Saturn stationed retrograde on March 2, 2014.  Thus on one level, this Full Moon is shining light on our experience of the current Saturn retrograde transit through Scorpio, a transit that began at the same time that Mars stationed retrograde.  Since Mars is beginning to station direct right now, and is ruling the Scorpio Full Moon, Mars will be getting a lot of attention at this time.  However, keep in mind that this Full Moon is not only conjunct Saturn but is aligned with the Saturn retrograde transit:  as a result, we will also want to closely examine where 24 to 19 degrees of Scorpio is in our charts, including aspects, and reflect upon how our experiences since March connect to Saturn.  For example, Saturn retrograde in Scorpio has a strong link to themes of soul purpose and personality form and how the limitations of time and space test each.  In the language of esoteric astrology as taught by Alan Oken, Scorpio is a transformational archetype arising out of the destruction of form.  One may reach a state of relative harmony in one’s life, only to experience a movement of change which rocks our equilibrium and introduces a crisis of our attachment to the past, and our calling toward the future.  Through this crisis a destruction of our previous form commences, and out of this death of form we re-construct a new form that aligns with our developing soul purpose.  This transformational aspect of Scorpio was beautifully summarized by Dane Rudhyar in Zodiacal Signatures:

When Mars’ passion becomes conscious it flings itself, eagle-like, to the source of life and light; or else, frightened, it collapses into meaninglessness and ravenous hunger for the products of death. The sun is so low in late autumn that the eagle may tear from it sparks of divinity; but will the wings collapse burnt by the fire, or will they become translucent poems chanted to the rhythm of light? Will they stir men that are but human into seekers of the star that is their apocalyptic self? Scorpio is the eternal question tearing at the core of all roots under autumnal skies. Will it be death; will it be rebirth?

 

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On the one hand, this Taurus – Scorpio Full Moon illuminates our past process leading to now, including our recent experiences with the Cardinal Cross that occurred in April, as Venus is exactly square Pluto and entering into a conjunction with Uranus at the time of the lunation.  On the other hand, this Full Moon also illuminates the future we enter in every moment, including the next big astrological alignment: the Grand Water Trine of  Saturn retrograde in Scorpio, Jupiter in Cancer, and Chiron in Pisces.  In addition, one can see above that the true node of Black Moon Lilith is also involved in this Grand Water Trine at the time of the Full Moon, being conjunct Jupiter in Cancer.  Since this Full Moon is conjunct Saturn, and the Sun at this time is opposite Saturn, however, it will be beneficial to integrate those qualities that please Saturn, such as discipline, persistence, diligence, organization, structure, and the creation of necessary, appropriate boundaries.  Although Jupiter and Chiron are culminating into an exact trine at this time, it will be another week or so before Chiron and Jupiter reach exact trines with Saturn.  In totality, these harmonious aspects bring a potential for structured expansion closely aligned with our authentic nature and desires linked to our soul purpose, as long as we choose to heroically face down our fears and courageously open ourselves to the universe enfolding ahead of us, despite past wounding that tends to keep us limited to a comfort zone of the status quo.  It is very possible that fears and anxieties arising at this time are directly connected to our process of realizing our authentic nature; it is only through owning these scars and wounds, unashamedly stepping forward on our path, that we will be able to release ourselves from the grip of our past and open ourselves to the  future to come that is more closely bound to our soul purpose.  Saturn retrograde in Scorpio also does not expect us to quickly overcome these past patterns, but rather has a plodding fixed quality that allows us to take our time as longs as we remain steadfastly dedicated to resurrecting our authentic self from the past wounds that have oppressed our full expression.

At the same time, Mars is stationing direct this week and ruling the Full Moon, saturating the astrological landscape in the process.  The Scorpio theme of destruction of form present at this Full Moon can also be viewed through the connection in tarot Mars has with the XVI Tower arcanum, a card aligned with shattering and complete destruction of matter:

Tower

In the past three and a half months we have traversed a chaotic Mars retrograde transit that took us through the Cardinal Cross alignment, an exact square between Uranus and Pluto, and two eclipses.  At the time of this Full Moon, Mercury moving fast in Gemini will be separating away from an exact trine with the red planet, an aspect that in combination with the Scorpio Full Moon can help us reflect upon and integrate our experiences since the beginning of March that have correlated with the Mars retrograde phase.  In connection with the XVI Tower arcanum image above, dramatic change will occur in line with Mars stationing direct, change that could feel unsettling or devastating; yet, in the process a huge amount of energy will be made available, energy released through the destruction of past form. Open yourself at this Full Moon to sense what changes are underway in your life, and where you need to take action.  In this next week following the Full Moon, as Mars finally stations direct on May 19, you will want to be prepared to shift from a mode of inner reflection about what actions to take into an active process of making decisive choices to move forward on the path that calls to you.

Mars is also continuing its intense dance with Venus in mutual reception, as Mars is in the sign of Venus and Venus is in the sign of Mars, moving away from an exact opposition a few days ago.  Venus and Mars at their opposition point, with Mars stationing direct in Libra, and Venus moving direct in Aries, emphasizes listening in the evolutionary astrology paradigm taught by Jeffrey Wolf Green.  At this time we are called to strike a balance between focusing on the willful assertion of our unique values and vision (Venus in Aries) and listening to the needs and values of others we are in relationship with (Mars in Libra).  In this process, we will also need to utilize Saturn in Scorpio to help us create boundaries in our relationships that protect our authentic nature from manipulation from others, while interacting and at times merging resources with others in the world around us.  Through the recent waxing gibbous phase between Venus and Mars retrograde, we have had the opportunity to utilize the retrograde Mars energy to inwardly adjust how our soul relates to itself and others.  We can now reap the benefit of this inward adjustment by learning to relate to others as an equal in relationship, learning how to give, and to receive what the soul needs through the giving.  Through this process, we will likewise be learning how to integrate our specific soul values, needs, and desires into society and our surrounding social reality.  We will benefit from cultivating an ability to truly listen to others, because as a result we will be able to give to others what they truly need, instead of what we think that they need.

Yet, with Venus in Aries this means maintaining boundaries to support our own well-being and sustain connection with our unique self, in order to not lose touch with our authenticity through our interactions with others.  It is important to remember that truly listening to others, learning to give what others truly need, does not make us a push-over but rather allows us to create truly mutually beneficial relationships with others.  Venus in Aries can get upset when it does not get its way, while Mars in Libra is more likely to be offensively charming in order to ensure that it gets its way.  In contrast, we can use the polarity between these personal planets to destroy our attachment to getting our way or arguing to come out on top, instead standing strong in our self while truly listening to the values and views of others without feeling competitive or threatened if their views are not only different from ours, but critical of our own views. Instead, through listening to others we may hear a new perspective to help shift our own perspective into greater alignment with our soul purpose, a missing piece to not only our own puzzle, but a universal one.

Adding to the intensity at the time of the Full Moon, Venus will be conjunct Uranus in Aries.   The Sun being in Taurus, the sign of Venus, at the time of the Full Moon further adds to her influence at this time.   In Zodiacal Signatures, Dane Rudhyar gave an illuminating description of Taurus through focusing on Venus:

Out of the cubic Stone of matter, differentiated into a myriad of crystalline structures, the flowing curves of living bodies take form.  They open themselves to the power of light, carrying within its compassionate song the promise of individual existence.  Venus, builder of magnetic fields that capture the electrical impulses of the creative spirit, brings to a focus the promise of wholeness, of fulfillment in love – a love that forever sings of the overcoming of pain and crucifixion.

The “cross” of this “crucifixion” symbolically connects not only to the recent Cardinal Cross alignment in astrology, but also to the 4th Ray nature of the Taurus – Scorpio polarity of the current Full Moon.  Any cross has a meeting in the center, the core, or the heart: and so, no matter how many obstacles appear to be surrounding us in our environment, the electrifying union of Venus and Uranus in Aries at this time has the power to burn through obstructions in our outer and inner experience.  Out of the flames of this destruction, a more fully realized sense of self may emerge.

A strong embodiment to me of Taurus solar energy combined with a Venus in Aries marked by Uranus is the artist Kim Gordon (pictured below).  Through her work in past avant garde bands like Sonic Youth and current ones like Body/Head, Kim remained dedicated to her own vision of art and music with the personal integrity to take strong stands against the status quo and in support of feminism and segments of society lacking an equal voice, creating a unique form of music that deconstructed past patterns of rock and roll. By staying dedicated to her personal values, across time Kim was able to integrate her work deeper into mainstream society and influence multitudes of youth across international boundaries and borders.  Indeed, at the age of sixty-one, Kim recently rocked at least as hard as any much younger rock star when she fronted the remaining members of Nirvana at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, singing and screaming the song, “Aneurysm” (you can find this online).

Kim Gordon - Taurus

Kim Gordon, born April 28, 1953

In this week of the Full Moon, Venus in Aries is incredibly active and vital to pay attention to:

  • May 11, 2014:  Venus in Aries opposite Mars retrograde in Libra
  • May 14, 2014:  Venus in Aries square Pluto retrograde in Capricorn
  • May 15, 2014:  Venus in Aries conjunct Uranus in Aries
    • Venus in Aries sextile Mercury in Gemini
  • May 17, 2014:  Venus in Aries opposite Vesta retrograde in Libra
  • May 18, 2014:  Venus in Aries square Jupiter in Cancer
  • May 19, 2014:  Venus in Aries opposite Ceres retrograde in Libra
  • May 22, 2014:  Venus in Aries conjunct Eris in Aries
  • May 26, 2014:  Venus in Aries conjunct the South Node of the Moon in Aries

Look for the movement from the location of 10 degrees to 28 degrees of Aries in your chart to see where Venus is transiting during the above series of aspects.  Working with Venus at this time toward the issues connecting with the house she is moving across in your chart can result in tremendous growth for you in the associated areas of your life.  Indeed, as Venus moves away from her opposition with Mars, she makes the most powerful aspects to a series of pivotal planets, asteroids, and outer celestial bodies in roughly a week, to be followed a few days later by a union with the South Node of the Moon.  Venus is taking us into the heart of the matter, our core patterns and issues, and in Aries she will be one demanding goddess.  Venus wants nothing less of us than to face our fears, release our attachment to vengeance and past betrayals, and to boldly step forward into a Grand Water Trine as Mars finally stations direct to move forward again.

In addition to being the Wesak Full Moon, this time is also a Lunar Beltane, the Full Moon of the Full Season (Spring or Autumn, depending upon your hemisphere).  This traditional pagan holiday connects with the past pagan holiday of Candlemas on January 31, when Venus stationed direct conjunct Pluto. The exact beginning of the current Venus and Pluto cycle began in November 2013, but the New Moon that occurred on Candlemas with them closely conjunct after a long Venus retrograde cycle is an important moment in time to return to in reflection now.  What has transpired since then?  At the time of this Full Moon we have finally reached the first quarter square aspect between Venus and Pluto, all the more electric and shocking to our system with a conjunction between Venus and Uranus.  No matter what obstacles appear to be in our way at this time, know that this is not a time to back down in fear but instead to live in passion from our heart, in alignment with our authenticity.  If we are on our path, and truly listening to others in our environment, no doubt we can also create some new alliances and friendships at this time to help propel us further into our soul purpose.

The rising crescendo of the impending Full Moon, the feeling of expansion and contraction that correlates with a Venus – Uranus union in square to Pluto, with Jupiter in trine to Saturn, is found in my opinion in this song by Sonic Youth sung by Kim Gordon:

Taking it all to heart. Feel it in your bones. Listen with your heart. Feel it in your soul.  Know your truth. Walk your truth.

Next week as Venus aligns first with Eris and then the South Node of the Moon in Aries, we will experience an exact disseminating trine between Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio.  As a result, at this time we are entering a Grand Water Trine involving Jupiter, Saturn, and Chiron, and so to get the most out of this we want to be on our path and focused on the beloved desires of our soul.  Keep in mind that a Grand Water Trine can cause emotional swirling – this can be like a blissful, adventurous float down a river, a lazy day getting burned by the sun lake-side, or more like the experience of a tumultuous typhoon.  No doubt there will be stress and sources of potential fear emerging around us, given the nature of recent astrological and world events. Yet if we can focus on what we truly want to manifest, what strikes us to the core of our soul and being, we could end up in the arms of our true beloved sooner than we may realize.

then-said-the-king-in-himself-1948

Marc Chagall (1948) Then said the King in himself

References

Green, Jeff. (2009). Pluto Volume II: the Soul’s Evolution through Relationships.  Wessex.

Oken, Alan. (1990). Soul Centered Astrology: A Key to Your Expanding Self. Ibis.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1976). Zodiacal Signatures. Stellar Energy Exchange.