New Moon Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, January 4, 2011

Solar eclipse in January 2010, photographed in Manila, Philippines, by Bullit Marquez for The Associated Press.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

The first lunation of 2011 is a New Moon solar eclipse in Capricorn – just as it was in 2010. And, once again, it’s symbolic of an extraordinary year. Not only will we have another buildup in cardinal signs, but 2011 is a rare six-eclipse year.

At 13 degrees Capricorn, the eclipse on January 4 is only partial, and it’s far removed from a T-square. Still, it’s square Saturn, and that does suggest some tension. Indeed, it may mirror situations and circumstances of the Mars-Saturn square occurring today (December 29).

As I wrote in my weekly forecast, there may be a silver lining in this conflicting aspect, as we’ll be pushed to do things we’ve been putting off, whether due to fear, laziness, or not wanting the hassle. You can put things off only so long before problems start compounding. The key phrase for this eclipse may well be, “Do what you gotta do.”

A little effort will go a long way, too. Mercury is direct and moving steadily forward, and all other planets are direct. It’s like driving down the main drag and hitting every green light. To do that, though, you have to get the timing right – not too fast, not too slow. This won’t be a time for blowing through a mountain of work in record speed. Rather, you’ll get everything done by pacing yourself and staying focused.

With Mercury in Sagittarius, we may find it more useful to focus on the big picture and not get caught up in details. Still, if you’re doing detailed work, you’ll need to take care not to miss small mistakes – yet another reason to work at a steady pace. This applies to driving, too. If you’re going to be late for an appointment, don’t speed up and take risks. Simply accept that you’re going to be late. It happens.

In any case, Saturn clearly is in charge of this eclipse, with the Sun, Moon, Pluto and Mars in Capricorn, the sign Saturn rules. Saturn himself is exalted in Libra, which is why I think the square is going to manifest more as tension that pushes us to move mountains rather than the kind of stress that puts us on overload and takes a few years off our lives, with nothing to show for it.

There’s another configuration in the eclipse chart that has nothing to do with Saturn and is quite interesting. Venus, who is now past her post-retrograde shadow phase and in new territory, makes a perfect square with Neptune and Chiron in Aquarius, and she also makes a very tight trine with Uranus and Jupiter, which are exactly conjoined in Pisces. Neptune and Uranus have remained in a close semi-sextile over the winter, and they’re in their last few months of mutual reception, until Uranus re-enters Aries in March.

There’s been so much going on this year with the cardinal T-square that we haven’t given a lot of attention to the mutual reception. But it has been an undercurrent, running through the T-square and everything we do. Neptune and Chiron represent healing on the collective level. But you can’t heal society unless and until you heal the individuals within it, and that’s where Uranus in Pisces comes in.

I’ve written a lot about the conjunction of Uranus and Jupiter as indicators of major breakthroughs, but what is the source of these successes? As individuals, we’re awakening to higher consciousness. Uranus is sometimes called the “Awakener,” and Jupiter is associated with expanding the mind and, thus, spiritual advancement.

With Venus in close contact with these four bodies, we’d have to conclude that relationships are a big part of our awakening. Many clients over the past several months have come to me with questions about soul mates, or people they suspect they have a karmic connection with. I believe this to be absolutely the case. More and more of us are encountering souls we have known or will know in other lives. Whether we’re meeting them because we’re awakening, or we’re awakening as a result of meeting them, who can say? And does it really even matter?

Eclipses are windows on time, and with six eclipses in 2011, there will be lots of opportunities to sense what’s beyond the “reality” we see with our eyes.

The Sabian Symbol** for the Sun and Moon at 13°39′ Capricorn is an ancient bas-relief carved in granite, with the keyword FOUNDATION. This symbol is about the limitless potential in every moment. Put another way, you attract what you focus on and give energy to. If you intentionally place your thoughts and actions in a given direction, this is where you’ll go, by hook or by crook.

When our perception of the world changes, our external reality shifts to match it. Saturn, the lord of time, represents the process by which that reality comes into being.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

P.S. Speaking of making your own reality, don’t forget to write your abundance check!

** From The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones. The author, an astrologer, channeled this work in 1925 with the help of Elsie Wheeler, a gifted psychic. There’s one symbol one for each degree of the zodiac, and we can use them to gain insight into charts.