Virgo Full Moon: A Gardener First

This full moon is at 11.22 Virgo on March 1 at 7:51 pm (ET)

from Emily Dickinson's Herbariam,  Houghton Library, Harvard University

from Emily Dickinson's Herbariam, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Emily Dickinson was known locally as a gardener long before she was known as a poet. "I was reared in the garden, you know," she wrote once in a letter to her cousin. Her north node (her destiny, and what she hungers for) was next to Saturn in Virgo, the sign of the gardener, herbalist, and writer. Her herbarium, recently digitized by Harvard University, is arranged with a Virgoan sense of elegance and attention to detail. The scientific names are pasted on each one in a charmingly Piscean scrawl (nodes come in pairs; her south node was in Pisces.)

If women's botany was seen as a contribution to science and not only as a hobby back then, perhaps Dickinson's meticulously curated herbarium would have been noted as a professional achievement, rather than only a personal one. Between Pisces and Virgo runs a current of art and science, both quite alike in their attention to the details of life, their responses to the wonder of it all. With Saturn conjunct her Midheaven, she was powerful, serious, lasting, even if other people in her world had no idea at the time. 

This full moon is opposite Neptune and a full stellium of other celestial bodies floating through Pisces, the sign of the poet and bard, and trine Saturn in Capricorn. Virgo is the unassuming sign, the person who is likely to be known as a home gardener, even as she's privately creating a legacy of poetry that will still be read over a century after her death. This is a full moon that reminds us, however we're known, however humble, anything we dream is worth doing. Saturn in Capricorn, in a time when women seem to be rising to power, supports you in achieving what you set out to do. Done is better than perfect, practical Saturn reminds us, and it can still be done well. At this full moon, turn your attention to whatever your own private herbarium might be. Work on it without seeking permission from the outside world. Small work, unseen work, can be powerful. It may still outlast the time when you thought you were doing it purely for your own enjoyment.

Sagittarius Full Moon: Tell it Slant

The full moon today (Saturday, May 21st) is at one degree of Sagittarius, right on top of Mars, which is still retrograde. Sagittarius is the sign of the knowledge seeker, the philosopher, the wanderer...and the truth-teller. If you have some Sagittarians in your life you know that they're great fun, and at the same time, they're famous for being brutally honest. With the full moon right on top of Mars retrograde in this sign, the truth you want to tell might have some extra blunt force behind it. But consider that this weekend, honesty may not be the very best of policies. It might be a good night to just hold your tongue.

Take Emily Dickinson's word for it: "The Truth must dazzle gradually." A poet who spent much of her life writing about her ideas on the Truth, Dickinson was born with the sun, Venus, and Mercury conjunct in Sagittarius. Poem 1263 reads:


Tell all the truth but tell it slant —

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth's superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind —


At this full moon, the truth could be revealed to you like Lightning. Because Mars retrograde is involved, you should resist the temptation to blind the people you care about with a Truth Rant. Consider how you might tell your truth "slant" - or better yet, wait to tell it. Honesty may be right, but it can also be harsh. If someone else decides to give you a dose of Truth, try to take it in stride and respond carefully instead of reacting immediately. Truth, in this instance, is better manifested as a Higher Truth, an inner truth, that you seek or discover at the busy and emotional time of the full moon.

Some ideas for using the energy of this full moon: check in with your emotions and your personal desires, review the areas of life where Mars is retrograde, pursue knowledge and higher education, have an adventure, get out in nature, enjoy time with good friends (but avoid potentially hostile people), play sports, go to a comedy show.

And as always, there is more in the horoscopes.