The Art of Diving
The Full Moon in Pisces beckons us to dive into the ocean of imagination and idealism, but it can be easy to get lost in the depths. This is a time to review and revise what you hope and fear is in those depths, and then find out what's really there.
When you've seen beyond yourself,
then you may find
peace of mind
is waiting there.
~ George Harrison (Pisces Sun), Within You Without You
FULL MOON in PISCES
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Sep. 10, 2022, 5:59 AM EDT
Sep. 10, 2022, 10:59 AM BST
Sep. 10, 2022, 7:59 PM AEST
Prelude: It's been an emotionally exhausting couple of days, as I've been writing this article. In case you weren't aware, Queen Elizabeth II has died (September 8, 2022), and is succeeded by her eldest son who is now known as King Charles III (formerly Prince Charles). I've observed such a wide range of feelings and reactions, both in myself and in others especially on social media, which has made for a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I don't want to dwell solely on this event in my Full Moon article. For the astrology of the impact on Charles' astrology chart, please read my article: Farewell Queen Elizabeth, Enter King Charles.
The fact that the Moon is also conjunct Neptune just adds more water to the whirlpool, making you feel like you just took a dive into the centre of it. And with Neptune being the modern planetary ruler of the Pisces Moon... well, it's probably a good idea to keep a lifeline to some grounding dry land.
Not that this is the only way you might experience the Moon-Neptune-Pisces fluidity. Vision, imagination, inspiration and surrender also add flavour to this cocktail. At its most beneficial, it can encourage you to explore creative ideas or to let go of places where you're stuck. On the other hand, it might also make it easier to be taken in by mistaken impressions or misguided conclusions – which is why it's important to stay connected to the shore.
Thankfully, there are 4 other planets in Earth signs to tie your lifeline to. The Sun in Virgo, opposite the Moon, is an excellent place to start. Virgo's style of grounding is to keep coming back to the "real world" ('Whatever that means,' Neptune quips), so that you're dealing with what is and not just what you want, hope, fear or assume. When in doubt, Virgo advises you to channel what you're experiencing into some form of service or quest for improvement.
Venus is in Virgo – not the most comfortable fit (being the sign of her detriment) but Venus can remind us that service and improvement can be made so much more valuable when combined with a connection to other people, as well as to make something more beautiful and harmonious.
Pluto in Capricorn adds a deep rumble in the background to the Piscean music. There is a super-tight septile aspect (51:25:42 degrees, in this case with a miniscule orb of only 2 minutes) between Pluto and the Moon, which adds a subtle yet heavy undertone. This could reflect feelings of all kinds around Queen Elizabeth's passing (Pluto symbolizing death), or it might simply remind us that working through deep feelings of any kind is ultimately a transformative process.
And finally, Uranus is in Taurus. This is a rather contradictory combination, since Taurus is about order, stability and reliability, while Uranus is about shaking things up and turning them into something other than whatever you were expecting. The advantage of having these two energies together is that Uranus can ensure things don't stay overly entrenched or mindlessly habitual.
Uranus is tightly sextile the Moon and trine the Sun (60° and 120°), which forms a Wedge aspect pattern with the Full Moon axis. Uranus is also close enough to be sextile to Neptune, although they don't become exact until 2025-2027.
The overall effect of this configuration is that Uranus can wake you up if you start to get lulled into a dream-like state where you passively accept everything and stop asking questions. Uranus could also stimulate your imagination in unconventional ways.
At best, it can open your mind to fresh ideas, but on the other hand it might also open your mind too quickly, too radically or too abruptly before you're ready to process what comes up. Again, it's important to have a grounding lifeline that can lead you back to shore if you get caught in the undertow and become lost at sea.
The voice of beauty speaks softly; it creeps only into the most fully awakened souls.
- Mercury opposite Neptune – Aug. 21, (Oct. 2) – imaginative ideas and/or foggy thinking.
- Mercury trine Pluto – Aug. 22, Sep. 27, Oct. 7 – deep insight and/or obsessive thoughts.
- Mercury opposite Jupiter – Sep. 3, Sep. 18, Oct. 12 – seeing the Big Picture and/or too much information.
- Mercury trine Mars – (Sep. 9/10), Oct. 26 – quick observations and/or mental over-reaction.
- Mercury conjunct Venus – Sep. 26 (one pass only) – easy-going interaction and/or financial schemes.
Although Mercury only makes one exact opposition to Neptune (Aug. 21), 6 weeks later Mercury stations direct just half a degree ahead of making another opposition (Oct. 2). In a similar way, Mercury stations retrograde (Sep. 9/10) he is about 2½ degrees shy of an exact trine to Mars, and it's not until Oct. 26 that Mercury catch up to the exact trine to Mars. So, although these are not multiple passes, as such, they add some extra colour to the tapestry that is this Mercury retrograde cycle.
In the meantime, the retrograde station in Libra means Mercury's fingerprints are all over the Pisces dream generated by the Full Moon. At its best, this can indicate a desire to ensure that it speaks to a lofty, noble vision of beauty, fairness and congeniality.
On the other hand, Mercury's opposition to Jupiter could also lead you to try and grasp such a wide swath of information, insight and enlightenment that your understanding gets stalled due to information overload and indecision.
Mercury and Venus are in Mutual Reception, meaning they are in a sign that the other rules – in this case, Mercury in Libra and Venus in Virgo. This enhances the Mercury-Venus and Mercury-Libra themes that unfold during the Mercury retrograde cycle.
These two planets are also in Mutual Reception (MR) from Sep. 5-23 and can feel like a milder version of the Mercury-Venus conjunction that happens just 3 days after the MR ends. Combining the conjunction orb with the MR period, this gives us about 4 weeks of the Mercury-Venus aura – Sep. 5 to Oct. 1 – almost all of it while Mercury is retrograde.
So, their overall advice is this: Walk softly and carry a big to-do list. ;-) Seriously, there's lots to do, but that's no reason to avoid savouring the moments. Include something beautiful and soothing every day – music, art, dance, or bring a creative approach to the mundane tasks of everyday life. Kindness, consideration and compromise can smooth out the rough spots you encounter in your interactions – especially those that suddenly get discombobulated by Mercury's usual retrograde antics. Learn not to take life quite so seriously, but aim to find ways to appreciate the moment.
Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.
~ Langston Hughes
Jupiter is a major star in the show since he is the traditional ruler of Pisces. His opposition to stationary Mercury therefore takes on extra significance. What happens with Jupiter gets relayed back to the Pisces planets (Moon and Neptune).
The Mercury-Jupiter opposition remains within an 8° orb from Aug. 25 to Sep. 28, making 2 exact passes during that time (Sep. 2 and 18), then they come in-orb again from Oct. 4 to 17 encompassing the final pass (Oct. 12), giving us roughly 2 months of Mercury-Jupiter opposition.
Jupiter wants to take in the Big Picture, while Mercury aims to gather data and details. So, during this time you may find you go back and forth between trying to understand what's happening from a broad, far-off perspective, versus trying to stay focused on what's right in front of you. There's lots of time for each viewpoint – the problems may start when you try to do both at once, which could tangle your brain up in knots of indecision or information overload.
Jupiter crosses the equator by declination 3 times in less than a year – May 25, Sep 26, and Jan 13, 2023. This event is front and centre in the upcoming New Moon in Libra (Sep. 25). For now, it is a strong factor with Jupiter in the first degree north of the equator (00N50) while also engaging with a stationary Mercury and ruling the Full Moon.
Jupiter crossing the equator over an 8-month period signals a process of reset and reorientation in things to do with beliefs, knowledge, philosophy, wisdom, law and judgment. Mercury's retrograde contribution suggests we're entering into a time when we need to review and revise the Jupiter areas of our lives.
Are your beliefs (religion, spirituality, philosophy) serving you well, or are they a bit out of sync with your experience or your intentions? Is it time to reform or renovate your knowledge and understanding about life and other people? Are you using judgment as an effective way of assessing a situation, or as a weapon that merely shames and blames?
These questions are also asked by the Saturn-Uranus square that is still with us for another couple of months. Jupiter has a semisquare aspect to both of them (45°) which creates what I call a Mini-Square aspect pattern. This figure remains in orb for about 2 months (Aug. 26 to Oct. 26).
The Mini-Square underscores and challenges the questions posed above by Jupiter crossing the equator by declination. Uranus wants to break free of old assumptions and look beyond our habitual understanding, while Saturn's high expectations insist there is only one right conclusion in areas of ambition, achievement and authority.
Jupiter's role contributes a perspective of morality: Just because you can, does it necessarily mean you should? Just because it's "always been done this way" does that make it right? How can a conflict or dilemma be resolved so that the best of the old is maintained while still being open to new ways of being the best we can be?
Sabian Symbol for Pisces 18: A gigantic tent (where villagers witness a spectacular performance).
This Symbol suggests a situation of dramatic expression, perhaps for the purpose of entertainment (a circus) or enlightenment (a religious revival) or a celebration (a festival or community gathering). There is an element of the collective in it, given the potential for many people to be involved in the activities, as performers or as an audience. There is an air of achievement and sharing, in that the performance or shared activity no doubt requires a lot of planning and coordinating to make sure it works well.
Therefore, this Symbol might indicate a large event for some shared purpose, perhaps a wedding, a retirement, or maybe even a gathering for a funeral. This seems like it could fit with the current outpouring of responses to the death of Queen Elizabeth.
From a different angle, this Symbol could also represent the gestalt of thoughts, feelings, needs and priorities that we each carry inside us. In that case, the Symbol may pose the question: What kind of show is being put on by your conscious or unconscious imagination? Is it a story of hope, or a horror movie? Is it a comedy or a cautionary tale? Is it a challenge to explore new avenues of thought, or a changing of the guard that keeps your mind within certain bounds?
The universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. There is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.
~ Terry Pratchett
This is a time to take out your ideals, your beliefs, your hopes and fears. Spread them out across the floor like Tarot cards, and see what you can see. Is there an overall pattern? Is there a subtle common thread that binds them together? Do they seem chaotic and disjointed, while you take their relatedness on faith?
If there's too much sameness, maybe it's time to shuffle the deck and find other ways to see it all. Perhaps it's time to get to know them again, as if learning them for the first time. If there seems to be a lack of sameness, maybe you need to meditate on them to see a deeper level of meaning.
Symbolism is shifty stuff. In Pisces, symbols can mean pretty much whatever you want them to mean. That doesn't mean your interpretation is "the right one" although it might be right for you, right now. This is about divining meaning in thoughts, impressions, feelings, events and experiences. While you may share that meaning with others, there's no one single meaning that works for everyone all of the time. And often we learn the most by discovering meaning that's totally different from our own – something totally new to explore.
Being at the turning point of Mercury retrograde, the next few weeks challenge you to rethink and re-examine your assumptions, your expectations, and your hopes and dreams. Use your creative imagination to enhance the best of life while keeping one foot on the hard ground.
Pay attention to the areas where you find it hard to think of something positive – that's an area that could probably use some healing, and the best way to do that is usually to listen to what that negative voice is trying to say. And pay attention to the areas where you can only think of wonderful, glowing, perfect things – you may be so afraid of the so-called negative that you obsessively cling only to the so-called positive. For best results, aim for a fluid balance between them. Find that sweet spot where you can dive into the ocean with a lifeline to the shore.
The next update will be for the New Moon in Libra on September 25, 2022. In the meantime dreamtime, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. And stay curious. The world needs you. ❤️
Wisdom is nothing more than the marriage of intelligence and compassion. And, as with all good unions, it takes much experience and time to reach its widest potential. Have you introduced your intellect to your compassion yet? Be careful; lately, intellect has taken to eating in front of the TV and compassion has taken in too many cats.
~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration