It is the first New Moon of the New Year: A time of beginnings, of resetting one’s life clock to a new pattern. Like the farmer in winter who sorts the seeds he will plant in spring, it is a propitious moment to set goals in order to better cultivate one’s patch of planet Earth. For this New Moon in the Saturn-ruled, earth sign of Capricorn is the perfect moment to put into practice the deep wisdom inherent in the Hermetic axiom: As above, so below. As within, so without. Cultivating our souls, we cultivate the soul of the world.
Astrologers don’t typically associate magic with the pragmatic sign of Capricorn. But no sign practices earth magic as deftly as Capricorn, who, through mastery of the secrets of time, yields forth the miracle of material manifestation. The name Capricorn, for instance, means “horn of the goat.” Used as a symbol of the crescent moon in ancient myths and art, it came to signify the cornucopia or horn of plenty overflowing with the abundant fruits of the Great Goddess.
The key to understanding Capricorn lies in its planetary ruler, Saturn. I like to think of Saturn as the legendary Wizard of lore: Tall, old, grizzled, white-haired, with penetrating eyes that can see through to the core of life itself. Think Merlin, Gandalf, or Moira, the Greek Goddess of Fate. Saturn in this aspect as sage magician is skilled in the time wisdom of cycles, phases, endings, beginnings, ups, and downs. How does Saturn do this?
Through patience—the quality that is learned as we mature from impulsive youthfulness to mature adult. Saturn is master of time because Saturn is master of patience: The wizardry of Capricornian magic is attained by standing outside time, eternally centered in the consciousness of what really matters—rather than being pulled off one’s path by the distractions of everyday life like restless mice in search of crumbs. Saturn succeeds where others fail because the old Wizard knows how to wait. Anyone who has endured a Saturn transit, for example, knows the hard lessons learned that come from enduring limitation, frustration, and delay: in other words, the discipline that comes from delayed gratification.
“In your patience is your wisdom,” goes an old alchemical saying. “Haste is of the devil,” is yet another. What otherworldly dreams we have the patience to wait and work for, we will one day see manifest in mundane reality. So this New Moon, take time to pay a visit to old Saturn’s cave for a lesson in the magic of time.
Imagine that you have drawn Saturn’s hooded mantle about yourself. Withdraw from the harried demands of your life into the depths of Capricornian solitude. Climb the mountain peak that lies shrouded in mists far above and beyond the affairs of humanity. Take refuge at the feet of the old Wizard whose eyes convey a knowledge far beyond your own. Go deep into the Goddess’ wisdom that says that all things that are born, must die, and will be reborn once again. The sun that rises, also sets. The dark moon empties, then waxes bright and full. The tide that rises falls back into the waiting arms of the sea.
In the cave with Saturn, gather your seeds—your ideals, goals, hopes, dreams, and fantasies for the future. Design the garden of your life: what flowers will bloom, what trees will grow? Commit yourself to their cultivation, despite the vagaries of good or bad weather. Then, gifted with Saturn’s staff of patience, steadiness, and discipline, climb down from the mountain and go back out into the world: Mistress of magic and the secrets of time.