Very early Monday morning, December 18 at 1:30 am, the Sun and Moon meet in late Sagittarius for the last New Moon of 2017. I’m in Eastern time. In most time zones west of me, this New Moon arrives late on Sunday night, which is tonight.
Each New Moon is unique, with patterns and energies that guide us in planting seeds and making wishes for the time ahead. This particular New Moon offers something special, though: An important reminder that we find ourselves at a turning point.
As we approach the Solstice, larger patterns are shifting. The New Moon in Sagittarius brings our attention to this cusp between where we’ve been and where we’re headed. The seeds of wishes and intentions we plant now deserve to be chosen with care.
Sagittarius is always ready to sound notes of good cheer. This sign is ebullient, optimistic, open hearted and handed. In Sagittarius, we are ready for adventure, open to exploring new lands, new people, new ideas, new philosophies. Sagittarius ranges far and wide, never wanting to be fenced in.
Ruled by Jupiter, this sign larger than life, like Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Present. Why, then, the serious tone? Why can’t we emphasize happiness and celebration?
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Because Saturn, the somber, shadowy Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come looms large at this New Moon. One glance at the New Moon chart confirms this. The New Moon falls at 26 Sagittarius and Saturn is right there at 29. He is the closest planet to the Sun and Moon. His influence is clear and strong.
I introduced Saturn’s importance for this winter in my post on the Full Moon in Gemini. At this New Moon, he has reached the final degree of Sagittarius, ready to enter his own sign of Capricorn. He will spend three years in this sign he rules, bringing his signature style to the last years of this decade.
This means we are entering–in fact, have entered–a time of contraction, a time in which debts must be paid and consequences faced. If this sounds a bit grim for the holiday season, it is. This is Saturn.
And yet, this New Moon is not about finding the nearest foxhole and hunkering down. That would not be the Sagittarian approach to any problem! So let’s take a closer look at the patterns.
First, this New Moon at 26 Sag is located right on the Galactic Center, which is not an astrological construct but the real center of our galaxy, called Sagittarius A. The center of each galaxy is a black hole, the place where a star collapsed on itself and in that collapse created a place where so much energy is moving in, nothing can get out, not even light.
Except, back in 2014, Stephen Hawking proposed a radically different model for black holes. Instead of a hard “event horizon,” Hawking sees an apparent horizon that transforms rather than destroys. Eventually, the material trapped by a black hole reemerges. Hawking says this outgoing radiation “possesses all the original information about what fell into the black hole, although in radically different form.”
This reemerging information is chaotic, difficult to understand and sort out. Does this sound like where we’ve been this past year? It does to me.
Sitting right on the Galactic Center, flanked by Saturn and also by Venus at 21 Sagittarius, this New Moon points us directly at everything we find confusing, challenging, and new. Our values (Venus) as well as our sense of boundaries (Saturn) have been chewed up and spit out. What we thought was true is not true. What we thought could never happen, is happening before our eyes.
Uranus the revolutionary, Eris the chaos goddess, and Pallas Athena the defender of civil order all sit together in martial Aries and flow energy in trines to the New Moon. These three represent the chaos in our world, a dis-order that includes movements to preserve often fictional ideas of the past, progressive movements to right wrongs of the past, random violence, and natural disasters. All of these create deep challenges for our thinking, our emotions, and our values.
Mars in Scorpio, filled with hidden anger, squares off with asteroid Lilith in Capricorn, a fierce feminine energy refusing to sit down and be quiet. Jupiter, who has already revealed secrets in Scorpio, trines Neptune in Pisces, a combination that can spiral into the most convoluted of conspiracy theories or connect us to the deepest sources of spirit and creativity that exist.
In the midst of all of this buzzing, blooming, confusion, where are we? Who are we? We come back to the Center, to the New Moon, to find out. Here, we are reminded we are children of the stars. We are, literally, stardust.
Not only are we made of star stuff, we carry within us memories from past generations. We are the descendants our ancestors longed for and we are the ancestors our descendants rely on. We may be in a huge mess, but we are the ones here. We’re the ones who can not only survive, but thrive, in this chaotic world.
Remember we’re still in Mercury Retrograde and Mercury is also in Sagittarius. We have been invited into a space where we reflect on and question everything that we know.
What are our values? How have they changed, or at least been clarified, in light of recent events?
What is our philosophy of life? Have we given way to disconnection or despair? Have we become lost in anger and hatred? Are we able to rely on our core beliefs and practices to find a way through the maze?
At this New Moon, only a few days from Saturn’s entry into Capricorn, the Solstice, and Mercury turning direct, we are given a time to pause. We are invited to remember who and what we truly are and plant seeds to nurture our best selves.
As always, I recommend comparing the New Moon chart to your birth chart. Where does 26 Sagittarius fall in your chart? For me, this New Moon falls at the boundary between my 4th House of home, family, and my deep psyche, and my 5th House of my passions, creativity, and what I give birth to. Clearly, this is core values territory for me, hitting me right where I live.
Wherever this New Moon falls for you, it points to where you might be feeling most acutely unsettled and where your focus of contemplation is most needed.
This New Moon in Sagittarius presents itself in the midst of chaos and says, look, this is where you came from, this is who you are. You can deal with this. You always have. Bring yourself back to your true center to find the strength and focus you need.
May we each experience the best, brightest, warmest New Moon, one that leaves us awestruck with the wonder and beauty of our world and hopeful about the future before us.
I use Unsplash for almost all my photo illustrations. All astrological charts are my own. The images in this post include the title, created from the Galaxy photo by Greg Rakozy, the blue lotus by Ahmed Saffu, the pomegranate and oranges by Samey Bhavsar, and the black hole from NASA/JPL CalTech.