The Astrology of December features Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Pluto with the last gasp of the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune also making an important appearance. Mercury retrogrades on the 26th – with all the usual symptoms of missed communication and mechanical failures – making the last part of December and all of January a useful time for reflection and introspection. Mars is also featured by retrograde this month, a fairly rare occurrence. He turns retrograde on the 20th, and leading up to this date moves much more slowly in the heavens, becoming for the moment a slow-moving, almost an "outer" planet. It is theorized that the speed of a planet has a relationship to its astrological impact, so this month is a perfect time to test that idea. From the New Moon of December 16th to the end of the month Mars moves only a total of three degrees: two degrees forward and one degree back. Once into January he starts to pick up speed, but he is still moving backward! This means that outer motivation and the urge to go out and accomplish things will be turned inward throughout the last ten days of the year and on into March of 2010. From mid-December onward we might expect to see our motivation slowed and our outlook more serious. This is especially true for anyone with planets in their chart within a few degrees of 19 in a Fixed sign – that's Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio. Since Mars makes an aspect to Uranus when he stations on the 20th, there is also the possibility of rash and ungoverned action during the last half of the month, and we will do well to keep our impulses in check. Mars also opposesChiron over this period, so that it is possible that we could now see further into dysfunctional patterns of assertive and ego-oriented behavior perpetuated by ourselves and by our culture, including fears of self-assertion stemming from our early conditioning.
With Jupiter and Neptune currently aspecting Chiron by conjunction we will find also the possibility of redemption and of transcending of these wounded places.
The Jupiter-Chiron-Neptuneconjunction becomes quite close during the first half of the month especially, putting us in mind of how far we have come in dealing with the spiritual issues that we face as a society, and how far we still have to go. Jupiter is conjunctChiron exactly at the very beginning of the month, namely at the time of the December 1st Full Moon. Since Eris and Mars are also in this picture we might want to beware of being overly reactive all during December.
Then by the December 16th New Moon which aspects the triple conjunction, we find Jupiter occupying the midpoint of Chiron and Neptune, a mere degree from each, bringing back the configuration that was also active last May and June. There is optimism in this configuration, and also the recognition that whatever spiritual path we are on is our own, and that we simply cannot blend in with consensus thinking or naïve assumptions about the way our dreams might have worked out. As a culture, we are joyful to an extent at this time, and hopeful for the possibility of a recovery, but we are also saddened by the thought that we can never go back, that we are irrevocably past a certain kind of innocence.
The eclipses of December 31st and January 15th are powerful, and represent a useful time for looking back over the first ten years of this new century. This is due to the retrogrades of Mercury and Mars, and also due to the Saturn-Plutosquare that continues in full swing all through December. This square is powerfully activated at the time of the Quarter Moon of December 24th, and also by the eclipses of December 31st and January 15th. With Mercury and Mars both retrograde at this time, there is likely to be more reflection than action, but it will be a time of profound reflection indeed. Then, and all through this period, we are being made profoundly aware that something is changing, and changing utterly, in the structure of our lives and of the life of the surrounding culture. This represents another unfolding phase of what has preoccupied this country and indeed the entire world since 9-11. Then too, a certain kind of innocence was lost, that time in a cataclysmic event which forever changed the parameters of our lives. This end-of-year time in 2009 is when the reality of this event and our response really sinks home, and when we might begin to navigate the transformed territory that is left behind in its wake.
This end-of-the-year period is also a time when the rubber truly meets the road with respect to the transformation that we are all experiencing. It might be said that the time has come to face the music. The First Quarter Moon of the 24th is one climax of the last ten days of the month, but another comes when Mercury retrogrades on the 26th, the day after Christmas, making it not such a good time to get things done, and just when being productive is perhaps needed most. The entire lead-up to the New Year is somewhat frustrating, with the New Years Eve eclipse and Full Moon on the morning of the 31st likely to be even more so. This New Years is therefore an excellent time to stay home and reflect on the profound journey that you personally and we as a culture are in the midst of. It is a good time for ritual; not a good time to party like it's only 1999.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
Last month as we discussed the New and Full Moons of November and December, it seemed obvious that just as there had been many troubling news stories surfacing around this beginning and mid-month time period in recent months, in November too further revelations would follow. These stories center around the various hypocrisies that are currently going down in American (and Western) society. Are we hard at work fixing the environment or just talking? Are we a nation that bails out the poor and those not covered by health care or are we perhaps (dare to say it) a nation built mostly for the rich these days that bails out Wall Street first? Then there is the military presence that could build up in Afghanistan (and that continues in Iraq) and that has been discussed for many weeks now. Is our military presence in these regions designed to help the people there and protect us from terrorists or to help ourselves to important resources? Time will tell, but it does seem like the lessons of Vietnam were only imperfectly learned...
Last month the 2nd and the 3rd – around the time of the Full Moon – provided these stories...
From National Geographic:
Unless humans act now, seafood may disappear by 2048, concludes the lead author of a new study that paints a grim picture for ocean and human health.
According to the study, the loss of ocean biodiversity is accelerating, and 29 percent of the seafood species humans consume have already crashed. If the long-term trend continues, in 30 years there will be little or no seafood available for sustainable harvest. See National Geographic.
In other news from the November 2nd Full Moon period, Hamid Karzai was declared the winner of the Afghan election. This story has been brewing for months, but the subtext was the election leading up to the proposed run-off, which was declared fraudulent by the world community. Karzai's opponent feared the same for the run-off, hence his resignation, allowing Karzai to coast to undisputed victory. Nevertheless Karzai's ascension was hailed as legitimate by the U.S State Department. Sec. Of State Hillary Clinton had this to say: "With respect to Afghanistan and Dr. Abdullah's decision, I think that it is his decision to make. Whatever went into that determination is obviously his choice. But I do not think it affects the legitimacy."
Other news stories from this November 2nd Full Moon period were regarding the financial sector:
Goldman Sachs Secretly Bet on the US Housing Crash
An investigation by the McClatchy Newspapers has found that banking giant Goldman Sachs made secret bets on an imminent housing crash while selling off billions in soon-to-be-worthless securities. In 2006 and 2007, the bank reportedly peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers it was secretly betting that a sharp drop in US housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting. See The Consumerist.
Meanwhile the December 10th issue of Rolling Stone , release in mid-November, came out with an article that accused President Obama of staffing his Treasury and related departments with former Goldman-Sachs directors and associates, listing a total of 14 names from Treasury, NEC (National Economic Council) and State.
And of course the biggest story involving the military this past month also emerged in its first week, namely the shooting that left 13 dead and 30 wounded on Ft. Hood. The shooting took place on November 5th.
In the wake of the November 16th New Moon, we expected to see similar stories, such as:
Gates Blocks Release of Torture Photos
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has blocked the further release of any photographs depicting abuse or torture of foreign prisoners, saying their release would endanger American soldiers. Federal courts have repeatedly rejected the government's arguments to block the release of the photographs, but Congress voted last month to give Gates new powers to keep them private. See Democracy Now.
US Military Suicides at Record Level
A top US military officer has confirmed Army suicides will reach a new record annual high. General Peter Chiarelli, the US Army Vice Chief of Staff, said Tuesday the number of soldiers to take their own lives in 2009 has already matched last year's record of 140. The figure does not include an additional seventy-one soldiers who killed themselves this year after leaving active duty. See Democracy Now.
And – on November 18th
Wall Street Headed for Record Profits in 2009
New government figures show Wall Street is on pace to have its most profitable year to date. On Tuesday, the New York Comptroller Office said Wall Street profits are set to exceed the record set three years ago, before the onset of the nation's financial meltdown. The four largest firmsóGoldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chaseótook in $22.5 billion in profits through September. The top six banks set aside $112 billion for salAries and bonuses over the same period. In a statement, New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said, "The national economy is slowly improving, but Wall Street has recovered much faster than anyone had envisioned." See also The Huffington Post, and The Rolling Stone.
And also after the November 16th New Moon we had this story:
World Leaders: No Binding Deal on Climate Change Until 2010
President Obama and other world leaders have conceded that a binding deal to combat climate change won't be reached until at least next year. Asia-Pacific leaders, including President Obama, have backed a proposal to only reach an interim political agreement at next month's climate talks in Copenhagen while postponing contentious decisions on emissions targets, financing and technology transfer until sometime in 2010. The delay has frustrated those who feel time is running out to prevent calamitous levels of climate change. See Democracy Now.
Next month, the December 1st Full Moon once more aspects the U.S. Chart, aligning with the Ascendant and with U.S. Uranus while transiting Uranus continues to square and oppose U.S. Mars and Neptune even more closely. President Obama is scheduled to make an important announcement December 1st regarding troop build-ups in Afghanistan. Since Uranus is involved, there could be surprises there. Other sensitive dates in December include December 16th, when the New Moonsquares U.S. Neptune and also from the 21st to the 24th, when transiting Pluto and Saturn in aspect to the U.S. MC will be highlighted.
With Pluto and Saturn still square to each other and Uranus about to join them, the first half of 2010 looks to be even dicier than November has already demonstrated. Fasten your seat belts, and continue to spread awareness.
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The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.
The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.
Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.
Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.
Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.
Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.
Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.
Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.
Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.
Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.
Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.
As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.
The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.
The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.
In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.
While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.
The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.
The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.
Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.
Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.
Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.
Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.
Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.
Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.
Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.
Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.
Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.
Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.
Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.
Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.