Note: Astrology forecasts are inevitably generalized because they can’t account for each individual’s birth chart and how it interfaces with the current planetary positions. This post focuses primarily on the full Moon. Each week, Modern Witch creator Devin Hunter writes a magical astrology forecast I encourage you to check out! Also, this post refers to the pure, archetypal forms of the zodiac signs, not what we see in actual people, who all have complex birth charts.
On Friday, September 13th at 9:33 p.m. PST, the full Harvest Moon in Pisces will rise. When the Moon is full, it’s on the opposite side of the earth from the Sun, which places it in the opposite zodiac sign of the Sun, forming a polarity. This means, roughly, that there’s tension between our core sense of self (Sun) and our emotions, instincts, and feelings (Moon). One tugs at the other, which many of us experience as restlessness. Full Moons are said to be times of revelation, illumination, completion, release, and ripening, and this one finds us at the biannual push-and-pull between Virgo and Pisces.
Virgo is an earth sign, grounded and reliable, that’s known for analysis, service, and self-refinement (and often, perfectionism, blunt criticism, and nagging). When the Sun is in Virgo (also called “Virgo Season”), there are opportunities for increased self-awareness and healthy self-critique, including examining what isn’t working in our life, what we could do better, and how our actions aren’t serving others or our well-being. Because of harmonious interactions between the Sun and Moon and Pluto this week, there’s also a call to surface issues for healing: have we been avoiding something? Do we owe someone an apology (perhaps our self?)? Virgo’s candor and precision can help us sift through this.
When the Moon is full, we get to visit intensely with a sign whose season won’t come for another half a year. This is a quick rendezvous, since the moon only stays in signs for ~2.5 days, but full Moons can be catalyzing and transformative nonetheless, especially if we do metaphysical work in alignment with them. Powerful opportunities accompany the full Moon in Pisces, the watery sign of consciousness and transcendence that ends the zodiacal cycle. If life were a movie, Pisces would be the last scene and credits. It corresponds with the individual dissolving into the Great Ocean at death. What can a Pisces full Moon offer? One answer is insight into how to transcend personal barriers: in relationships, conceptualizations, etc. Another is direct mystical experience, but also the pitfalls the Piscean shadow is known for: escapism, self-deception, and impracticality.
Weaving the Common Threads Together
All opposing astrological signs share common threads that manifest in polar or complementary ways. One thread between Pisces and Virgo is devotional spirituality, which they pursue differently. If Virgo is religion, Pisces is mysticism. Though religion needn’t have anything to do with mysticism (and vice versa), the former often provides a vehicle for the flowering of the latter, at which point we move beyond the level of form, which is a Piscean endpoint. We see this paralleled in the Tarot, where Virgo and Pisces correspond with the pious Hermit and visionary Moon in the Golden Dawn system, and archetypally with the Hierophant and the High Priestess. Though the High Priestess midwifes mystical realization, separated from the celestial waters by just a thin veil, the holy keys are at the Hierophant’s feet. The one facilitates the other.
Virgo feeds on the purification, structure, and clarity of holy roles. By living under religious law, she feels closer to spirit. Pisces, meanwhile, doesn’t merely think outside the box, it floods the box until the box disintegrates. What happens during a Virgo Sun/Pisces full Moon? The zenith of spiritual consciousness (or escapism and delusion) is tethered to the pragmatic, relentless aspirant (or harsh critic). This is an opportunity to do something with our epiphanies, to ground them in our life. This is heightened because the Moon is joined with Neptune, the planet of consciousness and illusion that rules Pisces in much of Western Astrology, and the Sun is joined with Mars, the planet of assertiveness.
This is also a powerful time to contemplate devotion: what does devotion mean to you? Spiritually? Toward a cause? Are you honoring what matters to you? All of this is higher octave Pisces/Virgo terrain. A lower octave experience could be criticizing ourselves mercilessly while crying during a Netflix binge (or while playing video games stoned), and we have a choice in how the astrological energy will manifest in our life. On a more basic level though, water moons are emotional, so you may feel a lot this full Moon, including heightened empathy and compassion.
Preparing For the Winter Ahead
Otherwise, we’re nearing the Autumnal Equinox on the 23rd, which marks the shift from Virgo to Libra Season, the Pagan holiday of Mabon, and the darkening of the year as Persephone reenters the Underworld. As the zodiac pivots to its outward half, the seasons pull us inward. In my opinion, one of the most elegant features of astrology is that the full Moons move in opposition to the solar cycle. As the seasons open our interior, we find a progression of Moons that shine with new life, beginning with Aries.
When I think about Mabon, I try to imagine living before we were so insulated from the elements. The cold is coming. The veil is thinning. We look at the harvest and wonder: how will this winter be? There are tides and seasons to personal growth and inner alchemy too, just like the motion of the planets through the signs. We face a metaphorical, inner winter each year. It’s in the moments of our internal fall and winter, when things are trying, that we see what we’ve really learned.
Virgo Season calls us to reflect: how set are we for our inner winter? If we need to course correct, now is the time. All signs fit with the rhythm of life like this. They are stages in the spiraling of creation. Though manifestations of astrological energy can be infinite, energy consistently moves through a single pattern, like the unfolding of time. We may wear winter 90 different ways a lifetime because no two winters are the same, but winter always comes. The pattern abides.
On Friday night, consider setting an intention to connect with your Higher Self (however you conceptualize that) and free writing, or engaging in trance and astral work. The Pisces full Moon marks a cosmic cloud parting, a time for vision, inspiration, intimacy, and feeling. With its support, we may soar to usually difficult to reach heights.
Otherwise, for those of you who work with Tarot, here’s a spread for the full Moon:
- Card One: what will help me expand my consciousness?
- Card Two: what would be beneficial for me to work on releasing?
- Card Three: where would it be helpful for me to work harder?
- Card Four: what am I not seeing that would be beneficial to see?
- Card Five: what can fortify me for the coming winter?