AstroCast: December 24 – January 6, 2020

Posted on December 25, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Maxwell

As discussed in the last AstroCast, several planetary cycles reached significant stages just within the last couple of weeks, and one in particular, the Grand Conjunction of the Jupiter and Saturn, was so important it was widely covered in the mainstream media, and beautiful sight in the night sky it is. This rare coupling, which can still be viewed through the end of December, offers an opportunity to contemplate the planetary pair’s undulating force of expansion and contraction that correlates to society’s progress. Perhaps you have felt, like I have already, a sense of the big positive shift in store for our collective philosophical road ahead. Saturn is now in a period Jim Sher calls “pure progress,” through February 14, 2021, that represents a time when significant strides can be made in manifesting our intensions, as long as we do our part by maintaining focused effort only on that which we are really clear about needing to do.

During this period, a series of planetary alignments involving all three deep space planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, could open a channel to their archetypal transpersonal force that beckons us to operate with an awareness of our existence beyond our day-to-day reality. As we go about doing what we need to do to manage our life and relationships, we could feel something mysterious in the back of our mind tugging on our attention. I experience that feeling as a spiritual call. It is always there, however subtle, and I’ve found that the more I heed it, the more the quality of my life improves. Tuning into these forces have correlated to dynamic internal shifts in me that not only helped me stabilize and focus, but also gave me greater meaning and purpose, which is a powerful motivator.

The Sun and Mercury in Capricorn are still travelling closely in tandem after their Superior Conjunction of December 19, which represents a symbolic union of heart and mind. December 24 through 27, they move into a flowing trine with Uranus in Taurus, an awakening force that beckons us to develop our true uniqueness. Uranus often correlates with disruptions in our way of thinking, or unexpected external changes that are sure to get our attention about what needs to change. Sudden insights can sometimes be life altering and in line with Uranus’ archetypal mission to break us free from the matrix of learned belief systems that run automatically in our subconscious. The planets of will and perception harmoniously aligning with Uranus suggests we may open to a new awareness that helps us move away from blind obedience to the behavioral programs instilled in us since childhood.

On December 29, the Full Moon in Cancer joins the electric Sun/Mercury/Uranus configuration. This marks the culminating moment of the lunar cycle that began with the New Moon Solar Eclipse of December 14, which could bring both clarity and motivation to act without hesitation wherever we are feeling the need to change direction. Or we may have at least gained an awareness of where we need to break out of a state of inertia and are now resolved to do so. The Full Moon opposing the Sun along the Cancer/Capricorn axis in alignment with Uranus emphasizes the need to question any agreements we have made to follow in the powerful current of entrenched familial or societal traditions and determine if they are in alignment with our true destiny.

The next outer planet to be contacted is Neptune in its home sign of Pisces. On December 30, Venus in Sagittarius forms a square to this planet that represents divine love. The call of Neptune can be so subtle we really have to lean in to hear it. Whereas Venus seeks to attract loving relationships and often looks for balance in the give and take of that love, Neptune teaches us to allow our ego desires to dissolve so we can simply be in a state of love that radiates unconditionally from our core. The square alignment between them could generate friction in relationships that may be hindering this movement. To me, Neptune correlates to a knowing that we are all connected, yet paradoxically, I had to learn the imperative Uranian lesson to become strong in my individuated state, before I could fully realize that sense of connectedness without subjugating myself in the process.

On January 1, 2021, Mercury forms a cooperative sextile to Neptune, giving us a New Year message on the importance of speaking from love and compassion. This alignment could stimulate our imagination or correlate to seeking experiences that appeal to our idealistic nature. Yet part of Neptune’s call also relates to developing the courage to face the harsh realities of life. Showing up when it is most important with focused attention helps us better understand what is really going on, which in turns opens us to creative ways of solving the issues at hand.

On January 4, Mercury moves into a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, an archetypal force that calls us to be all in with anything we do with total authenticity, no matter how vulnerable it may make us. Pluto, as the most outer planet is the symbolic gateway to transformation, a word that is easy to say but not to experience. At its lowest expression, this quick transit could devolve into obsessive thinking, but it could also compel us to probe the hidden mechanics of something, be it someone’s behavior, or a complex problem of any kind to find out what makes it tick. At an even higher level of expression, the atomic force of Pluto leaning into Mercury can penetrate the deepest most profound parts of our immeasurable unconscious – if we can get past the thought demons guarding our precious notions about the dangers lurking therein. Just imagine what buried treasure we could find that has the power to transform who we are.

This period ends with one more major cycle shift worth noting. It has to do with the fact that Mars is now leaving the territory it’s been in during its 5-month retrograde cycle. Mars has been in its home sign of Aries since June 27, 2020 and went retrograde on September 9, 2020. After about 9 weeks on November 13th, Mars went direct and then began to move forward to where it went retrograde. After five long months, Mars leaves its total retrograde cycle on January 2, thus ending the deep review period that archetypally asked us to consider what motivates us to act and more importantly if those motivations are serving our destiny. The purpose of this review cycle is to give us clarity, or help us refine or adjust what is in play. Because Mars retrogrades only every other year, this can correlate to very significant changes. In other words, this is a big deal and suggests new opportunities could open up that lead to a major shift in direction in the area of life governed by the house in our natal chart where Aries lies. After January 2nd we can be assured that we have processed our priorities and strategies and are now ready to pursue them with confidence and determination.


On January 6, Mars enters Taurus, a stable, practical earth sign. Mars is the planet that represents how we go about getting what we want and how we creatively forge our way through life. In Aries, its assertive nature can edge into aggression when misguided, and we have increasingly seen that in the public arena with the authoritarian anti-democracy movement. Practical fixed earth Taurus can be considered an antidote to the impetuous cardinal fire sign of Aries, so this shift will hopefully correlate to people calming down. Hopefully we all will be taking the time to consider the consequences of our actions and also the true value of our behavior before acting impetuously or recklessly.

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Kimberly Maxwell

A student of the Sher Institute since 2008, Kimberly has been writing AstroCast since 2012. A long-time Los Angeles resident, Kimberly gives astrological consultations, has various artistic pursuits including the development of a burgeoning creative hub in her community, and works in international television distribution at a major studio.

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