The Astrology of December is dynamic, and features Neptune, Saturn and Uranus. From the time of the New Moon at the end of November, a Sagittarius line-up of Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars sets the stage, favoring Jupiter, Sag's ruler, prominent in these winter skies and closely aspected by the New Moon. Venus makes a conjunction with Jupiter just as December begins in a beautiful display in early evening skies that lasts for only a few days, since Venus moves so quickly. In this first week of the month there will therefore be an optimistic air to the proceedings generally and especially for all forms of relationship.
Saturn is finishing up the first pass of five in its oppositional aspect with Uranus, an archetypal combination that remains active throughout this two-month period. Saturn also begins in December to make a quincunx aspect with numinous Neptune. These two aspects are with us for at least the next eighteen months, when they are very close to exact, and on through the summer of 2011. Neptune and Saturn represent antithetical archetypes, just as much as Saturn and Uranus do. Neptune with Saturn can either represent the disappointment of the ideal never quite measuring up to the real, with all the cynical and despairing possibilities of that sense of defeat, or else the grounding of our dreams into concrete manifestation. A powerful example of this latter outcome would be Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I have a dream" speech, that has resonated down through the corridors of time, and that was made in the summer of 1963. On that day, Neptune was widely squareSaturn and also was transiting in close trine to U.S. Sun, just as the transiting Sun that day aspected U.S. Moon, representing the public.
The First Quarter Moon of December 5th is quite a powerful configuration, with the MoonconjunctUranus while the Sun closely conjunctsMars, bringing unexpected events very much into the picture. This might be a good time to be careful of accidents or unexpected consequences, a time to remember to "look before you leap." Then, the Full Moon of Friday the 12th forms a Grand Cross in Mutable signs with Uranus and Saturn. Saturn is also exactly inconjunctNeptune at this time, and stands alone, apart from the other planets, and therefore emphasized. Responsible attitudes prevail. The new planet Eris, representing a powerful and at times militant ability to stand up for oneself in the face of challenges, also comes into the picture in trine with the Sun and inconjunctSaturn, so that a Yod configuration is formed with Neptune. This brings up even more strongly the potential for despair mentioned above, and also the determination in spite of anything to make a stand for what we truly believe is possible. By enlisting right action in the face of contraction and nay-saying we include an all-important reliance on Spirit as our guide-post. With Saturnopposed to Uranus and triggered by this Full Moon configuration, revolutionary change is definitely in the air together with challenge to established authority, and accompanied by the resistance to the new impulse that is a natural and perhaps unconscious backlash. We will know what it is that we want to accomplish, and there may be a violent rending of the social matrix, or of the normal fabric of our lives, in order to achieve it. We may well feel the tug of war between that strong impulse and in resistance to it, the established powers that be. Coming in the middle of the holiday season, there could also be difficult economic implications for the country as a whole. Since Mercury also exactly conjunctsPluto at this Full Moon time, we will be actively seeking to know the underlying causes of all these potential events, and of our own actions as well.
The Winter Solstice this year is preceded by the Last Quarter Moon on Friday of the same weekend, bringing a new form of consciousness into play. Taking place on Sunday, December 21st, as the Sun enters the mountain goat sign, this time of the shortest day of the year is always powerfully significant, but this year even more so with Pluto occupying that same first degree of Capricorn. It's a powerful end-of-the-month time with also an important New Moon two days after Christmas on the 27th. This New Moon heralds a Capricorn line-up of six planets – Sun, Moon, Mercury and Jupiter, with Mars and Plutoconjunct in the first degrees. Venus is also exactly conjunctNeptune, to the minute, so that the peaceful energy of compassionate relationship and a spiritual sense of oneness also colors this time period, when the year is changing over to 2009. The chart for midnight December 31st again features Saturn apart from and roughly opposed to all the other planets, bringing up once more this accompanying sense of limitation and responsibility, although a PiscesMoonsextile to Mars and Pluto sweetens the mix of energy for the New Year.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
Last month we referenced the idealism implicit in the emphasis on U.S. Neptune, as Neptune in the sky come close to an exact aspect with it while transiting Saturnconjuncts it. Since Saturn is involved its position in the Tenth House of the U.S. chart comes into play, representing the office of the chief executive. Neptune is a slippery archetype that can represent high ideals or confusion, illusion, even deception. One reading would be idealism in reference to authority figures such as the president, while another would be concerns regarding motivation and conduct with this new administration, and we have seen both sides expressed in November news items. There is the general love affair of the American public and indeed the world population regarding the character of our new president-elect, and yet there were also concerns voiced that he may be packing his administration full of Washington insiders from the previous two administrations, in contrast to his mandate and his promise for change. His answer that he needs their experience in order to get the job done rings true, but still is a cause for concern in certain left-leaning circles. His choosing to keep Robert Gates on as Defense Secretary seems particularly troubling. On the idealism side of the equation, we were also treated to the image, and Neptune is all about images, of Mr. Obama together with his children handing out chickens to poor folks in Chicago, a Thanksgiving Day tradition of several years standing for him and his family.
In the current month of December, the most volatile day is the December 12th Full Moon Grand Cross in Mutable signs referenced above, which lights up the Neptune – Marssquare in the U.S. chart quite exactly. This square, which is always present in the U.S. chart and therefore in the national character, can symbolize once again the two sides of Neptune, either on the one hand an idealistic stance that this country takes again and again with respect to generosity to others and love of equality, and of learning; or on the other the deception and illusion also implied in this country's movie star and action hero images that captivate the thinking and feeling process of young and old alike. Deception is also no stranger to the military in this country, symbolized by Mars. Certainly deception has played a large role in the beginnings of most of this country's wars for example, as in the trumped-up Gulf of Tonkin incident that lead to the escalation in Viet Nam, or more recently the descriptions of Iraqi thefts of incubators from Kuwaiti hospitals during the first Gulf War in 1991, that turned out to have been wholly fabricated.
We might see some of these themes played out once again in the mid-December timeframe, especially on the weekend following the 12th, when the energy is potent in relation to these U.S. planets. Saturn is triggered by the Sun and Moon, which are squaring it exactly at the time of this powerful Full Moon, and Saturn is making a very close square with U.S. Mars, within 5 minutes of a degree, and a an almost exact conjunction with U.S. Neptune. Meanwhile Mercury joins Pluto in the first degree of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, in the First House of the U.S. chart, signaling significant unfolding events that might serve to make more obvious whatever power plays are in the works, consciously or unconsciously, with regard to U.S foreign policy and the nation. One reading of this mid-month time frame would be that the military will once again be seen to play an illusory or a deceptive role, while another would be that economic news might take a sudden turn, either up or down. Once again, the power of illusion represents an important piece of this symbolism.