New Moon & Mercury in Capricorn

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Y.G. Srimati (1980) Mahakali

New Moon in Capricorn

The New Moon in Capricorn on 29 December 2016 pulls us underneath the surrounding soil of society, penetrating into the underlying dynamics at play in the tearing down and building up of forms.  Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is united with the New Moon one degree away, and earlier on the same day during the darkest dark of the Moon, Mercury retrograde is exactly conjunct the Sun.  We enter the blackness of the New Moon as Mercury is purified and regenerated at the heart of the Sun, stripping and cleansing us from egotistical attachments to material forms and ambitions dictated by societal conditioning rather than intrinsic motivation. The Sea Goat symbolizing Capricorn not only yearns to climb mountains of accomplishment, but also is drawn into the oceanic, immaterial expanse underlying reality where it can tap into the roots of form, churning visions of what to manifest from subconscious senses.  Over attachment to external validation for achievement and effort as well as the completed form of endeavors can lead the saturnine Sea Goat into melancholic malaise, yet its melancholic nature can be continually rejuvenated through full participation in the moment of creation, absorbed in its enhanced capacity to bridge the immaterial with the material and bring imaginal ideas into manifestation.

The New Moon in Capricorn is ruled by Saturn in Sagittarius that is in a waning, last quarter sextile with Jupiter in Libra, a last quarter square with Chiron in Pisces, and a disseminating trine with Uranus in Aries.  In the week preceding the New Moon, Saturn formed its first of three exact trines with Uranus that will occur in the next year:  there will also be one in May 2017 as well as another in November 2017.  Jupiter expands what Saturn gives form to, and with their contraction and expansion in harmonious aspect, it is the far reaching visions of Jupiter and Uranus that are in dynamic tension within these aspects.  To paraphrase Dane Rudhyar, Uranus is a galactic interface that shatters our Saturn structure and when this happens we may be thrown into delusions of grandeur unless we utilize Jupiter to balance our shifting perceptions and their lunar impact on how we are functioning within our changing form.  The exact trine between Saturn and Uranus suggests that through taking the responsibility to be self aware of these potent forces moving through us, we can seize the opportunity to bring ideas into form that can emancipate us from previous limitations within our circumstances.

The square between Saturn and Chiron is exact at the New Moon, bringing feelings of how we not only identify with our bodily form and mind, but also attach our identity to the societal roles we play, forms we create, and ways in which we must conform our identity to fit into collective conventions.  There is a sensitivity and rawness to the wounds of identity we carry throughout our life, beginning from the times as a child we felt judged, shamed, or invalidated by parents or teachers for expressing ourselves.  As adults feelings of vulnerability can come up when our inner feelings feel confined or unaccepted by societal norms, and often attachment to roles of status, privilege, power, or wealth can be seized to  mask and assuage feelings of insecurity over feeling unable to express one’s true nature.  With Uranus in trine to Saturn, from a place of inner security we can claim the authority to allow whatever has been dormant to be reawakened, discerning a mode of expression to share and embody more of our wholeness with others.  In this way we can find fulfillment in the forms we create and must watch pass away, rather than depression over not having our expectations and needs met by our achievements that were not aligned with our inner nature.

It is significant that Saturn has finally crossed the threshold into the third and final decan of Sagittarius, where it will remain for there rest of its transit through Sagittarius in the year ahead.  Saturn rules the third face of Sagittarius and so has special strength to bring about its significations not found in the first twenty degrees of Sagittarius.  In his book on the decans 36 Faces, Austin Coppock ascribed the image of a “Horse’s Skull” to the third face of Sagittarius, describing it as a place where our spirit and will force take us beyond the comfort zone and boundaries of our body, including “circumstances in which the vehicle must be sacrificed in order to achieve the will.”  The 10 of Wands card in tarot is also associated with this decan, as it signifies the unification of mind, body, and spirit applied to a dedicated goal as well as the overwhelm of taking on too many responsibilities that can be adequately managed with available time and energy. The aspects between Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn signify expansive, liberating opportunities while also bringing the possibility of over reaching if we are not attuned to the moment.  Through releasing attachment to expectations and focusing on receiving and working with whatever is showing up through our full participation in the present, we can better access the fruitful potential of these transits.

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Y.G. Srimati (1945) Shiva Gangadhara, “Bearer of the Ganga”

The trine between Saturn in Sagittarius, the ruler of the Capricorn New Moon, with Uranus in Aries is amplified because Uranus is stationing direct, in fact exactly stationing direct only a couple of hours after the New Moon. Oftentimes Uranus stationing can bring an unexpected shock or an upsetting event, yet the catharsis of released emotion and thought can break us free from a past repetitive pattern we realize was underlying a network of troubling issues.   Uranus stationed retrograde on 29 July 2016 at 24.5 degrees of Aries, and through the course of its retrograde journey the landscape of our personal and collective life has been changed in ways we could not have imagined six months ago.  With Uranus now stationing in trine to Saturn and in sextile to Jupiter in Libra, the revelations we receive can be worked with and transmitted into the visions, forms, and structures of our daily life.  As a lot of unconscious energy can be freed up and felt with Uranus stationing, especially in aspect to Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto, it important to integrate and be responsible for how we project our internal realm into our external realm.  For example, realizing the qualities you admire in another are actually dwelling inside you, awaiting activation instead of needing to be given over to another to embody for you.

Though the square between Pluto and Uranus is no longer exact, Uranus is stationing less than four degrees away from a square with Pluto.  As the Moon begins to wax through its New Moon phase, it will conjoin Pluto and then form a square with Uranus as it stations direct, as well as a square with Jupiter in Libra.  Collective events have been heating up with destabilizing and shattering effect, and we can in part correlate the intensity in astrology to the re-activation of the first quarter square between Pluto and Uranus.  While plutocrats and rulers of hierarchical power structures can be witnessed consolidating and restructuring their grip on power and wealth through the haze of current events, on a personal level there is incredible power available within these transits to rebuild one’s life from the ground up in a manner that will enable one to more naturally experience joy and passion in daily work and activities.  The Capricorn New Moon is incredibly potent with regard to setting intentions that also carry a clear path of follow through we can hold ourselves accountable to.

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Y.G. Srimati (1944) Apsara with Harp

Venus in Aquarius is a key player in the current movement of our cosmic symphony, forming harmonious aspects with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus.  In Aquarius, Venus can be in her own space with clear boundaries allowing her to decondition from external influences and mass manipulation.   Venus in Aquarius is in position to not only help us feel more deeply however we are not aligned with consensus norms, but also help guide us toward a sense of not only the inner values we want to express but also light a path toward embodiment.  Venus in Aquarius is also in square to the true node of Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio, an unconscious balancing point connecting our ego consciousness with whatever has been cast off or kept outside awareness in the subconscious.  The Capricorn New Moon supports opening our awareness to unconscious contents without judgment, accepting inner feelings and sensations we may have previously been in denial of.  With increased awareness of whatever is circulating within, the blackness of the Capricorn New Moon can germinate growth from a purified, regenerated presence open to the fullness of the moment.

In addition to the guiding light Venus offers as an Evening Star, the invisible Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is also in position to weave together meaning from our experiences that can course correct our current trajectory.   Mercury retrograde is the ruler of the transiting North Node of the Moon in Virgo, and is also applying to a trine with the North Node.  Through increased awareness of our shadow and subconscious as well as applying discernment toward external influences, there is amplified potential to make new choices that reflect our current state rather than the expectations placed on us by authority figures or collective conventions.  Mercury retrograde in trine to the North Node of the Moon promotes patience and acceptance of the flow moving through our life, making sure to tend to whatever issues are calling our attention even if it feels like something from the past we want to move on from.  Accepting Mercury retrograde means accepting our intuitive process of following the signs appearing in our daily life pointing toward what needs to be focused on or developed.

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Y.G. Srimati (1961) Vishvarupa

The New Moon in Capricorn as well as Mercury retrograde are both forming a sextile with Neptune in Pisces, Mars in Pisces, and the South Node of the Moon in Pisces.  2016 has been a year in which Mars has played a pivotal role, and so it is fitting the red planet finishes the year absorbed within the inner visioning of Pisces and Neptune and being purified through its contact with the South Node.  These aspects draw inner drives deeper into the foundations of our beliefs and vision, inviting influences from our imagination to fuel our intentions and action.  Dreams and desires we have been attached to in the past that are no longer in alignment with our current growth can be dissolved and released in the blackness of the New Moon.

While there can be potent inspiration and epiphany found in the strong interplay between planets in Pisces and Capricorn at the New Moon, there is also a trickiness within these aspects that require honest self reflection to direct us away from delusion toward discernment.   In the collective these aspects can correlate with violence and warfare rooted in dogmatic belief systems that have been in conflict historically, as well as people absorbed in an illusion of the present based upon nostalgia for a time that no longer exists.  Navigating these aspects while taking the responsibility to make choices rooted in self awareness will open us to the creative potential available.

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2 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

The New Moon falls in the first decan of Capricorn, associated with the Two of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The image is fitting for the link between this New Moon and the inferior conjunction of Mercury retrograde, as the figure is mercurial and embodies the capacity of Capricorn to penetrate into structural forms and impact matter from the underlying fabric of reality.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Headless Body” to the first face of Capricorn, stating it “entails the descent of the spirit into the body of the world itself,” bringing consciousness to deeper and deeper levels of matter to “set those powers in motion” as well as “use the higher, logoic functions to guide them along their course.”  Coppock analyzed that ancient texts such as by Ibn Ezra ascribed the image of a bestial man carrying a cattle prod to this face, suggesting it reveals the potential of the first face of Capricorn to not only set material forces in motion but also guide and steer them in order to help us find new work, new sources of wealth, or a new location in which to live.

The power of the first face of Capricorn to shape reality is fitting in terms of its ruler being Jupiter.  Jupiter in Libra at the Capricorn New Moon is in sextile with Saturn in Sagittarius, in opposition with Uranus in Aries, in square with Pluto in Capricorn, and in a trine with its ruler Venus in Aquarius.  With Uranus stationing direct in opposition, Jupiter can coalesce profound revelation into the roots of our circumstances, while Mercury retrograde in the first face of Capricorn along with the New Moon offers guidance into how to direct burgeoning insight into choices and action that will bring meaningful change.  It’s paramount with this New Moon to be completely awake with an active intuition receptive to all signs and movements circulating throughout both our external and internal world.  Whatever unexpected experiences or intensity is sparked in our external relationships, the Capricorn New Moon offers potent force to tap into our emotional, physical body and while ruminating through the activated energy, integrate the newfound revelation into embodied presence ready to make responsible decisions directed from our heart.

References

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

Y.G. Srimati. An Artist of Her Time. Arts Summary blog.

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Full Moon in Leo

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The Repast of the Lion (1907) by Henri Rousseau

The Full Moon in Leo on January 23, 2016 illuminates the meaning we have received from Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and Aquarius, as Mercury will be stationing while conjoining Pluto. This further means that Mercury retrograde is stationing in range of a square with Uranus in Aries, and so there is something to unearth that speaks of where you sit within the great changes that have swept across our planet in the past five years or so of the Uranus and Pluto square.  In this present moment, with a Full Moon ripening in the sign of the Lion, it is the beast within that clamors for beauty and the creation of a life that brings passion and a sense of validation.  This is a Full Moon in the home of the Sun, with the Sun in Aquarius connecting to the human ability to detach from the dominant narratives running through the mainstream in order to liberate and enable the mind to conceive thoughts free of the systemic static of the status quo. The old constellation image of the Water Bearer associated with Aquarius brings to mind its purifying potential impact when activated, and when the Moon waxes full in its polarity sign of Leo it is the essential force of our burning heart within and all we desire to create that can revivify one’s being.

Mercury is always active and mentally stimulating when retrograde, but since this current Mercury retrograde began in Aquarius in square to Mars in Scorpio, and ends now in Capricorn conjoining Pluto and in square to Uranus, the effect has brought waves of overwhelming forces to mediate.  Many of you reading this no doubt have had to face some of your deepest fears over the past weeks of this Mercury retrograde, as the landscape of our lives has been in process of being fundamentally altered.  The intensity continues as the Full Moon in Leo is also occurring in range of a square to Mars in Scorpio, and as the Moon begins to wane while still in its full phase it will apply to an exact square with Mars.  These aspects will catalyze desire and bring to mind and body what we want at a core level but have been resisting or felt blocked from manifesting.  If the desire does not seem to be available now, or great obstacles appear to be in the way, it will be far more fruitful to utilize the will force of Mars to work toward the desire rather than erupting with anger or disintegrating with futility.

While Mars is in square to the Full Moon, it is coming into range of a sextile with the conjunction between Pluto and Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and is also closely conjoining Juno in Scorpio.  In the light of this Full Moon one’s relationship needs can be more fully felt, a vision of what one wants in partnership formed in the mind with passionate force.  This does not mean that our current circumstances  hold the possibility of uniting now with the ideal partner, only that the vision brings the potential to ultimately experience the union.  If you are in relationship at this time, this Full Moon will illuminate the unspoken as much as the spoken and whatever has not yet been revealed during this Mercury retrograde will now come into sharp awareness for processing.  While conflict could erupt if communication comes from a place of wounding, there is at the same time potential for healing and deep processing of the underlying forces that have been operating between partners.

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Crater of Volcano, Quetzaltenango-Guatemala by Eadweard Muybridge (1875)

The Mercury and Pluto conjunction will be simmering through the rest of January, erupting at times through the surface facades of daily interactions.  Mercury will remain within a degree or two of Pluto into the first week of February, and around the time of the waning last quarter Moon of this lunar cycle Mercury will move direct into another conjunction with Pluto and square with Uranus. There is also an added component that Vesta is conjoining Uranus in Aries at the time of the Full Moon, and so also in square to the conjunction of Pluto with Mercury retrograde.  With these aspects the mind can now penetrate to the bottom line dynamics of every situation encountered, and feelings previously buried within will emerge.  This is not a time to fear, however, as whatever thoughts and feelings arrive will be absolutely essential to process, heal, and work with in the unknown future to come.  As this Full Moon illuminates what we want to create, use this time with Pluto united with Mercury to explore the depths of the desires emerging to gain greater clarity of the specific aspects and details to center plans around.

The Full Moon in Leo also illuminates the recent ingress of Venus into Capricorn.  As the Moon wanes into the forthcoming New Moon in Aquarius in early February, Venus will move across Capricorn into a conjunction with Mercury and Pluto.  This further re-emphasizes whatever feelings and needs we have resisted expressing due to fear of judgment or rejection- if this has been going on so long that these needs have taken on a monstrous proportion, these aspects support gaining awareness and uncovering the underlying reasons these needs became distorted across time.  For example, we may gain new insight into the imprinting we received from our parents and early development in the society we were born into, leading to the development of our current self-image.  In the waning lunar cycle following this Full Moon in Leo, we can restructure our inner and outer relationships to be in greater alignment with our true emotions and needs.

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Johann Heinrich Lambert’s adaptation of Tobias Mayer’s triangle (17772) courtesy of The Public Domain Review

While Mercury is conjoining Pluto over the next week or two, Mercury is also receiving Jupiter and the North Node of the Moon in Virgo through a trine.  The more we do the deep Mercury-Pluto work of digging into our depths and avoiding denial and escapist pursuits, the more we access the Jupiter-North Node capacity to fully enter the present moment of our material realm and shift life events into a new trajectory in greater alignment with core values and needs.  This is a potent aspect for visioning not only the extraordinary life we dream of living, but discerning the choices available to us now that will take us in this direction.  This is a time to get out of your habitual mind as much as possible and be truly present, embracing every opportunity to look at things differently than ever before.

Further supporting finding new solutions and approaches is a trine between Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries that is now closer in orb than the square between Saturn with Neptune in Pisces.  However, in reality these two very different aspects to transiting Saturn are happening simultaneously, and so radical thoughts and insights will be arising in an atmosphere that will also find us facing disillusionment and skepticism over what aspects of our dreams can manifest in reality.  The unifying principle to connect with the highest potential of both of these transits to Saturn is to not hold back and instead to allow yourself to envision the life you want to live free of the ways you have restricted or repressed yourself previously.  These aspects to Saturn in Sagittarius will be occurring throughout this next year, and so this Leo Full Moon is an opportune time to allow yourself to unleash your imagination and create grand goals to work toward.

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5 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo I Decan

The Full Moon falls in the first face of Leo, ruled by Saturn and associated with the 5 of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  In tarot the 5 of Wands card is typically associated with entering into conflict and strife, being confronted and needing to  fight to assert oneself, stand one’s ground, or achieve a desired, prominent position.  Astrologer Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Spotlight” to the first face of Leo which can be connected to the imagery of the 5 of Wands through the five youth battling for dominance, attention, or the spotlight, the starring role.  Coppock wrote that the “power of this decan is to focus a mass of attention on one point or person” (p. 122), and analyzed that the decan’s rulership by Saturn signifies the ability to direct the spotlight in order to both reveal as well as conceal, binding the attention, and projection, of an audience to one’s performing image.  In addition to “The Spotlight,” Coppock also described the significance of the “magical weapon” of the “Mask” to the power found in the first face of Leo:

 The mask focuses the wearer’s attention on those aspects of their being which are in harmony with the mask’s appearances and enhances one’s ability to express them. The mask serves a similar function with onlookers- it focuses their attention on certain qualities.  The mask is thus the mystical nexus between all of the streams of attention in place . . .

It is interesting to note that the word for mask in Latin is “Persona.”  “Persona” is used in modern English to denote a portion of the psyche, and is the root of the more common term “personality.”  The “persona” does not describe the entire geography of the soul, instead, it describes the social role played by the person . . .

Thus the material of the psyche coalesces and then concretizes into the pattern necessary to function in a given role- the mask. An effective mask creates a nexus point which mediates inside and outside, self and other . . . Masks, like the spotlight which they are created to survive, are perilous tools, for as they are fed by attention they grow stronger, consuming more of the wearer’s energy.  The mask/persona can thus go from being a useful tool to a powerful parasite, feeding off of and devouring their host.

–Austin Coppock, 36 Faces (p. 123)

The current lunar cycle waxing full in the first face of Leo began with a New Moon in Capricorn that brought news of the death of David Bowie.  Bowie was born with a Moon in the first face of Leo at the same degree as this Full Moon, as well as a Saturn conjoining his Moon also in the first decan of Leo.  Furthermore, David’s Moon is conjunct his descendant, meaning that his ascendant is aligned with the position of the Sun in Aquarius at the time of this Full Moon.  While Bowie’s Moon conjoining Saturn and his descendant is fitting considering how much he thrived upon collaboration with other artists and worked hard to manifest his creativity until the very end of his life, his Moon is also exemplary of the meaning Austin Coppock brought to the first face of Leo in 36 Faces.  As has been celebrated extensively this past week, Bowie was a master of creating masks through which to project his work, taking on a different public identity with each new creative departure.  However, while David Bowie achieved great public acclaim through his talent for mask making, he also became a victim entrapped by the projections of his audience.  As a result, he put his masked identities to death in the process of creating his new identities through which to manifest his art.  It has been said by those who stood close to Bowie on stage that no one else possessed his talent for controlling and directing the attention of a massive audience from stage, and many who met him in person were overwhelmed with the charisma they felt in the meeting place of his gaze.

As David Bowie has been extensively celebrated in the time leading up to this Full Moon, he serves now as a marvelous model for this Full Moon in Leo through his capacity to imagine as well as embody an extraordinary life, vision as well as manifest radical artistic creations that break free from mainstream patterns and conditioning, and direct public attention to his work through the shaping of his public masks.  With Saturn in Sagittarius in square to Neptune and in trine to Uranus, with Mercury retrograde conjoining Pluto while in square to Uranus, and with the square from Mars in Scorpio to this Full Moon in Leo, it is also important to realize the process Bowie went through in destroying each vehicle he created for himself once it no longer aligned with what he authentically desired to create.  Similarly, this Full Moon will guide you to release any mask or persona you have developed to navigate the public sphere that no longer matches how you truly want to be.   Within the catalytic atmosphere of the aspects surrounding this Leo Full Moon, there is a fertile matrix from which to embark in a direction more attuned with the passion arising from within.

References

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