Happy New Year! Hip, hip, hooray! Out with the old, in with the new. This is usually how New Year’s is celebrated. We mark the year’s end by shouting emphatically, making grandiose statements, and proclaiming the next year will be better than the last. But is this how we should approach the New Year, from a spiritual and/or astrological viewpoint? Yes and no.
We celebrate New Year’s having just left the winter solstice, the day where there is the shortest amount of light. Many events occur at this time of year: the birth of Christ, for myself as a Jew, the celebration of Hanukah, and yes, New Year’s. It is indeed cause to celebrate, the return of light, the birth of the savior, or the miraculous lasting of the oil in the Menorah, but lest we get carried away with the celebration we should remember that ambition, structure, success, and discipline are the key words associated with Capricorn the great mountain goat who symbolizes the year’s end and beginning.
Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, or Kronos, god of time and fate, asks us to make slow, deliberate progress. Slow and steady wins the race. The mountain goat’s climb to the top of the mountain is slow and hard, but the rewards are great. Capricorn asks us to be ambitious but methodical and not to make wild resolutions that are sure to go unfulfilled. Better to look at oneself and structure your behavior so as to make great gains in the long run. This is not jubilant Sagittarius season. There is work to be done. Take it from the conservative Roman emperor Augustus who minted his coinage with a symbol of Capricorn, the supreme symbol of steady work, progress, and discipline.
Capricorn season this year is also buttressed by a retrograding mercury, further asking us to slow down. Most of you know that when mercury retrogrades it is not moving in its unusual direct motion, so we must rethink, reevaluate, and revive our actions so as to better realign them going forward. Again, none of this indicates a fast jumpstart to the New Year.
So when you bring in the New Year, before you make any grand resolutions, think first about making slow incremental changes. That just might be the way for you to become your own emperor.