New Moon in Capricorn
Within the heart of the dark forest we seclude ourselves from the tumult and toxicity of civilization. We feel the slow rhythm of the earth under our feet, the songs of the wild in the air, the sense of the trees reaching out from and sinking deep into subterranean nourishment. The canopy of trees shelter the surrounding diversity of nature, the natural cycles of growth and decay clearly observable. A Capricorn New Moon is similarly an opportunity to center and ground within the changes of what is ready to be developed and what is passing away or in need of release. Capricorn is most potent and fertile when we allow our inner life to help us navigate through the labyrinth of external conditioning structures and influences.
The New Moon in Capricorn on January 16 takes us into a season of eclipses, with a Total Lunar Eclipse in Leo (12º) coming January 31 followed by a Partial Solar Eclipse in Aquarius arriving February 15 (27º). The emphasis on Capricorn calls us to formulate plans and fixate determination to persevere, yet the nature of the forthcoming eclipse season portends a wave of events on the horizon bringing changes in circumstances requiring adjustment. This theme is reemphasized by the New Moon forming a square with Uranus in Aries. The places in your natal chart impacted by the coming eclipses in Leo and Aquarius are important to take into consideration at this New Moon. Ultimately, the Capricorn New Moon is fertile ground to launch the work and endeavors you are most passionate about, with a willingness to consistently put in the necessary amount of practice, study, and effort needed to achieve successful manifestation.
Saturn rules the New Moon from within the stability and strength of its own home in Capricorn. Co-present with the New Moon and Saturn in Capricorn are Mercury, Venus, Pluto, and Black Moon Lilith. During the darkening of the Moon leading up the Capricorn lunation, Mercury finally completed its final conjunction with Saturn in Capricorn that links back to its previous Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius (December 2 -22, 2017) that began with Mercury united with Saturn. Direct action toward goals and strengthening of foundations are needed now more than reflective restraint. Contemplation must be yoked to determined effort and disciplined focus. Distractions flee under the glare of Saturn, revealing the core desires, needs, and issues to prioritize. The plethora of placements in Capricorn support creative visualization of developing plans that pragmatically discerns a path forward with solutions that are both realistic and imaginative.
While Saturn in Capricorn intensifies the Saturnine significations of the Capricorn New Moon, Mercury will be a bright Morning Star in Capricorn in the lunar cycle ahead, ready to help make clarified choices within daily tasks. Mercury will be transitioning from Capricorn into Aquarius as the blood red eclipse in Leo forms on January 31. While there will be solid astrological support for making headway with work and projects in the next couple of weeks, remember to make time for self care and restful dreaming time. The emphasis on Capricorn can coincide with intense, pressurized feelings of time and space and deadlines we must meet. Ideally a balance can be struck between seizing the moment when opportunities appear and nurturing ourselves so we have our full strength to summon when needed.
A New Venus synodic cycle began in the week before the New Moon that was simultaneously united with Pluto in Capricorn. The personal meaning found in the January 8 solar union of Venus and Pluto seeds the growth beginning to form within the New Moon. The reception of meaning stemming from this alignment will continue to slowly deepen in awareness in coming weeks, prodding us to face and overcome whatever fears have been holding us back. It can be easy to remain stuck in routines and responsibilities we have outgrown due to the comfort of the old and familiar that do not require making radical changes. The rebirth of Venus in union with the Sun and Pluto, combined with Mercury and Saturn also residing in Capricorn, facilitates asking new questions that demand new answers and a reframing of circumstances. Old structures can more easily break open within the series of eclipses we will be experiencing within the next month, making this a perfect time to courageously consider how our use of time and space can be rearranged so we are more actively engaged with inspirational activity that grips our full presence.
The other major aspect of the Capricorn New Moon involves the harmonious sextile with Scorpio holding a formidable influence of Mars and Jupiter. Mars is separating from a recent union with Jupiter in Scorpio, and Mars has a receptive sextile with the New Moon due to it occurring in the exaltation of Mars. Amplifying the transmutational potency is Jupiter in a close sextile with Pluto in Capricorn, and Mars in Scorpio in square with the degree of the partial Solar Eclipse in Aquarius coming February 15. We have both malefics, Mars and Saturn, at full strength in their own homes. Malefics are a polarity to benefics due to their correspondences often causing fear and requiring determined resiliency in response. Often the key to overcoming fears is a willingness to explore their undercurrents and face whatever lies at their root. As we shed old fears the harmonious interchange between Scorpio and Capricorn within the lunation brings a forceful current to propel us through the upcoming eclipses into bold new levels of development.
In addition, Neptune in Pisces has a less obvious effect within the New Moon as it forms harmonious whole sign aspects with the abundance of planets in Capricorn and Scorpio. The strongest aspect for Neptune in the New Moon involves Mercury in Capricorn applying to a sextile with Neptune. Furthermore, the Total Lunar Eclipse coming on January 31 is aligned with the nodes of Neptune, with the Sun and South Node of the Moon conjoining the South Node of Neptune, and the eclipsed Moon and North Node of the Moon conjoining the North Node of Neptune. Altogether this ramps up the imaginative fertility of the New Moon to foster a dissolution of restrictive conditioning influences from the past in order to activate creative actualization of core talents and calling.
Capricorn 3 Decan
The New Moon arises in the third decan of Capricorn associated with the Four of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of empire building and wielding influence from a seat of power, the Four of Pentacles signifies a cultivation of inner talents to make an impact in the material world in matters that are most meaningful. The crowned and enthroned figure has pentacles below and above him, with a fourth pentacle cradled at heart level evoking a spinning wheel of fortune. The figure towers in the foreground, suggesting someone sovereign and able to manage structures to bring material prosperity and security within the wildly fluctuating changes in fortune that come and go within surrounding society.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Throne” to the third face of Capricorn, a fitting image given that the Sun rules the decan. Coppock wrote that this face of Capricorn involves administering from a throne to control the elements of the world needed to attain material gain and positions of greater power and responsibility. Notably, Coppock cautioned that hubris can tempt those grasping for power in this face to overlook the weight of responsibility and the loneliness of isolation that accompany achieving ambitions. Coppock warned that accumulations of material wealth, power, and responsibility “may end up crushing them,” the idealized palace turning into a restrictive prison.
Since Saturn in Capricorn can bolster the application of the New Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Pluto in Capricorn toward whatever ambition we set our mind and will toward, make sure that the achievement of current goals are in accord with a healthy, balanced life that enables inner fulfillment in addition to external success. If you are feeling overwhelmed and blocked by external circumstances, let yourself surrender to acceptance while remaining watchful and determined to find openings for advancement, no matter how small or temporary. In fact, the astrological alignments at the New Moon can help prepare and refine an abundance of inner riches and attainment of inner wisdom that has nothing to do with material circumstances. Within the shifting tides of the material realm, however, perseverance and determination will be required to navigate the sweeping change on the horizon.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.