New Moon in Capricorn
The New Moon in Capricorn on 29 December 2016 pulls us underneath the surrounding soil of society, penetrating into the underlying dynamics at play in the tearing down and building up of forms. Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is united with the New Moon one degree away, and earlier on the same day during the darkest dark of the Moon, Mercury retrograde is exactly conjunct the Sun. We enter the blackness of the New Moon as Mercury is purified and regenerated at the heart of the Sun, stripping and cleansing us from egotistical attachments to material forms and ambitions dictated by societal conditioning rather than intrinsic motivation. The Sea Goat symbolizing Capricorn not only yearns to climb mountains of accomplishment, but also is drawn into the oceanic, immaterial expanse underlying reality where it can tap into the roots of form, churning visions of what to manifest from subconscious senses. Over attachment to external validation for achievement and effort as well as the completed form of endeavors can lead the saturnine Sea Goat into melancholic malaise, yet its melancholic nature can be continually rejuvenated through full participation in the moment of creation, absorbed in its enhanced capacity to bridge the immaterial with the material and bring imaginal ideas into manifestation.
The New Moon in Capricorn is ruled by Saturn in Sagittarius that is in a waning, last quarter sextile with Jupiter in Libra, a last quarter square with Chiron in Pisces, and a disseminating trine with Uranus in Aries. In the week preceding the New Moon, Saturn formed its first of three exact trines with Uranus that will occur in the next year: there will also be one in May 2017 as well as another in November 2017. Jupiter expands what Saturn gives form to, and with their contraction and expansion in harmonious aspect, it is the far reaching visions of Jupiter and Uranus that are in dynamic tension within these aspects. To paraphrase Dane Rudhyar, Uranus is a galactic interface that shatters our Saturn structure and when this happens we may be thrown into delusions of grandeur unless we utilize Jupiter to balance our shifting perceptions and their lunar impact on how we are functioning within our changing form. The exact trine between Saturn and Uranus suggests that through taking the responsibility to be self aware of these potent forces moving through us, we can seize the opportunity to bring ideas into form that can emancipate us from previous limitations within our circumstances.
The square between Saturn and Chiron is exact at the New Moon, bringing feelings of how we not only identify with our bodily form and mind, but also attach our identity to the societal roles we play, forms we create, and ways in which we must conform our identity to fit into collective conventions. There is a sensitivity and rawness to the wounds of identity we carry throughout our life, beginning from the times as a child we felt judged, shamed, or invalidated by parents or teachers for expressing ourselves. As adults feelings of vulnerability can come up when our inner feelings feel confined or unaccepted by societal norms, and often attachment to roles of status, privilege, power, or wealth can be seized to mask and assuage feelings of insecurity over feeling unable to express one’s true nature. With Uranus in trine to Saturn, from a place of inner security we can claim the authority to allow whatever has been dormant to be reawakened, discerning a mode of expression to share and embody more of our wholeness with others. In this way we can find fulfillment in the forms we create and must watch pass away, rather than depression over not having our expectations and needs met by our achievements that were not aligned with our inner nature.
It is significant that Saturn has finally crossed the threshold into the third and final decan of Sagittarius, where it will remain for there rest of its transit through Sagittarius in the year ahead. Saturn rules the third face of Sagittarius and so has special strength to bring about its significations not found in the first twenty degrees of Sagittarius. In his book on the decans 36 Faces, Austin Coppock ascribed the image of a “Horse’s Skull” to the third face of Sagittarius, describing it as a place where our spirit and will force take us beyond the comfort zone and boundaries of our body, including “circumstances in which the vehicle must be sacrificed in order to achieve the will.” The 10 of Wands card in tarot is also associated with this decan, as it signifies the unification of mind, body, and spirit applied to a dedicated goal as well as the overwhelm of taking on too many responsibilities that can be adequately managed with available time and energy. The aspects between Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn signify expansive, liberating opportunities while also bringing the possibility of over reaching if we are not attuned to the moment. Through releasing attachment to expectations and focusing on receiving and working with whatever is showing up through our full participation in the present, we can better access the fruitful potential of these transits.
The trine between Saturn in Sagittarius, the ruler of the Capricorn New Moon, with Uranus in Aries is amplified because Uranus is stationing direct, in fact exactly stationing direct only a couple of hours after the New Moon. Oftentimes Uranus stationing can bring an unexpected shock or an upsetting event, yet the catharsis of released emotion and thought can break us free from a past repetitive pattern we realize was underlying a network of troubling issues. Uranus stationed retrograde on 29 July 2016 at 24.5 degrees of Aries, and through the course of its retrograde journey the landscape of our personal and collective life has been changed in ways we could not have imagined six months ago. With Uranus now stationing in trine to Saturn and in sextile to Jupiter in Libra, the revelations we receive can be worked with and transmitted into the visions, forms, and structures of our daily life. As a lot of unconscious energy can be freed up and felt with Uranus stationing, especially in aspect to Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto, it important to integrate and be responsible for how we project our internal realm into our external realm. For example, realizing the qualities you admire in another are actually dwelling inside you, awaiting activation instead of needing to be given over to another to embody for you.
Though the square between Pluto and Uranus is no longer exact, Uranus is stationing less than four degrees away from a square with Pluto. As the Moon begins to wax through its New Moon phase, it will conjoin Pluto and then form a square with Uranus as it stations direct, as well as a square with Jupiter in Libra. Collective events have been heating up with destabilizing and shattering effect, and we can in part correlate the intensity in astrology to the re-activation of the first quarter square between Pluto and Uranus. While plutocrats and rulers of hierarchical power structures can be witnessed consolidating and restructuring their grip on power and wealth through the haze of current events, on a personal level there is incredible power available within these transits to rebuild one’s life from the ground up in a manner that will enable one to more naturally experience joy and passion in daily work and activities. The Capricorn New Moon is incredibly potent with regard to setting intentions that also carry a clear path of follow through we can hold ourselves accountable to.
Venus in Aquarius is a key player in the current movement of our cosmic symphony, forming harmonious aspects with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus. In Aquarius, Venus can be in her own space with clear boundaries allowing her to decondition from external influences and mass manipulation. Venus in Aquarius is in position to not only help us feel more deeply however we are not aligned with consensus norms, but also help guide us toward a sense of not only the inner values we want to express but also light a path toward embodiment. Venus in Aquarius is also in square to the true node of Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio, an unconscious balancing point connecting our ego consciousness with whatever has been cast off or kept outside awareness in the subconscious. The Capricorn New Moon supports opening our awareness to unconscious contents without judgment, accepting inner feelings and sensations we may have previously been in denial of. With increased awareness of whatever is circulating within, the blackness of the Capricorn New Moon can germinate growth from a purified, regenerated presence open to the fullness of the moment.
In addition to the guiding light Venus offers as an Evening Star, the invisible Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is also in position to weave together meaning from our experiences that can course correct our current trajectory. Mercury retrograde is the ruler of the transiting North Node of the Moon in Virgo, and is also applying to a trine with the North Node. Through increased awareness of our shadow and subconscious as well as applying discernment toward external influences, there is amplified potential to make new choices that reflect our current state rather than the expectations placed on us by authority figures or collective conventions. Mercury retrograde in trine to the North Node of the Moon promotes patience and acceptance of the flow moving through our life, making sure to tend to whatever issues are calling our attention even if it feels like something from the past we want to move on from. Accepting Mercury retrograde means accepting our intuitive process of following the signs appearing in our daily life pointing toward what needs to be focused on or developed.
The New Moon in Capricorn as well as Mercury retrograde are both forming a sextile with Neptune in Pisces, Mars in Pisces, and the South Node of the Moon in Pisces. 2016 has been a year in which Mars has played a pivotal role, and so it is fitting the red planet finishes the year absorbed within the inner visioning of Pisces and Neptune and being purified through its contact with the South Node. These aspects draw inner drives deeper into the foundations of our beliefs and vision, inviting influences from our imagination to fuel our intentions and action. Dreams and desires we have been attached to in the past that are no longer in alignment with our current growth can be dissolved and released in the blackness of the New Moon.
While there can be potent inspiration and epiphany found in the strong interplay between planets in Pisces and Capricorn at the New Moon, there is also a trickiness within these aspects that require honest self reflection to direct us away from delusion toward discernment. In the collective these aspects can correlate with violence and warfare rooted in dogmatic belief systems that have been in conflict historically, as well as people absorbed in an illusion of the present based upon nostalgia for a time that no longer exists. Navigating these aspects while taking the responsibility to make choices rooted in self awareness will open us to the creative potential available.
The New Moon falls in the first decan of Capricorn, associated with the Two of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is fitting for the link between this New Moon and the inferior conjunction of Mercury retrograde, as the figure is mercurial and embodies the capacity of Capricorn to penetrate into structural forms and impact matter from the underlying fabric of reality. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Headless Body” to the first face of Capricorn, stating it “entails the descent of the spirit into the body of the world itself,” bringing consciousness to deeper and deeper levels of matter to “set those powers in motion” as well as “use the higher, logoic functions to guide them along their course.” Coppock analyzed that ancient texts such as by Ibn Ezra ascribed the image of a bestial man carrying a cattle prod to this face, suggesting it reveals the potential of the first face of Capricorn to not only set material forces in motion but also guide and steer them in order to help us find new work, new sources of wealth, or a new location in which to live.
The power of the first face of Capricorn to shape reality is fitting in terms of its ruler being Jupiter. Jupiter in Libra at the Capricorn New Moon is in sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius, in opposition with Uranus in Aries, in square with Pluto in Capricorn, and in a trine with its ruler Venus in Aquarius. With Uranus stationing direct in opposition, Jupiter can coalesce profound revelation into the roots of our circumstances, while Mercury retrograde in the first face of Capricorn along with the New Moon offers guidance into how to direct burgeoning insight into choices and action that will bring meaningful change. It’s paramount with this New Moon to be completely awake with an active intuition receptive to all signs and movements circulating throughout both our external and internal world. Whatever unexpected experiences or intensity is sparked in our external relationships, the Capricorn New Moon offers potent force to tap into our emotional, physical body and while ruminating through the activated energy, integrate the newfound revelation into embodied presence ready to make responsible decisions directed from our heart.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Y.G. Srimati. An Artist of Her Time. Arts Summary blog.