By Kiki O'Keeffe
Dec 28, 2018 @ 10:00 am
Copyright 2018 Tamara Pruessner/Stocksy

We had quite a few specialty lunar events in 2018, and if those threw you for a loop, well, you may not be out of the woods yet.

The first half of 2019 is like a hangover from last year’s manic moon energy, with eclipses and supermoons kicking off the first three months. But while last year was punctuated by difficult full moons and a series of major retrogrades, the full moons of 2019 return to a somewhat normal cadence.

Still, the new year will bring us plenty of challenging lunations. Full moons of every stripe, whether they be blue, harvest or super, are all about endings. They occur when the moon is opposite the sun on the zodiac wheel, thus causing the greatest astrological tension between the two. The moon represents our emotions; the sun our character and will. When those two are at odds, it exposes the weak links in our lives. Full moons urge us to break those links and start fresh in the new lunar cycle. They are ruthless.

We’ve rounded up the six most intense full moon dates in 2019, what makes them so tricky, and how to navigate what they’ll throw at us.

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January 20: Wolf Moon

The first full moon of the year is the Wolf Moon, and it kicks things off with an extra dose of eeriness: it’s a total lunar eclipse and also a supermoon. Let’s break that down.

All lunar eclipses are full moons, but most full moons are not eclipses. These happen when the moon passes into the Earth’s shadow, thus blocking the light from the sun and appearing dark. All full moons bring tension and release, but eclipses intensify that effect. When a lunar eclipse is total, rather than partial, it scatters the red-orange color of the sunset, thus earning the “blood moon” moniker.

A supermoon is when a moon is at perigee, the point in its orbit closest to Earth. So this moon is full, eclipsed, and very much in our faces. 

What does this mean for us? Well, the moon is in Leo, the sign of willfulness and self-expression, so conflicts may get a little loud during this time. And to up the stakes, Mars and Venus, planets of aggression and desire, respectively, will join the moon versus the sun. You will feel passionately about whatever conflict arises, and the trick will be to not let your ego take the lead. Try to stay calm in these hot-headed times.

February 19: Snow Moon

February brings us another intense supermoon: the Snow Moon, which peaks in Virgo, the sign of the harvest, hard work, and self-sacrifice. We may feel extra hard on ourselves and take on a greater share of blame than we deserve in any conflict that arises.

To make things even more complicated, Mercury and Neptune will meet up with each other to oppose this moon, suggesting that we may be susceptible to deception or magical thinking. Take extra care to listen to your gut, even if it’s saying what you don’t want to hear.

You will be helped in your efforts to stay grounded by Mars, planet of decisive action. If you’re stuck between two choices, the Snow Moon will almost certainly push you toward the practical one. It may not look as dazzling, but it’s the only real path forward.

March 20: Worm Moon

The March full moon is yet another supermoon — that’s right, we have three in a row this year. That means that not only is this moon at its fullest point in its lunar cycle, but it’s orbiting as close to the Earth as it gets. As one might expect, that magnifies things a bit.

This one is called the Worm Moon, because it usually coincides with spring, and this year’s Worm Moon actually falls on the same day as the vernal equinox, which marks the sun’s first entry into Aries. Because the moon will peak in Libra, the sign opposite Aries, this moon will raise challenges related to your most committed relationships. Think about any weak spots in your marriage, business partnership or close friendships. They will surface in a way that forces you both to take action — try to get on the same page early.

That may be a tall order, though, since Mercury will be in retrograde and in opposition to this moon. Mercury rules communication and thinking, so we may be especially prone to misunderstandings and re-opening arguments we thought were put away for good. If we didn’t truly resolve the root of an issue the first time around, that’s our homework now.

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May 18: Flower Moon

The May full moon is a blue moon, which means it’s the third full moon in a single season. It’s also called the Flower Moon, which may sound sweet and innocent, but this is in Scorpio, the sign of dark desires and transformation.

Lunar events in Scorpio tend to engage us on the deepest levels. This moon will encourage us to investigate our longest-held practices and question whether they are serving us. Often the answer is no. And meanwhile, we have Mercury, Venus and Uranus facing off against this moon, representing our minds, our hearts, and our originality. Whatever your issue is, the answer will be to embrace the new.

July 16: Buck Moon

The full moon in July, also known as the Buck Moon, the Rose Moon, or the Hot Moon, depending on which aspect of summer you want to highlight, is yet another lunar eclipse. This moon is in Capricorn and will oppose Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and luxury. It’s likely we’ll feel torn between what we value and what we can reasonably afford, and things we want may seem depressingly out of reach.

To mitigate this somewhat, the moon will also be in harmony with Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto, the planets of limitations, glamour, and intense desire. That means that we’ll be as successful as we are resourceful, and if we can find a way to fulfill our needs within tight constraints (think DIY centerpieces or staycations) we’ll end up surviving this moon without much incident.

One little caveat: Mercury will be retrograde, so double-check all directions, ingredient lists, and texts. One cannot have too much certainty during this time.

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September 14: Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon this year is in Pisces, the sign of imagination and artistic vision. So the emotions we will be “harvesting” may completely surprise us. Full moons usually culminate issues that have been stirring for a while, meaning we tend to see them coming. But Pisces moons can make us feel like we’re in another world entirely. That can lead to our most profound insights or our most self-destructive choices — sometimes both.

It’s not all bad news. The Harvest Moon will coincide with two other planetary movements: Mercury and Venus entering Libra. Mercury and Venus govern how we think and how we love, respectively, and Libra is the sign of cerebral beauty. This placement tends to elicit prolific creative output and actionable, profitable ideas; that can offset some of the dreamy volatility of the Pisces moon. If you feel yourself getting carried away on an emotional current, let your rational mind to guide you back to shore.