In December we begin a new planetary cycle of Jupiter – optimistic, expansive, the seeker of meaning and truth – in a harmonious trine to Neptune. Neptune is the planet that inspires us to transcend the day to day details of our life and ascend to a higher level of consciousness. At its best it inspires creativity, spiritual yearning, a direct connection to the divine. At its worst it can create confusion and delusion with a lack of initiative or drive.
Jupiter and Neptune are related through their mutual rulership of Pisces (Jupiter is the traditional ruler, and Neptune being a modern planet is considered a modern ruler). Both planets expire expansion and a yearning to grow and evolve, so during this period (starting in December through August of 2018) there is the potential for a great deal of spiritual and personal growth as well as growth in our creative endeavors. I’ll be writing more about this at Astrological Musings so stay tuned.
Mercury will be retrograde between December 3rd and the 22nd. During this period communication may be more difficult and contracts that are entered into during this period may be re-negotiated or confusing. Mercury is in carefree Sagittarius now where it doesn’t care so much about details which is great, except when an attention to detail is required as in a business transaction. As always during Mercury retrograde, it’s important to be more conscious than usual and careful about communication details, and don’t be surprised if communication is difficult or if equipment fails.
Saturn (mastery of the material world) will move into Capricorn on December 19th. Saturn rules Capricorn and is very happy there – for the next 2-1/2 years or so there will be a push for greater achievement but also potential hardship for those who don’t show up to attend his school of discipline and hard work. Those of you with planets in Capricorn, Cancer, Libra and Aries will experience a Saturn cycle during the next couple of years, so get ready to put your nose to the grindstone!
We also have Chiron, planet of wounding and healing, changing direction – it will turn direct after being retrograde since June. When a planet changes direction it is at a virtual standstill in the sky and its influence is more potent than usual for the first couple of weeks of December. If you find yourself particularly reactive emotionally, this is likely the reason.
DECEMBER DETAILS (see the bottom of this article for a detailed list of planetary movements)
Venus enters Sagittarius on the 1st of December, lubricating our relationships and interactions with others just in time for the social holiday season. This is a good month to travel with loved ones and engage together in activities that expand the mind.
A challenging Mars aspect on December 1st could make social interactions more difficult, as we strive to maintain our individuality. However, the harmonious dance between Jupiter and Neptune described above peaks on the 2nd which should soften things quite a bit.
The Gemini Full Moon on the 3rd craves conversation and stimulation. This is not the time to snuggle up by the fire – this Full Moon demands the breaking up of paradigms and a shift in perspective. Communication is somewhat challenged at this time for several planetary reasons, so there is a pull between the need to get serious and the need to disregard established truths and allow new realities to emerge.
Chiron turns direct on the 5th, so if you feel overly sensitive this is likely the reason.
Between the 6th and 9th are particularly good days for anything requiring mental concentration and focus. On the 10th, though, while we may feel inspired and awakened to something new, we also are potentially more self-indulgent and perhaps lazy, and our minds may have a tendency to dwell on past hurts. This will only last for a couple of days – by the 12th the mind is clear and more easily able to see through any confusion.
Around the 15th, for a couple of days, we have great potential to bring our lives into balance. This is a wonderful time for marriage counseling, negotiations of all kinds (bearing in mind that Mercury is retrograde and communication may be somewhat more of a challenge).
The New Moon in Sagittarius occurs on December 18th. While the Sagittarius New Moon is ordinarily a time of optimism and exploration, a strong Saturn influence keeps our feet on the ground. This New Moon is perfect for thinking ahead to the New Year and expanding our vision of the weeks and months to come.
Venus is an important element in this New Moon, highlighting the importance of bringing harmony into our experience and finding ways to incorporate beauty and love in our life. Venus is a significant influence between the New Moon and the 20th when we may see a resurgence of an old wound in one of our relationships that pops up again to be healed and then released, hopefully permanently.
The period between the 21st and the 25th is a time of focus and discipline as the Sun enters Capricorn, the sign of achievement and hooks up with Saturn, the Celestial Teacher. Venus enters Capricorn on the 25th as well, and with the Sun, Venus and Saturn all aligned in Capricorn the focus more on Doing What Matters and less about personal satisfaction or emotional needs.
The month ends with a sweetly energizing Mars aspect to Neptune which will help us to find the energy we need to pursue our dreams. What a way to end the year!!
PLANETARY CALENDAR (dates and times are Eastern time zone)
- 12/1 Venus enters Sagittarius, Mars opposite Uranus
- 12/2 Jupiter trine Neptune
- 12/3 Full Moon 12 Gemini, 10:46 am, Mercury turns retrograde
- 12/5 Chiron turns direct
- 12/6 Mercury conjunct Saturn, Mercury sextile Mars, Mars sextile Saturn
- 12/9 Mars enters Scorpio, Sun trine North Node
- 12/10 Mercury trine Uranus, Venus square Neptune, Mercury square Chiron
- 12/12 Sun conjunct Mercury
- 12/15 Venus trine North Node, Mercury conjunct Venus, Mercury trine North Node, Sun square Chiron
- 12/16 Sun trine Uranus
- 12/18 New Moon 26 Sagittarius 1:30 am
- 12/19 Saturn enters Capricorn
- 12/20 Venus square Chiron, Venus trine Uranus
- 12/21 Sun enters Capricorn, Sun conjunct Saturn
- 12/22 Mercury turns direct
- 12/25 Mercury enters Capricorn
- 12/26 Sun conjunct Black Moon Lilith
- 12/28 Mars trine Neptune
- 12/29 Venus conjunct Black Moon Lilith