All About the Moon
The Moon is talked about all the time in astrology. You’ve probably heard that it relates to our emotions, our Mother, and how we feel nourished. Those are all true significators. But what is often missed in discussions are some of the basics around the Moon’s physical, planetary attributes.
Did you know that the Moon, for example, doesn’t give off any light of its own? We can see it shining in the night sky, but that’s only a reflection of the Sun’s light. That awareness alone is enough to write a dissertation! What does it say about the Moon, about us, that our inner world is a reflection of our outer world? The Moon elicits deeply psychological questions.
Another among them might be that there’s no air to breathe on the Moon. That might seem like a simple space fact…but when we’re observing it through the lens of our emotions, it becomes a lot more interesting. Air is all about conversation and intellect. Without it readily available on the Moon, it seems to suggest our feelings must first be felt before they can be dissected logically.
Finally, we only ever see one side of the Moon from Earth, bringing up a contemplation around perspective. How can we know ourselves fully if we only view our emotions from one angle? Pink Floyd, knowingly or otherwise, dipped their toes into some sympathetic magic by naming their successful 8th album The Dark Side of the Moon. It was very much a musical journey centered around mental health.
Understanding some of the significations of the Moon, we can think about its cycles.
Two Types of Blue Moons
There’s a lot of confusion around Blue Moons, and that seems to be because there are two different kinds that often get referred to interchangeably. Let’s look at the differences!
Calendar Blue Moon: Approximately every 2.5 years
This is the most common definition people are referring to when they talk about a Blue Moon- and it’s the kind we’re experiencing this month.
We typically have 12 Full Moons per year, one per month. However, once in a Blue Moon…we have a 13th! This has nothing to do with the Moon appearing blue in color, and everything to do with the rarity of the event. Because the Moon takes approximately 29.5 days to reach fullness, if there’s a Full Moon on the 1st of the month (like we had this month on August 1st) there will be a second by the end of the month- which is why we’re experiencing this one on the 30th.
Seasonal Blue Moon: Approximately every 2-3 years
This was the original definition of the Blue Moon, and originated before the more popular use above.
One astronomical season (defined by the solstices and equinoxes AKA Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall) comprises about 3 months. There are typically, then, three Full Moons within each of them. When there are four, however, the third in the series is called a Blue Moon.
Funny enough, these two different definitions originated because of a misprint in a magazine back in the 1940s. The Seasonal Blue Moon came first, but by the 1980s the media were referring to Blue Moons using the Calendar Blue Moon definition. Remember the fact about there being no air on the Moon?! All things lunar are classically misinterpreted.
Generally speaking, the two definitions are quite similar. They really only differ in the timing of how they’re tracked/reported. Which brings us to Saturn’s involvement this year…
Blue Moon in Pisces
- SIGN: Pisces
- ELEMENT: Water
- PLANETARY RULER: Jupiter in Taurus
- DEGREE: 7°
- DATE: Wednesday, August 30th, 2023
- TIME: 6:36 PM PST
Lunations are never stand alone events. While they have their own birth chart, deeper exploration connects them with previous astrology. The Moon is cyclical and loves to remember the past, and we’re served by doing the same when la luna is at her brightest.
With any Full Moon, it’s helpful to look back at the corresponding New Moon to remember how far we’ve come. The New Moon that corresponds with this one was on February 19th, 2023. What were you doing back then? Can you notice any similarities or full circle moments that seem to be culminating now?
Of course this lunation is not just any full Moon, though…it’s a BLUE Moon and this one is full of synchronicities. The most obvious standout is that it’s occurring at 7° of Pisces, which happens to be the exact same degree that Saturn stationed retrograde back on June 17th, 2023. This date also marked a New Moon in Gemini! As if a Blue Moon on its own wasn’t special enough already, this one is making multiple connections to other big astrological events of our year.
Not all lunations are “easy” and this is one that falls in a more difficult camp because of its involvement with Saturn. . But, as ever, the Moon is about witnessing it all unapologetically. If uncomfortable feelings like sadness or frustration arise, they’re not meant to be disruptive. Quite the opposite! Intense emotions actually give us the gift of awareness. When we’re hurting- emotionally, physically, or likely in this case, psychically, we’re forced to pay attention…and attention is a generous gift.
When things are easy, it’s commonplace to get swept up and not process what else is going on under the surface. But with Saturn intrinsically involved in this special Blue Moon lunation, we’re being asked to slow down and look under the hood of our own feelings.
Luckily, the traditional ruler of this Blue Moon is Jupiter, the great benefic, that’s currently residing in Taurus. And because it’s making a helpful connection with a retrograde Mercury in Virgo, revisiting old conversations, especially around boundaries, could be an especially helpful task during this Full Moon.
It’s also important to note that not every single Full Moon, or even Blue Moon, will resonate with you on a deeply personal level. While we’re all influenced by the Moon to some degree, those with personal planets between 5° and 9° of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) will feel this lunation most intensely.
Rituals for a Blue Moon
- Blue Moons don’t happen every year, so it’s nice to celebrate them beyond normal Full Moon rituals. To honor the rarity of the Blue Moon, it’s a nice day to do something out of the ordinary! This will look different to everyone, but if you’re looking for inspiration, you can reference the sign where the lunation is occurring, and take it a step further by seeing what house it activates in your birth chart.
- Example: For this Pisces Blue Moon, you could donate to a charity that you never have before, or listen to music that isn’t within your typical genre.
- Staying in alignment with the unique activation of a Blue Moon, making Moon Water will pack an extra punch at this time. Simply set a glass jar outside (or even on your windowsill) and let it charge under the Moon overnight. This water will be imbued with the magic of the lunation, and serve to inspire rare opportunities unfolding in your life.
- Crystals are always a smart tool when working with Full Moons, and a Blue Moon is an opportunity for especially hard to find crystals taking center stage. Moldavite is an extremely powerful tektite that could be appropriate if it calls to you, as is any crystal with an uncommon shape or color.
- Journaling is always a helpful tool, and during a Full Moon, especially a Blue Full Moon, your emotions will be at their most raw…perfect for channeling them out onto the page!
- Sample journal prompts for a Blue Moon: What have been the biggest surprises in my life over the past two years (or since the last Blue Moon)? How has my relationship to my emotions evolved over the past two years (or since the last Blue Moon)? What self-care practices have been the most supportive for me over the past two years (or since the last Blue Moon)?
As you can see, a Blue Moon is far from one thing…it’s MANY things! We’re so lucky to experience these special lunations, and honoring them in both specific and unique ways is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. But ultimately, remember that everything outlined here is a mere suggestion for how to work with these lunations. The Moon, Blue Moons and otherwise, wants to be truly felt and experienced above all else, so the best advice is making your relationship with her personal and sacred.
So, what’s next? While August 30th, 2023, is the only Blue Moon this year, be sure to mark your calendars for the next ones coming up. We won’t have the “typical” Blue Moon we’re celebrating this year again until 2026!
- Blue Moon (Seasonal): August 19th, 2024
- Blue Moon (Calendar): May 31st, 2026
- Blue Moon (Seasonal): May 20th, 2027
- Blue Moon (Calendar): December 31st, 2028