On December 31, at 6:47 pm, marks the entry of the Sun into Capricorn’s second decan. Austin Coppock calls this decan “the knot”, speaking to the idea of deliberate or conscious entanglement of two ideas or themes.
As some of you know, based on a blog post in Gordon White’s Rune Soup, I’m reaching for an animist cosmology in this work, and trying to view astrology through a particular lens: a lens or filter that has us camped in a place where we can look around and see the other camps of the ancestors, or at least hear them, and try to ascertain who else (or what else) is here in the dark with us.
From that perspective, it is Night for the next ten days: not literally, but the Sun is in the underworld as the decan starts — and that means that the next ten days are a time of dreaming and of rest, in which we plan for the future and remember the past. It’s appropriate for the first ten days of the Vulgar New Year to be thinking, rather than doing. The Sun spends its time shining a light upon our knots and tangles, but does not untie them nor brush them out.
In the Hellenistic era, the Greco-Egyptians assigned this Decan to Hygeia, the goddess of health and healing through cleanliness (hence hygiene). Like the aphorism told about Abraham Lincoln (“If I have but one quarter-hour to fell one tall tree, I shall spend the first ten minutes sharpening the axe”). All of us are likely called to some form of hygiene at the start of 2020 — physical, intellectual, celestial — to clear and clean away the gunk. The Solar Eclipse just last week over India and the Middle East on the South Node emphasizes the idea of washing away endings and ridding ourselves of what has been attached to us for too long. Sink into the wild waters, says Hygeia, and scrub.
As you’ll see when you get to the horoscopes, I’ve decided to build on this idea of animism-in-astrology further, by writing these portions with poesis in mind.
We’ll start with the Ascendant in Leo I, where – in a fixed fire sign – it augurs for few major changes to self or person in the coming ten days. Leaping about, doing yoga, starting a gym routine or lazing in the sun like a cat, makes little difference: your first ten days of the new decade are unlikely to lead to buffness, thinness or musculature after holiday feasting. At the same time, if you’re able to develop and acquire a new daily habit in these ten days — by starting on the 31st and not the 1st or 2nd — you may see more results with more longevity. The Ascendant is in the home of Vulcan, the lamed smith-god, hammering away at his projects in the sweltering heat of the forge, and we might take a cue from that, that our year had best begin with hard work, the kind of labor that requires sweat.
The Sun is in Capricorn II, where he treads in waste places not readily touched by his usual power. As noted earlier, Hygeia rules this region of the sky, calling us to rinse off the Enclosed and surrounded by the South Node (who eclipsed him on 26 December), and Saturn the slow-treading prince of limits and denial, our focus and attention may be beset on every side by an awareness of LESS and the outer edges of our limited power. With each passing day, the Sun will edge closer to Saturn and farther from the South Node, leaving a few days’ grace between, where he may feel free to act in unguarded ways.
Behind the Sun, and acting as his legate and spear-bearer, noble Jupiter also walks in the thickets of Capricorn, with Mercury in close companionship. Neither likes this part of the sky; it’s a dark and forbidding place to both of them, the haunt of ghosts and bandits who alike revile and taunt both messengers and persons of high rank. Both walk in the realms of the Headless One, a lord of jollity and topsy-turvy experiences, who calls us to spend what we don’t have out of a misplaced sense of spiritual generosity. Out of loyalty to the Sun, they tread on for now — and soon Mercury will receive Jupiter’s messages and hurry forward, only to be turned back by his first retrograde of 2020.
Beyond Saturn, Pluto lingers, and the Sun shall be called before that dark power’s throne while still enchained within Saturn’s mournful tumbrel cart. Pluto makes the great small, and the small great; and Saturn binds and slows what would be hasty and free. Not easily will the Sun’s focus pass onward to other matters. The smallest of planets lingers in the realm of Tolma, the sovereign on a throne, arranging matters to his liking— suggesting that Pluto is more of a micromanager of great events right now than we might like.
Venus hangs in the night sky just above the western horizon in Aquarius. She signals disenchantment here, one for whom the veils of mystery have been drawn back and the tedium of the world is revealed. Austin Coppock has described this part of Aquarius as a knot — and Venus’s role here as a reluctant looser of bonds. The Greco-Egyptians assigned this part of the sky to Dike, the blindfolded goddess of justice — might we see evidence that women’s rights might be advanced in some fashion these ten days? It’s a thing to be watching out for.
The Moon makes conjunction with Neptune in the muddle of Pisces — it’s hard to tell with these two where the truth begins and the mirror image of the truth ends. Illusions upon illusions wrack us in the next ten days, and fantastical romances, as though we poured our attention into a bowl, only to discover it was a sieve or colander — as the Leo ascendant warns us, real change takes longer than ten days, so don’t pour your resolution into too many projects at once. This is the home of Dolus, or Trickery, in the Greco-Egyptian conception of the decans — and we might do well to remember that nothing is as it seems right now. However, the Moon stands in the 25th Mansion (sidereally), the home of the angel Aziel: who invites us to persevere despite the initial diffusion and illusory results of our efforts. Keep going past ten days, and your projects shall bear fruit, so long as you pursue them naturally and quietly: no Instagram for you in your resolve, but silent dedication.
Uranus stands retrograde near the mid heaven in Taurus in the 10th house: a lot of comfortable people are going to have their careers roiled in the next ten days — as end-of-year reviews kick up dust and the bull resents having his horns grabbed. Some will buck the trend, but look to see what the news brings of layoffs and managerial-layer sackings. The spirits here are said to be the Litai, or prayers (from which we get the word Litany), the active process of creative verbiage that are themselves living entities that connect earth to heaven. If angels are the ministers and messengers of the gods… perhaps the litai are the ministers and messengers of mortality? Prayers for upheaval or reinvention in your career may be just the thing you need…
Mars waits like a sapper in the foundations of a fortress, ready to cut the boiler lines and blow the building full of scalding hot water and burning steam. His presence in the fourth house indicates the revelation of sticky, potentially-dangerous secrets in the depths of the familial psyche, and divisive argument. An opposition to the sign of fortune in the house of friends in Gemini indicates a lot of two-faced hypocrisy from alleged allies, and a risk of angry shouting at home. In the home of Kairos, the spirit of ‘the right moment for action’, Mars urges us to stand ready to deliver the killing stroke, the sick burn, the moment it’s called for. My step-daughter’s favorite joke is this, delivered at a rapid-fire pace: what’sthedifferencebetweenagoodjokeandabadjoke?timing! So things stand with Mars — like a comedian mastering the moment, the keen sword-bearer waits for the right opening to strike.
Rising Sign Horoscopes
Leo — Rise, Lion, though your weakness drags you down,
and help your mate from the thorny brambles;
close off the pipes, or your household may drown —
change jobs serenely, though workplace scrambles.
Virgo — Girl, this legacy’s just fishy and weird:
though house and home seem the height of your hopes,
assisting your friends should be much-preferred,
while your own pleasures are stuck on the ropes.
Libra — Weigh your dreams with your partner’s present joys;
scale up your plans with heart’s true ambition;
with family constraint, your home-life annoys —
loosen the knots of year’s end tradition.
Scorpio — cut and cauterize your channels of rage
when all your partner’s plans are overthrown;
present with fresh pride at work a new page;
revise what fairness looks like in your home.
Sagittarius — Find fun in those targets next selected;
revel as your mate’s fortunes start to grow.
press on through home-woes, though unexpected;
track your cash, though you may not want to know.
Capricorn —all your faults and strengths are now in the light,
and home needs your head fully engaged;
Your job ambitions are but dreams by night;
your mate’s growth goes more smoothly, once uncaged.
Aquarius — Something needs unbinding, ere your star sets:
loneliness is a heart-ache in your mate;
trouble leaps from comforts your home forgets;
money boils in heat the chiefs create.
Pisces — Turbulent waters in your soul, this week:
and there’s all sorts of trouble for your friends.
You (and your mate) could be the light they seek —
your home, the port where storm-wracked journey ends
Aries — here’s a peak where you can take in the view:
the safety of home; diminished repute;
in partnerships, a dream of someone new.
‘Tis time to change old habits, at their root.
Taurus — Your job and self, so comfortably entwined,
are jabbed and cut by partner’s cuts at home;
cat-nap dreams make some job-plans more defined,
but no one seems to leave you room to roam.
Gemini — Fortune seems to favor you once again
though past events still burn and scrape your soul,
and storms at work claw out once-stable shore:
retreat, and regroup, in comforting den.
Cancer — More! comes your way, though maybe not so nice:
your mate keeps getting more and more of Less!
accept you need new skills; cut back on vice —
the gifts from your past, confront and address.
And that completes this column. Look for the next column on January 9, before the next Decan begins around 2:15pm on January 10.
As this poetic astrology is a (very) new format for me, any feedback (either on first reading, or at the end of the ten days) is very much appreciated.
Colophon: Sources & References
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of some of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.
Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.