Sun in Capricorn III — Tolma

The Sun enters Capricorn III, The Throne, on January 10, 2023, at 7:52 am EST — with the Sun just above the horizon, this is a day chart in which the Sun is dignified by decan, suggestive of the daring or courage which we must show un order to brave the winter.

Sun arrives at 20° Capricorn at 7:52 am EST on 10 January 2023: Sun at 20° Cap, Asc at 27° Cap, and Moon at 28° Leo, over western Massachusetts

The ancient Alexandrians and Romans looked to Tolma, or Daring/Courage, at this time of year. Tolma was the goddess of daring or risk-taking, an important leadership role; she was called upon in times where which the full nature of the situation was not known, or a decision had to be made without knowing all the necessary facts. Perhaps she was consulted through auguries and omens, or perhaps the leadership was simply urged to take action — today, we may never now. All we do know is that she, like Kairos or Opportunity, represented a circumstance where action needed to be taken without fully knowing the consequences. One might even call her the goddess of “f*cking around and finding out” — except that her call and standing is to urge us to decisiveness in the face of uncertainty. She’s not here to urge us to try six or seven things a little bit, but to commit to the whole bit and go all-in on an actual plan.

Austin Coppock called this decan The Throne, and I’ve come to associate it with the management layers of officials, equerries and specialist title-holders that surround monarchs with elaborate layers of protections and control. They often set the agenda for the royal household far more than the king or queen, and often manage affairs in the household to their own advantage. For several years now, since 2018 at least, Pluto has been the stakeholder in this location, a sort of Lord Chamberlain or chief steward of the royal household. If the Sun is the king of the solar system, then, at least for the moment, Pluto is acting as his chief of staff and most senior secretary…. and the king has just shown up at the Lord Chamberlain’s office, in person. T. Susan Chang reminds us that it’s associated with the Four of Pentacles — an urbane and sophisticated gentleman with all his funds commanded and controlled. One way or another, resources are not as open to use as the sovereign might like… and as a result, the sovereign’s priorities and desires are limited.

We’ve seen scenes like this before, in movies and television. Usually, as in Game of Thrones, the King’s Hand goes to the King to make arrangements and plans, and help the king set priorities; when the King goes to his chief servant, it’s usually and indication that someone is about to get fired, possibly with prejudice… or flung from a window. That’s sort of prejudicial, right? Especially when the King bursts in before the Hand is event of bed — that’s usually an indicator of a stern talking-to, if not an arrest for treason. What’s interesting here, is the degree to which Pluto acts as a symbol for the economic activities of millions upon millions of people in a globalized, industrial economy —an economy that, for many reasons, has been on the rocks for several years in a row. Is the king about to demand a reset? A change in course? Or a series of private privileges for his inner circle, with the implication that everyone else can live on cake?

Planetary Placements

The First House is currently home to Mercury, the Sun and Pluto, as well as the Ascendant. Yet it’s Mercury and the Sun who are above the horizon, Pluto below — implying that we’re maintaining a positive attitude and communicating about a lovely holiday and personal achievements to others… even as we’re dealing with an economic shit-show behind the scenes. As I write this, eggs (which usually go for around $4 a dozen) are trending upward to $8, due to a bird-flu outbreak in the US. Where I am, it’s winter, so local brooders aren’t producing much or at all — so commercial birds are really all that there is. Economic issues are playing a major role in how we see ourselves; taking charge of fiscal matters in the next ten days — and communicating your plans to others — is important.

Venus and Saturn occupy opposite ends of the Second House of money and possessions — with Venus looking around at the accumulated cruft of the holidays like this is the origin story of a typical character on the TV show Hoarders, and Saturn inviting us to release our attachments to things. I have neckties on my desk, and I haven worn a necktie exactly twice in three years… yeah. My mother has pointed out that any movement toward cleanliness and orderliness is often a move toward sanity, and that seems to be the case here. Spring cleaning should perhaps start a little earlier than spring; you have some planetary support for this work right now.

Oceanic visionary Neptune is in the third house of communication and siblings. Here, he indicates that disinformation is a serious problem at the moment — vast systems exist solely to separate you from truth, for the sake of wealth, prosperity, influence, and political advantage; and our zealousness and righteousness is simply oil poured upon waters already on fire. The last decan of Pisces and the fist decan of Aries are the only place in the Zodiac ruled by the same planet in sequence — and Mars is square to the watery dreamer, promising that only mild doubt and gentle skepticism are useful to decoding our relationship with the world of news and rumor; even passionate cynicism is unlikely to be helpful: steer a middle way.

Jupiter is in the first decan of Aries, sextile to ruling Mars (in a term of Jupiter in Gemini) but also in his own term —a magistrate secure in his own courtroom and enjoying the honor and support of patrons and populace alike. Our households are secure for now; although there may be considerable anxiety, it’s not likely to spill over into actual trouble. Be alert for minor day-to-day accidents and breakages, and review your fire-prevention and fire-escape precautions.

Uranus and the North Node are both in Taurus’s middle decan The Lingam Yoni, raising questions about our personal autonomy and making questions about the personal exercise of sexuality a central theme of the next ten days. Venus is square from Aquarius with Saturn, indicating that questions about sex with partners are likely to be charged and more than somewhat awkward; they’re likely to stay in the intellectual, abstract realm (“what do you think about …?”) rather than delving into the emotional realm (“how do you feel about…?”) or the physical methods (“shall we try doing…?”). A dry spell may be hard to avoid.

Mars in Gemini’s first decan The Apple of Eden suggests some hard slogging in workplace environments, particularly in the intellectual exercises of thinking through something you know is true instinctually, but can’t prove with data (at least not yet). Mars’ presence in a term and decan ruled by Jupiter suggests that the big picture is easy to see, but that the details are difficult to work out while Mercury is inconjunct and retrograde in Capricorn. Look for a minor breakthrough around January 18… but more solid proof may have to wait until Valentine’s Day in mid-February.

The Moon is in Leo in this chart, in the Twelfth Mansion. I’ve started treating the Mansions of the Moon as though they were taverns, caravanserai, or coffee houses. This one, The Lion’s Tail, has a picture of a man fighting a dragon on its antique sign, and it’s a favorite haunt of police officers, soldiers, divorce lawyers, and martial artists. Conflict over our responsibilities and duties is high on the list of challenges during this middle part of January —for some, that may be arguments with spouses and significant others over paying for Christmas; for others, it may be audits from the tax agency; for others it will be wrestling with questions of company loyalty and what you’re willing to do for a paycheck. Some of these issues are likely to carry over for two weeks or more until we see a new crescent.

The Lot of Fortune, representing our greatest freedom of action, indicates that it’s a good time to learn new skills, particularly those that require a bit of attention to detail. Spend some of your holiday gift-money on one of those online courses: good places to focus would be gardening, canning and preserving, cooking (particularly on a tight budget), home repairs, landscape management, and body-weight exercise videos. Drawing, programming, spreadsheets, or logic wouldn’t be bad choices either.

Both the South Node and Midheaven are in Scorpio, indicating that it’s not a great month for spending time with friends and associates, even though that’s where you’re likely to have the most fun and develop your reputation and professional achievements the most. There’s a complex balance here — Mars as the ruling planet is inconjunct, and the two Water triplicity rulers Venus and the Moon are square. You’re not likely to get much help from the stars in making plans to see friends, influence allies and acquaintances, or build your reputation… and it’s exactly in these realms that the ugliness of the next ten days will manifest. But at the same time, you can’t afford to ignore these communities until January 21.

Horoscopes by Rising Sign

Decan I of any sign (usually covering the 21s of the month to the first of the following month) is free to all visitors; Decan II is only available to Patreon and subscribers; and Decan III is available to Patreon, Ko-Fi, and MailChimp subscribers.

Horoscopes are available here, with the right password:


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.

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