The first time I had my natal chart read, I was in my therapist’s office. My therapist was also an astrologer.
I’ll let that sink in for a sec.
We good? Cool.
I’m not being canned when I say that having my chart read by him changed my life. I went into that particular session with a giddy kind of excitement about what he’d tell me about myself. I’d always been interested in astrology (long hours spent pouring over an ancient copy of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs when I was a teenager, mostly so I could discover the secrets of the Universe buried within whomever was my current love obsession).
I thought it would be fun. But when he sat beside me with that perfect map of symbols, he unlocked inner doors I thought I’d have to pry open with a will the size of Optimus Prime. He (and astrology) gave me a permission I never knew I’d needed — and now realize I could have never done without — to just be myself.
I mean, how simple. Be yourself. No really, you’re supposed to.
Over and over again, this is the gift of astrology: the heavenly bodies speaking through us, animating us, and guiding our lives (and bodies!) toward fullest expression. As a species obsessed with understanding, astrology earns its place as a highly-regarded and ancient path to knowing, as it does no harm and speaks only truth — and possibility — and is linked to all of life in the most fundamental way: through light.
A Science of Light
In Sanskrit, Jyotish translates to “science of light.” What we’re referencing is Vedic astrology (different than the Western astrology most of us are familiar with), but the fact remains that Astrology is the study of the quality of light at any given moment in time.
In her book Cosmic Astrology, Athena Keen writes that scientists can decipher the composition of a planet or star based on the quality of light emitted — “a sort of color signature defined by the frequencies of electromagnetic radiation in a planet or star’s chemical composition.”
This means that light carries information — an energetic imprint of the thing that is reflecting light. We absorb and process light by way of the pineal gland (the little pine cone buddy the ancients thought to be connected with creativity, as the bridge between body and spirit), which interacts with external reality from deeeeep within our brains, which communicates with the hypothalamus, which sends chemical messengers to the nervous system, which sets off electrical synaptic responses within our brains or induces a chemical reaction inside major body organs. This, then (hold onto your pants) causes immediate emotional or behavioral changes from within — prompted entirely by an external force: the rising or setting of the Sun.
Astrology is literally the science of how we are lit up from within by the light of the Sun and its interactions with other heavenly bodies (the planets in the signs of the Zodiac).
You guys, Astrology matters.
The thing about Full Moons
Speaking in terms of celestial mechanics (how the planets and stars move), a full moon occurs when the Moon is directly opposite the Sun. This is probably obvious to most of you, but think about that: for a brief moment (the “full” moon really only occurs for a second or two, as the Sun and Moon are constantly moving), there is a direct light-link between Sun and Moon; and the Moon, which possesses no light of its own, is in its fullest capacity for reflection at the moment of the Full moon. Thusly (thusly?), the Full Moon literally brings stuff from the level of the unconscious/instinct (Moon energy) into consciousness (Sun energy).
Since Full Moon energy is cumulative, we can understand why people go a little cray-cray when the Moon hits full. With the Moon directly opposing the Sun, the under-the-surface tension is natural between what is conscious and what is going on at the instinctual level.
Immediately following the Full Moon, we enter into the kingdom of the Waning Moon: reentry into darkness. And so, the Full Moon is about bringing to full term — and releasing — whatever has been building since the New Moon (a time for generating energy & intention, and for bringing the unconscious back into the light).
The Full Moon opportunity is about purification, and the transmutation of energy, assisted by the Sun to kinda literally shine light on whatever is needing attention. We literally face ourselves when the Full Moon is a-ragin’.
And then there’s the Blue Moon
Originally, a Blue Moon was when four Full Moons occurred in one season, but in more recent times, we use the term to reference when the Moon is full twice in one month. Since the Moon is all about cycles, there are a million ways you can approach the significance of this — for instance, the last time there were two full moons in July was 11 years ago, and it won’t happen again for another 19 years, and the last time there was a Blue Moon at all was in 2012….
I get a little dizzy thinking about all the possibilities, so personally, I think of the Blue Moon in terms of last and next: last Blue Moon was in August 2012; next Blue Moon will be in January/March of 2018 (there is no Full Moon in February because of the shortened month).
I was on a beach in Southern California shooting a wedding during the last Blue Moon. The power went out and we giggled nervously, forced to interact by candlelight, with lady Luna (at the time in Pisces) shining out on the water, no doubt enjoying the discombobulation. I had just moved to the Bay Area, and oh boy. I could write a book on the shifts that have occurred since then. (I think we all can; 2012 was also the beginning of the Pluto-Uranus square, two transpersonal planets which speak to revolution [Uranus] and death/resurrection [Pluto] in the collective consciousness.)
I mean, oy. All astro weathers aside, looking forward from this Blue Moon, we can assume that today is a portal into another time, which we may see coming to culmination in roughly 2.7 years.
Technically, it already happened
Today’s Blue Moon in Aquarius (if you’re on the west coast) happened while you were likely sleeping, at 3:43am. Or, you were like me, and roused from sleep by a crazy dream providing insight into your role in the collective whole (very Aquarian).
But you know what? Fuck it. Whenever I realize I’ve missed a pivotal astrological moment, I remember that prayers do not have a time stamp. Build your altars, tie your prayer ties, set your crystals out to be cleansed, and open yourself to release whatever is no longer serving you.
A Full Moon in Aquarius asks you to speak your Truth — to stop at nothing (and no one) in order to stand in your fully-realized freedom. Forget groupthink. Forget tribal mentality. Steven Forrest calls Aquarius the “flawless, uncompromising expression of self.” Stepping into this power means not everyone will be in line to be your bestie (bestie?), but it means you will absolutely have your integrity.
Further, Aquarius is the inner genius — what Steven Pressfield refers to as “an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling.” It is your soul’s seat, which, interestingly, is also how René Descarts used to refer to the pineal gland: that inner processor of light.
Full circle, people.
My wish for you tonight under the tender gaze of the Moon is that you make time, and most importantly s p a c e to listen to your inner genius, your holy Truth, your inviolable Center. She will not lead you astray. She is in cahoots with the Divine.
P.S. My last Blue Moon (in Pisces):
P.P.S. Registration for Beyond the Sun closes August 7th. I’ve been making fun videos in which I dance and write you love notes. You prob’ly don’t wanna miss it. (Also, not just for beginners!)