Astrology of December 2010
by Henry Seltzer (
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The Astrology of December focuses on Mercury, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Throw in an eclipse on December 21st just in chime with the Winter Solstice plus Mercury retrograde and we have another potent month, providing yet further harbingers of the massive changes that are still coming down, and coming on stronger throughout the end of the year and on into 2011, and as we approach 2012. Mercury contributes to a sense of mental agility now in the face of transformation, as it conjoins Pluto three times in early Capricorn, in December and then during the first half of January. Mercury retrogrades near Pluto on December 10th and returns to direct motion by month's end – escaping from its retrograde shadow by mid-January. This makes for plenty of food for thought as we ponder how we see the world changing around us and contemplate our place in society while all of this is happening. Can we manage to help or will we hinder the progress of the surrounding collective toward realizing what needs to be realized, and for understanding what can be understood? As Bob Dylan put it in the turbulent sixties, of which these times are an important and interesting reflection: "Get out of the road if you can't lend a hand, for the times they are a'changing."

All three outer planets are once more strongly configured this month. Uranus stations direct on December 5th and is therefore much more powerful at the time of the December 5th New Moon, when Mars also squares it. This is therefore an extremely accident-prone time, and also one of sudden and unexpected revelations concerning how we function out in the world. Mercury is also conjunct Pluto, and about to station in a few more days, so that this is a thoughtful as well as an active time period, leading up to the 10th. More revelations and unexpected or especially powerful events could occur leading up to the December 21st Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse, which takes place in the last degrees of Sagittarius and of Gemini, just before the Sun slips into Capricorn to mark the Winter Solstice. The eclipse itself is Monday night just after midnight on the West Coast, even later on the East Coast and Europe, so that the moment of the Winter Solstice on Tuesday afternoon and evening – with the Sun actually in Capricorn – strongly influences events that day as well. An eclipse directly in square with the Aries point is powerful, and brings up the Cardinal T-square from last summer and as well points ahead to early March when Uranus crosses back into Aries, there to square Pluto more directly once again, bringing up another round of radical transformation in our lives. The eclipse moment harkens back to prior experiences with this transformative energy and provides a taste of what is to come in the spring.

The first of two eclipses that bracket the end of the year, the Lunar Eclipse of Tuesday, December 21st, is described above. Then, just after New Years Day, the Solar Eclipse of January 3rd represents another powerful event linking Pluto and Saturn. We are really in for it, and the more so if have not been paying attention or doing our personal homework. If we keep our heads together, we might instead be able to conceive of the enormous changes coming down – for individuals and for society at large – as a series of necessary corrections, a healthy pruning of the rose bush before it gets even further out of hand. When we take a look around at society as we have it today, we can clearly recognize that some sort of corrective transformation is badly needed.

December 5th New Moon New Moon Chart
This New Moon in mid-Sagittarius makes aspects to many of the outer planets, making for an exciting and thought-provoking event. The Sun and Moon sextile Saturn, and form a quintile aspect to Neptune and Chiron. Mars squares Uranus, and Venus makes an exact bi-quintile to Uranus as well, a recipe for quick reactions and violent possibilities. Neptune and Chiron are conjunct with each other in the sky right now, and exactly semi-sextile to Uranus and septile to Pluto. Neptune with Chiron brings compassion to the fore, and as well an other-worldly sense of idealization that if we are not careful can border on self-delusion. We might also be feeling the loss that accompanies our disappointment that our ideals cannot easily come to pass in the earthly realm. At the time of the New Moon also, Mercury exactly conjuncts Pluto, while Venus newly in Scorpio, sextiles. Transformation is in the air, and the consciousness of our deeper relationship motivations.

December 13th First Quarter Moon First Quarter Moon Chart
This is traditionally a time of trials and tribulations as we seek to reconcile opposite sides of a situation or of our behavior. In this case Pluto is bracketed within half a degree with Mars on one side and a stationing Mercury on the other. These are both applying aspects, Mercury having just retrograded on the 10th. The Sun and Moon in square with each other aspect the new planet Eris, a feminine warrior energy. The Moon conjuncts Uranus with Jupiter nearby also. This is a very powerful configuration, and, with the tension of the quarter moon already high, tempers could flair. Practice non-violent communication if you can, or be prepared to run for the door.

December 21st Solstice Full Moon Lunar Eclipse Full Moon Chart
The Solstice time has come round again and as we prepare for another New Year we must take the old one into account as well. That is the message of the very important holiday season this year as we move closer yet to the tempestuous teens of this dawning 21st century. The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse taking place in the early hours of Tuesday the 21st represents a wonderful opportunity to make a vital assessment of where the energy of this next year will take us and how we plan to respond.

In an extremely rare occurrence, the Winter Solstice happens on the afternoon of the same day, the 21st. The solstice is always a potent time for new beginnings because the shortest day of the year has arrived and this means in entirely simplistic and yet ultimately profound terms that the light is returning. This solstice is made even more powerful by the earlier Lunar Eclipse which is designed to allow you to look backward as well as forward as you contemplate a different future for yourself that yet does not break completely with your past. The eclipse is happening in the last degrees of Sagittarius and Gemini, and makes a T-square to Jupiter and Uranus, conjunct in Pisces. Although the energy of these latter planetary archetypes is all about going forward, radiant with new vision for a better future, leaving the past completely behind, that energy is moderated by the eclipse itself. This is because it seeks to connect us to who we are based upon who we have always been, a kind of looking back. Taking place in the last degrees of the signs before the Cardinal signs of Capricorn and Cancer, which are symbolized in the Solstice, it makes the point that where we have been is as important as where we are going. This Full Moon energy therefore represents a flowering of all that we have been and learned in our life cycle up to now. We can be more than we would ever have imagined if we can take a measured stance on what we truly desire in our heart of hearts to actually accomplish. This very potent and very revealing solstice time is holy, and if we so treat it, we will see the rewards begin to manifest for us after the New Year.

The eclipse degrees in late Gemini and Sagittarius have the Sabian Symbols of "Bathing Beauties on Parade" and "The Pope" – with all the pomp and splendor these images convey, and for all their connection to collective values. We can either fall back into show and surface glitter or we can make the effort to be a focal point for the society around us to regain some semblance of pride and wisdom. It is important to note that Mercury is retrograde right now, and moving backward into Sagittarius, still in conjunction with the eclipse degree and square to Uranus. It will not re-enter Capricorn until January and will not regain its lost Zodiacal longitude until January 15th – so we have two weeks into the New Year to mull over our potential choices before taking more deliberate action.

December 27th Last Quarter Moon Last Quarter Moon Chart
This is traditionally a time when we absorb the accumulated wisdom of the preceding three weeks of the Lunation Cycle, and prepare for the one to come with the Solar Eclipse of January 3rd after the New Year. In this case Mars aspects both Uranus (by quintile) and Saturn (by square) and so the tension is enormous. There is a push-pull of stop versus go, with Mercury still thoughtfully retrograde and getting ready to station in Sagittarius. The energy is building for a very powerful and dynamic New Year as the build-up becomes even more intense leading up to 2012.