Does the New Year actually begin in January? The government wants you to think so. But the truth is not so cut and dry. Astrologically speaking, the New Year isn’t until the Spring Equinox when we shift from Pisces (the last sign of the Zodiac) to Aries (the very first sign). Other cultures also have their own methods for deciding when we begin again. The Jewish New Year happens in the Autumn on either the New Moon in Virgo or Libra (alternating every year). The Chinese New Year waits, with good reason, until the second New Moon of the Gregorian year. That’s why it’s also known as Lunar New Year, always coinciding with the New Moon in Aquarius, which occurs this evening.
This year, especially, with Mercury and Venus retrograde for most of January, I’ve been telling our students and clients (and really anyone that will listen) to wait before jumping into the hustle culture capitalism lays out for us. Personally, I’m trying to gather my kindling before lighting myself on fire. So if you’ve been feeling lethargic, road-blocked or just not full of your usual get-up-and-go, you’re not alone. Mercury will station direct on February Third and then, perhaps, we can start to channel the momentum of the cosmos to start our New Year off right.
Aquarius, where our New Moon takes place tonight at 12 degrees, is the sign of innovation and eccentricity. It’s not a water sign as some people initially think, because of Aquarius’ moniker as the Water Bearer, but rather the last Air Sign of the Zodiac. The two parallel waves that symbolize the Aquarius sign are not waves of water but rather waves of sound or electricity- both move through air!
Aquarius rebels against Capricorn’s structure and seeks authenticity of expression. Forever the individualist, we can rely on Aquarius to bring us unique genius and set the trends. They are one of the two signs that rule the future. Capricorn is the future we prepare for, the one we build bit by bit. Aquarius, like a lightning bolt, represents the future that takes us by surprise.
What Capricorn and Aquarius have in common is Saturn. Saturn rules the signs opposite those that are ruled by lights (ie. Leo and Cancer ruled by the Sun and Moon respectively). This planet of work and restriction, fear and discipline lords over the Cosmic Earth of Capricorn and the Collective Air of Aquarius— but Saturn’s tenor is different from one to the next. In Capricorn, Saturn is a tough CEO, involved and bossy. In Aquarius, Saturn is an aloof dictator, watching through closed-circuit television— always present but never actually there. Tonight’s New Moon happens right next to this cold, dry planet and therefore merits our embrace of this most challenging figure in the heavens.
When we look to Saturn in a birth chart we are trying to gain an understanding of the deepest fears of the native. In understanding these almost paralyzing fears we get a clearer sense of the work required to transcend them. Saturn isn’t out to get us. Saturn is trying to toughen us up. This planet helps us understand that our work in the world is directly related to liberating us from the things that would keep us stuck. There’s no hiding from Saturn, no diminishing of their power— what they teach is: the only way out is through.
I believe this New Moon in Aquarius is an opportunity for all of us to reorient our relationship to fear in our life. Fear is the water we are swimming in these days, but like a fish in the ocean, I’m not sure we are even aware of it. Since the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in January of 2020 and the onset of Covid, fear has been a daily companion. But has it been helping us move forward? Noticing the patterns fear plays in our life can help us reclaim our agency. Aquarius can show us the big picture Saturn has been playing in our lives and hopefully help us partner with this planet in nourishing and stable ways.
Aquarius is also a sign of humanity, hope and optimism. Saturn can help us build a brighter future but we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our role in the collective. How much fear are you consuming daily? How much conspiracy are you feeding your own inner fear monster?A New Moon is always an opportunity to start again. Let’s re-approach fear and use it to help us take action as opposed to letting it immobilize us. Let’s make sure we bathe in waters of hope as much as we doggie paddle in oceans of fear.
Tonight’s New Moon also makes a square to Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius. It’s an aspect that wants to help us shake free and see ourselves in a new way. Uranus is the great liberator, a planet that refuses to play by the rules. New Moon’s create a portal out of which we can step clear of the rubble of our past. Use this opportunity to shake yourself free of old fears that don’t hold any weight.
The fear of who you might be if given free rein is the most important fear to work through. Aquarius demands we be our whole selves, as challenging or contrary as that may be. In our ability to embrace our deepest authenticity, we provide a supreme service for all humankind. Let this New Moon inspire you to keep pushing the edges of your identity. Keep taking responsibility for your truth and keep hope alive that just by being who you truly are you can create a better world for all of us.
Keeping with Mercury’s retrograde and Saturn’s Aquarian influence,
you’ll find your Tarotscopes brief and to the point.
Read for your Sun Sign first, then your Rising, then your Moon.
Next month, I’ll ensure your Tarotscopes are a lush poetic dreamscape fitting for a Pisces New Moon.
Seven of Cups
Delusions, dreams and muddy psychic waters are the flavor of the day. Spend some time making sure you really know what you want. Otherwise, you may exhaust yourself chasing ghosts of who you used to be and what you used to want. There are many opportunities presenting themselves at this time, each seductive in its own right, but there’s only one of you. Let your heart choose your way forward and you will always be certain you chose correctly. Choose with your ego and your expectations may be quickly dashed by reality. Don’t be afraid you’ll make a wrong choice; let the right choice choose you.
When Justice visits us it’s because we are no longer able to hide from the consequences of our choices. Now consequences aren’t always negative, for example the consequences of planting an herb garden is that you always have plenty of rosemary for soup. But you have reached a place where you can clearly see how you have brought yourself to this point. The bad news is that you have to take responsibility for being complicit in the path your life has followed. The good news is that you can change course whenever you see fit. Don’t be afraid of what your life desires of you; you have the clarity of vision now, follow through on it.
The Chariotess (traditionally called the Chariot) is a symbol of our will. Human beings, possessors of free will, are magnificent and venerable creatures. When we put our mind to it, what we can achieve is boggling. Your task this month is to embrace the Chariotess within and wield your will like a magic wand. What projects do you claim as successes before they even get greenlit? Where are you ready to step up and own your ability to create your life from scratch? Where are you willing to take no prisoners and relentlessly move your soul into the realms of manifestation and victory? Don’t be afraid to stand your ground and embrace your gifts, no one but you can support the ambition that moves deep in your heart.
Two of Feathers Rx
The Two of Feathers (or Swords as they are more commonly known) is an opportunity to get still and settle. The fact that it’s reversed means that’s probably the last thing you want to do right now. You want to move ahead, make decisions, get down to business. And yet the forces around you think you need a little more time. Time to soften. Time to let your next step become clear. This is an energy of meditation, of mediating two forces, of allowing grace to appear between the rock and the hard place. Give yourself permission to not make a choice right now. Come back to it later when there’s more space around it. Don’t be afraid the moment will pass you by; you are the moment after all.
The Crone (or the Hermit as they are more commonly called) is the inner teacher. This card represents your higher self or even your future self. It suggests a moment when you might need to retreat from the world in order to touch the numinous wisdom of your own soul. Hermit energy is completely self-sufficient and willing to go it alone. Perhaps these next few weeks would be best spent creating a retreat for yourself so that you can begin to discern other’s well meaning suggestions from your own innate compulsions. The only one who can answer the burning questions that keep you awake at night is the most subtle voice in your heart. Spend time seeking them out. Don’t be afraid the world will disappear without you, you make the world.
Three of Flames
The Three of Flames (or Wands as they are more commonly called) is an invitation into a new vision. Perhaps this is a new vision for your life, a path you never could have anticipated walking down. Perhaps it’s a new vision for our world, a burning revelation of how this whole life thing works. It could even be an invitation into your own psychic forces, the inner vision, the hidden vision, the vision that pierces the veil. These next few weeks want to find you stoking your creative fires so that you can see in new directions and consider new possibilities of being. Don’t be afraid of what you see, you have been chosen to carry these visions, embrace them.
Renewal (or Judgment as it is traditionally called) suggests a long-going inner transformation has come to completion. It mediates the choices we’ve made and the person we’ve had to become in order to achieve them. Something wants you to know how fully you have changed. Even if your outer world hasn’t entirely shapeshifted to reflect it. Trust that you are a new, upgraded, version of yourself and act accordingly. Renewal is that moment in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy returns to Kansas having had her adventure, the world she knew hasn’t changed a bit, but the girl she was is gone. Don’t be afraid of losing who you were, the truth is, they already left you a while ago.
Daughter of Flames
The Daughter of Flame (or the Page of Wands as they are traditionally called) summons your inner ceremonialist for ritual. Your whole life is a ceremony if you’re willing to tend it. This is an aspect of yourself that knows how to cultivate the invisible flows and hidden order of existence. Like any good Virgo, organizing their closet, their kitchen or just their mind, the Daughter of Flames knows that true alignment cannot be rushed. There is an invitation here for slow sustainable progress all month long. Never one to rush, the Daughter of Flames knows how to fan the flames of her desire, but fan them too soon and the fire goes out. Spend this month exploring true devotion to yourself. Don’t be afraid you won’t ever catch fire, gather yourself up for what happens once you do.
Eight of Coins
The Eight of Coins (or Pentacles as it’s traditionally known) suggest a period of hard work and busy action. But don’t confuse this for busy work, quite the opposite in fact. This is a season for cultivating your skillset and evolving how it is that you do what you do. If your technique feels stale, perhaps it’s time to up level it. Don’t take a class and prepare for the next big thing. Give yourself permission to start it now and learn through doing. Say yes to the job outside of your comfort zone, the project you don’t quite feel ready to tackle. Don’t be afraid you aren’t as talented as you think you are, be afraid of never claiming your true potential.
Mother of Flames
The Mother of Flames (or the Queen of Wands as she’s classically called) is the true sorceress of the Tarot. This is you at your most fertile, fecund and magical. A creature of intensity and sexuality, wit and wisdom— allow yourself to slither through your life and cultivate your most personal spells of sensuality. The Mother of Flames is an impossible creature, equal parts water and fire, vulnerability and ferocity. Spend this month living fully in your body and noticing how the language of your felt sense informs the invisible realms around you. Don’t be afraid of being too much, you are the only permission you need to catch yourself on fire and burn bright into the long winter nights.
Strength comes to us after a triumph that leaves us feeling slightly hollow. We win the award, we get the promotion, we cash the big check and still that queer dissatisfaction nags at our hearts. The calling of Strength is the calling of the heart to explore what lies beyond these structures among which we were raised. What do you long to do? Where do you long to explore? If you are feeling like there has to be more to life than this, you are fully in Strength. The strength to turn away from the world and tune into the heart isn’t easy, it requires fortitude and tenacity but you have that in spades. Don’t be afraid others won’t understand the sharp left you’re contemplating taking, worry that you may never have more courage to do it that you have right now.
Wheel of Life Rx
The Wheel of Life (or Wheel of Fortune as the traditional Tarot names is) brings us opportunity for growth. When it comes in upside down, as yours did this month, the opportunities can first present as mixed blessings. Like being fired from a job you hate, or getting broken up with by someone you don’t really vibe with anymore. There’s a big scene change coming through for this month and it may catch you off guard. But trust it’s here to help you expand into abundance. The truth is, you’ve been courting this big change for a while now through some serious inner work— so the only one to blame when the Wheel turns, is you. Don’t be afraid of change, be afraid of staying the same.
BRANDON ALTER is a spiritual healer, Tarot reader, Astrologer, mystic and writer living in Los Angeles. He is passionate about sharing spiritual tools that have helped him reconnect to the wisdom of his heart. Brandon is a thoroughly trained healer and teacher who co-hosts The Spiritual Gayz with his husband, a twice-monthly podcast dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality, without pretending that it all makes sense. Brandon’s mom took him to his very first psychic when he was seven and gave him his first Tarot deck when he was eleven. Since then he has devoted himself to the study of Tarot, Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Astrology and the myriad ways one can work and heal with the help of the spirits.