The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Scorpio, April 22, 2016

Chart for the Full Moon in Scorpio
Chart for the Full Moon in Scorpio

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion,
some humor, and some style.
~ Maya Angelou

Apr.22 – FULL MOON in SCORPIO (02:30 of Scorpio)

From the New Moon in Aries (Apr.07), we are now transformed into the Full Moon in Scorpio.

This transition goes from one Mars-ruled sign to the other. Although Pluto is often seen as a modern planetary ruler of Scorpio, Mars came first (as he loves to do). Personally, I use both traditional and modern rulerships.

This Mars connection is especially important because Mars just went retrograde (Apr.17), and since he does this only once every 2 years, it gives extra significance to our two Mars-ruled lunations (New and Full Moons).

And since the Scorpionic Pluto also turned retrograde less than 24 hours after Mars did... well let's just say the Scorpion is doing an extra passionate happy dance.

So: if Mars rules both signs, what's the difference between them?

Let's start with the elements. Aries is a Fire sign, so it's all about impulse energy, enthusiasm and will power. Also, Aries is a Cardinal sign, so it launches into action when something catches its interest. Aries follows the slogan "Just do it!"

On the other hand, Scorpio is a Water sign, so it's all about feelings, connection and passion. Scorpio is also a Fixed sign, so it has great powers of endurance and concentration. Rather than "just doing it" Scorpio prefers to revel in the experience of it.

Like water, the Scorpio side of Mars wants to penetrate whatever it encounters on its path. And also like water's adhesive quality, Scorpio can be so tenacious toward something (or someone) that it's hard to let go. Hence, Scorpio's rather troublesome reputation for obsession and aggression, as well as its gift for loyalty and endurance.

The Aries side of Mars anger usually blows up fast and furious, but the storm will blow over just as quickly leaving fresh sunshine. The Scorpio side of Mars anger, on the other hand, tends to smoulder down deep and then erupt like a volcano, leaving smoking embers that can take a long time to cool down.

Until you make the unconscious conscious,
it will direct your life and you will call it fate.
~ C.G. Jung

With both Mars and Pluto retrograde, and still moving very slowly, that Scorpio Full Moon light is pointed more toward the inside than the outside of who we are. So much of Scorpio lives below the surface of our consciousness, and this double retrograde is bound to heat up the bubbles that rise from the unconscious � both personal and collective. Scorpio loves a juicy secret, so your personal Scorpio energy might serve up one or two insights that have been obscured from your conscious awareness.

On a societal or global level, we could see information surface that brings clarity to situations that have previously been ambiguous or hidden. Scorpio loves a scandal, not just for its intense drama but because it usually means that secrets are coming to light. Scorpio prefers to deal with the whole reality, the whole mess, not just the neat and tidy surface.

T-square aspect pattern

As Mars has stationed to go retrograde (8� Sagittarius), it forms the apex of a T-square aspect pattern with the Jupiter-Neptune opposition. That means Mars�and this whole lunar cycle, from Aries New Moon through Scorpio Full Moon and up to the next New Moon�is likely to disrupt or stir up issues that are obscure, unclear, deceptive or unethical.

Saturn is a co-apex planet in that T-square, which means it probably won't work very well to simply apply an idealistic spin to make the mess look more wholesome or on the level. All that Sagittarian potential just got the bill and needs to show something for its efforts.

You probably can't simply write off problems as being "a work in progress" unless you actually are taking concrete steps to work on the progress. So if you're facing a disappointing outcome or falling short of your goal, Saturn will be happy to help you draw up a step-by-step plan of action to do for your Mars retrograde homework.

Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, anger and frustration are the result of you not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can�t work for you if you don�t show up as you.
~ Jason Mraz

Saturn and Pluto are also still parallel (see the New Moon in Aries article for more about this parallel). , meaning that you may have to answer to some stern expectations (your own or someone else's) that may bring some rather harsh consequences if you aren't prepared to step up and give the situation some authentic, heartfelt effort. Saturn and Pluto are the proverbial rock and the hard place between which you need to manoeuvre, so it's probably best to maintain the best honesty and integrity that you can manage.

Mars is moving away from the Saturn-Pluto parallel, but is still less than 2� away and continues to do a parallel dance with Saturn and Pluto throughout 2016. There's a "drop yer defences and reach for the sky" kind of attitude contributed by Mars in Sagittarius. When combined with the result-oriented agenda from Saturn and Pluto, it's best to let go of old misconceptions and beliefs that get in the way of your progress.

Actually doing that, of course, is easier said than done. So Mercury has kindly offered to lend a hand. Mercury is contra-parallel to Saturn, Pluto and Mars, meaning that as far as they are South of the equator, that's the same distance Mercury is North of the equator. Think of it like a resonant echo or mirror image. Contra-parallels are said to operate a little like an opposition, in that there is a separation of energies which need to be held in balance.

Mercury contributes the opportunity to bring that Saturn-Pluto-Mars striving for excellence and purification into conscious awareness. It's time to take out the garbage! Embark on a mental and emotional detox program where you counteract the negative self-talk and replace it, not only with a positive affirmation but also with a broader understanding of what drives it inside.

Let go of the guilt, shame, blame and judgment that you reflexively dump on yourself and others, and replace it with acceptance�not to condone something that's not good, but to accept that we are all a work in progress.

Mercury is gearing up to go retrograde, so this upcoming cycle (Apr.28 to May.22) is likely to be a good time to separate the trash from the treasure. Mercury will be retrograde in Taurus, which is perfectly calibrated for the job of reviewing what you value and why. Which snippets of self-talk support you and which ones suppress you? Which inner attitudes leave you feeling encouraged or satisfied, and which ones leave you wanting to retreat to your bed until hell freezes over? If the latter, is it the about thing you're trying to escape from or is it the way you're framing it in your mind?

The trouble with giving yourself a pep talk is,
that deep down you know it's all bullshit.
~ Sophie Kinsella, Remember Me?

The Sun-Moon opposition (a.k.a. the Full Moon axis) has NO other major aspects to anything else in the Full Moon chart. One way to interpret this is that your journey through the Scorpio Underworld might come sporadically or erratically. Like Hades sweeping Persephone unawares off to his domicile, you may find yourself unexpectedly immersed in a Scorpionic experience: intensity, overwhelm, rage, obsession, desire, passionate inspiration or the need to be alone within your feelings.

On the other hand, the unaspected Sun and Moon (other than to each other) might simply mean that much of the Scorpio energy flies under your radar and you don't really notice much of the usual Scorpio intensity, power issues or ultra-sensitivity.

There is one aspect pattern that the Sun-Moon opposition helps to form, although the orbs are a little wide�but hey, when you don't have much to choose from, you take what you got!

Arrowhead Kite aspect figure

I'm talking about an Arrowhead Kite aspect pattern, where the Sun and Moon form the "spine" of the Kite and align with the Jupiter-Saturn square. Saturn and Jupiter each are sesquiquadrate the Sun (135�) and semisquare the Moon (45�), and square to each other (90�).

The Jupiter-Saturn square is a struggle between energies pulling in very different directions. Jupiter in Virgo energy moves from the possible to the actual. It waters all the tiny seeds of potential to watch them grow. The problem is that, like planting too many seeds in a garden, you have to eventually weed some of them out or they will choke each other out. Decisions, decisions... But for now, Jupiter just keeps watering them and nurturing them with sunshine.

Saturn in Sagittarius moves in almost the opposite direction. It goes from the actual to the possible. Saturn knows how to weed out the potential bits that are least likely to succeed, and put give most of the support to the strongest ones. The problem is that possibilities don't always show their true potential right away. How do you choose between a prospect that could pay off in a big way but isn't a clear front runner right away, versus one that will give more humble results but its success is more reliable? Again: decisions, decisions...

The Arrowhead figure introduces a tilting point. With the Moon in Scorpio and the Sun in Taurus, that tilt hinges on where your passion lies (Scorpio) and what you value (Taurus). The Scorpio-Taurus axis can point like a compass needle to help you decide how to resolve the Jupiter-Saturn dilemma of risk and potential versus concrete results.

I hope you're proud of yourself for the times you've said "yes," when all it meant
was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.
~ Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

It's said that if you really want to know what's important to you, flip a coin to make a decision. If you listen closely to your thoughts and wishes, you'll know which side of the coin you hope it lands on. And if that whisper inside you is too soft to pick up, watch your reaction when the coin lands. You'll either feel relief or resignation.

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Difficult choices are often an argument between what you really want and what seems more appropriate. Between Jupiter and Saturn, you are strung between something uplifting and exciting but possibly not enduring, versus something difficult and slow but potentially more rewarding.

The Scorpio Moon and Taurus Sun are here to say you need to follow your heart as well as your head. You need to be able to find joy, feel satisfaction, truly value or invest your passion in whatever you're doing. It doesn't mean you must always follow what your heart wants and ignore what is necessary, but it does mean your passion and pleasure need to be engaged and involved in some way. To leave them out of the equation is to miss half the point of the lesson.

I wish you a passionate, productive Full Moon!

The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones
who don't care deeply about anything at all. Passion and
satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness
is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last.
~ Nicholas Sparks, Dear John

Apr.22 – Venus conjunct Uranus (21:11 of Aries)  (Apr.23 in AU)

The warm receptivity of Venus can become somewhat cool, detached and unpredictable when combined with Uranus. This is a good combination for carrying out a dispassionate strategy, or for networking with acquaintances and associates. It can also be a time when you might liberate yourself from old connections – for example, choosing to end a relationship, stepping away from an outworn friendship, or being open to experimenting with new kinds of connections with people. It can also be a time of impulse spending, or wanting to use your resources and finances for a humanitarian purpose. Finances may become a bit unpredictable or unstable – either bringing income when you didn't expect it, or spending it when you may or may not have. Whether you want to liberate your own life or someone else's, this is a time when freedom and independence become the focus of pleasure. Experimentation is also tempting, and while this can be invigorating, it might also leave you with consequences you hadn't anticipated. Embrace your spontaneity, but don't divorce your judgment.

Apr.28 – Mercury Stationary Retrograde (23:36 of Taurus; until May.22)  (Apr.29 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Yes, it's that time again! Mercury goes retrograde for the next 3+ weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped (hence "stationary" or "making a station"). During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress.

Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is a good time to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct.

In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible and learn to roll with the weirdness. It's common to have to reschedule appointments or redo things because the instructions or information got messed up the first time. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

If you absolutely must do something important during this time that can't be postponed, don't be surprised if you wind up having to redo things. It can help to be especially vigilant about triple-checking what you do, but some of these mishaps can't always be predicted or prevented, so don't be hard on yourself (nor on others).

Remember: Mercury loves to play practical jokes. This is his playtime. ;-) It helps to learn to laugh with him.


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Mercury is retrograde in Taurus, which can slow down your thoughts and put you in a very experiential kind of space. You might find you "think with your body" which can communicate what you need to say or do without needing words or conscious thought. You might feel a bit "spaced out" or sluggish mentally, like when you first wake up after a deep sleep. This is probably because your mind is more tuned into your body right now than on words and language. Your intuition may tell you more than your conscious thoughts. It is probably a good time to get into a routine where you can just do whatever you're doing and you don't have to think about it a lot – kind of like a moving meditation. Slow down, don't "push the river," and give your brain a well-deserved rest. If you have to use words and focused thought, give yourself lots of extra time to prepare and map out your plan of action.

Here are the key dates of the current Mercury cycle (using North American Eastern Time):

Apr.29 – Venus enters Taurus (until May.24)  (Apr.30 in UK, AU)

Venus rules the sign of Taurus, so she is very comfortable here! Your experiences of pleasure and sensuality are likely to be heightened...perhaps even a bit too much! You might be tempted to overindulge in sensory delights. On the other hand, you may feel the urge to be more grounded, practical and methodical in the way you handle relationships, money, possessions, material values, and attracting what you desire. It is also a time when your desires could manifest tangibly or at least become more apparent. It may be possible to see more clearly the ways that your self-worth is tied to material things, like income, savings, possessions and spending. Your finances and possessions could act like a "touch stone" to reassure you in times of stress. The trick is not to let this become a substitute for genuine self-respect. To make the most of this transit, take some time to relax and enjoy life! Take your time, smell the flowers, drink in the sunsets, listen to beautiful music, get an aromatherapy massage or explore new uses for chocolate. ;-)

May.01 – Sun sextile Neptune (11:32 of Taurus/Pisces)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Although this is mostly a very positive energy, you could become so immersed in your longing for the ideal that you have trouble dealing with the less-than-ideal realities that still must be dealt with. Gaining the benefit from this transit will still require some effort. Hope, optimism and imagination are in the air, which could bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity and imagination can be very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision, and you may experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential now to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately – although this will require your cooperation to take advantage of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.

May.03 – Sun trine Jupiter (13:18 of Taurus/Virgo)  (May.02 in HAST, AKDT)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it can click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time, finding new meaning in your live and the events that unfold around you. Self-confidence can run high now, and you could feel inspired to fight for justice or some cause. At the same time, there is a chance that all this self-assurance and "knowing" could go overboard into over-confidence, dogmatism or over-indulgence if it's not grounded in realism and humility. Just use your best judgment and enjoy this warm, shining energy!

Next Update:  NEW MOON in TAURUS - available by May 6, 2016.

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