Here’s the start of the new decan, Capricorn III, in the middle afternoon of January 10, 2020. The Ascendant is in Gemini, setting Mercury in a position of some dignity, and indicating that swift changes and sudden changes of direction or mood are possible in the next ten days.
The Sun itself, still in Capricorn, hangs in the middle-western sky, in the midst of an array of planets and the Dragon’s Tail, rather like a king on a throne offering judgement but surrounded by the courtiers who have far too much advice to give. Their combined presence in the past suggests that their answers are predicated on the ghosts of the past, and that the varied opinions of the ancestors have weight in this court. Venus, just barely inside 3° of the Midheaven, prepares to swing from Aquarius to Pisces, carrying hidden career goals into more public view. while Neptune indicates that career matters will be widely diffused and Uranus suggests we’ll find more freedom in solitude than in community.
Let’s look at planetary positions in more detail, and then we’ll turn our attention to horoscopes by rising sign.
The Ascendant, as already noted, is in Gemini. Austin Coppock, in 36 Faces, called this Decan “The Hermaphrodite” — the alchemical figure of two becoming one, yet still obviously containing both. Gemini’s very mutability suggests a period of both high activity and breezy ease — but also a number of changes.
Additionally, Mercury which is Gemini’s ruling planet, is besieged between the Sun and Saturn in Capricorn in the eighth house. While the Sun rules this Decan (by Chaldean order), the sign as a whole is definitely ruled by Saturn — and accordingly, the herald planet finds themselves in a bit of a tricky place with regard to protocol. Bound to the Sun and in the Sun’s own household, they must nonetheless obey a more-direct command ‘from the top’. In the next two days, we’ll see Mercury transferring their immediate allegiance from Sun to Saturn and then Pluto, as the conjunction of all four planets goes exact on January 12.
This conjunction plays out in unusual ways: Saturn applies limits. Pluto takes large matters and makes them small (or takes small issues and makes them huge). The Sun will shine on waste and desolation and reveal damage. Mercury will communicate truth, harsh though it may be. Our expectations and plans in the next ten days thus face first constraint, then get blown out of proportion, then come face-to-face with a new landscape.
Eighth house matters often revolve around death, but they also touch on matters of ancestry, heritage, and our inheritances and birthrights. A parcel of wasteland doesn’t sound so useful — but there’s also a sense here of chickens come home to roost. The consequences of past actions, and the deeds of the parents visited on the children, seem to cluster around this conjunction. It’s no apocalypse, in the sense of Doom Brewing In An InstantPot, but it is likely to be an ongoing revelation of challenges and difficulties.
Venus, just past the Midheaven, hangs in the last few degrees of Aquarius in the Decan of the Moon, which Austin Coppock associated with a tangle or a knot, and the Hellenistic era with their syncretized version of Osiris the Egyptian sovereign of the underworld. Like Isis at the side of her dead husband, this is not an easy place for the queen of love — she’s where she belongs, but she desires to be somewhere else…
Just 20° above her, an invisible Neptune lurks in the middle Decan of Pisces as her next companion, the place that Austin called “The Net”, where an obscure deity, Dolos of trickery and deceit, lies in wait. It’s appropriate, at the start of the 2020 election year in the US, to reflect on the ways that the ‘Net, as in the Internet, reflects in its myriad glittering parts the whole funhouse-mirror effect of what its masters and managers want us to see, and how easily it can lead us astray. More so than usual, the Internet will be a mirror to our unconscious desires, but also a distorted vision of the truth. Especially in work environments, don’t trust what you see online.
In the 12th House, in Taurus, Uranus afflicts the comfortable in their solitude with a range of uncomfortable truths. We’re rarely likely to rest easy or in silence in the next ten days, as various messages come to us from distant shores and far hollows of the earth. Disruption of comforting peace and the dis- added to the -quiet will be the new normal.
The Moon at 19° Cancer, is tropically in the Ninth Mansion, and sidereally in the Sixth Mansion. There’s a powerful tension here at work, as the Ninth is usually imagined as a eunuch (or a man who’s just been kicked in the balls, hard) while the Sixth is an image of love and mutual affection. Relationships that are above-board and rooted in the well-tended garden of endearment are likely to continue to flourish; but relationships based only on lust or on co-dependence are likely to undergo a sea-change of some kind. Barely four minutes outside her own Decan (#3 in Cancer), instead she is in Mercury’s “Walled Garden” — clear communication in a private space is essential to our relationships in the next ten days.
We come next to Mars the warrior in the first Decan of Sagittarius, strutting around boasting like Mercury… and carrying a poisonous arrow. Associated with the 8 of wands in the Tarot this placement comes across like a flu virus… by the time you know you’ve been exposed, it’s too late. Take appropriate measures to safeguard your health in the next ten days — and remembering Neptune’s positioning, try not to rage-post on the Internet all that often.
Finally, we ought to consider Jupiter, down on his luck and in a bad neighborhood, between the oubliette or pit of the South Node and the brilliant spotlight of the Sun. While he normally holds some advantage here, allowing him to help us “move up in the world” through promotion or a move to a fancier neighborhood, right now he’s teetering on the edge of a rather deep hole — which may be a financial difficulty looming over us, or it may be a story about a number of middle-management positions suddenly ceasing to exist to move into.
All in all, it’s a discouraging set of protests for this early in the year.
Rising Sign Horoscopes
Gemini: Gaze in the mirror at treasures you hold
in trust for others — and gauge well their heft;
you needn’t give way to a public scold,
care for your partner from first sneeze or sniff.
Cancer: A mirror ‘gainst yourself now shows too much;
your love has the world’s weight upon shoulders;
friends both want and despise your gentle touch;
the past pokes you with sticks, and flings boulders.
Leo: Scorn lover, and find a monastic’s cell
while your fingers flatten knots into strings.
Be pleased: work done fast is also done well;
a partner’s wounded heart both aches and stings.
Virgo: With your pastimes and pleasures overthrown,
some friends embrace you; and others shut doors.
Griefs must be loosed, before they can be known,
and snares are still set on Romance’s shores.
Libra: Your work may be rewarded — or refused—
and comfortable legacies may revolt;
home is in turmoil: restrained and confused;
both family and fun-times need a quick jolt.
Scorpio: A hot expense burns you, a windfall cools;
the town’s a wasteland; your kindred’s enmired;
your knotty mess has bound you to these fools —
online deal wasn’t what you desired.
Sagittarius: Act now, to get what you don’t really want!
Reflect on heirlooms received and declined.
Wealth is a ghost, that must daunt, and haunt;
Siblings and home need your beginner’s mind.
Capricorn: Your smirk enhances your garments of black,
as you sit and judge everyone’s wrangle.
but spin some kindness for your spouse, and slack
for your own secret — a money-tangle.
Aquarius: Untying knots in public ain’t so fun,
when all your secrets are under hot lights —
a scheme that netted coin is almost done;
hard-working days ahead, and lonely nights.
Pisces: You touch every strand from dawn until dusk,
combing out knots, like calm meditation,
ignoring friends who seem drained to the husk,
while seeking some poisoned adulation.
Aries: Yoked ox rears, muddying change’s furrow
while friends plough in with tangled suggestions.
No shelter in this too-public burrow:
you’ll have to answer your family’s questions.
Taurus: The bull tastes freedom, but the field’s clover
brings you back, for now, into the grasses.
A sibling’s love deepens (or it’s over);
travel plans creep slower than molasses.
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.