With every lunar cycle, we’re offered a new opportunity to take stock, refine, and step closer to our goals. And this month, we’ve got a supermoon in Aquarius headed our way—which just happens to be the last supermoon of the year. Here’s what to know about the astrology behind this full moon, plus how to work with its energy, according to astrologer Kayse Budd, M.D.

What to know about August’s full moon.

The full moon in Aquarius will peak in skies just after 9 pm EST on Thursday, August 11—and if there’s one thing to know, it’s that this could be a challenging full moon for many. As Budd tells mbg, the moon will be conjunct Saturn, the planet of restriction, discipline, and hard work, potentially bringing up energies of struggle, frustration, delay, and low mood.

“It’s a serious punctuation to the several week Mars-Uranus-north node conjunction we’ve been having, which is now resolving,” Budd explains, adding that this month’s moon, opposite the sun in Leo, also squares both the north node and Uranus, which have been conjunct for several months.

“This unique ‘T-square’ formation is a tense aspect that could bring an urge to revolt against whatever seems to be holding you back,” she tells mbg. This will have personal and collective implications, with the potential for changes or a movement towards a resolution to a problem. “The ruler of this Aquarian moon is Uranus, so its position conjunct the north node and squaring the moon make this full moon extra potent and significant for many, and challenging for some,” Budd adds.

And when thinking about full moons in general, remember that they represent a peak or culmination of energy, often related to something that began around the new moon two weeks prior, or in this case, even the new moon in Aquarius we saw back in February.

“Aquarius is normally about freedom and progression, and Saturn is about restriction, rules, order, structure, so these two energies together are paradoxical,” Budd notes, explaining that this moon is an opportunity to merge those two influences.

“Aquarius’ ruler Uranus has been squaring Saturn for over a year. That square has relaxed, but this moon echoes that long initiation we’ve been through—with COVID restrictions and mandates, people desiring freedom, disparate priorities, etc.,” she says. “There is something of that tension in this moon, too, so examine where you feel bound and where/how you strive for freedom,” she adds, suggesting to ask yourself how the two can coexist, and where you must make sacrifices in your freedom in order to experience stability.

How to work with this energy.

To really work with this moon in a way that’s specific to you, we’d recommend checking out Budd’s sign-by-sign horoscope for this moon to see how it will impact your sun, moon, and rising sign. Open your heart and see if anything resonates, and acknowledge what you’ve been through leading up to this full moon.

“Because the full moon is a time when energy peaks and then shifts, rituals during this time can serve to intensify blessings and release challenges. We’re also at the tail end of the Lion’s Gate portal, so rituals done right now may be extra potent,” Budd tells mbg.

Be sure to take a look at our full guide to full moon rituals, and consider this healing meditation from Budd for the full moon:

A healing and clearing meditation for the full moon:

  1. Prepare yourself to enter a ritual space. Sit on the ground in a private place outdoors or in a quiet room. If it feels comfortable, close your eyes and consider calling in the spirits of the four directions (east, south, west, north), five elements (earth, air, fire, water, ether), and any guides or angels to whom you feel connected. You can speak to them out loud or in your mind to invite them to strengthen your ritual and support your healing. This is your healing moment, so craft it according to your belief system and preferences. 
  2. Imagine yourself surrounded by a circle of flowers or plants you find soothing. Beyond the flowers there is a stream. It circles you and then flows away. Think of a few of the blessings or wonderful things that have happened for you in the past few weeks. Hold them in your heart and mind with gratitude, as you visualize yourself sitting on the island in the stream. Consider placing your palms together in front of your heart (the Anjali mudra in yoga), if you feel it strengthens the energy of the moment. With the power of your love, intend that the recent blessings which serve your soul’s purpose be magnified and extended. Trust that any that are meant to be temporary will follow their natural course.
  3. When you have completed the gratitude part of the ritual, shift gears into releasing mode. 
  4. With eyes still closed, bring the pain, fears, and challenges of the past few weeks into your mind and heart. Take a few deep breaths and infuse these struggles with compassion. Take as much time as you need.
  5. When you have deeply acknowledged the impact and growth you’ve received from these lessons, open your hands and exhale slowly through your mouth. Visualize blowing the energetic residue from those experiences into the moving stream. See the stream absorbing your wounds and effortlessly transmuting them into a form that can nourish new growth—for yourself and others. Allow the stream and your released energy to go where it needs to go. It is out of your control now. The stream can flow into the ocean or the earth, whichever feels more right. 
  6. When you feel complete, center yourself—first on the land inside the stream and then within your body in the space where you are performing this ritual. Bring your awareness to your legs, arms, torso, and breath.
  7. Thank and release the elements or any other spiritual energies you invoked. Take a few cleansing breaths and then open your eyes. 

While this may not be the easiest full moon of the year, emotionally and energetically speaking, it’s sure to be powerful. It will impact us all in unique ways, but no matter your sign, this full supermoon in Aquarius is a chance to release and transform.