Extracting Meaning: The Taurus Full Moon

The Second Noble Truth of Buddhism teaches us that the root of all suffering is attachment. We struggle so often to get what we want and hold on to what we have, and it seems as though we may be missing something important right in front of our faces. The effort it requires to attain our vision of success seems to threaten the simple ability to live in the present moment, to remain grounded and grateful for our current life. The upcoming Full Moon in Taurus, exact at 8:05 a.m. Tuesday, brings to light the question of what is truly valuable.

The Sun moved into Scorpio this past Friday afternoon, stripping away the light and airy Libra veneer to reveal a more focused and passionate quality under the surface. There’s a need for privacy with Scorpio’s intensely analytical approach, and the realizations that come to our attention can be brutally honest. This fixed water sign is not inherently harsh by any means– Scorpio is emotional and intuitive, as well as wise and committed. But if things are bad, useless, unhealthy, toxic, or just kind of a drag… Scorpio has the willpower to kick it to the curb. There’s an extreme potential that can be tapped into, an inclination to change forms drastically.Rocks

Meanwhile, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus are all in Virgo, increasing our need to get things accomplished. Virgo has the tendency to prune back overgrown areas, helping the entire system run more efficiently. We have momentum on our side with this problem-solving zodiac sign activated with high-energy planets. It’s easier to figure out what’s wrong, what’s not working, and what needs to be done to fix it. But there’s also the chance that the critical side of Virgo and the obsessive side of Scorpio can feel a little bleak, like everything is broken and negative. Both of these signs are compelled to heal, but Virgo’s nervous worry and Scorpio’s distrust can be overwhelming. Paranoia and fault-finding can be unfortunate baggage with this astrological combination so strong in the atmosphere, especially if we’ve been glossing over some issues in our lives.

Full Moons always represent the balancing of two archetypes. The Scorpio Sun opposite the Taurus Moon brings our attention to attachment. With Scorpio and Virgo speaking loudly right now, we may be ready to cut ties with things we no longer need. Eliminating what is holding us back is a healthy pursuit, and we have sharp thinking and focused purpose on our side to make clear judgments. But the Moon in Taurus is there to remind us that patience and self-acceptance are needed to balance the scales. Taurus strives for the simple ease of being comfortable in the physical plane, in the here and now. Our personal strategies for fixing, building, and gaining are all necessary in their own right, propelling us forward on our paths. But when we go off the deep end with it (a common activity during Full Moon phases) we end up deleting good things too, or missing the pleasant memories we’re experiencing now. Projecting a “perfect” life later on, after we’ve acquired what we want, only builds a barrier to living in the present.


Each time news of a shocking event reaches us through media or word of mouth, we, as a national community, become polarized in self-righteous debate. For a country that was based on the ideal that all men are created equal, it seems depressingly hypocritical that civilized discussion and compromise are so rare. Diplomacy and cooperation, traits that belong to the air sign Libra, are needed to ease up on the extremes– to find a middle ground that allows everyone to breathe.

The Sun and Mercury are both in Libra right now, and Mercury is slowing down in its retrograde motion to eventually station direct on Friday Oct. 9. As these planets move through Libra, they’re both forming square angles with Pluto in Capricorn– an invitation to stir up things that may be lurking in the unconscious or buried parts of ourselves and our relationships. Pluto correlates with deeply held material, much of it related to our karmic past. Things that hurt or shamed us, maybe even memories that are kept hidden from our own awareness– all of these are in the “underworld” that Pluto represents. Just like any dark secret; when light is shed on the subject, there may be some vulnerability in the exposure, but overall the release of that weight is a great liberation, a shedding of a skin.

In Greek mythology, Pluto was portrayed as Hades, God of the Underworld.

In Greek mythology, Pluto was portrayed as Hades, God of the Underworld. 

Pluto is intense and powerful, and its long passage through Capricorn (which runs 2008-2023) is chipping away everything that was accepted as structural norms in our society. And this process is both very necessary and very ugly. Pluto strives to take what is unhealthy and transform it into something pure and true to its nature. Each of us has Pluto somewhere in our individual charts, urging us to get to the root of a problem, to release and renew a part of ourselves that involves the structure of our lives. Collectively, we can feel the pressure erupting in spots all over– particularly surrounding government and people’s rights– the very foundation of the Unites States.

Americans experienced yet another mass shooting on a school campus this month, an event that even Obama remarked was becoming routine. But the mere idea of gun control spurs psychotically defensive responses. A rational and cooperative approach flies out the window because the argument gets distorted into Constitutional rights– when in reality, no human living in the White House mentioned taking all the guns away. The process to legally own firearms needs to be discussed and resolved by leaders on both sides of the coin, and the fact that it can’t highlights the tragically violent nature of this country’s history. There are pockets of fierce pride that seem to twist the dark mistakes of our national past into badges of moral or religious honor, like the Confederate flag or the Kim Davis fiasco.

US Flag

Whether we’re talking about gay marriage, abortion, racial or gender inequality, the right to buy a gun, etc.. the explosive energy of these issues has been rumbling pretty loudly for years. Pluto is exposing corruption that has been glossed over as religious or institutional norms, the status quo. And right now, the Sun in balance-creating Libra reminds us that  allowing another human being the right to live their life their own way is the simple ethic that the country was based on. It’s the pea under the mattress, the thing that we’re not acknowledging under all this hype about presidential campaigns and socialist Muslims. It distracts us from the very freedom that our forefathers did seek– the freedom to live in peace, as one chooses.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy– a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

— George Washington, Letter to Hebrew Congregation at Newport, Rhode Island, August 21, 1790