“We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.” – Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed
There is a hush on the fields. The birds have stirred and gone back to their nests, or migrated elsewhere. Snow falls softly from an opaque expanse of sky. The quiet is without a doubt eerie. What's out there isn't visible. And so we go in, light a fire and regard the faces of our tribe, remembering human warmth in the midst of a winter that won't reveal its end.
It is easy to agree that human fears congregate around the cold of alienation and the void of death. It is equally easy to see that gathering in ritual and community are the age-old balms we apply to these wounds.
To watch the culture of these balms shift is a fascinating process, and this Lunation is a pivotal page in this evolving story, opening with a New Moon just after the FCC has voted to repeal net neutrality regulations.
This is quite an outrageous act for a culture that has grown and fortified itself around the Internet in the past three decades. This platform has unquestionably redefined the way humans connect, for it has opened us to, as Steven Forrest put it, “communities of affinity” above communities of place. Communitarian experiences of ritual are no longer confined by space, time, or a lack of sympathetic community in an individual’s immediate surroundings. The Internet has allowed connection to take root and transform lives where this would otherwise have been impossible.
So we begin with the Dark Moon of a Dark Season, accompanied by the awareness that one of our most historically significant venues for connecting freely with our fellow humans has suffered an attempted blow from big business.
Sagittarian insight grants us some idealism in this Moonless time: if freedom of connection is threatened, then our responsibility is to foster light anyway, to reach our hands out to one another in the darkness and thrive in love, reinforcing basic human fellowship.
So as this Lunation opens, we must ask what authentic connection requires, and remember that it always requires at least the light of Self-knowledge. As such we want to go in to this cycle committed to collecting our solitary dreams and formulating a spacious understanding of the collective tapestry into which we’ll weave them. What do you have to share here? What have you already accomplished? How is your personal myth shaping up? And what steps are required so you can contribute your gifts? We need to stay centered and commit to knowing and sharing the rich landscapes extant within the Self.
For this Lunation doesn’t go lightly on personal growth, interrelation, or civic responsibility. It bears witness to Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn as well as Venus Cazimi and Mars conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio. Cold reality and our basest desires will be showing themselves, but so will our warmest compulsions to connect with others.
Saturn's transition to Capricorn is really the event of the Lunation though. Father Time's three year transit through Capricorn will not be known for its easy-going atmosphere. The Real will be revealing itself at all times, and we will be asked to stay grounded and present no matter how strange, dark, or magical this Real shows itself to be. Saturn reminds us that, after all, we were born into this three-dimensional realm, and we had best make the most of it.
Luckily, it is a compelling place we have come to, full of subtle lessons that intrigue us to listen evermore keenly. As Martin Luther King pointed out, “Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.”
Sunday, Dec. 17 | A Sophisticated Void: Portal to Discipline and Commitment
New Moon in Sagittarius | 26 degrees | 10:30pm PST
Moon square Chiron in Pisces
Moon trine Uranus in Aries
This New Moon arrives in the late degrees of wise Sagittarius. Determination and philosophical skill reign here. When we apply such forces to New Moon energy, we get an idealistic and highly sophisticated approach to the void. We are ready to see that great power is available even in the midst of deafening darkness. If we get this right, we can materialize on the scene of Self-development ruddy with the archer's optimism in the face of any number of dark emotions, from rage to defeatism to apathy.
As the Sun and the Moon reach conjunction in late Sagittarius this year, we open a portal to renewed discipline and commitment. This is a time to set lofty goals, in particular because we have strong access to foresight and the drive to employ continued reason, hard work, and sheer willpower as time passes.
Remember also that the New Moon is always a time of Mystery and Magic, and that as dreams billow and surge within us at this time, they begin to manifest all around as well, shaping our own external realities and touching the lives of those around us.
With this Moon, we want to remember that personal dreams are a necessary constituent of collective growth, and that collective growth feeds personal dreams just as much as they feed it. This is an attractive thought, but we want to hold it with sobriety. Chiron squares this Moon, requiring that we face whatever hard truths it takes to heal our wounds of disbelief in Self and in Society. At the same time, Moon trines Uranus in Aries, who breathes energy and powerful revelations into our psyches.
By this time, we are beginning to feel the coming sextile between Jupiter and Pluto as well, so there is friendliness to expanding from the depths of our souls outward into collective manifestation. Luck is with us as we take our shadows in stride and simultaneously advance toward the enormous cultural renovation in which we are collectively engaged.
From this date until the Solstice, take the time to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come and to workshop your personal intentions for the New Year. When we line up the phases of the Moon with the Pagan Wheel of the Year, the New Moon lines up with Yule. A New Moon just two days before Saturn's ingress into Capricorn and four days before Yuletide makes this day a critical juncture for cultivating warmth and inner light. We will want to remember all that we’ve accomplished in the year that is now passing, and to begin planning for what we will cultivate as light returns to this hemisphere.
Tuesday, Dec. 19 : Baby-Eating Hermits and the Alacrity of the Sea-Goat
Saturn ingress into Capricorn | 8:49pm PST
Moon conjunct Pluto in Capricorn
Tonight Saturn will ingress into Capricorn. In the past weeks this has become a bit of an uneasily awaited event among astrologers. Saturn is at his absolute strongest in Capricorn, and this guy is not Mythology Lite. He carries in themes of baby-eating, and particularly in Capricorn, of hermitage.
Saturn is Cronus, Father Time, famous for devouring his children when he heard a prophecy that they would destroy him. In Capricorn, he feels the pressures of cold, factual reality, whereas his three years in Sagittarius had him feeling the heat of philosophy and high ideals. So as Grandfather Time steps into his own domicile (he is the planetary ruler of Capricorn) we are going to be asked to get very realistic about the mundane day-to-day, about how we respond to imbalances or fears that occur within the broader human community.
The reality of intergenerational dynamics are also intensely present, for Saturn carries themes of Time as the Devourer of all things. No doubt we must look to the future, but Saturn is also particularly good at looking unflinchingly at the past and taking ownership of the cold facts found there. Millenials have a talent for historical revisionism, and this only reinforces the importance of that work. The Present, however, is also of intense interest as we watch older generations attempt to revoke rights to the Internet. This is a huge No for the Pluto-in-Scorpio-Millenials' fierce passion for totally self-goverened expression, and no doubt, it does feel like Big Business Saturn in a Suit, trying to eat the children he knows will destroy him. In the end of that myth, of course, Jupiter escapes and Saturn is given an emetic that forces him to disgorge the babies. So all turns out well for the babes, and I have no doubt in my mind that in the end, we will retain our freedom to connect and express ourselves authentically...but to achieve this requires a fight, and real alacrity on the part of the children.
So on a personal level, Saturn's realism wants you to ask: what dead have you laid to rest in the past, how well did you do with the living, but of more interest to Saturn is: what could you have done better? How can you learn from your mistakes? With Solstice on the way, we are preparing to incline very seriously toward the future, but Saturn in Capricorn will insist that we analyze and make amends with our past failures if we hope to move forward wholly.
The brighter side of Saturn's 3-year season in Capricorn is that we will get extremely good at attuning ourselves to the nuances of the Real. Capricorn is the Sea-Goat, giving us the best of both land and waters. With the persistent head of the mountain goat and the tail of the fish, Capricorn allows for a balance between the rarefied atmosphere of high mountains and the murky depths of the sea. At its best, it provides a deeply spiritual and intuitive compass to guide us in our worldly ambitions.
Also important here is that both Saturn and Capricorn are associated with the Archetype of the Hermit. Self-containment and solitude will demand our attention, as will commitment to personal endeavors. Introspective time to oneself will become more of a priority. So remember that the Hermit has no personal integrity, he easily becomes the fiend who isolates in order to perpetuate self-destruction. But when the Hermit is healthy, he isolates in order to master the Self-containment that allows him to experience the blissful limitlessness of consciousness, and the spiritual connection that, quite matter-of-factly, exists among all things.
As Brene Brown has written of spirituality and connection: “spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings ... perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.”
The skillful Hermit becomes a teacher to others simply by holding up his lantern of Spiritual Connectedness in a darkened landscape. Saturn’s time in Capricorn affords us all this opportunity to do enormous amounts of personal work, to gain eons' worth of perspective on our own inner lives, so that we can collectively become teachers and guides to one another. By mastering the inner realm, we become capable of true connection with our fellow beings, showing each other the way.
Just to reinforce this: Saturn's season in Capricorn will absolutely not want us forgetting the brass tacks of what it means to be in healthy connection: it means taking responsibility. Radical civitas will be required: we will be asked to act on principles of love and compassion in the hardest of times, and to extend our hands when we think we have no energy left. My best advice is to make a practice of regularly extending oneself in acts compassionate generosity and service where aid is needed. We will want to build our muscles for this one.
Thursday, Dec. 21 | Return of the Sun King
Solstice: Sun ingress into Capricorn | 8:28am
Sun conjunct Saturn
Yuletide. Solstice. The rebirth of the Sun. In the morning, the Sun will rise in Capricorn on the other side of his journey through darkness. Kindling the will to thrive, he will bring more light with him in every coming day. We may now welcome the yearly celebration of the season of light, and this year it comes after quite a dark season. We’ve seen demons unleashed and personal, inner magic arise in the face of them. Focusing on that inner magic is the key today, for this is when we direct where the light shines within us.
Pagan traditions celebrate this night as the birth of the Oak and Sun King: it is the time that the Giver of Life begins his gradual ascent. We have full permission to train the gaze on the future, on all the potential that rises from the frozen earth as it thaws with the warmth of the Sun. It is, of course, just potential, so we can liberally envision its manifestation in whatever ways most suit the needs of our Spirits.
Solar energy expends liberally, so don't hold yourself back from harboring wishes that have seemed beyond your reach throughout the cold season. Write down ambitions. Let yourself receive the game plan: the mind is your tool to meet Reality. As Sun conjuncts Saturn, the Sun burns bright alongside the icy planet. A gleam is in the eyes of these counterparts. They have no choice now but to accept one another: the lofty, seemingly limitless source of willpower, and the wise old grandfather whose cold hands shake with age. And as their hands meet, we may embrace them the worldly lessons that teach us efficiency in the task of cultivating Spirit on this Earth.
Friday, Dec. 22 | Quiet Preparation
Mercury stations direct in Sagittarius | 13 degrees | 5:51pm
After an intense Mercury Retrograde, our minds emerge from the Stygian depths to rejoin the ranks of practicality and optimism. Things may move more slowly or quiet down for a moment, so we can take some rest as we prepare to implement plans we cultivated during the time from New Moon to Solstice.
As the God of Reason comes back into optimistically straightforward trains of thought, the Moon in Aquarius is speaking with both Uranus and Chiron. We can recall that healing comes through embracing opportunities that arise when we accept unexpected events and the breaking-apart of unhelpful institutions.
Mercury goes direct in Sagittarius in the 6th House as Cancer rises, and it also trines the North Node. There is an emphasis on seeking out an understanding we can truly serve ourselves and our tribes in order to be of more collectively evolutionary service.
Sunday, Dec. 24 | Measured Pleasures of the Flesh
Venus ingress into Capricorn | 9:26pm PST
Jupiter in Scorpio square Lunar Nodes | 15 detrees
Venus in Capricorn is practical, and as such she is quite sensual. The fact that we must fulfill some basic instinctual drives makes itself plain to her. After the high-minded wisdom-love that followed her through Sagittarius, she is ready to enjoy herself as a creature of the earth. Basic sensual pleasures (food, sex, harmony) are ancillary to the production of human culture, which Venus loves, but in these winter months, Venus is not blind to the fact that the generation of pleasure and warmth is a virtue in itself.
Of course, pleasure-seeking must be navigated with care, and a Capricorn Venus is no fiend for excess. Moreover, Venus meets Saturn as soon as she sets foot into this mountainous Capricornian territory. The ambition to master this earth-journey with measured enjoyment is present.
Jupiter in Scorpio squares the Nodes by today, so we are no doubt hoping to press beyond the “normal” or the obvious aspects of material culture. A subtle understanding of the senses helps here. Nuanced relationship with the earth and with our bodies is crucial as humans seek the full expression of their experience here. As we search for meaning, much of it comes directly from the material realm.
Venus entering Capricorn a very beneficial event as we navigate questions about our relationship with the immaterial web of the Internet. There is no question that we must resist the repeal of net neutrality as a sleight of hand against the Venusian act of connection. At the same time, Venus in Capricorn reminds us to balance ethereal connection with literal, earth-bound acts of contact and passion.
Tuesday, Dec. 26 | The Struggle for Identity
First Quarter Moon in Aries | 4 degrees | 1:20am PST
This First Quarter Moon is a solidly warrior-like one. The whole sense of identity –what one wants and what one wants to fight for– is struggling to emerge. With Sun, Venus, Saturn, and Pluto all in Capricorn, it will specifically be the self contending for form in the midst of enormous responsibility and obligation to others.
The Moon is thoroughly awkward in the youthful heat of early Aries, so be cautious on this day about how you speak with your loved ones. Do not forego the boundaries you require to understand who you are and the unique mission you came here to pursue. Simultaneously, remember that other Selves are trying to define their own boundaries at this time just as you are.
Monday, Jan. 1 | The Privilege to Dream
Full Moon in Cancer | 11 degrees | 6:23pm
Moon trine Neptune in Pisces
Every year the Full Moon in Cancer brings question of family and community with it. On the first day of the 2018 calendar year, we get Full Moon in Cancer trining Neptune. This is a very fertile, dreamy time of harboring space for psychological safety. However with Sun, Venus, Pluto, and Saturn in Cancer’s opposite, Capricorn, this is specifically about keeping the dreamy compulsion to nurture and seek refuge with our clan in balance with duty to those beyond our inner realm.
It was not always a given that we could nurture the softer side of human nature, for much of human nature is cruel, shaped by brutal environmental demands. However this Full Moon forces us to look at the stories we tell ourselves about the human experience at large. Just as the last Full Moon in Gemini asked us to separate ourselves from such stories as “I am not enough,” we must collectively separate ourselves from the story “Human nature is ugly, individualistic, animal, harsh.” Indeed we do best to look at the whole picture. The truth is that this dark story of human nature is not the full story. The full story includes the incredibly elevated human potential to integrate our instinctual animal nature with the broader passion we have for living in harmony with one another, with the Earth, and with ourselves.
So with this Moon the biggest theme is the willingness to be trustworthy for our fellow humans. Beware of getting lost to personal dreams and the desire for safety, for the real message these dreams usher in is that we must take the risk to stand up and guard the privilege to nurture one another’s safety to hope as much as we nurture our own.
Venus in Capricorn just two degrees from the Sun keeps a taste in our palates for the pleasure of getting grounded and staying realistic. It has us yearning for the pleasure of a job well done and remembering that more than tolerating responsibility, we can enjoy it. For this is how we actually move mountains, shifting the factual conditions of our lives.
As the Moon trines Neptune, Sun is sextile the Redeemer, so we have luck, opportunities, and excitement about bringing the spiritual into the material realm.
Wednesday, January 3 | Mastermind of Love
Venus in Capricorn sextile Neptune in Pisces | 11 degrees | 9:21am
Today we see an intoxicating exchange between the planet of dissolving fragmentation and the planet of beauty and connection. We’re particularly inclined now to seeing the beauty in human diversity, and to loving others as in this larger context.
Capricorn Venus is a bit of a mastermind, capable of envisioning schematic connection. Apply your creativity to strategizing about communitarian union. Think society, think groups. Love is an agent of connection between individuals, has it larger work to do than simply creating harmony between two individuals, or nuclear families. Love is a community-building agent.
The human family is on the heart today and in the surrounding days. Connect with this in mind.
Friday, January 5 – Monday, January 8 | Bold Treasures of the Griffin
Mars conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio | 17-18 degrees
Jupiter and Mars in Scorpio sextile Pluto in Capricorn
This weekend’s are exhilarating signatures, full of adventure and exuberance around the inner journey of facing our shadows. We are on the side of the waxing light, and from here the shadows look less daunting and more like the birthplace of fantastical creatures that grow our knowledge of desire, hybridity, and integration.
The image that arises from this combination of energies is the Griffin. When Mars becomes Jupiterian in Scorpio, the energy of the Lion and the Eagle meet. Royal mightiness is the product. The strength and intelligence to stand guardian to the precious jewels of the Spirit is at our fingertips. The Griffin, famed for its ability to retrieve chthonic treasure, builds homey nests of gold. Sextile Pluto, the treasures we can find here are without a doubt related to collectively inherited wounds.
Expansion therefore comes through boldly contacting our basest drives. What has previously made us quiver with fear is transmuted: no shadow can hold us back. This is a rich time to continue developing faith in the human's capacity to healthfully integrate her own existential predicament. Death is in nothing more than the opportunity to overcome the fear of death. Horrible things come from human fear, but we also know well that if we can integrate our darkness with the sophisticated Self-knowledge so readily available to us, then truly majestic acceptance and creativity arise. The brave decision to focus our attention on the light of this human potential is the only way to actualize it, allowing it to rise to the surface.
Sunday, January 7 – Thursday, January 11 | In the Heart of Multidimensional Love
Venus Cazimi i.e. Venus conjunct the Sun | 17 degrees
Venus Cazimi is a time of exalted connective prowess, and we are in an out of this one for about five days as the Sun and Venus proceed forward in lockstep. We’ll want to use this energy wisely. Remember that sovereignty is crucial for healthy connection. We cannot solve our problems through others and if you catch yourself trying, take a step back. I only warn of the co-dependent tendency because many social constructs we carry around the idea of connection feed into it, but the positive light of this Cazimi is enormous. It anoints us with a real passion for connecting with integrity, and with clarity about why we seek connection.
Love is the ultimate healing agent, and Venus Cazimi in Capricorn reminds us that love is much more practical than it is fantastical. Without it, this life would be a bleak string of incoherent events.
There is this exciting sextile sent from the Sun/Venus duo to Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio as well, and the Cazimi takes place essentially under the wing of Pluto. There’s a bit of the sense around these days that the Dark Lord is watching, for Pluto in Capricorn has a fully developed resonance with the archetype of the Devil. This is one a moment when we must carry the faith that the love humans express is not bound by this carnal form. Images of lust and lechery will trail behind this Venus Cazimi, and we must take them in stride, understanding love’s multidimensionality.
Monday, January 8 | The Unfettered Heart
Last Quarter Moon in Libra | 18 degrees | 2:25pm
“I am fine tuning my soul / To the universal wavelength / No one is a lover alone / I propose an atom dance.” – Bjork, Atom Dance
Without batting a lid, the sky gives us a love-oriented Moon in the midst of Venus Cazimi. Rather than a cosmic joke, this is a message driven home very well about releasing old paradigms of how we express and contain love.
This is a time to deconstruct how institutions have shaped the way we conceive of love. The idea that we must be bound to one other person first, foremost, and inextricably is a fallacy. Living connections breathe more than this. Libra is always going to involve themes of balanced relationship. Add to this kettle the Lunation’s themes of radical civitas and the letting-go dynamic of Last Quarter Moon, and we find that today we must work on dissolving conventions that limit the way we can love.
With the Moon in the middle degrees of Libra, we want to be careful of where we invest our love. Love is something to direct toward all of creation, unconditionally. Without this broad view of love’s function, love up close suffers. Hatred and bitterness have no place here. As the Moon’s light wanes, we will feel that we simply don’t have the time to waste on love not given with the whole heart. So as we generally want to live as though each day were our last, today we want to begin loving poignantly as though each day were our last. The unfettered heart is our ambition. Whatever chains are there, release them tenderly, without fear.
Wednesday, January 10 | Listening for Magick
Mercury ingress into Capricorn | 9:09pm
Mars in Scorpio sextile Sun in Capricorn
Moon conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio
Mercury enters Capricorn, where he has a particular penchant for probing into the subtle realms revealed by the physical plane. We are more capable of picking out the precise clues needed to proceed forward in reformulating our material lives. Magick has its place here, as does very down-to-earth scheming.
As the Moon wanes, Mercury’s first week in Capricorn lends our minds to listening for cues. Stay alert, but don’t seek too persistently, for mental energy will only be wasted in the endeavor. The material realm will want to speak in subtle cues and omens. Let the mind fall open like a Venus fly trap, active only when the proper nourishment has landed on the tongue.
Friday, January 12 | Only Necessary Knowledge
Mercury conjunct Saturn in Capricorn | 2 degrees
Moon in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces | 12 degrees
Venus conjunct Sun | 23 degrees
The mind cannot wrap around the structure of the spirit. It never will. This is precisely why faith, much more than belief or religion, has followed humans throughout history as a component of their peace.
Mercury conjunct Saturn is where we ask only for necessary knowledge. Of course, Saturn characteristically shuns excess, so we are not asking for any kind of embellishment. Trust that the amount of information you have at this time is exactly the amount you need now.
The Moon in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces as Mercury encounters Saturn, so the mood behind this conjunction is one of efforting to complete the journey toward peace of mind. No doubt the mind will resist settling down and getting only what it needs. This is a moment when, having already taken the apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we can choose not to hunt for more. Indulging that temptation will be for another day.
If you would like more guidance from Amalia: