full moon & lunar eclipse in sagittarius

the archer's full moon in the tarot

hello, friends. i hope you’re staying safe, that you’re protesting or supporting protestors, that you’re donating and listening and learning, that you’re remembering to care for yourself as well as those around you. black lives matter.

tonight’s full moon in sagittarius is also a lunar eclipse, the first of three eclipses over the next month. we’ve got a lot to unpack, so let’s get to it.

the celebratory magic of the full moon

full moons can be strange and powerful parts of our cycle. some people feel energized and excited at this time, experience a sense of vitality, celebrate their magic being amplified. but others feel drained or worn out by this intense phase, with emotions running hot and sensitivity increased. it’s important to listen to your intuition right now, to trust what your heart and mind and body need. no matter how the full moon impacts you, understanding how to utilize this energy can help you process and move through it with grace.

a few weeks ago we began another cycle with the new moon in gemini, and tonight’s full moon in sagittarius is the culmination of that cycle, a time of celebration and manifestation. this is a chance to be authentic and honest, to recognize our deepest cravings and be brave enough to chase them. full moons allow us to both recognize our successes and step away from anything that isn’t working for us, to be aware of what is draining our energy or tripping us up, and to find ways to leave those obstacles behind. it’s about intentional, purposeful movement, about honoring our true needs instead of just focusing on our wishes. what is serving you? what ignites you? what is your magic centering itself around?

full moons occur because the surface of the moon is fully illuminated by the sun’s light and warmth and magic. it’s within this phase that we get to experience the power of both heavenly bodies, to make space for light and shadow within our work. with that truth in mind, it makes sense that we would find this inspiring, celebratory, clear-eyed full moon energy in the archetype of the sun. the full moon is a time of abundance and celebration, of childlike pleasure, of recognizing everything within us and around us. this is a time of joy, of honoring how far we’ve come, and of recognizing what progress still can be made. with the sun we find bright, brilliant sunshine flooding into every corner, chasing away the darkness and asking us to embrace a sense of clarity, of pleasure, of wonder. the sun archetype is all about truth, recognizing the balance between what lives in our dreams and what manifests itself in our realities. in the same way, the full moon asks us to call in joy, to imagine what we could build and accomplish if all obstacles disappeared.

the lunar eclipse only heightens this sense of transformation and movement, making space for breakthroughs, for evolution, for revelation. within the tarot, eclipses bring the energy of the tower: permanent shifts, dramatic changes, destruction making space for creation. this is an important moment, a chance for deep personal reflection and awareness, an opportunity to find freedom in evolution. what are you working towards, and where are you standing firm? what is worth holding on to, and what needs to be released? where can you listen, and how might your intuition help you make choices from your heart and soul?

sagittarius & tarot

although we are still in a season of mutable air with gemini, sagittarius’ mutable fire is lighting up this full moon for us in brilliant, passionate, powerful new ways. and while the energy swirling around us is ripe for communication and collaboration, sagittarius reminds us to be adventurous, to continually seek truth, to stay optimistic even through challenging times. this is a sign that asks us to be conscious of where we’re putting our energy, that is eager to devote itself to the ideas and adventures and objectives that really matter. gemini loves to connect with others and share information, but sagittarius has a fiery independent streak, chasing the ideas that captivate them and constantly expanding their own understandings of the world. both signs are quick to adapt, excited to evolve, eager to learn and grow and shift. and when we combine all of this enthusiasm and flexibility with the magic of the full moon and the power of a lunar eclipse, we find a time of courage, of insight, of movement.

sagittarius is associated with a few cards in the tarot, most notably its birth card of temperance. a card that is often misunderstood or overlooked, temperance invites us to balance our fire and our water, to meditate, to pay attention to what is within and around us. this is in many ways an archetype of adaptation, of recognizing our need for flexibility and finding a middle road between competing energies. temperance comes in the wake of death, giving us space for healing adjustments, for new kinds of sacred alchemy, for recognizing and embracing everyday magic. it’s within this card, and in the energy of sagittarius, that we allow ourselves to explore gently, to be thoughtful with our magic, to recognize the cost and weight of our choices. sometimes there is powerful freedom in transformation, in leaving things behind - and with temperance we are learning to adjust to our new world, to find balance within the things that drive us forward and the things that ask us to sit in stillness.

sagittarius has a presence in the minor arcana, too. just like gemini’s mutable air connects to the knight of swords, sagittarius’ mutable fire speaks to the knight of wands. we can see a passion and desire to achieve in this figure, utilizing flexible, expressive energy. this is magic, passion, power, enthusiasm, adventure, the soul’s drive. the knight of wands has so many ideas, loves to begin new projects or start on brilliant adventures, is constantly looking for the next challenge or flash of inspiration. but if the energy gets too stagnant, if too many other people or forces get involved, this figure can get bored or restless, start looking for another shift to embrace. the knight of wands teaches us to learn to balance our energy, reminds us to not get so caught up in fiery cycles of creation and destruction that we forget how to build anything lasting.

within the pips, the energy of sagittarius is right at home in the nine of wands. a card of optimism and perseverance, of pushing through to the end, the nine of wands sits near the end of the cycle of fire, urging us to balance our focus and drive with a need to preserve some of our energy, to care for ourselves. it’s impossible not to remember temperance when thinking of this card in the context of sagittarius - there’s a need to honor our fire while also making space for water, for air, for earth. the nine of wands is so driven, so eager to get to that finish line, that they risk losing everything in their desire to win. just like with the knight of wands, we must remember what we’re fighting for, what we’re working towards, pay careful attention to what our instincts and emotions are trying to teach us. if we burn ourselves into ash while reaching our goals, then what is it all for?

putting it all together

when we look at these cards as a group, we see both fire and water, passion and stillness, desire and intuition. these cards all exist on the edge of transformation, sitting in tension, holding multiple aspects together. the watery sensitivity and emotion from the full moon may not be totally comfortable with sagittarius’ fire and drive, but each energy embraces a sense of curiosity and understanding, craving knowledge that is both within and outside of themselves. with the sun and temperance we find a sense of clarity and awareness, of deliberation, of intention. but all of this fire asks us to be in touch with our most primal self, to recognize where we need change and also be confident in what we are continuing to cling to. together these cards speak of an opportunity for freedom, for leaving behind passions we’ve gotten caught up in and instead putting our energy into things that we truly care about, that we want to keep investing in. and by remembering the lessons of temperance, by honoring our fire while keeping it balanced with water, we can make space for both heart and soul.

this full moon may have you desperate to wander and explore, craving adventure, needing to start something new. but in the midst of a global pandemic and a national uprising, the kind of movement you’re longing for may not be safe or even possible. remember instead the other aspects and qualities of sagittarius - the philosophical explorations, the passionate independence, the need to understand and blend and create new kinds of magic. channel any new desires to be impulsive into rich, personal creativity. direct those longings for exploration inward, navigating dreams and ideas and ambitions with new fire. embrace a sense of empathy, using your heightened sensitivity to step into someone else’s shoes and understand where they’re coming from. and if you’re tempted to rush forward and leave something important behind, to make a major decision that could change everything, spend time reflecting on that impulse before following it. with so much upheaval, you will be better served by being gentle with yourself, by seeing what is shifting both around and within you before adding your own movement to the mix.

our spread for this full moon makes space for both stillness and exploration, for blending energies as well as recognizing where to allow growth and expansion. remember the archetype of temperance as you draw cards today, looking for methods of balance and awareness. how can you pay attention to the different energies within yourself? where are you being called to stillness, and where could movement be useful? what fires are igniting within you? and how could the personal and collective transformations that we are moving through make space for a new kind of world?

be safe, be thoughtful, and please, be kind.

images in this post feature the antique anatomy tarot and the fountain tarot. all photographs by meg jones wall.