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COLUMN: Embrace change this week with Monday's new moon in Aquarius



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The event chart for the new moon at 4:04 p.m. Monday in Bloomington shows the sun and moon both at 15 degrees in Aquarius. Kathryn de la Rosa

I have several moon tracking apps. 

My phone helps me keep an eye on the phase of the moon, its aspects to planets and even what local weather means for stargazing — moongazing, if you will. It told me the moon left Capricorn on Saturday and entered Aquarius.

We have an Aquarius new moon Monday. The last new moon was January’s partial solar eclipse. While this one is less dramatic, it’s still something to watch out for.

You might know someone who yells, “Look at the moon!” and charges their crystals in moonlight. New Age writers such as Ezzie Spencer preach setting intentions with the lunar cycle. I’ve had multiple conversations this last week about the moon’s relationship to menstruation, and I wasn't even the one who brought it up.

In modern astrology, the moon is seen as ruling emotion and the subconscious — traditionally feminine qualities.  The moon is often associated with a goddess in ancient polytheistic religions, like Selene in Greek mythology. I have major beef with astrology’s relationship to gender, but that’s another column.

A new moon occurs when the sun and moon are at the exact same degree of the same sign. In astronomy, this means the side of the moon lit by the sun faces away from the Earth. Even if it’s not as obvious as a solar eclipse, the two planets are still on top of each other. In Bloomington, this new moon will be darkest at 4:04 p.m., so it’s doubly invisible.

Astronomically, the new moon is the first phase of a lunar cycle. The full moon occurs at a cycle’s midpoint.

Astrologically, the new moon marks a new beginning, a clean slate. This is where intention-setting comes in. The new moon offers energy conducive to making plans and setting off on a new journey, whether that’s a creative project or a personal goal. It lends itself to drive. If you’ve felt stagnant and uninspired lately, that was the previous lunar cycle coming to an end.

Aquarius is an intellectual sign invested in progress. It’s considered a sign of invention and advancement, one that defies convention. 

Speaking to astrological age or just the musical “Hair,” we’re in the Age of Aquarius, which is marked by technological advancement and social upheaval. The new moon in Aquarius is an excellent time to direct mental energy toward change.

I’ve illustrated the event chart for the new moon specific to us in Bloomington. An event chart isn’t all that different from a birth chart. In this instance, it’s a picture of the sky at the moment the new moon becomes exact. If a baby is born in Bloomington tomorrow at exactly 4:04 p.m., this is their birth chart.

Transits for Feb. 3-9

Mercury sextile to Jupiter, Feb. 3: A sextile is when two planets are 60 degrees apart or two zodiac signs away from each other. Mercury rules communication while Jupiter is seen as a planet for expanding outside ourselves into society. 

This transit sets the table nicely for the new moon the next day. Sextiles are gentle, easy transits. They don’t kick us in the face like other transits, but they offer a helping hand you can take or leave. Mercury and Jupiter can support you through any correspondence or meetings you might need to start the moon cycle right.

Sun sextile Jupiter, Feb. 7: Jupiter is often called a lucky planet, especially in aspect to the sun. This is essentially similar energy to the Mercury-Jupiter interchange from earlier in the week, but more centralized. 

It’s a little boost in confidence that can help you in public presentations and interactions, so if you tend to be shy, look forward to Thursday. 

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