Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
Mars enters Scorpio, 12-1
New Moon / Total Solar Eclipse at 11Sa58, 12-4
Jupiter Retrograde Station at 18Le06, 12-4
Vesta enters Libra, 12-10
Uranus parallel Pluto, 12-13
Chiron semisextile Neptune, 12-14
Saturn trine Uranus, 12-16
Jupiter trine Pluto, 12-18
Full Moon at 27Gm42, 12-19
Saturn trioctile Neptune, 12-30
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
December is apt to be a topsy-turvy, unsettled month, with a lot of hidden influences operating under the surface. Besides a large number of "big aspects" going on, indicative of a major groundshift happening in the mass psyche these days, the new moon on Dec 4 is a solar eclipse of surprising intensity. The energies this month are often noisy and disorgranized, except for one big planetary storm pattern in the middle of the month. This gives a feeling of disjointedness to our lives, as though all the pieces of our day-to-day experience don't add up right. This could translate into significant emotional confusion for many people, with the feelings flying all over the place. I suspect we are tapping into deeper energies than we are used to working with, and not doing a very good job of handling the overload. Slow down, take a deep breath, don't get sucked into the emotional storms -- much of what passes for "truth" or "reality" is quite bogus now. December is the start of a large series of transitions that will dominate 2003. There's no need to make crucial decisions right away when the landscape is shifting so thoroughly.
December has more action than most months can even dream of. There are 5 big aspects to talk about, plus Jupiter's retrograde station and sign changes for Mars and Vesta. The solar eclipse on the 4th is also a "sleeper" influence that will have repurcussions in coming months.
Mars moves from Libra into Scorpio on the 1st, where it will hang out until Jan 16. Mars is generally quite at home in Scorpio, a sign that it ruled before Pluto came along, unlike Libra where it always needs to take others into account first. Curiously, due to Venus recently coming off a retrograde cycle , Mars, Venus and Juno are all flying in tight formation this month. This trio just screams "relationship issues!" at us, especially where there is a sexual element involved. Mars in Scorpio wants to act on his feelings, doing whatever he needs to in order to get his way. It's not so simple this time around, however. Juno demands fairness and respect -- "whatever he needs to" will undoubtedly come across as manipulative and underhanded. Venus wants things to feel good and go harmoniously, something Mars doesn't really understand. Scorpio usually puts you in touch with deeper, more intense emotions anyway, the parts of yourself that you have little awareness of. It's difficult for partners to go through a time like this honestly and without pretense -- weaker relationships could fall apart under the strain. But if you can handle the energies, it's a very passionate and intimate influence. Work hard, but be fair with others.
If you looked at the new moon chart as "just another waveform" , you wouldn't have many high hopes for the chart. However, as an eclipse, this chart is prone to trigger all sorts of mayhem for individuals and nations. We're already starting to see some of this craziness.
The nearest planet to the eclipse point itself is Pluto, though Neptune forms a decent sextile. Right away, you can expect a considerable amount of disruptive unconscious influences. More interestingly, the eclipse degree (11Sa58) is close to a spot that was powerfully sensitized 3 years ago, the Chiron-Pluto conjunction (11Sa23) of 1999-12-30, a ticking timebomb that has yet to unfold. I've been hearing a lot of people lately talk about how crazy people are becoming (particularly on the freeways). With Pluto on full tilt all December and into 2003, I suspect the insanity is just starting. It's very hard to work with the Dark Lord on a daily basis. Even if you work with these energies consciously and selflessly, most people you deal with aren't. Step carefully if this eclipse degree matches up with your birthchart somehow; work with your "stuck areas" before they spin out of control. The Saturn-Uranus trine teams up with Mercury to tell us we need to wake up and start seeing things more clearly. Mars, Juno and Venus are in early Scorpio warning us that intense emotions in relationships are a sign that one of your hotspots has been poked. Unfortunately, this is a very "mental" chart without much earth to ground it -- it's easy to be convinced of your rightness and be dead wrong.
Without going into a lot of details, both this eclipse and the solar eclipse of Jun 10 (at 19Gm54) have some potent contacts with the US chart and President Bush's chart that are very pertinent, given the current Iraq situation. A casual reading of these connections would lead you to think Bush has used his bully pulpit in a manipulative manner to create a war for his own purposes. I suspect that the current eclipse chart is a trigger for war in the next 6 months. Let's hope I'm being pessimistic...
Jupiter is standing still at 18Le06 on the 4th, just a few hours after the eclipse. It will back up to its direct station at 8Le04 on 2003-4-3. Jupiter in reverse gear is a time to reevaluate the connections you make to the outer world. Very often this reconsideration is triggered by a drying up of the contacts you have, forcing you to fend for yourself and act alone for a time. It seems the people and situations that you rely on for support are not present at this time. This can be especially difficult in a business setting, as you open up the doors but the customers don't show up. Whatever your situation, be ready to go it alone for a few months. It's time to cut back and streamline, putting your operation on a firmer basis than before. This self-sufficiency will pay off later when Jupiter starts moving again. If you can make it now, you'll truly be prospering by spring.
Vesta shifts from Virgo into Libra on the 10th. This is a tricky placement for Vesta, since she is normally quite a loner and Libra is such a social sign. She has a powerful need to withdraw from the world occasionally in order to get in touch with her inner core nature, the source of her strength. However, Libra forces her out of her shell, making her reevaluate the importance of other people in her life. This is a good placement for looking at the balance of solitude and relationship in your life, and for assessing the health of your partnerships. A healthy relationship is one you can dip in and out of without raising the emotional storms or big games of more needy connections. Being in touch with yourself shouldn't detract from intimacy with others, or vice versa. Anyway, you may find yourself with others more often than you really care to, since connecting with others is more of a chore than usual. Give yourself permission to diappear into your cave if you need to. You need to find a healthy balance here. Due to an upcoming retrograde cycle, Vesta will back up into Virgo one last time on 2003-4-22, just to do some cleanup work there. She reenters Libra for a three month stint from May 30 to Aug 26. We've got a long Libra lesson to work on this coming year.
The planetary storm week contains quite a list of big aspects to consider, starting with the final parallel between Uranus and Pluto on the 13th. This is the last of three such contacts -- the others were Apr 25 and Jun 22. Parallels are a funny kind of aspect where the planets are the same distance north or south of the equator (instead of a certain distance apart along the zodiac); they tend to act like conjunctions. This one connects up two of the most transformative planets there are, hinting at some crucial changes going on where we can't really see them. Uranus is the power of radical shifting through overcoming a limiting mental perspective and moving to a higher point of view. Pluto is a deep, evolutionary kind of transition, a form of shedding old skins and moving towards a more faithful rendition of who you truly are. Coming at the same time as the Uranus-Pluto quintile (which lasts for 3 years), this parallel intensifies the effects of these two planets on us. It's always difficult to say specifically how these outer planets will affect our lives -- that's the nature of the unconscious. However, look to the areas of your life where things are becoming chaotic or simply falling apart. It may be on the physical plane, but it's just as likely to be on a mental or psychological level -- your inner reality is shifting. This is not a good time to hold onto or attempt to perpetuate things that have outlived their usefulness for you. Let go and move on. Complicating this parallel is when Mars joins the contact on the 15th, followed by Venus on the 23-24th. Mars and Venus are big players in the storm pattern -- relationships may be thoroughly shaken up by all this. Consider this contact the bass note of the chord for the storm.
Chiron is semisextile from Neptune on the 14th, a relatively quick single pass aspect. We're looking at the last aspect of a cycle that began with the conjunction of Chiron and Neptune (at 5Li15) on 1945-9-3, right at the end of WW 2; the current cycle ends with the next conjunction (26Aq15) on 2010-2-17. Final aspects begin a time of summing up and moving on for the entire cycle. Neptune is the Dreamer, the muse we follow in service of our higher ideals and beliefs. Following your dreams is not a very "adult" thing anymore, unfortunately -- only children and fools are allowed this privilege. But when dreams are forgotten, the dreamer recedes farther and farther into the mists, until life becomes terribly mundane. This boredom and sense of underlying fear is the mark that we've lost control of our abilities to create our world. We are transforming our greatest fears, not our highest hopes, into reality, because the unconscious obligingly transforms whatever we really believe in into the details of our world. Chiron is an Initiator, one who helps us open the psychic junk closet in our souls where we stuff all the parts of ourselves that we've disowned over the years. When all these old parts are brought out into the open again, we get to see how much beauty we've let go of in our lives -- hopefully, we even get to reclaim these parts. This semisextile is a time to reconnect with our dreaming, to mourn the lifelessness we opted for, to aspire to new heights. Notice that the coming conjunction is the first in history that we will experience consciously (since Chiron was only discovered in 1977), so we are in for a real treat. Neptune allows us to work with the subtle energies in the world consciously and directly; Chiron will be initiating us all into this magical power as an everyday experience. We've got a lot of cleanup work to do before we're ready for that switch to be thrown in our brains!
Saturn is trine Uranus on the 16th, for the second of three contacts. The previous contact was on Aug 21 and the last one is 2003-6-2. Here are two planets that have very little in common, but trines have a way of resolving such differences more or less gracefully. It's a time to let the new, quirky and unconventional percolate into your life. The power of "that's the way it's always been done" is less convincing now. Experiment with little changes here and there. Just be prepared for the Uranus switcheroo -- many tiny shifts eventually coalesce into a major overhaul of your entire outlook on life. All of a sudden, life simply doesn't make sense anymore in the old ways -- and you go on from there. Tradition and novelty are always in a state of tension. Now, however, it's more playful than tense. Experiment and have fun!
Jupiter is trine Pluto on the 18th, also the second of three contacts. They first met on Oct 27 and will continue until 2003-7-1. Jupiter-Pluto connections frequently point to some needed adjustment between the outer and inner worlds. Jupiter rules over our contacts with people and institutions in the world around us, the way we plug into the greater scene, while Pluto often brings about confrontations with our inner selves or our deeper nature. It's one of the ironies of the human condition that these two realms are so often at odds. On the plus side, a trine makes these two parts of life work more smoothly together, reducing the friction and tension. It releases a lot of energy and enthusiasm for living and working, creating a very optimistic outlook. The trouble comes only if these planets go too far and start exaggerating or perverting each other. The biggest symptom to watch for is a seriously swelled head, a feeling that the world "owes" you something. While uncommon, this can cause a person to run roughshod over another and not even realize it. A little humility will guard against that possibility. Otherwise, enjoy the lively mood.
The waveform for the full moon is much stronger than the eclipse waveform was. It stars the Sun just past the Galactic Center (at 26Sa53), opposite the Moon and Saturn; Mars, Venus and Uranus contribute to the configuration. The Sun normally brings in GC energy around Dec 18. This power of the GC is very subtle but potent. It has little to do with our ordinary level of consciousness, which is why it's so hard for most people to tune into it (even though we've only got about 10 years to get used to it). We need to ground it somehow in everyday life and start seeing life from a bigger perspective. Grounding this energy is a perfect role for Saturn and the Moon. I don't believe I've talked about Saturn opposing the GC this year, but it's an important aspect for our spiritual growth. You can't glimpse the heavens if your feet aren't on the ground. As for the other planets mentioned, you've already heard enough about them previously. It's time to see beyond our petty concerns...
Finally, Saturn is trioctile Neptune on the 30th, another second out of three contacts situation. Here's another mismatch of planets, as Saturn and Neptune are like oil and water. Saturn is the cold, hard pragmatist and realist (at least that's the myth that the Saturn mind believes is true), while Neptune is the Dreamer who sees all the subtle connections behind physical realities. A trioctile brings these two visions of the world together in a fitful combination to duke it out with each other. Saturn is not so much of a realist as he says -- even modern science has given up on his world view for something more like Neptune's vision. Similarly, Neptune's vision isn't all that "ideal" either, especially when it becomes ungrounded and progressively more absurd (the curse of the New Age). Saturn and Neptune need each other to critique their excesses and keep each other honest. How can you be a "realist" if your myth of everyday life is so wrong? And how can you be a visionary if your vision is completely impractical? We need both of these sides of ourselves to grow and prosper. Cherish your contradictions...