*Times are Pacific Standard Time, unless stated otherwise. Planetary positions are expressed as the degree (rounded to the nearest whole degree) followed by the sign.
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Are you wondering why you feel some of the transits we talk about and not others or why a friend may feel one but you don’t? If the transiting planet affects a planet in your natal chart, that is, where the planets were at the time you were born, then you are more likely to feel the transit or may feel it stronger than one that does not affect a planet in your natal chart. Don’t have a chart? Would you like one? Let us know.
Winter Solstice arrives on December 21st at 9:30 pm as the Sun moves from high-flying Sagittarius into down-to-earth Capricorn. While each sign seems to be an antidote to its immediate predecessor in the zodiac, each one also comes equipped with the capability to take the gift of the preceding sign to the next level. According to Dane Rudhyar in The Universal Matrix, Capricorn “gives stability and substance to the metaphysical, religious or social enthusiasm of Sagittarian thinkers, seers and prophets. It establishes the dream into the soil of human collectivities and makes it take root in normality – in our ‘common humanity.’ Capricorn puts to practical use what Sagittarius has released. It builds substantial vehicles for the operation of ideas, engines for the operation of new powers, a body for the divine Spirit to function through, states and empires to serve the purpose of social revolution and social creativeness. Through states and empires, Capricorn glorifies and perpetuates culture-building power and those that hold collective power.” The Sun in Capricorn gives us our annual opportunity to focus on the foundations and structures of our lives and to build them up using the elements of our life’s purpose. Tuning into our internal CEO could give us the inspiration we need to take charge of our lives and slowly but steadily steer it towards our goals.
The Capricorn ingress is the chart most frequently used by mundane astrologers to analyze the energies that will be in play in the coming year for sovereign nations. For the United States, we look at the chart based in Washington, D.C., December 22nd, 12:30:03 am EST, which features the Sun 0° Capricorn 00’ in the third house of communication and short distance travel straddling the IC with Pluto in the fourth house of home. The focus of the powers that be in our government will therefore in 2012 likely turn to our country’s domestic challenges. Mars is rising in the east in Virgo, the sign of service, in the twelfth house of secrets, institutions and self-undoing. Will this bring greater awareness and attention to serving the needs of the masses or will those needs continue to be placed in the closet while tending to the needs of the few? Clandestine military maneuvers are also probable. Retrograde Jupiter is setting in the west, in Taurus in the seventh house of significant relationships, known enemies and contracts, and within orb of an opposition to Saturn in the first house of self. What challenges might these two pose for us? Saturn demands that we be forthright and disciplined. Jupiter will expand whatever is foremost in our minds – positive or negative. Are we focusing on our blessings or our misfortunes? Focusing on the poor economy, unemployment and other negatives could exacerbate the existing conditions. TIME’s Person of the Year “The Protestor” will certainly have a lot to shout out about in 2012 as the Uranus/Pluto first quarter square tightens its grip. The Moon, which represents the people, is in Scorpio in the second house of personal finances, how money is made and what is valued. The Moon is in the balsamic phase, the last of the waning crescent and going dark, possibly meaning that the needs of the 99% may be overlooked again in this election year. Mercury in Sagittarius joins the Sun in the third house asking for dialog about issues that are close to home. Our collective philosophies and belief systems ask to be addressed but, as Mercury is unaspected, the discourse may fall on deaf ears.
On December 22nd, six and half hours after the winter solstice, the Moon leaves fixed water Scorpio for mutable fire Sagittarius, leaving no planets in water signs for more than six days. This means that we will need to make a more conscious effort to tune into our emotions and those of others. Resist the temptation to stay numb over the holidays. Connecting with others on an emotional level, even if it seems negative, can be cathartic, especially if done with even a hint of conscious self-observance. Nine hours after entering Capricorn the Sun has the first of a series of major aspects during this period that offers up the theme of creativity, will, vitality, and perhaps most importantly the heart, the symbolic center of our being. When the Sun trines Jupiter, still retrograde but stationing at 0° Taurus 23’ it has the potential to pump up us with enthusiasm and add a sense of philosophical purpose to our daily lives. With the Sun in ambitious Capricorn and Jupiter in resource-conscious Taurus, both practical earth signs, we may find sensible tools to manifest our desired future for the coming year. And perhaps surprisingly original ones as, less than eight hours later, the Sun squares Uranus at 0° Aries 42’. We may also feel pulled by conservative or radical forces, depending on which side of the fence we’re on and how these aspects are hitting our natal charts. Uranus in Aries is the call of freedom squared, which liberates the mind of standard notions and formulas that inhibit the magic of invention. The Sun in Capricorn favors the inch-by-inch, brick-by-brick stable, reliable (i.e. predictable) approach to life building. Insisting on a truthful dialogue between the extremes of these two positions could foster a significant break-through where we most need it.
The New Moon on December 24th at 2° Capricorn 34’ sets the tone for the coming month. What better time for planting new seeds than Christmas Eve as we celebrate both giving and receiving. However, the annual conjunction of the Sun and Moon in industrious Capricorn strengthens selfish ambitions. Being so concerned with organizing, building and running the world, Capricorn does not always feel the love and so can act without conscience to achieve its goals. Amplified by the trine to stationing Jupiter and Square to Uranus, this New Moon is a powerful one so it is important to be conscious of what is motivating us. Under the influence of this heavy Capricorn energy, we could lose sight of our own humanity. Only if we are empowered with a higher purpose will the means justify the end. “We envision a future society,” says Rudhyar, “in which every individual who, having consecrated his or her life to the whole of humanity in Libra, having felt the power of our common humanity in Scorpio, and having seen the Pattern of a truly universal Order in Sagittarius, attempts to courageously and in utter self-sacrifice to perform, in Capricorn, the creative act of positive participation in the building of the new global society. In Capricorn, everyone can become an incarnation. This is the zodiacal Promise, the eternal “Glad News.”
Merry Christmas Day, December 25th, Jupiter stations direct at 0° Taurus 21’. Hopefully this will translate into a truly joyous day with our hearts expanding to encompass the universe. Excess is also possible, but what would Christmas be without a little over-indulgence? Now we enter a period of more than four weeks during which no planets will be retrograde and forward motion will seem easier. While the general energy may feel like full speed ahead, there is also a point of caution as both Mars and Saturn are slowing down and in their shadows (in the degree space that will be revisited during their upcoming retrogrades). With Mars having slowed down to just slightly more than 1/3 its normal speed, it may be more advisable to concentrate our energy on existing projects rather than starting new ones.
On December 28th the Sun completes its trio of aspects with the outer planets as it conjuncts Pluto at 7° Capricorn 13’. After walking through the expansive trine to wise Jupiter and the fractious square to rebellious Uranus, the Sun, which represents our Spirit, touches deep and profound places with Pluto, the source of our power. In Capricorn, this combo could bring forth a ruthless nature that could quash just about anything it wants to, and an intense will that can move mountains. Imagine what we could accomplish with this power if it were purified by a divine purpose. Then we could become a steward for real effective change.
On December 30th the Moon in Pisces goes void-of-course at 5:37 am for the next 20 hours giving us ample time to review our dreams of the past year and have a sense of which one we will ride on into the new year. Best to do this now as tomorrow will leave no room for reflection.
The last day of the year, December 31st, starts with the Moon charging into Aries ensuring all eyes will be forward to the year ahead and not sentimentalizing about days gone by. As the year draws to a close on the west coast, Mercury finally leaves its shadow at 20° Sagittarius 07’, ready to tread fresh ground in our way of perceiving and making new contacts. One hour later, at 10:14 pm, the Moon at 10° Aries 13’ makes the first quarter square to the Sun at 10° Capricorn 13’ and 10 minutes later Mercury at 20° Sagittarius 10’ makes a first quarter square to Mars at 20° Virgo 10’. This brings 2011 to an end on the west coast with a “crises of action” making it a potentially contentious rather than celebratory New Year’s Eve. The tests we encounter between what we feel (Moon) and what our hearts will (Sun) will be juxtaposed to the clashes between what we think (Mercury) and what we want (Mars). With the Sun and Mars in realistic earth signs and the Moon and Mercury in inspirational fire, we could best be supported if we look for balanced cooperation above the noise of complaint. Rather than succumbing to argument get out the Erector Set and build a bridge of hope into the New Year.
As 2012 begins the planets seem to be giving each other the silent treatment, as there are no major exact aspects between them until January 7th. However, we aren’t completely free of the astral dialogue as the Moon makes her rounds, touching every one of them during this time. With no other planets in water signs (other than the Moon) until Venus enters Pisces on January 13th, this makes the Moon our main resource for emotional awareness. While the Sun represents our Spirit, the Moon represents our Soul, which has the wisdom gained from living this all before. As we move into the symbolic new chapter of our lives in the legendary 2012, we would do well to look to the Moon and what she reflects back to remind us of what we’ve learned and the leaps we’ve taken to get where we are at this moment in history.