Capricorn is well known as the sign of getting shit done. Capricorn energy is constructive. It wants to build. It wants to see the practical, tangible steps we are going to take to achieve our goals. Objectives, strategies and measurable outcomes.

Today we have a New Moon in 15 degrees of Capricorn at 5:28pm Pacific. It exists in a tasty (albeit kinda intense) sandwich between Saturn and Mercury to one side, and Pluto and the South Node of the Moon on the other.

It's also a partial solar eclipse.*

It's also a gateway into the astrology of 2020, which is, for lack of a better word, very much about reckoning. Reckoning is a loaded term, so let's just say a bit about that now: it's not about absolute judgement in terms of you being good and me being bad. But it is about reckoning in terms of accepting where we are, what has happened and the potential outcomes...

...and then moving forward accordingly.

This New Moon is an auspicious time for committing to any intentions you've set for the New year, and outlining concrete steps for following through. Ritualize the process in whatever way works best for you. Magic, afterall, is a process of inviting in the mysterious 'other', while participating in direct actions that will help you to achieve the thing. It's opening to a universe that is conspiring to shower you with gifts and then participating in that process.

Let's zoom out a bit, though, because this New Moon also speaks to a larger story in some pretty impactful ways. A story about reclaiming the notion of reckoning, and in doing so, maturing into our roles as custodians of a vibrant and life-sustaining civilization.

We exist in a moment in time that is very unique. Precarious. Precious. The veils have been lifted, and we're seeing just how deep the rabbit hole goes. We are being confronted with the stark, sobering reality of a system -- a worldview and the accompanying economic, social, political, cultural and relational systems built up around it -- that is not working.

Stark, sobering reality -- that's Capricorn. Our environment, the source of our earthly wellbeing, is in a dire condition.

The system is not working. Let me just repeat this again, as someone who is fairly suspicious of absolutes and yet has to call a spade a spade: our economic, social, political, cultural and relational systems are not working. The rise of facism once again, throughout the world, is a red alarm pointing to that truth, and we cannot deny it anymore. It is scary and overwhelming, and the fact that so many seem hell bent on continuing these trends is...quite the bummer.

Positive reframe: We also live in a time where we have access to knowledge, technology and creativity that can help us to create new systems. The dark is getting darker, but the bright is getting brighter.

Positive reframe: We have the opportunity now to stare some really harsh truths in the face and figure out what specific, tangible work we are going to do as individuals and as a collective to shift and change these systems.

Positive reframe: Just by virtue of reading material like this on the interwebs, you're not alone. Cuz at the very least, I'm in this with you. And I have the website tracking devices that tell me others are reading and engaging, too. I mean...that's vaguely creepy in the "tracking" sense, let's just keep with the positive here.

What a moment! What a gift!

We're not standing on the precipice of change anymore, however. We are in it. We're in the contractions and tumult of massive birth pangs. After decades of trying to ignore, avoid, and pretend like we might be able to avoid the inevitable if we just do the thing we're told to do...

(a pension...retirement funds... children to take care of me...)

(a house by the sea...)

(everlasting life in heaven with god...)

(fill in your salvationist mentality positive outcome here...)

...we'll receive our reward.

Capricorn is very much about that kind of conditioning that tells us what to do to "succeed." It correlates with the rules and structures of societies and family systems that give us a code of conduct. Capricorn contains the deep drive towards expressing mastery in the physical world. From the uncovered truths and beliefs of Sagittarius, Capricorn wants to build structures that will display and support those truths, providing a path to power.

It's just really hard when so much energy and investment has gone into building around truths...only to find that the time for change has come.

We humans often tend to resist change. Change is hard. But when systems are built up around truths and beliefs that are based in distorted power dynamics and ways of existing that go against the health and wellbeing of not just our species but all species and our earth...

We will reach a point where we have to change. We have to allow ourselves to mature out of the part that just doesn't want to deal and instead face reality.

That time is now. Capricorn season provides the boost we need to direct our energy into tangible goals.

We just have to be aware of its shadows: fear, guilt, shame and repression. When guilt and shame take over, nuance is lost. Combined with guilt, they create walls within us that prevent us from moving forward.

Combined with lack of awareness around our unconscious fears, guilts and shames, we start to see those walls being built outside in the external world. We start to see otherwise well meaning humans responding to critiques and questions about ways we all contribute to the problematic facets of our civilization in reactionary and defensive ways.

When we look around and feel silently bad for ways we've contributed to The Situation in the world, and equate that feeling with being a "bad guy," and recognize how "bad guys" have been dealt with in our society (death, violence, public humiliation and death and violence...being cast out...losing everything)...nuance is lost. Defensiveness arises. Overwhelm. Avoidance. Our emotional and physical bodies don't differentiate too well once a cellular memory of violent punishment is triggered. Our bodies remember what it was like to be thrown into a cell to die just for stealing a loaf of bread.

Capricorn medicine is inviting in a process of acceptance. This is where I am. This is where we are. This is the truth of the matter. So what are we going to do about it?

When we invite in the Cancer polarity, we start to understand that part of our new paradigm involves us creating new ways to house the multitude of complex emotions arising from our current predicament. Emotional self-reliance becomes not a concept steeped in aloneness, but a part of how we acknowledge that in a world where everyone gets to focus on healing, we are our own best homies.

In moments of change, we get to cultivate fortitude and face some really sobering realities. This will require us to lean in towards ourselves and each other with love, care, acceptance, nurturing -- and clear boundaries and shame-free mechanisms for accountability.

Use this New Moon as an opportunity to commit. Use it as an opportunity to take steps that serve your own maturation -- your own process of becoming an adult. Not the paternalistic, judgmental Father-adult who casts us you out for failures, questions or curiosity. Not the boundaryless Mother-adult who lets everyone get away with everything and only exists to serve the needs of others. An adult who accepts responsibility and accountability without guilt or shame, and with an awareness of the ways fear can distort our behavior.

This is about maturing into a human who is able to say, "Yup! Here's the situation as it stands. Wowzers. Ok. I have lots of feelings about that I'll need to process, and that's ok! What do I need to do to move forward?"

Celebrate the milestones. Stare your fears in the face. Know you might fail, but also...like...you might not! And even if you do, there's so much learning and growth that will happen regardless! You are not alone in this.

Big or small, your intentions will benefit from any mindfulness you can bring to them at this time.

The reckoning we face is not about who or what is good or evil and who or what is not. It is about shifting our worldview and the practices we have as individuals and a society and learning the principle of love with wisdom. We have a lot to come to terms with.

Remember that you are not responsible for the harms that have been done to you, but you are responsible for healing.

Remember that good people do bad things and bad people do good things and that we are creatures of nuance. We've all done wrong. We've all done good. We get to have new discussions, now, about how we deal with the wide variety of 'failures' and "successes" that are part of the human experience.

Remember that growth can be hard. That's why it's important that we try to love ourselves unconditionally.

Remember that it's ok to choose your commitments: where are you focusing your energy? What changes need to be made there? Your energy is a limited resource. Use it wisely.

Amanda Moreno is an astrologer at East West Bookshop. She holds private appointments on Thursdays from 1-6pm.