Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Moon December 5, 2010: The Wheel is Turning

I’ve been thinking about wheels as the New Moon in Sagittarius approaches. These wheels are spinning to take us to new places. This month I’ll let a wheel be my guide. Stick with me, I’ll explain. The notion of the Wheel first arose during a class I teach about each sign and season of astrology. I draw from an assortment of symbols and correspondences to explore the deeper meaning of each of the twelve signs. One system I use is the Golden Dawn correspondences between Tarot and astrology. For this month, we explored the imagery of Temperance—the card that represents Sagittarius—and the Wheel of Fortune—the card that represents Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius.

The Wheel captures an essence of both the planet, which brings changes in fortune as well as the sign, which reflects the Sagittarian desire to travel to new horizons. The wheel is a mode of transportation and a reflection on the vagaries of fortune. The wheel is also a cosmological concept: the notion that all things occur in cycles. What goes up comes down. The wheel reminds us that every ending is also a beginning. The paradox of the wheel is the realization that even as we attempt to travel to new places both within and without, we still find ourselves returning to a place we’ve been before. The wheel describes karma, the zodiac, and the movement of life force. There is no escaping the wheel, however there is choice about how we ride it. This month the opportunities and frustrations of the wheel will perhaps be very apparent.

The edge of a spinning wheel is where the wildest ride happens. That’s where we experience the most extreme ups and downs. In the center, there’s a greater chance of remaining centered as the wheel spins around us. Like many, I enjoy a good ride from time to time; it can be fun to ride the rim of the wheel. With my own Sagittarian ascendant perhaps I think the wild ride will take me to another land, one rich for exploration. But sometimes, I also yearn to get off the merry-go-round and take a break from the crazy ride. There will be times to make both choices this month and times to notice which choice I am making.

Mercury is turning retrograde this month. This happens three times a year and so is not that significant in and of itself. However, this month it will be the only planet moving retrograde from December 8 when it stations retrograde till December 30 when it turns direct. Mercury will be the only retrograde planet and for some reason, I believe this may cause us to notice Mercury’s influence even more. When all the planets are moving direct, we also feel as if we are making progress, kind of like that notion that when we ride the wheel, we can get someplace new. But Mercury, the planet of travel, will have something to say about this. For every step forward, there may be another step back. A good sense of humor is so critical to tolerating Mercury’s antics of messing with our plans, our communications, and our sense of getting someplace. To cultivate mindfulness this month a good question to hold is: Am I riding the rim of the wheel or am I letting it spin around me? Another question: Why am I choosing this?

The New Moon chart shows Mercury exactly conjunct Pluto in Capricorn. This is a powerful beginning to a month of Mercury’s influence. Sometimes we overlook the importance that our thoughts and words have on creating reality. This month we have the opportunity to realize just how influential thoughts and words are. There is power in uncovering hidden assumptions. There is also a strong desire to uncover secrets of all kinds and tell them.

Uranus in Pisces. At the New Moon, Uranus, the last remaining retrograde planet for the moment, is stationing direct at 26° Pisces. Uranus is about to leave Pisces, where it has been since 2003. This spring, Uranus popped into the next sign, Aries, for a few weeks and then retrograded back into Pisces in mid-August. Uranus moves back into Aries in March 2011. So this last segment of time when Uranus is in Pisces is good for reflecting on its influence in this mutable water sign. When Uranus entered Pisces in 2003, I expected there would be revolutions in psychic experience. I thought we’d have technical advancement in our understanding of subtle energy. I expected innovations in how we experience the unity of all. Did we see any of this happen? Perhaps not overtly. However, I think the incredible popularity of Facebook is due to this particular transit. Facebook, a technological innovation (Uranus influence), changed culture and created a revolution in how people connect with each other. The site was launched in February 2004 and has a profound impact in the last few years. Needing to connect with others is an eternal requirement. Uranus has spurred us to embrace a new method. Pisces is a sign of emotion, of union, of sacrifice. Uranus’ revolutions in culture have occurred in these ways and for these reasons. Using this awareness, what can we imagine for the next stage of evolution as Uranus transits through the cardinal fire sign, Aries? Aries is a sign that needs action, individuation, and a sense of renewal. What is the next cultural innovation that will support these values? Stay tuned.

Another theme this month comes from Mars. This planet increases tension and reactivity as it joins Pluto in Capricorn right after the New Moon. Other significant contacts that Mars makes will be to the North Node of the Moon and a square to Saturn toward the end of December. The planet of will and desire reinforces Pluto’s impact on Capricornian values of accountability, responsibility, and authority. Fuses may be short and frustrations high. However, as the Winter Solstice draws us into the season of Capricorn, we can use this Mars/Pluto energy to reinforce where our strong values and high expectations lie. Can you feel the strength of your own authority?

There is a lunar eclipse on the Full Moon this month. The eclipse is in the final degree of Sagittarius, right before the Sun goes into Capricorn. In the chart for the Full Moon, we see that the Sun and Moon square a conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus. The final degrees of the mutable signs where all these planets are located represent the liminal state of a threshold. During this eclipse, which is visible throughout North America, we have a moment to reflect on the threshold—where we have been and where we desire to go next. At the threshold, the wheel pauses for a brief moment. For that moment, we can envision stepping off the wheel to gain perspective. Let’s take the moment to see into our hearts and into the wonders of the world around us. Let’s take a moment to pause on the spinning wheel to realize our true selves and what really matters.

It really isn’t true that as we ride the wheel we never get to anywhere new. If we arrive at the same place we’ve been before, but with new awareness, then we ourselves are new. New possibilities arise as the wheel goes on and on.


 Transits important to our stories.*
December 5 Mercury conjunct Pluto 4° Capricorn
December 5 Uranus stations direct 26° Pisces
December 7 Mars enters Capricorn
December 10 Mercury stations retrograde 5° Capricorn
December 10 Mercury (r) 5° Capricorn sextile Venus 5° Scoprio
December 11 Mars conjunct North Node 2° Capricorn
December 13 Mercury (r) conjunct Pluto 4° Capricorn
December 13 Mars conjunct Pluto 4° Capricorn
December 13 Mercury (r) conjunct Mars 4° Capricorn
December 18 Mercury (r) reenters Sagittarius
December 18 Sun 26° Sagittarius square Uranus 26° Pisces
December 19 Sun conjunct Mercury (r) 28° Sagittarius
December 20 Mercury (r) sextile Chiron 27° Aquarius
December 20 Mercury (r) square Uranus 26° Sagittarius
December 20 Mercury (r) sextile Neptune 26° Aquarius
December 21 Lunar Eclipse 29° Gemini
December 21 Sun enters Capricorn
December 21 Mercury (r) 25° Sagittarius square Jupiter 25° Pisces
December 26 Sun conjunct Pluto 5° Capricorn
December 29 Mars 16° Capricorn square Saturn 16° Libra
December 30 Mercury stations direct 19° Sagittarius

*These dates are not a complete list of transits for the month, but rather are times when the themes of these stories are stronger. Each aspect between planets carries its own energy of harmony or conflict. These are:
Conjunction – merging
Sextile – encouraging
Square – challenging
Trine – harmonizing
Quincunx - perplexing