FULL MOON IN ARIES – Suggestions for coping with the current volatile energy due to Mars in retrograde (October 1, 2020)

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.

Astrology-New-Moon-Full-MoonIn the Pacific Time Zone, the Moon will be full at 2:05 p.m. on Thursday, October 1.  With this Full Moon, the Sun in Libra will be in opposition (180°) to the Moon in Aries.  To further clarify how this Full Moon will impact you on a personal level, locate 10° of Libra and 10° of Aries in your birth/natal chart.  The issues associated with those two houses are going to be most impacted by this Full Moon’s presence.

With all Full Moons, we are being asked to evaluate whether or not we are effectively balancing two seemingly opposite ways of approaching our lives.  Aries is about independence, action, and energy, but its lower expression can include being competitive, impulsive, or even aggressive.  Libra is the sign of cooperation, harmony, graciousness, and diplomacy, but it can be indecisive.  As usual, the Full Moon is telling us that neither side of this continuum should be emphasized.  Our goal will be to find ways to address both approaches to life. 

All Full Moons tend to be emotional times.  This time, the Moon, which represents our emotions is in the fire sign Aries.  The good news is that this placement of the Moon does provide us with emotional energy; therefore, we may feel more “alive” if we are involved in something that creates excitement and allows for spontaneity.  However, it could lead to some fiery emotional outbursts (see later discussion about Mars in retrograde) and/or impulsive, emotionally-based actions.  Hopefully the balance provided by the Libra Sun will supply us with an awareness that being assertive (Aries) is fine, but saying things in a diplomatic and gracious way (Libra) usually increases our chances of actually getting what we want.

During this Full Moon, the Sun and Moon square (90°) Jupiter, which is one of the three planets currently grouped together in Capricorn (i.e., Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto).  Although the orb for these squares is wide (almost 9°), it still reminds us that the influence of Capricorn is hard to avoid right now.  As we have observed all year, the Cap energy is substantially changing some major foundations and structures in all of our lives, both on a personal and societal level.  If we can tap into the positive qualities of Jupiter during this Full Moon, we may tap in a supply of much-needed wisdom, ethics, and far-sightedness that will help us seek solutions that “meet the needs of the many rather than the needs of a few . . . or the one” (based on a Star Trek quote). 

However, the lower expression of Jupiter could indicate that patience is running out, and frustrations may come to a boiling point.  This possible outcome is, in part, due to retrograde Mars squaring (90°) all three of those planets in Capricorn, including an exact (less than 1°) square to Saturn.  The higher expression of this aspect is that Saturn could provide us with more patience and discipline.  However, a square between Mars and Saturn usually indicates frustrations and feeling thwarted in our efforts to get what we want.  In the days after the Full Moon, Mars will form squares to both Jupiter and Pluto, both of which tend to illicit feelings of frustration and a lack of patience.  Given the current social and political issues that are being dealt with in the USA and even throughout the world, I think it’s safe (and sad) to say that the chances of continued or increased unrest are greater than usual for the entire month of October. 

Several of my students have recommended that I share the following insights with you regarding Mars in Aries, which is currently moving deeper into its retrograde phase.  As a reminder, Mars is the planet that goes retrograde least often (i.e., only every 2.2 years), which means it’s always a big deal.  However, this time, Mars is moving through its home sign of Aries.  Whenever a planet is in the sign that it rules, the planet’s energy is amplified.

Mars represents energy.  But when Mars is in its own sign, that energy is like a firecracker.  I do not remember where I read this analogy to a firecracker, but it’s apropos right now.  Firecrackers can be exciting.  They are also hard to ignore.  Additionally, a firecracker must be ignited with fire.  So, the entire time that Mars is in Aries (until January 7, 2021), we will be seeing energy that is congruent with Aries, including being courageous and confident, but it can also be impatient, impulsive, and self-centered.

But there’s a twist to the firecracker analogy.  Mars is currently in retrograde in Aries.  The fact it’s in retrograde doesn’t mean that the analogy to a firecracker is no longer accurate.  Whenever a planet is in retrograde, this means that its energy is turned inward.  In the case of Mars (energy) in Aries (energy), this means that we are experiencing a time when energy is doubled AND it’s turned inward. 

Therefore, a good analogy might be that the firecracker is now inside a pressure cooker.  This description is not meant to be frightening.  The advantage of astrology is that we are provided with insights that allow us to make informed choices.  Astrology is all about possibilities, potentialities, and free will choice!  So, how can this analogy help us right now?  Those of us who are into astrology are being shown that the current struggles due to the fallout from the global pandemic, the social justice issues, politics (in the USA), and even the fires devasting the Western USA, are consistent with the idea of a firecracker that is under pressure.  And by the way, my assistant Tanya, wisely pointed out that this could also mean that the firecracker is “blowing things up” internally for some of us (i.e., issues that have resisted change in the past and needed a more “drastic force” in order to heal).  I know this is true for me and several people I know.    

We have the advantage of this perspective.  Whether it’s external explosions or internal implosions, we need to all be patient with the process.  This, too, shall pass (although not for several more months).  We also need to find ways to vent the pressure.  Even a pressure cooker has a valve on the top to let off steam!  Physical activity is a good outlet, but so, too, is talking/venting with like-minded others or even journaling.

Now, back to the Full Moon.  We are being given a special gift of a very spiritually-focused sextile (60°) between Jupiter and Neptune.  Sextiles are supportive, but they are subtle.  They can easily be missed unless we consciously choose to access the support that they provide.  If we can quiet our minds and connect with God/Spirit/Source, we may be able to see what is happening from a deeper and broader perspective.  This Jupiter-Neptune sextile is also a very soothing energy, which we can all choose to access. 

Just some final notes on this Aries Full Moon. 

  • Chiron is conjunct (0°) the Moon and in an opposition (180°) to the Sun. This could cause us to feel vulnerable and lack self-confidence.  But it could also shed light (Sun) on any codependent tendencies and remind us that healthy relationships involve a balance between “me” and “we.”
  • Mercury in Scorpio has no major aspects to it at the time of the Full Moon. This is worth mentioning because it’s rare for Mercury to not be in aspect to something else.  It could mean that our minds are whirling away with non-stop thinking (Mercury) about very deep issues (Scorpio).  This could even veer into excessive worrying or talking.  Or this lack of aspects could manifest as feeling mentally a bit alone and isolated, as if there aren’t others that share our perspectives.  But this influence will be fleeting (just a few days), so we shouldn’t “buy into” this perception of isolation. 
  • Additionally, there is a very supportive trine (120°) between Venus and Mars occurring at the time of this Full Moon. This could help us more easily use the gracious, diplomatic Libra Sun energy within our relationships.  This could be especially true within romantic partnerships but it can influence all pairings. 
  • Also, both Venus and Mars are in trines (120°) to the South Node and are in sextiles (60°) to the North Node. This could mean we are more easily able to tap into wisdom from the past to make very productive and healthy changes moving forward within our partnerships (and finances could also be influenced). 

Right before the Full Moon (Monday, September 28), the log-jam of retrograde planets eases as Saturn begins moving direct again in Capricorn.  Individually, we may have spent the last few months thinking about how we wanted to change structure in our lives, and clearly society has been doing the same.  On a broader level, society may see more changes in societal structure that involve our leaders, power, authority, and government.  Over the next few days and weeks, we may personally feel that our path is clearer and that we are ready to start moving in a new direction.  However, Saturn is patient and reminds us that if we try to change things too quickly, then the foundation of our new endeavor may not be secure enough to withstand long term growth.  (Mars in retrograde also says it’s time to slow down and re-evaluate our actions.)  One final note:  Saturn demands that we be mature and willing to take on the responsibilities needed to get the job done, so it is important to take the time to make sure we are headed in a direction we are ready to commit to for the long-haul. 

Venus will endeavor to help us feel more reasonable when it enters Virgo on Friday, October 2.  It will remain in this sign through the end of the month.  Our expressions of love will be more practical (e.g., offering to do errands) than romantic.  Being of service to those we love or care about will likely be very rewarding.  We probably won’t mind doing work that involves details, especially if it’s done for someone or something that we care about.  Our approach to finances will also be practical, careful, and grounded.  It’s unlikely that we will feel overly extravagant right now, both with expressions of love and spending.  Within our relationships, we may feel very loyal, but emotionally we could be more reserved.  We do have to be careful not to become overly critical or picky in our relationships. 

On Sunday, October 4, Pluto is the next planet to end its annual retrograde period and begin moving direct again.  This small planet is a slow-mover, so it will take several days or even a few weeks before it picks up steam.  However, it is important to mention that in the days before and after changing direction, a planet is usually more powerful than usual. Why is this important?  Within a few days of going direct (Friday, October 9), Pluto will square (90°) retrograde Mars.  This square could pack a powerful punch.  Pluto is about transformation, and its focus is on the use of power versus force.  We may be ready to speak up if we feel that our individuality (Mars) is being overpowered by someone or by a group (Pluto).  On a societal level, power struggles are more likely to happen now, especially if they involve perceived inequities.  If we can take a step back and breathe, Pluto can promote deep healing.  It can also reveal things previously hidden from view and help us work together toward a solution.  But this aspect could go the other direction; e.g., we could see the calculated use of force to squash whatever is perceived to be a threat. 

Then on Tuesday, October 13, Mercury will begin its final retrograde period of 2020.  If you haven’t had a chance to read our discussion about this in the last Moon Update, I encourage you to do so.  I explain the potential impact on the 2020 presidential election in the USA and make some recommendations.   Mercury will begin moving direct again on November 3, which is our election day in the United States.  As with all retrograde periods, it’s an important time to turn inward.  Given it’s occurring in Scorpio, it’s an opportunity for all of us to look deep within our psyches for the answers that we seek.  This may involve hidden truths being revealed and/or seeking to understanding our own motives or the motives of others. 

Overall, this Full Moon in Aries is asking us to find a healthy balance between our needs for independence and cooperation.  Given the volatile energy swirling around us, we all need to make extra efforts to be patient, understanding, and tolerant.  If we do feel that we need to speak up, it’s advisable to pick our battles carefully.  We may also want to take time to think through our actions, which may help us discover a strategic approach that was previously hidden from view.  The sweet sextile between Jupiter and Neptune can help us tap into our spirituality, but only if we consciously choose to do so.  Having a spiritual perspective can be very beneficial while we are individually and collectively going through a period of time when so much in our lives is no longer stable.  I think we can all agree that in several areas of our lives there’s no going back to how things were.  Our only choice is to move forward.  It will help if we can remember that everything happening now is part of a Divine plan to move humanity in a new and healthier direction.  So remember, “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together” (Marilyn Monroe). 


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  • Anne Reith, Ph.D. (AnneReith.com)
  • For information about Dr. Reith’s downloadable eBooks and meditations, feel free to visit her online Store


  • The Mountain Astrologer (magazine)
  • Various online sources (e.g., www.cafeastrology.com)


  • New Moons and Full Moons often influence us for the 3 days before and 3 days after the actual event.


Full Moon at 10° of Aries

  • Thursday, October 1, 2020, 2:05 p.m. PDT
  • Thursday, October 1, 2020, 5:05 p.m. EDT
  • Thursday, October 1, 2020, 9:05 p.m. GMT

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