Sagittarius New Moon: Hatful of Stars

Once, on a visit to New Zealand, I stepped outside on a cool, clear evening and looked up at the sky. What I saw made me a little dizzy: not just a thick blanket of stars, but constellations so different from the ones I’m used to! As an urban dweller, I had no idea that I’d become so familiar with the night sky – until I saw one that was utterly foreign.

Sagittarius rules encounters with the unfamiliar. Some of them take us as far away as the other side of the world, where the sky is upside down. But simply traveling to an unfamiliar part of your own city will do the trick as well. Whenever you find yourself feeling a little bit uncomfortable, like a proverbial fish out of water, then you’re doing Sagittarius right. Whatever makes you look at the world, or even just your own life, with new eyes and wonderment – that’s Sagittarius territory.

It occurred to me, watching “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” for maybe the 40th time, how many of the stories we enjoy revisiting each year during the holiday season – as the Sun moves through Sagittarius – are tales of heroic journeys. Rudolph hits the road with his fellow misfit, Hermey the Elf, in search of a place where they fit in. The three wise men embark on the ultimate road trip, with only a star to lead them to the newborn savior. George Bailey and Clarence, and Ebeneezer Scrooge and his ghostly tour guides, travel to alternate universes to better grasp the importance of a single human life.

For each of us, Sagittarius represents our own Hero’s Journey, complete with tortuous paths, ordeals and rewards, and the promise of redemption. We recognize ourselves in Rudolph, in George, and even in poor old Scrooge. We understand their dissatisfaction and despair, and the feeling that there’s no better way to reboot our lives than to launch ourselves into the vast unknown. We know the fear of failure and the sadness of feeling like a stranger, and we know that there are times in life when proving that we can overcome that fear and sadness is exactly what we need in order to feel truly alive.

In the Northern Hemisphere, December tends to be one of the coldest months of the year. For most of us, its weather is better suited for bundling up in front of the fire with cocoa, safe and warm, than for taking off into the unknown. Even our winter holidays shine with a slightly desperate brightness, their songs and parties a kind of spiritual CPR meant to coax us into staying alive through the long, cold season.

Perhaps it’s the faint karmic memory of some recent Scorpio lifetime, but Sagittarius is better equipped than most to handle December’s cold, dark solitude. He doesn’t scare easily. He is exhilarated and dizzied by the long, dark nights; their stars are proxies for the faraway lands he may never see, silent and twinkling assurances that no matter how much of the world he explores, there will always be new lands waiting to be discovered.

At the Winter Solstice (December 21, 2017, 8:29 am PST), the Sun enters Capricorn and reaches its lowest altitude in the midday sky. There is, we feel, nowhere to go but up. The calendar year is almost finished, and we begin to plot our resolutions for the new one that lies ahead.

But at the Sagittarius New Moon, we’re not yet ready for resolutions; we’re still exploring possibilities. We stand beside a frozen lake in the flat, white winter light, wearing a scarf knitted for us by some tender, Cancerian sort of person, pondering questions big and small. What happens after we die? What happens if we forget to live? Overhead, a few straggling winter birds fly in formation; we wonder where they’ll end up, and whether it might be worth following them on their journey.

Since Saturn entered Sagittarius in December 2014, our Sagittarius knapsack has felt heavier, and journeying has seemed like serious business. This New Moon point sits tightly with Saturn at its last degree; it’s a moment that carries a desperate desire to finish something up, like cramming to finish a term paper the day it is due. But on December 19, Saturn moves on to its home sign of Capricorn, leaving a bit of breathing space in the part of ourselves that dreams of wide open spaces and thrilling adventure.

So during this Sagittarius New Moon season, dare to yearn for a life that’s larger and a little more inclusive than the one you’ve been living. Ponder the big questions. It’s time to embark on your Hero’s Journey – wandering bravely into a half-frozen world, crowned with a hat full of unfamiliar stars.

© 2012-2017 April Elliott Kent

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11 Responses
  • Jan Best
    December 16, 2017

    April, your writing just leaves me in amazement at times. I don’t know how you do it, but every month, your commentaries are so beautiful, lyrical and poetic. So glad I found this website.

  • Rosemary Clare
    December 16, 2017

    “Hatful of Stars”… Love, love, love this! Your words are magickal, inspiring, and uplifting. They awaken stirrings deep within the soul. Thank you! )o(

  • Sharon Perkins
    December 16, 2017

    Love your insightful prose and wishing you Happy Holidays Miss Elliott!

  • Aquarian Moon
    December 16, 2017

    Quite poetic and stirring.

  • Kristen
    December 17, 2017

    Absolutely beautiful & true piece of writing. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.
    I’ll definitely be reposting.
    Many blessings!

  • Les
    December 17, 2017

    Lovely writing, April. Happy New Moon and Solstice to you and yours.

  • Rosslyn Picton
    December 17, 2017

    April, I not only enjoy reading your wonderous articles, but am uplifted by others who leave comments that mirror exactly what I am thinking. I too love the phrase “Hatful of Stars” (it reminds me of a Cyndi Lauper album of a few years back). I am also a huge fan of Kate Bush, the songs: “Big Sky” and “Cloudbusting” came to mind. The magical journey awaits us all…let the stars guide us on~~~Happiest Holidays! <3

  • Elaine Kolp
    December 17, 2017

    It’s rare to see “Capricorn” and “thrilling adventure” in the same sentence. I’m looking forward to it. Happy New Year!”

  • zana poliakov
    December 17, 2017

    April, I have been reading your insights for years now, never left a comment, but now I want to go into the unknown field and tell everyone ho appreciated they are and that includes you. Thank you for all your inspiring writing, you are a gift to this world.

  • Ann Raabe
    December 20, 2017

    with a hatful of stars, we can accomplish anything/everything!
    love to all, and to April, deep thanks for your lyrical, whimsical, potent musings of our mysterious and magical world!

  • Dorothy
    December 31, 2017

    Oh My April….you have outdone yourself. Your gorgeous prose is not only beautiful to feel but is generously uplifting. I’m looking forward to this next year with the expansive energy taking us into the unknown. You make it sound so enticing!

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