Tonight's Full Moon Is All About Coming Together—And Apart

Learn to love and let go in the same breath

It's easy to confuse seeking balance with passivity. It's not uncommon to think of Libras as soft, endlessly yielding, wishy-washy, and indirect. Perhaps people have this impression because Libra's symbol is the scales: inanimate metal, cold, and easily taken off the table. Perhaps it's Libra's effortless beauty, a softness that graces most Libran faces no matter how tough their style or hard their shell. Beauty, it seems, has a power few can reckon with. Beauty is the source of our awe and our derision. It might occur to you, reader, that this tension—what we are drawn to and what we fear—is beauty's deepest mystery. Libra sits at the altar of this mystery and meditates before it.

Like Taurus, Libra is ruled by Venus but would it surprise you to learn that Libra represents the yang (ostensibly masculine) energy of Venus and Taurus the Yin (feminine)? Would that put some of your assumptions about gender (the peacemaker vs. the stubborn bull) on their heads? Good. The stars don't know everything but they know more about human possibility than our limited cultural constructs can possibly hope to. The stars teach us that Venus, the goddess of love and of beauty, the one who rode in on a wave naked with pearls at her feet, was a goddess both feminine and masculine. Both yin and yang—as all things in the universe are.

The Sun will be in Aries when the full moon rises in our sky. Like Aries, Libra is a cardinal sign, a sign that is birthed when the air changes, when a new season is being welcomed. Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac, is associated with the birth of the self, with individualization. Whereas Libra, associated with the 7th house, is the sign of relationships. While Aries moves through the world defining their "I," Libra deals in exchanges and collaborations—in what the "I" can accomplish with "you." It might be valuable to note, while the Sun is in Aries and the moon is in Libra, that these signs represent a polarity, and, while it is easy to imagine a polarity as a clear and distinct opposition, it is valuable to remember that the Zodiac is the study of relationships between celestial bodies.

Libra and Aries might have different instincts, but they exist on a spectrum and they need each other's wisdom. Where Aries grows selfish, Libra grows generous. Where Libra overextends, Aries refuses. Both signs are initiatory and aggressive about their mission. They yearn to spin the Earth, it is their calling and their birthright. When the new spark of life that Aries brings is paired with the brea(d)th of Libra's collective knowledge, new worlds can be born. A reminder, reader, that Aries' ruler, Mars, is still in Taurus which, if you remember, is Libra's sister Venus sign. Venus itself is in Aquarius. And, Aquarius, an air sign that transforms our collective consciousness, is ruled by Uranus which—you guessed it—is in Taurus now. The movements of these stars are important. The aspects they make to each other, the time they spend together, the effect their powers have on each other shift depending on where they shine and who they shine next to. This, my friends, is not so different down on the ground.

Tonight, when you stare up at the big beautiful moon, give thanks for the gift of learning how to cleave. Which is to say: learning to come together and to come apart. Learning to love and let go in the same breath. Give thanks for winter, which teaches you every year how to sustain through scarcity—even if only symbolically, even if only in relation to the sun's light—and give thanks for the buds that break through the ground valiantly, knowing that nature is unpredictable and that a final frost might still come despite the warming winds. While Aries arrives newborn as if out of the underworld, Libra knows that life is not the only thing Earth holds. Libra honors relationships and ancestors, she knows that death is a part of all of this, that death makes it possible. Here, under the Libra full moon, we are tasked with sitting at the altar of our various relationships—their terrible beauty, the wounds we show each other—and the healing we are capable of in response. We are offered a moment of peace, of big light, to meditate on what we want to make out of our lineage of harm, and our lineage of love.