A man stands at the wedding altar, facing his bride. As he gazes into her eyes he feels union with another soul that awakens his heart. Alive with passion, he can think no thought other than being with her.
And there is the rub. A forgotten part of himself — lost during the business of wedding preparations, shifting plans, and last minute cancellations — now begins to stir. Fear swells within him as he begins to sense the depth of commitment he's making. He will never be himself again, from now on he is one with another. Dreams of who he could become must be let go or drastically altered. He is no longer a free man, he is sacrificed on the altar of relationship.
On the surface he continues to smile, though sweat is beginning to bead up and run down his face. Unable to maintain his gaze on his partner, he glances around, hoping to find some clue, some message, some reminder that will bring him back into alignment with his commitment. His eyes land on a crucifix hanging on the wall. Jesus stares back from his cross, commanding the man to commit himself. Then the moment comes as the minister speaks.
"Do you, young man, take this woman to be your loving wife, to have and hold, until death do you part?"
The man freezes up, his mind locked on Jesus's suffering, reeling from the barraging thoughts of what he is about to give up. He feels he's about to be crucified himself, bound to the cross of relationship till the end. His mouth is open but he cannot speak.
The minister audibly clears his throat. Noticing the man's anxiety, he puts a hand on the man's shoulder and whispers in his ear: "Time to make up your mind, son. You are free to choose, but you are committed to the choice you make. Either choice will be accepted, and so long as you take responsibility for it you will always know you are loved."
"I...," the man stammers. The bride nudges his face towards hers, a pleading look in her eyes. The man's eyes begin to well with tears.
The minister places a hand on the man's shoulder: "Please, you must choose now."
The man takes a breath, holds it for a moment, then in a firm resolute tone he commits his choice.
Welcome to the Aries Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse, exact on Friday October 18th at 6:37pm central time. The degree is 25º Aries/Libra. Full Moons are typically a time where the light of the Sun, our conscious awareness, shines fully on the moon, or deeper emotions. The reason Full Moon times can be "looney" (lunatic, lunar) is that it awakens subconscious emotional patterns, revealing our hidden motivations and emotional distortions that we can normally keep safely tucked under our ego-structured veneer. During a Lunar Eclipse, however, this is intensified such that these subconscious emotions can emerge, even erupt, unexpectedly and for reasons we can't identify. The experience can be visceral, physically expressed through illness or mysterious pain. It can also be a time of exquisite joy, still felt physically, if we've been tending to the work of balancing and correcting misplaced or fractured emotions.
This Full Moon brings to culmination the New Moon that started on October 4th. That advent carried the theme of remembering that no matter what challenges us, we are all in this together. The Full Moon now shows us how well we are balancing personal needs with relationship needs, whether we are giving of ourselves appropriately or too much, or inversely, taking too much. It asks whether we are actualizing love or just taking calculated risks. There's an adventure to be had (Moon in Aries) but we must bring along our partners (Sun in Libra) if we are to integrate the adventure and thus derive the most joy from it.
Mars, the ruler of that Moon in Aries, has recently entered Virgo, demanding that we don't forget to take care of the little details. Adventure is nice, but gets easily cocked up if we've forgotten our wallet, or smell bad from not showering, or forget to pack a toothbrush. Venus, the ruler of the Sun in Libra, is making her way through the sign of the world explorer, Sagittarius. Again the theme of adventure is upon us, with Venus reminding us that paradise can only be found when we give ourselves to another.
Another strong player in the mix is Jupiter in Cancer, at a t-square with the Full Moon in Aries/Libra. Here we find our kind but firm minister, reminding us that although we are free to choose our own fates, we must remember we are responsible for what we choose. Jupiter in this position can create overly expressed emotion, including emotional hysteria, victimized self pity, or reverting to a child state, wanting a mother figure to act as savior. It can also create the madonna complex, the tendency to step into mother-savior for those demanding it. The test, then, is to see if we can remain in emotional integrity, taking full responsibility for our own emotional experience. This is reflected in the sign opposing Cancer, the sign of Capricorn, which is also the solution point being offered to us. The statement is: By owning your emotional experience and vulnerabilities, and holding others to theirs, your integrity will create the opportunity for a satisfying bonding with another — with the potential for ecstatic union.
Lastly, looking at the Sabian symbol for 25º Aries (26º Sabian):
PHASE 26 (Aries 26º): A MAN POSSESSED OF MORE GIFTS THAN HE CAN HOLD.
Obsession by potentiality.
This degree refers to the point when consciousness begins to become aware of its enormous power but has not yet learned how to ground it. This can lead to missteps, tripping over one's feet, even running unawares off the edge of a cliff. The advice is to move slow, to maintain awareness of the power bubbling within, and mete it out in a steady manner. Given the symbolism of the Full Moon, the best way to mete power is to meet the power in others and share with kindness and self awareness the power you sense within yourself. This is decidedly not a time to self righteously claim one's power all to oneself.
A teacher and friend I deeply respect told me this night has the potential to be one of the most dramatic nights in recent memory. However dramatic or dull, poignant or plain, this Full Moon wants you to know that you are without a doubt loved beyond measure — but that you can only feel it to the degree that you honestly love others. Feed the hungry animal within by feeding others, love them in parts kindness and ferocity, and the gods will gift your soul to the heavens. Your crucifixion on the cross of relationship will be your salvation.
EDIT: After letting this article settle and rethinking it, I realized I was really more on a Scorpio vibe than Libra. Scorpio relates to commitment, the symbolism of crucifixion, whereas Libra has more to do with learning to balance one's needs, desires, and ideas with others. However, given Saturn in Scorpio, a continuing theme for the next few months, along with Mercury (nearly retrograde) and the North Node, there is still indeed a strong commitment theme going on. So I was sensing the energy correctly, I simply integrated it improperly within the Aries/Libra archetype. And please, if you have any comments or suggestions, post them below.