“Day Moon Over Ocean,” chalk pastel by Maria Theresa Maggi
Strong blessings of love and light, everyone, in this unprecedented new year. At the beginning of last year at exactly this time I found myself entranced by the attention some astrologers were giving to Chariklo, an asteroid discovered in 1997 in the belt of asteroids between Saturn and Uranus. She is small, just 188 miles across and the only asteroid known to have rings. In mythology she is the wife of Wounded Healer Chiron and she presides over the intensity of transitions where the pressures of life and death hang in the balance. I like how Melanie Rheinhart has used the imagery of the pressure needed to form diamonds to describe her dynamic. She calls Chariklo the energy that helps us embrace literal and societal and emotional pressure in order to soften around it and explore “darkly luminous” spaces that bring about the formation of a diamond.
Last year she traveled with the Saturn Pluto conjunction that led us into the pandemic, the first impeachment and so much more. She gave courage to those who helped in the spaces that still embody her courage and mercy and wisdom behind the headlines.
At the beginning of this new year, she is poised in the last degrees of Capricorn, traveling on past Pluto, and heading toward a reunion with Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius by early February. From the asteroid ephemeris I have available to me, it looks as though she will be right at the very end of Capricorn on Inauguration Day.
She isn’t the focus of this new moon chart; what’s most striking about it is the square Mars and Uranus close together in Taurus make to Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury in early Aquarius. This arrangement of fixed energy is explosive and suggests we will be fighting for a more fair and just future, and that marginalized groups will be front and center, as will be human rights and democracy itself. Sadly here that also means we are forced to fight each other.
I began this post before the storming of the US Capital by White Supremacist Terrorists occurred on January 6. I had also initially written that I couldn’t say exactly what forms those tensions will be released through; fixed energy requires us to have experiences to gain understanding that transforms us. Navigating just such potentially volatile experiences that break open old forms to reveal deeper truths will most likely be a theme this lunar cycle. Now we know that one type of volatile tension involved is the actual incitement of violence and insurrection, this Capricorn new moon message insisting there is no true freedom without personal responsibility is even more needed.
I speak of Chariklo on the Capricorn edges as she travels toward Jupiter and Saturn to remind us that help is on the way. The new Capricorn moon is right where Chariklo sat at this time last year with Pluto and Saturn, helping us get through the last impeachment process, even as Congress moves toward another in an effort to protect us all in these final chaotic days. The love that abides through powerful and harrowing transitions is inside us, in every courageous decision we make to do the right thing, and even when we realize that in tending to life especially amidst violent chaos, suffering and uncertainty, even in the smallest of ways, we are also tending to the courage we need to face our demons and build a better future.
When living through large events that bring chaos and upheaval like the pandemic and the mob attack it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. Sometimes it’s hard to see what we can do that will make a difference.
When I struggle to can’t find anything about the events of January 6 that gives me courage, I return to a story reported by Heather Cox Richardson and then my own Senator Merkley on the floor of the Senate Chambers after the Capital had been cleared and Congress resumed its duty to certify the election results. He centered his five minutes around the fact that when the mob was at the doors of the chamber and all was in fear and disarray as the Capital Police worked to get Congressional members to safety, 4 staffers somehow thought before fleeing to take with them the three ornate wooden and leather boxes filled with the nation’s certified votes. They made sure to get them even as the mob was breaking open the doors. If they had not done so, those votes would have been burned.
This is the spirit of Chariklo’s strength and wisdom made manifest. To my knowledge this has not made headlines and no names have been touted, perhaps to ensure their personal safety in this dangerous time. But in so doing these staffers literally saved our election results and made possible the transition of power that most certainly would been further delayed and thrown into chaos if they had not had the courage or foresight to do so. While they might say they were just doing their job, that single seemingly ordinary act became heroic.
At this time when I am tempted chaos or fear will prevail, I work to find and trust that place within myself that knows a brave truth to say out loud, a tender thing to say, a way to keep a promise, a resolve to see someone who needs it through to the end, even across miles and screens. I pray to recognize my opportunities to stand up for the truth. We cannot let these times steal our most precious power: that of the one to love each other and work for justice against all odds. The origin or point of happiness in this chart is in Virgo which suggests to me it is in small or marginalized acts of service that our power to rebuild can be nurtured to grow. This new Capricorn moon reminds us that compassion, service and responsibility to ourselves and our community are our most useful tools for creating the societal structures that Capricorn rules. The sun and moon come together to remind us there is no freedom without shared responsibility.
Here are some suggestions for each of the sun signs for how to use a starting point focused in freedom through shared responsibility, courage and compassion.
ARIES: You may feel caught between two disagreeing factions that seem to be at odds with your well being and that of others. On the other hand this position may give you wisdom to negotiate and help bring about a more fair and just way of settling things for everyone.
TAURUS: Starting points with friends, groups or legal matters can be surprising, sudden and unpredictable. Your usual patience may be short or you may feel like beginning is an end. However you usually get things started is entirely different this cycle. Also you may be gifted a sudden opportunity to create a more stable home.
GEMINI: You may be compelled to take action through words or working with your hands or the breath. It may require some adjustment to conform to a legacy of some kind of tradition or discipline, but this can actually help you achieve your goal and stay healthy. Such adjustments will make your words more easily heard.
CANCER: Formal partnerships from marriage to business to bosses are under re-examination regarding what is genuinely useful. You may have to adjust to some breaks with an expected legacy that are beyond your control. What matters most is that you improvise a plan for the future rooted in your values in a fluid situation.
LEO: Work routines and collaborations are necessary habits right now that help you keep your sanity. They may be both traditionally ordered or unconventional or both. It’s important to use everything needed as legal or educational matters remain unpredictable or surprising. Keep your heart open; that is your greatest strength.
VIRGO: There may be constraints on children or lovers in your life or maybe a creative project is demanding a lot of accountability and the tasks required to complete it are in disarray. Since your starting place is happiness to be in service, this allows you to roll up your sleeves with gusto and get to work to set things right.
LIBRA: Forces beyond your control may be disrupting a chain of financial security you thought was a given. Or perhaps you have to deal with a sudden life or death decision that causes you to regroup. It’s useful at this time to follow certain protocols of personal responsibility to provide stability for a partner, too.
SCORPIO: A partner or contractual relationship could change suddenly or become quite unpredictable. Carefully chosen words and structure in your immediate environment can help the situation resolve peacefully. You feel the change deeply. The real power here is in being able to help stabilize things behind the scenes.
SAGITTARIUS: Even though things may be blowing up in your work or health routine now is not the time to hold a grudge. Let new thoughts ideas and conversations work their magic. A reordering of values is useful and can be powerful in this volatile time. Speaking truth helps balance your partnerships.
CAPRICORN: You don’t want to waste time on feelings actions or projects that don’t work to better the world at large. Your values are aligned with important changes that need to happen. Derive courage from knowing you stand with others. You may suddenly find merely expressing yourself creatively has revolutionary resonance.
AQUARIUS: Your starting point may involve championing new, more just structures, not only for yourself but for others. Or technology may play an important role in helping you establish order that has a ripple effect in your circle. It may feel like a big responsibility but it’s one way to help. Things could be volatile at home.
PISCES: In losing one seemingly ideal starting point, you allow yourself the opening to a deeper and more soulful approach to a very emotional situation. The way through comes from trusting the authenticity of your compassion and humanity. Let that trust order how you look at the future. Your advocacy feeds needed courage.
It’s important to note that Jupiter in Aquarius and its involvement in this volatile square that is in effect through Inauguration Day (and beyond) is bringing the principle of expansion through humanitarian justice to bear on these tensions and dangers we face. It’s helping to make sure our stories, the true ones, will prevail, and the work for justice will continue through the peril. Another positive disruption we see taking place with this square is the domino effect of media platforms removing Trump and taking down hate speech. And let us also remember it has helped to usher in the victories of two history making new Senators from Georgia. Do hold the space for them and for our new President and Vice President to assume legitimate power and for both the Congress and the executive branch to begin the work of restorative racial, economic and environmental justice. In times of turmoil when the foundation is constantly shifting, I am reminded of how the great kelp beds off the coast where I live have evolved the equivalent of root structure that floats with them in the ocean—it’s called a holdfast. I take the resonance of those literal words into my heart where I “hold fast” the vision of a more just world to inform my movements. If we carry that root with us, no one can destroy its blooms. This new Capricorn moon calls on us to move through fear and duty to any resonant way we can be of use, to embrace a responsive emotional mastery that lifts us up to shine our lights, shed some light, and keep it light.