When you fall in love—the kind that makes you want to be a better person—you become both softer and stronger than you were before. With no effort, you forgive all trespasses; you have no room in your heart for fear or meanness. Little children and dogs on the street flock to you, sensing a sympathetic soul. You’re at one with the world and you love it, and yourself, all because you had the magical good fortune to fall in love with one other person.
Once or twice in a lifetime, we might meet a person who seems as though they were born madly in love not just with one person, but with all people. In their presence, you feel neither more nor less than they are; you just feel like a better version of yourself.
They’re usually older, these people. It seems, in fact, that they’re eternal, like misplaced angels. But you get to talking with them and sometimes you pick up little details that help you see them as decidedly earthbound. It might be something about a bad first marriage, maybe, or a son who came to a desperate end (perhaps, they muse, they weren’t a very good parent). They speak of these things and, for a moment, something sharp and sad sticks out of them. Then they remember who they’ve decided to be. And before your eyes, they forgive themselves—for the latest of many, many times—and their face settles back into a softer shape.
Pisces is that feeling of magical invincibility that comes with falling deeply in love, the part of us that’s eternal and has learned to forgive. Pisces is present when you share your heart with people, and when you show their own hearts back to them in a more loving light. When you fall in love with them a little bit, even, and give them the chance to return the favor.
Pisces is also the nature of this particular Full Moon’s lesson. At the Full Moon, the characteristics of its sign are extravagant, magnified, and evident to all. On the night of a Full Moon, it’s almost too bright to sleep. And sometimes, things are revealed that we’d prefer to keep hidden away.
In the heart of the Sun’s Virgo season, as we strive to get organized and clean out our garages and file cabinets and figure out how to save a little money on the grocery bill, the Pisces Full Moon (Sep. 30, 2023, 6:35 pm PDT) radiates a message of kindness and empathy. This might inspire a caring person to, say, donate the money saved on groceries and the unused stuff in the garage to a homeless shelter. You might even be inspired to invite others to join you, which is to your credit but must be done with care.
Here’s a story a friend shared. Late one evening, a neighbor showed up on his porch, ringing the doorbell and hopping around on one foot and then the other, gesticulating wildly in the front window. Sensing a catastrophe was afoot, he rushed to the door. Turns out the neighbor was not being chased by an attacker, no one’s house was on fire, and no one had been hit by a car. Rather, the house next door had a misfiring sprinkler head and no one answered the door when she knocked. “All that water going to waste!” she had sighed.
My friend wasn’t sure that a single sprinkler head justified a “Paul Revere’s midnight ride” call to action. “And it didn’t help,” he said, “that she had previously come into our home and immediately sighed about our electricity use. I admire her passion for the environment, but her method of spreading the gospel is a little off-putting.” This particular brand of zeal takes the tendency toward criticism that we sometimes see in Pisces’ opposite sign, Virgo, and cloaks it in virtue—the better to emphasize another’s vice.
The Full Moon in any sign calls attention to that sign’s most important characteristics. In Pisces, it ideally illuminates the virtues of kindness and acceptance, like a wise friend who insists on see you as better than you know yourself to be. But with the smallest misstep, the emphasis tilts toward wanting to make others think better not of themselves, but of you.
Each of us has our judgmental, self-righteous, critical, stubborn, short-tempered moments; I know I do. They estrange us from one another, and from our best selves, too. Happily, they are easily overcome, reuniting us almost magically with our true natures. The secret lies in surrendering the desire to be better, or the fear of being less, than other people. To remember what it was like to be newly, crazily in love—and to pretend that we still are.