Saturday, January 9, we welcome the first New Moon of 2016, a New Moon in Capricorn that might feel pushy, weighty, edgy, and difficult. Or it might feel like an invitation to think deeply, plan carefully, and work steadily. Or both. How we experience this New Moon depends a lot on where we are.
Capricorn is the Earth sign ruled by Saturn, who is a taskmaster. Saturn is all about limits, boundaries, and rules. He’s serious. Capricorn is the cardinal Earth sign, all about beginnings–-and, since this is Saturn, also about endings.
When we start something, do we finish it? How many to-do lists have we got in different places (fridge, desk drawer, glove box in the car), on different devices (phone, laptop, notebook)? How much have we accomplished compared to how much is left, or simply forgotten?
This can be the “ouch” part of the New Moon. Mercury is retrograde right now, also in Capricorn. He made it into the first degree of forward-thinking Aquarius and then stopped, like we do, in a doorway, thinking, “Wait, there’s something I forgot … I’d better go back.” So now we’re back in Capricorn revisiting, revising, rethinking, reflecting. Before we make a bright new list for 2016, let’s look at where we’ve been and where we are right now.
Do we have enough? Do we have too much? Do we even know where our stuff is? If not, these weeks of Mercury Rx are a great time to find out. With this New Moon, we can commit to sorting things out over the next month, and over the coming year.
But wait! There’s more! Pluto joins this New Moon. Pluto, moving slowly through Capricorn, adds depth and transformative power to anything we commit to now. We can also access Pluto’s depth by considering what’s underneath. Why is it we don’t meet a commitment, don’t follow through, don’t finish? What gets in our way? New Moons are dark times, yet Pluto energy glows with its own light. Part of our Mercury Rx reflection might include examining old patterns. We may see a glimmer of what’s been holding us back.
And then there’s Uranus, squaring off to challenge the New Moon. He could bring that spark of insight. Or he might upend the entire library as a sign we need to reexamine everything.With Uranus in the picture, we remember that Capricorn is not “all work and no play.” This sign has the head of a goat and the tail of a fish, combining the pragmatic strength of mountains with the intuitive depths of oceans. Capricorn is associated with gods like Pan and Dionysus, his horns with drinking vessels and horns of plenty. Uranus reminds us that celebrations of winter include turning things upside down in the revels of Saturnalia, when servants ruled and masters followed.
You remember the Pluto–Uranus squares we’ve been challenged by the last several years? Those times when it seemed like everything we knew was wrong and the world was crazy? This New Moon reactivates that energy. We’re reminded of what’s been going on and how much has changed. We’re asked, have we completed our personal transformations? What’s left for us to do, to remake ourselves?
So you see how this is shaping up. How we experience this New Moon depends on where we are in our lives. If we have reasonably decent work habits, if we’ve gained clarity on our key goals and values, if we’ve dug deep and tossed out what no longer works, this New Moon could feel like an affirmation. We could go down that checklist and say, yeah, I’m on target, this feels good. But chances are, some areas of our lives need work.
The areas of our live most likely to affected by the New Moon will be highlighted by where the New Moon falls in our birth charts, and what it touches. The New Moon Wishes page on my website offers guidelines for how to locate this. Once you know where to find this New Moon in your chart, Molly Hall’s post at About Astrology offers pointers for how it might feel in different Houses.
The New Moon herself offers ideas: Saturn and Venus stand together, aligning the New Moon ruler (Saturn) with the planet of relationship, creativity, and money (Venus). We may find ourselves checking into financial records and arrangements. It could be time to take stock of key relationships: Are they in balance? Are we setting appropriate boundaries? Are we walking our talk? It may also be time to commit to creative projects, or explore what creative outlets we have in our lives and whether they’re working well.
I have several novels in progress. In the days leading up to this New Moon, I’ve been thinking 2016 is the year to finish stuff. This naturally leads to contemplation of why finishing is difficult for me, the fears and anxieties that hide under my competent outer self. I’ve been thinking about what my characters need to go through to finish their stories; something I need to know to be able to write it. This focus has not been comfortable. I’ve written less in the last week than I wanted, coming up against distraction after … oh, look! Squirrel!
Here we are in winter. We’ve passed the Solstice, so days are lengthening, yet winter is far from over. A new year lies before us like a fresh fall of snow. Are we excited? Exhausted? Somewhere between? At this New Moon, we’re asked to look within. We’re pushed to evaluate our status, progress, and plans. We’re invited to set intentions and goals that are bold (Uranus), life-changing (Pluto) and yet realistic (Capricorn and Saturn). We assess our resources. We plan the journey ahead. We commit to our most meaningful goals.
This New Moon might feel challenging, but it’s just what we need as we head into the unknown territory of a new year.