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In astrology, full moons bring a period of climax and release. That means they can bring upheaval, exhaustion, and major changes, which can be a good thing—if we’re ready for it!
The lunar cycle begins during the new moon, when the sun and moon are in the same sign; this is a new beginning, a time to plant seeds. The week after a new moon, the waxing quarter moon spurs us into action and finds us turning a corner with what we planted. Following that, we have the full moon—the culmination point, when we are called to make a compromise between the signs illuminated by the sun and moon. This is the time for release, or when division is made until the next phase, the waning quarter moon, when we reevaluate and reorganize ourselves before the cycle begins again.
The next full moon comes this Sunday, Oct. 13, in Aries. Being aware of the phases of the moon and how they illuminate different sectors of your chart gives us time to prepare and think through what we want out of developing situations. Annabel Gat, VICE senior astrologer, and Ashley Otero, the astrologer behind Astro Guide’s weekly lunar horoscopes, share their tips below on handling full moon vibes:
1. Map out your plan so you’re mentally prepared for the rush
Whereas new moons bring about a low, quiet energy when seeds are being planted, full moons bring a climax to whatever situation has been brewing.
In the time leading up to that climax, do a temperature check on some of your ongoing projects so you’re ready for action. If it’s unclear, try getting a pen and paper to create a mind map for anything that feels unresolved. It can also be helpful to write some ideas down to anticipate next steps for projects at home, at work, or in your personal life.
2. Do some rescheduling and clear your calendar
Check out your calendar around the full moon. If you’ve packed your schedule, perhaps reschedule things for another day—with the energy being as intense as it is, you may want extra time to rest or you may want to keep your schedule flexible so you can make room for whatever surprises pop up! And keep an eye on your inbox: Full moons often bring a reveal, so a key conversation or piece of new information may arrive.
3. Dust off your journal
Full moons often bring a confrontation of some kind, so it will be time to accept the reality of a situation that you’ve already thought through and digested. It would be good to work on that process in preparation, perhaps by journaling, so when the time comes to put it behind you, you can rest assured you’re ready to move on.
If the full moon brings about a werewolf-like rage, take your anger out on the pages of your journal, too. Revisit those entries a day or two later to see if you still want to share those feelings with another person.
4. Do something creative
You can also use some of the energy from the full moon to fuel your creativity. Full moons are passionate times and the energy is high. This is a powerful time to connect deeply with a lover or create art.
If you have an artistic hobby, the full moon is a great time to pick it up. Remember that creativity comes in many forms—you may want to make a photo album, do some creative writing, express yourself through physical activity, or even get creative with rearranging your space at home. You could also try improv, to give voice to any unexplored feelings.
5. Be kind and thoughtful about communication
The full moon may shed light on something between you and someone in your life, and because it can bring a combative energy, expect people to be defensive and do your best to meet someone halfway—that is, unless you’re done with the partnership, in which case it’s best that you communicate that decisively and set firm boundaries. Just remember that emotions are intense during full moons, so any important discussions you bring up will require your time and consideration!
6. Take the next step…or break something off
If you and a crush have been mulling over whether to take the next step, or if something feels idle, this may change during the full moon. Whether breaking up or getting back together, full moons bring something to its culmination.
This is a good time to think through what you truly want or need out of your relationship or situation. If you aren’t sure what you want, that’s OK, too—spend this time focusing more on letting go of what no longer serves you, rather than focusing on what you want to pull into your life. If you’re stuck on making a decision, talk it out with someone! Full moons are all about gaining perspective, and maybe the more you hear your friend say you should move out of your apartment, you’ll realize you actually want to stay.
7. Say a ceremonial goodbye to things you should be letting go
Still have questions about the past? The full moon is a potent time to seek closure or resolution, or to hold a personal ritual to let go of the past. Reflecting on the experiences that have brought you to the present can stir a spectrum of thoughts and feelings, some of which are less helpful than others.
Be mindful that the point isn’t to hide from or deny the past, especially if you haven’t fully processed it. We can’t really move on from the past because it’s ingrained into our being, but we can release the feelings that hold us back. If you’re not able to gain further insight or find the positives from these experiences, it’s wise to acknowledge that you no longer have space for them in your life. Try channeling your feelings through a recorded or written letter that you can delete, erase, or burn as a way to emotionally exhale what you must.
8. Don’t resist your emotions—have a good cry
The moon symbolizes our emotions, and when it’s full, our emotional container is, too! Aside from journaling or creative expression, it’s important to allow yourself to fully honor your emotions.
Though some of us are more expressive than others, it can sometimes feel more productive to try and stop ourselves from crying or to compartmentalize our feelings. The full moon offers a chance for much-needed release and reminds us to have patience with ourselves. Remember that emotions are a natural, human function—let them move through you, let yourself cry, fall in love, or whatever you discover is spilling over.
If you have trouble finding a release valve for your emotions, know that having major catharsis or an emotional show isn’t the goal. The important part is to become savvy to the ways you distract yourself from feeling. Feelings come in many shades, some of which you won’t have words for, so try to feel them physically. If you have heartache, do you literally feel it in your chest? Is it hot? Tight? Let that container be big and full! Do not dissociate yourself from these emotions and give them the respect they deserve, instead.
9. Try breathwork or other practices that get you in touch with your body
The tradition of astrology has long recognized the sun as the identity, spirit, and intellect, while the moon symbolizes the denseness of the emotions, body, and soul. During the height of the full moon, we often feel polarized, over-identifying with transient feelings and circumstances and experiencing contradictions between head and heart. When this happens, it’s important to pay attention to physical signs and symptoms, and what your body wants.
Give yourself the chance to pause and be with these feelings before releasing them in intentional ways like breathwork, body scans, self-pleasure, or this qigong exercise. Self-regulating emotions comes easier when we’re attuned to our breath patterns, but breathwork is also helpful in balancing the energy between yin and yang (physical and mental) and smoothing out blockages that trip up the rest of the body.
Take note of your physical habits and practices, and whether they leave you expending more energy than you have under the excitement of the full moon. Choose meals with greater intention and give yourself time to eat without rushing.
10. Know what issues the full moon will illuminate for you
The easiest way to know how this full moon will affect you is to check your horoscopes. Your rising sign horoscope will point to where the full moon is taking place in your unique natal chart, your sun sign horoscope will relay important information about the lunation, and your lunar horoscope will bring you the perspective from your moon!
The full moon always occurs in opposite signs, so the full moon during any astrological season will always be in the opposite sign on the zodiac wheel. Astrologers base your forecast on this information—for example, the full moon during Libra season will take place in Aries, so an astrologer will look to see which axis of your chart is activated by the opposition between the sun and moon. The chart is made up of 12 sections, which astrologers call houses, and the houses make up the two ends of the axis that astrologers use to interpret the full moon’s meaning.
We know that full moons bring a culmination or release, but we can specify which area of life will be activated for a person based on this axis. For example, during an Aries moon, if you have Aquarius rising, the sun illuminates the sector of your chart that rules travel and higher learning and the full moon illuminates the sector of your chart that rules the mind and perception. This taps into themes of communication, understanding, and details versus the big picture, so it might mean that a big discussion that’s been brewing will finally take place, a eureka moment arrives in your studies or travels, or you wrap up a project concerning these themes.
We move through life looking for gains and growth, but release is an important part of our journey, and full moons bring a powerful opportunity to sit with what we have, and prepare to let go of the rest. Make the most of full moons by seeking compromise and finding ways to be strong during confrontations, especially ones with yourself and your own emotions! The light of the full moon will reveal much to you…you just have to be open to witnessing it.