January 2023 New Moon
by Sarah Gottesdiener·
Saturday, January 21st
in Aquarius 1°32'
12:53 pm PT
New Moon in Aquarius:
A Loner For All
by Pam Grossman
Aquarius season is a time of paradox.
The new year has kicked off, and we’re meant to be in the throes of new resolutions, fresh starts, and the beginnings of exciting projects. Yet our very natures tell us that this is a time of dreamy retreat. All around us, flora and fauna are conserving their energy as they slumber beneath blankets of snow and frozen earth. If you are holding any guilt about feeling low energy right now and wanting some me-time, here is your permission to release it. Chipmunks, bears, and bats do not feel guilty for hibernating. Daffodil bulbs do not apologize for taking their time to sprout. We are nature, and so any pull you may be feeling to stay on pause and keep to yourself is not a failing on your part. It is the response to a deep call for you to embrace the power of slow magic.
Slow magic is not about checking out or disassociating, however. It is about allowing your truest purpose to take the time it needs to emerge and flourish. It is about having faith that change is happening at its own specific pace underground, behind the shadows, deep in the unconscious underworld of the mind. And we need you to give this slow magic sanctuary right now, because what is quietly brewing in your solitary winter cauldron are strange, sparkling jewels that you are destined to share with the world.
These seemingly contradictory messages of rest and revelation, individuality and community, are in part what gives Aquarius its oddball reputation. Aquarius is, after all, the water-bearer, but it is actually an air sign: it is associated with change and the flow of ideas, and yet is a fixed sign. Aquarians are notorious for being visionaries who are out on their own weird orbit, and yet they are also considered excellent community organizers and group galvanizers. They are not always expressive with their own feelings but have an aptitude for sensing a collective vibe and holding it in a safe vessel so that others can emote freely within. What they may sometimes lack in one-on-one interpersonal skills they make up for by being good at intuiting zeitgeists and societal shifts on a grand scale. It’s no wonder that they are the rarest sign of the zodiac because they represent such a peculiar and particular balance of opposites.
The Tarot card most associated with Aquarius is the Star, and as an Aquarian myself it is one of my favorites. The Star comes immediately after the Tower in the Major Arcana, and so offers us a shimmer of hope and possibility after the darkest, most destabilizing times of life. She embodies the Aquarian paradox herself, as she is often depicted straddling realms. In the Smith-Rider-Waite deck, the Star is shown with one foot on land and one on water, offering them both her liquid gifts indiscriminately. She’s in a pose of stability even as she contorts herself in unusual ways to be able to reach the fullest expanse of space.
The Star is also unaccompanied, save for a tiny bird behind her left shoulder. And it’s in this solitude that she can be her most generous self. I can very much relate to this insofar as I am an introvert who needs a lot of alone time to replenish myself. It’s taken me a long time to realize that this is not a shortcoming, nor is it a surly rejection of society. I very much enjoy being with other people and adore both the exchange of meaningful conversation and deliciously silly riffing. But to be able to sustainably maintain these connections with others, I need to have a gentle chamber I can step back into whenever I need to refocus, ideate, or simply just take a break. This helps me then go out into the group again and be more present and more fully giving of myself when I do. Back and forth I go between very public and very private, trusting my own track, always striving to reach some semblance of equilibrium between these spheres. It’s the only way I know how to be, but I believe others can benefit from adopting this Aquarian behavior. Flying solo, then bringing one’s renewed spirit back to the flock.
Solitary time is sacred. It may seem passive, but I think that’s not quite the right description. For me, it’s necessary to be alone and quiet so I can sense the next step to take on my unique path, and hear the quickening of my desires. This New Moon in Aquarius presents each of us with an opportunity to consider how to reconcile our urge for solitude with our individual mission to collaborate with—or when called for, to lead—the collective.
Pam Grossman is the creator and host of the internationally beloved podcast The Witch Wave (“The Terry Gross of witches” – Vulture), the author of the critically acclaimed books Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power (Gallery Books) and What Is a Witch (Tin Can Forest Press), and the co-editor of the WITCHCRAFT volume of Taschen’s Library of Esoterica series. Her writing has appeared in such outlets as The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and Ms. Magazine. She is co-founder of the Occult Humanities Conference at NYU, and her art exhibitions and magical projects have been featured in such publications as Artforum, Art in America, and The New Yorker. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two feline familiars, and you can find her at PamGrossman.com and @Phantasmaphile.