New Moon in Aries

Winged Goddess figurine, possibly Artemis Orthia (late 7th to 6th Century BC)

New Moon in Aries

Like the primordial Eros who emerges from dark-winged Night in Orphic cosmology, the potent light of celestial fire that erupts out of the abyss of darkness, the New Moon in Aries on April 11 is bursting with propulsive force. The New Moon in Aries is loaded: it is applying closely to creatively activating sextile aspects with Mars in Gemini and Jupiter in Aquarius as well as intensifying aspects with Venus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn.  Whether you are experiencing the excitement of new beginnings or the grief of having to let go through loss, the sweep of the New Moon can penetrate into the passion that has been laying dormant within, awaiting revival and vivification. Just like the absolute boldness of Artemis and the directness of her aim, there is an enlivening spirit within the New Moon that can guide the way forward like the purity of a flame piercing through mists of obsfucation. 

The New Moon in Aries is the second lunation in a row to amplify the new cycle of Venus that began on March 25, as the recent Full Moon in Libra formed an opposition with Venus. Since the New Moon is applying to a conjunction with Venus at the same time that Venus is applying to an exact square aspect with Pluto, it will be necessary to express and relate with whatever emotional material has been stirred up in the past month. Venus combined with the New Moon is catalyzing growth out of the fecund soil and dark depths of Pluto, the place of so much decomposition in the past couple of years when Pluto was joined by Saturn, Jupiter, and the transiting South Node of the Moon in Capricorn. Part of the strife and shattering of what has been stable in the past couple of years has also been associated with the square aspect between the dwarf planet Eris in Aries with Pluto; whatever influence Eris has been wielding will also be energized as the New Moon is applying closely to a conjunction with Eris, further amplifying the activating thrust of the lunation to make change and break out of old patterns. 

Venus is galloping like a wild horse across the final decan of Aries where she has greater agency to influence and make an impact (due to being the decanic ruler of the final ten degrees of Aries), yet she is still not at full strength due to being invisible under the beams of the exalted Sun in Aries. Venus is full of the enlivening spirt and life force she has received from her recent embrace with the Sun, excitedly rushing toward her stable, fertile home of Taurus which she will reach on April 14. Once Venus is home again in Taurus she will be able to better ground and harmonize with the inner promptings of passion, new desires and creative inspiration she has received during her recent time of racing across the fiery sign of Aries. Yet there is a strangely eccentric, inventive guest full of revolutionary ideas awaiting Venus in her domicile: Uranus.

Once Venus reaches Taurus it also means she will begin applying toward a conjunction with Uranus and a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, bringing her into the heart of the square between Uranus and Saturn that has been impelling breakthroughs, breakdowns, and a release of the way things have been. Unlike in February when Venus was on the side of Saturn, her upcoming union with Uranus will be more animating and electrifying with regards to the new directions and desires Venus is presently incubating. Venus will form a conjunction with Uranus in Taurus on April 22, followed by forming a tense square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on April 24 only two days before the upcoming Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26. The Scorpio Full Moon promises to be an especially emotional and cathartic lunation, and so we will be well served by coming to terms with how our emotions and underlying values become reshaped by Venus entering into the volatility of the square between Uranus and Saturn. 

As the Moon waxes toward fullness, it will be important to remember the sequence of aspects Venus will make: Venus will first be incited by the emancipatory influence of Uranus to create change sourced from the burgeoning new desires of Venus, followed by immediately meeting the boundaries, restrictions, and harsh reality of Saturn which will limit the full extent of what may be felt within. Compromises will be necessary so that the inspiration emanating from Venus and Uranus can be grounded and integrated into the reality of one’s present circumstances. Through relating with Saturn and taking responsibility for wherever we need to claim our authority and be accountable, we will be more effective in creating the change we wish to have happen as well as facilitate shedding, molting,  and growth within the systems and structures governed by Saturn. 

Artemis holding a cornucopia and phiale (3rd Century BC)

Mars in Gemini is receiving the New Moon into its fiery home through a harmonizing sextile aspect while also applying to a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius.  Mars has spent recent weeks engaging in aspects bringing about confusion at the same time they have opened new avenues for desires and drive: first Mars passed through a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon at the end of March around the Full Moon in Libra, followed by Mars applying toward a disorienting square aspect with Neptune that it finally completed on April 9. Considering that Mars has also been out of bounds during this period, there may have been new sources of inspiration to pursue entering your awareness making you ready to leap before having a place to land. With Jupiter overcoming Mars through a trine aspect, we will have opportunities for greater coherence and meaning-making with whatever new passions and creative stimulation has been felt within.

Mars will complete its exact trine aspect with Jupiter on April 16 and will remain under the beneficial influence of the star of Zeus until Mars enters Cancer on April 23. Mars in Gemini can shoot off in many directions at once, getting numerous projects and relationships in motion simultaneously. While Mars in Gemini is mentally active, intellectually curious, and capable of discovering and pioneering inventive pathways that have been overlooked by others, it’s driving force can become dissipated and dispersed by having its attention spread too thin across too many interests. The stabilizing trine aspect from Jupiter in Aquarius can be a great aid in bringing a centered focus to projects while remaining open to being flexible and experimental. It can be an opportune period for conducting thought provoking and groundbreaking research that can be deftly integrated into any medium of communication or creative expression.

Venus Wounded in the Hand Conducted by Iris to Mars (1805) engraved by Tommaso Piroli after John Flaxman

Providing a searing boost to the interplay between Mars and Jupiter will be the blazing motion of Mercury in Aries. Mercury is moving at its fastest speed heading toward a conjunction with the Sun it will complete on April 18 at 29º14′ Aries; while it has swift motion capable of making myriad connections and gathering many ideas, Mercury is also in a solar phase in which it is burning off dross and excess to get to the heart of the matter. As Mercury ends and begins a new cycle with the Sun on April 18, there will be opportunities to gain clarity and glean insight from anything we have been researching, developing, or experimenting with. 

In the week following the New Moon there will be a potent mutual reception taking place between Mercury in Aries with Mars in Gemini that will become exact on April 17 through a harmonizing sextile aspect. In addition, Mercury will be forming a collaborative sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius that will become exact on the same day. Altogether these aspects are ideal for writing projects but can also be effective in any realm of work involving design, craftwork, and vision. Due to Mercury moving fast under the beams of the Sun, however, it may be necessary to find ways to ground so that your mind does not become excessively heated and stimulated. 

While Venus is presently moving fast, Mercury is moving even faster. Mercury will catch up to Venus as the Moon is waxing toward fullness, entering Taurus on April 19 and forming a conjunction with Venus on April 25 a day before the Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26. This also means that Mercury will be moving through its aspects with Mars, Jupiter, and the Sun into the catalytic cacophony of the square aspect between Uranus and Saturn. Mercury will form a conjunction with Uranus on April 23 followed by a square aspect with Saturn on April 25, the same day that Mercury will later form a conjunction with Venus.

Mercury uniting with Venus and Uranus may increase the volatility occurring from the tension with Saturn, yet at the same time can create the impetus needed to set the next stage of storylines in motion. It can also be a creatively fertile time within personal projects, collaborations with others, and stimulating conversations that lead to important new ideas. If you have been feeling disoriented by recent shifts in circumstances and old forms of security slipping away, this can also be a good time to get a better sense for how Uranus is disrupting previously stable aspects of your life so that you can access more authentic passion and creative expression.  

4 of Wands

4 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries 3 Decan

The New Moon in Aries is in the third decan of Aries associated with the Four of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. It’s not clear who the figures in the center of the image are, if they are performers being celebrated or celebrants participating in communal festivities. What is clear is the lovingly decorated garland filled with vivacious blossoms and the combined symbolism of a bridge and large castle in the background: the figures are in a centering and protective place from which to express their creativity and charisma. T Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets on tarot and the decans described the Four of Wands as a “temporary refuge” and “safe haven” similar to Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a moment to take comfort and refuge from whatever ordeals you have been enduring. Although Aries is the domicile of malefic Mars, the third decan of Aries is ruled by the two benefics, Venus and Jupiter. With Venus transiting through the third face of Aries and the New Moon applying to Venus, the meaning of the third decan of Aries will be amplified.

While Venus is not naturally comfortable in Aries, she is capable of manifesting success and achievement in the third face of Aries despite it being an environment suited for the fiery assertiveness of Mars and the radiant grandeur of the Sun. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Burning Rose” to the third face of Aries, attributing to it “the power of art to overcome hostility,” and “the power of the spirit to unify and seduce, to motivate and to bond those of confluent passions.” Coppock further noted this decan requires “the martial heat of the battlefield,” as it is the battle-ready ferocity of Aries turned toward artistic performance and charismatic presentation that gives this decan its power “to create a commonality of spirit even in the most hostile conditions.” Yet Coppock also pointed out that the bonds formed within this face require its burning intensity to endure, whereas less intense passions are needed within longterm relationships. Thus it’s a face of “peak experiences” and “inspiring unions amidst life’s greatest struggles,” a place where “bonds are forged and spirits raised,” a decan which “grants the charisma to motivate and attract.”

Aries 3 Decan by Francesco Del Cossa

Third decan of Aries image from Allegory of March: Triumph of Minerva (1476) by Francesco del Cossa

The image above by Francesco del Cossa of a figure who resides within the third face of Aries encapsulates aspects of numerous images found in ancient text. The trinity of Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Picatrix, and Liber Hermetis all reveal figures dressed in red and holding a staff or sword. This passionate figure is wearing either a golden or wooden bracelet depending on whether you consult Three Books of Occult Philosophy or the Picatrix, but both texts indicate the figure embodies the unrest of not being able to do desired good. The reason for not being able to manifest these good wishes is not stated, but Three Books proclaims there is “talent, tameness, joy, and beauty” to be found. The figure in the Picatrix is an iron worker and so has a medium through which to transfigure frustrated anger into works of vivifying creation.

In contrast, the figure in Liber Hermetis wears a gold crown with glistening emeralds decorating her belly. She is full of magic and her staff has the heads of four serpents facing a polarity of directions. Her garments of dark rose are lined with golden strings and she seems to possess the grace of the figure painted by Francesco del Cossa rather than the fury over constraints described by other texts. The focused countenance in del Cossa’s figure suggests they have an inner knowing of being able to make a targeted impact, as they seem to be summoning an inner force to project through the golden bracelet held delicately with their fingers. Francesco del Cossa placed an arrow in the other hand, evoking the mythic Eros or Cupid.

Eros is in fact resonant, as the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the figure of Eros to the third face of Aries. Indeed, the capacity of Eros to arouse passions into creations that inspire collective forces lies at the heart of the decan’s meaning. While some spiritual lineages place Eros as a primordial, hermaphroditic deity at the dawn of Creation, later traditions made Eros into the cunning son of Aphrodite who constantly stirred up the troubles brought forth by lust in both mortals and gods with his bow and arrows. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces stated it is more likely that the 36 Airs had the son of Venus in mind with the third face of Aries as “Eros’ escapades make clear that the desire for unification is inflamed by separation, love by war, lust by forbiddance.”

Another version of Eros is found in Plato’s Symposium, where Eros is portrayed as a great daimon and described by Socrates as the child born from the union of the divine forms of Poverty and Resource. To Socrates, Eros is always poor, always in a state of need, but is also always resourceful in being able to gain what it needs. Within the polarity between Poverty and Resource, the daimonic force of Eros weaves together awareness of the wisdom to be found through our earthly desires that lead us to experience Beauty and Love. If you have been experiencing loss or lack recently, allow the necessity of your circumstances to guide you into relationship with the eros and passionate purpose harbored by Venus and the New Moon uniting within darkness. 

“And yet life is transformation: all that is good is transformation and all that is bad as well. For this reason he is in the right who encounters everything as something that will not return. It does not matter whether he then forgets or remembers, as long as he had been fully present only for its duration and been the site, the atmosphere, the world for what happened, as long as it happened within him, in his center, whatever is good and what is bad – then he really has nothing else to fear because something else of renewed significance is always about to happen next. The possibility of intensifying things so that they reveal their essence depends so much on our participation. When things sense our avid interest, they pull themselves together without delay and are all that they can be, and in everything new the old is then whole, only different and vastly heightened.

— Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters on Life (p. 21-22)

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press. 

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

Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2006). Letters on Life: New Prose Translations. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer. The Modern Library Classics.