Thought Provoking Times
This Full Moon in Gemini is about focusing our thoughts and how we channel them into expression, conclusions and action. With Mars as a key player, impulsive voicing of snap judgments is possible, but Saturn too is there to hold you back with second thoughts. And then there's Neptune casting obscure shadows that ignite the imagination.
FULL MOON in GEMINI
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Nov. 27, 2023, 4:16 AM EST
Nov. 26, 2023
11:16 PM HAST
Nov. 27, 2023, 9:16 AM GMT
Nov. 27, 2023, 8:16 PM AEDT
We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.
~ Oliver Sacks, Seeing Voices
This Full Moon in Gemini pushes you to explore your thoughts, find your voice, and to understand not just what you need to say but how and why. It's abut finding your voice and learning how to focus your thoughts and expression in the face of difficulty. Your thoughts and voice can be powerful tools and resources, but they can also be used to exploit, manipulate or injure.
Mars takes a front row seat in the drama, being tightly conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon. Both Gemini and Mars like to be fast and spontaneous, but Saturn is also a key player who knows the wisdom of taking things slowly. Therefore, you'll get the best results if you proceed mindfully, carefully and cautiously.
The Full Moon in Gemini is not an easy chart. It is overflowing with difficult aspects – oppositions, squares, semisquares and sesquiquadrates, with a couple of quincunxes thrown in for good measure. There's a lot of energy and passion in this Full Moon chart that can keep your fire burning as you move through the obstacle course.
And of course we know that hard aspects aren't all bad, just as easier aspects aren't always good. Much depends on how you work with the energy, and how focused you can be on learning something from the experience.
The easier, softer aspects – trines, sextiles and quintiles – are more scarce. These have a much quieter voice and could get drowned out by the volume of the harder aspects, so it helps to watch what your mind is focusing on. Are you fixed on the drama, crises and hardships? Or can you listen carefully and hear the harmonies and softer tones too?
A tornado of thought is unleashed after each new insight. This in turn results in an earthquake of assumptions. These are natural disasters that re-shape the spirit.
~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
Let's get the hard stuff out of the way first. The most difficult part of this chart is Mars square Saturn, which at its worst can feel like 10 miles of bad road. Mars is a radical rascal that can trigger Saturn into rigid control mode, and Saturn is the authority figure that can trigger Mars into being defiant and uncooperative.
At their worst, they can drive you nuts through second-guessing yourself, indecision and frustration. Astrologer Donna Cunningham once described the square between them as being like "driving with the brakes on."
And yet, when these two pull in the same direction they are a force to be reckoned with. Saturn's discipline combined with Mars' determination can overtake obstacles and accomplish goals. This square is in Mutable signs (Mars in Sagittarius and Saturn in Pisces), which can increase your flexibility and wiggle room in terms of how you can conquer the tasks at hand.
Mars is conjunct the Sun from mid-October to mid-December, exact on Nov. 18 at 25:36 of Scorpio. This has been shaking up our energy levels and stirring up emotions, motivation and passions. There was a shift in The Force during Nov. 22-24, when the Sun and then Mars moved from intense Scorpio into idealistic Sagittarius. Instead of obsessing over the worst case scenario, it became easier to envision the best case scenario.
In addition, the Sun and Mars are parallel within a 1° orb for 2 months, from November 6 to January 1, as they swoop together through the Capricorn Solstice. In fact, Mars goes Out-of-Bounds (Dec. 20 to Jan. 23) just as the Sun reaches the solstice (Dec. 21). This could greatly intensify that seasonal rite of passage, as well as the holidays around that time.
Mars is opposite the Moon, which means emotionally you could feel like a bit of a porcupine, trying to mind your own business but more than ready to defend yourself with sharp quills at the first hint of aggression, disagreement or annoyance. The Moon is also Out-of-Bounds (Nov. 26 to Dec. 2), so you might feel a bit isolated, misunderstood or unsettled for a few days, or perhaps you need to step back from the surrounding chaos for a while.
Saturn forms a T-square aspect pattern with the Sun, Mars and Moon, which pulls the Mars-Saturn square right into Ground Zero. Saturn wants to slow everything down before all that volatile passion gets out of control and creates more problems it solves.
Saturn's intentions are good, but the Moon and Sun parts of you may feel like you're not being heard or that something or someone is trying to silence you (which may or may not be the actual case). The Mars part of you wants to see moral justice in the world (or maybe just in your own life), but might feel discouraged or tied down by bureaucracy instead. The Sun part of you might fear that you'll be judged as inadequate or incompetent if you fail at these goals (although it may be your own self-criticism that's doing this rather than anyone on the outside).
There's enormous energy in the friction generated by this struggle. You may or may not be victorious in your aims, which isn't all within your control anyway. It's good to remind yourself that there can be a fine line between angry capitulation versus pragmatic acceptance; or between understandable frustration versus cynical disgust. On the other hand, Saturn might be holding up a sign that says "You can't get there from here," in which case there's no shame in letting it go and giving it up to the gods.
Mercury: A Pain in the Asteroid
Mercury rules our Gemini Full Moon, and Mercury has both difficult and beneficial qualities to it. For one thing, Mercury is in its sign of detriment (opposite its rulership sign), which means it struggles to be its natural self. Mercury loves to collect, sort and organize data, find definitions, and share information, but in expansive Sagittarius Mercury's job description changes into finding greater meaning, moral implications, and a philosophical perspective. Mercury must stretch its brain cells farther than may be comfortable.
Mercury is exactly square Neptune. This takes Mercury's already massive to-do list and adds a blinding sparkle of Neptunian idealism to Sagittarius' optimism. Neptune could also demand that you take Sagittarian morality, principles and wisdom and set it free
The result could be impracticality, naïveté, or a one-way ticket to fantasy-land. Or you might feel disappointed and discouraged because your vision of possibilities refuse to manifest into reality as you had envisioned. Idealism almost always loses something in the translation into reality, so it's wise to detach from perfectionism and let the universe do its thing in its own way.
Mercury is in the Shadow (retrograde from Dec. 13 to Jan. 1) as well as being Out-of-Bounds by declination (Nov. 15 to Dec. 15; see declination graph above). Both conditions tend to give us similar effects – wonky, backwards, upside down, and inside out events. So, I'm sorry to say the weirdness that's been happening since mid-November is likely to continue in some form until the New Year.
The advantage here is that it can bring some inspiration to be creative, fun and different for this year's gift giving and seasonal festivities—but it really helps to be open minded about how events unfold. The more you insist that outcomes must be precisely as expected, the more frustrated you're likely to get.
If you can take a breath, put your patience cap on, and let the "universe unfold as it should" you'll find that, more often than you think, mishaps manage to correct themselves, lost items turn up, and there are unexpected benefits to mistakes and misfortunes. But if you stubbornly overreact, you might miss those hidden blessings.
A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.
~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Yes, Mercury is both a challenger and an ally in this Full Moon chart. Which seems completely in-character for a lunation in dualistic Gemini – what else would we expect from its ruling planet?
Mercury is most decidedly in trickster-mode – in the Shadow and OOB – which can be quite a handful, but amid the disruptions he offers a lens for us to see the world in a different way. He also holds up a mirror for us to see something different in ourselves. And ultimately, Mercury's role is the cosmic seamstress who connects the dots of ideas and observations, leading to insights that are greater than the sum of their parts.
This is especially true when he's in Sagittarius, which can focus on your assumptions, opinions, beliefs, judgments, knowledge or perspective. But Mercury struggles in this sign – Sagittarius is about the Big Picture and understanding things within a greater context.
So for Mercury to connect the dots, it can feel like you're trying to understand the relationship between atoms within the context of the galaxy. And indeed, Mercury right now is conjunct the Galactic Centre (27:10 Sagittarius), so the vastness of possibilities can seem unending.
Sagittarius is also related to judgment – seeing things through a particular perspective which is concluded to be morally good or bad. But this sign also encourages you to explore different possibilities and interpretations.
So, when you think you've got thee ultimate answer, rascal-Mercury may be pushing your eyeballs in a different direction so you can take a second look, try on a different point of view, or look for new ways to un-see the familiar and notice the obscure.
That's not to say that having your computer or phone break down is a joyful experience to be celebrated as one of life's greatest moments. But it might be an opportunity to learn something new about computers or phones or your finances. It can also be a chance to observe your own reactions to the incident – how did you feel, what assumptions did you make, and who or what deserves to be blamed for it?
Rainbow Bridge Catastrophe
A tragic yet dramatic example of these qualities can be seen in the fiery car crash that happened on November 22 on the Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge at the Canada-US border. The speeding car hit a curb and went airborne for many meters/yards. It exploded into flames on impact, incinerating the car and its two occupants, a couple who were on their way to Toronto, Canada, to see a KISS concert.
Investigative evidence shows this to be a horrific accident rather than anything deliberate. However, in today's world where terrorism and idealistically motivated crimes are commonplace occurrences, it's understandable for people to wonder if this was a terrorist attack.
Our challenge lies in what we do with our theories and speculations. Some news outlets and people reported outright that this incident was in fact a terrorist event. This led to much misinformation flashing like lightning within communities on both sides of the border, online and off.
These events are reflected in the Full Moon chart's longer-term transits. Mercury square Neptune is practically a definition of potentially fake news. Mercury says, "I'm here to tell you the truth and the facts," while Neptune says, "Facts are not my bailiwick; besides, truth is a very fluid thing."
Sun conjunct Mars wants to share rumours and assumptions as fast as they cross one's mind. In this case Saturn is an ally, concerned with ensuring that facts, not conjecture, are circulated within the collective.
That said, Saturn being at 0 degrees of Neptunian Pisces could make it more difficult for Saturn to filter out the fantasy from the reality. His determination to slow things down and look before we leap to conclusions may be frustrating, but it can help us avoid preventable mistakes and unbaked conclusions.
Quintiles, Trines and Sextiles
This is a truly difficult chart with square and octile family aspects throughout, but we're not without our resources and advocates.
For starters, there are a few aspects in the quintile family (circle divided by 5), which are associated with creative expression, reasoning, and even genius. Mercury is closely biquintile Uranus (144°) and is one of the few applying aspects in the chart; hence it is strong and building in energy.
Amid all the rumours, speculation and propaganda flying around, this aspect can give you the ability to analyze it all and come up with a clearer idea of what the truth is—if you're willing to stop long enough to actually think it through. On second thought, Uranus is spontaneous and impulsive, so these insights could come in a flash, in which case it helps if you pause to listen to all the ideas that flicker through your brain before making up your mind.
The Moon is also quintile Neptune (72°) in another of the few applying aspects in the chart. This combination can be extremely imaginative, intuitive and creative, with an perceptive logic all their own. If you're looking for fresh inspiration to help you express what you observe, think and feel, these two are your ticket. That said, this could also make it easier to treat speculation and theories as fact and truth, whether they are or not. So, be careful how you use this – a little goes a long way and maybe not the factual way.
There are precious few trine (120°) aspects in the Full Moon chart, although many more sextiles (60°). There's a separating trine between Mars and Neptune at 7:11 orb (exact on Nov. 17), and a separating trine between the Moon and Pluto at 6:25 orb. These wide aspects are pretty diluted by this time, and they are out-of-sign (not in the expected signs), but hey—we'll take whatever we can get, right?
The Mars-Neptune trine could encourage you to act with your highest intentions for the best possible good. And the Moon-Pluto aspect can give a sense of empowerment and confidence that you ideas and words will carry some weight.
Sextile aspects are between cooperative and compatible, but different elements. Unlike trines that are like low-hanging fruit fresh for easy picking, sextiles require some effort to get them to work together. Think of them like apples that must be combined with sugar and other ingredients, then cooked and jarred in order to get delicious apple jelly.
Probably the most significant sextile in the chart is Venus sextile Mercury, which is a longer-term transit that lasts about 6 weeks. They have lingered in sextile within a 6° orb since November 1, and remain in that orb until December 16. There are 2 exact passes, on November 15 and December 11, and then they catch up to each other in a triple conjunction in April next year.
Interestingly, the first exact Mercury-Venus pass is on Nov. 15, which is the same day that Mercury goes Out-of-Bounds. And when Mercury comes back In-Bounds on Dec. 15, it is the day before the sextile moves out of orb. And when Mercury comes back In-B, it is just 2 days after he turns retrograde (Dec. 13).
Suffice it to say Mercury and Venus do a lovely, whirling dance by both longitude and declination in November and December. These transits bring a cooperative flow of energy between the mind and the emotions. Between relating and communicating. Between decisions based on subjective feeling versus decisions based on objective reasoning. They can work productively and constructively together, if they apply some intention, effort and focus.
Mercury and Venus
|Mercury sxt Venus – enters orb
|Mercury goes Out-of-Bounds
|Mercury sxt Venus, #1 – exact
|Mercury sxt Venus, #2 – exact
|Mercury goes Retrograde
|Mercury comes back In-Bounds
|Mercury sxt Venus – leaves orb
|Mercury goes Direct
Sabian Symbol for Gemini 5: A radical magazine, OR A revolutionary magazine asking for action.
Blain Bovee (The Sabian Symbols and Astrological Analysis) neatly sums up this symbol as "an image of a periodical publication of extreme views demanding immediate and widespread social and political change." Sounds a lot like today's Internet and social media, right?
Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) points out, "Every movement overstressing one direction calls forth in time an equally extreme movement in the opposite direction. This is particularly true at the level of the dualistic mind symbolized in the zodiac by Gemini."
The idea here is about reaction to information, and the expression of that reaction in a way that wants to inflame others as well. This fits perfectly with the current Full Moon chart, with the Mars conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon. Mars is very much the principle of an equal and opposite reaction, especially based on anger, outrage, upset or protest. Again, we are warned to be careful how we react to things, since the actions we take as a result could have radical consequences.
If you shout, you're fulfilling expectations. If you speak quietly, people listen better.
~ Thuli Madonsela
So, Whadaya Think?
Under this Full Moon in Gemini, there's a lot to think about and a lot of dots to connect. Flashes of insight, impulses to speak your mind, and second thoughts that make you wonder if you should have spoken quite so soon.
This Full Moon isn't merely about getting your facts straight or making sure your speculations are based on reliable information. It's especially about what you do with your thoughts, when you do it, and why. Are you responding with emotional reaction? It may be difficult not to, what with so many upsetting situations in the world right now that tend to provoke extreme opinions.
Are you listening and considering before you reply? If you do, Saturn will give you an extra pat on the head, even if your Mars is impatient or frustrated.
And if you step back and wait before forming your conclusions, what are you going to do with your feelings and ardent opinions? You can't just shut those down. You need a safe outlet for them or they could explode like a pressure cooker. Pay attention to second thoughts, since they may show you a different perspective that's worth considering.
Start by watching to see what is a feeling or emotion and what is a thought, opinion or observation. There's actually a very fine but important line between them. It's really easy to mix them up, and passionate opinions or emotionally-charged reactions can take your feelings into a higher gear that makes you want to decide that those ideas are the final truth. The alternative, to slow down your reactions and consider alternatives, is harder to grab hold of when your emotions are charging past your thoughts at lightning speed.
You might try taking time to journal your thoughts, desires, feelings and views – no, not on social media. Preferably in private or in conversation with a special trusted friend who can be an objective sounding board. Or, vent your frustrations, anger, outrage and indignation through physical activity. Take a walk or dance around your living room or clean out a closet or do the dishes (carefully).
Or you could channel your feelings into finding out more about what you're all fired up about. Google can be your friend or your worst nightmare – you need to pick and choose what is reliable information, what is passion-charged propaganda, and what is simply food for thought.
The Full Moon in Gemini offers a gift that can be difficult to manage, like a delicious potato that's too hot to handle and you have to blow on it for a minute so that it doesn't burn you. However this appears in your life, don't just dismiss it out of hand, but don't blindly accept it out of hand either. Let Saturn do his job to slow you down so you can gather greater understanding of what is very likely a very complex situation.
The next update will be for the New Moon in Sagittarius on December 12, 2023. In the meantime, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you! ❤️
Every now and then a man's mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Autocrat of the Breakfast Table