As we begin 2022, Venus is retrograde (from December 19 to January 29) and Mercury soon follows (retrograde from January 14 to February 3). This suggests launching yourself gradually, without overly high expectations. In these first few weeks of the year, avoid pushing and drama. When you harmonize with the heavens, life becomes more effortless. You find yourself naturally engaged in auspicious activities. In this harmonizing spirit, Capricorn is the perfect new moon to “level-up” in your relationship with Saturn.
I had just bought my gold pens, the strapless bra, and was crossing the plaza to the bank, when I did the unthinkable: I started talking to myself, out loud, my lips moving, within earshot of strangers.
Since when had I decided it was okay to chatter in public, like the “not right” lady on the corner, or the guy sipping alcohol from a brown paper bag? What next? Would I join my old piano teacher—greeting clients in my bathrobe, wearing cookie crumbs on my chin?
When I was young, I drew several lines in the sand. I wasn’t going to be like any adult I actually knew. I wasn’t going to wear bras or lipstick; I wouldn’t buy a boring tract house or get a corporate job. All of which I’ve done. Instead I was going to write a few best-selling books, buy a Frank Lloyd Wright house, and if I got married, my husband would be a famous intellectual-artist-political-activist.
Of course none of this happened. Which brings us to the two faces of this Capricorn New Moon. The bright one and the gloomy one. Capricorn inspires bright dreams for achievement—and dark realizations that life often doesn’t turn out as we planned.
Blame Saturn. Capricorn’s ruler. He fills you with ambition. And smacks you with reality. Again and again. He puts authorities in your life who judge you. He gives you ladders to climb. And tests, lots of tests.
But here’s the good news. All of this develops your wisdom and maturity. Which gradually makes your life easier and more successful. The wiser you get the more your life improves. It’s a reliable measure. Your official “Wisdom Years” begin at the second Saturn return (occurring just before you turn sixty). Then comes the best news of all.
Once you turn 60 you get to change your relationship with Saturn. You get to say, “Screw it, I don’t have to please people. I’m not gonna work that hard.” Or to paraphrase J. Alfred Prufrock, “I grow old, I grow old. I’ll wear the bottom of my pants legs rolled… so what? As long as I’m happy.”
Only the young write New Year’s resolutions.
If you’re wondering how best to use this Capricorn New Moon, start by assessing your current relationship with Saturn. The ringed planet symbolizes your inner “should” Master, the one who knows what you should and shouldn’t be doing all the time. If you’ve had a bad day, his frown is the fiercest. He’s the one who insists you care what others think of you. He keeps your personal rule book up to date. Often, this is a good thing, a wonderful thing.
My poet friend calls the Saturn voice “the coach in the head,” and sorry, he says, are those lacking a strong one. They never wake up to do a hundred sit-ups or recite thirty mantras after a half hour of meditation. They never close the big deal or in any way dazzle the boss or co-workers. A strong Saturn is useful to have. Even so, this CEO should undergo an annual performance review.
In other words, you should look at the rule book he’s carrying. Are all “shoulds” still appropriate and relevant? Or did they suit an earlier version of yourself? It’s perfectly appropriate to keep revising your expectations as you evolve. Sometimes the smartest thing is getting rid of a few. So that’s what you can do. What I’m proposing is the opposite of a New Year’s Resolution.
I suggest that the Capricorn New Moon is the perfect time to review your expectations and toss out all the ones that have been ruining your happiness. They’re irrelevant—if, like me, you’re not anywhere near the life you thought you’d be leading when you first dreamed them up. This is not about failure. As Byron Katie says, “Reality is always kinder than the stories we tell about it.”
You may want to keep a few goals. We humans like the sensations of reaching and climbing. But the true secret of Capricorn–whatever your age–is recognizing that you’re the one authority who matters. You get to decide what’s important and proper for you.
So this year I’ve decided I’ll keep cleaning cookie crumbs off my face. But I just might chatter to myself in public again. That day in the plaza, it was actually my inner coach cheering me on. What did I voice out loud? “Good girl! Yay, Dana! All your chores are done!”
So what? It made me happy.
If you’d like to keep your own inner coach on your toes—that is flexible, flowing, and fun—consider enrolling in my monthly moon workshop. The Capricorn cycle is an auspicious time to commit to positive creative work for the coming year. Gift yourself with my 28-page cornucopia of inspiration for each New Moon in 2022. I’d love you to join us!