This week holds both conclusions and introductions. Late Monday night, Mars finally exits Sagittarius, leaving behind the site of the red planet’s long and, at times brutal, retrograde cycle. The New Moon in Libra arrives later in the week, on Friday. This New Moon will be our first lunation since August to go un-eclipsed, and will take place right next to Jupiter, whose recent entrance into Libra offers new hope and possibility.
Thus, this week we bid goodbye to September’s intense eclipses, as well as Mars’ extended stay in Sagittarius. The old departs and the new emerges, challenging us to find our footing on unfamiliar ground. The season which has just begun will be very different from the previous three. You may need to recalibrate your expectations and change up your rhythm.
Mars Enters Capricorn: Leverage
On Monday night, technically early morning Tuesday, Mars leaves tropical Sagittarius and enters Capricorn. This shift is a long delayed one, for Mars has spent the entirety of 2016 in either Scorpio or Sagittarius. Mars’s retrograde cycle caused it to spend an unusual amount of time in the archer’s sign- nearly 4 months. Now, however, Mars has regained his usual pace, and will be moving through a sign every 6 weeks or so. Mars will be in Capricorn from September 26th until November.
Mars is considered to be in his exaltation in Capricorn, meaning that the red planet’s efforts will tend to meet with success. Here the more impulsive qualities are filtered out of the red planet’s vermillion light, leaving a more patient, grounded and ruthless version of Mars.
Climbing up rocky slopes with the aid of the Goat, we are led by Mars to a stony zenith. This mountain-top provides an unparalleled point from which to survey the topography, and to ascertain its advantages and disadvantages. High and low ground differentiate themselves. Difficult and easy terrain become apparent, as do points defensible and vulnerable.
In Capricorn, Mars points out hard, strategically relevant truths. Unlike other dignified Mars positions, such as Aries or Scorpio, Mars in Capricorn is not high energy. Here we learn that power not only proceeds from passion, but also from position. Mars in Capricorn teaches the superiority of leverage, and to work with, instead of against, gravity.
Works of strategy, organization and fortification are favored by Mars’ time in Capricorn, which is due to last until the red planet’s entrance into Aquarius on November 8th.
New Moon in Libra: No Justice, No Peace
The week wanes toward the New Moon in Libra on Friday, September 30th. This conjunction of the Sun and Moon is the first of the season, and should serve to quicken a number of new themes, particularly those connected to Jupiter’s recent entrance into Libra, such as social expansion and the fight for peace.
The New Moon takes place in the ninth degree of Libra, only five degrees away from jolly, gigantic Jupiter. In fact, Jupiter will be so close to the Sun that our star’s rays will conceal the big planet from naked-eye visibility.
This proximity to the New Moon incorporates Jupiter’s significations into the seed-pattern generated by the New Moon. Jupiter thus encodes the dueling desires for justice and peace into the core pattern of the next lunar cycle. The desire for reconciliation is there, but the bridge between intention and realization must always span an abyss.
This New Moon takes place in the first decan of Libra, the same decan in which there was penumbral lunar eclipse in March. Furthermore, Jupiter will be only a single degree away from the degree which March’s eclipse took place within. This decan is traditionally ruled by the Moon, and so this lunation should generate events in line with the decan’s significations.
The symbolism of the first decan of Libra can be seen in the Renaissance-era image of a man blowing a horn, disturbing the peace to call for justice. Indeed, according to Agrippa’s 16th century text, the Three Books of Occult Philosophy, “The operation of this is for the justice and help of the poor and weak against the evil and powerful.”
Meanwhile, other images connected to this decan, such as the Two of Swords in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, suggest the opposite. This card shows a woman blindfolded, holding two swords, with a seashore at night as a background. The symbols present in this image take us to the changing shore between sleeping and wakefulness. This too is a question of justice and horns. What sleeping dogs shall we let lie? What hatchets should remain buried, and which would best be exhumed?
A superficial peace can be established with good will alone, but lasting accord can only come about after a thorough review and release of slights and offenses.
While Jupiter, the Sun and Moon attempt to sow the seeds of peace, tough Mars in Capricorn moves to square justice-seeking Jupiter in Libra. Jupiter in Libra awakens the spirit of compromise but Mars in Capricorn points out concrete concerns- resources and territory- whose importance cannot be obviated by good will alone.
Clear examples of fragile peaces and the challenges to them can be seen in the recent and abortive ceasefire in Syria, as well as the ongoing Colombian peace process. The cycle which this New Moon begins will test these, as well as many other attempted reconciliations. Though this coming cycle will compromise some truces, it does not destroy Jupiter in Libra’s year long campaign for greater harmony. Furthermore, by culling superficial peaces, Mars in Capricorn plays an important adversarial role. No peace without justice. No love without forgiveness. No forgiveness without memory.