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Eco, Ego, Eros: Thoughts On Philosophy, Spirituality & Science

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When I got to the Science and Nonduality conference the first person I encountered was Wolfgang Baer, a physicist from San Diego who told me about his theory of consciousness at the heart of quantum particles –possibly as a newly discovered or theorized binding force of atoms. I then went to see Cassandra Vieten, President and CEO of IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences), speak about Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in which she described the “shift” that takes places in various phases as what “everyone knows” changes to something radically new which then becomes what everyone “knows.”

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The underlying theme: the recognition that a science without acknowledgment of consciousness is a science essentially without a center.

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tam coverSo when I decided to speak to Cassandra and do my usual networking shtick she was sitting with another young guy whom I tried to be polite to but my focus was elsewhere.  The following night that young guy, Tam Hunt, recognized me in the bar. After some bantering over drinks I was moved to ask him if he’d ever read the book Replay by Ken Grimwood—a cult piece of obscure fiction that I have read twice and which my best friend and I used to discuss endlessly. I was blown away that Tam had also read Replay. I am no longer blown away because having gone through Tam’s book of essays I now have an understanding of how much he has exposed himself to, and absorbed deeply.

One way to read these essays is almost as an encyclopedia of modern thought—and the last part of the book is actually a series of interviews Tam has had (in person and by email) with many of these thought leaders. For example he has buttonholed Lawrence Krauss, author of a Universe from Nothing and got the following quote:

“Science encourages awe and wonder, and the sense that there is more to the universe than we directly experience. The advantage of the spirituality of science is that it is real.”

I was going to review Krauss’ book myself but I looked at the index for the word “consciousness” and when it wasn’t there, I moved on. Krauss takes the “scientism” position that truth is the result of empirical evidence but never questions the role of the observer because it’s inconvenient to do so. Like many atheists (Dawkins, Bill Maher) he skewers the low hanging fruit of religion and then uses words like “awe” and “reverence” without examining the “qualia” of such a response deeply.

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Tam’s questions are first rate and it’s no surprise because he’s a practicing environmental attorney.

His essays are introduced by a foreword from by Christof Koch, Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science, and author of The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach and Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist. Koch says, “The book keeps on returning to its central thesis –that all matter is endowed with consciousness, that every outside in the universe has an inside, only accessible to the system itself. That “inside” is what it feels like to be that system, whether it’s a human brain with roughly 100 billion nerve cells, or the 100 million of the mouse or the nervous system of the tiny round worm C. elegans, no larger than the letter ‘l’, with 302 nerve cells. Of course, what the system is capable of experiencing will scale somehow with the complexity of the chunk of excitable matter that gives rise to the mind in the first place.”

This level of insight got to me, because the “inside” is what scientists like Krauss assiduously avoid, and which forms the basis for the scientific revolution IONS and Cassandra Vieten are promulgating. But how to approach it?

Tam writes the following;

“The panpsychist view is that each little speck of matter throughout the universe is both a speck of matter and a speck of mind. And as matter complexifies, so mind complexifies.

This is not anthropomorphism as much as it is a legitimate “psychomorphism” because we realize that mind must indeed be part of the very fabric of reality if we are to explain our very existence as human beings. We are here. We have minds – or, to be accurate, we are mind.  What we call matter and mind are two aspects of the same thing, the outside and inside of matter, respectively. We are part of nature.” (page 11)

This last is the 800 lb. gorilla of modern science—we cannot study reality “objectively” from the “outside” because we are inexorably involved in our own perception as consciousness.

In the essays in the first part of the book Tam examines what he calls “Absent-Minded Science” examining the work of many thought leaders, including noted philosopher of mind Daniel Dennett. Here is Tam’s “cross-examination” of Dennett:

“The tension in [Daniel] Dennett’s position is that by acknowledging (necessarily, it would seem) the reality of conscious experience, Dennett can’t also argue that purely externalist objective explanations of consciousness say all that can be said about conscious experience. Rather, if conscious experience is real, it is surely different than simply describing – in as much detail as one likes – the electrochemical processes of a human brain. No matter how much detail we provide about electrochemical processes, such descriptions will never say anything at all about the quality of the subjective experience.” (16)

Tam himself, not surprisingly has some interesting insights especially regarding physics:

“Physics takes the approach of asking the universe to “just please hold still for a second so that we can study you.” But it never does. The universe is always in motion, always becoming. Time is always proceeding forward. It is, then, a mistake to conceptually separate matter from time and to believe that this conceptual separation is indicative of reality.“  (page 22)

This points us back to the inescapable truth that Time is a function of Mind. On page 68 Tam makes a nice summation:

“Mind is inextricably part of nature and if we are to explain this undeniable fact we can no longer ignore mind in our scientific explanations.”

His “Panpsychist” theory is not really new. Similar “pantheists” would include Emerson and Spinoza, both of whom are covered in this book. But Tam brings us back to quantum physics nicely:

“…no modern panpsychist that I know of argues that a chair or a rock is conscious – despite the bad jokes often lobbed at panpsychists. Rather, the molecules that comprise the chair or rock presumably have a very rudimentary type of consciousness but the larger objects themselves (again, presumably) lack the kind of interconnections required to become unitary subjects.  The subjects we know best are humans – each of us, in fact, knows exactly one subject intimately: ourselves. Clearly, then, some aggregates of matter do in fact produce a complex unitary subject and we call this our “mind.”  The “hard problem” of consciousness is figuring out the relationship between mind and matter and why some matter gives rise to unitary subjects and why others don’t? Why am I conscious, and you, and my cat, but not the chair or the rock?” (page 26)

This became the gist of our discussion in the bar, where I was intrigued by the generational aspect of our different perspectives.  I mentioned a Twilight Zone decades ago about a lonely guy on a remote asteroid far out in space who fell in love with a female robot. Viewers back then saw it as a “Twilight Zone” because such a “relationship” was unfathomable –from their (and my own) anthropomorphic perspective the difference between alive (animate) and inanimate was clear and incontrovertible.

Now decades later, when we have sequenced DNA, it no longer is so clear. As Tam writes, is a virus animate or inanimate?  He makes the point that virus seem “alive” only when they are within a host –and he mentions Prions.

“Prions are self-replicating molecules responsible for various diseases such as “mad cow disease.” Prions are even simpler than viruses and self-replicating RNA. Prions consist of nothing more than a very simple protein enfolded in a certain way.”  (page 54)

Our conversation and these facts made me wonder about my own prejudice regarding the innate specialness of organic life (based on carbon as opposed to silicon and instructed by DNA) and recalling Gurdjieff’s key question –what is the significance of organic life on earth and human life in particular? It would seem from reading this material that Tam might agree that awareness comes into being at certain levels of complexity as all (conscious) matter organizes toward “order.”  Might we say that awareness is an emergent property of certain complexities of consciousness?

One might ask whether there is a reverse counter-evolutionary “intention” toward entropy or disorder? But the key point that Tam makes quite eloquently is that it is “inconceivable” that somehow mind could arise from nonmind. This is in alignment with my own fascination with DNA as “software” –because clearly such an intellectual product (like the program Microsoft Word I’m using to write this article) could not have come about by “accident.”

So how does one “explain” DNA? Among other interesting ideas, Tam identifies natural selection as a “tautology” –or a circular nonexplanation of “evolution.”  He says, very convincingly, “So it turns out that the phrase “survival of the fittest” really means “survival of those who survive,” or “the fittest are the fittest.” (page 42)

Delving into Eastern thought, Tam also makes the fascinating point that our logic isn’t the only kind of logic. He points out that “Tetralemmatic [Eastern] logic has four legitimate conclusions: true; false; true and false; and neither true nor false.” (page 62)  It would be interesting to try to write a computer program that is “tetrary” rather than “binary” wouldn’t it?

Tam’s other interesting concept is Integrated Information Theory (IIT).  I personally love this which is attributed to one of Tam’s sources, Giulio Tononi:

“Information” means that a particular experience is one out of many possible experiences, which differs from every other one in its particular way. Imagine, let’s say, a complicated, buzzing street scene in New York or, conversely, just lying on the beach in Southern California and watching the sky, purely blue, hearing nothing, totally relaxed. The second experience is a very simple experience, just pure you, and the New York scene is very complicated. Well, according to the theory, they’re both equally informative even though it may seem like there is a lot more information coming at you in the New York street scene. Not because of how many pieces there are in each, but because they both are that particular experience by the fact that they rule out all the other possible experiences you could have had in that moment. Imagine watching a movie. For every frame of the movie, you have a different experience. No effort whatsoever. It’s the simplest thing in the world for us.”  (page 352)

This brings us full circle to the beautifully stated problem with physics –the “frame” of the movie is purely theoretically and conceptual.  In “reality” there is no stopping it, and all aspects are inherently equal in “information” –or ultimately another way, completely “empty” of meaning without the presence of a “mind.” IIT suggests that we can quantify the integrated information in any given system (a quantity called phi), which is a measure of the consciousness present in that system.

This is also intriguing to me because Phi is also the constant of the Golden Mean, or Fibonacci sequence, memorialized in ancient structures like the Great Pyramid which leads me to believe that this sort of “panpsychism” –or seeing mind expressed in mathematical perfection –has been viewed with awe within “reality” since before our own civilization ever moved out of caves.

I would sum up by saying that Tam is a thought leader to be reckoned with both for his breadth of knowledge and ability to articulate. My criticism of this book would be its organization; it is clearly a compendium of essays.  At a minimum it could use a table of contents and an index. There are also several areas of focus that could each sustain a book of their own.  But what this collection of ideas does do effectively is stimulate thought and inquiry of a depth I seldom encounter.  I for one look forward to seeing where Tam Hunt goes from here.

———
This article is a book review of ‘Eco, Ego, Eros: Essays in Philosophy, Spirituality and Science’ by Tam Hunt. To purchase and/or find out more about the book please visit the following link.

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How To Have Your Own Personal Zen Master Around Anytime You Descend Into Stress

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

When you look at a true spiritual master, guru or yogi, one of the most remarkable things you might notice is that they don’t seem to experience stress. You might conclude that they arrive at this state through meditation, fasting, prayer, or other such disciplines. This is only partly true. Those spiritual practices can certainly contribute to stress reduction, but their ultimate effect is to support the maintenance of ONE KEY THOUGHT that spiritual masters hold in their minds (and bodies) with unfailing certainty.

Granted, this key thought is not easy to grasp, hold as truth, and then deeply embody within yourself. Throughout history spiritual masters have done their darndest to articulate it for those hoping for inner peace and harmony. The limitations of language, of all human languages, is woefully revealed in these attempts. But if you are ready, open, and genuinely seeking–an ‘aspirant’ as they say in yoga–then it becomes possible for a certain expression or turn of phrase to begin to activate your deeper inner knowledge of the state some call samadhi, enlightenment, Christ consciousness, or what I like to simply term presence. Are you ready?

Stress-Free Perception

In a true state of presence it is impossible to feel stress. Impossible. That is because stress is predicated on our seeing the world as dualistic. In a state of presence we embody a perception of singularity. The apperception of the world as whole, as unified, is truth unmasked.

From a perception of unity there is no past or future, there is only now. Note that human experience is only ever experienced through the now, past experiences were only ever experienced in the now, and the same will hold for our future experiences. Having the experience of presence helps us get a glimpse that time itself is a fabrication, a ‘program’ that helps our intentionally limited minds have a particularly lush and interesting kind of experience in the physical world.

How We Create Stress

But let’s get back to our everyday time-bound consciousness. For those of you who earnestly seek to dissolve your stress, and are open and willing to let go of anything your mind is clinging to in order to achieve it, I will try to explain the one key thought.

The experience of stress is the experience of the tension or dissonance between two things: how your world IS in any moment, and how you think it SHOULD BE. You create stress by carrying in your mind an image of how something in the NOW—yourself and others, the presence or absence of things, the weather—is NOT OK as it is. That puts you into a self-created adversarial relationship with the only point of contact you have with life.

Fortunately, your emotions alert you to this crazy confabulation, by making you aware of internal discomfort you label as STRESS. This STRESS is nothing more than an urgent signal from your higher intelligence to return to presence. But in a state of stress how can you possibly return to presence?

The One Key Thought Into Presence

You need to get into the habit of using your awareness of your own stress as a trigger to align yourself with this one key thought: everything is perfect as it is. It’s like having your own personal Zen master around any time you descend into stress asking you the well-worn koan, ‘What, in this moment, is lacking?’

It works. Trust me.

But it only works to the extent that you are willing to let go of the past (and future), along with all your judgments, grievances, ‘shoulds’, hopes, and fears that arise out of a dualistic perception. If you are truly willing and able to deeply hold this one key thought as ULTIMATE truth, above ALL other beliefs and opinions, you will start to feel it working.

Spiritual Context

If you have doubts about this one key thought representing ultimate truth, allow me to provide the spiritual context I work with in which the statement makes perfect sense.

A common thread at the heart of all great spiritual traditions is that we are all immortal souls who are currently having a ‘human’ experience. The circumstances of this life experience were chosen by us to facilitate our soul’s evolution. So any time you feel stress, you can see it as the universe prodding you to take an evolutionary step. That evolutionary step is to see the perfection in everything, if only for a moment at first. If you’re game, these brief moments of clarity add up quickly to a more permanent step up.

An Example

Let’s say for example you’re stuck in traffic, and realize you are going to be late for a meeting. Maybe it’s even your ‘fault’, because you left late or didn’t check your GPS. If you’re feeling stressed about it, realize it’s because things are not how your mind thinks they should be. Your mind thinks you ‘should’ be at the meeting on time–to get some important information, perhaps, or because your reputation as a reliable person is at stake, and you will be judged by others at the meeting in a way that may impact your future success.

Now, you can continue to be stressed in that moment (and subsequently for the entire drive to the office), or you can take ALL that very reasonable blather of ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’, roll it up in a ball, and drop it into your faux-ashtray. You will be able to do this if you reach for presence, if you remind yourself that there is only the present moment, and in the present moment you can choose to experience stress, or choose to experience peace. If you choose to be fully present you accept the present moment exactly as it is, realize there is nothing you can DO in that moment to remedy the so-called problem, and take the evolutionary step of seeing everything as perfect in this so-called ‘stressful’ moment. There is no problem now–and you will deal with the ‘problem’ when the ‘problem’ arises. You are simply in a car driving. You will then start to feel relief, and gain confidence that if you maintain presence through your arrival to the office, your late entry into the meeting, and your conversations afterwards, the ‘problem’ will never arise and you will literally breeze through the whole experience. You will be ‘ok’ with whatever happens.

Common Fears About Presence

FEAR: If I go into presence I will lose my mind.

Maybe-but only in a good way. Lol. Seriously, presence is not losing one’s mind, it is aligning one’s mind properly, with the timeless ‘true mind’ playing the role of master and the time-bound ‘false mind’ (ego) playing the role of servant, allowing the true mind to interface as it pleases with the time-governed physical world.

FEAR: If I go into presence I will stop trying to make my life better.

Perhaps. After all, what is better than presence, where everything is perfect? But there is more to it. You may be surprised to hear that a state of presence does not thwart action, it only thwarts reaction, fear-based, ego-sponsored drives to alleviate doubt, fear, insecurity, stress. In a state of presence the true mind decides on action, the best action for the situation, which is then carried out in perfect flow with the environment.

FEAR: It’s too hard to do and I’ll ultimately fail.

Failure is impossible. Patience, though, is required. The evolution of consciousness might seem like waves rising and falling on the shore, but the high water marks accumulate and eventually produce a stable higher state of awareness. Remembering and forgetting presence is natural, but with persistence it is remembered more often, maintained for a longer period of time, and eventually becomes part of your normal, base perception. With this as your base perception, then, it is truly possible for you to experience a life free of stress.

 

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New Moon In Virgo: Breakthroughs & Innovation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Virgo on September 6th in the Americas and on September 7th elsewhere. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This Lunar Cycle peaks with a Full Moon in Pisces on September 20th/21st.

We have been in Virgo season since August 22nd/23rd,  however, this New Moon will activate its energies even more so. Virgo is associated with productivity, duties, health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, adaptable, conscientious, skillful, orderly, punctual, diligent, efficient, discerning, precise, and practical. It is also associated with pets.

Being an Earth sign that is ruled by Mercury, Virgo is analytical and detail oriented when it comes to handling aspects of the physical world. It is about problem solving, adjusting to changing conditions, and coming up with solutions. There is an emphasis around service and helping others. Negatively, this energy can be cynical, fussy, high strung, and perfectionistic. It can also be too mentally oriented and overly critical.

New Moon In A Tight Trine With Uranus

This New Moon is in a nearly exact trine with Uranus in Taurus.This is very strong in the sixteen hours leading up to the lunation and in the nine to ten hours afterwards, however, it will still have an influence over the following two weeks.

This can be good for changing things up and taking new approaches to things. We may experience positive surprises/shifts, make discoveries, receive beneficial insights, or be creatively inspired. This energy can be exciting, stimulating, liberating, innovative, inventive, revolutionary, and is supportive of originality.

Developments or approaches that involve technology, science, metaphysics, or astrology can also play out. Considering that this is a New Moon in Virgo, this is good for doing any sort of work or efforts that can have a freeing effect such as getting things done that have been weighing us down or obstructing us in some way. This can also be good for re-arranging, organizing, renovating, or getting rid of things to clear space and energy.

Mars Trine Pluto & Quincunx Jupiter, Venus Aligned With Spica & Trine Jupiter

At the time of this New Moon and in the day leading up to it, Mars in Virgo is in a trine with Pluto in Capricorn which are also in wide orb aspects with this lunation. This is great for asserting ourselves in a powerful, determined, and focused way. Our actions now can be empowering, purging, penetrating, or help to facilitate positive changes. This can also be a time of heightened sexual desire.

Also during this same period, Venus is aligned with the star Spica while in a trine with Jupiter in Aquarius. This can be a fortunate, expansive, optimistic, and/or meaningful time when it comes to friends, our social life, art, aesthetics, or matters of love. In some cases this can also play out as financial or material benefits.

Indulging, having fun, affection, and overall happiness is easier to be had under this influence. This can also play out as learning or sharing perspectives in a friendly and sociable way. This energy can also be good for efforts involving graphic design or marketing/media of nice things.

Venus was also in a square with Pluto in the days leading up to the New Moon which may have also brought some intense feelings/interactions, jealousy, or power struggles. However, this can be mitigated by the Jupiter influence, and is finished by the time this New Moon begins.

During this same period, Mars is also in a quincunx with Jupiter in Aquarius and in aversion with the Venus trine Jupiter aspect. Our assertiveness, drive, and actions may be alienated from, or harder to integrate with, the fun, social, indulging, and affectionate expressions of the Venus-Jupiter configuration.

Mercury Entering Pre-Retrograde Shadow, Aligned With Vindemiatrix & Opposite Chiron

In the hours leading up to this New Moon, Mercury (the ruler of Virgo) will enter its pre-retrograde shadow period for the retrograde that begins on September 26th/27th in Libra. Over the following three weeks, and somewhat since Mercury entered Libra on August 30th, certain things that occur or begin will go through (or contribute to) a process of adjustment, assessment, insights, or shifts from September 27th until late October.

The themes of this upcoming retrograde will involve relationships, social dynamics, diplomacy, partnerships, aesthetics, art, cooperation, creativity, or pertaining to seeking balance, fairness, peace, and harmony. However, other manifestations of this process also depend on how it is configured to your natal chart.

During these weeks leading up to September 27th, Mercury will be gradually slowing down and the complications that Mercury retrograde is known for can become more apparent before it actually begins. I will be putting out more content on this, join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Mercury is aligned with the fixed star Vindemiatrix which is where it will return to when the retrograde ends and transitions forward. Vindemiatrix is a malefic star traditionally known as the ‘Widow Maker’ and is also associated with nervous irritability when combined with Mercury.

According to astrologer Dr. Eric Morse, this star ‘figures strongly and regularly in deaths which are in some way dramatic, newsworthy or are resented much more than the usual degree’. In my own observation I have also found that this star is associated with malicious injections and is prominent in the natal astrology chart of William Gates III.

I would imagine that during this upcoming retrograde and potentially in the pre-retrograde shadow period, these themes can play out more so on a collective level and we may see stories pertaining to these things throughout different media outlets, whether it be mainstream or alternative.

Mercury is also opposing Chiron at the time of this New Moon and over the following few days. It will return to this opposition when the retrograde ends and therefore this configuration will be part of its themes. Communications, interactions, or thoughts may trigger wounds, pain, blockages, or be reflective of negative patterns. As a result, misunderstandings may also occur.

Self-doubt and perceived inadequacies may be on our mind and can obstruct our perception. However, what happens at this time can ultimately be a catalyst for healing, but this would be more likely to occur near the end of the retrograde.

New Moon & Sun Opposite Neptune, Trine Pluto

The second aspect that the Sun and Moon (New Moon) make after the trine to Uranus is an opposition to Neptune in Pisces which will be more prominent on September 13th/14th, but will build up from the 8th onward. For this period, we may feel/experience a lack of direction or confidence in how we apply our will, ego, or self-expression. We may have to contend with impracticality, confusion, carelessness, escapism, delusion, deception, or flaky behavior.

The third aspect of this New Moon is a trine to Pluto which will be strong from September 15th-17th by the Sun. This will be more welcoming after the Neptunian influence (mentioned in the above paragraph) as this can help us to be much more productive. We can be more focused, resourceful, strategic, realistic, or calculated to help us achieve what we set out to do.

This energy is good for digging into anything or getting to the bottom of things. It can also be beneficial for any sort of clearing or making positive changes. In some cases this can play out as financial benefits or related developments.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What areas of your life or spaces can be refreshed, organized, renovated, purged, or cleared? What new approaches can you take when it comes to your health, lifestyle, work, or for when it comes to managing your life and productivity? In what different ways can you be of service to others? Do you need to be more attentive to details? What resources can you capitalize on to help you achieve your goals? What can you do to feel more free and liberated? Is there anything that you’d like to experiment with?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 12:52am Universal Time on September 7th and the night of September 6th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Full Moon In Aquarius: Expansion & Originality

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a second consecutive Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22nd. It will appear the brightest on the night of the 21st in the Americas and on the night of the 22nd in the time zones East of the UK. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Leo on August 8th. The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its themes slowly build up after the New Moon prior.

This is a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us; with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

This Full Moon happens with the Sun opposing the Moon right at the tail end of Leo and Aquarius, at the 29th degree, less than half a day before we begin Virgo season. The energies of a sign tend to be more heightened at these points. Also, with it being a 2nd consecutive Full Moon in the same sign, it is an ‘Astrological Blue Moon,’ which is something that occurs once every 3 years. This also amplifies the energies of this polarity of signs over an extended period.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

We have already been in Leo Season for about a month as the Sun will change signs shortly after this Full Moon. Leo is a passionate Fire sign. It is about our individual self-expression, what brings us joy, and inspiration.  It is associated with the heart, love, creativity, performing, fun, children, romance, hobbies, and leadership. Leo is about what makes us great as individuals and can be courageous and generous. Expressed negatively, Leo energy can also be egotistical, pompous, dramatic, and demanding of attention or respect.

Aquarius is an intellectual Air sign. It is associated with friends, groups, social networks, the team, and humanity. It views the unique and authentic qualities of an individual as an important and contributing factor to the collective. Aquarius is progressive, unconventional, innovative, technological, scientific, reforming, idealistic, and even revolutionary. Negatively, it can be aloof, overly objective, unrealistic, dispassionate, impersonal, and overly detached.

Full Moon Conjunct Jupiter & Going Into Pisces, Sun Conjunct Regulus & Going Into Virgo

This Full Moon is separating from a close conjunction with Jupiter. This brings an energy that is expansive, explorative, freedom seeking, and even idealistic when combined with the Aquarian energy. Themes around beliefs, perspectives, opinions, education, or media/marketing may come up. However, with it being a Full Moon (opposing the Sun), it can also be a time of conflicts around those things. Overextending and overestimating ourselves can also be prevalent.

The Sun is aligned with the royal star Regulus which is associated with power, authority, and influence. The opposition of this to the Aquarian Moon (with Jupiter) can play out as ideals of the ‘people/collective/groups vs. leaders/authority’ in some people’s experience of it.

The Moon will be entering Pisces forty minutes after the peak of the Full Moon while it is still full. At that time and in the days following, this can also bring an energy that is spiritual, empathic, compassionate, creative, mystical, imaginative, elusive, dreamy, or divinely inspired.

As mentioned earlier, the Sun will be entering Virgo less than a day after the Full Moon. Usually the shift from Leo to Virgo is one of the more obvious and noticeable transitions of signs as Leo is more fun and playful while Virgo is oriented around getting things done. In this case with it being so close to the Aquarian Full Moon, it will probably take three or more days to really notice the Virgo energy.

Mars Trine Uranus, Venus Trine Saturn

At the time of this Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is in a tight trine with Uranus in Taurus. This is a good energy for trying something new, experimental or asserting ourselves in a way that is unconventional, stimulating, innovative, technological, rebellious, progressive, original, exciting, or independent. This energy can also be inspiring to act on something and some people may feel a burst of energy.

Uranus had also went stationary retrograde in the days leading to this, so this energy in general will be very strong. Throughout the week following this Full Moon (and even in the 1-2 weeks prior) there is an increased possibility of surprises, disruptions, separations, sudden changes,  accidents, or things breaking. Experiences that are unusual, enlightening, or stimulating can also occur and/or we may have interactions with other people that have those qualities.

Venus in Libra is in a trine with Saturn during the Full Moon and over the following day and a half. This can have a stabilizing or committing effect on relationships. It can be constructive, solidifying, or maturing when it comes to our social life, love, financial matters, business relations, possessions, or things that are aesthetic related. In some cases this can play out as important connections and developments with others who are much older or younger than us.

Mercury Opposite Neptune, Venus Opposite Chiron, Mercury Trine Pluto

Mercury in Virgo is moving towards an opposition with Neptune in Pisces since August 20th/21st which will peak on August 24th/25th. In general, Mercury in this sign (from August 11th/12th until August 29th/30th) helps our thinking and communication to be more organized, detailed, practical, technical, efficient, and productive.

However, with it being opposite Neptune during this four day window, we may have to contend with some misunderstandings, confusion, lack of clarity, miscommunications, lack of focus, deception, carelessness, or disheartening developments during this period.  In some cases, issues or complications around vehicles, commuting, phones, or computers may come up and could involve water, oil, inconsistencies, or play out in other ways as well.

Venus will be moving towards an opposition to Chiron from August 23rd/24th until August 26th/27th when it peaks. Wounds, blockages, insecurities, weaknesses, and imbalances can come up strongly in our relations, finances, values, self worth, or physical appearance. If this applies to you, it’s best to look at the situation from a whole-istic perspective to help move beyond the issue. If this doesn’t come up, it can still be a good time for any kind of healing or growth in the areas mentioned above.

Mercury is in a trine with Pluto on August 25th/26th. This is great for mental focus or getting to the bottom of things. Thoughts and/or communications can be deep, powerful, empowering,  insightful, revealing, or psychologically oriented. In some cases this aspect can have beneficial financial implications.

Sun Square Lunar Nodes, Mars Opposite Neptune

The Sun is in a square with the Lunar Nodes on August 28th-30th. This can trigger some of the themes of the previous Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse as we may experience developments connected to them. We may also feel like we are at a crossroads as considerations at this time may involve where we are coming from and where we are heading, or perhaps being stuck between things that can be holding us back and things that can facilitate growth. It can also involve incorporating beneficial aspects of the past and applying them in an evolved or forward moving way.

In the days following this Full Moon, Mars in Virgo will be moving towards its own opposition to Neptune (similarly to Mercury) which peaks from September 1st-4th. At best, this energy can be good for applying ourselves towards activities that are spiritual, creative, compassionate, selfless, or involve water.

However, this can be challenging overall as it may seem that our efforts are met with impracticality, confusion, carelessness, or flaky behavior as a result of others. Some people can also feel lazy, discouraged, or helpless. It’s best to go with the flow and do things that work best with this energy as mentioned in the above paragraph.

Things To Consider

In what ways can you expand? Is there anything that you want to learn? What are your ideals and do they truly align with your heart’s desires? What is coming up regarding your friends/social network? In what ways can you grow in your relations? Or What are the potentials for growth amongst your relations? How can you balance or collaborate your individual needs with the needs of the group? What does freedom mean for you and how can you achieve it? Is there anything that you need to shift, shake up, rebel against, or liberate yourself from? Is there anything new you want to try or experiment with?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up or ways to approach this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release, it is best to do so after it begins to wane following the peak or during the two weeks afterwards when it is waning before the next New Moon. The exact peak time for this Full Moon is at 12:02pm Universal Time on August 22nd. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

NOTE: I will be on holiday over the following weeks and may not be able to do my next New Moon article depending on how things go. Stay tuned for my upcoming articles or join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive future content that I put out.

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