*Times are PDT, 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.
We left you on December 6th with a lingering note to enjoy a period of relative planetary calm. Hopefully the transient Moon has been kind to you as she danced with all her partners. While the exact aspects coming up for this next two-week period will undoubtedly liven things up, there is an underlying note worth mentioning. By December 7th, Saturn, at 26° Libra comes within 2° of a trine to Neptune at 28° Aquarius. Although the aspect won’t be exact until late next year, the planets of structure and spirituality remain within a 2° orb of the trine until next February when Saturn begins to pull away during its retrograde period. Although the more complex and potentially volatile energies building through the holidays may draw our attention away to more immediate matters at hand, if we can manage to also pay attention to these undertones, we may be able to tune into the fog-lifting partnership adept at distinguishing real from unreal when in this harmonious aspect. Of any planetary pair, it seems this may be one that could give us the tools to make our dreams come true. All we have to do is pick them up and master their use.
On December 9th the “wild-n-crazy” revolutionary Uranus at 0° Aries, after five rampant months of retrograde motion, is stationing direct shortly before midnight. With Uranus stopping dead in his tracks, his potency is concentrated; at the 0° Aries point, what some regard as the most powerful degree of the zodiac, this is raw, unfiltered energy with freedom as its calling. Winter temperatures can’t cool the heated social, political and economic conditions that continue in the US, Europe and the Middle East, and a new flare up is possible during this time. While it could lead to social chaos, on an individual level it could also lead to significant strides in self-realization. For more on Uranus in Aries, read Jim Sher’s article here. The countdown now begins to the first exact square with Pluto on June 24, 2012 at 8° Aries/Capricorn. It is unlikely there will be a singular event at the moment of exactitude as the revolutionary and transformational archetypes of these two slower moving outer planets seldom manifest that way. Rather the energy that has been building this year will grow even more intense and, if we lose our heads, our reactions to it could become more erratic and extreme.
On December 10th, as the Sun rises at 18° Sagittarius and the Moon sets at 18° Gemini, we have a full Moon Lunar eclipse, the sixth and final eclipse of 2011. The culmination of what was set in motion at the Sagittarius New Moon (also an eclipse) marks the turning point in this monthly cycle between development of the seed and the harvest of it. This is the moment when we put it all on stage and see what works and what doesn’t. The annual opposition of the Sagittarius Sun and the Gemini Moon highlights the differences between the Message and the Messenger. The Gemini Moon is driven by the need to procure and disseminate information and the mental connections to others this process brings. The Sagittarius Sun is the quintessential idea man, reaching not just for the Moon but the Stars, other galaxies and beyond, the colossal hologram of existence. The challenge, as in all full moons, is to find the bridge between the two so that the best of each is allowed to shine with the support of the other. If Gemini deals in information just for the sake of being informed he could be lost in a sea of distractions. If he works with Sagittarius and pulls back to see the broader view then those bits of information will come together in purposeful context to aid in the evolution of our knowledge, and his value as a messenger is exalted. If Sagittarius comes down out of the clouds long enough to see the natural networking talent Gemini brings to the table then he will find the natural partner to take his insights out into the world. Sagittarius is concerned with the links between God and Man, Gemini with the links between humans. Imagine what can happen if the two get together, especially during an eclipse where time and space is warped and portals to new ways of being are opened to us if we seek them.
In the early afternoon of December 12th as Mars 14° Virgo continues to slow down, he finds himself in an unusual situation – he is alone, with no major aspects to any other planets. Generally, angular relationships reveal how planets communicate with each other and within our personal charts how we are able to access and utilize the archetypes represented by those aspects. When a planet is unaspected it is no longer able to connect with the others and the archetypal energy can become difficult to access or control. With the exception of a few hours when the Moon is within orb of a conjunction to Mars on December 16th and 17th and then on December 21st when the Moon sextiles Mars, the God of War will be unaspected by any of the other planets until late on Christmas Day, December 25th. Unanchored by other influences, tempers could flare, we could be more irritable or anxious, or unfounded fears may take hold. This can be a time to be wary of “war-mongers” and others who cry “foul” or “the sky is falling.” Caution and self-awareness is required before we assert ourselves so we can calmly choose our words more carefully and consciously act rather than impulsively react. It would be well to remember that during his retrograde in 2012 Mars retreats over this same territory in Virgo, and back for a third time before moving on in July 2012. With Mars in Virgo’s energy field fighting words are more likely than raw punches; precision-oriented strategies prevail over brute force; pre-planned military maneuvers are preferable to rag-tag rebel attacks. However we go about getting what we want, we’ll need to make an extra effort to access the help the other planets bring to balance out any approach. The benefit of this may be finding unique ways to manifest our desires as Mars is forced to go outside normal channels of communication to get guidance from his colleagues in space.
On December 13th at 1:48 pm, the Moon leaves its home sign of Cancer and moves into fixed fiery Leo. With this shift, there are now no planets in water signs, making it difficult to connect to our emotions and feelings. Conversely, Mercury stations direct at 5:43 pm at 4° Sagittarius emphasizing our thoughts and words. In Sagittarius, according to Dane Rudhyar, “Mercury here is the interpreter and recorder of social transfers of energy. Mercury loves to deal with big things; to give a brilliant formulation to vast social enterprises, or to broad abstract ideologies.” In essence, he is the “secretary” of Jupiter, and as such, he may “escape into social wittiness and superficiality, playing intellectual games or clinging to a wordy idealism while the tide of social evolution rolls mightily under his scaffolding of abstract phrases and concepts unrooted in the realities of human nature.” As Mercury is the second planet to change directions within a few days this could be a period of significant shift in direction for us here on Earth. It would be interesting to mark this time and take mental notes for when Mars stations direct at 4° Virgo in square to this point next year. Whatever we think and say today may manifest into action on April 13, 2012. As always, exercise caution and restraint now and make sure big words are backed by the equivalent in deeds lest the action then becomes “eating” one’s words.
December 14th is a rare day as neither the Moon nor any of the planets make an exact aspect to another. This is another opportunity for us to take note on how we feel. Without being moored by the archetypal energies, it is possible to experience anxiety, disconnection or the potentially nerve-wracking anticipation of the imminent unknown that is ready to descend and make its mark on our lives. If we do play the observer now, this short window of time becomes a great opportunity to assess where we stand in our emotional development.
On December 17th the Moon 25° Virgo makes its third quarter square to the Sun 25° Sagittarius. This monthly “crisis of consciousness” moment can be a practical time to reassess our beliefs on the issues at hand – which are founded in reality and which no longer hold water. Being able to let go of outmoded beliefs will always lead to our next stage of growth. The key to any readjustment or reorientation during this phase of the lunar cycle is to look at the signs – is there an obsession with details (Virgo) that may be inhibiting our view of the big picture (Sagittarius)? Is our desire for adventure and reaching for the stars (Sagittarius) lacking a firm foot on practical ground (Virgo)?
While never a speed demon, Saturn is moving slower than usual now, storing up energy in preparation for his retrograde cycle that commences on February 7, 2012. On December 18th Venus 27° Capricorn squares Saturn 27° Libra in what is called “mutual reception,” which means one is in the sign ruled by the other. This gives them a kind of kinship, or more harmonious working relationship, which should help to soften the normally tense nature of a square. Venus may have a hard time expressing femininity in Capricorn and in square to Saturn can be the archetypal old maid who has never known love. The key here is look inward – where are we unloving to ourselves? If we can see where we lack self-worth that is the first step to accepting ourselves for who we are and to be able to radiate love outward. Saturn is exalted in Libra so will have a dominant influence in making love pass the test of time. Saturn gives Venus the endurance to hold onto love through thick and thin. Adding the power of illumination to counteract the potentially stressful emphasis on our ability to give and receive abiding love, the Sun 27° Sagittarius sextiles Saturn still at 27° Libra the following day, December 19th.
December 20th could make us feel like Betty Davis: “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” The Moon in sociable Libra starts the day with aspects to disciplined Saturn, the heroic Sun, dreamy Neptune and charming Venus, then shifts into penetrating Scorpio and aspects to retrograde philosophical Jupiter, rebellious Uranus and healing Chiron. That we may be engulfed by mixed emotions is putting it mildly. On a more positive note, if we can manage to deftly navigate this kaleidoscope of planetary energies, we would be able to synthesize them all into a multifaceted perspective. But there’s more: Venus jumps into the energy stew as she finds the antidote for passionate Scorpio by shifting into aloof Aquarius. “Venus in Aquarius,” says Rudhyar, “gives a decided trend toward social consciousness and a love of culture and beauty. This position stresses the refined aspect of all social processes, the factors of meaning and of social wisdom. The affections are usually very broad and rarely set upon any one personality.” We may be attracted to unconventional relationships or avant-garde art. While independence in relationships is highly desired under this influence, we should take care to honor commitments else we lose our precious connections. Then the Sun makes its annual conjunction with the Galactic Center, the highly sensitive point in our Milky Way galaxy that is a powerful source of radio waves and gravitational pull. When any planet conjuncts this point it could open a window in us to an otherworldly connection. The Sun’s visit will be brief but even an instant of psychic awareness can be life changing. Thus touched with galactic truth, the Sun then sextiles mystical Neptune as if to make the moment seem timeless, and the Moon then sextiles Pluto enabling us to feel the profoundness of it all. As the day ends, Venus 0° Aquarius squares still retrograde but almost stationary Jupiter 0° Taurus and then closes the day at 11:56 pm with a sextile to Uranus 0° Aries. We may feel ultra generous and want to give big, but also expect big returns, perhaps going overboard in pursuit of life’s pleasures, but we’ll do it with a gleam in our eye as if to say we’ve touched the divine and can’t go back to less than that.
As a coda to the previous day, on December 21st the Moon sextiles Mars to give us the energy to emotionally process what we’ve just been through before the Sun reaches Winter Solstice, which we’ll cover in the Capricorn edition.