[Insert Dramatic Life-Changing Action Here]


I could make my job really easy for myself, seeing as the Moon repeats the same movements, in relation to the Earth and the Sun, every month like clockwork.

One week, I would trumpet the power of the New Moon, its lunar darkness rich with ideal open-ended potential for initiating actions, planting seeds and welcoming newness in its myriad forms. A couple weeks later, I would sing the praises of the majestic bright of the Full Moon, how all versions of 'seeing & being seen'—exposure, social recognition, epiphanic realization, result-reaping—are favored under its light. In between, I'd sprinkle mention of waxing (the Moon's period of increase in luminosity) and waning (the decrease period). And that would be it. Do my work one month, and rerun the commentary every month after.

To some degree, the simplicity of what I've just described does play a key role in my work as an astrologer. Following the cycles of the Moon is perhaps the most basic foundation for understanding the other more complex cycles of planetary motion upon which astrology is based.

But not every New Moon or Full Moon is created equal. At each instance of the Moon's 'newness' (i.e., when the Sun and the Moon come together at the same location on the zodiac wheel), all the other planets are also located somewhere, in relation to each other and to the New Moon. This combined planetary picture flavors each New Moon time with unique elements, making some, for instance, quieter, more internally or externally focused, inspired by mental acuity or physical energy, serious, emotional or tons of fun.

The New Moon that falls in the wee hours of early Friday morning is a particularly powerful one, calling for the 'new beginning' first steps that we take to embody a sharp break from status-quo staleness. The Sun and Moon come together at the beginning of Pisces, a water sign that, on its own, is usually more associated with self-sacrifice and a dreamy willingness to follow fate's lead than with sharp breaks of any sort. However, Pisces has become a much more dynamic and unpredictable place to be, ever since Uranus, the guy who unexpectedly delivers bombshells to liberate us from stuckness (delivering a dose of chaos in the process!), showed up in this normally mild-mannered sign. And this week's New Moon falls in rather close conjunction with Uranus, poignantly soliciting that we take the need for newness seriously at this specific lunation and make some swift switch or dramatic abandon to clear the way for a freer existence.

Uranus's move into Pisces has been big astrological news since it first dipped a toe in back in March '03. It's a slower-moving planet and only changes signs every eight years or so, so its presence in a sign marks those years with a particular enduring imprint. The news became even bigger last summer, when Mars also entered Pisces, joined forces with Uranus, and proceeded to go retrograde on us, dabbling in this 'to-and-fro' for the whole second half of '03. When I described this phenomenon last summer, I likened it to a child wiggling her loose tooth back and forth, trying to pull it out so she can finally reap all that Tooth Fairy-provided booty.

As a result, that last half of 2003 provided the perpetual feeling of anticipatory excitement mixed with wheel-spinning confusion. 'Big Change' was so close you could almost taste it but you didn't know exactly what it would entail or if, in fact, it would ever decide to actually show up. It wasn't until December—when Uranus finally came into Pisces to stay after a brief retrograde excursion back into Aquarius, while Mars bid adieu to its unusual six-month spin in Pisces—that it began seeming like the dangling temptation of 'Big Change' was ready to move into happening mode.

This little review session is relevant now because this week's New Moon conjunct Uranus in Pisces is the 'Okay, now it's time!' marker we've been anticipating since last year. To take best advantage of it, it's important to review the 'inklings of things to come' from 2003 so that we can make these things come in '04.

(1) Whatever was up for you in Mar-Apr '03—whether something specific happened, you developed an itch for something specific to happen, or felt suddenly more frustrated with something that wasn't happening—this is the sense of Uranian reform and revolution operating in your life.

(2) By Jun-Sep '03, disorienting forces came into play to distract you from the liberation wrought by the earlier 'something', or from seeking the transformation of the 'itch' into the 'something'. In retrospect, of course, I hope you can see that this temporary delay was necessary.

(3) Now, after wondering whether it would ever be time, it's time. As with all Uranus-related business, we can choose our methods and proactively greet the dramatic break by making it happen. Or we can sit back in insistent ignorance, refuse to budge, or hide in the back row and hope no one sees us. But Uranus and its sudden change will still prevail—just in ways we wouldn't necessarily have picked for ourselves.

That's why this New Moon is so powerful. If we take our decisive change-making action now, in conjunction with this New Moon, the planets will help. Even Saturn, traditionally a difficult force to reckon with, is playing nice (i.e., trining New Moon/Uranus), assisting us in being able to build an emotionally nurturing base in the space we clear away.

In closing, I want to turn to the news to share a significant example of the timeline I've described: the recent explosion of hoopla surrounding same-sex marriage. This is an issue that was batted around quite a bit last year, always seeming as if it would rise to a climactic head yet never quite getting there. This past week, with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom enacting major civil disobedience and marrying gay and lesbian couples at City Hall, all of a sudden it's happening.

I was struck by this local article about the 'uncharted political territory' being blazed by Newsom's act, which begins with: "The stars have aligned this year, or some say misaligned, to ensure that the 2004 presidential race will turn not only on the war in Iraq, but on a culture war at home." The article goes on to document how events leading up to last week's action in San Francisco started heating up last summer (see above: Jun-Sep '03), right around the same time the presidential race was getting underway. (The presidential race, incidentally, is another example of something that's finally happening now, after months of confusion, with Kerry likely to become the 'official' candidate this week, once Dean and Edwards concede.)

Uranus is a perfect symbol both for civil disobedience and uncharted political territory, and its transit through Pisces highlights all of humanity's psychic and emotional interconnectedness. When one of us suffers, we all feel it, consciously or not. Rules about marriage find their roots in religion. And if any particular religious heritage has proscribed dictates that infringe upon non-adherents' freedoms—such as a ban on same-sex marriage based in Christian doctrine—it ends up creating this suffering.

It makes sense then, in the context of Uranus in Pisces, that revolutions (Uranus) within sacrifice-based spiritual traditions like Christianity (Pisces), such as the one going on now with same-sex marriage, will be the name of the game from now through 2011. With this week's New Moon so closely implicated in said revolutions, it's no wonder that the presidential race starting now will indeed likely turn on a 'culture war at home'.