The year is new, and so is the moon. Astrologically, the new year rarely coincides with a time of definitive new beginnings. The calendar year is arbitrary, and the astrological ‘new year’ takes places in spring, during the sun’s ingress into Aries. But as we set sail beyond the shores of 2021, the skies are guiding us with an influx of motivational energy. Behold, the new moon in Capricorn!
What is a new moon, in astrological terms? The new moon is when the sun and moon meet up in the same sign, and their energies merge together. In our personal astrology charts, the sun rules our self, our identity, our ego, our vocation. The moon rules our emotions. When the sun and moon link up, as they do once a month, this brings the spark of new beginnings. New moons are a ripe time to plant the seeds of our aspirations. At the full moon, we harvest the fruits of those seeds.
This Capricorn new moon is invigorating, rearing to go after a sluggish end to the year. The Capricorn part of your chart has taken a hit lately. Between Pluto’s long-term residency, and Venus’s current retrograde, you may have lost your mojo. With the new moon, you feel as though you’ve turned a corner, that you know where you’re going. Often the simple act of creating a plan can be enough to help ease you out of the rut you’re stuck in.
Capricorn is symbolised by the sea goat. Goats are known for their ability to traverse treacherous terrain. The addition of the mythical sea tail shows Capricorn’s ability to take this a step further, to inhabit two worlds, both the world of the practical, and the world of imagination, where ideas are distilled in the essence of their potential. As an earth sign, Capricorn works well with the material world. Capricorn is motivated and hardworking, determined to build a legacy for themselves. A new moon in this sign is the perfect energy for new year’s resolutions, for throwing out the old ways of being and meeting this new year with a vigour rooted in self-assurance. With Venus retrograde moving backwards through the Capricorn area of your chart, you have thought long and hard over the past two weeks about what isn’t working here. Now is the time to take action. Thoughts will only get you so far. Ask yourself now: what are you going to do with the regrets you’ve been mulling over? Capricorn doesn’t do well with sitting around complacently. If the goat can’t climb, it will swim. There is always a way forward, and Capricorn will find it.
With the new moon forming a harmonious aspect to excitable and shocking Uranus, there may be an element of surprise or revelation here too. Capricorn is often traditionally-minded, but Uranus is here to shake you out of your tried and tested means, and Uranus has brought some friends. Or should we say, frenemies. Saturn and Uranus have battled it out in Aquarius and Taurus throughout last year, and just when they began to cool down and take a breather, Mercury entered the arena. Aquarius is an innovative sign, representing the social collective, and humanitarian ideals, whilst Taurus is focused on stability and security, preferring to indulge in creature comforts rather than concern itself with Aquarius’ ideological debates. Uranus is dragging Taurus kicking and screaming towards these Aquarian themes. In modern astrology, Uranus rules Aquarius, whilst in traditional astrology, Saturn does. This means that Saturn is at home in Aquarius, and has the upper hand in its scuffles with Uranus. Mercury’s transit is swifter, and won’t hold the gravity of the Saturn-Uranus friction. What it will do is activate the themes you worked through last year, to prepare you for the final Saturn-Uranus square later this year. Mercury is the messenger planet, and rules communication, transport, and liminal spaces.
The Saturn-Uranus squares last year created a feeling of being torn between two worlds. For me, a Virgo rising, this manifested as tension between university (Uranus in my 9th house of higher education) and work (Saturn in my 6th house of day-to-day work). At the start of the year, it was simply a battle to balance my time. By the final square, it was the emotional struggle of graduating, and leaving behind the world I had belonged to for 5 years. Saturn (unavoidable lessons, time) was right next to my natal sun (identity) and moon (emotions). This final square to Uranus in my 9th house shook my foundations (Taurus = comfort zone) and made me realise it was time to grow up, to leave behind the student identity I had clung to for all of my adult life so far. I had wanted to do a PhD next year, and the lecturer who had offered to help me with my application barely responded to my emails for months. By the time he did reply, it was to tell me it was too late this year. The fated events of Saturn and the disruption of Uranus pushed me off the path I was set on, and ultimately, I found a bizarre freedom in that.
Venus retrograde has often been likened to the journey of Ishtar through the underworld, and the process of relinquishing her belongings as she traverses this subterranean realm. But I see this theme in other astrological transits too. The wisdom we integrate into ourselves comes at a price. “No one leaves the underworld unmarked”. For me, the Saturn-Uranus squares pulled me, limb by limb, out of my comfy cocoon of university. This transit manifested differently for the world at large. Saturn in Aquarius is the restriction of large groups. This showed up in lockdowns and other covid-prevention protocol across the world. Meanwhile Uranus in Taurus caused a decline in financial and material security for many. It caused some people to gain exponential wealth, whilst many others were thrust into poverty. This transit has also coincided with labour movements, from mass resignations to strikes.
New years are arbitrary, and new moons happen every month. So why does this all matter? Why does it culminate now? Symbolism is powerful, and sometimes the mere act of giving things meaning is enough to make them special. So, let’s look at 2022 as a milestone, and this new moon in Capricorn as the catalyst that kicks it off.
Physically and emotionally, we are ready to move forward. We are ready to set goals and put them into action, after two years of barely being able to plan a week ahead. Saturn and Uranus haven’t finished squaring off against each other, but they have dialled it down for now. Mercury’s ingress into Aquarius yesterday morning also brings a lightening of mood. Mercury in Capricorn is steadfast and serious, it’s the energy of calendars and checklists, of arriving to the airport 5 hours early. Mercury in Aquarius is wacky and vibrant. We’ve gone from three weeks of Shakespeare to theatre of the absurd. With so many planets in Capricorn right now, Mercury in Aquarius feels like a breath of fresh air. Aquarius does rule conspiracy theories, so keep a pinch of salt on hand at all times, but enjoy the ride, and allow the desire for innovation to catapult you into the realm of imagination. There are times to be practical, but don’t forget to allow yourself to indulge in possibility.
Another big change this week was Jupiter’s ingress into Pisces on December 29th. Jupiter, the embodiment of faith and good luck, of journeys beyond the furthest horizon, has spent the past two years in Capricorn and Aquarius. Both of these signs are ruled by Saturn, which constricts and depresses. In Pisces, Jupiter is in domicile. It has returned home to one of the signs it rules. Jupiter is finally free to be its biggest, brightest self, and this is a definitive shift towards the optimistic. Jupiter spent last year in Aquarius, with Saturn. Saturn restricts, Jupiter expands. If you spent most of last year feeling like you couldn’t win, this is why. Now that Jupiter is in Pisces, the Aquarius part of your chart will feel heavier. This may be the motivation you need. As you will know if you have any Capricorn or Aquarius placements in your chart, Saturn-influenced individuals have the mindset of “if you want something done properly, do it yourself”. Saturn and Jupiter are not comfortable bedfellows. Now that Jupiter has left for greener pastures, Saturn is rolling up his sleeves and getting ready to put you through the ringer. It won’t be easy, but by the time Saturn bids Aquarius goodbye next year, you will have reached a new maturity in this part of your life.
This new moon brings renewal and reinvention. This isn’t a sudden, electric change. Venus retrograde is guiding you through the tough lessons, and the new moon in Capricorn will help you implement them. Meanwhile Mercury in Aquarius and Jupiter in Pisces bring a welcoming change of pace, allowing you to daydream, and envision a version of yourself beyond the practical domain of your day-to-day life.