Full Moon in Pisces: Submerged

We’ve been walking through Fire for weeks. Electrified, supercharged, overheated, our lives subject to quick change and surges of irritation, we’re ready for respite. We long for the quiet serenity of Water.

In the early hours of Wednesday, September 6 (3:00 am EDT), the Full Moon in Pisces arrives. She will appear most full in the sky overnight tonight, September 5, sailing through the cosmic oceans.

These days offer the possibility of respite. On the morning of September 5 (7:30 am EDT), Mercury stations direct. This particular retrograde is over. Yet the direct station lands right on the degree of the recent solar eclipse in late Leo and is conjunct Mars. Instead of the calm sense of the world righting itself, we are reminded of the fiery eclipse, filled as it was with martial energy.


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This Mercury station will in some ways bring the current eclipse season to a close. There could be a sense of the Fire dying down or at least being brought under control. Or we might suddenly find ourselves speaking up, speaking out, charged with a new sense of purpose and clarity based in everything we experienced during the eclipse.

The Pisces Full Moon, following less than 24 hours after the Mercury station, does offer the possibility of calm. Perhaps, though, we will not find the peace and serenity we hope for. We might find ourselves instead swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other.

This Full Moon in Pisces is conjunct Neptune (who rules Pisces) also in Pisces. It will be a Super-Pisces kind of Moon, so it’s important we understand what this sign of mutable Water is about.

Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac. This is a sign of endings and losses, of letting go. Any time we experience loss, we can feel as if something is being taken from us against our will. Pisces losses are no exception.

In a deeper, truer sense, Pisces is about completion. When we reach Pisces, we have traveled through every other sign: the bright promise of Aries, the steadiness of Taurus, to reach the balance of Libra, the quests of Sagittarius, the piercing vision of Aquarius, and all the other places and experiences along the way. Whatever we intended to do, whatever we actually did, this journey is complete. We lay it all down, knowing we will begin again.

This is one deep message from this very Piscean Moon. Full Moons illuminate. This Moon will show us where we need to draw cycles to a close, where something is over.

This need not be a disaster. It could be something to celebrate. Remember the eclipse called up Shadow material. We were invited (pushed) to reclaim some of our Shadow stuff and work with it. Perhaps this Full Moon will show us that it’s time we stopped living small. Maybe the message will be we’re ok just as we are and we can love all of it. It could be time to reclaim our space in the world.

The strongest aspect to the Full Moon is a sextile from Pluto in Capricorn, who also trines the Virgo Sun. The lord of the underworld, master of alchemical transformation, is signalling to us. Embrace this change, he says. It’s time. I am supporting you.

Usually when we invoke transformation, we point to the moment the butterfly emerges from the cocoon. Dissolution and new growth completed, the beautiful new form is born. But we here in the Northern Hemisphere are approaching autumn. This is the time when cocoons are being woven, not cut open. We’re not there yet but we can see the dark half of the year approaching.

This Full Moon may show us our cocoon for this autumn and winter. We may see where we are ready to dive deep, submerged in Piscean waters, to begin the process of rebirth.

Venus also aspects the Full Moon, but more awkwardly. She is inconjunct the Moon and semisextile the Sun, an edgy, pushy connection. In Leo, she reminds us of our creative Fire. She shines, saying, even as we prepare for the quiet times of winter, we are on fire. She reminds us that a hearth carefully banked can keep its embers a long time.

For the Fire is still here. Saturn and Black Moon Lilith sit together in Sagittarius. They trine the North Node in Leo, and also trine Eris in Aries. Uranus also remains in late Aries trining Mercury in Leo. The Grand Trine is Fire is more diffuse but still present, still a force to be reckoned with.

On a pragmatic level, at this Full Moon it will be wise to avoid excess. Any mind-altering substance, recreational or medicinal, may be more potent. Our addictions and desires may pull us more strongly. The ongoing Fire energy can create unpredictable circumstances. Better to engage the spiritual side of Pisces and direct this Moon’s energies into meditation, visions, and journeys.

In the classical system of elements, Fire and Water do not get along. Fire is dry and hot. Water is wet and cold. They diminish each other.

I prefer a different view. There is an ancient motif called Fire-in-Water that appears strongly in Celtic tradition and in Hindu myth, bubbling up from the depths of Indo-European.

Fire-in-Water appears in magical stories in which a life-giving force is contained or hidden in water. The hero must dive deep to retrieve it.

Think of the story of Cerridwen’s cauldron. This powerful sorceress wanted to give gifts to her son, a hideous boy who needed all the help he could get. She prepared a potion in a great cauldron and set it simmer for a year and a day, as you do. Not wanting to stand there herself the whole time, she gave a small boy the task, telling him fiercely to stir only and not touch the liquid.

The serving boy did as he was told. When the year and a day was complete, Cerridwen was there, ready to skim off the first draught for her son. At this point, there are two versions of the story.

In the version most often told, the cauldron bubbles up, releasing a splash of liquid that lands accidentally on the serving boy, thereby giving him all the powerful gifts.

In the version I prefer, the cauldron bubbles, tossing up its drop of power, and the boy jumps, reaching deliberately for the magic he has tended all this time.

The first version reads like a benediction. The cosmos rewards the boy’s effort with an unlooked-for boon. The second version is a claiming, a stepping forward to say: I want this, I will have this, this is mine. Either way, the boy must now run for his life. He undergoes a series of transformations that lead to his rebirth as the poet Taliesin, greatest of the Welsh bards.

The Fire-in-Water motif appears in other places. There is a fragment of Irish myth that describes merfolk diving deep under ocean waves to commune with their king, who sits on a throne engulfed in an orange light. As each merman or woman approaches, swimming up to touch the king, he or she shoots upward, renewed and energized.

Think of Excalibur, the sword of power rising from hidden waters. Think of any story of sunken treasure. The veils between the worlds are very thin now.

The Pisces Full Moon will soon shine bright in the night sky. Imagine the Moon over the sea, illuminating the waters. Perhaps a city appears under the waves, glowing, its towers wrapped around with kelp and ropes of pearls. Perhaps there is a path of white stone inviting you underneath.

Perhaps you will spend the winter there in a magical sleep. When you emerge, who will you be? What gifts will you claim? There are many possibilities. The choice is ours.


I use Unsplash for almost all my images. The images in this post include the title, created from a photo of water by Samara Doole, turbulent water by Jordan Hubbard, and the girl on the shore by Ross Hughes.
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