The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Capricorn, 2016-2017

Chart for the New Moon in Capricorn
Chart for the New Moon in Capricorn

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice [...]
What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~ T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

Dec.29 – NEW MOON in CAPRICORN (07:59 of Capricorn)

The archetype of Capricorn conjures images of massive machinery where actions are perfectly coordinated. Everything happens at just the right moment and place to facilitate more actions.

One two, tickety boo.

Like the workings of a mechanical clock, each cog and wheel plays its role which in turn keeps the whole machine running. Take away one piece and the machine grinds to a halt, or at the very least it doesn't operate correctly.

Workings of a pocket watch

The clock analogy works beautifully here since Saturn, Capricorn's planetary ruler, is the planet of time. One minute after the other; ordered and predictable.

Capricorn is the epitome of teamwork. However, in order for the whole structure to work properly it doesn't usually leave much room for the individual pieces to stray from their designated roles. So, each piece can either be assured that it is contributing something vital that no one else can, or it can feel constrained by its inability to operate independently of the whole.

If this is sounding more like Aquarius, you're not alone. When you examine Capricorn and Aquarius up close, they start to look very similar. And indeed they are both ruled traditionally by the same planet: Saturn.

The biggest difference between those two signs is that in Capricorn the goal is to build a working machine out of parts gathered or created for a specific purpose, whereas in Aquarius the idea is to envision what more can be done with the finished product to benefit an even bigger context that envelops the machine. Looked at another way, Capricorn trains each part to conform to expectations in service to the whole, whereas in Aquarius the individuality of the parts may emerge as a force to be reckoned with.

When Capricorn works well, it is like a watch that keeps perfect time. It builds something that can be used as a tool, resource or reference. When we participate in the Capricorn system, it's important to be aware of the purpose or goal that the system is designed to achieve. If you agree with its goal, it can be very rewarding to know that you are contributing to a purpose greater than yourself, even if what you do seems relatively small and insignificant. In truth, no part of an efficient system is insignificant.

The Borg cube spaceship, Star Trek

On the other hand, if you disagree with that overall purpose or if you feel oppressed by having to conform to a limited role, it's easy to feel like little more than a cog in the machinery.

That mechanical marvel may start to look like a Borg cube and your place in it nothing more than a drone serving the Collective. "You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile" as the Star Trek saying goes.

When your sense of purpose collapses into a heap of obligatory rubble, it can flatten the spirit. On the other hand, when the slot fits you like a glove and supports you in stretching yourself and developing your abilities, it can be fulfilling and reassuring.

The timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness.
And knows that yesterday is but today's memory
and tomorrow is today's dream.
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

At this New Moon in Capricorn, it is a good time to review how you feel when faced with your role within The Collective—whether you feel fulfilled and useful by your role within it or you feel repressed and used. And more to the point, this is a lunar cycle in which it can be beneficial to reconsider what you can do with or about those feelings.

Mercury is still retrograde until Jan.08, and is tightly conjunct the Sun and Moon. Mercury is combust (within 8.5° of exact conjunction to the Sun) which means your ability to think and express yourself objectively could be a bit fuzzy. However, its retrograde motion makes it ideal for introspective (re)assessment of plans, goals and roles that you play in your life. How are they working for you so far? What kind of changes or persistence do you think could help you improve these areas?

The Sun-Moon-Mercury trio in Capricorn are in very close sextile aspect (60°) to Mars and Neptune, who themselves are approaching conjunction in Pisces. Capricorn loves tools, resources and productive creativity, which is just what that sextile to Pisces planets can offer. The Capricorn New Moon's agenda sees constructive potential to develop.

However, the Mars-Neptune conjunction might be a little awkward for Capricorn. Mars' natural inclination is to charge off cloaked in courage, spontaneity and enthusiasm. On the other hand, Neptune is likely to soften Mars' sharp edges and twist the trajectory of his impulses. In other words, you might aim for that spot on the horizon over there, but suddenly realize you're headed in a different direction entirely and you weren't even aware of changing course.

Neptune's idealism can be a bit intimidating for Mars, and your drive to take action could become inhibited by a fear that your efforts aren't quite good enough or don't measure up to Neptune's pristine perfection. It's not easy to step fearlessly into the unknown if you're hampered by a secret dread of being unworthy.

The Capricorn New Moon can help with this. It can provide a structured pathway for Mars to follow while wading through the Neptunian swampland. Although Mars normally doesn't like limits, you may find Capricorn's hard-edged expectations to be a better alternative than trying to stand upright on Neptune's cloud. At the same time, your Capricorn side will probably have to allow some latitude for Neptune's blurry edges and intuitive creativity.

Therefore, it can help to use the cooperative sextile energy (between Sun-Moon-Mercury and Mars-Neptune) to clarify what your personal standards are and what "enough" looks like.

In other words, where is the sweet spot between Capricorn's practical excellence and Pisces' spiritual ideals? How will you know when you're in that zone? What will it look like?

Your intuitive urges to initiate new projects, persevere through existing ones, and bring closure to those at the end of their lifespan—these can work constructively and creatively with the additional necessity for careful scrutiny and preplanning.

Therefore: instead of measuring your thoughts, actions, abilities and achievements in terms of right versus wrong, perfect versus inadequate, try aiming for that midway sweet spot and think in terms of warmer versus cooler. And remember that if you miss the alignment of intentions and actions now, another window will eventually come around again... like clockwork.

Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year.
~ Ogden Nash, Collected Verse From 1929 On

Uranus always love to surprise us, and this New Moon is no exception. Uranus turns direct just 2.5 hours after the New Moon is exact! A stationary Uranus is usually like a fireworks display – full of loud whirring, hissing and zingy noises, and a brilliantly colourful show that lightens up the sky.

Uranus and Jupiter are in exact opposition while this happens (Dec.26), and in fact remain within 1 degree of orb from Dec.19 to Jan.05. This can either open up your sense of vision, philosophy and imagination to wondrous new possibilities, or it might feel like your mental and spiritual landscape is crumbling apart.

With Uranus stationary and extra powerful during this time, life is likely to feel unusually changeable and chaotic. Jupiter being in Libra, you might find your instinct is to try to find balance through extreme reactions or polarizing to opinions you disagree with.

This will not go over well with the Capricorn New Moon that wants to establish some productive order to the mess, so there's a chance you might find you're wrestling back and forth with wanting change on one hand and stability on the other.

I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

However, Saturn is in a very tight cooperative aspect to both Uranus and Jupiter, forming an aspect pattern called a Wedge. In this configuration, Saturn is on good terms with both of them, and can see a more agreeable solution.

Wedge aspect pattern: Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn

Saturn being in Sagittarius understands the necessity of having a sense of vision, and although he might prefer not to acknowledge it, he "gets it" that vision doesn't happen easily unless you're willing to break down the barriers to some extent.

You can't build an extension on your house unless you knock down some of the existing structure. But you can't just knock it down and then build the new addition. You don't want to tear down too much or allow the weather to damage what will remain. It requires some planning, resources, materials, know-how and methodology. Saturn's gift to Uranus and Jupiter is that it offers a blueprint for managing change constructively and expertly.

Therefore, if there is an area of your life that feels like it's coming apart at the seams, start by finding your calm, grounded centre. Set your emotions aside – that is, acknowledge them enough to get them out of the way. Leading with your emotions might not be the best idea. You want stability, predictability and results. So find a spot that's a safe distance from the emotional fireworks. Let them show you what feels right, but plan out your actions with a different part of your psyche.

On the other hand, you might be working to gather together resources, materials, funding, inspiration or networking contacts to achieve a goal, but right now it might feel more like you're herding cats. The trick is to keep your actions and efforts simple and focused.

Know that your intentions might well go off the rails at times. It will help to prioritize whether it's best to go running after them or to stay your course, while keeping your eyes on the prize and trusting that—just like a cat—it will return when it gets hungry or is ready for some attention.

Don't be ashamed to weep; 'tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.
~ Brian Jacques, Taggerung

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With Saturn currently in an exact square aspect to Chiron (Dec.28), it can be tempting to feel a bit discouraged if your best efforts wander off track after all your hard work to get it on track. It's best to respond to this without judgment, using Saturn's ordered, steady, methodical and pragmatic approach to deal with it.

Be aware that heavy feelings are probably being magnified by issues left over from old wounds that are not entirely healed. Don't beat yourself up, and don't beat up anyone else either. Strive for two things: (1) a factual understanding of what is really happening, and (2) awareness of what you can do now that will help the immediate situation. Long-term solutions will come in time, but when giant steps are blocked it's wiser to take baby steps that lessen problems in the moment than to get stuck in helplessness or bitterness.

At this turn of the calendar year, and especially with Mercury being retrograde, it's time to rewind your life watch to begin a new journey into 2017. How will you spend your time, resources, intentions and commitment? This New Moon is the time to consider, reconsider and plan.

Remember: you have to wind your watch (gather the right resources) in order to make the hands go. Winding doesn't make the time go faster; it just keeps it moving. Time takes time.

So: first steps first. Gather your tools and resources. Start with a Forecast Report for 2017 and save 30% off regular prices. Then plan out what you can do with the highlights for the coming year.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and an awesome 2017! May your life tick happily and keep perfect time. :-)

Make New Year's goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you're interested in fully living life in the year to come.
~ Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency

Dec.29 – Uranus Stationary Direct (20:33 of Aries; until Aug.03.2017)  (Dec.28 in HAST)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Uranus now turns direct, after being retrograde for the last 4 months. This often brings a turning point in situations involving spontaneity, freedom, breaking free of old patterns, rebellion and expressing your personal uniqueness. For up to a week before and after this date, it could feel a bit chaotic or erratic—or perhaps just spontaneous and exciting. However, Uranus' ultimate agenda is to clear the way for your true spirit to manifest in your life. You may experience unexpected changes, flashes of insight, or disruption of established situations that aren't working well (which might include computers, Internet, mass media, groups, friends or future plans). This can be the awakening of a new perspective, to be brought into a clearer focus through open-mindedness and being willing to try new things.

Dec.30 – Mercury Retrograde trine North Lunar Node (04:38 of Capricorn/Virgo)  (Dec.31 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Mercury makes a second pass to trine (120°) the North Lunar Node, this time going retrograde. Normally this can be a time when your ideas, thoughts and words seem like they're falling into place, or at least coming more easily. When Mercury is retrograde, this transit could bring some "second thoughts" about events and situations that shed new light in a positive or softer way. In other words, this can be a time when rethinking a difficult situation might reveal an easier way to deal with it or that perhaps you needn't be as concerned as you are. It's also an opportunity to think about how you can re-centre yourself on the path of your fullest potential.

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Dec.30 – Sun sextile Neptune (09:42 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Dec.31 in AU)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Although this is mostly a very positive energy, you could become so immersed in your longing for the ideal that you have trouble dealing with the less-than-ideal realities that still must be dealt with. Gaining the benefit from this transit will still require some effort. Hope, optimism and imagination are in the air, which could bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity and imagination can be very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision, and you may experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential now to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately – although this will require your cooperation to take advantage of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.

Jan.01 – Mars conjunct Neptune (09:44 of Pisces)  (Dec.31 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST)

This can be a strange time of lethargic confusion or uplifting inspiration or both! On one hand, you might feel very motivated by creative and spiritual inspiration, as new possibilities seem to appear magically in your imagination. On the other hand, you may feel a bit like you've lost your "edge," where your focused energy feels blunted or blurred. Direct action may not be possible, easy or effective, and as a result it could be easy to lapse into feeling a bit powerless, lethargic or discouraged. You may have to act on faith instead of fact; and whether this is a "good" or "bad" experience will largely depend on how comfortable you are with ambiguity. This transit initiates a new cycle of working with these themes that lasts about 2 years. The events and issues that come up now likely have more to them than you see on the surface, and the deeper levels will unfold and develop throughout the coming cycle.

When Mars conjoins Neptune they are also parallel on the same day (in fact, reaching exact just an hour and a half apart). In other words, they are aligned both "left and right" and "up and down" so that Mars *almost* crosses right over Neptune, similar to when the Moon does a partial eclipse of the Sun. This makes the Mars-Neptune combined effect even stronger, so it's especially good to find a constructive outlet for this energy. If you get pulled under by the undertow of depression, lethargy or helplessness, you could gently steer yourself in a different direction using positive distractions, like yoga, meditation, listening to music, playing with water, dancing, or just doing something creative.

Jan.03 – Venus enters Pisces (until Feb.03)  (Jan.02 in HAST, AKST, PST)

Creativity, harmony and compassion permeate our experiences while Venus waltzes through Pisces. If you are an artist, musician, writer or other imaginative artisan, this can be a time of great creative inspiration. Even if you're not, this can still be a time when your appreciation of the arts is heightened and your sensual enjoyment of life increases. Relationships can be influenced by this placement, by encouraging more openness to love and romance. While this can make interaction smoother and more magical, it might also make you more vulnerable to deception or disappointment. Be receptive don't misplace your better judgment. This can also be a time when you are prone to feeling a Universal Oneness with humanity. You may find you have increased capacity for compassion, caring and connection with others. This, too, can be a mixed blessing – it can bring out your most loving side, but could also make you more easily taken advantage of. You might feel inspired to make a selfless sacrifice, or to donate money or resources as a form of service. It is all done in the name of Universal beauty, truth and compassion. Celebrate this transit by going to a concert of beautiful music, or stroll through an art gallery, or indulge in dreamy sensuality, or let yourself feel a loving connection with all that is around you.

Jan.03 – Mercury Retrograde sextile Venus (00:31 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.04 in AU)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.

Jan.04 – Mercury Retrograde enters Sagittarius (until Jan.12)  (Jan.05 in AU)

Mercury is retrograde in Sagittarius, which can challenge the mind more than it can comfortably handle. The conscious mind usually likes to sift through ideas at its own pace and piece these ideas together as they come up. Sagittarius tends to present the whole picture all at once, which can be overwhelming. You might find you are challenged to reach beyond your grasp intellectually, which could leave you feeling like you're juggling too many balls at once. Or, you might be so hungry for more and more information that you don't know how to stop and put it all together. Unconscious or hidden judgments and biases that you carry around might lurk just below the surface now, making them more visible than you would like them to be. On the other hand, this can be a good time to explore the ways that you tend to blame others (or yourself) for problems or imperfections. It is also a time when you can peek through the veil and see beyond your usual range of vision. As such, this transit can give you access to a more spiritual frame of mind that helps you deepen your understanding, expand your compassion and stretch your usual horizons.

Jan.07 – Sun conjunct Pluto (17:09 of Capricorn)  (Jan.06 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST)

Your sense of purpose is potentially very strong right now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so great in situations requiring delicacy, subtlety or diplomacy. You have increased ability to see below the surface of things, although it may not be as easy to articulate it in a way that is received comfortably by others. What you pick up from others can also become mixed up with your own personal issues, making it hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. Paranoia and suspicion can be strong. It is possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours and others'), but it is important to be prudent in how you respond to this awareness. You have the ability to wound as well as heal right now, so probe into the depths (yours and others') as you would into an egg shell that you don't want to break – gently, mindfully and respectfully.

Jan.07 – Venus conjunct South Lunar Node (04:29 of Pisces)  (Jan.08 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This is a good time to let go of the "things" you don't need anymore. It's a time to release your creativity and transform them into new resources and assets. This could mean cleaning out your closets and selling the discards in a yard sale, for example. You might decide to change your hair style or something else about your appearance. Perhaps you discover that you're making a different impression on people than you intended, and this leads to a revision of your social skills. Or you could get feedback from someone close to you that challenges you to change your self-image. Something (or someone) that has been prominent in your life – in relationships, pleasure, partnerships, finances, possessions, beauty or appearance – is ready to be let go. You might need to say good-bye to someone you've been close to because the relationship isn't working anymore – or you might find you're able to let go of feelings that have been blocked and give yourself to a connection with someone. You might simply assimilate it into the background where it is no longer "front and centre," or you might need to cut ties altogether. Or, you could be ready to express something that has been brewing for a while, like creative self-expression or giving someone feedback. "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" (as your grandmother used to say), but be on the lookout for something that is ready to subside from your priority list.

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Jan.08 – Mercury Stationary Direct (28:50 of Sagittarius; next retrograde is Apr.09)  (Jan.07 in HAST)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Mercury finally turns direct! Yippeeee!!!! ;-) But we're not out of the woods just yet. For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or simply changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde for the last 3 to 3½ weeks, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. This period has challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again.

Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow, your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge you've gained from your retrograde "dreams" and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time.

The key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Jan.10 – Sun square Uranus (20:37 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Jan.11 in AU)

Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become too habitual, stuck or inhibited. The "radical rascal" in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which on one hand might be necessary but also very disruptive and possibly even destructive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat unsettled right now, but a space is likely being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time – but it could create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim instead to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don't work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and then surf the shock-wave.

Jan.11 – Mars sextile Pluto (17:17 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Jan.10 in HAST, AKST, PST)

This can be a time of intense and powerful energy. It can be especially so if you focus your intention to tap into and use this energy deliberately, although if you are triggered into a reaction you might find it is more forceful than you intended. This can be a good time to make changes that have far-reaching, transformative effects. Your powers of persuasion can be stronger now, so be careful you don't try to force things to the point of making something happen that perhaps should be left alone or treated with a gentler touch. Sex and other passionate urges may rise more easily now, although obsession and the need to control your surroundings might come up with them. This transit is perhaps best used to refresh your sense of passion and transform your sense of purpose and direction.

Jan.11 – Sun sextile Chiron (21:26 of Capricorn/Pisces)

This is a time when you have an opportunity to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life. You may find new inspiration, motivation or confidence that can help rejuvenate waning enthusiasm or reconcile persistent problems, although you'll still have to apply effort to bring it all together. You might get the chance to demonstrate your ability to walk your own path in a new way. Or, you might get a peek inside the hidden shadow of your worries and discouragement, giving you new insight into how you might be unconsciously sabotaging your conscious efforts. You may have to face a bit of your own fear of failure or low self-esteem before you can get beyond these feelings and tap into the benefits of this transit – not because you are failing but because these concerns may arise in response to the new potential now available to you. By tapping into this potential for creative problem solving, you can bring some healing to whatever your situation is.

Jan.11 – Sun square Jupiter (22:09 of Capricorn/Libra)  (Jan.12 in AST, NST, UK, AU)

You may be inspired to expand far beyond your usual boundaries during this time, although this may or may not work in the way you hope it will. It can be a time of challenge, when you decide that now is the time to move beyond your current horizons and make the ultimate push for something you believe will bring you happiness, fulfilment and prosperity. How successful you are will probably depend on how prepared you are for what comes next. Your judgment and your ability to see things objectively and realistically can be a little "off" during this transit, since your hopes and ideals might distort what is actually possible. It can be easy to overestimate the envisioned results, or you might underestimate the amount of work necessary to sustain your dream and prevent it from being just a flash in the pan. Try to avoid being overconfident and making promises you can't keep (including to yourself).

Next Update:  FULL MOON in CANCER. Available by January 12, 2017.

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© 2016 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Artwork for Capricorn by StockShoppe, and image of pocketwatch works by taden, and birds silhouetted by stained glass by AnsonLu, all via CanStockPhoto.com. Image of Star Trek Borg cube spaceship; source unknown; fair use.


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