Summer is just around the corner, and with it, an increasingly intensified anticipation of what the coming months could bring. Thanks to Gemini season, you've likely been stepping up your socializing in a major way, which can no doubt have you feeling somewhere between hopeful, electrified, and overwhelmed. And that's right in line with the vibes of this May 2021 full moon which also happens to be a dramatic, change-bringing lunar eclipse.
On Wednesday, May 26 at 7:14 a.m. ET/4:14 a.m. PT exactly, a full moon and lunar eclipse will occur in the mutable fire sign Sagittarius. Here's what it means and how you can get the most out of this intense astrological event.
What Full Moons — and Lunar Eclipses — Mean
First off, let's talk about the astrological significance of a full moon and lunar eclipse. It's important to note that the moon serves as your emotional compass, ruling over your intuition and sense of security — and reaching the part of its monthly cycle where it's at its most full and luminous only serves to exaggerate those themes. Add a total lunar eclipse to the mix, and its intensity is cranked up even further.
You probably already know that full moons have a bad rep for bringing out wild behavior. (Think: Your generally quiet neighbor decides to throw a rager that keeps you up all night, a client presents you with a laundry list of unrealistic requests, or an underlying family issue comes to light and sends everyone spinning.) But at the root of any eyebrow-raising behavior is generally an amplification of emotion and boatloads of projecting — or, more healthfully, opening up about — previously repressed pain, stress, or trauma.
All of that applies to any full moon, but when a full moon is paired with a lunar eclipse — which happens when Earth is positioned between the sun and the moon and casts a shadow over the moon — all those heightened emotions and the battle between light and dark can fuel breakthroughs, dramatic change, and crises.
Full moons serve as the culmination point of a "plot line" that you might begin to write at the corresponding new moon (which is the opposite of a full moon, when the celestial body isn't illuminated by the sun from our vantage point and it appears completely dark). Similarly, every lunar eclipse is part of a series of eclipses happening in opposing signs. This May 26 lunar eclipse is part of a series happening in Sagittarius and Gemini that began on June 5, 2020 and included a lunar eclipse in Gemini on November 30, 2020 and solar eclipse that happened on December 14, 2020. A few overarching themes of this series: soaking up knowledge, sharing information, and checking your belief systems.
Even if this eclipse isn't closely hitting your natal chart (more on that in a moment), you'll likely notice that it feels like a full moon on steroids — potentially disturbing your sleep and making you feel especially emotional, sensitive, or antsy. But for all its trouble, all full moons — and especially eclipses — can be thought of as essential checkpoints for taking a microscope to deep-rooted feelings and catapulting from one chapter to the next.
Working with an Eclipse vs. a Full Moon
Around a regular full moon, you might take advantage of its "culmination point" by doing a ritual targeted to releasing patterns, behaviors, or even people that are no longer serving you in order to move forward (think: meditation, crystal charging, baths — the water or the sound kind, etc.). But when you're dealing with a full moon and lunar eclipse — or a new moon and solar eclipse — the energy is so powerful and intense that it's thought of as unwieldy. It's not really meant to be "worked with" through rituals so much as you're urged to let go and open yourself up to whatever the event is meant to bring you.
For example, eclipses are known for serving as the backdrop for relationships ending, relocation, career changes, or major family or financial drama — occurrences that significantly change up the landscape of a part of your life. That said, if an eclipse is interacting with your birth chart in a significant way, it's less a matter of figuring out how to channel its power and more so giving yourself over to its game-changing effect.
This isn't to say that you won't be compelled to do something very concrete and physical in order to feel more at ease (think: prioritizing healthy meal prep if the eclipse is hitting your sixth house of wellness and daily routine or signing up for an online course if it's in your ninth house of higher learning). It's more that there's no prescribed must-dos for eclipse; it's more about engaging in the activity that's most centering for you.
Themes of This May 2021 Full Moon Lunar Eclipse In Sagittarius
Fire sign Sagittarius, symbolized by the Archer, is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of good fortune, luck, exaggeration, and growth. The gigantic planet, which tends to have a magnifying effect on everything it comes in contact with and exudes wildly "go big or go home" vibes, also oversees long-distance travel, higher education, philosophy, and religion. People born during Sag season come into the world while you're likely in the midst of firing up your holiday lights, intent on filling dark, cold, abbreviated days with sheer joy, cheer, festiveness as well as religious traditions and amplified social time. It's also a moment in which you may feel pushed to make the most of the end of the year — business-wise, personally, socially — before being delivered a clean slate on the calendar.
All that said, it's no wonder that people whose sun is in the boisterous, buoyant fire sign tend to be natural born entertainers and free-spirited adventurers who are all about living life to the fullest. They're lifelong learners who make a habit of broadening their horizons and racking up eye-opening experiences. They can also be brash, unfiltered, and susceptible to zealotry and sharing what they know from atop a soap box. Mutable in nature, Sag is capable of taking new info into consideration and switching gears when necessary.
This full moon and lunar eclipse, occurring under the Archer and Jupiter's domain, will be colored by a focus on optimism and deeply held beliefs. You'll be able to use that Sagittarian perspective to own your true feelings around big-picture goals and feel empowered to take steps down a daunting, uncharted path in order to achieve them.
The May 26 full moon has also been referred to as the Super Flower Blood Moon, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. It's called a "blood moon," because as Earth casts its shadow on the moon, it'll give the moon a reddish cast — which is especially fitting for a lunar event hosted by one of the three fire signs (although plenty of blood moons fall under earth, air, and water signs, too). And the botanically-charged name stems from the abundance of flowers in bloom in North America this time of year. That nearly overwhelming volume of green and petaled plants popping up everywhere seems to go hand-in-hand with Jupiter's exaggerating vibe.
Speaking of exaggeration, you can expect this full moon and lunar eclipse to bring a "sky's the limit" feeling to just about everything. The more knowledge, success, fortune, entertainment, adventure, learning, sharing — and perhaps above all else, change — the better, thanks to its Sagittarian roots. You'll be challenged to think about how you've just been sailing through life without fully embracing all of the moving parts and how you can be more real with yourself, especially in regard to your needs.
The moon also happens to form a lesson-activating T-square to the sun and Jupiter — currently transiting through fellow mutable sign Pisces — which can amplify emotional responses to all of this. It can feel like a moment in which taking everything — especially your beliefs, your politics, your perspective on the world — to the extreme is just par for the course.
And illusion-loving Neptune will be forming a square to both messenger Mercury and romantic Venus, clouding communication and casting a dreamy-at-best, delusional-at-worst shadow on relationships. (Related: How to Decode Zodiac Sign Compatibility)
Who the Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse Will Affect the Most
If you were born when the sun was in the sign of the Archer — annually from approximately November 22 to December 21 — or with your personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in Sag (something you can learn from your natal chart), you'll feel this full moon and lunar eclipse more than most. If you want to get even more specific, check to see if you have a personal planet that falls within four degrees of the full moon (5 degrees Sagittarius). If so, you could feel like it's time to steer away from old patterns, behaviors, relationships, and head down a different path — one that's as eye-opening as it is spiritually and emotionally fulfilling.
Similarly, if your rising sign/ascendant falls in a fellow mutable sign — Gemini (mutable air), Virgo (mutable earth), Pisces (mutable water) — you'll be driven to reflect on your closest bonds and issues related to your sense of security and familial roots, as the full moon will affect your fourth house of home life (Virgo), tenth house of career (Pisces), or seventh house of partnership (Gemini). It's also worth checking your natal chart to see if any of your personal planets (your moon sign, Mercury, Venus, and Mars) fall in a mutable sign and between 1-9 degrees of that sign, as in that case, you'll feel this full moon more than most.
The Game-Changing Takeaway
Full moons are often bursting with volatility, drama, significant emotional breakthroughs, and transformation. But eclipses take all of that to a whole different, exaggerated level — especially when they fall in philosophical, brash, bold, boundary-less Sagittarius. If any sign is a natural at telling it like it is and owning their big, messy, incredibly human desires, it's Sag. They're anything but sheepish about saying they want more of, especially when it comes to what makes life worth living, from pleasure to education, success to sex, joy to adventure, and everything in between.
Similarly, this full moon and lunar eclipse will challenge you to listen to and honor your inner free spirit, to check outdated beliefs at the door, to get real about your closest bonds. And if this eclipse delivers a stunning reality check and launches you into the next chapter of your life, know that with even a sprinkle of Sag's signature spirited optimism, you can turn even the most jaw-dropping turn of events into something joyful and enlivening.
Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents, Astrology.com, and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.