by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December’s New Moon: Illuminating Our Self

A clay oil lamp used in India's diwali festival
(photo credit Arne Huckelheim, November 2010)

Life as a Mobius Strip…yes, and that’s apparently what we’re in for. The whole of the incoming lunation which starts on December 3rd at twenty-two minutes after midnight (UT/+0 ) seems somewhat akin to an astrological Mobius Strip.

A Mobius Strip - technically, a one-sided
piece of paper.
I remember distinctly what my reaction was when someone told me there was such a thing as a one-sided piece of paper: I looked at them as though they were crazy.

Assuring me they were not, this person then demonstrated how if you took a strip of paper and taped its ends together after installing one twist in the paper strip… how if you then lay that twisted loop of paper down on a table and apply a pen to it, how by drawing the paper beneath the pen… how slowly but surely you’d get back to where you started – and how in that process you had drawn on both ‘sides’ of the paper, theoretically proving it to be one-sided.

And don’t we all do a little bit of that one-sidedness, even while we’re veering hither and yon through life?

Any Sagittarian lunation is going to force us to do two things: learn or learn better (that would be the Sagittarius part) and feel about it – that being the Moon-ish stuff.

Or we could even feel what we think about having to learn something. Or think about our feelings. Or think about how the whole feeling thing applies in the grander scheme of life.

Sagittarius is ‘big’ like that, being one of the last four signs of the zodiac. When Sagittarius turns up on the energetic menu, no matter who we are or how we live we’re moved into a mode where “it” (whatever we deal with) is not precisely about us. That Sagittarius is a fire sign means our ability to envision is called upon…but whether your vision is about what could happen to you or how you could make something work or what glorious new opportunity might come of something you really don’t want to tackle…?

That’s up to you.

One very good thing about fire sign energy – especially where the Moon is concerned – is that the fiery ‘imagining’ and/or ‘not real, just in theory’ quality syncs rather nicely with our intellectual mode of thinking… which may just be entirely useful now as we’re all plowing through whatever complications are normal in your life as a side dish served up with the holidays.

Let’s face it – the holidays are complicated. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t celebrate worth a figgy pudding, you still have to cope with all the people who are celebrating and doing the whole festive thing.

Plus…(dare I say?)…Venus is about to go retrograde, a fact which is likely to summon up that splendidly flagrant human tendency to celebrate before all goes to pot. Call it the binge before the fast - or more likely, the splurge before the budget.

As a matter of fact, just as this New Moon occurs (December 3rd) Venus begins slowing down. (It probably should be taken as a hint.) Wherever Capricorn (the sign Venus is in) falls in your chart, that is the department which is going to come in for some sort of stress during Venus six weeks of retrograde.

Into which comes this Sagittarius lunation. Sagittarius being the sign immediately before Capricorn, we have an uncomfortable semi-sextile which thematically combines ‘hurry up’ and ‘do more’ (Sagittarius) with Capricorn-ian deadlines, obligations, limits and responsibilities to self and others.

As for the degree of this New Moon, that’s 10 Sagittarius - and this is where the magic begins to happen, as despite all that stuff which may sound trying, challenging, even wearisome, 10 Sagittarius is a degree which speaks of the promise and opportunity… even the fateful occurring of moments which teach how our polarities within are the polarities we create in life and between our Self and others.

The trick is to remember that we’re attracting them so that we can understand our own capacities.

In other words, don’t blame them – bless them, particularly when they point out you’re better than you’re letting yourself be.

That’s what that cry of conflict in your soul is all about – and that’s what this Sagittarian lunation will bend in upon itself to show you, though you’re highly likely to be surprised by how things work.

As I say, this starts with 10 Sagittarius – the position of the New Moon. With Antares just behind at 9 Sagittarius, the idea of success hinging on ‘not being obsessed’ is in the mix throughout the month, but what that means is purely individual. With Jupiter (ruler of Sagittarius) pictured in exact conjunction with Black Moon Lilith the choice would seem to be between something about our Self that we wanted to ‘leave behind’…or something about our Self that we refuse to own which, what with energy being sneaky like that, someone else is owning (or has owned) for us of late.

I admit…there’s a whiff of that recent eclipse thing in the air. It’s symbolically suggested by Mercury still being in Scorpio (26 Scorpio) in the chart of the New Moon.

Mercury’s been in Scorpio since September 29th. Do we all have that much unpacking of our emotional psyche to think about?

Evidently yes.

On the other hand, does the Scorpio tendency to make us feel so much about something mean it’s not real?

Maybe it is real. If so…what does that mean? What does it say about us as people that we can or cannot deal with our Selves and each other as people? How is it that we are so drawn to those who will inevitably test us at the most rip-prone spot in our Being?

And is ripping all bad? Or does it afford us room to grow?

Representing relationships, how well we relate and the process of self-experience we connect with through the process of relating (or refusing to relate), the Lunar Nodes are also still at 7 Scorpio/Taurus in this New Moon chart.

7 Scorpio is the degree the nodes slid into back on October 2nd - as life laid on five or six weeks of pretty intense experiencing in keeping with the Scorpio solar eclipse.

(Oh joy, oh rapture, right?)

And now we’re on the other side of that. With this New Moon, the last New Moon (the solar eclipse) begins to ‘gel.’ Think of it as a cut or thorn prick which finally knits over enough to stop bleeding.

No, things aren’t yet healed. But the universal process which promotes healing has been summoned, and in most cases as been started.

The Sabian Symbol for 10 Sagittarius reading as follows: IN THE LEFT SECTION OF AN ARCHAIC TEMPLE, A LAMP BURNS IN A CONTAINER SHAPED LIKE A HUMAN BODY. Since the New Moon is in fiery Sagittarius (a sign we can typify as ‘expansion of what you know’) and the lunation “arc” goes from that ‘envisioning/realizing’ New Moon in Sagittarius to a Full Moon in airy, option-sorting Gemini knowing that the next New Moon (January’s) will be in earthy Capricorn, land of achievement, social status, all things governmental and generally life consequential… what would seem to be implied here is a pretty straight on process: you get the idea, you think through the parameters and then you choose to act or not act.

And according to the symbol, all of this has to do with ‘a light’ which has, which is being or which has been “left” in the ‘left’ section of an archaic temple. And the lamp…? The ‘light’ may either be ‘shaped like a human being’ because it is a person, or it may be an ideal or idealized person – the ideal furnished by some person.

Considering how ‘light’ often represents information, education or some sort of ‘message’ or mentoring being given to us (or possibly left with us), the whole aura of Sagittarian ‘learning further’ may be our proceeding on with learning and pushing our boundaries or trying to cope based on something we believe we need to understand.

And that left section in an archaic temple – that’s particularly intriguing. Why? Because ‘left’ – especially when you’re talking about the human body in metaphysical terms – is a reference to the future. And yet (she says blithely), the symbol very specifically refers to an archaic temple – in other words, something we did hold high at one point, but which we have walked away from or given up on.

….Which may (now that I’m thinking about it) work very well with astrologer Marc Edmund Jones’ original commentary on the Sabian Symbol as dictated to him by the psychic: ‘The value of the “return to the body” advocated by modern thinkers in order to balance the stress on intellectuality and objective consciousness’ (to which astrologer/philosopher Dane Rudhyar adds ‘relying on organismic responses’).

Und zo…….Remember that Mobius Strip thing? What the above is saying we are now moving into our (left) future (where we will also find we have ‘left’ today’s present behind) we will reconnect in some way, at some level with something which we have allegedly left behind.
Maybe we have, maybe we haven’t.

Could we be headed back towards it? Maybe, but if so, according to the structure of this lunation chart, you’ll know that’s the right thing to do.

Give or take, you know. Before we get to the aspecting and all the planetary do-si-do’s, it seems prudent to add one more note about the Venus retrograde. In occurring on the 21st of December (in the UT/+0 time zone) this Venus station/retrograde falls immediately after this month’s Full Moon, a Full Moon which occurs on the morning of December 17th (UT/+0 time).

The suggestion here is that after the Full Moon, there’s something of a ‘retreat’ (if you will) from outside influences. Certainly there will still be commerce, but it would be natural, given these markers to see the general frenzy and crush as something we’re participating in begin to ‘take a turn’ after the 17th – and seeing that the Solstice and Venus’ turn to retrograde happens on December 21st, it wouldn’t seem unnatural for us to take that moment to do something we would find meaningful and which would move us at some level.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Just to pause a moment here, do you feel like perhaps it’s taking me a very long time (even for
me) to get to the point?

Ah, but grasshopper….that IS the point!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  
The way this New Moon chart is organized, it’s a bit like a Rube Goldberg machine. You know…you get to this through that and you end up getting somewhere you hadn’t suspecting you had started out to arrive at?

We start with the New Moon and 10 Sagittarius, and in looking at the lunation’s chart note that it’s the apex of a t-square.

This t-square is being presented in early degrees of mutable (learning as you go) signs with Sagittarius, a sign about seeing how the thing works in reality and the changes, additions or refinements you need to make in order to maximize effect. That means that at least from here until the Full Moon (on the 17th) will be spent trying to get a fullest perspective on our efforts – replete with all the usual Sagittarian caveats.

The ‘object’ of this t-square is imaged as Chiron at 9 Pisces with Chiron being that thing we can’t imagine doing (or knowing how to do) and 9 Pisces lending the aura of all which is felt when you face the Great Undertaking.

You know…the one you know you need to undertake in your heart of hearts but which just seems full of SUCH grief?

Yes, that undertaking.

And it’s that undertaking that the New Moon is sitting astride of, telling us that whatever you think is at stake…you’re probably thinking too narrowly about the subject. Yes, there may be some really good reason why you (9 Pisces) need to do something, and doing that something requires your substantial (10 Sagittarius) abilities – those things you are really good at.

You’re probably thinking that you need to do ‘XYZ’ because you will achieve ABC…and yet, this image says there’s more to be gained (part one) and that you can indeed achieve your aims (and gains) if you will only approach the problem from not a personal, but a more universal basis.

In other words, life may feel like its all about you or all about one particularly prioritized project when its far more likely that what you are doing involves a far greater set of influences than you are currently thinking of.
So that’s Unknown Factor #1.

And on top of that goes Vesta at 7 Libra.

Vesta concerns the protecting of the self and those with whom you abide through the honoring of everyone’s needs and the keeping of one’s promises. In Libra, relationships, negotiations, conversations or the process of ‘relating,’ ‘conferring’ or ‘selling’ are possible…and where they are possible, availing yourself of same will benefit you.


…with Uranus at 8 Aries (in opposition to Libra) there’s been or needs to be some flexibility brought to the fore, lest promises and priorities go awry and things come shuttering apart in a show of broken self-conception. In facing off against Vesta, even if Uranus wasn’t retrograde it would be suggesting some self-questioning as to whether there’s somewhere you need to change, flex, join the group – something!

But wait! That’s not all either.

(Yes, I know…I’m beginning to sound like an infomercial.)

There’s a little issue called “Pluto at 10 Capricorn” which enters into this mix now. And that Pluto, representing some sort of ‘structural power’ or ‘power structures’ in your life or in your heart is getting in the way. Are you being too rigid. Are you too unstructured? Maybe both?

This is a bit of a oddity as a t-square (yes, it’s another t-square) in that the object is the Uranus in retrograde.
What does that tell us? That tells us that in order to achieve your desired or needed internal changes (or the ability to be flexible) things, your very concept of power – what is yours, what isn’t yours – needs to shift.  

And when it comes to that, then we’re back at the entrance to the maze we’ve just gone through, courtesy of a Grand Trin between Pluto, Pallas and the South Node in Taurus.

Put simply, this incoming lunation thus becomes more about coming to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it…

Which is rather the definition of illumination.


  1. Thank you. I had to come back and re-read this in order to understand (!) what is happening now, after all that has happened since the Sagittarius New Moon. Something inside me knew the answer would be in the (too overlooked) recent astro events. . . overlooked due to the time involved in preparing for everything to be "right" for the holidays. This has not been a month for deep thought, although much of that preceded the Sagittarius NM. No, this month was all about following the script for it to be a "success" (thank you Venus in Capricorn). However, now that 95% of the festivities of Christmas are over, there is a relaxing of the duties and time to follow the breadcrumbs back to this post and digest it more thoroughly. It does make sense and it also makes it easier to do what needs to be done.

    1. Ah yes...'thank you, Venus in Capricorn.' Will we all like the retrograde period as much? Only time will tell.

      As to coming back to this post, that is very gratifying to hear as I often think astrology is learned from in progress - just as you're doing - reflecting on notes already mentally 'digested' prior to that time. I know that idea of 'referring back' is exactly what got me through a sticky wicket with myself at the Mars/Uranus opposition, too.

      To tell me that what I've written gives you useful information to reflect on - information which makes your life easier - is music to my ears, so thank you!

      - Boots

  2. And I second Barb K. Many layers of my life were being processed at that time, but e layer that was so pertinent for me to review through this post is the culmination on Dec 8th and 12th of a brutal 5 year divorcee process for me, after which there was some information about incorrct (in his favor) division oif the assets (my lack of hard nosed detail orientation up to the bitter end).. I processed this fact with myself and my attorney back and forth about re-opening the case. I was finally able to accept that "what I was doing " was end a 46 year long unhealthy relationship and become fully responsible for myself and my past decisions and "failures" (i.e., limited attention to the financial details)and "why was I doing this " was to give myself a future which was going to be more than "good enough " because such a weight was being lifted. Re-reading this now, looking at the dates, and remembering the process and my difficulty in knowing exactly whcih of the unimaginable "hard things" was begging me to step up to the plate ---I chose to end "the fight". And now seeing how Uranus was involved if I continued, it I am so glad that was my choice, I am really gratified and relieved in seeing the trustworthiness of my decision making process and my strong intuition, which I have been able to tap into more and more as time goes on. This kind of affirmation is quite intellectually heartening. Thanks again for being not only informative. but also educational as you cover the stars in our lives.!