The Pisces Full Moon

Full Moons often bring an intensity into the air as they approach. The Sun and Moon, our two points of light from here on earth, are at opposite ends of the zodiac wheel, and therefore highlighting opposite ends of a spectrum. Behavior can become extreme when something inherently rational and ego-based (represented by the Sun) is in opposition to our instinctual and emotional base (the Moon).

Moon & Trees

This Full Moon, exact today at 2:35 EDT, brings our awareness to being well and doing good. The Sun in Virgo is service-oriented, which is not the same thing as being subservient. Virgo is a discerning and analytical sign seeking to improve functionality. The Moon is in Pisces, dissolving our personal boundaries. There is a gentleness to the Moon in Pisces that can balance the high-strung nature of Virgo, perhaps allowing us to get things accomplished while enjoying the time spent at the task.

Our own inner critic can become quite loud during the Sun’s transit of Virgo, and this was blown up a bit as the Sun formed a conjunction with Jupiter this past week. The perfectionism of Virgo is a great catalyst to get serious about goals, but when Jupiter expands that need for order and simplicity, we can get tunnel-vision. Becoming fixated on details or concerns has been an issue this week as the Full Moon approached, and there’s a lot lying out in the open light now.

Neptune is also highly active in this astrological picture, increasing the sensitivity and vulnerability. Our emotional reactions are likely to be strong this weekend, but there’s also an intuitive understanding of what we can do to help ourselves. While there’s always a chance of becoming overwhelmed by the seemingly insurmountable work ahead, we are also more in touch with what is worth our while, what is good for us in the long run, and what we can do to do our things better. The Pisces Full Moon reminds us that opportunities aren’t lost, but recycled into new forms.

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New Moon; New Start

As the moon completes its cycle this week, we humans are at a symbolic turning point. The New Moon, exact on Friday morning at 10:53 EDT, coincides with some larger astrological changes occurring this week. For many people, these planetary shifts will help bring ideas into tangible form– cooling down the hot air of enthusiasm with some practical good sense.

The Sun is continuing along its transit of fire sign Leo, and Venus is backing up in retrograde motion to meet it. I’ve mentioned before that Venus retrograde in Leo is all about reconsidering our values and what we feel is good for us in life. People and things that take up our time without giving us something in return need to be evaluated. With the Sun in a powerful position in the sign that it rules, we have extra courage on our side to make choices that put us at the center. Self-worth should be a high priority these days, and we would all do well to focus on feeling joy and a sense of belonging. As the Moon begins to approach the Sun and Venus over the next 48 hours, this inclination to express love and fun should be embraced– it sounds like a perfect time for getting together with people and letting the good times roll.

Mars also moved into Leo this past weekend, emerging from the water sign Cancer where it wasn’t very expressive. Mars feels much more at home in Leo– our energy levels are likely to get a big boost from the warrior planet moving into a spontaneous and extroverted fire sign. This helps us feel less self-protective and more engaged in activities with others. Mars will be in Leo for the next 7 weeks, urging us to venture out and try new things.

Perhaps the larger and more subtle shift this week has been Jupiter leaving Leo after 13 months, and finally shifting into Virgo on Tuesday morning. Jupiter in Leo expanded the need for recognition and acknowledgement. In a good way, it propelled a lot of people to search for what they felt they deserved or were lacking in life. As it changes sign into discriminating and analytical Virgo, the volume of our ego will be turned down a little, allowing us to hear better. We can hopefully be more practical and patient, two of the strengths of this earthy sign. Jupiter in Virgo is going to push the question of quality into the forefront. Virgo seeks satisfaction from the simple, and tends to organize, clean, and heal in an effort to make things function efficiently. So during the next year or so of our lives, we have the opportunity to attend to the theme of worthwhile causes, allowing us to prune the superficial and costly bullshit that distracts us from what substantially matters.

The Virgo energy will increase in the next weeks, as the Sun moves into the sign later this month, joining Mercury and Jupiter. For now, enjoy the Leo New Moon and the fresh lunar cycle that begins Friday. The Saturn retrograde is over, as well as the pressure of the Jupiter/Saturn square. Hopefully some lessons have been learned, and we are on a better (and more rational) path. Taking time to appreciate where we are and who we’re with will help ground us in the present and open us to the possibilities of the future.

gods and devils

the road to hell is paved with good intentions

Seasonal shifts can be felt long before the calendar says it’s official. We’re past the height of the summer season now, and that gradual slope into autumn seems to be taking hold. In many ways, it’s a good time to take stock of where we stand and where we are headed.

The astrological activity of the past few days has been pretty intense. Since last Friday’s Full Moon in Aquarius, Saturn has ended its retrograde phase and turned direct again, forming a 90 degree square with Jupiter in Leo. And retrograde Venus is entering into this mix, meeting up with Jupiter Tuesday afternoon. This represents friction between what we believe we deserve versus what we can realistically achieve. It can seem to be a test of our faith or optimism, or, for some, a time of hard work recognized. The theme of it all is that our future plans are coming into the forefront, and some pruning is needed to make them functional and sustainable.

This planning stage happens seasonally for all of us. Just like after the winter holidays, we buckle down and formulate a game plan for the following year, there’s a tendency in late summer to start mentally organizing our lives for the next phase. The Sun’s transit through Leo in August encourages our self-esteem, inspiring all sorts of ideas for what we really deserve in this life. And Jupiter and Venus are linked together right now, largely inflating our need for appreciation and value. The nice thing about this strong Leo vibe is that our conviction about morality and justice is a potent force for doing what’s right. The outrage over Cecil the lion’s slaughter exemplifies this– public attention was rightfully turned to the injustices surrounding wildlife for elite sporting purposes. But something gets distorted quickly in our modern world, particularly when supposed integrity is involved.

Photo by Eduardo Munoz—Reuters

Photo by Eduardo Munoz—Reuters

And here comes Saturn into the picture, slowly turning around at 28 degrees Scorpio, where it has sat still since early July, and where it will hover through the rest of August. Saturn will teach us through experience, whether we are ready or not for its lessons. It’s square angle to Jupiter and Venus test the authenticity of our moral stance. You can see this in the backlash of petty arguments on social media– people claiming that other atrocities are being ignored while Cecil takes the spotlight. The pedantic fighting over what tragedy is worse and which causes deserve our pity is part of the toxic baggage that Saturn highlights. And the hard lesson to learn is not to get consumed in that emotional darkness, where it seems that doing good is a lost cause. The nasty elements of human nature are with us, and the only possible high road to take is not to contribute to it.

As Saturn moves forward again and wraps up its time in Scorpio (from now through Sep. 17) we have an opportunity to discard some of our own toxic attachments. There are so many things to be overwhelmed by, so many attitudes and habits that we’ve incorporated into our lives without actually questioning if they hold any value. As we approach the end of summer and beginning of fall, there’s a sense of turning a page, or a cycle ending. While it is always important to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, the astrology is reminding us to guard against self-righteousness, to stand down from the soapbox. Judgment is not in our hands, and we’re best served by living out the best possible forms of ourselves. There are injustices and distortions in the world plaguing wildlife, ecosystems, and human rights. We need to get our collective heads in the game of healing, not being vindicated at the “right” one.