SUNRISE: January 11, 2018

Francisco Goya, El sueño de la razon produce monstruos (The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters) (detail), 1799, etching, aquatint, drypoint, burin, 8 x 6". From the series “Los Caprichos” (Whims), 1799.

MERCURY ENTERED CAPRICORN nine minutes past midnight EST. Goodbye purple prose.

The Moon is void-of-course in Scorpio from 9:54 AM EST today till she enters Sagittarius 2:05 AM EST tomorrow morning.

It takes just about twenty-eight days for the Moon to complete her orbit around Earth. She spends about two, two and a half days in each sign of the Zodiac. You know this, but I’ll remind you anyway: She pulls the tides and the water in your body; seeds turn with her, whether in your belly or in the ground. Because she has no light of her own (but rather reflects the Sun’s light) and because she’s just a tiny thing whipping around us (the analogue to our orbit around the Sun), she oughtn’t, perhaps, be so important. And yet everything that happens on this planet happens under her aegis. She appears, when full, to be just slightly smaller than the Sun. What fortune in our cause could possibly have made us worthy of such mysterious symmetry?

It’s practically an invitation to Science Fiction. Or mysticism.

January 11, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Herein lies a key to astrology’s peculiar factual yet extrafactual relationship to The Truth. While the Moon is just a moon—a consort, a plus one, a sidekick, a supplement, arm candy, bla bla bla (Jupiter was long thought to have sixteen, and in the last few years twenty-three more have been discovered), I invite you to speculate on what Earth might be like without her. What would the ocean be? There would be night, but would there be dreams? Would there be gender? (Another day I’ll talk about stories and traditions in which the Moon is male, in which there’s a Man-in-the-Moon, etc.) How would things change, how would things grow? With nothing pulling the waters on this planet, which are also feeling, what would govern them? I can only picture a nightmare of “pure reason.”

When the Moon is void-of-course, she’s completed her last major aspect to the Sun or other planets in a given sign and has nothing left to do except coast into the next sign. Void-of-course is a fancy phrase for something that happens all the time. It’s not a good time to ask a Horary question (google it) and it’s not an auspicious time to launch anything, like a business or whatever.

Some astrologers say you might find yourself feeling kind of floaty or empty when the Moon is void-of-course, and I can kind of corroborate this. But again, I am a suggestible being just like you are, and prescription-by-suggestion of how one might feel, per yesterday’s column, is not my favorite.

What about this: Today’s a great time, as the Moon goes on waning, to think about what you’ve accomplished since the turning of the year, but also in the last couple of days during the Moon’s tenure in heavy-metal Scorpio—think about how much you’ve changed these last few days, and back to the start of the year (fuck what came before), and all the ways you’ve cultivated life. Eating food, sleeping, breathing, being at all kind to your pet, being at all present to the ones you love or present to and respectful of your longing to love—all these and suchlike would count as accomplishments. There’s crap and waste draining out of us as the Moon shrinks. Great. Achievements in the dark and achievements witnessed: you can turn these over all day today in your perfect mind, and press the goodness in. I invite you to do likewise for lovely sensations. Whatever marvelous thing you might have felt, however fleeting, bid your consciousness absorb it. Marry it a little.

January 11, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at