The New Moon in Aquarius arrives January 21st, 2023, at 3:53pm EST, its airy multivalence and contours shaped by the conjunction of Venus and Saturn the following afternoon. While the Moon meets the Sun at 1° through the sign of the Water Bearer, renewing its cycle in a decan that knows novel joys, egoic liberty and stifling contraction alike, Venus and Saturn meet at 24° Aquarius, in the midst of a decan that often deals in endings and disentanglement.
This comes just days after Mars in Gemini, retrograde since October 30th, 2022, went direct on January 12th, ruled by a Mercury retrograde in Capricorn that wrapped on January 18th when the swift planet ended its usual nearly three-week backwards jaunt. The most momentum-oriented of the planets are still slow, and a rather dry Venus-Saturn conjunction both deepens and negates the Goddess. This concomitant renewal of the lunar cycle feels more a new year than January 1st did, a point that astrologer Elodie St. Onge-Aubut (@9th_house_astrology) was keen to make.
Aquarius is the fixed air sign, a place of focused thinking, electrifying iconoclasm and sobering contemplation, Saturn’s diurnal home hauling light in the darkest skies. But the light returns; it has always been returning.
Aquarius is the utility of genius and a hotbed of madness, force-steeped and chilled to a cool charm. The center of winter’s empty lungs, following autumn’s exhalation — in Aquarius, the great year’s macrocosmic circulation sees where the light of consciousness is retrieved from, what directions a body momentarily void of breath might send the swords of its thought.
Are they poured out as a Water Bearer, blood cells warmed by the carriers and nourished in the cold plunge, bridging the gap with egalitarian vision, blessing with humanitarian hues — or does the emptiness give way to a mind aggrieved, dissociated, filled with neuroses and a possessing gischt?
The coming together of Sun and Moon in Aquarius can steer us towards recognizing the unique breath we’re endowed with in this incarnation, the novelties, the quirks, that what makes a person feel alienated, apart, ‘exiled’ can also be the means by which we bind or reconnect to others. The backdraft is the risk of slipping further and further away into the distance, into an abstraction.
Aquarius is a weaver of worlds, even ones with walls worth rattling, pillars crumbling, an empowered Antihero, a prodigal prophet in triumph, a cathartic future, a past resurrected and rearranged…
… and at once a laboratory with papers aflutter, a vehement fixation on the item of thought, endless subjects abstracted from the object, risking defeat in extricating itself from participation with what it purports to know.
Does the Outsider bring back on its shoulders a truth enmeshed in the World it wishes to save? Will the donor’s blood be received, the code recognized, the pieces fitting, the hierarchies rearranged? Is utopia realized, or does an egregore run the scripts? Is it all these things, co-present in the neuralinked bedlam?
Perhaps that truth which comes from the outside, at once a jagged piece but fit to save, an all-but-forgotten ideal yet completely foreign, can never go down smoothly at first.
Aquarius sits across from the Sun’s home of Leo. While Leo, center of summer’s waning light, might rebel against the fade with its chest puffed out, a cat stretching in the rays, charged reminder of our divine birthright, Aquarius looks over the stark divide, romanticizing its role on the periphery, ready to bring back a missing piece of that which is yet to be individuated, yet to be made known by the Sun’s reach. Its ruler Saturn is the furthest planet from the Sun regularly visible to the naked eye, ruling the boundaries of that liminal, threshold beyond.
Just yesterday I saw an Aquarius I know caption a post: “Maybe we find ourselves off-center because that particular center wasn’t doing it for us anymore.” Another friend of mine, with Sun and Moon in Aquarius but little knowledge of astrology, has long sported the Facebook bio, “I picture life standing from the Moon.”
Like the salient circuitry of your technological attention traps, or the neural rust we are to imagine a future escape from, Saturn’s yang home of Aquarius ever commences during a month named after Janus, the Roman god of gates, door and transitions, often portrayed looking both forward and backward. Aquarius is not just the outside observer, perched to save or steer towards utopian techno-futurism, it is also the relentless pursuit of freedom in restoring something to a past vision or ideal, as Adam Elenbaas emphasized.
This Aquarius season foreshadows Saturn’s exit from its yang home on March 7th, and March 23rd seeing Pluto’s two-month tease of its two-decade tenure in the same, set to fully begin in October 2024. One might feel we often perceive ourselves, as individuals and a species, on the precipice of fated choices surrounding human agency in context of technological breakthroughs (Aquarius), and changes in how the dignity of creative willpower is met in this context.
Air signs are represented in the Swords suit of the Tarot. Double-edged, and with each decan name across the Minor Arcana in The Book of Thoth suggesting a duality or shadow thereof, aquarian divergence tells us something diabolical about the very nature of choice, and of language-based thought. Especially when a decision is weighted by knowledge of a particular truth or principle. Air signs ‘follow’ Earth, words and concepts twisted from the object of perception. We see how purporting to know ‘the Way’ can so easily fill a person with egoic validation, from which we might abstract a pride about knowing — yet choosing in spite of it.
This is where the root of the word comes in — contrasted with ‘symbolis’, ‘diabolis’ is to divide from the symbol. To choose in spite of the omen recognized. To know better but not do better. Little transgressions, sometimes as simple as contractive inaction, or living in the idea of something rather than the ‘thing in itself’, can add up to major injustices. It is sometimes our alternating victories and defeats across mental battles, the detached indifference which can arise, that keep us from a full, visceral participation in our lives.
And this is where the dissociative shadow of Aquarius runs the biggest risk. The ‘fixed thinking’ quality can become an end unto itself. It’s curious that Venus and Saturn are conjunct as Saturn rules the New Moon in Aquarius, because the first decan of Aquarius in which this lunation takes place is ruled by Saturn in the Chaldean order, and Venus in the triplicity order, if you fancy that.
The overall emotional tenor of this lunar cycle is thus especially toned by Venus and Saturn, with a simultaneous deepening toward yet blockage surrounding Venusian matters of art, love, relating, and self-valuation. Accepting and loving one’s flaws. Letting one’s freak flag fly. Accepting the time-binding quality, the limits of life that endow us towards any experience at all. How boundaries can render our hearts all the more meaningful. How pushing through swamps of overstimulation and ‘idea of the thing’ can plant us more firmly in joy. How the limitations of our timelines themselves help to shape our expressions of love, and of perceived purpose on this planet.
As the New Moon in Aquarius dawns, it might help one to reach through any stifling energy. Something is being brought to completion, another to commencement, and those works which need your attention most will also come to need more tenderness than expediency, more engagement than distance. The enmeshment of Venus in Pisces is soon to arrive.
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