Reconsidering the Astrological Moon
As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge.
“Originality is being different from oneself, not others.”―Philip Larkin
TO STOP AND CONSIDER THE FULL MOON invites Luna directly into your head.
The evolutionary process has burrowed her image deep into our cerebral cortex. We can’t escape her colossal, fat roundness—pushing out the edges of our inner vision.
The Sun radiates and sustains, whereas the Moon reflects and craves. As Martha Heyneman writes, always the Moon
“…is tugging at everything on her side of the surface of the earth. She sucks on the very rocks. As she passes overhead the earth’s crust rises a few inches beneath her and is elsewhere compressed, kneaded as a cat kneads your stomach.”
According to the Russian mystic G.I. Gurdjieff, the Earth and the Moon are locked in a symbiotic relationship. As he explained to P.D. Ouspensky, as recounted in the book In Search of the Miraculous:
“The moon is a huge living being feeding upon all that lives and grows on earth. The moon could not not exist without organic life on earth, any more than organic life on earth could exist without the moon.”
Gurdjieff describes the Moon as a planet-in-the-making that depends on vital forces generated by life on Earth to continue her process of ‘warming’. This thesis is a very different understanding from what Western astrology teaches us.
Why do we often feel anxious during the Full Moon? And why is the Full Moon phase considered one of heightened spiritual activity?
Consider the phases in life when you’ve changed homes, ended a long-term relationship, lost your job, or experienced the death of a loved one. Psychologists consider those four ‘life events’ as some of the toughest emotional adjustments we ever make.
Within the system of planetary and luminary aspects, the moment of the Full Moon corresponds to a similar set of shocks. When the opposition is exact, the Moon has momentarily lost her function—that of ‘gathering’ light from the Sun.
Too, Luna and Sol undergo a pivotal relational ‘shift,’ the cycle of waxing changes to one of waning, a loss of light. This, too, is akin to a death.
Post-Full Moon, all of the solar light that the Moon has gathered is drained away—night after night—as Luna moves back, bereft, to complete darkness during the New Moon phase—her next conjunction with the Sun.
Before contemporary psychology was integrated into the astrologer’s methodologies in traditional astrology, the Moon was considered greedy.
Wizard orthodox astrologer John Frawley describes the lunation cycle this way:
“The waxing Moon can be characterized as greed for what it has not yet got; the waning Moon as greed for what it once had but has lost. At Full, it is full; its greed is momently satisfied. It has all that it can want, its capacity is filled. With its greed at last sated it has no power, for its whole motive force has gone.” (Italics are mine).
The anthroposophic Rudolph Steiner reminded us that human beings are a direct reflection of the cosmos and that our consciousness is imbued with the entirety of the universe. In The Sun Mystery lectures, he wrote:
“Throughout a human lifetime, what happens in the head remains an image of the entire cosmos. The very fact that we have a head means that each of us carries an image of the entire cosmos around with us…In fact the Earth perceives the cosmos through human beings…”
During the Full Moon, we could say that, spiritually, a veil parts, a haze is pierced, and the Moon’s powerful pull drops momentarily ‘off the grid.’ An opportunity is underway, a kind
of shock moment where the matrix of the solar system opens within our consciousness in a flash—freed momentarily from the Moon’s constant demand.