First New Moon of 2016: Saturday, January 9th

The FIRST New Moon of 2016 is exact today at 5:31 PM PST in the zodiac sign of Capricorn. A New Moon is the celestial event when both the Sun and Moon meet in the heavens, when the Moon passes over the Sun. The Moon changes signs every 2.5 days, so this is the beginning of a new 28 day Moon cycle. In astrological terms, this alignment is known as a conjunction, or as I like to call it, a cosmic kiss in the sky.  

The Sun is your center of self; your vitality, your essence, your spirit. The Moon rules your feelings; our emotions, the Mother and what comforts us. When these two luminaries meet, it is our heart and our feelings coming together, synchronistically aligned to make decisions and manifest. A New Moon is the best time to set intentions and plant the seeds for what you’d like to grow in the next month ahead. In the earthy, powerful sign of Capricorn, now is the perfect time to align your goals with changes needed to be made in your immediate reality in order to manifest your dreams to life.

Today is the perfect time to nurture your ambitious nature. Capricorn energy is focused and deliberate, and with this New Moon, our consciousness (Sun) and instinctual nature (Moon) more easily align to drive us closer to accomplishing tasks that will bring fulfillment and propel us toward our goals.  Today our awareness and emotions have help from the planet Pluto, which is conjunct the Sun/Moon combination within a three degree orb. Pluto is ruled by Scorpio and is the planet of transformation and personal power. It helps us break through and break free of old paradigms and whatever is holding us back. This is the reason why Pluto rules the death and rebirth cycle.  It brings the death of what is no longer serving us to make room for the creation and birth of something new. Pluto will help us define our goals today, because with Mercury in Retrograde, you may be questioning the details and in which way to go or where you’re headed. Call on the energy of Pluto today to be the authority of your own personal power. Anything created now has the ability to sustain.  Pluto conjunct both the Sun and Moon will help clear out the darkest remnants of the past to help overcome challenges and the most perplexing obstacles. 

This New Moon energy is also triggering the prevailing Uranus/Pluto square we have been experiencing since 2012. Uranus is ruled by Aquarius and brings electrically charged energy toward revelations and revolutionary change. A breakdown needs to occur so we can finally reach a breakthrough in our collective consciousness. We must release today, as light from the heavens is shining down on us to push us forward toward personal healing and renewal. There is a powerful force of energy toward either growth or destruction, and it is up to us to decide. Channel this energy for your greatest good, as it can either be a day of personal empowerment or power struggles within yourself and with those around you.

During each New Moon phase, I love to perform what I call my “Moon Ceremonies” and time them as closely as I can to the moment the conjunction is exact in the sky. I find comfort in clearing my personal space with sage, collecting all my crystals and casting them in a circle. I light candles, visualize my intentions, and say prayers and meditate in the sacred space I create in my home. I find it both empowering and rejuvenating, and for me, it’s the perfect way to clear my energy field, define my goals and put forth positive energy into the Universe for the month ahead.

Sending so much love and positive energy out to you all and wishing you many New Moon blessings on this beautifully powerful day. May your intentions be clear, your mind be focused and your heart be pure. Believe in your vision, it can and will manifest ❤️

The Truth about Mercury Retrograde

I feel it’s important to clarify this naturally occurring phenomenon, as my guides are telling me it’s much needed at this time.  Although I think it’s wonderful Mercury Retrograde is once again becoming a part of our modern collective consciousness, I believe its effects are widely misinterpreted and misunderstood as a period to be feared or dread.  

Mercury Retrograde was exact at 5:06am PST January 5th and will remain until January 25th, 2016.  At its worst, communication lines are blurred, computers go on the fritz, travel plans may be postponed and/or phone service will be disconnected more often than usual. Perhaps in its own way even modern technology has the need to purge what is no longer serving it; but aren’t we all in need of our own reboot or refresh every now and again?  

During this time lost items may reappear or people from your past may reenter your life unexpectedly.  If you take a step back to evaluate, I think it’s important to note whether or not they are coming back at this time for a very good, very specific reason. 

As an astrologer, you cannot convince me to sign a contract during this period if my life depended on it.  However, it is important for me to clarify this belief does NOT stem from fear, but rather the nature of Mercury Retrograde and its propensity for reversals and change.  If you’re looking at a contract for the beginning of a new venture or a completion of something, I’d say not today.  During the retrograde period, a contract is more likely to become undone or possess misleading hidden text.  On the other hand, if your intentions for the contract are to be something temporary or eventually absolved, then by all means, sign away. 

I would venture to say many of you out there reading this have a natural natal placement of Mercury Retrograde.  Speaking from personal experience (my natal Mercury is retrograde at 15 degrees Gemini) I actually feel kinda normal amidst this acute and interesting time.  In fact, Mercury Retrograde happens an average of 3 or 4 times a year, usually for about three or four weeks at a time.  With the shadow period, which is the two or three week period leading up to the Retrograde, the effects last even longer than you might think.

This particular retrograde is first happening in the sign of Aquarius, which as any astrologer will tell you, Aquarian energy is far from the norm.  Aquarians are the forward thinking rebels with a cause.  They possess an eccentric yet innovative brilliance that sparks our imagination and challenges us to think outside the box.  This is the energy that keeps us creating and pushing forward. Mercury is the planet that rules communication and our linear mind. With our present Mercury Retrograde beginning in Aquarius, then quickly moving backward to hit 15 degrees Capricorn before it stations direct on the 25th, these next three weeks are guaranteed to be a very interesting and exciting time. 

I believe the duality between a forward minded Aquarian vision and the Retrograde’s ability to reboot our thought patterns and temporarily turn back the clock, is something we should ponder in the next few weeks.  Without a clear perspective on our past, how can we move forward in a healthy way to create a better future?  How can we truly grow without striving for and obtaining resolution from our past?  Aren’t our own dreams a dormant part of our subconscious rising up to the surface for a better view?

Mercury Retrograde is actually giving us all a second chance for review; a refreshed opportunity to reprogram our consciousness. Right now the Universe is giving us a chance to find healing and to focus on issues that may have been left behind unresolved.  In this case, Mercury Retrograde is in fact a gift to us all and nothing to be feared. “Problems” commonly associated with a retrograde force us to take a step back and take an introspective look into who we are now and how our past decisions and actions have shaped and defined us.  It forces us to look at what we give our power to and what’s important to us. How can that not be a good a thing?  

The trick during this time is to remain flexible and resilient, with an understanding that perhaps the Universal energies and God have a greater plan for us all.  Unfortunately that plan may or may not include you talking to so-and-so right now or taking that trip exactly as planned.  Annoying at times, yes, but in the bigger picture, I truly believe a Mercury Retrograde is a blessing

Mercury Retrograde is an event in the cosmos, a Divine Intelligence, that gives us an opportunity to recondition ourselves toward individual growth and a collective awakening here on Earth.  Any energetic phenomena that creates awareness and allows us to relate synchronistic events in our present reality with the chance to heal, is in my opinion, a profoundly beautiful thing. 

Love and Blessings,

Erika Othen