The next New Moon of the year is the second after the winter Solstice and marks the Chinese New Year of the Rat. Traditionally this is a year of hard work, activity, and renewal. This is a good year to embark on something or make a fresh start. Being well prepared and resourceful is the key if you want to see your efforts yield a good return.
The Chinese calendar, like the Hebrew calendar is a combined solar/lunar calendar which calculates its years to coincide with the tropical year (approximately 365.24 days) and its months coincide with the lunar months (approximately every 29.5 days) At least a quarter of the worlds population follow a lunar calendar to mark their festivals, holidays and holy days.
This New Year New Moon is particularly significant as it coincides with an eclipse. A total solar eclipse is when the Moon is exactly between the Sun and the Earth and we see the Moon block out the light as it passes in front of the Sun. We see the shadow of the Earth pass across the Moon as it blocks out the Sun’s light during a total lunar eclipse. The partial solar eclipse of 7 February is only visible in Australia and Antarctica but the total lunar eclipse of 21 February should be visible in Western Europe. Even if we cant see it the effect is still felt globally.
Solar eclipses are very powerful New Moons and are known to herald significant endings and beginnings. With Pluto at 1 degree Capricorn, it promises the emergence of new power figures on the world stage, and a sense of authority as we assert ourselves in our world. The ancient rule is that the effect of a solar eclipse lasts as long as the eclipse itself lasts in hours. Events that are triggered usually take six months to unfold, so you can expect the process of change to continue to emerge for at least this long. Anyone with anything important in their natal chart around 18° of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius – especially Aquarius/Leo) might want to pay particular attention to this eclipse.
This New Moon in particular and all the eclipses of 2008 are strongly influenced by Neptune’s presence. Neptune brings the dissolution of structures and represents our idealistic drives. It can also signify the disillusion that comes from having unrealistic expectations or finding out you’ve been deceived. We find that the mundane world is not satisfying our deeper needs which can lead to confusion or disorientation until we find a new meaning in life. To overcome this we need to re-establish a firm basis founded on something more reliable or trustworthy before we can move on.
Traditionally eclipses shut old things down creating space for new things to appear. The Rat Year suggests a time of common sense frugality and innovation born of necessity so expect new rhythms of activity based on a broader vision of what is truly valuable, practical or a priority in years to come.
The next New Moon (Solar eclipse) is at 18° Aquarius on the 7 February at 3:45am and the next Full Moon (Lunar eclipse) is at 2° Pisces on the 21 February at 3:31am