Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on! With three planetary ingresses over the next couple of weeks, and both the Sun and Mercury setting off aftershocks to the last pass of the square between Uranus and Pluto that occurred on December 14th (see last AstroCast), not to mention Mr. Shockwave himself, Uranus, changing directions… Shift Happens! The earth beneath our feet may not feel so steady or supportive as we flow with, or resist, the fluctuating energies of the planets above during this complex holiday season offering up its usual mixed bag of gifts: joy and conflict, love and alienation, aesthetic beauty and commercial ugliness. Setting our compassion filter to wide open is the choice that will minimize pain and suffering all around and allow us to experience this season as an opportunity to express gratitude for the presence of others in our lives. Whether we know it or not, that is the best gift any of us could receive.
The Winter Solstice on December 21st is appropriately unusual in that less than twenty minutes prior to the Sun entering Capricorn, Uranus in Aries stations direct. Having been at a near standstill for the past month, gathering intensity as he slows down his retrograde motion, Uranus in this round has had the upper hand in his challenge to Pluto, as manifested in the social unrest we’ve seen of late due to the controversy over the militarization of our police forces and the bias they seem to exhibit towards persons of color. I remember back in Psych 101 a study that was done about the effect on guards when they were allowed to wear mirror sunglasses. Their brutality increased as their ability to connect to another human being decreased simply through being able to hide their eyes from another. Imagine what that study would conclude today given the addition of body armor, helmets and various other paraphernalia that serves to disengage a person from his own humanity. The dark side of powerful Pluto in ambitious Capricorn is capable of this kind of ruthlessness in its drive for “success” and we see this kind of dehumanization playing out in many parts of the globe. The hand Uranus is playing now is awakening us to our collective power to reconnect to our humanity, and one of the best ways to do that is through meaningful eye contact.
The Sun’s ingress into Capricorn is also unusual as it is followed just a few hours later by the New Moon, the second in a rare series of New Moons at zero degrees of a sign. This double dose of Capricorn on the pivotal shortest day of the year, infused by the increased focus of Uranus’ archetypal uniqueness, represents a heightened experience of emergence. The Sun, symbolizing the core of our creative identity, and the Moon, embodying our instinctive nature, uniting in this enduring sign beams down a new vision of what it means to be accountable for our actions. There is a maturity to Capricorn that is cognizant of consequences and understands that while success may be achieved overnight, it must be built on slow, steady progress for it to last. If the realization of goals is pegged to a dedication to self-realization, then the well-known materialistic tendencies of Capricorn will be subjugated to the objectives of the larger consciousness system; ego drives will be dedicated to serving humanity and the conscious sustainability of life here on Earth.
On December 23rd, Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn underscores the theme of responsible emergence when he ends his two and a half year stay in Scorpio and enters Sagittarius. Disciplined expansion could be a theme of Saturn’s stay here, or in areas where expansion has been run amuck, as in the stock market for example, Saturn’s restrictive nature could put a stop to it, as he did the last time he sojourned through the natural home of Jupiter. He burst bubbles then and he could do so now, it is just a matter of when. The result of the market crash in 1987 was a regulatory overhaul of protocols and rules, as well as the installation of circuit breakers in the computerized trading system that could temporarily halt extreme volatility in the market. Today, there is much talk of bringing back market regulation that had been systematically stripped away over the past couple of decades. Deregulation has led, not just to unbridled growth, but Federal-Reserve-low-interest-rate-goosed surges to new all-time market highs, similar to the pre-crash conditions of the early 1980s.
Conversations may be goosed when Mercury ho ho ho’s his way through the Uranus/Pluto square on December 24th. Conservatives and liberals squaring off at holiday tables could very possibly have heated discussions about the benefits and drawbacks of the power elite and the scrappy upstarts shaking their tree. In addition to our domestic issues of race and militarization of the police, significant global situations can provide plenty of opinions, from North Korea’s unprecedented hack of Sony which has Hollywood on bended knees, to the complex economic forces bringing down the Russian ruble (or if you prefer, upstart Putin being put in his place by the perfect storm of economic sanctions and competitive forces outside OPEC depressing oil prices). Then there are the persistent culturally driven power grabs by the likes of the Islamic State and other rebel-like, self-determining cabals across the Middle East and Africa fighting for control over corrupt governments. Underneath all those opinions may lay significant clues to many a personal relationship in the dynamic throes of waking up to whether or not it is working. Our perceptions could suddenly shift as we see things we didn’t see before. Perhaps the best gift we could receive at this time is the discovery of some part of our nature that is holding onto dysfunction. That revelation could set off a seismic process, allowing that which is true at our core – unconditional love – to erupt in free expression.
Any bruised ego hangovers from Mercury’s transit of the Awakener and the Shaman of the Underworld may find a psychic pick-me-up when the Sun sextiles Neptune on December 26th, enhanced with sweet serendipity by the Moon touching them both earlier in the day. The sparkling, romantic formation between the King and Queen of the Lights with the compassionate Mystic may be just the antidote of enchantment we need to the build up of planets (Sun, Mercury, Venus and Pluto) in controlling Capricorn. This may also be an opportunity to realize that the only things we can control are our personal choices, and to ask what would Love do?
Sports fans should have reason to rejoice on January 1st, as Mars in Aquarius opposing Jupiter in Leo should make for some exciting New Year’s day matches, where big displays of strength, prowess and sheer competitive force will be evident. For those of us in the bleachers, we would be well served to channel that urge to assert constructively (tune into the Capricorn planets for help with that), rather than allowing a cocky over-confidence ignore that little voice inside advocating for temperance. Jupiter infuses Mars’ actions with a cause, complementing the muscle with a higher might. Crusader consciousness, however, can quickly devolve to self-indulgent extremes if not graced with a connection to the grand plan of the larger consciousness system.
Trial by fire may be the theme for January 3rd when the Sun squares Uranus in Aries and conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn. Hearts may burn with a profound sense of uniqueness and connection to hidden powers, a combo that at the very least would jolt anyone out of apathetic doldrums. The key here is to purify any intent with as wide a consciousness as possible, or risk acting out like a petty tyrant forcing radical, self-aggrandizing agendas upon anyone within reach. The creative force of the Sun, aligned with transformational Pluto at it’s best can be spurred on by the innovative impulses generated by electric Uranus. Archetypally this energy has the potential to convert the complacent into dynamic forces of change. This may be the day to set New Year’s resolutions into motion.
Midway between the Sun’s translation of the Uranus/Pluto square on the 3rd, Venus’ shift into eccentric Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus, may further shake things up, especially if we adopt the spirit of detachment that characterizes this liberating sign by giving us the freedom to be who we truly are without the sway of others invading our choices. Of course, that also sets us up to be the rebel so we best be prepared for resistance from outside sources as we begin to dance to the beat of that different drum. Depending on how closely we are aligned with our own truth we may identify either with being an outcast or part of the avant-garde during Venus’ three-week stay in this socially aloof sign.
Outside of the Moon travelling around the zodiac at a clip, the predominant chart pattern throughout this time is a fan (picture a fan and that’s basically it – all but one planet form the fan part, concentrated within the space of a wide trine – a120° to 128° angle…OK, orb stretcher here, this one is 132°, and the lone planet acting as the handle). The handle in this case is Jupiter in Leo, which gives the overall theme of the planetary arrangement enveloping us at this time a philosophical, bigger than life edge, not to mention a turbo bandwidth channel for the bundle of celestial energy bounded by disciplined Saturn in Jupiter’s home sign of Sagittarius, and groundbreaking Uranus in courageous Aries. Mars, the natural ruler of Aries, opposing Jupiter creates a thrust of potent energy back to the apex of the pattern. There is visionary fire written all over this cosmic structure (Leo, Sagittarius and Aries are all fire signs). May it motivate us to at least take initiating steps to learn how to effectively create the future we need in the here and now, and to reach out to others for support in tapping into our own inner resources in order that we may emerge into joyous fulfillment.
Shake, baby, Shake!
Here’s the data:
*Times where noted are Pacific Time Zone.
**Degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
December 21st – Uranus stations direct at 13° Aries at 2:45 p.m.
December 21st – Sun at 0° Capricorn at 3:03 p.m.
December 21st – Moon conjunct Sun (New Moon) at 0° Capricorn at 5:36 p.m.
December 23rd – Saturn at 0° Sagittarius at 8:33 a.m.
December 24th – Mercury square Uranus at 13° Capricorn/Aries at 5:31 p.m.
December 24th – Mercury conjunct Pluto at 13° Capricorn at 10:52 p.m.
December 26th – Moon sextile Sun at 5° Capricorn/Pisces at 3:46 a.m.
December 26th – Moon conjunct Neptune at 5° Pisces at 4:51 a.m.
December 26th – Sun sextile Neptune 5° Capricorn/Pisces at 7:11 p.m.
January 1st – Mars opposite Jupiter at 22° Aquarius/Leo at 11:49 a.m.
January 3rd – Sun square Uranus at 13° Capricorn/Aries at 12:40 a.m.
January 3rd – Venus at 0° Aquarius at 6:48 a.m.
January 3rd – Sun conjunct Pluto at 13° Capricorn at 3:32 p.m.