Slowing down at the strawberry moon

Just days after the Sun moved into the (tropical) sign of Cancer, marking the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere, we have the Capricorn Full Moon. In contrast to the Capricorn New Moon of winter, the Full Moon marks long days and the height of the growth season. The peak of the Moon’s light comes within days of the peak of the Sun’s light.

Capricorn Full Moon
Capricorn Full Moon in the mountains

This Moon is a touchpoint for several different cycles. Coming on the heels of the June Summer Solstice, this Moon points back to what we planted in December, at the Winter Solstice, that might be coming to fruition. Similarly, the Capricorn New Moon on January 16th of this year was another seed-planting, and this Full Moon marks closure of that cycle. 

As with all Full Moons, this one comes at the mid-point of the monthly lunar cycle, in this case that of the Gemini Moon cycle begun at the New Moon on June 13th. If we set intentions then, we are now seeing our progress or lack there-of.

This mid-year Moon gives us an opportunity to adjust, release, and refresh what we began on a large scale during the long, cold days of northern hemisphere winter, as well as what was started just two weeks ago. What have we sown, and what are we seeing come into the greatest light of the year?

The Capricorn Full Moon occurs very close to Saturn, ruler of the sign. Their proximity amplifies the potential to feel Saturn’s pressure to move towards our goals and firm up the foundation of our lives. But then there is Mars and its change in direction.

Least often of the planets, Mars goes retrograde (appearing to travel backward through the Zodiac) every two years. The lack of frequency makes its effects even stronger. As of Tuesday, Mars is on a two-month retrograde journey, urging us to slow down and look for strength, courage, desire and willpower deeply within.

Dew on leaves
Dew on leaves

With the planet of action in such an introspective mode, and four other planets in retrograde motion, this is a better time for revisiting and redefining our plans rather than starting anew. Mars is in the sign of Aquarius, the water-bearer, which encompasses such themes as belonging and individual freedom, not polar opposites but an integrated state. 

We have the opportunity to see for ourselves the planets in action. Mars is at its second-brightest in 60,000 years this month as it comes close to our Earth. Only Venus, currently in her ‘evening star’ phase and also close to the Earth, is brighter. Saturn is also visible, not too far from Mars in the southeastern sky, and Jupiter is another bright spot for some time.

Happy planet-gazing!

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