As grounded, commutative Virgo season comes to a close, you could find yourself looking at the calendar in disbelief that 2022 isn't really all that far off. It could feel like the future is around the corner, inspiring imaginative plans, dreams, and conversations around what you want the next few months to look like. It might even be tough to get clear on all the specifics — something that Virgo excels at and works hard for. That's because its sister sign, Pisces, ruled by mystical Neptune, is at play.
The mutable water sign will host a full moon that's exact on Monday, September 20 at 7:54 p.m. ET/4:54 p.m. PT, urging you out of your head and into your intuition and spirit. But it's not all emotional heavy-lifting this time around, thanks to the presence of messenger Mercury and lucky Jupiter. Here's what it means and how you can make the most of this fortunate Pisces full moon.
What Full Moons Mean
In astrology, the moon serves as your emotional compass, ruling over your intuition and sense of security. Every month, the point at which it reaches its most full, shimmery, and luminous tends to put extra emphasis on those lunar themes.
Full moon vibes are also notorious for upping the wild factor. You run an errand and can't help but run into congested traffic and road rage at every turn, your neighbors are partying on a weeknight, or a client calls you with irrational demands. That said, it's worth investigating what's really going on at the root of these WTF moments. Full moons turn up the volume on emotions — especially those that are often ignored so that you can carry on day to day without having to deal with anything uncomfortable. But this lunar phase tends to bring any pent-up feels to a boiling point so that you have to deal with it once and for all. That's why full moon drama tends to be the result of people reaching that point and projecting — or, ideally, talking about — any previously brushed-aside pain, trauma, or stress.
Full moons are also a culminating point of a regular astrological cycle. Everyone has narratives that kick off around a new moon and then come to a natural conclusion at a full moon six months later. (Reminder: New moons are the opposite of full moons, when the celestial body isn't illuminated by the sun from our vantage point and it appears completely dark.) This September 20 full moon in Pisces is linked to the new moon that happened on March 13, 2021, potentially clouding rational thought but also fueling your creativity, romanticism, and desire to dream. Anything you started back then could be coming to its natural conclusion now.
And regardless of how the lunar event hits your natal chart, you could notice its intensity, but if it is interacting with your chart in a significant way (more on that below), you could feel antsy, emotional, or sensitive. The main thing to bear in mind, though, is that full moons serve as valuable checkpoints for examining deep-rooted feelings and completing one chapter before forging ahead into another.
Themes of the September 2021 Pisces Full Moon
Water sign Pisces, symbolized by the Fish, is ruled by the mystical planet of illusion Neptune and rules the twelfth house of spirituality, karma, dreams, and private matters. People who have Pisces placements are super compassionate, empathic, emotional, artistic, and often psychic. They're creative, romantic dreamers who shamelessly flaunt rose-colored glasses as they float through life. But they're wired to swim in the deep end of their own difficult, complex, at-times-painful emotions, and as major empaths, tend to pick up other people's emotions and carry them around. It can be a little too much for a sensitive Fish person, which is why boundary-setting is so necessary for their well-being.
That's something they have in common with their sister sign Virgo, a service-oriented sign known for being analytical and detail-obsessed. And although the Maiden is often thought of as being more cerebral than spiritual, the sign also has a magical side that we often fail to talk about. After all, it's ruled by Mercury, the only god who could travel to heaven, earth, and the underworld.
Together, these two energies set the stage for what's referred to as the Harvest Moon, the full moon that occurs closest to the Autumn Equinox.
A change of season falling at the same time as an emotional, culmination-spurring full moon can certainly be dramatic, but a key aspect of the lunar event is a positive, uplifting, optimism-bringing one. The planet of communication, Mercury, will form a harmonious trine to Jupiter, the planet of fortune, just an hour before the full moon, setting a jovial, sunny tone for our communications. Expect heartfelt, healing conversations with loved ones, the arrival of news you've been waiting on and wishing for, or animated brainstorms and the ability to forge new, productive connections.
It also bears noting that the moon cozies up to Neptune, its ruler, indicating amplified emotional sensitivity plus heightened intuition and psychic perception. Dreams could be more vivid, and it might be harder to tease out what's real from what's imagined.
And because the full moon is happening at 28 degrees of Pisces — almost in Aries, which is Libra's opposite/sister sign — while action-oriented Mars sits at just 3 degrees of cardinal air sign Libra, they're considered to be in a weak opposition, laying the groundwork for deep, previously unacknowledged feelings to potentially reach a boiling point, spurring fiery drama. But Mars in conflict-averse Libra is more apt to dodge confrontation, and the moon in Pisces is more concerned with spiritual well-being and healing, so impassioned blow-ups could get smoothed over faster than they would during a more volatile full moon.
Messenger Mercury will also be close to an activating square to transformative Pluto in Capricorn, which can spur intense interactions and productive deep dives that can help you uncover hidden information. Just watch out for manipulative tactics used to push an extreme agenda.
All that said, this full moon is mostly colored by lucky, optimistic vibes, and has the potential to leave you feeling more spiritually aware, centered, and inspired.
Who the Pisces Full Moon Will Affect the Most
If you were born under the sign of the Fish — approximately February 19 to March 20 — or with your personal planets (the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in Pisces (something you can learn from your natal chart), you'll feel this new moon more than most. More specifically, if you have a personal planet that falls within five degrees of the new moon (28 degrees Pisces), you could feel your imagination is magnified, and it's easier to tune into and trust your intuition. (See: What Your Venus Sign Can Tell You About Relationships, Beauty, and Money)
Similarly, if you were born in a mutable sign — Gemini (mutable air), Virgo (mutable earth), or Sagittarius (mutable fire) — you could feel the spirituality- and imagination-bolstering tone of this full moon.
The Rose-Colored Takeaway
Every month, no matter what sign a full moon falls in, it could present us with a blast of volatility and drama. But they can also be fairly stunning opportunities to let go of people, patterns, or places that are no longer serving you, to reflect on the past in order to move toward the future (especially when it's occurring around or during a Mercury retrograde, which this one is), and to reach a crucial culmination point. This time, spiritual Pisces — with an assist from Mercury in Libra and Jupiter in Aquarius — will host a dreamy, ideally buoyant lunar moment.
The Sabian symbol (a system, shared by a clairvoyant named Elsie Wheeler, that illustrates the meaning of each degree of the zodiac) for the exact spot in Pisces where the full moon occurs is "a prism." As white light moves through an inanimate prism, it's transformed into a rainbow, showing us that there's a great deal of power in simply standing in your sense of self, tuning into your inner voice, and making room for magic to happen.
Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents, Astrology.com, and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.