Over the six-month period beginning October 2020 through March of 2021, each consecutive New Moon occurs at 23º, in the signs Libra through Pisces.
This represents a time of passage into a new era. The first New Moon in the series was on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 23º Libra at 2:31 pm.
The 23 degree Scorpio New Moon on November 14 is very dramatic as it follows 2 days after the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction.
Is there a historical precedent for a repeating sequence of New Moons in the same degree? That is the question Phoenix Czarnik of Elder Mountain Dreaming* posed to Alois Treindal**of Astrodienst (astro.com). He said, “These sequences always appear between October and March-April when the Sun is on the fast part of its orbit, so that it travels 30 degrees in a synodic month . . . sequences of six or more at the 23º positions appear in the years 1086, 1238, 1257 (all listed in Julian calendar) 1591, 1610, 1648 . . . . and most recently 1944, 1963 and 2020.”
I’m not a student of 11th through 17th century medieval history, but I am familiar with the events of the modern era: 1944, 1963, and our current year. If we look at 1944 and 1963, they were dramatic points of transition into new eras. Are there lessons we can take as we move through this passage over the six months of October to March?
A total of six 23º New Moons October, 1944 through March, 1945
— It was a year that changed history. To understand the 20th century, you need to understand 1944. It . . . “witnessed a series of titanic events: FDR at the pinnacle of his wartime leadership as well as his reelection, the D-Day invasion started June 6, 1944 signaling WW2 was ending, the liberation of Paris, and the tumultuous conferences that finally shaped the coming peace. But millions of lives were at stake through Hitler’s Final Solution. Just as the Allies were landing in Normandy, the Nazis were accelerating the killing of millions of European Jews.”*** In 1945, we entered a new era: President Roosevelt dies and Harry S. Truman is sworn into office. May 8, 1945 VE Day—victory over Europe is celebrated. August 6 and 9, 1945 the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, unleashing something so lethal and irrevocable it arguably catapulted the world into the modern era. On August 14, 1945 Japan surrenders. The U.S. emerges as the singular global economic world power. Tragically connected by this New Moon series, the daily wartime death toll in 1944 is matched by Covid daily deaths in 2020.
A total of five 23º New Moons November, 1963 through March, 1964
— In September, 1963, the white supremacist terrorist bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama took the lives of four little girls. It was a shocking, emotional catalyst that came at the end of a decade-long struggle for civil rights. Two months later on November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The culminating civil unrest, including the 1963 assassination gave Kennedy’s successor Lyndon Johnson the political leverage to usher in a new era with the passage of the July 2, 1964 Civil Rights Act, Clean Air Act, the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Civil Rights issues in 1963 presage the current climate with voter suppression and Black Lives Matter protests for racial justice.
Total of six 23º New Moons October, 2020 through March, 2021
— A pandemic that is a societal shifting event in which we are losing Americans today to Covid-19 at the same ‘daily rate’ we were losing Americans in World War 2 in the year 1944. The death toll is the same as the American wartime death toll in Europe AND the Pacific. The year 2020 appears to be rewriting history: the highest deficits since WW2, an election that questions the continuation of American democracy, an uncontrolled pandemic, the deconstruction of relations with former allies, Brexit, a disempowered NATO Alliance, a resurgence of White Supremacy, the Black Lives Matter movement. A shift in global technological, geopolitical and economic foundations. And questions regarding the peaceful post-election transfer of power. Referencing the 1944 motif, political historian Bruce J. Schulman at Boston University said of Joe Biden, not since Harry Truman in the final months of WW2 has a president faced a situation as “complex and multi headed” as the pandemic.
Symbols and Cycles
When I learned of this series of New Moons, my thoughts immediately went to the I-Ching and its sequence of 64 hexagrams that form this ancient divinatory tool. Hexagram #23 in the Chinese Book of Changes is called “Po-Splitting Apart.” The text presented in part below is synchronous with current conditions:
“The inferior, dark forces overcome what is superior and strong, not by direct means, but by undermining it gradually and imperceptibly so that it finally collapses. The lines of the hexagram present the image of a house, the top line being the roof, and because the roof is being shattered the house collapses. The hexagram belongs to the ninth month (October-November) . . . Here the house of the inferior man is split apart. When misfortune has spent itself, better times return. A law of nature is at work here. Evil is not destructive to the good alone but inevitably destroys itself as well.” (I-Ching, the Chinese Book of Changes Wilhelm translation with Forward by C.G. Jung.) This hexagram seems redolent to our current environment.
The Number 23
The number 23 actually has a bit of a cult following. Its character seems immutable as it is expressed in:
— The total number of chromosomes found in almost every human cell, 23 pairs to be exact.
— The four seasons are due to Earth’s 23.4 degree tilt on its axis of rotation with respect to the Sun.
The Number 5
— In numerology, twenty-three equals the number 5 (2+3=5):
— Five (5) in numerology represents a go-between, a pause, and a pivotal point of change
— Five (5) is associated with the planet Venus and the pentagram—or five pointed star, formed by the Venus-Earth conjunctions that form in the heavens over an 8 years period as they orbit the Sun.
— This Venus-Earth-Sun orbital pattern relates to what is called the golden mean—a geometrical equation that is found in the symmetrical proportions in nature, design and art. Venus is the symbol for beauty in Libra as Justice and harmony, in Taurus as Nature. Astrologically, Venus acts as an ordering process: devotional, relational, the core of inner balance, life giving joy, and social awareness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oquEi4ONp_k
Immutability and Change
We evolve . . . . slowly. Perhaps the Sun’s quickened orbit over the next six months accelerates destiny pace and our potential both individually and collectively.
The idea of immutability within change speaks symbolically to the numbers 23 and 5. Over the next six months how each of us rebalances and stays centered is personal based on need, circumstance, and environment. But the world is moving in a new direction. There are periods in history when by volition or coercion we are part of an evolutionary shift in collective patterns, beliefs, and consciousness. For every gain, there is also the loss of what must be left behind. I think this is one of those times.
This series of New Moons is so striking. It arrives on the precipice of the new 180 year cycle of ‘Great Conjunctions’ of Jupiter-Saturn in air signs starting at 0 degrees Aquarius on Winter Solstice, December 21, 2020. It was at the start of the Industrial Revolution that the previous 180 years of Jupiter-Saturn Great Conjunctions occurred in Earth signs.
Second, we are facing a karmic reckoning as we approach the Pluto Return at 27 degrees Capricorn in the U.S. national chart in 2022. Both of these aspects define a shift from the earth element to air as Pluto also moves into the air sign Aquarius in 2023.
Ellen Bartin, The Everyday Astrologer
November 9, 2020