Black and white image of a full moon additional edited with a pale yellow streak and graphic lines


With The New Moon In Capricorn, Investigate Your Relationship To Authenticity

Being true to oneself is only valuable to others when the self is accountable to the collective whole.

It’s the first new moon of 2021, and given that this is the first new moon after an insurrection in the White House, it’s only right that this new moon is in the sign of Capricorn. Conjunct both the Sun and Pluto, our new moon in Capricorn wants both authenticity and transformation. Here, it might be of value to think about the word authentic as the Sun might have it: genuine, true, and worthy of belief. And, its archaic meaning: authoritative, taken from the Greek "authentikos," from "authentes," "one acting on one's own authority." When the moon is new, the desire to go after what you want shifts from park to drive. But with driven Mars paired with restless Uranus in willful Taurus, making a tense square to Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius, investigating your relationship to authenticity might make the difference between timely transformation and overwhelming defeat.

To act authentically is not the same as acting morally, or even in good faith. Despite the constant encouragement to “be true to yourself,” it should be underscored that being true to oneself is only valuable to others when the self is accountable to the collective whole. When insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, when they openly (and illegally) carried firearms in DC, they acted on their own authority. This, too, is authenticity, and it is authentically American. But to riot in the name of white supremacy is to wage war against the collective whole. It is an act against accountability. The new moon in Capricorn is in the 23 degree, and her Sabian symbol is “two awards for bravery in war.” Saturn, Capricorn’s ruling planet, revels in awards; Jupiter, paired with Saturn in our sky, is a planet that is most often described as expansive but can — given Zeus — be described as violent and unsparing.

If we’re talking about war, then Saturn and Jupiter making a square to Mars — god of war — is notable. Mars’ drive becomes hindered by the limits of time and by the games that authority figures play as they protect their power. If we’re talking about authority figures, then Jupiter conjunct Saturn square Uranus can roughly be translated as Insecure Daddy + Vengeful Sun / Un-hinged Grandfather. Even if mapping Roman mythology onto the stars isn’t your thing, there’s no denying that the power struggles we’re witnessing in the United States, in Belarus, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and around the world are power struggles against authority without authenticity.

Jupiter and Mercury in Aquarius make a sextile to Venus in Capricorn during this new moon, and if our Capricorn moon has anything to learn about awards it’s this: the spoils of war will never feel as authentic as a peaceful trade. Capricorn doesn’t value what they haven’t earned. Returning, as I always do in these times, to Venus-ruled Libran Hannah Arendt, I am reminded that “violence can destroy power; it is utterly incapable of creating it.” No matter where we are situated in relation to systems that substitute violence for power, we are trapped by them.

If the events in DC or the political uprising worldwide feel far from your experience, it is only because violence — systemic and vigilante — has been working to destroy the authenticity of the collective for a very long time. Before you shift into drive this week, dear reader, before you take a more concentrated and aggressive approach to whatever it is you mean to gain, ask yourself who these gains are for. Is there a value system that you are operating on, and is it a value system that aims to benefit the collective whole? While transformation can be a very personal experience, it is never isolated. When you move toward transformations that are true to who you are and in harmony with the world you want to be a part of, it’s likely that the world will not offer you medals or awards for bravery. You will learn to feel power in its quietest form, how it lives inside the love you feel for the work you do.