Happy full Moon in the sign of the regal and creative lion: Leo.

The Full Moon was exact on Jan. 25th (9:53 am PST/ 12: 53 pm EST).

There’s some big news at this Leo Full Moon and it has to do with the planet sometimes referred to as the Lord of the Underworld. And Pluto is his name-o.Pluto is Power

Pluto is Power.

Pluto is truth. Pluto is darkness: the darkness of neglected rooms we never enter anymore. We avoid these places but we are simultaneously pulled toward them when our psyches know, “it’s now or never.”

But Pluto won’t do the work for you; he will push you to your limits, so that you are ready to do the work. As Alice Sebold writes in her memoir, Lucky, “You save yourself or your remain unsaved.”

I know that doesn’t exactly sound inviting, but in the end, we get through it and we remember how strong we are. We gain a new kind of power. The kind that can’t be taken away. The kind we can use for good (not evil). Pluto gives us two choices: be transformed or be at the mercy of your fears forever.

Pluto will push you toward your demons so that you can face and defeat them. He will show you the dark so that you know how to traverse it. He will bring you to your knees so that you learn how to trust again.

Leo Brings the Desire For Self-Expression.

Circling back to this Leo Full Moon, all about self-expression (a theme close to my own heart), it delivers the spark of creativity, the desire to pursue our creative dreams and goals. What lights your creative fire? Pluto will grant you the determination and grit to follow through. What are you most yearning to express and bring into the world? It may, in Pluto fashion, be connected to your deepest fears – the demons waiting in the shadows. As you face them they begin to fade.

This Full Moon is about courageous and empowering self-expression. It makes me think of a line my mom’s best friend used when I told her I was scared to teach a class: “So do it scared,” she told me, matter-of-factly, and as if there was no other option. And she was right. If I had missed that opportunity and the subsequent journey of working through my deepest, darkest fears (of being seen and heard), I would have remained forever at the mercy of them, closed off, trapped, and unhappy.

Crises Are Opportunities For Change.

As Pluto ravaged the last degrees of my sun sign, Capricorn, where it resided since 2008, teaching us hard lessons about our place in the world, career, commitment, authority, leadership, boundaries, structure, rules, and integrity (to name a few), I experienced a crisis that shook me to my core, as Pluto is known to do. It spurred me to question (understatement) my life decisions that had lead me to what felt like a dangerous place (actually and metaphorically); I landed, at the end of last summer, in a seedy apartment building I had moved to site unseen (not the first time I have done this), where I saw, on my second day there, a gurney with a dead body being wheeled out of the building and through the parking lot; apparently, there was a drug issue in the area (a Pluto symbol if there ever was one). I knew on the first day in that apartment that I had moved to the wrong place and that I needed to leave, but I had just signed the lease with a large termination fee attached to it and had accepted a job that was starting in two weeks. I had nowhere to go. I had never felt so alone, and I was in a state of panic.

But I am more resilient than I give myself credit for. And this is what Pluto teaches us: Resiliency in the face of trauma and struggles. Pluto symbolizes trauma and emotional pain, and it is also stands for healing and transformation. We come out the other side of a Pluto transit empowered. “The only way out is through.”

During the long period Pluto resided in my sign of Capricorn, I learned hard lessons around death and loss, upheaval and renewal. I lost my father, mother, and a yoga studio that was my place of work, community, and a “second home.” I cleaned out my closets, in the truest sense, getting rid of the majority of my physical belongings (the last time around, not by choice) and all the emotions and negativity attached to them.

Although you may not have experienced such an intense Pluto in Capricorn transit, if the planet of upheaval and transformation was not touching any of your natal planets, the transition from Pluto in Capricorn to Pluto in Aquarius, which happened on the Leo Full Moon (Jan 25th), marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one, and it is a turning point of sorts for everyone.

It’s All About Friendship.

Aquarius, as you may have heard, rules groups, friendships, communities, out-of-the box efforts, technology, and is a champion for humanity and the underdog. Aquarius is about belonging, or the lack thereof. We can use the spark of passion that Leo brings during this full moon period, which lasts two weeks but is also a part of a much longer two-year moon-phase, to reconnect to our creative spirit for the betterment of the community and to create a sense of belonging that heals. At my old yoga studio, I found my tribe and a sense of belonging that I had never known. A few of my yoga teacher friends and I spontaneously bought tops one day that were on sale at the yoga studio: printed in cheerful yellow letters, they read: “The Good Vibe Tribe.” And it was true. These teachers/friends were my tribe, my allies, my people. I have never had more fun with a group of people than I did with them.

I lost that tribe after a few years – nothing lasts forever– but I will always remember that feeling of kinship and community. We were a group of yogi misfits who fit perfectly together.

We have an opportunity now to use our creative expression in the world “for good” – to support and offer healing to others – and, in doing so, we may just find, once again, those people we fit perfectly with, like lost puzzle pieces: our good vibe tribe.