February 8th at 9:38:53 EST
This new moon is within the middle decan of Aquarius (at 19 degrees 16 seconds, it is the last degree of the middle decan). The Sabian symbol for this degree of Aquarius is “A large white dove, bearing a message.” Now this degree is very personal to me, as it is the same as my Moon in the first house. I can get all serious and say I bear a message, a Uranian message. I think of it as a last gasp of Aquarian reason. It is universal. I love this card!
The card that represents the middle decan of Aquarius is the Six of Swords. Since the last time I posted anything it was about the Cups suit, I figured this new moon was a good time to introduce you to the suit of Swords in this deck. What easier way to do it than to start at one of the most positive Swords, the Six.
The Six of Swords, Science. Since it is the sign of Aquarius, it is of the Star card; since it is the middle decan which is ruled by Mercury, we get the Magus.
So the Six of Swords gets the colors of Mercury (Yellow, Purple, Grey, and Indigo, flecked Violet) along with those of the Star (Violet, Sky Blue, Bluish Mauve, and White, faintly tinged purple) plus the color of the sixth sephira of Yetzirah, Rich Salmon.
This new moon is being spoken of as a chance for a boost, a reboot. Most new moons are to some degree but this one has a square from Mars. Now conventionally squares are friction, and so is Mars, But friction is necessary for motion, and other things. So we have that added to the decan of Science, where one sets their course for the stars.
For your own course-setting, an appropriate action for the new moon, please enjoy this brief excerpt from Book M: Liber Mundi, on the Six of Swords. It shows how the card meanings of this six integrate with some other decks you may be familiar with.
The Six of Swords, Lord of Science, is the middle decan of the fixed sign of Aquarius, ruled by Mercury. It is here placed in the sephira of Tiphareth of Yetzirah, the station of Beauty in the Astral World with the element of Air. Everyone is happy here in solar central Tiphareth, and Mercury is well matched with the air sign Aquarius. The balance of this harmonious sephira combines well with the sign Aquarius’ detached mental processes, and the mental strength and flexibility of Mercury.
The trump of Aquarius is the Star, and the trump of Mercury is the Magus. From the Star card, we have the stars themselves, and from the Magus card the swirling galaxy from his hand and some new implements. Both cards share the symbolism of the spiral galaxy. Here we have instruments of celestial navigation. Above we have the sextant, from the Latin word sextus, meaning six, or sextāns, meaning one-sixth. This refers to the frame of the sextant which is in the shape of a sector which is approximately 1⁄6 of a circle (60°).
Sextants are used both for navigation and astronomy. The astronomical device is used for measuring the distant stars and determining stellar positions and equinoxes. The navigator’s sextant is used to “take a sight” meaning to determine the distance between any two visible objects to calculate a position on a nautical or aeronautical chart. The sun can be sighted at solar noon or the North Star Polaris at night can be used in the Northern hemisphere to determine latitude. To determine longitude and mean time, the sextant measures the distance between the Moon and another celestial object like a star or planet. This association with navigation also fits with one traditional meaning of the card having to do with long distance travel. This can be literal travel or a journey of the mind.
At the bottom of the card, the six swords form the arms of an orrery. An orrery is a form of planetarium. It is a mechanical model of our solar system, usually heliocentric, used to predict and illustrate the positions of the planets. It is sort of a mechanical clock with the planets as the hands. Here the hands of the clock are the six swords, each sword propelling one of the six planets around the central sun of Tiphareth. In this card is all the beauty of the intellect in its highest form of consciousness. According to Crowley, it is intelligence which has won to the goal. The general rulers of the sign Aquarius are Saturn and Uranus. Saturn gives discipline and Uranus gives innovation and genius. The majesty of the balanced and disciplined human mind results in the brilliant discoveries of Science. The success inherent in this card is earned and comes after effort.
The Augur: The sextant, the orrery, the spiral galaxy. Set your course for the stars and through the journey discover the beauty of the inventive intellect.
The Rider Waite Smith Six of Swords shows a ferryman poling a boat across a river, pushing out as if setting off on a journey. The boat carries six upright swords and a cloaked figure, probably female, sits next to a child. The Thoth Six of Swords has six swords arranged in a hexagram, pointing towards a rose cross made of six golden squares. In the background is a fencing diagram and Harris’ stylized pinwheel shapes. The six swords of the Rosetta have the zodiacal glyphs and are arranged in an elongated hexagram. The central rose is surrounded by a unicursal hexagram, a circle squared within a diamond shaped vesica pisces, and lightning-like dendrites of the mind. Tabula Mundi shows the sextant and the orrery, instruments used to navigate the spiral galaxy. The card is the middle decan of Aquarius, Tiphareth of Air, and the decan is ruled by Mercury. Mental brilliance in balanced form takes one to new places one step at a time.