For we by conquest, of our soveraine might,
And by eternall doome of Fate’s decree,
Have wonne the Empire of the Heavens bright.
The Faerie Queene. Book vii. Canto vi. St. 33
The first New Moon of 2018 will be in Capricorn, a sign that has become greatly pronounced in importance by the recent return of its ruler, Saturn. With the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Pluto also traversing these environs, this New Moon will offer you a chance to become deeply attuned to the wisdom of Capricorn.
A craving for power lies here. But that power is bound by the great weight of maturation and responsibility. There will be no quick rise to the top for in Capricorn, you must earn your divine right to rule.
Fierce warres and faithful loves shall moralize my song.
Though this New Moon is blessed by a conjunction to Venus, the fluidity and softness of lunar energies will be hardened, like a gentle rain turned to sleet. The sign of Capricorn is, after all, opposite the Moon’s place of rulership in Cancer. Thus, traditional astrology describes the Moon in Capricorn to be in its place of detriment. Put simply, the Moon in Capricorn feels very far from home.
Capricorn is a Saturn-ruled sign, making this the land of rules, structures, and strict forms. Therefore, this New Moon will challenge you to find a way to express your feelings and creative urges within the limits of structure and form.
People with their natal Moons in Capricorn are often misrepresented as being emotionally cold. The truth is that when the Moon is in Capricorn, emotions are extraordinarily powerful, but the articulation of those feelings may become bound by restriction. Without hot tears, hiccups, and hyperbolic gestures, the Moon in Capricorn is often misread as being unfeeling.
So now, at the beginning of a New Year and a new Saturn cycle, you are going to be challenged to handle the Moon in Capricorn. For those unacquainted with this energy, it might feel like being heartbroken, but unable to cry. Uncomfortable as it may seem, this New Moon in Capricorn is a great teacher. In this life, your soul is restricted by the physical dimensions of the body and you are subject to time.
Once these limits are understood and accepted, magnificent things begin to develop and emerge!
The noblest mind the best contentment has.
This New Moon in Capricorn represents a powerful moment to dedicate yourself to a path that will lead you towards mastery of the material realm. You are not alive so that you can avoid life and escape your limitations. You are here to make much of time. Therefore, you should strive to be as physically healthy, wealthy and wise as your time will allow.
For of the soule the bodie forme doth take;
For soule is forme, and doth the bodie make.
At the dawn of this New Year, you must focus on following through on the creative process of living, acknowledging that the seedlings of feelings do eventually flower into form. This New Moon will remind you that feelings become thoughts, thoughts become actions, actions become habits and habits become virtues. In the soul’s evolution, there are no shortcuts. You must learn to refine this process of your life’s creation through trial and error.
Virtue gives her selfe light, through darkness for to wade.
Even in a new era, no progress can truly be made if you remain cast in the shadow of the past. The familiarity or comfort of former days can become a trap if you refuse to remain responsive to the present. Fortunately, this New Moon in Capricorn is making a square to Uranus in Aries, inspiring you to turn away from the past and look towards the future with a little extra excitement and ingenuity. A square from Uranus is a tense aspect and may introduce a new appetite for risk-taking and flirtations with chaos.
Be bolde, Be bolde, and everywhere, Be bolde.
With Venus conjunct the Sun and Moon in Capricorn, the gravitational pull of your desire will be keenly felt. Venus represents the universal force of attraction, or that which creates union between spirit and matter. With Venus in Capricorn, Saturn’s boundaries and restrictions become sculpted and softened into heavenly forms.
And is there care in Heaven? And is there love
In heavenly spirits to these Creatures bace?
To better appreciate any symbolic language, it is always fruitful to create a wide repertoire of metaphorical relationships. To further examine what the energies of this New Moon in Capricorn represent, I suggest a brief study of the life and work of the Elizabethan poet, Edmund Spenser.
Her angels face,
As the great eye of heaven, shyned bright,
And made a sunshine in the shady place.
Spenser was the author of one of the greatest poetical achievements of the 16th Century, an epic allegory called The Faerie Queene.
Like many people of his time, his exact birth date and early history remain somewhat muddled. During the height of his fame, Spenser was known to proclaim noble ancestry, implying a significant relationship to the ancient house of Despencers.
But this story was merely for public relations. Historians have confirmed that Spenser was born into very humble means, most likely as the son of a clothmaker. Under the very strict class-consciousness of 16th Century England, his ascent into literary fame was quite improbable.
And yet he did rise to great fame in his own lifetime and his work has influenced the last four hundred years of English literature. This fact alone is a great testament to the spirit of Capricorn, where from under the heavy weight of restriction, a struggling champion finds their way to the top.
Apparently, Spenser was lucky enough to be enrolled in a school that allowed a certain amount of ‘poor scholars’ who were not required to pay. There, Spenser received a solid humanist education and began to demonstrate great gifts for poesy.
Many years later, the publication of The Faerie Queene set a new precedent for great English literature. Consider how the creation of an epic poem like The Faerie Queene beautifully demonstrates the energies of this New Moon conjunct Venus. When Venus is in Capricorn, her rich tastes and inordinate passions seek expression through measured restraint and distinct form. Here, creative and sexual forces are sculpted into waves with patience and care.
In The Faerie Queene, Spenser’s poetic genius was deliberately contained, bound to formulaic principles, classical allusions, meter and rhyme. Knowing how magnificent creative energy can become when subjected to restraint, set some intentions at this New Moon in Capricorn to submit to some rules and forms.
Let rawness be shaped and refined. Let wild abandon become harnessed and employed. Whatever it is that you choose to develop in your life, let this New Moon in Capricorn encourage discipline, dedication and practice.
Lest you think that following rules condemns you to mediocrity, remember that an adherence to form also offers the freedom to experiment. You can see this is in a classically trained dancer who improvises beautifully. This phenomenon was also true of Spenser’s Faerie Queene which was traditional and yet innovative.
As the introduction to Spenser in the Norton Anthology describes:
“He was a poet of sensuous images yet also something of an iconoclast”
Though The Faeire Queene followed a strict meter and rhyme scheme, Spenser actually developed his own style of sonnet which was passed down through many generations of English poets thereafter. Not only that, the poem mimics the classical style of many ancient poets, while being written in English, which was an innovative choice at the time.
Remember that Uranus is squaring this New Moon. Thus, you may find yourself following tradition with respect while also innovating upon it.
Capricorn’s Saturnine nature implies that you may not be in the mood for making optimistic resolutions for yourself right now. With so many planets in Capricorn, life can easily take on a melancholic tone. In the land of Capricorn, dark moods, frustration and despair are known to descend.
If you’re currently suffering from any heaviness, consider what Edmund Spenser offered as inspiration in The Faerie Queene. Though the antiquated allegorical style can sometimes be an obstacle to modern readers, a passage that resonates in a timeless manner is the personified description of Despair in Book 1, Canto 9.
The noble Knight Redcrosse and the Lady Una are traveling together on their shared quest to find the Faerie Queene. In this section of the poem, they encounter a young knight with a noose around his neck who has just escaped an encounter with Despair.
The gentle Knight; who nought to him reply’d,
But trembling, every Joint did inly quake,
And foltring Tongue at last these words seem’d forth to shake.
Horrified at the young man’s condition, the noble Knight Redcrosse vows to battle Despair. Unfortunately, in his own encounter with the entity, Redcrosse submits to the voice of Despair, believing that his sins have made him unworthy of redemption. Hoping to push him towards suicide, Despair reminds Redcrosse that it is God that wants all sinners to die.
Is not his Law, Let every Sinner die?
Die shall all Flesh? What then must needs be done,
…Death is the end of Woes: die soon…
Redcrosse raises a knife to stab himself in the heart, but Lady Una intervenes, encouraging him to remember heaven’s grace and mercy.
Ne let vain words bewitch thy manly Heart…
In heavenly Mercies hast thou not a part?
…Arise, Sir Knight, arise, and leave this cursed place.
There is a lot that you can take from this story. Despair is the voice that reminds you of your failures and tempts you to succumb to self-loathing. It seems that Spenser intended for the reader to understand that the Redcrosse’s susceptibility to Despair well as Lady Una’s courage against it are both within you.
Though you may be haunted by despair, you are also imbued with the virtue and strength to defy it.
Despair is the voice that reminds you of your failures and tempts you to succumb to self-loathing. It seems that Spenser intended for the reader to understand that the Redcrosse’s susceptibility to Despair well as Lady Una’s courage against it are both within you. Thus, though you may be haunted by despair, you are also imbued with the virtue and strength to defy it.
If the voice of despair begins to seduce you deeper into its cave, respond by declaring that you are always worthy to receive light and love, mercy and grace.
Why should’st thou then despair, that chosen art?
With the courage wrought from fierce war and faithful love, let this New Moon in Capricorn be the start of a magnificent New Year. As you find your momentum, remember to pay great homage to the past while keeping your feet pointed towards the future.
Happy New Year!
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all paintings by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones