The May full Moon is conjunct Mars, retrograde in Sagittarius. This is a Moon that draws attention to qualities of mind, their power in shaping reality and the conditioning influences they bring to life. The will is turned inward, the search for meaning is amplified, the need to get under the skin of our most burning issues is emphasised. This can stir up emotional stress and requires a presence of mind that is able to penetrate beyond appearances without losing its lucidity.
The nature of conflict, its inner purpose and causes, is under the spotlight of the Gemini Sun as the May lunation reaches its height. How we claim a positive application of the inflamed Moon’s energies is an open question and rests upon our own inner state of lucidity. The lunar impulse will give way to a more positive dynamic if, in its midst, mindful equilibrium is sought and its energy focused in diligent awareness. Its usefulness can overcome its potential volatility.
Knowledge is the ‘weapon of choice’ here but the aim is to use it to a higher purpose, one that avoids misuse of its power, that rests upon a respectful understanding of its purpose.
Interpretations of that purpose can be as individual as the person making them, and it is advisable to reflect upon your own use of the power available to you, as well as the areas of conflict it highlights in your own life. But, collectively there is something to be gained from looking into the nature of Mars own journey at this time.
Mars journey through the Sagittarian fields took a turn on April 17th when he reached the star Antares in the heart of the Scorpion’s constellation and stationed retrograde. At that time Mercury in Taurus was in exact trine with Pluto in Capricorn and the waxing Moon was passing through mid Virgo, joining with Jupiter and the north node. The grand earth trine they formed has contributed a sense of immanence and build up, a pulsing of the earth field that deepens the sense of expectancy. Its image is of thunder within the earth. In the full Moon we see this image developed, activating its potential energy within and releasing it amongst the people.
The qualities of the star Antares, whose name can be read as ‘against Aries’, have a distinctly martial nature, bring a deeper meaning to Mars station – a will to pull back from the brink of war, is an obvious interpretation. But, this star is also one of the four guardians of the heavens, associated with the ‘Watcher of the West’, an epithet suggesting the need to be vigilant of the path the ‘red road’ is leading us on, towards the ancestral realms, beyond the borders of life.
At full Moon on the 21st of May Mars meets with the Moon in the second degree of tropical Sagittarius. They appear in the skies as two bright travellers passing through the great library of Nature amongst the stars. They will reflect the solar life force at work in nature through the intelligence and awareness of the Geminian field as the Sun opposes them across the zodiac. The energy of the intelligent design at work in nature, reflected in the purposefulness and psychosomatic unity they signify, lends to Mars meeting with the Moon a deepening desire to recalibrate our personal power in line with our soul. The need to gain a deeper understanding of who we are and why we have come here.
In a sense, in retracing his steps Mars shows a willingness to dig deeper into the substrates of accumulated knowledge held within the Sagittarian bedrock of its first degrees. The pathway he is following leads to the underworld and, beyond the Scorpio cusp, breaks through to the subterranean ocean that lies beneath. Pluto and Mars combine their powers in this realm.
This a place of primaeval intensity, its instinctive drives an expression of an archetypal desire for life that underpins the incarnate world. The life forms that inhabit the oceanic underworld of Scorpio correspond to essential manifestations of the life force, to the fundamental dynamics and beings of the unconscious – the codes of natural law are given shape here and their primal coding of the intelligent design within nature reveal its raw building blocks; Scorpio is also associated with DNA.
The journey Mars has undertaken and his lunar rendevous suggests their meeting across from the Sun is intended to draw attention to where our own journey is taking us in relation to those codes of Life. Their highest expression is present ‘in potentia’, an unimaginally vast store-house of ancestral knowledge lies behind its patterning, but, science has failed to understand that the message is not in the code itself; decoding its pattern does not give us access to its highest purpose. It requires the quality of virtue to access its meaning.
The I Ching says ‘virtue is what is commanded by the divine, and is the root of human life‘ ~ natural law and intelligent design, if respected and honoured, bring our actions into a harmonious relationship with the divine. When the honouring is lacking and the virtue missing, it is like making empty prayers and false offerings, seeking to aquire without giving.
When science plays god we can see this dynamic at work; knowledge is aquired without giving respect to and honouring the root of life. Genetic modification is the obvious mirror of this. Our attention is drawn to the dangerous naivety of such inherent ignorance, its aggressive nature exposed while the ancestral codes for living are subverted; warring against and competing with nature manifests Mars negative impulse, reflecting the more pernicious devolutionary characteristics our times. We are fighting for our survival as a result.
Turning back from such foolishness is the option Mars will deliver at full Moon, lending energy and purpose to the search for deeper meaning as a path of resolution; it is of necessity the only viable option, but, the Sun illuminates our minds with spiritual awareness, sublimating the aggressive ‘competition’ traditionally associated with the evolutionary struggle for survival to a higher order of awareness and understanding.
The Moon in Sagittarius sees the people actively embodying culture and Mars represents the energy of competition in its most aggressive form within the dominant culture of our times, but, in its original form com-petition meant co-petitioning, and was enshrined in the act of petitioning ‘the gods’ together. This was the prayer offered by the warrior asking for their martial skills to be infused with the divine blessing, made sacred. The sacred warrior commited themselves to Life by offering their own in service to the divine and the community. It is their ‘purpose’ that is offered, for the welbeing and preservation of life. This makes a virtue of action that honours the roots of life.
There is a feeling of release associated with this image, of personal mastery becoming the instrument of a higher purpose – it expresses the surrender of will to the partnership between this life and the worlds beyond. It also expresses an artistry, a creative edge and dynamic that the warrior has attained in their own life; the warrior, as has been said, must first learn to dance before they wield the sword….the sacred dance of life and the aquisition of virtue are intimately bound to each other.
These reflections on the full Moon give us a feeling for its sacred dimensions. They remind us of the qualities of soul intrinsic to the path we are on, of following the impulse seeded through the Spring eclipses, and the degree of commitment necessary to seeing it through. Inner work, like our work in the world, needs to be done for the long haul, sustained. The energetic recalibration we are put in mind of at this full Moon needs us to bring out the usefulness of anger…..to learn how to transform it, become fluent in its language, enough to use it as a high octane catalyst for positive change and to develop our artfulness in using it; as revolutions build it is as conspicuous in its expression as it is in its absence.
The partner in competition has been made our own shadow, an adversary in this journey that has been externalised for too long, the blessings of the challenge forgotten, desacralised and making of life a journey in adversity. The secular use of power is exposed here, its faults themselves becoming our adversary, as much within as without. The mandate is clear, we must first make peace with ourselves and life and apply the lessons and understanding we receive in the process to the world around us. There are ways and means available to us……to find them we must first dedicate ourselves to conflict resolution.
We will almost certainly find ourselves working hard to contain the energies of this full Moon. If you feel your buttons being pushed don’t let your anger get the better of you and don’t dwell on it. Mars igniting the lunar passions indicates a need to regulate the inner fires, whatever the outer events that accompany its heat. Our thoughts affect our emotions and visa versa – let them pass. Better, bring a mindful quality to applying this powerful creative energy to more evolved purposes.
In closing there is an opportunity here for bringing out the joyful side of this full Moon.
The inner meaning of this full Moon is the expression of Joy. In sublimating its energies joy becomes its natural expression. Being fired up with joy is its emotional expression, but, the presence and celebration of virtue are necessary for this to be realised. In the words of the I Ching, if practiced and honoured ‘such virtue is a joy to cultivate’. The potential for such cultivation is inherent within the ancestral codes of life, but, it requires an honouring of Life and an appreciation of its deeper meaning to be realised. The long journey our species has undertaken carries this potential at every step of the way, even in the midst of adversity.
In following this evolutionary impulse our forebears went through extraordinary pains to bring the fires of their own inner light into manifestation. Survival in times and amongst events that were also harrowingly difficult did not prevent them from developing technologies that embodied its potential. The orthodox histories exclude this fact. Traces of the level of technology they reached are difficult for us to find, not least of all because it was at heart a spiritual technology. Their understanding of the non-physical is perhaps the least understood of human gifts that are available to us when we subscribe to the orthodox view, not least of all as the dominant use of science has gravitated so heavily around its fixation on the physical in our times.
As Tesla is attributed with saying, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” We can develop a spiritual technology here with the aid of the unseen. While many are already engaged in this work, the momentum building now and the network growing, this full Moon can bring meaningful power to all inner workings and help us in celebrating its insights. If you run a circle or have a community that works within the architecture of spiritual energy consider coming together to celebrate the circle itself. Make of this Moon’s energies a joyful offering.
This is the penultimate full Moon before solstice, which also falls on a full Moon, and solar energies are vitalising the Earth to receive gifts of spiritual power into the deep earth realms.
The Sabian symbol for the Moon’s degree on 21st May confirms this – “the mobilization of unconscious energies under the pressure of super-personal motives.” There is an echo here of Mercury’s solar transit and the Sabian symbols that have been activated recently ~ above and below, the inner and outer worlds, are working in unison, and we are their bridge.
The symbol speaks of ‘the wind rushing over the ocean stirring the waters into white capped waves’ – it advises ‘stabilisation through rhythmic intensity’ as its most creative expression. Another Tesla quote comes to mind, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
If you only get to drum with one full Moon this year, make it this one!
But, be mindful of the rhythm at its heart….ultimately, it leads us into the sanctity of our own, a place where the subtle power of original nature is enshrined.
Original nature reflects its own innocence. Work with the energies of this full Moon to engender that subtle quality. After full Moon the energy subsides and crystalises as the Moon connects with Saturn and we come back to the apex of the T square that Saturn is forming with Jupiter and Neptune in anticipation of the new Moon. Grounding after an ecstatic dance with the cosmos, this is the ‘after the ecstacy, the laundry‘ moment. Closing down the ceremony, cleaning the sacred space that has housed it, the mood is quietly practical and calls for rest. An emergent sense of belonging will help counterbalance the slump in energy we may be feeling. We have a lot to process and should seek gentler interactions with others, be kind to them and to ourselves.
First, make peace with yourself….then vibrate the roots of life into action….
“Walk carefully, well loved one
walk mindfully, well loved one
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us
be always coming home“
Images, from the top :
Sacred Anger ~ Rob Purday
Amphitrite ~ Susan Seddon-Boulet
Chauvet Cave ~ 35K bpe
Quotations from the I Ching are from the Thomas Cleary translation, ‘The Taoist I Ching’, Shambala Publications, 1986
The poem is by Ursula Le Guin, from
“Initiation Poem Of The Finders Lodge“