Letting Go With Love
Welcome to the Lunar Eclipse and Full Moon in Scorpio! Uranus conjunct the Sun says this is a good time to let go of "stuff" in your life that's past it's best-before date. Mercury Retrograde conjunct the North Node helps you decide what stays and what goes. The Moon and Mars are in mutual reception, calling on you to balance courage with caring.
FULL MOON in SCORPIO
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
May. 5, 2023, 1:34 PM EDT
May. 5, 2023, 6:34 PM BST
May. 6, 2023, 3:34 AM AEST
All That Sh—
We have a Full Moon in Scorpio that also happens to be a Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio. Scientifically, it's a weaker eclipse (Appulse), since the Moon only passes through the outer shadow cast by the Earth – not the dramatic orange-red spectacle that a total eclipse brings. However, astrologically even weak eclipses pack a punch.
This lunar eclipse has the Moon at the South Lunar Node, a place known for letting go, releasing, and moving the present focus into the background. Scorpio is also known for shedding and discarding, like "taking out the garbage," or elimination from the bowels (which Scorpio rules). So, this eclipse's themes are bound to include "letting go of all that shit." ;-)
The question becomes: What kind of "shit" are we actually talking about? How and why would we need to let go of it? Aspects to the Sun and Moon, as well as what's happening with Scorpio's ruling planets Mars and Pluto, will give us more insight.
For one thing, Mars is finally back In-bounds after being Out-of-Bounds since October 22, 2022! Mars comes in for a landing just hours before the Lunar Eclipse in his sign is exact. There may be a change in energy of aggression, war, violence and forcefulness. One possible effect could be changes in the War in Ukraine. For example: whereas Ukraine has been fighting for the ideal of independence and liberation from Russia's grasp, the emphasis might start to shift to greater attempts at peace or even just survival.
Mars remains In-Bounds now until December 20 when he goes a little OOB for a month. Going forward, you might find you're focusing more on the here-and-now and what is practical in terms of taking action and your reactions. That said, when a planet crosses the OOB line (23:26 declination) the shift in that planet's energy can be a little intense, like a bumpy landing.
At its best, Mars coming In-Bounds can be a time when you take the ambition, inspiration and hyper-reactivity from the OOB period, and start to look for ways to apply it in more practical ways or to make changes to correct it or improve it.
The angry dude tapped me on the shoulder. I’ve learned, through my son who has autism that everything is a teachable moment, that one should always act with grace and good intention, and that whenever possible, give someone a chance to show their best side. And that’s what he did.
~ Connie Manning, story on social media reprinted as an article
Moon-Mars Mutual Reception
The Scorpio Moon is in Mutual Reception to Mars in Cancer (each is in a sign that the other rules). Mutual Reception can be like two mirrors facing each other – they reflect their energy back and forth to each other ad infinitum. Normally, this can fortify their strengths as they support each other. Each turns to its dispositor (sign's ruler) to get the instruction manual on how to navigate through its sign.
However, both the Moon and Mars happen to be in signs where they struggle and feel at odds with their job description. The Moon in Scorpio is in Fall (opposite the sign where it's Exalted – Taurus in this case). The Moon's nature is to be sensitive, feeling, open-hearted, nurturing, caring, and wants to see the best in others. Scorpio, on the other hand, prefers to be more guarded, cautious, self-protective, suspicious of possible hidden threats, and can be vindictive when it feels wronged. So, the Moon is inclined to pull in her feelings, be extra careful who she shares them with, and may use that sensitive feeling nature to lash out if she feels mistreated.
Similarly, Mars in Cancer is also in Fall (opposite Capricorn where it's Exalted). Scorpionic Mars likes to keep his claws sharpened, and often isn't afraid to use them if feels attacked, wounded, misused or abused. But the Cancer manual states, "Above all, you must be sensitive to the feelings of others, and be gentle and nurturing at all times." So Mars needs to sheathe his claws or risk being censured by the Moon, leaving Mars feeling like he has to fight with both hands tied behind his back.
Although uncomfortable in their signs, there is a friendly trine aspect between the Moon and Mars which helps them find easy ways to work together. When you embrace their energy, it can strengthen your resolve to not take any BS from anyone, but also take care not to let your objections leave your opponent bleeding on the floor. On the other hand, until you find your balance and confidence in that Moon-Mars courage, you might overdo or underdo your reactions when triggered emotionally. Those claws could get turned in on yourself (in guilt or perfectionism), or you might push back too strenuously (not realizing your own strength).
Since this is an eclipse, whose effects tend to last longer than the average Full Moon, this combination could become a long-term process of finding a better balance for these energies and how to use your powers for good. We tend to think that if we respond to aggression with empathy, compassion or calm, that makes us weak. The problem is that if we reciprocate with our own aggression, it may only escalate and perpetuate the situation. It actually takes a lot of courage and practice to trust your own internalized courage and confidence. It's a learning curve to learn how to respond with just enough baring of teeth to get your message across, without having to leave your enemy needlessly battered and bruised. It takes courage and forethought to swap a slice-and-dice reaction for one that dares to be grounded, calm, self-aware and kind.
Perhaps it requires of you precisely this existential anxiety in order to begin. Precisely these days of transition are perhaps the period when everything in you is working.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
Pluto Changes His Stride
By modern rulership, the Scorpio eclipsed Moon is co-ruled by Pluto, and Pluto has a lot on his plate these days! He has begun his transition from Capricorn into Aquarius. As you can see in the table below, Pluto has now made his first retrograde station on May 1, just 4 days before the Lunar Eclipse in his sign.
Over the next 2 years as he moves back and forth, Pluto will examine the differences, similarities, contrast and symmetry between Capricorn and Aquarius from all possible angles. This is part of your job description for the Lunar Eclipse and subsequent months – get a sense of the comparison between these two signs.
Both Capricorn and Aquarius are ruled by Saturn in the traditional rulership system. Capricorn is concerned with the structure of governments, corporations and what we build in our homes, communities and society. Aquarius, on the other hand, is more about the structure of people – groups, cultures, and the visions of future potential when we cooperate and work together.
Capricorn is about how to navigate through the structures of societal expectations and roles, whereas Aquarius is about balancing who we are as individuals versus who we are within the groups we participate in (friends, family units, classmates, co-workers, religious/spiritual groups, neighbourhoods, cities/towns, countries, and humanity as a whole).
|April 23, 2023||Pluto enters Aquarius|
|May 1, 2023||Pluto turns Retrograde||00:21 Aquarius|
|June 11, 2023||Pluto returns to Capricorn|
|October 10, 2023||Pluto turns Direct||27:53 Capricorn|
|January 20, 2024||Pluto re-enters Aquarius|
|May 2, 2024||Pluto turns Retrograde again||02:06 Aquarius|
|September 1, 2024||Pluto re-returns to Capricorn|
|October 11, 2024||Pluto goes Direct||29:38 Capricorn|
|November 19, 2024||Pluto final entry into Aquarius||Remains until 2043|
One reason we rush so quickly to the vulgar satisfactions of judgment, and love to revel in our righteous outrage, is that it spares us from the impotent pain of empathy, and the harder, messier work of understanding.
~ Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing
Mars, Jupiter & Pluto T-Square
There is a T-square aspect pattern in Fixed signs that forms over the next four weeks. You won't see it in the eclipse chart yet because it's just starting to come in-orb, but it dominates the chart of the upcoming New Moon in Taurus (May 19). The primary planets are Mars opposite Pluto (exact on May 20), with Jupiter at the apex (exactly square Pluto on May 17, and square Mars on May 23). These planets are relatively slow-moving, so they all stay within a 8° orb from May 6 to June 3.
This aspect figure peaks on May 20 when all 3 planets are at 0° of their respective signs: Pluto in Aquarius, Jupiter in Taurus, and Mars in Leo. Mars opposite Pluto (the traditional and modern rulers of our Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio) covers both the surface and the deep underground of Scorpio energy. Mars is anger, assertiveness, confidence, courage, sex drive, passion, and reactive response. Pluto lives underground, wading through the unconscious and watching for secret or obscure parts of our (Jungian) shadow that haven't been integrated into the whole of who we are.
Jupiter square Pluto is the first major dynamic aspect between these planets since their conjunction in 2020. Jupiter is about expansion, understanding, wisdom, morals, judgment, beliefs, aspiration, spirituality, publishing, and far-away lands. When there's a conflict of interest between these two planets, Pluto wants to go deep into the heavy, psychological shadow while Jupiter prefers to stay hopeful, upbeat and open to the best possible scenario.
At its worst, it can lead to harsh judgmentalism or dogmatic demands that everyone must adopt the same beliefs and vision of what is taken to be good and moral. However, at best they can reveal how we might benefit from being open to a deeper, more complex understanding of what makes us tick. Human nature isn't all sweetness and light (best of Jupiter), nor is it all cruelty and exploitation (worst of Pluto). The truth lies somewhere in between. It takes faith and courage to stick with the process; to resist the urge to jump to conclusions and instead have the patience to see what's really there.
Jupiter square Mars may also have a tendency to leap impulsively to conclusions, when you're absolutely certain that you're right without actually having fact-checked it. Reactive Mars likes to respond quickly, dramatically, and with so much certainty that debate and questioning seem pointless. When challenged, Jupiter is often only too happy to assume that it has the one and only right answer, and Mars' confidence and bravado may side with Jupiter, creating an pompous force to be reckoned with. On the other hand, Mars' courage could also wield Jupiter's moral mission to fight for justice and what one believes is right.
|May 17||Jupiter square Pluto||00:18 Taurus/Aquarius|
|May 20||Mars opposite Pluto||00:16 Leo/Aquarius|
|May 23||Mars square Jupiter||01:28 Leo/Taurus|
|May 26||Mars square Node||03:32 Leo/Taurus|
|June 1||Jupiter conjunct Node||03:37 Taurus|
|June 11||Pluto returns to Capricorn||Until 20-Jan-2024|
|July 17||Nodes enter Aries/Libra||Until 11-Jan-2025|
|July 23||Pluto square Node||29:06 Capricorn/Aries|
Mercury and Jupiter
Mercury is retrograde until May 14. At the time of the Lunar Eclipse, Mercury is conjunct the Sun and opposite the eclipsed Moon. Mercury is also conjunct the North Lunar Node and sextile Saturn. (Read my article on Mercury Retrograde in Taurus.)
While the Jupiter-Mars-Pluto T-square is doing its thing, Mercury and Jupiter are having a meaningful conversation on dual levels – longitude (aspects) and declination (parallels). As Mercury retrogrades toward his Stationary-Direct point, he and Jupiter hang out within an 8° conjunction zone from May 10-30; they never actually meet, only coming as close as 5:52 orb on May 17. Meanwhile, although they don't precisely cross paths by longitude, they do by declination – twice – parallel on May 18 and 23. They also travel extremely close for about a week (May 18-24).
|May 10||Mercury Rx enters 8° orb cnj Jupiter|
|May 14||Mercury SD|
|May 15||Mercury parallel Jupiter (enters 1:30 orb)|
|May 16||(Jupiter enters Taurus)|
|May 17||Mercury D closest cnj Jupiter (5:52 orb)|
|May 18||Mercury parallel Jupiter (exact)|
|May 18-24||Mercury parallel Jupiter (0:06 orb or less)|
|May 19||(New Moon in Taurus)|
|May 25||Mercury Rx leaves 8° orb cnj Jupiter|
|May 23||Mercury parallel Jupiter (exact)|
|May 30||Mercury parallel Jupiter (leaves 1:30 orb)|
Mercury conjunct and parallel Jupiter brings together your conscious awareness (thoughts, ideas, analysis, problem-solving, perceptions) and your urge to connect with something greater than yourself (faith, hope, optimism, wisdom, aspiration, meaning). The conjunction and parallel take place mostly while they're in Taurus. Therefore, these qualities lean toward the pragmatic side, seeking to ground you in the "real" world rather than just envisioning whisps of possibilities and dreams.
At its best, this combination can inspire your imagination, bring flashes of insight, and encourage you to figure out how such a crazy mixed-up world can also be so beautiful, uplifting and special. In other words, the magical side of Jupiter and Mercury need to remain valid when they're filtered through the test of logic and common sense.
On the downside, this pairing could also make you so hungry for something magical, something that uplifts the mundane into the sacred, that your wishes may convince you that the magical possibilities are solid and viable when they might not be (yet). Watch out for wishful thinking, arrogance and over-confidence that needs to be scrutinized with a bit more critical thinking.
Mercury-Venus Mutual Reception
Mercury is at the tail end of being in Mutual Reception with Venus (April 11 to May 7). In addition, Venus is Out-of-Bounds by declination (from April 17 to June 1), meaning that Venus and Taurus things – sensory pleasure, art, music, and noticing beauty in the world around you – can bring heightened experiences of delight. Sunsets may seem more moving, music may be especially uplifting, food may taste extra delicious.
Mercury-Venus therefore adds some lovely streaming colours to the backdrop of the Lunar Eclipse. (Not literally, of course, but wouldn't that be something!) You can still catch their energy: indulge in reading some fun and well-written books. Create a new playlist for different mindsets: to relax, to energize, to evoke aching beauty, to put you in a quirky headspace. Or prepare meals that feed your curiosity, your brain, your skin, or your 5 senses.
Mercury may invite you to become more aware of your blessings; the things that make you feel good, contented and fulfilled. What in your life allows you to feel connected to something special, sacred, exalted or secure? Do you need to practice doing these things on a more regular basis?
On the other hand, since Mercury is still retrograde you might also have neglected necessities nagging at the back of your mind. Haven't filed your taxes yet? Forgot to check your bank balance before the rent cheque clears? Need to consider whether that extra monthly expense is worth whatever it pays for? Or maybe you need to devise a new budget for your money, your time, or your social activity that will prevent you from suddenly falling short?
Sabian Symbol for Scorpio 15:
Children playing around five mounds of sand.
In this curious image, the number 5 has many interpretive possibilities. The five mounds of sand could symbolize the 5 elements in the Eastern traditions: Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Spirit. Lynda Hill (The Sabian Oracle) sees the sand itself representing impermanence (it can blow away). I would add that sand is also malleable and can be fashioned into virtually any shape.
Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) mentions the pentagram or five-pointed star, as well as the quintile aspect (72° or based on dividing the circle by 5) being a dynamically creative energy. Blain Bovee (The Sabian Symbols and Astrological Analysis) points to the 5 physical senses, as well as "the organizational principle of a mandala: four directions emanating from a central point."
All of these ideas indicate a special, perhaps sacred, creative dynamic. The children playing around these mounds suggests that, at least initially, we learn to work with those ideas in a free and open way. As Rudhyar put it, "They are in the kindergarten stage of this higher mind development."
Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.
~ Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life
Release with Empowerment and Love
The Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio marks the end of the first eclipse season in 2023. The next season will be in October: Solar Eclipse in Libra on the 14th and Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on the 28th. For now, the Scorpio Full Moon Eclipse gives us lots to think about, delve into, and bring to consciousness.
Uranus is conjunct and parallel (declination) to the Sun, as well as being opposite and contraparallel to the Moon. This gives Uranus a key role to play in the unfolding drama, encouraging change, letting go, and loosening your grip on what has been so you can make room for whatever is to come. Mercury is also Retrograde, which urges us to sift through and decide what we need to keep and what needs to be left in the past.
Scorpio tends to have a rather negative reputation. It's a very intense energy that lends itself more to deeply intimate discussion than to small talk and chitchat. In Scorpio we are called on to look deep inside ourselves and see who we are with naked honesty. Scorpio also aims to see who others are below the surface. But at this depth we are privy to a tender, vulnerable side of ourselves and others. It's important to stay rooted in our integrity so that we treat others and ourselves with care.
We all have a Scorpio side of us, regardless what your natal chart looks like. Everyone has Scorpio somewhere in their chart, even if there are no planets or points there. It's still in the sky when we're born. It's still part of the archetypal makeup of human nature.
Scorpio, a Fixed Water sign, is a deeply feeling sign. Ruled by sometimes-volatile Mars, it can be very reactive and emotionally caustic when triggered. It's very easy for us to project our feelings, fears and desires onto others, which means the Scorpio side of us can leak our inner feelings even when we think we're keeping them well-hidden. If we're feeling angry, hurt, disappointed, or defensive, this can slip through our words and responses more than we realize.
The Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio urges you to shine a light of awareness into your dark corners to illuminate what is there. To acknowledge, embrace, and own your power. And to understand your human depths, and others', with some humility, acceptance and kindness.
Scorpio's traditional ruler Mars is in Cancer, indicating that all of this is best done from a caring, sensitive, protective position. Scorpio's modern ruler, Pluto, is in the middle of a major transition into a new sign, reminding us of the background of collective transformation.
We are in a process of letting go of that which no longer serves our best potential right now. Feelings, memories, attitudes, reactions and interpretations that we carry around inside may have been of service at one time – coping mechanisms, self-care, self-protection, defenses, or ego-boosting in times of need. But now is a time to look at ourselves and ask which of these things we still truly need.
Certain people in your life may need to be reconsidered if they are using more of your energy than you can realistically spare. It doesn't mean necessarily that you should (or can) completely banish them from your life, but it might help to take a step back and give more attention to other areas of your life. In other words, shift the balance so that you're getting more of what you need instead of giving it away to others quite so much.
This is about Letting Go With Love. Love for others, love for yourself, love for struggling humanity and our human nature that is always in a process of becoming. But letting go also means it's important to feel whatever you feel. Like the old adage: "You gotta feel it to heal it."
The next update will be for the New Moon in Taurus on May 19, 2023. Meanwhile, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you. ❤️
This is the season to courageously reassess, release, and reset. What isn't feeding you spiritually or energetically? It's time to end a dead cycle.
~ Robin S. Baker
© 2023-05-03 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of Lunar Eclipse Sequence by D. Van Rensburg via Pixabay. Sabian symbol image of boy jumping off a sand hill or dune by Jessica Hearn via Unsplash.