Watch for the Aries Full Moon rising on the night of October 4th, it reaches peak fullness at 12° Aries on the morning of October 5th.
Flanking the Moon from 12° Pisces and 12° Taurus, the long-term sextile between Neptune and Athena Retrograde forms a yod to the Sun at 12° Libra. Asteroid Persephone is at 12° Virgo, opposite Neptune and trine Athena. And perhaps most importantly of all, Venus and Mars complete their conjunction at 19° Virgo less than two hours before the Moon becomes 100% full in Aries (ruled by Mars), opposite the Sun in Libra (ruled by Venus).
Due to Athena’s retrograde station at 14° Taurus, she stays within a 2.5 degree orb of sextile to Neptune between August 10th and October 16th. Their second of three exact sextiles becomes complete on October 5th, in crisp synchronicity with Mars conjunct Venus and the Aries Full Moon. (Click Here to read an in-depth report on Athena Retrograde) Neptune sextile Athena is an opportunity for bringing our identity rooted in subconscious awareness of the body, into alignment with the physical reality of the body. The Libra Sun thrives on harmony, and wants to say yes to this realignment. In a configuration called a boomerang yod, the energy of the body at the point of the yod(the Sun) is enhanced exponentially as it returns down the opposition axis to the midpoint of the sextile- in this case, it is the axis of a monumentally powerful Full Moon in Aries.
Venus and Mars join approximately once every two years, but there is currently no stable pattern to their conjunctions. Normally, there is a pattern in the Mars-Venus cycle where Venus is retrograde for one out of every five conjunctions with Mars for about 200 years. Then, they break out of that pattern and interact somewhat randomly for about a century, before resuming another 200 years of regular clockwork conjunctions. We are right in the middle of the irregular century, which began in 1960- easily identifiable as the dawn of a culture-shattering shift in the social order, perhaps especially in regards to perceptions of gender.
From Aberrations in the Venus-Mars Cycle by Robert P. Blaschke:
“One may hypothesize that human relationship requires a fluid and dynamic evolution in order to grow and change with the times. After two centuries, the social pattern has become stagnant and thus needs to transmute into a different form. As we have seen since 1960, when the birth control pill and the feminist movement radically altered roles for men and women, it is not unreasonable to expect that the social disruptions brought about by the changes to the relational patterns could take an entire century to stabilize. If this is the case, one can predict that it will take another 50 years for stability to return.”
Let that sink in. Isn’t it great to know that our imagined shortcomings are not to blame for our difficulties creating stability in any type of long-term relationship? The culture, the arena for forming relationships is fundamentally unstable, and will be for the rest of our lives, basically. These are truly choppy seas! What can we rely on? Neptune sextile Athena Retrograde: we rely on the body. It is a library of subconscious truths about ourselves and about our partners, and likewise our partners’ bodies carry truths about us.
Relative Stability. Stability is always Relative.
This is the Aries Full Moon meditation, being willing to take this leap:
“Life in the family is designed by its very nature to help our feeling body mature. Intimacy is one of the last frontiers of human consciousness… Intimacy is not about having a fixed and secure relationship. It is about being willing to leap into the unknown with your intimate other; it is about being willing to face all the issues of the human condition with one’s partner, from birth to death…” -Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD
Which brings us to asteroid Persephone and her opposition to Neptune in Pisces.
As Neptune makes his way around the zodiac over the decades, he opposes Persephone at different stages of her journey around the wheel of the year. Since 2012, Neptune is in his home sign of Pisces, the realm of the subconscious, where he opposes Persephone in Virgo. In this phase of her cycle, she lets go of her mother and turns to face her shadow, which leads her toward the Underworld. Neptune’s nebulous approach to reality is what allows us to bend and not break, and their opposition is a depiction of this surrender.
Surrender is the act of exposing oneself, identifying oneself, and declaring oneself to be vulnerable.
Athena’s contribution, sextile Neptune and trine Persephone, frames this definition of surrender as a survival strategy. The difference between a life of miserable confusion and a life of bittersweet openness and curiosity is an active choice to say yes to our shadow as it appears within the bodies of our partners.
“Thinking in mythological terms helps to put you in accord with the inevitables of this vale of tears. You learn to recognize the positive values in what appear to be the negative moments and aspects of your life. The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” –Joseph Campbell
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