DIGGING DEEP: JANUARY 2021 NEW MOON

New Moon in Capricorn

13 January 2021, 05h00 GMT

Digging deep to find our core inner strength, emotional fortitude and economic resilience, along with the need to accept limitations and work within the boundaries of restrictions imposed upon us from outside circumstances – these are some of the main themes highlighted by the Capricorn New Moon. The Sabian symbol also points to a need to go within – to take a much-needed retreat from the hurly burly and distractions of the world in order to regain our centre and find solutions to pressing problems.

The Big Squeeze

Indeed, thanks to a Pluto conjunction, this particular New Moon favours major internal shifts and soul evolution, possibly precipitated by a healing crisis of some kind. Given the sign and planets involved, I suspect that this could revolve around one of two key themes: survival issues such as personal finances/safety or else the need to really do some mental decluttering and psychological catharsis around an issue that may have had you stuck for quite a long time.

Tension between freedom and protection

With Mars making a challenging square to Saturn on the same day, it’s highly likely that over the next two weeks, events may occur that serve to heighten our frustration levels, such as unforeseen delays or obstacles to progress or free movement. The result: economic volatility, political unrest, major standoffs between the old and new guards, individual battles of will or economic stalemates. The best way to deal with this not to resist or try to push back but instead to strategically withdraw and consolidate your position until circumstances improve. otherwise you stand to increase your levels of frustration, create unnecessary trouble or strife for yourself and potentially, lose what you already have.

Initially, this may involve withdrawing or going within in order to take a good long look at the situation – advice epitomised in the Sabian symbol for this particular lunar phase, which talks about a woman choosing to retreat from the world and enter the seclusion of a convent (more details below). Truth and honesty is another important pre-requisite: the more we are able to confront the reality of where we find ourselves and take responsibility for our role/part whatever has transpired – whether it is learning to say no or having higher standards – the healthier we are likely to be for it long-term.

Unexpected Creative Breaks or Romantic Developments

Relationship-wise, this two week period may well coincide with some unexpectedly favourable – even lucky – developments. Mars will be moving to join the Venus-Uranus earth trine currently in play, which could signal positive changes in financial circumstances or love situations that will ultimately be for the best. However, these are likely to emerge from messy, sometimes even difficult events, such as a break-up/divorce. Uranus is, of course, the big disruptor, and Mars is the planet of courage and taking the initiative, so if you’ve been stalling over a major life change or taking a leap of faith, events may now force your hand. Add Pluto into the mix, and it’s fair to say that we really are being asked to face up to the truth about what needs to change in our lives, as well as what may be standing in the way of our future success and happiness.

SIGN

The Moon will be detrimented in Capricorn, it’s stoical and tough energy running somewhat antithetical to the innate desire we all have to be protected and taken care of – symbolised in astrology by Moon-ruled Cancer, which on a psychological level, can represent our inner child. By contrast, Saturn-ruled Capricorn is very much about ‘adulting’ – developing qualities of resourcefulness and resilience.

Not only does this involve learning to delay gratification but also to become more emotionally self-reliant, especially in difficult times, knowing that we are not the only people who may be suffering right now. The Chinese epitomise this in Hexagram 60, which is all about self-restraint: being able to maintain progress by accepting, rather than resisting, limitations. The English developed another phrase for it during WWII: “Keep calm and carry on”. And that really is the best way to navigate the next two weeks emotionally: to take the long view and realise that, however uncomfortable the present may be, it too shall pass.

The nugget in all of this is that we may discover just how strong, resilient and resourceful we can be when the chips are down and times are tough. Truths that will serve us well as we move forward in life and circumstances improve because we will have grown in confidence, having mastered our subconscious fears and emotional neediness to such an extent that neither can cripple us psychologically or control our behaviour anymore. In other words, we have an opportunity to transcend fear (=False Evidence Appearing Real) and lack as our baseline frequencies, should we choose to take up the challenge.

Below is a table of signs designed to help you identify which area of life may need a bit of an overhaul right now. Choose your Ascendant and Rising Sign – this is most likely to give you an accurate indication of where the New Moon is likely to make itself felt.

ZODIACAL ‘FACE’ – FORTITUDE

Instead of the usual three groups of 10 degrees we usually associate with the decans, which have their origin in the Egyptian timekeeping system of helicacal rising, James Burgess divides each sign into six groups of 5 degrees, which he sees as cumulatively describing or outlining the process of learning and embodying the wisdom and qualities embedded in each zodiac sign. Burgess’ approach is very in keeping with the spirit of theosophist, Alan Leo’s interpretation of the term’face’ in astrology, which he saw as being ‘one of a series of 5° subdivisions of a sign’, rather like the five-minute intervals we have on the face of a clock – divisions that might better be described as ‘demi-decans’. I rather like this approach, so thought I would start including it in my lunar phase forecasts. Along with the Sabian symbol, which sheds light on each zodiacal degree, I think it offers us a reliable way to get more and more specific about the ‘quality of time’ – the energies and messages of each individual lunar month – which I think is far more useful than a general sign overview that repeats every year.

The face of the Capricorn New Moon is that of fortitude, which leads on to mastery. Burgess explains:

CAPRICORN 21 – 25

The recognition of personal worth tends to be evaluated by most people in society’s terms, with things and awards that are hard to come by – especially by Capricorn, for which it is very important to be seen as fit for purpose; it works with grit and endurance to serve the community conscientiously. Slavish obedience to this principle would diminish joy and self-realization, yet when carried out with full awareness, can in fact optimize the attainment of personal potential. To serve a powerful master – and society is exactly that – we have to learn to keep on our toes all the time. While we are behaving as obedient servants, it requires great awareness to hold on to our own agenda and perceptions. Carlos Castaneda speaks of the petty tyrant – and teaches that the truly committed spiritual disciple must learn how to survive within the most starkly oppressive environments. Most mystery teachings have the same idea – we take on very difficult challenges as a voluntary practice in order to put aside fears and to grow in stature. With such a perspective, and consistent fortitude, even apparent defeats are useful as lessons and there is nothing in life that can keep us down.

James Burgess, 360 Degrees of Wisdom

I really couldn’t have said it better myself! Given that Pluto in Capricorn will making a conjunction to the luminaries at this New Moon, I suspect that we may begin to really see the so-far hidden consequences and knock-on effects of what transpired during 2020 and how these may personally affect us or those closest to us. But rather than become myopic and self-pitying, the challenge is to maintain our perspective – see what occurs within the context of the big picture – and from there, use this as a a catalyst for growth and self-empowerment: another initiatic test, rather than a personal trial or punishment.

DEGREE – SABIAN SYMBOL

With its central image of the nun, we are faced with two archetypes – firstly, the mysterious and highly spiritual energy of the High Priestess, the female equivalent of the Hierophant/Magician who is devoted to her spiritual development and listens to her inner sources of guidance and wisdom; and secondly, the maiden/crone – a chaste and self-contained energy that stands in stark contrast to the wife/mother figure of the Empress, with all her associated warmth and fecundity. This is someone who has forgone the luxury, pleasures and comforts of earthly life (all very Venusian) – in other words, worldy desires, including sex – in order to devote herself to a cause greater than herself.

As James Burgess points out, very often the monk or nun becomes a hermit and retreats from the world because it can be both enormously tempting but also distracting.

When a person enters any secluded environment it is in order to place firmer limits upon their exposure to sensory stimuli. A convent is designed for such a purpose because the mind often becomes less troubled when in prison cells or prayer cells.

360 Degrees of Wisdom, James Burgess

The same is true of problems – in order to resolve them, we often need to close ourselves in our office, away from the noise and hubub, or switch off our phones/the TV etc in order to think uninterrupted. Or in messy relationships, sometimes the only way to know how we truly feel about someone is to stop being intimate or familiar with them for a while so that we are not clouded by our desires or emotions. This healthy distance can help us to identify toxic patterns or manipulative/abusive/controlling behaviour, all of which can be difficult to identify close up.

Whatever form the catalyst takes, the lesson or opportunity remains the same: a chance to connect and tap into, the solid core of wisdom and peace we all have within us. This is the individual equivalent of the cosmic ‘zero point’ – the fertile void, as symblised by the iris of the eye or the black hole at the centre of every galaxy, that I talked about in my video for the December 2020 Sagittarius Solar Eclipse.

Digging Deep & Greater Self-Honesty

Going within now is therefore not considered to be an escape, but rather, a natural response to an alchemical process that is about to begin (this is a new moon, after all). One that collectively promises to lead us to greater realisation and ultimately, personal empowerment – a journey out of victimhood towards true sovereignty.

However, it often requires a commitment to being more honest – and perhaps more strict with yourself in terms of your standards, behaviour or moral code. In Sufism, this is embodied in a discipline known as ‘muhasaba’, which can be translated as ‘self-reckoning’ or even ‘accountability.’ In a nutshell, this is about self-examination – the practice of holding yourself to account for where you have gone wrong and where might have done better.Although this may involve a certain amount of ego annihilation, what emerges from this process is a stripping away of the false self and ultimately, a greater connection to our true nature: the Higher Self or Beloved, as it is known in Sufi philosophy. To quote one Sufi poem:

Love is that you remain standing
In front of your Beloved.
When you are deprived of all your attributes,
Then His attributes become your qualities.
Between me and You, there is only me.
Take away the me, so only You remain.

KEY ASPECTS

Contacts with the Luminaries

Sun and Moon conjunct Pluto

Indeed, thanks to a Pluto conjunction, this particular New Moon favours major internal shifts and soul evolution, possibly precipitated by a healing crisis of some kind. Given the sign and planets involved, I suspect that this could revolve around one of two key themes: survival issues such as personal finances/safety or else the need to really do some mental decluttering and psychological catharsis around an issue that may have had you stuck for quite a long time.

At base, though, both are likely to stem from the same need or desire: to become more independent, empowered and self-sufficient – qualities needed to navigate difficult times, such as those many people have been facing directly or indirectly, as a result of the global pandemic, which began at around this time last year during the first Saturn-Pluto conjunction on 12 January 2020 at 22 degrees Capricorn (a very lunar number).

Of course, whenever Pluto is involved, we may also be talking about control issues – both, the desire to resist any form of perceived domination by external authorities (exacerbated by a series of impending squares between Saturn and Uranus) and the need to release ourselves from energetic blocks – areas in our sub-conscious or energetic fields where have we become so rigid, possibly out of fear or trauma, that things can no longer flow smoothly. Equally, the desire to be free from domination or the manipulative hold of another person may also be strong. If necessary calling out the underhanded or manipulative behaviour of others will also help you to come into a place of greater personal power and psychological congruence.

This new moon aspect favors transformations and soul evolution. Initially, this will involve withdrawing and taking a good look at the situation. The re-birthing process will lead to greater self-esteem. It is also an excellent time to do some physical healing or home repairs – with Pluto involved, any form of catharsis, elimination or decluttering is well-favoured (including impeaching bad presidents!)

Other Aspects

Mars conjunct Uranus (STAT) square Saturn

With Mars making a challenging square to Saturn on the same day, it’s highly likely that over the next two weeks, events may occur that serve to heighten our frustration levels, such as unforeseen delays or obstacles to progress or free movement. Indeed, unpleasant curveballs and added uncertainty are a distinct possibility, care of Uranus, which stations on the 14th.

The planet of shocks and surprises will be within orb of a conjunction to acquisitive and willful Mars – and therefore also approaching a square to that stellium of planets occupying idealistic Aquarius, including Saturn. The result: economic volatility, political unrest, major standoffs between the old and new guards, individual battles of will or economic stalemates.

Together with the New Moon’s conjunction to intense and dramatic Pluto, I suspect that some of us (the US included) may be headed for the perfect storm: some sort of personal (or social) emergency that calls on us to tap into our inner reserves of resilience and survival. When we get down to brass tacks, this is about survival – our biological drive to stay alive, sometimes at all costs – and of course, nothing tests our mettle or shows us what we are truly made of quite like a life and death-type situation or crisis, of the sorts we have encountered fairly regularly during Saturn-Pluto-ruled 2020.

Venus trine Uranus & Mars

On the love and creative front, things look a lot rosier. This two week period may well coincide with some unexpectedly favourable – even lucky – developments, some of which may emerge out of difficult, messy or unforeseen circumstances. Any changes to your situation – which could include sudden endings or radical departures – will ultimately be for the best. An unexpected new romance is possible. Creative projects that you thought were dead in the water may suddenly be revived as a result of taking things in a completely new direction. There is also the chance of an unexpected promotion, payout or financial windfall.