At last, we get a brief respite from retrograde activity: all the planets are direct, now that Uranus has turned forward. We get a month to move full steam ahead, but it is a subdued motion, as we still have a few daunting planetary configurations to deal with. Within this context, we are still in a period of endings and beginnings, with only Saturn to defy this pattern.
Pluto is newly in Capricorn, and we have gone through a steep learning curve since its first visit to Capricorn, January 25-June 13. From catastrophic effects of global warming to high gas prices to the worldwide economic downturn, we have had much to accommodate in our lives. However, when Pluto went back into Sagittarius on June 13, it gave us a breather from the pressure, fear, and shock that accompanied the new awareness that many of us had. Between June and the end of November, I have watched people almost imperceptibly segue into lifestyle patterns that fit better with the new world that we must create under Pluto in Capricorn. It is taking us back to the basics, to fundamental values of thrift and appreciation for the resources we have. People are cooking and eating at home more than before, even working from basic ingredients and using a real recipe instead of a pre-fixed meal or a mix. They are paying down their credit cards instead of purchasing more goods on them. Starbucks reports that fewer people are buying lattes. Even with gasoline prices down, the market for large vehicles has not rebounded.
One little-considered factor in Pluto entering Capricorn is that we don't have that big force field sitting at the final degrees of a sign for months on end. This means that the void-of-course Moon periods are now substantially longer. If you want more time off from the wheel of productivity, now you've got it. This also means that the final event in a matter is not going to be predominantly transformative. Pluto in early Capricorn means that the sequences of events will often be triggered by transformation and have the opportunity to end in a variety of ways depending on which planet is last in its sign. Soon Jupiter will assume the consistent role as the void-of-course planet, and that will bring opportunity for enterprise, but also the chance that hubris will lead to foolish decisions.
Jupiter, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are all near the end of their yearly cyclic dance with the Sun during December. This represents a winding down of activities from the previous year, and it is more than just the seasonal calming we experience as the days shorten and winter approaches. This should be a time when we integrate and evaluate, developing wisdom to feed the initiatives of the new cycles. We also need to replenish and restore everything from our physical bodies to our spiritual will to the readiness of our home/office to accommodate newness.
Spend some time replenishing and integrating in the areas where these planets are concerned. It is valuable to identify what thread of your life each of these planets' transits relate to. Once you've found the threads, pick up each one and tie it up for the year. These threads will carry over into the new cycles and give you a sense of what you're building year upon year. This in itself makes life more meaningful, and it gives you the perspective to determine if you're headed in the your own right direction.
Pluto's new yearly cycle begins on December 22. We can energize and transform our lives in the ways we want by setting our intention at this time. Our goals should be based on Plutonian principles and archetypes. Because Pluto is in a new sign, we may feel inspired and ready to take on a great task, one that will span the entire 16-year period that Pluto is in Capricorn. This is a good time to take note of what you are inspired to do—write it down and put it in a safe place. Then use it to refocus your efforts year by year as you engage the universe in co-creating your dreams. Your destination can be refined and reset each year as events and results unfold.
Venus leads the way in the bevy of fast-moving planets from its position in Capricorn, then Aquarius, this month. The remainder—Sun, Mercury, Mars—are clustered in Sagittarius early in the month, revving up the Saturn-Uranus opposition that will be omnipresent over the next 18 months. This will bring even more awareness of how badly managed the political and economic realms have been managed by the Bush administration and their free-market fundamentalism. This will also be true on a personal level. In the blossoming Obama administration, there will be challenges to appointments and decisions made while these contacts occur, on December 5-15.
I have seen two consistent manifestations when the Saturn-Uranus opposition is foregrounded, and both could be defined as exceeding expectations. First, the economy and financial industry take a hit; second, there is a cultural "wave" that defies conventional wisdom. Some examples of this are Obama's electoral landslide, the number of people who plan to show up at the inauguration, and the number of people who plan to remain engaged in lifting the US out of its current troubles through the political process.
Let's not forget the Sun-Mars conjunction at 14°10' Sagittarius on December 5. In addition to sparking a new two-year cycle of initiative, it is the midpoint between Mars retrogrades. The next Mars Rx begins on December 20, 2009 in Leo.
When a planet retrogrades, the movement in areas related to this planet's archetype dips and slows. Saturn, ruling the structures of government and business as well as our responsibilities, will station on December 31 at 21°46' Virgo. We can expect to feel the burdens of our commitments (such as to pay off a debt) at this time, and this sense of malaise will be a notable general phenomenon in society. However, until this time we have the power to redirect our energies if we can anticipate future difficulties in Saturn areas. On a more positive note, it is a good time to reaffirm and redirect the plans you were making in September when the yearly Saturn cycle began. You will have the five months of the retrograde to vet and carry out your plans.
The holidays of 2008 wouldn't be complete without our own Mars-Pluto conjunction, which occurs on December 28 at 1°08' Capricorn. While there is an added explosiveness in the air when Mars contacts Pluto, this one could work better than many. Mars in Capricorn is the sign of its exaltation. It is a managed, responsible Mars that peeks into Pluto's abyss and shows us what lies hidden there. This will begin a new two-year Mars-Pluto cycle and do much to reveal our immediate tasks to quell Pluto's hunger for change.
MONDAY DECEMBER 1
What a way to start off the month! The two benefics, Venus and Jupiter, conjoin in Capricorn to make beautiful bureaucratic music together. Relationships can bloom, agreements can be reached, but it is not the great cure for all ills, since its fairy dust wears off after a day. The magic is reinforced by the Moon also in Capricorn, which connects the dots again between Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus, recalling the trines of yore. After these contacts, all occurring before 7:44 am, the Moon is void of course for the day. Remember those long VOC moons I promised? This is one of them. We won't be able to take effective new actions until after 10:45 pm, when the Moon enters individualistic Aquarius.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 2
As the Sun inches toward Mars, the Moon in Aquarius brings them together in a harmonious if lively confab that builds over the day and reaches a peak in the late evening. We will feel energized if we have the reserves to give; or we could just feel exhausted by the extra efforts we are expected to put forth when everyone else is so animated. Today's the day when the auto companies are supposed to return with a plan for using the $25 billion in loans they are seeking from the government. The planets today bode well for a rational plan for using the money, and a successful agreement.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 3
We wake up with bright ideas, but they may raise more questions than they answer as the Moon conjoins Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius. It gives us time to dream, and we'll have even more once the Moon starts its void period at 6:15 pm.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 4
Our sensitivity to the unseen world becomes stronger when the Moon enters Pisces at 10:23 am and sextiles Pluto to hand us the power to change for a short while. This feeling will be overshadowed by Mercury's square to Uranus, adding an exciting tone of unpredictability to our thoughts and communications. If there are any circumstances with which we are feeling discontent or confined, we will be more restless than usual. Because our awareness is heightened, we'll be able to see what we need to be freed of and takes steps to change our lives. If we suppress this energy, we'll be irritable and find it hard to communicate with bliss.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 5
Today begins the series of contacts from the planets in Sagittarius to the Saturn-Uranus opposition. At 1:26 pm, the Moon at 14°08' Pisces reaches its First Quarter square to the Sun in Sagittarius. This event marks the moment when we begin to match instinct with conscious awareness to solve a dilemma in our lives. The feeling is likely to be acute, because the Sun is just seconds away from its conjunction with Mars. We'll feel spurred to take action, perhaps overreacting to the situation we find ourselves in at this moment. The Sun perfects its conjunction to Mars only minutes later to bring emotions to their peak, but we'll have a hard time relaxing as the Moon immediately heads toward a conjunction with Uranus. These energies can be stimulating and vitalizing, or shocking and overwhelming depending on our resilience and what it contacts in our natal chart.
In the chart set for Washington DC, the First Quarter occurs at 4:26 pm. This gives us Gemini rising, creating a grand cross in the mutable signs that includes the Saturn-Uranus opposition and the Sun-Mars-Mercury stellium in Sagittarius. We will undoubtedly see more shockwaves go through the financial industries with Pluto on the cusp of the 8th house, but the biggest impact will be seen in war and foreign affairs through the 7th stellium. The 5th and 11th houses are also involved in this pattern, suggesting that Congress will continue to be frozen in place due to lame-duck Republicans who refuse to respond to the handwriting on the wall. The 7th also has to do with public opinion, and the public could be infuriated at congressional inertia as they watch their lives go down the tubes with the economy. (Congress is typically on recess at this time, but word is that legislators will return after a Thanksgiving break to handle the automaker loans.) Chiron and Neptune at the Midheaven harmonize with the Ascendant and Sagittarius planets. This lends a dreamy quality, as we all envision what it will be like with President Obama at the helm, as if dreaming can will away the horrible effects that the do-nothing, know-nothing Bush administration are having on the nation, even in these final days. "If-only" won't prevent the economic train wreck in the auto industry that Paulson has the power but refuses to avert, and there is the chance that these men will change their minds and save the only major industry that still produces real products and generates the real economy in this country. The entire chart speaks eloquently of the trials of this particular presidential transition period.
The Sabian symbol for 15 Pisces speaks of "the need for thorough rehearsing before any complex and inherently socially dangerous social ritual in which power is used or evoked." An officer instructing his men before a simulated assault under a barrage of live shells. This suggests the intricacies of an orderly transition of power from one government to another, such as from Bush to Obama—and that much transpires behind the scenes which cannot and perhaps should not be known to the population.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 6
Today is chock full o' aspects! With so many planets now after 18°, the Moon in Pisces ticks them off in rapid succession: Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and Pluto. This fills our day with activity, some felt as a temporary lift in mood and a renewed faith in life (Moon sextile Jupiter-Venus); yet stress remains, as the underlying reality of what's happening in the world is never far from our minds (Moon square Mercury, opposing Saturn, square Pluto). We'll feel like our personal lives are blessed, with much peace and comfort to be thankful for, and we might decide to spend some money; but we'll also be mindful, even fearful, about what might be coming just around the corner. Do we trust, or fear, the Unknown? That's the question each of us must answer, and it's on the front burner today. Blanketing the day and echoing this dilemma are two Mercury aspects: A square to Saturn brings a cold dose of reality to our thoughts, while a sextile to Neptune shows us the way to create our next set of opportunities. It's a good time to use our mind to winnow out negative thoughts and set new positive thoughts in their place. The Moon enters its void-of-course period at 4:43 pm, lasting until it enters Aries at 6:44 pm. Don't take it too seriously—the Moon still performs in the Jupiter-ruled sign of Pisces.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 7
We get a break from the planetary action today. The Moon sails through Aries solo, heading toward a trine with Mars very late in the evening. This gives us buoyancy coupled with productivity, a great combination for the pre-holiday season. Venus enters Aquarius at 3:37 pm, giving over its earthy quality to the more social, if sometimes reactionary, energy of Aquarius. It lightens the mood even more and leads us to dream of a better future.
MONDAY DECEMBER 8
A flurry of lunar contacts early in the day will be mirrored by a great effort on our part to get things done. In our renewed optimism, we have high hopes of making great accomplishments this morning. If we can figure out what is the One Great Thing that will make a difference in our lives right now and do that One Thing, we will feel the satisfaction of accomplishment by the time the Moon enters its void period at 1:35 pm on a positive trine to Mercury. We can bask in the glory of our morning's actions for the rest of the day, or use the void-of-course down time to finish up on incomplete matters. It's also a good time to take action on things you want to finalize now, such as paying taxes or that niggling parking ticket. The Moon enters Taurus, its exaltation, at 10:52 pm and brings our day to an end on a positive trine to Pluto, allowing changes to ease gracefully into our lives.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 9
The Moon in Taurus finds Venus in Aquarius in the wee hours of the morning, then leaves the rest of the day to us for a "nothing but net" feel. Although tensions loom tomorrow, that's another day.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 10
We'll be feeling restless with that once-a-year contact, the waning square of the Sun to Uranus as it occurs in the pre-dawn hours. It gives us the chance to make one final adjustment to areas of our lives where we've needed to respond to unexpected events by making changes. If there's a forgotten responsibility, it will show up today. Make a plan, because these are areas where one day's efforts are not enough. The Moon makes its final aspect in Taurus at 2:23 pm, but it is quite possible to continue activities during this void-of-course period without losing steam. Moon enters Gemini at 11:33 pm.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 11
With the Moon in Gemini, we'll be feeling light and chatty, but there's challenge brewing. We may hear about news of violence that shocks us, as Mars completes its waning square to Uranus. While this will mark the day, perhaps make it memorable, the Moon assists us with a trine to Venus. This is a good time to get rid of things you don't want in your life, but do so calmly.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 12
This is once more a day of many planetary events, and many occur before we rise. Mercury enters Capricorn at 2:13 am, bringing a saner, wiser way of thinking with it. It takes on an entrepreneurial bent as it heads toward Jupiter in the same sign. From now until December 31, Mercury and Jupiter create a recipe for success. The Moon aspects today are not for the faint-hearted, as the lunar orb makes a square to Uranus and an opposition to Mars just before the Full Moon. At 8:37 am, we experience the Full Moon illumination of consciousness, with the Moon at 21°02' Gemini. Once again, a mutable grand cross prevails, and it is more focused now than last week on the deeper issues, as the Sun reaches exactitude in its square to Saturn and Mars lingers in its square with Uranus. Now that Mercury has slipped into Capricorn, a pragmatic way of thinking replaces ideology. "What will work" trumps "what we want to work based on our cherished beliefs." This may help the economy, as the Bush administration now may decide to cave in to reason and effectively admit that their free-market ideology doesn't work. This will also be true in our own lives. A more realistic understanding now prevails of how we should celebrate the holidays and greet the new year. Tensions run high with this pattern, but living in the moment with gratitude for what we have causes these tensions to subside. Much of what we're dealing with is hypothetical (a good Sagittarius word). What's real is not the same as what we think (or are afraid) is real.
The day calms at 10:01 am, when the Moon goes void of course. It does not enter Cancer and revive activity until 10:40 pm.
In the chart of the Full Moon cast for our nation's capital, Pisces is rising. Most notable is the Sun-Mars at the Midheaven and Moon at the IC. This seems to pit the nation's leader-in-chief against the people and their condition. Issuing statements full of false optimism isn't going to convince anyone that their personal situation or the economy is getting better. Chiron and Neptune continue to offer solace in the simple withdrawal offered by the 12th house, as the Moon trines them from the 4th. This is not the chart of a bold, optimistic public but rather one of a public chastened by the betrayal of their needs by government and business. Once again we see a ray of light from our next leader, who is waiting in the wings for his shot, symbolized by Venus conjunction the North Node in Aquarius. Congress is on break, except for the Senate, which may stay in session to prevent Bush judicial appointments.
The degree of the Full Moon, 22 Gemini, is symbolized by: Dancing couples in a harvest festival. Rudhyar explains this as "the wholesome enjoyment of organic processes and emotional drives." Now more than ever we need to celebrate life in all its joys, without reference to how much we have or what dangers may lie ahead. The organic process of the dimming of the light prior to the solstice, then the light's rebirth and nature's renewal, gives us the blueprint for the revival of society as well as our own personal transcendence of difficulties.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 13
Our dreams will carry wisdom on awakening, as Moon in Cancer opposes Mercury in the deep dark of night. This, its solo contact of the day, is in stark contrast to yesterday's bevy of activity. A Sun-sextile-Neptune gives us a chance to forgive and forget the wounds we've received of late. Use this time to dream of what next year will bring to you.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 14
Feminine energies gives us some laid-back time early in the day as the Moon trines Uranus and sextiles Saturn from its position in sentimental Cancer. Even the lunar opposition to Jupiter at 2:27 pm is more about waking up from a nap to turn over than it is about energetic participation. This aspect comprises the Moon's last aspect before it leaves Cancer. Even though it turns void of course, actions taken now will bear fruit. The Moon enters Leo at 10:22 pm.
MONDAY DECEMBER 15
Hard work is the key phrase today, as Mars squares Saturn. There are dangers of over exerting, both at work and in physical activities. Don't overdo your exercise routine. This completes Mars's contact with the mutable cross, and it makes no further significant contacts before it leaves Sagittarius. We get perspective on our relationships and social activities as the Moon opposes Venus, the only lunar contact today. This day's events complete the most challenging period of planetary activity this month.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 16
With a Mars sextile to Neptune to start the day, we'll wake up to a world of possibility. Write down your inspiring thoughts before they drift away. The Moon continues its course through Leo, augmenting our ability to use imagination and creativity as it opposes Neptune and trines Mars and Sun. The energies of reconciliation and agreement are strong today, and ideology may be set aside if there is a way for the acquiescing party to save face. We can use these energies to resolve personal issues, just as we will see them operate for the good in world events. The Moon's trine to the Sun is its final aspect as it begins its void period at 4:45 pm. This ends in the early hours of Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 17
Grounding energies abound today as the Moon enters Virgo at 0:36. Two lunar trines bracket the day, one early to Pluto and one to Mercury in late afternoon, both in Capricorn. We will be drawn to use logic and common sense to approach matters today, and our efforts have the potential to be part of a fruitful longer term path to change. Communications will work out well, even if there is conflict to resolve.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 18
The Moon continues its journey through Virgo, with some dicier contacts to reckon with. First up is an opposition to Uranus, getting us to see the progressive side of the ongoing changes in our lives and inspiring us to exceed expectations. By mid-afternoon, she has reached her conjunction with Saturn heightening our motivation to seek security. Her square to Mars highlights the evening and spurs us to action, but the final flourish for the day is a Moon trine to Jupiter, lending a note of optimism and hope.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 19
At 2:29 am, the Last Quarter Moon squares the Sun at 27°54' Virgo, the closing lunation in an exciting lunar month. This chart features more harmonies, as the planets move into Capricorn and Aquarius, building more harmonious links to Saturn and Chiron-Neptune. Venus is about to converge on Chiron, and with Neptune four days later, lending grace to our healing process and the building of new ideals. Although the Sun and Mars emphasize passion for ideas, they are less fanatical now that they are separating. With Pluto, Mercury, and Jupiter in Capricorn and Moon-Saturn in Virgo, pragmatism and efficiency are the rule rather than the exception, finally. The Moon goes void-of-course with its square to the Sun, and enters Libra before sunrise, at 6:23 am. By mid-morning, all's quiet on the celestial front; the Moon's square to Pluto is over, letting us find a calm moment, maybe taking an afternoon off to shop for the holidays.
In Washington DC, the chart of the Last Quarter square is cast for 5:29 am, with early Sagittarius rising. This chart puts Saturn-Moon at the top of the chart and Uranus nearly dead-on the IC. This in any chart feels like a threat to survival. Of course, this threat is the economic downturn, but it is also the hands-off approach that the Bush administration is taking toward the government and the economy. Even Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has checked out. The Moon is near Saturn, but well past it. This means that the situation at issue at the time of this lunation is already known, has already happened. Uranus in the 4th house tells us that the living conditions of the people are disrupted. Many are losing jobs and homes. It also represents the party out of power, betraying the fact that the Republicans are unsettled, shocked, off balance. Saturn on the MC tells us of the limits to Bush's interest in taking a leadership role, and with Obama yet to take office, is there anyone driving the car?
The national economy is still a time bomb, with Pluto at the cusp of the 2nd house, but Mercury approaches Jupiter there, so there is stability born of hope for a brighter future. Even Jupiter is a lame duck, as it spins out its final days in Capricorn. One of the things the IC represents is the weather. With Uranus there, we can expect a week of sudden temperature change, cold, and windiness. There could be storms, especially those with electricity in them. Couple this with Venus approaching Chiron-Neptune in the 3rd house of transportation and commerce, and we can conjure images of a frozen wasteland impenetrable by traffic or shoppers. Not a great image for retailers during the week of Christmas, but it has a certain attractiveness as a way to increase the coziness factor if the electricity stays on.
The Sabian symbol (Marc Edmund Jones version) for the 28th degree of Virgo is: A bald-headed man in uniform completely dominates an assembly of men: diplomats, scientists, and industrialists. Rudhyar describes this degree as a seizing of power through the force of personality, while MEJ sees it as a symbol of the importance of authenticity and the "compelling manifestation of inner self" versus appearance, wealth, or social position. This suggests two styles of leadership, one compelling due to innate greatness, the other granted only by position rather than merit.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 20
The Moon continues to travel its course through Libra, squaring Mercury and trining Venus by midmorning. An unsettling dream conjures a logical conundrum that is easily solved in time for the social plans we have today, which should overflow with camaraderie.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 21
The Sun enters Capricorn at 4:04 am, marking the Winter Solstice and Yule holiday. The Moon, still in Libra until 8:57 am, makes contacts to Neptune (trine), Mars (sextile), and Jupiter (square) before many people arise, leaving us with sweet and adventurous dreams to linger through a void-of-course day. The Moon's final aspect at 8:57 starts its void-of-course period, which lasts until it enters Scorpio at 3:36 pm. This opens the door to its sextiles to Pluto and the Sun, which are nearly conjunct in early Capricorn. This is not a good day for finding gifts for those hard-to-please loved ones—you'll surely lack inspiration and end up returning items, unless your inspiration predated the Moon's void period. If you start your shopping (or other activities) after 3:36 pm, you'll have better luck despite the crowds.
The Capricorn ingress chart set for Washington DC is used by some to forecast the entire year for the nation. This chart has idealistic Sagittarius rising (25 degrees), which places the applying and very strong Sun-Pluto conjunction near the Ascendant. Mars lingers in Sagittarius and rises minutes after, adding an aggressively idealistic tone to the public consciousness. This suggests an optimistic public who wish to be part of the changes that shape the nation as it deals with its troubles. The people do not want to be left out of the solution, any more than they want to be left out of the economic rescue plan from Washington. The number of planets in the 1st house shows to what extent the power lies in the people. An active public will have a magically transformative effect on the economy, US politics, and the world. More than any other factor, they will show the power and beauty of the American democracy when it is allowed to function as intended, by an informed public bent on preserving its freedoms. With Mercury approaching a conjunction with Jupiter in the 2nd, positive developments in the economy will come from the entrepreneurial spirit of the public.
MONDAY DECEMBER 22
Today's the day of the Sun-Pluto conjunction, marking the beginning of a new year of transformation, fully experienced through the sign of Capricorn. "Makin' it real" is one key phrase that will be useful in fulfilling its highest potential. Today (and for the next two weeks or so) we'll have a window into the future of what we can do with this energy. We may feel inspired or compelled to do something, and if we follow our vision, we will create meaning in our lives. The Moon continues in Scorpio but has no contacts today.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 23
With the majority of planets clustered in the last ten degrees of their respective signs, the Moon makes the planetary rounds today. Before we rise, she will have already sextiled Mercury, squared Venus, and trined Uranus, for dreams full of love lost and unexpectedly regained. We'll find the day most productive if we give ourselves a little daydream time around noon, when the Moon squares Neptune. We just won't be able to focus then, and it's better not to try. Positive connections and constructive results are likely before and after the lunch hour as the Moon makes a minor grand trine by sextiling Saturn and Jupiter throughout the day. The Moon's void period begins at 9:29 pm, continuing until 3:13 am, so we can sleep off this downtime.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 24
After the Moon enters Sagittarius at 3:13 am, it encounters an empty sky, at least for today. Mercury reaches its long-approaching sextile to Uranus, giving a day full of innovative ideas if we gives space to the inspiration that rests fleetingly in our heads. Write those ideas down! They may seem too abundant to be usable, but among the many are a few real gems.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 25
Christmas Day finds us grappling with the Saturn-Uranus opposition as the Moon in Sagittarius makes a T-square with these opposing giants in the late afternoon. Don't let the potential anxieties subtract from the love, joy, and gratitude that is available to us. The Moon's sextile to Venus in the midst of the challenges reminds us that, no matter what petty quibbles we may have with those we love, we can still be there for each other when the chips are down.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 26
The Moon finishes out its current active period in Sagittarius at 3:25 pm, making two harmonious contacts before it goes void of course. Keep in mind that Sagittarius is one of the Moon's "active signs" where, William Lilly discovered, we can still take effective actions during the void period. Mercury makes a trine to Saturn, completing a harmonious pattern with the Saturn-Uranus opposition that brings new helpful perspectives—perhaps even solutions—to the knottier problems that we currently face. Make a plan for the new year today. This is in harmony with both Saturn and Capricorn, the sign that Mercury is in. The Moon enters Capricorn at 3:56, ending a very brief void period thanks to Mars, which is very late in Sagittarius. In fact, it enters Capricorn at 11:31 pm, bringing a steady strength to our efforts as our impulses are tempered while Mars is in the sign of its exaltation.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 27
Two lunar transits sweeten our dreams in the wee hours, the New Moon conjunction of Moon to Sun, and Venus' conjunction to Neptune. Venus-Neptune evokes visions of sugarplums and quiet snowy landscapes in the aftermath of Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule, and the midst of Hanukkah. It's the start of the Venus-Neptune cycle, full of moist-eyed idealism headed toward "Can't we all just get along?", hopefully with a positive answer. Perhaps most noteworthy is the New Moon at 6°08' Capricorn, timed for 4:22 am, kicking off a new lunar month. This will be a month of great potency, with the Sun and Moon just past Mars and Pluto at 0 degrees and 1degree Capricorn, respectively. Mars is poised to conjoin Pluto, adding disciplined drive to the mix and starting a new two-year cycle of assertive use of power (often manifesting as violence and military action). With Mercury and Jupiter also in Capricorn, a powerful stellium of six planets is the result, within a chart where all the planets are in one half of the celestial sphere. This gives us drive, perhaps even compulsion to accomplish something, and with a sextile-trine from the Capricorn stellium to the ever-present Saturn-Uranus opposition, a positive outcome is more than possible. Venus is at the most intense point of its conjunction with Neptune, spiritualizing our love impulses. This suggests a dilemma about how much to sacrifice for love.
In the chart cast for Washington DC, all the planets rest on the eastern (left) half of the chart, and with 4° Capricorn rising, the Capricorn stellium straddles the Ascendant. As the Ascendant and 1st house rule the reactions and conditions of the people, or public consciousness and identity, this suggests that the public will be in a sober, realistic mood but not without hope or resource for the future. Mars is in its exaltation, where its energies are strong, stable, and well-managed. So, even though it is about to reach powerful Pluto, well-crafted transformation is the most likely result. This bodes well for a transition in the economic team that is running the country, even before the Obama presidency is in office. Paulson will probably be warm to sharing his office with Geithner and his team, and this may occur below the radar in the quiet period between the holidays. With Chiron-Venus-Neptune in the 2nd house, the economy will hobble along and begin an imperceptible healing process under the blanket of holiday distraction. The weather may continue to disrupt travel, but more in the midsection of the country than in the east. After-Christmas sales will produce unpredictable results.
The Sabian symbol for 7 Capricorn is: [In a highly sophisticated magic ritual], a veiled prophet speaks, seized by the power of a god. Rudhyar ascribes to this, "the revelation of a transcendent will and truth determining future action." The New Moon is a time of prophecy for that which has not yet been fully developed; listen for a spokesperson who speaks with the wisdom and force of prophecy behind her or his words.
Sunday December 28
The Moon, still in Capricorn, brings several harmonious connections to balance the Mars-Pluto conjunction that occurs today. We can hitch our wagon to the star of this "power to the people" contact by thinking about what we can do to participate in lifting ourselves and our population to the heights of human achievement we must attain in order to rebalance our communities and the planet. No small feat, but with Capricorn we're supposed to think big and see the broader picture. The latter half of the day brings mental energy as the Moon reiterates the Mercury trine to Saturn by translating light from Saturn to Mercury. The Moon occults Mercury, giving our thoughts a megaphone into our mood, consciousness, and feelings.
MONDAY DECEMBER 29
Long before dawn the Moon occults Jupiter and goes void of course in Capricorn. If you can remember your dreams, you may have great insights into your next successes—or just a wonderful adventure full of travel and triumph. At 4:42 am the Moon enters Aquarius but makes no further contacts today.
TUESDAY DECEMBER 30
You get a static-free day as the Moon continues her course through Aquarius but encounters no comrades. Most of the planets are taking up residence in later degrees right now. However, this may allow the weight of Saturn's station, which occurs tomorrow, to be more freely felt as you bust a move today.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 31
The Moon finally reaches Neptune, then Venus before entering its void period in Aquarius at 10:34 am. These auspicious contacts of peace and harmony are augmented by Mercury, which finally reaches success-maker Jupiter. The big event of the day of course is Saturn's station to retrograde. This giant of science and industry now begins five months of backward travel. It sets off a period when we must work through the risky phase of our endeavors. We have cast our fate—our plans—and committed ourselves to them. Now we must follow through and see whether we sink or swim. This is what the retrograde teaches us. We can adjust and reconsider, but even if we decide to back out, there are greater consequences to our actions now than there were before. We end the year on a positive note, as the Moon enters Pisces at 4:27 pm and sextiles Pluto and Mars before that final stroke of the clock that seals 2008 into the history books.