FULL MOON IN LEO – The courage to change what needs to be changed (January 28, 2021)

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.

Intermediate Astrology CourseIn the Pacific Time Zone, the Moon will be full at 11:16 a.m. on Thursday, January 28.  With this Full Moon, the Sun in Aquarius will be in opposition (180°) to the Moon in Leo.  To further clarify how this Full Moon will impact you on a personal level, locate 10° of Aquarius and 10° of Leo in your birth/natal chart.  The issues associated with those two houses are going to be most impacted by this Full Moon’s presence.

Full Moons ask us to review how things are going in the two signs that are involved in the opposition.  Leo represents the qualities of self-confidence, loyalty, courageousness, and idealism.  At its best, Leo’s love is expressed from the heart.  The lower expression involves using love in order to get attention.  Aquarius, which is the other side of the Full Moon teeter-totter, includes the qualities of independence, humanitarianism, and tolerance.  It is a sign that can (stubbornly) feel responsible for everyone, including the entire world.  The lower expression can manifest as being idiosyncratic for shock value or seeking freedom through open rebellion.  Remember, the choice is always ours when it comes to how a sign is expressed. 

A rather typical interpretation of a Full Moon in Leo would include asking each of us to evaluate if we are using our unique gifts in a lovingly way (Leo) that gives back to humanity or the higher good (Aquarius).  I encourage you to keep that framework in mind as you read through the remainder of this Moon Update, because it is important during any Leo Full Moon to evaluate if we are using our gifts to serve others from a heart-centered place.  But there is so much more to discuss when it comes to this lunar event.

At the time of the Full Moon, the Sun is sandwiched between and conjunct (0°) both Jupiter and Saturn.  This means that all three are in opposition (180°) to the Moon.  But if that weren’t enough, the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon are all squaring (90°) Mars and Uranus, which are conjunct (0°) in Taurus.  All of this forms a right triangle in the sky above us, which is a planetary configuration called a t-square.  Squares always indicate that a change in direction is needed.  However, when there is a t-square, I always like to describe it like a horse that has a burr under its saddle.  This means that horse (us!) is going to “buck” in an effort to get rid of that burr (i.e., change something). 

If you count the number of planets mentioned in the paragraph above, it comes to six.  A t-square can be formed with only three planets, but this one includes six out of the ten planets.  Planets represent energy.  Given 60% of the planets are in this t-square configuration, this Full Moon is going to involve a lot of energy.  And as we will see, this energy is focused on change! 

The planet (or in this case planets) that are being squared by the other planets in the t-square is referred to as the focal point or focal planet(s).  The focal planet(s) provides guidance regarding how best to balance the opposing needs of the planets that are in opposition.  I often describe it as “the way out” of the opposition.  Mars and Uranus are the focal planets this time.  They are conjunct (0°), which means that their energies are blended together.  Mars represents action, courage, and individuality.  Uranus is known as the planet of change, and the changes can sometimes come through unexpected events.  When working together, this means that the Mars-Uranus combination will provide us with the energy we need to pursue our individual goals, and we will likely have the courage to meet any demands brought on by any Uranian surprises.  These unexpected events may cause us to reconsider the direction we are taking. 

Therefore, this Mars-Uranus combo gives us the courage to boldly pursue new things and even see things in new ways.  Luckily, both Mars and Uranus are located in slow and steady Taurus.  Although changes are definitely indicated and Mars is providing ample energy to pursue those changes, we can hope that the Taurean influence will help us move forward with patience.  Another benefit of having Uranus in Taurus is that whatever is shifting in our lives should be grounded, substantive, and lead to long-term satisfaction.   

During the last Moon Update the Mars-Uranus conjunct was also in close squares to Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius.  This time, we are adding the Sun in Aquarius, and we also have Mercury traveling through Aquarius at this time.  All of this means that Aquarian qualities are going to be an important part of the Leo Full Moon.  In fact, given the Great Mutation (AKA Grand Conjunction) described in the December 14 Moon Update, this is a time in humanity’s history when the sign of Aquarius is going to be prominent for some time to come.  However, this is especially true at the time of this Full Moon and the next New Moon on February 11.   

The Aquarian energy focuses on the collective and on the future.  It’s a progressive energy.  As we discussed in recent Moon Updates, our goal during 2021 (and beyond) will be to find a balance between the past and the future.  We can’t go back to how things were, but we also can’t move too rapidly into the future.  This is a time when we will all need an abundance of patience and a willingness to compromise.  It’s unlikely that any one group will get everything they want.  But luckily, Aquarius energy also wants what is “fair” and will strive to meet as many needs as possible. 

At the time of the Full Moon, Venus will be in an exact conjunct (0°) to Pluto.  For those in a romantic relationship, this can be a very passionate time.  But all of us will be feeling more confident and passionate about whatever we desire in our lives.  We may uncover previously hidden information, especially regarding any type of partnerships (e.g., love, business, etc.) and/or our finances.  Given Venus and Pluto are located in Capricorn, we will take our responsibilities seriously when it comes to going after what we want. 

Some support is available for navigating all of this during the Leo Full Moon.  The Moon is in a trine (120°) to Chiron, which means the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn trio in Aquarius are all in sextiles (60°) to Chiron.  Trines and sextiles are supportive energies, but Chiron adds a twist that may seem not-so-positive at first.  Chiron tells us that if we are willing to acknowledge our own pain, then the trines and sextiles will help us assist others in healing their pain.  They also will likely result in increased confidence and self-discipline, an ability to move beyond negative attitudes that may be undermining our progress, an openness to learn new things, and a willingness to see another’s point of view.  All of this can aid in problem solving, especially if we are focused on healing wounds, individually and/or collectively.  

Just two days after the Leo Full Moon (Saturday, January 30), Mercury begins its first of three retrograde phases during 2021.  This one will last until February 20.  As with any Mercury retrograde period, there is nothing to fear.  It simply is a time when our thoughts will be turned inward, which means everyone may not be as aware of their external worlds as they usually are.  This can lead to snafus and boo-boos because it’s harder than usual to pay attention to details while our minds are processing internally.  For this reason, it’s important to take the time to cross-check our work and to approach everyone with ample patience and a good sense of humor.  Given this specific retrograde phase will be occurring in Aquarius, which is such a prominent sign right now, this would be a good time for us to review, reflect on, reconsider, and reexamine (all the re-words) what has happened during the first month of 2021.  There is much to think about, lessons to be learned, and insights to be gained. 

Then on Monday, February 1, Venus joins the Aquarian bandwagon.  It will remain in that sign for almost the entire month of February (i.e., until February 26).  While Venus moves through the sign of the water bearer, we will feel inclined to explore relationships that are unconventional and that afford us individual freedom.  The need for freedom is very important, but it can sometimes come off as emotional detachment.  However, Venus in Aquarius can be very dedicated and faithful, as long as we are allowed to be ourselves and are not asked to conform.  We also are focused on the concept of fairness.  Assuming that freedom and fairness are present, there can be an unselfish quality to our interactions with others while Venus travels through Aquarius. 

Overall, this Leo Full Moon provides us with the courage that we need to take the next step forward.  Having Mars and Uranus in Taurus means that any changes need to be stable, grounded, and long-lived, which are the types of changes that usually take time to create.  Luckily, Taurus provides us with patience, which will hopefully slow down the “bullet train of change” to a manageable speed.  However, it is important to remind ourselves that the energy this entire month is unpredictable due to the strong influence of Uranus.  Breakdowns are possible, but these will likely lead to important breakthroughs because the mission of Uranus is to bring needed change.  Patience and compromise will be important now.  It is time for each of us to be courageous and step out of our comfort zone in some way.  Try something new, especially if doing so will allow us to give our unique gifts in service to humanity. 


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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 Leo

  • Thursday, January 28, 2021, 11:16 a.m. PST
  • Thursday, January 28, 2021, 2:16 p.m. EST
  • Thursday, January 28, 2021, 7:15 p.m. GMT

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