This week features the New Moon in Sagittarius on Dec. 17, 2017 at 10:31pm Pacific, which is preceded by a few days with potential for hot emotions or situations which have been close to boiling finally erupting. The Moon swings into Scorpio at 6am Pacific on Dec. 13, immediately encountering Mars who just entered that sign on Dec. 9. Scorpio is a fairly powerful position for Mars, bringing his passion, heat and aggressive qualities to bear on the otherwise fairly open-minded Sagittarian scene. The Moon’s conjunction with Mars may provide a “trigger” that sets off whatever transiting Mars is aspecting in your personal chart, or it may symbolize an unreflective expression of anger or other high-energy emotion.  You may feel righteous in your angry or high-energy pursuits, and justified in meting out punishments or doing whatever it takes to achieve your goals—and there may be some truth in your actions, but don’t expect you won’t receive a reaction, pushback or a few of your own shortcomings called out in kind.

Not long after the Moon leaves the powerful depths of Scorpio on Dec. 15, the Sun will square Chiron and provide an opportunity to bring some healing through self-reflection on what role you may have played in the previous days’ fury—be it an interpersonal or merely an internal kerfuffle. Even if you were just a witness to something, you may feel a sense of responsibility for what went down. Avoid the temptation to take on more responsibility for a hurt or an unfortunate situation than is yours to take on. Free yourself from too-limited perspectives—whether it’s a perspective which says you are only a victim, or one that reduces you to a mere perpetrator.

2017’s New Moon in Sagittarius

New Moon in Sagittarius ritual
This New Moon has the special honor of conjoining Saturn as Saturn spends its last two days in the sign of Sagittarius, having entered Sagg on Sept. 17, 2015 for its 2 ½ year stay. Combined with the Mercury retrograde period underway, it would be a fitting and good use of this potential to prepare a ritual based on your reflections on the last 2 ½ years.

To harness the particular qualities of this New Moon, your reflections could focus on any or all of the following areas of your life: your destiny and the nature of your service to the flourishing of Earth Community; your relational sphere in terms of intimate or romantic relations, your economic arrangements, and the way in which you give and receive support; your source of optimism and faith in life, and your growth or your stagnation; and your relationship to your core wounding. Has your sense of destiny come into sharper focus, or do you need to continue deeper explorations? Do you feel connected to your much-needed offering to this world which is so hungry for your Soul-infused gifts? What will support that connection to Soul? How have you fostered harmony and tolerated the necessary discord and social disruption that can sometimes accompany becoming who you truly are? What has fueled your optimism and faith in life over these past 2 ½ years? What have been the actual consequences of that orientation? And be honest with yourself! You will suffer the most from too-grandiose notions. What has fueled or impeded your growth? And, finally, what is your relationship to your core wounding? A core wound is one around which our identity forms. What wounding has defined your life, and how does that fit into your philosophy of the way the world works? Does that orientation still serve you? If so, how? If not, what has changed?

Taking time to sort through how any or all of these life areas have changed, grown, fallen away or become more integrated and organized can then inform a ritual to plant seeds for Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn on Dec. 19. You could plant seeds of determination to carry forth these important lessons of Saturn in Sagittarius, to create new patterns to help embody what you have learned. Honor what has passed away during this time and witness how it served you up to this time. This will provide a good ground for integrating and continuing to receive benefit from those former ways of being in the world.

The final Mercury retrograde period of 2017
Key dates:
Nov. 14 Mercury enters its own shadow at 13° Sagittarius
Dec. 3 Mercury stations retrograde at 29° Sagittarius
Dec. 22 Mercury stations direct at 13° Sagittarius
Jan. 10 Mercury exits its own shadow at 29° Sagittarius

This week of the Scorpio New Moon can recall us to our wholeness, if we are willing to accept the unknown into our lives, the mystery of our being. On Tuesday, make an offering to the receptive parts of you, that which chooses to receive and that which cannot help but receive. Come Wednesday, you might inquire into the health and well-being of your assertive parts or that portion of you which protects you. How are these working together, or not? Are we trying to force, where we should relax? Are we trying to allow, where we should be exerting more will? What does it mean to cooperate with the greater stream of life in which we are carried? Above all, how can we honor the becoming that we each are, a process that has its own timing, its own motive, its own messy and wonderfully intact aspects.

It is a good week to make gifts of abundant love to the mythical Underworld: to all the forgotten ones, the hidden ones, the repressed ones, the misunderstood ones, those beings who simply travel as the unknown. Getting comfortable with discomfort goes a long way, as you will find support for blessing the Sacred Wound—a core wound that never heals, but which, when we release our old stories around it, can become a source of our Soul’s story, carrying some of our greatest gifts, insight and wisdom. For those who have already been working with this profound and precious vulnerability, you might welcome in a maturation of this Sacred Wound in terms of how it takes up space in psyche, or how it is held within psyche.

This Scorpio New Moon also seems to call for a dance party—move the muscles, feel the way gravity shapes your movement, cut the air with your body. This new moon is for dancing with the dead, dancing with the previously hidden and newly revealed, dancing with the wilds both inner and outer. Don’t just sit and contemplate. Let your body teach you about the unknown, let your body move you towards wholeness. Trust its tempo, and know that the rhythms may sound strange, but so it is with intimacy. We can be intimate with another because we do not know them, and in some sense, can never completely know them…do not focus only on those external to you – tend to the sacred Other within as well!

Beware of being pulled into manipulation by deceit or outward aggression or too forceful action—whether by the unintegrated parts of your own psyche or by those external to you. The damage could run deep. It’s better to find out how to expose yourself to yourself, while being very kind and very gentle in the doing. In this way, you could liberate your assertive nature from old, hampering patterns which do not support the kinds and measures of distance which true intimacy requires. Spending enough time with your patterns of assertion and receptivity, as well as with your Sacred Wound, will allow them to transform and take up a truer shape, or a more fitting-for-this-moment shape but oohhh it needs muscular involvement, not mere cogitation. Performance. Enactment. Making things body-real.

“We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future.  We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension.  But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation.” -Thomas Berry

On Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 12:44pm Pacific time, the Moon will conjoin the Sun at 4°47” of Gemini. The New Moon is traditionally conceived of as a time to set intentions for a new cycle of growth, with the following Full Moon (June 9) as a good time to reflect on your intentions and how they have manifested or not.

This Gemini New Moon can offer us a potent window into reconciling the apparent opposites in our lives. Are multiple aims and goals which you feel drawn toward actually in opposition to each other, or perhaps in opposition to the expression of your Soul? Perhaps if you look closely, you will see that what feel like conflicting goals aren’t so much in conflict as requiring patience, endurance, sustained attention and the measured expense of energy. Or a closer look might show that you are living on the surface of life and wearing yourself thin by refusing Soul’s demands to focus attention and energy in particular areas.

Going one level deeper into this lunation, we might consider how the Mars-Saturn opposition of this New Moon relates to “mechanical breakdown” via a split between self-concept and who we truly are. Our self-concept may be colliding with the true nature of reality.  If we regard nature and the physical world in mechanical terms, living through that metaphor can indeed lead to a breakdown. The body as machine results in the alienation of feeling, emotion and Soul, creating inner conflict and confusion, cutting us off from the source of our values and ethics, severing one of the most basic connections to a sense of having our own choices. In this way, our thoughts and ideas become divorced from our daily acts.

Are there ways that you could more fully embody your values and principles? Mars-Saturn can be devoted action and a mature passion, being so humble as to truly belong to the whole and to know how to foster life. Examine your actions not from a place of value judgment (is this good or bad?) but more with an objective eye. What is happening, first of all? Desires and repulsions—all based on our ideas of what should be or how it is supposed to be—will interfere with being present to what you are actually doing in your life.

Looking to Chiron’s T-square aspect with the Mars-Saturn opposition, we might consider ways of healing the mind-body split in our lives. For industrialized societies, this is a deep, deep wound which shows itself in things such as the poisoning of air and waters, since our ideas about the body (Earth) have been given primacy over presence to the needs of that body. Small daily acts towards honoring the body, even as simple as saying “thank you,” could accumulate through the Full Moon of June 9. Don’t burden yourself with too much too soon, as Mars-Saturn asks for a long-term commitment, small steps which build up over time and pay off as you play a long game with a greater return. An intensive focus may look noble, but tends not to endure because such intensity cannot be sustained in the day-to-day. When changes aren’t incremental and slowly integrated, they can’t get to the roots of daily habits.

Another striking feature of this New Moon in Gemini is the exact square between Venus and Pluto, both of which make an exact semisquare (45°) and sesquisquare (135°) to the New Moon, respectively. It calls to mind some words attributed to the Buddha: “If you love, you will know that everything begins and everything ends, and there is a time for beginning and there is a time for ending…one is not in despair, one simply understands, and thanks the other: ‘You gave me so many beautiful gifts….'”  Endings are bound with beginnings. We might consider that we can honor what is passing away through our grief. Whether that is an ideal, a way of being in community, an image we had of ourselves or an intimate relationship, we might allow ourselves to experience the power of love to transform us through its cycles of beginnings and endings.

As we integrate the experiences of the Venus retrograde period which just wrapped up, the Gemini New Moon presents an opportunity to plant our intentions to move into a deeper relationship with our beloved communities of life, our partners and lovers, our colleagues—and our own bodies. How can we allow things to change? How can we cooperate with those changes? Not just in words, but in our deeds.

May your mind celebrate a blessed reunion with your body under this New Moon.