aquarius, astrology, full moon, leo, moon

Full Moon in Aquarius – A Time to Break Down…. Something?

Full Moons themselves are not rare events; we get them once a month. However, the Full Moon on August 11th is shaping up to be an extremely intense Full Moon.

As the Moon in Aquarius is opposing the Sun in Leo (this opposition is what creates a Full Moon), the Moon is also conjoining Saturn, which moved into Aquarius in December 2020. In addition, both the Sun and the Moon are squaring the North Node/Uranus conjunction in Taurus. This creates a big “T” shape in the sky, with the Sun at one end, the Moon and Saturn opposite to it at the other end, and Uranus and the North Moon Node at the bottom of the “T”. This is a lot of co-mingled energy! In a nutshell, the Sun and Moon are colliding with the intense Saturn/Uranus energy of the past year and a half while the North Node also happens to be on top of Uranus. With all of these planets and points involved, there is likely to be nothing straightforward about the energy of this Full Moon.

In general, Saturn squaring Uranus brings us themes of the push-and-pull between the familiarity of the established structure of things and the desire to break free of old habits and tear everything down and start over. We have all been feeling this push-and-pull collectively as a global society and personally as individuals since Saturn and Uranus first started forming this square as Saturn entered Aquarius on Dec 17th, 2020. That is a long time to feel such strong competing energies! Normally this aspect would come and go over the period of six months or so, but because of the unique ways that the Saturn and Uranus retrograde motions have stacked up during this square, we have been experiencing waxing and waning of this same square for over a year and a half, with the final almost exact square happening in early October 2022, giving us an exhausting cycle of vacillating between the desire to tear down existing structures and the desire to find comfort and a sense of safety in the familiarity of existing structures.

One very interesting aspect of Saturn/Uranus squares is that there is absolutely no ethics or morality attached to either the stability and structure of Saturn or to the rebellion and desire to tear things down of Uranus. For all of us individuals, and for us collectively as a society, some structures are important for a healthy life and a healthy society. However, it is equally true that some structures are holding us back personally and collectively and should be challenged and torn down. The eternal question that Saturn/Uranus aspects ask us is: Which structures will we benefit from tearing down and which structures will we benefit from strengthening? The answer to this question is never easy, and with an extensive year and a half during which we have all been wrestling with this question, it is exhausting to think about wrestling with this even more.

However, the energy of the Sun and Moon moving in to co-mingle their energy with this existing square will force us to confront the polarities of this energy in a new way. One thing that will feel startlingly different about the way the Full Moon activates these energies is that both Uranus and Saturn are outer planets that take many years to cycle the entire Zodiac. They are not personal planets; they are generational. However, the Sun and the Moon are our most personal planets. If you are born within a seven year period of someone else, you both probably have Uranus in the same sign. However, if you are born even just a day earlier or later than another person, it is likely you both have the Moon in a different sign.

This Full Moon will feel personal. Whereas some of our struggles over the past year and half may have had the spotlight focused more on the societal or cultural elements, this Full Moon will be shining the spolight directly on your life and on the structures you have erected to help yourself feel safe and protected and in a familiar and comfortable space. But, just like we are seeing some societal structures crumbling over the past few years to be replaced with hopefully better structures, this Full Moon will help us realize that there are structures in our lives that need a complete reinvention as well. The trick will be ensuring we tear down the correct structures; what will actually benefit from a complete overhaul?

What is even trickier is that even if we choose to break down the structures and relationships in our lives that actually are the ones that are holding us back, in the immediate aftermath of breaking them down, we may be left with a feeling of profound loss. It may not have been helpful to our soul’s development, but it was familiar and easy and known. Now we will be left with only unknowns.

The Unknown is generally a terrifying state for us as humans. Even if things are not great as they are, we can allow ourselves to slip into the numbness of routine. But when presented with the Unknown, it becomes almost impossible to ignore the questions at the back of our minds and to escape to a relative sense of safety; by far the best way to handle the Unknown is by passing through them, sitting with them, and allowing ourselves to feel the discomfort and take the time we need to think about the new structures we want to build in our lives. That is an incredibly scary proposition.

However, there are some really encouraging things about this particular Full Moon in Aquarius that will help us. Aquarius is a sign that is focused on social good, on helping others, and on bettering our communities, and this gives us a secret to coping through this time. If we can focus on providing help and support to others, it will paradoxically help lighten our load. This would be a wonderful time to engage in volunteer work, spend some time in a conversation with those you know need it, or even spend some time gardening and giving plants the nourishment they need. Recognizing that we are part of the larger, interconnected universe can help us feel intense relief in doing anything that boosts the energy and vibration of other co-dwellers on this planet. However, be careful not to use volunteer work as a way to hide from your own thoughts and inner work; new structures still need to be built in each of our lives. But focusing on supporting others can give us the strength to turn our will toward our own inner work as well.

Photo by Joe Dudeck on Unsplash

aquarius, astrology, full moon, leo, leo, moon, the bends

Full Moon in Leo: A Time to Go Back to Ourselves

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

Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

astrology, moon, new moon, virgo

New Moon in Virgo – A Time to be in our Physical Bodies

We are exactly experiencing our New Moon in Virgo as I write this; both the Sun and the Moon are at 14 degrees of Virgo. Virgo New Moons are excellent times to evaluate what is working for us and what is not, and to remove all of the cruft.

This year, our Virgo New Moon is particularly potent as the Sun and Moon are exactly trining Uranus in Taurus as the New Moon conjunction occurs. Uranus in Taurus often brings disruptions to our basic living needs…. food, shelter, money, and other material goods.

With Uranus in Taurus trining the Virgo New Moon, there are many positive ways this could manifest!

With so much outside of our control in 2020 and 2021, this might be an opportunity to take control of some of the small things we can control! Take your car in for an overdue oil change, organize that closet that you just haven’t had the motivation to get to, start a practice of doing food planning or preparation on your days off of work so that you have homemade food at the ready when you need it, spend some time on personal grooming (styling your hair, plucking eyebrows, or those other things we all did frequently before covid kept us home so much!).

The common theme here is positively disrupting and “cleaning up” (literally or figuratively) some of our Taurus-based areas of life. Particularly with everything we all have been dealing with over the past 18+ months with covid, it can sometimes feel hard to muster motivation for simple, easy, benign things like tidying our house, brushing our hair, and prepping food for meals. It can feel easier to “lose ourselves” in an imaginary world brought to us by our favorite author or our favorite Netflix show than to put any thought or energy into our physical world. But it is important to remember that we are actually physical beings in a physical world. Although it might be easy during these times to pretend that we don’t have hair to brush, the very act of being present in our bodies and doing something physical and down-to-earth can actually feel like a healing ritual, particularly during the Virgo Full Moon!

A wonderful way to start is to really ground yourself in your body. Sit in a comfortable place with as few distractions as possible, and take a few minutes to really check in with your body. Take a few deep breaths in an out, allowing each inhale and exhale to be 3-4 seconds in length. Gently clear out any chattering thoughts in your mind, and just allow yourself these few minutes to really focus on your body and your breath. As you breathe in and out, you are likely to become more aware of the rhythm of your heart beating. This is your own personal rhythm…. be attuned to it and notice it!

Whether you allow yourself time for cleaning your closet, alphabetizing your spice rack, or taking a few minutes just to breathe deeply into your body, allow yourself to find something physical and material that you may have been neglecting to take care of during this Virgo Full Moon, and put some energy into that area!

Photo by Todd Rhines on Unsplash

astrology, leo, leo, lionsgate, lunation, moon

The Lionsgate New Moon – A Portal to our Future

Sometimes writing is about effectively communicating information. Sometimes it is more evocative such that it conveys a feeling rather than specific information. Sometimes writing is a form of self-expression. Sometimes, though, writing is about attempting to grasp higher level universal truths and fit them to the lines and curves of our primitive human language and existence.

That is where I have mentally been the past week. There is a lot to say about the skies, as there always is, because the skies are always changing in endless (one might even suggest, eternal) cycles regardless of whether or not we notice.

But that is not what is on my heart to say tonight. Tonight, with Mercury exalted in Virgo loosely opposing Jupiter retrograde in Aquarius, I want to attempt to share larger, more philosophical thoughts in a way that I only might be able to tonight – with the stars aligning as they are.

Recently I heard news that a wonderful woman and a very wise psychic and astrologer had died unexpectedly. Although I did not know her well, I had experienced firsthand the power of her readings and her connection with the other world, and I mourned what the world lost in her wisdom and what her family lost through her passing.

We speak of “losing” someone, and that is exactly what a person’s passing feels like. Like a light going out on a dark night. Like your map blowing away while you are in an unfamiliar city. Like feeling lost even though you haven’t actually gone anywhere.

And of course for those who were closest to her, they didn’t lose only a spiritual woman and teacher; they lost a dear family member.

I don’t have any adequate words to mark her passing, but I felt compelled to say something. Because everything she taught and shared and believed in is so vital. And so real. On March 31, 2020 (coincidentally??) just as the pandemic was really starting and exactly as Jupiter and Pluto conjoined in Capricorn, and Saturn and Mars conjoined at 0 degrees of Aquarius, I had my first and only live conversation with her. A friend gifted me a reading with her, and I was not prepared by how much my life would change as a result of that reading. As she went through the reading, starting with my astrology chart and then fluidly moving to messages from my guides, I felt seen in a way that I had never felt before. As we spoke over the phone, the sky outside my home grew suddenly dark with clouds, and it started pouring rain. When we got off the phone, I felt almost as though I was awakening from a trance. I knew before my reading with her that I was just taking my first footsteps onto a different spiritual path…. what would become my life purpose, but her words affirmed that and gave me some specific direction. I have come so far spiritually over the past year and a half, and a huge part of this is due to her. I had actually just contacted her about a second reading since the skies (my inner skies and the outer skies) had changed a lot since our last conversation. I never got that second reading, but I am so grateful that I got the first.

The night before she passed, one of her sons and I got together to send her reiki, and I was just blown away by an image of her face in my mind with a powerful Leo energy and immense joy associated with it.

She passed as the New Moon in Leo was forming (on August 7th), midway between the double consecutive Aquarius Full Moons that bookend our Leo season (which she had written about just a few weeks before on instagram). It is unusual to have two consecutive Full Moons in the same sign. And it is a particularly unusual time this year, because midway between those Full Moons, the New Moon in Leo occurs just as the Sun conjoins Sirius (the day each year called Lionsgate).

Although it didn’t occur to me at the time that we were one day away from the Lionsgate Portal and the New Moon in Leo, it feels so natural that this time would have resonated with her. With the warm, enveloping energy of Leo so strong, and with the intuitive portal of rebirth and moving to higher levels of consciousness wide open, this seems like it would have been exactly a time for her energy. Nothing makes it better or easier that the world lost her, but it does at least feel as though she left surrounded by energy that resonated with her.

I am not able to articulate Universal Truth. Some things really are too big for the human brain, and certainly bigger than the human vocabulary. But A Universal Truth, such as I can describe it in words, seems to be that we actually never really lose a person. They go on ahead in order to be more fully found. But they continue to be knit with us through the memories in our soul, our shared experiences with them, and the fact that all life and all energy, and even all time, is intertwined. Wherever her beautiful energy and soul still exist, whatever astral planes she may be inhabiting, I send her the same wonderful vibes that she sent to everyone during her time on this earth.

lunation, moon

New Moon in Taurus

So much of the energy of 2020 has been heavily dominated by Capricorn and Aquarius – strongly Saturn-ruled signs. That has led to a heaviness, a darkness, and a sense of time dragging on and on while we hope, perhaps in vain, for better days to come soon.  But let’s take a step back from all of our intense Capricorn/Aquarius energy, and look at the New Moon cycles of 2020, since we are hitting our fourth New Moon of 2020 today.

Christmas Day, 12/25/19, heralded the beginning of an eclipse season with a foreboding eclipse at 4 degrees of Capricorn, the sign in which Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, and the South Node were all clustered.  Five days later on 12/31/19, China alerted the World Health Organization of the virus that would come to be known as covid-19.  Eclipse seasons often kick off a series of related events that continue throughout the next six months, and in this case the series of events it kicked off was both epic and tragic.

Our first full lunation cycle of 2020 was off to a rough start with a New Moon at 4 degrees of Aquarius on 1/24.  On 1/23, one day earlier, China began lockdowns – the first of what would become many caused by the pandemic.

Our second New Moon of 2020 occurred on Feb 23rd at 4 degrees of Pisces.  This corresponded with Italy’s lockdown and the realization that not only had this spread well beyond China, but we also had a global pandemic on our hands and would need to take serious measures.

Our third New Moon of 2020 occurred at the 4th degree of Aries on March 24.  This was the Monday, interestingly, in which many states issued a “stay at home” order .  And we definitely saw the Aries New Moon bring the proactive energy of the warrior to the strange mix of world events.  It ushered in a cycle of people aggressively headed to the stores in droves and emptying shelves of rice, beans, hand sanitizer, and pretty much all forms of cleaning products.  The Aries warrior energy was also evident in very literal fights over toilet paper and other perceived necessities.

This energy all leads us to our fourth New Moon of 2020: A New Moon at 3 degrees of Taurus.  Maybe I am naive or superstitious (or maybe both?), but I am hopeful for this New Moon cycle.  There is a certain heaviness associated with Taurus, but it is not the oppressive heaviness of Saturn; it correlates much more readily to the heaviness of lethargy.  And that may actually be where many of us are mentally and physically at this point.  No motivation to get off the couch, because, really, where are we going to go?  Many people I know (myself included) who were voraciously reading all news and statistics related to coronavirus in the earlier days of 2020 are now suffering from serious coronavirus news fatigue, and a bit of whiplash trying to follow the latest thoughts on how contagious it is, how deadly it is, how soon it actually started spreading, etc.  Rather than the more hectic, panicked pace we were all keeping earlier this year, now many of us are making friends with the four walls of our houses, working on home projects, and planting gardens (This is causing a huge shortage of seeds!  It’s hard to imagine a more Taurean response!)

The April New Moon is also the first New Moon of this cycle not happening in the 4th degree of a sign, but rather in the 3rd degree.  In China, the number 4 is considered an unlucky number since it is pronounced nearly the same as their word for ‘death’.  Not particularly auspicious during a global pandemic!  Three is generally viewed as a much “luckier” number.  Again, I acknowledge that I am very possibly a superstitious person, but the third degree definitely seems “luckier” than the 4th, and we need all the luck we can get in 2020!

So what could all of this mean for the April Taurus New Moon?  For some (especially those on the front lines fighting the virus!), it has to continue to mean a highly concentrated and highly exhausting effort to treat people with the virus.  For those of us who have the option of taking a deep breath, though, now may be the time to do so.

As the moon slips from the last degrees of Aries into the 3rd degree of Taurus that the sun occupies, maybe a lethargic darkness will quietly settle over the world.  Maybe this next lunar cycle will give all of us the desire to look inward rather than outward.  Maybe we will focus less on scrolling through endless news feeds and browsing graphs of statistics and will instead focus on the more earthy, grounded experiences right in front of us.  Maybe we will improve our homes, our gardens.  Maybe we will improve our family relationships over shared homemade dinner.  Maybe this will give us the opportunity and desire to connect with the earth in a very real way (in a way we may not have connected with her in months, or even years!).  New Moons are generally viewed as excellent times to set new intentions; times to evaluate the past monthly cycle and prepare for a new cycle ahead.  Maybe it is time for many of us to do exactly that, focusing on what we can control rather than what we cannot control.  We cannot control the health or the economies of the world, but we can control the state of our own minds, and maybe this Taurus New Moon is a call to do exactly that.  We can ground ourselves in the sturdy energy of this most fixed sign, and find peace in focusing on the earth, our families, our gardens, homemade dinners with all of our comfort foods.  While coronavirus will be a reality for all of us across the world for the foreseeable future, maybe this lunation cycle can be a call to take a deep, full inhale, and a long, slow exhale and allow ourselves to come down from our adreneline rush.