Aries New Moon
The Aries equinox is a sacred day to honor the life force of the World Soul. Every year when the Sun enters the tropical zodiac sign of Aries, reaching the place where the Earth’s equator and the path of the Sun intersect, we collectively experience the wonder of equal darkness and light all across our planet. While the Aries equinox marks the deepening into Fall in the southern hemisphere, in the northern hemisphere its stellar gate opens a surge of Spring animation, as bird song and flowery colors emerge from dark slumber. While the annual harmonizing of light and darkness always delivers a palpable sense of renewal, this year the feeling of rejuvenation will be more extreme due to the new moon in Aries initiating a new lunar cycle on 21 March. The Moon will unite with the Sun at 00°49’ Aries, less than twenty-four hours after the ingress of the Sun into Aries. The fiery Moon in Aries will pour down the essential Eros of the equinox into our lives, stimulating an invigoration of movement, inspired action, and propulsive desires.
The regenerative potency of the Aries New Moon aligning with the equinox will be further amplified in the following week by Pluto entering Aquarius on 23 March and Mars entering Cancer on 25 March. Both ingresses will correlate with the unleashing of major new storylines, as Mars has been in Gemini since 20 August 2022 and Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008. The Aries Moon will be separating from aspects with both Mars at the end of Gemini and Pluto at the end of Capricorn, further intensifying the feeling of being at the precipice of mammoth change. As a result, we may need to contend with bringing resolution and closure to longstanding issues before we can fully focus on the excitement of change on the horizon. The magnitude of uncertainty within collective events, from fears over economic collapse related to banking failures to waves of political unrest that have been building, reveal how we are crossing a collective threshold of transformation. While its understandable for many to have fears stoked, the amplified quality of chaotic flux sparked by the Aries New Moon makes it an ideal lunation for shedding the dead skin of the past and embracing creative changes that will align your life more fully with your core purpose and passions.
With the Aries Moon applying toward conjunctions with Mercury and Jupiter in Aries, there will be a heightened impulse to push forward with new developments and growth. However, due to Mercury being combust in its invisible phase with the Sun, we may need to stop ourselves from rushing ahead too quickly in order to bring extra discernment and clarity regarding the choices we need to make. Important information may be hidden from our awareness, or we may be too blinded by our own excitement over desire to make something happen. In contrast to Mercury, Jupiter will still be visible as an evening star, lending his hopeful inspiration to whatever plans we conceive within the darkness of the lunation. However, Jupiter is also in his phase of heliacal setting in which he will be making his final visible appearance on the western horizon following sunset. Thus Jupiter will have an intensified presence during the Aries New Moon, as the star of Zeus delivers an oracular message while descending into the mystery of his invisible, underworld phase with the Sun. With the New Moon in Aries also being in the bounds of Jupiter, listen for messages from Jupiter related to your calling and role to play amidst the changing tides of world events.
However, the Moon is not only applying toward a conjunction with Jupiter, but also Chiron in Aries. Jupiter and Chiron recently initiated a new thirteen-year cycle together by conjoining on 12 March, and so the Aries New Moon will link them together again. In contrast to the external ambition that can be kindled by Jupiter in Aries, Chiron opens the door to our vast internal realms of psyche, tending the threshold of our conscious awareness with the deep well of wisdom found within unconscious depths and ancestral influences. Brian Clark has written that “as an embodiment of suffering, of pain and mortality, Chiron confronts our compulsion to fix, to overcome and resolve . . . In his cave, the instinct to fix it and feel better is held long enough for the soulful symbols in our symptoms to be appreciated as images of healing.” The Moon yoking Chiron and Jupiter together can instill courage in facing the world while tending to one’s inner wounds, remembering that the strength gained from healing one’s own wounds can be shared with others who have been facing the same struggles. Moreover, in the week following the lunation Mercury will also quickly move through a conjunction with Chiron on 26 March followed by a conjunction with Jupiter on 27 March. Thus the week following the Aries New Moon will bring opportunities for gaining deeper understanding for old wounds and integrating parts of ourselves that have been repressed or cast off. Taking the time to tend to whatever restorative process is constellated by Jupiter and Chiron will help foster a sturdier sense of internal value that will ultimately serve the external ambition to achieve your most important long range goals.
Adding to the fertile potency of the lunation aligning with the equinox will be Venus, as she is shining brightly as an evening star within her earthy home of Taurus. Venus will be forming a conjunction with the north node of the Moon during the lunation, en route toward eventually forming a conjunction with the radical innovation of Uranus on 30 March as the Moon waxes toward fullness. Venus has the most essential dignity of all the planets during the Aries Equinox and the Aries New Moon, making the earthy pleasures and sensualness of Venus a potent source of respite and recovery from the difficulties of the world. The relational strength of Venus in Taurus can also help nurture potent alliances that can help in resisting forces of oppression.
Mars in the final degrees of Gemini is responsible for the care of the New Moon in Aries. Mars in Gemini has a receptive exchange of signs with Mercury during the lunation that can help generate new ideas and plans for the future, as Mars is in the airy home of Mercury and Mercury is in the fiery home of Mars. In the week preceding the lunation, however, Mars passed through an obscuring fog of Neptune that was intensified by the Sun, Mercury, and Neptune uniting while forming a confusing square aspect with Mars during the days of March 14 – 17. The tension between Mars and Neptune could have led you through disillusioning experiences and tests of your idealism or beliefs. However, with Mars separating from Neptune and the Sun and Mercury joining Jupiter in the fiery domicile of Mars, the shift brought by the Aries New Moon brings the increased clarity needed to make choices and judgments. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces ascribed the image of “An Executioner’s Sword” to the third decan of Gemini where Mars is located during the lunation, writing that though “the other decans of Gemini involve discovery, exploration, and simultaneity, in the third wait choices- judgments that must be made. To achieve actuality, a multitude of possibilities must be sacrificed.” While Gemini opens doors to endless options and interpretations, the influence of Aries focalizes action upon singular choices and desires.
Mars has been in Gemini since last August, and will only be within Gemini for a few more days following the lunation. Due to the extended period of Mars retrograde in Gemini from the end of October to the middle of January, we have been on a long journey with Mars in Gemini that has enabled us to make judgments with deeper awareness for the consequences of our actions. Mars finally moved beyond the degree where he originally stationed retrograde on 15 March at the same time he was forming a square aspect with Neptune, Mercury, and the Sun. The tidal wave of dissolution brought by Neptune, Mercury, and the Sun in Pisces may not have been helpful in terms of gaining clarity, but it may have made you aware of information, insights, or inspiration normally concealed from your awareness. Now that Mars has separated from Neptune, the emphasis upon Aries in the month ahead will kindle inspired movement and productive action informed by the extended encounter between Mars and the imaginal realms of Neptune.
Mars will leave Gemini to enter Cancer on March 25, bringing a starker sense of finality to the long retrograde phase of Mars in Gemini which has had a monumental influence over the past five months. It will be worthwhile to reflect upon the life events that aligned with the transit of Mars in Gemini: from 20 August 2022 to 30 October while direct, from 30 October 2022 to 12 January 2023 while retrograde, and from 12 January until 25 March while direct again. Mars brings awareness of instinctual drive, emerging desires, and how they align with our purpose through action and making things happen. Periods of Mars retrograde can feel extremely frustrating at times, but the inner initiation it leads us through can bring about a radical realignment with our most deeply felt desires and purpose. Mars retrograde can penetrate our normal defenses, making us vulnerable to an infusion of new desires that can steer us away from the known into unknown potentialities. Now that the Mars retrograde period has completed, contemplate the ways in which you experimented with new directions and encountered new desires, gaining realization for the essential, renewed purpose that has finally emerged with readiness to be implemented.
Mars entering its fall of Cancer will plunge the star of Ares into the low lying places of its zodiacal depression. While Mars in Cancer does not possess the exalted status of the Sun in Aries, it’s extreme capacity for protection can be focused on fighting for counter cultural causes and on behalf of those who have become marginalized or oppressed by systemic power structures. Mars in Cancer also possesses a dynamic creativity that can discover unorthodox forms of expression. Fortunately, Mars in Cancer will be applying toward a watery trine aspect with Saturn in Pisces that will become exact on 30 March, the same day that Venus forms a conjunction with Uranus. Toward the end of last year, Mars in Gemini formed two exact trine aspects with Saturn in Aquarius due to its retrograde phase. These occurred on 28 November 2022 when Mars was retrograde and on 28 September 2022 when Mars was direct. Note any threads of development that extend from these previous dates until now, particularly in areas of life in which you have had to apply hard work and disciplined practice to push past obstacles and initiate new movements of work for yourself.
Pluto in Aquarius
Though the shift of Mars finally leaving Gemini will create new storylines, the impact of Pluto entering Aquarius will have a larger impact due to the long cycle of Pluto that takes approximately 248 years to go around the zodiac. Pluto will enter Aquarius on 23 March where it will remain until returning to Capricorn on 11 June 2023. Pluto will return to Aquarius on 20 January 2024 until re-entering Capricorn for a final time on 1 September 2024 where it will remain until 19 November 2024. Pluto will then enter Aquarius with finality on 19 November 2024 where it will continue to fill the jugs of the Water Pourer with its underworld water for two decades, finally leaving Aquarius for good on 19 January 2044.
Pluto was last in Aquarius between 1777 and 1798, when the American Revolution came to an end and the French Revolution began. Relevant to the recent ingress of Saturn, Saturn was also in Pisces during the storming of the Bastille that initiated the French Revolution. Prior to that, Pluto was in Aquarius between 1532 and 1553, when the Copernicus Revolution took place and the Protestant Reformation deepened. Themes of collective fracturing and decentering stand out with the transit of Pluto in Aquarius, as Pluto in Aquarius has not only correlated with revolutions contesting the centralised power of the monarchy and church, but also with the transformation of human consciousness that shifted the Earth from being the center of the universe to the sun and the heliocentric model. During the transit of Pluto in Aquarius in the 5th century B.C. the Peloponnesian War was raging between Athens and Sparta, Socrates was teaching in the streets of Athens, and Plato was born. During another transit of Pluto in Aquarius, Constantine I emerged from civil wars to become the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, decentering the seat of power from Rome in the West to Constantinople in the East. While Constantine was involved with the establishment of the Nicene Creed during Pluto’s time in Aquarius in the 4th century CE, when Pluto later entered Aquarius in the 11th century the Great Schism erupted between the western Roman and eastern Byzantine branches of the church. During the subsequent transit of Pluto in Aquarius from 1286 to 1308, the explorer Marco Polo famously brought news of his travels in the East to the West, and the Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace achieved victory over the English following the recent colonization of Wales during the reign of Edward I, the “Hammer of the Scots.” Popular revolutions often erupt during the transit of Pluto in Aquarius that ultimately lead to important reforms, even in defeat.
During the last time that Pluto was in Aquarius at the end of the 18th century, technological inventions such as the cotton gin, threshing machine, steamboat and gas lighting led into the rapid emergence of the Industrial Revolution from the Scientific Revolution that began during the earlier transit of Pluto in Aquarius during the 16th century. The recent, rapid rise of AI technology has been one of many developments foreshadowing the transfiguration of reality that will take place over the course of the next twenty years with Pluto in Aquarius. The recent collapse of numerous banks mirrors the entry of Pluto into Capricorn in 2008, and while it may foreshadow vaster economic uncertainties that will develop with Pluto in Aquarius it also clearly relates to Pluto beginning to draw its transit through Capricorn to a conclusion. Since Pluto will only be in Aquarius for a few months during 2023, we will be undergoing a couple of years of transitioning into the meaning of Pluto in Aquarius while we simultaneously wrap up the lessons from Pluto’s time in Capricorn.
Pluto was discovered during the development of depth psychology in the 20th century, and part of its meaning is found within our relationship between conscious awareness and our unconscious. Pluto in Aquarius will deliver many lessons revealing that if you cling too tightly to an idea or ideal it will turn into its opposite, like the concept of enantiodromia (Greek meaning “to run counter to”) that was unearthed in the work of Carl Jung to demonstrate that anything at an extreme state will turn into its opposite quality. The danger of Pluto lies in resisting change and death, whereas its gifts involve the regeneration of resources and wisdom that emerges by embracing processes of death and rebirth. Pluto in Aquarius will stress the importance of allowing for the death of our ideals when we reach a state of clinging to them too tightly against all reason, being open to flexibly shifting idealistic visions to align with the ways in which the world and reality are actually changing.
In addition to fixating upon intellectual beliefs, Aquarius can also involve control and manipulation of information, and so the extremes of media manipulation and propaganda by those in power already present will find new insidious ways of intensifying their impact through the use of the technological advancements that will continue to accelerate. It will be up to each of us to utilize critical thinking when interfacing with technology and the ways in which our minds can be manipulated in the years ahead. As Carl Jung wrote in the Undiscovered Self:
“Even today people are largely unconscious of the fact that every individual is a cell in the structure of various international organisms and is therefore causally implicated in their conflicts. He knows that as an individual being he is more or less meaningless and feels himself the victim of uncontrollable forces, but, on the other hand, he harbors within himself a dangerous shadow and adversary who is involved as an invisible helper in the dark machinations of the political monster. It is in the nature of political bodies always to see the evil in the opposite group, just as the individual has an ineradicable tendency to get rid of everything he does not know and does not want to know by foisting it off on somebody else.
Nothing has a more divisive and alienating effect upon society than this moral complacency and lack of responsibility, and nothing promotes understanding and rapprochement more than the mutual withdrawal of projections.”
Aries 1 Decan
The New Moon in Aries will arise in the first decan of Aries, associated with the Two of Wands tarot arcanum 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 the first decan of Aries is the face of Mars. T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets connected the Two of Wands indicating the ending of one stage and beginning of another with the primal rupturing of the first decan of Aries. Chang wrote that in the “first act of rupture and planting, a whole life cycle takes root – that’s why we see the entire globe held into the hands of the 2 of Wands. You can call it planting time or you can call it spring cleaning. You can call it a paradigm shift between the old world and the new world. You can stress the destructive power of this face, or its power to fertilize. The point is that there is no looking back.”
In Henrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, a “black man, standing dressed in white and girded” emerges in the first decan of Aries. Agrippa wrote that he has “a large body, red eyes, and great strength, and [appears] as if angry; this image signifies and is made for boldness, strength, loftiness, and immodesty.” The Picatrix described a similar black man with red eyes “girded in white cloth,” except he is holding an axe. Indeed, a man with blazing red eyes holding an axe appears in numerous traditional texts. In comparison, the Liber Hermetis pictured a man “standing on feet like claws” and “holding above his head a double-sided axe with both hands.” While in Ibn Ezra’s The Beginning of Wisdom, the first decan of Aries contains a “self-laudatory” and “irascible” figure “of the giants’ race” who has “a head in the form of a dog with a candle in its left hand and a key in its right hand.” Rather than wielding a weapon of violence, this mysterious figure described by Ibn Ezra appears to be carrying tools of revelation and initiation.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the symbol of “The Axe” to the first decan of Aries. 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.” While Coppock described the Axe as a magical tool essential for “breaking bonds which no longer serve” and bringing “subjective order to the world” through “taming the environment,” he also noted that the first decan of Aries possesses a 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 fierce opponents.
The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Aidoneus to the first decan of Aries. While there are later versions of Aidoneus as a mythical king who married Persephone, Aidoneus is essentially another Greek name for Hades enthroned in the underworld that can be translated as “Unseen One.” The fifth century B.C. philosopher Empedocles identified Aidoneus as one of the four fundamental roots of creation associated with the elements of earth, water, air, and fire. While there has been contention over which element was meant to be Aidoneus, Peter Kingsley in Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic made a good case for Aidoneus being fire, which would further link with the astrological association of Aries with fire. We can imagine how the rupturing of the Aries equinox unleashes the subterranean fires at the root of creation and our own personal creativity. With the Aries New Moon igniting the fiery ambitions and individualism of the first decan of Aries, with Pluto entering a new sign, it will be important to consider how we wish to claim and wield our personal power in the world. The primordial fire of Aries can liberate us from the shackles of past restrictions, yet its true wisdom lies in directing us toward the integrity of our full potential. May the New Moon in Aries guide you into deeper relationship with your own creative actualization.
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Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.
Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.
Clark, Brian. (2022). The Jupiter-Chiron Cycle: Weaving the Ways of Wisdom.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Kingsley, Peter. (1995). Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition. Oxford University Press.