Contemplating the New Moon in Aquarius (February 11, 2021)

The New Moon is perfecting in Aquarius at 23 degrees on Thursday, February 11th! It’s been a turbulent lunation, replete with many ups and many downs. We have been downloading deeper understandings that are fully intuitive — they don’t yet make much sense to us, but we can feel them. We are coming from a […]

The New Moon is perfecting in Aquarius at 23 degrees on Thursday, February 11th! It’s been a turbulent lunation, replete with many ups and many downs. We have been downloading deeper understandings that are fully intuitive — they don’t yet make much sense to us, but we can feel them. We are coming from a year of Capricornian influence, which has habituated us to the capacity of at least having some sense of things on a material level. Despite the confusion and the chaos of 2020, everything was at least always in front of our eyes. The New Moon bears an invitation: release the desire to make rational sense out of all that is happening. 

Aquarius prompts transformation through wisdom. What does that mean? Well, for starters: wisdom is not knowledge. Wisdom is of a higher frequency than knowledge. While we oftentimes need knowledge to receive wisdom, but wisdom is not something you acquire, is not something you can will. We mentioned this during the Full Moon in Leo on January 28th: knowledge is something you can get through the will. But wisdom, like intuition, you may only receive. 

We study not to accumulate information, but to understand the self; and it is through understanding the self we make sense of what we study. You therefore need a level of self-knowledge to allow wisdom to come through (swadhyaya in yoga). It doesn’t matter how witty you are or how many degrees you have: this won’t bring you wisdom. This lunation is about precisely that — contentment and trust that the information you’re receiving is enough. Where we are now in our lives, and the insights we are receiving, are vibrating in an incredibly subtle manner. This is because Aquarius is the ether element— even if it’s an air sign, Aquarius is ethereal. You can’t see it or feel it; you can’t grasp it in the realm of sense-perceptible reality. It’s this fine, fine wisdom that is coming through now. What we need to receive the information is to cultivate quiet: inner peace, inner quiet, a sense of balance. Quiet is not by any means a lack of sound or a lack of movement. As a matter of fact, it’s not a lack at all: rather, it’s the presence of balance. Finding balance is profoundly important now. What does this mean for you: balance of what? Of rest and activity, of movement and quiet, of talking and listening… what does balance mean for you? 

Mercury is retrograde and it’s conjunct (within 10 degrees) of the Sun and Moon, who are perfecting an exact conjunction (0 degrees) on Thursday. We traditionally interpret the Mercury retrograde period as a going-within the mind. More popular astrology will tell you that retrogrades are a confusing time when you should avoid signing contracts or buying electronics — and this isn’t bad advice — but in the hermetic tradition, Mercury’s retrograde motion signifies the time during which the mind goes deep within the mind, and comes to observe its own shadow. And as you, too, step back (retro-grade), you come to observe yourself better. When you’re moving forwards you’re leaving the effects of your action behind you, out of sight; as you instead move backwards you can see the effects that you have right before your eyes. This is the gift of this retrograde period under heavy Aquarian influence. The question is: what do you do with this?

So: what is your relationship to the thoughts in your own mind? This is not an easy question… Do genuinely stop and ask yourself: what am I thinking about, and why am I thinking about this? How long have I been thinking about this in particular? It’s been an hour and I’m still thinking about this? Why is that? This is the self-study of the lunation — and it’s happening at an incredibly high, ethereal level. The higher mind, the mind of your wisdom.; Aquarius is truly the intellect, measurably distinct from reason. Reason is practical, it observes the facts of the world, but is tainted by memory and experience. Think: this fire has burned me once, so I won’t touch it again. You have the experience of being burnt, and your rational mind tells you to avoid the fire. But the intellect instead is the mind speculating — it’s mirroring itself (speculum). Is the fire’s only capacity to cause you harm? Do you avoid the fire out of fear? How often do you think about that burn? With this lunation, the mind is formulating philosophies about itself, the chief practice that has allowed the human mind to distinguish itself from the animals mind Our difference persists in our ability to observe our own thinking—the sustained practice of doing this is the intellect. 

Air/ether is the wisdom. Earth (coming into this lunation from the square with Mars and Uranus in Taurus) is the form. This aspect asks: how do you give form to your wisdom? A square is an opportunity to truly transform. All of the multiples of 9 are opportunities to transform something. How do you bring something that is subtle, pertaining only to the intellect, and make it manifest in consensus reality, and give it form? How do you observe yourself, and then transform, rooted in the wisdom from self-observation?

How is technology impacting our life? Quick communication, artificial intelligence, things we cannot see: these are all the hallmarks of the Aquarian. Technology has become more subtle in how it hides the way that it works: our computers’ functioning is so distinct from the machinations of the wheel, or the clock. The advancement of technology today has resulted in a world wherein we do not even see the workings of technology itself. This is a prime representation of Aquarius energy, and how it works on levels which we cannot perceive. Aquarius is a wave, but it’s not water. 

Where is the 23rd degree of Aquarius in your chart? What house is this in? Something big — though subtle and yet unperceived — is happening in this house for you right now. Can you feel it?

Need: See and appreciate beauty inside and outside of you

What: Peace through contentment—gratitude

How: Slowing down, connecting with nature, breathing, having fun

[Recorded live during my Yoga & Astrology Moon Circles on February 9, 2021; transcribed and edited by Lou Moffa]