The Moon reaches its fullness on July 23 at 7:36 p.m. on the West Coast.
The Sun will have just recently entered the fixed fire sign of Leo, meaning that the Moon, on the opposite end of the zodiac, will be at 1 degree of fixed air Aquarius. (And, at such an early degree of the sign, it means we’ll have another Full Moon in Aquarius in August as well.)
July 23/24 will be a Plutonian lunation, with power dynamics in play. Two weeks prior, at the Cancerian New Moon, the Sun and Moon in Cancer were both in opposition to transiting Pluto, which has been in Capricorn since 2008. Now at this Full Moon, it is the Moon which is separating from a conjunction with Pluto.
What might this mean? At a collective level, the Moon has to do with public moods. For us individually, the Moon has to do with our habits, instincts, how we nurture ourselves and feel safe. Plutonian energy is anything but safe. It’s like a rumbling underground power that can and will erupt. Pluto is said to represent rebirth. But like the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes, rebirth happens only once something has died or — more gently — let go of. The July 23/24 Full Moon is an excellent time to consider what kinds of power dynamics are revealing themselves in our lives and what is no longer worth hanging onto.
The Moon in the sign of Aquarius is a conundrum. Lunar energy is soft and forgiving. The Aquarian archetype, not so much. Modern astrologers consider Aquarius’ planetary ruler to be the outer planet Uranus (which was discovered in 1781), as if the very far-out planets need to be linked to a zodiac sign. That’s problematic because for a couple thousand years, the astrological correspondences between the seven visible planetary bodies and the 12 signs have worked just fine. With the modern association of Aquarius with Uranus, this sign is now seen as change-oriented, even radical. That may be one expression of Aquarius. One of its symbols is the Water Bearer, a mythological figure pouring fresh water onto the earth for the sake of all of humanity.
But Aquarius is one of the fixed signs, as in not wanting change. If anything, Aquarian tendencies may be distanced and contrarian. Aquarius is traditionally “ruled” by Saturn. Fixed air is rational, logical, cerebral, abstract. The Moon represents deep emotions. With the Moon in Aquarius, it may feel like something needs to be adjusted. With the Moon close to Pluto at this lunation, there’s power at play. And with Pluto currently in one of its (normal) retrograde periods, we’re going back over some well-worn dynamics.
This Full Moon is also applying toward — meaning approaching — a conjunction with Saturn, which is in its airy home sign of Aquarius for a two-and-a half-year stint from 2020 to 2023. The Moon at 1 degree of Aquarius harkens back to the December 21, 2020 Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at 0 degrees of Aquarius, the start of a new 20-year cycle of these “social planets” which will meet in air signs every two decades for about the next 200 years. This Full Moon at 1 degree of Aquarius is a kind of punctuation point marking air sign themes of ideologies, technologies, and freedom (or lack thereof).
Every month, the Moon makes its way around the zodiac and conjoins Saturn briefly, as it will do on the morning after this Full Moon (the morning of July 24 on the West Coast.) It’s another astrological conundrum, a Moon-Saturn conjunction, by transit or in someone’s natal chart. It’s considered a downer because the Moon rules Cancer, and Saturn rules the opposite sign, Capricorn. The idea is that this combination will feel oppressive or depressed.
This is not necessarily so. All of the aspects and symbols in astrology have multiple possibilities for expression. A Moon-Saturn conjunction need not be a downer at all. It depends on the sign, the house, and the context of the rest of the chart. A Moon-Saturn conjunction may manifest as the blues. It may just as likely mean that there’s a kind of emotional fortitude, a solid container for the fluidity of feelings. Nothing in astrology is “bad.”
At the July 23 lunation, the Full Moon will be in the part of the sky between Saturn at 10 degrees of Cancer and Pluto at 25 degrees of Capricorn. That’s a containment right there. There may be a feeling that something to do with power is ready to pass away or become something new. With the Moon in Saturn’s air sign, Aquarius, it’s a chance to sit back, watch from a distance, and to just be still.
Blessings at the Full Moon,