This article first appeared on Mooncircles. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.

Sun at 16.13 Scorpio
1:15 GMT (11/9)
20:13 EDT
19:13 CDT
Moon at 16.13 Taurus
18:13 MDT
17:13 PDT
12:15 AEST (11/9)

Passion is the keynote of the Taurus Full Moon. The Sun has reached mid-Scorpio where the forces of desire, the knowledge of power, and the potential for sacrifice, regeneration and transformation are at their height. The Moon reflects back the Taurean love of beauty, respect for the Earth, and pleasure in the life of the senses. The Taurus Moon has no interest in Scorpio's notions about sacrifice (which means 'making sacred' as well as 'giving up') or death and rebirth. She is content to hold onto the things she loves, including the lover's physical presence, and to enjoy all the gifts of earthly life to the fullest. In her eyes, these things are sacred already and do not need to be blessed, transformed or redeemed.

Together, Taurus and Scorpio, ruled by the archetypal divine lovers Venus and Mars, make up the dyad of desire. Taurus wants to possess and enjoy the lover's body; Scorpio longs to merge, psychologically and emotionally, with the beloved, to sacrifice all in order to gain all. Taurus comforts, augments and sustains; Scorpio opens, penetrates and deepens. Taurus accumulates; Scorpio invests. The two together can build up a fortune or cultivate a great love (complete with plenty of great fights).

This month the Taurus Moon will have to undergo a kind of Scorpionic experience through being eclipsed - going under the Earth's shadow, she will be darkened just at her brightest hour. So despite herself, she will undergo 'death and rebirth.' The Sabian symbol for the 17th degree of Taurus is: A symbolical battle between 'swords' and 'torches.' Dane Rudhyar gives the following explication of this image: 'Refusing to depend upon the past, the seeker turns warrior, fighting anew the eternal 'Great War.' Rudhyar reads this image in the light of the inner battle of the Buddha as he sat under the Bodhi Tree, and the struggle of the two warring clans in the Bhagavad-Gita, where Krishna explains to Arjuna the necessity for him to enter the fray. The battle of the opposites may be an illusion, but it is one in which we must take part, making moral choices and committing ourselves to the course we believe is just, even though to do so will separate us from the past and may cause harm as well as good.

The Sun, meanwhile, may be having a 'Taurean' experience of pregnancy! The symbol for the 17th degree of Scorpio is: A woman, fecundated by her own spirit, is 'great with child.' Rudhyar's comment: 'A total reliance upon the dictates of the Godhead.' This is a highly mystical symbol showing the possibility of the divine being born within as a result of profound concentration and the sacrifice of one's own will and ego. Here the willingness of Scorpio to die becomes the occasion for pregnancy and birth.

You have probably been hearing or reading about the Grand Sextile/Double Grand Trine formation or Star of David or Harmonic Convergence which will occur on the day of the New Moon Eclipse. There will be a more or less evenly spaced pattern of planets (including Sun, Moon, and Chiron), in the middle degrees (10 to 16) of the six Earth and Water signs, each one making a sextile to the two on either side of it, an opposition to one other body, and a trine to two others. Despite the hype this formation is receiving, we must keep in mind that it involves three oppositions, which are always challenging aspects, and that there are other aspects from planets not in the Grand Sextile, including a square from Neptune to the Sun and Moon and another from Venus to Mars.

So rather than predicting world-shaking transformations, let's consider in a modest way what this Full Moon might feel like and what opportunities it might bring. From what has already been said about the Taurus-Scorpio polarity, the lunar eclipse, and the degree symbols, we might anticipate that it would be conducive to intense concentration sufficient to bring about conception, and to a reflection on polarity and shadow that leads to ethical action and sacrifice. Sextiles and trines from other planets should amplify and support these tendencies. Mars in Pisces encourages sacrifice and spiritual combat and brings imagination and a poetic sensibility, raising the struggle to the level of mysticism and art. Jupiter in Virgo brings a readiness to work things through and, along with Saturn in Cancer, may help to foster what is born from this experience. Saturn could bring emotional containment to the intense alchemical transformations which our Taurus Moon and Scorpio Sun (fueled by the applying square of their rulers, Venus and Mars) will be undergoing.

Remember that prior to our human personalities and their literal concerns, astrology describes first of all the inner life of the Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World. The darkening of the light, the conception in the depths, the battle of the opposites are alchemical processes at the heart of nature. Whatever your personal struggles at this Eclipse, hold them within that larger frame of reference. Know that the work you do sincerely in your own heart is an organic part of the greater work of nature and will both help that greater whole and be nourished and comforted by it.

(Look for the Sagittarius New Moon/Solar Eclipse on November 23, 2003.)

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