Welcome to the first lunar cycle of the year. The solar cycle is rolling, slowly raising the sun from the depth of its southern plunge, carrying us into the core of Winter, and ever so slowly out of the pit of darkness. The new moon in Capricorn invites us to gather our parts, to put ourselves together, and to step into a meaningful relationship with our environment.
Capricorn initiates a journey of rebirth, its season begins on the Winter Solstice, and it draws us into grounded power that can move mountains, into the strength that can pull something from the earth’s depth and bring it to the light, give it form, and usher breath into its lungs.
“What are the tools available to you?” this new moon asks. “And how can they be utilized to create what you want this lunar cycle, this season, this year?
Capricorn is practical. Not a person of faith, but a person of work. In the landscape of this mountain goat, we are not asked to believe, but are invited to develop confidence by taking action, to take steps, and also to take our time.
A mountain goat can be seen standing for a long time on a small rock, balancing on the edge of another rock, taking in the information, calculating, not in a hurry to make a move. They will reach the summit, no doubt, no rush.
“You will need to be disciplined.” says the goat. “Be patient, be focused, do the work. Show up, be steady, don’t give up, and enjoy the road. It’s beautiful out here. The view can be breathtaking, so don’t miss out on the experience just because you want to reach the top. There are peaks, there are valleys, and every time you reach your destination, a new one will emerge, so make sure you take in the sights.”
There’s depth to this archetype. An austere, serious, sober character on the one hand; one who knows how to get shit done, how to persevere, and how to share the knowledge that they gain along the way. And when we look deeper, we find that Capricorn has a capricious side, that the earthy, stable, and organized character obscures a wildness under their hooves.
The symbol of Capricorn is a sea-goat; an evocative image that hints at a capacity to not only climb heights, but to also swim into depths.
In the watery realms we begin to see that Capricorn’s rootedness in the material world doesn’t end with appreciation for structures and order, but can secretly take us into caves in the mountains where the wild beast comes alive, and where dedication to hard work transmutes into devotion through music, dance, and ecstasy.
Capricorn is an ambitious force within us that thrives on restriction, knows how to preserve energy, and how to work within the limits of time, can do business, and turn dreams into reality. There’s a strict quality associated with this archetype.
And yet the horns, the hooves, and the goatee are associated with the devil, with the natural, beasty, sexual, liberating power of the horned god, that Christianity turned into an evil entity, a force to fear, to turn away from, to destroy if possible.
The calm and calculated appearance of the Capricorn archetype are inseparable from the primordial powers of nature, the primal desires that permeate the animal that we are.
When the Greeks thought of Capricorn, they thought of the story of Amalthea, the goat nymph who nursed Zeus when his mother, Rhea hid him in the island of Crete from his raging father, Cronus. Cronus is known as Saturn. Sturn is the planet associated with Capricorn. Saturn is the planet that symbolizes structure. Zeus placed Amalthea in the sky as a constellation, to thank her for feeding him, and protecting him.
Amalthea is the sister of Pan.
Pan, known as a Greek god of nature, is a Satyr; a half goat, half man. Hooves and horns and nature’s lustful characteristics flowing through his mythic rivers. He is the undomesticated, out of control, untamed powers that possess us all. He is associated and sometimes identified with Dionysus, the god of intoxication and ecstasy, always in the irresistible company of Maenads, wearing wreaths of ivy as crowns, draped in fawn skin, roaming the woods, and invoking the power of the wild, turning toward the spiritual not through austerity, but through ecstasy.
We think of Capricorn as organized, civilized, calculated, and in charge. She’s the boss. He’s the leader. They’re taking you to your destination in a smart, careful way. When we remember that Pan is percolates within the heart of Capricorn, we weave together an archetype that is ambiguous, complex, layered, and interesting, we remind ourselves that we are always more than one thing.
The sea-goat takes us into the space where the rational and the irrational make love, where we may use restriction and will power to channel, rather than repress, the natural forces of passion and lust within and around us. With Capricorn we move through realms, up and down mountains, in and out of waters, back and forth between culture and nature, between the strict and the free, the untamed and the disciplined.
As we begin this lunar cycle with Capricorn’s horns and fishtail, we are invited to begin or to continue to build the structures that will support the process of our dreams becoming reality.
Where do you need to form firm containers so that your energy can be directed in a way that supports your visions, intentions, and desire?
What do you need to build boundaries around, so that the wild aliveness within it can flourish?
The new moon in Capricorn is a threshold within the darkness of the year (in the northern hemisphere). It doesn’t rush us into results, it asks us to do the work. It reminds us that the work is both internal and external. The inner world reminds us that we must pause, rest, and take our time. The darkness pulls us into our animal nature, as well as to seek refuge, to build a home. This new moon is an invitation to still sit in the incubation period of seeds and dreams, as well as to place them in the soil of reality.
As you move into this first lunar cycle of 2024, what do you feel passionate about? What lights you up? What kind of containers may support the heat of your desires? What steps are you ready to begin to take? Where do you need to slow down and be more calculated? What feels energizing? And how will you ground it, so that it can take roots and grow wings?
Watch this FREE video to explore more of this Capricorn new moon.
Check out this yoga class woven around the poem; A Blessing For The New Year by John O’Donahue to embody your vision and anchor your dreams in the world.
And check out this FREE meditation on intention, to move through the gateway of the year in a meaningful way.
May this new moon shower you with the recognition of your strength, and a softening into your nature.
With much love,
The Woman’s Encyclopedia Of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker
Mythic Astrology by Arielle Guttman and Kenneth Johnson