Tuesday evening, July 19, just before 7 pm EDT (4 pm PDT, midnight in Ireland), we welcome the Full Moon in Capricorn. This is cardinal Earth. Associated with authority, hard work, tradition, the archetype of the father, and ruled by Saturn, Capricorn is also, paradoxically, one of the feminine, yin signs–because it is Earth. We’ll see similar polarities in this Full Moon, which calls us to take action based in, or related to, deep feelings.
This Full Moon will feel significant, but not easy. For some, it could be a real challenge. Yet it offers the potential for a great shift, if we can navigate its currents. Let’s look at why.
Each Full Moon illuminates. Something planted at the New Moon is coming to fruition, or at least becoming clear in its current form. This is the apex of the lunar cycle. After the darkness of the New, and the growth of the waxing half, we reach the peak. We can see what we’ve got and what needs to happen. The waning cycle is for sharing, getting what we have out into the world, and then releasing it to prepare for the next New Moon. Of course, each lunar cycle is tied to wider patterns. We don’t literally start, complete, and release something significant every 29 days. But within each lunar month, there is a beginning, a rising wave, a crest, and a completion.
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This Full Moon illuminates a path to action. That path is presented against a background of complex emotions, in the presence of material from the deep psyche. The Collective Unconscious may be involved. We’re in deep water. We might feel like we’re floating, or we maybe we’re sinking, but the water is vast. It’s tough to imagine a way out. Then the Full Moon hands us a paddle. Now progress is possible. It won’t be a quick-and-easy fix, but at least we can make headway.
The July New Moon asked us to look at home, our feelings about what is home, where we draw lines, and who is in or out. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks since then, with more tragedies calling us into the same questions: Where is home? Who is family? What does it mean to be safe in today’s world? It seems clear our societies are broken in significant ways. This has been true for a long while, but we can’t turn away from current events. It feels like some kind of reckoning is at hand, with very different ideas out there about what the best response looks like.
The New Moon was in the sign of Cancer, where the Sun still floats. At the Full Moon, the Sun in Cancer will be in a Grand Water Trine with Mars in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces. Trines are considered easy, positive aspects, but this one has the potential for being less than ideal. In a trine, we see planets who share the same element 120 degrees from each other. Things flow. Effort is not required. The downside of a trine is, we drift along without paying attention because things just happen.
This Grand Water Trine links three challenging energies. The Sun in Cancer wants to keep home and family safe, to be a caretaker, but only in the family. For outsiders, doors are closed. Chiron in Pisces is the wounded healer. He shows us where our childhood wounds are, sometimes by allowing us to experience them again. These two together could offer a safe space for healing old wounds (caretaking Cancer Sun + healing Pisces Chiron) or might make us feel threatened and defensive as we bar the doors to what feels like an invading force (gatekeeping Cancer Sun + re-wounding Pisces Chiron).
Add Mars in Scorpio to the trine. Scorpio is a powerful place for Mars as its ancient, nighttime ruler. The upside potential is Mars action and determination diving deep into the psyche for understanding and healing. The downside potential includes all the problems of hidden anger, including passive aggression, projection, and manipulation. This Grand Trine can offer intense healing work that addresses issues of home, family, and safety … or leave us circling in a whirlpool of fear and anger.
Now bring in the Moon. This Capricorn Moon, opposing the Cancer Sun, changes the Grand Trine into a Kite. The Moon gives us a way out of the water. This is not the most comfortable place for the Moon. Capricorn is opposite her home sign of Cancer, so it’s not easy for her to express herself here. Yet here she is, in a key position, handing us the lifeline. If you take a look at the Kite-only chart, you’ll see what I mean. If we’re going around and around in the water, the Capricorn Moon offers solid ground to stand on.
As always, this Moon will affect each of us differently. We all experience the same overall pattern, but how it feels personally will depend on the patterns in our birth chart and where we are in our lives. I always recommend getting a copy of your birth chart and becoming familiar with it.
More patterns point to this same idea of taking action. The Full Moon is also in a T-square with Uranus the Revolutionary squaring Sun and Moon. Both Capricorn and Cancer have a tendency to stick with tradition, doing what has always been done. Uranus is pushing against that, saying, we already know what-we’ve-always-done ain’t working. Time for something new. Uranus does not offer easy solutions. He wants us to step up with integrity, bringing our truest self into the world despite the consequences. Venus and Mercury are together in Leo, ready to stand up for what we believe. They receive a supportive trine from Saturn in Sagittarius, who always looks for considered, effective action.
If you have been feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, and stuck, this Full Moon can open a door and let a little light in. If you are already engaged in deep inner work, the New Moon might light up the next steps. As difficult as it might to take those steps, seeing where they are offers the hope that the way exists.
Work is needed in the world, too. This past week, we saw the image of a young black woman in a flowing summer dress being arrested by police at a protest in Baton Rouge. Recently, another young black woman, seeing that photo on Facebook, recalled a time she felt compelled to stand up against the force of the state, and the impact it had on her. These are big, big things. Moments of true courage. Frightening to contemplate. Sometimes those moments come and stand we must.
The Full Moon won’t call all of us to moments like that. The Grand Water Trine is just as likely to highlight something personal, possibly very private. The Full Moon’s light may illuminate a place where we need to step up within ourselves, acknowledging a truth we have avoided or perhaps could not see clearly before. We might see a relationship in a new light. We might see something we need to do that we would prefer to avoid but just can’t any more. The choice to act is always ours. The gift of this Full Moon is a way out of the impasse, given with the grit and determination of Capricorn to keep going until we reach our goal.