Goal Setting and Growth: the first Capricorn Eclipse of 2019

There’s a reason we all make resolutions in January: the Sun is in Capricorn, the Astrological Overachiever. Capricorn is a Cardinal Earth Sign, meaning it has all the grounded practicality it needs to succeed at its ambitious plans. Ruled by architect Saturn, Capricorns have a knack for business and are generally no-nonsense upstarts both in their careers and their peer groups. Take a moment to think about history’s most prolific minds and you’re sure to name more than a handful of Capricorns—Ben Franklin, David Bowie, JD Salinger, Elvis, Alan Watts, Stephen Hawking, and so many more of our top minds and household names. 

Like all cardinal signs, Capricorn season kicks off with an astrological bang—in this case, the Winter Solstice, prompting us to tie up our loose ends and prep for success in the year ahead. But you may have noticed this year was a little different: when the Sun moved into Capricorn on December 22nd, there was a full moon in Cancer and Mars was wading through Pisces. All this water muddied up Capricorn’s typically fertile soils and made it difficult to gain a foothold before the start of the New Year. We spent more time in our feelings, especially where it related to our home lives and our families. Little holiday dramas took more of a toll on us than they have previously and our relationship to domesticity—both the homes and families we’ve built and those we were born into—was forcibly reevaluated. Chances are, our typical year-end goal setting was completely derailed. 

2018 was chock full of Big Lessons, each with their own major transit. We survived Venus Retrograde through Libra and Scorpio, teaching us major lessons about partnership and intimacy; Uranus went retrograde after a brief brush with Taurus, giving us a glimpse into radical new methods of self-care; Jupiter moved home to Sagittarius after 12 years of astrological globetrotting, bringing a new sense of optimism with it. Numerologically, 2018 was a little complicated: many practitioners calculated it as an 11 year, a year of mastery and ascendence. But in my experience, the only thing “ascendant” about 2018 was a number of astrological advancements which acted more like teasers for the year ahead. It felt much more like a 2 year, setting foundations that will be central to our future. At times it was tedious, building structures brick by brick—bricks that were often hurled through the windows of our consciousness, shattering previously-held truths via tough transits. By the time 2019 arrived, most of us were ready to put 2018, whatever number year it was, in the rearview mirror!

Luckily, 2019 arrived with some big changes: on New Year’s Eve, Mars charged into Aries, its native sign, bringing refreshed motivation. Any way you calculate the numerology, 2019 resonates with the energy of 3—creativity, expression, and collaboration. Mercury enters Capricorn on the 4th, making it easier to communicate goals and plan for success. But the biggest boon to our resolutions this year comes in the form of a Partial Solar Eclipse on January 5th. 

The New Moon is always a time for goal-setting and manifesting, but this New Moon is particularly potent. Not only is it in strategic Capricorn, it’s also the first of a series of eclipses in 2019. Eclipses can be tricky, bringing an abundance of electric energy that both illuminates our way forward and short-circuits areas we’ve cluttered. They’re unpredictable and their effects are felt for upwards of six months before and after. This particular Eclipse may echo events from eight years ago, when a similar eclipse occurred at the exact same degree of Capricorn in January of 2011. Consider where you were and what you were working towards. What company did you keep, and how did they help (or hinder) you? How do your goals and desires of that time align with what you’re currently manifesting? Remember that people change and it’s okay to deviate from plans you’ve made for yourself as long as it’s in the name of growth—there’s a fine line between evolution and stagnation!

Elias Lonsdale, the author of “Inside Degrees,” describes 15° Capricorn as follows:

Dinosaur bones discovered while digging.
Purpose marks the spot. A mixed-up approach. Fusing together components that do not match. Doggedly pursuing straight intent, yet you’re wide open, unwittingly, to whatever will show you a different picture. Tremendous karmic backlog. Oppressive and detailed. The soul’s record kept strictly in mind–there’s no freedom here. The future does not dawn. However, redemptive hard work is immensely powerful, harnessed as what must be done to achieve a goal you’ve barely glimpsed. Something great is possible if all assumptions are cast away and the direct evidence of deep experience becomes centrally there.

There’s a karmic link between this eclipse and those which preceded it, as well as those to follow. The goals we set now will likely shift as we grow into our higher selves, a process we will likely feel completely helpless against. Any witch can tell you that magic isn’t always pleasant, but out of the darkness comes some of the most beautiful light.

This eclipse arrives with a number of powerful aspects behind it. The New Moon Sun conjunction will be wedged between Saturn, Capricorn’s ruler, and transformational Pluto: if you’ve been looking to change the structure of your life, now’s the time. This goes beyond your daily routine as Venus (still in Pluto-ruled Scorpio) trines Chiron, still teaching us lessons about empathy and intuition in ethereal Pisces. Expect more of your goals to revolve around relationships and boundaries than you anticipated, especially relating back to last year’s Venus retrograde. For the next seven months your relationships are likely to undergo a complete makeover as you find yourself healing old wounds, strengthening your inner voice, stabilizing partnerships, and making your friendships work for you rather than against you.

While we’ll see two more eclipses in between (one in spotlight-loving Leo and the other in homey Cancer), this energy will return on July 16th with a Full Moon Eclipse in Capricorn, conjunct Saturn and Pluto with an opposition to Venus. By this time, you’ll know what relationships are beneficial to your personal evolution and which are necrotizing, and you’ll be more than ready to flush toxic energies from your life. Mark this day as a second New Year, perfect to refine and replace resolutions that weren’t conducive to your growth. This July Eclipse is a perfect time to tap into Capricorn Minimalism, purging all which did not serve you in the months between, especially at home. 

While this eclipse highlights productivity and the goals we set for ourselves, everyone will feel this energy in different ways: depending on where you have Capricorn in your chart and what planets are stationed there, your personal experience will vary. Run your natal chart and take note of which house Capricorn falls in and where Saturn is situated to get a better idea of what this eclipse means to you and work with the energies to set the right goals. If you’re not sure where to start, this is the perfect time to book a reading and run your personal transits for the eclipses ahead (readings booked by January 7th will get 30% off)! It’s safe to say anyone with a Capricorn or Cancer Sun will feel these eclipses profoundly, as well as individuals in the midst of their Saturn Return, but each sign will internalize this energy in different ways. It’s important to remember that there are no bad transits: aspects can be more or less challenging, but the learning opportunities provided are always priceless.

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