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Posts from the ‘Moon Cycles’ Category

Full Moon in Gemini | 2015

(c) Elise Tanis

(c) Elise Tanis

The moon grows full just as many of us in the US get ready to sit down with family and friends to give thanks. We do this in the wake of the horrible attacks in Paris. And of course, the danger isn’t over. This is a sober full moon.

One of the interesting things about this full moon, at least to me, is that it harkens back to the polarity that was being activated when 9/11 happened. At 9/11, we were in the middle of a Saturn/Pluto cycle. Saturn was in Gemini and Pluto was in Sagittarius. Now Saturn is in Sagittarius, nearing an opposition to the degree it was at when the towers came down; at the half-way point to its Saturn return. And the full moon is shining a light on the polarity between these two signs.

Gemini is all about what’s at arm’s length; the things that are close to us. Brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors: people who are joined together but whose best interests are often in conflict. Sagittarius is about the things that are at a distance. Foreigners. In-laws. People who are not joined together, but whose best interests are often shared.

You love your spouse and your in-laws love your spouse but that doesn’t mean that you love your in-laws or vice-versa. People in China and people in Washington state aren’t joined together but when there was a giant wind storm in China, the dust filled the sky in Seattle. In both cases, through the course of our lives, we learn communication techniques to help us navigate both of those terrains. One of the places we exercise this muscle is at the Thanksgiving table when we come together with family members who might not share our religious or political views. Given what’s going on in the world right now, some of that table talk could be tense this year.

The real struggle right now is between what’s familiar and what’s foreign. We are caught up in heated discussions about the refugees and immigration at a time when then whole concept of boundaries is porous. What do national boundaries mean when I can live in the US and be employed by a Japanese company; or be a citizen of Japan when my employer is a US company? When my great grandparents left Ireland for the US, they had no expectation of ever again seeing or talking to the families they left behind. Now you can leave your family in one country and that same day see them and talk to them half the world away. We often have stronger relationships with people we meet online than the people who live down the street.

Here we are talking about building fences when the whole notion of boundaries is dissolving.

That’s what the Saturn/Neptune square is about on a macro level. These borders and boundaries take place on multiple levels—politically, religiously, intellectually, materially. Essentially, the whole system that we built our presumptions on are failing, right and left. And many of these boundaries desperately need to fail—witness the events taking place between the black community in the US and the police. It isn’t just about physical distance, the psychic/cultural/spiritual distance can be just as profound. Something else is going to rise from the ashes. What that is depends on each of us, building from the micro to the macro. We are going to a new place. That place is being determined by everything we envision, choose, and commit to in our intentions, our thoughts and our actions.

We each need to look at where these transiting planets are in our own charts to see where we can best focus our efforts. Neptune is in Pisces right now, its own sign, which makes it especially potent. It’s dissolving all kinds of barriers. If we access the best in it, it will inspire us to find the thing that links us all. Saturn in Sagittarius can help us take on a sense of responsibility toward those who are far away.

Not all of us can play a big role in creating change. Most of us weren’t born to be the wave-makers. But we can make ripples. Don’t underestimate the value of being a ripple. In some way, in your daily life, become a ripple for a better way. Use this energy to give form to a new sense of one-ness, to grow more aware of what it is we all share, and how we can influence the shape of things to come in small ways.

We have a period of time ahead of us that’s quite volatile. But these same aspects that indicate the potential of more violence also are rich with creative potential. So as we head into this holiday season and we sit down with people holding very different views, see if you can find some common ground, some new way to address old arguments, new solutions for old problems. The future depends upon us.

New Moon in Scorpio | 2015

(c) Pat Collins 2014

(c) Pat Collins 2014

There is so much in this new moon, where to begin?

Since Jupiter moved into Virgo and Saturn moved into Sagittarius the focus in the cosmos these days is on the Cardinal and Mutable signs, so let’s talk about that first. We know we’ve just been through a long period of deep, deep change. The kind of change that you can’t fully understand when you’re in the middle of it. It takes a while for the consequences to start to show themselves. This was the Uranus/Pluto square which were in the cardinal signs of Aries and Capricorn. Cardinal signs are about breaking new ground, about going into new territory. That cardinality continues. We are breaking new ground, building a new world. Mutable signs are all about loosening attachment to what was and freeing ourselves up for the move.

The only fixed signs we’re going to see for the coming year are for the fast moving planets. And that’s what we have right now. The new moon is in the fixed sign of Scorpio. Fixed water. Deep and dark. Dive in. And when you come up for air, Mercury is standing by to help us articulate what it was we found down there. All three—the sun, moon and Mercury—are trine Chiron in Pisces. The Wounded Healer who wants nothing more than to help us heal. But Chiron’s healing powers can’t always make the wound go away. Sometimes all it can help us do is to see it from higher perspective, to help us use our own suffering to spiritually bind us to the suffering inherent in the human experience.

This new moon, with the support of Mercury, enables us to take the deep dive into the dark waters, to bring up whatever is there, and to offer it for healing.

The long discussed Uranus/Pluto square, while finished with its exact squares is moving within 2 degrees of exactitude. It’s kind of like being in a big storm, where things have been uprooted and tossed around. Then it gets quiet and the storm is over, except for the aftermath. That’s where we are now. In the aftermath. We’re still figuring out what the heck happened and what it’s going to mean over the long haul. As we arrive at this new moon, Venus has moved into Libra and Mars is right on its heels. As they do that, they are going to trigger that Uranus/Pluto square, so expect to receive more information about where these changes are moving in your life.

Venus rules in Libra, its home turf. Mars is not so comfortable there but he does bring a certain strategic ability to the table. Libra softens Mars’ edges and Mars adds some dynamism and decisiveness to Libra. It becomes part of the background noise right now that is pushing for action.

The next thing to discuss is the forming square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces. Where the square between Uranus and Pluto were a waxing square—moving toward the opposition—this one is waning, moving toward the beginning of a new cycle. It is the final major aspect between the two planets before it forms a conjunction in the year 2026.

The beginning of this cycle took place in 1989-1990. I did a quick search in Wikipedia to see what was going on then and found some interesting items. It was back in 1989 that the designation BC was changed from Before Christ to BCE, Before the Common Era. The Berlin Wall fell beginning a series of revolutions that broke up the Soviet Union. De Klerk was elected in South Africa and over the next five years, the apartheid was dismantled. It was a pivotal year. Isn’t it interesting that here we are at the last major turning point of the cycle that started way back then and we’re in the middle of a brouhaha about Starbuck’s red coffee cup that isn’t Christian enough for some; and a mixed race South African has taken over one of this country’s favorite late night shows?

Despite Liz Greene’s call for a new look at the old devil Saturn, some people still focus on the negative qualities of Saturn. It limits and restricts. It holds you back and gives you what you deserve. I’ll confess that Saturn was a bit of a bugaboo for me until my first Saturn return. I was not well-known for my great discipline. But as I’ve matured, and well, gotten old, Saturn and I have become good friends. Sometimes getting held back has kept me from jumping into the deep end before I was ready. And I’m not sure any of us can ask for more than what we deserve. If you’ve been working hard and doing your due diligence, getting what you deserve is a good thing, isn’t it?

Saturn is a container. It gives shape and form to the formless. And Neptune is nothing if not formless. It is the imagination, the vision, the dream. Now is the time to give shape and form, to make your dream, your vision tangible. Because the planets are in square and squares indicate a struggle, it may not come easy. But this is still a great time to be creative—and we’re all creative. We just don’t always let it out of the closet. Now’s the time. Bring it on out. Embrace the dream. Give it shape. Let it grow up and have a life of its own.

When this isn’t working well for you, when it’s trying to get you to change gears, it may feel like your energy is dissipating. Or your illusions are being exposed. Or your bubble is popped. If that’s the case, embrace it. Saturn is doing what it does best—taking you to that place my friend Kim refers to when she warns, “There’s no cheese down that hole.”

If you find yourself there, dust yourself off. Tune in to the whispers of the cosmos; use the strategic nature of Mars in Libra to help you find your right path.

As my dad was so fond of saying to my siblings and I, “Don’t ever forget this is a spiritual journey you’re on.” And as we are at a key waypoint along that journey.


Full Moon in Taurus 2015

“There is a crack in everything, …. that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen

Every fall, during the Taurus full moon, we astrologers talk about the sign’s sensuality. Taurus is slow moving, sometimes lazy and often decadent. But it has another face and a strong back. Once Taurus finds its path and gains its footing, it is relentless. At the end of the day, it wants something tangible, something it can see, feel, taste and hold.

Following the seed potential of the last new moon, give this face of Taurus a chance. Enjoy the sensuality of it, but don’t lose track of the path. Off to the side of the full moon, Saturn in Sagittarius forms an inconjunct, an aspect that requires an adjustment. Adjustment is not Taurus’ strong suit but you can use Taurus’ slow and sensual nature to help you on your way. Sometimes the best way to get to the truth is to step back, relax and let go. When you’re holding too tight, the brain synapses are inhibited. As you move forward with the relentless nature of Taurus, stay open to her sensuous nature–feel the air, the earth, the sea. Let Taurean indulgence relax and open the neural pathways, while Saturn in truth-seeking Sagittarius’ sextile to the sun gives you access to the deep, rich well of Scorpio.

There is another part of this full moon that I want to talk about and that is the big opposition happening between the signs Virgo and Pisces. On the Virgo end are Jupiter, Mars, Venus and the North Node. On the Pisces end are the South Node, Neptune and Chiron.

The Virgo end of that polarity is about coming to terms with the limits of our specialness. It is the critic and the servant. We learn through Virgo to discriminate. Pisces, the last sign, is the emotional repository of life’s journey. Where Virgo sees boundaries and limits, Pisces sees vastness. Where Virgo sees imperfection, Pisces holds it with a compassionate heart. When they work together they give birth to what the Tibetan’s call “discriminating wisdom”.

We need that right now, that discriminating wisdom. You can’t get there without honestly looking at the flaws, but look at them in yourself as well as others with compassion. We need this more than ever in these polarized times. It isn’t easy. It isn’t easy to look at ourselves with a critical eye; and it often isn’t easy to look at others, particularly those who are at odds with us, with compassion.

Chiron, the wounded healer, is in Pisces now, an important player in this opposition. It is exactly opposite Venus with Jupiter and Mars nearby. Time to heal wounds and sometimes that means taking the bandage off and letting the light in.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”  Rumi


New Moon in Libra 2015

SunflowerGirls5New moons are seed times. Time to plant the seed for the coming lunar month. It isn’t about one moment in time but about an unfoldment over time.

This new moon reminds me of the explosion of tiny seeds from the pod of the poppy. The sun and the moon sit across the chart from Uranus in Aries. Aries with its urge to act. Uranus the lightning bolt bringing nitrogen to our gardens. Off to the side is Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld, an intimate of death and rebirth. It is bursting with potential.

One of the interesting things about this new moon is that it’s all cardinal and all mutable, no fixed. The energy is about moving. About initiating movement, transforming movement after a long, gathering pause.

There’s nothing, no planets, none of the main asteroids (Pallas, Juno, Ceres, Vesta) in the fixed signs. Nothing holding place. Don’t even try. Now’s the time to pay attention to the seeds. Which fall on stone? Which need to be thinned? Which need to be nurtured? It isn’t just at the new moon that you need to do this. Give attention as the moon increases in light and becomes full.

When Uranus is involved, avoid presumption. Don’t get locked into what you think you know. Don’t shut out new information. Follow it where it goes.

When I was first studying astrology, my teacher explained Uranus transits this way. Imagine that you’ve been thrown into the rapids and are being carried wildly downstream. If you struggle and fight, you’ll surely drown. But if you can find a way to relaxed awareness, eventually you’ll spot a low-hanging branch that you can seize to bring yourself back to shore. Find your way to that relaxed awareness. Have faith in the fertility of this moment.

The cardinal t-square at this new moon is initiating. But there is another t-square, a mutable one, that is about adapting and adjusting. It involves Venus, Mars, and Jupiter in Virgo on one end; Neptune and Chiron in Pisces on the other end; and Saturn in Sagittarius at the counterpoint. Virgo is flexible but precise. Pisces is like the tule fog of the river delta where I grew up. Mars wants direct action but it isn’t going to get it here. There isn’t enough visibility and the destination is not set. Saturn likes hard edges and rigid structures but now’s the time to soften them. Keep your knees loose, stay agile, so that you can respond when you hear the call.

These are the days, the time is now
There is no past, there’s only future
There’s only here, there’s only now

Lunar Eclipse in Aries 2015

CCO Public Domain

Imagine if you will, a cosmic dinner party. The guests have arrived and have taken their seats at the table. The Sun is sitting in the Libra place, shining his light on what it means to be wedded. With him is the asteroid Juno, the wife, the protector of marriage. She’s got high standards. Love ya, baby just doesn’t cut it with Juno. What she cares about is the way the commitment is expressed, through deed, not word.

Sitting next to Juno is Black Moon Lilith, the wild woman—independent, rebellious, strong and free. Mercury, the gossip and trickster sits on the other side of the power-source, the Sun, itching to have a say. They have been called together to sit in the sign of peace and harmony.

Across the table, sits the nurturing Moon, red from the light of sunrises and sunsets bouncing off the earth. Next to her sits Vesta, the invisible. Literally. She’s the only Greek and Roman goddess without physical form. She is the hearth, around which the family gathers for warmth and nourishment. These two females associated with self-sacrifice are seated in Aries, the sign of the warrior.

Can’t you just imagine what that conversation would be like?

And they are hardly alone. This is a highly engaged formation. All the other planets are around the table. Pluto forming a T-square to the full moon, bringing issues of the use of power to the conversation. Mars and Saturn are in square, stop and go action, building up pressure that if harnessed can move mountains. Mercury is retrograde and square Pluto, turning inward, reviewing and revising its thinking in deep ways.

We have our work cut out for us at the critical juncture in human history. We have just been through a whole series of big cosmic events, and we’re moving through the last of the Age of Pisces toward the Age of Aquarius. And now we are invited to this conversation about them and us. It’s both a collective conversation—as seen in the refugee crisis, the racial crisis, the policing crisis—and a personal conversation—about our own relationships and commitments.

How this conversation takes place for you depends upon where this eclipse is taking place in your chart. If the eclipse is taking place between your second and eighth houses, the conversation may have to do with money and debt. In the fourth and tenth, it may be about career and home. Or fifth/eleventh, friendship and romance. Find 4 degrees of Aries/Libra in your own chart to identify how this falls for you. Pay attention to the conversations you have around these things in the coming months—and to the global conversation about the self and the other.

The point of the eclipse creates a hot spot, a sensitive point that will be active for up to six months. As other planets move over this degree, they will trigger this conversation again and again. Mercury will return to this degree on October 2nd, and then go back over it again on October 15th after it goes direct. Venus on November 12th. Mars on November 19th.

All of these days could be key times for revelations and insights into your relationships, and for global relationships. Pay particular attention if you have planets or points (ascendant/Midheaven) at 4 Aries/Libra. There is an opportunity afoot to take your relationships to a new level and with that create a ripple that moves outward, raising the vibration all around.

Virgo Eclipse, Equinox & More

(c) Pat Collins 2009

(c) Pat Collins 2009

When 2015 is in the rear-view mirror, September will be the month to remember for many of us. Here’s a list of things going on this month: Venus goes direct, Mercury goes retrograde, Saturn leaves Scorpio and enters Sagittarius for a 2 year stay, Jupiter entered Virgo for a one year stay, and the fall equinox is sandwiched between two eclipses.

In astrology, everything harkens back to your natal chart so to understand what any of this means to you, you need to find Virgo in your chart, check to see if you have any planets or points (Ascendant and Midheaven) at any of these degrees. Then take a look at the planets in any of the other mutable signs (Gemini, Sagittarius or Pisces) because those may be affected by square or opposition aspects.

Let’s start with the solar eclipse (new moon). As I say every time there is an eclipse, they are like new moons and full moons on steroids. Where your average new moon has an influence for a month, the solar eclipse has an influence until the next solar eclipse, six months from now. Use this energy wisely by setting your intentions well. Since it’s in Virgo, so be precise.

To help you set your intentions, let’s look at the backdrop—all the other planetary happenings that may influence where you are right now and where you want to go.

One of the things you may be feeling right now is that Venus just went direct. Venusian things like women and young children, and art and beauty—the things we love an value—that were in reflect and review mode are now ready to move forward. On the other hand, Mercury is preparing to go retrograde at 15 Libra (Venus’ sign) on the 17th. The heart is ready to go forward and now the mind is on the rewind. A little cosmic juggling act. All of the usual Mercury retrograde cautions are in place, but not to panic. Work with it. Let yourself reconsider what needs to be reconsidered.

If you’re feeling a little de ja vu about Saturn in Sagittarius, it’s because it dipped it’s toe in Sag around Christmas of last year and got just shy of 5 degrees before it turned around and went back to Scorpio for one last blast. Now it’s back in Sagittarius where it will stay for the next two years. Wherever Saturn is, we’ve got a lesson to learn. In Scorpio the lesson was about the deep, dark and murky waters of the psyche. In Sag, it calls on us to be more serious and disciplined about our spiritual and philosophical selves. Sagittarius’ ruler, Jupiter is pretty much the opposite of Saturn. Where Saturn constricts, Jupiter expands. But they are both teachers. In natal charts, when Jupiter and Saturn are found together they are often signatures of an ability to expand with discipline which is very useful for people engaged in business and other pursuits. Expand, but not too much. Conserve but without strangling.

I talked about Jupiter in Virgo a bit at the last full moon. They are a bit at odds. Virgo likes to break things down into their component parts and eliminate whatever isn’t useful. In the process, it makes things smaller. Jupiters like to make things bigger. Jupiterian things, growth and expansion, are achieved through the elimination of the unnecessary.  Benefit comes through attention to detail and in service to others.

Saturn’s move into Sagittarius and Jupiter’s move into Virgo is one more cosmic balancing act. The planet of making things smaller is in the sign of bigger while the planet of bigger moved into the sign of smaller. It reminds me a bit of the ying/yang symbol but instead of day into night, it’s largeness and smallness that are dancing together.

The eclipse takes place at 20 Virgo. The closer it is to any planets or points in your chart, the more important it will be to you. Virgo is all about routines and habits, the things we all—from king to pauper—need to do. Brush our teeth, comb our hair, do our work. This is a great time to set intentions related to all Virgo matters. Set a new health routine. Improve your work. Find a place where you can serve. The challenge of this eclipse is that it is also inconjunct Uranus—so our freedom urge may need to be curbed right now in service to the larger vision.

Finally, we are coming to the half-way point of the astrological year that started with the Spring Equinox. Both equinoxes are the points where day and night are in perfect balance, but the balance is short lived. At the spring Equinox, the year is opening up and we become more expansive. Here at the fall equinox we are heading toward shorter days and longer nights, signaling a turn inward, to reflection and to the winter solstice.

So here we are. A lot going on. You may feel like you are juggling a lot of conflicting priorities and emotions, and balancing incongruities. Remember that Virgo is the sign where we confront—even celebrate—our imperfections. There is a great deal of humanity there, and creative potential. Hold onto your uniqueness while tempering your urge to free expression in service to a greater good.

Full Moon in Pisces, August 31, 2015

(c) Jim Larsen 1978

(c) Jim Larsen 1978

Running a bit behind due to my son’s recent wedding. Here are my thoughts on the recent full moon. Remember that the full moon has a two-week shelf life—up until the next new moon.

Each sign always responds to the excesses of the sign that precedes it. At this full moon, following the big hearted, passionate, creative and sometimes narcissistic sign of Leo, Virgo comes along to say, “Not so fast. You may be special but you still have to brush your teeth, clean your room, get your job done.”

It’s easy to look at Virgo as the wet-blanket of the zodiac. It is particular, with a low tolerance for sloppiness or imprecision. It likes to take things apart, separate and categorize. It likes to reduce things to their essentials, eliminate waste and make things smaller. Where the energy of Leo is all wide open, walking into a room and filling the space, Virgo comes in with reserve, and if and when she speaks, it is often to say the thing that no one wants to hear. And yet, it is often exactly what needs to be said.

This is a full moon with light shining back from its opposite sign, Pisces—that boundary-ness energy that wants to see everyone and everything as the universal one-ness. Full moon in Pisces creates the dance of the whole and the parts. Together they are the forest and the trees.

The sun and the moon are not alone now. At the full moon, the sun is barely moving ahead of Jupiter, and the Moon is approaching Neptune. Jupiter in Virgo is a bit like trying to run a fire hose through a colander. Jupiter makes things bigger and Virgo loves to make things smaller so they are a bit at odds. Jupiter can make the pickiness of Virgo even pickier. Or it can bring the discriminating eye of Virgo to whatever you are working on or toward in a very big way. Pay attention to any inclination to be hypercritical of others right now, and see it as a reminder to turn that same critic’s eye to the things you may need to adjust.

On the moon side is Virgo’s opposite, Pisces—that boundary-less world where all is one and one is all and discrimination is a dirty word. With Neptune, the native ruler of Pisces conjunct the moon, that urge to merge is even stronger.

How do you hold those two poles simultaneously? In one hand is the vision of perfect union and in the other is the pieces, separated, organized, and examined. One side is not more important than the other. They are both necessary to the whole of life. So keep them both in the forefront through this lunar cycle. Don’t be surprised if your need for personal space is bigger than usual right now.

Another piece that is continuing to ramp up and will through the spring is the square between Jupiter and Saturn. This is the conflict between expansion and contraction, between conservative and liberal that is an important imprint in the chart of the US. Look to the area of your chart where these planets are now transiting—the beginning of Virgo for Jupiter and at the tail end of Scorpio for Saturn. Because this square is out of sign right now—its influence isn’t quite as strong. But once Saturn re-enters Sagittarius on September 17th, the intensity will pick up. Look for the areas in your life where you need to balance the urge to expand with the contracting energy of Saturn.

Mercury is moving into position for its retrograde in Libra in mid-September, so this is also a good time to start thinking about any routine maintenance that might need to be done, or where you may need to revisit and revise as we head toward fall.

Another heads up is that the next new moon takes us to the eclipse cycle. Eclipses have an extra measure of intensity. As we get closer to September 12th, think about the seeds you want to plant for the coming six months.

New Moon in Leo 2015

Lola and Elvis in Love (c) Jim Larsen 2009

Lola and Elvis in Love (c) Jim Larsen 2009

A great big, big-hearted, new moon to bring the summer to a close.

New moons have an effect for the full lunar month. It’s at the new moon when we set our intentions for the coming month and this one is not to be missed.

We’ve been building up to a lot of Leo over the summer. Now we have a nice lineup with Mars, Sun, Moon and Venus all here to stir up the passion, amp up the drama, pump up the creativity, turn on the love lights, and ignite us all to revel in our own royal selves.

To add an extra spark, Uranus is sitting off to the side with a nice trine to Venus and the new Moon. A bolt of lightning to those creative juices, and insight into the things you love.

It’s important to note that Venus is retrograde, which only happens every eighteen months or so. When planets are retrograde, it’s time take that energy internal. In this case, it’s time to reflect on what you love. Are you in alignment with your priorities and your values? It’s time to reevaluate, reconsider, and possibly renew your affection. Give yourself the time/space to go through this process until Venus goes direct on September 5 at 14 Leo (and pay attention to any planets or points you have along the retrograde path).

Jupiter has moved into Virgo and will stay there until September 9, 2016, shifting the emphasis from fiery Leo to earthy Virgo to details, efficiencies and practical considerations. If we are going to do something with all of that creative inspiration that’s been flooding all summer, Jupiter’s year-long residency in Virgo will be essential in making it real.

There is another piece about Jupiter that is building that you’ll want to keep an eye on. Jupiter made its first exact square to Saturn back around August 4th and it will make two more exact hits in March and May of next year. This is an important cycle, and the waxing square of the cycle that began the last time they were conjunct in May of 2000. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and Saturn is the planet of contraction. When these two planets work together, they can be incredibly productive. When they fight, there’s a struggle.

Jupiter represents liberalism and Saturn represents conservatism. This square is in the US chart, and shows the continual conflict we experience between those poles. We’ll get an idea of which way we’re turning in this country after May next year. If you have planets or points near 13 Virgo/Sagittarius or even Pisces and Gemini, keep your eye on this one. If you’re trying to build or create something, watch for a tension between solidifying and expanding. Avoid too much of either.

As you set your intentions for this month, particularly in matters of your heart, your passions, your creative-self, find the sign Leo in your chart. See what house it’s in for an insight into the area of life that will be activated. Don’t let this new moon slip by without taking a chance on being fully who you can be.

Full Moon | July 31, 2015

(c) Pat Collins 2011

Lynne’s Wild Berry & Rhubarb Pie (c) Pat Collins 2011

This full moon is shining its light on a lot of Leo planets. There will be as many as four planets in Leo during this lunar cycle before it begins to shift into Virgo. So let’s begin by shining a little light on Leo first.

Each sign connects to and reflects upon the sign that came before it. Aries, the impulse to life; Taurus, holding ground; Gemini, reaching out; Cancer, going home. Then Leo. Moving past the family, past being member of tribe. What about me? It is the stage in human development where we need to ask the question, what’s so special about me?

None of us was put on this planet to be a cookie cutter of those who became before. We are special and we need to embrace who we are and why we’re here. Leo is creative and dramatic, playful and a risk taker. So let’s have some fun. In this lunation cycle—from this full moon until the new moon on August 14th, there will almost always be four planets in Leo. A few hours after the full moon, Venus is returning to Leo after briefly dipping her toe in Virgo. When Mercury leaves Leo, Mars enters the following day. No better time than right now to put energy into your creative passion or project.

One thing to keep an eye on is the inconjunct from the Sun to Neptune. Neptune rules imagination and the vision. An inconjunct (aka quincunx) is a challenging aspect but not in any direct or clear way. Let’s just say it has potential but it’s going to take some adjustment to realize it. So whether you are working on a project for work, or whether you’re carving a sculpture, you may find that you need to make adjustments to the original vision to accomplish your goal. The challenge for Leo is that it is a fixed sign and it doesn’t really like to change course once it’s decided how it’s going to be.

This is a full moon, so the task is to integrate the energy of all of those Leo planets with the Moon in Aquarius. Where the theme song for Leo might very well be Love Me Do, the theme song for Aquarius might be You Don’t Own Me. Where Leo is fixed fire, Aquarius is fixed air. Both of them are stubborn but where fire is hot, air is cool. Where Leo is personal, Aquarius is scientific. Aquarius wants to know where the creative act or product or passion or risk fits into the larger common good. And that maybe a good question to ask of Neptune. How does this vision, this creative product, or risk you’re taking fit into the big picture? Adjust as needed.

There are two other important things going on that are making the Leo party a little less festive. One is the square between Uranus and Mars. You may have been feeling lately that all your best laid plans are betraying you. The good news is that this influence is waning. You’re likely in the stage of figuring out what’s next.

The other important cosmic activity right now is the forming square between Jupiter and Saturn. It makes its first direct square in two days. Then it will form two exact conjunctions in March and May of next year. Just like the Sun and Moon have cycles, and like the cycle of Uranus and Pluto that we just experienced, all planetary pairs have cycles. This one, Jupiter and Saturn, is noteworthy.

Jupiter is the principle of growth and expansion. Saturn is the principle of contraction and limitation. When they are working together, it can be very, very productive. But when they are at odds, it can feel like every door you try to open is locked. One of the ways to get a sense of what it means is to look at it in the US chart. Jupiter and Saturn are in square there. The principal of liberalism (Jupiter) and the principle of conservatism (Saturn) butt heads. The cycle always begins when the two planets are conjunct. This cycle started back in 2000-2001 so where we are now is related to where we were then. We are in the middle of a crisis that will tell the tale about where we are going.

The good news is that though it does bring crisis, it also produces breakthroughs. I have the square in my own chart and my experience is that it calls for persistence; the ability to get up and keep moving. Keep the focus on your north star and trust that any blocks you are encountering, any frustration you are feeling is guiding you to where you need to be.

Enjoy the two weeks of this lunation cycle. Make room for your heart’s desire.

New Moon in Cancer 2015

(c) Pat Collins

(c) Pat Collins

After years of new moons and full moons that have focused attention on the outer planets, this one is more about the personal planets. The personal planets are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. In their most stripped down symbolism they represent who we are, what we need, what we think, what we feel and what we want.

Right now they are all lined up together, starting in Cancer and ending in the neighboring sign of Leo. Only 45 degrees apart, which is a semi-square aspect to astrologers, half of a square. A tense configuration that begs resolution, with some danger of harshness along the way. So let’s unpack this.

First, the new moon is in Cancer, the sign that follows the fact-gathering sign of Gemini. It rules the home and the family–a tender and vulnerable place. It rules pregnancy–the act of taking it in, gestating it, and putting it back out again. It’s a good place to go to process the information we’ve gathered over the last few years.

Now’s the time to go home to what we feel about where the last few years have taken us. What do we think about where we are right now? What do we need and what do we want? This is both on the level of the macrocosm and the microcosm.

Greece, is the great big case in point, with flashing neon lights all around it. This is about what the people need, what they want, what they think, who they are. That’s the Mercury, Mars, Moon, and Sun in Cancer, which also rules the populace. On the other side of the chart, stands Pluto the powerful in the sign of Capricorn, the home of governments and corporations. Here we see the powerful wielding their demands over the people for something that they, in fact, set up. Germany taking the lead in this is more than a little ironic because some 60 years ago, Greece forgave Germany’s debts.

This is a battle that has been going on since we were gathering in caves around a campfire. Most people want to feel secure, at home, surrounded by friends and family and good feelings. But there is this other group that is never satisfied. They want more, more of whatever it is that’s caught their eye. It seems fitting that this fight is taking place in Greece, the seat of western civilization. The spiritual descendants of those who wanted more in the cave have formed corporations and taken over governments. They are the ones who want to own all the water, dump their waste into the sea and sky, grab all the money, make seeds sterile so that we can only buy from them. They are exhausting.

This new moon calls on us to reflect on that on a global level, and to give attention to our own needs and wants and the balance of power in our own lives. What do we give our power to? Is it consistent with our thoughts? Is it in alignment with what we value? We live in such a busy, fast-paced and distracting world that it can be difficult sometimes to really give attention to those questions. Now is the time to pause and reflect, to find our way back home.

The other part of the picture is what is taking place in the neighboring sign, Leo. Venus and Jupiter are brilliant and beautiful in the night sky right now, clearly visible soon after the sun goes down. This conjunction forms every two years, but this one is special because Venus is about to go retrograde. Because of the retrograde, these two planets will meet again, twice more until late October. This gives us a good long time to feel big feelings, and to really give ourselves over to the lessons of love. Right now, while they are in Leo, the focus is on romantic love, on our babies both physical and metaphorical. When these planets finally part, it will be in Virgo and it will have a very different flavor.

This New Moon brings us an opportunity to connect with ourselves, our families, with the people we love and who make us feel at home. As always, there are some cautions—some things to watch.

Jupiter makes things bigger. It “overs” things. With Venus, it’s the feelings that can get big and overwhelming. Watch for over consumption, especially of things like sweets and luxury items. Watch for feeling emotionally overwhelmed. If you can be in it and hold your center, that’s good. But if you need help, reach out. If you see others in this state, it’s okay to let them be in it, but be alert to those who may need help.

The other caution has to do with the conjunction between Mars and Mercury. At the moment of the New Moon, which colors the upcoming month, Mars is 10 seconds ahead of Mercury. That’s tight. I’ve got that same kind of closeness between those two planets in my own life so I’ve had a lot of time to observe how it functions. The combination symbolizes a very quick mind and a quick tongue. When Mars precedes Mercury, the danger is that action may precede thought; words may be used as weapons. Pay attention to any sense that you absolutely have to say or do it right now. Impulsive words and actions are not your friend.

That brings us back to my comment about the semi-square aspect between Mars/Mercury in mid-Cancer and Venus/Jupiter at the end of Leo. Big love/big emotion is in one hand; impulsive and harsh thinking/speaking in the other. And they are connected by an aspect that may be hard to see coming—a tension between the big love, the big feeling and the inclination to speak or act impulsively and harshly.

The good news is that Saturn, the cosmos’ stop sign is in a nice trine to the New Moon. You can access discipline. You can exercise restraint. You can stop yourself. If you think for the tiniest nanosecond that maybe you shouldn’t say or do it, don’t. Pluto is right there, opposing Mars/Mercury. What Pluto does cannot be undone.

With that one big caution, enjoy this midsummer. Let yourself feel what you are feeling, dance with the muse, but think before you speak, pause and consider before you do. Somehow, through all of this, consider what it is that makes you home. Find your way there.

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