By Amanda Simon
As I write this December astrological contribution for the Acutonics newsletter we have been experiencing some substantial planetary synodic cycles during the course of November - round ups, repeats, returns and renewals. Mercury turned direct on the 20th November having been retrograde for the previous two weeks in Scorpio, trawling and hauling all manner of things from the dark and deep for re-consideration, re-flection. Mercury will remain in this Scorpionic territory until the 9th December before moving into Sagittarius. Welcome all that is being brought here - connections to the shadowy realm, processing of things buried, illuminating insights from still deep waters - within the personal/collective psyche. 2019 has marked Mercury retrogrades in the water signs, last year they were in fire signs, 2020 we will be experiencing Mercury moves in air signs. These Mercury motions are worth paying attention to - knowing the triptych of signs he will be maneuvering within assists in aligning, relationally and co - creatively, with the planet.
Jupiter is also making momentous shifts and shuffles. Since November 2018, he has been ruling high in his home sign of Sagittarius bringing blessings and burdens, collectively and personally. In his home he magnifies with even greater magnanimity- for health and harm. Knowing excess is Jupiter’s weak point but never with malice, always with an eye on the wider, broader perspective and divine operation. The 19th November marked a potent moment with Jupiter nestled into the Galactic Centre. This cavernous star cluster, 25 million light years away in the centre of our solar system, is a potent portal for Jupitarian high minded birthings - a time for big dreams not small ones. Venus joined Jupiter here in late Sag, both were tucked into the folds of the Galactic Centre, a sonorous star moment that to attune one’s Mercurial ear to, listening in to what the stars wish to bring through you and into the world beyond. On the 26th November we had a Sag new moon co present with Jupiter and Venus. This bountiful occurrence won’t happen again for another 12 years, a week later Jupiter made his penultimate presence in Sagittarius, before shifting into Capricorn on the 2nd December. This Jupiter scenario sets the scene and is necessary context for Jupiter’s time in Capricorn.
From a traditional point of view Jupiter is in his detriment in Capricorn - but why? Let’s unpack this, sit with it - get dreamt by it. Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, situated as the guardian of the winter solstice - the gateway to the dead - deep yin in essence. Amidst the long, cold, dark days Capricorn works hard to harbor life, keeping a glimmer of light and hope, alive and alight for return. Saturn, as Capricorn’s ruler, is constitutionally considered cold, dry, constricted, withdrawn, hunkered, withheld. Who wouldn’t be - who isn’t at this time of year when efforts are concentrated to conserve energy, to keep alive what feels threatened in the cold and dark days. Capricorn has to bear and endure - keep the long term view in mind, cultivate and protect deep reserves to protect life force.
As Jupiter moves into Capricorn, he drops from a jubilant sky position to a somber one. His mutable fire meets a limit, his desire for expansion and abundance aren’t so easily cultivated in such dry and barren lands. But this is not such a bad thing as his optimism is met by a self-checking, regulatory reflection - questions of integrity as to what is genuinely resonant from the expansion, a squeezing of implementary essence from all that has been sojourned in the last year. This is an opportunity for refinement and consolidation as to what is worth building on and what can drop away. Such Saturnian discernment offers the opportunity for distilling and instilling to create for the long term - this is Capricorn work, with the opportunity of renewing and nourishing outworn structures and systems, which are Jupiter’s offerings to the situation.
Jupiter can be naive without Saturn and Saturn may be too cold and restrained without Jupiter. The Saturn Jupiter conjunctions were tracked with keenness by our astrological predecessors. Recognizing that this planetary sandwich brought about radical change and the establishment of a renewed cosmic sense of order. Such an occurrence is only possible when jubilance encounters limitations and constraints. I’d like to invite contemplation on Saturn’s mystic role in these times, that can often be attributed to Jupiter’s performativity. Is it not the case that only when we get torn apart by life, nailed by time, dismembered and utterly disillusioned by it - that we can see/feel the immanence of the cosmological as co-present, meshed and mingled with our carnal life work? When naivety is dismantled a beauty and depth can emerge, which is lacking within naivety. So, with Jupiter entering Saturn’s domain, his agenda is compromised, he has to get his needs met by bowing to his host. When they come together, the most potent meeting will be in January, we can look for and cultivate an integration of the new within the old, a new sense of order based on a matured experienced sense of life. Jupiter can bringflexibility to ossified, overly rigid structures - offering a cautionary tale and tonic to the Father of time.
The Capricorn congregation does not end there - we have Pluto and the South Node of the moon (Ketu) also co present. This cluster of planetary powers will be inhabiting Capricorn most of 2020 and the Eclipses’ will run their course here for the majority of the year too. Venus is also present, for the entirety of December, so it is a fine time to get better acquainted with Capricorn, an often misunderstood constellatory creature. Over the course of astrological history Capricorn has been entirely identified with the goat - an animal that can make do in the most uninhabitable conditions and is capable of scaling heights that other hoofed animals are hard pressed to scale. However, it is worth reviewing this crusty constellatory story with the hope of bringing into view what has been lost and left out over time. This re-view will, I hope, allow us all to re-vision what is at work within this clustered Capricorn congregation, both collectively and personally.
The constellation of Capricorn is situated amongst the watery constellations of Pieces and Aquarius. This gives a hint to the half-forgotten composition of Capricorn. Returning to the earliest, documented accounts of sky/star conversations, the Mesopotamian’s conceived Capricorn as an ‘Antelope of the deep’ a ‘Sea Goat’. A creature that was half earth bound and half water based, with a scaly, forked sea fairing tail and the torso of a horned goat. This fascinating creature speaks to the secrets of what got lopped off when the tail got lost. The watery realm that Capricorn is equally capable of traversing brings a dimension to the Capricorn archetype - a dimension of dreaming, of the yin realm, of the nurture and nourishment that waters bring and the mysterious reverie around such a creature. I encourage venturing into the myth more fully, which I am unable to do here, but I will free associate how the re-membering of this occluded, severed section of Capricorn can offer a richer more imaginatively complex perspective as we all live with and through this Pluto, Jupiter, South Node Saturn cluster.
It’s apparent we are in the presence of pressures to our power structures and ways of thinking. The shadows of power - the extent of it, the harm caused by it and the continual deceitful implementation of it are being brought into light, made starkly visible and the suffering that is being caused painfully apparent. Our earth, our home is under great strain - species are being exterminated, resources are being stretched - Uranus in Taurus is bringing the drama of this reality to light in shocking ways. The earth herself is speaking loudly, her pain in palpable. Questions loom large, as to whether we have the emotional, physical, psychological and spiritualresources to sufficiently contend with the internal and external strain, which are one and the same. Will we be able to rally our collective consciousness and community sprit to the magnitude required to amend and attend to what we are all in the midst of, whether we feel it directly or not. This is Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, South Node work. The imagery of the Sea Goat can help us re-claim the forgotten depths of Capricorn waters, the deep reservoirs of wisdom and watery resources that can assist in dreaming and enacting from this place rather than out of one’s own desire to scale high, escape the chaos and override others in the process, which the Goat element of Capricorn is often reduced to. Let this renewed recognition of Capricorns watery world bring moisture amidst the teaming panic and brittle approaches that we are all at work with, recognising and emboldening the view and value that there is another way that doesn’t depend on and entirely operate according to extraction and transaction.
So, with the next Capricorn eclipse occurring on the 26th December and the coming together of all these planetary players in January we may all feel panic and that we are in the midst of an overwhelming pandemonium. (The myth of Pan - half goat half man - is another lost mythic imaginary of the Capricorn archetype). The last time this coagulation of Capricorn energy occurred was around Dec 2007 - 2008, when the global financial systems faltered severely and economic recession ensued, as well as a host of other arresting experiences. Throughout history strain has been felt at the level of resources under such Capricorn emphasis. Currently within the collective psyche there seems to be a global foreboding - the current order is meeting its limit, receiving a sobering wake up call. Systems are being challenged and the consciousness of scarcity is emerging. How can this astrological context of cycles, of myth, of planetary consciousness assist us in identifying right relations within panic stricken landscapes that may emerge? Our current cultural norm is to consider panic a negative state, the threat it imposes makes us feel impotent, a moral failing that in most cases we want to get past and heroically conquer. But perhaps a different perspective is being called for that encourages us to hold panic and the acute fear of our life systems breaking apart as an ontological opportunity. This fear, existential threat of annihilation and dissolution, gets us closer to Eros, to Pan and the thrust for life - where fear and desire can live together and a true letting go could come about. Panic, and Pan consciousness, is one of a Polytheistic pantheism. Panic can fling open a door into this reality - nightmares may wake us up from an overly Saturnian sleep, in which acute panic can shake the collective more generally and out of horrors a kind of wisdom could emerge.
To draw then to a partial conclusion - as this is just a slither of the current sky conversation - we are living through potent times, but potency is also the soil for potentiality. Scarcity may well be the result of this strong Capricorn moment, but scarcity can birth greater gratitude - remembering that there is far more at stake and of worth than our appetites. We have the opportunity, within such times of scarcity to get clear about, align and attune to what really matters to us - be it love, care, spiritual practice - as its these qualities and connections that get us through broken and barren times. By so doing we can return to a renewed sense of optimism, of hope for new beginnings infused with a matured Jupitarian sense of abundance, reset and deepened during his Capricorn stay. A collective way of being that potentially can incorporate the shadow (Pluto) rather than act out from it, that has shed skins and stories that are not enabling for all of humanity (including the more than human world) the opportunity of the South Node’s presence here and that Saturn has been re-worked, re-configured with an integral, immanent consciousness.
If you would like to go deeper into these astrological happenings, or anything else astrological please free to contact me at email@example.com. It would be a pleasure to sit with you, your chart and your cosmological part to play in this momentous moment.
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- Irit Lerner, Israel