On the morning of March 12, we have the final full moon before the Vernal Equinox starts a new solar cycle the following week. This full moon is fraught with difficult aspects and dissembling energies. The Sun is conjunct the asteroid, Chiron, who represents wounding and healing. Meanwhile, Saturn makes a hard aspect to Mercury, involving the luminaries (Sun and Moon) in a T-square. Let’s take a closer look to see how we can shift our perspective and use the current operational forces as opportunities for our personal growth.
Full Moon in Virgo
The symbol for Virgo is one of few human characters in the zodiac, the Virgin. Ruled by Mercury, she is a woman of mental acuity, and symbolized with a shaft of wheat in her hand, she applies that gift to her earthly labors. The motto for Virgo is “I serve” (by which thought is subjected to physical effort), or alternatively, “I analyze” (by which the material is scrutinized by thought). Arriving at the end of the summer, Virgo is the quality of discernment that is required during the time of harvest. In this season, we judge the manifestation of our intentions and decide what should be kept and what needs be discarded. This is the sign of self-improvement. Following Leo, in which the individual found joy in authentic self-expression, in Virgo we cultivate deeper self-awareness through analyzing our motivations and refining our ambitions with an attitude of service. Virgo contains the quality of humility required to perform the mundane duties that serve to improve our lives. Such duties include attending to our daily health and hygiene habits, approaching our curiosities with critical thinking, and applying our abilities toward common labors. The passage through Virgo prepares the individual for society.
The Moon represents the instinctual memory we have inherited. Impressionistic and imaginative, these qualities inherent to the Moon have a hard time harmonizing with the exacting nature of analytical Virgo. The Moon in Virgo is worrisome, combining the lunar quality of emotional sensitivity with the Virgoan attention to detail. Moon in Virgo seeks a sense of emotional security in dissecting the situation, carefully examining each facet of each part. The meticulous control of Virgo is balanced by the essential faith of Pisces, the water sign of dreams and spirituality as well as deception and disillusionment. Let’s now study this polarity a little deeper.
The Virgo-Pisces Polarity
While Virgo is the sign of the harvest, here in last sign of the zodiac, we are concerned not with reaping, but with releasing. Virgo is the sign of service, but Pisces is the sign of sacrifice. Metaphorically, it is the threshold to the Temple of the Great Mystery, where only the pure gain entrance to learn the secrets of the spiritual adepts. This is the ultimate goal of the mission of Virgo, to refine the individual ego through service to create a healthy channel to receive the spiritual essence symbolized by Pisces. In their highest expressions, Virgo is the “Virgin Mother,” the sacred feminine matrix, the vessel for the spiritual energy that is Pisces.
Symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions, Pisces represents the primal sea from which we were born into duality, and to which we will return upon death. There is a great psychic sensitivity in Pisces, a true gift when utilized with clarity, but which may cause madness if we did not do our Virgoan practices to properly attune and ground this ability through the body. Originally, the term virgin meant “whole unto oneself.” This virginal aspect is truly realized in Pisces, where we discover it was not meant to denote sexual abstinence, but rather to imply the strength of integrity required to maintain a personal relationship with the Divine.
Planets in Play - Sun, Moon, Mercury, Neptune...and Chiron
At the time of the Full Moon, there will be three planets in Pisces--the Sun, Mercury, and Neptune. As Neptune rules Pisces, his qualities have an extra emphasis, eroding the material boundaries that insulate our experiences and amplifying the psychic and spiritual signals therein. On the positive end, this may be a liberating experience that bolsters our faith in the unseen, but if not intentionally grounded, we may lose our footing and stumble on our path.
Furthermore, the Sun and Mercury are conjunct the asteroid, Chiron. In short, Chiron represents our deepest wound, which is often obscured from us by our own emotional armoring. Pay attention to your thoughts--as the mythological messenger, Mercury has the ability right now to act as an envoy between your deepest wound (Chiron) and your highest self (Sun). As the Moon is in Mercury-ruled Virgo, both luminaries will have the ability to connect to Chiron, and thus shed some light on what patterns have emerged from protecting this wound that affect who we are and how we feel.
The moon is full. Emotions, like water, well up under its pull. In Virgo, it excites the nervous system of the body, agitating not only our emotional nature, but our body’s physical responses. Meanwhile, the planets transiting Pisces are in their own struggle to maintain equilibrium. The same qualities of Neptune that lend spiritual illumination may also cloud our perception of our outer world, causing confusions that may later lead to conflict. The polarization of these energies through the opposition of the Sun and the Moon will be a deeply felt transit through the interaction of these water and earth signs. What else is happening in the sky that can help us handle the emotional intensity imbedded in these celestial energies?
Additional Actors - Saturn the Great Malefic and Venus the Lesser Benefic
Saturn is in aspect to the planets in Pisces-Virgo polarity, reaching its exact square to Mercury as the Sun and Moon reach their exact opposition, thus forming a loose T-square. Saturn is known as the Greater Malefic, a title denoting our ancestor’s belief that he was a malevolent influence. In truth, Saturn transits can be painful, as it is a force of reckoning. Archetypally, however, Saturn governs material success, indicating these periods of pruning are necessary for us to reach our highest potential. The Moon in Virgo can sympathize with Saturn’s austerity, and his influence may lend us the stability to observe the changing waves of our emotional and physical state without succumbing to their tides. In this way, we can learn the lessons of Chiron and begin to heal our wounds by making practical changes in the habits that emerged from, and reinforce, the energetic patterning of our emotional armor.
Venus, called the Lesser Benefic for her benevolent influence, offers a less severe approach. With Venus in retrograde, we are in a period of reflection in regards to our values and relationships. If we look ahead to when Venus turns direct on April 15, we see she meets Chiron to the exact degree, and from that point turns direct. Although not immediately connected to the full moon by aspect, we see in the cycle of her transit that Venus has a role to play in this celestial event. Afforded an added confidence from her mutual reception with Mars in Taurus, one path to finding stability and harmony through this hard-aspected full moon is in the honest assessment of one’s values, and committing to our personal integrity by aligning our value structure to support our spiritual service.
Planting the Seeds of Change
Difficult aspects in astrology reveal opportunities for growth. As the seedlings of Spring must make their journey from seed up to the surface, so do our trials prepare us to fulfill our purpose. Although the Neptunian seas can be difficult to navigate, the Moon in Virgo acts as a channel through the body to connect to solid ground. Saturn and Venus form a pair of influences--one stern in his direct aspect, the other soft in her retrograde. These aspects remind us to reflect upon what we reaped last harvest season, so we may sow in better wisdom this Spring. With the Equinox approaching, we have a firm final opportunity to adjust how we seed our intentions so that our actions may prove more fruitful over the course of the coming year.