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On the Threshold of New Beginnings

The New Moon is tomorrow (November 26) at 4° Sagittarius.

At the monthly dark-of-the-Moon period, we might be aware of all that has ended and passed away. The acute feelings in the days before the New Moon are intensified more than usual now, since there are also three planetary cycles in their Balsamic phases — the current monthly dark Moon periods can sometimes feel like the weight of the ages is encroaching upon our fragile internal ecosystems. Saturn–Pluto, Saturn–Jupiter, and Jupiter–Pluto are all in the Balsamic phase of their respective synodic cycles, and their themes and correlations are depleted or exhausted. (1)

Considering the monthly synodic period of the Sun and Moon, the dark of the Moon is of course when we look up and see darkness; we are suspended by faith that a new life, a new vision will indeed come. A quality of these times is the notion of borderlands of consciousness, or shorelines, where the stable land meets the fluid unknown. In biological reference, these liminal spaces — or ill-defined states — are replete with enormous biodiversity and adaptability. (2)

I imagine, in the longer scope of time, that lead, tin, and all invisible matter (associated with Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto, respectively) are being recombined with new formulas, capacities, and proportions.

We may temporarily be hitting a few little (or massive) walls of obstruction or delay in our current view of reality, but we are also on the brink of generating (conjunctions) necessary (Saturn), unbounded and joyful (Jupiter), invisible and penetrating (Pluto) skills and insights for a new time.

We may all be goats at moments, lonely and cold on the mountaintop, but the great celebrations of the returning of the Sun are within reach (the solstice occurs on December 21).

Even closer at hand is the Moon–Jupiter conjunction (also an occultation) at 29° Sagittarius on November 28 — Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Wherever we are located, this is an unmistakable call, from the effervescence of life itself, to be of good cheer and celebrate. Jupiter is inclusive, so we are grateful for all of it — for life and death, for breath, for friends and family, for illness and health. A toast to our readers that we will all enjoy some of the genuinely warm, jolly, and exuberant qualities that are part of our moment in time.


(1) Jupiter and Saturn have a 19.8–year synodic cycle. Their last conjunction was on May 28, 2000 at 22°43’ Taurus. As a further note to the current pervasive theme of endings, Jupiter and Saturn meet for 200 years in the same element. They have been conjoining in earth signs since 1802 — the beginning of the Industrial Revolution — and 2000 was the last conjunction in earth signs. The next conjunction, December 20, 2020 at 0°29’ Aquarius begins a 200-year period of conjunctions in air signs.

Jupiter and Pluto have a 12.46–year synodic cycle. Their last conjunction was at 28°23’ Sagittarius in December 2007; the next is April 4, 2020 at 24°53’ Capricorn.

And lastly, Saturn and Pluto have a 35.6–year synodic cycle. Their last conjunction was at 27°35’ Libra on November, 8 1982. The Balsamic phase of these heavy hitters began on September 9, 2008 when Saturn was at 12°35’ Virgo, which is 45° from 27°35’ Libra. They reunite on January 12, 2020 at 22°46’ Capricorn.

(2) “In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word limen, meaning ‘a threshold’) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete. During a rite’s liminal stage, participants ‘stand at the threshold’ between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which completing the rite establishes …

“During liminal periods of all kinds, social hierarchies may be reversed or temporarily dissolved, continuity of tradition may become uncertain, and future outcomes once taken for granted may be thrown into doubt. The dissolution of order during liminality creates a fluid, malleable situation that enables new institutions and customs to become established.”
Wikipedia (viewed page last edited on 15 November 2019)