We have a Full Moon in Leo this month, and while that in itself is not unusual (it is an approximately yearly occurrence), it is unusual that we get this Full Moon while the Aquarius Sun and the Leo Moon are square the Moon Nodes.
What is a Moon Node?
First let’s talk about a little astronomy: what are the Moon Nodes? At a high level, there are a few different orbits to understand in order to comprehend the Moon Nodes. The earth is tilted as it revolves around this Sun; this results in the Sun and the Planets following a tilted path across our night sky rather than following the earth’s equator; this tilted path is called the ecliptic. If we ignore the rest of the sky and just look at the earth and the Moon, the Moon is also tilted as it revolves around the earth. So we have a tilted Moon orbit around a tilted earth orbit, and these two orbits have about 5 degrees of difference between them. What this means is that you will see the Moon at different parts of the sky as it revolves around the earth; sometimes it will appear farther north, and sometimes it will appear farther south (depending on where it is on its tilted orbit). There are two points (exactly opposite each other) where the earth’s tilted orbit (the ecliptic) and the moon’s tilted orbit intersect; these are known as the Moon Nodes. See this picture to easily visualize them! When the Moon is lined up with the Sun along these Nodes, that is when we get Solar and Lunar eclipses (but that is a topic for a different day).
When the Moon is midway between the two Lunar Nodes, it reaches a local “high” or “low” point in the sky, where it appears furthest north or furthest south before it starts moving back in the direction of the nodes. This area is called “the bends”. We could have a whole study just on the bends, but at a high level, it shows a time when the Moon is least likely to be eclipsed (or to eclipse) the Sun, because it is far away from the Nodes. This is an area that represents change (as the Moon at this point is preparing to change directions from the earth’s perspective to move back toward the neutrality of the nodes).
The Moon Nodes and this Leo Full Moon
Coming all the way back to our Leo Full Moon this week, the Leo Full Moon occurs exactly at “the bends” between the Nodes, so in addition to the usual exuberant Leo Full Moon energy we would usually expect, there is something a little different this year. There is a sense of change in the air. A sense of trying something we have not tried before. A sense of finding ourselves and bringing ourselves back.
The Energy of this Leo Full Moon
The Leo Full Moon is also always interesting, because by definition when the Full Moon is in Leo, the Sun has to be exactly opposite to it in Aquarius. (Full Moons always occur when the Sun and the Moon are opposite each other.) The Sun rules Leo and excels in Leo, but struggles to find its footing in Aquarius. The Sun is hot and bright, Aquarius is cold and dark. The Sun is joyous and loud; Aquarius is quieter and more circumspect. However, done carefully, the Sun can find its balancing force in Aquarius. Learning to integrate the heat and the cold, the noise and the quiet is truly a worthy cause, and the Leo Full Moon each year gives us a chance to do that, and no year more so than this one which finds the Sun and the Moon in the area of the Moon’s orbit that most promotes change: This area midway between the Moon Nodes.
Think about how you show up to yourself and to the world during this Full Moon. How much do you feel like a masked performer on the stage of your own life, vs how much do you feel free to allow your truest light to shine forth? Living our truth is hard and requires so much vulnerability and so much trust – trust that people will either love us for who we are or that we have decided their opinion is not central to us. This is a time to evaluate if there is anything we are showing to the world that feels so difficult to maintain that it doesn’t actually feel worth it. For those things…. how do we find ways to let our true self shine out via our Sun (Leo) while also recognizing that we may have very real social duties and obligations that are important to us?
In short: how do we bring our best true self to the world in a way that serves to help others rather than only ourselves? How do we use our brightest gifts in the service of each other and our larger groups and communities? How do we shift the narrative from one of duty to joy? And lastly: if we embrace this challenge and bring our whole selves to the world, how do we make peace with that and accept that there will be limitations in doing this? If our true self is viewed as being too strange, there may be people who no longer want to be our friends. If our true self doesn’t involve a high-powered corporate job, we may struggle more to have financial stability (or to be ok with not having financial stability!). A wise friend of mine called out that there is never a choice between the “good, easy way” and the “hard, bad way”. There are difficulties with any path we choose in life; what we have this week is a golden (an appropriate color for Leo!) opportunity to consciously make this choice. This Full Moon is about finding our true self in a sea of other people’s expectations and our own self-imposed duties and to decide how we want to present ourselves and our gifts to the world.
As the phrase commonly attributed to the great writer Oscar Wilde says, Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. In 1882, Oscar Wilde also wrote the following:
In some such way as this we could gather up these strewn and scattered petals of song into one perfect rose of life, and yet, perhaps, in so doing, we might be missing the true quality of the poems; one’s real life is so often the life that one does not lead…