Embrace the Whole, Cherish the One
How do you make sense of the vast Universe? Grab it by the details! There are so many ways to do this at the Virgo Full Moon. The Venus-Jupiter-Chiron conjunction in Aries highlights your personal self, while the Sun, Mercury, Neptune and Saturn in Pisces illuminate your transpersonal potential.
FULL MOON in VIRGO 16:40
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Mar. 7, 2023, 7:40 AM EST
Mar. 7, 2023, 12:40 PM GMT
Mar. 7, 2023, 11:40 PM AEDT
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
When the Full Moon is in Virgo, the energy starts with the Sun in Pisces and is projected out into Virgo. From Water to Earth. From intuition, imagination and the intangible, to logic, specifics and organization.
The Full Moon in Virgo creates a bridge between the vision and the envisioned. The energy starts with an ideal, a dream or a longing, and seeks manifestation, concrete action, and some kind of formula that enables us to put those Pisces ideals into practice in the "real world."
In this case, the balance is tilted toward the Pisces side of that bridge. The Moon is on its own in Virgo opposing 3 planets in Pisces: Neptune, Mercury, and the Sun—which of course isn't a planet, but we call it that for convenience (explained Ms Precise Virgo). So, the emphasis leans toward the intangible essence of Pisces, leaving the Earthy Virgo Moon to pull a lot of weight to counteract the flood of Watery Pisces planets.
One thing the Virgo-Pisces axis has in common is a penchant for service, for embracing a cause greater than one's own personal interests and placing one's intentions and activities within that larger context. Both are Mutable signs, so they are prepared to do whatever it takes to accomplish this, bending and shaping their perceptions and actions to conform with the ideal result.
Pisces is a Water sign, so it deals more with the abstract; with the experience of merging oneself with that higher purpose. Pisces needs to feel it, absorb it, embrace it, surrender to it. Earth sign Virgo is more about putting that abstract idealism into practice. Virgo aims to do it, exercise it, manifest it, build something specific with it.
Pisces says, "Give yourself to the Universal, since ultimately that's all there is." Virgo replies, "But while we're living in a physical world, the experience is worth little unless you actually do something with it." Virgo says, "We need to make sense of life, organize it, categorize it, identify the building blocks of it, and improve it." Pisces answers, "But all of that merely deals with the details, the components; it misses the point of the wholeness that encompasses all of existence."
Virgo gets little help from its ruling planet, Mercury, since it too is in Pisces. Mercury also is weakly aspected, with its few major aspects having wide orbs. The Virgo Moon turns to Mercury and says, "Help me figure this out! My To-Do list is a mile long and I need to organize it so that I won't fail my mission." But Mercury glances glassy-eyed at the Moon, saying, "Hey dude-ess. Ya, you should probably do that. Let me know what you find."
String theory makes sense to me because the universe is a symphony that creates harmony with the vibration of our strings.
~ Kamand Kojouri
The Moon is the Handle of this chart, meaning it is on one side of the chart while all other planets are on the other side. The chart Handle carries great importance and purpose in the chart – like a basket can be picked up by its handle, or like a rope lets you pull up a bucket of water from the well. If the Handle planet isn't happy and active, the rest of the chart is going to have a hard time doing its thing.
The Moon has major or strong-minor aspects to almost every other planet in the chart. She squares Mars (90°), trines Uranus (120°), sesquiquadrates Pluto (135°), quincunxes Venus, Chiron and Jupiter (150°), and opposes Mercury, the Sun and Neptune (180°). She's a very busy girl! Even with Saturn she has a subtle quinque-undecile aspect (163°38' based on division of the circle by 11).
With all the aspect lines in the chart converging on the Moon, she looks a bit like a puppet-master/mistress who controls the strings that motivate the other planets to dance. When you grab hold of the Virgo Moon's agenda of service, perfection, healing and refining the world around and within you, you gain access to even more potential, tools, skills and resources.
Another image of the Moon's aspects could be the apex that hangs wind chimes allowing them to swing freely and sing in the breeze. By letting go of the need to micro-manage things, and focus instead on maintaining a stable centre of gravity, the winds of the Universe are free to play you like a song.
Since the Moon is the Handle of the chart, and connects with all other planets, she has a long, complicated To-Do list – just the kind of job description that Virgo loves to tackle!
Sometimes the moon is light and sometimes it’s in shadow, but you should always remember it’s the same moon.
~ Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
The Sun and Moon are exactly opposite when the Full Moon is exact. So, the aspects of the Moon to other planets are mirrored by the Sun. These aspects create triangle-shaped aspect patterns whose inner angles all add up to 180°. (Remember your high school geometry?) These configurations provide different forms of expression with the Full Moon energy.
T-SQUARE: MARS SQR SUN & MOON
The T-square aspect pattern shows tension and conflict, but also motivation and an urge for action that can resolve that tension. Mars is the apex planet, which has a difficult relationship with the Sun and Moon through square aspects. The opposition aspect between the Sun and Moon is like a tug-of-war – a polarized split that needs to be brought into a complementary balance.
The apex planet breaks the stalemate of the polarity. In this case, Mars is on equally "bad terms" with both the Sun and Moon, plus Neptune, challenging them and instigating a shift in that "stuck" energy. When the Sun says, "Mars, calm down and be at peace," and the Moon says, "Settle down and stay focused on what you're supposed to be doing," Mars in Gemini is likely to snap back, "Them's fightin' words!" Therefore, you might experience this through frustration, anger, impatience or restlessness—or you could feel motivated and inspired out of necessity to take action that resolves the problem.
Besides playing the key role in the T-square, Mars continues to be Out-of-Bounds by declination (Oct. 22, 2022 to May 5, 2023), which could spike the Mars cocktail with hot sauce, or at least some extra herbs and spices. OOB Mars prefers to go his own way and choose an unorthodox destination. As a result, any restlessness, frustration or motivation might be harder to keep within stable or reasonable bounds. Your best bet is to take advantage of this and find a productive, constructive channel as an outlet.
Combining the square aspects to the Moon and Sun, as well as to Neptune, might be felt as a back-and-forth struggle between wanting to do something, yet not being sure what would be effective. You might even find you get stuck in inertia or lethargy, like nothing is going to be worth the effort.
However, the plus side of this dilemma can come from using your thoughts, intuition, ideas and knowledge to reason through the task of how to take effective action, even in the face of what might seem to be an impossible goal. One step at a time. If you can't find the courage or confidence to take a big step, then take a little one. If you get stuck, write down a list of the pros and cons or the hopes and fears that are keeping you in stasis.
WEDGE: URANUS TRI MOON, SXT SUN
Uranus is the apex planet in this aspect pattern, which provides a creative outlet or a distraction as a coping mechanism for the tension of the Sun-Moon opposition. The apex planet can also be a kind of reward that you get access to if you face and work through the struggle of the opposed planets.
Virgo-Pisces can get stuck between "Something must be done" and "Any action will get lost in translation and lose the point of what you're aiming to do." In this case, Uranus' solution is to just do something—anything! When in doubt, follow your impulses, do something out of the ordinary, throw a monkey wrench into the perpetual machinery – anything that will break the inertia and allow you to grab hold of the situation.
That said, when I say "anything," I mean anything "within reason," of course. Obviously you don't want to make a bad situation worse, where one problem could become fragmented into many problems, like in the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Remember that a little Uranus goes a long way. Virgo's affinity for details will advise that a well-aimed nudge will be a lot more effective than an dramatic heave.
HARD WEDGE: PLUTO SQQ MOON, SSQ SUN
Pluto is the apex of this aspect pattern, forming octile aspects that are cousins to the square family of aspects. Many astrologers mention the semisquare (45° – a half-square; a.k.a. octile), and especially the sesquiquadrate (135° – a square-and-a-half; a.k.a. trioctile), as often feeling worse than a square (90°).
At worst, the square aspect is like a battering ram at your front door, whereas the octiles can be more like a crowbar tearing at the side door, while you wonder where the noise is coming from or if the broke door frame can even be fixed. So, the octile aspects can feel like a stitch in your side that cramps your style, but taking action to resolve it may not be easy to identify or do.
With Pluto jabbing at you from the apex of this pattern, this could raise issues of wanting to bring about sweeping transformation of all that is wrong with the world. However, the humble Pisces Sun and detail-oriented Virgo Moon may not want to take over the world in a Plutonian way. It may be better to keep your intentions relatively simple and local, and let the global perspective take care of itself.
This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Back to Mars in Gemini – how you manage this energy will be couriered directly over to a Stellium in Aries, Mars' sign. Jupiter, Chiron and Venus – these three are huddled in a close triple conjunction in Aries. This is an extension of the Venus-Jupiter conjunction that was exact at 12:08 Aries on March 2nd (or March 1st if you're west of Eastern Time). In addition, Chiron was snuggled up with them for a group hug, and the 3 of them came as close as a mere degree-and-a-half on March 3rd. And they are still within an orb of just over 5°.
A Venus-Jupiter conjunction tends to be read as gifting you with a love-balm (or in Aries, perhaps a love bomb?). The planet of love and peace embraced within the arms of the planet of wisdom and justice – what's not to love? However, I've seen many people report that their experience of this conjunction has been an unhappy or disappointing one.
Chiron makes the difference here. Chiron can often bring up old wounds, remind you of times in your life when your need to feel like a cherished child of the Universe fell short of your hopes or expectations. Chiron is also known for healing themes, but his style of healing is not about kissing it to make it better. Rather, Chiron draws your attention to the wound so that you can make changes to how you hold that struggle within yourself and find ways to live with what can't be changed.
Therefore, Chiron is the bridge between Venus and Jupiter in Aries. In order to join the hands of peace and understanding, we need to confront our experiences of when those qualities failed to live up to our hopes or pushed our fear buttons. Venus and Jupiter bring the struggle of Chiron in Aries to bear on issues of affection, self-worth, fairness, understanding, confidence and faith in oneself.
So, if Venus-Jupiter wasn't the soothing hug you hoped for, think about what came up for you instead. You may find insight there about why self-confidence, self-worth, abundance or justice seem to elude you; or perhaps why you might feel that your generosity, caring and benefit of the doubt go unappreciated or unacknowledged.
IRRITATION WEDGE: JUPITER, CHIRON & VENUS APEX
The Aries triplets are also significant because they're at the apex of an Irritation Wedge aspect pattern. They all have a quincunx to the Moon (150°) and semisextile to the Sun (30°) (aspects which are sometimes referred to collectively as inconjuncts). These are difficult aspects to work with because the signs involved have nothing in common – not the element, not the modality, not the polarity.
Planets in semisextile are in adjacent signs and therefore share the neighbourhood. So, many astrologers consider this a "positive" aspect, but just because two people live next to each other doesn't necessarily mean they like or understand each other.
Therefore, inconjunct planets are a bit like throwing two people in a room together who have different languages, different cultures, different spiritual beliefs, different education – and then conveying that they must solve a problem together. They're likely to be unable to communicate or work together initially, which can generate frustration, exasperation, and the temptation to just give up.
In the case of this current aspect pattern, Virgo and Pisces are about serving something beyond one's self, whereas Aries is about acknowledging and developing the self. Virgo is about focusing on the task to be done, and Pisces adopts the purpose of the task as their own, but Aries instinctively wants to go where their impulse takes them, even if that means leaving the task behind.
So the Venus-Jupiter-Chiron energies may have you wondering if a challenge you're facing demands that you deny the self in order to do what's necessary. How do you set aside your own interests and desires without invalidating the very self who must do the deed? If Pisces is about Universal love and Virgo is about putting that love into practice for others, how do we reconcile this with our human need for love, esteem, affection and personal purpose?
Therefore, part of your Virgoan job description is to find a way to serve an ideal or purpose that's greater than yourself, and also give yourself permission to love yourself. In other words, not only is it okay to put yourself on your priority list – it's essential! Your healing requires it, and without it your woundedness may become inflamed.
The problem is that with the quincunx between Aries and Virgo, and the semisextile between Aries and Pisces, the priority of self-care and the need to serve something beyond the self tend to hover in each other's blind spot. As a result, trying to accomplish both might see you swinging between one and the other extreme, so that while you're doing one you can't easily remember or appreciate the importance of the other.
LITTLE EYE: SUN SXT URANUS, SSX JUPITER, CHIRON, VENUS
Thankfully, there's one more aspect pattern that can help you navigate the quincunx dilemma. It starts with a sextile (60°) between the Sun and Uranus, which connects compatible signs – in this case, Water and Earth; Pisces and Taurus. These signs share a love of peace and tranquility – in a spiritual or abstract context for Pisces, and in terms of our physical creaturehood existence in the case of Taurus. In between are the Aries planets making semisextile aspects to both sides of the sextile.
Sun sextile Uranus says you have access to the innate ability to develop and embrace your uniqueness – in all the universe there is no one exactly like you, which can be a source of creativity and self-validation. The Aries triplets in between point to a dilemma: how do you embody that cosmic uniqueness without becoming self-absorbed, or without being so independent and self-contained that you lose touch with the world around you?
In this case, the Jupiter-Chiron-Venus mosaic has the support of the broader perspective of Uranus (who am I within the context of the group or even the cosmos) and the Sun in Pisces (I am just one part of a cosmic whole). In other words, yes, you are unique and an invaluable fragment of the whole and—not but; and—part of your existence and consciousness also lies in being a free agent in the Universe, capable of choosing your path, making mistakes, falling on your face, and accomplishing victories.
Therefore, it is essential that you act as an autonomous entity within the world, even though what you do will send energy back out into the Universe, for better or worse. So: make it for the better. Love the world as yourself. And if you can't manage to feel love for yourself, then find something or someone in the world that you love and share that love with yourself.
Sabian Symbol for Virgo 17: A volcano in eruption.
With all the gentle, spiritual energy in the chart that encourages selflessness, purposeful sacrifice, and generosity of spirit, an image of a volcanic explosion seems... odd. Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) views this Symbol as the explosion of "long-repressed contents of the subconscious." Certainly Pisces, as well as the Moon in general, are symbols of our subconscious realm. And the process of releasing unresolved feelings, toxic beliefs, and defensive reactions, is essential for psychological and (ultimately) spiritual healing.
This idea of release gives extra importance to Uranus in the chart through its penchant for unleashing suppressed energy. It also points to having two planets in the last degree of their signs on the verge of two major shifts of energy – Saturn in Aquarius in mid-stride into Pisces, and Pluto in Capricorn just 2 weeks away from his first ingress into Aquarius.
Therefore, you might find this Full Moon a bit scattered, turbulent or unstable. This makes it even more important to draw on Virgo's talent for methodical organisation to help you find some semblance of control over and within the chaos. Think of it as having a sturdy canoe and paddle to shoot the river rapids.
Love is not the absence of logic
but logic examined and recalculated
heated and curved to fit
inside the contours of the heart.
~ Tammara Webber, Easy
No sooner does the Moon reach fullness but that Saturn steps off the Aquarius diving board and plunges into Pisces, where he will remain until 2025-26. (There is much to say about Saturn in Pisces, and I hope to have a new article about this posted soon – stay tuned!)
For now, suffice it to say that with Saturn in Pisces we are challenged to take the vast universality of Pisces and bring it to manifestation in the physical world we currently exist in. Not an easy task! At best, this combination challenges us to discover the highest potential in the world around us and the greater implications of our actions. On the other hand, this can also be a time when the best-laid plans can go awry, especially if we focus only on the here-and-now context of what we think, feel and do.
This combination brings the mundane side of existence together with the exalted ideals of our greatest human potential – kind of like oil and water. If you embrace the idea of existence beyond the 5 physical senses, beyond the here-and-now, and beyond this lifetime, then Saturn in Pisces is a time to discover ways to bridge the gap between these realms.
On the other hand, if you are skeptical of these things and relate more to a scientific, analytical view of life and the universe, Saturn in Pisces is a time to explore how you could help the world around you to bring peace to conflict, meaningful understanding to ambiguity, and logical reason to complexity.
With the Full Moon in Earthy Virgo counterbalancing the Sun in Pisces, as well as Neptune and Mercury in Pisces, Saturn in Pisces brings some extra resources to help you wade through all that Watery energy – or it might feel like Saturn just adds another item on your list of challenges you must figure out.
As always, take it one step at a time. It may help to make an actual list of the people, situations, experiences and obstacles you're wrestling with over the next couple of weeks. Sometimes when you get it all out in front of you where you can see it, it won't feel so pent-up inside you and ready to explode (or implode). Do what you need to do to stay healthy, inside and out. And give yourself a hug – you've earned it.
The next update will be for the New Moon in Aries on March 21, 2023. In the meantime, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you! ❤️
The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.
~ Gordon B. Hinckley
© 2023-03-07 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of Earth by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay. Illustration of windchimes by OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay. Sabian symbol photo of Iceland's Fagradalsfjall volcano erupting by Izabela Kraus via Unsplash.