December: Shifting Energies for a New Cycle

When December arrived this year, we were sitting on the verge of numerous changes about to happen. Mercury was slowing to its final retrograde of 2017, Mars was opposing Uranus and Eris, a Full Moon was approaching, and Venus was changing signs. Within weeks, Saturn would shift into its own sign of Capricorn for the first time in 12 years!

In the second hour of the month, Venus moved into Sagittarius at 1:15 AM PST, adding to the Sagittarian grouping of Sun, Mercury and Saturn. Then, at 11:35 PM PST on December 2, Mercury stationed retrograde at 29 degrees 18 minutes Sagittarius, conjunct Saturn.

Eight hours later we had a Full Moon at 11 degrees Gemini on December 3 at 7:46 AM PST, in exact T-square with Neptune at 11 degrees Pisces. Jupiter was also at 11 degrees of Scorpio, trine Neptune. At the time, Mars was also opposing Uranus.

Each of those movement, in themselves, would not ordinarily be jarring or revelatory. However, for them all to occur within two and a half days, may have been a bit discombobulating for many of us. Mercury stationing retrograde is an adjustment. The slow-down of Mercury is associated with upsets in routines, ways of communicating at work or in one's personal life. Electronic devices often seem to be taking directions from Siri instead of their owners. And sometimes it seems as if computers are just waiting for that moment to have a full breakdown. Mix-ups, lost messages, and missed appointments are not unusual. Add to all of that a Full Moon with huge involvement from Neptune. Talk about confusion, delusion? Oh yes, and then some.

Meanwhile, Mercury remained conjunct Saturn for the next week, helping to sort out the conundrums of the retrograde. At the same time, it was in a trine with Uranus and quietly allowed us to look more closely at some new ideas we'd put on the back burner for awhile.

From December 8-12, Venus was square Neptune, asking us to look more deeply than the surface regarding relationships, particularly when feelings of insecurity or disappointment emerged, or we had experiences of "magical moments" or "I've found THE one!" Either way, it would have been easy to make less than ideal decisions. It was not a good time to make a large financial investment or commitment, either, as "shady" promotions could have looked good, but turned out to be big disappointments.

On December 9, at 1:00 AM PST, Mars moved from Libra to Scorpio, a sign it shares rulership of with Pluto. Mars has great strength in Scopio. From December 9 until the 20th, however, it made no strong aspects to any other planets. That gave it an unpredictable quality, something Mars in Scorpio would truly love—unexpected shifts created by undercover action. And what did we see in the news? We saw a somewhat unexpected win by a democrat in Alabama, of all places, on December 12, in the defeat of a racist pedophile running for the U.S. Senate. Then on the 13th, a number of States Attorneys General threatened to sue the FCC if they negated internet neutrality. Is that a possibility? Well, they say they have proof that many of the 23 milllion public comments that supported killing net neutrality (that the FCC said they listened to) were filed by fraudulent bots robo-signing forms and stealing real people's identities, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office. On the 14th, with the Moon and Jupiter conjunct in Scorpio, the FCC did pass the vote against net neutrality, and right away the lawsuit was filed to hopefully restore internet freedom, a reflection of all the Sagittarian energy.

On the Full Moon, we noted that Jupiter was exactly trine Neptune. Jupiter gradually moved on from exact, but in fact, remains in a trine aspect with Neptune the entire month. It's an aspect that is important to watch, in terms of actions, world news, our decision-making, and moods. It was reflected in some confusing news reports involving the Mueller investigation, the expansion of threats of war, and huge wildfires in Southern California that could not be contained for many days. And yet, we also found ways to remain faithful to our belief in the connections of all beings, in love, in compassion. Many  organizations with thousands of volunteers are still working for peace, still finding ways to feed, shelter, and support so many people and animals in need.

The third week of December is filled with movement, a lot of significant alterations in planetary alignment. Look for changes within yourself, and the need for adjustment due to the swirling energies around us. From the New Moon on the 17th through Mercury's stationing direct on the 22nd, we need pleanty of alone time to focus on what is being asked of us. Difficult thoughts and challenging feelings emerge, along with illumination and wisdom, but it may come at us at such a pace that we are overwhelmed, and unable to appreciate all that is being presented. Many of us have scheduled numerous social activities in the final weeks of this month, perhaps some that need to be reconsidered, if we are to truly follow our hearts. So try to take it slow, trusting that there is purpose in the events unfolding. By allowing them to unfold naturally, without rushing, will eventually reveal the path ahead, and your role in it. "And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye clear. What we need is here." —Wendell Berry

We'll have the New Moon at 26 degrees Sagittarius on December 17 at 10:29 PM PST, conjunct Saturn in its last minutes of Sagittarius. Alll together, there will be 5 planets in Sagittarius, including Mercury and Venus, as well as the Sun, Moon, and Saturn. The last three are all trine Uranus in Aries and square Chiron in Pisces. That's kind of a "Whoa, Nelly" New Moon, with all that fire, no air, and only one planet, Pluto, in earth. What happens when you mix fire and water? Yes, a lot of steam! But steam is energy, and with Sagittarius the Archer, we can point our arrow where we are dreaming to go! Not just any old place, mind you. Saturn says "define it." Define, articulate where you want to go, and don't let out-dated beliefs hold you back.

The New Moon square Chiron could have us still grieving over what is broken, what isn't working. The suffering of all beings, as a result of what has fallen apart, is not something to dismiss. It is right to grieve, to honor our deepest knowing with all the feelings it evokes. However, at this New Moon, we are needing to feel the spirit of fire and optimism, dream the dream of what could be possible, point our arrow to the heavens, and fire it off!

Saturn enters its own sign of Capricorn at 8:49 PM PST on December 19, just a day away from the Winter Solstice. It's a big deal whenever Saturn changes signs, but an even bigger deal when it enters its own sign, the sign it is identified with in our minds. It will remain in Capricorn until 2020. Capricorn is associated with structure, reform, rules, tradition, authority, government, hard work. As an earth sign, it can also be overly focused on practicality, materialism, and control. Wherever Saturn transits, it challenges and tests us. It also reveals things we may not want to look at. If we pay attention, have patience, and put in the effort, however we will also emerge stronger, more mature, and responsible when it's over. It's important not to over-do on the control side, or we can become depressed, rigid and pessimistic. Plan on putting things in order, getting projects completed, making clear choices, and experiencing a sense of achievement. But don't worry about rushing; it needn't/shouldn't be done all at once.

On the 20th, Mars will begin to build to a conjunction with Jupiter in Scorpio, and a trine with Neptune in Pisces. It will not be exact until into the new year. Nevertheless, the late days of December will have a charge of confidence and energy, which can be used in either positive or negative ways. Mars/Jupiter in Scorpio will be filled with passion, so of course, it will be best to put the energy to use in ways which can improve your life and also the state of the world. However, Mars is the god of war, and we know that out of control ego can spark conflict, even violence. May the trine with Neptune bring a mellowing of the Mars/Jupiter energy, and not delusional impulses.

Winter Solstice, or Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere, occurs as the Sun enters Capricorn at 8:28 AM PST on December 21. This is a cardinal point in our year, a turning of a corner, an entering of a new cycle and season. The Winter Solstice, in ancient times, was celebrated as a time of rest and quiet, but also feasting and dancing. Our ancestors sat together in the dark, post-harvest. Then they lit candles, told stories, and brought evergreen branches indoors to remind them of the new cycle of life to come again in spring. Lots of folks, in these modern times, will repeat those old traditions, and find comfort with the familiar habits of earth-connected spirits.

Within a few hours, the Sun will then exactly conjoin Saturn, just into Capricorn. A power duo of earth energy starts the season of winter. The two form aspects with several planets, but none two strongly. This gives us a chance to adjust, briefly, from Sagitarius fire to Capricorn earth, to take that energy into our bodies, and metaphorically "shift gears."

The next day, December 22, Mercury stations direct at 5:51 PM PST at 13 degrees Sagittarius. It will not move out of its shadow (the degree at which it stationed retrograde) however, until 8:30 AM PST on January 10. Mercury will remain square to Neptune until the end of the month when it moves out of aspect. Mercury/Neptune aspects can have inspirational qualities and also moments of confusion and lack of focus. Given that, it might ba a good idea to temper the alcohol intake during this holiday season, and if you do imbibe, make sure you do not drive.

Venus makes is second shift this month to a new sign. On December 24, at 9:26 PM PST, Venus joins the Sun and Saturn in Capricorn. All three planets will be conjunct through December 30, when the Sun and Venus move away from Saturn and begin their approach to Pluto, which they will both conjoin during the month of January. Venus in Capricorn wants to achieve goals and desires, and is not easily distracted. Her intentions, however, in her positive expression, are for more than just individual ego attention. She is practical and wants what she accomplishes to have community context, improving the lives of others.

Meanwhile Mars and Jupiter, conjunct in Scorpio at the end of the month, are also sextile Pluto, giving an extra surge of energy, but also a helpful focus to the Mars/Jupiter team, as well as Venus in Capricorn. With Mercury direct, and lots of Capricorn energy, get working on thos projects you've been planning. The energy will be there to tackle them.

Do enjoy your holidays, be careful, and don't over-do it! Remember the need for self-care! The world needs you!


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