December starts with a shake and ends with a shimmy, with plenty of quick-steps in between. We begin with Uranus’s station direct on the 1st, and all the planets are moving forward once again. This is rare of late, and it is short-lived this month as well, lasting until the 20th when Mars turns tail. With Mercury in a new retrograde and a Lunar Eclipse at the end of the month, we have plenty to keep us hopping.
Uranus sent us on a journey through the realm of the improbable starting in mid-March. It escalated in late June and peaked in mid-September. With Uranus’s ongoing opposition to Saturn, concurrent news events have been tied to the economy. In our own lives, we’ve been experiencing a long, slow change, like a free-fall where we never reach bottom. We have certainly become more closely acquainted with the Unknown, have had to learn to sleep well in spite of the presence of this bedfellow. As we look back to events since March, we may feel as though our efforts to create change have been less than optimally effective. As Uranus turns direct, we get a final boost toward success. It’s not too late to take action now, especially if our actions are based on what we’ve recently learned from Uranus.
Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune are once again clustered more tightly together and acting as a single unit. This is the last month in which we’ll have this experience, since Jupiter will outdistance his compadres by January. We get one more shot at an expanded ability to declare our independence from old ideas and situations, and to build community. Jupiter expands our growth in an area for a year, then moves on to expand us in the next. We get one more month of focus in this area, with the emphasis on results, as Jupiter conjoins Chiron on the 7th and Neptune on the 21st for the third and final time on this cycle. What have you freed yourself from this year?
While all four of these planets are closing their yearly cycles, Mars and Saturn are in the opening phases of theirs. Both these planets will begin their retrograde periods in the near future, Mars this month. Mars’s retrograde is more momentous because it is the least frequent of the planets to do so, exposing us to its backward travel only once every two years. While the other planets retrograde in a yearly rhythm that we become accustomed to, Mars startles us into a deeper awareness of how well we use our ability to act. We get a chance to see that starting December 20 from the vantage point of Leo in our chart. Leo’s lesson is about loving ourselves enough to be who we truly are. Its lesson with Mars retrograde there is about igniting and tempering our own inner fire to create what we want in life. It is also about following and being followed.
Mercury travels ahead of the personal planetary pack, while Venus and Sun hug closely together. Each of these bodies makes contact with the slow movers (Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto). In doing so, Mercury gives us warning, conscious awareness of what actions to take for when Venus-Sun get to them. With Venus so near the Sun, relationships take on heightened significance—we must rely on others to be part of our solutions.
It’s time for another Mercury retrograde. This frequent-retrograde flyer will sustain its backward travel entirely in constructive Capricorn this time, starting at 21 Capricorn on December 26 and returning to 5 Capricorn before turning direct on January 15. During this time, you may notice Capricorn’s closet perfectionism rising to the surface. Practicality will reign supreme, and we will come to know the limits of pragmatism more intimately. Mercury also tangles with Mars by quincunx, its sole contact of consequence this time. We can expect “missed communications” from this, like two people talking over each other without listening, caught in their own world. Given the timing, we can expect a high rate of Christmas returns this year, not so much for exchanges but for refunds as people try to backtrack from overspending.
The last event of consequence in December adds punctuation to our experiences: a Lunar Eclipse (also always a Full Moon) ends a chapter in our lives and opens a new one. There will be events at the year’s end to turn our heads (think of the Iranian Green Revolution, which unfolded on the summer’s eclipses). We may have cause to be thankful for what we have even as we kiss good-bye to parts of our lives that have outlived their usefulness.
Except as otherwise noted, all interpretations here are based on a natural chart, using the beginning of Aries as the ascendant, and times listed are Pacific Standard Time.
A “Void Moon” or “Void of Course Moon” (or “VOC moon” for short) makes no significant aspects until it enters the next sign. Its void period is thought to be a poor time for starting new projects or making concerted effort toward existing plans.
According to William Lilly, the Moon in Cancer (Moon’s rulership), Taurus (Moon’s exaltation), Sagittarius and Pisces (signs ruled by Jupiter, the Great Benefic) “performeth somewhat.” Lee Lehmann reports that she has tested this, and “you can take it to the bank.” Another way of putting how this works is that, when an action is taken during the void period in one of these signs, you get “unanswered success.” That is, the lack of planetary action prevents your action from being denied.
Maya’s rule of thumb was, “In making a close call, I look at the moon’s final aspect, just before it goes void of course. This shows how the situation will end up.”
We leap into the month with a day full of planetary contacts, and not all of them are lunar. The biggest of them is Uranus’s return to forward motion after five months of taking us on a reverse tour of our lives so we know what to change. This energy will bring the most color to the day, but we will also feel Venus’s move into adventurous Sagittarius, which occurs at 2:04 pm. We’ll feel easier about revealing our feelings now, after traveling the mysterious depths of Scorpio. It’s time to lighten up!
Although the Moon begins the day in late Taurus, where it goes void of course at 5:39 am (although it is still useable in Taurus) until it enters Gemini at 6:23 am. This opens a day without minor complications as a Moon-trine-Saturn smoothes the way to practical solutions to the bigger issues which arise from the other planetary events. A Mercury sextile to Neptune near sunrise colors our dreams feeding the gradually rising tension of the 10°15′ Gemini Full Moon, which occurs at 11:30 pm. The energetics of the Full Moon are mostly harmonious, with some tension around an emotional quandary that defies resolution. Waiting will bring events that will clarity and even remove the issue.
The chart cast for the time of the Full Moon in Washington DC renders 14 Libra rising (on December 2). The political urge now is to satisfy the needs of the people. The party out of power is gaining strength just because they don’t have to offer anything substantive, instead spouting doubt and fear. Even though we know that problems lurk unresolved, we turn our focus toward pleasure and celebration. The problems will wait until another day. The President engages in time-honored rituals, even as he keeps busy behind the scenes and gains perspective on his actions thus far in his term of office. Economically, the nation seems to be catching its breath for the moment.
The Sabian Symbol at 11 Gemini gives us the image “Newly opened lands offer the pioneer new opportunities for experience.” The spirit of adventure is awakened in us, and we find it easier to let go of old baggage in order to let in new energies and experiences. The symbol tells us that we are about to put new ideas into form, like the crew building a house or the farmer tilling a field. The spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation lies at the heart of America’s success, and this is awakened now in many who have nothing more to lose.
We’re still activated by the Full Moon as she makes her way through Gemini, making four contacts this afternoon. A sextile to Mars eases our eagerness to make something happen, while trines to Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune blanket the day with a flow of sociability that will light the fires of current and future successes. Prepare to be startled in the evening as a Moon square to stationary direct Uranus shows us what we can get from Uranus over the next three months.
At 2:28 am, our Gemini Moon opposes Mercury and goes void of course until it enters Cancer at 8:01. This takes us deep into the unconscious realms during our sleeping and early morning hours, fueling us with useful insights. The Moon in early Cancer reconnects Saturn and Pluto to take another step closer to solving our most difficult problem. Be alert for the signs, for they will come from a quiet voice that could be drowned out by the louder protestations of our inner complaints.
We have a highly productive day with support from others as Venus sextiles Saturn and the Moon wings toward a trine to Uranus all day. We’ll have opportunity and effective approaches at our disposal today, so make the most of them. At 9:08 pm, the Moon enters its void period, although in Cancer we can still engage in successful endeavors throughout its stay.
The Moon enters Leo at 9:07 am, invigorating us with radiance and bringing joy to our weekend’s activities. At 9:25 am, Mercury enters Capricorn to make our thoughts and communications more pragmatic. The Moon encounters nothing but net as it sextiles Saturn and trines Venus. It’s a great day for making wise purchases, going to social gatherings, or engaging in crafts and decorating.
The Moon continues in expressive Leo, spurring us vigorously forward. Inspiration will flow into action as the Moon trines the Sun and conjoins Mars. The evening finds us wanting to retreat and reflect as she opposes Jupiter and Chiron.
The Moon’s final contact in Leo is its opposition to Neptune at 0:58 am, when it enters its latest void period. This lasts until 11:05 am when she moves into industrious Virgo, giving us a morning to ponder deeply as Mercury makes its yearly conjunction to Pluto. The Moon in Virgo allows these thoughts to gain traction as it trines Pluto and Mercury, giving them expression through our plans and projects. We’ll have a very productive afternoon. The traffic in streets and stores may be unusually obstreperous as a Mercury square to Saturn brings out the obstacles in the flow of life and commerce.
Squares to Venus and the Sun bracket the day as the Moon makes its way through Virgo. Social plans may be disrupted as we feel overwhelmed by our commitments. We’ll want to break free, but it will be wise to resist the urge to resolve relationship difficulties today. The square to the Sun at 4:13 pm marks the Last Quarter Sun-Moon square. This is a more challenging week than last, with the growing tension in relationships. The need for change that emerged over the past few months cry out to be finalized now. Even though we have essentially made the shift, some loose ends remain to be tied up. In general, we are aided by our community and by our faith in the future. Endings that occur now will be amicable. This is a surprise-tinged week, as the Sun makes its closing square to Uranus in the days ahead, spurring us to respond to unexpected developments. The Moon gives us a hint of what’s coming today and tomorrow.
In Washington DC, the chart of this lunation has 22 Cancer rising, with the South Node on the Ascendant and Saturn on the IC (base of the chart). This signals that significant events will occur this week. While the legislature takes its holiday break, the focus is on the economy. However, the workforce is beleaguered; the millions of unemployed are dragging the holiday economy down, and this is spurring both private generosity and political will to take stronger measures to bring the economy back to life for the average working citizen. Look for the forming Sun-Uranus square to foster unexpected events from places abroad to affect our commerce and well-being of the workforce.
The Sabian Symbol for 18 Virgo states: “Two giggling girls are sitting facing each other, knees tightly touching, working an ouija board on their laps.” This degree of the Moon puts us in touch with the hidden realms. We can bring new awareness to the surface through the simplest of experiences in the visible world if we can read the symbols of everyday life. At this time, we will be especially attuned to these messages, if we pay attention to what our inner voice is telling us. It also reminds us that the answers to our questions are available to us at every moment of the day, waking or sleeping. This is a good time to seek our answers within. After this time, we may see a sincere change of heart in those around us, as well as politicians who have thus far been disingenuous.
The Moon loses its effectiveness in Virgo when it goes void of course at 2:04 am with a bang, after opposing Uranus. Our dreams will help us find out way to convert unexpected circumstances into golden opportunity. We get down time until the Moon enters peace-loving Libra at 2:47 pm, re-opening the between the intense energies of Pluto and Saturn. We’ll feel the tension build through the evening; use that to fuel the fires of productivity.
The Libra Moon squares Mercury as we sleep, bringing new if disquieting insights to inform our day. Our waking hours are decidedly more pleasant and filled with enthusiasm as the Moon sextiles Venus and more notably the Sun trines Mars. This is the signal that Mars is about to retrograde, so don’t get swept away by the moment.
An early morning of harmonies with Mars, Sun, Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune is punctuated by the Moon’s void period, which fills the day starting at 9:45 am. Get that filing done, dream of the future, or take an early exit from the office. Initiatives should be postponed until after 8:31 pm, when the Moon enters Scorpio.
As the Moon moves through early Scorpio, she makes waves of harmony with Pluto and Mercury as she sextiles them over the day. It’s a great time to shop, decorate, socialize—or do anything fun.
The energies today are more intense as the Moon makes mostly challenging connections, to Mars, Chiron, Jupiter, and Neptune. The shape of the future is just too hard to fathom right now. But all is not lost; a trine to Uranus brightens our lives with creativity and the uplift of hope. We just know it’s going to be all right. The Moon goes void at 5:18 pm for the rest of day, so take it easy as darkness sets in.
The Sun snags on Uranus with a square, reminding us that life has its quirky plot twists. However, they turn out well, as the Sun’s sextiles to Chiron and Jupiter brings happy, healing outcomes. Before we rise, the Moon re-engages the universe when it enters sunny Sagittarius. The Moon’s sextile to Saturn at midday turns current events into successful enterprise.
The inspirational energies continue as a Sun sextile to Neptune colors the day with a spiritual feel. Allow yourself to dream, and something good will come of it. The Sagittarius Moon lends a soothing hand when it conjoins Venus, then trines Mars. Over the next three days, relationships can bloom and harmonies grow more easily than usual. Keep in mind however that challenges lie ahead that must be ironed out for the relationship to be lasting and thrive without power struggle.
The early morning hours are cluttered with lunar contacts as the Moon in Sagittarius reaches the end of the sign. Near midnight, a square to Uranus could agitate, but soothing sextiles to Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune expand images of freedom in our dreams. At 4:02 am, the Moon reaches the Sun to mark the New Moon at 24°40′ Sagittarius. This is the final contact for the Moon in this sign, starting a void-of-course period that lasts until the Moon enters Capricorn at 2:32 pm. The tone of the day changes from inspired to application, and we spring forth into serious action, as the Moon heads toward a tango with Pluto and Saturn over the evening. Action taken from a peaceful place, rather than out of anxiety, will be more effective.
The Sun-Moon conjunction of the New Moon is devoid of other planetary contacts, since these planets are at the latest degrees in the zodiac. The resulting planetary calm that fills the day (until 2:32 pm) gives us a golden moment of action. We can use the spark of the New Moon to take actions that will not be countered by other events—this is one of the signs where the Moon still performs. Over the coming week, the Sun’s movement is into a growing cluster of planets that reaches maximum in February.
Correspondingly, our energies are becoming more focused on specific areas of development. We feel like we are moving toward something positive, powerful, and growing. The shadow cast by the lunation finds the planets in a sweet spot, where tensions are low. Even though this is temporary, it gives us a welcome and much-needed respite from the mountains we have yet to climb. Even as this ease pervades our sensorial experience, we are feeling the brakes as Mars makes its station to retrograde in four days. This may make discretion easier to maintain in a period better known for celebratory flamboyance.
The chart cast for Washington DC places 19°38 Sagittarius on the Ascendant, with Venus rising. This bodes well for a holiday week full of joy and social interaction. Our politicians need time to create social bonds; it is harder to betray a colleague politically when you’ve learned to trust the person in your private life. It does seem as though politics takes a week off now as well.
The Sabian Symbol for 25 Sagittarius is: “A chubby little rich boy rides on a hobby horse . . . and wishes for hazards he may never know.” There is something in all of us which wants to be a hero, a knight in shining armor—to know adventure, be tested by danger, and overcome it. We know that tests are ahead of us, and if we share in the celebration of the hero archetype through film or play, we will find it easier to summon its spirit in ourselves when the time comes. This will be felt by our leaders as well.
Venus reaches the trine to Mars early today, and the fires of love are lit! The Moon’s movement to a late conjunction with Mercury, even in serious Capricorn, ensures harmony in head and heart.
Once again, Friday is a better day for parties than for business, as the Moon goes void of course at 12:07 pm. Her preceding sextile to Uranus reminds us that our circumstances can change for the better in an instant. All we have to do is be open.
The Moon enters quirky Aquarius at 2:30 am, but is brought down to earth by a productive trine to Saturn. Being responsible in relationships will help to ease our way through Venus’s square to Uranus today.
Mars makes its turn-around at 5:27 am/19°42′ Leo. This could leave skid marks in our relationships, as well as projects that involve others. What seemed seamless a few days ago, suddenly feels like it’s all just happening too fast. The Moon underscores the stopping action with emotional reaction, but don’t fall over yourself trying to escape or get upset when someone you love caves in to a moment of fear. However, Venus softens the energy, so if we can let events roll over us, all will turn out well in the end.
The week starts with a bevy of planetary action. First up is Jupiter’s third conjunction of the year with Neptune, its last one before it moves on to other pastures. The Moon aids these planets in getting their message across as it conjoins Neptune, Chiron, and Jupiter—observe what dreams may come in the early hours that these contacts occur. The final connection that the Moon makes is a sextile to Venus before it enters its void period at 4:54 am. This lasts until it goes into Pisces at 3:42 pm, giving us a day’s down time to get in touch with our inner selves and work on integrations and completions. If you want to take action, you have the support of a Moon-sextile-Sun and Pluto to smooth the way later on. At 9:47 am, the Sun moves into Capricorn, marking the winter solstice and the celebration of Yule. As the days now grow longer, we can invigorate the start of a new yearly cycle of light by setting our intention for the fulfillment of our dreams now.
After yesterday’s high level of activity, we get a day to integrate what we experienced. The Moon continues through Pisces, with no aspects occurring.
The Moon finally makes contact, generating significant harmonies as it sextiles a nearly stationary Mercury in mid-morning and conjoins Uranus in mid-afternoon. This highlights problem-solving and creativity in whatever we do.
The Moon in Pisces goes void of course with a square to Venus at 0:09 am, lasting until 3:39 am, when the Moon enters uplifting Aries. With a day full of challenging planetary events, this is not the best day to do all your Christmas shopping! Expect to encounter a few obstacles, but also make time to observe the deeper patterns and issues that lay in your path. The Sun reaches Pluto today, at 9:30 am, starting a new year-long cycle of deep change and dynamic inner movement. Symbolically, the earth moves under our feet today, an apt metaphor with these planets in earthy Capricorn. We are being challenged to build an entirely new world based on a new vision that began to form in January 2008. The Moon is the Great Uniter, holding a crystal ball on our future as it bridges the gap between the Sun, Pluto, and Saturn. The future feels huge, full of potential if we don’t crumble under the weight of our fears. Pay attention; take notes—you’ll look back at them in appreciation as the year unfolds.
Couched in this momentous process is the waxing, First Quarter square of the Moon to the Sun, which occurs at 9:36 am and 3°03′ Aries. This is the first we’ve felt in Capricorn since the summer eclipses, and this leads to the Lunar Eclipse on New Year’s Eve. Could it carry any more juice?! This lunation connects all the dots and is full of the tension of the unknown. Yet the remaining planetary energies in the chart are relatively gentle, supportive, and freeing.
In our nation’s capitol, the First Quarter Moon gives a chart with 17°07′ Aries rising, placing the Pluto-Sun conjunction near the MC (top of the chart). This places the focus on the leader of the nation, especially (given its position on the 9th house side) his role as world leader and the esteem granted him around the globe. The lack of political action during the legislative break permits the President to be seen in a more idealistic and hopeful light again. His voice will be heard more clearly above the din of cynical rhetoric as people reach inside for what is most meaningful to them. Mr. Obama is likely to be honored by more recognitions and honors both domestically and internationally. There may also be a foreign relations success, with the help of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to thank for it.
At 4 Aries, the Sabian Symbol is “Two lovers are strolling through a secluded walk.” Sometimes we must take the time restore our soul to its proper role as the center of self. This holiday week is also the darkest week of the year, a time when we naturally feel the urge to turn inward. Take the time to follow this urge, for it will restore your internal compass to true north and guide you through the coming year. All humanity will have this opportunity, and we may see signs that our leaders are examining their direction and making adjustments to follow their heart’s path. It is a time to get a broader, deeper perspective and find our small place in it.
Christmas Day brings two events of more than passing significance. First, Venus makes its ingress into Capricorn at 10:17 am, lending a more serious and common-sense tone to our social interactions. Love deepens and loyalty grows. The Sun issues a challenge to us to make sure our structures are becoming solid, as it squares Saturn. Dinner may not come off as planned, but it will be easy to overlook with the other distractions of the day. A Moon trine to Mars, even though retrograde, smoothes the way, but we may prefer retreat over social interaction as a Moon-square-Mercury occurs in the late evening. Tuck yourself in with a close friend and a movie, or a good book.
Before this day of Kwanzaa (or Boxing Day) opens, the Aries Moon sweetens our dreams with sextiles to Chiron, Neptune, and Jupiter after which the Moon goes void at 3:44 am. This gives us a morning of rest and relief from the urge to do anything, until the Moon enters constructive Taurus at 12:26 pm. Mercury commences its 21-day retrograde at 6:36 am, traveling from 21°48′ to 5°33′ Capricorn. This could create a feeling of regret or a desire to leap into productiveness in the wake of a long holiday season. The Moon brings a grace note to our mood with trines to Venus, Pluto, and the Sun over the last half of the day.
Venus reaches Pluto, taking us into the most profound depths of our regard for others. Our feelings are revealed to us from a new angle and grant us a new resolve in clearing obstacles in the path of love. Our Taurus Moon squares Mars, eroding our desire to take action, no matter how firm our resolve.
We start the week on a note of tension as the Moon makes contact with Mercury, Uranus, Chiron, Neptune, and Jupiter from its position in Taurus. Although the Moon goes void of course at 9:54 am, we can still take fruitful action while the Moon is in this, its sign of exaltation. It’s a good thing, because she doesn’t enter Gemini until 5:13 pm! Venus completes the cosmic design by squaring Saturn, reiterating the Saturn-Pluto square that has trained a root-rooter on our consciousness since early November. This is a difficult day to make amends in relationship, but it may be necessary. A little humility goes a long way, no matter what the circumstances.
The mood picks up as the Moon makes a trine to Saturn. We are happy to stretch our legs into constructive activities again, and the universe lends its support.
We get a half day of productive and energized actions before the Moon goes into its void-of-course period. A sextile to Mars lends comfort as we sleep, but we may awaken to the sudden recall of an unfulfilled responsibility. The rest of the morning goes smoothly and we complete our tasks unobstructed as the Moon trines Chiron, Neptune, and Jupiter before our down time begins. We can resume gainful activities after 6:45 pm, when the Moon enters Cancer.
The year ends with a bang as we are graced with a Lunar Eclipse Full Moon at 11:13 am/10°15′ Cancer. All the other contacts of the day occur before the eclipse, giving us a view from another perspective of the transformative cycle we launched last week. This week takes us higher and deeper as we walk through the shadows of the realms of the unconscious. We are looking for connection, for our own version of family, valuing what we have instead of yearning for what we don’t as this year ends and the new eclipse period begins. If we find ourselves without the connections we want, it’s time to begin creating them. It really is love that makes the world go round.
In the chart cast for Washington DC, 1°03′ Gemini rises. This places Mars retrograde in the 4th house of the people, suggesting that most Americans are staying close to home for the holidays. Weather will be a factor, particularly in the east, where there will be a weather event, perhaps a storm followed by a drop in temperatures that impedes travel. One spotlight is focused once again on President Obama, who is a symbol of freedom and hope. There is a darker message however coming from foreign shores, as a spoil-sport leader tries to disrupt the holiday spirit. This attention-seeking behavior is most likely to come from Iran, although Afghanistan/Pakistan is sure to be in the news as well.
The Sabian Symbol for 11 Cancer is “A clown is making merry, gently caricaturing all manner of human traits with his grimaces and pantomime.” (ME Jones version) This degree emphasizes role-playing and pointing out truths with humor. Humor makes truth more palatable and easier to assimilate into our reality. Laughter carries change on its waves into our hearts. All will certainly not be as it appears on the surface. Look for the real message underneath the surface words spoken at this time, both by politicians far and near, and by those you know.