Full Moons and Cosmic Fireworks

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #72, August 20, 2003
August 27th and September 10th

When I look at what is happening astrologically over the next few months, I realize that we need an operating manual just to navigate us through these times. Each planetary interaction individually could occupy our attention, and now there is a fireworks explosion of activity.

The Virgo New Moon is Wednesday August 27th at 10:26am PDT. New moons are normally quiet, reflective times. However, this is no ordinary new moon! There is so much planetary activity this day and shortly thereafter that it is hard to decide where to start the outline of events, not to mention the interpretation of how all this activity impacts our lives.

Below I present the line up of the cosmic party. I will introduce the celebrities and how they are showing off, pairing up and interacting. Then I will give some ideas about what this all means for us. We each have our own version of this party going on right inside ourselves, with a big mirror of how the energies are being played out in our daily lives.

Mars in the Headlines

August 27th at 2:51am PDT, Mars will be the closest to the Earth that it has been in 60,000 years. Three days later it will be the closest that it gets to the Sun in its elliptical orbit around that fireball. Mars is definitely drawing attention to himself and has something very important to communicate with us.

Mars energy is aggressive, assertive and action-oriented. In Pisces however, the willful, direct energy of Mars can be confused, diffused, diluted and misdirected, if we do not take action from our instinctual guidance. It is essential at this time to be inner directed and spiritually connected.

Mars is retrograde in Pisces from July 29 until September 27, 2003. During this time he is obliging us to go inside, to slow down, to stop, to pay attention, to let go of control, to align with and surrender to Divine Will. When Mars goes direct again, moves past Uranus and the opposition with the Sun, something will have shifted inside us.

From August 28 until December 30, 2003 is the third quarter of the Sun/Mars cycle that began in July 2002. The third quarter of any cycle is the time we reap the results of the first half of the cycle. We reap what we have sown. We will be in the last phase of the Sun/Mars cycle until the end of the year. (see Issue 71 for a full discussion of Mars in Pisces.)

Mars and Uranus Join Forces

At the same time, Mars is conjunct Uranus. Mars is in 5° Pisces and Uranus is in 0° Pisces. Because of the retrograde motions of both Mars and Uranus, the God of Change and the God of War will be within a few degrees of each other through mid October! Their closest encounter is September 14th. Uranus re-enters Aquarius for the last time (due to retrograde movement) September 15th, where it will stay until December 29th. This duo personifies revolutionary zeal in full action.

Uranus is the cosmic wild card. Uranus specializes in radically electrifying events and in creating upsets when energy needs to move, the status quo needs to be shifted and wake-up calls are necessary. Uranus applies tremendous pressure to any situation, making everything that happens a high voltage event. Uranus is the cosmic alarm clock. His shock wave strategy is known for its transformational impact. He is definitely direct, and certainly not subtle. He acts so fast that we hardly know what happened, but we certainly know that something did! The nature of his lightening bolt actions depend on what it takes to wake us up: a gentle reminder or a near-death experience, or even death itself.

While Mars is in Pisces and dancing with Uranus, he is being trained to redirect his energies toward spiritual objectives, humanitarian operations, and transformational goals. Together Mars and Uranus make a formidable team, to create change and find innovation solutions to our personal and collective challenges. There is absolutely no escaping the potency of their energies. Our best strategy is to align with them, and use this power packed duo to go for what we want to do, to be and to offer in this life.

Jupiter Enters Virgo

Generous Jupiter enters Virgo on August 27th. Jupiter changes signs once a year. This is a big event in itself. The sign of Jupiter, the largest planet, sets the tone for how we expand and enjoy the gifts of life. In Virgo, Jupiter is not as dramatic or self-centered as he was in Leo. In Virgo, Jupiter invites us to be reasonable in our beliefs, and to pay attention to why we hold certain beliefs and how they impact our lives.

The Sun, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon are Conspiring in Virgo

The Sun, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon are conjunct and conspiring in Virgo. The New Moon and the Sun are at 4° Virgo. Venus is 6° Virgo. Jupiter is at 0° Virgo. (Jupiter will be in Virgo for one year.) Mercury is at 26° Virgo, inside the Virgo territory, but carrying on his own conversation.

We are going to need a crash course on the gifts, challenges and modus operandi of Virgo to master the energies present and the lessons to be learned in the next few months. Virgo embodies the qualities of both practicality and perfection. The Virgin is one of the ancient symbols of wholeness and purity. Virgo's primary task involves discerning and assimilating what is useful, and releasing what is not.(1) At this time the Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury have all gathered together to send us the messages:

  1. clean out the clutter in your life,
  2. organize your life around your personal health
  3. dedicate your work life to the service that uplifts both yourself and humanity.

Virgo's mantra is sift, sort, and select.(2) Where Virgo is in our birth chart is where we need to meditate on this mantra, and take practical action. Touchstones include beauty in simplicity, peace in efficiency, and less can be more.

Mercury Goes Retrograde

Mercury goes retrograde August 28th at 26° Virgo. This means that Mercury is stationary or at a standstill on the 27th. Mercury stops all its activity when it is stationary and uses his forces to change direction. We need to listen to Mercury's example at this time, and halt our incessant desire for conversation and activity. Mercury invites us to join him in reflection and realignment for the next 3 weeks, until he goes direct at 12° Virgo on September 20th at 1:53am PDT.

While Mercury is retrograde we each need to take a close look at our goals, and adjust them from our hearts. We need to weed out self-sabotaging attitudes and unproductive routines, and adapt streamlined strategies that facilitate our journey and support us in the world.

Pluto Goes Direct

Pluto has been retrograde for over five months, since March 22. Pluto is direct for under seven months and retrograde for just over five months. While Pluto is retrograde we have ample time to examine the deep, unconscious levels of our psyche, to release our fears, and to move through the blocks that hold us back. When Pluto turns direct, at 17° Sagittarius August 28th, we emerge from our personal underworld and discover the light of a new reality. Where 17-19° Sagittarius falls in your birth chart is where you entered the tunnel, and will emerge with a new lease on life.

Pluto makes sure that we respect the power of our emotions. He will not let us stuff our emotions, or intellectually try to explain them away. When we embrace our emotions, we can tap their power and tune into the intensity of our deepest feelings. While Pluto was retrograde we have had a chance to examine our desires and how they are expressed. When Pluto goes direct we can feel a sense of relief without really knowing why. The reason why is that now we can be more conscious and clear about what we really want, and express ourselves openly and honestly.

Mars and Uranus Oppose the Sun, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon

August 27th, Mars and Uranus oppose the Sun, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon in Virgo. Now that is a stand off. The planetary players are directing a lot of energy at each other! The question arises, who is going to give? The answer is no one, but everyone is going to be transformed in the process.

Our ego (Sun), feelings (Moon), desires (Venus) and spiritual dreams and plans (Jupiter) in conservative and reserved Virgo, are all going to be challenged by revolutionary, innovative Uranus, teamed up with warrior Mars. Just when we think we have everything perfect, Uranus is going to disrupt our plans, blow our minds and shake our faith; and we are going to support this because Mars represents where we put our energy. And while all the Virgo planets try to sort out the physical and human impact, Mars and Uranus in Pisces are going to remind us that It is all Gods will. It may be a hard lesson to swallow, but we will feel better if we do, and Mars will be right there giving us energy to move forward with courage and strength.

During this time, Virgo caution and modesty is going to be challenged to the max. These tumultuous forces can create systemic breakdowns. In fact they already have in the East Coast blackout. They won't break anything that isn't already broken. They will just expose what we have conveniently (and now not conveniently at all!) tried to ignore and hide. The good news is that breakdowns are always accompanied with the possibility of breakthroughs. As a result, we are able to access higher levels of efficiency, technologically, spiritually and socially. With all these planets in Virgo, we definitely need to take a close look at our health and emotional well-being, and embrace new ways of taking care of ourselves and managing our lives. The results promise to be both rewarding and liberating.

It is definitely a great time to be open to surprises, new ideas, techniques, and methods and innovative ways to deal with old problems. We will be overwhelmed and exhausted if we remain stuck in our ways, and waste our energy trying to control everything.

Dates of the Cosmic Fireworks

Jupiter and Uranus oppose each other Friday August 29th. This explosive duel will certainly expand our minds in some way. How about a new reality, an intuitive aha, or a realization about our individuality? Combined with Venus, we need to thoroughly examine our priorities and what gives us peace and pleasure. Combined with Jupiter we need to choose what expands our reality, so we can claim our good luck and good fortune, i.e. what is ours if we are authentically ourselves.

The Sun and Uranus oppose each other August 24th. Let go of that limited ego and let your heart light shine!

Venus and Uranus oppose each other August 22nd. What a relief to let go of whatever we thought we wanted in our life, and really dont. Now we have made room for greater levels of satisfaction and beauty.

Venus and Mars oppose each other on August 26th. Let your inner feminine and masculine dance together and enjoy each other.

The Sun and Mars oppose each other August 28th and 29th. We can realize how powerful we really are when we quit fighting ourselves and support our urge to individualize with our heart.

Jupiter and Mars oppose each other September 8th. Go for your dreams and don't look back. The mirage is in the past. Reality is in the present and in the future.

While Uranus is in Aquarius we can align with our team to work to create a better world.

The Direct/Retrograde Balancing Act

The New Moon is a time to begin new things in the area of life impacted at that time. With all the other planets joining in and Pluto turning direct, we will feel compelled to move forward in our lives. At the same time, Mercury retrograde in Virgo and Mars retrograde in Pisces are telling us to relax and reflect. We are going to have to artfully deal with both these energies. The bottom line is let go of control and go with the flow.

Move forward with caution by checking and verifying details. Listen to your gut and follow your intuition. When you are guided to move forward by feelings of peace and wholeness, do so. If you have a big knot of fear in your stomach, sit back and listen attentively to the message from your soul. Carefully monitor the feedback from each step you take. Be sensitive to details and nuances. Being too aggressive can create conflict. Proceeding gently, lovingly and easily, can foster lucrative and mutually beneficial personal and professional alliances.

The above touchstones are the intelligent way to operate in the world anyway. Now we have a chance to practice! Remember, everything is set up to work. We just have to learn how to work with the energies that are supporting and nurturing us along the way.

During this time, pay attention to the tone of interaction, not just the words. Align with the pace and timing of events, not just your idea of when you want things to happen. Pay attention both to your internal messages and to outer signals. When they mirror each other, go for it. When they do not, proceed with caution, or wait until they do. Be available for magic and miracles, and enjoy the cosmic surprise party.

Pisces and Virgo Integration

Pisces and Virgo energies are the ones we are dealing with for the next month. To artfully and successfully make it through the New and Full Moons, we must vibrationally synchronize these energies in our psyche, and in our emotional and physical bodies.

Virgo brings our attention to detail and focuses us on analysis. Pisces brings our attention to the whole and focuses us on synthesis. Now we need to recognize the importance of the optimal functioning of all the parts that make up the whole.

Both Pisces and Virgo are signs of service. They invite us to be less self-indulgent and isolated from the world around us. They certainly don't ask us to give up pleasure and joy, they just remind us to seek the higher levels of blissful experience, that are obtained by serving humanity in our own unique way.

Pisces teaches us to reach in to experience the Divine. Virgo teaches us to reach out to serve the Divine in others. Together every act in our lives is a communion with the Divine.

Oppositions and Full Moon

Oppositions mark the halfway point in any cycle. Each month the Full Moon gives us a chance to examine our progress in one area of our life. Other planetary oppositions mark the halfway point in the cycle, begun with the conjunction of those two planets. At this time we evaluate our results so far and choose whether to continue in the same manner or make adjustments to our course. We have a lot of evaluating to do at this time!

Oppositions often create actual conflict at ordinary levels of operation. The also produce a sense of conflict at lower levels of perception. However, astrological oppositions are inherently mutually supportive. Together they allow us to achieve a sense of balance, and to attain greater levels of wholeness. The key is, that we have to allow ourselves to let in the understanding and energies that are required for integration. At these times, higher levels of perception are both available and required. We have to jump out of our box and expand our minds, so that we are available for transformation and new levels of consciousness.

Pisces Full Moon September 10th

Full moons are generally challenging times and this one is no exception. In fact this one just might win some rewards in the challenging category. With all the Virgo/Pisces activity we will have plenty of time to work with the major energies in our energy field (and in our face) at this time.

Pluto will up the anti and definitely increase the drama during this full moon, by squaring both the Moon and the Sun. All three will be in 17° of their respective signs, Sagittarius, Pisces and Virgo. With Pluto in the game, the real confrontation is inside ourselves. We need to forge a powerful synergy of Pisces and Virgo energy, to deal with the demand of Pluto in Sagittarius that we be authentically spiritual.

Evolution and transformation are the key ingredients and requirements during this full moon. Pluto makes it obvious that the transformation is deep, and the evolution is permanent. This is not a quick fix, get-it-over-with affair. Our openness to change and the health of our psyche will determine how we move through this period. If we are mentally, emotionally and physically ready and willing to change, this is a powerful opening that can blast us through the resistances that have been getting in our way. Our pain will be determined by the tenacity of our resistance to change, and our limiting beliefs that we cling to.

Full moons illuminate unexamined areas of our psyche. Their light increases our awareness of what has been dormant or denied. The unconscious is Pluto's home turf, and flushing out the shadow is his specialty.(3) During this full moon Pluto forces us to face our fears, get in touch with our truth and venture into another layer of the unknown. Pluto's directive is to be honest and to let go. This is possible at a new level now since Pluto just went direct.

We have to let go of the old to make way for the new, for our rebirth. This can be a very rewarding time, if we view it as an end of one period of our lives and a beginning of another. We each have aspects of our lives that we wish to leave behind. We have learned our lessons and we are ready to move on. We all have dreams of creating happier times, more fulfilling relationships, expanded realties, and more creative expressions of who we are. Well, this is the time. Pluto is obliging us to jump out of that dingy box and enter a brighter and more meaningful world. Yes, your life may seem to be falling apart. That is how transformation occurs. Something else is coming together. Seeds that you have planted in the past are about to emerge as a new life.

Pisces, Virgo and Pluto Guidelines

Pisces, Virgo and Pluto each offer guidelines for our rebirthing process.

PISCES invites us to:

Where Pisces falls in our chart is where we need to be more compassionate, accepting and allowing.

VIRGO invites us to:

Where Virgo falls in our chart is where we need to be less critical and judgmental and more discerning and selective.

PLUTO reminds us to:

As we mature emotionally we become less dependent on external authorities and more capable of figuring out for ourselves what is true. We authentically get to decide ourselves how we choose to live our lives! Where Sagittarius falls in our birth chart, is where we need to examine how we use or misuse power, and then release old habits, behaviors and beliefs so we can move to the next level of our personal empowerment.

Pluto is in Sagittarius from 1995 to 2008. Its lower vibrations express themselves as dogmatic fanaticism. The cleansing and purging action of Pluto will, however, make sure that religious, political and personal immaturity is exposed to the core. Religious dogma must be replaced by authentic spiritual connection. Social dictates and rules must be superceded by inner-directed right use of will. Pluto wears us down until we drop our neuroses and step out of our limitations.

Saturn Close Encounter in Cancer

Saturn was the closest it gets to the Sun every thirty years, July 26 2003. Saturn energy is conservative, authoritive and protective.

The Sun/Saturn cycle is one of the most important in our lives. Saturn is now passing over the Sun of all Cancers. In June 2004 Saturn will cross the Sun in the chart of the United States and the Sun of President George W. Bush. When Saturn transits over our natal Sun, the tone of our life challenges is revealed for the next 29 years. At this time we can feel intense internal pressure, experience external blockages, and be confronted with difficulties. How we handle these challenges influences how they are played out in our lives. At this time maturity, wisdom and patience are our best allies.

Planetary Interactions

The current planetary interactions feature conjunctions, oppositions and squares. These are all very direct, precise and significant.


Conjunctions are new beginnings. The conjunction of the Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Venus introduce us into a new phase in our lives in Virgo territory. Where is 0° to 6° Virgo in your birth chart? That is where you are being given a grand opportunity to initiate a new phase in your life.

Mars and Uranus are conjunct. However, both are retrograde, so we aren't really beginning a new cycle. What is happening is that we get a chance to go inside, and check out our progress from the inside out. Uranus is the cosmic alarm clock. It electrifies everything that it touches. This combination is definitely a wake-up call from on High and from deep inside our souls.


Oppositions are the halfway point in the cycle, a good time to check-in and evaluate our progress. It is essential to keep in mind that the first part of the cycle is a period of expansion and growth, the second half we reap our rewards and then let go of that period, to make way for a new cycle at the next conjunction.

Mars and Uranus oppose Jupiter, the Sun, the Moon and Venus. The alignment is the closest August 28, but this is an event that spans a longer time period. We will certainly experience this time more as a process, filled with many occurrences, insights and growth.

The Sun, Mars, Uranus alignments that began a year ago in Leo/Aquarius sparked a battle of political wills, ego conflicts and ideological and physical wars. The new alignments in Virgo/Pisces will ignite a much different kind of conflict. Virgo territory includes health, disease and suffering. Pisces territory is about spirituality, love and surrendering to Spirit.


Pluto's involvement is the energy of a square to the planets in Virgo and Pisces. Squares demand action and create change, like it or not, choose it or not. Squares are the most confrontational energy interactions. Pluto in Sagittarius challenges our blind faith and naïve credulity. Pluto does not tolerate escapist denial into righteousness, fanaticism and fairy-tale religious fantasy. P. 15 Pluto requires spiritual awakening into transcendent clarity and experience.

Obviously planetary awakening is a process and is not happening overnight. In the mean time the current energies energize fanaticism and call forth bizarre religious, political and economic beliefs. In a world of duality that has not yet learned to integrate and accept the dynamic interaction of polarities, we are experiencing a descent into chaos, like a baptism of fire (Mars in Pisces) to prepare us for a revolution in spirituality (Uranus In Pisces) that will challenge growing religious dogma and intolerance (Pluto in Sagittarius).(4))

We still have to learn that we cannot reason our way to solutions of our political impasses, economic insanities and social injustices. Reason does not touch our primal compulsions that create the above in the first place.

Meditation to Tune into God's Will

Full moons and oppositions can be a time of tough choices. The key is to be honest with ourselves. When we are authentically in our hearts, what we want and need to do next become clear.

To achieve clarity at this time, we must listen to ourselves, to our instincts and to our intuition. We create pain in our lives because we do not listen. When we don't listen, we do not hear the messages that speak to us and direct us. We must listen to connect with ourselves, others and the Universe.

Listening is required to investigate how our reality is created and what we can do about it. Listen and observe the following:

Don't resist. You can't. There is no juice for it. We can't fight a cloud with a sword.

References and Footnotes

"The Cauldron of Heaven: Sun-Mars-Uranus and the Mars Perihelion", Bill Herbst, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #110, Aug/Sept 2003, pp. 9-16.

"Virgo New Moon August 27, Pisces Full Moon September 10", Stephanie Austin, Mountain Astrologer, Issue #110, Aug/Sept 2003, pp. 69-70.

1. Austin p. 69
2. Austin p. 69
3. Austin p. 70
4. Herbst p. 15


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