Astrology gets a bad rap for being unable to reliably predict the future. The fact is, while astrology reveals the underlying order of things, it does not reveal the future. Through astrology we can know when there is potential for difficulty, but everyone experiences these cycles differently, and they are experienced differently at different times.
As I write this today at the end of November, I have just found out that a brilliant astrologer that I have worked with over the years, Dawn Bodrogi, just died. In her last news letter she wrote that her mother had recently died just after a New Moon in the progressed chart, and Dawn had a New Moon in the progressed chart at the time of her death. A client recently also had a New Moon in the progressed chart at the time of death.
When we think of New Moons, death is not the first thing we predict! A New Moon marks a new beginning – the old way is falling away as the lunar phase wanes to pave the way for a new start at the New Moon. Often there is a fundamental change at the core of our being, or a move to a new location.
In my own chart, Jupiter (beliefs and meaning) is in a powerful square to Pluto (power and intensity). This dynamic typically suggests someone who holds on tightly to their belief system, and there is a self-righteous quality to it. When I have a strong feeling about something, my confidence in that belief never wavers. 98% of the time this confidence is well-placed and serves me well. But when we are so rigid in our beliefs and what we think we know, there is no room for expansion and the opportunity for our understanding to blossom.
The Scorpio New Moon hit this dynamic in my chart, and ever since then I have been questioning everything that I know to be true which has left me feeling a bit lost at sea. But in letting go of the things I know, there is an opening for a higher level of understanding and growth to come in.
I have my own New Moon in the progressed chart last month just a week after my birthday, so it’s locked into the Solar Return chart for the next year. At the same time, Pluto, the planet of death and regeneration, will be sitting on my Sun for virtually the entire year. Perhaps this means I will leave my physical body, but it’s more likely that I will not. This is what makes astrological prediction impossible, and while astrologers keep trying (see also: Astrologers predict 2016 election results) they are not often successful no matter how ancient or esteemed the techniques used.
The presence of a New Moon in the progressed chart at death does not make me doubt the astrological symbolism. Instead it suggests that our concepts of life and death need to be expanded. Often I have clients in the midst of terrible crisis who later find that after the irrevocable breakdown of their lives during that time led to a powerful transformation that changed them in positive ways. We cannot know, but perhaps the signification of the New Moon at the time of death reveals a transition into a new experience of the soul, and a new awakening.