― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
January 23—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering. A strong lineup of planets in Pisces reinforces the feeling of needing time to yourself as the Capricorn lunar cycle wanes into darkness. Mercury in Capricorn starts off the introspection by making a sextile aspect to Neptune in Pisces. This connection encourages insight and self-reflection. Be gentle with yourself. The past weekend was a big one and as a good friend of mine reminded me, the next four years will be a marathon not a speed race. It is a good idea, today, to honor your emotions as much as your desire to better the world. The work we do in the Capricorn season to assess our lives and set intention will help us as we prepare for the next lunar cycle seeded by Aquarius’ desire to join with others to envision the seeds of possibility for the year ahead. The expansive Moon in Sagittarius might make it hard to listen to the need for quiet reflection today. Notice the push and pull in both directions.
Tuesday, January 24. Don’t take the bait. Some are looking for a fight. The Moon in Sagittarius makes a square to Mars in Pisces today. Philosophies don’t jibe with our emotional experiences. We might want to fall into the trap of making everything about logic and forgetting the part about heart.
Wednesday, January 25. The Moon returns to Capricorn at the end of the Capricorn lunar cycle. We come full circle to see our patterns around self-expectation. Yes, we want to keep working, but have you found a way to be easier on yourself during this lunar cycle? (It began way back in 2016 on December 29.) Venus in Pisces conjoins Chiron. We are meant to open our hearts and feel the world’s suffering during this transit. Empathy could be painful, but it also increases our capacity to connect. The Moon conjoins Mercury in Capricorn later in the day. Make a plan—a simple plan—to bring more compassion to the world. When we act together, it doesn’t take much effort.
Thursday, January 26. It could feel like we’re making one missed connection after another today. Venus in Pisces makes a puzzling quincunx to Jupiter in Libra. These planets are in mutual reception (in each other’s signs) so we assume we are being understood by others on a deep, intuitive level. But we could very well be wrong about that. Something is obstructing the flow. Take time to check in on the important relationships and don’t take it personally if someone just doesn’t get you. Caution in communication could be a good strategy with the Moon setting off the tense t-square of Uranus in Aries opposing Jupiter in Libra (both square to Pluto in Capricorn). This t-square eggs on the fight response and a desire to expose abusive power.
January 27—New Moon: Seeding. The New Moon in Aquarius gives the opportunity to plant seeds of openness and authenticity. This fixed air sign is good at conceptualization, is willing to break rules and patterns, and is happy to tinker with social organizations to ensure the freedom of each individual in the group. The sign can be a little cold and clinical. But not always, sometimes it can be charmingly radical and hopeful. Fixed signs anchor a season. In this case, in the northern hemisphere, Aquarius anchors deep winter. The fertile darkness inspires vision and dreams for the unfolding year. In this soil of possibility, we can plant the dreams for a more just and awake world. Aquarius also desires authenticity and transparency. These qualities, combined with love, are a powerful force for transformation.
- bell hooks in All About Love.
Saturday, January 28. Remember that a growing preponderance of air and fire influence can make us reactive and removed from our emotions. This will be an ongoing concern this lunar cycle. The Moon in airy Aquarius makes favorable contact with Uranus in Aries (fire), Jupiter in Libra (air), and Saturn in Sagittarius (fire). Try not to listen only to voices you agree with or speak only to those who agree with you. Broaden the signals. Remember love sends a strong signal too.
Sunday, January 29. Ahh, the Moon moves into a water sign. Notice how this feels on your nervous system. What do you need for self-care? Mercury in Capricorn conjoins Pluto. Perhaps you notice the stress of all the lies. Mercury desires to speak truth but will have to fight against power to do so. Don’t cave to your own lies. If that seems like the only option, remember to hold yourself tenderly. Wonder about the power of love to unmask the lies.
Monday, January 30. Venus influence is strong this lunar cycle. At the New Moon, Venus made a square to Saturn, setting the tone of working hard on relationships. Soon Venus will move into Aries (February 3) and will take on an even more militant energy of assertion. This may be hard on relationship too. With a lunar intention to “lead with love,” we learn how to be on that tough quest for the love that unmasks. On March 4 Venus will station retrograde in Aries and station direct on April 15 at the same degree in Pisces it reaches today. Prelude to this journey begins today. Love is way more complex than the common ideas of harmony and pleasure. Perhaps we attain a more realistic vision of love during this cycle. The Moon contacts Neptune, Pluto, and Mercury today. That’s a lot going on. Monitor how much you interact with others if you are feeling overwhelmed by the emotional atmosphere around you.
January 31—Crescent Moon: Germinating. The seeds of possibility sown at the New Moon begin to germinate in this phase of the lunar cycle. All the action is still below the surface, however. Aquarius is a season of imminent change. We naturally feel this time of year as a quickening that leads to the rebirth of Spring. Things are brewing. When the Moon enters Aries, that sense of needing to act will really kick in. This is an excellent time to refer back to the intention you set for this lunar cycle. What is seeking expression? I have chosen the intention to be led by transformative love, the kind of love that demands I tell myself the truth. As Mercury in Capricorn makes a square to Uranus in Aries today, truth telling is high on the list of ways we want to instigate change in the world. At the same time as this agitating energy is happening, the Moon conjoins Mars in Aries. We could feel like we are ready to blast off. I recently attended a concert/community sing-a-long led by Melanie DeMore. In fact, one of her songs inspired this month’s intention. At this event she described herself as a weapon of mass connection. That is a just about perfect way to think of Mars in Aries moving us towards liberating love.
Wednesday, February 1. February, the month of love, is here. If you’ve been following along, I am pursuing a lunar intention of being led by love, but not in the sweet, sickly way love is portrayed in Valentine’s Day cards. The love I seek to be led by is inspired by James Baldwin and bell hooks, two authors who write about the transformative power of love that removes masks and demands truth. The Moon in Aries is fiery and bold. You might want to step clear of the lies you tell yourself and the lies you hear from corrupt power and dare to love openly. Mercury’s sextile to Chiron in Pisces is a heart opener, especially in the realm of communication.
Thursday, February 2. Traditional Imbolc. Today is the traditional date of Imbolc, the cross-quarter holy day celebrating the quickening year and our intentions for that year. Tomorrow, the Sun reaches the midpoint of Aquarius, and that is celebrated as astronomical Imbolc. The meaning for both dates is the same. The association of this sabbath with the goddess Brigid invites us to ceklebrate poetry, art, and justice. Some Pagans honor the day by making pledges for the year. The square between Mercury in Capricorn and Jupiter in Libra could create a desire to be very expansive in our pledges. The desire for justice and honorable power is strong. Before the Moon moves into stable Taurus this evening (central time zone), the Moon in Aries touches off a cascade of agitation by conjoining Uranus, squaring Mercury, and opposing Jupiter. Our souls sense this is not a year to be tame. How do you claim your wildness?
February 3—First Quarter Moon: Sprouting. Astronomical Imbolc. See yesterday’s entry for more information about astronomical Imbolc. The midpoint of Aquarius anchors air as one of the elements of life. (Aquarius is the fixed air sign.) What qualities of air do you value? Which qualities do you need? Which are problematic? Air represents our ability to see clearly, to voice our truth, and to envision new possibilities. At this phase of the Moon, new Moon seeds are sprouting asking us to tend to our intentional gardens. How can air be an ally for your lunar intention? My intention is to be led by love to tell the truth of myself and to hear the truth of others. Air brings clarity. May you feel that clarity too. Venus enters Aries today. Venus spends an extra long time in Aries due to an upcoming retrograde journey through the sign (also moving back into Pisces for a while.) The kind of love that Venus values is courageous and a bit reckless. Under this influence we may be tempted to burn away the lies that keep us from truly loving each other. The caution is to temper the flame with compassion. Taurus Moon values solid grounding. That helps too.
Saturday, February 4. Most of this day gives solid relief to all the air and fire influences recently. The Moon trines both Pluto and Mercury in Capricorn. We’ve been pushing through the lies and fighting for love. Today, perhaps we hear a truth we can trust. Notice how this feels in your body. This is important information.
Sunday, February 5. The jumpy, jittery Gemini Moon may very well put us over the edge if we aren’t careful. This energy is great for social connectivity, discovery, and learning. It is hard on the nervous system if we are already taking in too much information. The Moon makes a very energetic contact with Mars in Aries and that doesn’t much help us settle. Later, the Moon makes a square to Neptune in Pisces. The oceanic feelings of Neptune may be more than we can handle. It is OK to go against the grain and spend quiet time alone, if you can.