Taurus Full Moon: Unveiling Essence

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Selene on her chariot, detail from sarcophagus with the myth of Endymion and Selene.

Full Moon in Taurus

The Full Moon in Taurus arrives in the cross quarter holiday time of Samhain, the turn of the wheel in the Northern Hemisphere into the dark season.  Traditionally this is a time in which the veils separating our material awareness with the otherworldly realm of spirits and ancestors thins, supporting rituals that shed what we need to release and invite embodiment of the harvest we want to reap in the year ahead.  Fittingly, the aspects surrounding the Taurus Full Moon facilitate opening our bodily senses and extrasensory perceptions to guidance that incites inspiration toward new horizons of passionate pursuits.  While the Moon reflecting the full light of our Sun is always a peak moment of bringing down cosmic messages for us to receive, the Taurus Full Moon is particularly potent in terms of integrating the luminosity within subjective senses and bodily awareness.

The Taurus Full Moon is opposite both the Sun and Jupiter in Scorpio, and forms harmonious aspects of a sextile with Neptune and a trine with Pluto.   A full lunation in the Moon’s exaltation forming a pleasant sextile with Neptune in Pisces is ideal for making the personal space to sink into one’s skin and inner realms, luxuriating in whatever will help calm nerves and soothe the stress of recent events.  In the context of our 2017 calendar year, the Taurus Full Moon is marking our passage into its final stage, making this a perfect time to reflect back on events of the past year in order to intuit any realignments needed.  The past year has had a lot of fiery astrological aspects akin to wildfires out of control, and so the emphasis of this lunation on the water and earth elements can help cool and ground being.  As you center into the imaginal fertility of the Taurus Full Moon, ask for guidance regarding the gifts you have been carrying that are ready to be brought forth into the wider world.

The Full Moon is forming a tight square to Ceres in Leo, and a wide square to the transiting lunar nodes.  In addition to the square with Ceres in Leo, the Taurus lunation is in a sign based square with the series of eclipses occurring in Leo and Aquarius.  These aspects intensify and deepen the capacity of the Taurus Full Moon to help you connect with creative actualization of your soul gifts and talents.  There will be a need for hard work and discipline in bringing them to the fruition of their promise, yet the type of passionate work involved in this type of process brings the happiness of actualized fulfillment.  Let the stress and grief of the past dissolve as much as possible in the silvery light of the Moon so that you can more fully feel what wants to be expressed more freely.

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Leonora Carrington (1947) The Pomps of the Subsoil

Mercury in Scorpio is emerging from under the beams of the Sun as the Moon waxes full, meaning that Mercury will now begin to be a glimmer of an Evening Star momentarily at sunset.  This is an oracular moment in Mercury’s synodic cycle in which the Star of Hermes brings forth a message that illuminates what has previously been hidden.  There has been a huge emphasis recently on the secretive realm of Scorpio, with the recent of ingress of Jupiter in Scorpio, Mercury entering Scorpio to unite with Jupiter, followed by the Sun entering Scorpio and uniting with Jupiter a week before the Full Moon.  Mercury has been attuned to the microbes within the soil underlying our reality, and now emerges in twilight to announce its findings.  Mercury will be increasing in light as an Evening Star each successive day at sunset, creating ample opportunities to integrate what has been incubating inside ourselves to bring forth into outward expression.

In contrast to Mercury becoming visible again at the Taurus Full Moon, Jupiter remains invisible and combust under the beams of the Sun.  Jupiter began a new synodic cycle with the Sun a week before the Full Moon, bringing us visions of what we can create and actualize in the year ahead as well as a portal into underlying dynamics of our life.  Jupiter is now involved in the purifying process of separating from the Sun, and though its new cycle has begun it is still within a phase that calls us to reorganize elements of our life to establish better conditions to support our new developing priorities.  Jupiter in Scorpio calls us to go deep within ourselves and make honest appraisals of how we have been finding meaning and what we have been prioritizing in this process.  Jupiter in combustion is a transformative experience that aligns with the metamorphosis of Scorpio:  Jupiter has shed its skin but is still in process of coalescing into its new form.  As the Moon wanes in the cycle ahead, Jupiter will become visible again as a Morning Star and we will in correspondence become more securely anchored within our experience of the new meaning brought to us by Jupiter in Scorpio.

I am an Amateur of Velocipedes 1941 by Leonora Carrington 1917-2011

Leonora Carrington (1941) ‘I am an Amateur of Velocipedes’

The electrifying excitement of the Taurus Full Moon is brought by the lady of the lunation, Venus in Libra.  Venus in Libra rules the Taurus Full Moon while forming an exact opposition with Uranus in Aries, adding a spontaneous and free spirited quality demanding activation.  Since the previous New Moon in Libra was opposite Uranus, Uranus in Aries has been holding an immense influence over the current lunar cycle that will now become fully illuminated.  In addition, since Venus last formed a conjunction with Uranus back in June, we can additionally gain enlightenment regarding storylines that emerged in our life five months ago.  Fear and concern often gets generated in astrological circles regarding oppositions between Venus and Uranus, since the harmoniously pleasant significations of Venus are at odds with the more shocking and rebellious significations of Uranus.  It’s easy to imagine unexpected disruptions and accidents foiling our carefully tended plans to bring about Venusian joy, or wreaking havoc in our personal relationships.

However, though there is great tension stoked between Venus and Uranus at the Full Moon, there are ways to find outlets of expression for it.  Essentially Uranus wants us to be authentic and seize the necessary freedom and independence to express our force of spirit in the world around us.  If we are in relationships that foster and nurture our ability to freely express ourselves, there are creative breakthroughs that can come about through the Venus Uranus opposition rather than breakdowns.  This potential is aided by Venus being in her own sign of Libra, giving her all of her resources needed to have a good time with the Uranian vibration.  In addition, Uranus is in the home of Mars, and Mars is in Libra, the sign of Venus.  This again gives some emphasis to Venus within the dynamic tension, and the capacity for this transit to bring inspirational experiences in relationships and creative expression.

At the same time, the dynamic tension between Venus and Uranus can certainly coincide with unexpected events arising that disrupt our preconceived expectations.  It will be important during the time surrounding the Full Moon to be ever ready for spontaneous responses and to keep ourselves centered whenever changes erupt suddenly that could be sources of increased stress.  Uranus has been a major factor in astrology during 2017, and so Venus now opposing it from her own sign of Libra will generate deeper understanding of all of the underlying shifting that has been going on within our lives this past year.  We are at the same time shifting into the final period of Venus being visible as a Morning Star, for once she enters Scorpio as the Moon wanes in light in the week ahead, she will begin to move under the beams of the Sun as she approaches a euphoric union with Jupiter at the same time.  Venus is closing out her period of visibility with exciting aspects that will bring vital insights.

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Chiron with Peleus and Achilles from the Golden Porch: A Book of Greek Fairy Tales (1914)

The other major aspects of the Full Moon involve Saturn in Sagittarius, Chiron in Pisces, and Uranus in Aries.  Saturn is separating from a catalytic square with Chiron and applying toward a stabilizing trine with Uranus, weaving together our experiences of two of the biggest astrological aspects in transit during the past year.  Previously in March and April of 2017 during the Venus retrograde transit, we experienced another intensification of these aspects as Venus stationed direct conjoining Chiron and in square to Saturn.  Now Venus is forming a harmonious sextile with Saturn as it opposes Uranus, and Mercury in Scorpio is also mediating through a trine with Chiron. Altogether we have the conditions for the Taurus Moon to bring us the deep wisdom of the lessons Saturn, Chiron, and Uranus have been teaching.

Chiron has the astrological label of the “wounded healer” for a reason, as we often do experience pain and hurt when facing the tasks brought by Chiron transits.  However, whatever struggles we have had to face with our identity or capacity to self actualize, we are now at a more seasoned place in our experience of the series of squares between Saturn and Chiron to embody the strength we have been cultivating.  Chiron bridges the realm within Saturn with the realm beyond where Uranus resides, and can help us both in opening to our gifts as well as developing the resiliency and discipline needed to bring our talents into full manifestation.

Furthermore, as the Moon’s light wanes in the cycle ahead, we will experience the third and final exact trine between Saturn and Uranus on November 11.  Saturn and Uranus were previously exactly trine on December 24, 2016 and again on May 18, 2017 following a catalytic Mercury retrograde phase that intensified the Uranian energy as Mercury stationed direct in range of a conjunction with Uranus.  The trine between Saturn and Uranus in the past year has been a call to take bold leaps of invention in our work while simultaneously sustaining grounded structures to make sure we develop our projects in ways that will make a tangible impact in the surrounding collective.  Let the Full Moon help you brainstorm unexpected improvements to whatever plans you have been working on, and then push forward with work as the trine between Saturn and Uranus perfects in the week ahead.

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6 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 2 Decan

The Taurus Full Moon falls in the second face of Taurus associated with the Six of Pentacles 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, and 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.

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.  Coppock described an alchemical process for the second face of Taurus that mirrors the second face of Scorpio where the Sun is currently residing.  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).  Coppock referenced that the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Horae to the second decan of Taurus, a trinity of goddesses of the seasons and natural cycles of time. Coppock wrote the Horae point towards the need for “passion and discipline merged in rhythmic union” utilizing the virtuous character traits of “peace, order, and justice.”

The Moon rules the second decan of Taurus, making the tremendous potency of the decan fully activated by the Full Moon.  The Moon in its own face, triplicity, and exaltation, ruled by Venus in her own sign, means its bright light can open gates of awareness to exactly what we need to know and feel about the present and how to expand into greater abundance moving forward.  Enjoy.

References

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

 

 

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Pisces Lunar Eclipse

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Vasily Kafanov (2013) Landscape with Fishtower on gray

The fisherman draws fish that he never saw from many fathoms beneath the water, the miner brings gold from the depths out of the earth, through which his sight cannot pierce. In this wise has God taught it.

As there is nothing so occult that it shall not become manifest, so the same must be made known. Be it in the celestial firmament, in the sea, in the earth, all things must become manifest; but through man who discovers all things.

— Paracelsus, from his preface to Magia Emblemata et Prognostici

Penumbral Pisces Lunar Eclipse

Within change and strife resides freedom and release, for every heart breaks within love that returns and gives birth.  Beyond every flower found in radiant color, ripened fruit savored, or prismatic crystal unearthed and polished, lies an infinitely more vast and invisible realm of dark fertility surrounding and shaping this and all other universes.  In fathomless oceanic depth, under waves inexorably dissolving and bringing forth life, glimmers the slippery, silvery sheen of soul we find in Pisces.

Light as dramatic as can be sensed during the Pisces Lunar Eclipse on September 16 begins to fade as soon as it has brought forth its fullness.  We stand like a willow on the banks of its vortex, trunk strong and branches unfurled toward the constant disintegration of earthly matter into water.   This week’s lunar eclipse at the end of the zodiac culminates many stories embedded in the intense mutable shifting of the past year.  Within red shadows projected upon the Moon, one’s presence of being may become lightened from the accumulated heaviness of past failures and regrets.

In contrast to a solar eclipse in which the Sun is overwhelmed by the shadow of the Moon, symbolically 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. Linking the Moon to what we carry from the past within our body and mind, the past transmutes in the shadowy face of the Moon to allow for new emergence and presence.  Dane Rudhyar in The Astrology of Transformation wrote that at a lunar eclipse “the traditional perspective born of past experiences of adjusting to life and society is blotted out by an eagerness to meet experience in a new, original manner.”  This emphasis on new choices and vision is amplified by the Sun being on the side of the North Node of the Moon in Virgo.

The eclipse is classified as penumbral because although the lunation is fairly close to the nodes of the Moon, the eclipse is at 24º20′ Pisces while the south node of the Moon is at twelve degrees of Pisces.  Though the shadow cast will not completely cover the Moon’s face in rosy glow, it remains a lunar eclipse that irrevocably alters the stories internally streamed from the past year of life.  Aligned with Chiron just as the Total Solar Eclipse in Pisces on 8 March 2016 was also conjoining Chiron, there is a cathartic release into the ever emptying ocean of Pisces that washes away remnants of disappointing burden that have been sticking to the flesh and circulating repeatedly in the mind.

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The Lovers Radha and Krishna (circa 1775 -1780)

Pisces is the exaltation of Venus, and the lunar eclipse occurs close to the specific degree Venus exalts in (27° Pisces).  Venus looms over the eclipse as Jupiter in Libra rules the eclipse and Venus is co-present in her home of Libra alongside Jupiter.  Pisces is the inwardly directed home of Jupiter, a place of inner expansion and vision, a faculty of intuitive gnosis merging heart with mind.  Relationships, our current relations as well as all manner of past relational patterns that inform our meeting with others, rise from the waters of Pisces at this week’s eclipse with a message of vital importance, whether found in the form of verbal language or nonverbal image.   In the twilight preceding the full illumination of the Pisces Moon, one may behold a brilliant Venus on the horizon that is continuing to brighten as an Evening Star.

Though as mentioned the shadow of this week’s eclipse is fainter than that of a total lunar eclipse, nonetheless the redness of the eclipsed shadow on the Moon evokes Pisces through its correspondences with eros that vitalizes blood flow and inspirit. The red shadow covering the Moon also has symbolic overtones with the renewal of the rubedo stage in alchemy, as it portends responding to life from a new presence free of past conditioning.  Red is also fitting for Mars being in square to the lunar eclipse, making this Pisces Lunar Eclipse a tumultuous affair.  In fact, there is little balanced about the Libra influence of Venus and Jupiter, as Venus will be applying closely to an opposition with Uranus in Aries and a sextile with Mars in Sagittarius, with Mars further in trine to Uranus.  Yet in the stillness of a Pisces pool within the surrounding bedlam, insight may be discovered.

Scylla 1938 by Ithell Colquhoun 1906-1988

Scylla (1938) by Ithell Colquhoun

“The true duty of the artist is to know what she is doing and transmit her knowledge with precision. The artist must always lift up the skirts of Venus or her twin-sister Medusa; if she is incapable of that, she should consider changing professions.
Let’s thus seek out the possibility of having subtle organs that will allow us to spread a beneficial magic or receive it while cultivating the protections against the multiple venoms of the invisible world. It is only in the strange magic ocean that we can find salvation for ourselves and our sick planet.”
– Leonora Carrington, response to a questionnaire for L’Art magique, 1957

The above quote from Leonora Carrington and painting by Ithell Colquhoun were both shared by Jon Eric Graham in a presentation he gave entitled “A Stunning Revenge on All Things: Surrealism, Alchemy, and Magic” at the recent 2016 Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle I attended.  In a subsequent presentation Pam Grossman also shared the same Scylla image by Ithell Colquhoun in her talk “Witch Pictures: Female Magic and Transgression in Western Art.”  As Pam Grossman traced the history of the depiction of witches in art, highlighting the obvious shift of meaning once women had platforms to create their own witchy images, I was struck by the full archetype of the witch held within any modern manifestation of image, no matter how corporate or commercial.  Namely, that the indescribable trauma and travesty of the collective history of witches is held and honored within the same image of witchcraft a modern teenager will embrace as part of claiming her own sense of the sacred feminine.  This is not to suggest oppression will go away or that its wounds will disintegrate, only that in the dissolution of the Pisces Lunar Eclipse an empowering liberty may be discovered within our identities that have been hurt the most.

The square between Saturn and Neptune that finally culminated in the week before the lunar eclipse involves the transfiguration of collective images in meaning.  Indeed, the most intense aspect to the lunar nodes at this week’s eclipse is not the actual Full Moon Eclipse, but rather the square between Neptune and Saturn, with Saturn applying closely to a square with the lunar nodes and Neptune conjoining the South Node of the Moon.  Whatever sacrifice has had to be made in this past year of the square between Saturn and Neptune, like Odysseus passing through Scylla and Charybdis we now must resolutely with responsibility press forward on the path we have realigned with.  Any fixations on past dreams that did not manifest must now be dropped into the receding tide, with focus and accountability bound to the work needing to be done in the present moment that meets one’s own needs as well as creates valuable resources or inspiration for others.

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Colored etching of alchemical stage (18th Century). Source

The numerous catalytic aspects involved in the Pisces Lunar Eclipse unfortunately make it likely that the disasters, acts of violence, and traumatic events that have dominated current events recently will continue.  On a personal level, however, if you are somewhere securely away from overwhelming conflict the incredibly active nature of this week’s eclipse can be an enlivening impetus toward tangible realization of goals and vision worked on across time.  Mercury remains retrograde, separating from its union with the Sun earlier in the week and applying to a trine with Pluto in Capricorn.  Though Mercury has shifted toward its Morning Star phase in which goals and plans can be focused on with greater clarity, it is not yet visible and so there is still a chthonic fertility to all things Mercurial.

Particularly compelling to me is that the true node of Black Moon Lilith will be conjoined with Venus in Libra at the time of the lunar eclipse.  This means that Venus combined with Black Moon Lilith will be opposite Uranus in Aries and sextile to Mars in Sagittarius.  Black Moon Lilith is the oscillating shadow point that balances the Moon’s orbit, bringing the liberating quality of Uranus contacting Venus and Mars more directly into the experience of the Pisces Lunar Eclipse.  Where we have been abandoned, betrayed, felt exiled or placed at a distance on the outside, becomes in the shadowed light of the lunar eclipse a strength fortified by lack and solitude and ready to burst forth with meaning to express and share during the dissemination of the eclipsed light.

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10 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 3 Decan

The Lunar Eclipse is in the third face of Pisces, associated with the 10 of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  An image of joy, fulfillment, rainbows and giddy children, the 10 of Cups is interpreted as the quality of blissful happiness and manifestation that those who reside within the third face of Pisces not only yearn to bring about but possess the internal resources to do so.  The final decan of the zodiac from the perspective that Aries is the beginning, the third decan of Pisces is a place of magical manifestation where seeming miracles can be brought about against all odds.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Cup of Blood” to this face, describing it as a “mad quest for an ideal” and “being willing to sacrifice everything” for “the attainment of one’s greatest desire, no matter the cost.”  While Three Books of Occult Philosophy described an image of a naked man with a beautiful woman whose head is decorated with flowers, other ancient texts describe terror of loss bringing screams and cries.  Austin Coppock linked the third face of Pisces with such “heights of agony and ecstasy,” writing that “Though there can be no greater pleasure than the union with the beloved, no pain is greater than its frustration, or worse yet, the betrayal of the person or ideal whom one has sacrificed so much for.”   As a result Coppock noted the importance of applying discernment and discrimination to acts brought forth in this face.

Coppock made a brilliant connection with the fragmentary Hellenistic text The 36 Airs ascribing the daimon of hope Elpis to the third decan of Pisces.  This is the hope left at the bottom of Pandora’s box, the answer to doom pointing to “beauty, love and the real possibility of happy endings.  The last decan [of Pisces] is thus a miniature of all incarnation, asking the most important questions and offering the most impassioned answers” (p. 260).

The third face of Pisces is ruled by Mars, and as Mars in Sagittarius is in square to the lunar eclipse, the meaning of this passionate decan of Pisces must be faced.  The warnings of losing one’s beloved or cherished ideal in no way means to hold back from pursuing what enlivens the heart during the eclipse.  With Saturn in square to the lunar nodes and Neptune conjoining the south node, however, it is vital to plant seeds and develop growth in places clearly able to receive and bolster one’s ideal intentions.  There is co-creative magic found in the face of this week’s Pisces Lunar Eclipse to align with the work, path, and collaborators most resonant with one’s deepest desires.

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References

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

Paracelsus. (2014 edition). Magia Emblemata et Prognostici. Ouroboros Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1980). The Astrology of Transformation. Quest Books.