The full moon rises on Saturday, August 29, but will look quite plump and round on Friday through Sunday evenings. It’s the first of three full supermoons for the fall that close out a supermoon cycle that began early this year. The August full moon is called the sturgeon moon, because salmon in the upper North American tribal areas were more easily caught at this time.
A supermoon is a new or full moon that takes place close to the moon’s perigee, or closest approach to Earth during its orbit. This makes a full moon appear slightly larger and has stronger gravitational pull, resulting in higher tides. The term originated with contemporary astrology, but has been widely adopted by the mainstream media and even by astronomers over recent years.
The full moon joins Neptune in Pisces over the weekend. Earlier this week, Jupiter was conjunct the sun in Virgo. When the sun and Jupiter team up, it’s an expansive, enthusiastic influence. The influence can be over the top, but this time it’s been grounded by practical-minded, precise Virgo, which doesn’t have time for nonsense.
If you’ve been busy setting projects in motion, the weekend will be the time to contemplate on where you’re headed next. Let your mind wander to free associate, backing off of the Virgoean detailed focus. Pay attention to your dreams over the weekend since they may prove to be vivid and insightful.
However, also listen to your inner skeptic, since it’s a fine line between Piscean imagination, inspiration and delusion. This is not a great time to consume controlled substances. If you go out with friends, be sure there is a designated driver.
If you’re able to get away to the beach or a lake (and stay sober), the full moon weekend is a fabulous time to enjoy swimming, fishing and sailing before the close of summer. Or hang out by a pool. It’s also a great time to lend an ear to friends, loved ones and colleagues who may be wrestling with problems. Listen patiently to help them arrive at creative solutions to their predicaments.
Looking ahead to a fun aspect – early next week we’ll all be feeling the love. Venus and Mars will be conjunct in passionate Leo. The moon will team up with Uranus in Aries, forming a trine, or fortunate triangle, to Venus and Mars. Maybe you will fall in love at first sight. This certainly is a sexy influence that may bring some surprises, so enjoy it while it lasts (only a few days).
During the full moon weekend, since the conscious and unconscious minds will be active, the challenge is getting them to complement rather than cancel each other out. You may feel a push-pull of wanting to be open and sympathetic, but also critical and protective. With an emphasis on mutable signs and feeling simultaneous expansion and contraction, accepting yet annoyed, you may end up feeling tense.
Work out the knots with a slow, soothing, meditative yoga practice. Lunar salutations are always a good choice during the full moon, especially illuminated by moonlight – and the August full moon is super! Women who are sensitive to the moon’s phases may feel this moon strongly, since it will exert a stronger tidal pull and it’s combined with sensitive Neptune. You may need quiet time out, just to be still and focus your mind.
By the beginning of next week, you likely will prefer a more active yoga practice. A vigorous, physically challenging class likely will fit better with the faster pace of the work week and whatever your normal fitness routine may be. It also will better harmonize with the stimulating Venus-Mars conjunction, combined with the moon and Uranus, which may well coax you into feeling that you want to strut your stuff in your yoga pants.
Don’t forget that the sun is in Virgo, which loves technique. Harness that energy to improve your alignment and to fine tune the transitions between poses. Relax and lengthen, making the small adjustments that help you achieve that “perfect” pose, but more importantly help unify body and mind.
The next Peaceful Moon will be posted for the new moon in Virgo on September 13. That lunar phase will produce a partial solar eclipse that only will be visible in less populated parts of the Earth, such as Antarctica, not affecting North America. Read sneak previews of Moonday, which is posted on Monday mornings, in the Sunday PD newsletter.
Secrets of the Sphinx Yoga, Tip #1 :
A hand or mat-sized yoga towel can be a lifesaver if your hands or feet slip in down dog and warrior poses. They help keep the mat clean, absorbing sweat, lotion and cosmetics. A hand towel can be a nifty on-the-fly stretch band for binds: grab it to quickly extend the reach of your hands in a pose.
I particularly like a folded hand-sized towel at the top to avoid marks, to rest my face toward the end of a practice, to wipe perspiration from my forehead, and to fold up small to place over my eyes, serving as an eye pillow during savasana. Microfiber is softer, thinner, more lightweight to carry, and dries more quickly than cotton terry.
But yoga towels are overpriced and easy to lose. I’ve found that inexpensive microfiber dishtowels work just as well, and are widely available at big box retailers and housewares stores as well as online. Since they are gentle enough for delicate, wet china, they are soft and absorbent enough for sensitive, moist skin. They have virtually the same qualities as towels branded for yoga and may even feel less scratchy.
I keep a microfiber dishtowel with most of my travel mats. Not only that, I bought my favorite towel on sale at the grocery store with a matching, lightly padded drying pad for less than $10 for both. The colorful mini-mat works well under my knees in camel, under my hands in down dog to really press down, and under my face during back bends on the floor – such as locust. The microfiber-covered pad gives my nose somewhere soft to go in between face-down poses. Since I push it above the mat, it also acts to extend the mat’s length. Microfiber dishtowels launder well, and are so inexpensive that, if a towel gets lost, it’s no big deal.
Enjoy the full moon weekend, dumplings!
Photo: Greg Diesel Walck, “Pinnacle of the Dunes” (2013), taken at Pea Island on the Outer Banks of NC; Sphinx Yoga