Might as Well Be Walking on the Sun (also known as a macro shot of a day lily petal in July). Photo by Amanda Painter.

How has life been for you recently, leading up to today’s Aquarius Full Moon opposite the Leo Sun? For me, the last week-and-a-half or so since Venus stationed retrograde has been full of all kinds of bumps, literal and metaphorical. Last night while I was chopping some broccolini for dinner I experienced the most shocking of the “bumps”: slicing through a chunk of the tip of my left thumb, right through the thumbnail.

It was a clear — if incredibly painful and upsetting — reminder to pay attention: to my thoughts, and to what I’m actually doing with my hands when chopping leafy greens that don’t want to stay in a tidy row.

I had been semi-listening to an astrologer who I’ve tried to give a chance, but whose approach to talking about astrology just doesn’t strike me as being very user-friendly, especially if a person is not familiar with the lingo. I was going to turn off the audio juuuuust as soon as I was done chopping. Ha. I don’t think I was thinking actively disparaging thoughts when the knife carved into my digit, but my mind was certainly not 100% aware of how I was holding the veggies.

So what was the astrology saying? The current harmony between Mars in Virgo and Jupiter in Taurus (still in effect) would seem to suggest good luck in taking action, including with precision slicing — if one can stay focused on the task at hand.

However, Jupiter tends to expand whatever it contacts, whether beneficial or detrimental, and Mars in Virgo can be a little picky and critical. So can Mercury when it’s in Virgo, which it is — and it’s currently opposite Saturn, the Lord of Limits. Clearly I pushed the limit of how far my mind can wander while performing a task with a sharp blade.

This Venus retrograde in Leo seems to be a tricky one for me so far, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Given where Leo is in my personal chart, I’m shouldn’t be surprised that I am being given opportunities to look inwardly regarding what I value, my body and self-esteem, money, communication, thought processes, and my immediate environment. (You likely have Leo in a part of your chart relating to other facets of your daily life, but you can still keep an eye out for how your pride, heart, courage, compassion, leadership, loyalty, arrogance, and playfulness might be coming under review.)

Even so, in the moment when I injured myself last night, it’s the Moon that might hold the key. The Moon is the fastest moving body in our sky. Astrologically, that makes it useful for timing. The Moon also relates to our subconscious, our inner child, and our emotions — making it an exceptionally personal and sensitive symbol in a chart.

Yesterday evening, a few minutes after 7:00 pm EDT, the Moon was in late Capricorn about to conjoin Pluto (“change or die,” metaphorically speaking). It was also sextile Neptune in Pisces (speaking to how easy it might be to slide into the realm of fantasy, delusion, and distraction). The Moon was also in a kind of itchy-scratchy relationship to retrograde Venus, urging some recalibration (attitude adjustment?) to whatever Venus is in the process of recovering.

Yet it’s the Moon sidling up to Pluto that really caught my attention as a prelude to today’s Full Moon. Pluto is currently exactly square the lunar nodes, as it has been for a couple weeks or so. The lunar nodes are two points in space relating to the orbits of the Sun and Moon. Astrologically, they represent the past and future, karma and dharma, cause and effect, the comfort of familiar ways of being and the compelling-if-unnerving call into the unknown.  

Said another way, the lunar nodes represent a choice. Yet the choice is not simply either/or, but rather a choice to integrate both sides of whatever polarity they represent, and to grow as a result.

Pluto, for its part, brings power, depth, cellular-level evolutionary impulses, and a need to get to the root of things. It is often called “the irresistible force.” The Moon meeting up with Pluto last night seemed to signal a choice needing to be made, perhaps in how I tend to think of my path of self-actualization (the north lunar node is in Aries) and how I relate that path to others (south lunar node in Libra).

I’m still working that message out for myself, but last night I did wonder if hubris or a lack of humility was a factor. I have not felt lately that I’ve been walking my path of purpose as fully as I’d like or ought to; so who am I to judge someone else who’s putting themselves out there, offering what they hope are some helpful astrological insights?

In any case, as I sort that out, I wanted to offer a little tidbit about today’s Full Moon (which was exact just before 2:32 pm EDT). The Sabian symbol for the position of the Moon at that moment, 10 Aquarius, is:

“A man who had for a time become the embodiment of a popular ideal is made to realize that as a person he is not this ideal.”

Dane Rudhyar, who published one of the most popular versions of these zodiac symbols, continues:

“The need to deal with human beings as persons rather than as screens upon which one projects one’s dream and ideal.”

Anyone else hearing in those sentences an incredibly synchronous message in the context of the “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” films? (My partner and I saw both films over the weekend.)

Ignoring the gendered language, I would argue that the protagonists of each of those films illustrate these themes in their own way. Plus, viewing a film in a theater utilizes literal projection of light on a screen — just as a Full Moon is the result of the Sun projecting its light onto the Moon from precisely the opposite side of the Earth.

Even more, this symbol and this Full Moon — which features the Moon in the sign of groups opposite the Sun in the sign of ego — is a reminder to pause and reflect (ha!) on the traps we can fall into regarding how we see others, how others see us, and how we see ourselves.

More often than not, regardless which of those three equations is operating, details are being filled in that are not objective reality. Personal filters and lenses color how we interpret what we see (or think we see), even when looking at ourselves. Who we are at our soul’s core does not always match what others perceive from the outside.

Rudhyar also writes that this symbol can bring to our attention “a critical need for SELF-REVALUATION.” 

If that is a process you also currently find yourself in, I hope it is much less bloody than mine. 😉 I also hope you keep in sight the “value” part of that phrase; no matter what needs to shift in your self-understanding, it cannot diminish your value.   

With love,


Chart for the Aquarius Full Moon. You can see the Moon near the bottom with a bold “09” next to it, having separated from Pluto (to its left in Capricorn, with a bold “28” next to it). The Sun is opposite the Moon, the yellow circle near the top in Leo. The lunar nodes are the orange horseshoes: South Node in Libra (upper left), and North Node in Aries (lower right).

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