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December dawns in the wake of an optimistic Sagittarius New Moon from the final week of the previous month that was exactly coincident with the station to direct motion of Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius, in the last two degrees of Pisces. This marks the closing degrees of the entire zodiac, and the signature of this event on a collective level in is one of preparing for a better future then the one that we currently inhabit. On an individual level as well there is definite cause for optimistic assessments moving forward, as the year begins to unwind and as we leave certain previous difficulties in the real-view mirror, including the pandemic, or at least hopefully so. Sagittarius is a rather merry sign, as indicated by its American holiday, just past, with the table groaning with multiple foods and a generally grateful attitude prevailing. Countering the joy of the very beginning of the month, however, in this case we find also Mars in retrograde at 21 + of Gemini, in trine with stodgy old Saturn, and square Neptune in Pisces, bringing an otherworldly attitude and as well extra concentration of loss of momentum, slowing down to re-examine the situation, and the introspection implied in this retrograde motion. It’s not exactly like Mercury Retrograde, with that well-known time period’s predilection for missed connections and mechanical breakdown, although it might come close.
And as for Mercury Retrograde, we have one of those as well this December, beginning close to the end of December, on the 29th, and perhaps with its influence beginning to be felt even at mid-month. This Mercury Retrograde period in Capricorn will last into the opening five weeks of 2023, when you take Mercury’s “retrograde shadow” period into account, ending only on February 7th. The New Year thus begins with a degree of uncertainty that is echoed in the politics of the US and, indeed, the remainder of the world as well, with left wing and right wing continuing to square off.
The Full Moon in Gemini that takes place on December 7th is quite a significant juncture. That is because as the Moon culminates in its opposition to the Sun, it is also closely conjunct retrograde Mars in the same degree of Gemini, which is also an exact semi-sextile to the eclipse degree from the November 8th very powerful lunar eclipse. This certainly emphasizes the retrograde Mars which is about action albeit from a more interior perspective. There is potentially a thoughtful and introspective quality to this entire month.
Two weeks later on, the Capricorn Solstice on the 21st features a partile or same-degree square between the Sun in the 0 degree mark of Capricorn and Jupiter newly entered into Aries. This strikes an optimistic note, because these twin substantial astrological indicators reinforce each other, even in the square alignment, and because Jupiter newly in a Fire sign adds a positive and action-oriented note. The square might additionally indicate a feeling of tension surrounding this mix of energies.
The Capricorn New Moon takes place immediately following, on December 23rd, and presages a fresh start in material affairs and societal matters, everything ruled by Capricorn. It is worth noting that the highest mission of Capricorn is the proper function of society in terms of fairness, justice, and equality for all its members.
At nearly the very end of the month, on December 29th, Mercury stations to retrograde motion, and it does so in extremely close conjunction to Venus, ruler of relationships, aesthetics, and art. This conjunction of the two inner planets, Mercury and Venus, just as Mercury stands dead still in the sky, preparing to reverse direction, speaks to the powerful nature of this particular retrograde period, which lasts until January 18th, and then we have the nearly three weeks of Mercury’s retrograde shadow period when it recovers the lost zodiacal ground – taking it back to the 24 degree mark where it started. This degree of Capricorn also squares Eris in Aries, making this New Year’s timing even more significant in terms of each person taking their own individual stand on matters both political and personal.
With all these astrological currents floating through, the New Year transition will very likely not exactly be the rosy new beginning that many of us would prefer. Instead there will be a general questioning of where in the world this global society is really heading. The war in Ukraine is likely to grind on, in defiance of international law. Here in the US there will be the ongoing conspiracy trials of the January 6th insurgents, including those who may have been involved in the planning, as well as the case against Donald Trump for his retention of classified documents after he left office. These will certainly cause more of these same questions about the direction that our society is currently taking.
In the midst of these relatively dire predictions, we may reflect upon the fact that there is always hope; that it is actually up to each one of us to make things right, in any way that we can, and to the extent that we can, in this very moment of this very day. We can only do our best, and, somehow, what we can do becomes our perfect offering, and is enough. As we contemplate an uncertain future, let us recall the words of poet Gerard Manley Hopkins who faced in his own 19th century society similar grounds for despair. Back then he wrote:
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
With the massive changes that are happening now, I highly recommend that folks get a transit report tailored specifically to their chart for the most accurate description of what's in store for you in the months ahead.
Find out with this report that gives detailed descriptions of your transits for a three, six or twelve month period. This report was written by astrologer Henry Seltzer.
All transits are fully interpreted with insightful clues on how to navigate the challenges ahead and gives the date range for when each transit is in effect. Includes transits to planets Mars through Pluto. Also includes interpretations for Chiron - a unique feature of this report!Learn More