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

3:27 EDT, October 10 2003
Sun at 16.35 Libra
Moon at 16.35 Aries

With the Sun in Libra we are preoccupied with partnership, justice and aesthetics, balancing our own needs and perceptions against the needs of the group and of collective taste. The Moon in Aries, however, desires to keep her own counsel and pursue an independent path. Libra is eager to forge new connections and weave himself into the social fabric of the community, while Aries can't wait to set her creative projects in motion. The Aries Full Moon thus challenges us to find the balance between commitment and freedom, between sensitivity to others and loyalty to one's own vision. As with all the zodiacal pairs of opposites, each one really needs the other and in fact deep down contains elements of the other. Libra's need for relationship is sometimes asserted in an aggressive, Arien manner, and Aries secretly longs for someone to come along on his heroic adventure, if only to marvel at his courage and initiative. After all, their planetary rulers, Venus and Mars, are lovers, so clearly there is a strong current of desire between these two signs, and where desire is, opposites can mix and marry.

Both Sun and Moon are restrained this month, though, by the square from Saturn, midway between the two of them at 13 degrees Cancer. Aries wants to create something new, and Libra wants to do it with taste, refinement and social relevance. Saturn says, "Don't be so extravagant!" Saturn says, "Too risky!" He stirs up Libra's self-doubts: "What will people think?" and tries to shame Aries: "There you go again, acting without thinking!" Meanwhile Chiron is in Capricorn, opposite Saturn and square Sun and Moon, raising issues of institutional politics and pathologies and further justifying Saturn's concerns.

This voice of caution may in part be an expression of emotional complexes, but it also alerts us to important factors that need to be taken into account in the grand plan. Cancer has to do with survival needs (home, food) and emotional support. Saturn in this sign is acutely aware of limitations in both groceries and emotional supplies and can be anxious about managing them and stingy in doling them out. He feels keenly his responsibilities as a breadwinner and a steward and worries about his old age or the future needs of the project, when money may be even tighter than it is now.

These issues are very much in the news at the moment, as Saturn makes a station on the Sun in the U. S. A. chart and that of President Bush as well. Congress and the people are counting up the cost of government actions of the past two and a half years and considering the President's budget requests against the backdrop of colossal Federal deficits and wrenching shortfalls in state budgets. We must now come to grips with our commitment to carry on a continuing war and restore a liveable country to the Iraqi people in the face of the shortage of funds in our own coffers, the failure of anticipated Iraqi petroleum profits to cover the costs, and the reluctance of other countries and the U. N. to help staff the undertaking and pay the bills. Going to war was an emotional decision - the "homeland" (Cancer) had been attacked and many people felt that this was a way of making it safer from future threats. Now the consequences (Saturn) have to be faced. Meanwhile individual citizens have to look at the impact of the national economy and global politics on their own budgets and way of living. Retirement funds have dwindled or disappeared, school facilities for the children are inadequate, health insurance woes and unemployment continue to mount. We could all be forgiven for being Saturn-in-Cancerish these days; in fact, we'd better be.

With all these constraints and tensions, is there nevertheless a way for Libra Sun and Aries Moon to realize their dreams? One clue is that on the Full Moon day, Libra's ruler, Venus, has just gone into the first degree of Scorpio and is about to form an exact trine to Mars, the Moon's ruler, in the second degree of Pisces. They are, in addition, each placed in a sign of the other's strength (Mars rules Scorpio, Venus is exalted in Pisces); and both are still in aspect to Uranus at 29 Aquarius. The love, subtlety and imagination characteristic of Pisces and Venus can meld with the raw power and transformative passion of Mars and Scorpio and the intuitive insight of Uranus in Aquarius to show a way through. Saturn in Cancer is emotionally bound; Mars and Venus in their present configuration are emotionally powerful. They can put themselves in another person's shoes, or feelings, and act on what they have learned. They are not afraid of change (especially with Uranus in the mix) and are ready to sacrifice old attitudes, old attachments and animosities, old fears or old budgets as necessary. Saturn wakes us up to factual reality; his worries and restrictions, once accepted, provide a container for the alchemical work of creation, whether artistic or social. The union of Mars and Venus can then be realized in new partnerships and new cultural forms.

(Look for the Scorpio New Moon on October 25, 2003.)

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