by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Sagittarius New Moon

"Earthrise" - a photo of Planet Earth taken by astronaut Bill Anders on December 24, 1968 revealing a sight apparently only visible from someone orbiting the Moon, not standing on its the surface.
(photo credit: NASA)
One of the things Sagittarius evokes in my astrological thoughts is the idea that anything Sagittarian is about being ‘on the road’ to somewhere or something.

So when it comes to a New Moon in Sagittarius (which occurs at 8:43 a.m. UT/+0 on Thursday, December 13th)...and since being ‘on the road’ is about learning new things, accepting the new and letting go of the old (at least as being ‘the only thing’…Sagittarius embodies qualities of wandering, wondering and maybe having a few regrets. For all we may gain, we may also leave something behind. We may triumph…then again, we may also make a few mistakes.

Known sometimes as dogmatic, Sagittarius becomes demanding or resistant through an inability to consider new ideas. It’s also about our ability to miss out on success when we refuse to hear good sense or learn better.

Any New Moon is the beginning of a next life ‘vignette.’ I often think of a solar return and our ‘birthday year’ as a chapter in the book of our life. In that sense, the lunation is a scene, a scenario, one of the subsets with which and upon which we will build our future and, in learning more about who we are, gain perspective on our past.

It’s that perspective which gives us insight and the power to improve our future. So here’s at least to that!

This year’s Sagittarius New Moon falls at 21 Sagittarius, a degree which by “decanate definition” has us interacting with our world. But it’s also a degree which is about some sort of active struggle we’re having with ourselves…about something. Or maybe some things. The Sabian Symbol A CHINESE LAUNDRY implies (among other things) that we’re sorting things out and trying to ‘clean things up’ or sort them out. The reference to ‘Chinese’ would seem to imply something ‘foreign’ to, or about, or which is part of what we’re trying to sort through this month. At the same time, we’re trying to be practical. And because this symbol refers to a business which would be part of a community or city, this refers to us as someone in our world – and whatever ‘thing’ we’re working at as one ‘working function’ in a greater tapestry of life.

And that idea…the ‘one among many’ issue, that echoes the ongoing Pluto/Facies conjunction.

That this moment – and this lunar month – may be an emotional one is shown by this New Moon at 21 Sagittarius being conjunct fixed star Ras Alhague, square Pallas in Pisces, and in perfect trine to Eris (retrograde) in Aries.

There’s a humble and industrious quality to the idea of the Chinese Laundry...coupled to the fact that the phrase 'Chinese Laundry' as coined in the US in the early part of the 1900's really had to do with oppressive circumstances experienced by Chinese Americans unable to get an economic foothold in a country which they were having trouble integrating themselves into.

Ras Alhague upholds both sides of this idea in many ways. As a binary star (with an orbiting cycle of approximately 8.6 years) Ras Alhague describes situations which 'circle around themselves.' Thus the dualistic nature of the Chinese American at the time when the term 'Chinese Laundry' was coined refers both to a group of people wanting to be part of a greater culture and a group of people who were at that time still very involved in holding to their own 'old' ways. Thus the difficulties ("punishment") which is felt whenever and wherever we see Ras Alhague becomes one which comes both from without and from within, with no clear answer.

And that 'seeking the answer to the problem' idea - that is entirely Sagittarian.

Known as the ‘Astrologer’ (implication: one who seeks information leading to greater knowledge) in Chinese lore, the name given to it by Arab astrologers (Ras Alhague) evidently translates as the ‘head of the serpent,’ which is apt because the alternate name for Ras Alhague is Alpha Ophiuchus -  Ophiuchus being a constellation which from time to time is proposed as a ‘lost zodiac sign’...but which it isn’t.

To qualify as a zodiac sign, Ophiuchus would have to lie on or across the planet of the ecliptic (Earth’s path around the Sun). And it doesn’t. But this too echoes the 'wanting to be part of something while being apart' quality as noted above.

And the constellation doesn't suggest that situations are easy, either. The image of Ophiuchus is of a hunter (some say a warrior) wrestling with a serpent, which fits with the ‘wrestling with things’ theme posed by the New Moon being at 21 Sagittarius.

The image of constellation Ophiuchus as pictured in the Azophi (al Sufi) manuscript Suwar al-Kawakib (dating from around 1730) which itself is a copy of a lost manuscript prepared for Ulug Beg of Smarkand in 1417 
(courtesy of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC)
Then we add the most prevalent themes which go with Ras Alhague, that of its representing situations which heal or hurt – even harm. If you saw the second in the recent series of Batman movies (‘The Dark Knight’) you may remember a character named Ras Alhague who asserted that the city of Gotham had to experience chaos and darkness in order to be purified. That idea is right in sync with the star and its lore, whether or not that was the intention of the character’s creators.

So there’s a definite ‘theme’ of difficulty and how we go about dealing with difficulties, whether they be past or present.

Because this is a New Moon, it may also be very helpful to think of the whole of the lunation (something I’ve been thinking about doing but hadn’t gotten to until now). The New Moon is at 21 Sagittarius, the First Quarter is at 28 Pisces, the Full Moon will be at 7 Cancer and the Last Quarter at 14 Libra.

Yes, the lunar cycle has 8 phases. But let’s start with the four ‘axial’ points. The first half of this lunation (the New and First Quarter phases) are in mutable signs, indicating a period where we learn as we go and will probably deal with a lot of adjusting of our plans, schedules and aims. Then the second half of the lunar cycle are in cardinal signs. So as we get to and pass through the Full Moon phase (which falls on December 28th), we will be moving from a reacting-to-things-as-we-go sort of mood-and-methodology into a more ‘get it done’ sort of mode.

Which makes sense, seeing as by December 28th the holidays are pretty much over.

(Yes, I know…there’s still New Years. But who doesn’t have their New Years plans in place by December 28th?)

Going back to the more astrological side of it all though, any lunation which begins in Sagittarius and comes to ‘full’ in Cancer is describing a couple of things.

One: since Sag-to-Cancer is an 8th house harmonic, this says that whatever we’re trying to ‘do’ starting out (i.e., at the New Moon) is all about a “Scorpio/8th house” sort of effort. In other words, we’re a.) dealing in the interactive realm here, b.) things are emotional and/or emotionally based and c.) we’d really just like to be doing what we’d like to do (or do it in a fashion and on a schedule which suits our fancy) but there are others to consider in our equation.

As always when we talk Scorpio/8th house, that’s the real test. We go into this lunation thinking about ourselves and our aims. But if that’s all we think about during this lunation, we’re going to have a hard time. All things Scorpio and 8th house require that we think not just in terms of our own values and judgment, but that of those around us with the trick being not to try to control them…AND not to be controlled by them.

(Oh yeah…that.)

So we can’t pander and we can’t give in, but we also can’t be unfeeling, uncaring, demanding or pissy.

The weird thing is…in a situation like this, especially since we’re talking a cycle which is by its lunar nature all about money, feelings, family and the bonds which tie (and sometimes unravel us!) it’s our very desire which can get us off track.

Yes, well…desire IS a Scorpio/8th house word.

The answer is to think it through and to do what’s right for you to do, regardless of pressures from others – or from some guilt or shame or whatever on the inside.

But be forewarned: this is one of those situations where the more sensible you are, the more lacking in sense others may turn out to be.

And when you see that, your feeling about them will change…which sometimes is the hardest thing of all, but oh-so Scorpio. Scorpio isn’t about sex or power or money as some think it is. Scorpio and all 8th harmonics are about how we discover more about our innermost self.

The other thing which seems so notable about this New Moon being in Sagittarius – particularly where it’s positioned (with Ras Alhague and trine Eris) – with the Full Moon being in Cancer is that this would seem to be a lunation which ‘brings things home’ to us. That can be in the external and obvious sense, but then again, it may symbolize a time…a lunar cycle…which ends up revealing more about why you are as you are. Why you live and have built the (Cancer) life that you live…how it came out of  (Sagittarius) things you learned or learned to believe.

Such concepts may now work for you…or not.

Either way, with Eris in the mix, this is New Moon starts us along a path which is meant to get us to feel something we haven’t felt before. Or which we didn’t think we were capable of feeling. Or which we didn’t realize was so important. Or not important.

Eris generally works best when we’re fighting for others. The person who defends the helpless, the person who stands up for the rights of those who aren’t being heard, those are Eris people who earn respect, support and lasting positive regard. Those who don’t care about what happens to others or how what they do effects others are also ‘Eris figures’ but in time the compromise of their own mortality comes back to haunt them.

The Judgment of Paris by Anton Raphael Mengs (c.1757)
The famous story of Paris' judgment being tested is very much what Eris is all about. When Eris is in the astrological picture, things will happen which test us emotionally, seeing what we're really all about and what we're willing to stand for. Want more information on Eris? Here's a LINK to an article on dwarf planet Eris here on the blog.  

That the New Moon is a latter (3rd decanate/21 Sagittarius) degree and the Full Moon is at 7 Cancer and thus a 1st decanate degree which is about who we are ‘in the flesh’ and what we do is another way of saying that life is ‘bringing home to us’ not just what we are going about (Sagittarius) doing, but what that means we are or are going to end up (Cancer) being.

With Mercury having just gone into Sagittarius as this New Moon arrives and Venus about to do likewise (as of December 16th) we know this is a busy time which will tempt us to just do “whatever” in order to get something done.

About the time the Full Moon hits, some of us will simply exhale in gratitude. Others of us will wonder where to go, considering what they’ve already done. We have three more months to come (after this one) of New Moons at 21 of successive signs, so we know that life is still about how we handle ourselves in our more and most ‘public realm.’ As of next month however, the emphasis shifts from interactive to worldly and “big picture” concerns. That fits with December being all about friends, family and holidays and to some extent that’s yet another way of looking at the New Moon being at 21 Sagittarius and the Full Moon being at 7 Cancer as the major markers in this cycle. Sagittarius is about how things are going along the road through our life. That reflects now – in some ways – in terms of what you bring home and for many, what home they have to come home to.

There’s a physical home, there is that home we find with family and people we love and treasure. Those are important, yes. But ultimately, it’s being at home with your Self and inside your own skin which really counts.

December 13th is not just the date of the New Moon – it’s also the day when Uranus and asteroid Kassandra go direct and when asteroid Circe goes into retrograde. And this is also at the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, as got blogged about yesterday.

 A photo from a 1955 episode of "I Love Lucy" with (left to right) Lucy's real-life husband Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance as Ethel Murtz and William Frawley as Ethel's husband Fred in the middle of some ridiculous situation so typical of the show and all the other sit-com's of the1950s.
(photo in public domain)

On the old ‘I Love Lucy’ shows hubby Ricky Ricardo used to say to his life (Lucille Ball) ‘you got some ‘splaining to do!’ in his richly Cuban accent…and it would seem that we are in something of a like position. But that’s good. If we can enjoy the holidays and along the way through them experience and learn about ourselves, what better present can we have...or become to ourselves, others and this world?

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