New Moon in Libra

griffins

ca 1st – 2nd Century

New Moon in Libra

Darkness surrounds every New Moon, as the Moon withdraws its reflected light to be reseeded by the Sun. With the Moon shrouded in black each month as it approaches its revivifying solar union, we are invited to silently recenter within the mysterious liminality of an old cycle ending while another begins anew. It’s a time fit for feeding ancestors and engaging in cleaning and clearing, opening awareness to whatever next wants to emerge while we tend to what came before. A sense of initiatory descent will be especially palpable during the New Moon in Libra on October 16, as we will need to incubate our knowing intuition to navigate through the rocks and hard places surrounding the lunation.

The New Moon is separating from an opposition with Mars retrograde in Aries and applying toward a demanding square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn, with the Sun in its fall in Libra. The New Moon is also separating from a catalyzing square with Pluto in Capricorn and applying toward a discordant opposition with Eris in Aries. The syzygy in the sign of the Scales will be measuring how we have been impacted by the weight and gravity of the past year that began with the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, as well as the disorienting eruptions that have shattered expectations during the past couple months of Mars volatilizing Saturn and Pluto.

The Libra New Moon demarcates our movement beyond the midpoint of the Mars retrograde period as well as Saturn slowly beginning to separate from Pluto for good, yet simultaneously brings us down into the depths of  all the trouble they have stirred up. Innumerable injustices and instances of oppression and corruption have been exposed creating an impossibly large list of problems in need of solutions. Rather than exhausting yourself by spinning out in too many directions at once, the New Moon in Libra beckons to find nurturance in chthonic caves where wells of restorative cleansing may quench excessive inflammation. Necessity demands cultivating a strength that will sustain instead of drain.

The New Moon is near the degree of the fixed star Spica, the Spike of the Virgin whose light represents the wheat held by the Winged Goddess of the Virgo constellation. Bernadette Brady wrote that the wheat sheaf symbolism of Spica “can be considered a symbol of her [the Goddess] gifts to humankind,” as Spica is a source of brilliant, extraordinary talents and skills. The Coptic people of Egypt named Spica as “Solitary,” which goes well with the New Moon being in the exaltation of Saturn. Though the lunation is surrounded by difficulty on every side, by engaging with the slow, thorough contemplation of Saturn we may receive the gift of realizing the circumstances we need to separate ourselves from and the hardships we need to endure that will be worth it in the end.

Spica is not the only sign of a goddess speaking, however, as Ceres in Aquarius is stationing direct in Aquarius in a flowing trine aspect with the New Moon. Ceres will station direct on October 18 at 28°36′ Aquarius after having been retrograde since it previously stationed on July 6 at 12º49′ Pisces. Ceres in Aquarius will form a supportive air triangle with the New Moon in Libra and the North Node in Gemini that can facilitate vital guidance emerging from purging what needs to be released. Ceres in Aquarius grieves and rages against all the oppression within societal systems she perceives with her piercing intellect. As Ceres stations and speaks out, we can realize essential aspects of our soulfulness through the purgation of emotions that can be likened to the threshing of grain governed by Ceres that reveals the essential vitality hidden in the shedded husk.

Tim Addey in The Seven Myths of the Soul wrote that as goddess of fruitfulness, Demeter (aka Ceres) is most closely aligned with the phase of the hero’s journey in which the hero returns from the other world with the elixir to bring into their home community. To Addey, the hero under the influence of Demeter “is no longer serving his own perfection but the universe’s perfection,” operating “essentially” and “from his very being” rather than out “of mundane conquest.” Spend time listening during the Libra New Moon as Ceres stations, so you may discover what elixir you are gathering to ultimately return with from the sequence of intensifying transits that will bring 2020 to a close.

Justice Pagan Otherworlds Tarot

Justice from the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot

Venus in Virgo rules the New Moon while applying to an opposition with Neptune in Pisces and a trine with Jupiter in Capricorn. The benefics, Venus and Jupiter, being in trine yet each also being in its own fall is a telling signature for the lunation requiring descent into a deeper sense of whatever circumstances you find yourself within. Venus in Virgo is also heading toward forming a square with the transiting lunar nodes, bringing her critical eye to the northern bending of the lunar nodes where she can survey whatever is out of balance and in need of repair. Exalted status symbols are no concern for the star of Aphrodite during the Libra New Moon, as she will be bringing her attention to those in marginalized communities and those in need who have been neglected or ignored.

Neptune in Pisces is casting a mystifying fog over the Libra New Moon through which Venus in Virgo may discern the path we need to take. The false glamorizing of celebrities, hypnotic manipulation of social media, and all the rest of the inessential dross spilling out from the culture of the times will need to be filtered and processed by Venus so we do not become distracted from the heart of the matter at hand. Venus in Virgo may also transmit imaginal insights through its interfacing with Neptune that may surface in dreams or the emergence of omens on our daily path, since Venus is in the domicile of Mercury and Mercury recently stationed retrograde while forming a harmonizing sextile in Scorpio.

Paul Klee Sibyl

Sibylle (1934) by Paul Klee

The other major source of propulsive volatility underlying the Libra New Moon comes from Mercury retrograde in Scorpio applying to an opposition with Uranus in Taurus that will become exact on October 19. The oscillating wattage between Mercury and Uranus will not be new, for Mercury first formed an opposition with Uranus on October 7 after having spent a week building up tension with Uranus before that. We can expect more unexpected announcements and events that radically upturn narratives and plans as they finally complete their opposition. Yet we can prepare by remaining open to the kind of jolting awareness Uranus can bring to longstanding patterns that allows us to finally break free from their grip on us.

Since Mercury stationed retrograde only three days before the lunation, the star of Hermes is full of mischievous tricks to play and oracular messages to deliver.  The first waxing crescent light of the forthcoming lunar cycle will unite with Mercury in Scorpio on October 17, bringing greater clarity for what needs to be emptied and shed with intention during the following week when Mercury will enter its invisible, underworld phase of putrefaction. The closer Mercury comes to uniting with the Sun on October 25, the more Mercury will take on the quality of the Sun’s calcining fire that dissolves what is stuck and opens deeper attuning with needed messages from our unconscious. 

Whatever messages we receive from the opposition between Mercury and Uranus will be important to pay attention to, for the Moon in the forthcoming lunar cycle will wax into fullness on October 31 during a Full Moon in Taurus that will be conjoining Uranus.

Four of Swords

4 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 3 Decan

The New Moon is in the third decan of Libra associated with the Four of Swords tarot card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image above we see what looks to be a funerary knight in prayer under a stained glass window of “PAX.” This image also evokes balancing through meditative silence within a sacred space of solace. Johannes Fiebig and Evelin Burger in their book on the tarot noted symbols in the image that contrast “inner and outer issues, the abstract world and daily life, perfect ideals and limited reality.”  Within the balance of these dualities, we can sense how the figure is in position of re-balancing body and mind like someone laying down to incubate. The funeral atmosphere with the single sword below the figure also evokes cutting away the inessential and false so we may embody more fully the genuine legacy we are meant to leave behind once we depart to the ancestral realm. Fittingly, the stabilizing and providential presence of Jupiter and the psychopomp nature of Mercury are the rulers of the third face of Libra.

Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “A Gyroscope” to the third face of Libra in his book on the decans 36 Faces.  Coppock equated the third face of Libra with the “gyroscopic stability” of “equilibrating movement through a chaotic universe,” as “its secret resides in the eye of the storm, calm and clear as the chaos of desire and fear whirl about.”  Coppock notably pointed out that earlier images associated with the third decan of Libra as found in such text as the Picatrix and Three Books of Occult Philosophy featured images of “furious indulgence” and “extremes of revelry” that co-exist in the third face of Libra along with the equipoise of the Four of Swords image.  Coppock suggested this face reveals the lesson that “the center of balance is always moving, and those who would walk this face must follow the center, however erratic its motion may seem.” Ultimately, Coppock concluded that those who properly traverse the third decan of Libra can “see through the eye of the storm,” discovering equilibrium and sanctuary in even the most chaotic of circumstances.

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs linked Nemesis to the third face of Libra. Known as a goddess who enacts retribution upon those full of hubris, there are diverse stories of her origin that place the parentage of Nemesis in the primordial (Oceanus as her father in some stories, Nyx as her mother in others) as well as her being a sister to the Fates. Nemesis is a divine force of restorative balance, redistributing fortune to correct for what has come disproportionally out of balance and punishing those who arrogantly act out of balance with natural forces of change. Her presence in the decan of the Libra New Moon is a warning that repercussions may be striking those who have been hubristically acting out, while also emphasizing the need to tend to whatever has become out of proportion in your life. Let the Libra New Moon guide you to the excess that needs to be trimmed and the outworn parts of yourself ready to be molted and shed. You will want to lighten your load to be more responsive to the many momentous events that will be erupting during the lunar cycle ahead.

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References

Addey, Tim. (2000). The Seven Myths of the Soul. The Prometheus Trust.

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.

Burger, Evelin & Fiebig, Johannes. (2013). The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot. Llewellyn Publications.

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

Spica. Constellation of Words.

Warnock, Christopher. (2010). Mansions of the Moon: A Lunar Zodiac for Astrology and Magic. Renaissance Astrology.

Full Moon in Aries

Morning Fantasy

Morning Fantasy (1904) by Mikalojus Konstantinas

Full Moon in Aries

The Full Moon in Aries on October 1, 2020 will pour a fiery ferment into our lives and stories, inflaming the tension that has been building in the past month. Since the middle of August, Mars and Saturn have been engaged in grinding conflict that has exacerbated impasses, amplified anger, and provoked outrage over abuse and misuse of power. Mars and Saturn are at centerstage of the Full Moon, with Mars retrograde in Aries raging against the stalwart stationing direct of Saturn. The timeless endurance of Saturn will persevere through the onslaught of martial heat, yet matters will be dismantled and irrevocably altered by the frenzied fire from Mars. While longing has been thwarted in many ways during the dissolution, we can remain rooted in our desires that continue to be reshaped into new dimensions.

The Full Moon is in a place of extreme fire, as Aries is the home of Mars and the exaltation of the Sun. The influx of fire will demand fuel to consume, waste and inauthenticity to be burned off, kindled inspiration to be shared, and faith in our intuitive knowing to be followed. The peak light of Selene adorned in the flames of Aries will illuminate our turn into the final quarter of 2020, yet it is not merely the end of a year we are approaching- it is the closing down of two centuries of Jupiter and Saturn conjoining in earth signs and a reckoning with all of its troubled ghosts. The tumultuous storms of 2020 have exposed innumerable injustices across society, amplifying awareness of long-standing issues of systemic oppression in need of remedy and reparation. The recent clash between Mars and Saturn has magnified difficulties and brought experiences of foreboding toil for many, but these same forces that cause separation can also motivate ferocious determination to resiliently embody and activate our core values.

Pivotally, the Full Moon is separating from a conjunction with Chiron in Aries and applying to a catalyzing square aspect with Jupiter in Capricorn. Chiron can facilitate being present with problems, allowing symptoms to guide discovery and reveal the underlying issues in need of attention. As Melanie Reinhart has spoken of Chiron’s gift in mediating ancestral relationship and healing, there is a larger perspective to integrate concerning how our temporary personal issues are seated within vaster patterns of intersecting ancestral wounds and burdens, as well as ancestral blessings and resources of strength and resiliency to draw from. It will be worthwhile to pull back from busyness to ground into nurtured space of reflection in the wake of the Full Moon. Within a protected space of rootedness not unlike an imaginal cave of Chiron, allow yourself to see through present dilemmas into the larger tapestry of soulful patterns and stories at play.

Paul Klee red house

Red House (1929) by Paul Klee

The Full Moon is in the fiery red home of Mars, placing the extremity of heat inflicted by Mars during its retrograde phase front and center. Mars is separating from a square with Saturn and applying toward a square with Pluto that will be intensified due to Pluto stationing direct on October 4 at 22°29′ Capricorn. Pluto stationed retrograde on April 25 at 24°59’ Capricorn and since then has been instigating a radical realignment between our internal metamorphoses and the shattering of societal systems that have corresponded with Pluto initiating new cycles with Saturn and Jupiter. From the Full Moon until Mars completes its square aspect with Pluto on October 9, there will be a release from the constraints of Saturn and an upwelling of volcanic desire as Pluto takes on the role of blacksmith within the forge of Mars.

The stillness of Pluto stationing direct will saturate the astrological landscape with the chthonic fertility of Hades. As the underworld ferryman emerges to demand offering from Mars, so will we need to examine our inner soil and the seeds germinating within its silent darkness. Look within for guidance rather than to external forms of security, for the volatility incited by Mars across civilization will necessitate finding faith within the deep harbors of psyche rather than the societal structures being dissolved and reforged. The strife and discord within collective events will be rampant with purgative force as Mars additionally will form a conjunction with the dwarf planet Eris on October 4, the same day Pluto stations direct.

While conjunctions between Saturn and Pluto have long been known in mundane astrology to incite collapse and polarized conflict in global events, the irrevocable dismantling of long-standing societal structures that has corresponded with their conjunction in 2020 has been magnified in intensity due to Saturn and Pluto uniting in close proximity with their own south nodes. The archetypal meaning of the entire orbital arcs of Saturn and Pluto crashing down across the ecliptic has been in effect during the past year, and as they both station direct together while Mars crashes into them they will unleash a final flood of accumulated toxicities and oppression built up from ages past.

Thus Mars retrograde is not only forming a square with Saturn and Pluto but also the nodes of Saturn and Pluto, placing it at the unfathomably cathartic place of volatilizing Saturn and Pluto from the southern bending of their own nodes. As a result, we have arrived at a crucially important opportunity to confront societal issues that have been festering and plaguing people for centuries and detoxify their intersection with us as individuals. The Full Moon in Aries will illuminate the importance of claiming responsibility for our behavior and intention, being accountable for the wider collective impact of our individual action. As the tension between Saturn, Pluto, and Mars erupts, we may discover the courage needed within our depths to protect those who are vulnerable and stand up for the world we wish to see rebuilt in the years ahead.

Image 71 from the Red Book

From Liber Novus by C.G. Jung

Vitally, Mercury will be at its maximum elongation as an Evening Star during the Full Moon in Aries, demarcating the threshold of Mercury beginning to slow down before stationing retrograde in Scorpio on October 13. Mercury in Scorpio will be making a sequence of three oppositions with Uranus in Taurus between now and November 17, with its first exact opposition occurring on October 7 and its second occurring on October 19 after shifting retrograde. Mercury and Uranus facing off will make the already volatile astrology even more chaotic, but there will also be enormous creative potential unleashed between Mercury and Uranus for reception of revelations and liberating yourself from whatever needs to be shed and released.

Mercury will be under rulership of the fiery instigator Mars, making the upcoming Mercury retrograde phase in Scorpio especially disorienting and purgative. With Mars retrograde already dislodging stuck patterns, Uranus being opposed by Mercury in the dark watery climate of Scorpio will amplify capacity for absorbing atmospheric undercurrents and penetrating under the surface of dynamics to reveal what has been hidden in the root of the matter. The watery landscape of Scorpio is not only a place of burial and decomposition, but also a place in which decay nourishes and feeds the growth of orchards and vineyards that ultimately produce fruit. While we will need to allow for unexpected commotion that can upturn plans, the simmering tension between Mercury and Uranus can also reveal insights buried in the boglands of Scorpio that will prove to be potent catalysts of profound growth.

2 of Wands

2 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries 1 Decan

The Aries Full Moon will rise in the first face of Aries associated with the Two of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image of a conquering figure holding a globe, piercing the expanse of the horizon with his gaze is fitting for a decan steeped in will power, as he seems intent on enacting his vision upon reality and expanding his influence. The ambitious confidence and assertion present in the image connects with the fact that Mars rules the first decan of Aries, giving Mars both domicile and face rulership over the Aries Full Moon. 

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the symbol of “The Axe” to the first decan of Aries, as it has a long association with fierce figures such as in the Liber Hermetis where we discover a man “standing on feet like claws” and “holding above his head a double-sided axe with both hands.” Coppock rooted the symbolism of the Axe in it being “the primordial splitter” that creates the division necessary for growth, as “cosmologies begin with the sundering of the One.” Indeed, not only did the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs identify the mythic Aidoneus with the first face of Aries, so did the ancient philosopher Empedocles identify Aidoneus as one of the four fundamental elements at the root of creation.

While Coppock described the Axe as a magical tool essential for the use of the first face of Aries in “breaking bonds which no longer serve” and bringing “subjective order to the world” through “taming the environment,” he also noted it is a face of raw, unfiltered, and untamed willpower that can evoke the “tyrannical spirit of the infant.” As it is a decan focused upon “the will pressing reality to conform with its pattern,” its strength lies in the personal power of an “unrestrained will” and “the individual yang struggling out of the collective yin.” Yet Coppock also warned of “a tendency in this decan to try to do too much with force alone,” quickly accumulating karmic debts and destructive opponents.

The Aries Full Moon will ignite the fiery, raw individualism of the first face of Aries, and so we need to consider how and why we intend to wield its penetrative potency externally and internally. While the martial ambition found in this face can be linked with empire builders who wish to amass immense power and control, its primordial fire is also what brings the inspiration and foresight required to throw off the shackles of colonizing empire and insist on liberation. However, fighting fire with fire amidst the incendiary astrology of the next month can risk unleashing devouring flames that burn out of control and lead to severe destruction. Considered responses and thoughtful initiatives are advisable within our external relationships, yet within our inner furnace we may more freely direct the fierce flames of the Full Moon to melt down entrenched patterns, fluidly reforging a revivified presence.

Nowhere, Love, will World exist but within. Our lives
pass in transformation. And all the while the outside realm
diminishes. Where once a solid house endured,
some abstraction shoves itself into view, completely at ease
among concepts, as if it still stood in the brain.
The Zeitgeist is building vast reservoirs of power, formless
as the thrusting energy it wrests from everything.
It no longer recognizes temples. Furtively we hoard
what the heart once lavished. Where one of them still survives,
an object once prayed to, revered, knelt before—,
it’s already reaching, secretly, into the invisible world.
Many no longer see it, yet without the gain
of rebuilding it greater now, with pillars and statues, within!

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Seventh Elegy of Duino Elegies translated by Edward Snow

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2000). Duino Elegies. translated by Edward Snow. North Point Press.

New Moon in Virgo

 
paul klee the gate of night

The Gate of the Night (1921) by Paul Klee

New Moon in Virgo

The New Moon in Virgo on September 17 draws a season to a close, initiating us into the final season of 2020. While the heat of Summer transitions into the crisp coolness of Autumn in the northern hemisphere, in the southern hemisphere the lunation demarcates the end of Winter and the dawning of Spring. It’s a time of seasonal balancing, with the amount of light and darkness we experience in a day temporarily reaching an equilibrium on the Libra equinox which will occur five days later on September 22. The darkness of the Virgo New Moon is ideal for centering within one’s inner light, sensing surrounding circumstances with full awareness. 

The Virgo Moon is separating from a trine with Pluto and applying toward a trine with Saturn in Capricorn, providing an opportunity to slow down and ground into deeper presence with whatever challenges and difficulties we have been contending with. After completing a trine with Saturn, the Virgo Moon will form a quincunx with Mars retrograde in Aries as the slowly moving red planet intensifies in the tension that it will continue to build with Saturn for the rest of September. The astrology of the next couple of months will not be getting any easier, and so we need to lean into any trouble brewing with discernment rather than trying to escape from problems through denial or distraction.

The strength of the Virgo New Moon is found in the dark caves and black stones of Saturn. The trine from the lights in Virgo with Saturn in Capricorn may feel melancholic due to the tumult of current events, yet the pondering contemplation of Saturn will be what we need to cultivate in the forthcoming lunar cycle. We need to engage with the side of Saturn open to the mystery of the unknown and willing to reflect upon the fullness of the moment, rather than being overly defensive, rigid, and righteously insisting on control or trying to force what we want to have happen. As Saturn begins to slow down en route to stationing direct on September 29, we will be most effective through deep reflection in decision making and taking the time necessary rather than rushing.

Mercury in Libra rules the New Moon and is forming an exact square aspect with Jupiter in Capricorn. Mercury is in the bounds of Jupiter and on the superior side of the square aspect, enabling a thorough questioning of our beliefs about what has been happening so we can make adjustments attuned with the reality of the moment rather than wishful thinking. Mercury will next form a square with Pluto on September 20 followed by a square with Saturn on September 23 as it simultaneously moves into a tense opposition with Mars. With Mercury in the exaltation of Saturn, we can combine the nuanced flexibility of Mercury with the reflective depth of Saturn to come to terms with how we need to handle whatever volatility is being stirred up by Mars retrograde in Aries.

the third shape kay sage

In the Third Sleep (1944) by Kay Sage

The New Moon is at the northern bending of the lunar nodes, forming a square aspect with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini and the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius. This means that we are at the midpoint in between eclipse seasons, as the Sun last formed a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon when there was a Solar Eclipse on June 21 and will be forming a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon when there is a Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 14. Like the view gained from climbing mountainous peaks, the Virgo New Moon offers a far ranging perspective to help mediate whatever turning points in narratives are arising. Since Mercury and Jupiter, the rulers of the lunar nodes, are colliding in an exact square there is likely a significant twist in your story occurring that will need your undivided attention.

Furthermore, Neptune retrograde in Pisces is five degrees away from a square with the lunar nodes at their southern bending. The square between Neptune and the lunar nodes will be slowly getting tighter during the rest of 2020, with Neptune forming an exact square with the lunar nodes in January 2021. Neptune is more than halfway through its retrograde phase that stretches from June 22 to November 28, having formed an opposition with the Virgo Sun on September 11. With the Virgo New Moon separating from Neptune, the lunation contains more of a movement away from the mists of Neptune rather than into its otherworldly fog. It will be especially important to sift through any lessons learned from recent experiences of disillusionment to help in reorienting toward a more realistic assessment of your situation.

The Philosophia Hermetica

from The Philosophia Hermetica (1790) by Federico Gualdi

While the incendiary heat of Mars retrograde in Aries is only at its beginning stages, the week following the Virgo New Moon will bring a critical juncture of Mercury moving through square aspects with Pluto and Saturn into an opposition with Mars on September 24. A balance will need to be struck between opening to new desires being stoked by Mars while patiently working through whatever obstacles and tests are being set in place by Saturn. It’s a period for laying the foundation of long-term goals rather than grasping for short-term gratification. Yet despite setbacks, it will not be a time to forsake our most authentic and essential desires but rather to allow them to be reshaped and reforged by the crucible of Saturn and Pluto. 

In addition to forming a square with Saturn on September 23 and an opposition with Mars on September 24, Mercury also will be crossing into the “retrograde shadow” degrees of its upcoming retrograde motion that will occur from October 13 until November 3. As it will be an especially volatile and disruptive retrograde phase for Mercury, it will be wise to begin sensing what challenges are coming your way and what needs to be remedied while Mercury is still visible in its evening star phase. Mercury colliding with Pluto, Saturn, and Mars in sequence can be helpful for noticing what is beginning to come out of balance so you can begin rethreading whatever is fraying before it becomes torn apart. 

10 pentacles

10 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 3 Decan

The New Moon in Virgo arises in the third decan of Virgo associated with the Ten of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Fitting for an image of a family enjoying the fruits of their ancestral legacy, the third face of Virgo is ruled by Mercury and Venus. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces connected the image of “the pensive nature of the elder” in the Ten of Pentacles card with a fundamental question this face asks about wealth: “What, given the fate of all created things, is truly valuable?”

Coppock ascribed the image of “The Sarcophagus” to the third decan of Virgo, writing that “the spirit gazes upon its inevitable separation from matter here, contemplating the consequences of its brief union.” A decan of decay and death, old texts such as the Picatrix and Liber Hermetis contain images of mummification, while Abraham Ibn-Ezra pictured a woman praying with leprous hands. Coppock stated that the third decan of Virgo “has the power to break the pride of all created things by showing them their inevitable end,” yet through facing this inevitability “it grants far reaching sight . . . the ability to look beyond the present, seeing consequences as clearly as actions.” It’s a decan that asks us to come to terms with the legacy and value we wish to leave behind for our future ancestors, a face of learning to embrace the moment due to the death that awaits all of our loves in the end.

Doubling down on the long game during the Virgo New Moon, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the goddess Hestia to the third face of Virgo. Hestia is a sublime guide for the New Moon, as she holds within her purified gaze the focus necessary to stay true to the essential value we wish to invest into our relationships, work, and community. Hestia is the devoted one with roots in a legacy of sisterhood we can draw from, a spiritual lineage that across tumultuous centuries has sustained respect with every breath for the living force of creation. Hestia holds within her heart a moral compass impossible to manipulate or distract away from the path of love and service that does not abandon.

Fittingly for Hestia being associated with the third face of Virgo, Venus in Leo is applying toward a conjunction with Vesta in Leo during the New Moon in Virgo. Earlier in the year there was a conjunction between Venus and Vesta on May 15 when Venus was retrograde in Gemini, and so we may now re-center within our core values that have been reforged since then.  Compared to the other planets engaged in tense aspects, Venus will have smooth sailing through Leo as it heads toward forming a trine aspect with Mars at the end of September. The essential values passed down to us from our ancestors that we wish to pass on to our future ancestors deserve our full commitment and embodiment within the darkness of the Virgo New Moon.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron.

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References

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

 

Saturn/Pluto: An Astrological Panel Talk

 

nightlight astrology saturn pluto promo

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

7 pm Eastern Standard Time

Nightlight Astrology

I will be part of a panel of astrologers discussing the 12 January 2020 conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn for Nightlight Astrology hosted by Acyuta-bhava Das (formerly known as Adam Elenbaas). I will be joined by Jenn Zahrt, Samuel Reynolds, Jason Holley, Becca Tarnas, Patrick Watson, Rebecca Gordon, and Acyuta-bava Das.

It will take place on January 8th at 7 pm eastern time, via live webinar. See the Nightlight Astrology events page for more information.

“Join us for a star-studded astrology panel discussion on the meaning of the upcoming conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in the sign of Capricorn, this January 12th. For many who study astrology, this relatively rare transit (occurring once every 33-38 years) has a reputation for being ominous and anxiety-provoking, and for some very good reasons. However, the focus of our panel discussion will be to present the deeper symbolic meaning of Saturn and Pluto’s conjunction alongside a variety of constructive suggestions for how to make this encounter a more soulful experience. We will also be taking live questions and answers from the audience and hope to generate a meaningful discussion in the midst of what for many are challenging times!”

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https://zoom.us/j/455316272

Meeting ID: 455 316 272

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Jupiter in Capricorn

Jupiter Capricorn Pan no text

Cropped image of Pan from Spring Evening by Arnold Bocklin; Astrology glyphs by Bradley Naragon

Jupiter in Capricorn

Jupiter descends from its elevated, fiery home of Sagittarius on December 2, 2019 to enter its fall in Capricorn, where it will remain until December 19, 2020. As Jupiter dismounts from its swift steed of Sagittarius and takes off its saffron robe encircled in patterns of star-fire, Jupiter wanders into the rocky and treacherous terrain of Capricorn where Pan-like it will mix with the spirits of land and nature. Like a goat-horned and hoofed deity who dances with nymphs and lives in complete accordance with nature’s cycles, Jupiter in Capricorn brings the force of Eros underneath the surface of matter to catalyze growth and expansion from subterranean sources underlying the roots of appearances.

During 2019, the transit of Jupiter in Sagittarius was the most positive and beneficial astrological force during a year in which we collectively had to come to terms with the intensifying alignment of Saturn and Pluto ending a cycle together in Capricorn while also conjoining the South Node of the Moon and eclipses. The astrologer André Barbault called the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto “a double star that evokes the death wish of Thanatos,” and as the major alignments of its cycle have corresponded with shattering collective events such as the outbreaks of the first and second World Wars as well as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, there has been a lot of fear for what destructive events could erupt during 2020 as they begin a new cycle on January 12. It’s significant that Jupiter will be ending and beginning cycles with both Saturn and Pluto during 2020, while occupying Saturn’s nocturnal home of Capricorn. In the wild, dark forests of Capricorn, Jupiter in Capricorn will have to confront the living ghosts of the past and all of the complex, interweaving strands of historical conflicts found in the shadows of present collective crises.

While Jupiter will bring its strength for reconciling meaning into the widespread decay, breakdown, and power conflicts incited by Saturn and Pluto conjoining in Capricorn, it will no longer be able to purely express itself directly as it could while in Sagittarius. Being under rulership of Saturn, Jupiter in Capricorn will necessitate finding growth opportunities and cohering meaning within the constraints of circumstances and available time and space. Jupiter will need to create from contraction and consolidation, determinedly building what Saturn deems worthy of our investment, stripping away the inessential in the process. As Jupiter comes to the end of its cycle with Saturn, we will need to temper our imaginative visions of expansion with methodical reordering which addresses not only our realizations ripening for harvesting, but also the death of old forms, past issues surfacing for resolution, and the collective changes out of our control we will have to respond to.

zeus amalthea

Giulio Bonasone( 1531-76), Jupiter suckled by the goat Amalthea

Indeed, the year 2020 is not only significant due to initiating a new decade within the Gregorian calendar, it also happens to align with an epochal shift within broader astrological cycles. The last time Saturn and Pluto united was in 1982/83, while the last time Saturn and Jupiter united was in 2000; however, the Saturn and Jupiter conjunction in 2020 also brings to an end a larger two-hundred year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in earth signs, while firmly establishing a new two-hundred year era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs. Since the year begins with a conjunction between Saturn and Pluto on January 12, ends with a conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter on December 21, and features Jupiter uniting with Pluto three times in between, the transit of Jupiter in Capricorn is a key transit due to cohering the meaning of numerous planetary cycles together in 2020.

Historically, there has often been a triggering of increased volatility and amplified change and revolution in collective events when Jupiter has moved in between alignments with outer planets like Saturn and Pluto to connect them across broad stretches of time, similar to the “translation of light” caused by the Moon moving in between aspects within planets on a daily basis. Here are some dates for Jupiter forming major aspects with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto during the next year:

  • Jupiter in Capricorn will form a flowing and innovative trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus on December 15, 2019. This is the only exact aspect between Jupiter and Uranus, but although a passing transit it will correspond with important insights and manifestations of visions we have been experimenting with. In particular, we may experience vital development on ideas we have been developing since the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus that occurred in 2017.
  • Jupiter in Capricorn will form three harmonizing sextile aspects with Neptune in Pisces in 2020 on February 20 (18º), July 27 (21º), and on October 11 (19º). The supportive, waning sextile aspect between Jupiter and Neptune can help ground and structure whatever imaginal visions were developed during the last quarter square formed between Jupiter and Neptune in 2019. It can also help us stabilize any major changes in life direction made in recent years while remaining open to new potential.
  • Jupiter will form three conjunctions with Pluto in Capricorn during 2020. The first with both direct on April 4 (25º), the second with both retrograde on June 30 (24º), and the third with both direct on November 12 (23º).
  • Jupiter will finally form a conjunction with Saturn at the first degree of Aquarius on December 21, 2020. Jupiter and Saturn will be co-present in Capricorn for most of 2020 except between March 21 and July 1 when Saturn will be in Aquarius. Saturn returns to Aquarius for good on December 17, 2020.

Fall of Thema Mundi with Moon

Planets in Fall arranged with the Thema Mundi

Fall of Jupiter

One of the first principles in contemplating Jupiter’s transit through Capricorn in the year ahead is understanding the meaning of Jupiter being in its fall. The graphic above is arranged with the planets in their fall placed into the houses of the Thema Mundi, the mythic horoscope for the birth of the universe.  The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn all have their fall in the sign opposite their exaltation. The origin of the terminology for “fall” comes from the Greek term “tapeinoma,” which means a depression in the ground or a low-lying place. As Demetra George wrote in her tome Ancient Astrology,  the terminology of fall “carries both the meaning of lower status- humbled, base, low-born- and the corresponding state of melancholy; downcast spirits.” Melancholia and pessimistic beliefs that can come from skepticism are indeed some of the potential downfalls when Jupiter inhabits the cold, dry, and densely earthen home of Saturn.

The schema of exaltation and fall is related to the relation of astrology with the intersection between the eternal realm of Spirit (generally associated with the Sun) with our material realm of Fortune and constant generation, corruption, death, and birth (generally associated with the Moon). Planets in exaltation occupy an idealized, peak expression of the planet capable of receiving fame and acclaim within society. Yet according to William Lilly, exalted planets when unimpeded can describe someone “of haughty condition, arrogant, assuming more to him than his due.” In contrast, planets in fall can be viewed as falling out of the mainstream and the exalted power structure of social hierarchy. Planets in fall may signify matters undervalued by  the dominant culture or falling outside what consensus society esteems as elite or idealized. Planets in fall may also become drawn toward working on behalf of those marginalized by societal structures. While exalted planets can tumble from lofty heights, planets in fall can rise up.

I like to frame planets in fall in accordance with the thema mundi since the Sun in Libra is found in the subterranean angle of the fourth house within the mythic horoscope. The Sun being in the place of the underworld evokes the dangerous and death-defying  journey that Ra, the Egyptian Sun god, has to undergo each night through facing the serpent Apophis. An embodiment of chaos, Apophis comes perilously close to devouring the Sun in the depth of night and in this way reveals the symbolism of planets in fall needing to undergo an underworld initiation. Though planets in fall can bring us down into dark nights of soul, through difficult initiatory experiences we can ultimately receive deeper understanding into being an eternal soul who has fallen into incarnation in a world of constant flux.

Jupiter has its fall in Capricorn, a place where Mars is exalted; conversely, Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, a place where Mars has its fall. Rhetorius, an astrologer from the 6th or 7th Century CE, wrote that since “Jupiter is the ruler of life and abundance, but Mars of death,” it means that since “the breath of life increase” in Cancer that “the quality of death” has its fall there. Furthermore, Rhetorius wrote that since death increases in Capricorn, “there is life in its fall.”  Jupiter in Capricorn is in a sign that favors the combative strength and courage of Mars that deals with survival and death more so than the nurturing strength of Jupiter which focuses on generation and abundance.

There are also ancient associations of Cancer, the sign of the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, being associated with life and the descent of souls into incarnation, whereas Capricorn, the sign of the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, was associated with the ascent of souls following death to the realm of the ancestors. Porphyry in On the Caves of the Nymphs described Cancer as the northern gate “adapted to souls descending into generation,” and Capricorn as the southern gate that is “adapted to ascent” and which “dissolves life” and “sends it upward to the heat of a divine nature.” Thus Jupiter in Capricorn finds itself within ancestral land set apart from farming and fertilizing, where the putrefaction and deep contemplation of Saturn finds its home.

While Capricorn’s association with death and ascent to the realm of immortals could be interpreted as revealing the priestly nature of Jupiter in Capricorn being particularly attuned to communing with ancestors, it also shows the difficulty that the generous and optimistic nature of Jupiter encounters in Capricorn. Faced with fear of survival or scarcity of resources in the rocky expanse of Capricorn, Jupiter’s impetus for growth and expansion can become overly materialistic with ambitious desire to attain status and control outcomes. Jupiter in Capricorn potentially can conform to a crystallized, Saturnian concept of cultural expectations for success rather than an authentic path that necessitates straying from mainstream beliefs and values. In order for Jupiter in Capricorn to access its higher gifts, it needs to follow the higher path of Saturn which involves setting oneself apart from the consensus to discern inner truth.

There is also a unique creative expression that can be accessed through each planet in fall, in accordance with the nature of its ruler. In Capricorn, Jupiter has the resources of Saturn at its disposal that can enable the manifestation of imaginal vision into enduring forms and structures through the hard work and disciplined determination which pleases Saturn. There is a long list of Jupiter in Capricorn natives who achieved immortality through their creativity such as John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Charlie Chaplin, Isadora Duncan, Louis Armstrong, Oscar Wilde, Stéphane Mallarmé, Jean Cocteau, and Beethoven, as well as modern visionary groundbreakers such as RuPaul and Mark Zuckerberg (Zuckerberg also being an example of Jupiter’s excessive potential ambition in Capricorn). There is a steadiness found with Jupiter in Capricorn that can be utilized to strategize ways of persisting through obstacles and setbacks in order to achieve longterm goals.

In keeping with the philosophical nature of Jupiter being placed in the home of contemplative Saturn, there are also numerous notable intellectuals and philosophers such as William James, Karl Marx, Albert Camus, and Martin Heidegger born with Jupiter in Capricorn. Heidegger is particularly interesting in connection with Capricorn as a place of death, as his philosophy involved making an authentic change through facing death and taking the responsibility to resist conforming to dominant social norms and conventions. Jupiter in Capricorn is also found in the horoscope of metaphysical visionaries Emmanuel Swedenborg and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, both of whom worked within the sympathy found between the celestial realm above with the earth below. During the challenging times portended by the coming transits of 2020, we will need to rely upon Jupiter in Capricorn’s capacity for bringing imaginal vision into the stark reality of circumstances with a focus on making pragmatic results that address the collective breakdown and disintegration occurring.

Pagan Otherworld Devil Arcanum

Devil Arcanum from Pagan Otherworlds tarot deck

Jupiter & Pluto in Capricorn

Perhaps the most massive influence upon Jupiter’s transit through Capricorn will be the three conjunctions it will form with Pluto. The most recent unions between Jupiter and Pluto took place in 2007 in Sagittarius, in 1994 in Scorpio, in 1981 in Libra, in 1968 in Virgo, in 1956 in Leo, in 1943 in Leo, in 1931 in Cancer, and in 1918 in Cancer. When Jupiter combines with Pluto, new knowledge and growth opportunities come from eruptions and catharsis that expand vision beyond previous restrictions. Jupiter can help cohere whatever has fallen apart during the alignment of Saturn and Pluto in the past year, regenerating visions of possibility from the breakdown and decay while asking difficult questions and exploring the taboo. While it’s common for people to resist the deep shifts stirred up by Pluto, the potential explosiveness of its melding with Jupiter will make it important to follow inner promptings for change so that repression does not ultimately lead to implosion.

Pluto conjoining Jupiter will bring expansion through deep penetration into the roots of material circumstances, retrieving lessons, wisdom, and treasure from the inner depths of our unconscious. We will work best with Jupiter and Pluto when finding joy in creation and devoting ourselves to work that intensifies our fulfillment in being alive. Yet we need to be mindful of how Pluto can amplify the inflated ambition of Jupiter to an obsessive degree that can subdue our sense of spirit, generosity and compassion. Indeed, there will likely be numerous power grabs and conflicts erupting amongst the plutocracy as those in power attempt to further secure their grip on resources.  However, since the 2020 conjunctions between Jupiter and Pluto will occur in the same year as a new cycle begins between Saturn and Pluto, the potency of change incited by these new cycles will be so intense that many in power will not be able to hold on to their control.

The limitations of time and space brought by the influence of Saturn upon Jupiter and Pluto will hone our core purpose and temper excessive aspirations. As Jupiter moves through its three conjunctions with Pluto on its way toward uniting with Saturn at the end of 2020, we will be most effective when working with natural cycles and aligning with the seasonal changes of nature, allowing intentions for growth to be determined by the necessity of adapting to the environment and contending with constraints. It will be important to discern when it will be best to rest and recover from collective storms in the caves of Capricorn, and when it will be necessary to climb across boundaries, take action, and participate in creating the change we wish to see happen.

Planetary Nodes of Jupiter.jpg

South Node of Jupiter

Another fascinating aspect of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all beginning new cycles together in 2020 is that all three will be conjoining their own south nodes as we cross the threshold from 2019 into 2020 [note: if you would like to read a more extensive article I wrote about the planetary nodes through focusing on the nodes of Neptune click here]. Just like the lunar nodes demarcate the intersection of the ecliptic (the apparent path of our Sun that forms the zodiac) with the arc of the Moon’s orbit, so do the planetary nodes of Jupiter mark the intersection of its orbit around the Sun with our orbit on Earth around the Sun. Currently, the heliocentric South Node of Jupiter is between 10-11º Capricorn, while the heliocentric South Node of Saturn is about 23º Capricorn and the heliocentric South Node of Pluto is about 19º Capricorn.

The graphic above containing the planetary nodes of Jupiter shows the four points of dynamic change within its relationship with its own nodes. When Jupiter moved through a conjunction with the North Node of Jupiter in Cancer in 2014, it moved from being in southern latitude into being on the ecliptic when uniting with its North Node. It then moved into northern latitude until reaching its peak elevation in northern latitude when forming a square with its nodes in Libra, another dynamic point of change called the northern bending. Jupiter then descended from northern latitude to where it finds itself now, conjoining its own South Node on the ecliptic. In the years ahead, Jupiter will continue to further descend into southern latitude until reaching its southern bending in Aries and then beginning to head back toward the ecliptic and the North Node of Jupiter in Cancer.

Since Jupiter will be conjoining the South Node of Jupiter, it means by latitude it will be moving south across the ecliptic, inhabiting the point at which our orbit on Earth intersects with the orbit of Jupiter around the Sun. Dane Rudhyar in The Planetary and Lunar Nodes interpreted the alignment of a planet with its South or North Node as more readily saturating and flooding our earth-based consciousness with its influence since it is connecting with the orbital plane of our planet Earth. Rudhyar associated the North Node of planets with absorption of new material and stressed the importance of properly digesting and integrating the new material so it will not lead to negative issues when the planet reaches its South Node. The South Node to Rudhyar involves both a seed-like re-channeling into mental, creative, and spiritual development as well as the disintegration and putrefaction of poisonous, toxic material. What Jupiter related themes are you now facing that have their source in 2013 through 2014 when Jupiter conjoined its North Node in Cancer?

Rudhyar further distinguished between the impact of a planet crossing its north node, which he saw as involving a greater degree of cooperation between the archetypal force of the planet and the Earth, with the impact of a planet crossing its own south node, which he saw as being challenging in terms of an outpouring of the archetypal force descending across the ecliptic. Rudhyar wrote, “At its south node the characteristic quality of a planet is almost forcibly thrown upon the Earth.” Because Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto will all be conjoining their South Nodes as we enter 2020, it is as if the entire orbital arcs of all three planetary archetypes are demanding assimilation, processing, and release. We can feel their impact acutely in the innumerable crises of civilization erupting across our planet that involve complex knots of intersecting karmic strands reaching far back into the history of civilization.

While Jupiter will not be exactly crossing the ecliptic at zero degrees of latitude until February 2020, it will be close to its own South Node when Jupiter forms a conjunction with the Capricorn Solar Eclipse on December 25 or 26 that is also conjoining the South Node of the Moon. A couple weeks later Jupiter will form an exact conjunction with the true node calculation of the transiting South Node of the Moon in Capricorn on January 8, 2020. Although there is an unexpected quality to the impact of eclipses that makes predicting specific events difficult, the proximity of Jupiter with the eclipse, its own South Node and the South Node of the Moon suggests our experiences will call us to question our beliefs and obligations, shedding what we no longer resonate with and deepening our faith and devotion with whatever feels authentic.

Within the dark forests, barren fields, thorny wilderness, and mountainous landscapes of Capricorn, Jupiter in Capricorn will embark upon an epic journey holding the key for both the downfall of global powers as well as how to mediate division and bring about regenerative recovery. Stripped down from all of its inspirational resources in Sagittarius, Jupiter only has room to focus on the essentials within the Capricorn terrain ruled by Saturn. What old dreams, desires, drama, and other personal issues from the past need to be released from your attachment in order to lighten the load and make space for the new potential that will be arising with the collective changes coming in 2020? Jupiter in Capricorn awaits your engagement and full participation in building and crafting the structural supports needed to not only survive and thrive within the coming changes, but also to uplift and inspire others to do the same.

If you would like to explore the meaning of Jupiter’s transit through Capricorn in greater depth, I will be conducting a webinar on Sunday, December 8 entitled “Pan’s Return: Jupiter in Capricorn” that you can sign up for by clicking here.

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References

Barbault, André. (2014). Planetary Cycles Mundane Astrology. The Astrological Association.

George, Demetra. (2019). Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: a Manual of Traditional Techniques. Rubedo Press.

Lilly, William. (2004 edition). Christian Astrology. Astrology Classics.

Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs (1917) English translation by Thomas Taylor.

Rhetorius the Egyptian. (2009). Astrological Compendium Containing His Explanation and Narration of the Whole Art of Astrology. Translated from the Greek by James Holden.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1971). The Planetary and Lunar Nodes. CSA Press.