There is a rare and challenging configuration in Astrology called a “grand square.” It is known for its ability to generate tremendous amounts of energy that tend to be locked into repetitive patterns. Simple geometry explains its “locked in” nature. Each of at least four planets reside at a 90 degree angle from the other and also 180 degrees from each other creating a closed square configuration. The result is the tendency of an individual (business, government, or corporation) to expend tremendous amounts of energy just to end up in a place that feels frustratingly familiar, alarmingly fixed and suspiciously pre-determined. It’s considered Karmic and being born with this particular planetary pattern in one’s birth chart indicates the need to learn lessons related to flexibility, balance, the use of energy, coping effectivley with frustration, and the willingness to continually experiment with integration of opposing inner forces.
A new Moon occurring on new years day is fairly rare, but in1938, a new year’s day new Moon, at the exact degree of this new Moon, occurred. During that lunar cycle, over sixty years ago, Hitler was getting ready to sack his Commander and Chief of the German Army amidst allegations of homosexuality, the March of Dimes was established, the Niagra Bridge collapsed, the first ski tow in America began operation in Vermont, Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” exposing American everyday life and hypocrisy, was performed for the first time anywhere in Princeton New Jersey, and Europeans were startled by an amazing aurora borealis described as a “curtain of fire” that streaked across Europe extending to Gibralter.
Unlike the 1938 new Moon new year’s chart, this one is dominated by a grand square involving the Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto. Essentially this new Moon has the potential to feel much more intense, limiting, and urgent on both a personal and universal scale. How to make this notoriously difficult grand square work in our favor is the obvious question.
Personal limitations are a part of everyone’s story, but they’re rarely well integrated or even acknowledged. It’s always refreshing and rare to hear someone formidable comfortably say “I’m just not good at that” and not immediately follow it up with “but I’m taking a class, or finding a mentor, or really focusing in on it this year, or trying harder”. Letting the simple acknowledgement stand alone seems powerful and that may be because it is. The Irish Poet Brendan Francis said “If you accept your limitations, you go beyond them.” And, according to Orson Welles, “The absence of limitation is the enemy of art.”
So, with Saturn, the “Lord of Limitation”, sitting on the highly visible Ascendent of this new Moon chart, a simple honest acknowledgement of specific personal limitation is a good first approach. It allows us then to be somewhat artistic with the tricky navigation that must follow. Our mission is essentially to move beyond mediocrity into the realm of manifesting an ideal. Because we face such strong opposition, our mission is a strenuous one – the embodiment of the “hero’s journey” right out of this New Year’s gate. Our survival on some level is at stake. Most likely we are facing progressive “oxygen deprivation” of the spark that ignites our most unique qualities. If we’ve compromised to the max, our task may now be the recovery of essential and sacred parts of ourselves.
The enemy, as we try to manifest an ideal, is a powerfully motivated one, determined to uphold outworn tradition and to maintain soul-crushing “business-as-usual.” He is both fearful and an enthusiastic exporter of fear, an intimidator hoping you’ll feel intimidated enough to back away from your unique mission. Seeing you as an individual and a threat he prefers that you cower, and may be ready to hurt you if you don’t. It’s not your imagination, its relentless reality, a reality you won’t face again until 2046, when it’s time once again to free yourself from the bondage of a shaky stability that demands for its survival individual oppression and lifeless conformity.
Pallas, an asteroid goddess lying outside the grand square configuration, gives us the option of considering that the “apparent” struggle we’re involved in is not the real one. The real struggle most likely lies a few layers below the “apparent” one. It lies within. Everyone’s story is a mixture of characters each demanding a voice, each ill-equipped to deal with long term neglect. And now, most likely, those neglected characters characters are locked into the grand square configuration. Their misery and tendency to create havoc is affecting all the energy within the configuration. It could feel potentially explosive or like tremendous pressure for some kind of change.
If we find ourselves sick, angry, tired, hungering for something, surrounded by conflict and chaos, – rearranging the deck chairs won’t help. We must identify the inner voice we’re stifling, find a way to integrate it, allow it to be heard, and move on. Fixing the “apparent struggle” simply allows us to focus on the next one. Fixing the real problem transforms us in ways that allow us to make a lasting contribution to the world. If you don’t yet understand the real struggle, my second suggestion would be to figure it out through introspection, therapy, meditation dream, interpretation, or your own unique combination of remedies. Going forward, psychological exploration, excavation, and a new and very different arrangement seems critical.
For many that process is underway or winding down and now the challenge is to re-emerge, like miners who’ve been trapped underground for an extended time period. Returning to a normal life, freer from restriction, with an entirely new perspective, can also be challenging. An adjustment is called for and it may be a difficult one. Having almost lost it all, we may now realize what’s sacred to us, worth fighting for, worth breaking through traditional barriers, worth experimenting with, worth risking rejection, imprisonment, or the consequences of telling it like it is.
My third suggestion comes from the energy of Ceres, another asteroid lying outside the grand square and therefore relatively easily channeled. Ceres represents nourishment and how we get what we need in order to feel energized. In this new Moon chart, Ceres lies in the sign of Libra at 23 degrees. It’s Sabian symbol is a “Chanticleer.” The symbol speaks to an individual’s self-image, his mental picture of who he is. Because of the way he carries himself through everyday life there is the unspoken demand that others acknowledge and recognize his elevated self-perception. The message is that it’s wise to carry yourself in ways that reflect pride, an air of authority, competence, and your personal ideal image of yourself, at least for this month and most likely for the entire year.
My fourth suggestion lies with the asteroid goddess Juno. She is encouraging us to match our talents with the needs of our community. This may require an informed and detailed assessment to uncover where the intersection lies. Or it might simply involve following up with some off-handed comment that feels inspired. Intensifying energy by joining with forces bigger than ourselves is critical.
The astrology of the times suggests the need for major fundamental inner change, for collaborations, and for assisting the universe in moving energy in the direction of the greatest good for the greatest numbers.
Let the experiments begin!
Check out this Wednesday’s weekly horoscopes for a more personalized take on what the New Moon mean’s for your sign. Two more days left to purchase a personal chart reading for next year at a significant discount.