The Solar Side of the Moon
The Full Moon in Leo highlights Solar and Lunar energy, dark and light, feminine and masculine, internal and external, Yin and Yang. The Venus-Mars conjunction is a key point, as well as Jupiter sextile Uranus, and the Lunar Nodes. The fun is about finding ways to bring them together creatively.
I really think there's nothin' quite so fine
As lettin' the sun rejuvenate your mind
Don't get me wrong, I really dig the moon
But it was four in the afternoon when I wrote this tune
FULL MOON in LEO
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Feb. 16, 2022, 11:56 AM EST
Feb. 16, 2022, 4:56 PM GMT
Feb. 17, 2022, 3:56 AM AEDT
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the New Moon in Leo takes place at the high point of summer (roughly July 22 to August 22). But the Full Moon in Leo happens when the Sun is in the opposite sign and season (approx. January 19 to February 18).
So, the Full Moon in Leo can feel like the universe is rudely teasing us with a whiff of Leo splendour at a time when we are hunkered down trying our best to keep warm. ;-) As I write this in Toronto, Canada, it is -10°C outside (that's 14°F to my American friends), so the signature Leo grandeur can feel a bit remote. Thankfully, the Full Moon in Leo shines brightly and is a beautiful spectacle to behold in the midnight sky.
The Sun and Moon are at opposite ends of the zodiac during any Full Moon. These two are called The Lights or Luminaries, as they are the primary sources of light in the day or night sky. The Sun is the absolute source of light, and the Moon reflects that light back to us with brilliance.
When the Full Moon happens to be in Leo, as it is typically once a year, it is in the sign ruled by the Sun. So, it mirrors not only the Sun's physical light but also its energetic light. But the Moon is a feminine principle (receptive, intuitive, impressionable, internalized) reflecting the essence of a masculine principle (forthright, assertive, reactive, wilful, externalized).
One is not better or worse than the other – rather, they complement each other to form two sides of a whole, like Yin and Yang. And yet, each of these principles contains a bit of the other. In each extreme lies the seed or potential for its opposite.
At the Leo Full Moon, the Sun is in Aquarius where it is in detriment – in other words, it is outside its usual element in more ways than one. Normally at home in Leo's passionate Fire element where it can shine its individuality and autonomy, it must work within the realm of Aquarius' more dispassionate, detached Air element. And the Sun must work with whatever it finds there, since flexibility and change are not easy for the Fixed modality.
At the Full Moon in Leo, the Moon carries the sunny Leo energy. The feminine principle of the Moon is challenged to express and work directly with the masculine principle of the Sun's sign Leo. This is like the speck of Yang in the Yin side of the symbol being called upon to sprout and show itself. Or is it the dot of Yin inside the Yang? Whichever it is, it means we are challenged to shift our balance of masculine and feminine energies.
In other words, we are challenged to experience, embody and emulate the Yin of Yang and perhaps the Yang of Yin. The receptive, internal essence that lies within Leo's active, expressive energy. The intuitive compass that guides Leo's outgoing dramatic drive.
Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.
~ Clive Barker, Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War
Pluto in Capricorn stirs the pot from behind the scenes in this Sun-Moon drama. The Moon is quincunx Pluto (150°) and the Sun is semisextile (30°). Sharing partile aspects (same degree in their respective signs) they form a very tight Irritation Wedge aspect pattern. The inconjunct aspects in this aspect pattern tend to contribute an annoyingly contrary or complicating energy to the struggle to find balance between the opposing planets.
The Moon in Leo wants to find a creative, intuitive, feeling way to demonstrate self-expression. The Sun in Aquarius wants to find a way to express personal uniqueness within the context of the greater collective. But Pluto is a much heavier energy than the Sun or Moon, and more than Leo or Aquarius.
So, Pluto may be there to remind us that there are deeper implications to the dynamic of personal versus collective. This is not just about us versus them, or me versus us, or the needs of the one versus the needs of the many. There is also a more profound level of energy movement and transformation of that energy.
However, it's not something we can necessarily or easily work with or affect directly. In a way, that transformative quality is more like a side effect of the actions and events that are happening, even though it may be the more important factor in the long run. Rather, by doing the thing that's in front of us (creative self-expression, collective participation, etc.) we are unconsciously or subtly "stirring the pot" the effects of which will fertilize the unfolding of events further down the road.
For now, this effect may not be clearly visible, or will take a more heightened awareness to detect. Mercury is conjunct Pluto, although they are moving apart (exact on Feb. 11) and Mercury has moved on to a different sign (Feb. 14). From Aquarius, Mercury can see farther into the future implications of it all than Pluto can from Capricorn. This suggests that by lifting your consciousness to focus beyond your personal interests, you are better able to see the bigger picture that is gradually shifting as a result of the more obvious events happening now.
for they make up
all of life:
You will eternally be
looking for yourself and
seeking ways to lose yourself.
~ Kamand Kojouri
There's another ripple in the canvas where our Leo Moon wants to paint a vision of a beautiful new world. The Sun-Moon opposition is tightly square to the axis of the Lunar Nodes. Together they form a Grand Cross figure in Fixed signs. One thing this suggests is that the background transformative changes being instigated by Pluto may not be entirely welcome, especially if it is seen to disrupt your intended purpose.
The Lunar Nodes recently changed signs into Taurus (North) and Scorpio (South). This occurred on December 22 (Mean Nodes) or January 18 (True Nodes). The North Node indicates our cutting edge that can help us develop our growth and sense of purpose. By comparison, the South Node shows past learning and outmoded focus that has served its purpose and needs to be let go, or at least moved into the background, to clear more room for North Node pursuits.
Taurus is the current home of the North Node, suggesting that our personal and/or collective aim is best directed toward simplifying what we do so that it can stabilize into a predictable rhythm. This includes bringing things down to the basic essence in terms of what is most important, most valued, brings the most pleasure and reward, and what will help you build a foundation where that North Node growth can flourish.
Scorpio is where the current South Node is, implying that intensity and volatile emotion may actually be counteracting that growth potential in the North Node. At its worst, Scorpio can look for revenge or a level of control over people or situations that may not be in the best interest of everyone. There's an obsessive edge to Scorpio that can be counterproductive.
So, it's good to remember that there's a fine but significant line between obsession (Scorpio) and commitment (Taurus). Also, between being controlling versus using order to draw a nurturing boundary around growth that keeps it focused.
The Aquarius Sun and Leo Moon literally at crossed purposes to the Nodes right now. All that calm Taurus order can seem boring and uninviting to the Sun and Moon. Scorpio intensity may seem more exciting than watching the Taurus grass grow, so it might not be easy to let go of Scorpio's South Node in favour of Taurus' North Node. Thank goodness Taurus is forward-moving (which Aquarius' future orientation can relate to) and pleasure-oriented (which Leo's love of beauty and creativity can embrace).
It takes two to Tao.
~ Ana Claudia Antunes, The Tao of Physical and Spiritual
The ruling planets of the North and South Nodes, are currently marching to the beat of the same drummer. Venus and Mars are conjunct in Capricorn, and as close to precisely exactly exact as you can get without a laser knife. As discussed in detail in my article for the New Moon in Aquarius, Venus and Mars remain with an 8° orb for 10 weeks (!) from Jan. 28 to April 8.
During that 8° orb, Venus travels from 11:05 Capricorn to 2:46 Pisces, and Mars moves from 3:05 Capricorn to 24:46 Aquarius. They also remain within a 1° orb for a month (!) from Feb. 11 to March 12. While within that 1° orb, Venus walks from 14:25 Capricorn to 5:52 Aquarius, while Mars goes from 13:25 Capricorn to 4:52 Aquarius.
So, you are most likely to feel this transit if you have planets in your natal chart from 11-29 degrees, especially in the Cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, Libra), or 0-3 degrees, especially in the Mutable signs (Pisces, Virgo, Gemini, Sagittarius). In addition, any natal planets in a Fixed sign (Aquarius, Leo, Taurus, Scorpio) will also be activated by the movable feast of Venus conjunct Mars.
(FYI: I am taking on new clients for readings. Contact me for more information!)
Venus and Mars in perpetual conjunction send a lot of activity back to the Lunar Nodes which are in their signs. We are always seeking to find a workable, cooperative balance between the North and South Nodes, and this ongoing conjunction of their rulers adds extra fuel that keeps us moving through that process. In addition, the Sun-Moon opposition is in a conflicting square to the Nodal axis.
Therefore, this Full Moon is a time when we are especially urged to identify that which may block us from bringing Venus and Mars matters into a (more) workable balance. This might hinge on the need to be recognized and esteemed as an individual versus the value we bring to the world around us, and whether/how one conflicts with the other.
In turn, these issues might involve relationships, friendships, and our priorities that determine how, why and with whom we interact. We might also be challenged to re-evaluate in what/whom we choose to invest money, time, energy and trust.
Those who travel outward seek completeness in things; those who gaze inward find sufficiency in themselves.
~ Liezi, The Book of Master Lie
Some odds and ends in the Full Moon chart. For one thing, there are NO retrograde planets and NO planetary stations from Feb. 3 to April 29 (85 days). Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, this is the second-longest period when all planets are direct (including Chiron). The longest time range during these centuries is next year (Jan. 22 to April 21: 89 days). For the 3rd and 4th longest all-direct periods, we have to go all the way back to the 1940s.
(Interesting factoid: There is no time during those centuries when all standard planets that can go retrograde are all retrograde at once. In other words, from 1900 to 2100, there is always at least one planet direct, besides the Sun and Moon which can never go retrograde.)
This may seem a bit mind-blowing. Astronomically, it tends to happen when the planets, especially the outer planets and Mars, are huddled together in a Bowl or Bundle distribution pattern (all within 180° or less). The outer planets have to be at least a trine aspect or more (120° to 180°) away from the Sun to be retrograde, so when the Sun is moving through those bundled planets, only Mercury or Venus could possibly be retrograde.
So, what does it all mean?
Retrograde energy has a kind of internalized, reflective quality to it, while direct energy tends to be... well, direct, straightforward or focused on the external. Except for Mercury and Venus, a retrograde planet is positioned far away from the Sun in the chart, so we see a different perspective on that planet then when it is closer to the Sun.
When all planets are direct, it suggests that—for better or worse—the prevailing astrological winds are all blowing more or less in the same direction. We have access to a more externalized, conscious, intentional, forceful expression of those planetary energies. This can be beneficial if we use those planetary powers for the good of all concerned, but it could also potentially inflict damage if it's used to bulldoze through whatever stands in our way regardless of the consequences.
So, it's good to be aware that a little can go a long way during this time. You could tap into your own retrograde planets (natal or progressed) to help increase your reflective ability and gain a more balanced perspective of events that are happening around you. You might also use the Moon's phases and aspects to amplify your ability to contemplate your reactions to those events and meditate on the implications in your personal life and within the collective.
The Sabian Symbol for the Full Moon is Leo 28: Many little birds on the limb of a tree. Birds are usually a symbol for spiritual energies, as they fly through the air – the invisible medium that connects us all. the tree suggests the World Tree, or Tree of Life, where our feathered friends are congregating. It's a convention!
The group of birds seems to echo the opposite sign of Aquarius which is about groups. And yet, the wording of the symbol focuses on the idea of many individual birds rather than a collective view of a flock. This is the root of the collective as an assortment of distinct entities.
Birds may also symbolize ideas and thoughts that "take flight," exploring many different directions, implications and possibilities. As such, they suggest an abundance of potential within a collection of ideas based on the same topic, theme or perspective (on a single branch).
This symbol indicates the potential abundance of creative ideas, as well as many ways you can find self-expression, perhaps through birds of a feather hanging out together.
Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.
~ Langston Hughes
The Leo Full Moon part of you will strive to leave things on an up-note. And Jupiter and Uranus in sextile are delighted to grant your wish! There is just one pass of this transit—exact on Feb. 17, and in orb throughout February—so you need to catch it while you can!
Jupiter's optimism and joviality are abundant, with Jupiter happily snuggled in its own sign of Pisces. Uranus is naturally inclined to illuminate future possibilities. When these two get together in a sextile aspect (60°), it can result in a thrill-fest of dreams about a better world to come. It can seem so real, so possible, so inevitable, that nothing could—or should—stand in its way.
This can be heady stuff, perhaps to the point of feeling a bit drunk on idealism and confidence. It helps to find a way to ground all that enthusiasm, and since Uranus is in Earth sign Taurus, that feeling of being on the cusp of a fresh beginning could seem like it's absolutely doable and half-way there already.
After 2 years of COVID lockdowns and restraint, Jupiter-Uranus can feel like we're throwing open a window after a storm to let in the fresh air. Goodness knows we all could use a little expansive relief that allows us to break free of the constraints. So, it's good to do something with this energy that can remind you what normal life feels like.
That said, just because you can see (what looks like) a light at the end of the tunnel doesn't mean you're at the exit end of that tunnel yet. There are still risks and dangers to be wary of as we keep moving through this strenuous time. And the struggle of the Saturn-Uranus square is still with us.
The downside to the Jupiter-Uranus sextile is that you can get so carried away believing in your vision that you start to assume you don't have to question it anymore. You don't have to think about it or struggle with it or look beyond it anymore, to the point where you can't see anything but your own perspective.
So, take care not to take a blindfolded leap off a cliff edge in your desire to fly free. Let Jupiter-Uranus liberate and guide your inspiration, while also scrutinizing its practical validity. An extreme yearning to cast off discipline may in fact be driven by a soulful grieving of what has been lost, and unacknowledged grief can fester into a perpetual wound.
This isn't the time to give up on using reasonable caution. Breathe in that refreshing Jupiter-Uranus oxygen, yet at the same time stay sensible and pragmatic. Continuing to follow a reasonable strategy of safety will help minimize the swings of extremes and maximize stability and forward motion.
Whatever you do, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you!
And now the sun's about to fade away
I'm feelin' better than I've felt for days
You know, there's nothin' better for your soul
Than lyin' in the sun and listenin' to rock 'n roll
~ Sunny Days (written by Skip Prokop, recorded by Lighthouse)
The next update will be for the New Moon in Pisces on March 2, 2022, when there's an exact Venus-Mars-Pluto conjunction! See you next time!