Laying Down Solid Stepping Stones
New Moon in Capricorn argues with the Lunar Nodes: where to go from here? Pluto goes back in Aquarius, Jupiter will conjoin Uranus in April. A gazillion cooperative trine and sextile aspects guide you into the New Year and beyond. Welcome to 2024!
NEW MOON in CAPRICORN
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Jan. 11, 2024, 6:57 AM EST
Jan. 11, 2024, 11:57 AM GMT
Jan. 11, 2024, 10:57 PM AEDT
You can't be a good mountain goat if you're afraid of heights! It's the same in one's life, so fear often prevents you from becoming something good!
~ Mehmet Murat ildan
New Moon in Capricorn
Happy New Year! The first New Moon of 2024 initializes the lunar cycle unfolding over the next 4 weeks. Located in Capricorn, this cycle's theme is about planning, building and getting things done. It's about preparing for what comes next in terms of what you need to succeed in whatever your goal is. It's also about getting yourself into a headspace of commitment to that goal, and dealing with any resistance to making it happen.
Thankfully, this is a great New Moon chart to do it under! Trine and sextile aspects abound (120° and 60°), making it easier to map your course, gather the resources you need, and get moving. There is also a Stellium in Capricorn: Mars, Sun, Moon and Pluto, so Capricorn's resources are well-stocked with motivation, energy, focus and passion. Mars is strong, being Exalted in this sign, and Pluto is at 29:41 Capricorn and taking a deep breath in that sign before crossing into Aquarius on Jan. 20.
With so much potent energy in Capricorn, you may (be expected to?) have the means, energy, time and dedication to make it happen, whatever your "it" is.
Mercury and the Big Picture
The New Moon chart has no planets in Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius), so Mercury does double duty as the Air ambassador. However, Mercury has his own problems – located in Sagittarius, he is in Detriment and therefore struggles to boil down the Big Picture into a more manageable size.
Mercury is still in a separating square aspect to Neptune, a very Big Picture energy. And Mercury is exactly conjunct the Galactic Centre (27:10 Sagittarius), another Big Picture influence. As a result, your thoughts, ideas, awareness and perceptions may find it a bit overwhelming to find the right words to describe it all.
On the other hand, there is much to see and grasp in our lives now, both in terms of understanding the difficult stuff and welcoming the array of possibilities that lie ahead. This can come in very handy if you're looking to draw up a list of New Year's resolutions or in setting your sights on what you hope to accomplish in 2024.
Saturn – Dreaming in Structures
The planetary ruler of Capricorn, Saturn is in Pisces. This placement aims to take Saturn's manifesting agenda and apply it in a way that is transcendent, visionary and perfect on the cosmic-o-meter. Cosmic-level stuff is a bit rare in the "real world" unless you're well-practiced in knowing where and how to look for it.
So initially, it may feel like clarity in terms of what you're aiming for and how you plan to get there may be somewhat elusive or blurry. It's important to keep trying and learning from what doesn't work. The key is to let go of the idea that you can accurately translate an inspired vision of perfection into the here-and-now, fallible world. But keep trying anyway!
Saturn is about structure – organizing and laying out the steps of what you're building toward, but in Pisces it's not likely to work if you try to force everything into place consciously, deliberately and rigidly. Instead, this is a more "organic" kind of structure. It's not about creating perfect, consistent precision by following a rule book. Instead, it's more about adjusting and adapting your plans, trajectory, means and actions according to the needs of the moment.
That rule book is best used more as a set of guidelines that let you know when you've wandered too far astray of the rules or standards. Mercury would probably say, "Think globally, act locally," or "When you aim for the stars, but only land on the Moon, It's still an impressive and essential step in the process."
The Sun and Moon are in a stressful semisquare aspect to Saturn, Capricorn's ruler. Saturn's job is to support any planets in Capricorn, but a strained relationship between them can feel more like "tough love" than the nurturing kind. This may be like a kick upside the backside to get/keep you moving, or a reminder that when the planet authority is in dreamy Pisces, it helps to do the Capricorn thing (discipline, responsibility, achievement) mindfully, intuitively, openly and with love.
On the other hand, the New Moon is also trine Uranus in Taurus. Although Uranus is often disruptive and changeable, Taurus prefers structure and stability, so how can these two get along? We've had 5+ years to find out, since Uranus made the ingress into Taurus in 2018/19, and will soon burst into Gemini in 2025/26.
On one hand, Uranus in Taurus has been like an ongoing earthquake, where the stable structures of civilization that we tend to take for granted have been shaken up. All bets are off, as boundaries have been pushed and breached across the board: legally, socially, philosophically, collectively and individually.
Although Uranus doesn't usually suffer moderation gladly, the best approach to change may involve picking and choosing what can be safely altered without collapsing the whole structure. For example, when renovating an existing building, you need to make sure the "load-bearing columns" remain in place, while other parts of the structure can be altered more easily. Similarly, the New Moon being in a supportive trine with Uranus presents an opportunity to plan for change that is effective without risking irrevocable damage.
The Wobbly Moon
The Sun is exactly square the Moon's Nodes, which means we may observe what might be described in today's world as "a disturbance in The Force." 20th century astrologer and researcher Carl Payne Toby identified this phenomenon and playfully dubbed it "Moon Wobbles" (not to be confused with the astronomical Moon Wobble). It's a bit of a dubious term since it doesn't necessarily involve the Moon at all, other than her Nodes. This is only about the Sun's aspects to the Lunar Nodes.
"When the Sun is conjunct or square the lunar nodes there is human instability. People are excitable. They are more easily confused. Their reactions are emotional rather than intellectual. Something must be done about something." (Carl Payne Toby)
The Sun-Moon conjunction is exactly square the Lunar Nodes. This New Moon presents a challenge to not only plan your destination and map out your path from here to there, but to actually take steps to start the process. This goal might arise due to a problem that presents itself, requiring a solution that will work in the long run, not just a band-aid quick fix.
Since Chiron is applying to a conjunction with the North Node (exact Feb. 19), the New Moon is also square Chiron. Therefore, part of the challenge of the Nodes may be a need to address issues of physical health or spiritual courage, as well as emotional strength, or your mental outlook. The New Moon being in Capricorn, this challenge of the Nodes and Chiron could involve a struggle around authority – either dealing with one or being one, or simply your reactions to government authority, policies and actions.
Mars in His Element
Although Saturn is at odds with the New Moon in his sign, Saturn has an easier sextile relationship with Mars who is also in Capricorn until Feb. 13. Mars is a potent force when in Capricorn – a productive, determined workhorse energy, and can be a bit of a workaholic. Mars is also the Oriental Planet in the chart (the planet following the Sun in a clockwise direction), making him the leading energy for the New Moon.
These qualities distinguish Mars as a VIP (Very Important Planet) and a powerful ally during this lunar cycle. If you get bogged down with an overflowing to-do list, or stumbling as you try to step agilely through a minefield of expectations, call on Mars to help you. He'll advise you to stick to the plan and take one step at a time, or if needed, to change those plans carefully by balancing action with caution.
Mars is sesquiquadrate Uranus (135° or "a square and a half"). On their own, this can bring the urge for sudden, abrupt or premature change and reactions, although this might also be beneficial to keep you from getting too stuck or cautious. At worst, this energy could destabilize and slow down the progress you're trying to make, since you may need to keep stopping to correct the overcorrections.
However, Mars is exactly trine to Jupiter, which can boost your self-confidence and your ability to survey the Big Picture and take action with a greater context in mind. This is especially helpful when you're aiming to bring about changes for justice, morality, or based on a higher vision of possibilities. Just be careful not to slip into workaholic mode and get stuck there. Also, it helps to avoid becoming dogmatic about what you see as the higher vision, since this will be a bit different for everyone.
Mars trine Jupiter, with Saturn sextile both, forms what I call a Mini-Trine aspect pattern. These three planets come together in ways that can further ambition and success. Whatever you're aiming for over the coming months, this is a good time to get your act together and get moving in that direction. This figure is in orb from Jan. 2 to 18, peaking at closest orb on Jan. 11-12, at the New Moon.
There's lots of activity from the declination perspective as well. The Moon is Out of Bounds (circled in black). The Moon is in Detriment in Capricorn, which at its worst can lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness or discouragement. When the Moon is Out of Bounds (OOB), there may be a similar effect since you may need to take a step back from being in close connection with others, and each can amplify the other.
So, if you find you're feeling a come-down after all the holiday festivities, this might be made a bit heavier by the Moon's placements. On the other hand, these qualities can be useful if you need to stay focused on getting something done, since sometimes light-hearted interactions with others can be distracting.
Mars is also OOB (circled in black) from Dec. 20 to Jan. 23, making him a key player in the chart in more ways than one. While Mars is OOB, we may see a rise in aggression, hostility, anger or violence, but on the other hand sometimes it can go the other way and settle into a lull for a while.
Since Mars is our physical, emotional and mental energy, your personal energy levels might have become amplified or taken a dive. I've heard a lot of people report low energy over the last several weeks, and certainly in the Northern Hemisphere while we're in "the Dark of the Year," this is not unusual. Once Mars comes In-Bounds on Jan. 23, your energy might return to "normal" (whatever that is). On the other hand, if Mars OOB has calmed your energy down to a more manageable level, or if it has been boosted your energy into being more productive, it's possible you might find you can continue this for a while.
There is also a tight parallel between the Sun, Mercury and Venus (circled in red), which connects those energies even though they have no major aspects between them. This can make it easier to find words to express your intentions, your ambitions and your goals, as well as finding others who could help you gather resources to make these happen.
And lastly, Jupiter and Saturn (circled in green) have been hovering in contraparallel, during May 2023 and from October 2023 to January 2024. They officially leave their 1-degree orb the day after the New Moon. During these times we have seen battles in the collective over legalities, laws, authority and ethics. In your personal life, you may have experienced tension between what you long to do and what you must do, and between what you aspire to versus what is necessary to achieve that.
Sabian Symbol for Capricorn 21: A relay race.
A relay race has a team of runners, each running a segment of the race while carrying a baton that is passed from one runner to the next. It is the epitome of organized cooperation and efficiency. As with a relay race, this applies to any project or goal. Whether the "runners" are people you turn to for help and support, or are steps in the overall process from start to the finish line, a long-term or complex ambition is best done in segments, where the results of one are passed to the next. If the baton gets dropped between phases or people, it can be corrected but your chance of winning any competitive advantage is slim.
That said, there may be other ways to "win the race." In business, there's a saying that something can be cheap, fast or good, but only two at a time. So if you're losing the "fast" race, you might try getting back in the running by outdoing the competition by doing it better or cheaper. In other words, if you feel like you're falling behind, try making up for it in other ways. The key is coordinated cooperation.
Even goats may have starlight in their eyes.
~ Robert Service
Pluto in Aquarius
A couple of quick afterthoughts which are hardly afterthoughts! One is that Pluto is poised to step again into Aquarius on January 20th. This is mid-way through the transition Pluto is making from Capricorn into Aquarius. March 23, 2023, Pluto entered Aquarius until he retrograded back into Capricorn on June 11. Now he moves again into Aquarius from January 20, 2024 to September 1st. His final entrance into Aquarius is made November 19, 2024, where he stays until January 2044.
The Capricorn New Moon may be seen as a time when we can lay the groundwork that gives us a sturdy foundation to launch from traditionally structured Capricorn into future-oriented Aquarius. When you step into something new, it's best to have a sure-footed platform to push off from; a stable stepping stone in your path across the river. So, this lunar cycle is a good time to consider where you want to go once we're established in Aquarius. This temporary stay in that sign is an opportunity to think about what direction you want to go once we're fully situated in Aquarius next year and going forward.
Jupiter conjunct Uranus
These two don't become exact until April 20, at 21:49 of Taurus. There will be a lot more to say about this in the coming months. They already came within waving distance back in August-September 2023, although pretty wide at a 07:28 orb. This year, they sparkle together within 8° for 3 "fun-filled" months, from March 2 to June 5.
This is an impressive combination of energies! People born under this conjunction often have brilliant or far-reaching ideas, based on generating a mental map of the Big Picture and seeing the possibilities therein. At its best, this pair can usher in a time of prosperity, innovation and exciting technology: 1927-28 when talking movies debuted, new car models were built, and use of mass media expanded.
However, it can also amplify Uranus' rebellious and disruptive side, combining it with Jupiter's tendency toward hubris. Major wars were fought during or shortly after this alignment in the 20th century: World War I (2014), World War II (1941, in Taurus), the Korean War (1954-55), and 1968-69 was filled with protests against the Vietnam war, as well as intergenerational conflicts throughout Western cultures.
The point here is that this year under the current Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, we have a chance, personally and collectively, to listen to the rumblings under the surface that cry out for change, for innovation, for renovation, and for breaking free. We will need to make decisions about what kind of changes we want to see over the next 13 years and the best way to set off in that direction.
The next update will be for the Full Moon in Leo on January 25, 2024. In the meantime, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you! ❤️
I want to go about like the light-footed goats.
~ Johanna Spyri, Heidi
© 2024-01-10 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of Stepping Stones by soej24 via Pixabay.com. Sabian symbol image of "Runners in a relay race, Brisbane, 1939 Val Weaver and Vera Askew passing the baton in a relay race, 1939," photographer unknown, via WikiCommons.