The line separating breakdown, and breakthrough, is never fuzzier than during a Pisces Full Moon.
And this Pisces Full Moon is even more potent for being a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse.
Clarissa of Viva Combusta! sums up the lunation beautifully:
“The time for new directions is nearly here, and our very drained psychic batteries need to be recharged, cleaned up, healed before we can take anything else on.
“Part of that process of beginning again starts with dreaming again, infusing life with feeling again, which is a Piscean-Neptunian specialty. Most of us could use a bit of magic in our everyday lives. For those of you who like to set intentions under certain Moons, a great intention for this one would be to actively and consciously re-enchant the practical world, however you choose to do that.”
Are you ready to plunge into the cosmic ocean? It's coming soon on Friday, Sept. 16.
At Shadow's Edge
Remember how you felt last time you gazed up at a Full Moon — awe, powerful, magical, mysterious.
Okay, maybe a bit dizzy too.
Whatever you felt, you felt something. The Full Moon has a way of capturing the heart and the imagination. Our emotions and feelings are heightened.
More so even when the Moon is in eclipse. Over the past few years, we've gotten familiar with the “blood moon” total lunar eclipses. As the Full Moon passes deep into the Earth shadow, the Moon's bright face darkens, then blushes a deep red.
It's a moment you're certain not to forget.
This month's lunar eclipse is a bit different. It's called a “penumbral” eclipse — that's Latin for “almost shadow.” Basically the Full Moon just grazes the Earth's shadow. (You can see the animation on Time and Date).
This eclipse happens in the daytime from the Western hemisphere, so you can't see it at all. But it's also hard to notice even where it is visible; the Full Moon will be just slightly darker than usual for a few minutes.
So, as eclipses go, this one's a lightweight. But don't let that fool you into thinking this isn't a powerful lunation. Befitting the nature of Pisces, things are not always as they seem.
Swimming with the Fishes
This Full Moon-Lunar Eclipse falls in Pisces — perhaps one of the most sensitive places the Moon can reside.
Explains Clarissa of Viva Combusta!:
“Fish do not see as we see; they are underwater and in waters that are often muddy or dark. They sense, they feel; the movement of the water against their scales provides more vision than the eyes on the side of their head. A minor change in the current or surrounding temperature tells them when there is danger present. They do not need to see it, they simply feel it and know it and to question that sense perception would be a mistake.
“While our senses will be running high, without careful discernment these extrasensory perceptions will get us into trouble rather than leading us out of trouble; muddying up the waters.”
Pisces Moons are known for their ultra-sensitive response to the world. If you have a Pisces Moon yourself, this eclipse will be highly ethereally charged for you. Make sure you take care of yourself! (Download the Astrology Hub free Full Moon Essentials PDF if you haven't already — it was actually written under a Pisces Full Moon.)
As the last sign of the Zodiac, Pisces is also associated with endings, and the dissolution into the unknown. You made need to find yourself needing to “just breathe” in face of fears you can't pinpoint.
“As cosmic horror master H. P. Lovecraft put it, ‘the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown’. While there is nothing horrific per se about the upcoming Full Moon / Lunar Eclipse … it’s true that it will involve a confrontation with the unknown to some extent – the transcendental, fluid unknown of the Piscean realm. An unknown that is as mysterious as slippery and elusive, a place where ends and beginnings meet, but also a shroud that conceals things we’d much rather avoid – out of fear. Fear of losing ourselves. Fear of giving up control.”
“Pisces represents endings: not so much the brutal death-like endings of Scorpio; more like a culmination. It is a sign of letting go. It is often the sign of saying our goodbyes….We are actually saying goodbye to certain major astrological transits we’ve had for a long time now, and standing at the precipice of new ones ramping up.”
Beneath the Harvest Moon
Though you may not get to see the eclipse, this Moon still creates a special show. It's known as the Harvest Moon.
In the norther hemisphere, especially in latitudes higher than 35 or 40 degrees north, when the Moon rises, it appears full for several evenings in a row. For thousands of years, farmers knew they could depend on the extra-bright moonlight to bring in their crops well into the evening hours, hence the name “Harvest Moon.”
Not only will this Full Moon appear to last longer than usual, its also appears larger than usual. We're entering the Super-Full-Moon season.
In fact, the Full Moons of the next few months are all larger-than-average.
That's because the Full Moons are happening close to the Moon's perigee point — the place in its orbit when it's closest to the Earth.
So, if the Full Moon energy feels potent to you this month, just wait — it will be even closer in October and November. (And the one in November is the closest Full Moon until 2034.)
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Depending on who's definition you use, you could call this Pisces Full Moon a Supermoon, or not.
But what makes this Supermoon season especially interesting, it's that it's happening as the Earth approaches its own perihelion — the closest Earth gets to the Sun — in early January.
So, the Full Moon's are happening when the Moon is nearest the Earth and the Earth/Moon are nearest the Sun. The tides will be running higher on all levels for the upcoming months.
Another interesting effect as the Earth's perihelion is that the Full Moons start to occur on or near the same degree. In fact, the five Full Moons from November to March all occur at 22 degrees of their signs. Anyone with a planet at or near that degree will feel like they've experienced an extra dose of the Moon's sacred lunacy.
Finding the Balance
Pisces' ruling planet Jupiter just moved into Venus-ruled Libra last week, launching a year-long revelatory, focus on Venusian concerns for finding pleasure, harmony, and balance. The goal? Living in “right-relationship” with those we love.
Venus herself is in Libra as well, turning the spotlight on harmony and compromise during this eclipse. As Astrology King Jamie Partridge points out, Full Moon's signal a time when relationship concerns take center stage.
It's also an interesting time for the feminine principles. Traditionally, lunar eclipses cast the yin polarity into shadow — for good or ill. But the strong Jupiter-Venus connection in Libra suggests the feminine principle has the home-field advantage, even if it's not clearly evident yet.
Revealing the Truth
Modern astrologers also associate Neptune, god of the oceans, with Pisces, sign of the Fish.
And, for the past year, Neptune's been locked in a difficult aspect with Saturn, which has colored much of the year. This eclipse is like the exclamation point at the end of their squabble. Says astrologer Kathy Biehl:
“This Full Moon is teeming with revelations, exponentially more so than most lunar eclipses (which are generally off the charts in this department). Thank a shift in the machinations of the cosmic fog machine. It’s been on overdrive since late last year, the byproduct of a protracted clash between Saturn, lord of form, and Neptune, lord of all that defies form…Their conflict is behind the vagueness, weirdness and confounding, credulity-defying statements and behaviors that have enveloped us since late last year.
“The two planets squared off for the last time on Sept. 10 and are slowly backing away from battle. As the fog evaporates, backstories are emerging; masks are dropping; lies and conceits are being revealed; explanations for all manner of mysteries are tumbling forth.
“And as we see more and more what has been going on in front of us, or behind our backs, or in the fog, the lid is flying off emotions. Ignored, buried or denied ones are pouring out with an especially uncontrollable, physically uncomfortable power.”
Mars the Peacemaker?
Bellicose Mars is also on the scene for this eclipse — squaring off with both the Sun and the Moon. It's also the most-talked-about aspect of this lunation; let's see what astrologers have to say:
“We’re going to see some fights with this. How could we not? People will be pushy. Mars is in Sagittarius will expand egos (Sun) and angry feelings (Moon). You tell me how that spells, P-E-A-C-E.”
“Another major astrological transit we’re kissing goodbye is the aggressive agitation of Mars retrograde. Mars typically moves through the zodiac signs at a clipped pace, befitting the planet of action and energy. For all of 2016, however, Mars remained in just two signs -Scorpio and Sagittarius- and much of that time was spent either in retrograde motion or in retrograde shadow. Mars changes signs for the first time this year on September 27th, when it moves into Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation. Before it goes on its merry way and reclaims its mojo, Mars in Sagittarius gets one final shot at expressing righteous rage by squaring this eclipse.”
The square to “Mars means you have had enough of the fearmongering, lies and propaganda highlighted by the Sept. 1 solar eclipse. You will feel like it’s time to fight back against a year of worry, guilt and depression caused by Saturn square Neptune.
“The combined impact of the Sun square Mars and Moon square Mars brings simmering anger to the surface so care is required to avoid being hurt or causing harm. Both the anger and any potential pain is emotional but may also be felt physically by you or another. Tests of character can come from your competitors or enemies, at home and at work. Courage is needed to face what is making you feel threatened.”
“The combo — reality-tilting revelations plus tsunami-force emotions — is motivating us to Do Something.
“So is Mars, god of war and ruler of the masculine and our drive and energy. The Sun and the Moon are squeezing him in a dynamic configuration called a T-square. The pressure demands action, so not only is the lunar eclipse coaxing out emotions and revelations like crazy, but we are acting and reacting. Maybe like crazy, maybe not.
“Since Mars is in Sagittarius, the resulting action is spontaneous and high-energy. It may have an element of putting beliefs in motion, perhaps forcefully or with a touch of anger. It may also have a premeditated streak, even with notes of maturity and commitment, reflecting the marching orders that Mars received from order-loving Saturn at the end of August.”
Interestingly, Mars is also caught up in a second planetary triangulation — a trine to Uranus and a sextile to Venus. Which also means Venus and Uranus are opposing one another.
Let's break it down:
Venus opposite Uranus
Uranus in pioneering, Mars-ruled Aries wants to be free to blaze new trails. To go its own way without restraint. Without really even considering the needs of others.
Venus in her own sign Libra is quite the opposite. Her main concern is for harmony, not achieving any self-focused goal. She's willing to compromise to preserve the relationships.
And, both Venus and Uranus are just “out of sight” of the Moon and Sun. Their opposition is 30 degrees (semi-sextile)/150 degrees (sometimes called an in conjunct or quincunx), amping up the sense of “irreconcilable differences.”
How does one find common ground when it seems like folks are speaking from different planets, literally and metaphorically?
Ironically, it's Mars that gets cast in the role of peacemaker between Venus and Uranus. Not a role usually suited to Mars. What messages is Mars getting?
Mars trine Uranus
As Mars empowers Uranus with an easy energy flow, the desire to fight for freedom is heightened. Just imagine two people passionately advocating a position, egging each other on.
“Then again, [Mars] might be daring to the point of recklessness. Mars is in a direct easy flow to Uranus, agent of radical change, in leap-first, look-later Aries. Fired up by this pair, emotional expression promises to be bold, abrupt and risky, revealing personal truth and letting chips fall where they may.”
Mars sextile Venus
Venus whispers sweet nothings in Mars' ear. Like Beauty quenching the Beast, a strong Venus sprays a cooling mist on fiery Mars, urging him to turn his attention toward love and reconciliation rather than conquest.
“Your sex drive and physical attractiveness will also enjoy a boost. This will match your increased desire for excitement and sex, so finding a willing partner comes easier than at other times.”
With Mars in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius (and Jupiter also in Libra) the ultimate resolution may come from Jupiter's truth revealing tendencies. Having the courage to lay all your cards on the table, may be the only way to break the impasse and preserve harmony in the relationship.
And, with Jupiter ruling Mars and the Moon's sign, it also suggests that the solution lies in “walking the talk,” not getting mired in the minutia.
The devil's in the details, so they say. And sometimes it's the details that spark our flashes of understanding. Here's a few of the bells-and-whistles that go with this Pisces Full Moon Lunar Eclipse.
Minor Planets & Asteroids
The Pisces Full Moon Lunar Eclipse falls near Chiron; some modern astrologers have associated this minor planet (one of several in a class called “Centaurs”) with the mythological story of the Greek “wounded healer.”
Chiron's position near the Full Moon evokes a healing meme for this lunation:
“The waters pouring forth have profound therapeutic properties, with wounded healer Chiron traveling close by the Moon. His presence acts as a cosmic solvent, washing away the illusion of isolation as well as tendencies to soak up, carry and drown in other people’s pains, burdens and sorrows.
“The mind can’t stop it. It can’t even overanalyze effectively, at this point. Chiron is opposing Mercury, ruler of the mind and the Virgo Sun. The positioning is putting the whammy on Mercury, overpowering the mind and permeating thoughts, words and messages with compassion, forgiveness and healing on all levels.”
When a New or Full Moon falls near a fixed star, the star lends its qualities to the lunation. This lunation occurs near fixed star Markab.
“Potent mind-power comes from Markab, the alpha star in the wing of Pegasus which “is said to influence above all the spiritual and mental nature, to give a good head for figures, intellectual alertness, mental powers in general and last but not least, the ability to further propaganda activity.”
Each astrological sign can be divided into three 10-degree divisions. Occuring at 24 degrees Pisces, this Full Moon illuminates Pisces third Decan:
“The Moon here can be quite “bratty,” for those effected by this eclipse will feel at the mercy of their hormones. It is very important you make time for lunar darkness and quiet or you will become a cranky, pain-in-the-arse for the next 3 months. Beware of infantile rages that can emerge due to unresolved childhood trauma.”
Over the years, different astrologers have assigned meanings to each degree of the Zodiac. The most popular of these systems used in the 20th Century are called the “Sabian Symbols.”
The image for this Pisces Full Moon is: “A religion organization succeeds in overcoming the corrupting influence of perverted practices and materialized ideals.”
The astrologer Dane Rudyar summarized this degree meaning as “The power of the Soul to intervene in the personal life and to induce the necessary catharsis.”
In short, your soul has the ability to interrupt your regularly scheduled program, if you're getting too far off track. Certainly a possibility in eclipse season.
In Western astrology, we're familiar with the 12-sign solar Zodiac. But there's also a 28-sign lunar Zodiac called the Lunar Mansions. This Full Moon falls in Lunar Mansion 28. In Arabic, it's called Al-batn; I nicknamed it “The Fish.”
When the Moon is in this lunar mansion, it's time for for counting your blessings. Take stock of what you have, so you're ready to begin the next cycle with an open mind and heart.
Summing it Up
It seems fitting the Pisces Full Moon Lunar Eclipse may be the most illusive Moon of the year. Take time to recharge your own batteries. And best advice? Count to 10 before you leap into the fray — without common ground, dialog rapidly devolves into a game of “He said, She said.”
Last Moon Phase: New Moon in Virgo (Total Solar Eclipse)
Next Moon Phase: New Moon in Libra
Full Moon Lunar Eclipse September 2016 Dates and Times
San Francisco: Friday, Sept. 16, 12:05 p.m. (eclipse maximum 11:54 a.m.) PDT
New York: Friday, Sept. 16, 3:05 p.m (eclipse maximum 2:54 p.m.) EDT
São Paulo Paulo: Friday, Sept. 16, 4:05 p.m. (eclipse maximum 3:54 p.m.) BRST
London: Friday, Sept. 16, 8:05 p.m. (eclipse maximum 7:54 p.m.) GDT
Istanbul: Friday, Sept. 16, 10:05 p.m. (eclipse maximum 9:54 p.m.) EEDT
Mumbai: Saturday, Sept. 17, 12:45 a.m. (eclipse maximum 12:24 a.m.) IST
Tokyo: Saturday, Sept. 17, 4:05 a.m. (eclipse maximum 3:54 a.m.) JST
Sydney: Saturday, Sept. 17, 5:05 a.m. (eclipse maximum 5:54 a.m.) AEST