In our linear view of time, we point to a particular date on our Gregorian calendar as the beginning of a cycle, in this case the calendar year. Yet in real life – meaning the natural, real world – time moves in cycles with no beginning or end, just a continuous spiral of change. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, time’s passage is easiest to mark by the light of the Sun and Moon. Via the Sun we can measure as did ancient people, noting the Solstice points of winter and summer, the equinox points of spring and fall, and the cross-quarter points in-between. These points give us several opportunities for new beginnings: in tropical (seasonal) astrology we’ve chosen Spring Equinox as the beginning of a new zodiac year, using it to fix the Sun’s ingress into the sign (as opposed to the constellation) of Aries. The first day of spring becomes the first day of a new astrological cycle of transformation and development through symbolic birth, life, and death.
Then there is the Moon and Her rhythms, providing thirteen distinct periods within the solar year, each beginning with a New Moon, the time when the Moon comes together with the Sun, from our Earthly perspective, and initiates a new cycle colored by the sign in which it occurs. As the first New Moon of spring, the Moon’s first initiation of the zodiac year comes when She unites with the Sun in the sign of Aries.
This year the New Moon in Aries arrives late – nearly three weeks later than in 2017 – on April 15th, at 26 degrees of Aries. Here in Montana, it seems as if spring is waiting for the New Moon to shake off the frigid temperatures and blizzards of winter. Yet there are a few signs of new life: the robins have returned (although they look none-too-happy), as have the mountain bluebirds. The days are longer and lighter despite the chilly weather, and some of the more trusting trees and shrubs are beginning to bud.
This theme of new life describes the symbolism of zodiac Aries: new life springs into being through determination and will, sometimes against all odds. There is a quality of emergence, initiation, sharpness, and piercing action. The traditional dictum attributed to Hermes of “As above, so below; as within, so without…” tells us the qualities of people born in the Aries season, or with Aries rising in the sky at the time of their births will carry an emphasis on the qualities associated with the sign. Empirical research and observation throughout the centuries lends weight to the concept.
This year, the Aries New Moon happens very close (in terms of the zodiac) to the planet Uranus, known as the Great Awakener. Uranus represents the qualities of breaking down, breaking through, breaking up, breaking out, out-of-the-blue, radical freedom, revolution, rebellion – you get the idea. Uranian energy has been strongly active off and on for well over a year when its Aries placement was activated by Jupiter’s arrival directly across the sky at the same degree of the sign of Libra. As has been the case historically with this arrangement, we’ve seen it’s heightened energy in the revolutions, rebellions, and like events and movements across the globe. (For a more scholarly exposition on this phenomenon, I highly recommend the book Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas.)
The same intense themes can flavor our individual lives, particularly if we are near the ages of 21, 42, or 63, or if we have personal planets or a sensitive point of our chart in the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn. By way of example, I have Aries at the top of my chart, and Uranus has stayed quite close to my Midheaven, often known as the ‘career line’ of the chart. My career has, indeed, broken through with many opportunities coming completely out-of-the-blue. Those who knew me even five years ago probably wonder at the revolutionary changes that even I never saw coming.
The joining of these Aries and New Moon initiatory energies with the radical and revolutionary themes of Uranus – something that won’t happen again for another 80+ years – offers us support for our own radical, revolutionary new beginnings, particularly in service to our own individual freedom. Whereas the passing Pisces end-of-cycle season allowed us to focus on where to let go, and what to let go of, now we get a green light to take off on new ventures. Mercury, the planet of mind, perception and communication which has appeared to move backwards since March 24th, turns direct on the morning of the New Moon, adding impetus to our forward motion.
Now is the time to bring forth into the light what has been gestating in the dark.
At this New Moon:
Take a walk to look for new life and new growth;
Set some intentions for the new Solar year;
Act on your dreams;