Full Moon in Scorpio, May 10th, 2017, 20˚24’ 2:42 PM PDT
Full Moons are always so beautiful to gaze at in the night sky. I like to follow the phases of the Moon change through the month and then sense if I feel some kind of culmination, something reaching strength before the Moon wanes. This Full Moon is in the sign of Scorpio, at 20˚, so the potential is for an inner culmination of something buried below the surface, a swift undertow ready to rise, perhaps a moment of truth about the patterns of behavior that make us who we are, as Paul Simon wrote, “the puzzle that is me.” A Full Moon happens quickly, but working together with slower planetary aspects or in conjunction with longer transits evident in your birth chart, a potential moment is there for us to reflect and try to understand better our journeys. Scorpio is ruled by both Mars and Pluto. The day after the Full Moon, Mars, the traditional ruler, will form a square to Neptune and then a trine to Jupiter a few days later. These bring action, optimism and possibly some escapism into the waning gibbous time. But I want to focus upon Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio, because this particular Scorpio Moon forms a sextile with Pluto about two hours before reaching Full phase. To best grasp the psychological depth into which we can dive with this Full Moon, I want to consider as well this spring’s square between Saturn and Chiron. My teacher Steven Forrest says, “All aspects are about integration.” He is referring to the complexity of the aspects at play in a birth chart. I believe we can better tap into the passage of the Moon through her phases and the climax of the Full Moon’s energy by listening to the symphony of the sky at the given moment, as well as shortly before and after, about integrating those aspects with the longer transits occurring, and work with the grand sweep of the night sky. Let me see if I can explain.
I believe it is helpful for anyone to notice where Pluto is moving at the current moment (transiting) in comparison to your birth chart, especially if Pluto happens to be making an aspect to a natal planet’s position in your chart. It is difficult to address Pluto because of the schism so evident between the astrological world and the general public. Most people with little or no knowledge of astrology think “Pluto? Really?” They consider the definition of a Dwarf planet, the small size of Pluto in relation to the Earth, that Pluto is smaller than the Moon, and that Eris is denser, and that Pluto is just one of many Trans-Neptunian objects. The facts create the skeptic. In the meantime, astrologers of all stripes have thoroughly wrestled with the meanings of Pluto, developing set schools of thought, methodologies, ways of seeing and understanding the planet in relation to the human soul, evolution, even seeing Pluto as a reflection of karma and previous lives. Who am I to join in this conversation? Yet I cannot write about this Moon and not mention what I see, what I feel is helpful to consider about Pluto. In all humility I write from experience. The French have two words to convey, “to know”: savoir is to know as in “to know a fact” and connaître means to know as in “to know from experience” or to know “by acquaintance”. My writing comes more from the second notion of “to know,” connaître, because I have had an ongoing relationship with Pluto transiting my natal planets in the past several years, what seems like almost a decade - Sun, Mars and Mercury in Capricorn (as well as the south node of my Natal Moon) - by conjunction (Pluto gradually reached, or is about to reach, the same degree of each as they are in my birth chart).
Because Pluto’s orbit is unusual and it takes so long - 248 Earth years - to orbit the Sun, these transits are slow moving and have the greatest impact upon the individual psyche. I do not wish to carry on about the details of my life’s unfolding dramas. Needless to say the last four years of my life have been one long obliteration of who I am and one long process of rising up into who I will become, punctuated by quick moments of change, challenge and growth. Welcome to Pluto. Work on your stuff, or your stuff works on you. Ask yourself: how am I being pushed to grow and evolve, what avenues of learning are for my soul in this lifetime? Where is Pluto transiting in your birth chart? Does He create an aspect to any of your natal planets, your ascendant (rising sign) or pivotal points in your chart? What house is Pluto moving through at this time in your life? Depending upon the size of a house (I use the Placidus system), Pluto’s transit may last years, even decades, in a particular house. But that transit is unique to your life story. That long period can be such a long step or process of your own journey in this lifetime. Pema Chödrön says it well, “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” The quick passage of the Full Moon and sextile right before of the Moon to Pluto feels into the moment of what these changes may be - what self-realization will help bring about the highest manifestation of the slow-moving plutonian shift happening for you? I want to underscore that this particular sextile aspect and what I write is most relevant for those being directly affected by a conjunction, square or opposition of Pluto (19˚ Capricorn, consider three degree orb) to a natal planet (Cardinal signs - Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn). However, given that the Full Moon is in Scorpio, co-ruled by Pluto, the moment is a poignant one for anyone to consider what this slow-moving planet might mean in our personal evolution and how Pluto’s path through our birth chart might be reflective of the larger story of our life. The Moon at 20 Scorpio will be felt strongly by those with natal planets at 20 degrees of the fixed signs as well (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius).
The Full Moon in May marks the Buddhist celebration of Wesak. Wesak does not always fall on a Scorpio Full Moon. Last year’s festival occurred under a Sagittarius Moon. But this year’s Scorpio Moon and the Moon’s sextile to Pluto seems especially designed for the Buddhist Holy Day, which honors the life journey of the historic Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama - His birth, enlightenment and death (or Parinirvana). A sextile aspect is one offering the potential to make something manifest - it is not a guaranteed opportunity. The energy is soft and available if one opens to what is possible. Pluto can pull us down into the depths of our subconscious; bring to the surface truths, opening our inner selves through psychological process that then allows us to touch the Divine. Life in its fullest is a journey from birth, enlightenment, into death. The asteroid Juno joins Pluto as well (Conjunct at 18˚ Capricorn). Juno, the mythological wife of Jupiter, is the archetype of committed and long-term relationship (it is not necessary to assign gender or specify heterosexual relationship here. I honor all). In what ways does relationship and intimacy play in awakening consciousness? Is Juno’s dance with Pluto calling us to deconstruct, reevaluate committed relationship in light of our own expanding consciousness? In the narrative of the historic Buddha’s life, he leaves his wife and child as he embarks on the spiritual quest. Yet, in the end, Buddhists take refuge in the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (teachings) and the Sangha - the community. We need the “other” and we need community. Such ongoing reflections on relationship are also at play in the moment(see my recent posts on Jupiter in Libra and the Jupiter and Uranus opposition). Our work forward for the collective good depends upon the changing dynamics we create through relationship and partnership.
I want to end by mentioning a little about the current square in the sky between Saturn (27˚ Sagittarius) and Chiron (27˚ Pisces) because I believe it is helpful when considering the inner truths one may try to reflect upon under the Scorpio Full Moon and the Moon’s sextile to Pluto. Chiron in Pisces is a collective wound playing out in a unique fashion in each individual chart. Together we can co-create a better future and move humanity from the wounded to the healer if we address our own soul’s journey with the asteroid Chiron. Chiron, an area where we may carry a wound and where we must heal, is forming a 90- degree angle at the moment to Saturn, the taskmaster who sets up restrictions and calls us to hard work and maturity. A square forces us to face what potentially is tension between where Pisces falls in your chart and where Sagittarius lies. This is especially so, if you have natal planets at 27˚ mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces). It is useful to contemplate where in your birth chart Chiron’s square to Saturn falls. In the larger interconnected world in which we live and engage, Chiron in Pisces is like a collective wound which, if we can all address, frees us to be the healers and instigators of change we need at this critical juncture in time. Saturn may challenge you where tough work is needed and the square may bring crisis in order to heal that Pisces wound. Then the potential of the Pluto work will unfold.
The current Full Moon passes quickly as does the Moon/Pluto/Juno sextile, the Saturn / Chiron square moves slower, falling mostly out of orb in the months ahead. Contemplating the quick moments in celestial time may help us with the longer, slower (and more profound) gifts of evolution Pluto transits offer. “Rock you baby to and fro…Not too fast and not too slow.” Each type of transit works in sync with the others; each one rocks us just right. It all simply rests on us to listen.