Full Moon is at 9 degrees 5 minutes of Leo on January 28 at 12:16pm in Tucson, Arizona. Images from Taschen’s stunning Library of Esoterica series Astrology book.
We’re nearing the midway of the Capricorn New Moon lunar cycle, with the Sun now having progressed into Aquarius, joined there by Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn (and shortly Venus). The Moon is opposing these energies in the counterpoint sign, Leo. This is the assessment period of the cycle; the opportunity to review your general trajectory and see more clearly the things hindering your desired progress. The full moon helps us more easily access what is below the surface.
Leo, the lion, the heart, the sun, is fixed fire—the flame that never goes out. In our heliocentric system, the sun is the center of it all, and that’s Leo—the warmth and light intended for all. There’s sometimes a reputation for drama (when that light isn’t allowed to shine or isn’t acknowledged), but for the most part, it’s hard not to just feel sexy under a Leo moon, a full one no less. Fun, creativity, offspring and children, and courtship are all themes linked to this sign. Its countersign, Aquarius, has a selfless, humanitarian bent, systems- and collective-thinking, and represents the people; Leo, by contrast, is the king, the self and role within that system and the manifest decisions made for the sake of the whole by the inner knowing of what is best or desired for self. I generally find Leo moons especially favorable for good hair days and photography, among other things. I’m posting this early so you have time to pick an outfit and get your nails done.
Though the Moon stands alone in Leo, she’s not without quite a bundle of aspects and background activity. Standing opposite the moon, we have the focal light of the Sun in tight conjunction with door-opener Jupiter and both of these in a separating conjunction with taskmaster Saturn. Sun Saturn conjunctions can be a bit of a wake-up, a call to maturity, and generally have a sobering effect; it’s worth it to know which house Aquarius falls in in your own chart, as this place will be busy for the next few weeks to say the least. This will represent the area of life where you experience these aspects personally and sometimes literally. But with the light slowly leaving Saturn behind and moving toward Jupiter, there’s something positive to look forward to as you embrace new enterprises or ways of thinking (potentially big or seemingly destined moments or opportunities with the North Node in a wide applying trine). Even with the limitations or slow pace Saturn’s impact can bring, Jupiter promises new growth so long as you are real with yourself. Saturn doesn’t take bullshit, and the trine to Jupiter and the Sun from one of my fave asteroids, Psyche, reinforces the rewards for getting in touch with your deep soul knowing when making decisions; overcoming and facing wounding around self-assertion or initiatory behavior as well, given the Moon’s fire trine to Chiron, is additionally recommended. Conversely, making knowingly wrong, lazy, or fear-based and misaligned decisions at this time are likely to amplify negative consequences.
While we’re talking Aquarius planets, we can’t not mention the fact that dear Mercury is about 2 days from his retrograde. Friends with strong Gemini and Virgo placements are likely to be most directly affected (as usual), and secondly those with Aquarius planets in the retrograde degree zone (11 to 27 Aquarius) might feel this one more strongly. Tidy up that unfinished business, get whatever you need to off your chest at this time before moving forward. Astro geeks may notice trends or events from the last retrograde pick back up with momentum at this time. As this retrograde is in an air sign, the mental realm is especially highlighted, words, agreements, technology, travel. These three week periods happen three times per year, so don’t put your life on hold; just use this time most favorably as a catch up or recalibration. If you are thinking of jumping into something absolutely energetically brand new at this time, it might be worth negotiating a trial or testing period while some inevitable new information or unresolved matters rear their heads that may slightly or significantly alter the course of the perceived trajectory. If it’s something you should’ve done a while ago, you’ll probably feel like it’s about damn time to go for it.
Mars, still sore from his conjunction with revelatory Uranus and edging closer to a conjunction with Black Moon Lilith is tightly squaring the Moon and Sun. Squares, especially involving Mars, are more often than not frustrating, or conflict-inducing. From an evolutionary or self-development perspective, it can be a fire under the ass that inspires fruitful action if you’re willing to put in some work. The will and drive (Mars) is in conflict with both deep feelings or what has been hidden (Moon) and what is on the surface (Sun). Black Moon Lilith, the dark side of the moon if you will, is the ultimate shadow, raw and primal, what we often fear to become or be seen as, what we resist integrating; in fact the fear to integrate can be so strong that this energy usually represents outwardly as another who we see as bringing strife or temptation to overthrow the delicate life balance we strive to cultivate. Embracing this force a little more deeply within yourself, rather than hiding from it or distracting yourself with outward projections of it, may be your key. Under the Leo lunar spotlight and with amplificatory Jupiter conjunct the Sun, it will be hard to miss facing this lesson.
The lunar aspects may be vying hard for centerstage but not to be missed is the underlying tension of Uranian lightning squaring grumpy old man Saturn, an aspect that will set the tone for the majority of the year as these slow movers perfect their tango. We only get this zingy seasonal cosmic flavor every fourteen years or so. Though we’re only getting hints of the vibe now under the time of this full moon, we can expect something about this to color our perception of 2021 in its entirety, and we’ll get to know it more intimately as the months progress. Perhaps you’ll experience the tension of individual will with environmental or collective restrictions, or the negotiation of what in my normal routine and creature comforts needs adjusting to accommodate the viability of long-term attainment of dreams or betterment for the whole or even general progress. What can I strive to possess and hold onto within this framework? How can I set or even define boundaries for technology or experiences that are completely new or unprecedented? Refinement of understanding is possible but not without some hardcore adjustments to the status quo. Simultaneously, as the year unfolds, we also experience Neptune stepping off its current square to the lunar nodes, greater clarity of vision will come (unless you’re knee deep in a personal Neptune transit), as the fantasy and dream realm starts to solidify into something more tangible and manifest, if you allow it.
Finally, at the time of this full moon, and perhaps you’ve been feeling it in the lead up to it, we have lady Venus just perfecting her conjunction with Underworld lord Pluto, both in Capricorn. Deep transformation and intensity in love or financial matters, a final release and metamorphosis into something more grounded. With a separating sextile from desire-inducing Eros in Scorpio, I’d put my money on the former, but that’s just me. Capricorn is the bones, the foundation, the core structures literally and figuratively. We associate Pluto with unseen forces of control, sex, power, or loss as the means of a figurative (ego) or literal (physical) death. It’s as if the presence of Venus allows us to see the beauty even in the darkness or the promise of spring flowers on a burial site. Or, you can just call it kinda goth. It feels less to me like the initial descent of the goddess into the Underworld, as we’re just tailing out of such a heavy astrological Capricorn emphasis through the last year, with Pluto’s role central to that. This feels more like Venus is highlighting the rebirth and rebuild aspect of Pluto this time around. Venus will soon depart to join the Aquarius stellium fiesta and leave Pluto behind to hold the fort in Cappy to complete the Work. Though Venus and Pluto conjoin more or less on an annual basis, this time might be symbolic of something more significant given all that has freshly transpired. The moon in Leo will be pissed I’m spending so long not talking about it. Go out there and be fabulous.