After January’s gritty reality with a profusion of planets in Capricorn, February has a very different vibration. Despite this being eclipse season, this month feels like a lull in astrological proceedings. We’re either floating through air or floating through water. February begins with a strong Aquarius edge as we now have Mercury, the Sun, the South Node, Venus and Juno all in this quirky air sign. The mood is friendly but detached. What interests us around this time are groups, networks, politics and humanitarian concepts. Social media could be in overdrive. Aquarius energy however can also manifest as restlessness. It’s electric, wired and anxious to implement change.
Both the Sun and Mercury will conjunct the South Node (February 3 and February 9 respectively) on the Sabian symbol ‘Two Lovebirds Sitting On A Fence And Singing Happily’. Twice then, we’re asked to let go of idealism when it comes to our relationships with one another. The pretty little dream is holding us back. The more we identify with it, the more we think about it, the harder it is to see each other as we really are and accept our differences. We don’t all have to be singing the same tune.
February 3 is also astrological Imbolc which occurs when the Sun hits fifteen degrees of Aquarius. This ancient festival, often celebrated at the beginning of the month, marks the first signs of spring like the snowdrops which push their heads up through frost-bitten ground and lambing season in the farming calendar. Fifteen degrees of Aquarius is the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox in the Northern hemisphere. Use this magical day to reflect back to mid-December. This is a turning point, a gentle prompt to move towards the light and new beginnings.
The Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio on February 7, introduces the theme of intimacy versus detachment. How can we bond at a deep level yet keep our own individuality and space? This theme then continues into the Aquarius Solar Eclipse on February 15. The eclipse is tightly conjunct Juno and Mercury and square to Juno’s husband Jupiter. The eclipse may throw up unexpected events that challenge preconceptions, judgements and beliefs about one another. I imagine most people cringe at the phrase ‘we need to talk’ but talk we must during this eclipse period. We may be surprised or unnerved by some of the topics of conversation, yet they are necessary to move us forwards. Mercury then conjoins the eclipse degree on February 16 suggesting a quick manifestation or even resolution to this unpredictable energy.
The atmosphere begins to soften as Mars moves into a square with Neptune on February 17. This however can be a confusing pattern given to defeatist thinking and a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude when manifesting negatively. The feisty go-get-‘em approach of Mars is flummoxed in the face of pacifist Neptune. The more we fight to go in one direction, the more uncertain we feel. The key is to act on intuition, let go of the fight and the need to be right. It’s about letting ourselves experience vulnerability. Sometimes we must stop doing to tune into why we are doing what we do.
With the entry of Mercury and the Sun into Pisces on February 18, we shift from airy intellectualism to surfing the waves of the great sea of the collective unconscious. Emotionally, we’re more engaged, sensitive, kind, compassionate. Under these influences, warrior Mars can do no more than turn the other cheek and walk away from conflict, but this isn’t about giving up or escaping. Our actions now have the potential to contribute towards our spiritual unfolding as shown by Mars’s trine to the North Node on February 19. We need to get in touch with what’s meaningful. Pisces energy seeks to unify. With our defences down, we can let the heart lead. Venus conjunct Neptune on February 21 opens the way to forgiveness and unconditional love.
The end of February sees the Moon crossing the degree of the eclipse that took place on January 31. This is the first activation of this eclipse point so it’s possible that we may be feeling the effects around this time or starting to understand what it means for us on a personal level. Make a note of the feelings that arise on this date as they may seed ideas that bloom in August when the Sun crosses this point.
The Lunar Eclipse occurs at 13:26 (UT) on January 31, 2018 at 11°Le37′.
Because this is the second Full Moon in a calendar month, this is considered by modern definition to be a Blue Moon. On January 30, the Moon will be perigee, meaning it is closest to Earth in its orbit so this total lunar eclipse is considered to be a supermoon too. The eclipse will be visible in Central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and most of Australia.
Total lunar eclipse, blue moon, supermoon – this eclipse is making a grand entrance!
With the Moon in the dramatic, showy sign of Leo, this brings the 5th house of the mundane chart into the foreground. Leo and the 5th house relate to the entertainment industry, children, drama, creativity and self-expression, pastimes and hobbies, pleasure, sports, theatres and society functions.
As the Leo-Aquarius axis is activated by the eclipse, we are also looking at themes around standing out (Leo) versus blending in (Aquarius), the individual (Leo) compared to the group (Aquarius). Our collective and individual identities are being challenged.
As the North Node is passing through the sign of Leo currently, we are in a period of time where we need to pay attention to our inner child. Leo rules the heart and like children, we’re now encouraged to live from our hearts, returning to a place of authentic joy. I’ve been watching the series Black Mirror recently, a show that often focuses on the increasing concern over technological advances (Aquarius). Recently Facebook made a major change to its algorithm to ensure that more personal content from friends and family is shown to return to its original roots as a platform for socialising.
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Ceres takes centre stage in this eclipse by being tightly conjoined with the Moon. This is about nurturing our creativity, looking after our inner child. A quincunx from the Moon and Ceres to Neptune asks ‘where have you sacrificed your creative inspiration’? Where have you chosen television or alcohol over self-driven fun? Where did you lose yourself instead of placing yourself at the centre of your world? The quincunx to Neptune is awkward because we’re not comfortable with being the star of the show but it also keeps us humble enough to recognise that everyone is a star in their own right. Whilst at times we might not feel entirely in tune with others, or even ourselves, it’s about giving it a go anyway. Our imagination is unlimited and Ceres holds a cornucopia to represent abundance. The well of inspiration never truly runs dry. It’s only when we starve ourselves of attention that it’s hard to tap.
The Moon’s conjunction to Ceres could also bring up issues that connect to famine, food wars, food stamps, food banks, agricultural issues, the environment, climate issues and reproductive rights. Women in the entertainment industry also star in this eclipse. With Ceres opposite Venus in Aquarius, we’re looking at the conflict between money and Mother Earth, women’s pay, the collective value we place on commodities compared to natural abundance. Ceres can be great loss or great gain.
The eclipse is on the Sabian symbol :-
An Evening Party Of Adults On A Lawn Illumined By Fancy Lanterns
This Sabian symbol immediately put me in mind of the latest exposé to hit the headlines. The Financial Times published a story about the President’s Club Gala Charity Dinner, revealing the event is still ‘Men Only’ and is rife with sexual harassment towards the women employed to serve there.
Ceres is not going to take this lying down. In Leo she becomes a tigress who is willing to show her teeth if necessary to protect her children. The eclipse suggests that the days of the ‘old boys’ club’ is numbered.
On a personal level, this Sabian raises the idea of enjoyable get-togethers, having fun, relaxation, entertainment. When we allow ourselves time off we can drop the mask and be who we are. There’s no need to pretend, even if Neptune in the background makes us wistful for something more – more soulful, more spiritual. The truth is, sometimes when we let go and enjoy the moment, that is where transcendence is found, hidden in the child-like delight of play. There is gold in the human touch.
Painting – Detail from ‘Lions in the Desert’ by Henry Ossawa Tanner
The New Moon occurs at 02:17 (UT) on January 17, 2018 at 26°Cp54′.
Just 24 hours ago, Carillion, the UK’s second biggest construction firm, went into liquidation. With 1.5bn of debt and a pension shortfall falling into the multi-millions, the company was no longer sustainable. This was a private company used by government for public sector work so its collapse has repercussions across the board.
Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn and this New Moon, rules all things connected to sustainable business practice, the government, authority figures and pensions. It feels very much like Saturn has made his presence felt in no uncertain terms. Saturn defines boundaries and shows us where we overstep the mark. For Carillion, which has been clearly falling into bad management practices, Saturn said ‘enough is enough’. Mercury too is conjunct Black Moon Lilith who is also queen of drawing the line. Her conjunction with Mercury screams ‘No more!’.
In the New Moon chart, the 10th house is full to the brim with the Sun and Moon, Venus, Pluto, Mercury, Saturn and Black Moon Lilith all present here. The Sun and Moon are in a tight conjunction to Venus – ruler of love, relationships, partnerships, equality, values and money. There’s also a wide conjunction to Pluto ruling death, transformation, endings, power, control and underworld riches. Perhaps someone was getting rich from this giant industry and funds went underground. I’m noting too that this New Moon is conjunct Bacchus, the Roman God of excess. Capricorn by its nature is restrained so being ‘cut off’ before taking that next drink (or spending that next million dollars) is apt!
Meanwhile, the trade in fake degrees has also been exposed. After Saturn’s long passage through academic Sagittarius, there’s no way he’ll allow anyone to escape doing the work.
In our own lives, all this Capricorn energy says that we too need to do the work. Capricorn symbolises our greatest achievements. Career and parental responsibilities could be on our minds. The 10th house is where we grow up and meet gritty reality but it’s also where hard work is rewarded.
The New Moon is also square to Uranus so there is tension between what we conserve and what we change (Uranus). There may be is a push to upgrade or to rebel against the rules. We may feel the need to make a pointed comment about our independence, uniqueness or difference.
With increasing dialogue around the treatment of women and racism, we’re already feeling the sharp contrast between the old and new worlds. Practices that have been ingrained into the very fabric of society are finally being called into question and called out. Eris certainly isn’t going to let sleeping dogs lie for a start and Pallas on the last anaretic degree of Aries, suggests we may need to change our strategy. Uranus reminds us that either way, nothing can stay the same forever. Sometimes, we must break old patterns to create the stability we’re looking for.
The New Moon is on the Sabian symbol :-
Pilgrims Climbing The Steep Steps Leading To A Mountain Shrine
This Sabian is very descriptive of the energies at play. It may feel like we’re climbing a mountain but it’s only through making the effort that we can really come to know how strong we are. Hardship has a way of stripping us back to the bare bones. It pushes us to dig deep within to find hidden resources. The New Moon is sextile to brave Mars and also healer Chiron. All this powerful Capricorn energy shows that in a certain part of our lives (shown by where it takes place in our chart), we have the power to overcome anything if we’re determined enough. Uranus will shake what needs to be shaken but the Moon’s conjunction to Venus suggests that what comes from the heart remains. This is a precious moment in history. Don’t waste a minute doubting your abilities or the chance to make your mark.
Painting – ‘Monastery (Brahmaputra)’ by Nicholas Roerich
The Full Moon occurs at 02:24 (UT) on January 2, 2018 at 11°Cn37′.
The water element is in full flow as the Moon grows to the height of her power in the sign she rules. What’s immediately notable about this chart is the lack of the element of air. Only Juno and the South Node are connected to the intellectual function with both in Aquarius. To all intents and purposes, this is a period where emotions are running the show. Attention turns to home and family and the need to belong. What we feel is instinctive, beyond reason and description. Our private life is more prominent than our public life and issues at home may take precedence over issues at work.
Still, looking at the chart, the matriarchal Moon might have her work cut out for her given the strong prevalence of planets in patriarchal Capricorn, including ruler Saturn. With Venus conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon, it might feel like there is more value placed on men, the system, conservatism, the job and ambition. The ‘softer’ issues of family bonding and emotional support that the Moon in Cancer speaks of can seem overwhelmed and pressured by the world ‘out there’.
To complicate matters more, Venus is conjunct Black Moon Lilith and there’s no man who’s going to put this lady down! Black Moon Lilith is fierce, wild, raw, passionate and absolutely a law unto herself. She may be minding some of the rules in conservative Capricorn, but you can be sure that she’s figuring out how to use them to her advantage. Some woman may feel furious that they still are expected to split themselves in two – being one person at work and another at home to satisfy embedded cultural expectations and values. For all of us, the tension surrounds how to reconcile the powerful feelings of the Cancer Moon in the face of unsentimental Capricorn. In mythology, Lilith was the devourer of babies – a far cry from the motherly Cancer Moon.
Full Moon in Cancer January 2018 – Chart
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Cancer is soft and nurturing yet can also be fiercely protective. You only have to think of the crab’s claws to get an idea of the lengths that this sign will go to protect what’s dear. The Moon is widely opposed to powerful Pluto, threatening security conscious Luna with unspoken fears and the shadowy unknown. We may need to watch for where we unconsciously believe that the world out there isn’t safe. Trust issues bubble up like a shadow looming over a child…
The Moon is however in a strong Grand Trine with motivated Mars, benefic Jupiter and gentle Neptune. If we can direct our feelings into joyful pursuits, acts of kindness, charity, creative or spiritual work, then we can see that the world isn’t all a bad place. Whilst we cannot pretend that the underbelly of life doesn’t exist, the Grand Trine aspect puts us in touch with all that it wholesome and nourishing. Every good fairy tale, has a wizard or witch who helps us battle the monsters.
You may find yourself more nostalgic during this lunation. The Moon rules our history, instincts and childhood. The Moon is also conjunct asteroids Memoria (memory) and Flora (flower/plant). You may be touched by the fragility of life, swept away by sweet recollections from the past, lost in bygone days and the scent of Lilies. We can’t however, live in the past. The tug of Pluto reminds us that what is gone is gone – let go, release. Cancer can be inclined to cling because letting go is scary.
Uranus is at the degree of his station direct which occurs a few hours after the Full Moon. It indicates that there may be some startling revelations around this period too. Surprising twists or unexpected occurrences might prompt new perspectives. If we are open to change, this newly awakened state could help us to manage any emotional overwhelm more effectively.
The Moon in on the Sabian symbol ‘A Chinese Woman Nursing A Baby Whose Aura Reveals Him To Be The Reincarnation Of A Great Teacher’. This symbol advocates that what is important during this Full Moon is care of the soul. It’s about nurturing the inner divine child. Tenderness allows our true nature to be revealed. At New Years, many of us succumb to the traditional pressure to set new goals. We’re told they must be ‘smart’ – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely – all good Capricorn words! Yet this Sabian symbol and the Cancer Moon suggest that this year, maybe we need to feel our way through and allow life to unfold. We don’t need to defer to an authority out there. There is a deeper and wiser knowing self maturing from within.
Our history plays a prominent part in how we respond to any situation but whilst old knowledge is still relevant today, this is an opportunity to look at life with fresh eyes. We do not have to be at the mercy of the past, doomed to repeat the same patterns over and over. Let the past be a teacher, not a dictator.
2018 begins with a noticeable lack of the air element. Aside from the Moon’s quick visit to Libra from January 7 – 10, only Juno is placed in an Air sign (Aquarius). When an element is missing or lacking, we tend to go to extremes to try to redress the balance. The element of air is associated with the mental plane. It’s intellectual and conversational. We could either be too detached and unemotional during this period or at the other end of the scale, unable to think things through rationally. This could be a period when it feels like everyone is talking but nothing is happening, or no one is communicating, and everyone feels misunderstood.
Certainly, at the beginning of the year, the Full Moon in Cancer on January 2 suggests emotions are heightened. The Moon is in a flowing grand trine pattern with Jupiter, Mars and Neptune which makes acting on our feelings easy. We must watch however, the wide lunar opposition to Pluto which could appear threatening to the security conscious Cancer Moon. On this date too, Mars is square the Nodes so what we do now carries weight on a spiritual level. How we handle our anger, how we defend and protect ourselves, all these issues are animated by this tense connection.
We also have the element of surprise thrown in to the mix as Uranus stations direct on January 2. Of course, with the sweet Grand Trine in the Full Moon chart, some surprises may be welcome. Still, things can get crazy quickly with Uranus. It may however, be high time we start to make changes we’ve been considering whilst Uranus was retrograde. As Uranus stations direct, there’s an urge towards new horizons, freedom of expression and revolution – especially as Uranus is now marching through the last few degrees of Aries. Look to the house in your chart with Aries on the cusp as well as the house where Uranus is transiting now (they may be the same or different). This represents the part of life that has needed a shake up and/or an upgrade. Courage (Aries) is required to make it happen. Uranus in Aries is all about daring to be different and the station direct is a green light to go ahead.
Mars forms a conjunction to Jupiter on January 7 and a sextile to Pluto on January 8. These aspects trigger the sextile between Jupiter and Pluto which will perfect on January 16. This is the first in a series of three sextiles that promise benefits from deep transformative work. We are also looking at how we can increase (Jupiter) our power (Pluto). Mars conjunct Jupiter aligns deep faith with action. We want to do something that makes our world a better place. Whilst the mighty games of the powers that be play out behind closed doors of governments, we all get a boost that reminds us that we too have power to change things. Pick a belief, a religion, a cause, a country, a charity and find out what you can do to help. In our own personal lives, future developments benefit from a leap of faith to eradicate what no longer works for us.
Also on January 16, Ceres will make the second of three conjunctions to the North Node. Ceres is a Mother Goddess associated with food, crops, feast, famine, loss and nurturing. Collectively this means Mother Earth is taking centre stage in our evolutionary progress. What we do now as far as the planet is concerned has ongoing consequences and karma. We are also reaping the rewards of past karma too. Individually, this is about tapping in to our inner Mother and nurturing our own innate creativity. Note that this aspect will play an important part in the eclipse at the end of the month.
We’re weighed down by gravity at the New Moon on January 17. This Moon takes place in Capricorn making it 6 planets plus Black Moon Lilith in this serious sign. The Moon makes constructive sextiles to Mars and Chiron although a square to Uranus suggests pressure is building. We want the stability of Capricorn, yet we also sense a shake up is required to gain the stability we’re looking for. There’s tension between old and new, progressive ideas and conservative traditions. We’re acutely aware of what has been established and perhaps of the Establishment! With Saturn now in his own kingdom, there’s no getting away from doing the work ahead of us.
Mars trine’s Chiron on January 18 motivating us to build bridges. Chiron’s orbit takes him between Saturn and Uranus, so it is through Chiron we can find ways to bring old and new worlds together. With brave Mars reaching out to renegade Chiron, we may be more prepared to go out on a limb to access healing and alleviate chronic suffering. Part of this process may mean letting go of old contracts and commitments as Juno also is conjunct the South Node on January 18. It’s important to recognise when we have outgrown a situation or a relationship. With Venus finally bringing some air element back into play on this date too, her entry into Aquarius is likely to help us make these kinds of decisions with a friendly detachment and cool compromise. Bear in mind though that Saturn is the co-ruler of Aquarius so there’s no escaping gritty reality.
Mars enters Sagittarius on January 26 which gives us a taste for adventure despite the heavy energies elsewhere. Some may be booking their holidays early as festive celebrations finally give way to the boring rhythm of the nine-to five. Having something to look forward to fires us up and gets us motivated. With this sign associated with belief systems, sometimes there can be antagonism when others don’t share our world view. People can become preachy, fighting to convert everyone else instead of listening. We can become too fervent when we don’t get our own way. Despite the downfalls though, Mars in Sagittarius should at least bring in some flexibility and warmth after a period which may have felt rigid and cold.
Venus conjoins the South Node on January 29 on the Sabian symbol ‘Two Lovebirds Sitting On A Fence And Singing Happily’. This is a delightful symbol which can conjure up images of pure bliss. With the South Node however, we are being asked to let go of naive images of what happiness ‘should’ look like. Remember, with Saturn now in Capricorn, it’s all about what is, not how we wish them to be. It may be time to let go of an old flame, gain closure on an old relationship or simply time to reflect and tune into your heart.
The month ends as eclipse season begins with a lunar eclipse in Leo on January 31. As mentioned above, Ceres takes centre stage as she is tightly conjunct the eclipsed Moon. A lunar eclipse is a time when everything is brought down to earth. What we feel becomes real. There could be high drama over losses. We may be hearing more about famine, food wars, food stamps, food banks, agricultural issues, climate issues and reproductive rights. This eclipse is also opposite Venus, so money and care of the planet are at polar opposites! In our own lives, Ceres reminds us to look for abundance in forms other than money, especially if we’re feeling poor. Look inward to re-connect with a cornucopia of creativity.
Saturn enters Capricorn on December 20, 2017 at 4:48 (UT).
Just as I began researching this post last month, I saw an article stating that Earth’s rotation is slowing down. It’s expected to produce a period where we experience more intense earthquakes.
Astrologically, the symbolism is apt as Saturn, or ‘Old Father Time’ indicates a slow down in the areas he touches. Uranus too enters Taurus next year, so we have issues regarding stability (Saturn) and shake ups (Uranus) all affecting what we have built (Capricorn) and planet Earth (Taurus). I’m paying close attention to the Saturn, South Node, Pluto conjunction that will take place in April 2019 along with another triple conjunction between Pluto, Ceres and Saturn in January 2020. Ceres is an agricultural Goddess so issues regarding sustainability, conservation and climate change are likely to be of extreme importance around this period.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, and with Saturn, that will never do!
I like Saturn, honestly, I do. He gets a bad rap in astrology. Just today I came across a typically dreadful article in the Daily Mail which talks of how this winter solstice will be the worst for years because the Sun will conjunct Saturn in Capricorn shortly after solstice. Mostly, what we don’t like about Saturn is that he doesn’t let us escape reality. Saturn is a stern schoolmaster, professor, boss and policeman. We must do the work, play by the rules, be accountable and exhibit self-discipline and maturity under his influence. We can’t get away with shirking the work or putting it off until later.
Saturn reminds us that time on planet Earth is short. We are mortal. We have an expiry date so if you’re going to do something, it’s time to get on with it. Our inner child balks at Saturn’s serious tone but we need him because otherwise we’d never grow up. We’d never learn what we are truly capable of and we’d never learn how to deal with difficult situations that life inevitably brings. We need Saturn because he is wisdom born of experience. When we work with Saturn and do the work, we find that he supports us in our endeavours. Saturn is the one who gives you that feeling of accomplishment after a long, hard climb as the mountain summit looms into view.
Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn so his return to this sign is like the King returning to his castle. Think about a teacher returning to the classroom after leaving you for a while – or the boss coming back into the office after a long holiday. Those rules that have been bent and warped in our favour suddenly snap back into place. Saturn coming home to Capricorn is likely to have us all standing to attention and highly aware of our unpolished shoes.
For the past two and a half years, Saturn has been moving through Sagittarius where our faith has been sorely tested. Saturn restricted some of the Archer’s natural wide range of options and forced us to choose a realistic direction. In the mundane world, we’ve suffered from increasing racism and division between cultures as Saturn, ruler of walls (!) manifested his dark side with an iron fist.
In the natal chart, the 10th house is connected to public image, reputation, career and status. Globally, employment rates may fall as Saturn makes us aware of the system’s limitations. There could be a system wide slow down which forces us to look very carefully at what’s working and what isn’t. Once Uranus moves into Taurus, it’s possible that we may hear a lot more about how robots and technology are taking over people’s jobs. Still, with Saturn in the sign of his rulership perhaps there will be some improvements in working conditions for those who are in work.
Saturn will also create a sextile to Neptune during this transit where we can make real inroads into creating a compassionate world. Meaningful work will be on all our minds and perhaps more will make the leap to build their own business. We all need to take ourselves and our ambitions more seriously now. Saturn sextile Neptune says if you can dream it, you can build it.
Famous people, presidents, governments and royalty also are connected to the 10th house and Capricorn. There may be some significant losses or changes regarding established figureheads during this period, especially when Saturn, Pluto and the South Node are conjunct and again when Saturn, Pluto and Ceres are conjunct. These mass conjunctions are strong in the chart of the US (opposite Mercury), Queen Elizabeth’s chart (conjunct Ascendant) and they also oppose the Moon in the UK’s chart. Other areas that may be enhanced or helped by this transit is research in bones and bone diseases and advances in dentistry. Perhaps too, there may be a breakthrough with the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Difficult manifestations of this transit may result in more austerity. Saturn is about bare bones, denial, meagre servings. We may be looking at our system of rules and how those rules are enforced. Rigid adherence to rules, people going by the book without any common (human) sense, rampant conservatism – these are the things that can frustrate under this influence.
Capitalism and the banking system are also looking at potential shifts, especially with Pluto ploughing through Capricorn as well. Those who have abused their powers (Pluto) may find themselves under the long arm of the law. Some may lose assets as restrictions take hold. Old structures fall, and new structures take their place. The patriarchal system is also likely to be tested – something which is already rumbling as Jupiter (currently disposited by Pluto in Capricorn) exposes taboos and secrets endemic in modern society. The battle between the sexes could become more overt with Mother Goddess Ceres involved later. We may need to call upon the wisdom of the past and watch for where history tries to repeat itself.
All of us would do well to retain our sense of humour as this cold, hard reality can feel heavy and forbidding. Still, what is important to remember is that Saturn in Capricorn is epically resilient! It’s tough, but you’re tougher! As the Borg say, ‘resistance is futile’. What you resist persists even more strongly as Saturn moves through Capricorn. Pay attention to what you are building in your mind. The beliefs born from Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius can become the reality.
In our own personal lives, Saturn’s movement shows us where we need to step up, pay attention and get real. Look to which house in your chart has Capricorn on the cusp as this is the part of life that Saturn will be working on. You may have a mountain to climb, an ambition, a need to show who’s boss, a desire to build from the bottom up. You’re likely to be shown where you hold yourself back through the various tests and trials that Saturn inevitably brings, For me for example, Capricorn is my 6th house cusp so I will be pushed to take responsibility for my health, learn more about managing certain conditions (I’m already suffering arthritis – a condition associated with Saturn!) and I will need to put measures in place to protect my health in the long term. On a day to day level, Saturn will expect me to manage myself effectively (I tend to procrastinate!), demonstrate my authority, deal with a large work load and continue to build my ‘empire’ one brick at a time.
Unlike the dreary Daily Mail article pronouncing a terrible Winter Solstice, I think that Saturn’s entry into Capricorn around the solstice is sweet serendipity. As the solar principle goes through a rebirth and we move to the light half of the year, Saturn gifts us with the ability to be real and present with what is. The Sun’s meeting with Saturn reminds us that to succeed in our life’s purpose, to truly SHINE, we must be patient, responsible, accountable and mature. This is about accepting the mission because even the tough parts have their own reward. It’s a rite of passage.
The New Moon occurs at 06:30 (UT) on December 18, 2017 at 26°Sg31′.
We’re now explorers in unfamiliar territory. Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign. Its changeable nature is like a spark that jumps from a camp fire, setting light to the ground as a river of flame chases excitedly into the distance. This sign is connected to the 9th house, the part of the chart that speaks of foreign lands, overseas travel, philosophy, law, religion and academic knowledge.
The cosmic Archer is also a visionary. The eager future-forward urge of Sagittarius pushes us to see beyond what we know. Not only do we travel far on Earth, we are also drawn to travel far in the mind. As the Archer sets his arrow towards its target, we too are aiming for the ultimate truth. This is where humankind tries to reach God, humanizing the unknowable into a religion, a guru, a sacred text. It’s through Sagittarius that we learn to understand symbolic language like that of fairy tales, tarot, astrology and dreams. We meet the Gods through their archetypes and through exploring these stories we learn to understand ourselves.
There’s a crackle of anticipation in this chart as the New Moon trines Uranus. Uranus is also conjunct Pallas, an asteroid associated with pattern recognition. Translating symbolic language is often about recognising patterns and repeated signs. Uranus governs the higher mind, so information received now comes like a bolt from the blue. Beliefs are being upgraded, modernised – or need to be! We want to believe in something that sets us free.
Asteroid Ixion conjunct the Moon too is a rebellious influence that doesn’t want to follow the rules. Meanwhile, the presence of asteroid Ariadne could make some feel like they’ve reached a dead end, and this is emphasised to the nth degree by an anaretic Saturn conjunct the New Moon. It’s like we can see a giant obstacle on the horizon. Something is blocking the way and most likely it’s an outworn belief that holds us back. Issues connected to limited belief systems, judgemental attitudes and fear of breaking our own personal rule book could be a stumbling block.
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The New Moon is also square to Chiron in the 12th house of the mundane chart so there’s super-sensitivity. Some may feel forgotten, lost, disconnected or simply strongly attuned to global suffering. It’s about finding a way of moving forward with hope despite pain. Sagittarius is a naturally optimistic sign and whilst far-fetched dreams are curbed by Saturn’s stern presence, this is still about manifesting solutions to bridge our differences.
Whilst Saturn’s journey through Sagittarius has created clearly defined lines of division between us, these have also been countered by inspirational projects and initiatives.
Although Saturn’s energy could feel restrictive, especially with revolutionary Uranus involved, Saturn also benefits us by insisting that we choose a destination. Sagittarius just wants to go everywhere but Saturn says, go somewhere. Name that place. Define what it is you want to build because when Saturn moves into Capricorn, that’s when the work begins! With the New Moon also conjunct loving Venus, we clearly must choose from the heart.
Jupiter, the ruler of this lunation is conjunct Vesta and trine Neptune. It creates a highly spiritual backdrop filled with generosity. We need to focus on what brings us joy to facilitate a deeper sense of connection. If we concentrate on understanding our complexities when it comes to our relationships with each other, then we can be more forgiving and accepting of difference. As Jupiter is square to the Nodes, we are reminded again that inner faith can help us to move forwards.
The New Moon is on the Sabian symbol :-
A Sculptor At Work
This symbol works wonderfully with the main planetary influences at play. Something beautiful is being created (Venus). It takes vision (Sagittarius) to see the figure in the rock and time and discipline to chip away at everything that blocks us (Saturn). Sometimes mistakes are made (Chiron) but these spontaneous twists of fate (Uranus) can add character and nuance producing an object with unique characteristics. These are the elements at play right now. Yes, it’s hard work and some may have lost faith and downed tools. But for those willing to stay the course, what is created now will stand the test of time.
Painting – ‘The Atelier of the Sculptor Simões de Almeida’ Jose Malhoa
The Full Moon in Gemini occurs at 15:46 (UT) on December 3, 2017 at 11°Ge40′.
This big bright supermoon occurs on a day supercharged with astrological activity. The Moon in Gemini is set in the third house of the mundane chart bringing our attention to matters involving news, facts and figures, information and inland transportation. This is at odds with the Sun in the ninth mundane house where we find international communications, long distance travel, religion and law courts. There’s a split between what is said (3rd house) and how it is interpreted (9th house).
In the third house, the Gemini Moon takes things on face value. Gemini doesn’t bother to go beyond the surface whereas Sagittarius is much more interested in the deeper meaning. The problem is that the Moon and Sun are squared by slippery Neptune in the hidden twelfth house. Under the light of this Full Moon, we’re easily distracted by fake news, misunderstandings and distorted stories. It doesn’t help that Mercury, ruler of this lunation, stations retrograde on the same day. It’s almost as if Mercury is urging everyone to shut up, stop talking, Listen. Neptune at the apex of a T-square with the Moon and Sun advocates silence too. Not to forget that Mercury stations conjunct sensible Saturn who’s had quite enough of all this nonsense.
The problem is that we’re inclined to hear what we want to hear. The Full Moon aspects the beautiful Jupiter-Neptune trine which also perfects for the first time on December 3. This aspect offers a swell of compassion and a growing desire to rescue those who are suffering. We want to see the good in others, we want to believe that things can be better for everyone. But some could seek to take advantage of this good-natured vibe, turning the tide to their own advantage with careful misinformation. The Moon’s quincunx to Jupiter is awkward and overblown.
The Moon is also conjunct asteroid Pan, the goat foot God who protected the forest and wild animals. Pan however was also a philanderer, spreading his seed far and wide. Pan is also the root of the word ‘panic’. In olden times, people feared the strange sounds they heard in the woods. Pan’s involvement in this Moon warns against being panicked into decisions because of Neptune’s uncertainty. Some may feel panicked because they sense (Neptune) something isn’t quite right but don’t know for sure. It’s like a ghost flickering at the edge of your vision. Gemini likes things to be clearly defined as this or that, categorised like a library for later reference. There’s nothing so annoying as vagueness for Gemini. Neptune blurs the line.
Full Moon in Gemini December 2017 – Chart
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Jupiter trine Neptune, whilst it’s a free-flowing aspect, can also mean that we’re tuning into scary stories (Jupiter in Scorpio!) bubbling up from the collective (Neptune in Pisces). Stationary Mercury on the very last critical degree of Sagittarius feels like he’s holding his breath, waiting for the next line or maybe we’re just speechless! Fact and fiction are blended, shaken and stirred and served with a slice of sleight of hand. Tall stories are running wild.
The Moon is on the Sabian symbol :-
A Slave Girl Fights For Her Independence*
There’s a suggestion that we’ve been held captive by the media machine but now we begin to see through the veil. Neptune’s confusing vibration can sometimes make us feel weak or defeated before we even start but this symbol reminds us that we’re strong. We have a right to freedom – and freedom of information. Consider where your mind has been hobbled by the outside world, trained to think you’re not free.
This feels like a highly challenging Full Moon and yet Jupiter’s trine to Neptune reminds us that if we face our fears we can save ourselves. There is truth and good and beauty in the world if we’re looking in the right direction. If you feel confused, stand still, tune into your heart. Neptune also stands for spirituality and meaning. Consider what your soul has to say about all this confusion. Creatives can tap into this wonderful imaginative energy to create stories of their own through music, art and words – healing stories that take us a step forwards instead of a step back. Use your imagination but don’t let it dictate your fears. Be at peace with silence. Still your mind for inner reflection. Let the distraction of the world fall away until you can hear your own inner dialogue. What is said between you and your deity is sacred. No matter how strange these times are, remember you have a direct line to the cosmos. Write down your dreams.
*Note – The original wording for this Sabian symbol contains antiquated language that is no longer suitable for modern day usage. I have therefore updated the Sabian using the term ‘slave girl’ which is used by both Lynda Hill in her book ‘360 Degrees of Wisdom’ and referenced in the notes on this degree by Marc Edmund Jones in his book ‘The Sabian Symbols in Astrology’.
December begins on a restless note with Mars in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries on December 1. We are inclined to leap without looking in a bid for freedom. We desire change, but initiatives begun now can have unexpected consequences. This can also bring out the teenage rebel in all of us and no one wants to play by the rules. Used well, this transit can be invigorating if you’re willing to do something different. But it’s wise to watch the burning urge to stick two fingers up to the world whilst shouting ‘to hell with this!’. ?
As I write (15th November), Mercury has just entered the shadow zone. With Mercury stationing retrograde on December 3, it may be a good idea to get the Christmas shopping done early if you’re buying online like I do! As we know, during a Mercury retrograde, there tends to be more issues with delays. With this retrograde in Sagittarius, the sign of long distance communications, we can anticipate that postal snarl-ups might be on the agenda. This is also the time of year when many of us are travelling to see loved ones over the holiday period. Sagittarius rules long distance travel too, so it’s best to triple check departure plans, put tickets in a prominent place and make peace with the journey perhaps being longer than anticipated before setting out.
Mercury stations retrograde conjunct Saturn and on the Sabian symbol ‘The Pope Blessing The Faithful’. During this period, we’re likely to be reviewing many of the teachings of Saturn as he comes to the end of his journey through this sign. For the past two and a half years, our faith has been tested, perhaps even lost and now, doubts arise. Mercury retrograde simply asks – what do you believe now compared to December 2014? Has your experience since then changed your outlook on life?
The Full Moon in Gemini, also on December 3, is square to confusing Neptune. We could see more communication glitches and it may be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. The information we think we have could be distorted. Meanwhile Jupiter makes the first of three trines to Neptune on the same day (!) so idealism is amplified. We’re trying to find meaning in the muddle. On the plus side, this transit does suit the seasonal vibe, swelling compassion and increasing generosity.
Chiron’s station direct in Pisces on December 5 also makes us aware of suffering, both our own and the suffering of others. Since the beginning of July this year, Chiron retrograde has asked us to remove the bandages from our old wounds and check whether they have healed to a scar or become infected. Consequently, many of us may have felt acutely vulnerable at times. Getting in touch with pain is never easy but sometimes that’s what we must do to heal or learn to manage chronic conditions.
By December 6, Mars is back on track with a sextile to Saturn. After blowing off steam, now we’re ready to get down to work. Motivation combined with a responsible attitude means we can get a lot done in a short space of time.
Energy levels intensify on December 9 when Mars marches into Scorpio, the sign he co-rules with Pluto. The compulsive nature of Scorpio brings Mars to attention and this blistering hot transit can manifest as laser focus. With this boost of power, we’re more willing now to fearlessly confront obstacles that previously forced us to retreat. It can be both a blessing and a curse that Mars in Scorpio never gives up. Jealously and manipulation can arise if there is unresolved anger and underlying feelings of weakness. Still, even if these darker emotional waters are stirred, Mars will also offer us the courage to face our own shadows too.
The New Moon in Sagittarius on December 18 is square Chiron, so we carry this message of healing and suffering into this lunation. Sagittarius though is a happy go lucky sign, reminding us that there are many paths to joy despite our pain. The Moon is conjunct Saturn who is on the very last degree of Sagittarius, exactly where Mercury stationed retrograde. Once again, the universe highlights the Sabian Pope degree, encouraging us to count our blessings. A wide conjunction to loving Venus suggests that values are intimately connected to our belief system. The more open our hearts, the more expansive and inclusive our world view becomes.
On December 20, we experience the biggest shift of the year as Saturn enters home sign Capricorn where he will stay until 2020. Themes of accountability and responsibility arise from this powerful transit. Positively, we’re ready to get real, grow up and use our time on Earth wisely. Negatively, we could be looking at austerity, depression and limitation. Whatever manifests, it’s about taking it as it comes, practicality and finding ways to manage ourselves more effectively. Whilst Saturn gets a bad rap, ultimately his function is mastery of difficult circumstances and wisdom born of experience.
The Sun follows Saturn into Capricorn on December 21. Whether you are in the northern hemisphere or the southern, it’s to the light we all turn. Here in the north we are welcoming back the Sun as the days begin to grow longer. For those in the south, the light of the sun blazes at peak intensity.
The Sun represents our centre and is a symbol of the creative force in the world. Wherever you are, take a moment during the day to place your hand on your solar plexus and focus on breathing in sunlight. Imagine you are filled with the light of the Sun. Winter solstice blessings to you!
Jupiter forms a semi-square to Saturn on December 22. This aspect could trip us up but it’s just a mini test, a stumbling block in the dark as Jupiter bounces around Pluto’s shadowy caves. We must feel our way forwards slowly, even if we’re eager to take advantage of promising opportunities. Essentially, Saturn is trying to slow us down so that Jupiter’s developments have lasting value. We’re going to hear ‘is this realistic?’ a lot over the next few years so we may as well start now.
Mercury stations direct on December 23, just in time to ensure banter around the Christmas table contains long stories with a lot of laughter. Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius and therefore Mercury’s current dispositor, will square the nodal axis on December 24. One again we’re reminded that belief shapes our unfolding future. Faith is key to getting out of our comfort zone and taking a starring role in life.
The year comes to a close with Mars trine Neptune on December 28, reminding us to act with compassion. This is the perfect aspect to accompany some seasonal downtime. Relax, catch a movie, make art, take unwanted presents to a local charity. Allow your inner warrior time to rest. There’s nothing you need to do that cannot wait until tomorrow…or the new year.
Major Aspects – December 2017 – Times in UT (Universal Time)
The New Moon occurs at 11:42 (UT) on November 18, 2017 at 26°Sc19′.
The surface of the lake is eerily still but if you stand here long enough, you’ll soon see ripples emerge from dead centre. This is where the Sun and Moon fell silently into the water. Some say they are still falling. There’s a little light skirting round the edges. That’s Vesta, keeping the flame of truth alive. She believes that the Sun and Moon will rise again, and nothing will stop her performing her sacred duty. Venus is here too, a glimmering pearl inside a shell at the bottom of the lake. To get to her though, you will have to swim past a great lurking shadow. Are you brave enough? It could be a monster…or maybe just Jupiter, exploring the underwater caves for treasure. It depends on how you look at it.
We are now in Pluto’s realm, the fixed, dark waters of Scorpio. In this place we are destroyed and then rise again. In Scorpio, there’s no other option than to face your demons. Pluto is do or die, no in between. You’re either in or out. Pluto is a planet of extremes, Scorpio a sign of intensity. During this Moon, we’re dealing with unconscious complexes, taboos, secrets, sex, death, power, control and complete transformation.
This New Moon is opposite Sedna, an Inuit sea Goddess. In the myths, Sedna was betrayed by men, lovers as well as her father. He chopped off her fingers as she clung to a boat to save himself from drowning. Sedna then sank to the bottom of the ocean and her fingers became fish and other sea creatures. The shamans know that if you comb out the tangles from her hair, she will offer up her gifts from the deep. If you disrespect her, she’ll whip up a nasty storm. Right now, the storm of stories of woman who have been abused by prominent men is getting louder. During this Moon, the pieces of ourselves that have been ‘cut off’ could make themselves heard. We need to untangle ourselves too.
click to enlarge
Uranus represents difference and Chiron is sensitive to rejection. The Moon’s aspects to both accentuates that we give away some of our power when we don’t accept those parts of ourselves that are unique or wounded. The quincunx to Uranus in the global first house suggests we feel awkward in the presence of others – perhaps scared of being truly seen. However, we must accommodate for our quirkiness and our pain. The soothing trine to Chiron shows that the more compassionate we are, the easier it is to heal these wounded aspects.
It’s possible too that issues of detachment are woven within the quincunx to Uranus. Uranus likes his own space but with the Moon and Sun in Scorpio, we want to merge seamlessly with the other. We want connection beyond words, the naked truth, intimacy that reassures us that we’re not alone. The irritation from Uranus however reminds us that some part of us is alone – and that’s okay!
The rulers of this Moon, Mars and Pluto, are closing towards a square which will perfect on November 19. This is Sedna’s storm building in the background. The tension is acute and warns of a tempest if we don’t do something to mediate it. The clue is in a recent Mercury-Mars sextile which encourages us to keep talking. With Mars in the global 7th house and Pluto in the global 10th house, there’s pressure to concede or to compromise from outside authorities or government agencies. There are also divide and conquer tactics at work. The powers that be (Pluto) could feel overwhelming to our inner warrior who keeps on fighting regardless. It would be wise to pick your battles carefully to avoid burn out. Let go of what isn’t in your control. On an inner level, fears or shame could manifest as an outburst of rage. Right now, with Mars in Libra, it’s easy to project our anger onto others. Positively speaking, this could be just the time to confront those issues that make you feel powerless. There’s potential for courageous acts that bring profound transformation, but we need to be fully aware of our underlying motivations and conscious of our end goal.
The New Moon is on the Sabian symbol: –
A Military Band Marches Noisily On Through The City Streets
Those who have been silenced will be silent no more. This is a thunderous war cry, a challenge, a refusal to hide away. Hidden aspects of the personality too are clamouring for attention. In all cases, it’s important to recognise and honour them. However, on the shadow side, with a tempestuous Mars-Pluto square building, there’s a danger of making so much noise, no one can hear anyone else.
During this stormy Moon, be willing to dive deep into your own psyche. Welcome and accept those parts of yourself that have been side-lined. Let go of obsessing over what isn’t in your control. Know when to fight and when to surrender. Take care of business without forcing your agenda. We can’t all march to the same beat. Stand up to bullies in a way that is safe and empowering. Stay attuned to your quiet inner voice amidst the din of propaganda. Above all, be honest with yourself. Truth is Scorpio’s greatest gift and your most formidable ally.
Painting – ‘Boys playing soldiers’ by Francisco Goya
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