It’s the first full moon of 2021, and what moon shines brighter, fuller, than a Leo full moon? Leo moons, it is said, are generous. They love to adore and be adored. Leo moons are fixed moons, sure of their hearts above all other things. They are proud and they aim to take pride in those they love, so they work to raise up anyone in their circle. Leo moons are bossy too, because they believe in themselves and their sense of what is right. Even when they’re wrong, they’re bossy about how they should be notified of their wrongness. Leo moons are very sensitive because, while they will deny it with their whole chest, they need to be appreciated as often as possible. Being appreciated is sort of like being loved, but Leo moons don’t want flowery words and trinkets — although they won’t say no to them — they want to bask in the light of someone’s regard. When a Leo full moon rises in our January sky, winking across the world at the Sun in Aquarius, our hearts fill with a light that aches to be perceived.
What we do in service to that ache is the work of the full moon, its mandate.
Because no celestial body works alone, it’s important to understand the forces that range against our Leo moon and with it. When the moon is full in Leo, it positions itself at a right angle to Mars in Taurus. Mars is not without company in the sign of Taurus, but we will get to that. First, it’s worth noting that both Taurus and Leo are fixed signs, and the tension between them is a tension between two proud entities. They have a hard time relinquishing control and a strong self-belief. This stubborn energy can exhaust both, so what they also share is a strong desire for erotic relief. When I say erotic, I mean as Audre Lorde, the Aquarius, would have it.
In her groundbreaking work "The Uses of the Erotic," she wrote: “The erotic is a measure between our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire. For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves.”
Here is where we come to Mars’ company and the moon’s, too. In addition to the slow-moving transit of Uranus, which begs for a little chaos, Mars in Taurus transits alongside Black Moon Lilith. Black Moon Lilith is neither a planet nor an asteroid, she is the apogee of our moon’s orbit around the Earth, the farthest point. According the astrologer Demetra George, Black Moon Lilith is in relationship with both the asteroid Lilith and the dark moon Lilith (a moon that has been spotted near our Earth but not claimed as ours — a rejected moon). Together they lure us into the mystery, as the priestesses might call it, of intimacy. Not only between people, but between parts of ourselves, not only our desires but our creations. The erotic energy is both initiatory, which Mars understands, and ancient. It cycles, it eats its tail.
The Leo full moon on the other hand, moves in step with Hygeia, who Demetra George describes as the “Goddess who gives and maintains health through right living with nature.” Beside her, influenced by her, the Leo moon knows that care is both something that can be very personal but is also something you can do for your community. Protecting your loved ones, doing right by them, stopping the spread of a deadly virus.
The desire to be good and do good rubs up against the desire to experience intimacy, to feel seen, to touch a human being. This is a tension many of us know, but it grows stronger under this aspect; it can start to feel a little unbearable and temptation to take risks can feel heightened with Mars squaring Jupiter. But, we can bear the temptation. We can work with our boundaries as interior limits, not something we only set with others, but something we also understand intrinsically about ourselves — that we have limits, that we need to show ourselves emotional respect. We can acknowledge that while Venus transits alongside Pluto in the sign of Capricorn, what we desire lives alongside what we are ashamed of, when these parts of us coexist, we are made wise and able to discern the best and safest course of action.