Full Moon in Leo

28 January 2021, 19h16 GMT


During January and February, the Sun and the Moon will both take turns to be pushed out of their comfort zones. Last month, it was the turn of the Moon to hold its nose and take a tour through Capricorn – the sign of its fall. This month, it’s the turn of the Sun, which is traditionally considered to be in fall in Aquarius – the sign of democracy and the people, as opposed to the king or leader and the individual. Aquarius has a lot of significance for the USA astrologically – something I looked at in detail in my recent article about Joe Biden’s inauguration, so if political and mundane astrology is something that interests you, then be sure to have a look at the Astro Insights Blog.

As we can see from the graphic above, Leo Moons are all about emotional self-regard, creativity and a healthy self-regard. In other words, self image. But also agency and/or sovereignty – feeling in powerful and in charge of one’s own destiny. Leo represents both the magical child and the king/queen archetypes.

Self-love and self-respect are both very important qualities. Rooted in the solar plexus – our ‘central sun’ (the G-centre in HD), which is all about knowing who we are and what we have to offer, these feelgood emotions are infectious. Just like the sun, when we’re feeling warm, fuzzy and confident inside, we tend to radiate positive energy out to the world around us. This leads to a balanced and harmonious feedback loop. Usually, if we are feeling good about ourselves, we’re more generous, open and tolerant in our dealings with others, and tend to expect good things from the future.

Of course, at full moons, the aim is usually to try and establish equilibrium between the polarities represented by the two signs where the Sun and Moon are located – in this, case, Leo and Aquarius. So, at the Wolf Moon, we are trying to strike a healthy balance between self-love and self-respect on one hand; and service and altruism, on the other. This tension is embodied really nicely in the symbolism of the zodiacal face for this Full Moon, which you can read more about below.

As always, the areas of life where these themes are likely to play out will differ with each individual, based on the position of the Leo-Aquarius axis in relation to your houses. Consult the table below to locate your rising sign and then look to the sign opposite to discover which life areas are likely to be activated by the Sun and Moon.



Instead of the usual three groups of 10 degrees we usually associate with the decans, which have their origin in the Egyptian timekeeping system of helicacal rising, James Burgess divides each sign into six groups of 5 degrees, which he sees as cumulatively describing or outlining the process of learning and embodying the wisdom and qualities embedded in each zodiac sign. Burgess’ approach is very in keeping with the spirit of theosophist, Alan Leo’s interpretation of the term’face’ in astrology, which he saw as being ‘one of a series of 5° subdivisions of a sign’, rather like the five-minute intervals we have on the face of a clock – divisions that might better be described as ‘demi-decans’. I rather like this approach, so thought I would start including it in my lunar phase forecasts. Along with the Sabian symbol, which sheds light on each zodiacal degree, I think it offers us a reliable way to get more and more specific about the ‘quality of time’ – the energies and messages of each individual lunar month – which I think is far more useful than a general sign overview that repeats every year.

The face of the Leo Full Moon is that of impact, which of course, can be positive/negative. For me, impact is very much about having agency – something we saw emphasized by the Leo crown of sovereignty – which, as we can see in the graphic above, is all about will, self-direction and standing in your own power.

However, much like the archetypal relationship between a leader and his followers, as represented by the Leo-Aquarius axis, we also need to be aware of the potential effect we can have on others and our environment. What we choose to do/say, or how we choose to react to situations is, of is entirely up to us. We therefore need to take a certain degree of accountability for our attitude, words and actions. So, this zodiacal face is really asking us to examine the energetic push and pull that goes on between us and the world via our solar plexus region: it is our energetic umbilical chord – the ‘interface’ between self and others. And what we put in is what we get out, but also vice versa.

Of this particular zodiacal face, Burgess writes:

LEO 6 – 10

The ‘push of the past’ and the ‘pull of the future’ are equal and opposite forces that need to be creatively handled in order to optimize our happiness. If we feel content with the way things are, then we may need to exert influence to maintain the status quo; if things need to change, then we need to expend energy in the direction we choose. Either way, we have impact upon what transpires. Indeed, we cannot fail to have impact simply by being alive, so we need to honour that gift of living by creating outcomes that reveal who we are.

James Burgess, 360 Degrees of Wisdom

In other words, this full moon is really asking us to take full responsibility for our lives and our decisions, but also to own the inherent power we all have to create our own destinies, one decision or action at a time.


The Sabian symbol for the January 2021 Wolf Moon evokes the sunny and playful energy of the Sun-Jupiter conjunction happening at the Leo Full Moon. The image of dew on plants at sunrise strongly evokes the notion of freshness and newness. This is the dawn after the darkness, and in many ways, it gives us a hint of what lies ahead. We are currently at the collective level of the Ten of Wands, a tarot card often interpreted as the ‘darkness before the dawn’. This shows us that we really are coming out of that long dark tunnel of 2020 and need to hang in there because relief – victory even – is just around the corner. James Burgess sums up the mood of this Sabian symbol for us very nicely:

Life delights in continual renewal, assurance and faith – and supports all of our choices

360 Degrees of Wisdom

Lynda Hill describes this as being about not giving up because you may be just at the cusp of a major breakthrough – a turning point in your circumstances when everything miraculously comes together. So the message is really to hang in there – lean times and confusion may be all we can see right now, but that will soon change:

There are times in our life when we wonder if we can persevere to the end of some ordeal. After a cold and difficult time, you may now be close to the end of your troubles and sensing that the resolution to your problems is imminent. The reward of relief may prove to be transitory, so enjoy it before you move on with the activity of the new day. You may still have some of the same issues to face, but now there is probably more insight into what changes and shifts in attitude can be made. Awakening energies are signaling new beginnings. Taking your shoes off and walking on the grass in the early morning is said to be very good for the soul.

Sabian Oracle


Contacts with the Luminaries

Sun and Moon T-Square to Mars-Uranus

The next two weeks are likely to have a slightly schizoid, tense feel as a result of a T-square between the Sun, Moon and Mars, which is currently separating from its pretty full-on conjunction to Uranus on January the 20th. This tension is further heightened by the approaching square between Saturn and Uranus, the two planetary rulers of Aquarius, which will peak mid-February.

So the overall feeling within the collective zeitgeist is likely to be one of nervous tension but also confusion. On the one hand, there is a strong desire to take action and break from convention, especially when it comes to habits, food, banking or farming. On the other, there’s this nagging feeling that something is a bit off and so it is better to be cautious and stick to the tried and tested.

However, as we saw from the breakout of violence, chaos and anger in the two weeks around the New Moon in Capricorn, when both Mars and Uranus were both very active, we’re entering a period of social and financial uncertainty, so it’s probably best not to take too many risks going into February because there’s too much happening right now, and circumstances could turn on a dime.

Also, with Mercury about to go retrograde for the first time this year, decision-making abilities are not likely to be that sharp. So, all in all, although the T-square could generate a strong urge to act, leading to panic-driven responses, the best option is probably to do nothing until the dust settles.

Sun conjunct Jupiter

Complicating matters, but also easing the large amount of nervous and muscular tension in the air, will be a joyful and tolerant Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius. This ebullient and upbeat energy is likely to help us relax a little and not take things too seriously- to keep our centre when all around us, there may be chaos. And indeed, it’s probably best not to get too caught up in sweating the small stuff right now, but instead, choose to be philosophical and take the long view.

Like any storm, any short term volatility or uncertainty we’re likely to experience both individually and collectively right now, will pass. So it’s really important to maintain perspective and take extra care of yourself right now so that you can get the R&R needed to avoid burnout or anxious spirals.

On the plus side, you may be surprised at how well things end up turning out, especially if you don’t over-react or make knee jerk decisions that ultimately lead to self sabotage. Expecting the best (Jupiter) but preparing for every eventuality (Saturn) is the best way to to retain confidence in your decisions and sail through this choppy period with the minimum of stress.

Other Aspects

Venus conjunct Pluto

On the same day as the Full Moon, love and money planet Venus will sidle up to Pluto in Capricorn, which would heighten the drama and intensity levels quite considerably. This could result in a few possible developments, including passionate romantic or sexual encounters. It could also bring in business or creative partnerships with powerful people. Pluto is very focused on achieving goals when it is in ambitious Capricorn, so if you are looking for the right person to help you in areas where you feel out of your depth, then this could be the moment they appear.

This is quite intense, transformative energy that could prompt us to dig deep and re-examine our values or relationships, consolidate our finances or be more resourceful with money. It can also sometimes evoke in us a strong desire to take charge of our life or destiny. However, it’s also worth remembering that control, to a larger extent, is an illusion. Sometimes fate has other plans, and events or currents larger than us force our lives in a different direction.

Just look at what happened astrologically at last year’s Wolf Moon: this was the Full Moon when we were hit with the full force of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in form of COVID and lockdown restrictions. So in this sense, what happens now is likely to be a continuation/culmination of the themes around control and domination begun at the Capricorn New Moon when we had that powerful Pluto conjunction to the luminaries.

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury will station, ready for its first retrograde of 2021, on January 30th, just two days after the Leo New Moon, which is likely to cause a little of confusion. This is especially true because Mercury will be in Aquarius, so opposite the sign of Leo, and well ahead of the Sun. Technology and friendships, as well as group chats or community forums, are likely to be especially affected by this particular retrograde. Misunderstandings amongst friends, and within collective settings, are also a distinct possibility – you have been warned.

Crypto exchanges, which are currently working overtime, may well start to act up, as will wireless signals and any chat apps, social media platforms or community forums where groups of people generally interact. Mobile phone networks are included in all of this.

Electrical disturbances in the body, such as via the nerve synapses, may also act up, creating confusion, weird tingling sensations, pins and needles and so forth. especially given how active Mars and Uranus are right now – a trend that will continue into February. So hang on tight, make sure you back up all your data and bring a spare battery in case of power surges, and write everything down so you don’t forget!

On the plus side, this retrograde, which lasts until 21 February i.e. for most of Aquarius season, could also see the return of an old friend. If you have felt a little lonely or alienated from your usual social circle due to recent circumstances, you may now also find yourself being welcomed back into the fold.

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