As Winter nears, the power of the Dark Mother flowers.
Her seasonal gifts of transformation are accentuated by this month’s planetary influences and will reward us with tangible results if we are able to hold course despite the festive temptations of Sun in Sagittarius.
Speaking of Sag, since last fall, the transit of Saturn through the Sign of the Archer has been pushing us to work in some area that we tend to let flow due to our sometimes excessive optimism. The taskmaster planet is one of the forces that makes this month more than just another winter holiday. If we read between the lines we will see that its irritating yet productive push can help us put together the pieces of our month, year, and even our most cherished goals.
On Thursday, December 1, Chiron turns on the green light for healing initiatives as it turns direct. Simultaneously, Mars the mover trines visionary Jupiter, giving us the confidence to move ahead, and blessing bold actions with breakthrough potential. We should use it while we can, since this is the last day of the year when a waxing Moon combines with fully direct Mercury.
These two transits blend to make a great kick-off for the new Mercury cycle that begins just one day later, on Friday, December 2, when the messenger planet enters Capricorn the Serious. Except for a brief dip into Sagittarius at the beginning of January, Mercury will be in this sign of hard results for the next nine weeks. On the same day, Friday, it enters pre-retrograde shadow. A steel-grey hue is cast on our minds and interactions, a sobering vibration that moves us to focus and make the most of the year’s last weeks.
Mercury retrograde is about review, reflection, reworking, remembering, rewriting, and redoing. In Capricorn, it emphasizes reorganizing, restructuring and rebuilding. It will help us move through bureaucracy left over from the past, and pull the divergent trails of our goals and priorities together into a more orderly whole.
If you’ve been feeling scattered lately, sit down and reflect on the various pots you have on the fire. Release any frustration about your lack of progress in 2016. The Universe knows about these things, and the year-end Mercury is here to help us discern what really matters, pick up where we left off and retrieve the golden thread of progress. Write down a strategy and daily schedule for achievement, and release any guilt you might feel about focusing on progress while storefronts beckon to sensual celebration.
For that matter, even plans for holiday fun and activism can be handled with executive efficiency during this transit.
As for Capricorn’s inner terrain, Mercury’s shadow and retrograde shed light on our inherited attitudes toward patriarchal institutions, authority and tradition. We can use it to review any guilt we may feel about our own need for prosperity and accomplishment, and for that matter, guilt in general.
Journaling is one way to heal these issues. Another is to hold a December Success Circle, in which you join weekly in person or by conference call to share goals and encourage one another to get things done despite the collective pressure to slow down at this season.
In the midst of your labors, make time for humor, another of Capricorn’s fortes.
This transit also empowers our inner skeptic, who will help balance out the adventuresome optimism of social Venus, who enters Aquarius on Tuesday, December 7. Venus will lift our spirits, renew friendships and fan romantic flames. In Aquarius, sign of genius and activists, she works well with the practical spirit of Mercury in Capricorn to help us produce tangible results in idealistic and creative concerns.
Both Aquarius and Capricorn like to stretch their dollars, indicating good Christmas shopping sense and a preference for books, technology, items purchased on the web, and altruistic gifts like a card for donating to a cause. People will be putting their money where their mouth is as they support the Sioux movement to stop the pipeline and other idealistic concerns. Those who work on the web or have a cause of their own, will experience a sudden surge of public response as the Venus, planet of values leaves traditionalist Capricorn and enters idealistic, forward-looking Aquarius.
The Second Quarter of the month is marked by celebrations of the Chaste Goddess. In his impeccably documented book, The Year of the Goddess, Lawrence Durdin-Robertson points out that December 8 is the Day of Isis in her aspect as Immaculate Lady. He notes that “the Black Virgins so highly reverenced in certain French cathedrals, proved, when at last critically examined, to be basalt figures of Isis!”
Another Dark Virgin honored at this time is Tonantzin, so widely revered in Mexico that the Catholic Church ended up syncretizing her with the Spanish Guadalupe. Her hold on the national psyche is so strong that every December 12, hundreds of thousands make a yearly pilgrimage—most on foot or bicycle–to honor her at the Basilica de Guadalupe, built at the site of her ancient shrine.
Also on Sunday December 12, Sun trines Uranus. Suddenly, it will seem more difficult to repress the call to freedom. Enjoy the weekend, but don’t let the Sun go down without somehow pausing to consider your goals for change, particularly those that empower your individuality. This transit will light the way to applying the upcoming trine from Saturn to Uranus and can inject creative inspiration into plans and projects.
On December 13, Mercury will be in shadow, but its influence comes to light as Luna becomes Full in Gemini. This is the last Full Moon of the year. It is a Supermoon, called that because of its perigee or proximity to Earth, and it will be particularly bright.
This orb shines brightly against the Dark Mother sky of December, precipitating closure of cycles. Some associate the December Full Moon with a beginning of two weeks of rest. Yet Saturn the worker opposes Luna, both forming part of a mystical triangle involving creative Sun, restless Uranus and progress-minded Jupiter.
Gemini Moon brings balance to the cycle of Sun in visionary Sagittarius by helping us focus on details, connections and, god-forbid, paperwork. Again, take a look at the area Saturn in the middle degrees of Sagittarius has been transiting your natal chart this year, after honoring this bright and lovely Moon. Although we’re used to thinking that offices will be closed at this time of year, and some may well be, this Moon guides us to hone in on those pending details that can help us ground the dream or solution we need. Holiday greetings and touches that we wish we had sent can also come together in record time, including details for business clients or the public.
On Tuesday, December 19, Mars leaves the breezy airs of Aquarius and enters the cool depths of Pisces. We are less inclined to act directly, and subterfuge becomes more likely. However, if we pause frequently to feel our way into things, we can pick up undercurrents and intuitive guidance for our actions. Contacts with angels and guides—spiritual and human—will also be most helpful. On this same day, Mercury leaves shadow to fully submerge in retrograde, fueling our introspective nature and enriching our inner work.
On Wednesday, December 20, we get yet another special event. It’s the longest night of the year, known as Mother’s Night in pagan Europe. Tomorrow, the Sun will be symbolically reborn, representing the solar hero within who will reach heights of radiance in the coming cycle. Native Mexicans would call on the Solstice Sun, filling themselves with its light to strengthen their voluntad logradora, or willpower to achieve.
This is the night to praise and encourage the Mother forces so that the new year’s child within will emerge strong and secure.
On Thursday, December 21 at 2:44 am (5:44 ET), Sun enters Capricorn and begins its slow, annual rise to the zenith. This is the true solar New Year, and with Saturn trine Uranus in the Solstice chart, 2017 will year when our accumulated efforts can open large doors quickly.
This trine is one of most promising influences for the New Year. In advance of further comments to be shared in an upcoming piece on 2017, we share these sign-by-sign tips on this key transit:
Since 2011, you’ve been more restless than ever to assert your authentic self. You have been reworking molds, labels and responsibilities placed on you by others. It has been an interesting time, but not necessarily easy. You have felt isolated and lonely. Now your efforts to open new paths seem to gain more solid footing. Continue or renew your focus on self-improvement, higher studies, rebuilding your confidence and independent beliefs, a project related to foreign countries or cultures, promotion and/or media activities. What seemed to make you weird now garners recognition. Act on your practical intuition.
Since Uranus entered Aries in 2011, you may still be wearing your favorite tweed jacket and carrying your eternally favorite magazine under your arm, but deep inside there’s change. You have tried to keep it out of sight, but strange coincidences and otherworldly occurrences have become hard to ignore. As for Saturn, since last fall it has intensified the pressure, forcing you to explore your emotions and subconscious, rebuild your sexual identity, deal with a drawn-out inheritance process, develop a new habit, or overcome fears. This year your efforts will bring together hidden aspects of yourself in a new way. Go on a retreat, visit a metaphysical center, contact your angels and light beings, work on forgiveness and do whatever is necessary to move beyond your comfort zone. Help appears from another dimension….