Aquarius New Moon
The ponderous gaze of Saturn is responsible for the care of both sides of the border between Capricorn and Aquarius. The star of wily Kronos calls both celestial landscapes its home, yet there is a meaningful division between the nocturnal sign of the Goatfish and the diurnal sign of the Water Pourer. Capricorn has more focus upon initiation attuned with the familiar structures of civilization and cultural traditions that bring enduring meaning and guidance. Aquarius beckons beyond the walls of containing systems, receiving inspiration free of the dictates of conventional society, inviting inquiry into the unfamiliar and journeys into the unknown. Collectively we are in a period of time that holds a potent Aquarian quality necessitating the release of the way things have been and entrance into a strange, emerging reality. Airy whirlwinds of decentering, fragmentation, and fracturing are necessarily part of the Aquarian process that is also procreative with innovation, intellectual sharpness, and collective awareness for how personal actions impact wider humanitarian concerns.
The Aquarius New Moon on 21 January occurs one day after the Sun’s entrance into the sign of the Water Pourer, with the exact union of Sun and Moon occurring at 01°32′ Aquarius. The monthly new moon initiates a thirty day period of Selene cycling through all of her phases. Yet the zodiacal degree of the Aquarius New Moon is close to the inception degree of two larger cycles of time: (1) the twenty year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn that began with their conjunction on 21 December 2020 at 00°29′ Aquarius, and (2) the one-to-two-year cycle of Venus and Mars that began with their conjunction on 6 March 2022 at 00°01′ Aquarius and will become regenerated at their next conjunction on 21 February 2024 at seven degrees of Aquarius. The lunation also foreshadows the ingress of Pluto into Aquarius on 23 March 2023, the first time that Pluto will shift from Capricorn into Aquarius since 1778. The nexus between the Aquarius New Moon with these larger cycles of time brings larger implications to the present trajectory of developments, facilitating deeper understanding for how our life story has changed within the immense collective changes that have taken shape since 2020. It’s an ideal lunation for gaining clarity on the alignment between your values and integrity with the state of your relationships, work and purpose. How do you need to take more risk and courageous initiative to build momentum toward fulfilling your most essential desires? Where do you need to become more grounded regarding your dreams, and what pragmatic strategies can help you manifest your vision?
With Uranus in Taurus stationing direct the day after the lunation at 14°56′ Taurus, sudden revelations may arise that overturn past narratives and reveal new insight into both your past as well as your future direction. In some cases the catalytic events corresponding with Uranus stationing can quickly shift perspective into deeper understanding of present circumstances and issues, in other cases the volatility of Uranus can suddenly swing storylines in ways that feel more disruptive than cohering. However, with Mars having stationed direct recently on 12 January and Mercury having stationed direct recently on 18 January, the intensification of Uranus during the Aquarius New Moon is most likely to serve as a propulsive push forward in growth. There is a wave of uplifting support behind the Aquarius New Moon for emboldening new plans and projects that require courageous action and initiative in the month ahead, due to the Aquarius Moon applying to an invigorating sextile with Jupiter in Aries and a flowing trine with Mars in Gemini. Yet with Mars, Mercury, and Uranus all engaged in a prolonged process of generating forward movement, it will be best to proceed with slow and steady mindfulness rather than impulsively rushing ahead.
Aquarius is the sign of the outsider and heretic, the willing exile who separates themselves from dominant cultures so they may live more freely on their own terms according to their own principles and values. The Aquarius New Moon can help coalesce understanding for aspects of past societal conditioning that need to be shed or examined more closely due to stifling the full expression of authentic creativity. As part of recentering upon deep soul desires, an Aquarian process of decentering may need to take place that applies critical thought toward analyzing the diverse factors at play within relationships and work. While it may be necessary to detach from certain emotional dynamics in order to gain clarity, it will be important to refrain from becoming overly rational so that we perceive from the heart rather than a dissociated mental state.
There are a few additional factors that mark the Aquarius New Moon as a significant turning point. It’s considered to be a “super moon” due to being at the perigee of the Moon’s orbit when Luna is as close as possible to Earth in orbit. However, this will not be a typical super moon because the Moon will be closer to Earth than it has been in 992 years, resulting in abnormally high tides that can also serve as a symbol for emotional high tides flooding awareness. Furthermore, the Aquarius New Moon will be at the southern bending of the lunar nodes, forming a confrontational square aspect with the North Node of the Moon in Taurus and South Node of the Moon in Scorpio. This also means that the Aquarius New Moon is midway between the eclipses from three months ago (the Scorpio Solar Eclipse on 25 October and the Taurus Lunar Eclipse on 8 November) and the eclipses three months from now (the Aries Solar Eclipse on 19 April and the Scorpio Lunar Eclipse on 5 May). Finally, the Aquarius New Moon is out of bounds in southern declination, appearing lower in the sky than normal.
As a result, there is an extreme quality to the Aquarius New Moon. It’s both extremely close in orbit as well as extremely low in the sky. It demarcates a crossroads where multiple storylines, perspectives, and experiences intersect. A time for envisioning the path forward while taking accountability and responsibility for your past. A time for identifying and embodying the values that are deeply rooted in your core purpose, while focusing on developing the relationships and work that are in true alignment with your principles and integrity. The extremity of the Moon can incite extreme urgency to break free from confining circumstances, yet it will be wise to take on the slow thoroughness of Saturn that can sift through potential options to discern the most effective course of action.
The brilliant intellectual gifts of Aquarius being stimulated by the Sun, Moon, Venus, and Saturn all occupying Aquarius can be a boon for analyzing issues and brainstorming solutions, yet we also need to be aware of the shadow side of Aquarius that can become fixated upon a dogmatic sense of right action. In spite of Aquarius having acclaim for community building and focusing on collective needs, Aquarian activists can stubbornly insist that others conform to their self righteous conception of what’s best for the greater good. With the Aquarius New Moon activating the lunar nodes, it will be important to focus on deep listening, holding the tension of differing perspectives, and allowing internal conflicts to have the space to work themselves out so that guidance may emerge from your deep wells of inner wisdom.
While the Sun and Moon are forming a conjunction at the second degree of Aquarius, Venus and Saturn will be forming a conjunction in the final ten degrees of Aquarius. There is a solidity to the Aquarius New Moon due to Saturn being at home in Aquarius, and yet the solidness supplied by Saturn will be more creatively receptive than usual due to Venus applying toward a close conjunction with Saturn. The synergy between Venus and Saturn can facilitate creative visions taking form with tangible results, though the influence of Saturn may mean that there will need to be extended time devoted toward working through a solution to any arising challenges. Venus combined with Saturn also calls for greater maturity within relationships and committing to the relationships aligned with your values. Venus wielding the scythe of Saturn will clear the ground of relationships out of alignment with your integrity, bringing awareness to the issues that can be worked through in relationship or instead are unworkable and demand severance.
During the waning half of the previous lunar cycle, Venus passed through a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus on 14 January, reactivating the disruptive influence of the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that has dominated astrology in the past two years. The world has been reshaped while the tension between Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius has been in effect since 2020, but now that we have arrived at their final activation we have lived through our own transfiguration and are in better position to make productive changes with their groundbreaking influence. The upcoming Leo Full Moon on 5 February will trigger both the irritable and innovative sides of Saturn and Uranus, making the forthcoming lunar cycle the grand finale of the Saturn Uranus story. With Venus and Saturn combining during the start of the lunar cycle, hone in on the heart of what you wish to create by cutting away excess and distractions so that you can maximize your use of time while focused upon what matters most to you.
The union of Venus and Saturn is also happening near the projected degree of the fixed star Deneb Algedi, the star in the tail of the Sea Goat constellation. Venus and Saturn will also be visually close to Deneb Algedi in the sky, appearing slightly to the northeast of Deneb Algedi. Venus and Saturn combining near Deneb Algedi evokes the mythology of the ancient deities Enki and Inanna. Inanna has associations with Venus and Deneb Algedi was called the star of Ea and has been linked to Enki, the Sumerian god of water, wisdom, crafts, magic, law and creation. Enki was known for bringing life to land by creating natural habitats and vegetation, and in the story of Inanna’s descent to the underworld, Enki is the only deity who took action to rescue and revive her. When Inanna was hanging lifeless on the meathook of her sister Ereshkigal, it was Enki who created and sent two beings to appease Ereshkigal and restore Inanna with the food and water of life. Deneb Algedi will have a protective and restorative influence upon the conjunction of Venus and Saturn that can help in making decisions based upon ethical considerations and personal integrity. Their combination adds to the potency that the Aquarius New Moon possesses for coming to terms with recent changes and challenges by claiming your personal authority to act with integrity, focusing upon building a strong foundation that will support the continued expression of your creative actualization.
Uranus stationing one day after the Aquarius New Moon means that Uranus will be saturating the astrological landscape with its liberating, awakening, innovative, and experimental archetypal force. However, Mercury will also have an intensified presence due to stationing direct a few days before the lunation on 18 January. The Aquarius New Moon is also in the bounds and triplicity of Mercury, making your mindful recovery from the recent period of Mercury retrograde in Capricorn integral to the dynamics of the Aquarius New Moon. Pay attention to signs and synchronicities in your daily travels as well as the symbolism of your dreams at night for any messages that Hermes has to share regarding lessons from the past month of Mercury retrograde and issues to focus on during the lunar month ahead. The intensified presence of Mercury barely moving forward may feel challenging in terms of leaping forward with progress, yet Mercury will have a potent force to apply toward mental pursuits and communication.
Although Mercury is barely moving during the Aquarius New Moon, it will soon begin picking up speed while applying toward an extremely inventive trine aspect with Uranus that it will complete on 29 January. This will be the third exact trine aspect between Mercury in Capricorn with Uranus in Taurus, the first occurring on 17 December when Mercury was direct and the second occurring on 8 January when Mercury was in the middle of its retrograde journey. Reflect upon any bright ideas and innovative work that came to mind in mid December that you continued to develop in mid January but has remained in need of further work to solidify or bring to completion. The week following the Aquarius New Moon will be extremely fertile for making significant strides with all manner of mercurial work, including any form of communication or commerce.
With Mercury in the exaltation of Mars picking up speed in the week following the Aquarius New Moon, and Mars in the airy domicile of Mercury also beginning to finally gain traction with forward momentum, the additional stationing direct of Uranus on 22 January will mean that all of the planets will be moving direct in motion, supplying an immense thrust of forward momentum we can utilize with our work. There will be an extended period of time to work with all of the planets moving direct in motion, as there will not be another planet shifting into a retrograde phase until Mercury stations retrograde in Taurus on 21 April. While the Aquarius New Moon marks the time of the Chinese New Year that welcomes the Year of the Yin Water Rabbit, there is ample astrological support for giving the Aquarius New Moon the quality of initiating all of us into a new year of growth.
Within the tumult of archetypal tidal forces expanding forward in the week following the Aquarius New Moon, Venus will be shining brightly as an Evening Star and will enter her exaltation of Pisces on 26 January. Venus entering Pisces will bring a boost to artistic, creative, musical, and imaginative pursuits, further enhancing capacity for making significant strides in creative development. Venus in Pisces can also supply a safe haven of sensual pleasures and intimate connection within surrounding storms. If current events or personal experiences become overly stressful and anxiety provoking, look to Venus and her love of pleasure, music, games, food, and other creature comforts to temper nerves and restore creative agency. Notably, as the Moon waxes toward fullness on 4 February, Venus in Pisces will form a waning square aspect with Mars in Gemini that will mark a key turning point within relationship and creative process. Thus the awareness gained during the conjunction between Venus with Saturn during the Aquarius New Moon will be important to apply toward the ways in which we notice our values and desires changing as Venus approaches her square with Mars in the following two weeks.
Aquarius 1 Decan
The New Moon in Aquarius is in the first decan of Aquarius, associated with the Five of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image of the Five of Swords, we see a swordsman pridefully watching his conquered rivals walk away, leaving him solitary in a freshly cleared domain. Venus and Saturn are the rulers of the first decan of Aquarius, yet the presence of Saturn is much more immediately recognizable in the image of the Five of Swords than Venus. T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets about the decans and tarot described how Venus involves both “the sweet refuge of the familiar” as well as the “allure of the possible,” and how the Five of Swords concerns risking the familiar, abandoning comfort, embracing hope, and traversing the passage between the known and unknown that is “fraught with peril.” Chang also wrote that the Five of Swords “can be a card of longing, sharp and bittersweet . . . the double-edged sword that fans desire without satisfying it; it creates avid interest without the opportunity to pursue it.” Chang advised that the Five of Swords can indicate “impossible expectations and uncharitable thoughts directed at yourself or others,” but whenever we take the risk to leave the familiar in order to better ourselves, we embrace the Five of Swords.
Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Mark of Exile” to the first decan of Aquarius, calling it “a face of exclusion and intentional exile,” a place where “there are discoveries to be made and profit to be had on the periphery.” Coppock noted that many images in older texts for this decan “depict the difficulties of living on the margins, on the outside,” whereas others reveal figures “whose labor results in both beauty and financial reward.” Coppock further linked the meaning of the Five of Swords to this face through the independence, liberation, and “wider and deeper understanding of reality” gained when breaking free from the orthodoxy of one’s time and accepting “the mark of the heretic.” In this way, the image of the Five of Swords card reveals how some relationships become necessarily sacrificed when entering exile away from societal norms, while new vivifying relationships will also arise in alignment with the liberated sense of Self that emerges in the process of becoming.
The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs described the goddess of justice, Dike, as inhabiting the first face of Aquarius. Coppock in 36 Faces linked Dike appearing here with “the abandonment of relationships which do not live up to Lady Justice’s high standards.” With Venus and Saturn, the two rulers of the first decan of Aquarius, forming a conjunction in Aquarius during the Aquarius New Moon, we can pay attention to how the sword of Justice cuts through to the heart of matters, allowing the scales of Justice to weigh the relationships that deserve our full devotion versus the ones that are misaligned with our soulful essence and personal integrity.
If you feel lacking in relationships aligned with your purpose and values, following through on intentions to embody your values and express your purpose will help in drawing resonate relationships within your sphere of relations, even if it necessitates taking the risk to the leave the comforts your present circumstances supply. Whenever we leave the security of the familiar to strike out towards the promise of the unknown, fears of conflict and the possibility of losing important relationships can keep us confined to unfulfilling circumstances. The Aquarius New Moon is an invitation to consider the life and relationships you can create by fully stepping into creative actualization of your most cherished values and deepest desires.
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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.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.