Full Moon in Capricorn: Breaking Set

posted in: Capricorn, Full Moon | 2

Overnight Saturday, the Full Moon in Capricorn arrives. The official time is six minutes after midnight, so, July 9 in my Eastern time zone and July 8 in time zones west of me.

Capricorn is the Old Goat. Saturn-ruled, this sign of the water-goat is traditional, fixated on rules, determined, and absolutely committed to physical reality. The Moon, whose home is Cancer, is not so happy in Capricorn, but she is grounded and full of grit. This is a no-nonsense Full Moon.

The Full Moon and Pluto will be very close together, one degree apart and moving toward an exact conjunction that arrives two hours after the Full Moon itself. Since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, he’s been uncovering rotten foundations in Capricornian things, including financial institutions and markets, governments, physical infrastructure, and the earth itself. Fundamentally, Pluto is about power: Who wields it, what its limits are, how we use it best or face the consequences of its abuse.


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When the Moon and Pluto appear together, the Moon can feel overshadowed, her own power dimmed almost to nothing by Pluto’s intense weight. At this Full Moon, the illumination we experience is likely to include messages about how we relate to power, both personal and collective.

The Sun, opposite the Moon in the Moon’s home sign of Cancer, provides the light that illuminates. This Cancerian Sun focuses on feelings, so the questions we may face are, how do we feel about power? Am I powerful? Powerless? How do I relate to the power around me? Am I overwhelmed, envious, bitter, stimulated, encouraged, strengthened, or something else?

With the emphasis on the Cancer–Capricorn axis, we explore these feelings both emotionally and physically. Can I name my emotional states? Where do I feel them in my body?

Then there’s Mars. This masculine, let’s-get-‘er-done planet is traveling through Cancer, where he is less than happy. The watery, protective, emotions-based style of Cancer does not suit Mars, leaving him feeling damp and ineffective. He has already opposed Pluto, an aspect that was exact the morning of July 2. You might have noticed this in flares of temper, challenges at home or in relationships, and power squabbles. Mars doesn’t like being under Pluto’s thumb either.

At the Full Moon, Mars is widely conjunct the Sun and opposing the Moon and Pluto. This adds unpredictability and an incendiary quality. If you are out on the town this Saturday night, it would be wise to avoid challenges, confrontations, and anything that might explode.

Let’s toss in a little more intensity. Jupiter in Libra squares the Full Moon. He’s a good luck kind of guy, leans toward peacefulness in Libra, but also makes things bigger. Will he calm anger or inflame it? Neptune in Pisces trines Sun–Mars and sextiles Moon–Pluto, adding possibilities for visionary insight or delusional confusion. Saturn, ruler of the Full Moon, is retrograde in Sagittarius. He might be philosophical, he might be bombastic, but he’s going to be pretty sure he has the answers and you need to listen.

Yes, this is a very intense Full Moon. Approaching with caution is advised. Keeping your head in the sand will most likely not turn out well.

Like all intense configurations, this is an opportunity. We are invited to stand up in the light of the Full Moon and look around us. We may face a challenge and if we do, we will learn from it. As always, I recommend checking where this Full Moon falls in your birth chart. The Moon will be at 17 Capricorn, Pluto at 18 Cap, the Sun at 17 Cancer, and Mars at 22 Cancer. Check these placements by house to see which areas of life might be affected, and notice what planets and chart angles you have around 15-23 degrees of any sign, but especially the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. These will all be touched by this Full Moon.

The Full Moon takes place around the world, of course, so world-wide events are possible. Power plays, efforts to exert control, attempts to use power that expose wrongdoing or simply things that don’t work properly. But the most important effects will be personal, because these are the ones we can work with directly. Whether the challenges we face come from world events, from personal relationships, or arise within our own psyches, we will want to pay close attention to what we feel and how we respond.

How comfortable are we with anger? Direct expressions of healthy anger can bring important issues to the surface, identify where our boundaries are not strong enough, and create a climate where a healthy balance can be found. Mars in Cancer, though, can lean toward suppressed anger, manipulation, jealousy, envy, and passive aggression. Whatever arises, we will want to face it, own what’s ours, and set aside what is not.

What about power? Where does our personal power come from? How do we keep ourselves strong, healthy, and balanced? When we are faced with a force stronger than we are, do we know how to roll with it? Can we acquiesce safely, maybe even gracefully, and rethink our plans?

Think of this Full Moon not as the final battle but as a test. Think of a shakedown–not the Mafia kind but the equipment testing you do before an important journey. The “equipment” we test will be our own psyches, especially the ways we deal with anger and power. Adjustment might be needed and it’s best to know now so it can be taken care of.

We are not without support. Venus at 4 Gemini is lighthearted and full of ideas. Mercury at 5 Leo will be greathearted, playful, and inventive. These two are sextiling each other, joining forces in an energized way. They bring positive energy into the mix.

One day after the Full Moon, we’ll have the exact Sun–Pluto opposition. This is not a long-lasting aspect, but can precipitate a crisis as the core ego strength of the Sun confronts Pluto’s principle of utter transformation. Coming on the heels of this Full Moon, it’s possible the illuminations we gain will call for action of some kind. If the Full Moon helps you identify toxic patterns, for example, the Sun–Pluto opposition might trigger a detox phase. This Full Moon energy won’t be over ’til it’s over.

We all function by using “sets.” Our perceptual sets predispose us to see, hear, or smell certain things. This can be as temporary as noticing every whiff of food when we’re hungry, to more permanently avoiding people we believe look dangerous. Our mental sets lead us down certain paths to setting up and solving problems, which can help us with familiar problems but prevent us from finding novel solutions to unusual ones.

We’re human. We all have sets. Completely unbiased perception is simply not possible. But we can become aware of our habitual patterns. We can learn to explore them, test them, and consider alternatives. At this Full Moon, we may find our current sets challenged. They might be tested. They might be torn down. When that happens, we can see (if we look) how we have been boxed in, controlled, by our habits of thought and feeling.

Being able to see through our habits opens a door. Once we see where the blockages are, we can move them. We can choose a more expansive, inclusive set. We can see our strengths more clearly and reframe the stories we tell ourselves to create new possibilities for growth. This is the kind of illumination the Full Moon in Capricorn can offer. If we look.

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I use Unsplash for almost all my images. The images in this post include the title, created from an image by Jonatan Pie, and the through-the-glass image by Mike Wilson

2 Responses

    • Mary Pat Lynch

      Thanks for the heads up, but I cannot find the reference you mean. The posts that went from MailChip look fine when I review them. Happy to fix, but I’d need a little more info.