The first new moon of the year happens tomorrow at 05.00 GMT, 23° Capricorn.
With Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury all in Aquarius, Pluto is still making his presence felt in Saturn ruled Capricorn and at 24° Capricorn is closely conjunct the Sun/Moon. With Pluto conjunct the new moon there is a sense of things that have been stirring below the veil of consciousness for a long time now beginning to surface. My feeling is that one of the primary issues to undergo radical transformation is our relationship to the feminine principle.
Uranus and Mars are in Taurus with Uranus at 6° making and a trine to Venus at 5 ° Capricorn.
There is a grand square between Vesta at 21° Virgo, South Node at 19° Sagittarius, North Node at 19° Gemini, and Neptune at 18° Pisces- with a Vesta Neptune opposition. Vesta is under joint rulership of Virgo and Scorpio and is strong in the new moon chart. Neptune is at home in Pisces.
The lunar nodes have been on the Gemini/Sagittarius axis since 5 May 2020 and will stay there until January 2022. The last two times the Lunar Nodes were in Gemini/Sagittarius were October 13, 2001 to April 14, 2003 and March 17, 1983 to September 12, 1984. If you are inspired to do a bit of diving it is worth looking into what was constellating in your own life at these times… particularly relating to feminine issues and experiences.
With the nodes of the moon involved in a grand square with Vesta and Neptune, there are implications of a karmic unfolding. Vesta is the Keeper of the Sacred Flame in the Temple of Apollo although prior to patriarchal takeover the Vestal virgins were priestesses in service to the moon goddess, honouring Her fertilizing and generative ways through the practice of sacred sexual rites.
In mythology Neptune is also connected with committing a crime against a Priestess in the Temple of Athena- Medusa was violated by Poseidon (Neptune) and having breached the rules of the temple was banished to a cave with her serpent headed gorgon sisters.
With these aspects alone, and particularly with Pluto making a close conjunction to the Moon, I feel this new Moon is highlighting issues related to:
-Female sexual wounding
-Sexual abuse and violation
-Exploitation, control, and distortion of female sexual energy
-Distorted images of the feminine in the collective psyche
-Issues related to motherhood and mothering
-The artificial split that has been created between woman as mother and woman as sexual being
Venus trine Uranus is bringing these issue out into the collective for healing, but not only that, during this new Moon, Venus is closely conjunct the centaur Pholus at 4° Capricorn. Pholus’ catch phrase is ‘the lid comes off’ and points to sudden and radical change. With the lunar nodal aspects involved in a grand square with Vesta and Neptune we are dealing with collective karma in relation to both the sacred nature of the feminine and transgressions against it.
Pholus was the second centaur to be discovered after Chiron on 9 January 1992- 29 years ago which interestingly is a progressed moon cycle.
Named after mythological creatures who are half human half horse, centaurs characteristically cross the orbit of the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune- between the asteroid belt and the trans- Neptunian bodies. Pholus’ path crosses the orbit of Saturn and Neptune and is considered a key to Neptune, a higher octave of Venus opening up spiritualized dimensions of Venus.
In mythology Pholus, like Chiron is a civilized and refined breed of centaur- the centaurs are usually depicted as wild and unruly, overcome by the primal, animal aspects of their nature.
One day, Hercules who was on his way to kill the Erymanthian Boar to complete his 4th labour, stopped to visit his friend Pholus in his cave near mount Pelion. Pholus being a gracious host is persuaded by Hercules to open the sacred wine given to the centaurs by the god of ecstasy Dionysus. The wine was kept in a special skin under the earth and upon being being opened incites the other centaurs to revolt wildly. Hercules killed many of the demented centaurs by shooting them with small arrows coated in the blood of the Hydra – a poison collected from Hercules’ second labour.
Pholus who is somewhat bewildered by the scene helps a fellow centaur by removing the arrow from his flesh but in doing so accidentally lets the arrow drop onto his own foot.
Chiron is also accidentally wounded in the skirmish but unlike Pholus, Chiron is a demigod and unable to die, instead he goes on to become the master (wounded) healer. Pholus dies.
Pholus points to sudden change, of things being unearthed and of ancestral secrets being revealed. In a birth chart, a prominent Pholus may describe a person whose role is to unlock ancestral information from at least four generations back for the purpose of healing the ancestral field.
In my own story I have found working with Pholus profoundly rich in connecting with buried issues relating to my mother-line going back four generation. Information is still coming through and is definitely set in motion by transits to Pholus.
Uranus in harmony with Venus may also initiate sudden changes in relation to the feminine and during this lunar cycle, particularly related to female sexuality. With Pholus by Venus’ side it may be that we begin to witness an altogether more authentic version of the feminine. By clearing distortions that have been rendered on the feminine through systems of patriarchal control, a new level of feminine consciousness and healing is emerging- and it is necessary.
Last year, with Pluto journeying through Saturn and making an exact conjunction in January 2020, structures that can no longer withstand the vibrational upgrade in human spiritual development are being scrutinised, challenged, and dismantled.
In astrology, Venus rules over marriage, love, harmony, money, beauty, and value. In our culture we have idolised the Venusian archetype through the glamourous model or alluring sex kitten… the sexually pleasing feminine who titillates and seduces just as she appeases and accommodates. Perhaps the biggest Venus icon of our time was Marilyn Monroe, earning Hollywood a ton of money and paving the way for the sexual permissiveness of the late 60’s. Behind the glamour of the silver screen however Marilyn was a woman beset with profound insecurities due to a sexually abusive childhood. At age 11 her mother was incarcerated in a sanatorium for the mentally unstable, and Marilyn was placed in the care of the State of California. With a close Chiron Venus conjunction on her midheaven- for the world to see- she describes the dark rabbit hole of feminine conditioning and manipulation.
There is something here about the disenfranchisement of the feminine from her natural grounding and her subsequent manipulation. Through the archetypal lens we know that Venus/Aphrodite was without a mother, being born from the castrated genitals of her father Ouranos, the sky god and emerging as a fully formed woman from the foam of the sea. There are parallels here with Marilyn and countless other woman who having not received a strong stabilizing grounding from a mother figure become vulnerable to abuse. Far from being a sexually powerful and integrated feminine archetype, Venus has come to represent the pacifying, accommodating, good wife and partner, and vehicle of pleasure.
Venus Aphrodite originally came from Asia, associated with Ishtar Astarte, as a fertility goddess of all of nature and life forms. In later Greek times Aphrodite became recognised chiefly through her outer attributes of love and erotic desirability. The fertility goddess’s function as “primal mother of all ongoing creation” was repressed and forgotten. Consequently in her patriarchal form, her essence was filtered and distorted into being simply an alluring and beautiful woman whose association with the cyclic fertilizing and transforming principles of nature were denied expressions.
This speaks to the way we have split apart the sexual and the mothering aspects of women. This dichotomy is seen at the core of the teachings of the Christian church in the polarized images of Mary the chaste and untouched Mother, and Magdalene the scorned whore. We see it in the ongoing controversy of women breast feeding in public as breasts have become a sexualised and therefore profane aspect of the feminine.
The essence of the feminine principle is symbolized by the moon, and accordingly the moon serves as the symbolic representation of the undifferentiated force of the divine feminine. The moon, says Demetra George, contains the totality of feminine expression and combined within her are all possible expressions of [the feminine]. She reveals two principles: growth/fertilization and transformation. She is also the matrix from which all feminine expressions arise.
In Venus, the potential of fertilization and transformation becomes activated as the vital reproductive force.
If however distortions exist at the foundational level- the moon- all subsequent manifestations are likewise vulnerable to distortions.
In a previous blog written on the Cancer full Moon, the last full moon of 2020, I wrote-
I feel this full moon is highlighting motherhood generally. As we exit the old paradigm and prepare ourselves for the new, a valid and important question on the table is, how do we view/ treat mothers, motherhood, and the Great Mother?
This is one of the central questions of our time. As we collectively reintegrate an authentic image of the feminine into the collective psyche there will be birthing pains, and this process may well be what we are experiencing now as we are being delivered into a more balanced version of ourselves.
Questions around the issues of motherhood, feminine grounding and power, and female sexuality are forcing us to confront the distorted image of the feminine that has been imprinted in the modern psyche. It is time for the ‘lid to come off’ the suppressed dimensions of the feminine experience, told through the buried stories of our mothers and grandmothers, stripped from the veils of Neptunian illusion and excavated in the penetrative transforming power of Pluto.