by Joan Kiley
December, the final month of a turbulent year, came in with fiery intensity. The Sun, Mercury and Venus were in fire sign Sagittarius, while the Moon and Uranus were in fire sign Aries, and Jupiter in fiery Leo. The universe was saying “Wake up everybody, even if it is dark most of the hours in the day!” Mercury in Sagittarius was in a challenging square to Neptune in Pisces, which had our brains smoldering a bit, in a slightly dazed way, but feeling alive nevertheless!
At the same moment, Uranus and Pluto were less than half a degree away from the sixth in a series of seven exact squares representing massive transformative change in our collective consciousness. This aspect has been shaking up our world in serious ways since 2011, and will continue through 2016. The seven exact squares began in 2012, and the final one comes in March of 2015.
The planet Jupiter, the BIGGEST planet in our solar system, is also key for most of the month of December, not just because it is the ruling planet of Sagittarius, the sign the Sun is in until the Winter Solstice, but also, because it too, is in a fire sign, Leo, and is slowing in speed. At December’s onset, Jupiter in Leo was trine Venus in Sagittarius, and square to Saturn in Scorpio. It would be nice if I could say honestly that all the fire available to us on the 1st of December was filling us with idealistic enthusiasm. It wasn’t. More likely it had us feeling, “uh oh, more craziness.”
In the first week of the month we got news filled with totally insane headlines, which we could hardly believe. And here in the U.S., all kinds of ordinary folk went out to the street and protested their disgust with our so-called “justice” system. The weather had us slipping and sliding to rain, sleet, snow and ice. Even drought-weary Californians were getting rain! Were we to celebrate the bounty? Or grieve the unjust and the immoral?
A metaphorical example of how crazy we might have felt is a sight I observed early this month, just a few weeks shy of the Winter Solstice. I came upon a Magnolia tree that had several buds on it, preparing to bloom! The usual has been turned upside down for many of us, and we’re just not sure how to respond.
And then came Mars to the rescue? Maybe, maybe not. Mars entered Aquarius at 4 PM PST on December 4, putting at least one of the celestial bodies in an air sign. Will we start to think now, before we act? Or at least cast an objective eye on the situation? Perhaps, or Mars’ latent fiery character will just get fanned into flames. Your decision. No sooner did Mars settle into Aquarius than the Moon moved to its fullness.
December’s Full Moon at 14 degrees 18 minutes Gemini, arrived at 4:27 AM PST December 6. It formed a T-square with Chiron at 13 degrees Pisces, while Mercury was conjunct the Sun in Sagittarius. The Sun and Mercury were trine Uranus in Aries. That made six planets in mid-sign, between 12 and 14 degrees, including, of course, Uranus and Pluto inching toward their exact square.
This Full Moon had the potential for lots of anxiety, and mental preoccupation with old feelings of woundedness. We saw more protests in the street, mostly peaceful, but some violent. That was the shadow side of the Full Moon. There was also potential for great insights, and intuitive knowing of what is a deeper, and more spiritual value for one’s own soul, if we were really courageous about seeking that awareness. This Moon in Gemini was about communication, the communication between your conscious needs and those not so conscious. If you willingly allowed the two to negotiate, you may have reached an agreement within yourself that had not previously seemed possible.
On Monday, December 8, the Moon in Cancer will oppose Pluto and square Uranus, so be sure you have on your “calm” jeans during the the mid-day hours as testiness, and volatility, could possibly best the potential for allowing helpful new ideas and insights to emerge!
Jupiter stations retrograde at 12:42 PM PST also on December 8, at 22 degrees 38 minutes Leo. This could be a test of our confidence, at least for the beginning of the retrograde period (which extends until April) until we get used to having a little less overt enthusiasm. Venus moves into Capricorn on December 10, a somewhat cooler and more practical placement than Sagittarius, more grounded and realistic for clarifying our values.
This grounding quality is very important during this time, because we are highly charged with a grand trine in fire, if you are willing to take into consideration a rather new planet Eris, now sitting at 22 degrees Aries, while Jupiter is 22 Leo and the Sun plus Mercury in similar degrees of Sagittarius. Chances are high for being opinionated, and vigorously defending our point of view. Combine that with the tremendously strong Uranus/Pluto square, which is exact on December 14, at 12:41 PM PST.
We need the flowing energy of the trine, but considering it is in fire, we also can be grateful that the Jupiter is retrograde, which just tones it down a bit. We have the opportunity of making a lot of progress at this time, in our evolutionary intent. This is what the many Uranus/Pluto exact squares are all about. We can bid farewell to much of what we need to release of our past, and enthusiastically embrace what is breaking through into consciousness. The challenge is to stay awake, to stay aware, not default to old frames of reference or old behaviors that keep us stuck.
Sometimes it helps to write down, or share with another person, what it is you are ready to let go, so that there is encouragement when/if your confidence flags. It is also important not to give in to the temptation of the ego to force yourself ahead of the natural flow, to fantasize some wonderful outcome that has not yet revealed itself. Stay grounded, stay willing, to be in the moment. To quote Ram Dass, “Be Here Now,” not in the past nor in the future.
During the third week of December, Venus moves closer to Pluto in Capricorn, and Mercury shifts into Capricorn at 8 PM PST on December 16, joining Venus and Pluto in Saturn’s sign, bringing more grounding energy. Meanwhile the fire Grand Trine remains strong, as does the Uranus/Pluto square. The Moon is moving through her last quarter phase. The message here is stay strong. You are changing mightily, as is the collective, from the inside out, no matter how you feel, no matter how it looks around you. Keep breathing deeply, keep self-aware, be kind to yourself and to others.
The third weekend of the month is another very important time. On December 20, Venus conjoins Pluto and squares Uranus. On December 21, at 3:10 PM PST, the Sun enters Capricorn, signifying the Winter Solstice, and the onset of winter, and a new yearly cycle. Just a bit over two hours later, at 5:35 PM PST, we have the New Moon in Capricorn at 0 degrees Capricorn. With all of these new beginnings, it is a MUST to stop what you are doing and acknowledge how far you have come up to now. Then consider what it is you are birthing in yourself. The universe is offering a doorway for us to enter, to honor the changes we are creating and experiencing. It is a sacred moment.
As if that were not enough beginnings, at 8:34 AM PST on December 23, Saturn moves out of Scorpio, and into Sagittarius. Saturn stays in a sign for approximately 2 and ½ years. The interests of Sagittarius and the 9th house, including travel, other cultures, religion, and higher education will all be the serious focus of Saturn for the next few years. For instance, we’re already seeing higher education take a hit, in that it is becoming less accessible for people without wealth. There are fewer and fewer professorial positions available at the university level. During the Saturn in Sagittarius period, look for higher education funding to continue to decrease, with the shrinking of educational institutions as a result. That is not to say the more distant future outcome will not be positive and more sustainable. But in the short run, the outlook isn’t rosy.
By December 24, we have Mars in Aquarius begin building to an opposition with Jupiter in Leo. That opposition takes us through the first week of the New Year. Ordinarily, a Mars/Jupiter opposition could give the impetus to start or build on a project with great enthusiasm and, having Mars in Aquarius, also with precision. However, with Jupiter retrograde, and four planets in Capricorn, plus the Uranus/Pluto square still having great strength, I’m thinking this opposition may not bode well for impulsive decisions of any sort, but particularly those involved with financial or military (or militarized police?) operations. We must remember that the sign of Aquarius (placement of Mars) is ruled by both Saturn and Uranus. The adage, “think before you leap” would be well heeded during the last week of the month.
Hopefully, all holiday gatherings will be calm and joyful. Not that I would count on it, but there’s always the possibility for cooler heads to prevail. With all the pressure people are feeling during this time, and then the added stress of family gatherings, far too many people will imbibe consciousness-altering substances to excess. Please be sure it isn’t you, and be careful. We need you in 2015! See you then.
The very best Winter Solstice and New Year to you all!