The Moon at its full phase in the sign of Pisces is quintessentially dreamy. It evokes imageries held in the collective unconscious as well as in our personal searches for union with something beyond our small self-conceptions.
On September 10 , at 2:59 a.m. on the West Coast, the Sun in Virgo and the Moon in Pisces will face each other fully. Virgo in Earth and Pisces in water are two of the four mutable signs, highlighting the quality of changeability at this time of almost-autumn in the north.
That’s fitting, as the Full Moon of September is called the Harvest Moon. It comes before the September 22 equinox, known as Mabon in some pagan traditions.
At any Full Moon, there is a tension of opposites. With the maximum light in the night sky, it’s easier to see things in the dark, and I mean that both physically and metaphorically. It’s time to begin the waning part of the lunation cycle. It’s time to let things go.
One way of approaching astrology is to consider what is called the “natural zodiac.” This is the 12 signs arranged in sequence, starting with the first sign, Aries, representing birth and basic instincts. Imagine a circle and the signs moving counterclockwise, correlating with the first, second, and third houses and so on around the wheel. The Sun, in its yearly motion through the sky, comes to rest in Pisces, the last of the signs. Pisces is like the vast, unfathomable ocean, embracing all, a state of not knowing, the pause of closure before something new can begin.
For any moment of time–whether that is someone’s birth time or the moment in the lunation cycle when the Sun and Moon face each other as they will do on September 10– we can cast a chart. We do this now fast with software, but a chart is still just a map, not the territory.
It’s like if we’re watching a dance troupe on a stage and someone captures a still photo of what’s occurring in an instant. Looking at the photo, we know that everything was in motion before the camera clicked, and everything continued moving on from there. I was reminded of this process-oriented way of thinking about astrology recently in our September Astrology University course about lunar and planetary phasal relationships with one of our teachers, Mark Jones.
Like any transit, a Full Moon is more than just a moment in time. It is a relationship between the Sun and the Moon. All of the alignments captured in the chart for the precise moment of exact fullness are like a snapshot of dancers on a floor. I’m recalling a line from the dervish poet Jelaluddin Rumi, who once said: “We come whirling out of nothingness, scattering stars…the stars form a circle, and in the center we dance.”
Following the exactness of the September 10 Full Moon, a bit later that day, the Moon will make a harmonious sextile with Uranus, the outer planetary force of unexpected shocks. Then the Moon will meet up with Neptune, the nebulous modern ruler of Pisces. These brief transits speak to the harmony of the spheres and some possible surprises. Later in the day, the Pisces Moon will make a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn, perhaps bringing form to one’s Full Moon dreams.
A day before the September 10 Full Moon, Mercury will have stationed retrograde in Libra, the sign of love, beauty and balance. The functions of a planetary force are considered to be extra potent when a planet has stationed prior to changing direction, from our earthly perspective. The planet slows down and pauses over a particular degree of a sign, hovering and humming, like a freighted train in a station, ready to move but waiting.
Mercury in Libra, at the station of September 9, will have formed a balancing trine with Mars which is in Gemini for a long time, from August of 2022 to March of 2023. Libra and Gemini, two air signs, bring a sociability and loquaciousness to this time period. When Mercury is moving in retrograde motion in Libra, it’s good to be extra mindful of one’s communications with and thoughts about others. Watchwords are conciliation, harmony and equanimity.
As the September equinox approaches, later this month, the Sun in Virgo and Mercury in Libra are like dancing partners, gliding closer to each other and soon to change places. On September 22, the Sun will ingress Libra as retrograde Mercury will have just arrived back at 0 degrees of Libra, before it recedes further backward into Virgo for a spell. They will be minutes apart the evening of September 22. This is the moment in each retrograde cycle when Mercury is said to be “in the heart of the Sun,” called cazimi. It’s like the brilliance of a lamp you’ve just plugged into a light socket.
Mercury, the winged Messenger, ruler of perceptions, thoughts and words, will emerge from its quick union with the Sun, renewed and heralding a call for balanced introspection.
What an awesome way to begin the fall season.
Blessing for the Full Moon in Pisces and the coming equinox!