NEW MOON – 15 DEGREES SAGITTARIUS
December’s lunar cycle resets a day after Mercury turns direct and on the same day as a poetic Mars-Neptune conjunction. As a result, it holds within it the seeds of a brand new start, provided you can maintain your focus and overcome confusion, low self-worth, worry or inertia. Read my December New Moon forecast to learn more.
The final New Moon for 2018 takes places in upbeat, optimistic Sagittarius and contains within the seeds for expansion and growth, provided you can maintain your focus.
Sagittarius is an interesting zodiac sign – the archer is considered to be half-man, half beast, rather like the mythic god, Pan – the centaur with his feet on the ground, but his gaze directed upwards as he aims his bow and arrow towards a distant but lofty goal. In essence, then this sign has the potential to bring heaven down to earth provided he keeps an eye on where he is going. After all, we wouldn’t want him to trip over an obstacle or fall down a cliff!
In astrological terms, this sign is mutable fire. Fire was considered the lightest of the elements by the ancient Greeks and therefore the furthest away from earth, which was considered the most dense. This quality, together with the tendency of flames to leap upwards (and consume their earthly fuel) made it synonymous with spirit in the eyes of the esotericists. we can see the similarities in terms of vertical movement between the Sagittarius and its ruling element.
It should therefore come as no surprise that Sagittarius is a zodiac sign associated with optimism, adventure and enthusiasm (which, incidentally, comes from the Greek word enthousiasmos, which means to be ‘possessed by a god, inspired.’
However, its mutable quality means that it can sometimes have trouble with both self-control and focus. This can lead to wasted efforts, hyperbole, a lack of direction and an unwillingness to commit. This is why Jupiter, it’s ruling planet, is sometimes associated with mania, hypocrisy, over-confidence and inflation, and needs the tempering of more steady planets such as pragmatic and disciplined Saturn. So while it is considered one of the luckiest, funniest and sunniest of zodiac signs (Sagittarius is associated with goofiness and comedy), it can also become a little difficult to control if poorly-aspected or if there are not enough grounding elements to counter-balance it in a natal chart. This is something that we will need to watch at this particular New Moon because of a tricky aspect between the luminaries and Mars-Neptune in Pisces. More on this later.
In general though, this New Moon is likely to activate Sagittarian-ruled themes such as:
- The explorer gene
- A desire for adventure and freedom, foreign travel or connections
- Optimism, enthusiasm, blue sky thinking, the big picture
- Publishing and higher education
- Culture, ethics, the law
- Large animals such as horses
December’s New Moon takes place almost exactly 30 degrees from the November’s Scorpio New Moon. Marc Edmund:
Sea gulls watching a ship.
James Burgess discusses the meaning of the second decanate of Sagittarius as relating to the potential of any seed moment to either succeed or fail, and sees in this Sabian degree the complex interplay between chance and choice, Fate and free will.
This is a topic that every astrologer has to address with their clients at some stage because it has a lot of implications, not only for how we practise, but also what our clients can expect from us – and from astrology. You can read more about my philosophy and approach if you are interested.
When we have Sagittarius in the mix, the healthiest perspective to cultivate is very much one of looking upwards from the perspective of earth, rather than hovering above the earth looking down. This image is ambiguous in that we don’t know whether the seagulls are perched somewhere strategic nearby, watching the ship from the ground or circling above it like a bird of prey (or a scavenger!).
If we assume, as Lynda Hill does, that the seagull is hovering above a ship, waiting for a chance to steal some scraps that are throw overboard, then we can easily get into the mentality she describes of settling for meagre pickings – essentially playing ‘small potatoes’ when we should, like the archer, be aiming a lot higher.
On the other hand, we could take a more strategic angle with this degree, as James Burgess does, of trying to ‘read the signs’ between ‘what must be and what may be’ with regards to the future. After all, the last Full Moon Sabian symbol told us to be mindful and look out for the unannounced calls of fate – so hopefully, you have all been paying attention!
Because, from this perspective, the Sabian Symbol suggests that we could identify an opportunity. But we need to be ready to seize it when it comes along. To do this, he suggests the following in his book, Full Circle:
… our relationship with what may be is an adventure that demands our special attention, exemplary acuity and a willingness to become a different version of ourselves. We simply cannot know what is next – and so we must somehow hold an attitude that protects us from danger, yet readies us for opportunity. Between where we are, and where we hope to be, lives an uncharted path – labelled on maps as ‘here be dragons’. Some people would see a sign about dragons as a dire warning – and others as an irresistible attraction.
What approach will you choose?
The Sabian Oracle offers us a few more suggestions on how to contemplate the meaning of this degree:
Keywords: Losing sight of alternative possibilities and going for the easy “feed”. Issues of dependence. Diminishing one’s essential worth while trying to please a specific need. Being opportunistic. Settling for the small things in life. Scalpers. Jettisoning scraps. Leftovers. The rewards and pitfalls of “meal tickets”. Issues of social security. The homeless.
The Caution: Waiting for scraps that may not even be worth it or may never come. Losing the opportunity to care for one’s self in an independent manner. Giving away one’s power. Being opportunistic at the expense of others. Being ripped off. People “kissing and running”. Users and abusers. Having satellites. Hovering for scraps.
Following on from the themes we have been developing about reaching towards our dreams and maintaining perspective, we get a warning from the heavens concerning the need for focus, groundedness and perseverance.
This comes in the form of a square between the luminaries to Mars, which will be conjunct Neptune in sensitive, creative and compassionate Pisces.
Mars is the planet of military strategy, energy, focus and motivation. However, when placed near nebulous Neptune, it can become one of two things:
- Either… more motivated by higher intentions (after all, Neptune in Pisces is very much associated with selfless action, altruism, the higher forms of creativity and spiritual enlightenment)
- Or… have the life (and focus) sucked out of it as a result of a lack of confidence/energy/self-belief, a tendency to sacrifice one’s personal needs for those of others to an unhealthy degree, or simply a lack of momentum due to poor planning and concentration.
In other words, you need to be clear about your intentions and then have a plan if you don’t want to lose momentum! Otherwise you could waste your efforts and miss out on some great opportunities over the next two weeks.
A square aspect to a malefic planet like Mars is never easy, as we saw with November’s Gemini Full Moon but…it is not impossible. And this is a mutable square, so not as harsh or as unbending as a cardinal or fixed square. It simply means having to make a bit more effort and being a bit smart in order to avoid potential problems.
So my advice right now is to think big, but start small. Be clear about your direction and have a plan (and then don’t get distracted from it during the execution phase); to be humble but hardworking; to remain hopeful, but also willing to act/do the hard work when the time arrives – and above all else, to stay grounded and aware of the bigger picture.
So shoot for the moon – even if you don’t reach it, your head will still be among the stars. And by all means, aim high but keep your feet on the ground – and don’t forget to plan your route and watch where you are going. Happy holidays!