A friend suggested I contribute monthly astrological articles to the LA/OC Pagan Pride newsletter. Currently they are exploring the Full Moon signs, and so here is my first pass at this, my take on the Aries Full Moon. Rather than zero in on the uniqueness of this particular Full Moon, my interest is in the cyclical sameness of the Aries Full Moon that recurs ever year in September/ October, when the Sun is in Libra. The Aries Full Moon for 2018 occurs on September 24, at 7:54 pm PDT. Enjoy!
That hit of adrenaline you feel when someone openly attacks your principles. The heat that rushes to your face in the first flush of sexual attraction. The sense of glory that suffuses you when you compete against an enemy, and win. Aries begins the Zodiac, and its themes revolve around the energy radiated by its ruling planet, Mars. The warrior god of the ancient Roman pantheon, Mars could also be irascible, and boasted a pride that was too easily touched. Thus, Aries shows its face when we scream at a stranger for cutting us off on the road. The slow, wincing pain that spreads up your spine when you stub your toe, that is Aries too, as well as the sense of outrage that burns when you compete against an enemy, and lose.
When the Sun moves into Aries, it is “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower.” Life is renewed, the cycle is invigorated, and practically the first thing I say to clients born under this heady Springtime sign is, “you can never expect other people to have as much energy as you.” Or as much fortitude, or as much sass. The Sun is at the height of its powers in primogenial Aries, and thus it is no surprise that the sign is overrun with “creatives.” Singers, painters, writers, and designers abound here, and not because of any superior talent; rather it is the blessed entitlement with which Aries gifts its denizens that authorizes the path of personal expression. I am, therefore I create.
When the Sun moves into Libra at the Autumnal Equinox, its powers are low. The Full Moon that occurs every Fall in Libra’s opposite sign, Aries, is something to be feared. It is the towering bad mood of Achilles, sulking in his tent. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I am an old-time pagan, and I believe every Full Moon should be approached with caution. From medieval practitioners of the Hermetic arts we have inherited a sense of the Moon as a kaleidoscope of illusions and inconstancy, and this is the Moon I worship. The Moon has gotten a considerable P.R. makeover from the combined efforts of the twentieth-century Goddess movement and the prevalence of pop psychology, and yet I would maintain that there is a limit to the benefit of being in one’s feelings. Feelings create chimeras, and at the Full Moon, the apotheosis of the lunar cycle, “the freaks come out at night,” to quote the unintentionally apt words of Whodini.
In astrology, the Moon represents the feeling nature, and Aries stands for states of impulsivity, rage, and wounded ego. Combining and stimulating these archetypes to excitation at the Full Moon is certainly cause for circumspection. The New Age tradition, in its abhorrence of anger and other “low vibe” states, has been fairly uniform in advising counting to ten, turning the other cheek, and just generally white-lighting Aries qualities out of existence. Yet the Mars problem we have in this culture is not that we have too much violence (school shootings et al.) Our Mars problem is that we have too few or no outlets for expressing healthy aggression and experiencing ourselves as noble protagonists in the battle of life. If I could whittle this lack down to a single word it would be honor.
Once upon a time in the fairy-tale past, warriors waged worthy campaigns and died grisly deaths fighting for right and truth. The great delusion of our times is that there are no honors left to get. We call military men war-mongers and meat-heads from the comfy vantage-point of our hand-held devices. We dismiss anyone burning with zeal for a cause as being high on self-importance. We shun our angry friends because their feelings spoil the mood of polite gatherings. Then we play on repeat ever more violent depictions of cleverness and right walloping ignorance and greed on our flickering HD hearths. Mars has been farmed out to the movies.
This Fall, as the Wheel turns and the Aries Full Moon approaches, don’t count to ten. Instead, pick the right enemy. In my work with clients, we often pinpoint fear, negative self-talk, and shame as worthy adversaries to slay in Mars times. The outside world is practically seething with foes. Pick one. Since Foucault has taught us that power does not inhere in the man but in the system that holds him up, channel your vitriol at the principle instead of the person. Stand up to patriarchy, or economic exploitation, or the destruction of wild-life habitat. Pick one, and use your voice.
The most powerful spell I can offer under the Aries Full Moon is to lose your feelings about the feelings. I have wondered, often, if the discomfort I feel whenever I’m angry has more to do with our collective shaming of anger than with the anger itself. The “anger as gauche” or “anger as lack of self-control” tenor of our social rigor serves only the perpetrators and not the victims of injustice, by constructing the calling out of unfairness as “rude.” Try, as much as possible, to revel in your own righteous anger, and cast all your judgment about it into the fire. Try, as much as possible, to congratulate yourself for your noble deeds, and to silence the psychologizing voice whispering unhelpfully about your “ego needs.” Be, as much as possible, the valiant warrior of old, cutting down selfishness and cruelty wherever you meet them, and hoisting the banner of honor for a world that has forgotten how to die for what it loves.