Purgatory ~ Full Moon in Virgo – March 9th, 2020

I don’t belong in the world

that’s what it is

Something separates me from other people

-excerpted dialogue from Carnival of Souls (1962)


On March 9th, 2020 there will be a Full Moon in the mutable Earth sign of Virgo. The dialogue between Virgo (divine order) and Pisces (abyss) plumbs into the depths of consciousness, where manifest reality and imagination find meaningful reflection in one another. 

In astrology, Pisces season is the end of the year, where everything dissolves into a dreamworld that precedes the rebirth of spring. In this final chapter of the zodiac, the past is washed away to make way for the future. The heart of Virgo innately desires purity, so this Full Moon will begin a process of purging anything in your life that is poisonous to the soul.  

…I still get lonely…

Can I let go?

This process of purgation will be supported by a harmonious trine between the Moon in Virgo and Jupiter in Capricorn, ensuring that your efforts will work towards building a solid foundation for the approaching spring.

Despite the influence of earth signs, nothing at this Full Moon will happen in a straightforward manner. With the Sun in Pisces conjunct to Neptune, the ambiance will be shimmering, swirling and surreal. With the sunlight filtered through the Neptunian haze, most of your practical thoughts and ideas will be cast adrift upon the waters, where dark seas and skies blend into an abyss.

Opposed by Neptune, the Full Moon in Virgo will lead you into a place where the soul can be cleansed and purified, a place known traditionally known as purgatory

Unless you are Catholic, most people have derived their conception of purgatory from Dante’s Divine Comedy, where it is poetically described as a necessary part of the soul’s journey. Dante’s allegorical description of purgatory describes what lies between the sleeper and the dream world; between death and eternity.

Tremors strike here when any soul feels pure. And rises, newly cleansed, to start its climb.

– Dante’s Purgatorio (Canto 21)

The purgative effects of this Full Moon are beneficial, but like a dark night of the soul, may feel feverish and hallucinatory. Purgatory is outside of space and time. Upon this voyage, you will drift beyond the edge where your maps become useless.

Confused and disoriented, it is natural to cling to the familiarity of the past, swimming through memories in search of forgotten treasures. But with the light of reason dimmed by a swell of emotions, you will feel totally lost.

Can I let go?

And let your memory dance

The intelligent gifts of the Moon in Virgo will inspire questions about the great mysteries, the dreadful unknown, which emerge in both fascinating and terrifying forms. These environs are filled with musical voices, some angelic and some as deadly as sirens.

It hurts to love you

But I still love you, it’s just the way I feel

Touched by the transcendent visions of Neptune, the Moon’s gaze will act like a slow shutter camera: her patient focus capturing the many forms that emerge from Neptune’s swirling clouds.

Astrology describes Neptune as the ruler of altered states of consciousness, including trance, dreams, and all forms of narcotic haze. Neptune also rules cinema, which simulates dreams like no other art form, drawing you into another world through illusion.

Feeling hazy In the ballroom of my mind

In honor of the Neptunian influence over this Full Moon, consider the 1962 horror film Carnival of Souls, which unfolds as an unsettling dream within a dream. 

And that I’ve been dying for something real

Carnival of Souls begins with a watery death, when three women drive over a bridge into a lake. As the police arrive to investigate, a shivering woman named Mary crawls out of the water, the sole survivor of the crash.

But I’ve been dying…

After Mary’s miraculous emergence, the point of view descends into purgatory, evoking an eerie stasis between heaven and hell. 

…for something real

In the days following the accident, Mary returns to her life feeling distant and dissociated. Everything becomes increasingly surreal as she is followed by a phantom, whose monotone voice only she can seem to hear.

Smothered by existential panic, she grows increasingly unable to deal with the world around her. Even worse, she begins to find herself invisible to others, as if she is being drowned out of existence.

Through a whirling journey of confusion, Mary is chased by phantoms into the death that she fought so hard to avoid. In the end, she cannot outrun the inevitable. 

As a meditation upon purgatory, Carnival of Souls describes the human soul’s suffering when it clings to something that has come to an end. When Mary finally yields to her death, the nightmare ceases.

Though it was a very low budget B-movie, Carnival of Souls became a cult classic because it had the creative vision and imagination of a great art film. 

Due to its cult status, Lana Del Rey sampled some of its dialogue to open her song 13 Beaches, a deeply melancholy song about a lost soul searching in vain to find peace.

I don’t belong in the world

that’s what it is…”

You may feel lost like this during the remainder of Pisces season. As the wreckage of the past begins to wash away, you may scramble and thrash, clinging to things you aren’t ready to release. But the wisdom of this Full Moon in Virgo reminds you that the purpose of this strange voyage is to purify your soul in preparation for the renewal of the equinox.

Just as a fever burns away an illness, the pains of purgatory burn away the dross that dims the soul’s light.

It hurts to love you, but I still love you…

The weeks following the Full Moon may bring many painful emotions to the surface. Yielding to the tides of hope and fear, bliss and sorrow is the great labor of Pisces season. Let go, allowing the waves wash away the deadweight of the past. 

And as you make your way through this final stage in the zodiacal year, let this the last line of Dante’s Purgatorio be your guide.

“I came forth from the most holy waves, renovated even as new trees renewed with new foliage, pure and ready to rise to the stars” (Canto 33)

Until the equinox…

Much Love,