Capricorn New Moon

Nereid riding a Sea Goat, Greek bronze from 4th Century B.C.

Capricorn New Moon

Though the beginning of every lunar cycle is a cyclical cusp of renewal to cross, the New Moon in Capricorn on January 2 is more transitional than normal as it will announce the beginning of a new year as well as new cycles with both the Moon and Venus. The threshold guardian Janus with his two faces simultaneously looking forwards and backwards will be strongly felt within the darkness of the lunation, as old memories and patterns will become deeply felt at the same time that new desires for future growth contend with the familiarity of the past. The presence of Pluto has been radically reshaping the landscape of Capricorn ever since 2008, with the more recent alignment of Saturn, Jupiter, and the South Node of the Moon with Pluto during 2020 bringing about a total reshaping of global civilization at the same time we experienced our own individual transfiguration. With Venus presently retrograde in Capricorn and applying toward a conjunction with the Capricorn New Moon, there will be a need to embrace nonlinear perceptions and feelings, reaching back into the depths of our past at the same time as we envision a more authentically creative direction forward.

The dark forests and alpine terrain of Capricorn encourages the development of strategies to deal with the challenges of life as well as the mental fortitude to bear suffering while persevering toward goals. Yet its living image of the Sea Goat speaks to the more complex capacities of Capricorn for entering the dissolution of chaotic processes at the heart of creation, as the Sea Goat’s watery tail can draw vision from imaginal sources that bring about a necessary renewal and reordering of material being reshaped on the dry land of everyday life. The strength of Capricorn for constructing effective boundaries can be utilized for creating space to deepen into a letting go of old forms of identity and security, allowing whatever wild off shoots from inner fertility need to emerge. Due to the interplay between the lunation with the present state of Venus retrograde in Capricorn, it will be necessary to accept the mystery of present emotions and events rather than insisting on gaining certainty or a quick fix. Venus has much more to reveal in the coming weeks.

Venus stationed retrograde within close range of Pluto on December 19, forming her second conjunction with Pluto within two weeks on December 25. Since then Venus has been slowly moving away from Pluto and towards the flames of the Sun, intensifying the presence of the star of Aphrodite in our lives. You may be simultaneously experiencing inner desires lit by the approaching heat of the Sun while also undergoing a purgation of what needs to be burned off from the past. Venus is still only three degrees away from Pluto during the Capricorn New Moon, and so while Venus may still be hearing the chthonic siren songs of underworld desires within the darkness of the lunation, her approaching union with the Sun on January 8 will demarcate a slow shift away from the pull of old relational patterns stirred up by her close proximity with Pluto. During the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, the sensual sultriness and inner wildness of Capricorn will be available to explore as part of coming into relationship with the new desires and values that we will be continuing to develop in the months ahead.

The Capricorn New Moon is closely separating from an invigorating trine aspect with Uranus retrograde in Taurus and applying toward a sextile with Neptune in Pisces and a conjunction with Venus and Pluto in Capricorn; these aspects amplify the breakthrough quality of the lunation, whether in relation to old memories and patterns or becoming more deeply stirred by present desires emerging. The harmonious aspect between the Capricorn New Moon with Neptune can facilitate imaginative engagement with the flux of desires, using the felt sense of images, films, music, and other artistic or creative processes to deepen into awareness of what needs to be let go from the past to clear space for new growth to take root. The strange, magical quality of time that can be experienced during Venus retrograde will be bringing opportunities to make foundational alterations in your relationship with Capricorn, eventually bringing awareness for how to claim greater authority and agency in creatively reshaping your direction in the year ahead. Yet within the coming weeks we may first need to confront the challenges to our future growth lurking within the shadows, necessitating a descent into whatever material within our interior depths needs our attention.

The Sibyl and a Child Bearing a Torch (1520-40) unknown artist after Ugo da Carpi

Less than a week after the Capricorn New Moon on January 8 we will experience a rebirth of Venus, as she will be reanimated by her union with the Sun at 18º43′ Capricorn. Demetra George in Ancient Astrology wrote that “the protected space at the heart of the Sun is the sanctum sanctorum, the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations,” symbolizing the felt sense of mystery and revelation that may be felt when the Sun and Venus come together. Venus will be enthroned within solar light, bringing about a purification that can help in receiving greater clarity regarding the inner metamorphosis of Venus that has been in process. It will be worthwhile to reflect upon the placement of 18º43′ Capricorn in your natal chart to gain a sense of what areas of your life may be especially impacted by the renewal of Venus on January 8.

The inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on January 8 demarcates the shift from Venus away from being in her Evening Star phase into entering her Morning Star phase. Her inferior conjunction also places Venus upon one point of the five pointed star pattern that Venus forms within the five inferior conjunctions she forms every eight years while retrograde in between our orbit with the Sun, as well as within the five superior conjunctions she forms every eight years while moving direct on the other side of our orbit around the Sun. The nonlinear nature of the solar conjunctions formed by Venus can often resurrect memories and patterns associated with the stories taking shape in our lives during previous alignments of Venus with the Sun. For example, it will be helpful to reflect upon whatever storylines were taking shape when the present Evening Star phase of Venus was seeded at the superior conjunction of Venus on March 25, 2021 at 5º50’ Aries; these storylines in particular will be experiencing significant developments. It will also be important to contemplate the storylines taking shape during the previous inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on June 3, 2020 at 13º35’ Gemini, as this was the last time that Venus united with the Sun while retrograde. The last time there was a conjunction of Venus with the Sun in Capricorn was the superior conjunction of Venus on January 8, 2018 at 18º57’ Capricorn; this solar conjunction was additionally relevant due to it occurring near Pluto. Moreover, the last time that Venus was retrograde and conjoining the Sun in Capricorn was eight years ago on January 11, 2014 at 21º11’ Capricorn; this previous Venus retrograde phase in Capricorn was additionally significant due to Venus stationing direct while forming a conjunction with Pluto on January 31, 2014.

Fortunately, the inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on January 8 is taking place within a section of Capricorn that pleases Venus: her own bounds. The bounds or terms of each zodiacal sign are sections in which planets have greater agency to express their nature even if they are not the domicile ruler of the sign. For example, Demetra George has compared a planet being in its own bounds to being like a classroom that the planet can manage within the larger context of the zodiacal sign. Since Venus has her bounds from fourteen to twenty-two degrees of Capricorn, she will begin operating from her own terms beginning on January 3 and will remain within her own terms until January 17. The presence of Venus within her own bounds during her inferior conjunction as well as the surrounding time period will enhance our capacity for deepening into whatever changes in our values and desires are taking shape and being able to experience the pleasures of Venus in the process.

The deep alterations to inner values we experience on personal levels will be taking place within a larger context of disruptive societal change due to the final exact square aspect that formed between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus on December 23. Indeed, Saturn in Aquarius rules the New Moon in Capricorn while beginning to separate from its exact square aspect with Uranus. Due to the recent entrance of Jupiter into Pisces, Saturn will no longer be sharing space with the cohering and uplifting presence of Jupiter. Instead, Saturn will be sharing space with Mercury in the coming weeks. Mercury recently entered the sign of Aquarius on January 1 within his curiously explorative Morning Star phase, full of questions and new ideas to develop that can be strengthened and deepened by the influence from Saturn.

During the end of the previous lunar cycle, Mercury swiftly moved through the end of Capricorn and formed conjunctions with Venus retrograde on December 29 and Pluto on December 30, picking up important messages and insights regarding our experience of the present Venus retrograde phase. With Mercury in Aquarius along with Saturn and applying toward a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, the star of Hermes will be in position to help us adjust our inner changes taking shape in correspondence with the larger shifts erupting in the surrounding world. Mercury and Saturn together in Aquarius can be extremely effective in the development of intellectual research and ideas, and so it will be worthwhile to create space for focused work on projects, with the influence from Uranus enhancing our capacity for being experimental with new approaches that can lead to revelatory insights.

3 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 2 Decan

The Capricorn New Moon will emerge within the second decan of Capricorn associated with the Three of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a skilled sculptor in process of creating a divinely inspired masterwork in stone. There is a consultation taking place between the artisan and authorities associated with the institution, with carefully drawn plans for the masterpiece on display. Fittingly, Mars and Venus are the co-rulers of the second decan of Capricorn, as it is a face in which great works can be created through collaboration, careful planning, and incredible effort bonded with artistic vision. With the inferior conjunction of Venus on January 8 also occurring within the second decan of Capricorn, the visionary blueprints of this decan are in the process of experiencing major renovations.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Pyramid” to the second decan of Capricorn, noting it is a place where sublime works of material manifestation are completed. Coppock described this face as showing “visions of what might be wrought upon the earth, blueprints as a type of revelation.” There is not only a necessity for blueprints but also disciplined, hard work in collaboration with numerous resources in order to complete the grand visions that emerge in this face. Coppock wrote that while it is necessary to bind effort to accomplishing ambitious goals, he also cautioned to take care in the “enduring consequences” created by becoming consumed by the creation of a grand magnum opus. Images in both the Picatrix as well as Three Occult Books of Philosophy speak to this face inspiring a search for what cannot be known and seeking what cannot be done, leading Coppock to note the importance of finding a balance between having enough ambition to envision worthy goals while refraining from the kind of hubris that can envision “impossible or ill fated projects.”

Thus with the Capricorn New Moon on January 2 and the inferior conjunction of Venus on January 8 both taking place within the second face of Capricorn, we can explore if we need to release ourselves from past ambitious goals that are no longer aligned with the emerging values we are coming into relationship with. The revelations from the retrograde phase of Venus may also bring realization that continuing to purse a particular vision will make you complicit in a pyramidal hierarchy of power you no longer wish to be involved with. While some may link the symbol of pyramids with problematic hierarchies, pyramids were also associated in ancient Egyptian culture with creation itself, as they represented the mounds of earth that would arise out of the fertility of water. Within the darkness of the New Moon in Capricorn, let the Sea Goat of Capricorn lead you into the depths of your inner fertility in order to contact the vibrant visions ready to emerge through your work and planning in the year ahead.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

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