A week after the Libra Sun ingress, the fourth and final Super Full Moon of the year arrives with the Full Moon in Aries. This lunation takes place on September 29, 2023 (2:57 a.m. PDT) in the first decan of Aries (Aries I) and the 27th Lunar Mansion. The Moon is ruled by Mars, which is in detriment in Libra, conjunct the South Node, and in opposition to Chiron in Aries. Luna trines Venus the next day.
Decan: Aries I
The Two of Wands in the minor arcana corresponds to the first decan of Aries. The Tower corresponds to Mars (Aries I ruler), and the Emperor corresponds to the sign of Aries. The Two of Wands, also referred to as the “Lord of Dominion,” depicts a masculine figure holding a wand in one hand and a globe in the other while surveying the vast lands of his lordship, representing the symbolic explorer or possibly the colonizer and the landlord. His wand is both a magician’s tool and a warrior’s weapon, while the globe alludes to world exploration and domination.
Austin Coppock calls the first face of Aries “The Axe,” alluding to the power to split off from source in the act of individuation. Mars rules the first and last decans in the zodiac, mirroring the severing force in all beginnings and endings. There is purpose in the cutting away — it ushers in the equinoxes, clears the land for cultivation, and eliminates the languidness of winter and summer through fasting and abstaining. In the northern hemisphere when the Full Moon passes through the sign of Aries, it is known as the Harvest Moon. It occurs when the last crops of summer are cut to prepare for the darker part of the year — when day decreases in light and the night begins to gain. Events begun during the Aries New Moon six months earlier culminate under the Aries Full Moon.
The ancient Egyptians named the first decan of Aries, Assicean. The deity who was seen to abide here is Aroueris or Haroeris, whose eyes are the Sun and the Moon. Haroeris is a name given to the son of Isis and Osiris to distinguish him from his uncle Horus the Elder, brother of Osiris and son of Nut.
Picatrix prescribed talismanic workings for Aries I for victory in battle, litigation, and controversy. This decan brings with it real tests of bravery and strength, which lie in one’s self-mastery, not in mastering others. Its liabilities are the potential for violence and ability to conjure conflict, but with self-awareness and discipline. Aries I has the power to till one’s inner soils in preparation for growing the fruits of one’s labors.
art credit: Amalia Pereira
The 27th Lunar Mansion
The Aries Full Moon occurs in the 27th Lunar Mansion. Its zodiacal boundaries are from 27°27′ Pisces to 10°47′ Aries (tropical), or from 03°20′ to 16°40′ Pisces (sidereal). Its principal indicator stars are Algenib and Alpheratz. Traditionally, this mansion was seen within the boundaries of the Pegasus constellation.
This mansion was associated with gains at the expense of others, holding both benefic and malefic influences. Talismanic workings were prescribed for increasing revenue, healing illnesses, or bringing a quality which can destroy or impede.
The medieval manuscript Ashmole 396 says, “When the Moon is in this mansion, engage in commerce. Sow. Receive medicine. Neither lend nor borrow. Wed, if you will. Take no journey in the third part of the night, if you must. Buy no servant. Take no fellowship. If you be seized, you shall not escape.” In a modern context, it may equate to doing business, sow or plant seeds, take your medicines or perform healing practices and self-care, marry but don’t lend or borrow any money at this time, avoid hiring new workers or employees, and avoid getting arrested since it may be hard to make bail or get free.
The mid-16th century manuscript Liber Lunae says, “When Luna descends in it then be made the workings of separations or departing and of binding and of all infirmities.”
Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy writes, “it increaseth harvests, revenues, gain, it healeth infirmities, but hindreth buildings, prolongeth prisons, causeth danger to seamen, and helpeth to infer mischiefs on whom you shall please.”
The Lunar Mansions have their origins in Mesopotamia and were developed fully in India from where they were incorporated into the Persian and Chinese astrological traditions. As a calendrical system, Lunar Mansions divide the sky into 27 or 28 sectors, each marked by key fixed stars or asterisms along the path of the Moon. Mansions are also referred to as Lunar Stations or Lodges; in India they are known as the Nakshatras (meaning asterism or the deity figure of the stars); in Arabic, they are called Manzils (meaning house, abode, or lodge); and in Chinese, Hsiu or Sieu, Xiu (meaning lodge).
Nakshatra: Uttara Bhadrapada (The Latter Blessed One) — The symbol for this Nakshatra is a Funeral Cot, which represents spiritual ascension following death. The deity presiding here is Ahir Budhanya, a dragon of the deep sea. Its ruling planet is Jupiter, and its temperament is fixed. It is an auspicious Nakshatra for naming children, financial investments, and marriage, as well as for acts of disgrace, destruction, deceit, imprisonment, beating, burning, and poison (of enemies) when containing the Moon.
Manzil: Al Fargh al-Thani (The Lower Spout or Lower Spring) — Picatrix describes Al Fargth al-Thani as a winged man, holding in his hand an empty perforated vessel. This Manzil increases harvests, revenues, gains, heals infirmities, hinders building, upholds prisons, and causes danger to seamen and destruction of enemies. With the Moon here, marry, take medicine and pursue business, but do not travel or lend money.
Xiu: Peih or Pi (A Wall or Partition) — This Xiu is ruled by Mercury.
Image credit Second Digitized Sky Survey (DSS2)
Algenib (Gamma Pegasi) is a blue-white subgiant star and fourth brightest in the constellation of Pegasus, marking the tip of its wing found at the zodiacal longitude of 09°28′ tropical Aries or 14°24′ sidereal Pisces. It is in the southeast corner of the Great Square of Pegasus, and of the four stars marking this asterism, it is the closest to the ecliptic.
Classified as having the nature of Mars and Mercury combined, its influence gives notoriety, dishonor, violence, and misfortune. With the Moon, it is associated with dishonor, loss by scandal, exile and being forced to flee, ill-health, and trouble with writing.
The Full Moon will be at an orb of 3°28’ from Algenib but will longitudinally conjoin in the hours following its peak.
Image credit Wikisky
Alpheratz (Alpha Andromedae) is a binary star system marking the head of the Andromeda constellation found at the zodiacal longitude of 14°37’ tropical Aries or 19°33’ sidereal Pisces. It is also identified as the upper left star of the Great Square of Pegasus asterism.
Ptolemy classified Alpheratz as having the nature of Jupiter and Venus combined, with its influence bestowing independence, freedom, love, riches, honor, and a keen intellect.
The day after the Full Moon, September 30, the waning Gibbous Moon will conjoin Alpheratz on her way to trining Venus.
Johannes Hevelius’ Pegasus from Uranographia (1690)
Susan Chang, 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot, Anima Mundi Press, 2021.
Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, Three Hands Press, 2014.
Christopher Warnock, The Mansions of the Moon, Renaissance Astrology, 2006.
Vivian Robson, The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, 1923. Reprinted by Astrology Classics, 2005.
NM Thomen is a professional astrologer and astromancer, multi-hyphenate creative and mother based in Ouidah, Bénin. Orphic Astrology is an astral devotional practice that cultivates intimate relationships with the stars as celestial beings. It is a study of the heavenly spheres as rooted in Hermetic and Orphic principles, incorporating Ancestral cosmologies, and encompassing embodiment thru enchantment. To learn more about their work, visit: orphicastrology.com They can also be found on instagram @orphicastrology