New Moon in Pisces :: Into the mystic

February 20, 2023—The New Moon at 1° Pisces clocks in very late Sunday night or the wee hours of Monday morning depending on your location. Last time we had a New Moon in the first decan of Pisces was three years ago on February 23rd, right before COVID-19 placed the world in global lockdown. At the time, I wrote aboutthe word Zugunruhe in relation to the restlessness animals feel before migrating. Zug is German for migration. Unruhe is anxiety and restlessness. Before animals—and especially birds—migrate, they feel a state of growing agitation within themselves. Wings flutter, sleep is disrupted and organs atrophy as bodies prepare for the unseen journey.

I shared that Zugunruhe was a good descriptor for 2020 Pisces New Moon. At the time, we were shifting to a new epoch, Earth to Air, as Jupiter and Saturn were leaving Capricorn and entering Aquarius.  And now, three years later, we find ourselves in Zugunruhe again with another New Moon in the first decan of Pisces as Saturn changes signs and Pluto begins his transition from Earth to Air.

With the tsunami of recent change being ushered into the world by AI bots, browsers and apps while foreign objects are being shot out of the sky, we do seem to be entering into some sort of altered reality. Perhaps we’re all feeling it on some level. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that these occurrences and the unease that accompanies them coincide with the New Moon in Pisces.

The receptive, watery and mutable world of Pisces lends itself to a deep, internal knowing when a divine migration begins to stir within. Just as Winter gives way to Spring, sensitive Pisces feels the magnetic pull to let go parts of our lives as we begin to structure anew.

Eight of Cups

The tarot card that corresponds to this decan is The Eight of Cups, aka “The Lord of Success Abandoned”. In this card, we see a man leaving behind eight chalices as he makes his way into the night. It dawns on me that if we study the formation of those cups, there’s one missing… where we see his foot. With his staff and focus, he’s a shepherd looking for a lost sheep; or in this case, searching for the meaning and emotional fulfillment that current circumstances didn’t bring. An internal Zugunruhe compels him to search once again. So he reaches for his red cloak—symbolizing his passion and primal urges—and sets out into the night, a symbol for unconscious drives and trusting instinct.

More often than not, when this card appears, people are on the brink of major changes in their lives. Even though life looks good on the outside, there’s an unmet need for meaning and purpose urgently beckoning within. At times, pulling the Eight of Cups has signaled prioritizing an inner, invisible desire over more concrete material concerns.

On a more collective level, we will see massive changes as Saturn and Pluto change signs. Just as Covid restructured the way many of us study, work and socialize with one another, these upcoming changes may very well be guided by (once again) finding more purpose and meaning in our lives as we adjust to the new normal around us.

This New Moon in Pisces seeds a dream of hope and promise. For the next three years, Saturn will plow this field, cultivating what we’re called to sow at this time with hard work and discipline. We may not know what the yield will bring. We do know that we’re in another shifting time that will have some of us instinctively reaching for our red cloak and, to borrow from Van Morrison, magnificently we will float into the mystic.


  • Top image created in Midjourney
  • The Eight of Cups illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith