Each Other - Part 2
Aquarius is about "each other" in a different way than the Cancer New Moon. It's about community formed within groups and how we connect with each other on a collective level. At this Full Moon we explore who we are as individuals versus the groups we identify with.
FULL MOON in AQUARIUS
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Aug. 1, 2023, 2:31 PM EDT
Aug. 1, 2023, 7:31 PM BST
Aug. 2, 2023, 4:31 AM AEST
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
~ John Donne, No man is an island – A selection from the prose
Aquarius – the Forest or the Tree?
Aquarius looks at life and the world as if it's flying high above the landscape. From up there you can see forever, from here to waaay over there. Maybe even all the way to the future. Hey, you never know. In Aquarius, nothing is too strange to be possible. In fact, the weirder the better! Or at least different, unusual, original, unconventional or visionary.
From way up there you can see the whole forest without having to take stock of every individual tree. People too become parts of various groups that come together around shared interests or a common cause. Aquarius is where we can observe and understand life from a broader perspective. Other signs do this too, but Aquarius specializes in the alliances that people make.
Aquarius is known for being detached. It's not that people with strong Aquarius don't have feelings like the rest of us – of course they do. They just don't live there. Unless they have strong placements in Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), Aquarius usually prefers to fly through the Air element, detached and free. Feelings may be experienced more like a stone skipping across the water, touching on emotions and then processing it mentally or intellectually, or just moving on to the next experience.
The Full Moon in Aquarius gives us a chance to get in touch with the Aquarian side of our nature (and we all have one). It's the part that can be visionary, futuristic and open to new, unusual possibilities. It's the part that dares to detach from heavy emotions so that we can function in a tragic world without getting mired in depression, despair, or emotional exhaustion.
Aquarius and Cancer seem like strange bedfellows. The sign of Cancer is one of the most feeling-based signs in the zodiac, while Aquarius is arguably the least feeling-based. Again, we're talking about where you truly live in your psyche – in your embracing of the life force (Fire), in your here-and-now actions (Earth), in your head and intellect (Air), or in your feelings (Water).
They are quincunx by aspect, which complicates their ability to talk to each other, to say the least. Aquarius is a Fixed Air sign, while Cancer is a Cardinal Water sign. They share nothing in common – not their element nor their modality nor their polarity. Cancer is about family and connection on a personal, feeling level. Aquarius is about community and groups of people who come together based on shared interests.
And this is where they do find something in common. Cancer represents the first group of people you come in contact with, the one you're born into or grow up with. Aquarius is abut the groups of people you choose to align yourself with, or a collective of people you gravitate to because of the ideas, visions, interests or activities you share.
This isn't about the emotional bonds we form in Cancer with family and loved ones. Rather, Aquarius is more about the mental alliances we form with friends, associates, acquaintances, and other people of like mind.
We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.
~ Alan Watts
Saturn and Mercury
Aquarius has two planets that are considered to be its rulers, depending on who you ask. Traditional astrologers look to Saturn, which was the Aquarius ruler before Uranus was discovered and became the "modern" ruler. Oddly, these two planets are worlds apart in what they signify. Saturn is about stability, structure, order, caution and tried-and-true tradition. Uranus is about visionary change, shaking things up, clearing away the old so that the new can come in, and forcing the issue if the old refuses to get out of the way.
These may seem mutually exclusive but at their best they actually work together hand-in-hand. Uranus wants change that can create a new "normal" that can benefit from Saturn's stability. Saturn wants endurance, which means a system that is functioning well. But all systems eventually go out of whack as they evolve and change, and Uranus is the guy who can come in and sweep out the dysfunctional bits, make improvements, and restructure what's left so that there's room to grow.
The chart for the Full Moon in their sign shows various significant aspects to each ruler. Saturn, currently in Pisces, is exactly opposite Mercury in Virgo. Saturn in Pisces (2023-2025/26) seeks structure and order that are meaningful, uplifting, and can support the highest intentions. Mercury in Virgo is doubly blessed, being both in rulership and exalted in that sign.
However, being opposite Saturn can bring out a very serious side of Mercury, carrying baggage filled with high expectations. And being in Virgo just adds to that since Virgo is a perfectionist at the best of times. So, this Full Moon may have you feeling a bit pressured to live up to exacting standards and a bit worried about what might happen if you fall short.
When Mercury in Virgo tries harder (as Virgo always does, and Saturn often demands) it aims for perfection by sharpening the details into finely pointed instruments. And Saturn reminds Mercury that perfection is more than just getting all the instructions right; it's also about whether it fulfils a higher purpose for the Greater Good, not just for the immediate task. Mercury moans, "Is there anything else you'd like me to do? Solve world peace maybe??"
On the other hand, Mercury in Virgo can also be an excellent resource if you need to do something that requires careful planning, organizing, renovating, taking care of your health, following complicated instructions, or fine-tuning something you're creating.
Now: Just to make things more interesting, we are also approaching another Mercury retrograde cycle in August and September, which will be entirely in Virgo. Mercury starts off this cycle with the exact opposition to Saturn just 2 days before entering the shadow, which seems like a rather harsh way to start the retrograde. Saturn's waving finger warns: Pay attention and do what's necessary to get the job done and do it in a conventional way – don't get fancy, don't colour outside the lines with weird colours, just follow the instructions... to the letter!
On the other hand, the whole retrograde has Mercury making happy with both Jupiter and Uranus through trine aspects (shown in the diagram). So, while Saturn's stern metronome still ticks steadily in the background, you should be able to find ways to play around with the pace and the tone and have some fun with it.
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.
~ Tom Robbins
Saturn and Uranus
Uranus is still in Taurus (2018/19-2026) and is currently square Venus in Leo (June 5 to October 8). Venus is retrograde, and makes 3 passes of this aspect: July 2, Aug. 9 and Sep. 29. This transit challenges us to take your creative passion, or socializing with friends, or a technological project, and do something new and different.
Think of this like mixed media artwork or a quirky steampunk style. But since the square aspect implies conflict or controversy, the idea might seem like it just wouldn't work, and it might go against the grain to put your inspiration to work. It's a risk and in fact it might not work, so it takes courage to try something unusual. But Uranus is nothing if not experimental, so this Venus retrograde can be a time to try on new possibilities and let yourself be surprised by the result.
Uranus is also just beginning the long trine to Pluto that's coming over the next 8 years or so. They move in and out of a 7° orb from 2023 through 2031, with 5 exact passes from 2026-2028. This is another phase of the Uranus-Pluto cycle that began in the 1960s (first exact pass in 1965) and unfolds until the next conjunction in 2104.
We had the Uranus-Pluto square back in 2008-2018 (7 exact passes from 2012-2015), and together with Jupiter and Saturn they all formed the long-term Cardinal Cross. This time saw enormous upheaval, with the rise of the political right-wing and the reactions of the political left-wing. The planet of transformation and detoxification was squaring off with the planet of rebellion and freedom.
Now we approach the cooperative trine aspect between them, where these energies are challenged to find some way to get along and work with each other. We are just at the beginning of this phase of the cycle, and we'll see this aspect appearing more prominently over the coming years. This year they are within a 7° orb from July to November, coming as close as 5:05 in mid-September. At that time they will form a Grand Trine with the New Moon in Virgo.
But we're getting lost in the Aquarian future. Back to the here and now!
Together, we form a necessary paradox; not a senseless contradiction.
~ Criss Jami, Healology
Planets Have Groups Too
Planetary aspect patterns are basically groups of 3 or more planets linked by certain aspects and forming a particular geometric shape. They operate like a circuit of energy, combining their themes according to the tone of the aspects. Conjunction (0°): merging. Opposition (180°): polarizing. Square (90°): stressful but dynamic. Trine (120°): easy-going interflow. Sextile (60°): opportunities for creative cooperation. Quincunx (150°): need for flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking. Septiles (7th harmonic): search for a sacred or inspired connection to the universe through intuition.
There are 3 aspect patterns in the Full Moon chart worth noting.
T-SQUARE: Sun opp Moon, Jupiter sqr. The Sun in Leo opposite Moon in Aquarius is very energizing and cerebral, seeking to find a place for oneself within the greater collective (or to battle with the concern that your individuality might get lost in the crowd).
Jupiter in Taurus squares both, and reminds us that a meaningful life doesn't have to be sophisticated or dramatic, or even rooted in the grandeur of human potential. It can also be found in the simplicity of the here-and-now, small victories, and finding your own rhythm with the Earth.
Jupiter is also exactly trine Mars in Virgo, which emphasizes the idea of just paying attention to the tasks at hand. You don't have to go soaring through the stratosphere of visionary intellect to actualize the possibilities, and doing so might even limit other meaningful possibilities.
YOD: Neptune sxt Pluto, Venus qcx. The Neptune-Pluto sextile is a very long-term transit that runs roughly from 1940 to 2040, which means that everyone reading this was born with this in their natal chart. There are 3 phases of exact passes (1950-1956, 1976-1986, and 2026-2032), and almost all exact passes are in Fire and Air signs. We are now approaching the last wave of exact aspects.
Because of this slow-moving cycle, this transit tends to have a collective or transpersonal effect more than a personal one, but its energy is always in the background providing context. Neptune's themes of idealism, spirituality and universalism seek ways to combine with Pluto's themes of detoxification, deep psychology, and transformation.
Enter Venus, a decidedly personal planetary energy, representing our need to give and get love, beauty, pleasure, harmony, and material abundance. Venus is in Leo, which emphasizes artistic pursuits, fashion, performance (e.g. music, theatre, etc), creative self-expression, and a celebration of life through love and beauty.
However, Venus is at odds with both Neptune and Pluto, via quincunx aspects. Venus' agenda is about the personal experience of her themes, while Neptune and Pluto are more about a transpersonal level of human existence. If we focus too much on the personal, we might get lost in self-gratification, glamour or superficiality. If we focus too much on the transpersonal, we risk feeling lost in the vast expanses of space where we become invisible and insignificant.
Venus is also retrograde (July 22 to Sep. 3), and remains at the tip of the Yod for an extended time. She enters orb on July 10, stationed retrograde on July 22 (Yod within about a 1:33 orb), and remains in orb until Aug. 4. After turning direct, she comes back to form the Yod again from Oct. 2-7.
Venus retrograde is a time to take stock of your values, whether it's how you spend your money, how you spend your time, or how you spend your goodwill. Being in Leo, the emphasis is on whether you walk the talk of what you claim to value in the decisions and choices you make in your life.
But the Yod with Neptune and Pluto urges us to stretch our personal preferences to embrace higher principles and ideals of what we see as the greater meaning of life. Are you selling yourself short, morally or spiritually? It's not easy to walk that talk, but this is the perfect time to wrestle with the difficulties and rewards of finding ways to meet these planets in the middle.
SEPTILE THINGAMAJIG: This is an odd little figure that doesn't have a name that I'm aware of, involving the septile family of aspects. The Moon and Mercury have a tri-septile aspect (154°17'), and Uranus forms a bi-septile (102°51') to both. As mentioned above, the septile family (based on division of the circle by 7) has a spiritual or enigmatic aura about it.
For one thing, you can't divide 360 degrees evenly by 7, so the distance between septile planets can never be known exactly. It is calculated to be an irrational number: 51.42857142857142857142... and so on, repeating the same 6 numbers ad infinitum. This seems appropriate since an irrational number seems to fit with an energy that is itself non-rational, intuitive, liminal, other-worldly and mystical.
The bi-septile (septile degrees times 2) and tri-septile (septile degrees times 3) are derivatives of the septile, kind of like harmonics in music are related to a base note. Bi- and tri-septiles also have a woo-woo kind of energy, but not quite as strong as the primary septile. (If you're curious—for more than you ever wanted to know about harmonics in music, check out this video. And if you really want to get trippy with it, check out David Cochrane's video about musical harmonics and astrology.)
So: there is this septile-aspect-pattern-thingy in the Full Moon chart. You might not even be aware of this aspect pattern's influence. It's bound to be pretty subtle and takes some doing to align yourself consciously with its nuanced effects. This is made even more-so by the planets involved – Moon in Aquarius, Mercury in Virgo and Uranus in Taurus. Quite the collection of quirky characters!
Intuitive feelings combined with perceptual precision, and seeing the creative genius in simple, seemingly mundane things. To tap into this energy, you might try journalling about unusual feelings, unexpected observations, vague impressions, fantasies or speculations that you notice during your day. Or just take some time to recall and meditate on them to see if anything further comes to mind.
Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.
~ Amy Poehler, The Art of Inside Out
There are no standard planets Out-of-Bounds at the moment, but there are several very tight parallels in the Full Moon chart. Let's start with Moon parallel Pluto (circled in red). This brings a deep psychological dimension to the Aquarian visionary detachment. It's not just about what's "out there" among the collective, and whether you feel a part of that group or on the outside looking in. On one level, this can be a chance to discover what that feeling is about for you personally. For example: do you look to groups to answer a need to feel like you belong somewhere? Or if you feel disconnected, does this get mixed up with personal abandonment issues?
In addition, the Sun is parallel Uranus (circled in blue), especially significant since Uranus is a ruler of the Aquarius Full Moon. The Leo Sun gets an extra push from Uranus to do more than just help you get in touch with your most joyous Self. There's also a Higher Self in you that goes far beyond ego consciousness into your greater potential as an individual. This is a call to celebrate what makes you unique, special and different.
On another level, this could be a way to gain more understanding of how Pluto moving into Aquarius could be shifting the energies around you and inside of you. For instance, I think while Pluto is in Aquarius we will become more aware of the psychological dynamics within groups, not just within single individuals. This might be a time when you could pick up on that energy in the collective. In other words, if the world was a person, how might you interpret or understand some of the behaviour and attitudes happening lately?
There's also the Venus-Mars parallel (circled in gold), which was discussed back at the Full Moon in Capricorn. At that time they were in a parallel threesome with Jupiter during the first week of July. After that, Venus and Mars moved on in tandem until Venus grew hesitant and slowed down for her retrograde turn (both in longitude and declination) and Mars moves on without her. Venus and Mars in parallel seek balance between outgoing Mars energy and receptive Venus energy. Between beauty and brawn, enticement vs forcefulness, competition vs cooperation.
Meanwhile, Venus hovers within less than half a degree (by declination) for the first half of August. If you have any natal planets from around 7:00 to 7:30 declination, Venus will make a sustained parallel or contraparallel to it.
Mercury is parallel Chiron (circled in purple). Remember that Mercury is in Virgo and exactly opposite Saturn? This connection to Chiron could bring out some old frustrations in the part of you that doesn't care about colouring perfectly inside the lines and just wants to be free to do what you want. This could therefore be an opportunity to find a better balance between work and play, structure and freedom. Don't let it get you down. It might help to schedule some time where you get to scribble madly around the whole page of your metaphorical (or literal) colouring book.
Saturn has been contraparallel to the North Node (and therefore parallel the South Node) for quite some time (circled in green). They were suspended in balance from August last year to March of this year, and again from July and August of this year. The specific dates differ somewhat between the True Lunar Node and the Mean Lunar Node, which you can see in the table below. The dates show when Saturn and the Nodes entered and left a 1° orb, as well as the exact dates. (Check out our glossary: True Nodes vs Mean Nodes)
|SATURN -//- NODE||TRUE NODE||MEAN NODE|
|In Orb||August 26, 2022||August 30, 2022|
|Exact||September 19, 2022||September 29, 2022|
|Exact||December 19, 2022||January 18, 2023|
|Out of Orb||March 26, 2023||March 3, 2023|
|In Orb||July 15, 2023||July 8, 2023|
|Exact||July 30, 2023||August 2, 2023|
|Out of Orb||August 15, 2023||August 24, 2023|
|In Orb||April 22, 2024||(none)|
|Out of Orb||June 19, 2024||(none)|
Sabian Symbol for Aquarius 10: A popularity that proves ephemeral. OR A man who had for a time become the embodiment of a popular ideal is made to realize that as a person he is not this ideal.
The original wording of this Sabian Symbol is rather vague and abstract, but suggests a trend that went out of style not long after it rose to popularity. (A classic example of this is the Pet Rock craze of the 1970s.) Dane Rudhyar, on the other hand, chose to reword this Symbol (second phrasing above) by personifying it as a person going through a humbling process of self-awareness. Both ways work.
Aquarius is often associated with new ideas, but in order for a new idea to take hold, something else has to move out of the spotlight to make room for it. So that process of moving what has been in the foreground into the background could be a curious observation in the changing fashions of culture. Or it might be an exercise in psychological spring cleaning where it's time to admit the things you're not, so that you can start fresh without extra baggage of unquestioned assumptions or self-delusion.
How does this work in the context of the current Full Moon in Aquarius and our theme of groups? We often measure our qualities and self-image by the groups and people we identify with. You might feel a bit disillusioned by a group who suddenly seem different or don't seem to reflect the best qualities you want to emulate by associating with that group.
This might be about changes in the group itself, if there has been a change in its ideals, attitudes or policies. Or it could be that your projection onto them has changed, where you're seeing them in a new light. Or maybe you've got as much as you need from being part of that group and now you're ready to move on to something else where you can develop new qualities.
True friends are always together in spirit.
~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
This Is Us
Aquarius is about groups, yet we often hear of Aquarius bringing out our individuality, sometimes to the eccentric extreme. These things seem mutually exclusive, so how can they be incorporated by the same sign? A Full Moon (or New Moon) in Aquarius gives us a chance to explore this apparent paradox.
Groups are multifaceted beasts. They're made up of individuals, yet they are greater than the sum of their parts. Like murmurations of starlings that appear to fly at random, undulating and changing shape and direction en masse, groups seem to have a mind of their own apart from its members.
In Western culture we place a high value on developing our identity as a unique entity, so in a group situation we may risk losing some of our individuality. What does that mean? Mostly that we might lose control; the ability to control our lives, to fly against the flock, and to think what we think and believe what we believe without worrying that it could disrupt our connection with the group.
Yet, we are communal creatures. We instinctively congregate, not just to improve our survival but also to interact, connect, socialize, have fun, celebrate, mourn, and honour that which we hold sacred. The group reflects back to us the qualities and mindset we aspire to, but as individuals and circumstances change, so do groups. Eventually we may find we don't get as much of that mirroring as we used to, or our needs change and the group no longer fulfills us. And then what?
There is a constant struggle inherent in how we relate to groups. To be in a group means we must, to a certain extent, do what is expected of us and play our designated role. That's a big part of what holds the group together. But no one can just be a follower without sacrificing their individual potential.
I versus Us. Me versus We. Too much Me could be a lonely road, and it might be hard to find a group that can accommodate dissension or divergence. Too much Us and it might require sacrifice of autonomy and independence in order to remain a member in good standing.
The Full Moon in Aquarius has several aspects and aspect patterns that suggest we may become sensitive to this polarization, both in ourselves and in the world around us. For example, the Sun-Moon opposition forms a stressful T-square aspect pattern with Jupiter in Taurus. This sets up a contradiction between the Me-We themes of Leo and Aquarius versus the benefits of matching your personal rhythm with the simplicity of staying grounded in the here-and-now.
There's also a Yod pattern from Neptune sextile Pluto pointing at Venus retrograde in Leo. This shows a struggle between our personal self-expression and self-esteem versus how that does or doesn't fit with the greater transpersonal potential both within ourselves and in the world around us.
We are also approaching another Mercury retrograde cycle in August and September, which will be in Virgo. Mercury is super strong in Virgo and is great for planning, fine-tuning, organizing, renovating, and taking care of yourself. However, Mercury starts this cycle with an opposition to Saturn which seems to cast a cloudy sky over the cycle. Thankfully, Jupiter and Uranus step in with trine aspects to Mercury throughout the cycle which should provide some liberating comic relief.
So this Aquarius Full Moon challenges us to stretch our imagination and understanding to see the bigger picture of both our actions and the actions of others. How are your actions, attitudes, beliefs and expectations reflected by the groups you identify with? (family, friends, co-workers, political alignments, social media, etc.)
In what ways might any of these groups be out of sync with who you see yourself as or who you're trying to become? Is this something new that deserves a closer look? If there's a disconnect somewhere that's been lingering for a while, how do you square that circle enough to remain with that group? Or is it time to look deeper and see if you need a different way to deal with that gap?
The next update will be for the New Moon in Leo on August 16, 2023.Remember to stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world wouldn't be the same without you. ❤️
A group experience takes place on a lower level of consciousness than the experience of an individual. This is due to the fact that, when many people gather together to share one common emotion, the total psyche emerging from the group is below the level of the individual psyche.
If it is a very large group, the collective psyche will be more like the psyche of an animal, which is the reason why the ethical attitude of large organizations is always doubtful. The psychology of a large crowd inevitably sinks to the level of mob psychology.
If, therefore, I have a so-called collective experience as a member of a group, it takes place on a lower level of consciousness than if I had the experience by myself alone.
~ C.G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
© 2023-07-30 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of collage of faces by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.com. Steampunk Phoenix by darksouls1 via Pixabay.com. Sabian symbol image of original pet rock found on retrofestive.ca.