Tuesday, January 16th at 6:17pm Pacific Time, we’ll have the first New Moon of the year — and it’s one that packs a lot of intention-setting punch. Taking place in Capricorn alongside Venus, the Sun and Pluto, with Saturn, Mercury and Black Moon Lilith also inhabiting the sign, we have a chance to commit to goals and structures that support the legacy we’re leaving on this earth.
Here’s the thing, y’all. I haven’t taught either of my “Astrology of 2018” classes yet, but I’m pretty sure the sweeping theme for the year is: Time to get shit done.
This New Moon is a fantastic one to use for intention setting that supports that goal in practical and concrete ways. And because we do have so much Capricorn energy involved, I think I can say once again what I say all the time but with more gravity (and hopefully just as much love): There is no more time to waste in our avoiding/ dismissing/ ignoring/ rationalizing/downplaying efforts. We’re past even the make or break point in our collective evolution. At this moment we need the absolute commitment of every soul with even the foggiest awareness that our society is not going good places, and we need them to commit to concrete, real world change. Now.
Committing to concrete, practical, real world creation is exactly what Capricorn is best at.
Capricorn and its ruling planet, Saturn, are both about the structures that support a society. Capricorn is very much about our root, and our root chakra, and what allows us to stand upright from a place of groundedness in this world. It is the energy of feeling safe and secure in the world and building accordingly.
The most basic support of a society is found within us — it is our bones, which are associated with Capricorn. Bones are strong, y’all. They provide full structural support to the mysteries of anatomy and allow us to move through this world. Capricorn is also associated with teeth, the part of our skeletal system that is even stronger than bones. Bones and teeth guarantee our survival. Without them, our security needs are much more difficult to get met. Same thing with the societal depictions of Capricorn structures. Necessities such as trash collection and sewage systems. Both individuals and societies need infrastructure, and Capricorn is where we recognize the mastery needed to build these infrastructures, and we do the hard work of getting it done.
Capricorn is also about legacy. What is the legacy we will leave on this earth, as individuals and as a society?
In the past few years we’ve been experiencing Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius. We’ve been asked to restructure and reexamine our beliefs and truths. Now Saturn has entered Capricorn and we’re being asked to (re)build based on what we found there. In Capricorn, we consolidate our beliefs and truths into the institutions and infrastructures that give form to society. Transitioning those beliefs into manifest reality is hard. Capricorn loves that shit. But that building has to come from a place of meaning. That’s where we get the heart energy to drive all that building. It has to mean something. It needs a legacy attached to it — a reason. Reason that gives integrity.
As meaning gets distorted, integrity degrades. We clear land and build buildings that are consumed by mold within a year (see: Seattle’s housing boom).
So there’s the rub. And the rub is this: Sagittarius is associated with natural law. It’s where we get to know truths and our own beliefs hopefully based in resonance with what is best for the earth and all beings in it. Natural law has a lot to do with core values of giving, sharing, connection and interdependence. According to natural law, to everything there is a season, a reason. When we are tapped into the truth that we are all connected beings on individual journeys we remember that love and respect must be always at the core of all things.
Ideally speaking, then, in Capricorn, we build with those truths in mind. There is power in that realization.
And Capricorn is very much about power. The power of the heart to fuel the bones into mastering the Great Work.
Or the power of the material world to claim our psyches and distort our survival fears into control mechanisms that consolidate power in the hands of the few. And my oh my how we’ve seen the ways those in power resist when their power — in its corrupt and distorted form — is threatened. That’s the lesson of Pluto’s 22 year journey through Capricorn (we’re about half way through, folks).
Tools such as tarot help us to understand these principles more deeply. In the traditional tarot deck, the Devil card, which corresponds with Capricorn, is depicted as two humans standing with chains around their necks and wrists. They are weighted down by their chains, strapped to the toils of the physical realm. Silly thing is, the chains are all loose. They could take them off.
Capricorn can toil. It can get mired in hard work. It can get attached to the ego identity of being The One Who Works Harder Than Anyone Oh Woe Is Me. But those chains also remind us that we do have bodies and we do have to tend to them.
Another tarot deck depicts the Devil as a figure manipulating the strings of a marionette – who has a pair of scissors in its pocket for easy clippings. Externalization of power through social conditioning. That’s a loaded Capricorn sentiment.
My personal favorite is the image depicted in the Cosmic Tribe Tarot. It is that of a green bodied, orange haired god Pan, tongue sticking out, playing on the earth. With multiple symbols of sex and penetration, it reminds us of the fun of the material form, and the great gift of mastering sexual/creative energy for movement and manipulation on the earth. In this version, we see a Devil stripped of Judeo-Christian bullshit (sorry, it’s not all bullshit, but I’m submersed in an unapologetic writing frenzy), and whittled down to the reminder — we GET to play here on this earth in these meat suits. We get to revel in the pleasures of the body and the material world. We get to feel our primal instincts rising up to meld with our beautiful conscious minds through the vehicles of our bodies and build really cool, significant, respectful and beautiful structures as monuments to what we love and celebrate and need and desire.
Pan reminds us to play in the pleasures of the flesh.
But we also have to respect. Our bodies as home (that’s the Capricorn-Cancer axis) and our earth as mother (aaaaand that’s the Capricorn-Cancer axis as well).
We also get to remember that if we get stuck in all that — if we whittle all of our existence down to JUST the material world, just this one element (earth!), and forget the meaning behind it all, we will fall into chains. We will fall into fear. We will feel the gravity of Saturn’s forced maturation process.
In the meantime, however, we rationalize and justify using the bones and skin of other humans for the sake of the progress of our institutions — which are based in conquest, oppression and blood. That’s shadow Capricorn.
Because the physical, mechanistic world is NOT everything.
Amazing how our culture’s worship of the material world exists alongside our total inability to accept that we are using said material world as a sewer and other humans as slaves. Even more amazing how difficult it is for individuals to recognize that they can be both good-hearted and still complicit in this system.
Capricorn denial is hard and entrenched and full of long, deep shadows based in self-judgment, criticism and loathing. We then consolidate those shadows and fears into an external figure — a Christian Devil. And we externalize our redemption process into an external savior. Jesus. Our family and friends. Our bank account.
So! What does right power and right responsibility look like? How do we use all of that Capricorn integrity and commitment to hard work sustainably?
It starts within, but within a framework or mission to serve. To build something. To leave a legacy on this earth that is reflective of our values. We take responsibility for our commitment to fixing the mess we’re in as individuals, but individuals within a society. Which means there’s help! Hooray!
So for this Capricorn New Moon, it’s time to set an intention that is in resonance with the long term goals for your life.
Don’t know what they are? Use this cycle to figure it out or make progress in that adventure.
Got other, more pressing concerns? The biggest fears we have often stem from a fear of not having our basic survival needs met. It is ok to focus on that. If your body, housing, financial situations are making you feel afraid for your survival, you can and should attend to that. Fit them into the umbrella of the larger picture: Got body stuff going on? This is a GREAT New Moon to focus on building routines that support the health of your bones and body. Got mental health stuff going on? Extend to yourself an offer to practice self care for the next month. Commit. See what works. Come back. Revise. Try again.
Examine the ways your life’s legacy is impacting the world for future generations. Try to imagine impacts and consequences. Accept, love and recognize yourself without judgment for the good and the bad.
There is a finality to Cappy, a grouchiness. Once we’ve cultivated the commitment to change, recognizing how long it can take can be depressing! So we have to remember to PLAY. Like Pan!
Remember to nurture.
There’s a wild card here, though — that’s important to note. This New Moon kicks of two lunar cycles that have…
…drum roll please…
Yes, we’re entering another eclipse season. Remember the last one? It was in August, and therefore the coming weeks will likely refer back to whatever it was going on in your life then, especially if you have planets or angles in your chart in mid-to-late Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Aquarius, Scorpio).
Which brings us to the final (for today) lesson about Capricorn. I touched on it a bit earlier, but it’s worth re-stating. Capricorn is very much about power. Because you bet yer sweet ass those institutions and infrastructures you’re building hold power, just as your bones form the framework for your body’s movement.
You get power, sure, but then how do you use it? You use it in ways that benefit society and others. You have to be grounded, rooted and secure in your understanding of natural law and how it can and should and does feed into human laws.
In Capricorn, power has a lot to do with our ego’s attachment to the structures. To the ways things are. To the status quo and the conditioning it takes – physical, emotional, societal – to keep those structures in power. We dig in, thinking we are defined by our Great Work. We dig in, thinking that all that has meaning is whether our grandchildren carry our name and our money. We take personal affront when our legacy is dismantled to make way for something new — even if that new thing is more reasonable. Sometimes Capricorn wants to consolidate power. There is a time and a place for that, but wisdom demands that we get clear on the costs.
It demands that we get clear on ways we can be a good person participating in systems that make us complicit in enslaving others and destroying our ecosystem. It demands we accept we might be wrong, and that’s OK. We accept it with maturity and course correct. Capricorn brings the endurance of commitment.
In Capricorn,we can also access the power to change those things. But we might have to make adjustments and let go. This eclipse season can help us understand what needs to go and what needs to be rebuilt.
So. What do you want to put your energy into?
Use this New Moon to get clear about that.
HINT: Don’t get attached to what you’ve created. Let it go. You are not that thing, you are not defined by it.
And going back to the last eclipse season: How is that divine spark within you doing? How can you offer it up to the collective?
What will be on your tombstone? Ah. There’s a great Capricornian visual metaphor.
Remember: The wisdom of Capricorn helps us understand the value of incremental change and work – there are no shortcuts. So set your path, plan for milestones (and the celebration of them!) and be flexible. Adapt and grow. But remember your values. And that growth has limits and has to be calculated and in harmony with surrounding systems.
There is an incredible joy that comes from a job well done and from viewing or participating in a finished product. Some of the work we have to do now will be finished after we’re gone, but it is important to remember that joy. That’s where we get some of the fuel for willpower!
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