Welcome to Virgo season! It’s time to get things in order, re-evaluate our entire lives, and heal the wounds we’ve been hiding from ourselves for the sake of convenience and surface-level productivity. Virgo cleans out your whole house and then rips up the carpet to restore the original flooring. It’s satisfying work, but it’s anything but easy.
The full moon in Pisces on August 26th sits directly across from practical and sensual Virgo in the Zodiac. Ruled by Neptune, Pisces is popularly known for its dreamy, otherworldly qualities and ethereal nature. Pisces invites us to feel the full extent of our emotions, while Virgo asks us to ground ourselves in the body and the world at large. Though they appear to be opposites at first glance, the polarity between Pisces and Virgo is part of what holds the wheel of the Zodiac together. They contain the opportunity for embodied emotion: the practice of treating our emotions like a sixth sense, allowing them to reverberate through the body and out into the world. We need that type of sensing when navigating multiple retrogrades at once. We need it when we heal ourselves, an invaluable possibility contained within the core of the Virgo/Pisces polarity.
This full moon comes during a time of many powerful retrogrades. Mercury is blessedly no longer retrograde, but we still have Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto retrograding as their slower orbits create the optical illusion of moving “backwards” from our perspective here on earth. Venus will be joining them in early September, when we’ll have a grand total of six retrogrades in the sky at once. This is very rare astro weather, and it’s nothing if not intense.
Retrogrades are powerful astrological phenomenons that invite us to go deeper inward, to explore the neglected parts of our psyche that are begging for our attention. When a planet is retrograde, its energy is inverted, which has been interpreted as a negative occurrence for about as long as we’ve noticed retrogrades. But this inversion contains great wisdom, and Pisces and Virgo are the dynamic duo here to unlock it.
These tarotscopes are a mix of astrological insight and tarot-based guidance. The astrology is there to show you where you’re at, and the tarot is meant to show you where you can go. Feel free to read just your sun sign, just your rising sign, both, or even multiple signs that have a strong presence in your chart! If you don’t know what the hell I’m even talking about, check out this guide and calculate your birth chart right here.
As always, take what resonates with you and leave the rest. Mysticism is meant to open our lives up, not trap them inside fear-based thinking and rigid categories. In the spirit of Virgo and Pisces, pay attention to what rings true in your body as you read — particularly your heart. These full moon tarotscopes are meant to help you unlock the self-healing and embodied emotion you already hold within you and carry it through the rest of this lunar cycle. If something you read doesn’t serve that purpose, feel free to leave it at the door. You’re the one who makes your own destiny; these tarotscopes are just one tool to guide you along the way.
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Right now Aries holds the comet Chiron, another celestial body retrograding through the Zodiac. Chiron is a centaur in Greek mythology who was a gifted healer and astrologer. In your natal chart, his position notes the site of both your deepest wound and greatest capacity for healing. When Chiron is retrograde, we’re diving deep inside our wound so that we can learn how best to heal it.
Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac, the fiery spark of life that marks new beginnings and an opportunity for rebirth. This full moon is an opportunity to dive to the very core of our wounds, the place where hot molten earth is exposed, raw, and vulnerable to the elements. The creation of new land is both a powerful and delicate process, and this is the kind of activity happening within Aries. Collectively, we’re all experimenting with how our work in this world resonates within our hearts. In your sign, this is manifesting through Chrion’s transformative healing energy.
Your question for the tarot is: How can my hard work support my tender heart?
The Star: The Star is part of the Major Arcana, the first 22 cards of a tarot deck that deal with the vast archetypal experiences present in all of life. As the card following the infamous Tower, the Star is the first time in the tarot that our attention is directed toward a cosmic perspective. After the Tower has crumbled to the ground, we look up and see the stars shining in the sky without any artificial structure obstructing our view. We get a chance to see where we come from, an opportunity to rest in the light that never leaves us. The Star is a card associated with healing because it invites us to trust the Universe even in the face of great adversity. Doing the hard work of healing ourselves opens us back up to this cosmic trust, allows us to be in communion with the life around us. Remember that there is light that has traveled for millions of years in order to illuminate your darkness. Use it to navigate the wounds you wish to heal.
Uranus is retrograde in Taurus after recently transiting into the sign. The ruler of revolution, resistance, and renaissance, Uranus is a planetary force that asks us to rethink and revise the way we move through the world. In Taurus, we’re being asked to reconsider how we keep our homes, our relationship to the earth and its resources, and where in our lives we have been stagnant and resistant to change. Uranus is currently working with Saturn to collectively revolutionize the ways we approach our work in the world, an endeavor that Taurus delights in. The stubborn bull is built for work that requires determination and resolve. Uranus is shaking up the things that are no longer worth holding onto so that you can focus your incredible willpower on the things that matter most to you.
Your question for the tarot is: How can I activate my aspirations and move toward the work I’m meant to be doing?
The Hermit: The Hermit is the card ruled by Virgo, the sign that our sun is moving through and the polarity to this Pisces full moon. The Hermit is one who travels into the unknown armed with nothing but their wisdom and the sacred flame they keep within a lantern. Their light illuminates just the steps ahead of them, and their wisdom allows them to know that this is all that they need to know in order to continue their journey. You will activate your deepest desires by walking through the dark and making friends with uncertainty. Your work will start with uncovering the wisdom you already hold within you for navigating that unknown and letting its light guide you deeper into the dark. What at first glance appears to be at odds with this full moon is actually a powerful guide into the depths of your yet-to-be-realized dreams.
As an air sign, Gemini has to contend with a lot of water and earthiness in the current astro weather. But it shares a home with earth sign Virgo on Mercury, the planet named for the messenger for the Gods who rules over communication, intellect, and curiosity and is a deity in his own right. Gemini and Virgo both have Mercury’s cleverness and constant need for more knowledge and better questions in spades. This Mercurial wisdom is being drawn into the body during Virgo season, a reminder that the mind is a physical organ with an intricate nervous system that melds it with the rest of the human body. The full moon gives additional depth to the symbiosis between mind and body by highlighting the emotions that are created where the two meet. We feel what we think and think what we feel — neither is possible without the other.
This moon is inviting you to remember that the mind is not your only conscious organ, and that its usefulness lies in its connection to all the other complex systems that keep your body functioning and allow you to experience the world. The air element can often get swept up in its own thoughts, which is very useful with Air-oriented Uranus playing such a prominent part in our retrograding skies — but a little difficult to work with in a sign like Taurus. Especially considering the three additional retrograde planets hanging out in equally earthy Capricorn. You can land safely on this earthen astral terrain by creating a tether within yourself that keeps your vast and varied thoughts grounded in your body throughout this lunar cycle.
Your question for the tarot is: How can I strengthen the bond between my body and my mind?
Queen of Coins: The Queen of Coins knows that her body is a child of the earth she lives on, created from the very minerals and elements that make up the rest of the natural world. She sees herself as inextricably connected to the body, and as a result, the earth. Her grounded wisdom allows her to move through experiences with an inner sense of stability and purpose. She knows that her time here is short and also sacred; the human body is made possible through a series of chaotic miracles, and the chance to experience the world through one is nothing short of a gift. Your mind feels this whenever it comes across facts about biology and human evolution — the unspoken magic of such things is what keeps you curious about them. Strengthening the bond between your mind and body will happen as you continue to get in touch with your mortal magic as a child of the earth.
Cancer sits across from Capricorn, forming the polarity that shows us how we navigate the scaffolding of life that informs all human experience. Capricorn focuses on matters of work, ambition, and how we move through the barriers that define the structure of our lives. Cancer is the sign of the home, family dynamics, personal boundary-keeping, and the interpersonal relationships that structure our sense of self and community. With Saturn, Pluto, and Mars retrograde in Capricorn, a mirror is being held up to Cancer from across the Zodiac. Our internal and external systems are always related, but the link between the two is difficult to discern against the sheer vastness of the systems and hierarchies we operate within. Mars and Pluto especially reveal how you need to transform the structures that support you, sometimes right down to the very foundation.
Your question for the tarot is: Where am I transforming the structures that support my life?
The Tower: Everything that does not serve your foundational sense of self must go. The Tower is a holy fire that burns through what is meant to be brought down. Ruled by Mars, this card is a powerful ally for the Mars retrograde currently moving through Capricorn. Mars is the site of our activation and the source of our endurance. The Tower is sort of like Mars leaping across the Zodiac to instigate a complete upheaval of how you set and maintain personal boundaries and manage the interpersonal demands of your work and home life. In its place, The Tower creates room for more energy and a chance to start anew with a firmer foundation.
Mercury is moving forward through Leo after an intense retrograde that coincided with the Leo and Aquarius eclipses that occurred earlier this summer. You’re learning to express yourself in a new way, feeling at once centered in your thoughts and in complete surrender to how others will receive them once you’ve excavated them from your mind and brought them out into the world. Leos are heart-centered, and the deep emotional waters of a Pisces full moon calls such courageous hearts to come forward and speak their truth.
Your question for the tarot is: What is my heart trying to tell me?
Page of Swords: Pages are the eager children of the tarot, inviting us to get in touch with and often heal an aspect of our inner child. The Page of Swords represents the voice of our inner child, calling back to a version of ourselves that felt safe to speak our mind and ask the questions lingering inside of our hearts. Your heart is telling you to use that young voice, even if it feels scary and uncomfortable. Maybe that voice needs to cry or scream or lament the state of the world before it can speak its truth. We hold so much of our expression inside for fear of drawing scrutiny and criticism for something so vulnerable and pure as our voice in the act of delivering the messages locked inside of us. That trapped voice can calcify and create a barrier to protect against further dangerously earnest expression.
It’s ok if moving through those barriers involves being messy and expressing things you worry about putting out into the world — it’s actually pretty much required. Getting back to our inner child can be a long and arduous journey, especially if we have any childhood trauma. This card is asking you to call for them from the top of your heart. Be a beacon for your own voice and guide it home to the world out here waiting to hear it.
Our Virgo Sun forms a trine with Saturn in Capricorn, making the heavens particularly fertile ground for deepening old wisdom we are ready to upgrade. Wisdom is intelligence dancing with experience, and therefore cannot be static if it wishes to remain wise. Virgo’s vast stores of wisdom are being shaken up by Saturn, but the invitation is one that you are ready for. Trines are aspects that indicate a relationship between two planets that is fluid and easier to work with. Virgo is in the perfect position to work with Saturn in Capricorn by revisiting established wisdom and digging deeper into the lessons you might have at one point considered constant and complete.
Your question for the tarot is: Where can I deepen the wisdom I already hold inside of me?
The Chariot: The Chariot is a major arcana card all about movement, especially in situations that appear static at first glance. In many depictions of the Chariot card, the chariot itself doesn’t appear to be built for moving across great distance — it often doesn’t appear to be capable of moving at all. In this image of the chariot, the cart is all but invisible. The two horses meant to be pulling the chariot come together as one, with the man holding their reins the only distinct and defined figure in the image. This is because the magic of the chariot lies in who is wielding it. It carries us through our lives using the power of our own will.
We have to choose the chariot if we have any hope of moving it. It is the card that transports us from seated archetypes of the early major arcana and into the line of cards containing active figures who move through the dynamic process of living, dying, and being reborn. All of that starts at the chariot. You’re being invited to deepen your wisdom by choosing to follow it wherever it leads you. Your chariot only moves when you do, and you’re the only one who knows where you want to go. Take yourself there; you have everything you need within you already.
With Venus returning home to one of its very own signs in Libra, our attention is then drawn to the happenings within Venus’s other sign, Taurus. The retrograde Uranus in Taurus invites us to revolutionize the ways we seek out stability and a sense of groundedness, and in Libra that revolution is focused on creating a radical self-trust. This is slow work, and Saturn’s exact trine with Uranus reminds the collective that it would do them well to be patient. Cosmic time is different from human time, and a relationship of trust with the self doesn’t happen overnight. The powerful influences of Uranus and Saturn work with Venus in Libra to peel back a layer of protection and begin the process of learning to trust your inner sense of truth and value. Venus is the goddess of love and beauty as well as the planet of receptivity — and to be receptive is to be open. We have to open ourselves up if we want to receive the wisdom of these ancient orbiting planets, and Venus is the celestial body here to help us do just that.
Your question for the tarot is: How can I develop a deeper trust in myself?
Five of Coins: Also known as the 5 of Pentacles, this is a card that has rightfully been criticized as classist by many a tarot user over the course of its centuries-long history, especially considering how widely tarot has been used by the working and lower classes. Pentacles are often associated with money, and fives are the messy middle number of the Minor Arcana’s journey from Ace to Ten. The 5 of Pentacles is often depicted as a woman and child in threadbare clothing forced out in the snow as the warm light from within a church illuminates their dire situation outside. The interpretation is often that the people outside are simply resistant to recognizing the safe haven being offered within the church, but what’s more likely is that the church has shut them out deliberately. Many of the “scary” cards in the tarot depict horrific scenes that border on the edge of fantastical, but not this one. The 5 of Pentacles happens in real life every day, a reminder that not all who proclaim themselves to be holy are living out that holiness in the real world.
The 5 of Pentacles is a reminder to trust our own moral compass in the face of a society that masquerades as moral while delivering daily injustices that make it hard to trust anything at all. When we see an image like the 5 of Pentacles and feel the gut-wrenching discomfort of sacred spaces behaving in worldly ways, we are touching into that internal sense of what is good and right. No matter how beautiful the glass windows, no matter how warm the glow of the light within, a church that doesn’t open its doors to souls in need is not a holy place. We are holy places, no matter how much money we have or how poorly we are dressed. Trust your holiness. Let it bring the fullness of justice into a world full of sanctified shells.
As Jupiter moves through Scorpio, everyone is being invited to expand and explore their depths. Scorpios in particular have spent 2018 in the deepest caves of their souls excavating gems of wisdom. With Uranus retrograde in Taurus across from Scorpio, the time has come to clear and discard the uncovered artifacts that don’t serve you so you can get to work cleaning and polishing what does.
Your question for the tarot is: What treasure have I brought up from my depths?
Page of Wands: The Page of Wands represents the aspect of our inner child that charges straight ahead toward their grandest dreams — a valuable asset to dive into the dreamy Pisces full moon! Our Page of Wands contains our brightest source of optimism, playfulness, and inner source of light. You have brought up from the depths a sacred flame that your inner child was taught to hide in order to survive. Light draws attention, and attention is not always safe. But now that you are older and more capable of keeping your light going, you’ve had the chance to go back and retrieve it. Chances are, your Page of Wands light has beckoned you toward it like a distant underground star all this time. Learning to work with such a light again isn’t easy, but Jupiter will be hanging out in Scorpio for a while yet; you have time to figure it out.
Your fiery spirit is a torch that you are tasked to carry through the outlands of these retrogrades. Sagittarius is the philosopher explorer of the tarot; your curious nature makes you the ideal trailblazer to set out across uncharted territory. Having recently held Saturn in your sign for nearly 3 years, you’ve learned to keep that flame alight in the face of great challenges and deep lessons. Right now you’re facing a vast, open expanse to move through. The amount of possibility available to you is palpable, but also a bit disorienting. How do you chart your course after having it directed so strongly by forces that were largely out of your control?
Your question for the tarot is: What kindling do I need to carry my sacred flame forward?
Queen of Wands: The Queen of Wands is the witch of the tarot with her animal familiar following closely behind. Her crown is a giant sunflower, pointing its face always to the source of all light and life. Queens are ruled by the water element, and wands are ruled by fire. Together, they indicate not only soulful emotion but the alchemical magic of holding both water and fire at the same time. This quality is also contained within Temperance, the Major Arcana card associated with Sagittarius. Sagittarius is the optimist ruled by Jupiter, making it the sign most likely to believe that there is something larger at play than the everyday coincidences that seem to make up our lives. The ability to tap into this intuitive knowing allows you to do such miraculous things as hold both water and fire in your hands at once. Believing that magic is out there is the key to fueling your life with the energy of such magic. Think of your fiery sign moving through this Pisces full moon as yet another instance of personal alchemy — what matter will you transform by bringing your light into the watery pool of the moon?
Capricorn is holding three retrograde planets in its sturdy arms right now, including its ruling planet Saturn! As the hardest worker in the Zodiac, Capricorn understands the value of a cosmic call to level up, but your nervous nature can make you hesitant to push toward a new paradigm. Mars retrograding Capricorn can signify a feeling of fatigue and exhaustion, while retrograde Pluto turns the volume up on that fear-based thinking. Still, Saturn is a persistent master. He’s asking you to push through fear and tiredness and into the new world coming your way. As Saturn forms an exact trine with Uranus, you’re being asked to infuse your serious and stoic temperament with a sense of hope and an eagerness to move forward. This invitation into levity will help balance out the intense energies moving through your sign.
Your question for the tarot is: What hope can I hold onto for balance as I navigate through these transits?
King of Swords: One of the Four Agreements is to “be impeccable with your word,” a principle that has served the King of Swords well in his rise to power. Kings are the court position ruled by fire, whereas swords are ruled by air. Imagine the power required to create the swords of this sword; forges use all four elements to create powerful weapons and symbols of achievement from ore found deep within the earth. The two elements used most extensively in shaping that earth? Fire and air. The super high temperature of a forge is achieved through containing a flame and growing it by pushing large amounts of air through a billows.
This is the energy of the King of Swords. When we give our souls the truth, they grow exponentially. The King of Swords lives in this truth and invites you to temper the earthen ore of Capricorn by speaking the truths of your mind over the flame of your soul. Each step you take through these retrogrades will be led by maintaining the powerful elemental balance that shapes swords into the tools of clarity that support the life of your kingdom.
Lilith sits on your second degree, just four degrees away from retrograde Mars in Capricorn. Lilith is a feminine asteroid that represents the powerful parts of ourselves that have been banished or exiled because they are not compliant with the society we are born into. When Lilith is in Aquarius, we’re reintegrating the parts of ourselves we’ve abandoned for being “too weird” or “freaky.” Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the planet of revolution and nonconformity — the very things that keep Lilith hidden in shadow for fear of rejection or ridicule. Lilith forms an exact square with Uranus during this full moon, an indication that moving into Uranus’ invitation to let your freak flag fly feels challenging. You feel a resistance to this act of resistance, but moving through this challenging aspect opens you up to immense growth and a greater capacity for expression and, as a result, deeper connection with community.
Your question for the tarot is: How can I support myself through the revolution happening inside of me?
Two of Coins: The process of going down into the Underworld and resurfacing is known as katabasis. It is a transformational journey down into our depths so that we can emerge reformed. The 2 of Coins represents such a journey. We are bringing above and below together, and the union between the two requires that we do some deep inner work beneath the surface. The revolution happening inside of you is a katabasis. You are exploring the caverns of your Underworld — the place where we put things we’d rather not have out in full daylight. This just so happens to be the place where Lilith lives. You’re being asked to retrieve her and bring her to the healing waters of this Pisces full moon. Inviting her to join you is a revolutionary act, and one that you need just as much as she does. Lilith is the place in our psyches where we feel wronged not just by the world, but by ourselves. She lurks in the places where we’ve abandoned our authenticity because it was too powerful to be accepted by the external world. The 2 of Coins offers her hand to you; take it. You don’t need to banish yourself any longer. You’re strong enough to carry this revolution up to the surface.
This full moon is conjunct Neptune, the planet that rules Pisces. It takes well over a century for Neptune to return home to the ethereal pools of Pisces, and its transit through its home sign is an invitation to harness the power of our collective imagination. As adrienne maree brown notes in her book Emergent Strategy, we are in an imagination battle to dream up a better world. Pisces contains the key to this wakeful dreaming, and a full moon in the sign indicates a time to imagine even bigger and broader than you have before. The opposing Sun in Virgo invites you to bring these imaginings down into the world through deliberate action and personal embodiment.
Your question for the tarot is: What power does my imagination hold?
The Hanged Man: The Hanged Man is the major arcana card ruled by Neptune and Pisces. It’s the card that precedes death — the ultimate transformation. In the Hanged Man, we engage in an act of deliberate surrender. We invert our bodies and suspend ourselves within the current moment. This inversion opens us up to new perspectives, ideas, and even the chance for a momentary encounter with enlightenment. Your imagination contains the power to bring us to the apex of our consciousness, to envision a world that turns our unimaginative, rigid circumstances on its head. Your imagination contains the power to liberate.