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New Moon in Sagittarius: Rhea's Timeless Islands (12.12)


The New Moon in Sagittarius perfects on December 12th at 5:32pm CST. The Sun and the Moon are conjoined at 20º of Sagittarius creating a New Moon. These are beginnings, cycles of initiation whether by fate or by our own hand. You may notice that New and Full Moons dominate our monthly experience, but they also work in 6 month cycles, the events that take place this month will complete and culminate by the Full Moon in Sagittarius on May 23rd 2024. The purpose of these articles is to hone a deeper understanding of these cycles, articulate the archetypes we may see as a collective, and to advise any challenging astro weather for a calmer mind and spirit. If you enjoy these, you can subscribe to my newsletter to be notifed when a new post is uploaded. Let's get into it!

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The Major Aspects:

Mercury at 8º Capricorn sextile Venus at 9º Scorpio (1º orb, separating)

Venus at 9º Scorpio opposite Jupiter rx at 6º Taurus (3º orb, separating)

Sun-Moon at 20º Sagittarius square Neptune rx at 24º Pisces (4º orb)

Jupiter rx at 6º Taurus sextile Saturn at 1º Pisces (5º orb)

Sun-Moon at 20º Sagittarius conjunct Mars at 13º Sagittarius (7º orb)


Additional Chart Features:

• Mercury is at its station retrograde degree in Capricorn

• Neptune has just stationed direct and is still at its station degree

• Essential dignity: Venus is detriment in Scorpio; Venus has bound support; Saturn has decanic support


Delineation

I'd like to start with a few key themes I'm seeing this New Moon:


  • Premature actions

  • Confusion

  • Too much

  • Not Enough

  • Urgent Needs

  • Aloneness

  • Deception

  • Patience

  • Possibility

  • Limitation


If any of these themes feel heavy on your heart at the moment it may be because the malefics are very active this season! Not only is Mars co-present with the Sun and Moon in Sagittarius, but Saturn marked the beginning of each ingression into Sagittarius with a square ultimately shaping each transit as a whole. Saturn and Mars must be malefic because waiting too long or not waiting long enough each have terrible outcomes. It's the moment we miss out, the emergence of self blame and bitterness from not doing enough before it was too late (Saturn) or conversely the uncontrollable rage or recklessness that comes about from doing something too quickly before it was time (Mars). Right timing is sometimes impossible to understand. 


Two weeks ago at the Full Moon in Gemini, we discussed burning, urgent questions. How the logical mind isn't able to see the full picture and how it's likely that our minds have been closed to certain perspectives. The Mercury retrograde shadow began then too and now, hours after the New Moon in Sagittarius (the counterpart to last month's Full Moon), Mercury is stationing retrograde. This is a time where the questions, perspectives, and conversations that came up before (between November 25th and December 12th) are now being reworked and flipped upside down for revelation. Perhaps what we thought was urgent wasn't or maybe we were asking the wrong questions all along! Whatever your story ends up being, confusion dominates before and during a Mercury retrograde– it's likely that the Full Moon two weeks ago and the New Moon now are triggering this sense of stuckness and the need to know the answers.


As humans, there is a natural pressure that fuels our need to live, it's the– "Well, I have to do something"– and very often the answers would have come with a bit more patience before deciding on some uncomfortable fate. Mars co present with the Sun and the Moon in Sagittarius creates a pressing beginning– It's one that can get quite messy if we're acting too soon. I see such a determination, even a single mindedness that can cause us to jump the gun! Sagittarius naturally opposes Gemini, the sign of the anxious mind. Thinking about Sagittarius as an archer– arrow aimed, hand shaky with anticipation, making a mental decision instead of bodily one might result in a missed target. An archer can't think about the target as much as it has to be the arrow. Sagittarius might even show up as the dancer or the figure skater (thinking about Sag's rulership over the thighs and hips) but if they get stuck in their head, they risk jumping too soon and landing in a sloppy fall. This is both Gemini's opposition and Jupiter ruling Sagittarius. It can be too much, too soon because the mind said so, because there was no other logical solution.


Let's zoom in a bit on the "too much" influence of Jupiter and how Mars is amplifying it this season. I always think of this meme format when trying to articulate the Sagittarian archetype:


You know who had Mars in Sagittarius? The unhinged Alexander Hamilton. His reputation for being absolutely impetuous; writing, talking, speaking, and really all around doing too much is very aligned with his natal Mars anaretic in Sagittarius.


So did the composer Bach who was told by Reincken (another famous organist), "I thought that this art was dead but I see it lives in you," after essentially freestyling on the organ for him.


W.H. Auden had Mars in Sagittarius, it's actually remarkable how many writers have this placement, speaking to how Jupiter likes to spread its ideas far and wide. Auden is the poet who wrote The More Loving One with a stanza that goes,

"How should we like it were stars to burn

With a passion for us we could not return?

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me."


Other Mars in Sagittarius natives include Prince Harry, Carl Jung, Bell Hooks, Mark Twain, T.S. Eliot, Henrik Ibsen, Diderot, Edith Wharton, H.P Lovecraft, Erykah Badu... are you seeing a pattern? Many of these individuals are known for being "prolific" which is... such a Sagittarian word meaning "producing many" or "plentiful" and can characterize something or someone as being "inventive", these are individuals who see and desire more than what currently is.


Like Bach playing the organ– such a dull instrument but with many, many keys and therefore many undiscovered possibilities.

Auden embodies the Sagittarian "too much" in his poem about expansive love linking this sign to an aspect of rejection by people who do not have the same capacity.

Henrik Ibsen and his play A Doll's House about a woman who desperately wants to escape her traditional gender roles as a wife and mother, ultimately turning her back on her family to travel and make her own way in the world. This character was no doubt larger than or "too much" for the role she was forced to fill.

Prince Harry had to both confront and escape the racist British Monarchy because of his marriage to a black woman. I can imagine what a problem he is for his family– Mars in Sagittarius natives are often seen as "annoying" by their family and peers, they can't help but to rock the boat with their interest in and compassion for foreign cultures, religions, and customs.

Erykah Badu's Sag Mars (and stellium) appears in so many of her lyrics, but one of my favorite lines is, "If your knowledge were your wealth then it would be well earned." I think this lyric is especially felt as a dominant frustration this year with the New Moon ruled by Jupiter retrograde in Taurus opposing Venus in Scorpio. Many of us do not have the physical resources we need to explore and expand in the way we are wanting to in the present moment, but then maybe knowledge is something gained in the pause. Maybe when we have learned enough we can cash out in a sort of, "as above, so below" sort of way. This lyric still contributes to the theme as Sagittarian "too much" actually roots from feeling as though it is not enough in the first place. Natives will keep writing, speaking, pushing for more because this can't be all there is, there has to be more, so they become more– but sometimes even that is never enough, the knowledge that they have does not always translate to physical resources.


There are so many ways that one placement can be expressed and I cannot explore each one of the famous Mars in Sagittarius natives without making this piece dreadfully long, but what I'm really trying to capture in listing a few of these individuals is the illogical aliveness that they each challenge the world with. Each idea is completely prolific in that, just one small sentence or action is a bottomless treasure chest, teaching others about the wonders of the world. They might take something that is ordinary on the surface, but somehow they are Mary Poppins pulling a lamp out of a purse (and after writing this line, I checked Julie Andrews natal chart out of curiosity to find yet another Sagittarius Mars!!).

Urgency doesn't allow for Sagittarian possibility, this is why Mars isn't very dignifed here. Urgency may center one single priority or one single need as the thing that must be done and must be done now and this eliminates the options that come natural to Jupiter's signs. There are no rabbits coming out of a hat that you must put on your head. However, it takes great deal of courage to sit before the void and wait for something to emerge, the mind wants to fix, it believes it is all alone in its problems.


In The Astrology of Fate, Liz Greene (who has her Moon in Sagittarius) provides a retelling of the mythological creation story in which the primordial mother goddess, Rhea, gives birth to and hides Zeus (also known as our planet Jupiter, the sky god who rules Sagittarius) so that his father won't eat him for fear of being overthrown by one of his children. Later, Zeus comes out of hiding to castrate and kill his child eating father Cronus and make his presumptuous demands to his mother Rhea. He wants to become her master, claiming he is more reasonable than she is. He also invents time and with it, history, genealogy, cause, consequence, and logic. Rhea, being bored with the timeless natural order obliges, but she sets aside two islands that will be free of time. She creates the island of innocence and the island of illumination.


Not that I'm very knowledgeable about myth generally, but I had never heard a version of the Greek creation myth where Zeus is responsible for time, though the idea of it holds fantastic symbolism for this New Moon. The main reason why we may find ourselves falling into urgency is because we feel we are running out of time, but it is through this rush that we fumble and fall into a self fulfilling prophecy, just like Cronus, the original god of time. Cronus only devoured his children for fear of being overthrown, but in doing this it gave cause for Zeus to come back and do the very thing Cronus always feared. When we act recklessly in this way, without any control over our own wild mind, doing the things we feel we "should '' or the things we "have to" we become Cronus, rigid in our ways instead of expansive, boundless with opportunity and possibility. How can any other option come in if fear swallows them up?


And then, Rhea creates the island of innocence and illumination where no record of time is kept. The very foundation of innocence is the non action of being, not doing. Not getting caught up in the details, in logic, in reason– all of these things Zeus invented to prove how much smarter he is than Rhea and exert power over her. Innocence is believing, like a child who doesn't know much about the way the world works and doesn't really need to, because... they just are and everything just happens without all of the extra brute force. They know that they are not alone in all of their problems, but those of us who do not have or have never had parents to help us with those problems forget our original parentage: the Universe from whence we came. Rhea does not speak logic or reason, she is (at least in Greene's retelling) the first soul to exist and she created the world as it is in logic defying ways all because she was lonely, and maybe so that none of us would ever be truly alone again. Why else would she give up her power to Zeus or let her children be eaten by Cronus? It certainly isn’t because she lacked wisdom, even warning Zeus about the trouble of time keeping. 


If you choose to rely on the parentage of the Universe, you may ask questions– except the Universe does not always have logical answers for you nor the mouth to speak clear sentences. We can't forget the second island, the island of illumination, an island that stands outside of the world that Zeus created. It requires a great sacrifice. This New Moon in Sagittarius is squared by Neptune, the extraterrestrial womb of the Universe where we must sacrifice our ability to know. With Neptune, I don't think there is a way to know for sure, but there is an opportunity instead to find truth and clarity in the way of illumination and enlightenment. It isn't fact, but it's really more valuable than fact. Neptune is inherently about surrender too, it is the "doing" that will tighten the binds as Mars creeps forward to apply to Neptune by the end of the month. Take a deep breath and be still, this may not be a time to go out and find the solution. Maybe these islands cannot be found! While the nature of planets in Sagittarius are to go, to seek, to find, Neptune's nature is to come to you in your dreams. Around the time of this New Moon, I'd like to think Neptune's square is Rhea's hand extending to us all, inviting us to visit her timeless islands in an act of surrender before we release the arrow. It's the breath in as we're poised to take the shot, the quiet before the release. It isn't that there is no action at all, it is the surrender to the body that knows instead of the active search for the right time, the right answer, the right move– the when, the how!


This New Moon, I want you to think of a time where you were pleasantly surprised. A time where something worked out better than you had hoped– what was that process like? Did you do something or were there synchronous forces at play? Is there a way to replicate your successes in a way that honors the person you are today? Mercury retrograde can help us call back experiences of all kinds and it doesn't always have to be a bad thing. Instead of "Oh no, it's happening again," could it be, "Thank god, it's happening again" ?


Patience, I think, is a great lesson of Sagittarius and Mercury retrograde. Not everyone is ready to be on the same plane of existence as Sagittarius, they haven't gone through the same level of tempering, nor the exact same alchemy that allows for such big ideas. It may be a great time to study and embody the symbolism of both the Temperance card (ruled by Sagittarius) and the 10 of Wands (which correlates with the decan of this New Moon ruled by Saturn in Sagittarius).


The Temperance card shows an angel, an ambassador of the Universe, who teaches each one of the Sagittarian minor arcana cards (the 8, 9, and 10 of Wands) about moderation, alchemy, and what it takes to carve out divine direction. For anyone feeling alone, like they have to carry every burden themselves, as though they are "too much" or "not enough" or like their life circumstances mirror one of these themes– patience is the lesson of Sagittarius. Patience for the people who don't "get" you, patience for the resources and the right kind of community to come in, patience for yourself as you endure, patience for the signs from Rhea or whatever you believe in– remember that we all speak in many, many foreign languages... and even when we understand the language, we may not understand the meaning. May Mercury retrograde bless you with meaning and perspective, illumination and innocence.


Happy New Moon from your fellow Sagittarius Mars (;


-Katie


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References


Greene, Liz. “The Creation of the World.” Chapter 6. In The Astrology of Fate, 156–60. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 1984.

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