Art by Charles Bergquist more at www.everyday.charlesbergquist.com
Aquarius, The Water Bearer offers its libations to humanity as a source of healing, clearing and renewing.
Not a sign known for its emotive nature, Aquarius constantly meditates on what might liberate us collectively. Even tempered, modest and unconcerned with taking center stage, Aquarius is usually known for its intellectual capacities and its astute understanding of what makes us human and how we relate to each other, especially as it pertains to the systems we create in order to do so. Always reasonable, Aquarius isn’t swayed by sentiment, fearful superstition or prejudice. Rationale will always rule with this sign. This assists Aquarians to be unafraid of being counter to an unreasonable culture or at odds with what it finds to be untrue, or, worse, unfair in a social setting. Yet Aquarius is able to do so while still being likable, relatable and relevant. This sign has vision and an ability to articulate and cultivate that vision with others.
This month’s blue moon (the second full moon in the month of July) is also Lunar Lammas (a celebratory time of summer’s bounty, the harvesting of the first grains and the waning light of the summer sun) and is occurring in Aquarius, on July 31st at 3:43 AM PST.
The full moon occurs on the same day that Venus, the planet that governs intimacy, connection, relationships, culture and creativity, moves back into Leo. Venus stationed retrograde in Virgo on July 25th, but will spend the remainder of her retrograde time in Leo.
Leo, the fixed fire sign that governs the heart and demonstrative acts of love and creative self-expression, is home to many of the summer’s hottest days and nights. Leo’s passion is in direct opposition, or perhaps response to, Aquarius’s restrained rationalism. Leo lives enthusiastically. It loves boldly, proclaims loudly and demonstrates a flare for the dramatic in all that it does. Fire is energy: pure, unbridled heat. Fire signs react to life by illuminating it. Leo is no wallflower. Leo is a show-stopper.
There is a tremendous amount of activity happening in Leo right now what with the sun, Mercury and Jupiter (and soon Mars) all in the fire sign. With this kind of attention, the planets that are transiting Leo are going to demand ours.
Saturn, the ruler of this full moon, is currently in Scorpio (stationing direct there on Saturday, August 1st), waiting patiently in the wings to square everything that is currently passing through Leo.
Squares from Saturn, especially a recently direct Saturn, in Scorpio tend to tease out the horrific aspects of human kind, the secrets, the lies, the unconscious biases we all carry that can lead to atrocious abuses of power. Squaring everything that transits Leo, this is sure to be a season full of intense emotional upheavals and courageous acts of resistance.
It’s quite a cosmic summer camp.
We don’t need another hero though, as much as Leo would like to be one. Collectively we are heroic, in relationship to one another, interdependent, moving deliberately in the direction of life for this all takes bravery and disciplined co-operation.
As #SayHerName becomes more widespread we see very obvious manifestations of a Venus retrograde, as Venus can rule femme/trans-feminine/female-identified folks. These losses are occurring at a critical moment and have helped to spark national debate, national rage and have furthered the powerful organizing of grass roots movements like Black Lives Matter, a movement founded by queer black women.
Sandra Bland’s untimely death illustrates a long standing truth about how state-sanctioned violence also applies to women, specifically black women, transgender and trans feminine alike. Bland’s story is a tremendously heart-breaking one that doesn’t stand alone. She passed away while Venus was in its pre-retrograde shadow period and was buried the day Venus stationed retrograde. Her story is intricately tied to this retrograde cycle. Hers is not an isolated loss, this year alone 11 trans women have been murdered. This is an astronomically high number. Last year 12 trans women were killed. It’s only July.
These are some of the significant ways in which Venus retrograde has been manifesting on a social level*.
Astrology, when it is working, can help us to see cycles, both personal and collective. These cycles can reveal the underlying meaning, however mysterious, of our lives. Cycles also remind us how short life is. Cycles can easily be perpetuated when we refuse to learn and grow from the past. Cycles remind us that we may be putting off what we most need to do. Astrological cycles can help us understand and feel connected to the larger patterns in our life and in society.
You might use this lunar cycle to witness your role within the collective, within the community and amongst your peers. You might use this Venus retrograde cycle to reflect on and work with the recurring issues that come up in your relationships. You might use the Leo/Aquarius polarity of the moment to see how your personal contribution adds to the collective experience.
A full moon in Aquarius asks us what our vision is for humanity and how we will move forward as a group towards it. It can lend us the necessary distance from our emotional response and grant us a perspective that we need in order to know how to best tackle the beast we are up against.
Saturn in Scorpio reminds us that we are all capable of horrible deeds if we refuse to deal with our own demons. It also can help to clarify the issues we are facing and demand that we organize ourselves appropriately.
Venus retrograde asks us how and why we might be disconnected to another’s experience and how we can reconnect to our humanity through working on our ability to be in partnership with all life.
A gaggle of planets (including Venus retrograde) in Leo asks us how we can use art and self-expression to resist, recover, heal and to refuse being silenced. It also reminds us that while perspective is grand, we must always remain true to our hearts and we have every right to be enraged about injustice.
May this full moon in Aquarius inspire us all to think collectively and act from a place that is not afraid to demonstrate a fierce and courageous love.
Full moon blessings,
*One of my colleagues, Nick Dagan Best, has done extensive work on Venus cycles as they correlate to race relations in America.