Dear Friend and Reader:
Imagine you are focused intently on making your car fit into a tight parallel-parking space. You get it partway in, but maybe your approach wasn’t quite right. At a certain point, you realize that going back and forth at the same angle isn’t getting you where you want to go.
You need more wiggle room. But the other cars are not going to give it to you. The curb is not going to give it to you. Even your own car is not going to give it to you.
You are the only one who can give yourself more wiggle room — and you do that by pulling out and realigning, giving yourself space and perspective.
You have to try something new — even if just subtly. Your pride at typically being a great parallel parker will not help you, nor will letting your ego flare up at the nerve of these other people not giving you more space. You might need to try an approach that is different in its speed, angle, head start, and so on.
You might even experience the epiphany that you don’t have to keep trying that same parking spot, let alone keep trying it in the same way. Far from abandoning the process, you have given yourself the space to see the process for what it is, and negotiate it differently.
It’s not a perfect metaphor, but you may find it useful as Friday’s Aquarius Full Moon approaches. The Full Moon is exact at 6:43 am EDT July 31 (10:43 UTC), a so-called Blue Moon since it is the second Full Moon this month (the first was July 1, with the Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Capricorn).
Leo and Aquarius are both ‘fixed’ signs. As such, they can lend a sense of rigid intractability to astrological events. And Full Moons often represent a relational stalemate that has come to a head.
Something needs to give.
In some sense it will regardless of what you do, at least somewhat. As the Full Moon wanes, the undercurrent of energy that had been intensifying begins to dissipate.
But what if you actively help things along by using your awareness to react differently from how you might have otherwise?
What if you consciously choose to give some wiggle room to your emotions, to your thoughts, to whoever you are dealing with — and therefore to yourself — as this week winds down?
Leo and its ruler, the Sun, both represent ego, which can be a rather unyielding or restrictive facet of self. In its efforts to protect you from what it perceives as ‘dangerous risk’, ego can also block you from the vulnerability you need to allow if you wish to experience intimacy, healing, growth and creativity.
Emotion and intuition, represented by the Moon, want to flow freely. Yet in Aquarius, they can get fused with rigid thought forms and become detached from empathy — both toward others and toward ourselves.
Luckily, Leo and Aquarius offer solutions through their ‘flip side’ qualities. At its best, Leo is about heart: generosity, compassion, courage, warmth. Aquarius offers surprising inventiveness and clarity of intellect. So the trick is to lean on these more productive qualities to allow yourself and a partner, colleague, friend or relative some extra wiggle room.
Rather than getting stuck either in prideful stubbornness or cool detachment in a situation, try leaning into any unusual impulses that occur to you, and see if your passion follows. When you step out a pattern of confrontation that won’t seem to budge, you allow yourself to see it as ‘not really you’.
In doing so, you are actually showing yourself some compassion. Because a relentless external battle or blockade is likely mirroring an internal dynamic that’s eating up a lot of your psychic and emotional energy.
Which brings me to a couple final points about astrology happening simultaneously with the Full Moon. The first is that Venus, which stationed retrograde in Virgo last weekend, backs out of that sign and re-enters Leo about four hours after the Full Moon on Friday. This should bring some warmth back to any investigation of your ‘inner critic’ you’ve been involved in.
Specifically, notice over the next month if you gain a better understanding into the childhood roots of your inner critic’s voice. You may want to offer a little extra kindness toward your inner child (and your adult self) as you do.
Also this weekend, Saturn stations direct in late Scorpio at 1:53 am EDT Sunday (5:53 UTC). Saturn is already square Jupiter in Leo, with that aspect exact at 6:36 am EDT Monday (10:36 UTC).
If you’ve been making slow but steady progress toward a particular goal over the last few months, take any opportunity to move things forward tangibly this week. With the extra wiggle room you give yourself around the Full Moon Friday, you can use the freed-up energy for some actual follow-through on a project.
This is the kind of thing that does not happen by itself. The universe may show you the open spot, but you’re the one driving the car.
Yours & truly,
The Aquarius moon often presents a puzzle to astrologers. The moon is a cyclical creature, constantly changing. Aquarius is a fixed sign and tends to crystallize patterns. The moon is inherently emotional and Aquarius is usually described as being rational and intellectual. The moon is maternal and we hardly think of Aquarius as being particularly cozy this way. Aquarius is ruled by Saturn (in the modern age, also by Uranus). The moon rules the sign Cancer, which is about as different than Aquarius as you can get.
And different is exactly what you get.
Some astrologers will tell you it’s a terrible moon and others will tell you it’s a great moon. Whatever the case, there’s something distinctly Aquarian about the Aquarius moon — you can see it and feel it in these natives. It’s not necessarily something easygoing on the deepest emotional levels, but it’s not exactly out of place in the world either. You might say it’s something that feels right about being out of place. It may be that because certain specific needs were denied to them in childhood, they turned out needing something they probably never expect to find. They are continuously in unfamiliar emotional territory, continuously forced to adapt, synthesize and create the world they need as a basic necessity of living.
This moon seems to come with a certain kind of pioneering spirit. For a fine example, Brian Epstein, the first manager of the Beatles, the man who put the Beatles into those classy suits and put them on the map, had an Aquarius moon. It required honoring both vision and practicality, and a feeling for exactly what the world was ready for.
George Lucas, who innovated a new genre of science fiction and created a robot that was as warm and loving as anyone’s dog or friend — Artoo-Deetoo — has an Aquarius moon. Speaking of science fiction, its very inventor, H.G. Wells (The Time Machine), and his distant cousin and dharma heir, Orson Welles (producer of the radio classic War of the Worlds), both have moons in this sign. Of these people, George Lucas is the only household word. His actors and actresses and their characters were far more famous than he was, the same being true for Brian Epstein. As for Wells and Welles, their ideas and achievements are more famous than they are. This is not the Leo moon, where one must be visible, well-loved and well-known; Aquarius moons do fine working behind the scenes, and in fact, thrive there.
But it happens that they end up in your kitchen or television set. Consider the late Diana, Princess of Wales or John Lennon. Here are two of the best-known names in Western culture, and both have an Aquarius moon. But they are known as much as anything for their basic humanity. There’s a need to be normal with this moon, to be part of the world, to be human despite being famous, and that need is obviously driven by a feeling of being so different than everyone else.
John Lennon lived like just about any other New Yorker. Visiting my dad on the Upper West Side as a kid, I half-expected John to be having dinner with Yoko in the Empire Szechuan restaurant on 96th Street every time I walked in; that was how he lived. With Diana, Lennon shared a propensity for getting involved with social causes, which is something often associated with Aquarius. To most people, social causes are abstractions. To Aquarians, abstractions are real, so there’s no conflict there. They can conceive of needs that most people cannot imagine. They are very good at identifying needs that go beyond themselves.
There is something distinctly futuristic about Aquarius moon people, like you’re friends with a character from a sci-fi novel, or at least a fictional character. They are “different,” a little cool, a little (or a lot) remote at times, but consistently a friend and even a friend to their enemies. This is the moon with “no time to hate.” (Richard Nixon, who had his moon in Aquarius and also had plenty of time to hate, is an example of how even someone so diabolical could be appreciated for his humanity. Nixon was the president who went down to the plaza quite early one morning with a somewhat-alarmed Secret Service detail to explain the war to anti-Vietnam protestors.)
Are they friendly or dispassionate? Perhaps both, or seemingly so. One needs to be a little dispassionate to be a true friend; one must not get too involved. Their apparent lack of passion can drive the people who want them to be passionate a little nuts. Nuts is contagious; they are all a little or a lot neurotic, but you love them anyway.
Both Diane Keaton and Woody Allen have Aquarius moons. These two people — are they characters or are they real? — exemplify New York City-style mashugana like the professionals they are, popping Valium to stay calm and navigating the mental loops of relationships for all to see. “I awoke on Friday and because the universe is expanding it took me longer than usual to find my robe,” Woody Allen said in last week’s The New Yorker.
Their comedy is social satire. They get the joke of how stupid society is, with all its rules, expectations and appearances. They understand the rules and cannot help but break them. After all, what else are rules for? To an Aquarian that is.
Mental — there is something mental about this moon, which is why some astrologers are prejudiced against it and claim it’s shallow. But what it may lack in gushing emotion it makes up for in ideas. Both Alfred Nobel and Joseph Pulitzer, each idea men in their own right whose names are now attached to prizes which reward society’s most daring journalists, creators and scientists, were of the Aquarian moon. It was Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher, who first called for the university-level training of journalists.
When NASA put the first woman in space, Sally Ride, it was someone with an Aquarius moon. Ditto for the first black baseball player to step up to the plate, Jackie Robinson.
How does this work? My take is that the moon is so antithetical to Aquarius that it functions chirotically. The moon seems agitated or irritated and must go to great extents to fit in at all; therefore it can also withstand the long struggles that pioneers face, and the mixed reviews they always wind up getting. They are already attuned to a degree of emotional alienation, so the discomfort of bold achievement is not too difficult for their natures to endure.
But their emotional natures are exceedingly complex, and mingled with all kinds of ideas about themselves. These are not simple people, no matter what you do. Emotional complexity is far more natural to them than it is to most other moons. This is one reason why they make such good friends. Everyone else’s problems seem simpler than their own.
The dark side of the Aquarius moon appears in the likes of David Koresh, Charles Manson and Gary Gilmore. Koresh and Manson, for their part, exemplify the group aspect of this moon that can have a cultish quality. But there is still something of their humanity that shines through these people. Gilmore, a confessed double-murderer who became the first person executed after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, became the truly human symbol for how stupid the death penalty is (in part thanks to Norman Mailer, who has an Aquarius sun). Even Charlie Manson, who masterminded numerous murders, comes across more as an actual living person rather than as a monster. Interesting that both Koresh and Manson had aspirations to being rock stars, perhaps the ultimate career experience for this moon (Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young being two examples).
Neil’s lyrics give us some insight into the complexity of this moon. In one song, he talks about how all those lovers are only passing through you in the end. In another, he ponders, “How I lost my friends, I still don’t understand.” He continues:
They had the best selection,
They were poisoned with protection
There was nothing that they needed,
Nothing left to find
They were lost in rock formations
Or became park bench mutations
On the sidewalks and in the stations
They were waiting, waiting.
So I got bored and left them there,
They were just deadweight to me
Better down the road without that load.
What Neil seems to be saying is that his friends crystallized and become burdens — and that they were spending their lives waiting. Though Aquarius itself may be about crystallization, the moon is always changing and it can’t take one pattern of living for very long. So that moon is always on the move, emotionally and mentally, constantly reinventing itself, at least in a healthy specimen. The chart’s aspects, of course, modify and describe the details.
This moon does not suffer from most of the usual attachment trips (just its own highly innovative ones, associated with its idealism about everything and everyone, idealism which is rarely fulfilled). The moon’s first keyword is need, and the first keyword for Aquarius is freedom. Far be it for most humans to wrap their minds around such an abstract or bizarre concept! Or to not be terrified of it.
That unattached, on-the-move feeling leads some astrologers to say that its natives are shallow or not that serious about what they do, but that quality can be more or less exaggerated, or nonexistent, based on other chart factors. Obviously, some very high achievers have had Aquarius moons, but most of them have been restless souls. Consider John Lennon, whose musical compositions represented a rapid series of self-reinventions between 1966 and 1969. These albums pushed the culture forward and yet offered sanity and guidance in some of most tumultuous years in recent history. The Aquarius moon can deal with change; in fact, it needs and expects change, and expects and needs people to change. Everything is interesting, but nothing is that interesting for that long.
Including people. They need a lot of people around them, and a constant supply of fresh faces and minds.
Their ideas are stranger than most, their analyses more complex and penetrating, and their minds seem able to exist in many time periods at once. They are the most interesting people most of their friends know, but where does that leave them? Well, as usual, needing to invent someone or something, or to reinvent themselves, in order to fill the void.
Aquarius moon is the original brotherly lover. Their detachment — in both men and women — gives them the ability to be both lover and friend, either or both at the same time. Being friends with them after a romantic relationship has ended is often easy because they are generally not hung up on the past, and they recognize the necessity of friendship inherent in any sexual pairing even after the sexual dimension has changed. Alternately, they can really let people pass through them and move on.
They all have eccentric mothers, many of whom were a little detached and may themselves have “moved on.” Their moms can have that same removed quality most people see in them. But removed or not, there is always something odd about mom. Either she is not there, or she’s an aunt, or she’s more like a friend than a parent, or she’s just kinda weird. Does their mom ever really know them? Can anyone know them truly? It may be a lifelong quest, and the driving force behind everything else they set out to achieve.