Friends, Benefits, and the Leo Full Moon

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

We’re heading toward a Full Moon on Feb. 9, and Mercury stations retrograde one week later (on Feb. 16). Amanda Painter notes that would be more than enough provocative energy on its own, but there are additional elements of the sky that will be sparking up the weekend, including Venus in Aries.

By Amanda Painter

We’re heading toward a Full Moon on Feb. 9, and Mercury stations retrograde one week later (on Feb. 16). That would be more than enough provocative energy on its own, but there are additional elements of the sky that will be sparking up the weekend.

Disco lion's mane or crystallized moonlight? Photo by Amanda Painter.

Disco lion’s mane or crystallized moonlight? Photo by Amanda Painter.

One of those elements gets cooking tomorrow: Venus enters Aries at 3:02 pm EST (20:02:17 UTC) Feb. 7. Venus in Aries (the sign of Self ruled by Mars) tends to be lusty and assertive, idealistic yet impulsive, charming but sometimes inconsiderate without realizing it.

So remember your empathy, especially if any interpersonal situations get confrontational or intense as the Full Moon builds.

Yet it’s the conjunction of Venus to Chiron and the object Salacia that really focuses the qualities of Venus in Aries. Salacia appears to relate to sexual maturity (particularly the lack thereof) and to the kinds of sexual activity that get people all flustered.

In the U.S. media at least, that seems to be anything taboo or ‘scandalous’. In your personal life, it might mean the same things — or simply your perception that certain facets of your desire and sexual activity could be seen that way. But aren’t those always the hottest fantasies?

Chiron describes the potential for old sexual or emotional pain to percolate into awareness as part of this mix. For example, you get all geared up for an exciting encounter (real or imagined, though Aries is a sign of action), only to be reminded of doubts, fears or past experiences that carry the message, “This part of you is wrong.”

Can you notice those thoughts and feelings without letting them take over? Can you trace their origins and give them the space to show themselves for what they are: a story about you, but not the truth or the entirety of who you are?

Healing this sort of thing takes all of that: the awareness; the space; compassion for your desires and experiences; the ability to detach just enough from the story to see it for what it is, without compartmentalizing or repressing it. There’s also the phase of sexual healing that’s about allowing yourself all the juicy fun, freedom and intimacy without overthinking it — depending on where you are in the process.

On top of that, we’re experiencing a square between Ceres in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus. You might ask yourself which routines feel nourishing and which no longer do, especially in social or work-related groups. Is there tension around innovating or trying new methods?

If you’re craving stimulation to the point of causing conflict, ask yourself what social nutrients you’re missing. Chances are you can get them met, but it might need to be through a different group or type of social activity. The more eccentric or atypical for you, the more satisfaction it may offer.

Finally, consider the Leo Full Moon itself. This is the Leo Moon opposite the Aquarius Sun, exact on Feb. 9 at 2:33 am EST (7:33:09 UTC).

Like all Full Moons, this is an emotional and energetic peak of the month. It’s occurring across an axis linking the individual (Leo) and the social (Aquarius). Leo Moons tend to be gregarious, dramatic, sometimes prideful, but also warm and childlike. Aquarius Suns are also friendly and uniquely social, though in a cooler, calmer way.

There are some intriguing minor objects closely flanking the Sun (Persephone and Orpheus) and Moon (Thereus). Without going into too much detail, Persephone and Orpheus both relate to the underworld, and to themes of loss. Thereus is a centaur with associations of wildness, but also work-relationship balance and attitudes (depending on the astrologer you check).

It is entirely possible this weekend’s Full Moon will emerge for you as a very community-oriented and playful event — whether that means a party, or one-on-one encounters with loyal friends and new ideas. Yet there’s also a hint to notice what’s in the shadows of the Moon’s reflected light.

What — or who — is missing, has left a group, or is changing out of sight? What’s really underpinning the collectives you’re part of? What are you yearning to be seen and recognized for?

Aquarius and Leo are both fixed signs, though allegedly not usually as stubborn as Taurus and Scorpio. Full Moons can indicate deadlocks, where it seems no resolution is to be found. If you find yourself entrenched in a particular position or attitude as Sunday approaches, seek to understand what that’s about.

Is it the certainty that you are right? Fear about a personal boundary being breached? Resistance to change? Simply a passionate, undeniable desire? A deep need to step forward into what is new and unknown?

Whatever is going on for you, remember that Full Moons are part of a cycle. Yes, they are a peak in that cycle, and can feel pressurized, destabilizing or like everyone around you has lost their grip. Yet no sooner do they reach their greatest intensity but they begin to ebb, to release their hold. Resolution becomes accessible in circumstances that had felt stuck. And though the Moon’s reflected, external light gradually begins to diminish, insight may begin to grow.


Your sign hosts the other major conjunction that bookends this year: Jupiter conjunct Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius. That event is exact on Dec. 21, 2020. Before we get to that stunning conjunction, Saturn enters your sign on March 21. So you’ll have much of this year to get busy discovering Saturn’s gifts — which can be considerable.
Your 2020-21 Aquarius Astrology Studio is now available for instant access. The Astrology Studio is a perfect complement to the Respect annual edition, and a great birthday gift for yourself or the Aquarius you love. You may order it here.

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