In the Pacific Time Zone, the Moon will be full at 11:31 a.m. on Tuesday, August 1. With this Full Moon, the Sun in Leo will be in opposition (180°) to the Moon in Aquarius. To further clarify how this Full Moon will impact you on a personal level, locate 9°15’ of Leo and 9°15’ of Aquarius in your birth/natal chart. The issues associated with those two houses are going to be most impacted by this Full Moon’s presence. (NOTE: Click here to learn how to find the transiting Moon in your chart.)
As some of you may remember, I admitted that writing the last Moon Update was rather challenging due to the large number of important astrological events occurring simultaneously. This Moon Update is challenging, too, but for a different reason. I need to share some potentially difficult energy patterns, but I want to do so in a way that reminds all of us that we have free will choice regarding how we choose to manage them.
My theoretical orientation as an astrologer includes what is referred to as “choice-centered astrology.” I firmly believe (and have personally experienced) that astrology is an amazingly helpful tool. It provides us with the information we need in order to make informed choices. Those who aren’t “into” astrology, don’t have this advantage. Sometimes this information will tell us that there is a potentially beneficial path, and we can choose to take advantage of these supportive energies by “going for it.” Other times, like now, the indications tell us that we need to be careful and choose to pull back on the reins a bit rather than let the proverbial horse run wild.
I hope that Theodore Roosevelt will forgive my alterations to his famous quote in the title of this Moon Update. I wanted to provide you with a fun way to remember to use your astrological tools. Around the time of this Full Moon, we will need to choose to speak softly and choose to use our magic wands (i.e., the knowledge gained through astrology) to effectively navigate the currents (or, more accurately, the rapids) of the energy that will be flowing around us. It is up to us to decide whether or not we choose to use our wand.
Let’s begin with a general description of an Aquarius Full Moon. As is true with all Full Moons, they invite us to find a better balance between the qualities of the 2 signs involved. This time, those signs are Leo and Aquarius:
- Leo: The best qualities include being self-confident, proud, big hearted, loving, romantic, idealistic, loyal, and serving as a leader. The lower expression can involve being overly dramatic, attention seeking, prideful, and self-centered.
- Aquarius: The higher expression of this sign includes being independent, inventive, humanistic, social, tolerant, and intuitive. The lower expression could mean feeling responsible for everything and everyone, rebellious, eccentric, and stubborn.
All astrological signs that are in opposition (180°) to each other tend to (a) involve contradictory qualities and (b) focus on two very different areas of life. Although they may seem diametrically opposed to each other, each one is actually more powerful when they find ways to work together. This Leo-Aquarius opposition is no different. For example, I always believe that one very effective way to balance the needs of Leo and Aquarius is by (a) finding ways to express our unique gifts from a heart-centered place (Leo) and (b) in a way that serves the greater good or humanity (Aquarius).
As is true with all Full Moons, the Sun and Moon are in opposition (180°) to each other. This time, they are both squaring (90°) Jupiter, which forms one of those t-square (right triangles) that we talk about so often. Jupiter is considered the “focal planet” of this t-square because the Sun and Moon are both squaring it. The focal planet often shows us a way to channel the energy generated by the planets that are in opposition. This makes the focal planet a very important part of any chart.
Many of you have also heard me refer to Jupiter as “the happy-happy planet.” It includes the qualities of lightheartedness and optimism, and it is also associated with wisdom. It can even be lucky (e.g., being in the right place at the right time). If we use our free will choice and our magic wand to access the higher expression of Jupiter, it has the potential to lighten the mood of this Aquarius Full Moon.
However, that lighter energy may not be easy to tap into. T-squares always create a great amount of tension. They demand change. There are different types of t-squares, and the most challenging type is when the planets forming it are all located in fixed signs. The current t-square is one of those. It is a very strong “fixed t-square”: i.e., Jupiter is located in Taurus, the Sun is in Leo, and the Moon is in Aquarius.
Fixed t-squares can result in a great deal of frustration because (a) the t-square is telling us to change but (b) fixed signs don’t want to change. Instead, fixed signs want to dig in their heels and stay where they are. Jupiter (i.e., the focal planet) is associated with beliefs and values. Because of the fixed signs, we could find ourselves stubbornly digging in our heels (fixed signs) about certain topics based on our moral/ethical beliefs (Jupiter). This could lead to being self-righteous, which often results in major problems within our close relationships or social contacts.
Additionally, Jupiter is all about expanding. Remember, the t-square are encouraging “change,” so expanding would be congruent with Jupiter’s energy. However, once again, we have a contradictory energy. The fixed signs don’t want to expand or change.
There are many different ways we may react to this tension-filled t-square configuration. Just some possibilities include:
- Feeling irritated and frustrated.
- Feeling pulled in two directions that each feel equally important.
- Taking impulsive actions simply to discharge some of the frustrated energy.
- Jupiter can cause us to take things too far, and this could result in accidents or illness.
- Feeling struck or frozen because we don’t know what to do.
We do need to remember that t-squares do call for change, and we shouldn’t avoid this important impetus. Clearly, something in our life needs to move to a new level.
This is when I recommend that we pull out our magic wand for guidance. For example:
- Depending on the situation, we may be able to tap into the higher qualities of Jupiter. For example, we MAY be able to carefully use humor to defuse certain situations. Or, we could reframe a situation in a positive way. Also, we should always check to make sure that our choices and actions are guided by wisdom (versus being impulsive).
- I believe that guidance is also provided by Saturn’s prominent position during this Full Moon. It is in oppositions (180°) to 3 planets: Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The Mercury-Saturn opposition is extremely powerful because it is exact at 0°03’. How does Saturn help us? Jupiter, as the focal planet in the t-square, is telling us to expand and take big leaps forward; however, Saturn advises us that it would be more effective if we slow down. It’s not that we don’t want to move forward, but baby steps are probably better than big leaps right now. If we choose to tap into the energy of the ringed planet, it may help us to set boundaries with ourselves and with others so we don’t go too far. It has the potential to also help us recognize our limits and look for ways to make our lives more manageable.
- Although Jupiter can be optimistic, the exact Mercury-Saturn opposition (180°) mentioned in the last bullet often brings pessimistic thinking. In fact, we may experience both optimism and pessimism, but at different times or in different areas of our lives. Whenever possible, it will likely be helpful to seek balance between these tendencies (i.e., avoid being overly positive or overly negative). This Mercury-Saturn opposition is traditionally associated with an increased chance of arguments, especially over boundaries or limits . A more productive use of this energy is to spend a few days by ourselves reviewing a recent problem to make sure we haven’t missed anything.
- In general, these 3 oppositions (180°) involving Saturn likely means that there will be a serious tone to our thinking (Mercury) and our actions (Mars), especially involving our relationships and/or finances (Venus). Some of us may feel hyper-sensitive, especially to any perceived criticism. We may feel tongue-tied and unable to express what we really mean and/or feel our actions are being blocked in some way. All of this can result in resentment or frustration. This isn’t a good time to make any important financial or relationship decisions. Again, it could be a good time to pull inward and let the dust settle before taking any major actions.
Unfortunately, a square (90°) between Venus and Uranus doesn’t help matters within our relationships. We may not see eye to eye with loved ones, and there may be a struggle between freedom versus intimacy. Agreeing to disagree may be the best choice. Unexpected events in our relationships or finances are possible during this time, especially if someone or something has been limiting our freedom and individuality in some way.
There is a trine (120°) between Mars and Jupiter, which normally means that we feel ready and able to make decisions and move forward toward achieving our goals. It often provides us with a great deal of energy, enthusiasm, and exuberance. However, trines have two sides to them. Normally, they are very supportive aspects. But, the energy of a trine is so easy and “free-flowing” that it can cause us to “go too far” because there is nothing there to obstruct the flow. In the current situation, this has the potential to make matters worse because (a) Mars is the action planet and (b) the Achilles Heel of Jupiter is taking things too far. Again, we need to pull out our magic wands (i.e., informed choice through astrological knowledge) and use Saturn to slow down and not overdo anything.
Adding to the challenge of this time period is a planetary configuration referred to as a yod. Normally, I don’t talk too much about this configuration because it’s not as powerful as some of the other configurations (e.g., t-squares). However, the orbs between the 3 planets that are forming this yod are very tight, with only about 2° between them. That increases the power of this yod substantially.
Yods are formed by two inconjuncts (150°) pointing toward a third planet. The formation looks like an isosceles triangle, and it is sometimes referred to as the “Finger of God” or the “Finger of Fate.” The planet at the apex of the 2 inconjuncts is considered the “focal planet.”
Yods often represent turning points in life, but this often comes through dealing with a crisis of some sort. Although yods can lead to transformations that can be life-changing, inconjuncts (and yods) are never easy. Frankly, they are often experienced as irritating. And given the irritation and frustration that is likely due to the fixed t-square discussed previously, this could be an added challenge.
Similar to t-squares, yods tell us that change is needed. However, the change required often means adjustments that involve making sacrifices on both sides of an issue. It’s like a lose-lose scenario that ultimately leads to a win. However, the most common reaction to a yod is to want to avoid or ignore it because it’s not fun. But, that would be a wasted opportunity. If we pick up our magic wand and consciously choose to deal with it, great things are possible.
How can we tap into the potential of this yod? Neptune and Pluto are forming the inconjuncts to the focal planet of Venus. As you may remember from the last Moon Update, Venus is currently in retrograde. This adds a layer of complexity when dealing with this yod. Without going into a lot of detail, this is likely a good time to pull inward and dive deep into the work of Venus retrograde. We need to spend time alone thinking about what we desire at this point in our lives. It’s important to explore how to create greater harmony and balance, as well as what our possessions and/or resources mean to us.
But remember, at the time of the Full Moon, this Venusian exploration is occurring in the context of a yod. Consequently, we may suddenly realize that in order to achieve what we desire, we will have to make some tough adjustments/sacrifices. If we are willing to let go of something (probably multiple somethings), we may experience a transformation that could be life-changing. For some people, it may lead to using our heart-centered desires to make a real difference in the world.
And one final reminder: We are still under the powerful influence of the squares (90°) between Pluto and the North and South Nodes. Over the past week, there were 3 times when these squares were exact (i.e., July 22, 25, and 28). The influence of these squares has been present throughout the end of July and will continue through the early part of August. Rather than “recreate the wheel,” here is what I said about this in the last Moon Update:
“This may be a time when many of us recognize that a relationship, situation, or even a way of being in the world needs to come to a natural end. Although this change may have been brewing for some time, we find we are ready to courageously make the final break. We may suddenly see that if we remain, it could cause us to have doubts about our ability to pursue our dreams or goals and, thereby, limit our freedom and independence. There could be some drama associated with this choice, especially if we try to use the lower expression of Pluto to force someone to understand our decision. We need to access the higher expression of Pluto’s energy and use our personal power to express what we need in a healthy and mature way. If emotions are heightened, it may help to remember that these will pass.”
Overall, this Aquarius Full Moon will require us to pull out our magic wands and make informed choices about how we want to use and react to the energies involved. The latter part of July and early August are volatile and may not be easy. But our magic wands can help us avoid any major fall-out or regrets. In general, we need to use Saturn’s influence to slow down, set healthy boundaries, and avoid taking on too much. This is a good time to work alone, build in time to breathe, and review recent tasks to make sure we haven’t missed something important. Mercury did just move into Virgo on Friday, July 28, so this is a good time to pay attention to details. But Venus is in retrograde through all of August (i.e., until September 3), and it is the focal planet of the current yod. We are being encouraged to spend time reviewing, reevaluating, and rediscovering what we truly value and desire. As I said in the last Moon Update, Venus retrograde is a relatively rare and important time when we are being given a chance to revisit what feeds our soul or gives our life passion. Because Venus is currently traveling through Leo, it’s likely that this inner work will require that we open our hearts and let go of any ego attachments. The current Aquarius Full Moon is a great time to explore this idea because it tells us we all have something very important to create and then give to the world.
- Anne Reith, Ph.D.©
THIS FULL MOON
Full Moon at 9°15’ of Aquarius
- Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 11:31 a.m. PDT
- Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 2:31 p.m. EDT
- Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 6:30 p.m. GMT
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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.