Choices, choices, choices – full moon realisations for the end of the year

I hope everyone has enjoyed the past couple of days, and that all who celebrated Christmas had a lovely time. Things have been fairly quiet in the heavens with the main events being Mars moving into Aquarius yesterday and earlier today Saturn perfecting the sextile with Pluto – that sextile has been ongoing for some months now and forms the base of the yod which was activated by November’s lunar eclipse and which I wrote about here. Mars moving into Aquarius also means he moves into mutual reception with Uranus helping to boost the already quite rebellious and revolutionary vibes that Uranus in Aries is showing. While Mars is in Aquarius (for the whole of January) we are likely to enjoy doing things that are quirky and unusual – science and astrology are also in tune with the times. For me a big part of the Christmas tradition is watching the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures – this year they are about modern alchemy and fit perfectly with the current Marsian/Uranian energy:

The Modern Alchemist

The Alchymist, In Search of the Philosopher’s Stone, Discovers Phosphorus, and prays for the successful Conclusion of his operation, as was the custom of the Ancient Chymical Astrologers, by Joseph Wright of Derby

The Alchymist, In Search of the Philosopher’s Stone, Discovers Phosphorus, and prays for the successful Conclusion of his operation, as was the custom of the Ancient Chymical Astrologers, by Joseph Wright of Derby

Now, as we move into the final few days of the year we get a little more action in the skies, beginning with tomorrow’s Full Moon – and what a great opportunity to spend some time thinking about what we have achieved over the past year, what we have learned and preparing for the coming year, thinking about what we would like to achieve and how our achievements of this year can help us.

There is an interesting tone to this Full Moon – both challenging and contemplative. For a start the Sun is conjunct Pluto which is already a pretty intense aspect with Pluto the transformer, ruler of the underworld, joining forces with the Sun, self confident, regal and blindingly bright. Sun conjunct Pluto can bring to light many things political and psychological, difficult and ultimately beneficial (if we are brave enough to face them rather than sweep them under the carpet – whatever ‘they’ are). It’s an aspect that increases determination, will power and the desire to succeed at any cost – in our personal lives this energy can bring ego conflicts, arguments and vociferous, even violent, disagreements about issues which we often prefer not to talk about – politics, religion, personal psychology, sex and so on. Add that energy into a Full Moon mix and the potential for argument and extremely heated debate is multiplied, but then so is the opportunity to understand people’s deepest motivations and bring that awareness into the light of day – a particularly useful thing to do if we are able to understand some of those drives inside ourselves which we often prefer to hide or ignore.

Cancer Full Moon 1212

Add into this mix the Moon conjunct Uranian Kronos and we draw in the energy of expertise, high authority and excellence. This is a mark of professionalism, expertise born of many years of learning – the craftsman who has mastered his skill and is now able to teach. So whilst the Sun is highlighting deep, possible subconscious motivations the Moon is highlighting the best possible use these drives can be put to once they are mastered. The two together show ways in which hidden forces can become useful if they are treated with respect and used effectively.

The Sabian symbols can add something to this reading. The Moon and Kronos at 8 Cancer shows how imitating the actions of others who are more expert than us can help develop our own talents:


KEYNOTE: The tendency in all forms of life to imitate higher forms as a stimulus to growth.

This rather strange symbol points to what is essential in all first attempts at developing consciousness and furthering and furthering one’s growth through association with those who have already reached a superior evolutionary or mental level. Every seeker looks for an “Exemplar.” The religious mystic speaks of “the Imitation of Christ.” In Japan the music student sits in front of his teacher playing an instrument, and carefully imitates his every gesture.

At this third stage of the five-fold sequence we see at work the basic features at the start of all LEARNING PROCESSES. At the next stage we will watch a more advanced, more typically human quest for knowledge.


Odd picture from this site.

Meanwhile the Sun and Pluto at 8 Capricorn remind us that we are part of a greater whole and while we can’t be, do or control everything we can take pleasure in doing well that which we are able to do and recognising but not resenting our limitations.


KEYNOTE: The wholesome happiness which subservience to the ideals and patterns of a well-established culture brings to those who accept them unreservedly.

In various ways this section of the cyclic process brings to us images glorifying the power and benefits which a steady and well-integrated society brings to its members. Saturn rules Capricorn; Saturn was the ruler of the Golden Age before he became a symbol of binding limitations. He who accepts willingly or — even better — takes for granted the value of these limitations can lead a serene and happy existence, whatever his social status.

The third stage of this five-fold sequence suggests to us how we can enjoy our life condition by allowing the spiritual values it embodies to fill our consciousness. In every condition provided by a healthy culture — which hardly refers to our present chaotic world — human beings can find ENJOYMENT in the roles they are born to play.

singing birds

This reminder to recognise and not resent our limitations is given a little twist by the presence of Diana conjunct Pluto and Chryseis conjunct the Sun. Diana is the Goddess of the hunt, lover of wild animals, woodlands and fiercely independent Diana is limited in her ability to form relationships by her refusal to accept limitation or restriction. She chooses to be independent and so chooses to restrict her marriage prospects – it is her own free choice. Chryseis conjunct the Sun, on the other hand, is restricted by being a spoil of war. She is a character in the Trojan wars who is captured as a prize and although she is eventually freed she is not the one who makes the decisions about her life. So the Sun here is highlighting where we are allowing part of ourselves to be captured, to be controlled by someone else and at the same time allowing us to be able to enjoy the benefits of civilisation, while Pluto and Diana beckon and challenge us to make our own decisions but remind us that we might choose something wild, unconventional and uncomfortable. So there choices are here at this full moon, they are highlighted by the Sun while the light is cast onto the Moon and an emotional connection combined with expertise gained with time and experience – do we choose to follow others or to go our own way? There is no suggestion of there being a right or a wrong choice, only an insistence that we understand our choices.



This theme is further highlighted by Vesta, one of the faces of Venus, tightly enclosed within the Lilith corridor and retrograding across key parts of this year’s earlier Venus Rx and closing in on Jupiter who is also heading backwards. Vesta is associated with the sacred flame and the Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome who were dedicated to keeping the flame alight and thus protecting the city. The Vestal Virgin were famed for the privileges and freedoms they had, in contrast to many women of the times, they were independent and respected and did not have to marry, nor were they considered property of any man. However, there were sacrifices too – very often they would serve in this role from before puberty and until close to the menopause so their chances of having children were slim. Occasionally a Vestal Virgin might break her vow of chastity – if this was so then it was often found out by her becoming pregnant. If this happened there was a problem as to harm a Vestal Virgin would be to threaten the city itself – the solution was to incarcerate the pregnant woman and leaver her to starve or suffocate to death.

Astrologically Vesta is related to devotion to whatever it is that sustains us, our own internal sacred flame. It is about keeping our own flame alive and tending it so that it affords us protection and purpose. Vesta repeats the theme of freedom and restriction reminding us that whatever course we choose both limitations and freedoms will come with it. Vesta has undeniable connections to sexuality and sexual relationships and the choices that we make around these – whilst the original Vestal Virgin might not have had much choice about being taken as a Vestal Virgin they were then free to make their own choices, and at times the choices made may have led to an early and cruel death.

Vestal Virgin

Vesta is retrograde and tightly enclosed within the Lilith corridor so she is under strain at the moment as Lilith strips away the protections Vesta has wrapped around herself – the reasons we have given ourselves for making the choices we have, or from protecting ourselves from their consequences. Lilith demands we look at the choices we have made and our motivation for making them. With Vesta in Gemini we are looking at issues concerned with communication, messages, ideas. Gemini is about how we reach out to others although it is not necessarily about how we forge bonds with others as Gemini can be too intellectual and emotionally distant for that – so Lilith shows us how we hold people at arms length through our words and how we communicate, or how other people do the same to us, and shows us the consequences of that. Then the question is asked ‘is this what we want?’ ‘Does this serve us as well as others or is the sacrifice so great that we lose ourselves in the service of others?’.

Again the Sabian symbols reinforce the theme, with Vesta at 13 Gemini:


KEYNOTE: Individual fulfillment in the performing of a social function to which some prestige is attached.

Having entered upon the path of individualized experience that brings him in touch with broader or higher realms of superpersonal inspiration, the individual person is able to become himself a source of inspiration, an agent for Man and the formative Powers guiding human evolution. His role is to mobilize emotions, to present to others an image of what for most people is beyond their mediocre and lukewarm responses to the challenge of becoming “more-than-man” — to experience more intensely and to see farther. This is the role of the true and ideal “virtuoso” (vir meaning strength, manliness; thus “virtue”) and, in a far-reaching sense, of the Avatar whose example fascinates human beings, leading them to leave behind their past and to venture forth into new realms of experience.

At this third stage we see the meanings of the two preceding symbols, synthesized. One moves into new realms and successfully challenges the fears, the insecurity and the lack of self-confidence of the past in oneself —- all negative attitudes which, while conditioned by the social environment, have become engraved upon the unconscious. Having achieved this liberation, one can bring to the environment the power generated by self-discipline, skill and self-confidence. One has become an at least potential SOURCE OF INSPIRATION.

Abdel Rahman El Bacha

Abdel Rahman El Bacha

The presence of Lilith with Vesta also means we are likely to feel some anger and frustration at the ways our choices are limited, it can bring a quite brutal realisation that we only have free choice within a fairly restricted, limited number of options. Lilith in Gemini forces us to confront the ways we communicate and maybe put on a show in order to be acceptable to others – at this full moon she is likely to want to strip away the mask and have us show ourselves as we truly are – Vesta’s sacred flame demands to be honoured and we can no longer go around pretending all is ok if that begins to threaten the flame.

A final repeat of this theme comes with Venus who is conjunct Chariklo, wife of Chiron and indicator of love that can transcend outward appearance and has the ability to persist despite much hardship – Chariklo tended Chiron throughout his agonising and extended death after he was wounded by Heracles’s poison arrow. Chariklo can indicate where we are able to help without interfering, it can also indicate where our feminine, loving nature is restricted or hurt but also prepared to take a risk and express itself.

Kentaur and Nymphe by Franz von Stuck

Kentaur and Nymphe by Franz von Stuck

All in all the coming full moon indicates a time of realising and getting to understand where we have made and where we are able to make choices, especially in terms of relationships and creative work. It is a time when the limitations of those choices can become clear which might not be that comfortable, especially if we have to realise that the outcome of whatever choice we make brings with it restrictions and limitations. It is a full moon that highlights the complex relationship between nature and culture, between individual and society, between independence and relationships and asks us which road we choose to travel. The understandings we gain now can help us fulfil our potential, but it will take commitment and dedication and an acceptance of the sacrifices that must be made along the way. At the same time we are offered an opportunity to see what choices we have made in the past and if necessary use the Lilith and Vesta energy to undo some of that if those choices are no longer useful or relevant.


More full moon interpretations from

Darkstar astrology

Aquarius Papers


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