The first New Moon of the new year will be on January 20th (UT) and it will be in Aquarius, only just in Aquarius, but only just in a sign always makes it really that sign. Let’s have a look at it:
Above is the simple astrological view, no asteroids or anything, apart from the centaur Chiron. It looks quite clean here, but remember that the Nodes also form aspects, in this case a T square with Uranus and Pluto. Uranus is actually really close to the South Node here, not just near but only 3 minutes off, while Pluto is under a degree off exactly squaring the Nodes. Whatever has built up through all these Uranus-Pluto squares, all that breakdown and breakout and pressure and suppression and disillusion and gasping for collective sanity, it’s accumulated karmically at that South Node, and it is one very big pissed off “think different” vibe. But that’s not where the conscious growth is. That’s at the North Node, and it’s all about other people in Libra.
The Nodes are of course always in opposition to each other, and oppositions can very easily involves projection. The Nodes are an object lesson in how to handle projection in some ways, as the South Node is a resource which can be called upon to do the work of growth in the area of the North Node, thus they remain different, but they really can both be owned at the same time, and they need to be in order for growth to occur. In this situation here there is a strong tendency to polarize and project, but the pattern actually asks us to own the Uranian impetus for change, rebellion, and not-give-a-fuck action, and use it constructively to benefit relationships. We should not drop this ball, because when it involves the Nodes it doesn’t give you a no consequence option.
The first New Moon of the year, being in Aquarius like this, does also highlight that Uranus, as it of course rules Aquarius. The Sun-Moon conjunction of the New Moon happily has a helping hand from Saturn here, which is sextile to it (a harmonious aspect that just needs a little work to get it going). That is a tempering aspect, as Saturn always adds a little caution, a little cooling or slowing, and in Sagittarius the slowing concerns meaning, morality, law, religion, all of which can of course be bullshit, and Saturn in Sagittarius is very aware of that. That’s part of its challenge – finding the real thing.
There is in fact a lot of Aquarius in this chart, with Venus and Mercury being conjunct there as well, from where they oppose Jupiter in Leo. Venus rules pleasure, the arts, and what we value as beautiful or desirable; Mercury rules communication and a certain kind of mental “climate”. In Aquarius this is on the cool side, potentially open minded and original, reinforced by a harmonious sextile to Uranus from Mercury (but remember that ruling Uranus is under a lot of stress here too, which could distort things).
Jupiter is an expansive influence that seeks to push out our horizons, whether physically or in terms of meaning and learning, and in Leo is nicely placed in some ways, but it’s not a diplomatic or subtle placement. He’s big, larger than life and lovely, but he can be a bit of a Tarzan when he wants to be. Jupiter is retrograde here though, so that makes his influence a bit more internalized and reflective, while a trine from Uranus is likely to give him quite a big taste for freedom and letting it all hang out, so slightly mixed messages, “anything goes”, but maybe a more private affair than usual. The opposition here has I think got Venus and Mercury wanting Jupiter to be more reasonable and “socially aware”, and Jupiter wanting Venus and Mercury to lighten up and lose their mental iciness. If these energies don’t lead to projection, then you get a vibe which is more creative, more fun, doesn’t take things quite so seriously, but still manages to encourage originality and some serious thinking. But if there’s projection, then there’s going to be a food fight over ideas and tastes. More fun is the better option.
Coming back to Saturn, which gives us our structure, our sense of limitation and realistic achievement, we see that it is also squaring a conjunction of Mars and Neptune in Pisces. What occurs to me here is that Mars and Neptune are much concerned with collective hurt and suffering in this position, as well as the power of the irrational collectively. Saturn in this position is concerned with drawing a line under that (the square from Sagittarius), marking the limit of what can maintain meaning (Sagittarius) and coherence, especially in areas that we see reflected in law and religion and learning (Sagittarius again), which Saturn itself tests against its baseline here.
Saturn and Neptune are not an easy combination, and it takes something of a quantum leap to encompass both: structure and liquid, material science and the world of the psyche, the empirical and the irrational. Squares aren’t even about mutuality and encompassment, they are working something out through a conflict, and that suits Saturn but it doesn’t even compute for Neptune.
The entire chart actually gets drawn back to Neptune if you look at which planet is in whose sign by planetary rulership (something called disposition in astrology), and Neptune is quite clearly preoccupied with Saturn at the moment. So while the last 4 – 5 years have been dominated by the square of Uranus and Pluto, right now we are going through a show down between Saturn and Neptune. Just imagine that Harry Houdini has taken over behind the scenes in government for the time being. We don’t know how he’ll get out of it (or even quite what “it” is right now), but he will eventually.
But let’s not forget our “Summer of Love” Chiron in Pisces. Both Chiron and Pisces have a concern with suffering, its meaning, its alleviation and at times its unavoidability. If there is something especially toxic in the suffering of Mars-Neptune in Pisces, when combined with the undiplomatic limitation and containment of Saturn in Sagittarius, then there is at this same time a new perspective offered by the unhealable yet wise Chiron, which is also in Pisces, sign of suffering and undoing, as well as so much which is positive and illuminating.
Chiron in this chart sextiles Pluto, thus helping to alleviate the Uranus-Pluto square, but it also quincunxes the North Node, which makes it key at this time. A quincunx is not an aspect that gives an easy answer, because Pisces and Libra have so little in common in a formal sense. But through an original insight, the connection between the energy of Chiron and the work of the North Node can be made, for a quincunx shows that the relationship is there, it is just not conventionally recognized. So that helps us do the work that puts that Uranus-Pluto square to good use (because of its present, close involvement with the Node axis). And yet it also helps us out of the potential lead poisoning of the Saturn-Neptune square, because like Mars-Neptune it is also in Pisces right now, but it is free of the Mars-Neptune-Saturn complex.
Chiron is the small, quiet voice, behind the wailing of Mars-Neptune, or the grinding of Uranus-Pluto.
Such a small key, but very much a key, that can help us gain the wisdom, that lets us not drop the ball. Because even when we can’t heal the wound, or tell the truth, or right the world, we can sometimes still keep hold of the ball.