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New Moon in Capricorn
By Kirsti Melto and Eric Francis | Lunations

New Moon in Capricorn
New Moon in Capricorn -- January 8, 2008, 11:37 UT. Chart by Solar Fire.

WE ARE currently in an extended phase of Aries Point events. The first New Moon of the New Year falls at 17+ degrees of Capricorn, in one of the cardinal signs, and qualifies for an Aries Point event. The news is reflecting the astrological Aries Point theme "personal is political", telling about global events that can have profoundly personal implications and lasting effects through time. Some asteroid positions in the chart are subtly reminding us to be vigilant about what we read and see.

Most of the major planets and also many important minor planets are concentrated in the last four signs of the chart wheel, from Sagittarius to Pisces.

The New Moon sextiles Uranus, asteroid Kassandra in Pisces, and asteroid Hidalgo in Scorpio. Thus the Sun and the Moon are in the midpoint of those planets. A midpoint is the point located halfway between two planets, the point that integrates the energies of the planets in question. Transits to the midpoint can be important.

Asteroid 114 Kassandra is a large and dark main belt asteroid, named after Cassandra, the prophetess in the tales of the Trojan War. Kassandra is the syndrome wherein nobody believes you if you tell the truth but everyone believes you if you make up stories. People often believe stories more than they believe the truth. Kassandra asks you to be cautious about what others say.

Asteroid 944 Hidalgo has the longest orbital period (13.8 years) of any asteroid in the traditional asteroid belt. It is named for the father of the Mexican Revolution, Miguel Hidalgo, and a priest and rebel leader. Hidalgo, one of the most complex asteroids, works on a large scale and has a Sagittarian flavor. Hidalgo is dealing with themes of rebelling against hypocrisy and saying what's on your mind. Hidalgo speaks to the perplexing hypocrisies presented to us by culture, the ones we have to swallow every day and are often humiliated in doing so. Hidalgo is about our response to absurd social hypocrisies, whether or not we revolt against them, and how we do it.

The New Moon opposes Varuna, a cubewano discovered in 2000 and named after a supreme pre-Vedic deity. He has influence in the levels of seas, streams and rivers, and most meaningfully, the failure to be responsible for our actions. He deals with the punishment of liars and is responsible for punishing those who don't honor contracts. Varuna is "the great equalizer", calling us to take both personal and collective responsibility for our world.

The New Moon squares Eris, which just has stationed direct in Aries.

Pluto, the prime mover of human progress, is in the last degree of Sagittarius and Jupiter with its expansive tendencies in early Capricorn are square the Aries Point. Two main belt asteroids, 896 Sphinx and 128 Nemesis are also in the same grouping. Sphinx can represent great mysteries, but also missing information. In mythology Nemesis was the goddess of rightful indignation. She was daughter of Nyx, Queen of Night, as was Eris. Nemesis is said to have directed human affairs in such a way as to maintain equilibrium and she made sure that humans respected the natural laws. The position of the asteroid in the birth chart is said to symbolize our conscience and guide us towards right action. If we don't pay attention to her, then we have to deal with the consequences.

Retrograding Mars in Cancer opposes the above-mentioned planets square the Aries Point. The Mars-Pluto opposition can be forceful, even fatal, and needs to be handled carefully.

Mercury has entered Aquarius just before the New Moon. Mercury in Aquarius can be objective, sincere and truthful, but also prone to extremism. Mercury semi-squares Uranus and is in septile aspect to Pholus, a Centaur planet discovered in 1992. Pholus has the energy of release; Pholus opens the container and lets something out. These Mercury aspects remind us to be mindful also about our own communication and what we say.

Mercury opposes asteroid Apollo in the first degree of Leo. 1862 Apollo is the namesake of the Apollo asteroids, a group of Earth-crosser asteroids, which can get very close to the Earth. Apollo's orbital period is 1.8 years, it spins every three hours, and it has a tiny satellite orbiting it closely. In 2007 scientists found out that Apollo gets an extra kick from solar radiation. Its rotation speed steadily increases due to the re-radiation of solar energy from its surface. This affects it as if there were small propulsion engines on Apollo's surface. The effect is tiny, but the study shows that sunlight can make an asteroid spin so fast it eventually breaks up and splits into a binary all by itself. The results of this study are important for understanding binary asteroids.

In mythology Apollo was a Sun god. He was the god of light and truth, medicine and healing, poetry and music. He was also the god of divination. Apollo was the leader of the nine Muses and he played on a lyre, which Hermes/Mercury had made and given him. The Apollonian and Dionysian is a philosophical and literary concept, a dichotomy or contrast. Apollo represents harmony, order and reason, while Dionysus represents ecstasy and disorder. The Greeks did not consider the qualities that Apollo and Dionysus represented as rivaling, but complementary.

Astrologically asteroid Apollo is a light-bringer in other ways than the Sun, the center of our solar system. It may represent something of the inner quality or talent of seeing the light where others might not see it, in the strangest of places if you look for it right. Martha Lang-Wescott has proposed that it may symbolize provocation and going against the odds. It can be very useful allowing one to tackle situations where the odds of success are small.

Asteroid 3671 Dionysus at 14+ degrees of Taurus is semi-square the Aries Point. There is possibly a small moon orbiting also Dionysus. Peak experiences and pushing things past the limits are astrological attributes of Dionysus, and in spite of the strong Neptunian association it can be rather associated with evolutionary Pluto.

Mercury and Saturn are in mutual reception (Mercury is the ruler of Virgo and Saturn the traditional ruler of Aquarius). When two planets are occupying one another's signs, the planets in question can, in a way, switch places or roles; thus leaving them bound with a kind of shared role or obligation.

Saturn in Virgo is in exact conjunction with the Centaur planet Okyrhoe, named for the daughter of Chiron and Chariklo. It has shorter orbital period than any other Centaur planet (about 24 years) and thus makes an excellent representative for the "daughter of the centaurs." Mark Andrew Holmes writes, "A prophet, she was changed into a mare by the gods as punishment for revealing their plans to humankind. Astrologically, Okyrhoe seems to indicate being criticized or attacked, being able to cope with attacks or unpopularity, ability to stand up for one's beliefs or principles."

Saturn, Pholus and Chaos are still forming a precise T-square pattern in the early mutable signs.

Venus in Sagittarius is in the same degree with asteroid Juno, and both are in conjunction with plutino Ixion, discovered in 2001 and having an orbital period of 250 years. Ixion was named for the first murderer recorded in Greek mythology (a former king and friend of Zeus), who unsuccessfully tried to attack Hera/Juno. Ixion speaks to that which we are all capable of and expresses itself more often negatively than not. However, Ixion at its essence is about pure potential and suggests that we all can access the same potential if we want to or need to. Nobody is incapable of anything; but not all potential is expressed. Venus and Juno are squaring Saturn.

The first four asteroids (Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta) are all in the degrees 9-12 of the signs that they are occupying currently and thus aspecting each other, perhaps offering us safe passage through this moment in time.
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