Welcome to the final lunation of 2017. Every 4 weeks, the Moon and Sun come together in the same area of the sky for a new moon. A new moon is a seed that just might blossom at the full moon two weeks later, depending on its intrinsic qualities, the nurturance or severity of the surrounding environmental conditions, and the fit between the seed and soil. Astrology lends symbols to this pulsing rhythm of conception, growth, birth, life, death, and re-birth, and the truth involves interconnected and overlapping cycles.
Today’s new moon takes place in the very late degrees of Sagittarius, joining retrograde Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. Sagittarius is about the merger of beastly strength and speed with the luminous human intellect. When we set our eyes upon a goal, a dream, or an ideal upon the distant horizon, we must gather up our courage and will and direct all power and attention toward attaining that vision.
In early Sag, we aim our bow and arrow toward the rainbow.
In mid Sag, we zip toward the rainbow despite obstacles that threaten our course.
In late Sag, we throw every last bit of sweat, hope, and blood toward that vision.
The late degrees of Sagittarius thus indicate a sacrifice of some kind, an expenditure of life-force energy to attain something richly meaningful.
The most interesting thing about this new moon is the position of Saturn. Saturn lingers in the final degree of Sagittarius, the anaretic 29th degree, imprinting the next four weeks with a call to review and integrate your Saturn in Sagittarius experiences and wisdoms in preparation for the next phase of Saturn’s cycle. Reflect on 2015 to 2017 and ask yourself:
· What endured?
· What failed or broke apart?
· What kind of consequences did I have to face for previous decisions?
· Where did I take on more responsibility or authority?
· How much did fear guide my choices?
· In what parts of my life did I truly step up?
· How strong is my foundation?
Reviewing and integrating your experiences from 2015-2017 is also encouraged by Mercury’s dance with Saturn. Mercury is currently retrograde and during his retrograde trek, he bumps into Saturn’s wall a total of 3 times. Expect things to move slowly until mid January as we engage in this process of conscious reflection. Mercury helps us analyze and mentally make sense of our Saturnian experiences. By January 12, Mercury will make his last conversation with Saturn of this series , and we will finally feel ready to truly move in new directions.
Shortly after today’s new moon, Saturn returns to his home in Capricorn, where he will stay for the next 3 years. After Saturn enters Capricorn, he will be a good host, greeting the Sun on the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice.
This last new moon of 2017 culminates in a full moon across the Cancer-Capricorn axis on New Year’s day. It is not a cheery full moon, as duty-bound Saturn and purging Pluto are now co-existing in Capricorn, and these slow-moving planets are approaching the end of their cycle. Saturn-Pluto cycles are about morality and correct use of power. You can make use of the full moon on New Year’s day to have honest conversations though, as Mercury and the Moon are especially connected with one another, giving some ease and flow in our hearts, minds, and words.
As we walk through the passage from 2017 to 2018, from Sagittarius to Capricorn, we must come back down to reality. At the 29th degree of Sagittarius, where Saturn sits now, the arrow flown from the archer’s bow hits the highest point at which it can soar, and there is nowhere else to go but to the ground below.
A keen archer might be able to anticipate where the arrow falls should it fail to pierce its vision. Falling back to reality and materiality: this is the heart of the Sagittarius to Capricorn transition. The Sagittarian goal can never be fully realized, because Sagittarius is about the quest for the pot of gold beyond the rainbow, and not the gold itself. As Capricorn emerges, we descend from those spiritual heights and must make choices and commitments in the three-dimensional reality of Earth, and that gold becomes graspable, but only through much planning and strategy.
I wish you all the best as you reflect on your Saturn in Sagittarius journey, and may the incoming climb up Capricorn mountain steady your heart and fix your gaze. Those glorious visions of Sagittarius will require much work and effort to bring to life. May you find some peace and space to contemplate on these short, dark days.
***Art by Emilia Castaneda***