Astrology of December 2011
by Henry Seltzer (
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The Astrology of December features Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Chiron and Uranus. This is another quite powerful month as we transition into what promises to be an intense year. Mercury is of course retrograde making this month a meditative and introspective time as well. Mercury slips backwards through the Zodiac until its December 13th station, after which it remains in its retrograde shadow, gradually easing, until the new year. Jupiter also changes direction this month, on Christmas Day, a spiritual event having some significance as Jupiter reverses direction directly in line with both Chiron, the Wounded Healer, and with revolutionary Uranus. And Uranus itself, residing on the Aries point and aspected by the New Moon and Solar Eclipse from the end of last month, stations to direct motion on December 9th. Mars is featured in the First Quarter Moon from the very beginning of the month, the late night of December 1st, when it forms an exact T-square with the Sun and Moon, increasing the tension of what is an already volatile configuration.

This means at a minimum that surprises will continue as the month unfolds. The nature of Uranus is a two-edged sword, not so easy to handle if your goal is to simply maintain the status quo ante, without change and in long-lasting stasis. If your goal is change – and life itself requires change – Uranus can be your great friend, producing revolutionary movement and new ideas just when these ideas are the most sorely needed. The Uranus-Pluto square is in somewhat of a hibernation period now, but will come roaring back in June of 2012, the first of five exact conjunctions that will come to characterize the nature of this tumultuous decade.

And Jupiter is featured also. When Mercury stations mid-month in early Sagittarius, it does so while aspecting Jupiter. Mercury will also be in square with Chiron and in trine with Uranus. In this spiritually enriched time of the year, Chiron, or the Wounded Healer, brings yet another side of mystical dimension to this subtle and numinous series of configurations. Since both Jupiter and Uranus are aspected also, and are in slow motion, coming to their respective stations, their combination is productive and powerful. Uranus with Jupiter indicates the potential for new ideas to come into being, and these ideas are likely to connect us in some way to inner wounding, reminding us once again that our biggest obstacle is ourselves, and that by accepting and then integrating our flaws at the deepest level we are taking our first step toward transcending them.

The powerful December 10th Lunar Eclipse highlights both Mars and Venus, so that all forms of relationship, especially between men and women, are also brought to the fore at this time. Since Mars reaches its square with the eclipse degree exactly in sync with the Capricorn New Moon of Saturday, December 24th, Christmas Eve, this is likely to be a very spiritually active season as we head into 2012. The chart for the New Year is also quite interesting, emphasizing Pluto just as Mercury is finally escaping its retrograde shadow. We are in for more surprises and we are likely to witness much more revolutionary ardor in the year ahead. In the final analysis this reflects evolutionary activity on the part of humanity as a whole that is taking us out of our cultural infancy.

December 2nd First Quarter Moon First Quarter Moon Chart
This First Quarter Moon, which comes late in the evening of December 1st, or in the early morning hours of Friday, December 2nd, taking place at approximately 2 AM on the West Coast, is a doozy, coming as it does between two eclipses and forming an exact T-square to an active Mars in the 10th degree of Virgo. Since the Moon is in Pisces there is also a stimulation of Chiron, residing there, and the concept of internal wounding that that planet’s energy represents. The Sun in the 10th degree of Sagittarius has moved even closer to the Moon’s North Node than it was at the time of the New Moon Solar Eclipse of Thanksgiving Day.

Saturn is also constellated in this configuration, being semi-square the Sun at the time of the quarter moon, and is also approaching its station near the end of Libra in opposition to Jupiter in early Taurus. When Saturn and Jupiter are in aspect, especially the conjunctions and the oppositions, there is a political cast to the general background of cosmic energy, highlighting the various polarities that are operating right now across the country and indeed across the world. Several polarities are operating at a personal level as well during this passage midway toward the Full Moon that comes along next weekend. Those people whose Sun degree lies in early Pisces, early Aries and early Taurus are most affected, but everyone feels the crunch. The energy of the Uranus-Pluto square and the Mercury retrograde period are also felt as a backdrop to Chiron’s presence in the beginning degrees of Pisces, augmented by Uranus and Jupiter in Aries and Taurus. We are caught between doubt and exhilaration, with terrific ideas abounding but without the entirely positive energy to act on them, and with the idea of revolutionary activity that breaks all former bounds interacting with a very real conservative restraint that wants to hold back until victory is certain – even though that time might never actually arrive.

All we can do in the face of these apparent difficulties is to hold on, keeping our heads up and our eyes open, knowing that every challenge is also an opportunity to rise above and that if we place our trust in our inner guidance and do our best, we will come out stronger and wiser, and perhaps better able to rise to the occasion and meet the next wave.

December 10th Full Moon Full Moon Chart
This Gemini Full Moon taking place on Saturday, December 10th, is special even if only because it is also an eclipse; the Lunar Eclipse that follows the recent extremely potent Solar Eclipse and New Moon of November 24th – they usually come in pairs. Additionally, this Full Moon makes aspects to the same planets that have been so prominent lately and that were emphasized at the time of the New Moon, namely Jupiter, Uranus and Chiron. These heavy-weights occupy the first degrees of, respectively, Taurus, Aries and Pisces, and therefore all aspect each other, while at the time of the Full Moon they are aspected as well by Mercury, Venus and for Jupiter, the Sun and Moon. Uranus is now direct in motion, having stationed on the day before, December 9th. Uranus is therefore as a consequence much stronger even than usual. This powerful Full Moon eclipse thus continues the activation of these rather intense planetary energies.

We can see their combination in several ways: Chiron, emphasized by its connection to Uranus and to Jupiter, represents the deepest reaches within us, areas where we have been wounded by earlier circumstances that were too difficult to handle at the time and so have become walled away. Since Mercury squares Chiron while Venus also makes an aspect to it, we might have the chance to become more conscious of these deep and hidden places within us, as events bring them more readily to mind.

Uranus with Jupiter is the possibility of brilliant ideas coming to the fore, just at the time when we most sorely need them. In the surrounding culture, for example, we have seen the dilemma of the Occupy movement forces running out of places to go and direction to follow, but not running out of rage at the system that has ignored their needs for many years. The establishment has been in knee-jerk reaction to that simmering set of concerns, and undecided on what approach to take. We will see many and varied off-shoots of reactions, and reactions to the reaction in the months ahead. And this is one way that astrology is helpful; by analyzing the upcoming configurations we can be sure that the protest is likely to get more, rather than less, intense.

In personal terms as well, there are many new ideas simmering just below the level of conscious awareness that might easily become more alive to our conscious minds over the course of this climactic end-of-year period. Our depths and a segment of our inner wounding might be revealed. While not necessarily pretty, this could be at least more real to us than ever before; and truth is its own kind of beauty. As Mercury comes closer to its December 13th station, we are all engaged in meditating sincerely on our evolving situation which is also the story in micro of an evolving civilization as well. In our personal lives, and in the life of the surrounding collective, may we reach for the highest.

December 17th Last Quarter Moon Last Quarter Moon Chart
Saturday’s Last Quarter Moon brings to a near close the tumultuous lunation cycle that was initiated on Thanksgiving Day with a Solar Eclipse in early Sagittarius. This cycle also included the recent and also quite potent Lunar Eclipse from a week ago. Now the Sun and Moon in their waning square bring a moment of tension to a process that is winding down, and emphasize the contemplative nature of this monthly period. Even though Mercury is now in direct motion – finally – it is still to escape from its retrograde shadow, coinciding with the end of the month. The configuration of this Last Quarter Moon includes Uranus, now in forward motion and aspected by the Moon, and as well Jupiter, stationing direct on Christmas Day, which remains in close aspect and therefore strongly emphasizes the startling enlightenment provided by Uranus, still right at the Aries point. The Moon and Mercury also complete a bi-quintile yod to Jupiter, bringing a streak of optimism into the picture even in the face of somewhat difficult times.

The chart for New Year’s Day itself is quite interesting, being the prognosticator for the year to come, the much–storied and magically invoked year of 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar and the beginning of a new phase in the affairs of planet earth, at least by some accounts. Indeed this is a potent year that is a–dawning, as we can judge also by the culmination of the UranusPluto square that would represent the quarter phase of that planetary relationship – birthed in the sixties and with many past revolutionary cycles to the list of its historical appearances, including the time of the French Revolution, when these planets were opposed. And indeed a new revolution for our times has been brewing lately, one that has been getting more and more intense as the years leading up to 2012 have rolled by. In the New Year’s Eve chart there is another square alignment between Sun and Moon. In other words, January 1st will be a Quarter Moon as well, the First Quarter Moon of the new lunation cycle that is beginning on December 24th, Christmas Eve. It is significant that as the Sun and Moon move into square alignment on that day they aspect both Uranus and Pluto, being also in their same respective signs of Capricorn and Aries, while Venus, Jupiter and Chiron also aspect Uranus. Taking this chart as a harbinger for the coming year, it seems that there will be surprising developments and no let up in the intensity of radical changes coming down.

This all provides much food for thought in these last two weeks of the dying year, as we mull over recent events and attempt to see where we are headed both individually and collectively. We might reflect on the places in our personal lives that could use a New Years Day clean–up, bringing us a little bit closer to where at the deepest intuitional level we feel that we really could be. It’s a lot to ask of ourselves, but in another way, what else can we do but move forward, in spite of inherent difficulties, in spite of everything.

December 24th New Moon New Moon Chart
The Capricorn New Moon takes place in the mid-day period of Saturday, Christmas Eve, December 24th, in the third degree of Capricorn. It has the Sabian Symbol of “The human soul receptive to growth and understanding.“ This is an intriguing and powerful New Moon, and it comes along at an intriguing time, very nearly coincident with the Winter Solstice and bridging the turning of the seasons as we head into the storied year of 2012. Additionally, there are potent possibilities revealed in the configuration of outer planets as we move ahead into the final week of the old year. Jupiter in the first degree of Taurus is powerfully placed right now, being about to station the very next day, on the Christmas holiday as practiced by much of the Western world. Uranus, occupying the first degree of Aries, and therefore squared by the New Moon, is given a huge boost as well by this semi-sextile to a stationing Jupiter. And Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is also strongly engaged in these aspects, being sextile to both Jupiter and the New Moon. This last factor suggests that a certain amount of painful necessity will be felt even as we revel in the unexpected spiritual epiphanies represented by Uranus in combination with positively inspired Jupiter.

Pluto – as always in these recent and fairly stressful times – hovers in the wings, with his square to Uranus now forming, since Uranus changed to direct motion two weeks ago. Their waxing square, the first strong connection between them since the revolutionary decade of the sixties, perfects six months from now, on June 24, 2012, the first of seven exact hits that will take us to nearly the end of this pivotal decade that is shaping up.

And what a decade it has been, even thus far. There has been economic collapse plus environmental destruction and dereliction on the part of the nation’s leaders in the face of it, while the protest movement from an outraged citizenry seems to be just getting underway. It is one of the great benefits of Astrology that we can tell not only that these radical changes were coming, but also that they still have even farther to go, so that we might be prepared, at least somewhat, for the events of the next few months and even years. Pluto is like that; and in combination with Uranus sows the seeds for revolution, a necessary changing of the guard, a summation that currently moves each one of us individually as much as it does the society around us. We must transform in our individual lives before we run out of chances.

And we can also say, along with Ben Franklin at the time of Uranus’ discovery and in the early days of the initially revolutionary social setting called the United States of America, that “we must all hang together now or we shall most certainly all hang separately.“ It is indeed the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, when humankind must hang together to aspire to a new evolutionary level or else go under. And this notion becomes a source of inspiration as we recognize that in our individual contributions we can clearly see the wave of history unfolding and attempt to ride it to a farther shore. Difficult as it is, and painful as it must be to leave behind much of what we had previously assumed and found comfortable, we win when we consider that anything that we do must be done with a whole heart, and in alignment with our most deeply held spiritual principles, and therefore must advance the cause of evolution which the direness of our collective situation compels. These are the thoughts that will sustain us now, as we enter into this New Year and continue our course through this turbulent decade. We must act now for the highest or become confused bystanders to the historical mandate of our moment in time.