Marriage of Opposites—Sun in Leo and Supermoon in Aquarius—August 1st.
Another world is possible. On a quiet day, I can hear her coming.
On this day when the first fronds of bracken turn to gold and tawny grasses are shorn and wrapped in rolls the colour of burnt butter, a supermoon charges the world with light.
We’re half-way between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox as this super-charged full moon falls on the ancient harvest festival of Lughnasadh – named for the Celtic sun god, Lugh.
On August 1st, as the sun makes his grand tour through the vibrant fire sign of Leo, and the moon circuits close to the earth through the opposite sign of Aquarius, a full supermoon pulls at the tides and our tears.
This is a marriage of opposites: Leo, all heart, and Aquarius, ideals and intellect. Firey Leo radiates charisma, dramatic declarations of heartfelt emotion. Aquarius is a cool air sign associated with technical and scientific innovation, ideals ahead of their time, grassroots communities, as well as the exiled parts of ourselves and the collective – fanaticism, totalitarianism, cancel culture. This lunation offers a glimpse into the future, and it presents in our own lives and in world events, themes that will be accentuated during Pluto’s 20-year passage through Aquarius (November 2024 – March 2043).
As wildfires blaze across desiccated landscapes in Southern Europe and an AI arms race gathers momentum in Silicon Valley, humankind is poised on an existential precipice.
Yet, this lunation makes an applying square to expansive Jupiter in Taurus, illuminating our unlimited potential as human primates in these flammable, heart-opening times. Tonight, as we align ourselves with the life force that flows through the universe, author Lynne McTaggart reminds us that “the power of mass intention may ultimately be the force that shifts the tide toward repair and renewal of the planet.”
There are days when despair settles like ash over our weary bodies and psyches as we collectively emerge from a pandemic into a world that feels so fragile; a world where those in power just don’t seem to care.
Mercury has just joined war-god, Mars in Virgo (workers) to oppose Saturn in Pisces (creative arts, movies, music) as the battle over human creativity and labour and AI continues in Hollywood; as deepfake technology captures the voices and likenesses of celebrities for advertisements, porn and song; and human extras, as well as make-up and costume artists are replaced with digital scans.
“The wave of the future is on the local level,” writes activist and author Joanna Macy. “Don’t waste your heart and mind trying to pull down what is already destroying itself. Come to where you’re almost below the radar and reorganize life. We want communities where we live and work and fight for the future.”
During the hottest July in fifty years, a conflagration of wildfires scorches vast tracts of desiccated land. Temperatures soar to brutal unbearable levels.
As flames rise higher, turning the land to smoke and ash, Venus in Leo and Chiron in Aries, both associated with the element of fire, turned Retrograde on July 23rd symbolising the literal wounding of the land that we all feel rippling through the web of life, as heat-induced fires increase. Venus, goddess of pleasure and love moves Retrograde for six weeks and will vanish from the evening skies on August 6th as her underworld journey begins. She’ll make an unsettling square to Uranus (sudden shock, break throughs, break downs, and reversals) between July and late September, and the square tightens on August 9th, close to the midpoint of her Retrograde cycle.
Whatever happens to upend our plans, a devotional approach to this Venus Rx cycle (July 23rd – September 3rd) invites a space to pause and reflect on relationships past and present, to what we truly value and desire, as we feel the flames of the climate emergency.
Venus Retrograde calls us back to the past, to those things we love, those things that bring pleasure and joy, those things that make us feel young again.
Rising on a pink wave of nostalgia, Barbie bursts onto the screen as Saturn moves Retrograde in imaginative Pisces (fantasy manifest.) Greta Gerwig’s creative offering is now the biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman. As the Sun travelled through Pisces, on March 9th 1959, Barbie was born, long legged, wasp waisted, wearing a tiny black and white striped swimsuit. Barbie was not welcomed by skeptical buyers at the New York Toy Fair, but how could they know that there was a new moon in Pisces on that day? How could they possibly see that Barbie would capture the hearts and the imaginations of men, women, and children in her many manifestations for 64 years?
The supermoon arrives on the anniversary of the catastrophic annihilation of Hiroshima (August 6th, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9th, 1945) as America dropped two atomic bombs, unleashing an insatiable lust for destruction in those who cling to old beliefs of scarcity and dominion.
Oppenheimer, haunting, overwhelmingly dark, is Christopher Nolan’s account of the hero-scapegoat physicist who gave humanity the means to destroy itself. Death by fire, nuclear fission, plutonium, not the Disney dog but Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld, the “unseen one,” first sighted in 1930 and back in the collective psyche once more.
J. Robert Oppenheimer (portrayed by the superb Irish actor by Cillian Murphy), the theoretical physicist widely known as the “father of the atomic bomb” (Sun at 1 ° Taurus, now activated by the square from Pluto also conjunct his natal Uranus Rx,) emerges even long after his death as he again returns to public consciousness and Pluto lingers on the edge of icy Aquarius.
The astrology suggests that we are in a cycle of turbulence and destruction. We may keep afloat if we have global co-operation, but the waves of change will be tumultuous, even for those who can afford a first-class cabin.
The Star Card in the Tarot is often associated with Aquarius. And the myth of the beautiful, but curious Pandora who searches for the truth, dares to open the forbidden casket, and releases a swarm of stinging, biting insects that fills the world with darkness; primal cold-blooded creatures that bite, puncture, and goad—terrible afflictions that infect mankind. Pandora kneels at the casket, her long-lashed eyes raised heavenward as she gazes at a shining star, for Hope remains in a corner of the chest, still there amidst all the confusion, despair, and suffering. And as old structures teeter and fall, as we sift through the rubble of broken promises, shattered dreams, landscapes blighted by drought or caught in the flames of war, the moon in Aquarius, its image an elegant urn filled to the brim with regenerative water, is a reminder that throughout his-story there have been cycles of destruction and renewal.
Like the ebb and flow of the tides, war lords will grow weary of battle, those who acquire and accumulate might grow weary of the extracting and the gathering and find a deeper connection with their heart-mind.
The earth is changing beneath our feet. As we look to the moon tonight, may our hopelessness be transfigured by an infusion of lustrous moonlight, our dreams and visions of rivers and glistening oceans teaming with life, cities where children play amidst tall trees, their little bare feet planted on green grass, their tiny lungs gulping clean air.
Tonight’s full moon sends an energetic charge across our earth. It is a reminder to hold the tension of opposites, to treat each other with tolerance and respect, to embrace our differences and come together in community to re-imagine a kinder world. May we do everything we can do to be in right relation with this precious pale blue dot, this earth, and all sentient creatures.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity—in all this vastness—there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
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