The full Moon of Dec. 12th is the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year.
It’s no illusion. Some full Moons are genuinely larger than others and this Friday’s is a whopper. Why? The Moon’s orbit is an ellipse with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other: diagram. In the language of astronomy, the two extremes are called “apogee” (far away) and “perigee” (nearby). On Dec. 12th, the Moon becomes full a scant 4 hours after reaching perigee, making it 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons we’ve seen earlier in 2008….
This is both the brightest and (in the northern hemisphere) the highest-riding full Moon of the year. If you go outside around midnight it will be close to overhead and act like a cosmic floodlamp making the landscape absolutely brilliant, especially if there’s snow. Full moons are always high during winter and, indeed, the solstice is right around the corner on Dec. 21st.
I was awakened early this morning by a bright yellow sky at around 3 am and the effect of this Full Moon can already be felt (we generally consider the effect of a lunation to last for a few days before and after the actual lunar event). It ought to be interesting, because this Gemini Full Moon sits right on my ascendant. Astrologer Richard Nolle calls these Full Moons at perigee and it is thought that their astrological effect is more powerful, just as the Moon exerts a more powerful pull on the tides at this time.
The opposition of Saturn to Uranus which you have been reading about here and on other astrology sites forms a Grand Cross to the Sun and Moon, which will add to the power of the Full Moon. The Grand Cross is a spectacularly stressful planetary dynamic in which conflict between the planets builds up into a crisis which forces a release and ultimately, a transformative change.
This Full Moon is packed with energy, both mental and physical. Everything within our heart, soul and psyche is moving faster than usual during this Full Moon, and becoming conscious of the need for balance between the internal process and the external drives will help us to get the most out of this lunation. The planetary dynamics here create a powerhouse of dynamic alteration and adjustment that can create some real distress if not focused in a conscious manner.
Fortunately, a Neptune forms an exact harmonious aspect to both the Sun and the Moon which helps us to delve across the physical realm into the subconscious in order to find that internal balance in a more intuitive and sensitive way. The potential for verbal conflict during this Full Moon period, which lasts for a few days before and a few days after the actual event, can be softened by balancing the dynamic energy that wants to push out into aggression with a sensitivity and softness in the heart that helps us to maintain the inner connection to Spirit that creates more balance in the world around us.
During a powerful Full Moon, when the conscious Solar principle faces off with the instinctive Lunar principle, it is useful to increase our conscious awareness (Sun) and attention to our lives and how we are reacting (Moon) to situations rather than acting with intention. In any case, the next few days are sure to be exciting!
The full moon rising over Manchester, Maryland. Credit: Edmund E. Kasaitis.