August’s Sturgeon Moon will have us diving into the deep waters of the sub-conscious mind, or at least becoming more aware of its role and influence in our lives – and the massive potential it has to help us fulfil our heartfelt desires. The Sabian symbol for this Full Moon urges us to combine our instinctive and spiritual natures so that we can create healthier habits and more fulfilling relationships for ourselves in the future. Part of this process may involve shedding some emotional baggage so that we don’t keep self-sabotaging. With Mercury also trine Chiron, this is the perfect time to heal any painful memories or past traumas that may have begun to surface into our conscious awareness during Mercury’s recent retrograde spell, which also happened keyed into the July 2019 eclipses. Many of the themes begun at the Leo New Moon, which set off the dance between the Sun, Moon Venus and Uranus, will also reach a peak, so look back to the themes raised at the beginning of August for clues as to what may transpire now.
The August 2019 Full Moon falls in quirky, idealistic and independent Aquarius. Taking place at 13h29 BST, this Full Moon, known in folklore as the Sturgeon Moon, urges us to celebrate what makes us special or sets us apart from the crowd, and use it for the greater good.
Over the next two weeks, it’s possible that you may find yourself being called to balance your personal views, needs and opinions (emphasised at the Leo New Moon) with those of friends or peers as the tension between individual expressions on one hand, and your desire for belonging, group membership and social acceptance become more pronounced (Aquarius Full Moon).
Key themes associated with Aquarius include:
- Friendship circles, groups, sense of social belonging
- Ideals, ethos, political aspirations, social activism, identity politics
- Social awareness, groupthink, being a team player
- Difference, quirkiness, otherness, star quality
- Change, novelty, thinking outside the box
- Freedom of self expression, independent thinking, visionary ideas
- Androgyny, gender fluidity
Aquarius is a fixed air sign, so tends to be liberal and socially inclusive. However, as a fixed sign, it can get very entrenched in a particular viewpoint, which can lead to truculence and self-righteousness. There may also be a tendency to be perverse and/or stubborn, especially if challenged by authority. Although people who have this sign prominent tend to revel in being different, they can also sometimes feel misunderstood or like an alien/outsider, especially if they can’t find a group of other likeminded folk to hang out with.
Things to guard against at the Full Moon:
- Rigid thinking, social awkwardness, being ‘otherwise’ for the sake of it, alienation
- Frozen emotions, numbness, robotic behaviour
- Anxiety, panic, disassociative states
- Emotional detachment, commitment issues in relationships
At the Full Moon, the Moon will be at 22 degrees Aquarius. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is:
A big bear sitting down and waving all its paws.
James Burgess sums up the theme of this Sabian symbol as follows:
Power and knowledge come only when animal passion and spiritual passion unite
A bear is an incredibly powerful animal, and for Burgess, this symbol represents our animal nature – potentially destructive but also filled with potential and vitality that needs to be channelled in the right direction. For me, this symbol is similar to the Strength and Chariot cards in the tarot deck – it is about taming the animal instincts and emotions, and then directing them using the reigns of the will and conscious mind, so that they work with, and not against, our higher nature and inclinations.
As usual, this theme has resonance with what I have seen constellating in my own life of late. It really connects with what I have realised from personal experience, which is that if I want to bring about real change in my own life, I need to learn how to get my subconscious mind to work with me, and not against me. This instinctive/animal part of our brain (which runs the autonomic nervous system designed to keep the body running and ensure our physical survival) has enormous energy reserves and capabilities:
The subconscious mind, one of the most powerful information processors known, specifically observes both the surrounding world and the body’s internal awareness, reads the environmental cues and immediately engages previously acquired (learned) behaviors—all without the help, supervision or even awareness of the conscious mind.
A lot like the bear, who operates primarily from instinct.
He goes on to add that these two minds (subconscious and conscious) make a dynamic duo…. and can ‘cooperate in acquiring very complex behaviors that can subsequently be unconsciously managed.’ When the conscious mind, which he describes as that part of us that is self-aware, creative and spiritual, is working in tandem with the sub-conscious mind, we can truly achieve great things. Because now there is no longer resistance.
I have actually witnessed this for myself. About 10 years ago, I went for a series of hypnosis sessions to treat a persistent phobia (if anything can reveal the power of the sub-conscious mind, it is a phobia!). During these sessions, I became aware that there were two of me – one that was participating in what was happening; and another that stood silently looking on like a silent witness or sentinel guarding over me. That same year, I was introduced to the work of Eckhart Tolle, who, rather synchronistically, revealed that his own spiritual awakening began with a breakthrough moment that came about when he said to himself (!): “I can’t live with myself any longer.” And then, straightaway, realized what he had said – that there were two of him. He talks about how this lightbulb moment led to a disidentification with negative thinking and what he calls the ‘pain body’ – made up of the ‘painful, heavy emotions’ that had accumulated inside him (interesting because lots of people equate body consciousness with the autonomic nervous system). In an echo of Bruce Lipton’s unconscious programmes, Tolle realized something profound:
Without perceiving things through the old filter of past conditioning and conceptualization, one can sense the universe is intensely alive.
His work now is all about helping people to learn the art of uniting what he calls ‘presence’ with conscious thought or attention. Is this not perhaps another way of describing what Bruce Lipton is talking about – syncing unconscious and conscious minds or indeed, what our Sabian symbol is hinting at? Food for thought!
Lynda Hill’s Sabian Oracle offers the following keywords as starting points for meditations on this particular degree:
Keywords: Developing skills. Making excuses. Performing rote responses. Expecting others to perform. Entertaining people. Being theatrical. Stomach rubs. Big, tall, brute energies. Sitting down or standing up. Fur and fuzzy hair. Playing instruments. Dancing. Performances. Arm waving. Animal training. Bears. Training. Learning by example. Fun vs. drudge.
The Caution: Being unable to recover one’s feet. Instinctive and creative performances for the crowd. Fatuous need to be the center of attention. Defying authority. Vulnerable. Working against normal instincts or desires. Flapping one’s arms. Sitting things out. Making a big noise, but doing nothing. Being cranky, ill tempered. Crazy behavior. Not having a mind of one’s own. Giving up control of one’s destiny. Mindless and brainless. Drugs and dope. Loss of spontaneity.
At the Aquarius Full Moon, we will experience a peak, not just in our emotional and biorhythmic cycles (as one would expect at this point in the lunar cycle), but also in the ongoing dance between the Sun, Moon and Venus and Uranus that began at the Leo New Moon. In addition, a Mercury-Chiron trine offers us the perfect opportunity to become aware of – and then heal – any painful memories or past traumas that may have begun to filter into our conscious awareness during Mercury’s recent retrograde spell ( which also coincided with the powerful July eclipses.)
A Sun-Venus conjunction in Leo will take place just a day before the Full Moon at around 07h07 BST on 14 August. As Venus enters the heart of the Sun, the planets of conscious thought and creativity/love will pool the respective light they have collected from their encounters with Jupiter on the 7th and 8th of August, to create a reservoir of energy we can choose to draw on in order to re-calibrate/rebalance our relationships. Not just with other people, but with ourselves. The Sun, after all, represents the Self. And self-love and self-care are what help to fill the emotional well from which we draw on to nurture and show our affection for others. Relationship with others begins with our relationship to self.
So that when we are emotionally tested at the Full Moon (which will oppose Venus) by friends or situations that promise to push all our sub-conscious buttons, we need to remain vigilant so that we don’t automatically fall back into old patterns and just react.
At this time, Mercury will also trine Chiron, making it the perfect time to become more consciously aware of the message our emotional triggers are trying to send us about where we may still have unhealed pain. This process began during last month’s Mercury retrograde spell back into Cancer (close emotional ties, memories, habits), which also coincided with a powerful lunar eclipse. This period was all about identifying areas of emotional resistance – unconscious habits driven by early wounds or inherited beliefs that might be causing us to sabotage any of conscious efforts to lead a more fulfilling and authentic life.
With Mercury now direct and working with compassionate Chiron, we are being urged to become more heart-centred and courageously own – and then heal – these unhealed parts of ourselves. The role of the Full Moon is is to show us how to do this: by finding ways to consciously cultivate more harmony, balance and co-operation between our solar (conscious) and lunar (unconscious) sides. By practising more mindfulness and being aware of where our attention goes, we can, like the Charioteer, learn to harness the power of the two minds – like the Sun will metaphorically do with Venus and the Moon – and direct it, with intention and purpose, so that it works FOR us, and not against us.