Full Moon in Aries (& Eris): It’s a Beautiful Strife

Full Moon in Aries (& Eris): It’s a Beautiful Strife

The Full Moon in Aries occurs the 16th of October, 2016 at 23°14’’ of Aries.

Try checking what area of your birth chart is ruled by Aries, as well as Scorpio, or the house where your natal Mars is found for more insight.

If you are new or new-ish to astrology, this post is a good place to start for generating your birth chart and checking out which part of your chart is being touched by this lunation.

You can also find out more about Full Moons here.

Full Moon in Aries

//All I Want//

Do you see – do you see – do you see how you hurt me
So I hurt you too
Then we both get so blue
I am on a lonely road and I am traveling
Looking for the key to set me free
Oh the jealousy, the greed is the unraveling
 It’s the unraveling
And it undoes all the joy that could be

Party Foul

This week’s Full Moon in Aries is conjunct Uranus (trauma, breakthroughs, flashes of intuition) and the asteroid Eris, who’s name translates most closely as ‘Strife.’ Eris, aka the Goddess of Discord, was most famous for breaking up a wedding party…and inadvertently starting a war.

This particular wedding was one for the books. The vows were exchanged, the banquet table was set, the mood was ebullient. All the Gods were in attendance: Aphrodite, Hera, Ares, and Chiron, to name but a few. Even Athena came, which the poet Colluthus noted with absolutely zero chill, “albeit of marriage she was untaught.”

They were all there, except the one who had been intentionally left off of the guest list: Eris, the Goddess of strife, contention, and rivalry.

Even amid the pantheon of dubious, shape-shifting, questionably-motivated Greek Goddesses, there was none more unliked than Eris, with Hesiod asserting that ‘no man loves her but under compulsion.’

And if you recall the myth of Pandora’s box, which doomed humanity to unending suffering for all of eternity,…well, the evils and diseases that escaped Pandora’s box were Eris’ children. She’s not just the bearer of grudges, arguments, and contention, but the metaphorical mother of human suffering.

Eris is also a solid Senora Schadenfreude: she rejoices while watching bloodshed on the battlefields.

So, it makes sense she wasn’t first on the list for a wedding party.

When Eris realized she wasn’t welcome at the nuptials, she seethed with humiliation, anger, and jealousy. She pondered several plans of destruction as payback, but settled on her golden apple, a prized gift from deep within Juno’s forbidden gardens. Instead of using warfare or a natural disaster, Eris would disrupt their happiness by exploiting their most obvious weaknesses: vanity and jealousy. She swiftly inscribed the apple to “the fairest of all” and lobbed it into the locus of the wedding party with stunning accuracy.

The golden apple rolled past the feet of Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, all keen to grab the prize and be known as the most beautiful of the Goddesses.

Enter Zeus, who never missed an opportunity to dodge his Godly responsibilities. Zeus had too much skin in the game to decide who was the most beautiful, being that it was a competition between his wife, his cousin and his daughter, so he clearly needed to hand the job off to someone authoritative and cunning…like a secret prince man-child that was raised as a shepherd.

So in the end, it was Paris, the shepherd boy, who was left to set things straight between the competing Goddesses. Eventually, he chose Aphrodite as the fairest of all because she promised him a hop in the sack with the world’s most beautiful woman, Helen of Sparta.

Aphrodite forgot to mention that Helen was already married, but who has time for details when beauty is at stake?

In short order, Paris abducted Helen and refused to return her, kicking off a 10-year war that ravaged both sides irrecoverably and destroyed the city of Troy.

All this, because Eris wasn’t invited to the party.

Mountains & Molehills

Of course, Eris wasn’t a real person, and nor was she all bad; like any God, she’s just an archetypal energy to which we can all relate. Undoubtedly, strife, jealousy, and contention are a part of life: all of us have at one point or another been the one not invited, the one burning in humiliation, the one ready to start a war.

And yet, strife can be incredibly useful, as noted by several of the Greek poets. When we have someone or something to compare ourselves to, we can become more driven and productive as a result. The aim is not to wish for less strife, but to reframe how we interact with it.

The myth I find the most illustrative about Eris involves Hercules, who was out and about one day, strutting his strongman stuff when he chanced upon a strange object in his path. Unsure whether or not it was a dangerous ploy left by a trickster God, Hercules took his club and slammed it – only to recoil in horror as the object doubled in size. Confused, but not dissuaded, he hit it once more and blinked in disbelief as the object doubled in size again.

Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, sees Hercules in complete apoplexy and lets him in on the secret: that thing he’s smashing with a club is Contention and Strife (basically: Eris, in disguise). If he leaves it alone, the object (contention) will disappear, but if he decides to fight it, it will just continue to grow and grow and grow.

There’s a lot here to unpack.

Firstly, if a ‘watched pot never boils’, then the absolute opposite is true of our problems, personal dramas, and psychic tensions. The more attention, and therefore energy, we give them, the larger these problems seem to grow.

Think ‘making mountains out of molehills’.

Sometimes our pains start out small but due to our own pot-stirring, expand until they take up permanent residence in very expensive internal real estate. Like the Clampetts, but the psychic version.

Secondly, and importantly, when we fight these contentions, we are only ever fighting ourselves. And if you haven’t noticed, there’s enough out there to fight right now without getting dragged into a shadow boxing match.

Overall, the ruler of this lunation, Mars, is in a few sticky wickets here. This Full Moon may be a difficult moment in sussing out the difference between the mountains and the molehills.

Mars conjunct Pluto can create intense power and transformation, but it can also be explosive. The sense of a needed release can build and build until it all comes gushing out. I suggest you indulge in more psychically hygienic forms of release this weekend: Shamanic work, journalling, sex, hot yoga, a sauna, even a colonic – as Pluto has some relationship to the bowels.

Mercury (communication) square to both Mars and Pluto may incite you to throw your own golden apple around or to pluck holes in others smoothly-laid happiness. The most balanced way this aspect can function is by communicating (Mercury) with brutal honesty (Pluto) your deepest needs/desires (Mars). With Mercury in people-pleasing Libra, there might be a wish for a less direct, in-your-face way of approaching tough subjects. This is all well and fine, but come late December these issues may re-arise with a vengeance when Mercury becomes conjunct to Pluto. Those on the receiving end may not be ready to hear you and may need some time to process the information that rushes forth, but there is never a wrong moment for expressing your truth.

This is also part of Eris’ wisdom.

Eris may be the one who threw the apple, but in the end, she made her peace or said her piece, whichever you prefer. She walked away clean. It would be so easy to blame Eris, the single, salty she-wolf, for all the bad things that followed.

But take a moment to consider another viewpoint.

What if everyone else had ignored the golden apple and gone about their business?

At this Full Moon, leave any golden apples where they lie.

It’s already a beautiful strife – you don’t need anymore.


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October 16th, 2016, Aries 23°14”

full moon in aries

Why this song? Because like the lyrics, Eris just wanted to ‘belong to the living’ and is unraveled by her jealousy. ♥