Take… a moment… to breathe. Listen to your heartbeat. Wrap your consciousness around your body like a warm, comforting blanket of love. These are antidotes to the realities of today’s humanity incessantly bombarding us with stories of horror, tragedy, loss, fear, destruction. Dare I say it? Shut down your news-feed where you may be reading this very blog. Ah, and there’s the rub. That very news-feed could have just as many positive and uplifting stories, helpful information to navigate the tricky waters of life, heartwarming expressions of love and compassion. Which stories do we chose to read? What do we like and chose to follow? That very news-feed becomes feedback to remind us of what is important to us and that we do have a choice in defining who we are, right down to taking responsibility for our point of view. What we share tells our friends and families what we care about. As a global society we are being called to witness the collective sickness that has been festering for much longer than the volatile multi-year square between agitator Uranus in Aries and formidable Pluto in Capricorn that is waning but still potently triggering multiple eruptions of the global soul sickness for us all to see. Now the choices come. How do we heal this gaping wound further distressed by recent attacks in Paris and now San Bernardino so fresh in our mind? During this period, as hotheaded Mars in socially conscious Libra, followed by messenger Mercury in authoritative Capricorn, activate the Uranus/Pluto square, we may not be singing Kumbaya but rather waging potentially brutal retaliation or a reactionary war of words. That seems to be where the mass consciousness is these days – asleep to what is needed to heal our collective soul. “Seems” being the operative word, because as some of our news-feeds tell us, there are a growing number who are choosing the high road, including the 200 world leaders coming to agreement in Paris on how to fix climate change, an extremely rare front page top-of-the-fold New York Times editorial advocating gun control, one million children sitting in a public space in Thailand meditating for peace, and the young Pakistani female education advocate Malala Yousafzai overcoming a nearly fatal Taliban attack to remind us that “One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s the takeaway here – we can become a master at creating order out of mass chaos through our individual choices. Sign onto the evolutionary process, as slow as it is, and lead by example. Set an intention for enough of those individual choices to reach the stage of global critical mass. Then just breathe and surrender to the sacred sound of your own heartbeat knowing that effort takes us one step closer to enlightened change.
Lots of deep breaths and making choices to accept that which we cannot change at this time may be necessary over the next couple of weeks due to the sustained agitating planetary alignments throughout the period that evoke the spirit of passionately powerful revolution. Mars creates a stressful T-square with Uranus and Pluto December 6th through the 10th; Mercury conjuncts Pluto and squares Uranus December 19th through the 20th. Intensifying our emotional engagement with these aspects, the Moon transits through the same potent degree space of the cardinal signs Libra (December 5th – 6th), Capricorn (December 13th) and Aries (December 19th) as the other aspects unfold (see Jim Schultz’s AstroWatch for more details on the Moon’s movements). Unleashing the archetypal energies of nuclear Pluto and disrupting Uranus, Mars and Mercury bring their own brand of action to the fray. Mars is the muscle and through the filter of Libra is on the side of the masses, fighting for those he aligns with, potentially moving public intent into a ground swell. Mercury in Capricorn is the methodical mind capable of stating clear steps to reach the intended goal. Interestingly, just as Mercury locks onto Pluto’s force field on December 19th, the #BillionPeopleMarch will be launched by a coalition of action groups calling for a “global people’s power bloc” to bring awareness to the climate crisis via “the first in a series of global big-bang moments that aim to upend the current global economic order.” This is classic Uranus/Pluto stuff reminiscent of the turbulent 1960’s (and earlier eras that saw the likes of, for example, the French Revolution, that are characterized above by hard Uranus/Pluto alignments), demonstrating that some of the most decisive actions related to epochal archetypal movements truly don’t take shape until after the exact aspects have happened and enough assimilation of what they meant has led to clarity on how to address the issues that arose. In this case, organizers are using globally pervasive social media rather than hastily printed pamphlets to trigger the archetypal theme of the 99% vs. the “Let them eat cake!” 1% by calling on the 99% to be empowered by their sheer numbers: if one billion of the current total global population of 7.3 billion, which is less than 14%, and the current daily count of Facebook users, pull off a significant day of non-violent civil disobedience, we may witness once again just how effective people power is.
Further stimulating the planetary passion play at the outset of this period, the Sun in Sagittarius infuses enthusiastic individual will and purpose into the mix when he sextiles Mars and trines Uranus December 6th through 8th. These aspects, while less fractious on their own, have the potential to promote innovative, uninhibited action that may deliver the nosier planetary message with surprising, perhaps brilliant speed and agility.
On December 9th, Mercury leaves high-minded Sagittarius and discovers the practical limitations of structure in Capricorn. Mercury is motivated by a drive for personal integrity here and he endeavors to organize his thoughts into functional systems that keep the wheels of life humming along in an orderly way. Mercury in Capricorn wrote the proverbial rule book that insists on clear procedures for everything. He may be risk-averse and lack spontaneity, but he is dependable and can see the ironic humor of our human folly.
Just as Mars is breaking free of his opposition to Uranus, Venus in Scorpio inserts her intensified feminine voice into the celestial mêlée when she transitions from a trine to Neptune in Pisces to a sextile to Pluto in Capricorn December 10th through 17th. In Scorpio, Venus seeks a profound intimacy that she knows will create a transformative experience of love. Neptune in Pisces is the gateway to transcendence. Pluto in Capricorn is restructuring the DNA of organized society as we know it. Normally, the acutely sensitive Venus/Neptune dance would be a flowing undercurrent that soothes the psyche with images of beauty, peace and romantic cosmic oneness. However, with the noisy Mars/Pluto/Uranus T-square still in effect, we may need to make an effort to tune into Venus and Neptune’s sublimely compassionate vibration to defuse any volatile situation or discord that may be unfolding. As Venus segues to her rendezvous with Scorpio’s powerful ruler Pluto, her yearning to transcend the mundane world and all its problems shifts into a deep desire to be forged into a new way of being by it. Their encounter may help us to see the value in every experience, no matter how difficult, as necessary for authentic personal growth.
The New Moon in philosophical Sagittarius on December 11th may inspire us to take a step back and view the big picture of life, asking the questions that will take us on an adventure of consciousness. While the immediate moment may be intense or painful, the strength of the Sun and Moon united in the sign of the road scholar is that they can shift our focus to something beyond than our mundane life, opening our field of vision to a panorama of possibility on which a problem or crisis becomes merely a small blip off to the left of our radar screen rather than a single object on which we are so fixated that it totally obscures our vision of the fullness that life has to offer. This New Moon galvanizes the other aspects unfolding during this time, pulling them into the theme of this lunar cycle: to see well beyond the end of our nose in order to experience an expanded vision of our relationship with the cosmos. The New Moon is in a square formation with the ruler of Sagittarius, Jupiter, who challenges us to see the whole truth rather than a limited part that only serves a selfish purpose. The Sun’s square to Jupiter, exact on December 14th, expands on the visionary potential of the New Moon, as well as the strong opinions we may have about the big issues of today such as religious extremism and civil rights. Can we become a high quality civilization that accepts widely divergent individual positions and still come to collective agreement on the solutions to the problems we face, even if they place limitations on our freedom? The lesson of Sagittarius is “comradeship” or “the art of living together,” according to Dane Rudhyar. “True comradeship,” he says, “operates at a level where fanaticism and narrow bigotry cannot exist. It operates where all relationships can be simple, direct and rich with immediacy of response to human feelings and individual needs… and demands essentially that no one of the comrades takes anything for granted in their relationship, or in himself!”
This “most difficult among all arts,” gets an assist on December 14th, when Mercury in Capricorn sextiles Neptune in Pisces, inspiring a softer tone in communications that has the potential to combine practicality and compassion, clarity and mystical wonder. The ability to be psychically in tune with another’s mind is heightened during this relatively brief window, which may mitigate any potential animosity that is likely to arise when Mercury moves on to his challenging encounter with the Uranus/Pluto square.
If being still and listening within is too challenging during this restless period, another antidote to succumbing to the lowest common denominator of pack unconsciousness is to put whatever you are feeling into your own personal dance, or in whatever way you express through motion. The title of Alice Walker’s new book of poems perfectly states it: Hard Times Require Furious Dancing. As she says in the preface: “Though we have encountered our share of grief and troubles on this earth, we can still hold the line of beauty, form, and beat. No small accomplishment in a world as challenging as this one.” Amen, sister!
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
December 6th – Sun sextile Mars at 14° Sagittarius/Libra at 2:14 a.m.
December 6th – Mars square Pluto at 14° Libra/Capricorn at 12:47 p.m.
December 8th – Sun trine Uranus at 17° Sagittarius/Aries at 6:38 p.m.
December 9th – Mercury at 0° Capricorn at 6:35 p.m.
December 10th – Mars opposite Uranus at 17° Libra/Aries at 5:30 p.m.
December 10th – Venus trine Neptune at 7° Scorpio/Pisces at 10:14 p.m.
December 10th – Moon conjunct Sun at 19° Sagittarius at 2:29 a.m.
December 14th – Sun square Jupiter at 22° Sagittarius/Virgo at 7:02 a.m.
December 14th – Mercury sextile Neptune at 7° Capricorn/Pisces at 11:40 a.m.
December 17th – Venus sextile Pluto at 15° Scorpio/Capricorn at 3:17 a.m.
December 19th -Mercury conjunct Pluto at 15° Capricorn at 10:54 a.m.
December 20th – Mercury square Uranus at 17° Capricorn/Aries at 7:07 p.m.