Are we having fun yet? We may have to learn it’s okay to disagree during the Aquarius Full Moon.

Astrologers are certainly diverse in their opinions on what  the Aug. 18 lunation means.

The Almost Eclipse

Eclipse season is arriving with an argument: does this Aquarius Full Moon count as an eclipse? Some say yes, others no. (Read more about the debate below).

But whatever you believe, the debate itself is illuminating, as a few astrologers have pointed out. Common ground may be especially hard to find over the next few days, as opinions are very fixed:

“So this lunation may or may not be an eclipse. What people are telling you may or may not be true. Your own vision may or may not be skewed. (Though do note your first impressions, as you emerge from the torpor of June/July. First impressions are often right.)  No matter. Even if their triggers may or may not be real, or true, or as we perceive, emotions do not lie.”

Kathy Biehl, Empowerment Astrology

“What may be helpful during this lunation is to adopt a scientific approach. Test your ideas out. Be objective. If your emotional battery is flat, try something new.”

Leah Whitehorse, Lua Astrology

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Is it or isn’t it? 

There is no Earth shadow on the Moon visible from anywhere on Earth with this Full Moon. Therefore NASA, and other astronomical groups don’t consider it an eclipse. Time & Date calls it an “Almost Eclipse.

According to astrologer Bernadette Brady, who’s done extensive work on eclipses, a solar eclipse occurs when the New Moon is 18 1/2  degrees from one of the lunar nodes; a lunar eclipse when the Full Moon is 12 degrees from the nodes.

This Aquarius Full Moon occurs at 26 degrees of Aquarius/Leo, the lunar nodes are at 13 degrees of Virgo/Pisces;  they are approximately 17 degrees apart.

So, technically speaking, this Full Moon doesn’t count as an eclipse in astronomical or astrological terms.

But, several astrological software programs have this Full Moon listed as a lunar eclipse, hence the confusion among astrologers. Plus, the proof, as always, is in lived experience. How it feels to you, and how it plays out in your life.


Age of Aquarius

Another point of Aquarian confusion is that it’s the astrological “new age” we’re moving into.

And “new” is always hard to define. There are no hard lines in the sky, so astrologers don’t agree if we’ve already been in the Aquarian age for years, or if we still have a few hundred years to go.

Wars of definitions go hand-in-hand with such moments of transition.

Explains Clarissa of Viva Combusta! 

“Of course, in astrology there is always a chasm between the highest potential of a particular influence and the reality as played out in everyday life. As the process of leaving the Age of Pisces and entering the Age of Aquarius speeds up, we sense more and more that not all that is glitteringly Aquarian is gold. Does the Aquarian Age care what we want individually, or is it asking us to individually want the same things? …

“[T]he culture of being perpetually offended [is an] Aquarian Age phenomena. You can hardly say anything to anyone now without causing outrage for not conforming to their philosophy.”

And, she adds:

“Under Aquarius lunar cycles, there is a tendency for people to be contrary simply for the sake of being contrary, which can be annoying so don’t give too much weight to people acting this out.”

(For the curious, Jupiter will align with Mars next around Oct. 5 (a square). The Moon is in the 7th house just before Moon set, which occurs around 10 pm that evening (you’ll need to check your own location to find an exact time.)

My Ruler, Your Ruler

Of course, the meaning of the sign Aquarius is one of the most contested in astrology, and folks are not shy about voicing their opinions (which seems appropriate for a fixed air sign).

The difference of opinion sinks its roots into astrological history. To the ancients, the planet Saturn ruled over Aquarius. Over the last two centuries, modern astrologers have proposed a new ruler, Uranus for the sign.

And, befitting the sign of fixed opinions, the argument hasn’t stopped since.

So, let’s look at both sides…

Ruler Saturn

As the sign of the coldest depth of winter (from the northern hemisphere), opposite the Sun’s sign Leo, to the architects of astrology, cold and dim Saturn seemed the appropriate ruler for Aquarius. (Plus, there’s a new theory that the ancient’s mathematical understanding of the cosmic order made Saturn the only possible ruler.)

So, where’s Saturn? The planet of boundaries and responsibilities continues his slow crawl through Sagittarius. He just ended his retrograde cycle on Aug. 13, and still appears motionless (to us).  Planets changing direction (called “stationing”) seem even more prominent and insistent in their actions than usual.

And Saturn is caught between bellicose out-of-bounds Mars and the Mars-like fixed star Antares. That’s a double dose of fiery agitation. You know that saying “when an unmovable object meets an irresistible force”? Yeah, like that.

Explains Empowerment Unlimited’s Kathy Biehl:

“The approach could inspire feverishly arguing and pushing against limits, obstacles and rules. It could also feel like one foot is on the accelerator and the other on the brake — although, since Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, his preference for order and structure could well prevail. Optimally, the pair will collaborate in controlled, sustained effort, with Saturn tempering the colt-like, my-way-or-the-highway proclivities of Mars in Sagittarius.

“The tricky part about all these possible expressions of Mars/Saturn is the utterly unclear road conditions in which they’re occurring. Haze, fog and tricks of the light are obscuring and distorting the road and everything in it.

“Saturn, lord of form, is in a harsh aspect to Neptune, lord of everything that defies form (from illusion, delusion, and deception to transcendence, high level love and interconnectedness with all life). The upshot, for this Full Moon, is that we may be operating under false or misleading data. Objects in the mirror may not only be closer than they appear, but they also might not be as — or what — they appear.”

Ruler Uranus

Enter the rebel. Uranus was first spied by Englishman William Hershel in 1781, but it took years for him to even have a name (for a while he was known as “George… King George.”

Uranus certainly upset the apple cart because its discovery debunked the assumption that the planets we could see in the heavens, are the only ones that are there. Decades passed before modern astrologers began to associate him with the sign of Aquarius.

Fortunately, in this lunation, Uranus makes an easy aspect with the Moon and Sun. That’s astrological speak for “a good sign”:

“Moon sextile Uranus acts in unison with Sun trine Uranus to bring two weeks of stimulating experiences, surprising events and exciting change. Relationship imbalances and polarities in life can be reconciled using higher awareness, originality and experimentation.

“Increased intuition and flashes of insight lead to self-discovery and revelations. Combined with increased self-confidence this allows you to express the more unique or quirky side of your personality. You will feel like trying something new, so leave your comfort zone and widen your social circle with some extra ordinary people.”

Jamie Partridge, Astrology King

“Moon sextile Uranus is very supportive for a fresh breakaway. A clean break, perhaps. The Leo Sun’s trine to Uranus feeds the fire of innovation and courage.  Whatever happens, there should be a sense of “I can do this!”

Nadia Gilchrist, Ruby Slipper Astrology

Snap, Crackle… Fizzle

Which influence will win the day, you’ll have to decide for yourself. But before you get too excited (or confused), just remember that just after the Aquarius Full Moon, the Moon turns Void of Course.

“One thing about this is that just after the Full Moon perfects its opposition to the Leo Sun, it will almost immediately turn void of course. So, the buzzing and humming and snap crackle pop will build and dissipate just as fast as it came. So, even for those who choose to look at this Aquarius Full Moon as a penumbral lunar eclipse, it isn’t an earth shattering one. (Which is good, because the eclipses in September will be more than enough!)”

Clarissa, Viva Combusta!

A Few Other Aspects

There’s always a few more things going on in the sky in addition to the Full Moon. Let’s see what else astrologers around the web have taken note of:

Astrology King Jamie Partridge picks up on the amorous kiss between Venus and Pluto:

“Venus trine Pluto is the strongest aspect … apart from the eclipse itself. Perhaps the good news coming out of your special mission has something to do with big improvements in your love life and finances.

In the coming weeks, there’s also a triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter brewing in late degrees of Jupiter. Mercury and Jupiter meet first, then Venus catches up to them:

“Mercury conjunct Jupiter brings good news, optimism and a happy frame of mind. You should feel broad-minded, generous and sociable. This is the ideal time to start a new course of study and to sit exams. Journeys and holidays can be booked or started.

“Social charm, tact and diplomacy make this the right time to settle disputes. Buying and selling should turn a profit and you can negotiate a better deal in any area of life. Making plans for the future is favored but don’t forget to have some fun. Catching up for a chat with friends and making new friends will be easy because of your positive energy.”

Jamie Patridge, Astrology King

“The clamor is loud in and outside our heads. We’re thinking, talking and lapping up sound bytes with a vengeance, thanks to Jupiter’s more-more-more coming online in the communication hub of Mercury.  With this confab taking place in Virgo, evaluation and analysis are on overdrive, with an eye toward improvement that can descend into finding fault simply because it can. The verbal chewfest can assist in cleaning up your own thinking, building healthier boundaries and distancing influences that could disrupt or infect.”

Kathy Biehl, Empowerment Astrology

The happy-go-lucky sextile between the Moon in Uranus  also forms an awkward modern aspect to Jupiter (and to a lesser degree Mercury), called a Yod or “Finger of God.

“Yods are like a thorn in one’s side that constantly spurs you towards your goal, often whether you like it or not! And this Yod is entwined with the Lunar eclipse. Yods are sometimes called ‘The Finger Of God’, because life feels fated or destined. At the same time there is a yearning for perfection signified by the planet that it is pointing at. This one is God pointing at…. well God.

“There is no getting away from discussing religion then, and with Uranus on one side of the Yod, the focus is aimed at religious reform.”

Marina Macario, Darkstar Astrology

“The Aquarius Full Moon inconjunct the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction in Virgo brings a certain mental tension that challenges us to sift through the finer logical details of where the changing times are taking us. The inconjunct is a minor aspect, but still an uncomfortable one. While the sextile to Uranus retrograde in Aries keeps the excitement running high and positive, there is an underlying feeling of irritability and discomfort. Again, the inconjunct is not a major aspect, so I’m not seeing this discomfort as something to fret about, but with a highly electrical current running through the psychosphere there’s going to be an edginess that will not be to everyone’s liking.”

Clarissa, Viva Combusta!

“But that Yod to Jupiter. When it’s the focal point, you can expect exaggerated reactions/endings. Jupiter will be your key – the task or reason or next step. In Virgo, we can assume something involving information, solutions, or improvements. And Jupiter will conjoin Mercury (at 23 degrees) so maybe a very educational conversation or announcement. What you learn during this Full Moon will be instrumental in your next step to freedom. What you learn may surprise you.”

Nadia Gilchrist, Ruby Slipper Astrology

Other considerations

Aquarius Decan 3

The Full Moon falls in the 3rd Decan of Aquarius (the final 10 degrees). Darkstar Astrology’s Marina Macario explains:

“Those touched by this Moon accept that they will never really be accepted by society, but that no longer bothers them knowing how messed up the system is. This decan seems to be awash with paradoxes and this full Moon will flush these out onto the streets. One of the archetypes of this position is humanitarian mothers. Princess Diana had her natal moon here and certainly pushed boundaries about what is acceptable behavior for a princess.”

Sabian Symbol

Over the years, astrologers have devised systems of symbols for each degree of the zodiac. One of the most popular of the 20th century are the Sabian Symbols.

The symbol for this Aquarius Full Moon is: “A garage man testing a car battery with a hydrometer.”

Says famous American psychological astrologer Dane Rudhyar, this image “tells us that we constantly need the use of our intellectual power of observation and analysis to check on the effectiveness of the energies of our disposal.”

(I hear echoes of Leah Whitehorse’s astute observations, quoted at the top of the article.)

Lunar Mansion

In addition to the familiar 12-sign solar zodiac, there’s also a 28-sign lunar zodiac, known in Western Astrology as the Mansions of the Moon.

This Aquarius Full Moon falls in Lunar Mansion 26 Al Fargh al Mukdin, which translates as the spout of the water bearer’s vessel. I call it “The Muse” for short, because it’s a place where love and beauty are poured into the world, like Graces.

Summing it Up

The days around this Aquarius Full Moon may not be easy, and you may not find anyone who believes in what you’re doing. But if it feels true to you, you know you must let your light shine in.

full moon essentials

Lunaria Datebook

Last Moon Phase: New Moon in Leo

Next Moon Phase: New Moon in Virgo (Total Solar Eclipse)

Full Moon August 2016 Dates and Times

San Francisco: Thursday, Aug. 18, 2:27 a.m. PDT

New York: Thursday, Aug. 18, 5:27 a.m. EDT

São Paulo Paulo: Thursday, Aug. 18, 6:27 a.m. BRST

London: Thursday, Aug. 18, 10:27 a.m. GDT

Istanbul: Thursday, Aug. 18, 12:27 p.m. EEDT

Mumbai: Thursday, Aug. 18, 2:57 p.m. IST

Tokyo: Thursday, Aug. 18, 6:27 p.m. JST

Sydney: Thursday, Aug. 18, 7:27 p.m. AEST

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