2023 Pisces Full Moon

altered photo of a full moon in a dark sky low over a misty rocky cove

August 30, 2023 6:35 PM PDT / 9:35 PM EDT
August 31, 2023 1:35 AM GMT
7 Virgo 25 / 7 Pisces 25

Is it possible to contain overwhelming emotion? Or keep from going under in the pain of the world? May as well try to put the ocean in a box, right?

These questions aren’t as futile as they sound. Answers are in reach, experientially rather than intellectually. They’re coming to us with this year’s Pisces Full Moon. It’s normally an ocean of boundless and boundary-blurring expression of emotion, but this time immerses us in containment and structure.

Paradoxical? That’s fitting for Pisces,which is symbolized by a pair of fish swimming in opposite directions. The sign has the potential to vacillate, to flow here and there, and to mold itself chameleon-like to circumstances. A Pisces Full Moon adds to those losing one’s self – or giving it over – to otherworldly forces, to peak inspiration, to union with the divine or the bottle or other people’s business.

For a change, containment is part of the process. It’s coming in many, many forms: It may take us through a canal with a series of locks that pause the flow and direct us through the waters. It may be somber and sobering, bringing slowdown, shutdown or depression. It may dam up feelings and energy leaks and make them more manageable. It may find us claiming dominion over ourselves and building or shoring up boundaries. And all of it is likely to address undercurrents that have been swirling and building since March.

This Full Moon comes with a brake, a governor, a lid, courtesy of its proximity to Saturn, planet of adulting, structure and consequences. Saturn has been largely out of the spotlight since it entered Pisces in early March. Lately it’s taken a back seat to more attention-getting astrology, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been at work. It’s been unobtrusively sailing backward through the sign since going retrograde in mid-June. It is now at the halfway point of the retrograde and delivering a status report with a streak of wake up call.

Saturn’s touch could cause a lot of us to get a grip. It could impose accountability and reckoning. Watch for this to happen with collective issues of water – quality, safety, access – or drugs, or the less fortunate among us. Reminders abound of how interconnected everything is on this planet. Like it or not, we are all together, and what happens to one seeps into the experience of everyone around.

Many an adjustment plays into the calculations and reckonings, particularly involving values and the role of women. What we’ve learned in Venus’ retrograde is a factor, and that is seared into our model of committed relationship. The Moon is inconjunct Venus and Juno, the protectress of marriage, and inconjunct Eris, goddess of discord, and the North Node as well. The feminine is churning the waters, and the agitation is the way to and of the future.

Pisces’ ruler Neptune is assisting changes. It’s traveling now in a sextile to Pluto, the agent of unavoidable change, making its next-to-last pass through Capricorn. The link offers softening, inspiration and higher guidance for the reworking Pluto continues to do of the institutions, foundations and norms that are Saturn’s realm.

Embracing the constraint – even if it’s forced on you – has benefits. Possibly tangible ones. The Moon is sextile Jupiter, the sign’s traditional ruler and second in boundlessness only to Neptune, in fertile, earthbound Taurus. The sextile enhances the possibility of grounding and calming Full Moon excesses. It also points the way to benefits to come in February, when Saturn comes out of its retrograde into a sextile to Jupiter.