Wiggling To and Fro


As lunar cycles go, whatever is quietly and invisibly ushered in at the New Moon makes itself fully visible in the light of the Full Moon. The stationing and subsequent retrograde motion of Mars (yes, that again—and this won't be the last time you hear about it either!) began at the Leo New Moon two weeks ago and now, as the Moon turns full in Aquarius at the start of this week, we have a much fuller picture of how this interesting reversal of action is playing out.

Aquarius, the sign of this Monday evening's Full Moon, is not the most comfortable home for the Moon. The Moon is all about the wordless, logicless ebb and flow of emotionality coursing through our unconscious. Aquarius is an energy of intellectual and socially-minded genius, great at abstract love and utopic visioning but a little bit chilly and distanced when it comes to the close intimacy of emotion. When the Moon turns full in Aquarius, it also means that the Sun—which is always opposed to the Moon when it is full—is in Leo, the opposing sign. The theme of this Leo-Aquarius opposition is the balance between our conscious ego and its desire to engage in ego-fancying exchanges of love and creative expression (Sun in Leo) and the social call to acknowledge ourselves as merely one point in a matrix of human experience, with emotional obligations to act in ways that promote the reformation and development of the group as a whole (Moon in Aquarius). Issues related to this opposition rise to perceptibility at the Aquarius Full Moon.

Aquarius is also the sign linked to Uranus, the planet that won't take no for an answer when swift and dramatic and status-quo-busting change is in order. The Aquarian tone of this Full Moon takes on added significance due to its current association with Mars in retrograde. As I mentioned earlier, Mars turned retrograde around the same time as the last New Moon a couple weeks back. Now that Mars is moving backwards, it is reapproaching conjunction with Uranus, an aspect that hit its last peak on June 23. By the time Mars turns direct again on Sept. 27, it will have traveled back to within one degree of (in other words, very close to exact) conjunction with Uranus. This Full Moon reminds us that the topsy-turvy Mars-retrograde-conjunct-Uranus configuration is far from done with ushering in massive dynamic change. If anything, the type of chaos that reared its head in late June is likely to begin to reappear as late September draws closer.

I am continually surprised by the ongoing effects of this Mars retrograde, how I initially postulated our physical drives would slow, then appended that idea with the observation that we weren't slowing as much as being directed in a different manner toward different targets, as if a switch had been flipped. Now, as I've been through another week of this weirdness and the Full Moon is shining its light onto the phenomenon, I truly believe that the switch hasn't merely been flipped from one side to another—rather, the switch continues flipping, back and forth and forth and back again, every day some new twist or turn to keep us on our toes. And boy does that have the capacity to leave us confused! This is evidently what happens when we combine the eccentric quakes of Uranus with the unknowable spiritual connectivity of Pisces, the sign through which Mars and Uranus are currently waltzing their mathilda.

I'm struck by the image of a child with a loose tooth, so eager to lose this vestige of babyhood (and to reap a shiny silver dollar from that elusive Tooth Fairy) that she cannot help but wiggle and wiggle it, back and forth, until it finally comes out. What if I told you that Mars and Uranus are conspiring to ensure that we lose whatever baby teeth are ready to come out of our mouths—and are wiggling our consciousness to and fro until these outdated choppers can't take it anymore? That's what I believe is happening right now (and will continue to happen for another couple months). There is no room for change to enter our lives unless certain things are shaken right off the tree. Of course, we don't have the clearest vision to see which things must go and which will weather the storm. But luckily, all we need is faith to get us through it—and th5e understanding that, the harder we hold on, the harder the Mars/Uranus force will shake us until we finally loosen our grip.

The reassuring news to accompany this otherwise unsettling situation is the presence of Saturn, making a helpful trine (120-degree angle) to Mars throughout this period. I know, some of you astrological types might be wondering how Saturn, with his bad rap for being harsh and difficult and authoritarian, could be a reassuring force—which just goes to show how often Saturn's negative characteristics are played up. Saturn is also the master builder, combining strategy and discipline and patience to construct enduring symbols of its strength and maturity. If Mars and Uranus together are shaking the house, causing tiles to fall from the ceiling and walls, then Saturn added to mix is reinforcing the ones that haven't fallen, collecting the ones that have and deciding which ones should be reapplied in a new position or structure for a solid future. Saturn's presence helps us stay somewhat grounded, despite the fact it feels like even the ground is moving these days. It's like a bone has been thrown to us by the higher powers that drive the planets. For astrology always mirrors the grander spiritual notion that we are never given more than we can handle at any one time, no matter how overwhelming the certain situation might seem. So, for once, let's all thank Saturn for his wise assistance rather than continuing to dread his wrath…