Updated: Oct 19, 2019
This full moon, we perform alchemy on ourselves. We blend our dichotomous parts to achieve higher truths, synthesize our polarities to enact deep healing, and free ourselves from limiting mindsets that make us doubt our expansive possibilities.
With the sun in Gemini, this Sagittarius moon is heavily about the mind. It’s about our ways of thinking and our search for knowing. Sagittarius and Gemini oppose each other on the wheel of the zodiac, but they also complement each other in huge ways. Gemini is air, collecting thoughts, ideas, and stories like a magpie, ravenous in the search to analyze and understand everything they can. (Gemini has a bad case of FOMO, y’all.) Sagittarius, on the other hand, is fire, constantly questing for Truth through experience, exploration, and observation. Where Gemini analyzes, Sagittarius synthesizes. Together, they provide a fuller understanding than either can separately.
Their Tarot cards are similarly harmonious. The card associated with Sagittarius is Temperance and with Gemini is the Lovers. These two cards both deal with duality and unity in huge ways. In Temperance, we see two cups mixed by a red-winged angel, and in the Lovers, two nude humans ushered toward union by a very familiar red-feathered seraph. Here we have the sacred marriage of opposites, two separate elements coming together in harmony. This full moon asks us to find harmony in the disparate aspects of the mind, but the human mind doesn’t do well with parts that don’t match, irregularities in the system, breaks in the pattern. It doesn’t like duality, preferring things to fit into tidy boxes of understanding. But this full moon is here to tell us that the mind’s insistence on the easy-to-understand, the clean categorizations, the pleasing uniformity: that’s bullshit.
Harmony is not the same as homogeny. Union is not conformity. In music, harmony happens when two or more notes resonate with each other in a pleasing way to create chords. These notes do not become ONE note, however. They remain separate and distinct, but lend their music to create a new sound wave, not quite one and not quite the other, and wholly different than that chord created by a single note. Harmony creates layers, texture, depth. It provides a richness attainable only through combination.
Temperance and the Lovers, Sagittarius and Gemini, both embrace and celebrate diversity. They do not attempt to assimilate it but instead to learn from it. In our dualities lie such deep information, such resonant truths and possibilities waiting to be excavated, and we rob ourselves of their richness if we try to force them into sameness. This is the power of Gemini, which knows that we don’t have to be one thing or the other, that we can be both at once, that we are manifold. Sagittarius takes the legion of Gemini’s accumulated knowledge and distills it, refines it, puts it under its philosophical lens and magnifies the transcendent truths therein.
And with Jupiter, the ruling planet of Sagittarius, currently retrograde in Scorpio, this is going to be a deep moon, friends. The stars are aligned for a fortuitous cosmic push into the underworld of spirit. The two cups in the Tarot spread I offer today are not material concerns, though they may intersect with them. Instead, these cups are of the spirit, the inner being and the cosmic spark. In Smith-Waite imagery, the water flowing between the two cups isn’t clearly pouring from one destination to the other, but instead seems to defy gravity and physics, flowing upward and downward and diagonally at the same time, creating a fluid exchange between vessels that never ceases. These two cups are our inner and outer selves. Our darkness and our light. Our intuition and our rationality. Our subconscious and our conscious. These are any two elements of our being that exist separately but need to have communication, exchange, synthesis, in order for us to walk in harmony with ourselves.
Because of its focus on synthesis through opposition, this moon brings a huge opportunity for understanding and healing. Temperance comes after Death in the Major Arcana, and there’s a reason for that. In Death, we grieve the end of a cycle, a way of being, an old self, and we rebirth into a new one. (Think back to the Scorpio Full Moon.) In Temperance, we take the deep and painful wisdom of that death experience, that new and hard-earned self-knowledge, and we synthesize it into a higher being that is allowed to contain so much more than one thing at a time. Temperance gets a reputation for calmness and peace, but really it’s about all the messiness, hurt, and confusion finally crystallizing as we realize the lesson of it all. Temperance is the moment the camera zooms out and we see the macro grid of the maze. Temperance is the calm of acceptance. Temperance is the elevation of the higher self. Temperance is the peace when we stop fighting the disparate elements within ourselves and allow them to simply exist. And Temperance is the alchemical bridge between them.
So this moon, celebrate the differences within yourself. Honor the friction and the tension, and know that it’s okay to not be okay. Through uniting our opposites without homogenizing them, through honoring and loving our dichotomies, we can see the way forward into a radical new understanding of life and self. Temperance isn’t about the two cups as much as it is about the stream of gravity-defying water between them. That’s magick. That’s alchemy. You’re your own alchemist, friend. This moon, we discover that what we thought were base metals are actually gold.
FULL MOON IN SAGITTARIUS | SUN IN GEMINI
1, 2. THE CUPS: Two elements of self that ask to be synthesized at this time. Dark/Light. Inner/Outer. Subconscious/Conscious. Intuition/Rationality.
3, 4, 5. THE WATER: How to synthesize these elements. The alchemy of the exchange. The dialogue, the bridge, the path. (Read these positions intuitively with an eye for conversation, narrative, harmony.)
6. THE GRAVITY: What seemingly holds you back that you can transcend.
7. THE ANGEL: The Truth that arises from this synthesis.