Aug.31 – FULL MOON in PISCES (08:33 of Pisces)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Aug.31, 2012, 9:58 AM EDT

London, UK:

Aug.31, 2012, 2:58 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Aug.31, 2012, 11:58 PM AEST


What's the difference between imagination and illusion?

At what point does moving beyond limitations mean you have simply lost your way?

What separates faith from gullibility?

If you're open and trusting, how can you know if you're being manipulated or used?

And how can you be proactive, assertive and empowered without losing your essential innocence and peaceful aura?

These will be the challenging questions at the Full Moon, to wrestle with and explore until the next New Moon (Sep.15).


But one creature said at last, 'I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.' 

The other creatures laughed and said, 'Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbling and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!' 

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. 

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

All quotes in this article are from Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach

Pisces is known for its association with imagination, fantasy, illusion, deception and surrender. Depending on how they're used, any of them could be a force for healing and growth or for confusion and damage.

For example, imagination is an essential tool for creativity and inspiration, which can help you move into a better place in your life. On the other hand, it could also be used as an escape from the difficult parts of your life, which ironically can keep you stuck in the very thing you're trying to escape from.

There's a part of our humanness that longs to surrender to something greater than ourselves. Imagination is the quality that allows you to envision the benefits you can get from letting go, that you're unlikely to get by holding on. But that can be tricky business. If you surrender, you also give up control—at least overt control. It means putting yourself in the hands of something other than your personal will.

If this sounds risky, that's because it is! The trick is to recognize that surrender doesn't mean you have to give up your choices. The thought of surrender sends many of us running screaming to the nearest foxhole to defend our vulnerability, our fear, our distrust and our need for certainty.

And he said until them, "If a man told God that he wanted most of all to help the suffering world, no matter the price to himself, and good answered and told him what he must do, should the man do as he is told?" 

"Of course, Master!" cried the many. 

"And what would you do ...if God spoke directly to your face and said, 'I COMMAND THAT YOU BE HAPPY IN THE WORLD, AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.' What would you do then?" 

And the multitude was silent...

If surrender feels like too big a step, consider acceptance. Acceptance essentially means you stop hurling yourself against the brick wall of whatever is stubbornly refusing to comply with your demand that it change. This isn't surrender in the sense of giving up or giving your power away, but bringing yourself back to the moment and letting everything else fade into the background.

We can get lost in the projected future or in the past that haunts us. There is a healthy place for the past and future in our lives, but when we get overwhelmed it helps to just bring ourselves back to what is: the Now.

Worry, on the other hand, can interfere with our ability to do that. It's the opposite of surrender. Whereas surrender relaxes into the present moment, allowing all else to fall away into the background, worry focuses all of our attention on something we fear and pushes other things to a lower priority where we can't deal effectively with them. Even if we focus exclusively on something we want, worry focuses on the fear that we won't get it. And this tells the story of the best of Pisces as opposed to the worst of Virgo, its opposite sign.

Worry is obsessive hyper-vigilance combined with waiting for something that hasn't happened yet. Here's the logic: if we take our focus away from what we fear (will or won't happen), then we can't monitor it. If we can't monitor it, we can't be ready to react if things get worse; nor will we be ready to pounce when the long awaited opportunity finally arrives.

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion...this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.

To believe that only worry will empower us to be ready for these things (good or bad) implies a fundamental distrust of ourselves. If we really want (or don't want) something that badly, how could we not recognize it when it happens?

If it comes and goes without our notice, then maybe we've moved on from, or outgrown, our need for it. Perhaps you longed for a pony when you were young. Now that you're an adult, you may get the same fun from driving your car or from horseback riding, but you've probably moved on from wanting a pony.

Another possibility is that we really hunger for something other than what our desire focuses on, which we think (or used to think) would become more accessible if we could just have the thing that just passed us by. Rather than wanting the pony, as such, perhaps you thought it would make you popular with your school mates. Maybe you were lonely and thought that your relationship with a pony would fill the need for social connection.

Acceptance means you let go of the obsessive need for external life to change in order for you to be happy or content or fulfilled. Acceptance says, "Whatever I do or don't have in my life right now, I have myself and I have the Now." The Now moment is sustainable and provides what you need to get to the next Now moment—unless, of course, you are in imminent danger, in which case you must do whatever you need to do to protect yourself and/or others with you (e.g. a child). In that case, vigilance is a necessary survival mechanism.

In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.

The Full Moon in Pisces presents a number of obstacles or issues that may require you to choose between worry and surrender. With the Sun in Virgo and the Moon in Pisces, we have the classic battle between these two. Virgo is about worry and trying to oversee and control every little detail so that the outcome has no other choice than to go the way you want it to. (This is not all there is to Virgo, of course, but it is one of the qualities of Virgo that could create a challenge during this Full Moon.) Pisces is about surrender and allowing yourself to become part of something greater than yourself. (This is not all there is to Pisces either, but is one of the qualities of that sign that you may need to grapple with.)

Everything else in the chart turns on the Sun-Moon hinge. There are several Wedge-like aspect patterns that all involved the Sun-Moon opposition.

Hard Wedge aspect figure to Venus

Venus forms what I call a Hard Wedge (involving a semi-square to the Sun: 45°; and a sesqui-quadrate to the Moon: 135°). These aspects are exact to the minute, meaning that the energies are especially strong and focused. Venus is about receptivity, balance, beauty, love and harmony.

Irritation Wedge aspect pattern to Uranus

In this case, she presents a challenge: if you surrender, do you also surrender your right and ability to choose? With Venus in Cancer, she asks: How can I be safe if I am not watching out for danger? Alternatively, she may ask: if I want to give nurturing to someone else, does that mean they must give up their right to choose? Must they accept what I have to give, whether they want it or not, in order for me to feel good?

Uranus forms what I call an Irritation Wedge (which includes a semi-sextile to the Moon: 30°; and a quincunx to the Sun: 150°). Uranus, the planet of chaos and the unexpected, could make it hard for the Virgo Sun to know how to anticipate and keep up with things that seem erratic and potentially dangerous (or at least unwanted). Uranus seems to say, "In order to surrender, you have to develop a tolerance and acceptance for the unpredictable. There are no guarantees that you will get what you want or need. You might have to put your personal needs aside in favour of what is best for the group."

Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. 
What you choose to do with them is up to you.

Jupiter makes a T-square that is a bit wide at 6 degrees of orb (square to both the Sun and Moon: 180°). Nevertheless, with Jupiter being the traditional ruler of Pisces, this is still significant. Jupiter is expansion. The Sagittarian side of Jupiter (its other sign) is more about going after something and expanding your reach to do so. The Piscean side of Jupiter's expansion is about becoming open and relaxed. As you let go of worries, fears, distractions and expectations, your mind, body and spirit unfold like a rose in bloom.

T-square aspect configuration to Jupiter

This quality of Jupiter becomes a source of stress for a number of possible reasons. Expansion that isn't balanced with purpose or direction could simply become laziness, if you are overtaken by a lack of motivation to do something that needs to be done (as part of your participation in life on Earth). Jupiter being in Gemini might also want to expand your mental focus and thereby just feed new ideas and possibilities into Virgo's tendency to worry.

If you tend to be cautious about allowing yourself to surrender and let go, Jupiter's urge to expand could be experienced as a threat or as something to guard yourself against. On the other hand, Jupiter's passion for understanding and wisdom can also be the impetus that challenges you to move beyond your comfort zone so that you don't either get stuck in worry or dissolved and lost in surrender.

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. 
You may have to work for it, however.

On a more positive note, Mars and Pluto each form a happier garden variety Wedge aspect figure (involving a sextile to the Sun or Moon: 60°; and a trine to the other: 120°). In fact, Mars and Pluto together form a Cradle aspect pattern with the Sun and Moon, where their respective Wedge patterns are opposing and interlocking (see diagram).

Cradle aspect figure to Mars and Pluto

With all the erratic, challenging and potentially blocking energy on the other side of the Sun-Moon opposition, Mars and Pluto seem to be a bit more reassuring: "It's okay – movement, action and change can come relatively easily. You don't have to fight so hard. It's enough to put intention into action."

On the other hand, if surrender and letting go feel like a fate worse than death to you, then Mars and Pluto might just become allies to those fears by providing the ability to exert tight control over what happens. This can be a good thing if you have been unfocused and need to pull yourself together to make something happen.

However, this might also just aggravate your worrying, distrusting nature. Don't mistake your paranoid readiness to defend yourself with the conclusion that there is therefore something "out there" that you must defend yourself against. They're not the same thing. Better to use that Virgo Sun to do a reality check and see what you're actually dealing with, and how much might be coming from your own free-floating anxiety.

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. 
You seek problems because you need their gifts.

Chiron is the one energy that becomes an integral part of the Pisces Full Moon without triangulating out from it. Chiron is our human woundedness, and is associated with the concept of the Wounded Healer – someone who, through their own struggle with their woundedness, gains the wisdom and experience that allows them to help others who have similar struggles.

Full Moon in Pisces conjunct Chiron

Chiron isn't about victoriously conquering that which had wounded us, but rather it is more about learning how to live with the wound. Chiron doesn't say there's nothing that can be done about the wound, but he recognizes that there will be scars and sometimes lasting effects that must be accepted and dealt with on an ongoing basis. You can't "un-ring the bell." You can't go back and stop the past from happening. You can only go forward, do what you can and find a way to accept and live with what can't be changed.

At the Pisces Full Moon, Chiron is like a mirror that will show you the core of any struggle you have with surrender, imagination, illusion, deception and faith. Perhaps you collapse yourself into surrender too easily, and thereby abdicate your responsibility to do what you can to help yourself. Or maybe you want so badly something that you believe surrender will give you, that you're willing to ignore the stuff that comes with the package that includes stuff you don't want.

Maybe surrender is so terrifying that you would rather suffer the pain of a thousand wounds rather than give yourself over to that force greater than yourself (which your fear assures you is not a friendly force). Or maybe you're stuck between being too afraid to surrender, yet with too much desire for its gifts to walk away from it, in which case Chiron may show you what consequences you pay as a result of your indecision.

The Full Moon in Pisces isn't all struggle and difficulty. Pisces is also about compassion, creativity and a connection to a greater sense of purpose and higher love. With so much stress going through the Full Moon chart, it could be that it is by struggling with these obstacles and challenges that you will be able to embrace these other Pisces qualities.

You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.

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