New Moon & Venus in Capricorn

 

beau v photo of white trees b w

Photograph by Beau Vandendolder

New Moon in Capricorn

Within the heart of the dark forest we seclude ourselves from the tumult and toxicity of civilization.  We feel the slow rhythm of the earth under our feet, the songs of the wild in the air, the sense of the trees reaching out from and sinking deep into subterranean nourishment.   The canopy of trees shelter the surrounding diversity of nature, the natural cycles of growth and decay clearly observable.   A Capricorn New Moon is similarly an opportunity to center and ground within the changes of what is ready to be developed and what is passing away or in need of release.  Capricorn is most potent and fertile when we allow our inner life to help us navigate through the labyrinth of external conditioning structures and influences.

The New Moon in Capricorn on January 16 takes us into a season of eclipses, with a Total Lunar Eclipse in Leo (12º) coming January 31 followed by a Partial Solar Eclipse in Aquarius arriving February 15 (27º).  The emphasis on Capricorn calls us to formulate plans and fixate determination to persevere, yet the nature of the forthcoming eclipse season portends a wave of events on the horizon bringing changes in circumstances requiring adjustment. This theme is reemphasized by the New Moon forming a square with Uranus in Aries.  The places in your natal chart impacted by the coming eclipses in Leo and Aquarius are important to take into consideration at this New Moon.  Ultimately, the Capricorn New Moon is fertile ground to launch the work and endeavors you are most passionate about, with a willingness to consistently put in the necessary amount of practice, study, and effort needed to achieve successful manifestation.

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Photograph by Beau Vandendolder

Saturn rules the New Moon from within the stability and strength of its own home in Capricorn.  Co-present with the New Moon and Saturn in Capricorn are Mercury, Venus, Pluto, and Black Moon Lilith.  During the darkening of the Moon leading up the Capricorn lunation, Mercury finally completed its final conjunction with Saturn in Capricorn that links back to its previous Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius (December 2 -22, 2017) that began with Mercury united with Saturn.   Direct action toward goals and strengthening of foundations are needed now more than reflective restraint.  Contemplation must be yoked to determined effort and disciplined focus.  Distractions flee under the glare of Saturn, revealing the core desires, needs, and issues to prioritize.  The plethora of placements in Capricorn support creative visualization of developing plans that pragmatically discerns a path forward with solutions that are both realistic and imaginative.

While Saturn in Capricorn intensifies the Saturnine significations of the Capricorn New Moon, Mercury will be a bright Morning Star in Capricorn in the lunar cycle ahead, ready to help make clarified choices within daily tasks.  Mercury will be transitioning from Capricorn into Aquarius as the blood red eclipse in Leo forms on January 31.  While there will be solid astrological support for making headway with work and projects in the next couple of weeks, remember to make time for self care and restful dreaming time.  The emphasis on Capricorn can coincide with intense, pressurized feelings of time and space and deadlines we must meet.  Ideally a balance can be struck between seizing the moment when opportunities appear and nurturing ourselves so we have our full strength to summon when needed.

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Photograph by Beau Vandendolder

A New Venus synodic cycle began in the week before the New Moon that was simultaneously united with Pluto in Capricorn.  The personal meaning found in the January 8 solar union of Venus and Pluto seeds the growth beginning to form within the New Moon.  The reception of meaning stemming from this alignment will continue to slowly deepen in awareness in coming weeks, prodding us to face and overcome whatever fears have been holding us back.  It can be easy to remain stuck in routines and responsibilities we have outgrown due to the comfort of the old and familiar that do not require making radical changes.  The rebirth of Venus in union with the Sun and Pluto, combined with Mercury and Saturn also residing in Capricorn, facilitates asking new questions that demand new answers and a reframing of circumstances.  Old structures can more easily break open within the series of eclipses we will be experiencing within the next month, making this a perfect time to courageously consider how our use of time and space can be rearranged so we are more actively engaged with inspirational activity that grips our full presence.

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Photograph by Beau Vandendolder

The other major aspect of the Capricorn New Moon involves the harmonious sextile with Scorpio holding a formidable influence of Mars and Jupiter.  Mars is separating from a recent union with Jupiter in Scorpio, and Mars has a receptive sextile with the New Moon due to it occurring in the exaltation of Mars.  Amplifying the transmutational potency is Jupiter in a close sextile with Pluto in Capricorn, and Mars in Scorpio in square with the degree of the partial Solar Eclipse in Aquarius coming February 15.  We have both malefics, Mars and Saturn, at full strength in their own homes.  Malefics are a polarity to benefics due to their correspondences often causing fear and requiring determined resiliency in response.  Often the key to overcoming fears is a willingness to explore their undercurrents and face whatever lies at their root.  As we shed old fears the harmonious interchange between Scorpio and Capricorn within the lunation brings a forceful current to propel us through the upcoming eclipses into bold new levels of development.

In addition, Neptune in Pisces has a less obvious effect within the New Moon as it forms harmonious whole sign aspects with the abundance of planets in Capricorn and Scorpio.  The strongest aspect for Neptune in the New Moon involves Mercury in Capricorn applying to a sextile with Neptune.  Furthermore, the Total Lunar Eclipse coming on January 31 is aligned with the nodes of Neptune, with the Sun and South Node of the Moon conjoining the South Node of Neptune, and the eclipsed Moon and North Node of the Moon conjoining the North Node of Neptune.   Altogether this ramps up the imaginative fertility of the New Moon to foster a dissolution of restrictive conditioning influences from the past in order to activate creative actualization of core talents and calling.

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4 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 3 Decan

The New Moon arises in the third decan of Capricorn associated with the Four of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  An image of empire building and wielding influence from a seat of power, the Four of Pentacles signifies a cultivation of inner talents to make an impact in the material world in matters that are most meaningful.  The crowned and enthroned figure has pentacles below and above him, with a fourth pentacle cradled at heart level evoking a spinning wheel of fortune.   The figure towers in the foreground, suggesting someone sovereign and able to manage structures to bring material prosperity and security within the wildly fluctuating changes in fortune that come and go within surrounding society.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Throne” to the third face of Capricorn, a fitting image given that the Sun rules the decan.  Coppock wrote that this face of Capricorn involves administering from a throne to control the elements of the world needed to attain material gain and positions of greater power and responsibility.  Notably, Coppock cautioned that hubris can tempt those grasping for power in this face to overlook the weight of responsibility and the loneliness of isolation that accompany achieving ambitions.  Coppock warned that accumulations of material wealth, power, and responsibility “may end up crushing them,” the idealized palace turning into a restrictive prison.

Since Saturn in Capricorn can bolster the application of the New Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Pluto in Capricorn toward whatever ambition we set our mind and will toward, make sure that the achievement of current goals are in accord with a healthy, balanced life that enables inner fulfillment in addition to external success.   If you are feeling overwhelmed and blocked by external circumstances, let yourself surrender to acceptance while remaining watchful and determined to find openings for advancement, no matter how small or temporary.    In fact, the astrological alignments at the New Moon can help prepare and refine an abundance of inner riches and attainment of inner wisdom that has nothing to do with material circumstances.  Within the shifting tides of the material realm, however, perseverance and determination will be required to navigate the sweeping change on the horizon.

References

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

 

Gemini New Moon: embodied strength and vision

sigge bergstrom woman praying in forest

by Sigge Bergstrom

New Moon in Gemini

Silent, her Gemini mind rests from weaving together her present thoughts with the ancient words on the parchment lightly held by her fingers. Her elegantly long fingers, equally skilled at composing musical notes as they are at drafting lines in ink, close the tome.  The ceaseless wisdom of the old library with its smell of books no longer satiates her, and so she departs into a sensuous sunset sky of shifting colors signifying the time of transition.  She savors each breath of fresh wind and call of birdsong, finding her way to her favorite field to lay within and dream.  Feeling her hair in the grass, the vibration of earth below her, a waft of pungent sea air overcomes her.  She knows inside what she must do, the challenges she will have to face and the opposition of those in authority she will have to overcome.  She smiles pondering that no doubt centuries before her someone else lay in the same field she finds herself within now, his vision every bit as curious and adventurous, his determination and resiliency equal to hers.

Mercury in Taurus rules the New Moon in Gemini on May 25,  and is applying to a harmonious and dreamy sextile with Neptune in Pisces.   The New Moon also occurs within the bounds of Mercury, degrees of Gemini that the Hellenistic astrologer Vettius Valens described as “practical, musical, and fertile” as well as “calm and gracious, ringing with clarity and intelligence” while indicating “many skills, from scientific thought to true wisdom.”  Yet Mercury finds itself in the home of Venus, and Venus in Aries at the New Moon is in the middle of extremely volatile aspects both dredging up deep issues while offering insights into how to find a sense of freedom and hope in facing the forces of necessity.  Meanwhile, Mars is co-present in Gemini with the New Moon and applying toward a harsh opposition with Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius, an aspect which demands hard work, accountability, persistence, and focus in whatever we wish to manifest and must tend to in our daily responsibilities.

sigge bergstrom woodcut landscape

by Sigge Bergstrom

Mars opposing Saturn

Mars is out of bounds in declination at the New Moon and will continue to be out of bounds in the forthcoming lunar cycle, signaling that Mars has a more unrestrained and rebellious martial force than normal.  However, Mars is facing an opposition with a slow, plodding Saturn moving backward in Sagittarius, suggesting that the wild calls of adventure and discovery will face tests and judgment.  This could in part involve moralistic judgements from those in authority or anyone coming from a dogmatic perspective of how one is supposed to live that does not account for the unique circumstances of the person or situation they are judging.   Mars being out of bounds in the variable, airy, hot and moist sign of Gemini suggests that the energy is present to effectively move beyond the old dogmas of Saturn as long as one is simultaneously taking responsibility and living in integrity with inner principles and values.

Yet the opposition of Saturn to Mars also means that Mars cannot do whatever it pleases without consequences.  It also suggests there are some elements of challenges in our current reality we will not be able to change or control, and instead need to accept and mediate.  The days following the New Moon are ideal for becoming aware of all of the elements of life that need work in order to have a secure foundation from which to launch dreams and goals for the future.  It is an important time to honor one’s own boundaries as well as the boundaries of others, and to listen closely to the needs of others in surrounding community.  It will be helpful to recognize what aspects of current circumstances are out of our control and need to be dealt with, versus other elements that are possible to directly manage and will benefit from working to change.

The opposition of Saturn is the initiation of Mars into a season of purification and challenges that are frenetic and catalytic in charge at times.  In 2016 we went through a long period of Mars retrograde that culminated with Mars uniting with Saturn and Antares at the end of August 2016.  Much has changed since that time and we have had opportunities to discover a new sense of how we exert ourselves with our will force in the world and co-create within surrounding structures.  If the opposition between Mars and Saturn corresponds with disappointed feelings in one way or another, consider all of the growth you have undergone during the past nine months of Mars moving from a conjunction to an opposition with Saturn.  The coming lunar cycle is ideal for building upon the gains of the past with hard work, and hold potential for liberation from past limitations into finding ways to live and create with greater vital force.

 

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Venus square Pluto

Venus is barely separating from a square with Pluto in Capricorn as the New Moon in Gemini forms, but it is significant that she is in fact separating.  This means that the full intensity of Venus dredging up deep Plutonian issues will be felt during the Dark Moon immediately preceding the New Moon.  As a result the Gemini New Moon opens us to a new cycle in which we have already felt subconscious material arise within us, giving us the opportunity to bring awareness of deeply rooted feelings into an exciting and accelerated time period for Venus in which she will form a trine to Saturn and a conjunction with Uranus.  We will have the opportunity during the waxing of the Moon to free feelings from our depths and channel them into creative projects and unions in relationship.  Furthermore, collective events will involve numerous surprising and dramatic twists in storylines as Venus connects the tension of Pluto and Jupiter to Saturn and Uranus.

Venus has now cleared her retrograde shadow zone, formed her opposition with Jupiter, and completed her square with Pluto.  Venus has faced numerous, constant tests and difficulties in recent months.  However, instead of forming a harsh square with Saturn as Venus did when she stationed direct over a month ago, Venus will now be forming a harmonious trine with Saturn bringing the opportunity to embody greater strength drawn from the tribulations of recent months.  After Venus forms an electrifying union with Uranus, she will enter her home of Taurus while Jupiter begins to station direct in her other home of Libra.  Although the lunar cycle begins with tense aspects between Mars and Saturn as well as Venus and Pluto, as the Moon waxes we will find opportunities to practice equity in relationship that fosters freely sharing our essentiality in mutually supportive relationships.   It will not be a time of escaping in a fantasy of relationship, however, but rather grounding relationship in the details of daily reality and finding creative joy in the process.

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8 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Gemini 1 Decan

The New Moon falls in the first face of Gemini associated with the Eight of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In the image of a woman appearing to be frozen and tightly bound, many interpret its meaning as being paralyzed by fears running rampant within.  Sometimes the fear of paralysis connects to real trauma in the past that has become triggered by fears related to present circumstances.  While some interpretations suggest that the same mental swords enveloping the figure could also be used to cut away the fabric of bondage, it is also important to note the moist and muddy fertility of the ground she is standing on top of.  In relation to the Gemini New Moon, the 8 of Swords image also highlights how fear can arise in times when a huge new potential becomes available to step into.  As much as it is possible to release fears related to what has happened in the past that are being projected into the present moment, the more gracefully we will be able to flow into the tremendous change opening up at the beginning of this lunar cycle.

In contrast to the tightly bound woman in the 8 of Swords image, ancient texts ascribed a graceful woman of flowing mind and deft dexterity.  Ibn Ezra pictured “A beautiful woman standing in the air, and she can sew,” while in the Picatrix we find “A beautiful woman, a mistress of stitching, and with her ascend two calves and two horses. This is a face of the art of the scribe, of reckoning, of number, of giving and receiving, and of the sciences.”  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces connected the image of the 8 of Swords with older images through the power of the first face of Gemini to “discover the multiplicity within all unities, the complexity in apparent simplicities” which leads to “clever methods” and an opening of abundant flow that “de-centers and sometimes paralyzes its inhabitants.”  Coppock noted that the mental acuity of this face not only generates all arts and crafts, it also directs its prodigious curiosity to explore the multitudinous found within, both the light and the shadow of the deep Self.

Jupiter rules the first face of Gemini, interesting in terms of the forthcoming lunar cycle as Jupiter will station direct in Libra at the same time as the upcoming Full Moon in Sagittarius.  With Mercury in Taurus ruling the New Moon after having moved past its retrograde shadow zone into a harmonious aspect with Neptune in Pisces, there is a lot of visionary and imaginative potential buried in the darkness of the New Moon that will be unearthed as the Moon waxes in light.   Follow your obsessions, passions, and desires where they lead you, as the gifts of the coming lunar cycle will come to those willing to courageously open themselves fully to what life has to offer rather than recoil in apprehension over what fate may befall them from risking their heart in action.

References

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

Vettius Valens of Antioch, Book One. (2016). Rendered from ancient Greek into modern English by Andrea Gehrz. Moria Press.