The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Aquarius, January 24, 2020

Chart for the New Moon in AQUARIUS
Chart for the New Moon in Aquarius

Jan.24 – NEW MOON in AQUARIUS (04:21 of Aquarius)

New Moon in Aquarius
A Tale of Two Saturn Signs

If you've got nothing to dance about,
find a reason to sing.
~ Melody Carstairs


There's an old saying that if you want to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs. That's a good descriptive theme for this New Moon!

The Sun-Moon conjunction (in other words, the New Moon) is in Aquarius, and square to Uranus, its modern planetary ruler. This immediately draws a picture of tension, challenge, and the need for action to address conflicts, discord and disruptions. Change is the order of the day, but what kind of change and how that change could unfold, is the question.

Sun/Moon square Uranus

When a planet is in a dynamic/stressful aspect to the ruler of its sign, it sets up a special kind of connection to that energy. Aquarius has two rulers, and they're as different as chalk and cheese. And both of them are very active in this chart!

Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius. We tend to associate Saturn more with structured, ordered, traditional Capricorn, which is the other sign ruled by Saturn. Indeed, Saturn is about limitations, maturity, taking responsibility and unadorned realism. Not exactly qualities you would associate with Aquarius!

We usually think of Aquarius as being about rebellion, revolution, going against the grain, expressing oneself in unique ways, causes (especially for humanitarian issues), and involvement with groups. And these are traits we associate more with Uranus, not Saturn.

So, how do we square the circle in which both Saturn and Uranus have jurisdiction within the sign of Aquarius? Is this simply just another Aquarian enigma to scratch our heads about? Maybe.

We could argue that Uranus is misplaced as an ambassador of Aquarius in the first place, a point made by Robert Hand in his interview with Steven Forrest for Astrology University in 2015. Liz Greene and Richard Tarnas make a case that this modern planet perhaps should really have been named Prometheus, since his mythic story as the rebellious fire-bringer to humanity, defying the orders of Zeus (Jupiter), seems like a better fit for this contrary planet.

I'm not looking to provoke any argument about this—just to point out that Aquarius seems to have a kind of dual nature, based on both structure and breaking free of structure; both resistance to change and an urgent desire for it.

What's different now is that Uranus is in stable, grounded, Earthy Taurus, which sounds a bit like a Saturn-Uranus combination. Uranus is the planet that loves to colour outside the lines in the name of freedom, idealism and open inclusiveness. Taurus is the sign that loves to draw those lines, defining what's "mine" versus "yours," and planting flowers of tranquility and abundance inside the sheltering garden walls.

So, Uranus being his usual disruptive self could result in breaking down some walls, barriers, boundaries or other structures. And since Uranus is likely to have a provocative influence over the current New Moon in his sign, this could have ripple effects throughout the coming 4-week lunar cycle.

Therefore, you might see some disruption or upset in things that have been orderly and stable—or it could be a time when you make an exciting breakthrough in some area where you've been stuck, discouraged or unhappy.

Real liberation comes not from glossing over or repressing painful states of feeling, but only from experiencing them to the full.
~ C.G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

Saturn and Pluto

The Uranian side of the Aquarius New Moon wants to strike down the regulation and limitations of the past, and build a new future that can liberate us from the errors and short-sightedness of the old ways.

However, as mentioned already, the New Moon is in a conflicted square aspect to its ruler, Uranus, which will make it difficult to bring about change without smashing everything to the ground, including things that are good about the old ways.

Add to this that its other ruler, Saturn, is heavily embedded in its other rulership sign, Capricorn. There is no aspect between the New Moon and Saturn, other than perhaps a diluted and subtle minor aspect (10°). However, the Moon itself is tightly parallel to Saturn (0:09 orb), so there is a connection even if it's not by aspect.

Saturn conjunct Pluto

Pluto is still tightly conjunct Saturn (just over 1° orb, after reaching exact Jan.12). This nails down the need to create change, not merely by building something new "out there" but by staying in the struggle and working through it "in here."

In other words, escaping from a hard, heavy present into a lighter, brighter future isn't likely to be an easy option for this New Moon, despite our wish to do just that. Pluto's message is: the only effective way out is through.

This might be a tricky mandate to fulfill. For one thing, Saturn and Pluto, while conjunct each other, share no other major aspects—and precious few minor ones—with the rest of the chart. They are largely isolated and therefore their combined energy, which is larger-than-life and heavier-than-bedrock, could be a bit difficult to grasp and hold onto—or, once you connect with it, it's hard to let go of.

Somehow I keep imagining a metal pole in the extreme cold, which some people foolishly put their tongue on, only to find it sticks frozen to the pole. (Yes, this really is a thing! Under the category of don't-try-this-at-home, this video explains all about it—warning: a wee bit graphic.)

Therefore, it may be wise to grasp this Saturn-Pluto energy gently and carefully, if possible, since you might be in for more than you bargained for! For example, following news media stories about upsetting situations in the world might turn into an unhealthy obsession, so treat yourself to the equivalent of some warm water—gentle, loving, peaceful, pleasurable thoughts—to soothe and free your mind from obsessing over it.

In any case, although Saturn and Pluto lack aspects to other planets, they are involved in some midpoints, which helps to open up pathways between them and other parts of the chart. More about this below.

Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
~ Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing


Mercury is keeping the Sun and Moon company in Aquarius, which is a pretty clear-headed place for Mercury to be (and considered to be Exalted in that sign according to some dignity systems). In this sign, Mercury is long on logic, inventiveness, innovation, brain-storming capability, and generally thinking outside the box.

Eye aspect pattern

In this case Mercury is at the apex of a tiny aspect pattern called an Eye or Information figure in Huber astrology. Then there's Jupiter in Capricorn which is sextile to Venus in Pisces(60°). Mercury is semi-sextile to both of them (30°), forming a tiny triangle. And if you widen the orbs a bit then Neptune, which is conjunct Venus, is also part of this figure.

This kind of aspect pattern is like a satellite dish, picking up every little detail. Since expansive Jupiter and socializing Venus are involved, one way this could play out is TMI – "too much information" – where, for example, you might feel a bit bombarded by an avalanche of social media (especially), or news media, TV, etc. Step back and detach a bit if you get overwhelmed, but not too much—this is also an opportunity to tune in to the quirks and complexity of what is happening in the world around you.

The last two lunations (Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, Dec.26, and Lunar Eclipse in Cancer, Jan.10) provided a 2-part introduction to the complicated and heavy energies of 2020. The planets involved—Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto—are heading toward Aquarius: Jupiter in Dec.19.2020, Saturn starting Mar.21.2020, and eventually Pluto in 2023.

This current New Moon in Aquarius, right after the eclipses in Capricorn/Cancer, gives us a glimpse of what could transpire as these slow-moving planets shift into Aquarius. With Aquarius having a futuristic focus, in a way this New Moon cycle could show us what we're doing it all for—or what we're setting ourselves up for down the road, giving us a chance to make changes now to avoid future problems or take advantage of inspiring opportunities.

Transition isn't pretty, but stagnation is hideous.
~ Nikki Rowe


Sun-Moon midpoint = Mercury / Saturn-Pluto

The New Moon lands right on the midpoint between Mercury and Saturn-Pluto. In other words, although there is no aspect between Mercury and Saturn-Pluto, the New Moon bridges that gap by sitting right in the middle between the two. This pulls into the lunar cycle a Mercury/Saturn and Mercury/Pluto flavour. So again, Mercury is involved in picking up strong energy happening right now, and the New Moon cycle is likely to respond to it and express a reaction to it.

Therefore during this time, pay attention to your thoughts, your words, your observations and perceptions. You are likely picking up more "stuff" than you realize and perhaps more you're used to. It might light your brain on fire with inspiration, or it may short-circuit your ability to process it all, but either way it could give you an opportunity to open your mind to something you had previously rejected, dismissed, wondered about or didn't see at all.

Saturn-Pluto midpoint = Sun-Moon / Jupiter

In addition, Saturn-Pluto is right on the midpoint between the Sun-Moon duo and Jupiter. In fact, Pluto is a mere eyelash width from being precisely on that midpoint (0:03). The Aquarius Sun and Moon are visionary, idealistic and forward-thinking, while Jupiter is also visionary, idealistic and focused on the possibilities yet to come. So, these energies are only too happy to launch into what could be a dramatic "happy ending."

On the other hand, Saturn and Pluto at the midpoint act as the gateway between the New Moon and Jupiter, facilitating their mutual cooperation. These are much heavier energies that demand a slower, more circumspect process.

So, if you feel the urge to reach out toward a rosier view of a more liberated life or perfect world, Saturn and Pluto are here to tell you it's important to also incorporate a plan for confronting and dealing with the gloomier, intense elements that have prevented you from doing this, and which now may be emerging from the shadows.

So, although Saturn and Pluto are sort of an island unto themselves in terms of aspects to other planets, the fact that they're involved in these midpoints provides a way to grapple with their combined energy.

Nothing is just any one single thing. In fact, what starts out as one thing
can turn out to be something completely different.
~ David Yoon, Frankly in Love

Venus, Neptune and Mars

Back to Venus and Neptune conjunct in Pisces (exact Jan.27). They shine a warm, glowing light over the cool (chilly?) Capricorn/Aquarius syndicate, lending some creative inspiration, uplifting pleasure, cozy interaction, and perhaps a desire to consume food, drink or other substances that can make you feel very good.

Venus-Neptune square Mars

There's always the possibility of a "fly in the soup" though, right? In this case, it's Mars in Sagittarius which is in a contradictory square aspect to Venus and Neptune. Mars in Sag wants to take off for the wild blue yonder, as quickly as possible, thank you. Get the job done and get out of there – go seek out new adventures, new projects, new challenges.

Venus and Neptune on the other hand prefer to relax and lounge around, enjoying the pleasure and peace in the moment – take another sip of wine or another bite of the brownie. What's the rush? Appreciate the Now!

So, you might get the urge to distract yourself from the Capricorn/Aquarius intensity, but feel conflicted about how to go about it. Do you take a trip someplace to get a change of scenery, or do you indulge in a "staycation" filled with sensual pleasures and graceful ease?

Either way, don't let the dilemma rob you of the ability to establish a rewarding balance between struggle and rejuvenation. These are hard times that will try your patience and strength of spirit, to be sure. And although breakthroughs can be liberating and refreshing, they are still hard work. So, make sure you have a plan to recharge your batteries on a regular basis and lighten your load. Try some new strategies and a range of different activities that will give you some relief and renewal.

Do stuff. Be clenched, curious.
Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead.
Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. Attention is vitality.
It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.
~ Susan Sontag

Day to Day Transits for the Next 2 Weeks

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Jan.25 – Mercury sextile Mars (14:59 of Aquarius/Sagittarius)  (Jan.26 in AU)

There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.

Jan.26 – Venus square Mars (16:01 of Pisces/Sagittarius)  (Jan.27 in UK, AU)

Your receptive, diplomatic side is arguing with your assertive, decisive side. The result is either a battle of wills between your Yin and Yang, or a new creative energy that harnesses both. This could manifest in the form of relationship problems, financial struggles, arguments about control, or you are propelled to take action with plans that have been percolating for a while. If you're usually more comfortable with your Yin side (receptive, diplomatic), you might feel a bit backed into a corner or forced to negotiate under pressure. If you're more at home in your Yang side (assertive, action-oriented), you may feel compelled to blunt or sheathe the sword you would prefer to smite your enemy with. Either way, this is about balancing the two sides and finding a new cooperation that works for both.

Jan.27 – Venus conjunct Neptune (16:56 of Pisces)  (Jan.28 in AU)

This can be a time of romance and dreamy desire on one hand, or deceptive manipulation and self-serving negotiation on the other hand. At its best, this transit can inspire enormous creativity and healing faith in love and abundance. We can be extremely open to the loftiest possibilities of our close relationships and our ability to attract what and who we desire. However, it may not be as easy to assess these areas in light of the realities that must be dealt with in order to realise that potential. We may find it easier to have faith in the power of negotiation – that the Universe will ensure our desired outcome – but it is also easy to slide into wishful thinking that loses touch with the reality of the situation. If you are considering a major change involving income, investment, spending or resources, it is probably a good idea to do a reality check with a trusted friend or advisor. If you are starting a new relationship or negotiating changes to an existing one, it might be wise to take a long-term view to wait and see if your dreams really will come true or if your hopes are colouring your thinking a bit too much. A reality check with a trusted friend might also help with this. This transit begins a new cycle that brings these issues into our lives to explore and gradually unfolds over the next 12 months (approximately).

Jan.28 – Mars square Neptune (16:57 of Sagittarius/Pisces)

For up to a week before and after today, you have a chance to discover and work with your blind spots and the hidden motives that trip you up. It may feel like you are spinning your wheels or "shadow-boxing" and not even sure why. You may be fighting a hidden agenda or unconscious motives (yours or someone else's). You might also be trying to apply a concrete solution to an ambiguous situation, and then wondering why it isn't working very well. Responding to conflicts in a passive-aggressive or manipulative way can be tempting under this transit, since you may not know how to take direct and effective action. Resentment might become a defiant way to express toothless anger. Part of the problem may be that you are fighting against your own idealism, and resisting the acceptance that the other person or situation can't be the way you want them to be. Feelings of disappointment or helplessness may trigger much deeper feelings from your unconscious, making it difficult for you to know how to respond effectively in the here-and-now. It will probably help to work on owning your feelings, needs, longings and (hidden) agendas. Being honest with yourself about what's really going on inside you will go a long way toward increasing your empowerment.

Feb.02 – Venus sextile Pluto (14:59 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Feb.01 in HAST, AKST, PST)

Close one-on-one relationships with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) could possibly benefit by being taken to a deeper level now, through creatively combining balanced harmony with deep connection. Just be careful that intimacy and bonding don't go over the top into obsession or domination. There is a brief opportunity now to become more authentic in how you relate to those close to you and how you establish a balance of power with them. The trick is to do this without trying to suppress, control or overpower the other person's interests. Financially, it is a time when you may have an opportunity to profit in your dealings with banks, insurance companies, taxes, and other institutions that deal with collective money.

Feb.02 – Mercury enters the Shadow (28:12 of Aquarius; in Shadow until Mar.29)  (Feb.01 in HAST, AKST)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury is now "in the Shadow" – the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde in about 2½ weeks time. During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more extensive process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences—ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected. This includes not just talking, but also email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods.

The situations developing over the next couple of weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, to plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. Patience is a valuable quality during this time. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes—or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct.

Mercury makes 3 passes of the following transits during this retrograde cycle:

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):


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Feb.03 – Mercury enters Pisces (until Mar.04)

Imagination, dreams, creativity and intuition are more easily accessible while Mercury floats through Pisces. You may be more impressionable, appreciative and open to ideas that previously had seemed improbable, unrealistic or silly. This is a good transit for any creative work – writing, music, artistic projects, or just putting ideas together in new ways. Problem solving could benefit now, because it may be easier to think beyond the limiting boundaries of the situation. On the other hand, it might also be easier to become caught in confusion, ambiguity or ambivalence, since the sharp edges of definition may be easily blurred or distorted. This is a time when the "Right Brain" – the intuitive, creative and non-rational side of the mind – can be more active. As a result, meditation, dreams and daydreams may be more accessible. Unfortunately, illusion and deception might also be more convincing and enticing, since critical and objective thinking could be a bit harder to maintain. You might also experience some mental lethargy and need to give your mind a rest. Try going to a movie, or read an entertaining novel, or spend some quality "alone time" with yourself. Or, take a long walk in a park or by a body of water, where you can enjoy the luxury of just appreciating nature and "being" instead of "doing." Some harmless or entertaining escapism can be a great way to give yourself a mental vacation – just don't get stuck there. Explorations of spiritual experience and thought can also bring new insights and inspiration under this transit.

Feb.03 – Venus sextile Saturn (25:22 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Feb.04 in AU)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Feb.05 – Mercury sextile Uranus (02:55 of Pisces/Taurus)  (Feb.04 in HAST)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.

Feb.07 – Venus enters Aries (until Mar.04)  (Feb.08 in AU)

Your style of handling relationships, finances, resources and values now take on an attitude of assertiveness, directness and the pursuit of freedom and independence. Impulse buying may be a stronger temptation than usual, so be sure you can afford whatever it is! Your way of interacting may be somewhat more direct, open or flirtatious during this transit. You may have opportunities to acquire money quickly and casually...and spend it too! You may also be more open to trying new things in the areas of finances, relationships, interactions and your values. Trying out new ideas can take you into uncharted territory...which may or may not be welcome depending on how comfortable you are with change. But this still may be just what you need to get you out of a rut in the affected areas. This can also be a good time to celebrate and appreciate yourself just as you are, as a unique individual.

Feb.08 – Mercury Direct trine North Lunar Node (07:46 of Pisces/Cancer)  (Feb.09 in UK, AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Today, and up to a couple of days before and after, things can feel like they're starting to make sense. What you read, hear and observe may seem more obvious and your ability to put this into words could flow more easily. You might identify and figure out how to utilize the tools, skills, assets and ideas that could bring you further down the road toward whatever destination you're pointed toward. However, a reality check about how wise it might be to act on these ideas and benefits is still a good idea. Write down good ideas to follow up with later.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Feb.08, Feb.26, Mar.21.

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Feb.08 – Mars goes Out of Bounds (24:55 Sagittarius to 10:53 Capricorn; OOB until Mar.03)  (Feb.09 in UK, AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Mars goes Out of Bounds (OOB) for about 3½ weeks. During that time you have the opportunity to encounter new experiences that challenge your courage, aggression or taking action, as well as expressing passion, anger and forcefulness. For example, you might let yourself be inspired to champion a cause, or you might decide that now is the time to do something you've been hesitating about for a while and were just waiting for the right moment. Or, you may find your temper burns a bit hotter or on a shorter fuse than usual. Or, you might lack patience and try to force the issues that don't unfold smoothly in your favour.

There is a less constructive side of Mars to watch for, as well. For instance, bold action could become reckless if it's not balanced with wisdom, realistic expectations and awareness of the consequences that you might have to live with afterwards. Anger and frustration could flare up more easily or intensely than usual, which is probably best expressed in constructive ways that don't leave ashes and ruins behind you.

Your instincts could be finely tuned during this time, picking up on distant or subtle signals and relaying these to your impulses which result in doing things without a lot of conscious forethought. This can feel exciting or energizing, but remember that you will still have to live with the results, so if you find this is creating problems it might be best to slow things down a bit so you can consider your best course of action before actually doing it.

It's also possible that during this time you won't notice much at all. Not everyone is attuned to the OOB Mars energy, although you still might observe it in others around you. Or, your experience of this Mars energy might be a quieter signal that you need to focus on more carefully to get a clear sense of it.

During this particular OOB period, Mars only barely goes Out of Bounds, reaching only 23:40 declination degrees South (on February 20th), which is just 16 minutes beyond the OOB mark. It's possible that, rather than feeling the full effects of a rogue Mars, it might feel more irritating, unnerving, impatient or itching to escape into freedom – almost like you're trying to jump but only getting an inch off the ground. Look for constructive ways to use and channel this energy so that you avoid or minimize overreaction or erratic actions.

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©2020 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. OTHER CREDITS: Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at Illustration of Aquarius, plate 26 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards accompanied by a familiar treatise on astronomy; artist: Sydney Hall, 1825. Sabian Symbol photo of Old Man and Young Boy, by Nourdine Diouane via

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