“In a dark time,
the eye begins to see”
At the Sagittarius New Moon on December 17th, the darkest time of the month conjoins with the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere. The solar year ends and begins anew just days later at the Winter Solstice, when the Sun stands still as it crosses from Sagittarius into Capricorn.
The Sagittarius New Moon aligns closely with the center of our galaxy, the massive black hole around which the Milky Way revolves. One astrologer likens this point to ‘the Sun of our Sun’. In similar fashion to the center of our solar system, the Galactic Center is a focal point of energy, creation and destruction, amplifying our access to the intelligence of the cosmos at this lunar new beginning.
Sagittarian search for meaning
This New Moon initiates us into winter as it forces us to find light within instead of searching out there. Sagittarius, symbolized by the archer’s arrow, is the meaning-maker of the zodiac. Its archetypes include the teacher, guru, philosopher, explorer. Some of these characters explore the world on the outside, some the world within, but all are travelers of a sort. The purpose of all this exploration is learning about the wider world; finding inspiration; creating or transforming our beliefs.
The planet Jupiter is said to rule – have an affinity for – Sagittarius. Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, nearly became a sun, and its collection of moons gives it the characteristics of being at the center of its own solar system. It even emits huge amounts of radiation. In astrology, Jupiter is said to expand anything it touches, and, like Sagittarius, is associated with learning, teaching, exploration. In other words, both the sign and the planet represent the part of ourselves that has a deep drive to discover the Truth.
And what better time for look for the truth? Most of us would likely prefer to play in the sun during the summer, plant our gardens in the spring, and bring in the harvest in the fall. It is this time of year, in the deep darkness of winter, when we are naturally given the opportunity to search for truth and meaning.
Before electricity, this was the time of year we might have gathered around a fire and watched the moon wane, talking, dreaming, philosophizing. In our world of electric lights, TVs and computer screens, we’ve lost touch with the dark. We’ve learned to keep it at bay. Mostly.
Yet our bodies feel the Earth’s rhythms and remember how to respond to the darkness. Deep down in our flesh, we yearn for a little quiet and extra rest. One way to rest is through simply sitting still, perhaps in meditation. When the body becomes quiet the mind can slow down and we can hear the truth that comes from within.
From claiming the dark to claiming the light
As a mutable sign, Sagittarius marks a transition, in this case from fall to winter and from growing darkness to the blessed return of longer days at the Solstice. Where as water sign Scorpio’s season was characterized by intensity of emotion and deep feeling, Sagittarius, as a fire sign, brings us into the realm of spirit. Scorpio asked us to claim our own darkness; the gift of Sagittarius, Jupiter, and the 9th house is the necessity of finding our own light, making our own meaning through our own journey.
As difficult as we might think it is to own our shadows, it can be at least as hard to own our light. We see the evidence in our propensity to look for gurus and truth somewhere besides our own hearts, minds, guts.
Yet, projecting our wisdom and light onto another often leads to pain when the other turns out to be imperfect or worse. When we reclaim and honor the divinity and knowing that is naturally ours and stop looking for answers through others, then we can also respect others as flawed human beings just like ourselves. There is no need to expect someone else to lead us out of darkness when we find what we are seeking inside.
In the zodiacal wheel of development, Scorpio leads us into our shadowy, emotional depths; Sagittarius leads us out to our light, our faith, our truth. We next enter Capricorn season when we are invited to become our own teacher and master.
For now, our ‘eye begins to see’ the light within.
Sit in front of the fire and feel it in your heart;
Notice where and when you look for truth from another;
Be still and know that I am (you are);
Meditate by finding a quiet place in which to listen to your Self;
Celebrate the Sun and its return.