Our first lunation of 2024 will be a New Moon, at 20° 44’ Capricorn, on January 11 at 3:57 a.m. on the West Coast of the United States.
It’s time to get to work now! The solstice celebrations are over.
Capricorn is our earth sign of the cardinal mode. Cardinal signs are about forward motion. Capricorn’s totem is the mythological sea goat, with the body of a goat and the tail of a fish. It’s focused and versatile, traversing symbolic realms of both land and sea.
Both Capricorn and its polar opposite sign, Cancer, are parental, care-taking ways of being, at home and away. Cancer, in the water element, finds its domain more in private spaces, while Capricorn’s agenda is to build something that lasts out in the worlds of work and achievement.
When the Moon arrives at a brand-new phase with the Sun, it’s time to contemplate one’s intentions for the coming month. Then it’s great to set actions in motion when there’s that first sliver of crescent light visible in the night sky.
The most prominent transiting aspect at the time of the January 11 New Moon will be a harmonious trine between the Sun and Moon at almost 21 degrees of Capricorn and Uranus at 19 degrees of fixed earth sign Taurus. Uranus is the slow-moving outer planet associated with innovation and unexpected twists and turns. In Taurus, Uranian themes are those having to do with one’s body, physical survival, and the earth Herself. The trine between Uranus and the Sun/Moon calls for a focus on material well-being in some new, even wild, ways. Making money and having nice things are Taurus’ style. There is no reason not to go for it.
At the January 11 New Moon, Mercury will have been moving forward since New Year’s day. Mercury is now in late degrees of Sagittarius, and fired up to think big thoughts. Venus, too, will be in Sagittarius, in a fiery trine with asteroid Chiron, known as the “wounded healer.” This is an optimal, albeit brief, transit with potentials for ease and beauty in the realms of partnerships.
While the Sun and Moon are conjoined in Capricorn they will be flanked by Mars and Pluto. Mars is said to be “exalted,” like an honored guest, when it passes through Capricorn, because both Mars and Capricorn are action-oriented. Pluto is now at the final, 29th degree of Capricorn. This is a stellium: when three or more planets are traveling in the same sign, e.g., the same part of the sky. This stellium means that all of Capricorn’s functions are in high gear. Roll up your sleeves and get stuff done!
All while the big news of 2024 is Pluto’s momentous ingress into Aquarius on January 20.
Pluto was discovered in 1930, and though astronomical “scientists” call it just a “dwarf planet,” Pluto is one of the evocative forces in the astrological pantheon. Small in size, and far out, with a 248-year irregular orbit around the Sun, Pluto changes signs only about every 13 to 20 years. It’s a “transpersonal” planet in that its manifestations are more generational than individual, though that’s less true if Pluto is prominently placed, by house and aspects, someone’s personal natal chart. Still, everyone born during certain spans of years has Pluto in the same sign. Early baby boomers, for example, have Pluto in Leo, while everyone born between part of 1957 and 1971 is of the Pluto in Virgo generation.
Pluto represents power, in all the ways you might think of that term. Power within, and power without. Power to destroy and power to birth what needs to be born. Plutonian power turns reality on its head, and often first through revelation. There is the unmasking of secrets, the breaking of taboos, the dredging up of uncomfortable truths, out of the shadows and into the light of day. Watch out: plutonian energy is not for the faint of heart.
Pluto has been making its way through the sign of Capricorn, from 2008 until 2023 when. It “ingressed” Aquarius in March of 2023 before moving backward into the final throes of Capricorn from June of 2023 until January 20, 2024. Pluto will move backward again into Capricorn briefly from September 1 until November 19, 2024. And then it will reside in Aquarius for the next 20 years.
While Pluto traveled through Capricorn, those of us with planets, angles, and lunar nodes in the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) were most personally impacted, for better and worse, as transiting Pluto made slow and challenging aspects with our individual charts. Now with Pluto in Aquarius, those who will be influenced in the most life-changing ways will be people with planets in the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Don’t fear it. Look to where you have planets and angles in fixed signs, and think about how to welcome powerful changes that will be for your and others’ highest good.
While Pluto has been in Capricorn—and ruled by the stable, structured force of Saturn—the Plutonian zeitgeist has brought to the surface all manner of scandals and secrets. From Wall Street, to corporations, governments, and churches, everything that is institutionally corrupt has been on full display. Many brick walls (though not yet enough of them) have cracked and started to crumble.
Now comes a generation of Pluto in Aquarius—and, no, this is not the same thing as the “Age of Aquarius” from the theme song of the 1960s musical Hair. The “Age of Aquarius” is a very long astronomical phenomenon, and a story for another day.
Like everything in astrology, Aquarius, the fixed air sign, has many meanings. From ancient astrology, Aquarius’ glyph is the Water Bearer, a mythical figure who pours out fresh water onto the earth and for all people, regardless of their status. Aquarius shares, with Capricorn, the planet Saturn as its traditional ruler. But Aquarius also has a modern ruler as well, Uranus, which was discovered in the late 18th century after telescopes were invented. Once astrologers started studying Uranus in lots of charts, they assigned it co-rulership of the sign of Aquarius. Since then, Aquarius’ meanings have expanded to include themes of radical individualism and technological break-throughs. The last time Pluto traversed Aquarius was in the late 1700s, roughly about the time of the American, French, and Industrial revolutions. History will never repeat itself exactly, but it surely may echo.
When an outer, “transpersonal” planet changes signs, it’s a big deal, because it happens so rarely. Astrologers are now anticipating what may happen while Pluto’s in Aquarius, over the next 20 years.
We can forecast but we cannot precisely predict, though the hints are already obvious in at least two major current trends. One is the runaway challenges presented by the rise of artificial intelligence. The other is the battles, around the world, about whether (relatively) democratic societies will remain so. Might Pluto in Aquarius give rise to as yet unimaginable forms of progressive activism, tilting humanity toward more freedom and more equality? We just don’t know how power will play out.
And this means that there’s a role for every one of us to play in determining future outcomes.
Blessings for the Capricorn New Moon!