Full Moon, 27˚39’ Scorpio, Sun, 27˚39’ Taurus Conjunct Mercury, 24˚24’ Taurus, Jupiter retrograde, 22˚12’ Sagittarius, Neptune, 18˚25’ Pisces, 2:11 PM PDT, May 18, 2019. Upcoming: Jupiter, 18˚43’ Sagittarius Square Neptune, 18˚43’ Pisces, 8:18 AM PDT, June 16th, 2019.
I love this old photo of hippies in San Francisco. It fits well into what I want to write and say about our current astrological moment. The light in the image gives me a feeling of the surreal; a sunny day of fun and laughter, but something lies underneath, something in the realm of a passing mood, an intensity of feeling.
You might be thinking, “What does all this have to do with a Scorpio Moon? Where are the scorpions? Where is the telltale sign of the zodiac?” I promise I’ll connect back.
Sometimes I find it intriguing to look back in time and compare an historical moment, what was happening in the sky then, and follow up in my mind with a reflection upon the current moment in terms of astrology. This coming June we have the second in a series of three 90˚ squares between the faster moving planet Jupiter, in Sagittarius, and the slower moving Neptune now in Pisces. Jupiter forms a square with Neptune about roughly every six to seven years, so it has a certain cyclical rhythm to it, though the timing of the exact aspect varies and several can happen in one year, as we have this year, because of retrograde motion. The square first occurred this past January, about two weeks after the start of the New year. Then in April Jupiter turned retrograde (perceived backward motion) and, as I write, the planet is four degrees away from another exact square that will occur on June 16th, Father’s Day. The third hit will happen just before autumn equinox in September, after Jupiter swings direct in August.
I decided to write about this square now, on the Full Moon in Scorpio, rather than when it happens next month, just before the June Full Moon, in part because I believe the historical comparison I make speaks to the nature of Scorpio as a sign – to help us with the feeling of this current Full Moon. But I also hope it helps us contemplate Jupiter’s retrograde passage leading back to the square. Better to have the information now while the energy builds! The stationing, slowing and stopping before moving retrograde, of the planet Neptune at 18˚ the week following the square, strengthens the tension of these two archetypal energies, Sagittarius and Pisces, to the eventual separation of the aspect later in the September. Also during our current Full Moon, Mercury, right now in opposing Taurus, opens us up to ideas and perceptions we might feel on an intuitive level about what this longer phenomenon might mean for us both on an individual and on a collective level.
The time in history I chose is the Summer of Love and then the following fall of the year 1967. The square in the sky between Jupiter and Neptune then shared signs in common elements as the current square in 2019, though the signs, Leo and Scorpio respectively, were, of course, very different from today’s Sagittarius and Pisces. The exact square occurred in early September in ’67. Jupiter had entered Leo briefly in late 1966, turned retrograde, and then when the planet was at 0˚ Leo again, Jupiter graced the infamous San Francisco Human Be-in of January 14th, 1967. Jupiter in Leo – a fire sign that embraces the joie de vivre and celebration of self-expression so characteristic of the moment, all the folks who flocked to San Francisco and embraced hippie culture, the passions of the times, the psychedelic play and performance of the era. Those of that generation, especially those with natal planets in Leo, many with Pluto in the sign when they were born, or those with Leo in their 5th House – must have reveled in enjoying the ride.
Meanwhile Neptune – planet of shared consciousness and mass spiritual sensitivities in the intuitive water sign of Scorpio – brought the intense feelings and awareness always under the surface of the thoughts and memories of those being sent abroad, those killed and maimed in Vietnam, the horrors of war, the suffering and fear and reality that you or those you loved could be next. What a deep, true feeling – so Scorpionic – embodying Neptune’s compassion through its passage through the sign. Somewhere deep below the play and revelry of Jupiter in Leo, demonstrative and heartfelt, if at times ostentatious and loud, wasn’t there always the underlying fact of it all being so fragile? Both pain and pleasure were real.
About a month after the square was exact, when it was waning, on October 6, 1967, the Hippies staged the now famous “Death of a Hippie” – a mock funeral through Haight-Ashbury neighborhood – declaring the media had “sold out” the concept of the Hippie – now a product of mass culture, the Hippie had been appropriated into the mainstream and became an empty shell of the very symbol of the countercultural. The Moon in Scorpio that day, October 6th, triggered the larger Neptune in Scorpio and the sextile to Uranus and Pluto in Virgo; all underscored “death” and truth as radical steps in maintaining the very power for social change embedded in that fun-loving, but in some ways very serious, certainly impactful, self-expressive spirit of a Leo generation.
So how does this relate to 2019? To the passing months surrounding the square now between Jupiter and Neptune? Jupiter currently in Sagittarius – like Leo, a fire sign – brings a passionate enthusiasm, in this case for Sagittarian truths we seek, our philosophical views, our opinions, our quests to understand, while also, at times, a push to adamantly make our beliefs known. Neptune in Pisces, like Scorpio a water sign, feels deeply, but with no boundaries, dissolves our understanding, brings about delusion and confusion – while nurturing a collective desire to connect with what is larger than ourselves, to escape (whether through the current episode of Game of Thrones or, of a more serious concern, through opioid addiction), to find the Divine, the spiritual in a world desperately in need of healing. Passion is muddled with Neptunian confusion and lack of clarity and creates tension with our set notions of what is right, with our higher ideals, especially if we remain rigid to what those ideals and beliefs are.
The timing of this past March’s retrograde passage of Mercury in Pisces and the unfolding dramas of what we learned, or even more so what remained hidden, in the Mueller Report, suggest the difficulties inherent in Neptunian and Piscean communication. The very day, March 24th, that Mercury made a transit to Neptune in Pisces, Attorney General Bill Barr sent his summary to Congress, writing that while the Mueller report "does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." There seemed a shared frustration many of us felt over the lack of clarity around what is actually in the report. Deception seemed to abound. Donald Trump’s Natal Moon at 21˚ Sagittarius, opposing his Gemini Sun (the President was born on a lunar eclipse), ties him emotionally into proving “he is right” under this upcoming square. Now another critical issue angering so many Americans concerned in protecting a woman’s right to choose, we watch state after state rushing to pass radical anti-abortion laws that even some on the far right are claiming have “gone too far.”
There is such tension now in the world between what we hold to be true individually, among our closed networks of family, peers, neighbors, co-workers and colleagues, and what we need to feel and do collectively for true compassion and change in support of all beings “with a heartbeat” and for the survival of our planet.
Thinking this way about the astrological moment, the Full Moon in Scorpio or the square between Jupiter and Neptune, in the realm of the collective, is mundane astrology. But I feel it is worth asking “How do we use this square productively in our own lives?” Consider where the square falls in your own natal chart. As Jupiter moves retrograde, can we wrestle with what this means for us individually? A Scorpio Full Moon may help us begin the process with a penetrating intuition into what our hearts hold true.
How do we dissolve ego and feel compassion for the many, while also holding onto our own truths and values? Does “my truth,” my “faith”, where in life I quest for understanding, need to be reevaluated? Or, even more relevant, where do I force my opinion or belief without honoring what others bring to the table?
In what arena have I been underestimating myself? Where do I need to question or expand upon my beliefs, my principles, and how can I act with compassion to make a lasting difference? To me, thinking of new paradigms and opening to ways more constructive to the common good sounds like a much higher road to take with Jupiter and Neptune!
Wishing everyone a great Full Moon!