New Moon in Capricorn
The Capricorn New Moon on January 12 initiates the first lunar cycle of 2021, the first lunar cycle to follow the dissolution of the eclipses that brought an end to 2020, and the first lunar cycle to begin since the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. There has been immense volatility in recent current events befitting our collective transition into a new astrological era, from the chaos of the riotous insurrection in the USA to the swift response of banishment from Internet corporations that has revealed the power they hold in the era of air. Though we have left the era of earth defined by the Jupiter and Saturn cycle, the New Moon in Capricorn will pull us underneath the surrounding soil, penetrating into the underlying dynamics at play in the tearing down and building up of forms. The darkness of the lunation invites exploration of the dark forest within, feeling into the roots of matters and how they are being nourished from subterranean sources.
The New Moon is separating from a harmonizing sextile with Neptune in Pisces and applying toward an intensifying conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn. The lunar movement from Neptune to Pluto evokes the potent depth of the Sea Goat who draws sustenance from the oceanic, immaterial expanse underlying reality, churning visions of what to manifest from subconscious senses. The magnetic influence of Pluto can bring cathartic experiences that expose the desires behind our ambitions and bring realization of goals to cultivate that will be authentically empowering with a natural sense of power. It’s not a lunation for rushing into making things happen, but rather gestating and gathering internal resources. With Pluto present as we cross the threshold of not only a new lunar cycle but a new astrological era, we need to let its process of death and rebirth take its time. We need to deepen into the changes emerging from within before we may wield their full potential in the year ahead.
The New Moon conjoining Pluto also brings awareness to a section of your natal chart that was heavily impacted by the union of Saturn and Pluto in 2020. Indeed, the New Moon at 23°13′ Capricorn is very close to the same place Pluto formed a conjunction with Saturn last year at 22°46′ Capricorn on January 12, 2020. Pluto had to share the sign of Capricorn with Saturn from the end of 2017 to the end of 2020, and in the past couple of years also has had the South Node of the Moon and Jupiter nearby as well. With Pluto now alone in Capricorn, we can hear the voice of Hades clearer with its fertile pulse buried under the richness of earth. The New Moon and Pluto may pinpoint an area of your external or internal life that needs extra care and nurturance in recovery from all of the ruptures of the past year. The ferryman of Hades has arrived to greet us at the doorway into a new era, willing to guide us into emerging possibility as long as we pay the toll of shedding what needs releasing, deepening into what wants to be born through us.
The Capricorn New Moon is ruled by Saturn in Aquarius, with Mars in Taurus applying to a disruptive square aspect with Saturn that it will complete on January 13. The discord found within the aspect between Saturn with Mars will be reflected in turbulent collective events involving a berserker charge from Mars into the fortified walls of Saturn. While Saturn is in position to protectively bind the rage of Mars, the strife and tension constellated between them can escalate stress and pressure. The square between Mars and Saturn is more important than the usual passing square between them, as it brings the final chapter to a story that was previously initiated during the period of Mars retrograde in Aries when Mars formed exact square aspects with Saturn at the end of August and the end of September in 2020. While the discord between Saturn and Mars dominated the astrology of August through October in 2020, there was a lessening of the friction between them in November and December. Once Mars entered Taurus on January 6, the volatility between them became amped up again and has built in intensity since then.
The aggressive assertion of Mars will make things frustrating if we want to make things happen too fast, and so the fiery force of the star of Ares will be most effective when grounded into the earthy, long term focus of Taurus not unlike how the orphic hymn to Ares gives his weapons over to the agricultural work of Demeter. A balance will need to be struck between opening to new desires being stoked by Mars while patiently working through whatever obstacles and tests are being set in place by Saturn. It’s a period for laying the foundation of long-term goals rather than grasping for short-term gratification. The seeds of the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius have been set in motion, and as the potency of Jupiter and Saturn requires serious intention with commitment to bring things to completion, we need to patiently work through disruptions and restrictions without losing sight of the larger vision we want to work toward. The forthcoming lunar cycle will be one of the most inflammatory periods of 2021, and so it will be helpful to rest when able so that we may draw on full reserves of energy when action needs to be taken.
During the recent peak period of darkness in the northern hemisphere and peak light in the southern hemisphere, Saturn and Jupiter have put on a dazzling display of light following sunset. Pivotally, the Capricorn New Moon demarcates the shift of Saturn and Jupiter from being visible into setting into their invisible phase. With both Saturn and Jupiter setting into their dark, underworld phase that will last until the beginning of February when they will become visible again, pay attention to whatever message they are delivering to you about the new issues emerging from old patterns. In the forthcoming lunar cycle both Saturn and Jupiter will become reanimated by conjunctions with the Sun, as Saturn will conjoin the Sun on January 23 and Jupiter will conjoin the Sun on January 28, the same day as the Full Moon in Leo. Though no longer visible as a solstice star omen, as Saturn and Jupiter move through their invisible phase during the next month we may gestate whatever visions and ideas we gathered underneath their light, gathering and cultivating the tools and skills we will need to bring the dreams of our imagination into reality in the years ahead.
Looming large over the Capricorn New Moon is the presence of Uranus in Taurus which will station direct on January 14, saturating the astrological atmosphere with its emancipatory and shattering influence. Uranus has been retrograde since stationing on August 15, 2020 at 10°41′ Taurus, and as it stations direct at 6°43′ Taurus it will be met by the explosive volatility of Mars combining with it. Mars will form an exact conjunction with Uranus in Taurus on January 20, with Mars also forming catalytic square aspects with Saturn in Aquarius on January 13 and Jupiter in Aquarius on January 22. In addition, Jupiter in Aquarius will form an exact square aspect with Uranus on January 17 while Uranus is still primed in potency due to its recent stationing. Altogether this period of time has immense risk for discord and violence, and makes the recent mob riots in the USA deeply concerning in relation to what will transpire leading up to the inauguration of President Biden on January 20. There will need to be a collective effort of protection and defensive resistance to prevent the kind of out of control violence that erupted in the USA when Mars joined Uranus in Taurus on January 6.
While collective events will involve the shattering quality of the Tower arcanum in tarot in the week following the Capricorn New Moon, in our personal lives we must also be careful of not become overinflated with self righteousness. There will be greater possibility of personal conflicts accelerating needlessly, and so it will be important to take a step back and regain calmness when needed. It will also be possible to discover personal breakthroughs during this time period and sources of new inspiration if we allow ourselves to transmute fears of the unknown into courageous determination. Constructively, unlike the extreme friction circulating between Saturn and Jupiter with Mars and Uranus, Venus in Capricorn is applying toward a flowing trine aspect with Uranus that it will complete on January 13. Make space to receive whatever innovative ideas emerge, knowing you have time to deepen into their meaning and manifestation. Venus will next move through a sextile with Neptune in Pisces on the way to forming a conjunction with Pluto during the upcoming Full Moon in Leo, and so there will be deep illumination possible at the end of January regarding whatever inspiration Venus picks up at the New Moon in Capricorn.
After Venus completed its conjunction with the South Node of the Moon at the end of 2020, it activated a configuration (called the Kala Sarpa Yoga in Vedic astrology) in which all of the planets transit in between the lunar nodes. In collective events, this configuration intensifies the chaotic volatility and extremes we would normally expect due to crossing over the threshold into a new astrological era. Each month this pattern will be temporarily broken up by the Moon moving across the North Node in Gemini through the signs of Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio, periods in which the Moon can give us a reflection of the deep seated changes taking shape. However, once the Moon passes through the gate of its South Node in Sagittarius everything will be moving in between the lunar nodes until the Moon reaches its North Node in Gemini again, making these sections of time especially charged. This pattern will remain in effect until Mars eventually moves across a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini at the end of March 2021. This time around, the Moon activated the pattern by crossing the South Node of the Moon on January 10 and so the New Moon in Capricorn involves all of the planets being in between the lunar nodes. The Moon and the rest of the planets will remain in between the lunar nodes until the Moon forms a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini on January 24.
The other major player in the lunar cycle ahead is Mercury in Aquarius. Within the darkness of the Capricorn New Moon, Mercury in Aquarius will be making major announcements as it has returned to visibility as an Evening Star and has also recently moved through conjunctions with Saturn and Jupiter and square aspects with Mars and Uranus. Ultimately, Mercury in Aquarius will station retrograde within the forthcoming lunar cycle on January 30, giving us the two weeks following the Capricorn New Moon to make use of Mercury being in its productive Evening Star phase. Mercury in Aquarius is well suited to helping us navigate through the volatile period of time that will follow the New Moon, as its airy quality can absorb new perspectives while its fixed nature can sustain focus on longterm goals, weaving in between the daily details we need to attend to and the larger vision we are working toward that we need to keep in mind.
As we are moving in between astrological eras, Mercury in Aquarius can help ferry us across the divide between the known and the unknown. While Mercury in Aquarius can be helpful in making the connections we need to make between our present life and the sense of future vision we are cultivating, we will need to resist the stubborn side of Aquarius and open to the flexibility of consciousness beloved by the star of Hermes. Mercury will enter the “shadow” of its upcoming Mercury retrograde phase on January 15, and so events from around that time may play into shifts in storylines that extend through February as Mercury will return to station direct at the same degree on February 20. Most importantly, Mercury will reach maximum elongation as an Evening Star on January 23 at which point it will begin slowing down in preparation for its stationing a week later on January 30.
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 that aligns with the third decan of Capricorn being ruled by the Sun and Mercury. The crowned and enthroned figure is surrounded by the weight of matter with pentacles below and above, 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 as “only high places bring with them the danger of terrible falls.” Coppock concluded that the third face of Capricorn draws us “close to high seats of power,” we need to remember that influential “positions always come with responsibility, and to sit in them is to be tempted by hubris.”
Thus the union of the New Moon in the third face of Capricorn with Pluto may stir ambitious desires that bear the seeds of hubris within the potential fruit of manifestation. In collective events, we will likewise witness those from high seats of power fall while others fight to gain a seat on the throne. Allow the darkness of the Capricorn New Moon to guide you into the goals that will be truly worth you courageously putting everything into, versus the desires that will ultimately lead you to overwhelming pressure that will not be worth the effort. Explore the shadow of the goals and desires you are cultivating, feeling into where you may become at risk of being consumed by hubris. Let the forthcoming lunar cycle deepen your sense of the innovative plans and ideas that have emerged during the recent weeks of the great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn, and how to most effectively integrate them into your present life.
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Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.