When other planets come into the alignment—especially the more visceral bodies closer to the Earth—they tend to bring the Uranus-Pluto aspect into the foreground, as if they're giving the aspect some tangible substance to work with. The ordinary and the nonordinary fuse together and create something new: original ideas, previously unseen points of view, experiences that shape and change our lives, events that transform our culture.
There is always a mix of creative and destructive in these aspects; and there is often a choice what side of that equation to choose.
All of this shows up in the Capricorn New Moon chart, and that particular astrological pattern develops through the first week of the year, gradually ramping up the energy, preparing us for the coming four seasons. The New Moon is symbolic of new beginnings and is the turnover of the basic heartbeat of both nature and astrology. On New Year's Day this is a clue that we're actually about to encounter something different.
The New Moon pattern consists of the Moon and the Sun in Capricorn closely conjunct Mercury and Pluto. This has a touch of the ominous, and has the power to call awareness to a profound depth—the kind of thing that most humans usually avoid. Of itself, the Capricorn group is a call to question the nature of the family, corporate, and government structures that strive to control our lives and our every thought.
Mercury combined with Pluto is so penetrating that it holds the potential to go deeper into this issue than ever before. It's not enough to challenge corporate entities by staging protests. It's necessary to address their internalized, miniature versions that inhabit our families, our intimate relationships, and our inner lives.
Opposite the Capricorn Full Moon group is Jupiter in Cancer. The largest planet and its 67 natural satellites are holding emotional ground and providing a kind of counterweight, facilitating some stability while these questions come up. Jupiter in its position in this chart feels like it's gathering emotional intelligence, which will emerge later in the year. At this stage Jupiter (which will be retrograde) seems to be in learning mode, opening up inwardly and making a bold reminder that while it's sometimes okay to keep your feelings to yourself, it's necessary to have feelings, to notice them (which means to notice yourself), and to use your experiences to help you expand inwardly.
There's also the sense that some collective feeling is brewing, something that will not begin to express itself directly till late winter.
Uranus, part of the Uranus-Pluto square, is in Aries. This is an exceptionally restless placement, searching for identity, busting with erratic creativity that is calling for some containment and focus, and going through potentially violent feelings. There is a drive for freedom in this placement that could be expressed through pointless, violent militancy; or it could be expressed as the kind of art created by someone truly self-inventive.
That could be a challenge to find; my take is that Uranus in Aries has most people caught in the thrall of glamour, technology, and the fascination of narcissism. Emerging from that into a free space will be a revolutionary act.
Mars Retrograde in Libra: The Prime Mover
There is one sign and one extended event remaining to describe on the cardinal cross, and that is Libra. Libra will be occupied by Mars beginning December 7. Mars will be retrograde between March 1 and May 19, and then finally leaves Libra and enters Scorpio on July 25. Mars spends nearly eight months of its current two-year orbit in Libra, about 11 weeks of that time retrograde.
Mars retrograde seems to contain an inherent contradiction, in that Mars is action oriented; retrograde motion is a kind of retreat, though it's also inwardly seeking in a way that Mars generally is not.
Libra, where this will happen, is a sign ruled by Venus. So there's another seeming contradiction here; Mars will be way out of his home territory, with a couple of compromises placed on him. Though this might be challenging if taken unconsciously, it could be helpful as well.
We will have Mars in a field of experience where Venus is much more comfortable. This could be some form of gender or gender-role questioning, a role reversal, or the immersion in an experience that provides a different point of view where sex and relationships are concerned. You could see this as men being put into the roles of women and having to find their way.