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Capricorn Solar Festival: part 1 | part 2 | Sagittarius Festival | Virgo Festival | Leo Festival | Cancer Festival | Chinese New Year
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Capricorn's Moon:
Capricorn Solar Festival
Subtle Meanings of the Full Moon in Cancer 2009

Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator concludes his discussion of the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Cancer for 2009. This is Capricorn's Full Moon, as the Moon is full in the sign opposing the Sun. He discusses in this section the effect of the Full Moon and the Mystic Rectangle, plus the likely developments of the Obama Administration.

The full moon for the Capricorn Solar Festival takes place on 11 Jan 2009 at 2:27 PM AEDT (3:27 AM UT). (All Solar Festivals last roughly five days – two days on either side of the full moon and the day of the full moon itself.) This full moon figure still contains the two oppositions we saw in the previous full moon – full moon axis and Saturn/Uranus – but it is a very different dynamic to what we had at the previous full moon. Instead of a Great Cross formed by these two oppositions (where the ends of the oppositions square each other) we have instead what is called a Mystic Rectangle, in which the ends of the oppositions are in sextile aspect to each other. We still have the tension represented by the two oppositions, but the manner of their resolution and the awareness gained thereby is much less stressful, and can even be very constructive.

General Robert E. Lee
General Robert E. Lee

It is a very interesting figure in many respects and it will certainly help in the integration of what we experienced with the stress of the last full moon. In addition, there is an added bonus with this one: It activates the 'smile in the sky' of 2 Dec 2008, the solar degree being only one degree away from the degree of that event. In all, we have some things to look forward to with the resolution of this figure but, as is often the case, there will be some surprises or twists with it, as we will see.

The Sabian symbol for the degree of the Sun reads:

“By accepting defeat gracefully, a general reveals nobility of character.” – 22 Capricorn

Here is where we have the main twist of fate with this full moon. With the cult of personality and the fixation with the satisfaction of material aims we have seen in the world over the past decades, much of what is happening in the financial markets and in some political circles might be seen as a defeat by people who are not going to have their dreams or desires fulfilled. However, times like we are experiencing now have a way of bringing out the best in people – the Soul in a person, if you like. This is always the lesson of Capricorn, in my mind. Personal ambition must give way to service for others in some capacity if one's life is to have any higher meaning. For most people that means letting go of prescribed outcomes and expectations of people, and that can be a very difficult thing at times. When we have to do that, it can feel like a defeat. We no longer feel in control of our destiny. We no longer command life, we feel. Life seems to have control of us, even though subconsciously we have very often set ourselves up for that very experience.

One of my mentors once advised me to seek the good in any situation, no matter how difficult, and to build upon that – that it is only our preconceived notions of things that make a situation seem 'bad'. Perhaps the 'Wizard of Menlo Park' was onto something when he said:

“Surprises and reverses can serve as an incentive for great accomplishment. There are no rules here, we're just trying to accomplish something.”

When we have to abandon our preconceived notions we have to look at life anew. We have to find opportunity in what befalls us instead of feeling ourselves to be a victim, somehow. There are some areas of life in which we do chart our own course. There are yet others where we have to experience what comes and bear it no matter what transpires. People loosely call such occurrences 'karma' and it is to an extent, but I think people would be amazed if, in looking back on those scenarios, they realized just how much they contributed to them in their blind self-interest, lack of attention to details, ignoring inner guidance (the 'gut sense' of things), fear and need to control outcomes as a result.

Still Waiting, by mfayaz
A Young Woman awaiting a Sailboat...

The only thing over which we ever have any control is our own mind, if that. Karma is realized in Capricorn, fully and completely, and Saturn rules the sign at all but the highest levels. I would venture to say that Capricorn types have to suffer some type of perceived defeat in life if they are to fully live out the capacities brought in through the sign, which are great. It is, after all, said to be the doorway to Liberation.

The symbol for the lunar degree indicates the reflected wisdom of this Solar Festival, which reads:

“A young woman awaiting a sailboat.” – 22 Cancer

How many people these days are 'waiting for their ship to come in'? This symbol speaks of people's yearning for some sort of transcendent happiness or for the fulfillment of dreams. The implication of the young woman waiting for the sailboat is that she is waiting for her lover. There is a lot of expectancy conveyed through this symbol. On the world stage such expectancy is being projected upon the incoming US administration, but will realities meet with expectations? Here, with this symbol, we see the theme again of prescribed outcomes and expectations placed upon people and events. It is a very human thing to have dreams and longings, but what happens if the 'sailboat' gets lost at sea or is diverted from its course? What happens if the proverbial ship never comes in? From whence will happiness come? We all want to be happy, yet we are prone to make our happiness contingent upon something or someone outside of us. “I would be very happy if........” we so often say to ourselves. Why can we simply not be happy within ourselves and at any given moment? Look very carefully within and you may very well find a big clue to your happiness during this Solar Festival period (9th-13th). Where or how will heaven smile upon us? The clue to that answer is found in the fact that we are a reflection of the heavens. We know 'the heavens' by looking within.

We have certain opportunities being presented to us in the months to come, if not in every present moment. Many people will miss those opportunities. Why? Here is another little bit of wisdom from Menlo Park:

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Young Woman in a Boat, by James Tissot
Waiting for her Ship to come in...

If we want our outer lives to reflect the inner yearning for transcendent happiness that each of us carries within us, then there is no other recourse than to roll up one's sleeves and get down to business. The only people who achieve are those who are willing to do the work, and that especially applies to spiritual matters. Without inner discipline, there is no success. Without the mental training we can never hope to overcome the obstacles to our mental freedom and thus our ultimate happiness. Paradoxically, Capricorn is a sign that ultimately confers happiness – the sweetness of life – when its lessons are properly learned. So, what do we see in the dynamics of the full moon figure?

Mystic Rectangle

The chart is pretty well bounded by the Mystic Rectangle. It is a configuration that confers revelation through intelligent and innovative use of the energies involved. What energies are involved? As with the last letter, we have the juxtaposition of the old and the new (Saturn/Uranus) combined with the juxtaposition of the wisdom of equality (Sun) and reflected wisdom (Moon). Perhaps one way of summing these four factors would be: All being equal, by reflecting upon the mistakes and wisdom of the past, the necessities squarely before us and what we wish to achieve, we can (hopefully) come up with some very innovative solutions to our problems and thus make conditions much better for all concerned. Or, we can get hopelessly lost in the battle between the status quo and the unstoppable force of change upon us. It wasn't my intention to include so many quotes from Edison, but his words fit so well with what is in front of us and with the energies of this full moon. He maintained that discontent is the spur that is needed for progress. He deemed a satisfied person to be a failure waiting to happen. The Saturn/Uranus opposition is a pairing that breeds discontent. Combined with the Pluto transits to the Aries point, the seeds of our discontent have sprouted and are beginning to grow with rapidity.

There is a yod in the figure, too, and it is integral with the figure, making it that much more potent. It is formed with Neptune at the apex, being quincunx to both the Moon and Saturn and thus being close to the midpoint of the Sun and Uranus. Yods bring change and fated occurrences. The basic energy of this yod is one of possible melancholy, the dissolving of inherited or assigned positions, feelings of inferiority and a general feeling of instability – further contributing to a generalized sense of discontent with life or affairs in the world. All we have to do is look at the situation in the Gaza Strip to see this one working out on the world stage. Something will give in that regard within a short time. The Moon and Saturn together are about inherited patterns and especially parental patterns. 'Father issues' will cop a beating with this full moon. Yet, the Sun is trine to Saturn, so some very solid plans can be put into place as a result of our increased awareness if people can let go of old antagonisms. This has the potential to be a very creative and innovative full moon.

Other than that, there is little of note within the figure. Pluto is off by itself, unaspected and off the Aries point, so its influence for the moment is waning in terms of outer events. Mars is outside of the Rectangle, but it is in an applying sextile with Venus, which will help in resolving monetary affairs and will possibly bring about some romance if one is inclined that way. Being a mundane (world) figure, though, I would expect that sextile to help more with negotiations and the financial sector. This is not what I would call a 'sexy' chart. If anything, the yod just described works against that, as well as the Moon/Uranus trine and the Sun/Saturn trine, both of which are more platonic aspects. Jupiter is only widely conjoined with Mercury, even though it is in the sign it rules esoterically, so I do not see that strong an emphasis with Jupiter in this chart. This figure is more about reconciling the old and the new, being done with what does not work, building on past successes, learning from past mistakes and moving forward into new territory based upon a renewed sense of purpose and increased awareness of what is needed.

New US Administration

With all the preceding points in mind, the stage has been set for the inauguration of the Obama administration. The inauguration takes place around noon on the 20th of this month, placing the Sun right at the Midheaven of the chart, as is always the case with the inauguration of US presidents. Someone knew what they were doing when they picked that date and time as the standard for inaugural ceremonies.

The true chart should be cast for when Obama makes his inaugural address to the nation because that represents the 'first breath' of the administration, in my mind. Regardless of when it happens and no matter what the rising degree of the chart, the planetary dynamics will tell the tale of the administration as they always have in the past because they never change very much over a few minutes of time. Only the lunar degree and the angles change appreciably. We need to keep in mind, too, that no chart should be read on its own. Any administration has a direct bearing upon the nation as a whole and the synastry between the national chart and the administration's chart should be examined very carefully.

The Bush Years
The Bush Years
The Bush Years

To get a feel for what we are looking at with the new administration, let's have a look at what happened with the previous one in order to see that such charts do work. In the figure for the last Bush White House we saw that it was going to be a painful four years. The Sun/Chiron conjunction was opposed by Saturn (a heartbreak clash in terms of Magi astrology) and that opposition was square to the Nodes in the chart, which means Bush was inaugurated during a Moon Wobble and with a Saturn/Chiron opposition to boot. Neptune was in the tenth House squaring the Horizon of the chart and the Moon was square to Uranus. We all know what happened. Over the course of the four years people felt increasingly disillusioned with the administration's policies (Neptune square the horizon), the wars dragged on (Saturn/Chiron opposition and Mars/Pluto opposing the Moon), people's financial situation worsened leading to the crisis on Wall Street, the administration seemed lost in its own little world and oblivious in many ways to the voice of the people, there was a lot of overspending (Venus/Mercury square to Jupiter) and the president had the lowest approval ratings of any president in US history. Do we need to say more? Well, we do, in fact.

If we look at the relationship between that administration's and US charts, we see the following key points (there is a lot to consider, so I will only address the main points). There was nothing but stress in the 'intimate sector' (the relations between the luminaries, Mercury, Venus and Mars). The administration Mars opposed the US Mars – terrible in synastry, denoting conflicts and strife. The administration Saturn squared the US Chiron, dragging up old national wounds and 'hitting people where they hurt'. Many people felt kicked while they were down. Saturn was within a degree of the US Mercury. People did not feel listened to and there was little transparency within the administration. In fact, the Bush administration's Saturn did not sit well at all with the American psyche. Neptune was pretty well placed except for the fact that it was inconjunct the Sun. There could have been a lot more inspiration from the government in those years than there was. Instead, people felt led on and disillusioned with policy.

The years were not entirely black, but I have yet to hear many kind comments about the Bush years, especially the last four. On the whole, the last four years of Bush and Co. have been very stressful on the nation and on the administration. People were ready for change. The thing about it is that it would not have mattered who was elected.

Street Panic
Panic in the Street

The chart for the administration would have been the same, but it would have been very interesting to see how someone else would have handled those four years. Even twins, having the same basic charts, can be widely divergent in their lives in some areas, even though the basic trends of life are the same. A chart is a framework upon which to build, not a sentence to a certain type of life or a foregone conclusion.

What's in Store for Obama

With the chart of the incoming administration we see a very different sort of chart from the previous administration's chart. There is a lot more room to breathe, in a manner of speaking. There are still difficulties indicated, to be sure, and we would expect that given all that has happened. However, there are some major points of departure and they are as follows: The Sun is joined with Jupiter in this figure, giving a feeling of expansiveness and hope. The Moon is sextile the cazimi Sun/Mercury, bringing a strong sense of luck and the ability to weather storms, which are sure to come in those four years. Mars is sextile to a Venus/Uranus conjunction, bringing its share of surprises, unexpected unions and excitement. If there were no other factors to figure into the chart this would be an excellent indicator of success and high approval ratings. Roses have their thorns, however, and this chart has it own in the form of Saturn, same as with the Bush years. Saturn behaves differently in this figure, though.

Saturn opposes the Venus/Uranus conjunction, but it is made an 'easy opposition' by the sextile made by Mars mentioned previously. It is better integrated and has promise with it rather than simply indicating a hard time. The one thing that stands out with regard to Saturn in this chart is that it is in a much more constructive arrangement than it was in the Bush chart. Mars is in an applying trine to Saturn, indicating strong building for the future. Mars trine Saturn is one of the best possible aspects to be had for building a solid and successful outcome to any project. There is an excellent balance of boldness and reticence with this aspect. The way I see it, even though Saturn opposes Venus, which is heartbreaking in and of itself, the inclusion of Mars in the aspect pattern makes that a positive, driving force for change. The sextile of Mars to Uranus adds a liberal dose of fire, enthusiasm and alternative thought to the mix. This is a fiery triangle of energies, and it is needed if we are going to turn things around in the US. It is going to challenge the old guard considerably and a lot of the choices Obama is going to have to make are going to be very unpopular in certain circles. The economic times are going to be harder still than they are now, but there is a very strong possibility that this administration has within it the means to plot a new and fruitful course. The next four years are going to be quite fascinating.

Throwing Money
Throwing Money

There is still a little problem with Saturn in this chart, though. It is in what the Magi Astrologers call a 'clash' with Chiron, one of their worst aspects in terms of relationships. If anyone has any illusions that the new administration is going to waltz into the White House and suddenly reverse decades of flawed economic and political thinking and entrenched power bases, they had best put those thoughts aside. This is not going to be a magic carpet ride into some fanciful future. Obama is no knight in shining armor. No one gets into the White House unless they play by certain rules. Obama is going to be constrained by a lot of factors. It could get messy. It will be a painful process in certain ways. Throwing money at the financial sector is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Yet, for all that, this chart screams out promise. It does indeed say, “Yes, we can.” – but only if we see our opportunities as being 'dressed in overalls and looking like work'. There is another side to the Saturn/Chiron link that could indicate heartbreak of another sort rather than people having to make hard choices about their lives, and that shows more in the synastry between the Obama administration's and the US charts.

I have concerns about Neptune in the synastry of the two charts. Neptune is conjunct the US Moon and inconjunct the US Mercury. The Moon is about needs, especially emotional needs, and Mercury is about communications and the media. The two Moons between the charts are square to each other, too. So, my main concern is that people might not feel that their needs are being met by the administration if things drag on or begin to get worse and if that is the case, they may feel they have been lied to or led astray in some way. Does this sound familiar? We had the same dynamic in the Bush synastry, but due to different factors. Many people see the Obama election as a sort of idealistic victory. It is almost like a fairy tale in some ways. Fairy tales have a way of disappointing people and idealism only takes a person so far. When we add to this the fact that the US Mars is in a very tight Square with the administration's Saturn, we can see the possibility for enormous frustration to develop. Frustration has the capacity to run high on both sides do to entrenched patterns and fear. In fact, the Saturn/Uranus opposition in the administration chart forms a T-square with Mars in the US chart – a very volatile and confronting configuration. The US Mars is not 'happy' in the synastry and is, indeed, quite stressed. The US Chiron is in a similar state to the US Mars, being square to the administration Mars and inconjunct the administration Saturn. I'll tell you, people may have danced in the streets when he got elected, but there are some powerful seeds of discontent here and a great potential for hurt feelings and disappointment with this administration – as well as all the 'good stuff', of which there is an abundance.

The Bottom Line

We Americans like 'the bottom line' with things and the bottom line to all the preceding analysis is that the incoming administration has a lot going for it. It is full of enthusiasm, hopeful of the future, inspired to great work and ready to roll up its sleeves and get on with things. It faces many daunting challenges – a bad economy, two wars, a disgruntled, frightened and disillusioned public, a passing administration that is doing its best to push through some bad policy and deals before it leaves office, an American image abroad that has taken a blow to the nose and is 'on the nose' in certain parts of the world, damaged foreign relations and the need to find a more a sustainable and self-supporting energy structure. I am not laying the problems faced by the Obama White House at the feet of the Bush administration. Part of it goes to them, but what we are facing now is a long legacy of problems that has been pushed forward by both the major parties in the US over many years. Yes, there is cause for hope over the next four years, but it is not going to be the fairy tale some people hope it will be. The best thing the incoming administration can do to offset problems is to be clear, straight and honest with the American people. Above all, there needs to be a healthy amount of transparency regarding policy and the way it is enacted. People of power and influence must be called to account.

Obama Matrix

Obama could well be one of the most-loved American presidents when all is said and done. The Obama administration's Venus is trine the US Sun – one of the best indicators for a happy relationship. On the other hand, that same Venus opposes the US Neptune, an aspect that can indicate eventual frustration and disillusionment when the honeymoon period is over. A lot is being projected onto this man. A great deal of trust and hope is being placed in his hands. If the people support him and he can galvanize them to action and inspire them through the hard times, the success of the nation can be great. The quote at the beginning of this letter will again ring true. If he gets caught by the system or falls into the old ways of doing things – the 'old boy's club' – he will appear as a fraud and the public will be heartbroken. Then we would see an eventual revolution and public unrest on a scale not seen in the US for 140 years. Do not think for a minute it cannot happen. I can see two distinct scenarios here – one of great success through hard work or another, one of societal collapse. We will soon see the strength of his mettle and that of the people he is placing around him. I would much prefer the former scenario over the latter. People need to pray and place a lot of protective light around this administration. No matter what eventuates, let us be certain that we all try to work together to pull ourselves out of this mess. The eyes of the world are upon us.

My late uncle would have loved these times. He would have had a lot to say about things, especially the leadership of the country. He came through the Great Depression, as did my parents and a lot of Americans still living. Those of them still alive can teach us a lot about coming through hard times and pulling together in times like these. It is not a uniquely American experience. It happened world-wide in those days. However, it is people like my uncle who are needed in the US right now – straight-talking, no-nonsense kind of people who call things as they see them but are not afraid to work hard in the face of things to get where they need to go. I can count many people I know throughout the world as that type of person. It is time for straight talk and concerted, unified action, not just for the US, but for the world at large. We do not need to have a disaster to wake up and achieve the best we can be. We just need to be loving, call upon the wisdom of the past a get down to work. That is the best of Capricorn. It is the best in all of us. I will end this letter with one final quote from our Aquarian friend, the 'Wizard of Menlo Park':

“As a cure for worrying, work is far better than whiskey. I always found that, if I began to worry, the best thing I could do was focus upon doing something useful and then work very hard at it. Soon, I would forget what was troubling me.”

In true Capricorn fashion, may your work be your joy!

Blessings in these times of awakening,
Malvin.
8 Jan 2009

This is the end of the article.

Go Forward Return to the start of The Capricorn Solar Festival

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Yin YangMalvin Artley is an accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers. His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His special interests in those fields are the human subtle energy system and all the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all aspects of Chinese occultism.
He sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. These letters are sent out as a gift and a service. If you wish to be added to or deleted from the mailing list please let me know. If you feel inspired to pass them on please do so, but do so without alteration or charge. They are sent to people of many persuasions, not just astrologers. Blessings. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.

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