Well, Whadaya Know?
Sagittarius is known for knowledge, education, idealism, philosophy and hope. The New Moon in Sagittarius asks you to challenge your assumptions, beliefs and knowledge by giving them a second look. The next few weeks are the perfect time to discover reasons to change your mind.
NEW MOON in SAGITTARIUS
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Dec. 12, 2023, 6:32 PM EST
Dec. 12, 2023, 11:32 PM GMT
Dec. 13, 2023, 10:32 AM AEDT
The thing to be known grows with the knowing.
~ Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain
Whatever you know or think you know or want to know, this is a time to question and challenge your own familiar knowledge, as well as other people's. Sagittarius is also associated with judgment or being judgmental. It's the season of hope and wonder, as well as disappointment and optimism burnout.
This lunar cycle (Dec. 12 to Jan. 11) is ripe for shifting points of view and trying on fresh perspectives. Mercury retrograde (Dec. 13 to Jan. 1) is a big part of this energy flow. There's also a very intense group of parallel planets at the Out-of-Bounds declination point, including the Sun, Mercury, Mars and Pluto, which bumps up the urge to find deeper meaning or justification for the craziness happening in the world right now.
The need to pierce the surface to find the a more profound truth that explains it is pervasive. And in the absence of satisfying answers, it's easy to slide into a judgmental or blaming position and just stop there instead of going further into the deeper layers.
Let's break down the key factors in the chart, and hope that a new way of understanding can emerge.
The New Moon in Sagittarius has a sesquiquadrate aspect to Jupiter, its ruling planet, which complicates things right off the bat. The sesquiquadrate (a.k.a. trioctile or sesquisquare: 135°) tends to generate irritation, disruption, or a conflict that's difficult to resolve. It's as if it finds the hidden point of the problem and jabs you with it.
For the New Moon to be in a conflicted aspect with its sign ruler means there can be a struggle with the more difficult side of that sign. In the case of Sagittarius and Jupiter, that might be overconfidence or judgmentalism. It could be about believing you have The One And Only answer... except perhaps you don't see that there's more to the situation, and therefore your conclusion is actually premature, one-sided, or based on incomplete information.
Another possibility is that others around you might be the ones with a narrow vision, or are unable to see beyond their own comfort zone. It's true that we often don't know what we don't know, so we might inadvertently appear a bit naïve or ill-informed. So, this difficult Jupiter aspect to the New Moon could create an atmosphere in which others don't believe you or are unable to see things through your eyes.
At best, this can prompt you to go on a journey of finding out more, expanding your understanding, or trying on other perspectives to see what the situation looks like from a different point of view.
The Sun and Moon are still in a wide, separating conjunction with Mars. The Sun and Mars have been travelling companions for a couple of months, remaining within an 8° orb from Oct. 22 to Dec. 15. (Small wonder that war has broken out in places like Israel and Palestine, and continuing between Russia and Ukraine.) The Mars-Sun conjunction has been with us through the Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn (Oct. 28), the New Moon in Scorpio (Nov. 13), the Full Moon in Gemini (Nov. 27), and now finally the New Moon in Sagittarius (Dec. 12).
The impetus of the Sun-Mars conjunction is fading now. This may or may not mean we'll return to somewhat more peaceful times, since this transit has stirred up some extremely volatile and long-standing hostilities which will be hard to revert to a calmer form.
Remember that astrology is neutral. It's not Jewish or Muslim; not Christian, Pagan or atheist. It's not conservative or liberal or progressive. It doesn't push us toward any particular kind of outcome. Astrology is a map. Like a weather forecast, it simply shows us a view of the prevailing energies and it's up to us to decide how we will set our sails.
Mars is not falling into a peaceful sleep anytime soon, however. Right now, there's a tight parallel by declination between Mars, Pluto, the Sun, and a bit of Mercury thrown in for good measure. This is quite a temperamental and sizzling combination!
Mars goes Out-of-Bounds from Dec. 20 to Jan. 23 (from 19:10 Sagittarius to 14:13 Capricorn in longitude). Since Pluto is hanging out in the upper atmosphere these days, he's like the Guardian at the Threshold, and any planet going Out-of-Bounds must pass by Pluto just before going OOB and just after coming In-Bounds.
This puts an extra spin on being Out-of-Bounds that warns those planets to take this journey seriously and meaningfully. In the case of Mars and Pluto, this could increase the intensity of the conflicts, battles, disagreements and competition happening around us. Their parallel is within a 1° orb from Dec. 6 to Jan. 1, reaching exact on Dec. 16, just days before Mars goes OOB on Dec. 20. When Mars returns from OOB on Jan. 23, he passes by Pluto again – exact on Jan. 30 and in orb from Jan. 14 to Feb. 8.
The Moon is also high Out-of-Bounds for this New Moon. You may need to stray from your usual point of view, so you can think through controversial topics in your own way, without distraction from the continual din of ranting opinions. Or, you might feel a bit alone with what you see as the truth, the one "true" perspective. It might not be easy to find others who see things the way you do. If so, use this time to clarify what your perspective actually is and why.
Mercury has been OOB since Nov. 15 and is about to come back In-B on Dec. 15, just 2 days after Mercury goes retrograde (Dec. 13). Mercury OOB and Mercury retrograde have very similar effects! So, if you've been looking around for the past month wondering why it feels like Mercury retrograde, now you know.
(That's a Donna-ism from the late great Donna Van Toen.) I would love to tell you that Mercury's shenanigans will be over and done with once he's safely In-Bounds, but alas I cannot. Mercury remains retrograde until Jan. 1, which should put an interesting spin on holiday celebrations. Expect unexpected trickster-ism when planning holiday celebrations (have a Plan-B ready or keep it loose), or navigating controversial conversation lubricated by holiday libations.
During this Rx cycle, Mercury makes 3 passes of these transits:
Conjunct Mars – Forceful communication that could be very persuasive. However, take care how you express anger, assertiveness or passionate ideas. Choose your words wisely, as well as the amount of intensity you put behind them. A little goes a long way.
Sextile Venus – Mercury and Venus can make social interaction and negotiation a little easier, smoother and more pleasant. This transit is especially strong around the Mercury retrograde station (Dec. 11-16, SR Dec. 13).
Sextile Saturn – Good for reasoning and logic, as well as planning and mapping out how to put your ideas into action.
Trine Jupiter – Can amplify thoughts of hope, happiness, confidence, and your powers of persuasion. Let yourself be swept up in the holiday spirit, no matter what you do or don't celebrate at this time of year.
For more information, follow Mercury's retrograde cycle and other day-to-day transits in What Are Those Planets UpToNow?
Sabian Symbol for Sagittarius 21: A child and a dog with/wearing borrowed eyeglasses.
This Sabian Symbol is one of the stranger ones. My first question was: who's wearing the glasses? The child or the dog? Or maybe both? In any case, glasses are used to improve vision, to see things more clearly, and to allow your perspective to change (e.g. near vs far). Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) points out how glasses alone can give the impression of being knowledgeable and smart. Blain Bovee (The Sabian Symbols & Astrological Analysis) focuses in on the playful side of this silly image of a dog wearing glasses.
In this case, we're encouraged to try on different ways of seeing and seeing something new in what is already familiar. To do that, we may have to "borrow" the point of view from someone else through imitation of them. It can be playful and silly but also illuminating, as you have a chance to see something you missed before.
We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them.
~ John Irving, Trying to Save Piggy Sneed
Seriously: what do you know?
How do you know that you know? Are you sure? What happens when a contradictory event or experience comes along? Which mental database do you file it in?
Right now, opinions, perspectives and conclusions may be a bit wobbly. With the majority of planets in Mutable signs (specifically Sagittarius and Pisces), how you see things may be easily changed or challenged, and is apt to be guided by intuition and a quest for Ultimate Truth, rather than simple curiosity or interest.
What amplifies this larger-than-life quest is Neptune which squares the New Moon. Neptune and Jupiter both have to do with spirituality and the pursuit of the higher meaning of life. Both planets are in a conflicted aspect to the New Moon, which means the New Moon and its 4-week cycle going forward are likely to make it more awkward to reach out and touch your vision.
It might not be wise to just assume you know what you think you know, because Jupiter and Neptune might mislead or confuse you. It's important to try anyway, though – it is through the struggle to reach beyond what you can see clearly that you can discover a greater truth. Sometimes you have to let go of what you think you know, so that you can discover something you didn't even know you needed to know!
It might be difficult to find others who see eye-to-eye with you. Attempts to persuade others to see through your eyes might be met with admiration, but it could also be met with resistance, skepticism or outright rejection. The thing is, your point of view might not be quite as rock steady as you think it is. There's always room for more information, new perspectives, or unconnected dots to discover.
This New Moon is a time of cyclical beginnings. The impetus that emerges at the New Moon sprouts slowly, gradually unfurls to fullness, and then dissipates as it sends out its seeds to the world. We're called on to expand our knowledge and understanding of the world around us, but to do it in the midst of foggy facts, shifting data, and painful events. There's enormous upheaval in the world right now, between military wars, political wars, and cyber wars.
Agreement among the collective is almost an extinct commodity. In an effort to stabilize these stormy times, we often tend to fill in the gaps with reasoning, opinions or speculation. We may feel a sense of loyalty to a particular point of view. Or, the perspective we adopt may be an important connection with others whom we care about and admire who also hold that view.
This is a difficult time if you are sensitive to discord and uncertainty. And when events don't arrange themselves conveniently in simple black-and-white, the in-between shades of grey can swim together. You may feel the urge to turn up the contrast (polarization) in your mind, so that the picture looks clearer in black-and-white.
In other words, uncertainty and disharmony can lead us to polarizing extremes in an effort to simplify how we can understand things. The problem is that this approach tends to blot out the subtleties and layers of a more complex situation.
We see this kind of struggle in the New Moon chart through the Sun and Moon in a hard aspect to Sagittarius' ruler, Jupiter. We see it in the intense parallel of Mars, Pluto, the Sun and Mercury. We also see it in the Out-of-Bounds Moon and Mercury, urging us to venture beyond the comfort of familiarity in order to explore new perspectives. In addition, stationary Mercury begins his retrograde phase mere hours after the exact New Moon, making Mercury's trickster presence very strong.
The New Moon chart urges us not to sacrifice meaning and complexity in exchange for the convenience of simplification. If you want a more meaningful truth about something, you have to be prepared to challenge what you think you know, and be willing to face what might be a disappointing or inconvenient truth.
The trick is to keep your eyes and mind open to whatever you find. Mercury retrograde is here to offer you the opportunity to see what you hadn't seen, know what you didn't realize you knew, challenge what you thought was absolute, and make sense of it all in a way that expands your vision of what's possible.
I wish all of my readers the very happiest of holidays, and my best hopes that you get all that you asked for from Santa. ❤️
The next update will be for the Full Moon in Cancer on December 26, 2023. In the meantime, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you! ❤️
Knowing the facts doesn't help me picture the truth.
~ John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed
© 2023-12-11 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of dog and glasses by Sam Lion via Pexels.com. Sabian symbol image of 'human and dog wearing eyeglasses': photographer and copyright holder unknown; found on Yelp.com.