When I Have Fears ~ Full Moon in Virgo- February 27th, 2021

When I have Fears that I may cease to be

by John Keats (1818)

When I have fears that I may cease to be

  Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,

Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,

  Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;

When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,

  Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to trace

  Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,

  That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the faery power

  Of unreflecting love—then on the shore

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

On February 27th, 2021, there will be a Full Moon in Virgo. This brings a culmination to the lunar cycle that began the New Moon in Aquarius. The stellium in Aquarius stirred up a collective feeling of alienation and a longing for divine intervention. Aquarius craves to know the ineffable intelligence in creation. But with Sun now sinking into the waters of Pisces, that knowing dissolves into a feeling of eternity.

The Moon is considered to be Full when the Sun and the Moon are directly opposed one another, creating an opportune moment for the integration of polarities. This opposition between the Sun in ethereal Pisces and the Moon in analytical Virgo represents a concrescence of water and earth: an experience realized in the poetic truth that “we are spirits in a material world.”

It is in the oceans of Pisces where the Sun’s annual journey comes to an end. Sorrow hisses like sea foam while a shimmer of joy ripples on into the infinite. Every feeling swirls together in waves so gentle and hypnotic you are lulled into a haze. Gazing upon these waters, you remember that life is but a dream. And that eternity is the beginning and end of all.

It is this knowledge of eternity that fills the vast oceans of Pisces with boundless faith. And with Venus and Neptune also transiting through Pisces, this is perfect opportunity to surrender to the moment and let your fears dissolve.

Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the dream killer. Fear imprisons you in a restrictive pattern of thinking and behavior, depriving you of your connection to eternity.

Most people fear the same things: poverty, failure, and loneliness, all of which mask the most primal fear of death. No matter who you are, living through a global pandemic and major economic crisis has triggered some trembling fears to be unleashed. Thus, the feeling of lock-down becomes internalized within.

When I have fears that I may cease to be

  Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain

In Pisces season, you can sense how ripples of emotion are flowing through you. Whether it is the light of joy or the darkness of sorrow, there is always feeling to connect with. And in exactly the same way, there is always faith. The difference lies in whether you chooses to have faith in divine providence or faith in evil. Fear is faith in evil, arising when you believe that darkness, cruelty, poverty, and pain will prevail.

It is easy to understand how faith in evil consumes. After all, the world often seems to spin upon an axis of abuse, greed and genocide. And disasters certainly do strike at bad times. But fear often arises without any evidence at all, emerging from mere fantasies and poisoning your life with torment.


After everything the has unfolded over the last year, the Sun’s transit through Pisces invites you to have faith in divine providence, even when the world seems cold and dark. After all, neither fear nor faith need any evidence to arise. Faith is a choice that guides the direction of your life’s journey.

At the end of its zodiacal journey, the Sun in Pisces surrenders to eternity. Thus, this Full Moon in Virgo illumines the knowledge of impending death. The bloom of all beauty must one day yield to the devouring jaws of time. Thus, the melancholy of life’s fragility will ripple through your heart. But the wisdom of Pisces whispers…

“Fear not. We are eternal spirits in a material world.”

The fear of death only destroys the quality of life. Whereas yielding to the inevitability of death inspires you to live fully with deep gratitude. If fear has been pulling you back from truly living, then know that this Full Moon in Virgo is a perfect opportunity to invite purification and return to a state of boundless faith.

John Keats

To better connect with the soul of this Virgo Full Moon, look to the life and work of the great Romantic poet, John Keats. Born in 1795, Keats grew to become one of the most important figures of Romanticism, upholding a philosophical worldview that reified human imagination, exalted beauty, and found purpose in both the agony and ecstasy of life.

And think that I may never live to trace

  Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;

Keats’ sonnet, When I have Fears that I may cease to be, was written in 1818 when he began showing the first signs of tuberculosis, a disease that had also claimed his younger brother. Thus, the theme of this poem is to illuminate the very real fear of death as both a personal and universal experience.

Keats had expressed a sense of urgency about having enough time to devote to his art long before his illness. When he was twenty-one years old, he wrote:

“Oh, for ten years that I may overwhelm Myself in poesy.”

Only three years later, he was struck down by illness and he knew that his days were numbered.

When I have Fears that I may cease to be expresses Keats’ fear that death will prevent him from rising to fame as a revered poet. Even worse, he fears that death will cut short his philosophical quest, ending his search for meaning. And finally, he laments that death will separate him from his beloved. His grief is palpable and yet, there is a catharsis within the poem which is inspiring to the reader.

. . .then on the shore

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Feeling alone on the shoreline between worlds is especially resonant with this Pisces season. As a Romantic, Keats believed that art, sublime marriage of truth and beauty, possessed the power to transcend all suffering, even death. He also believed in the power of emotion to guide one’s soul towards eternity. This is the mystical illumination that the Sun’s passage through Pisces imparts.

The Moon in Virgo will make a trine to Uranus in Taurus, catalyzing a necessary break in a negative pattern that has been holding you back. It may be shocking or uncomfortable, but it has a healing purpose. With Uranus still squared to Saturn in Aquarius, you will feel the pressure to use your time wisely and face the future with courage. This offers the potential for a liberating paradigm shift.

This kind of breakthrough appears in Keats’ sonnet, where through confrontation with his decay he pushes past the wall of grief, and releases his attachments to love and fame.  

love and fame to nothingness do sink.

By the end of the poem, Keats finds himself standing upon the shores of the wide world: a threshold between land and sea; life and death, Virgo and Pisces. In this liminal realm between matter and spirit, the purifying waves wash away fear, revealing the horizon that lies beyond the beyond.

In both life and art, Keats did release his attachment to earthly fame, allowing the waves to wash away his name and return his soul to the vast oceans of unified consciousness. This was demonstrated in his final request, which was to be buried under a nameless tombstone engraved with the following words: “Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water.”

A truly tragic poet, he imagined that all the truth and beauty of his life would be lost like tears in rain.

In the face of death, instead of resisting, he let his name be taken by the waves. In February of 1821, when he was on his deathbed, he turned to his caretaker and said, “I am dying—I shall die easy; don’t be frightened—be firm and thank God it has come.”

In life, Keats’ fear of falling into obscurity drove him to improve his craft until he became a masterful poet. But in the end, he saw death as a release from all suffering, including the burning desire for fame, the agony of sickness and the urgency of all his unanswered questions.  

Keats always knew that he was a spirit in a material world and in the end he accepted the conditions that all matter is subject to. Thus, his haunting fear was resolved and his work was immortalized. And it is certain that his fame has grown far beyond what his wildest dreams ever could have been.

The opposition between the Moon in Virgo and the Sun in Pisces reminds you that your temporal life is held in the womb of eternity. Surrender your fear to the waves, inviting boundless faith to guide you forward and shape your path.

With faith, even in the darkest times, there is a light and it never goes out.

Much Love,