Capricorn Full Moon
The Full Moon in Capricorn involves the polarity of Cancer and Capricorn, cardinal homes of the Moon and Saturn which utilize inward receptivity as part of their potent ability to initiate change and new growth. While Cancer is a watery place of fresh springs and tidal currents that nurtures life and amplifies emotional response, the cold stones and dark forests of Capricorn test resolve by bringing the adversity and suffering necessitated by mortality and time into focus. Cancer and Capricorn have ancient associations as being gateways of life, with Cancer linked to life and the descent of souls into incarnation, Capricorn connected to the ascent of souls following death to the realm of the ancestors. Porphyry in On the Caves of the Nymphs described Cancer as the northern gate “adapted to souls descending into generation,” and Capricorn as the southern gate that is “adapted to ascent” and “dissolves life . . . send[ing] it upward to the heat of a divine nature.” Capricorn holds the wisdom and guidance found in the ancestral realm as it’s also a place where the putrefaction and deep contemplation of Saturn finds its home. The knowing strength of our ancestors who survived extraordinary collective crises will be an important resource to draw from under the light of the Full Moon in Capricorn on July 13.
The silvery fullness of Selene will illuminate great depths of desires during the Capricorn Full Moon, spreading open what had been tightly concealed and bringing the influence of previously hidden undercurrents into awareness. The Capricorn Full Moon holds the tension of Mercury applying to a conjunction with the Sun in Cancer while the Moon applies toward a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, an especially volatile and chthonic dynamic that can involve both anxieties over the chaos of changing conditions as well as penetrating insight into the complexities of present circumstances. Political and economic crises have been erupting around the world as global structures continue to dissolve and mutate, making the impact of the Full Moon’s alignment with Pluto potent for letting go of the places within us that have been resistant to facing the ways we need to make personal changes adjusting to the immense systemic disintegration that has been intensifying. The incredible craftiness, cunning contemplativeness, and fertile imagination present within the sign of the Sea Goat can be a benefit in facing facts while coming up with inventive plans that open new possibilities for forward movement.
The Capricorn Full Moon is applying to both a conjunction with Pluto as well as a creative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces, evoking the imaginal depth of the Sea Goat who draws sustenance from the oceanic expanse underlying reality to churn vision of what to manifest from subconscious senses. With the plutonic Full Moon in the nocturnal domicile of Saturn, there’s a need for descent into the darkness of whatever processes of death and rebirth we are experiencing, patiently allowing for a gathering of resources in situations that do not demand immediate action. While external stressors may necessitate immediate responses and adjustments in some circumstances, on internal levels we will need to make the space and time to deepen into our personal underworld where we not only face our core issues but also come into contact with the internal source of power we may wield creatively in the world. Experiences of Pluto can coincide with experiences of powerlessness in the face of titanic forces, yet ultimately the role of Pluto is to guide us into greater embodiment of our power to creatively make change with the fortitude of inner resolve in support.
Our collective experience of having so many people around the world simultaneously facing a liminal and precarious threshold is reflected by the fact that we have gone through an extended sequence of full moons in aspect with Pluto during the past year. The Full Moon in Pisces on 20 September 2021 was sextile Pluto, the Full Moon in Aries on October 20 was square Pluto, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19 was trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Cancer on 18 January 2022 was opposite Pluto, the Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 was trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Libra on April 16 was square Pluto, and the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on May 16 was sextile Pluto. Pluto’s long journey through Capricorn that began in 2008 is coming to an end, as Pluto will enter Aquarius for the first time on 23 March 2023 where it will remain until backtracking into Capricorn on 11 June 2023, eventually moving into Aquarius for good by the end of 2024. Pluto’s time in Capricorn has been a major astrological factor in both the exposure of toxicity within collective structures as well as the dismantling of societal systems, and though Pluto’s journey through Capricorn has coincided with collective fear of being controlled by external forces it has also brought experiences reminding people of not only their power to reshape their life structures but the need to take responsibility in doing so.
In the United States of America the Capricorn Full Moon also aligns with the second exact Pluto return for the astrology chart most often associated with the USA, set for 4 July 1776 at 5:10 pm in Philadelphia, PA. The idea behind this chart is to set it for when the Declaration of Independence was signed, placing Pluto at 27°33′ Capricorn. Pluto returns to this degree and minute three times in 2022: the first time was on February 20, the second time was on July 11 only two days before the Capricorn Full Moon, and the third time will be on December 28. Whether you agree with using this exact time for the USA chart or not, there is strong logic behind the idea that Pluto has returned to the general area of where it was astrologically when the USA was born by declaring its independence from the British Empire. The experience of the USA’s Pluto return has brought innumerable toxicities from the nations’s past into current events, including systemic racism, military interventions, and mass shootings among many others. Most recently the role of the Supreme Court has taken center stage, with rulings that have deprived women of their equal rights to make private choices concerning their bodies, dissolved boundaries separating church and state, and limited the power of environmental protection agencies to monitor pollution, among others. The Capricorn Full Moon will bring greater illumination to the plutonic process underway within the USA, with the opposition between Mercury and Pluto likely bringing further information and insight into light. The dark night of the soul being traversed by the USA brings the possibility of regeneration ultimately occurring from so many critical issues being dredged to the surface, yet the astrology of 2022 reveals that the internal conflicts will continue to intensify during the rest of the year.
The hazy influence of Neptune hangs over the Capricorn Full Moon, with the Capricorn Moon applying to a sextile with Neptune and Venus in Gemini applying to a disorienting square aspect with Neptune. The tension between Venus and Neptune can manifest in many ways, such as experiencing a beneficial and inspiring lift from idealism to becoming ungrounded by dogmatic attachment to overly idealistic beliefs. Experiences of disillusionment with the state of the world or personal dynamics may occur, yet with Venus also separating from a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius the cunning connectivity of Venus in Gemini can help in reorienting to whatever deeper truths or insights we receive, as well as in reaching out to networks of needed support. Venus in Gemini can facilitate questioning our circumstances and digging under the surface of dynamics to make meaningful connections that can help in devising plans going forward. Yet we must also keep in mind how the idealistic influence of Neptune could make us prone to see things how we wish they were rather than the actual reality. By staying grounded we can utilize the imaginal potency of Neptune in receiving meaningful insights that open new possibilities of perception regarding our circumstances.
Mercury in Cancer is also making extremely important aspects during the Capricorn Full Moon, as Mercury is applying closely toward a creative sextile with Uranus as well as toward a trine with Neptune and an opposition with Pluto that Mercury will complete in the days following the lunation. Vitally, Mercury is hidden under the beams of the Sun during the lunation and speeding into a conjunction with the Sun that Mercury will complete on July 16. The superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun on July 16 can bring clarity regarding the various dynamics we have been experiencing personally and collectively, with the trine Mercury will form with Neptune opening imaginal inspiration and the opposition Mercury will form with Pluto opening penetrating insight into underlying undercurrents. At the time of the Capricorn Full Moon, however, Mercury’s close sextile aspect with Uranus can help in unearthing innovative insights as well as making connections in meaning that can help shake up where we have felt stagnant and bring a spark of liberating momentum.
Mercury will remain under the beams of the Sun until emerging again into visibility toward the end of July in Leo, making the waning half of the present lunar cycle a time in which exploration of hidden realms may be more productive than making the meaning being explored visible. Around the same time Mercury becomes visible as an evening star at the end of July, Mars in Taurus will be forming an incredibly disruptive and disorienting conjunction with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon that can also be extremely creative and open completely new paths of exploration forward. Mars in Taurus will get closer and closer to its impending conjunction with Uranus and the North Node each day during the waning half of the present lunar cycle, with Mars moving within three degrees of its conjunction during the upcoming New Moon in Leo on July 28. While the activation of Uranus and the North Node of the Moon by Mars promises to further intensify the shattering of systemic systems and amplify the political and economic turmoil already occurring, it also holds extraordinary potential on personal level to activate a liberation from past dynamics in order to pursue a more authentically creative and passionate life.
Capricorn 3 Decan
The Capricorn Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Capricorn associated with the Four of Pentacles tarot card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of empire building and wielding influence from a seat of power, the Four of Pentacles signifies a cultivation of inner talents to make an impact in the material world that aligns with the third decan of Capricorn being ruled by the Sun and Mercury. The crowned and enthroned figure is surrounded by the weight of matter with pentacles below and above, as a fourth pentacle cradled at heart level evokes a spinning wheel of fortune. The figure towers in the foreground, suggesting someone sovereign and able to manage structures to bring material prosperity and security within the wildly fluctuating changes in fortune that come and go within surrounding society.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Facesascribed the image of “The Throne” to the third face of Capricorn, a fitting image given that the Sun rules the decan. Coppock wrote that this face of Capricorn involves administering from a throne to control the elements of the world needed to attain material gain and positions of greater power and responsibility. Notably, Coppock cautioned that hubris can tempt those grasping for power in this face to overlook the weight of responsibility and the loneliness of isolation that accompany achieving ambitions. Coppock warned that accumulations of material wealth, power, and responsibility “may end up crushing them,” the idealized palace turning into a restrictive prison as “only high places bring with them the danger of terrible falls.” Coppock concluded that although the third face of Capricorn draws us “close to high seats of power,” we need to remember that influential “positions always come with responsibility, and to sit in them is to be tempted by hubris.”
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy wrote that within the third decan of Capricorn “rises a woman chased in body and wise in her work, and a banker gathering money on a table; this [image] is the significator for prudent government and for ambitious and greedy substances.” The duality between wise governing and excessive greed found within the third face of Capricorn, combined with the Full Moon conjoining Pluto, points to the necessity of examining the ways in which we are governing our lives in accordance with ambitions tied to the status symbols of society such as extreme wealth. In a time of systemic collapse across global societies, with the old and familiar forms of hierarchical structures falling apart, new pathways and connections for vocational calling will be continuing to open and mutate. The Full Moon in Capricorn is ideal for centering within the deep purpose found within the limitless recesses of one’s inner soul, making contact with one’s core motivations removed from external symbols of success and status. As the image of “The Throne” suggests, it’s also a potent lunation for coming to terms with the full range of responsibilities we will need to claim and be accountable for in pursuit of goals and in co-creation of the kind of world we wish to live within.
Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs (1917) English translation by Thomas Taylor.