Expanded Awareness by Intent

July 30, 2023 | by Daniel Giamario | Ramblings, Reflections and Ruminations

The Vision Quest Aquarius Full Moon

and the Eighth Gate of Venus


An extremely rare and unique visionary window is now open from July 20 – August 8, 2023. Its greatest expansion will be at the Aquarius Full Moon. Paired with the eighth chakra Venus portal of “expanded awareness by intent”, this is a unique event window which has not happened since 1991. It creates the space for a remarkable set of possibilities.

Aquarius Full Moon: “The Vision Quest Moon”

The yearly Full Moon of Aquarius occurs on Tuesday, August 1, 11:32am PDT, at 9Aquarius16. Worthy of note is that it is a so-called Super Full Moon, being quite near maximum perigee, or closest to Earth.

This particular Full Moon has quite a unique place in my life and that of our school. At the time of the Aquarius Full Moon in August of 1981, I had my first Vision Quest experience on Mount Shasta under the guidance of Joan Halifax of the Ojai Foundation. This profoundly changed my philosophical and spiritual pathways, as well as providing the initial visions that so far resulted in three waves of a school and a unique astrological paradigm.


Throughout the rest of the 1980s, and well into the 1990s, I facilitated numerous groups to Mount Shasta during the Aquarius Full Moon. It was also my main place for solo retreats. During those years, I learned of the Shasta tradition: that the Aquarius Full Moon is the Vision Quest Full Moon. It is recognized as the best possible time to go on the mountain to receive a spiritual vision. Other cultures in a variety of different geographical areas have named this moon in a variety of ways, such as Buck Moon, Corn Moon, Grain Moon and Sturgeon Moon, but for myself and the school it has always been the Vision Quest Moon.

From an astrological and archetypal perspective, this makes great sense. Full Moons are always about expanded awareness and consciousness. The nights are as bright as possible, even revealing the shadows. Of all the Mystery Schools of Life, Aquarius is the most expanded and outside of “normal” boundaries. The school’s definition of Aquarius is: “Having the courage to expand consciousness as far as possible for its own sake”. It is best undertaken by intent and with a strong spiritual will.

This form of vision-questing is free and open, with a Jupiterian and Uranian essence, fueled by the optimism that a vision from Spirit can be received and that it can be trusted. It’s also of note that Jupiter and Uranus are now aligning, in Taurus, for the first time since 1940. They have just entered a 10-degree orb. A solid and enjoyable ground is provided for the intent to receive vision – which is not always the case with vision quests!

Venus at the Eighth Chakra and the Eighth Portal

The somewhat rare eighth gate/portal of the evening star phase within the now completing Capricorn overstory of the Venus synodic cycle opened with her conjunction with the Moon on July 20. This eighth chakra portal is open until August 8 when Venus descends into the interior underworld. After that, she will metamorphically transform fully into the Leo overstory with her heliacal rise around August 19.

What is this eighth chakra portal of evening star Venus? Since developing our signature framework, we have wondered about this, and have proposed different ideas about it. Some may call this the “astral” chakra, above the crown or seventh chakra. In the past, some have suggested a collective crown experience or an awareness beyond the crown. Recently, in an attempt to be somewhat harmonious with the eighth gate of morning star Venus, which is “Death by Intent”, we are suggesting the concept of “Expanded Awareness by Intent”. The presence of the Aquarius Vision Quest Full Moon within the timeframe of July 20 -August 8 amplifies this insight. Additionally, it is noticed that for 104 years, up to 1974, the Venus synodic overstory of this horn of the Venus pentagram was Aquarius!

Recently, an amazing discovery was made. I was wondering how often this current timeframe of the Aquarius Full Moon and an eighth Venus portal occurs. I went back as far as 1900 and discovered it has only happened three times since then:

  • August 13, 1927, 96 years ago, with a 19Aquarius26 Full Moon
  • August 18, 1959, 64 years ago, with a 24Aquarius50Full Moon
  • July 26, 1991, 32 years ago, with a 03Aquarius16 Full Moon.

I invite researchers out there to look into these time periods. I certainly intend to! I have also elaborated on this 32-year cycle in our recent Yearly Highlight Seminar Venus and Mars Cycles and The Great Saga. Click here to purchase the recording which includes various important downloadable document resources!

The Shadow Side

It is easy to see what a truly great opportunity is being offered here to gain an objective and spacious perspective on your personal evolution as well as a wider spiritual view regarding the current challenges global humanity is faced with. TOTAMS very much supports this intent, more so as this is one of the very best times to trust the guidance coming from your higher self and even from your future self!

But, TOTAMS uses a Three Worlds Approach. And as such, the “shadow” and “honest mistakes” need to be recognized, because increasing light will always magnetize its opposite!

Seen from the Three Worlds Approach, this portal is possibly the most Celestial World alignment imaginable. No doubt that its shadow will also emerge. I am referring yet again to the meanwhile well-known phrases “spiritual bypass”, “light-polarized”, and “light-washing”.  Since a Full Moon, and even more so at perigee, can reveal shadows that cannot be seen under a moonless night sky, ignoring the shadow can be dangerous. I am reminded of a quote from Jung: “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell”.

Of particular concern here is the shadow of Aquarius, which I have written and spoken of extensively over the last few years. See a few of my presentations in this YouTube playlist.

It’s a comprehensive topic, but let me summarize it this way:

  • Question: “What is the shadow of Aquarius?”
  • Answer: “There is no shadow”.
  • Get it?


Sabian Symbol

When aligning with this extraordinary portal, with the greatest potency in the three-day window of the Aquarian Full Moon, remember to be aware of both the upper and lower worlds, the light and the shadow! We can be reminded of this by studying the Rudhyarian Sabian Symbol for 10Aquarius which particularly warns us to not hero worship those who we may project our hopes and wishes onto, to not over-idealize.


KEYNOTE: The need to deal with human beings as persons rather than as screens upon which one projects one’s dream and ideal.

Here we have a final statement on the relationship between mental-spiritual vision and living reality, between persons and the ideal they appear to incarnate, between the “great lover Image” and one’s need for love — a love his presence stimulated and aroused. The “star” on the movie screen is not the actual person. The star’s popularity fades away, the person remains. What has this episode of popularity actually done to the person? This is a question that can be applied to a great variety of circumstances.

This fifth symbol in the sixty-second sequence brings to our attention an issue that is basic and may confront us in various forms. Person versus archetype. This can mean a critical need for SELF-REVALUATION.

Elias Lonsdale Zodiac Oracle

An even greater counter-balance to light-washing, and providing a sturdy bridge between the worlds, can be found in the remarkable 10degree Aquarius imagery in Ellias Lonsdale’s recent masterwork “360 degrees of your STAR DESTINY – A Zodiac Oracle”:

“Aquarius 10

A black raven with a bright red head

The bringer of dark tidings. The one who is so aware of every conceivable dilemma and obstacle that she insists on bringing them all up and out. If this proves to be inconvenient and messy, so much the better. She senses her function to be pure shadow all the way.
If she can draw attention to the worst, she believes we will all have a chance. So she must scavenge, cry out, make what has been hidden away dramatically obvious and inescapable. If she has to be the scapegoat, the devil’s advocate, the one who is too much for everybody, she can only say yes to the no, gladly moving with what others would shun.
When she comes calling, everything stands still. We are all at rapt attention. She keeps us spellbound by her articulation of the shadows, the forbidden, the strange. We ask her to do her worst. She is a gadfly. She makes sure we cannot get away with our fantasies and dreams.
What motivates her mightily is the chance to deprive hypocrites and fools of their masks and their self-righteousness. For she has been around, and she has learned that what seems so bright and high-blown contains within it seeds of a very great downfall. She would prefer to hasten the inevitable so we can get on with cleaning up afterward.
Her energies are abrasive. Her attitude is a brooding one. Her way of operating skirts dangerously close to really falling under the shadows. But she hones that edge as her own. By walking along the far edge, she makes the rest of us get honest and real.
Because she punctures illusions, we may imagine her to be quite the heavy. But the truth is that she does all this strictly because she lucidly witnesses that somebody has to have the raw nerve to expose and make visible. We are beholden to her even as she chills and chases us.”





If you have ever desired to create a vision quest ceremony and experience its remarkable power for yourself, it is hard to imagine a better time for it than now.  Each person, based on archetype, lineage, and season of life, will have their own way of doing this.


For some it will literally be going to the mountain. But it might equally be a deep forest, an ocean, or the desert that is calling you most strongly. Other choices can be to embark on a silent retreat, meditation retreat, fast, or simply create quiet time and sacred space in your own sacred sanctuary.

The main thing is to be aware of this incredible opportunity offered by Great Mystery coupled with your INTENT for expanded awareness!

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