full moonThe Full Moon, when events from the past come to fruition or completion, awakens strong emotions and inspires breakthroughs and revelations. As deep feelings emerge and the contents of the subconscious rise into awareness, we have the opportunity to make a shift and break free from old patterns.

Thursday’s Full Moon in Virgo (1:39 am PST) brings to light what wants to be cleansed, purified, refined, integrated and simplified, and draws attention to the everyday realm of work, health and daily routines. Does your work support your health and vitality, or drain your energy? How do you organize your time and is that working for you? Is there a change you can make in your schedule to better support your overall well-being? Is there an approach to work, service and/or self-care that you’re ready to release?

Perfectionism, judgment, criticism, control, obsession, over-analysis, self-hatred masquerading as self-improvement… Virgo’s shadow is also getting stirred up by this Full Moon, which wants to make obvious — and clear out — the core beliefs and feelings that feed these destructive patterns.

The Virgo part of each of us uses discernment and analysis to see what could be improved, refined or perfected and identifies a practical, here-and-now step to start implementing that change. When “perfection” is understood as an ongoing process rather than an end result, when the motivation is love and compassion, when taking charge of the mundane details is done with the awareness that, in the big picture, we’re not actually in control and sometimes just need to surrender and trust the divine to work it out — then Virgo is in balance, integrated with Pisces, the opposite sign.

virgoBut if we’re motivated by an underlying belief that “there’s something wrong with me,” then no matter how hard we work, how many “improvements” we make, we’ll never feel that we’re good or worthy enough.

I recently read BrenĂ© Brown’s hugely helpful book, The Gifts of Imperfection, which should be required reading for all Virgos (and maybe the entire Pluto in Virgo generation). “Shame is the birthplace of perfectionism,” she writes, making a (to me) revelatory connection between two things I had never put together, but intuitively feels right-on.

We know that our urge to perfect is fueled by shame rather than love if we’re using (in Brown’s terms) productivity and/or other people’s approval as measures of self-worth. This Full Moon wants us to dig deep to uncover our motivations for the work we do to “improve” ourselves, others and the world.

These Virgo themes have already been strong these past few months, as Mars — planet of action, power and desire — has been Retrograde in Virgo (see Reassessing Desire). Now, as we’re about halfway through Mars Retro (January 23 to April 13), the Virgo Full Moon acts as a kind of punctuation mark, both a blast of awareness, and an opportunity to turn around old patterns and courageously release what no longer serves you.

marsMars is forming a powerful Grand Trine with Pluto in Capricorn, and Venus and Jupiter in Taurus. Over the next week, if we’re willing to do the work, we can make strong progress in these areas we may have been slogging through, step by step, over the past few months.

For more insight into what this Full Moon means for YOU, find the house in your birth chart that contains 18 degrees of Virgo. The areas of life signified by that house are where you are invited to: purge shame, judgment and perfectionism; clean, organize, streamline and simplify; harvest results from past efforts and integrate your experience; take a close look at how you’re using your time, energy and efforts.

– Emily Trinkaus

Dear friends – Please join me (from the comfort of your home) for my first-ever teleclass, Spring Equinox Preview, on Friday, March 9! We’ll explore what’s coming up astrologically this Spring and beyond, and how to work successfully with these intense cosmic energies. All are welcome, and if you can’t make it to the live call, you’ll get the recording if you register here.