New Moon in Aquarius
It feels natural for children to build tree houses of secluded protection, build contained castles out of bedding, or discover a place of protected privacy away from external influences. In between boundaries and borders of form a self contained light stirs and seeds illumination, guiding from within rather than from the expectations of others. For many people time alone or with few intimates can feel so fruitful with freedom and insight it leads to an embrace of alienation from the collective consensus. Yet an isolated hermit is capable of bearing waters of key messages and resources for those in need to receive, and so the dance of duality calls for a return to publicly share the meaning found on divergent paths. The Aquarius New Moon this week supports finding balance between nurturing seclusion and braving the discord of disseminating meaning within consensus power structures to effect change and aid those struggling to find support.
The New Moon in Aquarius on 27 January 2017 launches us into a catalytic month of eclipses, for the Full Moon that follows is a Lunar Eclipse in Leo which then releases into a Solar Eclipse in Pisces at the end of February. All planets are direct and absorbed in costume and character, ready for the curtain to open on the unprecedented drama that will defy preconceived notions. Fear may arise with recognition that anything can happen for good or ill, yet a grace of constant perseverance may be embraced that is wide awake to possibilities with careful attention to the small and necessary tasks of the present. There is an activating gale in the blackness of the Aquarius Moon to harness into determined work and innovative collaboration.
Aquarius is the outwardly directed home of Saturn, a nesting for the New Moon which provides nourishing protection to guard against the toxicity of collective conditioning in order to center vision on radical intention. From roots that tap into streams of past philosophies and arts, the outward branching of being in Aquarius discovers the future in synthesizing old strands of story and science with current influences and evidence. Aquarius possesses the fortitude to be alone if necessary to be authentic, as well as the facility with networking to weave strong connections between reciprocal resonance across gulfs of time and space. To make the most of Aquarius we need to embody our values and principles that do not align with the expectations of cultural conditioning, opening our heart to radiate full presence rather than detaching with disassociation. The Aquarius New Moon is opportune for prioritizing goals based upon intrinsic value rather than accord with societal norms.
Saturn in Sagittarius rules the Aquarius New Moon with its closest aspect being a separating square with Venus in Pisces and Chiron, linking now with 15 April 2017 when Venus will station direct following its retrograde in square to Saturn and in conjunction with Chiron. Venus with Chiron in hard aspect to Saturn can open old wounds for catharsis as well as bring acute awareness to whether or not heartfelt desires are supported by structural foundations in our life. The tension between Venus, Chiron, and Saturn can be transmuted into empowering exchanges with others or from one’s inner creative matrix. This is not a temporary transit of passing influence, however, as its link to the upcoming Venus retrograde means that current events and issues will have a storyline that arcs into vital developments in mid April. Because of the link between the New Moon, the upcoming eclipses, and the subsequent Venus retrograde, our current trajectory has events of immense magnitude on the horizon we have no way to currently account for. However, whatever we are receiving from current experiences can be used to reformulate and modify plans and strategies for the future, with the hard stress between Sagittarius and Pisces meaning that clarifying whatever is being stirred up within our emotional body can be used to realign intentions and goals to make more of an effective impact.
As the Moon waxes through its new moon phase in Aquarius, it will form harmonious aspects with Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn, providing support for objectifying thoughts and feelings rooted in practicality and a stark assessment of bare bones reality. We can discern a path forward with a vision bound to immersion in the details of the present moment, keeping awareness attuned with both subtle and seismic shifts in our surroundings. There is also extraordinary power within these aspects for collaboration with others of shared passion, and a rapid expansion of development within collective movements united by a shared cause can ensue. Those engaged in creative arts and sciences initiating or developing a project have support for experimenting with expansive and inventive work that can become more solidified in April when Venus stations direct in alignment with Chiron and Saturn. The current astrological movement can facilitate ingenious breakthroughs that will only come once we are actively engaged in the process of work.
The sextile between Saturn and Jupiter in Libra as well as the trine between Saturn and Uranus in Aries signifies greater support for groundbreaking risks than normal for both individuals as well as consolidated power structures. Those seeking to control civilization (Jupiter in Libra) always want the liberty (Uranus in Aries) to take what they want for their own benefit through conditioning the public with belief systems that justify (Saturn in Sagittarius) acts of oppression and coercion. The recent eruptions of large scale social protests can become further enflamed and expanded within these astrological aspects, leading into inevitable clashes and confrontations with opposing forces equally intent on achieving objectives. Within the clamoring of conflict, the Aquarius New Moon contains support for purifying thoughts and feelings from how collective influences have attempted to manipulate minds with fake news and alternative facts. There is potent yang, outwardly directed force within the Aquarius New Moon for direct action, and so it is well worth the time to become as clear as possible about intentions and where to prioritize investment of energy.
Mercury in Capricorn has returned to unite with Pluto at the Aquarius New Moon, reaching the same degree of Capricorn it previously stationed retrograde on 19 December 2016. As a result the storylines stemming from the Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and mid December 2016 are now able to be more clearly understood, with events during the week leading into the New Moon sparking distillation of meaning. As the Moon waxes into the crescent bow of Artemis, Mercury will separate from Pluto and apply to a square with Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Libra. Mercury will be sparking surprising change and revelation, unveiling what was previously hidden, and catalyzing effort from sharpened perception. There will be massive conflicts and confrontations erupting in correspondence with these aspects and so careful awareness will be needed to discern how to most effectively participate and move with the flow of current.
A cathartic drench is gathering in the air to finally release at the end of February in a Pisces Solar Eclipse united with the South Node of the Moon and Neptune. The atmosphere of the Aquarius New Moon is saturated by premonition of the eclipses forthcoming in the month ahead, yet it is the celebrated calm before the storm offering a time to become grounded about goals and a plan for manifestation. Mars is at the final degree of Pisces at the time of the Aquarius New Moon, empowered by the fact that both the final decan of Pisces as well as the first decan of Aries it is at the cusp of entering are both ruled by Mars. Both Mars and Venus are Evening Stars, and their balsamic conjunction can be seen brightening the night void of any moonlight. With Mars and Venus remaining within a hard aspect to the scythe of Saturn at the New Moon, we can gain sense for old relationship patterns we have been living from that no longer are working for us. Adjustments to how we have been giving and receiving in relationship can be made, new attractions followed and initiated, but due to the upcoming Venus retrograde there is much more to be worked out in the close of the current cycle between Mars and Venus that will not be fully realized until October 2017 when Mars and Venus finally conjoin together in Virgo.
As the Moon waxes toward the Lunar Eclipse in Leo on February 10, Mars will enter its home sign of Aries soon after the New Moon followed by Venus on February 3. The shift of Mars and Venus from Pisces to Aries in the coming lunar cycle signifies a speeding up of experiences as well as an injection of amplified assertion to act from instinctual responses. The influence of the impending eclipses activating the South Node of the Moon in Pisces bring release and purification as well as potential for profound disillusionment that can be quickly turned into angry reaction due to the movement of Mars and Venus into Aries. The fire of Aries can be harnessed to fuel empowered responses to wherever we feel injustice and oppression are occurring, yet the Aquarius influence of the New Moon suggests discerning the choices for action that can best sustain impactful effort over the longterm rather than into eruptive outbursts that lead only to burn out.
Aquarius 1 Decan
The New Moon falls in the first face 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 haughty with pride after becoming the master of his domain through clearing the field of rivals. It is a strong individualistic image of resolute pride. In the Thoth deck the Five of Swords card is called “Defeat” and features swords arranged in a downward pointing pentagram within frenetic, jagged lines. Here the meaning of the Five of Swords links with negative thought patterns that keep us bound to old wounds or trapped in a self-defeating cycle.
In his book on the decans in astrology 36 Faces, Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “The Mark of Exile” to the first face of Aquarius, describing it as a decan of purposefully living as an outsider in exile to conventional society. Coppock linked the meaning of this face to the independence, liberation, and “wider and deeper understanding of reality” to be found through breaking free from the traditions of one’s time and accepting “the mark of the heretic” if necessary (p. 227). In this way, the image of the Five of Swords card above shows how many relationships become destroyed and sacrificed when one goes into exile away from the norms of society. Yet at the same time, leaving consensus culture opens the potential that new relationships will arise in alignment with the developing liberated sense of Self, as well as enables creative actualization aligned with spirituality more so than material rewards.
The first face of Aquarius is ruled by Venus, bringing further significance to the separating square between Venus and Saturn at the time of the New Moon. While Venus in her exaltation of Pisces has been lauded for her desire for union and harmony, in truth Venusian decisions to choose one over another can create strife and brings a weight of necessity to the eccentric yearnings of Venus. The New Moon in Aquarius invites us to discover the wisdom of unorthodox perspectives, values, and relationships yet requires awareness for how our actions and choices can cause separation with others. The gift of Aquarius is its capacity not only to foster knowledge of essential truth that goes against the dictates of dominant culture, but to transmit meaning with heartfelt creative expression that can warm and empower others. As Rainer Maria Rilke, born with Moon, Saturn, and Mars in Aquarius, once wrote:
The practice of artistic seeing first had to overcome itself to the point where even in the midst of what is terrible and apparently repulsive, it beholds only being that is valid along with everything else that is. Just as the artist may not choose what he wants to behold, he may not turn his gaze away from any form of existence. A single instance of refusal exiles him from the state of grace, and he becomes utterly sinful.
This act of lying-down-with-the-leper and sharing all-of-one’s-warmth, including the heat of one’s own heart during a night of love: all of this must have been part of the artist’s life as an act of overcoming to reach his [her] new state of beatitude. Behind this kind of devotion holiness begins with small things first: the simple life of a love that has persisted and that has joined itself to everything alone, inconspicuously, and wordlessly without taking any pride in it.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Ulrich Baer
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Rilke, Rainer Maria. (2005). Letters on Life: New Prose Translations. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer.