Nourishing Mind and Body
On February 19th the Moon is full in London at 3.54 p.m., at 0 degrees of Virgo. A Full Moon is always a time of releasing; it’s a time when everything can be seen in full light and we can reap the harvest of what we have sewn.
It’s also the point where the Moon (the Soul) can fully face the light of the Sun (the Spirit) and the Soul can see how to make some checks in terms of direction in order to be better able to achieve full potential and fulfil the life purpose.
Each lunar phase is a focus point, or check point. Did we plant the right seed at the previous New Moon – it may have seemed so at the time, but did we plant it in fertile ground? Does the seed need a bit more watering, a bit more fertilising or do we need perhaps a different seed? Indeed, did we expect the seed to grow in a climate that did not support it? Now Virgo energy can be a great help here. Virgo seeks to discriminate, to analyse, to improve and to perfect. Virgo is concerned with practical functionality and will willingly and industriously try to be of service. The Virgo knowledge of managing practical situations as well as analysing and handling data is of huge value – it represents the computer-like abilities our brains have in terms of being able to process huge amounts of information. Virgo just wants the bits that are useful, so she will happily trundle away sorting out the wheat from the chaff. Virgos have a reputation for being tidy, but that is definitely not always the case. However, for sure there will be at least one area of life where a Virgo will desire order and organisation.
The symbol for Virgo is the maiden carrying the wheatsheaf and, in the Northern half of the world, the time of Virgo coincides with the natural harvest time; but this was not always so. Back in the day, around 6,000 BCE, Virgo ruled the summer solstice in late June, rather than the harvest time of late August. This is because of a phenomenon called precession. The Earth’s axis rotates – imagine a spinning top – and, induced by gravity, the orientation of the rotational axis shifts gradually (precession), eventually causing a particular season to occur at a slightly different place and the area of stars pointed to by the North Celestial Pole to change over time. Incredibly, although this happens over a precessional period of approximately 26,000 years, the Ancients were aware of this phenomenon.
Legend explains Virgo’s shift by saying that the Goddess dropped the wheat sheaf to form the Milky Way and left her position as ruler of the summer solstice in distress because of the behaviour of humans. Then, across cultures and myths she became the archetypal harvest bringer who embodies the purity of the virgin, the goodness of the harvest and the independence of someone strong in their own skin.
The brightest star of Virgo is Spica, represented by the wheat sheaf the Goddess is holding and symbolising the potential for brilliance and talent within the individual, as well as the gifts of knowledge and insights.
The Moon travels through Leo to get to Virgo and we can see the symbolism of her journey from Leo to Virgo in legend in the form of the sphinx, who has the head of the harvest goddess (Virgo) and the body of the lion (Leo). The sphinx was apparent across many cultures and not just the Egyptian. Whilst the Egyptian sphinx has the head of a man, in other cultures including Greece, Asia and Europe the head was female. A sphinx guarded the ancient Greek city of Thebes and required visitors to gain entry by solving a riddle, whilst Freemasons guarded their Temples with the sphinx to protect their wisdom and the secrecy of their knowledge. Virgo was also symbolised as the mother holding a child and in this respect she symbolises Ceres, or Demeter in Greek myth, whose daughter Persephone was abducted into the Underworld by Hades/Pluto; it was Demeter’s sorrow and revenge that brought us the seasons. By the time of Christianity she had become Mary holding the child Jesus.
The corn is ripe and strong, as is the maiden, and the maiden’s task is to sort which part of the harvest is useful and what can be discarded. Here, as an Earth sign, Virgo is concerned about practical usefulness. She is the discerning analyst – the most critical of inner critic, the perfection seeker. In fact, just what we need to cast an eye over our own harvest to see if it is what we need and to improve it.
The Moon in this Full Moon chart forms a critical aspect to the other planets. She is on her own, with the other planets sitting the other side of the chart. She acts like a handle – so her energy is like a key or a door to the energy of the other planets. But she cuts a lonely figure in the chart, which may increase her anxiety to be perfect and to get things right, as she looks across at where she should discriminate, what she should prioritise. She was in the same situation at the last Full Moon when she was in Leo. Now Leo loves the show and the limelight and her concern at that point was not being in the limelight. Virgo, however, is much more shy and modest. She wants to do things correctly and perfectly and worries that she may not have done it right. Virgo likes to sweat the small stuff – she overthinks and over worries but she will want to hone her crafts.
For more clues as to how this Full Moon will manifest we can look to the position of Mercury, the Lord of Virgo. And we see Mercury sitting in Pisces – a position where he gets confused and finds it hard to be effective – alongside Neptune, who is as happy as Larry in his home sign. This accentuates the amount of Pisces energy and, therefore, the need for strong boundaries within the self towards others. Pisces is the polar opposite of Virgo – Virgo wants containment and order whilst Pisces, symbolised by two fish in the ocean each swimming in the opposite direction, seeks a world without boundaries. We could think of this in terms of Virgo as the rational conscious self and Pisces as the deep unfathomable unconscious. So this Full Moon could be a point where the rational, discerning Virgo can tap into the imaginative, the sympathetic, the intuitive, with a sense of heightened perception to reveal exciting possibilities and the stuff of dreams. By using Virgo’s more practical side to sift through what is needed and what is not, it is possible, through more emotionally led trains of thought, to find inspiration and higher truth. This is heightened by the presence of Neptune sitting with Mercury but- and it’s a big but – Neptune can also cloud, confuse, deceive, give rise to illusion and have no boundaries. So it is important to give real focus to the qualities of our Moon in Virgo to ensure that we are not being fed fake ideas and fake promises and that we are not deluding ourselves. And with Virgo’s discernment we can strengthen our boundaries so that others cannot leech our energy and we can use our insight to discriminate the data we process.
Neptune and Pisces idealise, their energy is non-discriminatory and free-flowing and they just love an ideology. We also have Pluto in Capricorn busily exposing and bringing up what some might prefer to keep buried in the Underworld. Now the last period of time that we had Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn was around 1520 – the time of the Protestant Reformation. Triggered by reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin who wanted to do something about the corruption they saw in the Catholic Church, the religious aspects of the Reformation were seized upon by political rulers who saw their own opportunity to extend their own power and control at the expense of the Church. The Reformation turned out to be a religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe. Anyone see any similarities to our current situation? As I have said before, when we see repeating astrological cycles we also see history repeating itself, although in not quite the same way because the cultural backdrop has changed. The Church no longer has the same power over the people, but we can still follow the money to see who might not want to lose the control they currently have and who might benefit if they did gain control. With Brexit we are on the precipice of a splintered Europe once again; but who will exploit the opportunities?
With social media and media in general it is now easier than ever to promote a view point, an ideology or a desire, in a way which will benefit the person who is putting it out but who at the same time has the ability to remain under wraps and invisible (Neptune in Pisces). Media is great, but there is a darker side which can be insidious and pervasive with the filtering of content and the monopoly over our media leading us to believe we have formed an opinion of our own when in actual fact we have been drip fed information.
Looking at things differently
Now whatever seed we plant we need to ensure the climate is right for it. This applies as much to how we nurture that seed as to whether that seed can physically grow. Bear with me and let’s just explore one area where we have been conditioned unquestioningly to accept the scientific view. We read much about global warming and our summer of last year would certainly lead us to consider this to be the case. Uranus, planet of disruption, shocks and awakening is poised to enter Taurus fully, where he will stay for the next 6 years. In Babylonian times Taurus began the zodiac year, coinciding with the Spring, and in many cultures the Bull, symbolic of Taurus, represents fertility, growth and power. Uranus’ presence in Taurus is highly likely to reflect extremes in weather and our economy, and, in actual fact, we have just seen the recent Polar Vortex weather in parts of the USA with temperatures of minus 40, colder than Antarctica, whilst at the same time Australia sizzled in heat wave conditions of plus 40 Celsius. Now we are constantly warned about global warming and encouraged to ‘go green’. And much of this is good advice because we certainly have not treated our planet earth with respect. But, let’s just put our Virgo hat on here and imagine we have to solve the riddle to enter the city of Thebes. According to nearly all reports we are on the threshold of global warming and, furthermore, it is all our fault! But, is Man really able to influence climate? In fact, weather is usually one area of life where we seem to be pretty powerless in the face of floods, earthquakes, tsunamis etc. There are a small amount of scientists and astronomers who actually consider we might be heading for global cooling, which is much more dangerous for us humans than its opposite global warming, and is a situation for which we are totally unprepared. The carbon taxes put in place by governments have sparked the global rise in the ＃giletsjaune (yellow vests) movement and their subsequent violent protests.
The surface of the Sun has electrically charged gases that generate areas of powerful magnetic forces or magnetic fields. Sunspots are areas that appear dark on the surface of the Sun and, as magnetic field lines near sunspots tangle and cross, there can be sudden explosions of energy or solar flares and Coronal mass ejections, which are huge bubbles of radiation which explode into space. These explosions of energy can even interfere with radio communications or power grids on Earth. Now sunspot activity actually has an 11.2 year cycle of its own, when the number of sunspots moves from low to high and then back to low again. Some scientists link the sunspot cycle to climate. Between the years 1645 and 1715 – a period known as the Maunder Minimum – virtually no sunspots were seen and this coincided with the middle part of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North American experienced colder than average temperatures. There are certain scientists/weather watchers/astronomers who consider that we are about to enter a period such as this Maunder Minimum. During a change in climate – and the Earth appears to have experienced many such cycles – wind streams can change and we could experience much more extreme weather with heavy rain or drought and extremes of temperature.
I am not saying this is going to happen but I am highlighting one of the energies of this Full Moon which is to question, to analyse information, to be discerning and to discriminate. We are so bombarded with news these days and it is hard to know what is true and what is just ‘fake’ overblown lies (and this is very apparent at this Full Moon).
If we use the discrimination of Virgo alongside the inspiration of Pisces then we can perhaps avoid being one of those shoals of fish swimming chaotically in opposite directions. We arrogantly assume that our Earth will just keep on ‘giving’ no matter how little respect we give it but this Full Moon is saying that we do need to pay attention to our harvest and, therefore, to the climate the seed grows in.
And the seven conflict aspects between Pluto and Uranus, signifying turmoil and social upheaval, in range since 2008 and still just in range, although nearing the end of the cycle at this Full Moon, has changed our world, preparing us for what is to come. But once this aspect goes finally out of range it doesn’t mean we go back to how things were. It has formed the cultural backdrop, the scenery on the stage, for our future lives. In the last ten years we have seen the Arab Spring, global recession, Fukushima, private entrepreneurs entering the space race, Brexit, Trump election, ＃metoo movement and rise in feminism, rise of terrorism, eg. Charlie Hebdo massacre and ＃giletsjaune. In 2007 the first IPhone was released fuelling the era of the smartphone. Facebook only opened in 2006! And around 2008 the InternetOfThings (IoT), a network of devices, appliances and vehicles embedded with technology enabling them to connect and exchange data was born – this will fuel the rise of Artificial Intelligence and is likely to lead to our Fourth Industrial Revolution.
What’s in this Full Moon for us?
Where are the Moon’s allies? One is the Fixed Star Regulus who sits shoulder to shoulder with the Moon. Regulus is a Royal Star and a star that gives great success so long as revenge is not part of the game. (This takes us back to the Reformation when some used the situation for their own personal gains.) Now we have our own troubled Europe with the potential for rifts to occur. Some will gain and some will lose and the media will facilitate this. But Regulus is a hugely powerful ally to have on your side.
Another ally is a harmonious aspect from the Moon to Mars, who has left Aries and is now in Taurus, where he’s not so comfortable; his energy is slowed and he might become truculent and stubborn or act like a ‘bully boy’. Whilst he was in Aries he would have eagerly and impatiently taken the fast lift up to his destination at the top of the building, not seeing anything on the way. He was at his destination before he had hardly started! Now in Taurus, and linked to Virgo’s analytical energy, he can see where to place his steps. He can see his surroundings and he has time to stop and consult people for guidance on the way, even if he doesn’t really want to. So, even if the destination is not totally clear, he can lay down his building blocks. The stickability and perseverance of Taurus compliments the predominantly flexible and cardinal, or ‘doing’, energy at this Full Moon, which is different to the last two lunar phases where the energy was much more fixed and rigid. The flexibility and the ‘doing’ energy of this Full Moon means that if we see a bump or obstacle in the road we have the potential to swerve and avoid it, to bend and change and we also have the desire and energy to get things done.
Virgo as a sign tends to be associated with diet and health – foods that come from the earth and healing herbs used in herbal medicine and homeopathy. So do you need to get your own climate right and pay more attention to your diet and your health so that you in turn can give the seeds you will plant at the next New Moon their best chance? And we must not forget to nourish the Soul. With Mercury, the planet of the mind, and Neptune both in Pisces we have great energy for meditation, for accessing dreams, for heightened intuitive ability, for yoga and for spiritual exercise. We can be compassionate and kind to ourselves. But we must ensure that our boundaries are strong – if they are weak we are in danger of being pulled from pillar to post by the desires of others and subsequently of not being able to evaluate and process the information we receive. Nourishing both mind and body can allow you to find your star ‘Spica’ – your potential for brilliance without being lost in doubt, over thinking or over worrying. We come to understand that, whilst we have compassion, we do not take on unconsciously the pain of others, rather we learn how to have a strong sense of individual identity so that we can improve the physical world through spirituality.
Discernment * Analysis * Insight * Strong boundaries * Brilliance * Compassion * Kindness
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