Saturday, January 26, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast January 27, 2013 – February 2

I live in a really cold place in winter—Minnesota. After a few months of frigid temps, I notice that my posture is affected. I am huddled, braced for cold. My stride is shortened. I am shuffling more due to icy sidewalks. Gray skies give me the urge to sleep and eat more. My body’s language is saying, get me through this time quickly, let it be over soon, wake me up when it gets warmer. Yet, I suspect that I might be missing something very important if I completely give in to this. It takes an act of conscious will to straighten my back, raise my gaze, lift my chest, and breathe more deeply; to welcome in rather than suffer through this moment. That act of being present and open is so important to this lunar cycle’s journey of mastery*.
Every journey towards mastery has a moment of yearning to lay our burdens down. The effort to stay alert and present seems like too much to bear. There seems to be too few rewards and the whole experiment seems like a failure. These messages—the ones that say we have something to accomplish with our lives and the ones that say we’ll never get there—belong to that old devil, Saturn. We negotiate with this god on the journey to authority and it takes moxie to stand up to him and say, “Enough, I accept your challenge and I refuse to believe I can’t achieve my heart’s desire.” It’s time to get crafty, inspired, and maybe even mad about the messages that say, “Give up, you never had it in you anyway. “
If you are huddled against your own desire to live a life of potent mastery, this week offers good opportunity to refuse to give in. What lifts your spine and your spirits? What is the inspiration that fills your lungs with laughter and shouts of defiance? What hope for the future trembles in the dark soil waiting to burst back into life? This journey is far from over.

Forecast January 27, 2013 – February 2.
Moon in Leo
Sunday, January 27. Yesterday’s Full Moon energy still reverberates. The Leo Moon entices us to light the flames of creativity and fun. If you need a pick me up in the middle of this winter season, today is a wonderful opportunity to choose activities that kindle the flames of joy. We may be sensitive to the questions of our significance; what are we really contributing to the world? It is good to notice how those questions affect us and devise strategies for affirming our importance without relying on others too much to give us that affirmation. What feeds your fire? Commit to tending that fire.

Moon enters Virgo 5:27 pm**
Monday, January 28. The day begins with passion and maybe even a little conflict. Sometimes anger is the best teacher. What is getting under your skin? Is it time to stand up to negative thoughts? Or does some injustice make you want to take action? Can you take that passion into service? The Moon entering Virgo later today sparks a desire to work towards betterment. It could be in our own lives or the greater world around us. The Moon’s contact with Neptune tonight presents a challenge: Will you stay present to a desire to improve or will you try to avoid the work by escaping? This isn’t a time to judge ourselves, but to notice what our responses are and perhaps ask, why.

Moon in Virgo
Tuesday, January 29. There’s nothing like a waning Virgo Moon to get us to question our own achievements. Virgo struggles with knowing when anything is good enough. Thank goodness we get to practice patience with that part of ourselves. Virgo is the sign of the dedicant. Rather than merely succumb to self-criticism today, can you also rededicate yourself to serving an ideal? What is worthy of your complete devotion?

Moon in Virgo
January 30—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Why do we do the work? The call to mastery is fraught with challenge. We encounter such fun stuff as self-judgment, shame, hopelessness, and despair on this journey of developing our authority. So, why do it? What keeps you going? How do you meet these challenges? What successes have you had? Our answers to such questions are what we have to share in this phase of the Moon’s own journey. Look back over the days since January 11. Acknowledge the whole experience, those times of doubt as well as the ones of confidence. Muscles are being developed.

Conflicting energies color this day. The winds of hope fill our sails since Jupiter is stationing direct near the fixed star Aldebaran. Jupiter stands for our hopes. As I wrote last week, Jupiter spending time with this star elevates our hopes for living lives filled with honesty and integrity. In spite of visually appearing in the constellation of Taurus, tropical astrologers say that Jupiter is in the sign of Gemini. The desire to live true to our hopes involves all the things that are precious to Gemini—what we are learning, how we are making connections with others, and how we are integrating the experience. This is a social sign, other people are important to the truth we want to live. Are you developing flexibility in your approach to mastery? Jupiter would be pleased.

On the other hand, Saturn has his say today too when the Sun contacts Saturn by a square aspect. The Sun represents our evolving selves—who we are and who we are becoming. Saturn reminds us that ambition and all the subsequent feelings that the journey of mastery brings up is a necessary stage on the way to becoming who we are meant to be. Sometimes the journey is hard, but we get a glimpse of why it is worth it.

Moon enters Libra 12:36 am
Thursday, January 31. It feels good to come out from under the pressure of the Virgo Moon. However even the harmony-loving Moon in Libra may be challenged to find balance as the Moon contacts both Uranus and Pluto today. Unpredictable and possibly dark feelings ride under the currents. At the same time, feelings of sociability and delight in intellectual pursuits are supported by a trine between a stationary Jupiter and the Moon. The Sun joins Jupiter and the Moon later tonight making a Grand Trine in Air signs. Use this airy energy for inspiration—literally a breathing in of thought. Imbolc, the witch’s Sabbath that pertains to emerging creative forces growing in the darkness of winter, is coming up in a few days. This is the quickening time of the year when we kindle the flames of creativity and action. Spend time imagining what you will create this year.

Moon in Libra
Friday, February 1. The big shift today come from Mars entering Pisces and Venus entering Aquarius. Mars, the god of action becomes the Knight of Cups for a little over a month. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is a sign that you are daring to be a compassionate warrior willing to feel more deeply. Venus, the goddess of love, travels through far-seeing Aquarius for a little less than a month. Imagine the Star card in the Tarot. Will you dip your cup into inspiration and pour it out for the good of all?
Moon enters Scorpio 6:01 am
Saturday, February 2. Imbolc. This Pagan holy day is sacred to the Celtic goddess, Brighid, the goddess of flame, inspiration, social justice, poetry, and craft. She is an ally for our developing excellence and is willing to walk with those who are creating a world of beauty and delight. Pledges to Brighid and to a year of creativity are influenced by the depths of Scorpio today. We feel a strong commitment to healing and transformation as we bless the seeds of the coming year. How does your desire for mastery influence what you will pledge to Brighid? This journey is about more than ourselves. The expansive energy we feel today supports the awareness that this journey is about the community too. The Moon contacts several planets. It is as if many gods want to get in on the action too. Mars, Venus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn are consulted. Answering the call of mastery takes us on a complex journey that touches many parts of ourselves.
* To follow along with the story of this lunar cycle, read the forecast for the New Moon on January 11.
** All times are CST.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast January 20, 2013 – January 26

One of my spiritual teachers recently asked me to reflect on the “times you have missed the mark of your set intention. What was/are your reactions? Thoughts? Feelings? Responses?” This is good. It is just what I need to think about during this lunar cycle dedicated to the Capricorn desire for mastery and the possible shame that can rise up to challenge that desire. We are almost half-way through this lunar cycle*—the Moon is waxing into its Full phase at the end of the week—and we are at the end of January when we realize whether those New Year’s resolutions have any chance of succeeding. This is a good time to notice: What comes up for you when you miss the mark?

The desire for mastery is held within a dynamic tension. On the one hand, we must see the places we need improvement in order to excel in our intentions. On the other hand, the force of shame, guilt, and inadequacy at not having yet reached that peak of excellence can undo our intentions to find mastery. From this tension these questions are relevant: How much do we benefit from comparing ourselves to others? How much do we comfort ourselves with the idea of “good enough?” What keeps us going in spite of missing the mark? What is the real goal? Is it accolade from others? The process of continuing on regardless of whether we fail or succeed? Why are we striving? How much is too much? How much is not enough? For me, this is where I want my thoughts to surrender to feelings. It is easier to feel where I want to be on the continuum between self-judgment and self-acceptance than it is to consciously know where the right place is.

Capricorn’s mythical animal is the Seagoat. Last week I wrote about the goat part of the animal, which helps us climb our personal mountains step by step. This week, I want to invoke the fish tail that helps me remember that knowing comes from feeling, and effort does not always need to be against the current. Trusting my feelings to guide me in the work of mastery helps enormously in countering the messages of shame. I have another spiritual teacher who is always asking, “Do you dare to live in beauty, balance, and delight?” Answering, yes, doesn’t mean I’ve given up on self-assessment, but it does mean that the way I get there is perhaps more important than any particular peak I might reach.

Dynamic tension plays a role in the Full Moon chart this week, providing a perfect opportunity to notice which side of the Seagoat is active for you. Is it possible to find the balance between? How do you recognize when you are there?

Forecast January 20, 2013 – January 26.
Moon in Taurus
Sunday, January 20. By law, the Presidential Inauguration must take place on January 20th, but since this year the 20th is a Sunday, the public inauguration will happen tomorrow. However, the official inauguration still happens today in a private ceremony. Notably the Moon today is square to Mars. Does this portend a second Obama administration marked by outright conflict? That seems like an easy prediction. Finding common ground with those who seem to hold vastly different values from our own is a theme for today. Pluto enters the second decanate of Capricorn also. Astrologers divide each sign into three equal segments. Pluto at 10 degrees Capricorn signals another push into new territory for transformation. When Pluto entered Capricorn, the economic systems of the world collapsed due to many corrupt factors. We have not really solved the problems that caused this collapse. It isn’t recommended to maintain denial under a Pluto transit. As we go forward, expect to be challenged to go deeper.

Moon enters Gemini at 8:04 am**
Monday, January 21. Martin Luther King Day and the public inauguration of President Obama are today. When Obama takes the oath today, the transiting Moon in Gemini will be conjunct (same place as) his natal Moon. This is a powerful position; he should be feeling pretty good even if public support for him most likely will not match the one he received at his first inauguration. Neptune is square the Moon today and square to the President’s natal Moon as well. This transit from Neptune to his Moon offers the opportunity for immense heart expansion through a testing of faith. Obama is a man and he is a symbol for the nation. This means that we get to invoke, pray, visualize (however you like to work) that this heart opening happens for the nation too. This moment of inauguration is a powerful one to use for the manifestation of our highest ideals.

“The moon will pair up with Jupiter on the night of January 21, in what will be the closest moon-Jupiter conjunction until the year 2026.” [] Mental energy is high today and there could be large swings in mood. Let the beauty of the Moon and Jupiter inspire you to rise up from the small things to align with the big picture.
Moon in Gemini
January 22—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. That word, “perfecting” triggers shadow emotions around mastery. Often this phase of the Moon is the best place to notice all those impossible expectations we hold for ourselves and see if they are helping or hurting the manifestation of intention. However, today we are bolstered by a feeling of the strong wind in our sails. Mercury is contacting in favorable ways both Uranus, ally of authenticity, and Jupiter, ally of opportunity. Sometimes the fear of success is even more uncomfortable than the fear of missing the mark. This is another continuum to hold in dynamic tension: Which are you most afraid of? What helps you work through that feeling?

Moon enters Cancer at 9:00 pm
Wednesday, January 23. Gemini Moon energy can be tricky. The dual nature of this sign can easily make us feel like we are ping-ponging between extremes. Mindfulness practices can really help. Until this evening when the Moon enters Cancer, most of the day is a void-of-course day where we may be disturbed by a lack of focus, energy or momentum. Notice how you feel about that. The ability to relax the mind is a wonderful skill to master. Tonight, home and hearth call to us. Time to recharge our batteries.

Moon in Cancer
Thursday, January 24. It would be nice if the Cancer Moon today would just be about some good home cooking, but I’m afraid it won’t be that easy. The perfecting pressure of the waxing Moon might boil over today. How do you cope with tension? The root cause of tension will be our emotions. Cancer is the complement to Capricorn. If we are perfecting a sense of mastery without shame, the emotional tone today and tomorrow will show us some of the habits we have around taking and projecting blame. Our hearths can nurture more than our bodies, how will you nurture your intentions? The day ends with an energizing relationship between the Sun and Uranus sparking our desire to create change.

Moon in Cancer
Friday, January 25. Some days the split between our emotions and our thoughts are the source of misunderstandings and confusion. Today we may have our wires crossed with others or even within our own complex inner domains when we fail to pick up on important cues. Back up and get clarity. The square between Mercury and Saturn is saying just that. We may misunderstand, but we can go back for more information or to share what we are feeling. Like yesterday, today ends on an upbeat, however. The Sun in visionary Aquarius and Jupiter in curious Gemini pair up for endlessly fascinating conversations. We are all brilliant! It may be hard to calm the mind to get some rest.

January 26—Full Moon: Illuminating. This Full Moon tells a story of the relationship between the opposing signs of Aquarius and Leo. Full Moons are illuminating, not just because they are the brightest visually, but also because they illuminate how pairs of opposite signs make a whole. What we think of as contradictory desires are actually two pieces of the same thing seeking wholeness.

These two signs give us an appreciation for the wisdom of the collective and the brilliance of the individual. It is easy to value one over the other. Western culture has glorified the rugged individual for a long time. Yet, in spite of that, a strong puritanical element in our culture also instructs individuals to deny their own significance. We aren’t comfortable with pride or knowing our impact. These stories play into our attitudes about mastery and shame. We have an opportunity to see how going it alone or disappearing into the group are both dead-ends.

Saturn, the Master of mastery, is square to both the Sun and Moon. This planet likes to get us in his cross hairs and keep the pressure on until we break through to knowing our true gifts and true skills. Questions about mastery—such as what do I want to be known for, who am I serving when I reach for mastery, how do I know and accept responsibility for my impact, what vision guides my journey—yield good insight. The more honest we are with ourselves, the more authority we gain.

We feel Jupiter’s influence strongly too. Although in the tropical system of astrology, Jupiter has been transiting through Gemini, visually we’ve seen this bright and beautiful planet amongst the stars of Taurus, holding steady in the center of that constellation near the Eye of the Bull since early December. Jupiter has slowed down and is getting ready to turn direct next week. It will remain in this area of the sky till the end of March. The Eye of the Bull star is also called Aldebaran. According to Bernadette Brady’s book, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, this royal star is linked with the pursuit of integrity and honesty. Jupiter gives us the confidence to stand for our truths and to honestly assess ourselves. We also want this from others and see the value of honest integrity in those we admire. Take a moment to glimpse Jupiter in the night sky. It is visible from sunset to dawn.

* To follow along with the story of this lunar cycle, read the forecast for the New Moon on January 11.
** All times are CST.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast January 13, 2013 – January 19.

This lunar cycle, begun in the sign of Capricorn,* helps us to get in touch with our desires for mastery. The goat part of Capricorn’s mythical animal, the Seagoat, climbs a personal mountain towards excellence and authority. (We will look at the fish part of this animal later.) Yet, this journey toward excellence is not simple. A lot of conflicting emotions can come up. Shame is one of them.
Is shame actually fear of mastery? The root of the word “shame” comes from the Proto-Indo-European languages meaning “to cover.” You know the heat of embarrassment that enflames your cheeks and makes you want to hide your head? Yes, that kind of cover; that is shame. Shame only comes up around something we care about deeply. So, why cover it? Why hide from our own authority by covering up our gifts and aspirations? I’ve noticed in myself an impulse to hide my deepest longings until I can get over the shame I feel for aiming high. The shaming questions: How dare I? Who do I think I am? Brash, bold, outright longing belongs to the realm of mastery. Without it, we sell ourselves short, bury our potential, and cut ourselves off from energizing forces of life that help us achieve mastery. My guess is that it doesn’t have to be this hard.
As the Moon waxes this week, let’s use that light to brazenly reveal our desires for mastery. The first steps may be to admit to our selves that such longing exists. Brene´ Brown is my favorite writer/speaker on the subject of shame. Check out her wonderfully inspiring Ted Talks at She speaks about the research she’s done of the folks who live lives that aren’t saddled by crippling shame. She has found that these people share a quality: wholehearted vulnerability. By this she means risking being seen for what we most desire, who we really are.
Venus is the star of this week’s transits. Venus rules our connectivity—how we relate, what attracts us, and is attractive in us. Here is an interesting bit of information from Brown’s Ted Talk. She defines shame as the fear of disconnection from others. We fear that if others see the shameful thing inside us—like that brazen desire for mastery—we will not be worthy of connecting with others. We’ll be rejected.
Venus reflects the part of us that wants to please. This quality can either aid or hinder us as we encounter the shame demons inside. The desire to be connected can help us achieve that vulnerable wholeheartedness that Brown talks about. Yet, the fear of rejection can deflect us from our worthy goals of mastery. Through the Venus transits this week, I invite you to invoke the aspects of this goddess that inspire you to risk exposure and claim your heart’s desire.
Forecast January 13, 2013 – January 19.

Moon in Aquarius
Sunday, January 13. The Moon joins Mars in Aquarius at 2:37 am** as its last aspect of the entire day. This means the Moon is void-or-course (VOC) all day. I don’t consider VOC Moons to be problematic. In fact, I like the opportunity to pay attention to the difference in energy on such days in comparison to the days that the Moon makes several contacts. A lot of distracting noise gets cancelled out and we get to focus on just this one thing: The Moon is in the Fixed Air sign, Aquarius, and it reverberates with Mars passion all day. Considering that we are also in the waxing new phase of the Moon, we will want to take action, begin new things, especially in the realms of ideas and communities. The caution with a VOC Moon: Be extra mindful of what you attempt to initiate today. It pays to let awareness guide action rather than the other way around. 
Moon enters Pisces 4:49 am
January 14—Crescent Moon: Beginning. Now, both the urge and the support for beginning new things are aligned. Go for it. Because the Moon is in Pisces, our feelings play a big role in what we decide to begin this lunar cycle.

The Venus aspects today give us the opportunity to shift shame into wholehearted vulnerability. How will you expose yourself today in the realm of mastery? What do you want to be known for? What do you want to be loved for?

Venus in Capricorn contacts Chiron in Pisces with a sextile aspect, then forms a quincunx aspect to Jupiter in Gemini. Chiron and Jupiter are approaching a square aspect to each other, exact tomorrow. The possibility to be stressed by feelings of exposure and vulnerability are high, yet there is clear benefit too. How wonderful it feels to risk showing our true desires and to meet acceptance and support from others. What a gift it is to be seen and accepted. If you don’t find this support in your life today, it is time to search for the people who will love you for who you are. We also get to be those supportive people for others who are coming out of hiding. Welcome true vulnerability in your self and others today.

Moon in Pisces
Tuesday, January 15. Although the Moon is not void-of-course today, it only makes one aspect: a sextile to Mercury in Capricorn. Mercury is our ally of commitment to mastery today. What truth needs speaking? With support from the Moon, this realization may come from dreams, intuition, or ideals.

Moon enters Aries 10:07 am
Wednesday, January 16. We step from the dreamy realms of Pisces into action and reaction today. We may feel tested. Venus conjoins Pluto this evening but we’ll feel the passion earlier as the Moon enters Aries. Will we be liked if we show our true selves? Not always. Today the test is to find the reason to be true to ourselves even when we aren’t liked. Yet, the impulse to “go it alone” can be taken too far. So, the trick is to know when to do that and when to stay in relationship. Connection with others helps us to moderate the behaviors that can get in the way of our mastery. There is no such thing as perfection, only opportunity to learn.

Moon in Aries
Thursday, January 17. Let’s just say, all that was true yesterday is true today too. Another aspect with Venus gets thrown into the mix, however. Today Venus contacts Saturn in Scorpio by a sextile aspect. We are supported to move through our challenges. True friends and partners will support us in what we need to do to acquire authentic authority in our lives, even if it means telling us an uncomfortable truth. We feel strong enough to handle it.

Moon enters Taurus 7:36 pm
January 18—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting. This phase of the Moon is a good time to take definitive action on behalf of our New Moon intention. That doesn’t mean we won’t feel challenged. That is sort of part of the deal. This morning Mercury joins the Sun in its superior conjunction phase. Both planets are near the end of Capricorn. Some astrologers see the superior conjunction as the Full Moon phase of the Mercury/Sun cycle. When the illuminating rays of the Sun contact the creative mind of Mercury, what is realized? Confidence and commitment feed our dreams of mastery. Each of us deserves to live a life free of shame. Imagine that life into reality.

This evening the Moon moves into Taurus and we become mindful of sustainability. How do we sustain forward momentum? What relationship do we need to have to money, our bodies, and our values in order to manifest our intentions? And it is also a fun time to indulge in the pleasures of life. Notice what feels the most satisfying to you.

Moon in Taurus
Saturday, January 19. The darkest part of Winter is over. The Sun and Mercury enter Aquarius today and the focus of our lives turns toward the future and waking up as if from a long dream. Do you want to hit the snooze button or jump out of bed? There is a lot to do; yet the Moon in the Fixed Earth sign today may have us asking the question, What’s the hurry? Notice if you feel the tension or frustration between these two states of being. The Moon opposes Saturn and trines Venus. How important are your connections with others in helping you on your path of mastery? If you have been holding the intention of banishing shame on the path of mastery this lunar cycle, what have you noticed?

* To follow along with the story of this lunar cycle, read the forecast for the New Moon on January 11.
** All times are CST.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Follow the Moon: Forecast January 6, 2013 - January 12

The last week of a lunar cycle is a good time to sit with the experiences of the past few weeks. So much of our lives are about pushing forward into the future. I personally take so little time to reflect on where I’ve been. But if there was ever a time to slow down and remember, now is that time. We miss important pieces of ourselves when we fail to “re-member” the past. It helps to put our experiences in context so we don’t “forget” — a word that comes from the Germanic, meaning “to un-get, to lose one’s grip.”

I am aware of painful memories from this cycle: the killings at an elementary school, a death of a dear friend of mine, a hunger strike by a First Nations chief in Canada, the report of tens of thousands killed in Syria in their civil war, and more. Yet, even in the middle of this cycle, there was beauty and wonder too.

What does it mean, this pain and beauty? If I fail to remember it all, even the pain, I might never get to grasp the meaning. I might lose my grip on my role in this great act of co-creation. Each of us plays a part. Each of us needs to find a way to hold on to that vision. Perhaps the final effort we make in support of this lunar cycle’s intention** “ to embrace the Magician within as a co-creator of the manifesting cosmos” is to remember the important things—both the painful and the joyous.

This week, transits involving Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto recall the themes of this lunar cycle. Mercury and Jupiter in Mercury’s sign, Gemini, have served up the archetype of the Magician—the one who stands midst paradox and pauses between stimulus and response to choose consciously. Saturn and Pluto are constant reminders of the fertile depths in our souls. We are stretched between these two states: the wonder of magical possibility and the responsibility we hold for the actual world we live in. Last week I wrote: “’Wallowing in doomsday scenarios is not the solution,’ says the Magician.” This week, I believe the Magician is saying: “Denying the realities we see around us is a forgetting of true purpose.” Wherever we feel such paradox, the Magician is dancing through the worlds.

Forecast January 6, 2013 – January 12.
Moon enters Scorpio 12:09 am*
Sunday, January 6. Mercury in Capricorn and the Moon in Scorpio reinforce the sextile aspect that has been ongoing between Saturn and Pluto. Last week, I wrote about this aspect seeming like a plow turning over whatever has lain dormant and hidden within. We are plowing the fields of soul to prepare the soil for new life. With the Moon and Mercury’s help, we feel this strongly today and are able to give it voice. This is a great day for journaling, remembering, and honoring our visions.
Moon in Scorpio
Monday, January 7. Today, I invite you to develop the faith that even when nothing much seems to be happening on the outside, a great deal is going on underneath. Mars in Aquarius is concerned about seeing vision put into action. What new world are you working toward manifesting? Don’t get frustrated today if it feels like you aren’t making progress. Saturn in Scorpio challenges our assumptions about progress. The Moon in Scorpio goes void-of-course early in the day and stays that way until tomorrow. Better to practice quieting the mind. Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio, enters new territory (reaches a new degree in the zodiac since turning retrograde last fall), making the transformation of culture a priority. With all things Pluto, however, change comes from the depths. Honest self-assessment helps us see those depths.
Moon enters Sagittarius 2:28 am
January 8—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. The challenge in this phase of the lunar cycle is to surrender our defenses around remembering the pains and joys of the past few weeks. The Moon in Sagittarius lights up a fiery arrow pointing towards understanding. We want to understand what has happened to us. Everyone wants a sense of control over chaotic experiences. Yet having control may be a failure to truly feel our whole selves. Honor how much of your heart is available to you right now and honor the ways that you simply can’t feel any more. It is OK to be where we are. The Moon is opposite Jupiter today. Signs and portents are everywhere if we look—in the small everyday occurrences as well as in the big moments of understanding and insight. Tonight, Venus enters Capricorn. We find beauty in accountability and determination.
Moon in Sagittarius
Wednesday, January 9.  The Moon makes no aspects today, and so is void-of-course until tomorrow when in enters Capricorn. Since the Moon also is in the last days of this cycle, it may be best to use this day to complete things, to find time for reflection, or to do your exploring through a good book. Even though we may be drawn to quieter activities, this is not a gloomy day. A lovely sextile aspect between Venus and Neptune inspires us to find the beauty that connects us.
Moon enters Capricorn at 2:54 am
Thursday, January 10. Many planetary allies are encouraging us to be in the real world today. The Moon first contacts Neptune, the ally of dreaming into reality; then Venus, the ally of beautiful integrity; next Uranus, the ally of authentic commitment; then Pluto, the ally of cultural transformation; and lastly Saturn, the ally of far-reaching accountability. Take in what serves you and let go of the rest. What message will the Magician leave you with today? 
Moon in Capricorn
January 11—New Moon: Dreaming. Capricorn has a tough reputation. People can feel intimidated by this sign. I admit I’ve felt the same. The self-judger in me fears I do not have the gravitas to match Capricorn’s natural authority. It is easy to let Capricorn’s innate integrity and brilliance create comparison that causes feelings of shame and guilt. This is just too bad since Capricorn has so much real goodness to share with us. The sign of the winter season is focused on collective survival at the highest level. How do we come through the lean times of winter as a group? What ancestral wisdom will help us? How do we encourage the best of ourselves through high expectations? Can we make the hard choices by holding each other accountable? Capricorn sets worthy goals, and does it in such a devilish way that we are challenged but also immensely entertained. I am convinced that Capricorns have the best sense of humor.
The lunar cycle that begins today is grounded in Capricorn presenting a good opportunity to work with Capricorn’s gifts and to transform self-judgment, shame, and guilt into realizing those gifts. What if shame were banished? How would that shift our relationship to excellence and achievement?
Challenges can invoke shame or another response, determination. The challenges in the New Moon chart present an opportunity to acknowledge our innate gifts and to commit to using them in service to excellence. The challenging aspects are:
Saturn, the planetary ruler of Capricorn, is square to Mars in Aquarius. Pay attention to frustration. Do you judge yourself when things don’t move forward easily? Saturn is the great teacher. The lesson could be to slow down, to go for quality over speed. Another lesson could be to negotiate between the need for transparency and the need for secrets. Mars may tease out some secrets; Saturn may insist that not everything needs to be aired in the open.
Uranus in Aries is square Venus and Pluto. Long simmering tensions may erupt this month in relationships. Idealized relationships are not realistic. Notice judgment and assumptions around perfection in relationship. It is possible that even conflict can improve them if we commit to integrity and fairness.
A stationary Jupiter in Gemini is square to Chiron in Pisces. It can be really hard to integrate our hearts and minds. Often we split from one to retreat into the other. Where do you escape when faced with suffering? Problems may seem large. Vulnerability is nothing to be ashamed of.
Regardless of these challenges or others in your life, how does shame get in the way? A dear friend once enlightened me to the true nature of shame. The beginning letters of the word stand for: Should Have Already Mastered Everything. When put that way, we see the absurdity of shame. Time to do some work here.
Moon enters Aquarius at 3:01 am
Saturday, January 12. Visionary energy is strong. How do we create a better world? Part of that better world is finding authenticity in relationships. As Venus squares Uranus, we may feel frustrated that we can’t be our true selves in relationship. Come out from hiding and see how to make those relationships reflect the world you envision. 
* All times are CST.
** To follow along with the story of this lunar cycle, read the forecast for the New Moon on December 13.