Calendar year 2022 kicks off with a New Moon in Capricorn on January 2 at 10:33 a.m. on the West Coast.
Capricorn is our cardinal earth sign, and cardinal signs are about forward motion. There’s a New Moon in Capricorn every year in late December or January. This New Moon on January 2 is extra fortuitous in that it coincides with our cultural habit of making vows for new ways of doing and being at the start of a year. It is considered best to wait for a visible sliver of crescent light before taking action on a New Moon intention. But there is no harm done in setting one’s sights on all we want to do and be for 2022. Capricorn is about starting things – and getting them done.
The January 2 lunation features a beautiful trine aspect with outer planet Uranus, in fixed earth Taurus. Uranus is the force of liberatory breakthroughs and unexpected surprises. Trine aspects (about 120 degrees) between planets encourage and facilitate. So while Capricornian energy is like a goat charging up a mountain, Uranus’ message is to not take anything for granted. Work, yes, but don’t be too stodgy. Anything can happen.
At this time of the New Moon, we are also in the midst of a period when Venus is in retrograde motion, also in Capricorn and making conjunctions with powerful Pluto. Venus in retrograde motion calls us to reevaluate all of our values, including all things relationship and money-wise.
This lunation also forms a square aspect with Chiron, discovered only in 1977 and initially thought to be an asteroid or a comet. Chiron’s meaning is subject to continuing astrological inquiry among the astrologers who include it. Named for the mythological centaur, Chiron is half human and half god, speaking to this creature’s dual nature: combining the instinctual survival needs of an animal with inspiration and intelligence from the Divine. And, don’t we, too, have this dual nature?
Chiron, the “wounded healer,” in Greek myth, is a teacher of mystics and healers. He carries practical knowledge about medicine, music, archery, hunting and prophecy. Chiron has compassion for the suffering of all beings because, the myth tells us, by happenstance Chiron incurred a wound from which – despite all his medical know-how – he can never fully heal. Where Chiron lies in our own birth chart shows us where and how our own suffering has the potential to make us wise.
At this lunation, Chiron – in its long sojourn through Aries, sign of the individual self — calls us to look at the irresolvable suffering in our own hearts, the pains that we can never fully repair and that also make us uniquely beautiful. “There is a crack in everything,” wrote the poet Leonard Cohen. “That’s how the light gets through.” Or, as Carl Jung taught: our complexes never go away, but we can get better at managing them.
So while we are devising our New Year’s plans to eat right, lose weight, and declutter our home, maybe it is also Chironic wisdom to observe our own cracked vessels through a lens of kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer and gold.
This Capricorn season is governed by planet Saturn, called Chronos in Greek myth. Saturn is the Father (or, Parent?) of time. No one is getting any younger. Until the discovery of outer planets using telescopes and the like, Saturn was the end point of the astrological pantheon, representing structure, containment, the limits of what is possible.
Saturn has been central to the major transit of 2021, the square between Saturn and further-out planet Uranus. This square was exact on February 17, June 14 and December 24, 2021, coinciding really all year, with worldwide conflicts between what’s old and passing away and what yearns yet to be born.
In 2022, there won’t be any exact squares between Saturn and Uranus in 2022. But this transit is very much with us for the coming year. In the current issue of The Mountain Astrologer magazine, renowned astrologer Rick Levine explains that the orbs (number of degrees) of the square between Saturn in fixed air Aquarius and Uranus in fixed earth Taurus will remain close throughout 2022, and the Saturn-Uranus square will be punctuated by successive transits of the planets that travel closer to the Sun. “Throughout 2022,” Levine writes, “each time faster-moving planets trigger Saturn and Uranus, they restimulate the root causes of differences in our world, like rubbing salt into an open wound.” We will remain in the grip of a plague and extreme social antagonisms.
That’s the hard stuff, and yet, it is certainly not all that is coming in the sky.
On December 28 Jupiter, the planetary force of opportunities and good fortune, entered its watery home sign of Pisces, the sign that is like the unfathomable Oceans from which all life emerges.
In a typical cycle, Jupiter spends 12 to 13 months in a sign. But Jupiter is moving faster than usual at this time. It entered Pisces briefly from May 13 to July 28, 2021 before retrograding and making its way back into Aquarius from late July 2021 until December 28. Since late 2019, Jupiter has been in restrictive Saturn’s signs of first Capricorn, and then Aquarius. Now Jupiter is home in Pisces for a spell, and that’s a big deal because planets in their home signs are best able to carry out their functions, which we can feel if we attune ourselves to their symbolism. Jupiter will move into hard-charging Aries on May 11 and then back to Pisces from the end of October until late December of 2022.
The most potent transit of 2022 will be the spring conjunction of Jupiter with Pisces’ outer planet ruler Neptune (exact on April 12). Jupiter and Neptune meet up about every 13 to 14 years, but they have not conjoined in Pisces since 1856.
Jupiter, the largest of the traditionally observed planets, is like a giant magnifying glass, making everything bigger, for better or worse, and yet it operates within the bounds of Saturn’s orbit. Not so with Neptune, a kind of nebulous, unrestrained phenomenon. Pisces is known as the sign of boundarilessness. Put Jupiter and Neptune together in Pisces, and there is, at the very least, some caution to be had. Ungrounded people may behave even more so this year, spreading their unfounded beliefs in ways that are delusional and hazardous for themselves and others. But conscientious people, too, need to be careful to double-check our rose-colored dreams against verifiable fact-based reality.
The higher manifestations of Jupiter in the cleansing waters of Pisces are infinite. At this New Moon and the whole coming month — with Jupiter just having entered Pisces and with the Capricornian drive to climb steep hills to make visions come true — it is no time to just go on a downer about everything that needs fixing.
It is, instead, time to dream big, to have faith in the long and winding road, and to imagine the most just and loving possibilities for yourself and for all beings everywhere.
New Moon and Jupiterian blessings, and Happy New Year!