The First New Moon of 2021 Is a Powerful Time to Initiate Transformation

The first new moon of 2021 will inspire you to put in the work to rewrite your story.


Although everyone is hoping 2021 will feel like a new chapter right off the bat, it's no surprise that plenty of lessons are carrying over from 2020. If Capricorn season aims to teach anything, it's that lasting change takes work — and time. But there will be an exciting opportunity to get clear on the specific work needed to move the ball forward and the best ways to harness your personal power around Wednesday, January 13 at 12:01 a.m. ET/Tuesday, January 12 at 9:01 p.m. PT when the new moon falls in industrious cardinal earth sign Capricorn. Here's what the first new moon of 2021 means and how you can make the most of this seriously potent astrological event.

What New Moons Mean

A quick tutorial on new moons: New moons, essentially the opposite of full moons, occur when the moon is not illuminated by the sun from our viewpoint on Earth and therefore appears totally dark. They're a time to get clear on your intentions, goals, long-term plans, and then take part in some kind of ritual to commit to your vision — even if it's something simple, such as telling a loved one your game plan, writing it down, lighting a candle, or doing a visualization practice. In short, it's a monthly — rarely, twice-monthly — astrological occurrence that urges you to use the Law of Attraction to manifest your vision.

Because the sky is dark, blank, and brimming with possibility, this "starting line" moment of a new lunar cycle calls on you to reflect, plant seeds you want to see flourish, and, if you feel so driven, take the first step to make it real.

While full moons mark culmination points in astrology, new moons represent new beginnings. Pro-tip: Keep a journal and record the intention you set and the actions you take around a new moon, and then check in approximately six months down the road around the corresponding full moon to see how far you've come and what appears to be culminating as a result of your hard work. For instance, this January 13 new moon is linked to the June 24 full moon — both in Capricorn. (You can also do this retroactively: Think about how 2020's moons in June and December on the Gemini-Sagittarius axis affected your life.)

Themes of the January 2021 Capricorn New Moon

Earth sign Capricorn, symbolized by the Goat, is ruled by the boundary-setting, restriction-ruling, taskmaster planet Saturn and rules the tenth house of career and public image. They're generally pragmatic, slow and steady, hard-working (TBH, often exhibiting a tendency toward workaholism), traditional (even slightly conservative at times), and wired to claim power, status, and recognition in life. Capricorns are known for putting their noses to the grindstone day in and day out, persistently climbing up the mountain to achieve their goals. That said, this new moon could have you razor-focused on the discipline, boundaries, and work you know you need to do in order to reach your own personal pinnacles now.

The moon also forms a conjunction with Pluto, the planet of the subconscious, transformation, the underworld, and power, which could turn your attention to the underlying, manipulative forces or power struggles holding you back from achieving your aspirations. In some cases, this could be your own psychological barriers — fears, wounds, or insecurities — and in others, it could be a relationship where the balance of control is off or a person who has been actively working against you. Bear in mind: Pluto can promote paranoia, so you might be more inclined to worry that someone is trying to take you down without having concrete proof. But this is also a powerful time to get in touch with your intuition to pinpoint the truth, as well as identify and overcome any obsessions or infatuations that are no longer serving you.

Because Pluto also rules rebirth and renewal, this new moon is the perfect opportunity to choose how you plan to embody the phoenix moving forward and rise from the ashes of a particularly grueling lesson, breakdown, or ending you've suffered recently.

And although the new moon is generally a time to be open to the darkness and unknown, Pluto oversees secrets and skeletons in the closet, so if you're hoping to get to the bottom of a question or mystery that's been haunting you, you might be able to initiate an eye-opening investigation now.

It also bears noting that the same day as the new moon, romantic Venus in Capricorn forms a positive trine to game-changer Uranus in Taurus, fueling change and embracing individuality in relationships. And aggressive Mars — which moved into stubborn Taurus last week — squares off against taskmaster Saturn in similarly hardheaded Aquarius, which could heighten tension and frustration, especially when you're pushing too hard to fulfill your desires. For that reason, it'll be even more crucial to be honest with yourself about what you truly want and what you believe is meant to be yours before focusing your energies in that direction.

Who the Capricorn New Moon Will Affect the Most

If you were born under the sign of the Goat — approximately December 22 to January 19 — or with your personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in Capricorn (something you can learn from your natal chart), you'll feel this new moon more than most. More specifically, if you have a personal planet that falls within five degrees of the full moon (23 degrees Capricorn), you'll be especially reflective and empowered to take advantage of the intense energy.

Similarly, if you were born in a fellow cardinal sign — Aries (cardinal fire), Cancer (cardinal water), Libra (cardinal air) — you could feel the weight of this new moon, nudging you to swim in the deep end of your emotions in order to make the most of this potentially empowering blank canvas offered up by the sky.

The Emboldening Takeaway

New moons generally encourage self-reflection, a willingness to be intentional, and, to some extent, optimism about what lies ahead and the ability to manifest whatever it is you set your mind and heart on. But this particular new moon, being in pragmatic Capricorn and linking up so closely with intense Pluto, is requiring that you do some deep psychological, emotional, and literal work to steer toward your intended destination. It'll necessitate that you face the heavier side of the darkness (your demons, obsessions, control issues) in order to fully embrace the opportunities it could deliver. And thanks to the influence of Capricorn's ruler, Saturn, it'll encourage you to see how, no matter how counterintuitive it might sound, boundaries and structure — hello, budget apps, workout routines, and saying "no" to anything that is no longer serving you — can actually set the stage for personal growth and success.

Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents,, and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.

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