The Full Moon in Libra arrives at 8am on Wednesday, March 23 in my Eastern Daylight time zone, which means this Moon will appear most full on Tuesday night. We also welcome a lunar eclipse, which, because of its timing, many of us won’t be able to see it. This penumbral eclipse arrives about 15 minutes before the Full Moon. Where I live, the Moon will already have slipped below the horizon.
Remember we’re in an eclipse season, still feeling the effects of the New Moon solar eclipse on March 9. That solar eclipse was total. This lunar eclipse will be faint. Even where the Moon is above the horizon, it may be difficult to catch the slight shadow this eclipse will bring. This does not mean we can ignore it. Eclipses heighten the impact of any Moon, extending its influence to the next eclipse cycle in about six months, and linking to other eclipse Moons in its saros cycle, Saros 142.
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Every Full Moon illuminates. Something we need to see becomes bright in the Sun’s reflected brilliance, supported and challenged by the planets around the Moon. This Full Moon is in Libra, the cardinal Air sign known for diplomacy, tact, and a love of harmony. Libra is the sign that longs for peace and beauty, and will work hard to create and preserve them. For that reason, Libra’s shadow is people pleasing and appeasement: peace at any cost.
The truest face of Libra is strong in the way Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Aung San Suu Kyi were strong. Each of these leaders, none of them perfect beings, pursued a course of nonviolence and coalition building in the face of what seemed at the time overwhelmingly dominant powers prepared to use force against them. The belief that violence can be met with peaceful resistance runs counter to what many see as common sense. Yet the Peace Testimony of the Quakers, for example, led to some of the most successful nonviolence training in modern times. In a world where violence in all forms seems on the rise, this Libra Full Moon illuminates the path of peace. This path is not an easy one, for it embraces diversity, builds coalitions, addresses needs, and creates safety, all through diplomacy and, where necessary, nonviolent resistance.
Let’s look at the patterns of this Full Moon.
The Full Moon happens at 3 degrees of Libra, with the Sun at 3 degrees of Aries. Mercury at 2 degrees Aries is combust the Sun, astrology-speak for “so close to the Sun it gets lost.” This places Mercury in opposition to the Moon as well. So, we have the ego and the mind in fiery, take-no-prisoners Aries opposing the Moon in diplomatic Libra. This may look like no contest. Who could withstand Aries fire from the Sun AND Mercury?
Now add in Mars in Sagittarius, forming an easy flowing trine to Sun–Mercury while sextiling the Moon. More fire! Mars, who rules Aries, adds fuel to the flames. Then there’s the eclipse to consider. The light of this Full Moon is dimmed as the Earth moves between her and the Sun.
Surely the Moon will be reduced to ash. And yet, think of those great hearts who shone most brightly when times looked darkest. Picture a stage. It could be in a theater, an arena, the floor of a Congress or Parliament, or a street corner. Picture a figure there who commands attention not because she is screaming for blood, but because she is standing in the light of her truth. Her own heart light is enough to outshine any challenge. We cannot look away.
This Full Moon will illuminate for us something about our own inner light.
How that works will depend on our birth charts and where we are in our lives. Maybe we are fighting back when standing in our truth would be more effective. Maybe we have hardened our hearts when reaching out will bring the solution we need. Perhaps we are doubting ourselves, and the Full Moon will show us how strong we are, how true our voice is. One way or another, we will be offered a teaching on how we stand in our own light and let it shine into the world.
We may learn that something from our past, perhaps very deep past, needs to be healed and transformed to help our light shine. There is a strong cluster of planets around the South Node of the Moon, all in Pisces. The South Node is the place where the past comes into this lifetime. It can hold past karma, deep memories, and skills we bring forward. Both Demeter, the fiercely maternal Earth goddess, and Chiron, the wounded healer, stand close to the South Node at the Full Moon.
Demeter’s story is one of great loss: the abduction of her only daughter by the lord of the underworld. When authority was prepared to wink and turn a blind eye, she said no. Her power was that of growth. Her curse was that Spring would not come again until her daughter was returned to her. This Full Moon happens right after the Spring Equinox. Is there something we have lost and must find again, so our Spring may come? Who or what, outside in the world or within ourselves, must we confront?
Chiron is the centaur who mentored warriors until a poisoned wound stopped him in his tracks. Through sacrifice, he found redemption in the stars. His asteroid represents the power of healing through the understanding of our wounds. Where have we been hurt in the past and now can be mended? How will that transformation let us shine more brightly?
Venus, who as ruler of Libra rules this Full Moon, is also in Pisces close to the South Node. She reminds us that peace and beauty can always be found in creative expression and spiritual experience, even when we struggle to hold on to it in daily life.
The struggle for peace in our world is far from over. Pluto and Uranus have only recently begun moving apart. They have signaled many upheavals that will take years to sort out. At this Full Moon, Saturn in Sagittarius trines Uranus in Aries. These two do not aspect the Full Moon, but add fire to what is already aflame. Jupiter in Virgo squares Saturn and is inconjunct Uranus, trying to be a voice of reasonable optimism. It’s difficult to tell how these ongoing conversations will end.
Each of us must choose the path we walk. This is no empty truism but a simple fact. Each day, each action, we do choose. This Full Moon has the power to illuminate our choices and point to where and how we can shine brighter. The Navajo, or Diné, have a concept called hozho, which refers to the natural order and is considered beautiful in its balance. Hozho naasha means walking in beauty. May this Full Moon show us how we can walk in beauty.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.