Setting our sights on the future - Capricorn new moon

Wednesday’s new moon in Capricorn is a perfect transition between one year and the next. The planet Mercury is currently in its retrograde cycle and is conjunct the new moon. This time marks the beginning of a cycle of introspection and (re)visioning around what has been, in order to set our sights on what can be. Capricorn is an Earth sign. It is the rock layers below the crust of the earth. It is jagged mountains and the movement of earth in upwards ascension, slowly, over thousands and millions of years. Capricorn is age. It rules the bones, teeth, knees and skin. It is ancestry, heritage, and memory. It is the linear movement of time. It is the understanding that comes with time. Capricorn is wisdom, forethought and strategy. It is unconcerned with trivial emotions and passing trends. It wants to build things that last and therefore takes its time to learn how to build things right. The new moon in Capricorn is a time to take stock of what you have and be honest about what you will need. This is a time to set long-term intentions and consider what steps needs to be taken in what order to get there. Conjunct Mercury Rx this is a new moon to indulge all the words that begin with ‘re’: remain, recall, and redo. Get your affairs in order and take the next few weeks to check in with the structures of your projects. Make sure that the ground is as solid as you think it is before moving forward.

From 2008-2024 the planet Pluto has been in Capricorn. In the astrological language Pluto represents dying, death, and the associated mental and emotional states of fear, the instinct to control, grasping for power, surrender, and processes of transformation that give way to abiding inner strength, integration, acceptance, and true personal power (the result of transformation of fear rather than false power based on ego constructs.) In societies Capricorn rules governmental structures. When Pluto entered Capricorn the world entered into a phase of slow dismantling that sent economic markets tumbling in a recession and governmental collapse around the globe (especially 2012-2015 as Pluto squared Uranus.) At the halfway point of this transit we are looking at the blatant failures of big government, intense fear of change in leaders and populace, and power mongering and control trips from historically dominant groups upon those whose growing empowerment threatens the standing hegemony. In the next 8 years there will be no way out but through. The result of living in death-phobic cultures that seek permanent dominance in an impermanent world will be the necessity to confront death with eyes wide open. Those of us who know we are on a spiritual path will do well at this time to honor the cycles of death, transformation and rebirth on all levels; emotional, relational, body, earth. We can choose how to prepare for the changes that will happen. Pluto in Capricorn forces us to accept that all structures are impermanent, that all human power is temporary, and that only by looking honestly at death will we ever have the courage to truly live.

Pluto in Capricorn is one of the main focal points for the new moon chart. I talk more about the energy as well as other important and strong aspects for the new moon and 2017 in general in this week’s podcast. Listen here to learn more.

Astrology is cool to think about but it’s super cool to feel it! Embodied astrology is observing the ways our bodies are impacted by planetary cycles and seasons. Every month I release two guided meditations (one for the full moon and one for the new moon.) These meditations lead you through layers of subtle awareness and teach you skills of embodied mindfulness that support working most efficiently with the current astrological energies. This week’s meditation is an exploration of skeletal structure, stability, and ease. It’s a great compliment for any seated meditation or movement practice as well as a calming and clarifying practice in general for times that feel unsteady. Listen here.

Are you interested in participating in community through shared dialogue, peer support, and a task-based approach to embodying ethics and creativity? Check out Doing Theory, an experimental, online learning community and expanded network of artists, activists, and seekers of a better, more equitable future. This year our topic is Learning To Love More. We are exploring the contemporary ethics of nonviolence through collaborative learning, personal practices and direct actions.

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These horoscopes are written partially as affirmations. Affirmative thinking and speaking are a form of magic that works through magnetism. If your horoscope affirmation resonates with you, print it out and place it somewhere visible for the next two weeks. Repeat it to yourself often and notice how the magic works. I suggest reading horoscopes for both your sun and rising signs. If you’re interested in a more personalized approach to your astrology you can request a reading here.

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Art by Richard Seyb, via Pinterest

ARIES It’s important that you know what you’re working for. It’s important that you know your goals are your own, and not someone else’s ideas of what you should want. It’s important to feel that regardless of who you might work for, you are the ultimate boss of you. Changing needs around your self expression and identity are important to honor right now. You can’t fit in anyone else’s box even if you want to. That said, you actually have a ton of opportunity and availability to find balance in your relationships. And it seems that relationships have a ton of opportunity to help you achieve some of the goals you may have.

Figuring out the balance between self and other requires willingness to negotiate. Recognizing tension that arises in your relationships as a teacher rather than as an obstacle may be helpful in uncovering some deeper blocks you have in attaining your own personal goals. Take the next few weeks to observe the similarities you feel between your growth process in personal relationships and your growth process in your career or whatever it is you do that feels like your calling. The more comfortable you get revealing and showing yourself, the more likely it is that you will attract partners who appreciate your authenticity and show their own. The more you feel supported to be authentic, and value that in others, the more probable it is that other elements of your life will align accordingly.

Your new moon meditation is to give yourself a promotion. Set 2017 intentions to be more real and more ‘out’ with who you know you are. Your new moon affirmation is, “I have nothing to hide and nothing to gain from hiding.”

TAURUS The ways we make and infer meaning in our lives has everything to do with how well we feel – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. No amount of abstract or high-minded explanations make things better if you’re feeling crummy. That said, a healthy sense of purpose and connection to deeper meaning can be the very thing that gives you sustenance through challenging times. The coming year will continue to ask you to find balance between how you spend your energy day-to-day and how you feel your energy as fluid, magic, ineffable stuff that arises from the constant vibration of nature. In other words, tuning into deeper meanings and vaster networks of LIFE gives you more energy to attend to the mundane elements of life, and to take care of the details like your body, your home, your pets, and whatever it is that pays your bills.

The next few weeks are a great time to reconsider how you’re feeding the need for deeper meaning. Reading or rereading inspiring texts, listening to intelligent speakers, studying with respected teachers, traveling and experiencing the great big world… These are a few ways you might approach remembering the expanse of your mind. Your new moon meditation is to make a map (literally or imaginatively) of your influences and inspirations. All the teachers, foremothers and forefathers of your favorite hobbies and passions, all the art, all the wisdom… When you’ve determined where you’re coming from then spend some time in quiet imaginative space feeling the ways your energy will continue as influence and inspiration for future others. Don’t worry about the actions, focus on the feeling. Set 2017 intentions to discover more and expand your mind. Your new moon affirmation is, “I make new, exciting discoveries every day.”

GEMINI The thing about power is that it doesn’t come easily. True power is something earned, not anything that can be given. True power is the ease with which we address our own failings and fears. It is the ability to accept, own up to, and integrate. Power has less to do with any force that is exerted externally and more to do with the ways we handle our own force, and whether we shy away from it or use it as a weapon. It seems like you’ve been learning a lot recently about power. Specifically, it looks like you are being the given the opportunity to creatively address the parts of yourself that you may instinctively want to hide. Allowing yourself to be seen and allowing yourself to express are deeply healing at this time, and trusting that those in your life who you want to see and hear you have the best intentions is crucial.

The next few weeks may bring some opportunities to renegotiate intimacy and gain more clarity around the intentions and attention of those who you’re sharing space with.

Future fantasies about romantic partners, creative projects, or maybe your children need to be balanced with the actual possibilities of the present moment. Clearing up communication and striving to see things clearly will help you gain a better understanding of your own needs and how to meet them now and in the future. Even though this might feel like a drag or seem to get in the way of your fantasy, at the end of the day you’ll be much happier to have spent your energy on cultivating your own honesty and creative capacity. Your new moon meditation is to write a list of secrets, desires, and fantasies that you’re ready to admit. Set 2017 intentions for more transparency, more intimacy, and more authentic and sexy connection. Your new moon affirmation is, “I take responsibility for my own desire.

CANCER Trust that you are on the path you are meant for. Trust that paying attention to your needs for safety, comfort, and nurturance are correct. Trust that changes in relationships will be for the best. Trust that the ones who can meet you in your needs for stability are the same ones who can enthusiastically support your need for adventure. Trust that freedom is a birthright. Trust your instincts if they’re saying “time to go.” Trust your capacity for discipline, hard work, and commitment. Trust that you know when to keep working and when to move on. Trust that you will learn what you need to and that which challenges your frame of reference is a gift to grow your reference bigger. Trust that there may not be understanding, but that there can still be wisdom.

It seems like something is calling you to shift things up in a significant way. At the same time you want to be cozy, comfortable and at home. How these (potentially conflicting) elements relate to your partnerships and close relationships is the focal point. Where you feel support from others is something to acknowledge and appreciate. Be honest about the structures you’ve created and look for the good. Where you feel unequal power balances, restriction, or coldness is something to acknowledge and appreciate. You need equality, generosity and warmth to thrive. Admitting your own needs takes courage. Taking action every day to care for your own needs instead of longing for them to be met takes discipline. You have both courage and discipline at your disposal right

Now. Take the next few weeks to seriously consider your commitments. Know what you will and will not stand for. Trust that you know what you know. Your new moon meditation is to consider what you actually want from your partners (anyone you are committed to in whatever ways you commit) and to write it down. This isn’t a checklist for someone else though, it’s a list of how you want to feel, what you want to spend your time doing, and who you want to know yourself as in relationship. Set 2017 intentions to manifest those qualities in yourself with joy. Your new moon affirmation is, “My partnerships are fulfilling, steady, transformative, and deep. I am supported to be absolutely who I am.”

LEO How we integrate learning is through repetition and regularity. Huge insights are awesome, but useless if we can’t put them to work in practical ways. You may be able to talk about it, write about it, or even teach about it… but can you live it? Can you put it into practice day-to-day? All the big ideas and fancy philosophies aside, what counts is practice. Every day. Small steps. Discipline, diligence, determination. Please forgive yourself for not being there yet. In fact, see if you can completely do away with having an end goal for yourself and make practicing whatever it is you’re learning your priority. Like any practice, you succeed if you show up and you fail if you don’t. Whether or not you get it “right” doesn’t matter, what matters is the consistent, persistent effort.

It seems to be that you’re chewing on something right now and trying to figure it out from all angles. The last few years have brought you lots of learning and the coming year will have plentiful opportunities for putting what you’ve learned to use. Remember that you can’t rush integration and that frustration is a crucial part of learning. This is a time to be content with showing up every day for what you’ve committed to and totally accepting whatever it is that you are able to give. The kind of headway you’re making now is the kind that is invisible when you’re in the middle of it but that accumulates over time into huge transformation and progress. Your new moon meditation is to organize and clean up the space around you – wherever you work and/or practice. Make your space and flow more efficient so that when you arrive you can get to the getting rather than getting lost in clutter or chores. Set 2017 intentions for daily committed practices, health, and doing things that feel useful like volunteering your time or skills to those who need them. Your new moon affirmation is, “I honor the priority. I attend to the details.

VIRGO What is your joy? What makes you laugh? How and with whom do you play? Do you know your inner child? Do the children in your life teach you as much as you teach them? This new moon is a meditation on your creative capacities. By creative I mean the ways you generate and create energy for life. This could be your children. It could be your lovers. It could be your art. It is your solar plexus and heart center. It is the place where passion burns and where the will to glow and grow radiates from. The next few weeks are a good time to reassess where you are and how far you have come in the last few years. Claims you’ve made for your own freedom, artistic pursuits and vibrancy have begun to manifest as tangible forms in your life. Now is a time to check-in with progress and ask yourself if current developments are meeting your needs.

Don’t assume that tension between a desire for personal and economic stability and a more insistent need for excitement in your intimate life has to be a conflict. If you’re feeling stuck between security and freedom it’s pointing you in the direction of your own agency and empowerment, so make sure that you don’t get confused in attributing your happiness to another’s attention, assets, or energy. The real deal right now is what you do with your need to feel passion, express, perform, create, and radiate as the fully competent, creative, kick-ass that you are. Keep the focus on your own joy and don’t worry about the rest. Your new moon meditation should be a creative project of some sort and/or ceremony of celebration for your inner child. Set  2017 intentions for how you want to use and grow your life energy, art projects you will begin or do, and time spent being childlike (not childish.) Your new moon affirmation is, “My needs are met when I follow my joy.

LIBRA A close friend or partner’s unpredictability or your own need for excitement in relationships may be teaching you about the potential for generosity and leading by example. It’s easy to get trapped into thinking that taking care of personal needs equates to being self-centered or avoidant. However, you know intuitively that when people take care of themselves, everyone around them is better off. Offering freedom to the ones we depend on though is never easy business. It’s hard to trust. Additionally, there is rarely support for joyfully giving freedom in our cultural examples, more of what we know are stories of fighting for freedom from oppressive control.

Taking yourself outside of that paradigm and binary could be very helpful in the current moment. Understanding that your home, roots, and base of security are experiences you get to co-create, rather than things you have to fight for or abide by is a huge personal revolution. The next few weeks are an invitation to consider what elements make you feel safe, seen, and secure, and which elements are acting as traps or barriers to actual intimacy and vulnerability. There might be a few adjustments or tweaks to make to current living situations that will allow you to fully embody joyful generosity while also accommodating explorations, expansions and explosions. Your new moon meditation should be a home project of some sort. Appreciating wherever you are and recognizing what really feels like home are valuable practices. Set 2017 intentions for further solidifying your sense of personal security, stability, and groundedness in all ways. Your new moon affirmation is, “I am at home in the world. No matter how wild I feel or what wildness might be around me, I am at home and I am safe.”

SCORPIO This is a time to pay attention to the stories you tell. Are there ways you always describe yourself? Are there ways you have written scripts about your childhood or formative experiences? Listen to the words that come out of your mouth. Notice the ways you narrate your experience. It may be that some of your stories are outdated, it may be that some of them are keeping you trapped in structures that are no longer your size. Evolving our self-concepts and dealing with unconscious patterns takes time, tools, and most importantly, attention. The last few months have brought ample healing energy to some deep, dark and mysterious places in your psyche. Don’t worry about knowing yet what all is changing or growing, but do assist your own growth process by dismantling some of the walls you’ve built previously with your own thoughts.

You want change right now and are eager to step into a new life. You have to realize first what attachments you have to old ways of being. Thought and language patterns may seem innocuous but remember that the vibration of sound resonates and changes the materials it passes through. As you notice the language of your thoughts and speech pay attention to the ways your body registers and responds to those words. When you feel the ones that keep you stuck, insecure and neurotic… do the good work of retraining your brain and tell a different story. Your new moon meditation is to rewrite your most basic introductions and explanations so that they more accurately reflect who you are now then who you were then. Set 2017 intentions for a new job description and updates on how you’re utilizing your intellect. Your new moon affirmation is, “The language I use creates the reality I experience.”

SAGITTARIUS Something that is important, and probably obvious, is that your life energy aligns with your core values. If you are spending your time doing things or engaging with people in ways that don’t agree with your fundamental philosophies you will get drained: financially, emotionally, and physically. Compromising your integrity for what you perceive to be safe choices is not a sustainable solution. Pushing aside the calls for a more awake, alive, and liberated life experience because you’re worried about future implications is missing the point.

How you spend your energy now and the impact it has on your current state should be understood as building blocks for how you will live in the future and the kinds of communities you will exist in. Selling yourself short, skipping out on exciting opportunities, or just continuing with the same old sh*t even though you’re actually done are all setups for feeling frustrated later. It can be really scary to make big changes, especially if they will affect you financially though, and that’s a real thing to consider.

This new moon wants you to look honestly at your security needs and spending habits. Determining what is essential and what is fear-based grasping is important. Do you know what you need in order to accommodate your current creative passions and your future goals? Are the ways that you’re earning acceptable or are they draining other resources like liveliness and hope? Your new moon meditation might be on an abundance altar or financial offering. Set 2017 intentions for bringing income and wealth into your life without compromising your vitality or long-term dreams. Your new moon affirmation is, “I skillfully and joyfully make investments now in my future happiness.”

CAPRICORN Being a grown up is not always easy. For the most part you have more choice and control over how you do your life, but you also have to give up a lot of freedom to take on the responsibility of your choices. “Youth is wasted on the young” might be an appropriate sentiment for you lately as it seems that responsibility can feel more like a weight than a bonus. That said, you currently have ample opportunity to make good on your responsibilities and show up with style for your work and commitments. Additionally, recognition and rewards are fairly easy to attract for you these days and showing up brings its own reward in feelings of accomplishment and perhaps even prestige.

All that said, if things are feeling chaotic or unsteady at home it’s going to be a challenge to show up at all, let alone with the kind of maturity you expect and want from yourself. It seems that there has been some turmoil in the places that are nearest and dearest and you’re having to work overtime in order to “manage” the upheaval while still showing up for your job(s). What is being presented to you right now is a choice: You can do the thing you know how to do which is some kind of inner rigidity and a serious, straight-laced approach to practical solutions… Alternately, you can practice trusting your own inherent strength while also not doing the things you have learned to do to be strong. I’m talking about the way you believe in autonomy. Your choices currently have something to do with building faith instead of fortresses. You can trust that real maturity (for you right now) means loosening up a little and letting life guide you rather than imposing rules on yourself that may have been helpful in the past, but now will only get in your way. Your new moon meditation is to spend some time with trees and consider the relationship between roots and branches. Set 2017 intentions that focus on emerging, birthing, revealing, and celebrating parts of yourself that are just being discovered or accepted. Your new moon affirmation is, “I shake myself free from past constraints and determine my own boundaries. I am the only one who limits me.

AQUARIUS Many of us have complex relationships, or even confusion, with prayer. Whether or not you’re someone who follows formalized religion, praying is an activity that can feel weird, forced and habitual. Most formal religions don’t do a good job of fostering personal connection with the divine and instead focus on a few accepted ways to communicate. “Spiritual but not religious” folks and atheists might not have any connection at all to prayer as a valuable or desirable practice. This disconnect between our abilities to communicate and how we offer up communication to spirit/source/mystery is a huge and important element in the mental dis-ease that so many experience – when we forget our connection and reverence, life becomes depressing and meaningless.

This new moon is inviting you to consider all the ways you can pray. Rumi said, “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Trusting your own instincts and interests is a key element in connecting to whatever source of faith you have or want to have. Letting go of dogma and actually listening to what resonates for you is better bet for connecting with the divine than reciting someone else’s script. The ways you listen and the ways you offer yourself to be heard will help you figure out the meaning you’re searching for. Rather than trying to make it all make sense or fit the feelings into the box of some pre-existing philosophy see if instead you can make space for sensing what is already here, has always been here, will always be here, and is inside of you. Your new moon meditation is to pray, in whatever way feels the best. Set 2017 intentions to connect more deeply with your own spiritual practice(s), ancestors, guides, angels, and dreams. Your new moon affirmation is, “God (spirit, universe, nature, use your own word here) is everywhere, in everything, and within me.

PISCES There’s an old story about a man who inherited a fortune and when others said, “You must be so happy to be rich!” he responded, “We shall see.” A year later a flood came and washed away his house and possessions. Others said, “You must be so sad to have lost everything,” and he responded, “We shall see.” A month later his son received a promotion and became wealthy enough to support him. Again everyone congratulated him on his wealth, and again he replied, “we shall see.” The story goes on with more back and forth and we realize that the man is wise to not align himself with what he does or doesn’t have since the nature of possession is inherently transient. There’s some elements of this fable acting out in your life right now it seems. Erratic income and unexpected expenses have you on your toes, but meanwhile wealth and opportunity keep coming in when you’re not looking for it.

See if you can adopt an attitude of equanimity and patience with it all. Remember that things come and go, and that sometimes misfortunes are blessings in disguise. There’s an important lesson for you to be learning right now which has something to do with your future hopes and dreams. They won’t happen, or at least not in the ways you want, if you are stressed and clinging. Your new moon meditation is to imagine holding all your wealth in open hands. Clearly see that you are not grasping and feel the peace that comes from trust. Set 2017 intentions to work on your future plans through visioning, talking about, and planning in whatever ways are possible and trust that when you’re ready for those plans to manifest you will have all the resources you need. Your new moon affirmation is, “I easily release what I do not need. I joyfully accept all support. I have what I need and I want what I have.”