That’s a Spicy Supermoon

Our new astrology column begins with a big, irritating, potentially life-changing shift in the skies above.

Some mornings, we can just sense the emotional flavor of the day. Some days are peppered with irritability and pressure, while others are frosted with buttery optimism and smooth creative flow. These feelings in the air are partly influenced by those big rocks in the sky: whirling planets and our ever-changing moon. The purpose of Space Witch, this new weekly general astrology column, is to explain how the movement of heavenly bodies is affecting everyone, regardless of your zodiac sign. So let’s get started.

Plans and Pains September was an especially messy month, riddled with plot-twist eclipses that made us question what we thought we knew about ourselves and our life’s direction. Due to a sticky Mercury retrograde that demanded we reflect on our old behavior patterns—hello, exes!—as well as heart-stinging activity from Chiron (an outer asteroid-like planet associated with healing), last month we faced deep inner wounds and bravely confronted stale fears that were in serious need of release.

If September was shedding season, October is percolating with fresh plans and growing pains. We’ve torched what’s no longer us. Now we’re inexpertly flexing new muscles as we feel our way forward out of the ashes. Because the sun is now located in the sign of Libra, and is also joined by slow-moving Jupiter (who will stay in Libra until next October), our current focus is on partnerships of all kinds: romantic, friendship, business. For the entire next year we’ll work on these one-on-one relating skills, so hopefully you’re into opening up and getting vulnerable.

The Boiling Point The biggest news in the sky this week, however, is Saturday night’s amped-up full moon in Aries. A full moon in feisty fire sign Aries would be dramatic enough, but this lunation on the 15th is also a supermoon, a phenomenon that takes place when the moon is located at the perigee point of its elliptical lunar orbit, the point where it’s closest to Earth. Supermoons look bigger and feel bigger, making high tides higher and even intensifying menstrual pain.

My tattoo artist likes to warn me before lowering his buzzing needle into an extra-sensitive area of skin by saying: “This may feel spicy.” Saturday night’s full supermoon in Aries may feel spicy.

Full moons evoke different issues depending on the sign they’re in. Aries is a sign of ambition, drive, and personal power. The moon in self-oriented Aries is clashing with the sun in harmony-loving Libra, causing tension between group and individual needs. On the positive side, this full moon does provide heaps of courage to assert ourselves and express frustrations. Aries’ fire adds determination to push through obstacles and advocate for the dream we’re intent on creating.

Even the most timid folks may reach a boiling point over the weekend. Due to the moon’s difficult angle to Pluto—a planet associated with control and major transformation—you may feel as if someone in charge is blocking you from getting what you want. But frustration and discomfort, no matter how annoying, do put us in touch with our true desires. If you’ve been stuffing down your feelings about a situation or politely pretending away problems, this full moon will send those emotions splashing to the surface. That’s what full moons do: They expose the truth so we can examine what’s real.

Flare-Up and Cool-Down In addition to stirring up Plutonian authority and power issues, this explosive Aries full moon also co-stars Uranus, a rebellious, freedom-demanding planet that loves to shock and surprise. The unpredictable ingredients that Uranus pops into the stew could be positive or negative, and could occur on a global or personal level (usually both). With Uranus, all we can do is expect the unexpected.

We’ll notice the energetic build-up to this full moon starting around Thursday the 13th. People who work with children, in hospitals, or in customer service can often detect a flare-up of tempers and ’tudes when a potent full moon is growing. The best way to deal with the extra heat out there is to increase physical activity if you’re able to; punch at the air or blast your favorite loud music. But if an argument gets too combative, take some deep breaths and try to respond rather than react. Remember you’re not the only one who’s tense and irritated.

Luckily, Sunday the 16th and Monday the 17th will bring a welcome shift in mood, as a Taurus moon on those days encourages grounded, level-headed thinking so we can cool off and process the shocks of the weekend, even apologize if necessary. On Tuesday the 18th Venus shifts from Scorpio into Sagittarius, easing the overall intensity and promoting more open-mindedness. No storm lasts forever. Clarity gained from the Aries full moon can indeed bring disappointment, even rage. Yet that wisdom can motivate us to make lasting changes that align with who we know we are on a deep, authentic level.