The Full Moon (June 14, 2022 at 4:51 a.m. on the West Coast), with the Sun at almost 24 degrees of Gemini and the Moon at almost 24 degrees of Sagittarius, will highlight the life of the mind.
This lunation is called the Strawberry Moon because in the Northern Hemisphere, plants are blooming and ripening. This one will also be a Supermoon, with the Moon very close to the Earth and appearing very large.
Gemini and Sagittarius are about what we think and what we think about, as opposed to what we truly know. These polar signs are about learning and taking in lots of discrete data points versus a more macroscopic quest for the meaning of life.
The Sun has been in Gemini since May 21. Gemini is our mutable air sign. Its imperative is insatiable curiosity, can’t get enough, whereas Sagittarius is the big-picture view of the world. Details aren’t that important. Passion is.
There is an old saying about someone who “can’t see the forest for the trees,” as in being too bogged down in data to see what it adds up to. This is a common dilemma in our social-media-saturated lives. But there’s another old saying that “the devil is in the details.” No trees, no forest. Healthy trees, healthy forest. We need skillfully selected and detailed knowledge, first, to arrive at legitimate meaning. Otherwise, our broad-brush conclusions can become fantastical, delusional, or dogmatic, all potential downsides for the Sagittarian mind.
In the light of this Full Moon, we might pay attention to what kind of information we are perpetually seeking out, and what beliefs we formulate based on all that data. It’s a good time to let in some alternative points of view. What’s really true? Sagittarius may think it knows, but Gemini remains inquisitive.
Squaring the Sun and Moon at this lunation is Neptune, ensconced in its modern home sign of Pisces. Interestingly, the glyph for Neptune is an open chalice set upon a cross, looking like open receptivity to that which is coming down into the material world, while the glyph for Pisces includes a horizontal bar of the here-and-now, holding together two crescents, one facing right and one facing left. Like Gemini, Pisces is mutable, can go either way, can vacillate. Neptune in Pisces can represent our highest ideals and dreams or our most flagrant, insane nightmares.
A Full Moon speaks to and calls for balance.
At this time also, Saturn, the planetary force of limits and effort, is in its annual period of retrograde motion (June 4 to October 23). This not unusual or worrisome. The outer planets spend a third or more of their time appearing to move backwards from our vantage point on Earth, meaning that large numbers of us have Saturn and other outer planets retrograde in our own natal charts.
A period of Saturn in retrograde motion is not a cause for alarm. It might be a time of revisiting harsh experiences from the past, including those that seem like they were fated. It can be a time to review what one has learned. That can bring remembrances of sorrow as well as a commitment to restructure whatever it is that’s not working.
The June 14 Full Moon comes a week before the June Solstice, the beginning of summer in the north and winter in the southern hemisphere, times of the longest day and the longest night. The solstices correspond to the ingresses of the Sun into Cancer and Capricorn, respectively. These are two of the cardinal signs. They are called tropos, meaning to turn. This year, June 21 coincides with the Third Quarter phase of the Moon.
I write these essays at two of the lunar phases, when the Moon is new and dark, and when it’s at its brightest, unobscured fullness, but these are not the only phases of the Moon. Dane Rudhyar, the premier astrologer of the 20th century, pioneered our understanding of the 8-phase lunation cycle: new Moon, crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, third quarter, and finally the balsamic phases. Each phase has its own resonances in our psyches, and the phases are also analogous to key moments in agricultural cycles, including seeding, sprouting, ripening and disseminating.
When the Sun enters Cancer on June 21 at 2:16 a.m. on the West Coast, the Moon will be in its Third Quarter phase. Look outside and the Moon will look half dark and half light. Later in the morning, the Moon in the initiatory fire sign, Aries, will conjoin expansive Jupiter while making an exciting sextile with communicative Mercury.
All of this bodes well for the June solstice. The Moon’s Third Quarter is a time of waning, time to take stock of what has transpired since the most recent New Moon (of May 30). In the north, the June Solstice is the very beginning of the waning time of year.
Revel while the Sun reaches its maximum height in the sky, knowing that all cycles are transitory. They roll out, retreat, and return again.
Blessings for the Sagittarius Full Moon and the June Solstice!