July 2021’s Full Moon July 23 In Aquarius Brings One Headache After the Next — But It’s All for the Greater Good

With taskmaster Saturn and relationship-oriented Venus playing prominent roles, this full moon serves as a call to take responsibility, set boundaries, and face simmering tensions.

Every year, from approximately July 22 to August 22, Leo season stirs up cravings for drama, sets the stage for you to fulfill your most heartfelt, fiery desires, and makes it possible to pinpoint luxury-loving ways to share what’s in your heart. This steamy time of year is generally a buoyant, confidence-boosting one, in which we’ve finally gotten into the groove of summertime and are well-prepared to let loose and get after what we want and need the most. But this year, the day after the sun moves into the fixed fire sign, a full moon in Aquarius offers up a tense reality check.

On Friday, July 23 at 10:36 p.m. ET/7:36 p.m. PT, the full moon, nicknamed the “buck moon,” falls at 1 degree of the future-minded, eccentric fixed air sign Aquarius. Here’s what it means and how you can survive any discomfort that July 2021’s full moon could deliver.

As far as astrology is concerned, the moon is your emotional compass, ruling over your intuition and sense of security. Monthly, the point at which it reaches its most full, shimmery, and luminous tends to put extra emphasis on those lunar themes.

Every year, from approximately July 22 to August 22, Leo season stirs up cravings for drama, sets the stage for you to fulfill your most heartfelt, fiery desires, and makes it possible to pinpoint luxury-loving ways to share what’s in your heart. This steamy time of year is generally a buoyant, confidence-boosting one, in which we’ve finally gotten into the groove of summertime and are well-prepared to let loose and get after what we want and need the most. But this year, the day after the sun moves into the fixed fire sign, a full moon in Aquarius offers up a tense reality check.

On Friday, July 23 at 10:36 p.m. ET/7:36 p.m. PT, the full moon, nicknamed the “buck moon,” falls at 1 degree of the future-minded, eccentric fixed air sign Aquarius. Here’s what it means and how you can survive any discomfort that July 2021’s full moon could deliver.


What Full Moons Mean

As far as astrology is concerned, the moon is your emotional compass, ruling over your intuition and sense of security. Monthly, the point at which it reaches its most full, shimmery, and luminous tends to put extra emphasis on those lunar themes.

Full moons are also notorious for being wildly intense moments in time. You run an errand and can’t help but get sucked into congested traffic and road rage at every turn, your neighbors are partying on a weeknight, or a client calls you with irrational demands. That said, it’s worth investigating what’s really going on at the root of these OMG moments. Full moons amplify emotions — especially those that are often ignored so that you can carry on day to day without having to deal with anything uncomfortable. But this lunar phase tends to bring any pent-up feels to a boiling point so that you have to deal with it once and for all. That’s why full moon drama tends to be the result of people reaching that point and projecting — or preferably, communicating about — any previously brushed-aside pain, trauma, or stress.

A full moon also serves as a culmination point of a regular astrological cycle. Everyone has narratives that kick off around a new moon and then come to a natural conclusion at a full moon six months later. (Reminder: New moons are the opposite of full moons, when the celestial body isn’t illuminated by the sun from our vantage point and it appears completely dark.) This July 23 full moon in Aquarius is linked to the new moon that happened on February 11, 2021. You might remember how, in the midst of a COVID winter and a Mercury retrograde, there were glimmers of hope — and moments in which you were able to connect with your closest network, even if only on Zoom. Now, anything you started around that time could be reaching its organic conclusion.

This July 2021 full moon may also present the initial result of what you started manifesting around the last new moon on July 9, which occurred in Cancer. Two weeks ago, the cardinal water sign played host to a deeply emotional, change-bringing lunar event that set off lots of cleansing but taxing waterworks and heart-to-hearts. Now, as you navigate the very different, intellectual, even stoic terrain of this Aquarius full moon, you could be thinking more rationally about whatever came up for you earlier this month.

No matter how a lunar event interacts with your natal chart, you could notice its intensity, but if it is hitting your chart in a significant way (more on that below), you could feel particularly antsy, emotional, or sensitive. But it can help to bear in mind that no matter how you’re feeling it, full moons serve as valuable checkpoints for examining deep-rooted feelings and completing one chapter before forging ahead into another.

Air sign Aquarius, symbolized by the Water Bearer, is ruled by the game-changing, electrifying, planet of rebellion Uranus and rules the eleventh house of networking, groups, and long-term wishes. Those born under the sign of the Water Bearer — or with other personal planet placements (the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in the air sign — tend to be progressive, future-minded, humanitarian, social, quirky, free-spirited, and drawn to forging platonic bonds. But they can also be contrarian and, as the fixed air sign, obstinate and susceptible to black-and-white thinking. Aquarians are hard-wired to strike out on their own, railing against convention, but when they get so entrenched in their ideals, they risk losing some of that free-spiritedness they’re so well known for.

And that’s actually one of the reasons it makes perfect sense that Saturn, the planet of restrictions, boundaries, discipline, and hard work, was the original ruler of Aquarius. Today, we associate Saturn’s energy with Capricorn, but the Water Bearer has its Saturnian moments, and this full moon will bring that front and center.

One of the reasons: The moon forms a wide orb (meaning it’s not super cozy and close, but it’s still in neighboring territory) to Saturn on the day of the full moon, and the confident sun, which will have just gone into Leo the day prior, is moving toward its annual opposition to Saturn, which will be exact on August 1. We tend to feel the vibes of a transit the most as we’re moving toward it. So, on July 23, the restrictive, biking-through-mud, lonely tone of the Sun-Saturn opposition features prominently during this full moon moment.

On the day of the full moon especially, you may feel like you’ve been putting your nose to the grindstone solo without much, if any, recognition or support. With restrictive Saturn at the wheel, you could feel stuck in neutral.

At the same time, the moon forms a teeth-clenching, awkward quincunx to Venus — the planet of relationships — in Virgo, throwing a spotlight on tensions and irritants within our closest bonds. For better or worse, Venus, which oversees pleasure, is also opposing Jupiter, the planet of abundance and excess, so you might lean into overindulgent to cope with any antsy, anxious vibes that are coming up for you.

And messenger Mercury, the planet of communication, in Cancer will form a harmonizing trine to spiritual Neptune in Pisces, which can make for spacey — but potentially creative and imaginative — interactions and thinking. But even this aspect gets a bit gloomified by the fact that power struggles are more possible with Mercury heading into its annual face-off with “burn-it-all-down” Pluto

All that said, as a result of Venus’ involvement, this full moon is setting up to bring up plenty of crunchy, cringe-y, headache-inducing relationship and social issues. And because Saturn is a key player, you’ll likely be reminded of work that needs to be done to maintain any bonds worth preserving.

The Reassuring Takeaway

Monthly, no matter what sign a full moon falls in, they’re opportunities to hit the finish line, get in our feelings, and unearth the truth of matters that have been bubbling under the surface for weeks or months. Under the bright light of the moon at her peak, we can see — or at least feel — more clearly, for better or worse.

With the rational Water Bearer and taskmaster Saturn running the show this month, you can’t avoid the fact that it’s time for a reality check. Although the full moon day itself might feel like an uphill battle, relief comes quickly. By July 24, you could be feeling less stuck, and once the sun moves past its opposition to Saturn, on August 2, you’ll be empowered to hit the gas, now more prepared to navigate whatever lies ahead as a result of the hard work you put in around Aquarius’ full moon.

July’s Full Buck Moon July 23, Is Making All Zodiac Signs Squirm A Little

Prepare to unleash your inner rebel during the next lunar phase, because not only will the July 2021 full moon open our minds to our emotional responses, it’ll also call us to reflect on how we express ourselves in a social setting, emphasizing our reintegration into society following the pandemic. This intense shift will be heightened by the July 2021 full moon, also known as the Buck Moon, which gets its name from the season in which male deer grow their antlers. And it’ll rise on July 23 at 10:37 p.m. EST (7:37 p.m. PST), as it enters the unpredictable and rebellious sign of Aquarius. While this quirky energy invites us to embrace our unique emotions, it also asks us to challenge and diversify our personal beliefs and outlook on society. Aquarius is all about social groups and humanitarianism. That said, knowing how July’s full moon will affect your zodiac sign can help you prepare for Aquarius’ radical influence.


Aquarius is the least emotional of all the 12 signs of the zodiac. So when the moon is full in Aquarius, people may not feel comfortable with their emotions, but they must hold them at arm’s length and examine them.

July’s full moon energy is sure to make any zodiac sign squirm, especially since Aquarians get a bad rep for being detached from their emotions — and this full moon will force us to observe our emotions through an objective lens. Contrary to June’s full strawberry moon in conventional Capricorn, which called us to channel our inner CEO and get serious in the workplace, the full moon in Aquarius will inspire us to embrace our individuality and reflect on our emotional responses in unconventional ways. For the collective, the message of this energy is about feeling free to innovate and experiment and feel as you wish with whomever you wish. Radical thoughts and idealism will be in the air … which can help us rise above hindrances, limitations, and disappointments.

Curious to know what this moon cycle will bring you? Read on to find out how the July 2021 full moon will affect each zodiac sign.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Aries (March 21-April 19)The full moon’s emotional energy is sure to rattle some, but you’re not one to crumble under pressure, Aries. Although you might get the urge to fight off any negative feelings that cross your path, it’ll do you good to remind yourself they often arise out of hurt. During July’s full moon, you might be revisited by intense feelings of aggression, but try to investigate your feelings through a more compassionate lens. If you feel too conflicted or find yourself getting overly frustrated, it’s a good idea to log off social media and ground yourself through nature walks or volunteer work.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Taurus (April 20-May 20)The full moon in Aquarius may signal you to let go of control, Taurus. It might be time to open up and disclose parts of yourself to your inner circle, which could help you to heal any emotional wounds that might have hindered you recently. The full moon in Aquarius will emphasize your relation to society as a whole — and understanding how you fit in with others will require you to let your guard down. Let the intellectually oriented Aquarius full moon guide you through understanding vulnerability objectively. Seek out perspectives from close friends or family to help you see the other side of your emotional triggers.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Gemini (May 21-June 20)July’s full moon is projected to implant change to all zodiac signs and you’re no exception, Gemini! Being a mutable air sign definitely has its perks, and going in whatever direction feels right to you is one of them. The change brought forth by the full moon can help you identify your emotional needs, specifically to take charge of your mental health. If something doesn’t seem to serve your highest purpose, it will be illuminated by the full moon. Be prepared for the changes coming your way, and remember not to take anything so personally.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Cancer (June 21-July 22)You might find this lunation to be less about emotional challenges and more about trusting your own intuition, Cancer. As a water sign, you’re naturally intuitive, and the ever-enchanting moon, aka your ruling planet will conjunct Pluto, the planet bringing transformation and change. This positive aspect can influence you to adjust the way you interact with your intuition — whether you blindly follow your gut feelings or entirely resist what your intuition is telling you. If you struggle to trust your gut or the universe, you could be called to focus on your self-confidence under this lunation.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)You might find this lunation to be especially uncomfortable, Leo. Change is not something you appreciate unless you’re the one who’s initiating it. But you may be called to take a back seat and reflect on the way you handle and care for your emotions, as well as the emotions of those around you. Letting go of control may be the radical change bestowed upon you by the Aquarius full moon, but it will ultimately allow you to grow in alignment with your core values — living fully and honestly! Remember these obstacles only help you thrive, and you’re always up for a challenge.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)This full moon might call you to take stock of your emotional responses, Virgo. You might be called out on the way you respond to others confiding in you, serving as a wake-up call to your reliability on this front. Are you the friend others can depend on to give them tough love? Or are you more passive when it comes to comforting others? Any judgments or conflict in recent weeks could show up under the full moon’s light, so now’s a good time to soften up and perceive others’ emotions as experiences rather than approach them analytically.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)As a balance-seeking Libra, it’s often your daily mission to keep the peace. This can be emotionally taxing, especially since your own emotions aren’t always your highest priority. During the full moon, you might be called to be a little selfish with your presence with others in order to focus on your own personal needs and emotional responses. It can feel exhausting to please everyone all the time, and this full moon will remind you that it’s impossible to make everyone happy. So if you’re feeling drained in your social groups, take July’s full moon to reevaluate how emotionally involved you actually wish to be with those around you.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)Tensions may arise during the full moon that will force you to look deeply into your tendency to stifle your emotions, Scorpio. The moon will conjunct your ruling planet Pluto, which governs drastic change and transformations. You could be called to completely transform your inner circle, especially if you’re associated with people who put a damper on your mental health. Any emotions you’ve been avoiding will come to the light, so to avoid explosive arguments with your close friends or partner, it might be best to lay low and use the moon’s guidance to reevaluate who you allow to be close with you.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)The full moon’s energy might come off as more of an innocent challenge than a serious obstacle, Sagittarius. Your willingness to expand your horizons may be the reason you flourish under this lunation. Creative projects you’ve been working on have the potential to steer you in a completely new direction. You may want to explore new skills that are therapeutic in their own right or pick up a soothing new hobby. Enriching your soul is very much needed right now.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)As the initiator of the earth signs, you could find yourself grasping for control during July’s full moon, Cap. Because the moon in unconventional Aquarius will conjunct Pluto (the planet ruling intense change) in your home sign of Capricorn, you could feel like your stability and structure are threatened. Essentially, this conjunction has the potential to blend your natural leadership and need for independence since they’re shared by Aquarius. On the flip side, Aquarius’ unconventionality and airy attitude almost directly conflicts with your need for structure and tradition, making it a little uncomfortable. Reflect on any conventional traditions and philosophies you might uphold as a result of your social environment as the full moon influences you to challenge social norms. What rules do you set as a result of your personal philosophy and how are they limiting you?

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)This full moon could be especially powerful for you, Aquarius. You often get a bad rep for being detached, so you might find it difficult to reconcile your analytical approach to your emotions with the full moon’s influence on you to investigate them closely. However, there’s potential for you to thrive in your affinity for social justice under this humanitarian-oriented full moon — which will illuminate your empathy for the greater good and amplify your desire for progressive change. As the altruist of the zodiac, you can feel particularly inspired to give back to your community, particularly to groups that are most neglected.

If Your Zodiac Sign Is Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)You may feel particularly in tune with your emotions during the full moon, Pisces, as the moon forms a positive sextile aspect with your governing planet, Neptune. You could be called to reexamine your emotional responses and make art out of it! Perhaps your imagination and creativity have helped you heal wounds, but be careful not to confuse art with reality. You tend to lose yourself in the clouds, and the full moon will illuminate any distorted emotions you may have tried to romanticize. Channel your fantasies through painting, writing, or other artistic skills that speak to you.