The Beginning of January

The end of December and beginning of January both occur in the same sign – Capricorn. Capricorn is both the end and the beginning – but the ending comes first.

Late astrologer Linda Goodman claimed Capricorn aged backwards. Self-conscious, cautious and restrained in early life, Capricorns find the joy of youth only later in life she wrote.

That backward aging brings to mind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a man born old who aged backwards, dying as a child. I haven’t read it, but Gradesaver has this to say:

As he moves into his older, more juvenile years, Benjamin loses the memories of the past. His story ends in darkness, as his life presumably ends with his birth. This arc is structurally echoed in Flowers for Algernon, in which Charlie begins the story in an intellectual darkness, grows into mental genius, and then declines back into darkness. Both stories use a fantastic or science fictional premise to explore the structure of all long lives, in which we are cognizant of being on a long, slow decline back into the oblivion from which we came.

The author of this melancholic tale is not a Capricorn but a Libra – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Another novel which describes the fear of old age and death, which includes the fading of beauty, is The Picture of Dorian Gray. This novel was also written by a Libra – Oscar Wilde.

The cardinal sign Capricorn squares Libra and Aries (both cardinal as well). The heavy aging of Capricorn is in contrast to the Aries – Libra axis of self assertion and partnership.

Capricorn aging challenges the Aries sense of self as Capricorn tells us that self will die. Capricorn challenges the Libra sense of self as Capricorn suggests that both beauty and romance will fade with age. When we date in older age it is pejoratively called “companionship.”

As an aside, I had a great aunt (who was truly great) who scoffed at the thought of her third marriage (having survived two husbands) as “companionship.” She let me know it was a marriage as any other.

While a teenager, I recall an elderly man crossing the street when a car almost hit him. He yelled with cantankerous abandon and I could see clearly why the elderly can become grouchy. The man didn’t have the physical strength to respond in any other way. He was probably strong and virile in his youth and no one would have dared driven their car to the edge of his feet.

Aging not only weakens the physical body but challenges the sense of self, the self we developed and built for so many decades and our reflection of self through romance.

New Year’s resolutions

Following the December ending is the January beginning which is when we make resolutions.

This January 1, five of the ten planets (the moon is considered a planet in astrology), will be in the sign of Capricorn. I suspect our resolution-making efforts will be to the power of five. There may be an additional dose of pent-up guilt for whatever we did in 2013.

In my crystal ball I see a few hair shirt sales this January. Buy one get four free . . .

According to Statistics Brain, the top ten resolutions are:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Getting organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

The US government list of popular New Year’s resolutions is slightly different, but has the same number one resolution – lose weight.

Often with resolutions that occur in January, the Saturnine idea of structure and contraction occurs (remember, Saturn rules Capricorn). Of the top ten resolutions, five have the contracting-Capricorn touch:

  • Lose weight
  • Getting organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Quit smoking

Our number one resolution involves the body – Capricorn is an earth sign. However, by Capricorn, we begin to experience the world in terms of ambition and our role in it – in prior generations called our reputation. May is the sign of Taurus which is more about the physical body and September is the sign of Virgo which is traditionally associated with diet and health.

It’s interesting to me that “lose weight” and “stay fit and healthy” are seen as two different items. Because our resolution is in Capricorn and not Virgo, our desire to lose weight may be more in response to society than in response to the body.

Why do we make resolutions in January?

A group of friends and I were discussing resolutions and one challenged us to think about why we make resolutions at the beginning of the year.

From the astrological point of view, I’m wondering if our resolutions are Capricorn-based because we make them in January, at the perceived beginning of a new cycle. Contracting-Capricorn follows expansive-Sagittarius, the time when we have most of our celebrations.

After the boom comes the bust.

If we made our resolutions in August during the sign of Leo, would “fall in love” rise to number one?

Does “learn something exciting” make the list because in January we know that the parties are over, the spending must stop and we’ve got to get our tax forms ready?

In one of Carlos Castaneda’s books (or maybe it was Florinda Donner’s book), he notes that for a resolution to stick, you must begin the action at the time of the resolution. For a resolution to start in the future, I suppose, makes it simply a thought and not a resolution.

Is January a time of internal resolution (I’m going to stop smoking right now) or is it a time of external resolution (I heard someone come home, I’d better put out that cigarette)?

Is any time we make a resolution the beginning of a new year?

This reminds me of the saying that “today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

The hangover

How many of us spend New Year’s Day with a hangover from New Year’s Eve drinking?

Maybe we should consider a Benjamin Button new year. On New Year’s Eve, let’s fast toward that goal of losing weight. Then on New Year’s Day, let’s begin the year with a glass of bubbly in honor of our achievements in the prior year.

Rather than making solely Capricorn resolutions, let’s pick a few signs (or areas of our life) and make one for each.

For example, we can continue the Capricorn “lose weight” resolution for January. Then for February, we could resolve to do something wacky and crazy to relieve cabin fever, like show up at the weekly staff meeting with a fake tattoo. Then in March, we could resolve to nurture the tallest sunflower in the history of Ohio.

Et cetera. I should stop before we get to Scorpio . . .

Undermining the core of resolutions would fool Saturn, who takes measure of rights and wrongs, shoulds and shouldn’ts and makes us feel guilty when we don’t pass the test – a test no one asked us to take and which no one is grading.

Possibly, then, we could have 100 percent success on our resolutions.

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About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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