Sagittarius New Moon: Saturn's Bridge

This new moon is at 26.31 Sagittarius on Monday, December 18th at 1:30 AM EST.

 NASA's Great Observatories Examine the Galactic Center Region - The core of the Milky Way at a distance of some 26,000 light years from Earth. Source: Wikimedia Commons via the Smithsonian Institution.

NASA's Great Observatories Examine the Galactic Center Region - The core of the Milky Way at a distance of some 26,000 light years from Earth. Source: Wikimedia Commons via the Smithsonian Institution.

The new moon this month is conjunct Saturn at the last degree of Sagittarius, just before he transitions into Capricorn on Tuesday. It’s also on the Galactic Center (the center of the Milky Way and the site of a supermassive black hole). Retrograde Mercury is at 15 Sag, near a mysterious gravitational anomaly called the Great Attractor. Saturn was at 15 Sagittarius in February - March, May, and November 2016. As this Mercury retrograde began conjunct Saturn and has been tracing the degrees of our recent Saturn cycle, it’s bringing up themes from the past three years.

All this is to say that we’re beginning a liminal moon cycle, a bridge between Saturn in Sagittarius and Saturn in Capricorn. Themes of Saturn in Sagittarius are intensified. Collectively, I think we’ve experienced Saturn in Sagittarius as a lesson about education (we need a better system), knowledge (what we think we know may not be the whole of it), and truth (we need to be careful about distributing false information). Morals and philosophy are also important Sagittarian themes. Usually, when the hard Saturn lessons come, it’s a result of our irresponsibility. We are currently very concerned with the a/moral actions of people in power. More than a few have failed the ethics course. On the other side of the coin, religious values can be cited as a reason for pushing through censorship or denying others’ rights. Saturn in Sagittarius has been overwhelming, a mess of consequences. Saturn in Capricorn is like the teacher coming back after a day with the sub, your parents coming home to find you’ve thrown a party in their absence, the new boss coming in to straighten out a failing company. To use the word of the moment, it is a kind of reckoning. It’s time to get down to business.

On a personal note, how has your philosophy, your idea of the truth, changed, solidified, or become more serious since December of 2014? What hard lessons have you learned in the area of life signified by the house of your chart where you have Sagittarius? Where have you become more responsible, and where have you felt the consequences of irresponsibility?

Saturn moves very slowly, which means this shift will happen incrementally, not all at once. This is a moon cycle for bridging that shift. The Sabian Symbol for this new moon is that of the degree of the Galactic Center: “The Sculptor’s Vision is Slowly but Surely Taking Form.” What form do you want your vision to take? This is something to meditate on in this dark moon period, just before Mercury stations direct on December 22nd. Sort out the lessons. Find the vision you’ve created through this mess. This is what you can sculpt over the next three years.

The Retrograde-fueled Full Moon in Gemini

This full moon is at 11.40 degrees of Gemini at 10:47 AM EST on December 3rd.

Mercury stations retrograde at 29.18 Sagittarius on December 3rd and stations direct at 13 Sagittarius on December 23rd.

 Photo uploaded to Flickr by Wade M, sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Photo uploaded to Flickr by Wade M, sourced from Wikimedia Commons

The aspects are intense and the holiday season timing is epically inconvenient, but here at Rebel Astrology we have the foresight to use even the most difficult astrology to our advantage. This supermoon reaches exact fullness just hours after Mercury stations retrograde at 29 Sagittarius tomorrow. Since Mercury rules Gemini, it’s going to be an extra spazzy retrograde.

Normally I don’t worry about Mercury’s shadow periods (the weeks before and after a retrograde), because I just don’t think they’re worth the fuss. But this one has been nuts for me since November 15th when the pre-shadow period started: tech issues, communication fails, major delays. If it’s the same for you, settle in. It’s our third time this year to take a deep breath, refresh, recharge, and rethink.

As far as the retrograde “Re’s” go, Re-thinking is the key to this full moon. Gemini is all about thought: coming up with ideas, talking, and writing are all in the realm of the Twins. On the other side of the axis, Sagittarius is also interested in knowledge, philosophy, and study. But while Gemini entertains many ideas without necessarily declaring loyalty to any of them, Sagittarius is on a search for truth. Gemini has variety and adaptability, and Sagittarius has deep knowledge. Gemini’s pitfall is duplicity, while Sagittarius runs the danger of becoming dogmatic. When the moon’s ruler stations retrograde in Sag, it’s time to investigate our own dogma. Expand your horizons. Seek out other perspectives in the areas where you have strong beliefs. One caveat: This is so not the time to find someone who disagrees with you and discuss your ideas with them. Don’t start sharing until after the retrograde. This is strictly a listening exercise.

Neptune at 11.30 Pisces is at the apex of an exact T-square with the full moon and the sun. Full moons are always opposite the sun, but the exact aspect with Neptune is unusual. Neptune here indicates illusion, delusion, and even dreams of a better world—one person’s utopia is another person’s fixer-upper. The full moon and Mercury prompt challenges to your beliefs. Dispel your own delusions. Entertain multiple possibilities at the same time.

Do you think your beliefs don’t need to be challenged? You’re enlightened, you’re progressive, you’re liberal, you’re one of the good guys, you’re on the right side of history? Liberal people have dogma too. There are never just two sides to any debate. I know we’re currently living through an insane, chaos-fueled nightmare of propaganda. I know some ideas are truly dangerous. I know. It makes me nervous to write this post, because of my “no debates during Mercury Rx” rule. So please understand that I’m not advocating a position. I’m only suggesting that we all go have a listen to someone who has another perspective to offer.

I say another perspective because I’m not talking about listening to your polar opposite. This is not a suggestion to read a neo-Nazi’s blog. Someone from the very large gray area between you and an active proponent of genocide will do just fine. This isn't about listening to arguments that defend dominant ideologies of patriarchy and white privilege at all. Those are currently the loudest voices. Resist the binary. What I'm concerned about is how we're so polarized right now that there only seem to be two categories to fit into: the resistance and the regime. What I'm concerned about is our collective tendency to react on the internet instead of taking the time to reflect, to label a person “problematic” instead of addressing the idea in question, to automatically shame and shun. Problematic means difficult, tricky, complex, controversial. If an idea is complex, it's worth deeper reflection.

So go within your own paradigm to find an alternative idea. If you’re a feminist, there is another smart, informed feminist who disagrees with you. If you’re an environmentalist, same thing. Find someone in your general subculture with a radical thought. Try reading their arguments. Listen. Radical ideas often draw on perspectives that have become taboo in the dominant ideological paradigm of any group. There are dominant ideological paradigms in liberal circles too. Right now it’s intersectional theory and deconstructionism applied to everything. These are useful ideas. They’re also not the only theories that ever apply to anything, and people who present other ways of seeing are not automatically bad, wrong, problem people. Ideas can coexist.

We all have some kind of invisible fence surrounding us that represents our version of reality, our philosophy, our cultural taboo. Most people don’t ever notice the fence. Use this full moon and Mercury retrograde to rethink part of your own paradigm. You don’t have to come to a conclusion about anything. You don’t have to advocate a position, side with anyone, boycott anyone, label yourself or anyone else. This is the way through December’s batty astrology. This is the advantage of the thoughtful person.

How to work with Mercury Retrograde in Virgo

Mercury is retrograde from August 12 - September 5, 2017
11.38 Virgo - 28.25 Leo

I like to play it cool with retrogrades. They're regularly timed periods for reflection and revision, after all. But Mercury retro in Virgo and Gemini tends to be more...shall we say noticeable? Back up your computer and access your reserves of patience. We're embarking on a reflective journey to re-organize our lives.

Here are some ways to use the 2017 mercury retrograde in Virgo:

  • Revisit your past writing and artwork. You may glean new inspiration from a piece you had forgotten about.
  • Plan revisions for this time period. Revising writing will be far more fruitful than beginning a project during these weeks.
  • Go minimalist. Virgo loves editing out anything superfluous, in life and art. This is a great time to donate things you no longer want or need.
  • Re-organize your office. Go through old files (or file anything at all), create better systems, maybe redecorate a little. By the time the lines of communication are clear, you'll be refreshed and ready.
  • Recommit to service. This could mean donating your time or money to a cause you care about, or taking care of friends, family, and neighbors in small ways.
  • Reclaim your time. Track how much time you're spending on everything and do a complete audit of your daily and weekly routine. How could you make it more efficient? How could you find more time for yourself and the things you enjoy?
  • Reflect on your health. What does healthy living mean to you? Maybe you used to have a meditation practice that slipped, or you really could use more sleep. Virgo retrogrades are an excellent time to recommit to self-care.

How do you plan to use this retrograde?