The Sun enters Capricorn II, what Austin Coppock named The Pyramid, at 12:19 pm EST on December 31, 2022. This is the realm of Hygeia, the daughter of Asclepius and the mythic ‘first nurse’ and the inventor of bathing as a form of health care. Ruled by Saturn and administered by Mars, it’s considered a place of the heated mud, where hot water mixes with cold earth to produce an uncomfortably lukewarm sludge that can nonetheless heal us. T. Susan Chang reminds us that this is the place associated with the three of disks in the Tarot — the merchant, the minister and the maker coming together to complete a project beyond the skill of any one of them alone.
Yet it is the weight of this sludge — whether of labor or of illness — upon our bones and flesh that reminds us that not all mixtures from beneath the earth are curative or soothing; we are just as likely to be burned by the outpouring of the geyser as salved by it — and the oppressive pressure and burden of the season that follows the winter holidays can crack people under the strain. The bill for an outsized Christmas comes due, the end-of-year expenses strain the wallet, the end-of-year feasting strains the waistline and the liver — and the end of year professional reviews of personnel brings an end to employment with a pink-slip purge. It’s the season of the pyramid, when the old hierarchies of ancient times reassert themselves, and all of us are shoved firmly back into our accustomed and required places.
The ancient Greeks by the time of the Hellenistic and Roman eras associated this portion of the year with Hygeia, daughter of Asklepios and considered the first nurse, as well as the inventor of hygiene — the idea that cleanliness is an important step in health and healing. By the time of the emperors, the bath house was a place of both sacred cleansing and profane desires, a valuable and important part of both the Greek and Roman social fabric. Accordingly, one of the most important things you can do at the start of the new year is bathe. Yes, this can include hot-tubbing, showering, steam baths, finding a spa and hanging out in the caldarium or tepidarium or even the frigidarium, the hot, lukewarm, and cold pools of the ancient Roman bathhouse. Yet starting the year with a clean slate, often also requires that you start the year with a clean body, and doing so while honoring Hygeia, would be a good way to begin the year.
On the other hand, the administrator of this decan is Mars, who is inconjunct over in Gemini, and retrograde in the third house. This puts considerably more pressure on Venus (who is present here) and the Moon, assisting from the trine position in Taurus, to deliver the goods when it comes to your professional and personal life this year. There’s three ways to start doing this right away.
- Get a Tarot reading, a geomancy reading, an intuitive psychic’s ‘guide to the year ahead’ from someone you trust. It doesn’t have to be me. Consult with someone, using non-rational means (I tend to use the term non-rational to talk about divination and fortune-telling, rather than irrational. If I wanted you to consult with an irrational advisor, I’d send you to talk to an institutionalized mental patient; a non-rational advisor is someone who is able to function in the ordinary world, but who uses stochastic tools like astrology or dice to plan what advice to give.
- Listen to women. Talk to your mom, to your sister, to your female friends and partners, and get their opinions about what’s going on in the world, what their concerns are, and don’t rush to explain why they’re wrong. Women notice things that men often don’t, things which often have outsized effects on what happens. Trans women are included in this advice, because they have to have their fingers even more on the pulse of local day-to-day experience than others.
- Plan on some mutual assistance. The world is ending 2022 and starting out 2023 harder and crueler than we remember, and having some concrete plans in place to assist and support a few other people works to your advantage. An emergency plea for $30 to your venmo account won’t cut it any more; a weekly spaghetti dinner where one person provides the stove and utensils, another brings the spaghetti, and a third brings the sauce, and a fourth brings the meat for the sauce, and maybe the fifth brings the garlic bread… that’s practical, and real.
Yeah, so… baths… listen to women… get some non-rational advice… plan to provide concrete assistance this year. It’s good advice at the start of the year.
And you might take the time to recite this hymn to Hygeia once or twice before the next ten days are done.
Since the Sun is almost directly overhead, we’re looking at a Day Chart in which the Sun, Saturn and Jupiter are considerably stronger than they’ve been for some months of these decal-ingress charts. All three are above the horizon, and all are either angular or succedent in the eastern quadrant— making them are initiating and active rather than reactive or responsive.
Because it’s the New Year’s Eve edition, I’ve considered how to use the planets to keep your new year’s resolutions in the paragraphs below.
The Sun is blotting out and outshining his two nearest companions, Mercury and Venus —but Mercury is just within the Sun’s beams, which are said to spread out to 15° on either side of the Sun. Accordingly, our intellects and our higher mind are going to be ‘playing for the same team’ in the first ten days of the new year: we’ll be able to identify our major goals and stick to them for at least a little while. However, you may want to wait a little bit past midnight to set your resolutions; wait until January 19 or later to voice the commitments you made for the New Year to anyone else, and make sure you’ve been keeping that commitment for the first nineteen days of the new year…
While Venus is invisible to us, she’s just outside the Sun’s radius of effect —in Capricorn, she plays the younger goth girlfriend in the shadow of the practical and bright golden retriever boyfriend… but here she’s just barely able to maintain her own practiced influences and occults Pluto here — the dark older gentleman temporarily on his knees beside her throne… a woman temporarily in charge has command of finances and professional advancement. Mercury the messenger flits retrograde from Venus back toward the Sun, carrying messages of both challenge and opportunity in career, as hard decisions must be made before the end of the year.
Jupiter is in the first decan of Aries: chances are pretty good that your first commitments of the new year are to “eating right” and “exercising more” because those are nearly always everyone’s first thoughts after an indulgent holiday season. These are good commitments, but it’s imperative that you also put “keep a journal” or “put a gold star in my calendar” or “read a book every week” or some similar intellectual ambition as part of your commitments — because Mars in Gemini urges you to keep a mental goal as part of your new year. Similarly, divide your goals into small commitments: ten minutes of exercise from a zero start is better than “an hour of physical fitness a day.”
The Moon in Taurus is in the Third Mansion, inviting you to think about both beauty and cost-effectiveness as part of your New Year’s resolutions — this is not the week to join a gym. It is the week to try to complete a ten minute yoga routine daily from watching YouTube videos for free, or learn to do body-weight exercises at home. Remember the earlier part of this column, where I told you to listen to women? One of the oldest, fittest guys I know is in his 80s, and he does yoga under the guidance of a 30-year-old mother two times a week… even though he’s been practicing longer than she’s been alive. He says, “at my age, you need strength, endurance, flexibility and balance, and two out of four isn’t good enough. She has the new eyes that help keep me alert to shifts in my ability.” So remember… start small, forgive yourself for daily failures and pay attention to the long range trajectory. Uranus and the North Node remind you to keep your ambition and goal-setting in line with reasonable expectations, and to be alert to injuries; pain is not always a gain.
Mars in Gemini is retrograde, warning you that your ambitions may be both the wrong size and the wrong shape for what you want to do. The first challenge is to figure out what you want to do… so use the first part of January until January 12 for experimentation and variation. Once you settle on a few specific objectives, use the period from January 13 to January 31 to hit some specific small-point objectives like showing up every day, or working for a set period of time each week, or achieving some initial milestones. Once February 1 arrives, you can set in motion a stronger set of mid-range objectives.
The Lot of Fortune is in the middle decan of Leo, The Laurel Crown. A huge part of your opportunity in the next ten days and the next month will involve being happy with your achievement of short-term, low-commitment goals. So don’t commit to a “clean diet” or “perfect fasting regimen” or “perfect gym attendance” or “10,000 steps a day.” Commit to goals that make you feel happy, like “try out a new healthy recipe every Wednesday and Friday” or “bake homemade bread three times a week.” Committing to small, temporary victories will assure greater success than a grand, long-term plan.
The South Node in Scorpio indicates that one of the great tripping points in the new year and the next ten days will be the obligations and duties you have, both toward a spouse or significant other, or toward the expectations of responsibility that go along with your rights as a spouse, employee or citizen: yes, you’ll be expected to show up and do the work regardless of circumstances. Try to figure out how to turn these unpleasant experiences into fuel for self-transformation, though, and the crap of your circumstances can be compost for future growth.
We’ve already looked at the confluence of tenth house planets — Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Pluto — but there’s a useful reminder here that your workplace or professional setting is likely to be a place of unexpected growth, creativity and new energy in the earliest days of the year. Pluto warns us to be wary of hype and scope-creep, that is, projects that start out small but turn into mudslides that ruin people’s professional lives. So, show up — be energetic, be cooperative and creative… but hold off on buying into the vague bones of plans with no actual meat on them; there’s no soup to be made from that carcass.
Saturn remains one of the great forces in this chart at the start of the year and the second decan of Capricorn: Direct, in a diurnal sign, and succedent in a sign he rules, he indicates that natural forces of separation and unwinding are at work in your circle of friends and in your community. To some age groups, this will look like a lot more time at funerals; to others, it may show up in the form of some people dropping out of your monkey sphere due to incompatible politics or social mores; and others may find that it takes the form of irreconcilable differences where you like one partner more than the other in divorce or similar shake-ups.
Neptune continues to make waves in the this decan of Pisces The Cup of Blood — strongly associated with zealotry and over-enthusiasm to big ideas, it likely takes the form of conspiracy theory, misinformation, and active disinformation. It’s worth noting that at least some conspiracies are real, although they don’t always deserve the degree of righteous rage inflicted on them by their critics. Yet in the twelfth house, this Neptune indicates considerable trouble for propagandists in the next ten months, and a fair number of stumbles over their own shoes. The own goals will be significant, but are unlikely to shift opinion much. So, don’t spend so much time gloating over the falls of your enemies, do work on keeping your own eyes clear.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
The second decan of each sign is usually for members of my Patreon alone, but since it is the first horoscopes of the year, they are open to all readers. The third decan will be available to Patreon supporters and email subscribers as usual, with them receiving a password to the protected horoscopes entry.
Aries: Start off the year doing what you can to look good and feel good for your age. The temptation is always to embrace youth and beauty — and it’s important to look good, don’t get be wrong. But own yourself as you are this year, and step into the power of Jupiter helping you look and be gracious at any age as the year begins. Some surprises may bring money your way, but professional roles may also look ugly; look sharply at any new duties assigned to you at the start of January with more caution than usual, and wait for others before you raise your hand.
Taurus: Financial matters will seem all consuming for the first ten to fifteen days of the new year; you’ll feel things are over when your spouse, significant other, or business partner can breathe a sigh of relief. You have some new investigations to pursue; you’ve been practically one career role for a while, and that’s coming to an end, but now you have a new role to learn. Choose some teachers around financial matters, and follow them carefully for a while. You may have some important new freedoms around property and household to investigate, but there may be a few post-holiday arguments with siblings.
Gemini: Personal challenges may come to a head with siblings and cousins, or even intimate friends, as the new year opens; be wary of situations that draw you into your spouse or significant other’s professional duties — even as you’re aware that your shared resources may be affected by the personal achievement of dreams. You will come into a new state of personal autonomy and feel incredibly blessed — but you can be tripped up by sudden good fortune just as easily as bad fortune. Take the time to understand your new opportunities.
Cancer: Fond wishes and hopes are held in your heart, even as you’re aware that your personal goals are being held back by neighborhood circumstances beyond your control. A spouse or significant other is wrestling with major professional experiences, and could use your advice and comfort; yet your first duty is to explore what it would mean for them to abandon those obligations, and for your household to do without that income and expectation. You have an opportunity to shift how you’re seen in the work place, but it requires a certain generosity to yourself beyond what you’re used to: some new work clothes? a new hair cut? How will you dress to be the workday lieutenant you need to be?
Leo: Relax into the new year, and find freedom in that. Figure out how to enjoy yourself, at least when you’re on your own, and a great many other things will fall into place. However, don’t neglect your practical daily routines — that’s where you have to communicate, to create, and keep your eyes on the ball! Just be aware that it will be easy to downplay your prior effort, or lose your way toward a successful new year’s resolution — if you fall down seven times, the adage has it, you must get up eight. You may be spoiling for an argument with a close ally but try not to let your principles rest solely on your secret experiences: evidence that’s public will be necessary to win the day.
Virgo: Your next ten days may feel rather ordinary, and yet full of accomplishments, as you’re able to focus on professional tasks aqndcomplete them. Don’t expect significant reward for this labor, other than a half-hearted, “good, you’re done, here’s the next thing,” from a boss or co-worker. And yet, sitting with a spouse or significant other’s friends, you may find yourself drawn into a conversation around how you unraveled a particular problem that crossed your desk, and so enable them to come to similar loosening of bonds. In turn, they may reveal the roots of a project of their own, one which will successfully automate a tedious task which eats a lot of time for not much reward. The solution will be long in the making, but be a sudden liberator when it’s complete.
Libra: You will likely find yourself pondering the condition of a significant other in your life these next ten days… how and how much you love them, and how generous they are or appear to be. Indeed they are wonderful, but it may also be time to make a list of four parts: what you love that you may be able to alter; what you love that can’t be altered; and their annoying habits which may be alterable or not. It’s guaranteed that they’re enough of a hothead that you can’t change even the habits you find annoying, if you draw attention to them directly. Therefore you have to consider how to build a public and household experience in which this habit or habits have their place, and create the ground of contentment in which you have peace of mind and they live as they’re accustomed to. You can’t change the person, only your response to them.
Scorpio: Duty. Responsibility. Why does all the deeply un-fun crud get dumped in your lap these days? It might be because you’re remarkably competent at transforming lead into gold right now, provided that you can be forced to do the work. Whether it’s professional objectives you’re helping family members achieve or creating a magical and memorable evening to celebrate the new year with your sweetie, you’re doing best when you’re helping others. Your own dreams seem both vague and amorphous, prone to changing shape with each new day or night. Yet, if you can wall them in and found them on some nameable, describable objectives (words, pictures or spreadsheets all count here), you’ll find that the new year is easy on you.
Sagittarius: A sense of a chapter of your obligations may have lifted, and you have new responsibilities to turn your attention. Turn your focus to matters of making money, and the role you dream to have as a gardener of a special type of garden. There will be an upheaval in your daily routines, and a chance to reframe your autonomy under a new guiding star. Be aware of the age cycles of other relatives, but be aware that some new zealousness about your household’s status may be a stumbling block.
Capricorn: You, how you’re seen by professional colleagues, and how you present yourself in your professional roles, are likely going to be in the spotlight, front-and-center, in the next ten days. Call it an official review, call it an unofficial gauntlet, one way or another you’re going to be feeling the weight of the world on you, and be aware of every microscope lens trained on you. It may not be a lot of fun. Try to have fun while in other modes: take a bath. Relax, enjoy a night in with a loved one, start a personal project at home that may take a little time. Do avoid spending money, and unwind a couple of your long-term financial obligations to others.
Aquarius: The next few days may make you feel old and stiff, and locked into the same old patterns. It’s easy to say “do yoga” but t doesn’t have to be that rigorous… Stretch. Move. Go for a walk at lunchtime, preferably with a friend. Be easy about money: spend within your means of course, but don’t track every penny. Call up a sibling or other relation and have a chat about the important demarcation points in your lives lately. Recognize that the professional stuff issuing to consume a lot of attention right now, but that for the most part it will work out ok. Just spend a little extra time sorting through paperwork and making sure that people above and below you in the chain of command are fine with the information you provide.
Pisces: Do you feel like you’re drowning in projects and have no clarity about what to pursue? Ask your friends to help you prioritize and set goals if you’re self-employed. If you’re at a large company, you may have to ask work colleagues to help you calendarize and create deadlines, and estimate time to completion. Some financial windfalls may come in at the stat of the month, but you may not be able to invest time or resources in personal endeavors until later in the current ten day cycle. A discussion about home improvement has a chance to spiral out of control into larger issues about family, if you have a sudden vision or insight that isn’t backed up by external facts — be sure of your data before you commit to the fight. Write down any kudos or accolades that come to you at work: those daily affirmations of your skill and quality will help in the hardness of winter, and remind you of your eternal summer within.
I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its third year. Those funds support artists, artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to the well-being of the world. You can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments; any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public). You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
If you want to read some of my astrologically-oriented poetry, the largest collection is called A Full Volume of Splendor and Starlight, available through my Etsy shop, and containing poems and hymns to the planets, constellations, decan deities, and Moon Mansion angels. 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.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts. I also use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces for much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.