December 23, 2022 at 4:17 am Central—Friday’s New Moon in Capricorn finds her a long way from home. She is said to be in “exile” in the sign of the sea goat, opposite her domicile in Cancer. In Capricorn, the planet Saturn provides for her. So the moon finds her significations of comfort, care, family connections and emotional regulation through Saturnian tools such as hard work, discipline, boundaries, tradition and responsibility.
I’ve always thought that of all the signs, Capricorn is the most realistic. This is a New Moon that can face the cold hard facts and begin a process that will bring stability, accomplishment and wisdom in the long term. But sometimes, we have to pass through a rock-bottom of sorts to acknowledge the severity of our circumstances while at the same time, muster the courage needed to change them. The New Moon in Capricorn initiates one of those times.
In meditating on this New Moon and this time of year, Rilke surfaced for me, forming an image of darkness that some of us might be sitting with now. A darkness that also holds the reassurance of light, like this New Moon. Maybe you know this poem and love it too.
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
—Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29
Rilke pens Saturnian phrases… quiet friend who has come so far on Saturn’s journey, what batters you becomes your strength. Lean on your resiliency: move back and forth into the change. If the drink is bitter, alchemize it to wisdom. In this uncontainable night, witness yourself in the stillness—be the mystery and the discovery. You only need mother nature to acknowledge your existence, as Buddha did under the Bodhi tree.
If you find comfort in these words, you’re like the Capricorn Moon using Saturnian tools to latch on to support and reassurance through inner strength and wisdom. Whereas in Cancer, the Moon has hearth, home and connection to support her, in the exile of Capricorn, it is struggle actualized into strength where she finds solace.
Two of Pentacles
The tarot card associated with the first decan of Capricorn is The Two of Pentacles. Known as the Lord of Change, this card appears when we’re looking for a new experience to plug into and build from. Some examples include a new place to live, a new relationship in our life, and/or a change of responsibilities at work. There’s a feeling of transition, where we know that change is imminent and we’re being carried towards it. There’s also a sense of wanting to root ourselves so we connect to a greater sense of homeostasis.
When this card appears in a reading, it often speaks to taking the first steps towards value-driven goals. As we know, everything that is truly worthwhile is going to require a change in priorities so we can carve out the time needed to cultivate progress. T. Susan Chang brilliantly observes in her book 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot, that the man’s hat in this card looks like a tombstone. In times of change, there’s always a little death as we let go of part of our lives so we can focus on new growth.
What’s driving the impetus towards transition is purpose and nourishment. The New Moon in Capricorn squares a newly ingressed Jupiter in Aries and Ceres in Libra. This is a Cardinal heavy signature that wants to ride the advancing tide of change. Cardinal signs are the doers in the Zodiac and the first to accept a challenge. Ideas, dreams and goals that begin to form at this time have a strong current behind them.
With the square to Jupiter, we’re courageously connecting to where we wish to build meaning in our lives. The square to Ceres has us working out the tension between how we support ourselves within the context of our relationships. Where do we need to find balance and harmony again between self and other?
If you find yourself in a bell tower darkness at this time, follow Rilke’s advice. Feel how your breathing makes more space around you. Know that what batters you becomes your strength. Move back and forth into the change. Take refuge in nature. Speak to the growing light that begins to infuse you with hope and direction. Know that the promise of an ending is to seed a new beginning, and the ones cared for now will lead to purpose and expansion.
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