This is a rare and extremely powerful full moon. The fact that the Moon is conjoining the planet Neptune is it’s own sign of Pisces, and that we have a conjunction of the Sun with Mars opposite just doesn’t come along very often and it is worthwhile to sit up and take notice. Because of the complexity of energies this post is a bit involved but I have done my best to untangle. Please feel free to send along any questions you may have. So let’s begin!!


Generally, in any full moon, we are actually, physically able to see the Moon because the Sun is directly across from it, shining it’s light on the Moon. Though the Moon carries no light of its own we still consider it a luminary. It is not a shining light (outward energy), but a reflective light (inward energy.) So this is why we associate full moons with culminations…we have watched ideas and projects grow to a point of it unfolding in fullness in some way, either because it is complete or because a phase of it has completed and we are now able to revise and restructure to start a new phase at the new moon upcoming.

However, this particular full moon is functioning very differently for two reasons. Both the Sun and the Moon are being hugged by two other planets. The Sun is conjunct Mars in Virgo and the Moon is conjunct Neptune in Pisces. How is this affecting us?

Let’s look at the Moon first. In this case the elliptic of the full Moon is actually making it go behind Neptune. Whilst the moon often connects with Neptune to have it do so at the same degree that it is full is a very rare occurrence. While we don’t experience a difference in the way the moon looks it is still what is happening in the sky. So, effectively, the forces of Neptune are blocking that illuminating quality that a full moon usually has on a material level. Neptune and Pisces will always invite us to go on a very deep dive to the depths of our psychic realm. Since the Moon is also a planet working on our emotional body we could find ourselves feeling profoundly emotional which may manifest as a great deal of confusion, feeling underwater, and feeling overwhelmed. Nothing may seem clearly illuminated at all. You may even find yourself in what the Christian mystics referred to this experience as the Dark Night of the Soul. While not a comfortable place to be it is a rich and fertile time for letting go of what we thought we knew about our lives and about ourselves and surrendering to whatever it is that you consider to be the Divine. More about this in a moment.

Now let’s turn toward the Sun and Mars. Mars is the planet of action! It rules our physical bodies which is our vehicle for getting things we need to do done. The new moon two weeks ago found us with a stellium of planets, including Mars, in Virgo and it was all about organizing and dealing with a multitude of details. We got a huge burst of energy to take care of our projects and you may have felt invigorated to work on things you had set aside a while back. Did you purge and clean your office or computer? Did you finally get to that home improvement project that has been on the back burner? Mars is a motivator.

But most of the stellium has moved on. Mars, however, is still hanging out in a conjunction with the Sun. It is so close to the Sun that it is in a configuration known as “combust.” This energy manifests exactly as it sounds…when a planet is combust the Sun it is burned in the cauldron of fire. Therefore, the energy of the planet combust is dissipated until it moves out of the orbit of the Sun. So now, two weeks after all that go, go, go, you may be wondering, “Hey! Why am I suddenly feeling so wiped out? Where did all that motivation and energy suddenly go?” You might now be looking at a pile of things you started to take care of with great gusto two weeks ago but now you can barely figure out how to continue on, or even what your goal was in the first place!

Because of these two mitigating factors we find ourselves disoriented. It is as if we were in car cruising along and suddenly the car hit the brakes…really, like, WE did not hit those braked, but the car itself did! Not only have we suddenly come to a screeching halt we can’t figure out why or how!

There is really nothing we can do about the momentum at this time. We simply need to ride this one out the best way we know how. Surrender the need to do and bow to the need to simply be right now. We might be feeling incredibly tired all of a sudden and feel the need for a lot of extra rest. That is exactly the antidote for all of this powerful energy. Rest, restore, renew. Turn your energies toward your spiritual practice in whatever quiet way works for you. Meditation is really supported right now.


The element of water on this full moon is very strong. In the tarot this is the quintessential energy we get with the High Priestess card. When the Moon goes behind Jupiter it is going behind the veil of the Priestess. That is why, in the Rider Waite Smith deck, if you look closely you will see that behind her is a body of water (as is the bottom of her robe.)

So let’s talk water. We have three water signs – Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Cancer is the first water sign of the zodiac, Scorpio the second, and finally Pisces.

As we move around the zodiac from the first house to the 12th all the planets and signs mature. The first sign of any element can be considered the youngest energy of that element, the second is more a young adult just arriving out of their teen years and the final sign is a matured aspect with adult outlooks.

Let’s look at those three signs in this context. Cancer is childlike water. It is full of primary emotions, that we experience as children. We express it when we feel it and we don’t care, really, who is watching. We feel what we feel.. Happy? We laugh. Angry? We yell or pout. Loving? We go right in for that big kiss! While Cancer water is not particularly sophisticated it is very authentic because it is right out there for all to see.

Moving to Scorpio water we are now in the eighth house of others. Here we find that we internalize our feelings first and then kind of check it out with other people in our sphere to see if we dare express it, or if we share it, or if we just keep it hidden. In many ways, we do not trust those feelings unless someone is mirroring for us whether or not we should consider them valid. This is a very rocky and, in our teen years, it is a form of madness!

But when we finally dive into the waters of Pisces we are in a mature ocean and here we crave solitude and deep diving. Pisces water is the water of the depths and we are not tossed around by it. But we can become very confused if we go deeper than we are ready for, being unprepared on how to navigate the darkness. So here we find the waters of dreams, visions, longings of the soul, the dark night of the soul. We can reach these depths in moments of deepest devotion or by utilizing a substance to help us drown. In Pisces water we can find the sublime or the deepest pyschosis.

So here we have the moon being veiled by this incredibly deep need for quiet. A rest for the soul. A darkened room lit by a single candle. We may find our dream world incredibly active on either side of this full moon. Pay full attention to what images emerge right now and see how they speak to you. You may get a very clear message about something that you have been visioning for yourself for the past six months or so.


We covered the earth element in our last new moon blog so I won’t expand on it here. However, because of the strong, strong water energy right now it is safe to say that we may internally be feeling underwater or flooded emotionally. We might be storing more water in our bodies (Mars) and feel bloated and heavy. Our minds may feel foggy and we might be a bit more forgetful as the element of fire and water combine and create steam and mist. While it may seem counter-intuitive to suggest this, it is going to be important to physically drink more water

INGREDIENTS: Dreams, intuition, plans on hold, confusion, exhaustion, meditation, feeling foggy, spiritual deep dives.


This is a truly beautiful time to explore our deep psychic abilities and receive messages from the depths more easily than when we are engaged in the daily living of our lives. Here is a very powerful yet simple exercise to guide you.

Candle Gazing with the High Priestess:

I invite you to do the practice of Trataka tonight, as close to the exact full moon time as possible. (This will be 9:32PM Pacific on September 13, 12:32AM September 14 Eastern.) This practice of candle gazing will bring together the darkness that the moon is experiencing as it dives into the depths of Pisces and the light of the Sun and Mars combust. It will help to illuminate the intuitive perception about what needs to be known during this exceptional moment.

For instructions about Trataka and how to set up a space for it I like the simple explanation provided in this article:

The extra piece is to get out a High Priestess card from whichever deck you wish according to the image that speaks most deeply to you at this time. Place the card directly behind the candle so that her image will be there as you gaze into the flame. You will not see her image clearly, but slightly out of focus, as if you are gazing into a shallow bowl of water and she is there at the bottom. See what messages she may have for you, or what feelings come up when you are in her presence.

As ever, dear friends, may you harness all the magic that surrounds you and live fully and deeply.


Astrology: An Introduction to Decans

There are many things we do in astrology that help us hone in or the essence of the interactions of the planets in our birth chart. I like to use the analogy of a radio. You can often get to the main station’s signal, but sometimes it’s not one hundred percent clear. Maybe there is a little static. If you turn the dial of the radio right or left very slowly and tick into a slightly different frequency you can often clear things up and get much better reception. Using the information provided with decans is one of those slow turns of the knob and can really help us clarify.

This explanation is geared toward a beginner who has spent some time getting to know the basics of chart interpretation. I have offered it to beginners because I don’t think that decans are mysterious but no one told me about them until I was well into a more intermediate stage of astrological learning. Since this is a very brief overview and I will be painting in wildly broad strokes I have not included house or aspect interpretations…these you will need to add into the pot as you go along.

I use decans in a very practical manner with all charts I analyze. Initially, I will apply decan interpretation up front for the sun, moon and ascendant of every chart. This gives me a very rich personality profile without having to dig too deep. Secondly, I will apply it to planets that are very influential in a chart especially with those involved in tension based configurations such as T-squares. This is very clarifying. So I feel that this is a little tip that even beginners can use once they understand the ingredients needed to create the dish!

Is A Decan Like A Pecan?

First, let’s make sure you get that pronunciation right! Decan is pronounced “dek-an” with emphasis on the “dek.” It is shorthand for the word decanate. You’re welcome!

So, what is a decan? Here is what I assume you already know about each sign – Aries, Taurus, Gemini etc; have 30 degrees that make up the whole of the sign. The degrees start with 0 degrees of a sign and end at 29 degrees of that sign. Those thirty degrees can be divided up into three groups of 10 degrees. A 10 degree group is called a decan!

You can already see that there will be three decans per sign. Let’s take Aries as an example. This is how the decans will look:

First decan: 0 – 9 degrees of Aries.

Second decan: 10-19 degrees of Aries

Third decan: 20 – 29 degrees of Aries

So simple! The same degrees are grouped for the decans of every sign!

It’s Elementary, My Dear Friend!

Now, how does it work?

You also already know that every sign has an element: Fire, Water, Earth or Air. We will continue look at Aries for our example and Aries is a fire sign.

Every element is represented in astrology by three signs. In the chart above you can see Aries is a fire sign and so are Leo and Sagittarius.

The three signs have a maturing aspect when you work with them around the birth chart. The first sign in an element is the newest sign. It is the “newborn” of the element. The second sign in the element is a more grown up version and is more like the “young teen/young adult” of the element. The last sign in the element is the “adult” version of the element.

In our Aries example, we have Aries as the newborn fire sign, Leo is the young teen/adult fire sign, and Sagittarius is the adult fire sign.

Growth Through The Element of Fire

What do I mean by newborn, young adult and adult expressions of an element? Let’s look a bit more closely as the fire signs in a simplified manner.

Aries the Newborn – Aries is the very first sign of the entire zodiac, living in the first house of the zodiac and is the first sign of the element of fire! If we use the analogy of a human life it really IS the energy of a newborn! It sees the world as brand new, pure potential, pure inspiration and anything is possible! Babies are completely self-centered, and Aries energy can also be this way as it can be very focused on self-identity and relates everything that is happening around it to, “how does this affect me?” It is fiery and driven to explore and learn with curiosity full steam ahead.

Leo the Young Teen – As a child grows it begins to lose some of that self-only identification. It has moved through the houses of growth which involve inter-relating to a family unit, whether just with parents or combined with siblings. It rules the fifth house where we learn that there are other people in the world outside the home most notably through the act of having to go to school. Leo’s energy is full of play and creativity. It loves to party and you can’t have much of a party by yourself so it’s about learning the art of socialization with peers and making friends. Leo is also the sign that shows up when the ego is starting to feel its oats because, again, when stepping out into the land of others we are often confronted by the mirror that reflects to us perceptions about who we are in comparison to another person, or a within a group of others.

Sagittarius the Adult – Continuing on with our analogy of a child, by the time we reach the sign of Sagittarius we have done a lot of living. This roughly correlates to the ages of our mid-20’s to mid-30’s and we are now moving toward becoming established in our chosen careers through higher education, we might have a long term relationship, children, have bought a house. Sagittarius brings us into an integration with our outer lives and our sense of our inner spiritual foundation. It is far from staid as it is still a fire sign so there is a lot of action and interaction with this sign.

Now, Apply It!

Let’s summarize what we you know:

  • Each sign has 30 degrees. Those 30 degrees are divided into three groups of 10 degrees. A group of 10 degrees is called a decan. This means that each sign has three decans within it.
  • Each sign has an element (fire, water, earth, air.)
  • There are three signs for every element.

So, how does this all work? Back to Aries!

  • There are three decans in Aries,
  • Aries is a fire sign and,
  • There are three fire signs – Aries is the first, Leo is the second, Sagittarius is the third.

We now assign each one of the fire signs to each decan in the one sign we are interested in. The assignments go in order of zodiacal progression, moving counter-clockwise around the astrological chart (see image above.) So, lets look and see how that works for the sign of Aries.

  • First assignment: 0 – 9 degrees of Aries is the “Aries decan of Aries.”
  • Second assignment: 10-19 degrees of Aries is the “Leo decan of Aries.”
  • Third assignment: 20-29 degrees of Aries is the “Sagittarius decan of Aries.”

Whatever sign you are interested in, the first decan will always be it’s own sign. So, let’s now look at the second and third fire signs, Leo and Sagittarius! Here is the breakdown:


  • First assignment: 0-9 degrees of Leo is the “Leo decan of Leo.”
  • Second assignment: 10-19 degrees of Leo is the “Sagittarius decan of Leo.”
  • Third assignment: 20-29 degrees of Leo is the “Aries decan of Leo.”


  • First assignment: 0-9 degrees of Sagittarius is the “Sagittarius decan of Sagittarius.”
  • Second assignment: 10-19 degrees of Sagittarius is the “Aries decan of Sagittarius.”
  • Third assignment: 20-29 degrees of Sagittarius is the “Leo decan of Sagittarius.”

You can now work this out with all the remaining elements and their corresponding signs!

Pulling It All Together

Now lets look at this practically. Let’s look at possible interpretations for a sun at 12 degrees of Sagittarius, a moon at 12 degrees of Leo, and an Ascendant at 5 degrees of Aries. How does this help in fine tuning the interpretation of these three basic elements of a chart? (Again, I am not including anything about houses or aspects here, just a broad stroke of the way fine tuning utilizing a decan can go. The houses and aspects will also modify and fill out the picture much more .)

First, we look at the sun. At 12 degrees of Sagittarius it falls in the second decan of Sagittarius which is the “Aries decan of Sagittarius.” This means that the sun carries all the qualities of Sagittarius sun and is expressed through a more Aries-like quality. So, while Sagittarius may suggest that this is someone who is may be very interested in pursuing things like higher education, justice, and/or spiritual pursuits the way the Aries decan says that one may likely pursue these things could manifest in a very self-interested fashion. While this person might be interested, say, in the justice system, when they do get involved in that system their motivation for doing so may not come from a particularly altruistic push of helping the downtrodden seek justice. It could be a very self-serving motivation in that “being a justice seeker” is the persona they are trying to develop and maintain. Aries (the “baby” fire sign) often likes to initiate projects and programs but they can also have a hard time seeing things to completion because they lack the maturity to apply discipline so they would likely be more interested in looking like they were the one in charge than actually implementing change. Lastly, Aries is ruled by Mars so this might point to a tendency to be adversarial in approach rather than collaborative as Sagittarius is wont to do.

Next, let’s look at the moon at 12 degrees of Leo, with it falling in the Sagittarius decan of Leo. A Leo moon is nurtured and emotionally fed by all things Leonian – play, creative pursuits, socializing with friends, partying til dawn. Security will be found in having close friendships and they may thrive in being the class clown or known as the life of the party. With it falling in the Sagittarius decan you can add that Jupiter influence and this may be someone who comes off larger than life! This person might well be emotionally fed by the adoration of the theater or movies and will be very good at it, possibly a star with many accolades! The Sagittarius decan, being the “adult” decan can also lend a very mature note to this person, even while they are living large. They could appear very Leonian with a flashy presence writ large but they would have the ability to also be very intelligent and articulate and use their opportunities of interviews to discuss equality and justice for the disenfranchised.

Finally, a quick look at the Ascendant at 5 degrees Aries. No mystery here…that is an Aries rising in the Aries decan. Straight up Aries all the way! With that Aries decan it gives the Ascendant a double whammy. Their doorway to the world is framed by that fiery, inspired, initiatory Martian charge! They will just go for it and damn the torpedos!

Check Your Chart!

I hope that this has been helpful to you and that you quickly reached for your own chart to see what your sun, moon and ascendant are looking like with this added information. It might be that you suddenly understand why you have a Gemini sun but you have never really felt that you fit that bill…only to discover that your sun is in the Libra decan! So, while you might be initially OK with lots of social mental energy your sun is tampered a bit by the Libra and Venus influence and you feel that you really relate more from that heart center than your head!

Please feel free to message me if you have any questions and if this has been interesting to you do pursue further research online! There is a LOT of information about decans out there!

Be well, be happy.