I am usually visiting family over the New Year. Not being at home during the 'calendar flip' can make those first few days of the year similar to the “intercalary days” of ancient times. The first few days of the year take on this otherworldly tinge. Ungrounded in the mundane work and routine of every-day, but loaded with cultural baggage, including the pressure to set a template for the coming year, the first few days of the year have their own magick, they are both malleable and prophetic.

Beginning in the middle of the Sun's transit through Capricorn, the first days of the New Year are a clean slate, in every sense of the word. As a Cardinal sign, Capricorn signals the beginning of the Winter season, and as an Earth sign, ruled by practical, austere Saturn, Capricorn's focus is on managing resources most effectively. Its mantra is “discipline is remembering what you want,” emphasizing that desire and emotion are best served when ruled by will.

In Capricorn, I examine my magickal practice anew, with fresh eyes. I look at what I'm doing, what I'm trying to accomplish, where I am putting my spiritual resources. And I usually lay my personal praxis, my daily work, bare to the bone. I consider what I need, what my goals for the year are, and consider how best can I achieve them? Are there yet things I need to let go, things that are not serving? I consider very carefully where my energy is going, and if those actions and agreements are still in alignment with what I truly want. It is often in Capricorn, I discover those things that sustain me in the dark, and those things I want to bring forward, and those things that will be absorbed by the dark Winter earth.

From this foundation, newly fortified by Winter's deeper focus and introspection, that we can expand into Aquarius's stellar energy. From Capricorn's earthy strength we reach for the stars, evoking the paradox of Aquarius—the Air sign that signifies Water, the Fixed Sign ruled by mobile, ephemeral Air, ruled by Uranus, the only planet that rotates vertically not horizontally. Aquarius is associated with stars, with deep, interstellar space, with the Star card in the Tarot. In Aquarius we expand our horizon from the world as it is to the world as it ought to be, and we raise our eyes from our own personal concerns to larger issues facing our communities and our planet.

 

Aquarius raises our awareness beyond our mundane concerns, to look globally at the challenges we face. We are also reminded to ask for assistance from outside ourselves. The grace and mercy that the Water-bearer pours out is available to us all. Since ancient times, the Age of Aquarius has been linked to the stars, to their abiding influence and to our longing for them. Tales of angels, myths of extraterrestrials seeding life on our planet, modern day stellar salvation cults focused on the constellation Cygnus (the Swan, another exalted sky being) or the Pleiades’s—all of these represent our desire to know we are connected to forces larger than ourselves. In the depth of Winter we are still enough to hear the guidance and receive the aid of the Stars.