The rising Sun on the first day of the New Year 2014 brings an opportunity to start anew. The movement from one year to the next is a ritual moment in time that acts as the resetting of a speedometer, clearing out the old and beginning something with a fresh start. Like any birth or ritual moment we can look at the astrological chart and see what possibilities and challenges it holds.
This year we begin the New Year with a New Moon, an auspicious indicator that emphasizes the fresh beginnings that are possible for us, individually and collectively. As you look to the Sun as it dawns in 2014, what you won’t see are the other planets that accompany the Sun. But in looking at the astrological chart you can spot the Moon, Sun, Pluto, Mercury and Venus aligned in Capricorn. These five planets are in a grand-cross (sometimes called a grand square) with Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, and Mars in Libra. This is a very powerful combination of energies that signifies the birth of a powerful and productive year. You can see these energetic planetary connections in the center of the astrological chart. The grand-cross is indicated with red lines making a tension-filled square with lines in the middle of the square creating a cross. The blue lines indicate harmonious energies between the planets. You can see that both tension and harmony are combined in this chart.
These five planets put the emphasis on Capricorn, an earth energy that calls for a tangible manifestation that is visible for all to see. This is not a hidden quiet energy, but solid and strong, like a mountain erupting. Something will change substantially in the physical world, both your personal world and the collective global society of which we are a part. And due to the conjunction to Pluto, that change will be transformative and take place from the deepest level of our psyche, since the Moon is also involved. It is a change that is essential, but with Capricorn’s influence, this change will take a lot of focus, dedication and hard work. Mercury in Capricorn brings an intelligence and the need for clear communication to all endeavors. Venus in Capricorn adds compassion and a reminder to foster relationships that are meaningful. There is a call in 2014 to develop evolutionary partnerships so you can build a solid network that can support your personal endeavors and the changes our world needs so desperately. It is time to acknowledge your inner authority and join it to your outer determination to do something that really matters.
This is not a year where things will be given for free and life will flow from a gentle stream. This is a year demanding action. This is clearly seen in the square to Capricorn by Uranus in Aries and by Mars in Libra. Both Mars and Uranus are planets of action. The Uranus/Pluto square has been mentioned repeatedly as a potent, even revolutionary, drive that can be chaotic, since Uranus tends towards chaos, especially when in the sign of Aries. Mars, which rules Uranus, lies opposite and could indicate increased violence and chaos. But there is also the potential that the energy stirred up by the Uranus/Pluto square can to be channeled into fair and balanced (Libra) actions (Mars).
Jupiter in Cancer is also part of this grand-cross and reminds us that love and caring can be found in abundance in all that we do. Keep your attention on what is really important and instead of focusing on the problems evident in life, build on the possibilities. Neptune and Chiron in Pisces continue to bring a gentle healing energy to our inner wounds and remind us that even though this is a year of physical manifestation, that physical form is always imbued and animated by spirit. The North Node in Scorpio sextiles the planets in Capricorn and repeats the theme for 2014 of using our basic values as the foundation for transforming our material world.
This Full Moon in Cancer, Dec. 28, 2012, stands in the sky opposite the Sun in Capricorn, and as in every Full Moon, we seek to find the balance between them. The Moon in Cancer, a water sign, wants to take care of people through a gentle and compassionate heart that nurtures and loves. Capricorn, an earth sign, also likes to care for others, but does so through building structures that provide safety. But this is no ordinary Sun in Capricorn. This Sun has Pluto, God of the Underworld, standing near by and acting as the Sun’s bodyguard. Pluto brings a ruthless desire for control, determination to hold onto the past, and a relentless and uncompromising power that could easily daunt our more gentle Moon.
But you can see from this picture that the Moon is perfectly capable of holding her own, even in what looks like very difficult circumstances. And so are we. We need to learn from this Moon and realize that there is no greater power than love, and that we have no reason to be intimidated and controlled by fear. It is easy to see in this opposition the discussion of gun control that has begun after Connecticut. The NRA is taking an uncompromising stand and even suggesting that teachers begin to arm themselves, while others seek to find balance between the right to bear arms and the right to keep our children and society safe within our arms. In this Full Moon the balance occurs when we realize that the same quality that Pluto brings – desire, determination and power- can also be used in strengthening our own sense of compassion, fairness, and good will. There is nothing weak about the feminine qualities of the Moon and Cancer. The determined, constant flow of water can cut through even the most forbidding and uncompromising structures. Just look at the Grand Canyon for the truth of that statement. It is in our small everyday actions that this world will be transformed.
When the Moon’s feminine energy is combined with Capricorn’s discipline and drive for success, the result is a powerful, successful and disciplined female. The Greek goddess Athena immediately came to mind as a feminine archetype that knows her own worth and is not afraid to engage in the affairs of the world. Athena is known for her courage, maturity, and sense of responsibility. Born fully armed and seen carrying a shield, she is known as a warrior goddess who protects those loyal to her. Yet she does not like to fight. She prefers to use wisdom and strategy to settle conflicts and only goes to war when necessary. The city Athens is named after her, and her temple is the Parthenon which held her 40 foot tall statue. She gave the people of Athens the olive tree as a symbol of peace and prosperity. She oversees the basic necessities of life including agriculture, industry, and the arts and crafts, particularly weaving. The owl is her bird, symbol of vision and wisdom.
Certainly we can not aspire to be like the goddess Athena. But we can realize that women are just as smart, driven, strategic, wise, crafty, and protective as men. The marginalization of women is one of the great losses in our world’s history. But fortunately that is changing, and more women are stepping up to a larger and more powerful sense of themselves. We see women as world leaders, like Hillary Clinton the the U. S. and Angela Merkel in Germany. There is also the rise of powerful woman leaders in Africa, and in Afghanistan Fawzia Koofi, a mother of two girls, is running for President, in spite of threat by the Taliban. Her inspiring story can be read at CNN.com. And there are thousands of unknown women taking actions in their own communities by starting schools, businesses, and giving their time and energy to build a better world.
To Do: This Full Moon in Capricorn is a perfect time to feel the power that exists within you to be a bolder and more courageous version of yourself. The planet Pluto conjoins the Full Moon to bring an extra boost of fearlessness and tenacity. Take some time over the next few days and quiet your mind and still your heart. Use your imagination and get a picture of what you would be doing in the world if you had no fear of failure, ridicule, or risk. Imagine that you have the goddess Athena on your side and she is using her spear to forge your way and her shield to protect you. What would you do differently if you were your most powerful version of yourself? See yourself doing it, being it, acting it out. Practice in your mind the job interview for that position your thought was more than you could handle. See yourself add your name to the city council election, volunteer to build a new playground, teach gardening to the inner city children. If you could be the power, what would you look like and what would you do? The world needs all your positive actions, large and small.
The Moon is full in the sign of Cancer. This is an especially powerful place for the Moon since the Moon is more at home in Cancer than she is in any other zodiac sign. The Moon is feminine and represents the feminine energy in each of us. She is the Great Mother, the Divine Feminine, your Soul, Anima, your own mother, and the nurturing mothering part of you. The Moon rules the oceans and when she is in Cancer her emotional capability is limitless like the ocean. The ebb and flow of the tides are connected to the Moon and symbolize our changing passions. When the Moon is in Cancer it is as if the ocean is at high tide and overflowing; there is a fullness of love, compassion, and caring. There is no barrier to giving and receiving love. She stands bold and beautiful during this Full Moon in opposition to the Sun in Capricorn, the patriarchal power of acquisition and control. She acknowledges Capricorn’s need for structure and boundaries by providing containers – a bowl and cup – practical tools to share her gifts to the world.
For You: Meditate on this beautiful image of the Divine Feminine. Imagine the Moon as this goddess, so full of compassion and love that her cup runneth over. She holds in her hands an offering to the world, knowing that what she offers is just one part of her vast gifts. She looks down on all her children and shines her light equally on them, no matter where they live in this vast world, or their race, sex, religion, politics, or social status. We are all one under the Moon. The same Moon that you see tonight is the same Moon that children are seeing in Africa, and that the warriors are seeing in Iraq. Now imagine that you are this lovely goddess and that in your hands you hold a cup that is running over into a bowl that is seated on your lap. See yourself looking at the vast world, all the people, animals, birds, trees, the air and water. Feel your love and light illuminate it all. Know that you have a gift to give, and that it is only one part of who you are. See yourself overflowing with grace. Take a deep breath and acknowledge the gift you have for the world. See it clearly. Make a conscious choice to reach out and share it with love.
Most people think of the Winter Solstice, also known as the first day of Winter, as the shortest and darkest day of the year. This is because the Sun’s light has been decreasing since its peak six months ago at the Summer Solstice. But it is at this depth of darkness that the Sun is reborn, bringing with it an increase in light and illumination. This yearly cycle of the death and rebirth of the Sun has been celebrated for millennium, and represents the birth, death, and rebirth that marks the dance of life on earth.
The celebration of Christmas was linked to the Winter Solstice since Jesus represented the birth of the Son that promised to bring the Christ light on earth. And it was the Magi, Astrologers from Persia, who recognized the Star of Bethlehem as heralding the time, place, and importance of his birth. It may be dark and cold outside, but the Winter Solstice and Christmas point to the knowledge that the seeds of life are alive under the hard earth, ready to rise up when the days become warm again. Life, like the Sun, is never ending and always renewing. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is also around this same time. This year Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 20th and commemorates the re-dedication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Lighting the candles of the Menorah over the eight days of Hanukkah is a very special ceremony of remembering the light.
During this holy season remember your internal light, the light of the Son/Sun. Winter gives us many opportunities to remember the light within and to find a way to give it birth. Houses are illuminated with tiny lights during the dark winter nights. In our homes we build fires that bring warmth and comfort to the coldest part of the year. Every time you light a candle this winter, take a moment and remind yourself of the light within all life. This is a good reminder that no matter how dark it may look, that the light will come again.
NEW MOON December 24th
The Winter Solstice occurs when the Sun moves from the zodiac sign of Sagittarius into Capricorn. The Moon also moves into Capricorn on December 24th. When the Sun and Moon are together in the same sign, an event that occurs every month, it is known as the New Moon. The New Moon is a time of new beginnings. Since the New Moon takes place in Capricorn, a solid and practical earth sign, take some time on December 24th to think about what you want to bring forth in the area of real, practical, concrete actions. Consider what type of structure you need to create in your life to bring you success in some physical aspect of your life: exercise, job, healthy eating, cleaning your house, fixing up your home, changing your career, and so on.
NEW YEAR 2012
These questions are the perfect thing to ponder as you head into the New Year, one of my favorite rituals of new beginnings. This New Year Eve be a bit reflective and think about what the last year was like. What were your successes, challenges, accomplishments? Then on New Year’s Day, take some time to think about the upcoming year, 2012, and set some broad visions for what you want this new year to be. Then develop some concrete action steps to bring those visions to action.
In Mexico many Mayan cities are starting a year long celebration leading toward December 21st, 2012. They are seeing that date as a time of renewal, not an ending. Popular culture and the media have hijacked the end date on the Mayan calendar as a time to spread fear. But most Mayans and archeologist see that date as referring to the end of one age, and the beginning of another. Much like the end of the Age of Pisces and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Many Mayan priests will burn incense, chant, and offer prayers for the new era that will begin very soon. Imagine the world you want to see at this time next year. Think about what you want to be celebrating on December 21st, 2012. Keep a positive vision for the world and take practical actions to manifest that vision. Doom and gloom forecasts only create more doom and gloom. Resist the power of the dark side!! Bring the light into your heart and let the force be with you. Let this year of 2012 be the year that you step out fully and bring all your gifts, no matter how big or how small, into the world. We all need each other doing all we can in order to make this new era one of peace, justice, and unity. Just for starters, Egypt just had the largest women’s demonstration in their history as thousands of women marched through Cairo on Tuesday calling for an end to military rule. You go girls! Let’s all step up to the call like we never have before in order to bring a wise and caring feminine vision to the world so clearly in need of a new way.
Wednesday, January 19th. It is during the time of the Full Moon, when the Sun and Moon are at opposite points in the zodiac, that we have an opportunity to find balance between them. This month the Sun is in Capricorn and the Moon is in the opposite sign of Cancer.
This beautiful image called “Rooted in Reverence, Seated in Spirit” represents what I feel this Full Moon is all about. Cancer, a water sign, is the zodiac sign most aligned to the Moon, and in astrological terms, the Moon is said to “rule” the sign of Cancer. Both Moon and Cancer represent love, caring, nurturing, gentleness, and protection. Under this Cancer Moon our hearts can hold extra amounts of love and compassion, so much that we can feel our hearts breaking, exploding with deep care. Cancer acts as a container and holds within it our sense of family and home. We want the best for our families, friends, and communities. And it is with the people closest to us that we are able to relax, drop our guard, and allow ourselves to express our true feeling.
I think I resonate so fully with this image because it reminds me of the wounding and healing that our nation is going through right now after the tragedy in Tucson. The image brings together the loving feeling of Cancer with the hard reality of Capricorn. The mountains in the background remind me of the southwest desert, and the woman in the image is grounded, rooted deeply to the earth. Capricorn is an earth sign, practical, full of deep commitment. Tucson, like many of the communities where we all live and work, has long been building families, jobs, and political networks. Our communities come from years of hard work and responsibility, key words to describe the determined energy of Capricorn.
When something as terrible as this shooting occurs, it feels like our community is ripped apart, undone, destroyed. The emotional pain is great and our temptation is to run and hide, like a crab, and bury ourselves under the sand. But the practical, resilient strength of Capricorn is there to catch us, and brings real tangible support to the emotions of Cancer. By dropping our roots even deeper into our communities, by working even harder to support the things we care about, we can provide a foundation that is so strong that our hearts feels safe. And all those deep and confusing emotions become fused in love and become transformed, and like the Phoenix bird, lift up and spread our hopes and blessing on the world.
To do: This Full Moon is exact at 4:21 pm EST on Wednesday, January 19th. From Tuesday to Thursday, and beyond, sit in silence and visualize this image. See yourself as this woman, in the desert in Tucson. Feel yourself grounded to the earth. Feel the pain of your community, the pain of your nation. Allow your heart to open. Feel the safety of your emotions. Extend your chest out, and imagine that from your heart a transformational energy takes flight that carries your love forth to heal our nation. Imagine your energy dropping like gentle rain across our land, to nourish the earth that will soon give birth to new seeds of hope.
It’s time to seed something new in your life. The holidays are over, the new year has begun, and it is time to get serious. The New Moon is a point each month when the Sun and Moon are in the same zodiac sign, and the same degree. This month they join together at 13 degrees of Capricorn. The Sun represents the masculine energy, and the Moon represents the feminine energy. So when the Sun and Moon are right on top of each other, new seeds are planted. The expanded visions that you created for yourself during the Sagittarius month of December are now ready for your full attention and the hard work of Capricorn.
These Capricornian seeds are determined, forceful, ambitious, and contain the impetus you need to make your mark on the world. Capricorn always demands hard work, a nose to the grindstone type focus. This won’t be a social month like the Sagittarius whirlwind of December. This is a month of concentrated intent that will slow you down and bring your attention inward, where the seeds of your next project are taking root.
It is a rare event to have the Winter Solstice on the same day as a total Lunar Eclipse. NASA reports that in the last 2000 years, only one such combination occurred 372 years ago. The next one won’t be until Dec. 21, 2094. So this is a very special longest night and shortest day.
The Winter Solstice is a time of new beginnings. Most people think of the Winter Solstice as the longest night of the year, and that is true since the Sun’s light has been decreasing since its peak six months ago at the Summer Solstice. But it also means that the Winter Solstice is when the Sun is reborn, creating an increase in light again. This yearly cycle of the Sun has been celebrated for millennium, and represents the continual life, death, and rebirth that marks the dance of life on earth. Christmas, the birth of Jesus, became celebrated at this time, since he too represents the birth of the Son. It may be dark and cold outside, but the Winter Solstice points to the knowledge that the seeds of life are alive under the hard earth, ready to rise up when the day become warm again. Life, like the Sun, is never ending and always renewing.
The Winter Solstice is when the Sun moves out of Sagittarius and into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Capricorn is represented by the goat, that sturdy animal who makes its way to the top of the mountain one step at a time. For you: It is a time to take the dreams and visions of Sagittarius and bring them into the hard cold steps of reality. Take this time of winter to show not only belief in yourself, and patience in the workings of the Universe, but also actually start to plan and figure out the practical, logical steps you need to take to bring your greatest ideas to fruition. Capricorn reminds us that it is through hard work that the great ideas are brought to form.