Each New Moon offers a time to pray, make a wish or set intentions for the coming month.  It is a rare occurance to have the New Moon fall exactly on January 1st, New Years Day.  It is very special indeed.  Knowing this, it is good to remember the quotation by the poet Rumi:  “What you seek is seeking you.”

January 1st to some extent forecasts the feel and the vibe for the entire year to come.  We will not be without challenges this year and yet will also have significant opportunities to accomplish what we seek.  The Sun (our will) and Pluto (transformer) are tightly cojoined today and closely tied to the Moon (our emotions) and Mercury (the messenger) all in practical, pragmatic Capricorn.  In short, common sense, practical transformation is ours if we set manageable and realistic goals.

Think of Capricorn, the sign itself:  the solitary goat climbing the mountain, step by step, pushing one foot in front of the other despite fierce elements of wind, cold, rain, snow…  There is work to be done so throw your back pack on and buckle up your boots.  Off you go, heigh-ho.  The mountain (read obstacles) is not going anywhere.  So you can either go about climbing the mountain with a positive mind and outlook, with a song in your heart, see the climb as a grand adventure OR see it as pure drudgery…fighting, resisting, and asking why me?

Whatever frame of mind you embrace, your experience will follow.  To help set the tone for your month and year ahead, it is key to pause on this rare New Moon New Years Day.  Close your eyes for a moment and meditate, reflect, pray, wish, set intentions, make resolutions.  The abundant Capricorn energy will ground your resolutions with earthy common sense to assure the best, most realistic outcomes.

The prolific down-to-earth flavor of the New Moon energy is most welcome and very helpful in what otherwise seems to be such a muddled time, especially in terms of relationships.  During the New Moon, the above mentioned foursome (Sun, Pluto, Moon and Mercury) challenges fiery Mars in Libra, the relationship sign.  Mars is the Warrior, a trail blazer and not comfortable in its opposite sign of accomodating Libra.  So the effect of this energy will make most of us feel on edge; at worst,  some may feel over the edge while others feel exhilarated and energized at best.  The point of this configuration is to catalyze us out of our comfort zones, push us forward, make us do something.  Libra is not simply about our relationships to others.  It is also about our relationship to our Self.  January kicks us in the rear end to get going to be our best self.

Helping us out now is also the planet of relationship:  Venus.  For the entire month Venus is still turning in retrograde motion, encouraging self reflection and how best to reinvent ourselves.  Think back to junior high or high school days, to the girl or boy who was so awkward when we left for summer vacation but who returned to class in September apparently a whole new person.  To look at the student, it felt like an alternate universe, the Twilight Zone…we’d wonder what happened to said classmate?  Who was this suddenly handsome, hip, beautiful person standing in the place of the former person…similar features and hair color yet not at all the same, no trace of the old gangly fumbler, leaving us to ask how s/he could pull off this magical transformation, what wizard or fairy godmother cast a spell to utterly remake our classmate; and more importantly, deeply, could we do the same thing?  Become a whole new me?

Perhaps you were that student. 

Well, for each of us, now is such a transformative time.  Besides Venus, the other beneficent planet, Jupiter, is also turning retrograde motion.  It may add to the feeling that nothing is going our way.  Pause and look again.  Turn inward and count your blessings.  What is working for you?  With both Venus and Jupiter in reflective mode, we are encouraged to dig ever deeper to get into the bones of our souls (Capricorn rules bones) to shed old layers of self.  Like that high school classmate, shed your skin, that layer you’ve outgrown, which no longer represents you, that layer you no longer need so a new Self can emerge more representative of your true being.  It is accurate that every moment of every day we have the chance to turn a page and begin anew.  Still, some days are more fortuitous for reinvention than others.  Early January is prime make-over season.  Choose wisely.

Resisting and fighting personality plunging only makes life more difficult.  Astrologically, we have what is called a grand square.  Simply put, a big fat challenge, a cosmic throw-down if you will to get going.  Push you like never before.  Think Cosmic Labor Pain because that is what it will feel like as seven planets square off the first two weeks of the month (the Moon, Mercury, the Sun, Pluto, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus in cardinal, activating signs), catalyzing and catapulting us to grow and change. Develop.  You have nothing to lose by taking a risk; and with radical Uranus in the mix, you may very well be surprised into seizing unexpected opportunity.  It is only those with truly nothing at stake who are unafraid, or forced, to take chances, huge risks.  We have all hear such stories.  Put yourself in that mindset:  Ask yourself, what do you really have to lose this year by not pushing your boundaries and leaping into the unknown?  Living as if it were your last day?  Again, with the balance of planets in sturdy Capricorn, you are being handed the road map to chart practical steps, minimize risk, strategize and create a plan for your month, your year, your life.  What do you want your life to look like?

One thing is for sure, the spoils go to those who are decisive, can make up their minds to forge ahead.  2014 continues the theme we’ve lived with for a while:  one of not suffering fools lightly.  Facades and fakes aren’t tolerated.  Truth telling is heightened more than ever before as we stand exactly half way in the challenging dance between Uranus and Pluto, breaking down and throwing out the old and what no longer works while clearing the path to usher in the new.  Sentimentality is of no use now, clinging to what used to be, be it relationships, projects, businesses, or patterns of life dangling reminiscences of past glory days.  Evolutionarily speaking, it is a pivotal time.  Capricorn is black and white, stark and unsparing in its glare that does not have time for what, or who, has been.  Think:  clean, fresh slate.  Whole New World.  Remember Darwin?  Adapt or be left behind.  Worse, become obsolete.  Hard as that sounds for the dinosaurs among us.

Alleviating some of the harsh elements of our climb up the mountain is a helpful angle between Mercury, Venus and Saturn.  Even as Saturn in transformative Scorpio pushes us to dig deeper, messenger Mercury and relationship Venus deliver clarity of vision and unmistakable practicality, ideas of how best to efficiently accomplish tasks.  Harness this energy around the second week of January to plant ideas.  Between January 10th and 13th, Venus passes by Mercury and the Sun when all three planets form a beautiful angle to the moon:  manifest your hopes, plans and desires.  At the same time, task master Saturn aligns to the Sun and Venus supporting meaningful tasks to get things done.

With so much Capricorn energy and Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn) in transformative Scorpio, we could witness significant headway for government and growth in big business.  If nothing else, Capricorn is about Responsibility with a capital R.  In the wake of seemingly endless shutdowns and bailouts, the American people are fed up and expect our government and corporations to be accountable and Responsible.  This expectation begets positive change…especially during election time later this year!  Expect resolutions to money matters and shared/collective resource concerns.  And since Venus, ruler of money, is retrograde now, money owed to us as well as money surprises may occur now.

All the no-nonsense, serious-minded Capricorn energy can make us forget a critical element:  to follow your gut, instincts and intuition.  Enter Neptune.  Planet of intuition and dreams helpfully aligns to the moon’s north node, what calls our name and draws us toward our intended direction.  It is truly an opportune time to listen, develop your intuition.  Close your eyes and ask, what does my gut tell me?  How do I feel about this situation/person?  Are there messages you have ignored, passed over, discounted?  Such as people who appear in your life at a pivotal moment saying the exact words you need to hear, calling you to pay attention?  Conversely, does something, someone feel off to you?  You may not be able to quite put your finger on exactly what doesn’t jibe; still, follow your feeling.  You may discover later on it was a really good thing you didn’t follow a certain direction.

The full moon on January 15th in Cancer conjoins Jupiter to draw focus on matters of security, family and nurturing.  Take care of yourself and loved ones.  If you have any spare money, sock it away for retirement or a rainy day.  Family relationships may feel strained, in a tug-of-war, as Jupiter-Moon opposes the Sun (our will) and Venus (relationships).  Sensitivity is heightened now.  Tread softly.  With Jupiter challenging Mars for most of January, nagging family relationships, inheritances, real estate and psychological roots demand attention.

Helping us out under the light of the full moon is messenger Mercury’s angle to game-changer Uranus.  Lightning fast ideas and insights will surface to remedy and fix problems situations.  Think breakthroughs.  It could be just the cure to break apart old, repeating habits and patterns preventing our growth.  By January 20th, both Mercury and the Sun shift into inventive Aquarius.  Bring out your inner genius to play, wild child, radical side, your inventor and innovator.  Don’t stand for the old and has been.  Beckon the new.  Meanwhile Venus conjoins Pluto until the end of the month, so expect relationships to intensify.  Pieces of relationships that are broken, either personally or expecially business relationships, will come into sharp focus now.  Jagged edges of broken parts will stab you if you do not fix them.

The last week of the month the Sun makes a helpful angle to Uranus while Mercury aligns with Mars heightening creativity and energizing us to implement thoughts and ideas.  The last day of January Venus finally turns direct motion, giving us permission to invest in our plans and relationships; even as Mercury enters Pisces delivering deep, pristine insights and instilling faith in our future.