Aquarius New Moon: All Together in the Belly

Tomorrow’s New Moon — a conjunction of the Sun and Moon — takes place right at the midpoint of Aquarius. This marks the middle of the current season; a time the ancient Pagans celebrated as Imbolc.


Photo by Amanda Painter.

Although the origin of the word Imbolc is not entirely clear, one common explanation is that it comes from the Old Irish word meaning “in the belly,” referring to the pregnancy of ewes.

In other words, the seeds — literal and metaphorical — that have long lain dormant and are still in darkness, are gestating and beginning to stir. (You can read past Planet Waves writing on Imbolc here and here.) To have a New Moon today underscores these themes of what is inside and is developing, a new cycle about to begin from the darkness. Yet it comes in the midst of some astrological activity that has likely been quite activating.

I’m going to cover some of that before looking at the New Moon itself, and you can review recent aspects here. Most of them are beginning to separate; the one that may still be intensifying (if you’re reading this Sunday evening) is the conjunction between Mars and Eris in Aries, exact overnight into tomorrow morning.

In myth these two were temperamental siblings. Particularly if you’re carrying frustration over from the past week, you’ll want to stay very conscious of the reasons behind your actions (and reactions). Things like passive-aggression and subversive intent could backfire; venting anger at someone who’s not responsible is sure to leave both of you feeling worse rather than better.

Adding a potentially stabilizing effect to emotions is Venus, which entered Capricorn just before 5:30 pm EST today. Although Venus in early Cap could put ‘old-fashioned’ values about love and relationships at odds with current hypersexual cultural tropes (thanks to a square with Salacia in Aries), there’s also an indication that affectionate gestures offered now may have lasting effects (Venus conjunct Pholus).


Photo by Amanda Painter.

As mentioned, it’s against this backdrop (or foreground, depending on your personal circumstances) that tomorrow’s New Moon occurs in Aquarius. That event is exact at 4:04 pm EST (21:03:31 UTC), and takes place at 15 Aquarius and 45 arc minutes — also known as the 16th degree of Aquarius.

Both Saturn in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces are exactly semi-sextile the New Moon (and sextile each other). This indicates that you have the option to access both the discipline and structure and the vision and idealism needed to plan, innovate and begin to express tangibly whatever it is you’ve been quietly gestating.

There’s also a minor object named Praamzius opposite the Sun and Moon within two degrees in mid-Leo. Praamzius was named after the chief god from ancient Lithuanian myth — the god of time, the sky, peace and friendship.

The position of Praamzius creates what’s called a yod or ‘finger of god’ pattern with Saturn and Neptune, with the New Moon creating a point of emphasis, and perhaps also opening up some space for integration. Praamzius appears to suggest that seemingly ‘eccentric’ solutions could be the thing to focus on — along with a clear grasp of the time required, and how you might use it best.

With that in mind, the Sabian symbol for the Aquarius New Moon feels especially interesting. (The Sabians are a series of channeled symbols, one for each zodiac degree, the most famous interpretation of which being Dane Rudhyar’s.) The Sabian symbol for 16 Aquarius is, “A big businessman at his desk.” It comes with the keyphrase, “The ability to organize the aspects of an enterprise involving a large group of human beings.”

Rudhyar describes some of the emblematic times when large groups of people have come together in this way — usually in the service of big business, or of certain war efforts, or of something like getting human beings to land on the Moon — and notes how the endeavors tended to be “neither of permanent significance nor invested with a truly harmonic quality.”


Simplified chart for tomorrow’s New Moon. Clockwise, from top: Uranus, Mars and Eris in Aries; Chiron and Neptune in Pisces; the Sun and Moon in Aquarius; Pluto, Saturn, Pholus and Venus in Capricorn; Pallas in Libra. Not shown: Praamzius in Leo, and Salacia in Aries. View glyph key here. View full chart here.

That appears to be the main question posed by this astrological degree: how to use “the power generated by human togetherness and group interplay” harmoniously for the welfare of the whole that we are each, without exception, part of: the entire Earth — including all of its inhabitants and systems — and all humanity. It’s a tall order for us human beings, who apparently still require the friction, bumps and jolts of outer conflict and inner tension to figure out who we are.

If you consider yourself to be on any kind of path toward growth, healing and individuation, you likely know that the lessons along the way often need repeating in various forms; I like to think of the process as being like a spiral: even though the territory can look similar with each iteration, chances are you really are a little further along the path and the lesson carries some new nuance or depth to it.

Pulling back from our individual concerns to look at all humanity or the entire Earth can feel overwhelming and scary. Things like global warming and its interdependent effects threaten to further fracture harmony rather than enhance it, if we stay tribal and factionalized and stuck in scarcity consciousness.

It’s one of the reasons I find the presence of Praamzius in the New Moon yod pattern so interesting. He is described as having some Saturnian qualities: for example, as being the god of time — “the inescapable fate” — and omnipotent of past, present and future all at once. Yet he is also the god of peace, friendship, and the one facet of earthly existence that is, in a way, perhaps limitless: the sky.

We’re not all suddenly going to start getting along for the welfare of the planet just because of tomorrow’s New Moon. But if we are, somehow, collectively gestating something along those lines — here in the belly of this chaotic, often dark, yet strangely beautiful moment — I’d say it’s about time.

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