This full moon will occur tomorrow morning in sidereal Leo, in the nakshatra Purva Phalguni. Tonight the moon will be at its fullest during the waxing phase, before beginning its waning phase around 10:06 am Pacific time, tomorrow, March 5th. This marks the midpoint of the Aquarius cycle which began on February 18th. Aquarius brings our attention to worldly and societal issues, bringing attention away from the focus on our individual needs, wants, and power. Sun in Aquarius makes us focus our light and life-force towards community and universal service. The full moon in Leo shines a light on that royal part of the sky which is a place of great power, where an individual can find the strength of a King. During this cycle we may have been feeling less individual strength as our attention has moved towards broader issues. The full moon in Leo brings the opportunity to see the contrast between the feeling of disempowerment, and true empowerment in its highest form. This true empowerment is in fact selfless and generous, like the light of the Sun.
The Sun rules the sign of Leo, and is a sattvic planet. It represents the eternal Self, the source of all life, or the atman. It has the ability to illuminate and to purify. In its highest capacity, the energy of the Sun leads us towards truth and self-discovery. As the physical Sun gives its light freely, allowing all life on earth to sustain while asking nothing in return, the evolved energy of Leo mimics that of a universal father. In enlightened practice, this energy impels us to act like a father who works tirelessly to support his family, or a wise King who rules justly to ensure the happiness of all in the kingdom. The lesser quality of the Sun and Leo can appear when one attempts to use Sun’s power selfishly, to enhance the ego or one’s personal authority. With Sun in serviceful Aquarius this cycle, we will struggle with this contrast if we attempt to use the power of full Moon in Leo to strengthen our personal dominion rather than serve the common good. Instead, give thanks for the divine energy of the Sun that is the source of all our strength and power, and offer it back to the world.
Purva Phalguni is a nakshatra ruled by Venus, the planet of love and pleasure. Its deity is Bhaga, the god of delight. Its symbol is the front legs of a bed, or a hammock, representing relaxation and recreation. This star and part of the sky are associated with creativity, charm, and beauty. Incidentally, the Hindu festival “Holi” is celebrated on this full moon. Holi is a joyful festival which is like a new year in many ways, celebrated on the full moon before the spring equinox. During this festival, people take to the streets and celebrate together, young and old, in a playful manner that involves throwing colored powders at each other and smearing them all over each other. It is also known as the Festival of Colors. By playing in this way, people may symbolically and sportively “attack” each other to take out a little aggression that may be lingering from past conflicts. The symbolism of this allows people a way to put arguments and old wounds to bed, to forgive and forget and celebrate in joy for the start of a new year.
This is a great full moon for honoring the light and divine power within us, which gives us the ability to take compassion on others and renounce using our power for harmful or selfish things. We can instead use this power to uplift society through humble service.