Capricorn Initiates the New Year

by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #128 - January 2, 2007
Sky Events
The Doorway to 2007

Capricorn presides over the transition from one year to the next. As we evaluate 2006, Capricorn asks us to be conscious of the lens through which we look at the past. As we plan for 2007, we also need to be clear about the framework within which we view our future. Our perspective of the past influences the outcome of our future. Can we appreciate the past from the vantage point of lessons learned, maturity gained, and gratitude for the gifts we have received? A realistic and loving appreciation of our emotional and spiritual, as well as our material, accomplishments helps us walk through the door of the New Year with grace and hopeful anticipation.

January is derived from the Italian word for door. Every door is a threshold where we leave something behind, in order to enter into a new space and phase of our life. What are you leaving behind? What are you taking with you? If we choose wisely, we will release another layer of baggage and lighten our load. We will hold on to the precious gems that will illumine our way into the unknown.

Saturn Retrograde - Re-Evaluation of Life Direction

The evaluation of where we have been, and where we wish to go, is being encouraged by Saturn retrograde. Saturn turned retrograde in Leo December 5th, and will remain retrograde until April 19th, 2007. Saturn is the only planet retrograde until February 13th, when Mercury goes retrograde through March 7th. Saturn retrograde calls for a major re-evaluation of all the structures and forms in our lives. This is a time to realistically define our limits, to get clarity about our responsibilities, and to examine our life direction. We need to set our priorities, establish boundaries, and decide how and where to direct our creative energies. Where do we want to go with our lives? Get out the drawing board and map out your game plan and next steps for 2007.

Saturn demands a quiet, thoughtful and thorough approach. Saturn did not design the hyper-drive motivational seminars, that promise us wealth and success if we just keep positive and repeat simplistic affirmations. Saturn asks us WHY we want what we want. Is the process of reaching our goal going to be as satisfying as attaining it? What specific pathway will lead us towards our destination? We can't simply jump off a cliff and expect to be able to fly. What gateways must we pass through along the way? What reference points and touchstones help us navigate our journey?

Who Am I in the World?

When we reach our Capricorn stage of evolution we must ask ourselves, "Who am I in the world?" It is interesting that the eulogies about Gerald Ford came right at the time I was writing about Capricorn. The praises of the former President focused on the highest expression of the Capricorn archetype, which symbolizes our position in the world. Below I have used some of these concepts to portray an affirmative Capricorn presence in the world. (It is interesting to note that Richard Nixon was a Capricorn. Gerald Ford was a Cancer with a Sagittarius Moon. Yogananda was a Capricorn.)

The Path of Accomplishment

Capricorn's mentor is Saturn. Its home is the 10th house, or phase in our earthly journey. All of the above are about what Hazrat Inayat Khan calls the path of mastery through accomplishment.(1) Capricorn, Saturn and 10th house planets all call us to our Dharma. We feel impelled to embody our ideals, and to make a social or spiritual contribution to humanity through tangible achievements. The importance of living our truth does not escape us. The necessity of stepping out into the world, and taking a position of leadership, is ever present in our mind. Our vocation is our life. Our authority is living by example.

The nature of our impulse to step forth in the world is designated in our birth chart. It is also activated when Saturn or Jupiter transit over our midheaven - the top of the chart and cusp or doorway to the 10th house. When our midheaven and tenth house are activated, we stop waiting for the world to discover us. We get busy, get our act together, and courageously engage in the world, with an eagerness to be a contributory member of society, and even an authority in our field. We are willing to be recognized, and to establish a reputation that brings us some form of attention, fame or even notoriety.

Taking Responsibility for Our Lives

One of the main themes and challenges of Capricorn deals with taking responsibility for our own lives. Capricorn, and its ruling planet Saturn, are operating at an immature level when we blame the collective, our parents, circumstances, bad luck and an uncaring God, for the lessons we have chosen to learn this lifetime.

Blame, shame, guilt and victimization are all immature Capricorn/Saturn expressions. We abdicate our power by projecting these forms of irresponsibility onto our relationships, parents, boss, socio/political structures and God. To take back our will, we have to take responsibility for what we create, and become accountable to ourselves and to the Universe.

When we live in any form of victim mode, we often use the energy and attention that could be used to make our lives work, to take care of others. We can reclaim our emotional and physical energy for own creative endeavors, when we stop preoccupying ourselves with what is not our business or our responsibility. Letting others live their own lives, and learn their own lessons, frees us up to do the same for ourselves.

Taking responsibility also involves setting realistic limits and boundaries for ourselves and in our relationships. When we are realistic, we can choose how we wish to direct our energy. Once we feel more at choice, it is easier to identity our destiny path and live our dharma. We have more energy and more inspiration when, instead of casting shadows with our fears,(2) we shine the light of our soul.

Cancer Full Moon - January 3rd

The Full Moon in Cancer gives us an opportunity to look at how we nurture ourselves. Do we honor our body, and keep it healthy with good food and exercise? What is the status of our inner space? Are we connected to the infinite within? Can we hold a stable cosmic connection, while embracing the ever-changing emotional energy that flows through our body? If we do not have a stable touchstone with the Infinite in our mind, our anchor is missing. Without a nurturing and supportive Infinite foundation, our emotions endlessly swirl and bounce us around. Infinity as a support system makes it possible to ground our emotions in our body.

Our emotions are an essential part of the communication system of our soul. When we can feel and stay present to our emotions in our body, without exiting into our mind, our soul has a medium within which it can transmit information. This physical embodiment and attunement to our soul makes it possible to be accurately guided by our feelings. We can begin to trust and follow our instincts. It is Cancer's job to develop the inner emotional grounding and soul connection that supports Capricorn in world.

The Cancer/Capricorn Polarity

Each full moon illuminates the dance of one of the six Zodiac polarities. We get to examine if the partners dance in harmony within ourselves or, if they are out of sync.

We arrive into this world through the cosmic womb or Gate of Cancer. We depart through the Gate of Death or Capricorn.(3) An understanding of the Cancer/Capricorn polarity helps us understand the emotional dynamic of, and benefit from, this full moon. Cancer and Capricorn are the archetypal pair of nurturing and Dharma. To serve each other, they need to operate in their higher expressions.

Cancer's orientation is inward. Cancer connects us to our emotional body and our feelings. Cancer energy pulls us into focus within ourselves, so that we can stabilize in our body and feel at home on Planet Earth. The motherly impulse of Cancer makes it possible for us to care for, and nurture, ourselves and others. Cancer is the foundation of Self that orients and supports us in our worldly activities.

Capricorn's arena is the world. Capricorn's primal impulse is to accomplish, to organize and to be recognized. Together Cancer and Capricorn integrate our experiences in our inner and outer worlds. Capricorn provides discipline. Cancer provides nurturing. Cancer focuses on our personal needs and home life. Capricorn focuses on our career and professional life, and honors our need to be of service to others.

Capricorn and Saturn need the warm gentleness of the Mother/Goddess. Her free-flowing feelings, aesthetic comforts and pleasures, and the chance to relate and be loved, are symbolized in the Aphrodite/Venus archetype and the Divine Feminine, Earth Mother of Cancer.

If our lives are too mental, structured and rigid, we don't flow with natural forces. When we are connected to our instincts in our body, they align us with what is natural and flowing. We need this instinctual connection to listen to and heal ourselves. Integrated body/mind/emotional consciousness brings us peace of mind, calms our nervous system, aligns us with optimal circumstances and relationships, and attunes us to our own soul.

Cancer and Capricorn integrate at the esoteric level, when love motivates duty and when warmth and kindness strengthen discipline. When the caring nurturing lap of the Divine Feminine softens and expands the personality, Capricorn and Saturn become vehicles for opportunity.

Saturn and Jupiter Define Earthly Reality

Setting goals for the New Year, planning our life path, defining our approach, and choosing our attitude all involve the interplay of both Saturn and Jupiter.

Prior to the Eighteenth Century, Jupiter and Saturn were given more importance, because they were the two outermost planets in the known solar system. In the 1700s the first trans-Saturn planet, Uranus, was discovered. After that, in the West, less emphasis was paid to Jupiter and Saturn, because the subtle meanings attributed to them were incorporated, as they were discovered, in the new impersonal planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). Vedic, or Eastern, astrology still uses the original set of planets.

In Vedic astrology Jupiter is associated with (or rules) Sagittarius and Pisces. Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius. Jupiter and Saturn rule the last four signs and houses, the most impersonal areas of life, where our egos have the least conscious control. In these final stages of this human incarnation, we move beyond our individual interests and ambitions to serve humanity. We move from individual to group and universal consciousness.

Sagittarius symbolizes Universal Truth, Capricorn Universal Government, Aquarius Universal Humanity, and Pisces Universal Divine Love.(4)

We can glean some of the deeper meanings of Jupiter and Saturn from Vedic astrology. In Vedic astrology, Jupiter and Saturn are seen as impersonal forces that rule the collective. They also indicate the time and space/place determinants of the individual soul's karma. Jupiter's opportunities and Saturn's limits represent the map of the soul, in terms of desires to be fulfilled (Jupiter) and lessons to be learned (Saturn.)(5)

A person/soul sets his own limits, and defines his own arena of discipline, when he chooses his Saturn placement. According to Indian astrologers, a person does so in the last few seconds of his previous life, when he has a regretful thought, If only I had . . ! Whatever we felt was lacking in that life defines the desire of what we would like (and choose) to achieve in our next incarnation. This determines our Saturn placement. We can fulfill this desire if we work for it.(6)

What were you last thoughts in 2006? :+) How might that influence what you choose to learn and experience in 2007?

We can get in touch with our Saturn by exploring the area in our life that we have to work hard to get what we want, AND find the pursuit of this goal to be satisfying.

The Saturn and Jupiter Dynamic

We all constantly engage in the Saturn/Jupiter dynamic. Both forces operate in the world and within us. Optimal navigation of our lives requires us to operate out of the highest expression of both. Our birth chart indicates which force dominates our psyche, but we don't need our birth chart to know how these two forces impact our lives.

When Jupiter is dominant, we see the positive side of life. We are optimistic. We feel lucky. Life gets better and better. We are always making progress. The cosmos is not only supportive; it is a cornucopia of good things, with an unlimited supply for all. We are generally self-confident, have high self-esteem and feel we deserve the best that life and the Universe have to offer.

If Saturn is dominant in our chart, we see the negative side of life and are often pessimistic. We see life in terms of struggle, limitations and hard work, with few rewards. We can feel doomed and unsupported. We generally lack self-confidence, feel undeserving, and judge ourselves harshly. We relate to the Divine as a stern Father figure, who punishes us if we don't measure up to perfect standards.

Saturn focuses on our limitations. Jupiter focuses on our assets. Jupiter is delighted in what we accomplish. Saturn feels bad about what we should have accomplished more perfectly, more thoroughly, more rapidly.(7)

The law of cause and effect is no secret (just overlooked through denial and ignorance). If we focus on the positive, we attract more opportunities, luck and support. If we expect the worst, we attract more frustrations, bad luck and negative circumstances.

We have all been exposed to positive you-can-have-it-all thinking. The generic formula is universal. Just set your goals and repeat "An abundant supply of money is flowing into my bank account every day". We get all hyped up, and then we feel let down and even crash when the gravy train doesn't arrive. This simplistic formula of many motivational seminars/teachings, characterizes the manic/depressive trap that nabs most of us at least part of the time. In terms of archetypes, we don't know how to integrate and optimally use Jupiter and Saturn.

The question is how to elevate our consciousness, so we can use both of these forces to our advantage. Both Jupiter and Saturn are goal-directed planets, and if we can make proper use of their energies, if we can bring them into balance, goals can really be reached. Jupiter's faith and self-confidence, positive attitude and progressive impulse toward the future, combined with Saturn's patience over time, consistent application of elbow grease and hard work, even when the going gets rough and the road seems dark, when restlessness or boredom set in, can guide us to liberation.(8)

Jupiter and Saturn Work Together

Jupiter is known as a benefic planet. Saturn is traditionally referred to as a malefic planet. Yet Jupiter doesn't just drop goodies in our lap while we are sleeping, and Saturn does not maliciously chase Santa Claus away. Jupiter opens doors and presents us with opportunities, but we have to walk through the doors, and do the work to turn opportunities into results. The truth is that Jupiter and Saturn work together. As we learn how to use the attributes and powers of each, we expand our ability to manifest.

Capricorn's work ethic, without relaxation, stresses us out. Jupiter's tendency to procrastinate and play-while-you-can also throws us off balance. We usually have more of an attunement to one and an underdevelopment of the other. How each speaks to us determines how we receive information. An opportunity/opening for change for Jupiter may be frustrating and resented by Saturn, who feels bound to the status quo and afraid to move on.

The dictum Know thyself, accept thyself, and be thyself can be interpreted as an optimal integration of both Saturn and Jupiter principles. We are encouraged to face and accept our limitations as well as our gifts. We get to know ourselves in terms of physical stamina, artistic talents and intellect, etc. We embrace and live our life according to who we are. When the term limitation is presented in this broader perspective, it can be quite a relief. We don't compare ourselves to others. We learn how to befriend and enjoy ourselves. I personally find this approach very comforting. Life doesn't seem so overwhelming. All I have to do is BE and DO ME, which I quite enjoy. (I am Jupiter dominant in attitude. And Saturn dominant in work ethic.)

The Positive Qualities of Saturn

A negative Saturn is often contrasted with the positive child who embraces life. Saturn is characterized as a rigid, senile, and stuck in the mud old man, whose sterile thinking, petrified customs and traditions support an over-structured, unhappy life. This brittle persona with a hardened heart, resists change, yet regretfully mourns a life of pain and struggle.

However, Saturn is also the wise old man, who through life experience earns respect, recognition and authority. Esoteric Saturn represents dharma, or living our life with the intent of consciously participating in our soul's evolutionary journey. Karma is replaced by dharma, when instead of pursuing material pleasures and rewards, we steer ourselves toward oneness with and freedom in the Divine. Within this long journey, which lasts lifetimes, we experience Saturn tests and challenges, repay old debts, discipline our mind and body, and eventually learn how to spiritualize matter, and align our will with Divine Will.

Saturn's perfectionism serves a purpose in the evolutionary journey of our soul. It takes much patience and a long time to accomplish our spiritual goals. Hard work and discipline bring success in the long term and a victorious life. Saturn's ability to persevere helps us keep up. Jupiter's optimism helps us keep the faith.

Jupiter Dances with Saturn

The presence of jovial Jupiter is necessary to keep Saturn focused on its highest expression. Saturn's duty to the collective is complemented with our individual philosophical search (Jupiter and Sagittarius). Without the influence of Jupiter our structures become rigid. Without Jupiter's freedom-loving spirit, we allow collective structures to control us through official ideologies, laws and dogma. Without Jupiter, Saturnian forces become more concerned with limits than expansion, with rules than growth, with rhetorical style than meaning or truth.

With too much Saturn, religions conjure up and attempt to control us with a stern, punishing, patriarchal God. Rule by Divine law devolves into political systems that take on the role of an aloof male authority, who instead of protecting its citizens has power over its subjects. We cannot creatively prosper individually or collectively when authority becomes self-serving, tyrannical and corrupt.

Capricorn teaches us that we are continually challenged by life. The question is not to try to avoid our tests. The question is how we deal with them. Our attitude is critical for self-healing, evolution and manifestation. Fate and resignation conquer us. Good intentions and a positive attitude (Jupiter) combined with inner grit and discipline (Saturn) work wonders.

Life continually presents us with choices. The Saturn choice is to either learn from our experiences, or remain a victim. We can be defeated by external circumstances and the negativity in our own psyche, or we can become so strong that we are capable of dealing with anything. We can build strength in our psyche and internalize our power. We can elevate our attitude and project courage and character to the world. We can become wise and find contentment in the power of our soul's authority.

Relax and Renew, 2nd Edition, by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.

 
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Kundalini Yoga - Meditation for Emotional Stability

The Cancer Full Moon on January 3rd reminds us that we need to learn how to work with and use the power of our emotions. To achieve emotional stability, we must be able to ground our emotional energy in our body. To do so, we need to establish a mental focus inside our mind and body. Our emotions need some place to go.

While the Sun is in Capricorn, the earth energy makes it easier to stay present to our emotions in our body. The Set for State of Mind and Paranoia on page 80 of Relax and Renew 2nd Edition is a great set for cultivating a state of emotional stability. The following two exercises balance the brain, activate the neutral mind, open the heart and clear the upper aura.

Exercise 1

The first exercise of this set is done in easy pose. Apply the chin lock so the spine feels straight and elongated, and the heart open. Extend the arms straight out to the sides of the body. Close the finger tips into the palms. Point the thumbs straight up. Rotate the hands at the wrists so that the thumbs point back on the inhale. Rotate the hands so the thumbs point down on the exhale. Continue with powerful breathing for 2-5 minutes.

To end, inhale deeply, stretch the arms out to the sides, opening the heart and the chest. Exhale and relax with your hands on your knees or lap.

Exercise 2

The second exercise is in the same position. Inhale, bringing the thumb tips almost (but not) touching the shoulders. On the exhale bring the arms straight out to the sides. Do for 2 minutes.

Attentive Meditation

When you have completed each exercise, sit quietly. Then focus your attention in the following ways. Take the directives in the following order as you progress through the exercises of this or another set. You can also focus on one or a few things per day. In the spirit of Capricorn, take one step at a time. With patience and perseverance, you will gradually and consciously integrate your emotional body into your physical body. This integration will solidify your presence and make you feel stable and grounded.

Directives for Focused Meditation

MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU FOR 2007!

References and Footnotes

"Cancer Full Moon, Capricorn New Moon", Austin, Stephanie, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue #130, Dec/Jan, 2006, pp.103-104.

"Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology", Behari, Bepin, Lotus Press, 2003.

"Astrology and Spiritual Awakening", Bogart, Gregory C., Dawn Mountain Press, Berkeley, 1994.

"Archetypes of the Zodiac", Burt, Kathleen, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 2002.

"Spiritual Astrology", Spiller, Jan and McCoy, Karen, Simon and Schuster, 1985 and 1988.

1. Bogart, p. 46.
2. Austin, p. 104.
3. Austin, p. 103.
4. Burt, p. 68.
5. Burt, p. 365.
6. Burt, p. 365.
7. Burt, p. 362-3.
8. Burt, p. 67.

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