New Moon and Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn
The Capricorn new moon is exact at 5:31PM Pacific time on Saturday, January 9th. The new moon in Capricorn is a time to consider what our long-term goals are. We want practicality and productiveness. We think about how to get where we want to go without missing any crucial steps and so therefore we take the time to be disciplined. Slow and steady wins the race in Capricorn. This new moon is a time to plant thought-seeds and make wishes that consider your longterm view. This weekend would be a great time to sit down and write out a 5, 10, 20 year plan for your life and to ponder what you can start doing now that will ensure you reach your desired destination. Capricorn is realistic though and not given to wishful thinking, so as you make your plans please also give some thought to the difference between idealism and commitment. Read this article now!
The new moon occurs just a few days after making aspects to Uranus and Pluto which set off (again) the themes that have been with us for the past 3 years. You can read more about the Uranus/Pluto square which is an aspect that has been strongly influencing all of us since 2012. In brief, this aspect is a confrontation between individual free will and the constructs/reality that govern individual free will. Many of us are now looking critically at traditional power balance in relationships (societally, work and marriage, or other contract-based, hierarchical relationships,) questioning their value, and wondering which systems are useful and which need to change. Collectively we are redefining what it means to be in community, to be leaders, to be supporters, to be partners, and to be fluid, adaptable and willing to move between roles and allow others to do the same.
The new moon is conjunct with Pluto and squaring Uranus. In this configuration our ego (The Sun) and our emotional experience (The Moon) are deeply aligned with the urge for transformation (Pluto). We feel pressed, squeezed and pushed forward into personal power. This probably isn’t a lovely experience. Personal power usually isn’t a hallmark card or yoga pose, more often it’s a teeth-gritting, stomach-clenching deal we make with ourselves to put the next foot forward and to not back down. The square to Uranus brings about external circumstances that are beyond our control, unstoppable and undeniably impacting. We experience events that cannot then be un-experienced. We are changed and cannot go back. If external circumstances aren’t rocking your world then probably the internal circumstances are. Uranus wants change and a new direction. Do you feel yourself pushed to your limits? Is your ego breaking? Are your emotions exploding and confused? Is your life topsy-turvy with no end in sight. Yes… You are not alone.
The cherry-on-top to this astrology is our friend Mercury who turned retrograde on January 5th at the earliest degrees of Aquarius and will backtrack now through Capricorn until the 25th. Mercury has been traveling through Capricorn and since December 20th has been activating the Uranus/Pluto square also. Mercury will continue to trigger this aspect through the rest of the month. Anytime Mercury is involved we know that we need to be mindful of our perceptive habits. Mercury functions as the perceptive organ. It takes all the information you receive and processes it through the filters of your unique perceptive lens which has everything to do with how you were raised, what your biases are, how your body feels, what kind of thoughts you prefer and so on. Mercury governs thought, language, and communication of all kinds. Mercury retrograde is perception and communication turned inward. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, and definitely doesn’t have to be the accident-prone shitshow it gets made out to be, but that said, it is a time to keep your wits about you and refrain from making any snap judgments or important decisions. You can think of it as a need to go backwards in order to pick up some information that was missed along the way.
Give yourself the time to make clear choices.
Mercury goes retrograde three times per year. In 2015 all three cycles took place in air signs. Since air rules thought and words, Mercury retrograde in 2015 influenced us to redefine, restructure, and refresh our thinking and speaking habits. A big theme on a personal level last year was noticing how words (spoken or unspoken) define experience. When we articulate something by wrapping speech around it we basically limit it to the confines of our associations with the words we use. When we tell stories, to ourselves or others, about our experiences we are never unbiased but our words do the work of either further solidifying our biases or giving us some internal space to view them objectively. 2015 was a year that had a lot of us on some kind of mission to change our thinking habits, see our biases, and make new choices in how we articulate, and therefore make real our experiences in the world.
2016 will bring all three retrograde cycles in earth signs. Yesterday Mercury made its station in the first degrees of Aquarius (air) but will spend the majority of the time traveling through Capricorn (earth.) There will be another retrograde cycle through Taurus in April and May and then later through Virgo in August and September. All of these cycles have station points (the degree at which the planet turns from retrograde to direct) at 14 and 15 degrees, or exactly in the middle of the sign (each zodiac sign has 30 degrees.) These degree points, and the fact that they are all in earth signs is significant. Unlike air signs, earth signs are not so interested in what you think, they are interested in what you do. The midway degree points are potent and in some ways epitomize the essence of the sign. We learned last year that what we think has very real and concrete impact on our actions and so in 2016 we will have the chance to walk the talk, so to speak. This year you can consider the retrograde cycles as a time to rework, refine, and reveal your actions and impact. If last year had you rethinking some of your choices, then this year will offer chances to either redo them or revisit similar choices from a different perspective.
This Mercury cycle is receiving a helpful trine aspect from Jupiter the entire time. Jupiter also turns retrograde the day before the new moon and it’s in the sign of its ‘detriment’ in Virgo. Jupiter is expansive and generous, Virgo is exacting and critical. Jupiter moving backwards in Virgo feels kind of like a headtrip over details. Jupiter trining Mercury and both in retrograde is a time to seriously slow down. I mean it. Slow the frick down. Consider what kind of actions you are taking. Do you really want to take them or are you moving out of habit? Do you really believe in what you’re doing or are you doing it because you think that’s what you should do? The transition from air sign to earth sign Mercury cycles is both a gift and a caution. The gift is that we get to put into practice what we have been thinking and talking about. The caution is that our actions have consequences. Thoughts and words make real things happen, and you get to make the bed you sleep in. Ok? Slow down. Be mindful. Be patient. Consider the long-term vision and if you can’t be sure that the choices you’re making will serve it, then at least make sure that the choices you’re making aren’t hasty, mindless, or downright detrimental to where you want to go.
This weekend’s new moon is a good time to set intentions for this entire year-long cycle. New moons in general are the time make intentions, to start things, to plant… This is the first new moon of the year and it’s occurring in the sign that specializes in making things happen over time. Capricorn is not in a rush. Capricorn wants to make sure that each step is well thought-out so that future steps can build upon the past. The beauty of Capricorn is its concern, care, and commitment. Consider what in your life you want to tend to in the coming year(s). What do you want to build, grow and achieve? If you could give yourself all the time in the world and not feel rushed, where would you start? The downside of Capricorn is its attachment to tradition to the point of rigidity or oppression as well as its refusal of magical thinking in favor of cold, hard facts. So also consider where in your life you can soften a bit. Are you carrying around outdated structures that are confining you more than supporting you?
The best times for setting intentions or making new moon wishes are in the hours after the new moon as it is just starting to grow. All day Sunday is prime-time for wishing. Have at it!
I will be posting new moon and Mercury Rx horoscope affirmations for your sun and rising signs on Friday.
For a deeper insight into the new moon and this Mercury cycle look at where Capricorn is in your chart (get free birth charts here.) Whatever house contains the sign, and specifically 14° of Capricorn will be the place in your life that you will want to focus your intention and attention. For those of you who are interested in moving into the new year with more astrological insight you might consider purchasing a personal reading. I offer 90-minute chart readings and include meditation and body-centered practices that are specialized for you and your concerns to help you actively embody the most helpful astrological influences.
Finally, this weekend Sola School of Contemplative Arts (the program I co-facilitate) will be offering a 2-day workshop where we will explore the theme of nonviolence. This workshop is the first of five that we’re offering by donation. This series of workshops uses the template of the yogic ethical code (the Yamas) and explores them through the lens of contemporary, practical, and task-based action. This weekend’s workshop is an inquiry into the philosophy of nonviolence and practical tools that assist all of us to listen more deeply, treat ourselves and others with more compassion, and take action that we are aligned with as we navigate some tricky times on Planet Earth. There’s more information here. You are warmly invited to attend.
New moon blessings and all my love,