May 18, 2019 at 07:00AM by CWC
If you’ve never had a particularly awful headache or experienced a mood swing like no other and had someone whisper, “there must be a full moon,” then you haven’t been hanging out with my mom. For her, ups and downs are almost always attributed to a planetary shift and, while it might seem off base to some, it turns out she’s not alone.
The belief in the moon’s power is long entrenched in our society—the word “lunacy,” after all, comes from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna. Given that there’s a full moon tonight, it begs the question: Does a full moon affect behavior? We asked Courtney O’Reilly of Vibrant Soul Astrology to give us the scoop.
Does a full moon affect behavior?
O’Reilly says it’s not uncommon for people to point a finger at an approaching full moon when it comes to their own behavior or strange moods. “I have clients who tell me they feel the effect of full moons in relation to not being to sleep in particular—that is a big one,” she says. “Some also say they feel a little drained or depleted.”
This is confusing, because in general, O’Reilly says that full moons are generally a positive time. “We have her full light and as the saying goes, as above so below,” O’Reilly says, adding that the full moon might allow you to see a particular situation more clearly. The full moon also represents a time of abundance and overflow, which might make it easier to let go of things that don’t serve you. But, perhaps even more importantly, the full moon is cause for celebration, O’Reilly says, adding: “A full moon is the climax and finishing point before we begin again.”
However, the effect of the full moon really depends on the person. That’s because astrology looks at how the planetary beings relate to one another, she says, not at what they’re doing in isolation. For example, O’Reilly says if the full moon is “harshly aspected by another planet”—think 90 degrees or 180 degrees apart—then that full moon might feel a bit more challenging to people. (For this week’s full moon in Scorpio, your libido might be…intense.)
“It also depends on the person’s personal astrology, or natal chart, and where they’re at with their own unique personal dynamics,” she says. “We have free will, so while we’re considering certain parameters, you must take into consideration the choices the native is making in relation to those parameters.”
To put it more simply, O’Reilly explains that, while “a lovely, sweet full moon” might be at play, if a person is making choices not in alignment with their greater good or the full moon itself, then they may struggle during this time while other people are seemingly at peace. Add on the dynamics of their particular natal chart—which is basically a map of the sky at the exact moment you were born—and that can make everything feel out of whack.
How do I deal with the effects of a full moon?
If you do find yourself struggling during a full moon, then O’Reilly says you might want to pay a visit to an astrologer “to have a better understanding of the lunation cycle and how it relates specifically to you.” You can also check out your natal chart on sites like Co-Star and Cafe Astrology, which offer tools for mapping your natal chart.
Sensitivity to a full moon can also be mitigated by actively participating in activities around the full moon. O’Reilly says clearing closets and even just letting go of an obligation that “you hate but feel tethered to” can all help you navigate the full moon’s energy. Make sure you also don’t pack your schedule around that time, instead opting for activities that feel soothing to you.
And if you want to adjust your perspective on the full moon, then O’Reilly says you can also simply ride the wave.
“[Full moons] are also a lovely time to plan a party or outing, anything celebratory really,” she says. “Of course, you want to check with your favorite astrologer, as each full moon is a little different, but they’re generally a joyful cosmic happening.”
Don’t know your moon sign yet? You should. And here’s how to get along with your roommate based on their zodiac sign.