It’s a new calendar year and a goal-setting, Capricorn New Moon. And like many of you, I’m sure, I’m trying to figure out how I’d like 2016 to look, and what I need to do to accomplish that.
In particular, I’m coming to terms with my new role at the helm of my local astrology group. It’s all a bit sobering, because despite having been born with Saturn in Capricorn and within one day of a U.S. president, I’ve never had leadership aspirations. So this new role came about as one of those “someone’s got to do it” situations.
Casting a net in search of sage leadership advice, I ran across a TED talk by author Simon Sinek (I’ve included the video at the end of this essay). Sinek suggests that the key to success is to “Start with why.” His thinking is that if you have a strong sense of why you want to accomplish something, you’ll naturally figure out the form it should take and exactly how you can bring it into being.
Sometimes, the “why” of a situation may seem as simple (and ungratifying) as, “I kind of had to.” But even when we’re stepping into situations out of a sense of obligation, it’s important to ask why. Why take care of an ailing relative who has treated you badly all your life? That’s an important “why,” and it probably has much less to do with who they are, than with the kind of person you want to be. Why do you accept a higher-paying job that you really don’t want? If the answer is, “I am a person who loves my family and will do anything to see that they are financially secure,” well, there is your “why,” and it’s a pretty good one.
Once we know why we’re doing something, the road forward is usually clearer. And though Capricorn is a pragmatic, “what” and “how” kind of sign, this particular Capricorn New Moon is a little different. The Sun and Moon are conjoined transformational Pluto and square revolutionary Uranus. Capricorn’s ruling planet, Saturn, will make a series of motivating aspects to Neptune over the coming year. This is a New Moon, and a new year, that demand we get to know our own motivations, the impalpable underpinnings of our practical ambitions.
Capricorn is known as an executive sign, an ambitious one that will stop at nothing to climb to the top of the mountain. That’s why we pledge, at his New Moon, to climb important mountains of our own.
But the cosmic joke is that most of those resolutions don’t pan out. And if Simon Sinek is right, I suppose it’s because we’re tackling things in the wrong order, trying to use lists and will power to mold our insides into a shape that simply doesn’t suit us.
Shepherding even this small, friendly group feels like a stretch for me. If I think too much about the whats and hows of it, or stare too long at all my notes and binders and spreadsheets, I get a little bit overwhelmed. But I’m glad I ran across Simon Sinek, because his ideas have given me a different way to approach the daunting and new. It’s one that begins on the inside, with affection and desire to be of service to a fun and friendly organization, one that has been supportive of me for more than two decades. What will we accomplish together, and how will we get it done? Well, I reckon we’ll figure that part out.
If you’ve been thinking about what you’d like to achieve in the new year and wondering how you’re going to get there, be sure, at the Capricorn New Moon, that you’ve spent some time with the more fundamental question of, “Why?” Why do you want to pursue the goals you have in mind? Find the motivation at the core of the thing. Let your heart have its say. The what and how will take care of themselves.
© 2016 April Elliott Kent