Tarot for the New Moon – February 23, 2020

This is a tarot divination for the New Moon in Aquarius which occurs Sunday February 23, 2020.

The New Moon in Aquarius answers to the newly minted Saturn in Capricorn. Saturn entered Capricorn on January 23, 2020 for the first time since 1993. It will remain there until January 2023.

Aquarius and Capricorn are both Saturn’s signs. Capricorn is the sign of material reality. Aquarius is the sign of conceptual/ideological reality. This New Moon is about the human capacity to disidentify with external authority and power structures for the sake of self-determination and personal sovereignty.

(8 of Pentacles)
Queen of Pentacles
9 of Cups
Fool

Stewardship is the art of recognizing value, honoring worth, and tending to the well-being and sustaining of what you are responsible for. Your belongings, your skills and talents, and your body are all under your stewardship. Your children, your home, and your Self are under your stewardship, too.

Systems of power impose value systems that define for you what you “should” value and where you “should” find worth. Self-determination and personal sovereignty are the realm of Aquarius. At this New Moon in Aquarius, taking a risk looks like abandoning the familiarity of those imposed value systems.

When we align our identities with authority figures we sacrifice personal sovereignty for the illusion of wielding power over others. You know when you leave a group of kids, they fight for dominance so that one or few move into the seat of power left by the absent adult. Proximity to power and identifying with authority figures feels like a legitimate way to claim agency, except that it requires you to suppress your organic perceptions and intuitive judgments of yourself and your world. You end up valuing what your oppressor values, and you articulate your worth in the language and framework of your oppressor.

The FOOL is a disruptor. They disrupt by abandoning a given path, taking a risk to change, and going with the flow rather than towards predetermined expectations. The FOOL divests from the need to get results from past efforts rooted. They have the courage to walk away without perceiving as a loss.

The FOOL provides the opportunity for you to liberate yourself. But it requires you to choose freedom over conforming. That means liberating the Self from performative measurements of worth, those meant to accrue social currency.

  • How are you conceiving of a world and a self that doesn’t replicate oppressive power structures, that don’t require you to define yourself in reference to harmful authority figures and leaders, and that neglects the gaze of those who have othered you?
  • How can you liberate yourself from imposed value systems that strip you of the authority to name value and claim worth on your own terms?
  • How are you identifying the ways you’ve sacrificed personal sovereignty in the name of being validated by oppressive power structures and hierarchies?
  • What authority figures have you identified with in your life? (Bosses, parents, teachers, etc)
  • How has using authority as a reference point for your identity defined your values for you? (that might mean seeing yourself as someone’s child, carrier of their name, national identities, religious identities, etc)
  • What do your values look like when you detach from those identities?
  • Where is the cornerstone of your worth when you conceive of yourself in new terms?

A Self-Determined Nation

Aquarius is rising in the 2019 – 2020 Aries Ingress for the USA. As a fixed sign, this indicates the US will be dealing with old stuff. Continuing to reckon with things from both 2017 and 2018. Additionally, events associated with eclipses that occurred in Aquarius & Leo between 2015 and 2018 are brought into focus.

Aquarius is the sign of self-determination and personal-sovereignty. This sign is the insignia of American democracy: rejecting and abandoning monarchical rule while embracing self-governance. It represents the American quest of defining itself separate from the authority that had claimed dominion over it—England and King George III.

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence

Those “unalienable Rights” are the self-determination and individual sovereignty endowed by nature itself, or God, whichever you choose.

This year focuses on America’s ever-evolving story of self-determination. Who and what is America when it is not defined by the leaders who claim dominion over it? Who and what is America when it embraces self-governance, rejecting dictatorial and monarchical rule? Where do state’s rights and federal governance agree and conflict? 

Historically, Aquarius rising in the US Aries Ingress chart has marked critical turning points in the political landscape of the country, spearheaded by people who seek to reclaim the sovereignty the US so fiercely fought for.

Aquarius Rising Historically: 1859-1868

Between the years 1859 and 1868 Aquarius was rising in the US Aries Ingress chart 3 times. This is an unprecedented period in the story of the USA both historically and astrologically. There is no other time period in US history where Aquarius rose in the Aries Ingress chart with that amount of frequency in a particular decade.

For those who know anything about this time in US history, you know that 1859 through 1868 comprises the years leading up to, during, and right after the American Civil War. That is:

  • The simultaneous culmination of the Abolitionist and Secessionist Movements, the latter was spearheaded by South Carolina in secession from the Union December 1860;
  • The middle of the American Civil War when Union General Ulysses S. Grant turned the tide in favor of the Union Army in 1863, and;
  • The Emancipation Proclamation and the rise and culmination of the Reconstruction Era 1863-1867.

1859-1860: Abolition & Secession

John Brown was a white radical revolutionary who deemed armed rebellion the only feasible way to rid the US of the institution of slavery. He organized to bring new states into the Union as slavery-free states. He murdered several pro-slavery militants and slave hunters in the Pottawatomie massacre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pottawatomie_massacre).

October 15-18, 1859 John Brown attempted an armed slave revolt by raiding a US military arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. He was defeated by a company of US Marines and murdered by hanging by the state of Virginia on December 2, 1859.

At the same time as the abolitionist movement was reaching a fever pitch, the secessionist movement, too, reached a marked moment of reckoning. South Carolina seceded from the Union late in 1860, but it was in the early part of that year that rhetoric ramped up, putting momentum behind the idea that there were in fact two countries in the United States. The difference between these two countries was stated plainly in South Carolina’s declaration document, “increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the Institution of Slavery.”

What is the legacy of slavery? What has become of those states who proclaimed that they were the object of hostility by non-slaveholding states?

1863-1864

At this point in the American Civil War, the Union Military had contained all fighting to the South. Confederate General Robert E. Lee resigned after the defeat at Gettysburg. The Battle at Gettysburg was the largest battle of the Civil War with casualties on both sides surpassing 20,000 soldiers. And it was this battlefield that was the eventual site of President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg address. In that speech, he realized that the Declaration of Independence was further being made manifest in the sacrifice of the soldiers he honored that day.

“…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

-President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, delivered November 19, 1863

This year also marked the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was signed in September 1862 to be put into effect January 1, 1863. But it was of the 13th Amendment which completely abolished slavery. Though the amendment wasn’t ratified until December 6, 1865, it was initially proposed on January 11, 1864.

1867-1868

Four Reconstruction Acts were passed between March 2, 1867 and March 11, 1868. They were meant to establish order and assimilate former Confederate states into the Union through new state constitutions and pledges of loyalty to the Union. They sought to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and to establish representation through voter registration and congressional and municipal elections.

It was in reaction to this military occupation of the South and what was required of Confederate states during Reconstruction that violent white supremacy took hold of of the South. A somewhat dormant Ku Klux Klan terrorized Black families in their homes and at the ballot box. Lynchings became a common form of violence against Black citizens by white citizens and the police and governemtns in the south. Black Codes made law of policies meant to create a permanent caste system with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom. It disenfranchised Black people in every aspect of life.

2019-2020

The astrology of 1859-1868 is absolutely critical to events and narratives of not only 2019, but also 2020. Self-determination means an identity imagined free from the gaze of others, liberated from the prison of perception, reasoned outside the parameters of personal bias and judgement. This is the challenge of the coming years. Who are we as a nation? Must we believe in race and the power dynamics that claim to be inherent to its existence? What is America without whiteness?

The Sun in Sidereal Astrology

This is a post about the Sun in sidereal astrology. It originally appeared as a thread of tweets on Twitter.

The Sun as a golden fiery ball of gas

There are 3 primary ways to understand the function of a planet in a natal (birth) chart. And I believe they go in this order:

  1. As representative of people in your life;
  2. As experiences or events at particular times;
  3. As aspects of your becoming, rooted in 1# & #2.

Free Will & Astrology Aren’t Good Friends

Modern astrology often avoids, derides, or out right denounces predictive astrology. But that’s because modern astrology doesn’t possess the tools to be adept at predictive astrology. Plus, it’s predicated on free will which is NOT the philosophical roots of astrology at all. If you’ve followed me for awhile you’ll know that I believe we have very limited freedom of will. And I believe that free will is a tool of oppression. But that’s another conversation for another time.

The focus on individual will as opposed to a more collectivist worldview has framed the sign of the Sun in a natal chart as the most important and central part of a person’s astrological make up. This is unfortunate.

Which You is the Real You

Anyone born within the same season (30 +/- day period) as you has their natal Sun in the same sign as you. Let’s borrow from Chinese astrology to understand what a season is and how it relates to the natal Sun’s sign.

In Chinese astrology, the season of birth which is the month of birth, is important. However, that season serves as a context for the day of birth. This is like the relationship between the Sun and the moon. The Moon being the day, the Sun being the month. The season/month of birth generally defines the level of support the day master/day element has. Specifically it represents the parents, family, home and upbringing.

Now, if we translate this back to western astrology, we’ll see that the Moon is the identifying factor in a natal chart as it takes 2 days to transit a sign (as opposed to 30 days for the Sun). A person born in the same season as you (30 day period of the same Sun sign) has to be born within the same 2 day period as you in order to have the same Sun and Moon sign. Conceptually this helps us to understand that the Sun in the natal chart is not a unique identifying factor for an individual. I know this goes contrary to everything you’ve learned, but you must unlearn it.

I’m going to offer some philosophical concepts to help you better understand the Sun in astrology. Then I’ll offer some basic significations. The latter will be a result of the former.

Have You  Ever Seen the Sun?

Look at the picture of the Sun that I used to begin this blog post. Have you ever turned your head towards the sky and observed the Sun appearing this way? How does the Sun appear to your eye? Have you ever seen it as it is? A simpler question: What does the Sun look like?

All that we see with our eyes is because of the light of the Sun. Objects absorb & reflect certain wavelengths of light providing the appearance of colors. Yet we can’t perceive this light as it is. Google quantum physics & explanations of light and matter, have your mind blown.

The primary way that we perceive the light of the Sun is via the Moon. The Moon reflects different amounts of the Sun’s light at cyclical intervals based on the spacial relationship between the Moon, Earth, and Sun.

In astrology the Sun is the mind, sight, and perception. You cannot see the mind. You cannot see sight. And you cannot perceive perception. Much like you cannot take your eyes out of your head and look at them. The very nature of the mind and perception is that you cannot turn it back on itself to see it. Just like you cannot see the Sun as it truly is, you cannot see the mind.

The Sun is the light that illuminates allowing perception. It’s consciousness, and the lens through which you see yourself—not your physical body, but the concept of yourself held in your mind. The Sun is the concept of your self, the idea of who you are that you project into the world, and that you seek to see reflected back to you.

There is no you without your body. When there is no body, there is only the idea of you which is different in everyone’s mind. What is the body in astrology? It’s the Moon. And we know that the Moon is about family, mother, your home, your tribe. It’s the social and physical means by which you come into being.

Identity is a funny thing. Social science and philosophy ask and attempt to answer questions about how identity is formed. We know that identity is formed in society/social setting.

You and the concept/idea of who you are (SUN) comes into being via your body, your mother, your tribe, your family, society (MOON). There is no you without things.

Going back to my comparison to Chinese astrology, it’s clear that in a hierarchy of planets and points that most uniquely identify you and your life, it is the Moon and it’s relationship to the Sun that gives a complete and unique picture. This is why I see astrology as a social science and a tool of divination. It very clearly articulates the nature of human life, the self, and how it comes into being.

But, if you believe that who you are is something that exists in this rigid form, separate from your relationships, family, and society, rather than emerging from those things, then of course you think that the Sun is the most important planet in the natal chart.

The Sun as a Gear of Time

The Sun is the father, significant men, and authority figures. It is your mind, the concept of how you perceive your self, the lens through which your mind perceives the world around you. The Sun is how you think of yourself, yet it says nothing of who you are and what you do out in the world.

The Sun says nothing of how others see you. No one can see your mind, and you can’t see theirs either. It says nothing of how you function and the roles you play in life. Implied here is that your self concept/idea of yourself is formed and reinforced by your body, your family and upbringing, your tribe, and the society in which you come up.

The very 1st time the Sun returns to the position where it was when you were born, there have been 13 Moons/lunations. That’s 13 cycles of New & Full Moons, 365+/- circadian cycles of sleeping and waking. If the Moon is the body, this is 13 cycles of nourishing and nurturing that body.

At that time you answer to your name, and you have come to understand whether or not needs you have and express will be fulfilled. Will someone answer when you cry? Do you experience familiar smells and sights? Is your world one of plenty or lack? Are you touched and played with?

All of these things have to do with the body. And the orientation of your body to the world around you and the people in it are what forms the first ideas of who you are. This is the relationship between the Moon and the Sun in your natal chart: how is the idea/concept of yourself formed?

You have no identity when you are born. You have no idea or concept of a self or who you are. It is something that develops over time. And every time the Sun comes back to the sign and degree where it is in your natal chart, you enter a new season of becoming aware of this self. That time is around your birthday each year and we call the chart cast for that moment your solar return.

The season of your birth, the Sun sign in your natal chart, is indicative of the outer world circumstances in which you were born. It is a transiting moment of time for your mother as well. And what is the mother, the Moon in your natal chart.

Wrap your mind around that!

What Does the Sun’s Sign Tell Us?

Of the Sun sign we ask, who are what determines the lens through which the idea of your self is formed? The planet that commands your Sun’s sign answers that question.

SUN in Aquarius & Capricorn are under the command of Saturn.
SUN in Pisces & Sagittarius are under the command of Jupiter.
SUN in Aries & Scorpio are under the command of Mars.
SUN in Taurus & Libra are under the command of Venus.
SUN in Gemini & Virgo are under the command of Mercury.
SUN in Cancer is under the command of the Moon.
SUN in Leo is under its own command.

In what sign is your Sun in your sidereal birth chart? Use this guide to find out.