Flying through the Storm
Full Moon in Aquarius offers a vision of how to express our unique individuality within the Big Picture of transpersonal evolution, without shutting down or spinning out. The Mars-Uranus-Node conjunction challenges us to keep moving, while Venus reminds us to celebrate the beauty all around us.
Then the storm broke,
and the dragons danced.
~ George R.R. Martin, Fire & Blood
FULL MOON in AQUARIUS
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Aug. 11, 2022, 9:35 PM EDT
Aug. 12, 2022, 2:35 AM BST
Aug. 12, 2022, 11:35 AM AEST
There's not much to talk about in the Aquarius Full Moon chart. ...well, unless you count the massive T‑square aspect pattern! This configuration sucks up almost all the planetary atmosphere in the chart, consisting of 5, count 'em, five planets plus the North Lunar Node. That's literally half the chart!
It starts with the Sun-Moon opposition (a.k.a. the Full Moon axis), with the Sun in Leo and Moon in Aquarius. Leo embodies our individuality, self-expression, identity and sense of self. Aquarius, on the other hand, is a whole bunch of individuals – groups, friends, associates, clubs, the collective. In a way, Leo says "Look what I can do!" Aquarius says, "If one person can do that, just think what a bunch of people can do together!"
However, in order to participate as a member of a group, it's usually necessary to give up some of your individuality and distinct personhood. That's not an easy directive for the Sun/Leo part of you whose primary purpose is to cultivate that distinct personhood. So, when you set out to become part of the Aquarian collective, it can feel like a sacrifice to the Leo part of you that longs for recognition and appreciation for the individual that you are.
Standing a few degrees away from the Moon is Saturn who rules Aquarius. Saturn's usual demeanour is to be serious, stern, and determined to stick to the plan – yes, even in rebellious, unconventional Aquarius.
It seems like an oxymoron that follow-the-instruction-manual Saturn turns out to be the driving force within nobody-tells-me-what-to-do Aquarius. Saturn is typically more concerned with authority, responsibility and obeying the rules, whereas Aquarius is famous for thumbing its nose at authority, breaking the rules, and seeing responsibility as something that just gets in the way of freedom.
The truth is they work best in balance. The Aquarian Moon urges us to break out of the past and discover a brighter future, while Saturn stands by like a watchful parent making sure that our rebellious Moon-child doesn't get too damaged. The end result could be called a polite yet persistent revolution.
Aquarius: Saturn vs Uranus
The individual is the collective, the collective is the individual.
~ Abhijit Naskar, Lives to Serve Before I Sleep
Saturn has been in a square aspect to Uranus since early 2020. Although their exact passes were all in 2021 (February, June and December), they were within a 6° orb from February to May in 2020 (closest in April, not exact), then from December 2020 to August 2021 and from October 2021 to February 2022, and finally from July to December 2022 (closest in October, not exact).
This long-term square aspect brings the two rulers of Aquarius into a confrontation with each other, generating a struggle between the different sides of Aquarius. Which side will win? The rebellious, contrary, defiant side that reflects Uranus' quest for uniqueness? Or the side that seeks to manifest equality and inclusivity for the greater good of all, which seems more like Saturn's mission to create a sustainable system?
This Saturn-Uranus struggle is both complex and complicated, intricate and easily destabilized. Among other things, Aquarius is about the group, which could be a group of friends, a family, a workplace, an organization of like-minded people, a country, or even our whole planet. It could even apply to the multiplicity of needs, desires, urges and priorities within a single individual.
Any group functions at its best when composed of individuals who are strong enough in their personal sense of self (Leo) that they can endure being part of a collection of others who are different from them to some extent (Aquarius).
This can help the group to be sustainable – stable enough that it can withstand the normal fluctuations of opinions, priorities and visions of what the group could/should be, yet flexible enough to grow and evolve. Too much rigidity means a group is likely to have problems because a healthy amount of diversity is suffocated.
Alternatively, too much disagreement and deviation can be a problem because its core of common purpose can become fragmented and fall apart. The goal is to develop a structure that allows for change and freedom to evolve, yet keeps that fluctuation contained within realistic parameters that can ensure it doesn't spin out of control.
This is the Fixed modality side of Aquarius, even though Aquarius tends to be associated with qualities that suggest a lack of constancy and stability. A group needs to be a dynamic, ever-evolving entity, and as such it requires a certain gravity of intention or shared quality that holds it together while it cycles through its changing stages of development.
Psychological researcher Bruce Tuckman called these stages Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. In other words: coming together for a particular purpose, working through the inevitable disagreements and issues, establishing a new common ground, and then getting on with what you're all there to do.
So, with Saturn and Uranus at odds with each other in the skies, it's a good bet that we – from the whole world, to our friends and associates, to our internal personal gestalt – are likely to encounter a storming phase within our shared developmental journeys. Storming is a tricky part of the process because if the containing structure isn't resilient enough, the core purpose could conceivably break or become seriously damaged – like shattered glass when you push on it hard enough. By the same token, if that structure is too rigid (in an effort to prevent that damage) it could stagnate or suffocate – like denying a plant water so that it doesn't become flooded.
You can't take three from two,
Two is less than three,
So you look at the four in the tens place.
Now that's really four tens
So you make it three tens,
Regroup, and you change a ten to ten ones,
And you add 'em to the two and get twelve,
And you take away three, that's nine.
Is that clear?
~ Tom Lehrer, New Math
Mars, Uranus, North Lunar Node and fixed star Algol – this group of celestial entities seems custom-made to stir up the Storming part of the evolutionary process!
Both Mars and Uranus are famous for their love of shaking things up and sweeping away the old which makes room for the new. When they join forces, this transformation can be swift, abrupt and sweeping, and sometimes reckless, ruthless or relentless. The Lunar Node acts like a magnifying glass, expanding and focusing the Mars-Uranus energy, which is now dissipating but still in effect.
Mars and Uranus have been within an 8° orb since July 20th and then go their separate ways after August 14th. They both came together precisely aligned with the North Lunar Node from July 31 to August 1. These 3 are still within less than 8 degrees.
Right now, Mars is tightly conjunct the fixed star Algol (*A) at 1:26 orb, becoming exact on August 14 and remaining within a 3° orb from August 9-19. Uranus is also in the vicinity but takes longer to catch up to Algol. The closest that Uranus gets to Algol in 2022 is on August 23 at a 7:33 orb.
(Uranus actually takes until July 20, 2024 before it finally reaches the exact conjunction with Algol. Although still 2 years off, Uranus conjunct Algol in 2024 should be quite the fireworks show, since Mars will have gone full circle and they all conjoin again in mid-July 2024 – in fact, on July 15 of that year, all three are at 26° Taurus within a tiny 10-minute orb. And the next time after that when Mars comes around again to party with Uranus it will be in July 2026, and by that time they will be in Gemini.)
Meanwhile in 2022 Mars and Uranus are still in Taurus, upsetting the applecart and turning all things Taurus into applesauce – the economy, budgets, food issues, inflation, supply chains, and taking stock of what you do and don't have. And just to make things extra "interesting" the Lunar Node is also widely conjunct Algol after their exact conjunction on Feb. 27 (in an 8° orb from September 2021 until August 2022).
The North Node amplifies the intensity, perseverance and passion of the Mars-Uranus-Algol applesauce. All of these 4 points together suggest that changes made while they are within orb are likely to be—or at least attempt to be—ground-breaking, no-nonsense, and hell-bent on breaking free of the plagues from the past that have complicated or held back necessary change.
Mars and Uranus don't want to waste time patiently untangling knots – their method is to just do what they need to do to get unstuck. Thankfully, Mercury in Virgo is just beginning his trine aspect to Uranus and the Node (roughly August 11-22), reaching exact on August 15-16. Mercury may be helpful at sifting through the Mars-Uranus-Node mashup, dealing with the tangles that require a more delicate touch, and making sure the best possible outcome is the result.
All in all, the Fixed T-square takes all that chaotic, intense, disruptive energy and strives to transform it into a healing process where revolution can achieve positive change that is sustainable, where the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Mini-Trine – Mars, Neptune, Pluto
Individuals make up groups and associations. When individuals are strong, associations are strong; as the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined. We do not want to be the weakest link that cuts a chain. Instead we want to be part of the strength in numbers.
~ Vincent Okay Nwachukwu, Weighty 'n' Worthy African Proverbs - Volume 1
As much as it might seem so, this Full Moon is not just a lot of struggle, argument, disruption and intensity. Luckily, there's an aspect configuration that I call a Mini-Trine, like half of a Grand Trine (also called a Small Talent Triangle in the Huber astrology system). It is formed by two planets in trine aspect (120°) and a third planet in sextile to both (60°). The overall effect combines easy-flowing potential with easily accessed ability to mix all of the energies together.
The advantages are powerful since it puts the opportunities, tools and materials (literally or figuratively) in your hands to bring something into being – in other words, the energies flow easily when you reach out to them.
The disadvantages are threefold. For one thing, this aspect pattern still requires your active participation – it doesn't usually just drop the gold ring in the palm of your hand; you still have to reach for it and apply effort. Secondly, this energy construct can be a case of "be careful what you ask for" or "just because you can doesn't always mean you should." And finally, although the aspects are cooperative and supportive, we're still talking about powerful transpersonal energies that broadcast at a larger-than-life frequency and can therefore be somewhat overpowering.
In this case, the Mini-Trine starts with the loooong-term transit of Neptune sextile Pluto. Their combined cycle is a fascinating and intricate one that deserves an article all its own. (If I could just find about 6 more hours in the day...) Suffice to say that at this stage of that cycle, the Neptune-Pluto sextile moves in and out of a 6° orb from 1940-2040, with 3 time ranges of exact passes: 1950-1956, 1976-1986 and 2026-2032. This current time segment has been building since 2020 and remains in orb until 2035.
Neptune and Pluto bring together a powerful mixture of idealism and transformation. If Neptune is a magical aura that can make life sparkle at its absolute best, then Pluto is a dark cave in which we're challenged to face and confront the hardest side of life. Together they can bring the best and the worst together like a brilliant starry night sky, or they can obscure hope and faith like a storm cloud that blocks the stars.
Remember that this is a very long-term, slow-moving process. This cycle began with the Neptune-Pluto conjunction that took place in the mid and late 1800s. We're talking about hugely transpersonal energies whose combined 500+ year cycle currently spans from the mid 1800s to the late 2300s, so its effects unfold slowly, gradually and largely in the background.
Back to the Now: Mars steps in to sextile Neptune and trine Pluto – positive, easy-going, creative aspects. Mars aims to take action that can bring out their best potential, just long enough to provide a more upbeat backdrop to the T-square intensity.
So, if that transformative T-square gets overwhelming, heavy, exhausting or draining, Mars can show you through a doorway into a more encouraging and enthusiastic perspective. In other words, Mars' message is that these Big difficulties and challenges are best viewed as a wobbly stepping stone on a longer pathway that leads to somewhere we can't see yet, and coming from a place we have largely left behind.
On a more personal level, Mars in Taurus says it can be very helpful to take one step at a time at a steady pace. Now: Mars' preference for speed, impulsive action and passionate style means he's likely to be less than happy with Taurus' slow, rhythmic, planned-out manner. However, Taurus can supply a healthy opportunity to pace your energy and avoid (or recover from) burnout. And since Mars has been conjunct Uranus for the last 3 weeks or so, he is moving on with a fresh agenda that mellows out all that heated excitement is probably a good thing. His encounter with Algol means the passion, intensity and risk are still there, but the Taurus calm can help to balance that out.
So: take some time to indulge in relaxation, creature comforts, pleasure, and enjoying the rewards of your labours. Get out of reaction mode and bring yourself back into your body. Centre and ground yourself by doing things that involve your body – exercise, yoga, walking, eating, or anything that uses the 5 senses; anything that hopefully sets your physical rhythm to a more even, leisurely pace.
Sabian Symbol for Aquarius 20: A big white dove, a message bearer.
Doves are usually synonymous with peace, especially in times of conflict or struggle. Birds in general usually symbolize communication of a spiritual nature – a message from the Universe. Doves in particular represent peace, spirituality, divine or sacred energy, attainment of success. The presence of a dove tends to be interpreted as a divine-sanctioned conclusion to a difficult mission.
In the context of this Full Moon chart, this Symbol suggests the possibility of success in recent struggles. Of course, success often means something totally different to those on opposing sides of an issue, so success in this case may not mean one side wins out over the other, but rather a compromise is reached or a kind of balance is established – composure, respite or relative calm after a conflict, for example.
Venus Dances Us Into the Light
I love the time and in between the calm inside me
In the space where I can breathe
I believe there is a distance I have wandered
To touch upon the years of reaching out and reaching in
Holding out, holding in
~ Elsewhere, by Sarah McLachlan
Venus is perhaps the planet best known for balance, harmony and agreement. She is currently at 0 degrees of Leo – an auspicious placement for finding an exuberant peace, especially on a personal level. With all this stress-laden, transpersonal energy lurking in the background, it's not hard for Leo's life spark to feel a bit lost in that larger-than-life heatwave.
With Venus in the first degree of Leo, it means there is raw potential when it comes to beauty, love, joy and delight. However, being at the beginning of the sign that energy is not yet clearly formed. Our ability to embrace and utilize these qualities will develop and blossom as she makes her way through Leo (Aug. 11 to Sep. 5).
Venus in Leo invites you to dance, to love, and to celebrate that which brings you pleasure. To participate in the new life that is forming within you and around you. To find what delights you and bring this into your life whenever the opportunity presents itself. To connect to your passion and joy, and to bring these with you into the shadows when you feel overwhelmed by struggle, stress and hopelessness.
Venus encourages us to embrace experiences that bring a little light into the moment: music, comedy, art, beauty, colour, fragrance, touch, taste, sound, movement, fun, games, play, etc. Venus is just ending her opposition to Pluto, so after her encounter with heaviness and darkness she's ready to party, frolic and dance.
So, let the Aquarian Full Moon bring you into a mindset that is engaged yet detached. Stay curious and open-minded to new perspectives. Saturn can be your anchor reminding you to stay connected to a central sense of purpose and intention, as you need to keep adjusting your stance to stay balanced amid the shifting sands of Mars and Uranus. Be aware that you play a small but significant role in the Big Picture of human evolution that is unfolding. And whatever else you're doing, keep dancing with Venus and the Sun in Leo!
The next update will be for the New Moon in Virgo on August 27, 2022. Until then, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you. ❤️
The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?
~ Dorothy Day
© 2022-08-11 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of green vortex by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay.com. Diagram of Bruce Tucker's Stages of Team Development © Atlassian.com. Painting The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, via Wikipedia. Sabian symbol image of dove by ELG21 via Pixabay.com.