The Astrology of December represents a time of transition, when all the personal planets change signs, and when the signs of Sagittarius and Capricorn and their rulers Jupiter and Saturn are emphasized in particular. Also featured in this month's astrology are the planetary energies of Uranus and Pluto. These planets are especially highlighted in the Full Moon of December 4th and the New Moon taking place on December 20th as we head into the Christmas holiday. It is entirely appropriate that these four planets are emphasized as we transition into Winter and the holidays, since together they represent both radical transformation (Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto) and relying on the practicalities of the status quo (Saturn) perhaps even to the point of holding back from necessary changes that we need to make in our lives.
Jupiter entered his own sign of Sagittarius in late November just after Thanksgiving, and then Saturn stations retrograde during the first part of the current month, still in trine with Pluto, continuing the emphasis on deep-seated transformation to established structures. While Saturn represents resistance, Pluto in contrast represents the necessary changes that must take place for the sake of the future health of the individual. Jupiter is Pluto's ally, since the concept of faith he represents urges us to go on with necessary transformation in spite of everything. By December 8th both Mercury and Mars enter Sagittarius, Jupiter's natural territory, there to rendezvous over the next several days with this expansive, optimistic and future-oriented energy. From the 8th to the 10th no fewer than six planets are lined up in Sagittarius, including Venus and Pluto, and after the 10th there are still five remaining. So Jupiter is doubly important in this mid-month period, since he rules half the planets, while appearing in his own sign for the first time in twelve years. Most importantly in expressing the energy of this line-up for the sake of our personal development is the fundamental optimism that Jupiter represents and that stands in contrast to the fears and holding back represented by Saturn. While we always have the tendency to hold back and maintain the status quo, that can mean that what happens to us are those requirements thrust upon us by external forces which we may not be in alignment with, rather than the changes that we can come to as a logical progression of our own unique arc of development. What in fact are we really afraid of? The essence of life itself is change, as Dylan reminded us in the glorious and expansive sixties when he wrote, "everybody not being born is busy dying." It happens whether we will it consciously or drag our feet, so we might as well begin to recognize the curve of our life path and head that way. When the New Moon of the 20th conjuncts Pluto we are re-born into a new world; and hopefully a new world of our own making.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
Of course the big news last month was the historic democratic party election victory which really does seem to signal a change in the weather for this country's political climate. There is still a long way to go however to undo the mistakes of the past and to hold the newly elected democratic congress accountable to the will of the electorate that voted for change. Last month we wrote that the wake of the elections could involve legal challenges, and that the proliferation of the paperless touch-screen voting machines could be the source of continuing problems and that unfortunately seems also to have been the case. Although the democratic majority was so large that it overwhelmed the negative effect of the lost votes, at least in most cases, there are important challenges to the election results that would result in about a 4% greater count for the democrats than they got. For one Internet story on this, see this truthout article.
This month as many across the country bask in the swing back to center there are likely to be some interesting challenges for us as well. When Saturn stations on December 5th it is opposite U.S. Moon, representing the public, with transiting Pluto is exactly sextile to it. Meanwhile the Sun crosses the U.S. Ascendant, indicating a time of self-discovery. Transiting Uranus in the Third House squares natal Uranus. There are likely to be further surprising and even startling revelations that come to us around this time frame about the way that our government goes about its business. The New Moon of December 20th also may be massively transformative, just as it is for all of us individuals living our lives in the shadow of our political institutions.
The Full Moon of December 4th (see chart ) is an exciting one, since it forms a close T-square to Uranus in Pisces. This configuration heralds the massing of six planets in Sagittarius over the next week. Also, Saturn stations retrograde the next day, trine Pluto. Radical restructuring is thus called for.
The weekend of December 9th and 10th is accompanied by a triple conjunction of Mercury, Mars and Jupiter in early Sagittarius, joining the Sun in that sign (), so hold onto your hats.
The Last Quarter Moon of Tuesday December 12th () is traditionally a time of increased consciousness as we realize what works and what doesn't in our new situation that has been sprouting since late November. In this case, the Moon aspects the Saturn-Pluto trine, while it conjuncts the South Node, exacerbating this tendency.
The New Moon of Wednesday, December 20th (), conjuncts Pluto, and brings in the massive force of transformation that he represents. Pluto is like a bull in a china shop, making way for new stock on the shelves but with not a whole lot of finesse. Since this conjunction aspects U.S. Moon we might expect to see some changes also in the body politic as we go into the Winter Solstice and the Christmas holiday period of time. A newly retrograde Saturn still trines Pluto, so that a restructuring is appropriately indicated as we enter into the New Year. Since Mercury and Mars are also still in contact and Mercury occupies the Mars-Pluto midpoint, we can look for information to provide the key to our own metamorphosis. A Jupiter – Uranus square and Saturn – Neptune opposition await us in the New Year.
The First Quarter Moon, taking place on Wednesday December 27th (), two days after the Christmas holiday, was regarded by Dane Rudhyar, the dean of modern Western Astrology, as a "crisis in action," when we had to find out what really was the viable portion of the seeds that had been planted at the time of the New Moon that preceded it. In this case, the Sun now in Capricorn triggers a close Jupiter – Chiron sextile that is exact on the very next day. We may find that our internal wounds are catching up to us at this time, but that we also have the ability to transcend them in new and creative ways, consistent with the new selves to which we are in the process of giving birth.