New Moon in Sagittarius
The New Moon in Sagittarius on December 11, 2015 follows a catalytic Full Moon in Gemini that culminated along with an exact square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces. The polarity from Gemini to Sagittarius is about synthesizing diverse Mercurial explorations into a unified vision befitting our home for Jupiter. A Sagittarius New Moon is ideal for sensing how the current scene of our life drama fits inside an over arching narrative, and envisioning our next steps and choices with focused clarity free of extraneous distraction. In the dismantling disorientation of the last quarter square between Saturn and Neptune, we can sense from a deep place of knowing which desires and beliefs shedding from this moment were delusional and which will become integral threads of the chrysalis shaping our new growth.
The ruler of this New Moon is Jupiter in Virgo that is applying to a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Virgo and is in a square aspect with the New Moon. These aspects are intensified by Chiron in Pisces that is also square to the New Moon and opposite Jupiter. This is a jolt suitable for the sign of the galloping Centaur, as Sagittarius signifies speed of thought and action aimed with precise concentration. There are many ways these powerful aspects can play out, depending upon your current circumstances. For one, as we have witnessed a flood of dogmatic tirades, ranting, and raving in current events, many could be swept up in the undertow of ideological clashes and become lost within delusional belief systems they feel give them a sense of security and control over their life. There could in contrast be a fertile sense of epiphany cloaked in the shocking garb of disillusionment, as sudden realizations reveal a loss of meaning concerning elements of our life while simultaneously reorienting us toward a more vibrant vision of life. Furthermore, if we have been passionately and diligently attending to a project, course of study, relationship, or dream of one sort or another, we could experience an enlightening breakthrough that will profoundly inform our path in the coming cycle.
The New Moon in Sagittarius is in a stabilizing aspect with the volatile t-square between Mars in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn, and Uranus in Aries that has corresponded with global havoc recently. Mars in Libra is barely separating from Uranus in Aries at the time of the Full Moon, making it one of the most powerful aspects of the lunation, and the New Moon is in range of a sextile with Mars in Libra and a trine with Uranus in Aries. In addition, there is a trine between the New Moon ruler Jupiter in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn. On one level, this stabilizing connection between the New Moon with these volatile transits could correspond with power grabs by both institutions already cemented in power and various forms of protest movements actively working to expose, deconstruct, and dismantle institutional structures perceived to be oppressively abusing power. The t-square between Mars in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn, and Uranus in Aries has incredible intensity that can fuel the crusading side of Sagittarius in diverse manifestations, the unifying principle being a fiery sense of righteousness that instinctively sustains focus on a target.
You may or may not remember the Lunar Eclipse in April 2014 that set off the Cardinal Cross of Mars retrograde in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn, and Jupiter in Cancer- well, Mars in Libra at the time of this Sagittarius New Moon is at the same degree it was then, and Pluto in Capricorn is less than a degree away from its position in April 2014 that was also the time period of the fifth (out of seven total) exact square between Pluto and Uranus. This link across time further amplifies the cacophonous climate and many issues and events surfacing at that past time are now fully formed and demanding our attention. For example, in March 2014 Russia invaded the Ukrainian territory of Crimea when Mars was at the beginning of its retrograde headed toward Pluto and Uranus, and today the residents of Crimea have lost the power of electricity after an attack by saboteurs and there are active efforts attempting to restore power.
Mars may be opposite its favored sign of Aries right now, but it is still Mars and so the last quarter square between Mars and Pluto we experienced this past week was full of conflict in corresponding events. Mars in Libra can be just as aggressive as in any other placement of the red planet, yet in Libra tends to be more strategic, more politically manipulative, and less direct and to the point as it is when in Aries. Mars being opposite Uranus in Aries means that Mars is receiving the shocking force of Uranus , correlating with great potential for good and evil. In the evolutionary astrology taught by Jeff Green, Mars in Libra being set off by both Pluto and Uranus could trigger themes such as learning to actualize our soul intentions through initiating relationships with people from different beliefs, values, and backgrounds, learning to expand our consciousness through understanding our reality in a new way through relationship, learning to understand ourselves in a new way through the perceptions of others in relationship, learning to balance our need for independence versus our need for interaction, learning how to balance giving and receiving on an equal basis in relationship, and learning how to understand the nature of projections we receive from others as well as the nature of the projections we make on others in relationship.
With Jupiter being in Virgo and applying to a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon, while ruling a Sagittarius New Moon that is mediating the opposition between Mars in Libra and Uranus in Aries, this can also be a lunar cycle to seize for liberating yourself out of past restrictions in order to make intentions for the creation of the extraordinary life you want to live. The emphasis on Virgo means it is vital to be present and aware of surrounding details that need tending, while simultaneously weaving each small choice and act into the creation of an envisioned tapestry of meaning.
Venus in Scorpio is also highlighted at this New Moon, as it is in trine to Neptune in Pisces. There is also a resonance between Venus and Mars even though they are not in aspect, as Venus is now in the home of Mars and Mars is in the home of Venus. It is further fascinating in this context to consider that the asteroid Juno will be at the beginning of Scorpio at the time of the New Moon. Venus in Scorpio tears the lid off social conventions and niceties to probe deeply into what others keep hidden, exposing the full range of emotions and unconscious forces underlying desires. Venus in Scorpio will cross boundaries and be willing to engage in the taboo, yet is also an inwardly directed Venus that can be self-contained. In our inner world at this New Moon, Venus is positioned to help us move away from consensus opinion, mainstream morality, and a need to be liked and gain the approval of others. Venus in Scorpio can help us uncover new values from within we can then later bring forward into the collective, a bold Venus that can also be unflinching in the face of opposition.
At the time of this Sagittarius New Moon, Venus is connected to Neptune through a trine but is not connected to Saturn in a major aspect. Meanwhile Saturn is entering into range of a trine with Uranus in Aries that will become one of the most pivotal aspects in the near future, and Saturn is co-present with the New Moon in the sign of Sagittarius. Venus separating from a trine with Neptune means that in the darkness of this Sagittarius Moon we will have greater visceral access in our emotional and physical bodies to the galactic messages of Neptune that transcend our normal sense of boundaries we associate with Saturn. As Sagittarius is a visionary sign, this is an opportune intention setting time to go within and listen to the ethereal murmur of Neptune. Venus in Scorpio in trine to Neptune in Pisces can help us reorient to deep soul desires that will become a fecundating source in the coming cycle.
Mercury will have recently entered Capricorn at the time of the Sagittarius New Moon and will be applying to a sextile with both Neptune in Pisces and Venus in Scorpio. Mercury is picking up speed and on the cusp of becoming visible again as an Evening Star at the time of the New Moon, and so is auspiciously aligned to support us accessing a significant message connected with the trine between Venus and Neptune. As Mercury re-emerges at sunset with a message in its Evening Star phase, while also being in the home of Saturn, we are supported in synthesizing meaning out of the past period of time and creating mental structures to organize and more effectively communicate the knowledge gained from recent experiences. Mercury in Capricorn is inwardly directed and discerning, focused upon initiating new projects and work on the material plane. In the context of this Sagittarius New Moon, Mercury here is in a beautiful position for not only intention setting but disciplined follow through.
Significantly, on account of the upcoming retrograde Mercury will be in Capricorn from now until February 13, 2015 except for a week in the beginning of January when it stations retrograde at the first degree of Aquarius. From the traditional perspective that Aquarius is also the home of Saturn, we can extend this period to say that Mercury will be in the home of Saturn from now through the beginning of March 2016. In the context of the waning square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces, this means that Mercury will be operating more so on the side of Saturn and facilitating a restructuring of our mental framework and belief system. This can be supportive for Mercury, as Mercury can handle the influence of Saturn and direct it toward studious research and determined, persevering effort. With Mercury spending so long in the home of Saturn, if we can avoid the delusional influence of Neptune and open to the transcendent inspirational influence of Neptune we can experience profound learning and acquisition of knowledge.
As the Sagittarius New Moon waxes toward the Full Moon in Cancer that will culminate on December 25, Mercury will form a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn and then a square to Uranus in Aries, setting off the Pluto and Uranus square again. At the time of the upcoming Full Moon, Mercury in Capricorn will be applying to a trine with Jupiter in Virgo and the North Node of the Moon in Virgo. This means that Mercury will be one of the most pivotal players in this upcoming lunar cycle, even more so as it will coincide with Mercury entering into its retrograde shadow zone. While in the outer world the rhetorical wars and military wars will continue, on inner levels we can experience a throwing off of outworn beliefs and attitudes while simultaneously connecting us with new information and opportunities supporting our evolving growth forward.
Sagittarius II Decan
The New Moon falls in the second face of Sagittarius, associated with the Nine of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith, and ruled by the Moon. The Moon ruling this face can give us a greater degree of agency and focus in the darkness of this Sagittarius New Moon. When we contemplate the image of the Nine of Wands card in the Rider-Waite deck, we can sense the wounded yet determined stance of a warrior who will defend himself and his territory at all costs. In this image the bandaged head suggests survival of heated conflict, yet the fierce look in the eyes reveals unwavering resilience. Tarot author Kelsey Lynore explored this theme regarding the card in expanded terms on her Tarot Nook blog:
Although the Rider-Waite image captures the pain, opposition, and isolation that can sometimes accompany this card, the traditional image is really only one possible manifestation of the energy that the 9 of Wands describes. Another possible manifestation is travel and movement — of the hiking, rock climbing, or pioneering variety. You’ll have nothing left by the end, but you’ll also be in completely new territory. Thus, it’s worth the struggle.
Psychologically, this card resembles an almost-too-long climb. The only danger is that the querent will give up; and giving up is the only way that the querent will not meet their desired destination. The closer one gets, however, the harder it is to continue.
As such, the “battle” that the 9 of Wands indicates is much more a war with the self and its limitations than a war with others. Of course, the limits of the self are revealed by way of brute exterior opposition, but like a distance that must be crossed, it doesn’t necessarily have intent.
— Kelsey Lynore
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Bridle” to the second face of Sagittarius, as “the assault of contrary forces” suggested by the bandaged figure in the 9 of Wands card “produce the force of will required to sustain the conjunctio between body and spirit which is this face’s purpose” (p. 198). Coppock wrote:
The strength pictured here is the strength to defend what one has established- the ability to keep the body and mind in line with intention, despite contrary forces. This may seem stressful, but this level of friction is necessary to generate the heat capable of fusing mind and body, vehicle and will. There is no hero without a nemesis.
. . . There is a dignity to the alchemical generation of strength which takes place in this decan. Yet while its fruits are virtuous, they are not moral, for naught guarantees that the great strength generated be put to a noble cause. The figures that result from this process are ruthless, bold and of undivided will, for they have triumphed over their antagonists. Yet it is important for those who reside within this decan to recognize that not all that is contrary to their will should be met with fierce resistance. This face represents a formula for strength in the face of opposition, yet many circumstances do not demand, nor reward, such a response. Those possessed of this decan’s formula must also learn when to yield in order to gain mastery.
— Austin Coppock, 36 Faces, pages 198 and 200
This New Moon in Sagittarius is thus sublime for sustaining concentration no matter what challenges and obstacles are before us, and for cultivating the persistence to continue our desired work without giving up. Yet in the astrological atmosphere of Saturn in square to Neptune, Mars in opposition to Uranus and in square to Pluto, and a global environment full of volatile conflict, we will not be able to have control over everything and as a result will need to flow with the currents and be open to modifying plans in order to reach our desired destination. If we have hurt feelings of frustration overwhelming us because of desires seeming too far out of reach, it will be important to find sources of inspiration in our daily struggles and to use the pain as motivation to persevere toward our long-range vision while maintaining integrity. This is a time in which our blazing heart can help shine a light into a darkness of fear and anxiety that has overcome many. In the dark fertility of this New Moon, we can vivify hope and faith from within that the cherished desires we are setting intentions for will manifest.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.