December: Adjusting to the Dark and Unknown

December began with a burst of five fire planets, Sun/Saturn/Mercury/Moon in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries. It wasn't long before two of them, the Moon and Mercury, moved into Capricorn. There was also a cardinal T-square, the opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries square Pluto and Venus in Capricorn, which active throughout the month. Mars in Aquarius was exactly trine Jupiter in Libra. The Sun was exactly square Neptune. So there was tension and there was enthusiasm. There was enormous creative potential, compassion, and a willingness to help others. Unfortunately there was also a strong lure toward escapism, avoiding tasks needing to be done, feeling annoyed by people close to us, and living much of our time in denial. These particular themes were fairly brief in duration, but because they were the initiating energies of December, they tend to recur throughout the month.

While the Moon entered Capricorn within the first hour of the month, Mercury shifted into Capricorn at 1:22 PM PST on December 2. This change, with Venus and Pluto already in Capricorn, gave us a much more serioiu, even brooding quality of energy, seeing so much that needed to be done and yet somewhat reluctant to interact, or discuss plans for accomplishing tasks, with others. Luckily the Mars/Jupitertrine came to the rescue, and pullled us out of the total doldrums at a time when so many of us were still grieving the election results and finding it difficult to face reality.

By December 5, the Sun was getting closer to conjunction with Saturn, and the Moon was conjunct Mars, not necessarily picking up our spirits, but definitely helping us to see reality for what it is, and helping us to transition to a mental state more determined to put one foot in front of the other in a foward direction. On December 8, at 6:52 AM PST, Venus left Capricorn and joined Mars in Aquarius. With Venus in Aquarius for the remainder of the month, we can periodically, at least, achieve a bit more detachment from all the difficulties that appear before us. Our desire will be to focus on what we can actually do to make this a better world. It wouldn't be a bit surprising if you found yourself sorting through all those requests for donations you've received, and feeling in a generous, albeit practical mood.

On December 9, the Moon joined Uranus and Eris in Aries, to be part of the T-square with Pluto and Jupiter. The Sun and Saturn were exactly conjunct in Sagittarius and trine the trio in Aries. If you felt into the energy of the day, there was likely some grief or confusion aagain as how to move forward in a positive way, especially as a collective, as a people. The Sun/Saturn conjunction was a reminder of limits and endings and restrictions. The fact that the Sun's year is itself coming to an end is very obvious as the height of darkness is upon us in the northern hemisphere. Saturn is in Sagittarius just once every 28 years, so rarely do we have the Sun at its limit conjunct the planet of limits, so close to the winter solstice. It's a powerful reminder of endings as so many of us feel our world at an end with the results of the recent election, and the news of probable appointees to important posts.

And just when we thought we couldn't handle any more devastating news, the Washington Post published an article late on December 9, that in fact, Russia did indeed cyber attack the U.S., interfering with the election with the intent of influencing the election in Trump's favor. The CIA had revealed this information to President Obama in September, who then presented it to a group of leadership members of Congress, hoping that they would, in a bipartisan manner, agree to allow the intelligence to be released to the American public prior to the election. The Democrats, and a few of the Republicans, were in favor. But Senate Majority Leader McConnell and other Republicans refused, and threatened to charge Obama with using intelligence for political purposes if he made it public. Senator McConnell's payment for his refusal? His wife has been given a cabinet position in Trump's administration.

Most bits of political news these days are disheartening. We cannot no see the fact of betrayal of the public good by federal leaders, if we are paying attention. The issue of denial about who we really are, as a nation, is on the table. Willl we own the truth? Or will we accept that people saying one thing and then taking action to do the opposite, is normal? Will we own the racism, misogyny and bigotry that has always been here, but has been repressed and denied? Or will we pretend that "white male supremacy" is just fine? Do we really understand that we no longer live in a democracy, and it is up to us to change that? Or will we pretend that voter suppression and rule by oligarchs is the best we can get?

There is a strong level of disconnect for mosst of us. How did I wake up living in a country this different than what I thought or was taught to believe? It is upsetting, confusing, and ultimately wearisome. The Uranus/Pluto square assures us that our system of government, and indeed, our entire way of life, is crumbling. Saturn in strong aspect shows the resistance, both to accepting that truth, and to seeing it could be true and fighting against it. A bit like "damned if you do, and damned if you don't."

Even if it seems a bit uncomfortable, it is helpful to find some way to share your feelings about all this. Art, music, writing, or just getting together with a friend and talking it out are all useful venting mechanisms. This dynamic is likely to be with us for most of December, so you might want to keep finding ways to release frustration.

A full Moon in Gemini arrived on December 13 at 4:06 PM PST. The Sun/Moon opposition formed a T-squarewith Chiron in Pisces. The Sun was conjunct Saturn, trine Uranus and Eris, sextile Mars. The Moon was trine Mars, and sextile Uranus/Eris. Mercury was conjunct Pluto, which was still in a T-square with the Uranus/Jupiter opposition.

Yes, the Chiron interaction had us feeling wounded and hurting, no matter how hard the Gemini Moon tried to cheer us up. The Sun/Saturn conjunction was serious, resistant, demanding to stick with previous held opinions, yet the Gemini Moon told us maybe we need some information before making a final decision. Saturn can be stodgy, but it also has a great strength that we definitely need this month—persistence. The Uranus/Jupiter opposition and the squares to the Mercury/Pluto conjunction demand attention to new ways of seeing, opening the mind, challenging our old paradigms. This is a time of initiation, a time of remembering our past in order to prepare for our future. It is a time of revelation, and for holding our own, with persistence.

Much of our world feels "up in the air," and the huge amount of "not knowing" is excruciating for those who need definite answers. Will the Electoral College vote on December 19? Will there be valid recounts? Will there be a revote? Do we just accept what is, and try to move forward? These are very difficult issues to resolve. The fulll Moon in Gemini encourages the gathering of additional information. However, the more complex aspects suggest much of that information must be looked for internally in order for each of us to move ahead in our own best capacity. The information we gather from outer sources will likely just continue to confuse and confound us.

There are many ways to explore our inner truths, but taking some time alone to gather ones thoughts and feeling is a good way to start. Mercury is slowing, preparing for a retrograde period. Mercury being close to Pluto, and this being the darkest time of the year, helps us to go deep, to ponder who we are in those places deep within. Meditation, prayer, asking spirit guides and helpers for advice, journaling, paying attention to dreams, artistic expression, sharing with trusted friends, looking at your chart to see what transits and progressions are speaking to you right now—all can be helpful in accessing the next steps of one's own evolutionary journey.

Another powerful tool is ceremony. Ceremonies can be done anytime, but as we come to the end of the year, and into a new cycle, these last few weeks of December are a great time for them. Develop a ceremony, especially for you, to launch this new period of growth. We're in the midst of powerful changes in the world, and the fact that we are living now, means we each have an important role to play or we wouldn't be here.

At 1:23 AM PST, December 19, Mars enters Pisces, not really a comfortable sign for Mars, for it is a sign where creativity and gentleness are easier to access than certainty and direct action. This could be a positive change for the energy of Mars or it could lead to even more lack of sureness, changeability and game playing. During the remaining days of December, Mars will conjunct the Sourth Node of the Moon, and Neptune.

Mercury, meanwhilel, has slowed to station, and stations retrograde at 15 degrees 8 minutes Capricorn at 2:56 AM PST, also on December 19. We all know that communications are often confusing during a Mercury retro period. There are often computer glitches, transportation foul-ups, and changes in plans. Interesting that December 19 is the day the Electoral College is supposed to vote. We'll see how that goes. What we do know is that this Mercury retrograde period, which extends until January 8 at 1:43 AM PST, will be critically important to the future. Mercury remains in its shadow period until January 27, which is the date when it reaches the degree of retrograde station. This means we have the three weeks of retrograde and even a couple of additional weeks to really change our own game, because we know the world game is unknowable.

We can figure out what needs to be removed from our life, how to release the baggage we've been hanging on to that doesn't fit us anymore. Let's rethink, re-define, re-plan how we want our life to proceed. This can be quite literal, like giving away clothes and books and items that are cluttering the closets and shelves, or canceling subscriptions of publications we no longer read. It can also be looking at how we spend our time and money, who we spend it with, how we are influenced either positively or negatively by people and places and electronics. What do we need to change that could improve our life, allow us more time for what is most meaningful?

And that takes us to the most important moment of December, the moment when the Sun enters Capricorn, the moment of the Winter Solstice, the beginning of a new solar year, a new cycle. On December 21, at 2:45 AM PST, the Sun will be at 0 degrees Capricorn. Mercury and Pluto are conjunct in Capricorn, and still T-squared the Uranus/Jupiter opposition.

On December 25, the Sun and Mars are sextile. Allow that gift to bring genuine kidness and compassion into your holiday, if it is one you choose to celebrate. The Moon is in Scorpio most of the day. If there are amends to be made with family and/or friends, take actions to gently and quietly make them happen. Let the image of kindness lead you through your day and the days following, carrying us toward the New Moon.

The New Moon in Capricorn arrives on December 28 at 10:52 PM PST. It is conjunct Mercury, and sextile both Mars and Neptune in Pisces. The New Moon is a call, a call to rise to the occasion of need, to assume your authority, to take leadership in whatever way you can. The Sabian symbol for 1 degree Capricorn is "An Indian Chief claims recognition and power from the assembled tribe." And don't say, "But I'm not the chief." The truth is that we all have leadership qualities, we all have strength, and we all have power. We must not go to the place where others may have tried to put us, allowing ourselves to think that we are less than, or not enough. This is Capricorn, and along with the Moon and the Sun, we have Mercury and Pluto there. There is a need to claim our authority, not in an inflated ego way, but with the help of a strong Neptune influence, in a strong, respectful manner. This coming Moon cycle is calling you, challenging you.

The next day, December 29, at 1:29 AM PST, we have our final transition of the month, as Uranus in Aries stations direct at 20 degrees 33 minutes. As we know, Uranus is the planet of new ideas, surprises, shocking events, strange weather, and political unheaval. We've had plenty of all that, even in the Uranus retrograde period since last July. But much of it felt a bit like uneasiness, things bubbling below the surface, and we wondering just what was going to happen or burst onto the scene. I realize that there were indeed some shocking events. When Uranus goes direct, however, there may be many more, but clearly directed, and clearly read, activities and disturbances. Some of them could be brilliant ideas for change and adaptation, and some could be chaotic, destabilizing, and even violent. We must brace ourselves, prepare emotionally and spiritually, knowing that we are in the process of transformation, personally and collectively. We must do our best to build a better world, for humans and for all beings.


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