by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, November 28, 2016

December 2016: Entering a Ring of Awareness

The May 2013 Annular Solar Eclipse as photographed
from Australia's Northern Territory (photo credit: Mrpulley)
Not that you probably have had any real reason to notice, but we have recently shifted from calendar months which begin with a New Moon to a year (plus) of months which will all end with New Moons, which in this case means December begins with a New Moon at 7 Sagittarius having just occurred (on November 29th).

That 7 Sagittarius quality is going to make December many things, staring with the idea that 7 degrees of any sign points to something about what we do, how we do it, what we are aiming to do or that which we simply 'are' (physically or otherwise). This particular degree number 7 (which is actually the 8th degree of Sagittarius because all signs begin with zero) ... 7 Sagittarius has a reputation for being less 'noisy' than some other Sagittarian degrees (Sagittarius being, among other things, about 'broadcasting' and the exchange of ideas), and its goals are generally something earthy (earthly) and tangible, which is downright modest in the 'the sky isn't even the limit' Sagittarian world.

Focusing more on quality than quantity perhaps, this New Moon quotient stands behind a month which begins with Saturn and Venus already in Sagittarius (supporting efforts which may 'pay off' in various ways) and Mercury not far behind in Scorpio.

That said, December is also starting out with an ongoing and evolving situation which began last month (astrologically) by Jupiter in Virgo squaring Pluto (aka Pluto-Vega) in Capricorn which then evolved into a t-square…

… which with Pluto at the ‘hurdle’ or apex of same doesn’t just suggest a bit of free-floating Grinch-like feelings. Somewhere behind the obligatory happiness (and the real joy, which is bound to be there for more than a few) there is going to be a distinct if intermittent ‘anti ho-ho-ho’ feeling - and beyond that, a few rash outbreaks of ambition(s) and situations which need to be ‘gotten past’ whether that means simply wading (working) through something, waiting for something, waiting for something to pass or die down ... or some form of challenge which promises relief from that which is either irritating, infuriating), ‘cutting,’ or simply preventing us from being able to function or think as we believe we should be able to.

This t-square will be with us throughout December and on into January, testing our sense of ambition, proportion and willingness to do things which in turn, may allow us to advance our cause or reach some goal. And along the way, its tests are going to put us in a place (with our Self) where we have to function without ‘proof’ as to whether our aims, preferences, talents, theories or ‘core ambitions’ are worthy,  good and/or destined to succeed ... or wretched, utterly rancid and likely only to come to a dead end. (Not that we can’t ... and won't learn something from either result.)

The fact that all this has much to do with what and how we think. For instance, do we have all the facts? Are we overly biased? Might we be (in truly Mercury in Scorpio style) in such a state of internal stress that we are simply looking for an outlet? 

To make all this a tad more noteworthy is another idea - namely how as of December 12th, Mercury is going to be entering an orb of conjunction to Pluto. And due to the fact that Mercury will be going retrograde as of December 19th (without having fully caught up with Pluto), that means whatever this Pluto-Mercury combination represents  because of where our natal Pluto, natal Mercury and mid-Capricorn lie in our natal chart (and solar chart, but we won't get into that) ... that means whatever gets activated is going to be with us for a while. 

For how long, exactly? 

I'm so glad you asked, as this is one of those confluences those of us who act as reporters for such moments like to note, with the idea going like this: Mercury will go retrograde on December 19th - as noted - without catching up to Pluto (which will be at 16 Capricorn by the time Mercury goes retrograde at 15 Capricorn).

After retrograding all the way back out of Capricorn into the last bit of Sagittarius, Mercury will come out of retrograde on January 8 (2017), at which point it will move forward until it catches up with Pluto on January 28th, which just happens to be (laugh here) two days before Venus - which is in Pisces - moves into the shadow of its upcoming March/April retrograde, most of which is going to be in Aries. 

Such things connect cycles, telling us how that which begins now in December may well be (or lead to) that which we will be dealing with ... or possibly revamping (or) building from (or on) well into mid-2017.

In the same way Jupiter-Pluto contacts are known to promote ambition through prompting the kind of desire which produces the drive and motivation which seeks to 'expand' our capacity and influence, Pluto plus Mercury stirs a 'need to know' and a desire to understand and/or convince others (whether with some truth or untruth being individual) with all of this being part of the process wherein we 'press our case' or otherwise try to get things to go in a beneficial direction. (Or at least that which we think is beneficial coming to this moment, with all being subject to possible change under pressure.) Sometimes an energy of investigation which "digs" (literally or figuratively) for answers, transiting Mercury conjuncting Pluto supports either extreme of focus (very focused or completely unfocused) and can be very positive, forward looking and pro-change or entirely resistant, negative and unwilling to change a thing.

So either we will feel these things ... or moments will come along which cause us to go through our mental paces.

Beyond all that, there’s a well-deserved reputation for manipulation(s) which is surely part of any and every form of Pluto-Mercury contact, and with Pluto sitting at the apex of a t-square it may be just this tendency to be waiting for 'them' (or 'that') on all our parts which is preventing us from reaching any accord or answer to our various issues.

That said, awareness is called for when any of the major planets or outer dwarf planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Eris, Huya, Orcus, Haumea, Sedna) are in aspect - whether to each other or personal planets, as the entire list just given all refers to things, to influences and situations which are never going to be entirely in our control, and most often having to do with things we haven't previously understood.

Jupiter squaring Pluto calls not just for balance, but a sense of proportion and priorities which consider not just our life, but others and life itself. What this becomes in each of our lives being individual, intensity can be expected along with  'upwellings' and outbursts of long-buried notions, some of which are going to be .. and prompt vivid emotions, with the closer the aspect to points in your personal natal chart being cast by either Jupiter at 16 Libra (which changes to 17 Libra on December 2nd) and Pluto at 15 Capricorn (which becomes 16 Capricorn as of December 3rd), the greater the likelihood something in your life is now about to change - whether you're planning on it or not.

Projection is another Jupiter-Pluto issue, as is the tendency to meet up with someone (or some situation) which causes us to 'witness our Self' whether we grasp it or not. These moments, though seemingly innocuous, often end up prompting complaints (it's always quaint when we criticize others for what we're doing, isn't it?) and they do tend to stick - often uncomfortably, which is part of the process as Jupiter-Pluto contacts are also about uncovering all those mental mirrors we've hidden because we don't want to think about who we are, or are being.

Mind you, it is perfectly possible to learn easily and without turmoil under Jupiter square Pluto, but that requires the willingness to change our Self, through which others will change as a matter of energetic 'cause-equals-effect' course. Learning what we do or don't want to be through others (and events, interactions and things like reading, research and other solo experiences) is not unlikely now.

The trick is recognizing why we don't want to be that, and when it comes to relationships, why we would be involved or 'connected' to someone who is, considering the great metaphysical rule 'like attracts like.'

Relationships, even the most contentious ones, rely not just on our willingness to 'dance' with someone else (even if we dance with them in anger), but on there being something which connects us not just on the worldly basis, but in the sense that some kind of energetic has brought us to a certain place in order to interact with a certain person.

Besides, sometimes ‘that's not me,’ leads to lessons on how human we really are.

Other than that t-square, there are no major configurations which are going to stick with us for any length during December. However, we do have a set of major planet aspects from Saturn and Jupiter to Uranus (with Eris conjunct Uranus) which will be being perfected in the days prior to Uranus stationing on December 29th. And that speaks to  growing efforts - or perhaps some form of drive which anticipates or drives change, and which is requires work towards that change - not that we are likely to be entirely 'on our own' in that particular regard.

A word about Eris/Uranus: due to be with us for some many months yet, Eris/Uranus represents that which is evolutionary, revolutionary, and which has the capacity to bring out the best in us through our efforts to do what we can for others.

And through that, we come to truly 'blossom' in some new and special way, whether in terms of our own understanding or in conjunction with (or) as someone others respect without regret, due to our willingness to use our talents for the betterment of that Whole which benefits all.  
With Mercury going into retrograde just after mid-month, we are all also facing standard Mercury retrograde ‘slowdown’ issues, and those can be expected to start up at least by December 12th. So that may mark the point at which the general tendency to 'pull back' from 'worldly business’ in favor of several weeks of December 'holiday mode' begins.

And though I know for many this turn from generally interactive to 'me and mine' is a joyful time, I am also asking that everyone remember those who have no families or close ties, who will be alone this holiday season. For you, these weeks may be all about fun and warmth. Unfortunately that tendency - inclusive of the habit of 'disconnecting' creates an energetic which leaves those 'without' to experience that which is left over, which metaphysically would be a 'lack of warmth.Such ideas lie at the idea of metaphysical energy as contiguous - the 'alternative' view of E=mc2'd, if you will.

As (or when) we understand that (and how to work with that) idea, we also come to understand how indeed we do create our future - and how we create it... with the single caveat being that when we create our own future, we affect that others are creating (or maintaining) as well.

And they may not like that.

As for Mercury retrograde, that is not exactly the kind of metaphysical signal any astro-savvy person likes to see around the holidays. For one, Mercury retrograde tends to affect travel, traffic and shipping - and not in the good way! Shipments go awry. Cars break down. Things get forgotten.

So a word to the wise: leave extra time for everything  (whether it's 'holiday oriented' or not). It's just a good idea idea this month.

Plus, all of that goes double for New Years Eve. Not only will Mercury be in retrograde over New Years, but with Uranus going direct on the 29th and New Years Eve being overseen (as it were) by Moon in Aquarius (and Aquarius being Uranus' home sign), while this suggests many a party and fun time being had, this is also a combination which suggests some official or unexpected 'raining on our parade' or good time, through sudden interruptions and a few untimely distractions. 

So there's the overview - and now let's get to distinct dates and their astrological particulars ...
December 1 
December begins with Mercury entering the shadow of its upcoming retrograde, letting us know how between December 1st and 19th little which is not ‘already on the table’ is likely to get onto that table, either simply because nothing is new (or needing top priority), or because we have things ‘planned out’ and are therefore are not all that willing to take on anything new at the moment.

With all this being a matter of proportion and (with Sun in Sagittarius) to some extent about just how bull-headed we are (read: how often do you cut off your nose to spite your own face?) … where planning is, or has been done in order to avoid facts or things (or) where plans and/or actions are specifically aimed at avoiding some kind of ‘rule’ or ‘rationale,’ life is more likely to interrupt, deflect, distract or otherwise slow us (or our progress) up.

This relates to the ongoing Jupiter/Pluto issue in that Jupiter ‘pushing’ towards Pluto (zodiacally) from a square position indicates a ‘building’ (or) 'aim to increase.' Now evolving in nature, such efforts or notions are situational 'engine' which here get tested against situational dynamics asking whether we can choose wisely while keeping all in balance and ‘within bounds.’ There is a definite chance of having to be ‘rid’ of or to 'clear out' (or possibly 'tear down') something, with Pluto in Capricorn against Jupiter in Libra suggesting changes to the way(s) we (Libra) ‘relate’ to others being involved, if not without some stops, starts, and a few rounds of mental egos getting stepped on and thoroughly offended.

This means from time to time we are all going to be feeling like we've been dropped on an alien planet (a reasonably friendly one, we trust) … and may well indicate challenges where things we take for granted come to matter more than we had suspected, specifically once they are either no longer there and available (or) as they are replaced by something which, good or bad, requires attention if only because we aren't (as) familiar with it.

As Mercury enters its shadow and we start sorting through things (becoming ever more absorbed in the process) we are also going to be running across our feelings about things - specifically those which we don't truly understand. Stirred up by Chiron going direct at 20 Pisces at 9:52 in the morning (UT/+0 time) these moments of not being able to 'relate' to ideas or how to cope with some problem are likely to cause us to feel insecure or 'unstable' about something - a decision, a timetable, or maybe just how we are going to proceed from 'here' (wherever 'here' is).

That which turns up now is unlikely to be 'in line' with what we want, what we are doing, or even that we are familiar with. And just that can cause us to feel unsettled - not because the 'thing' is so enormous or difficult (it could be, but doesn't have to be) ... but rather because we are in one of those places where 'one more thing' - good or not good - can set us off or otherwise frazzle us. We may well feel 'out of our element' now, and for whatever reason (real or imagined) what we do from here feels critical whether it is or not, spurring us to be productive, lest we end up paying some 'price’ we also would not feel particularly good about.

As Chiron is going direct here, external influences are more than likely to be presenting challenges (some of which will also be opportunities, whether we recognize it or not). The problem here being how we do not yet have enough experience to feel confident about proceeding, in true Chiron style our wanting to ‘seize the moment’ or ‘win the day,’ will depend on (a.) getting past the mental blockade a lack of understanding can truly represent and, (b.) our ability to keep our wits about us as we tackle learning something even while doing it.

Wherever we see Chiron, getting thrown off course or distracted by our own feelings of lack (particularly our lack of comrephension) can be very emotional. Too much emotionality is likely to ‘kill' some chance of success. Then again, too little sensitivity to what is at stake may kill our ability to achieve that success.

Making this all a little more exotic (as if it needed to be?), Vesta is also on now station, going retrograde at 5 Leo as of 15:40 (3:40) in the afternoon (UT/+0 time) - with asteroid Apollo keeping Vesta company by also going retrograde at 21 Leo.

If you know your mythology, seeing Apollo involved here is particularly curious as the Olympian was mythic centaur Chiron’s teacher. And yet even as a god, Apollo was not able to save Chiron from his own ability (and willingness) to bring about his own downfall through ignoring (forgetting) all the truth and enlightening lessons on healing learned from Apollo when faced with the enormity of emotional ‘pull’ coming from his own mythic half-man, half-horse ‘animalistic’ nature.

In going retrograde at 21 Leo, Apollo here references our ability (or again, our willingness) to analyze situations both thoroughly and with some degree of feeling for the perspectives and ‘truth’ of others - particularly if or where those 'others' have gone through difficult experiences. Because Apollo is going retrograde, this lesson 'comes home' to us now, or we may be considering some ‘truth’ about how negative things come to pass, and the legacy of damage such incidents leave in their wake.

With Vesta also going retrograde, promises made but not kept are also part of current equations, with some of us being in the ‘how could I have believed that?’ group and others being rather more burdened by the recognition of how, as we move to take advantage of opportunities and good fortune, we also run a risk of squandering the goodwill of others, specifically through situations in which we decide to trust some 'incomplete' estimation as a basis for a (Vesta) promise which then does not play out as predicted (or expected). In going retrograde at 5 Leo, Vesta also references a capacity for putting up 'walls’ in order to avoid criticism and a tendency to walk break promises, laws and rules while robbing others of something ‘fairly' promised.

This doesn't sound all that 'promising' (bad pun, I know), and as Vesta is all about what it requires of us to keep our promises, one of the things this turn to retrograde may indicate (now, or more acutely as Mercury also goes into retrograde) is our coming to grips with what we - or others - have done right and wrong, and what any of that may mean. Might someone else breaking a promise cause us to break ours? It could. Then again, the reference to 'walls' may be our putting up some sort of 'wall' between our Self and others who we now recognize as false. Or perhaps we will advance something or take a new path, recognizing that we will 'lose' or 'lose out on' something previously 'promised' (through association or otherwise) because we have found something we feel more like dedicating (promising) ourselves to.
This all may be already happening in real time as the month begins. Or, with Mercury just entering its retrograde shadow as December gets started, this may be the moment when such matters are being discovered or bubbling up to the surface, leading to new considerations and - in time, new choices. 

December 2 
If you’re looking to catch your breath amidst much to do and many a task, Mercury exiting Sagittarius and entering Capricorn at 21:19 (9:19 p.m., UT/+0) on December 2nd may be just your kind of moment. 

Why? Because the pace of life under Mercury in Sagittarius tends to be faster than that of Mercury in Capricorn, which is often a signal to slow our pace, the rate at which we go about doing things.

Mercury in Capricorn (glyph chart)
December 2, 2016 - 21:19 (9:19 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location not Specific)
Mercury in Capricorn (text chart)
December 2, 2016 - 21:19 (9:19 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location not Specific) 
Being an earth sign (as opposed to Sagittarius as a fire sign), Capricorn deals in that which is lasting and ideas, choices, stances and considerations which tend to shape things long(er) term. So with Mercury entering Capricorn, the idea of something we can stand or which 'sticks’ - the serious rather than that which is entertaining first (and last) is rather more the them. That Mercury is entering Capricorn with the Sun still in Sagittarius may indicate being pulled in different directions for a bit, plus there may now be (or arise) reasons to ‘pick’ carefully, even if and where momentum or dynamics are all for 'pushing ahead' either in the face of misgivings, new facts, or where there is a fading of enthusiasm of some kind.

Juno is going to be squaring the lunar nodes as Mercury makes this shift, so some factor in (or) about our relationships may be or become involved, whether directly tied to the moment or not. Might that suggest things of the moment may have some effect on how others feel about us or our reputation? It might, though this may not be anything new.

How's that? Mercury in Capricorn is a less philosophical influence than Mercury in Sagittarius. Where Mercury in Sagittarius 'goes with the idea,' Mercury in Capricorn is prone to dealing with 'just the facts, ma'am' and sometimes concise or 'cut and dried' to the point of being painful. Under Mercury in Capricorn we tend to be more about eliminating the risks in life rather than sizing them up to see if we want to take them on. Under this influence, our aim is - or becomes one which is bent on being responsible, practical and generally pragmatic because that's how we think we can attain (or) preserve stability, status and our access to opportunities.

This doesn't mean kindness and manners don't matter. Far from it! Formalities do matter under Mercury in Capricorn, as this is the point in Mercury's cycling through the zodiac when we recognize what kind of 'work' we have left to do - now, and in life in general. Most of us will to choose what works and will keep working under this influence, and we are more likely to 'do our homework' to find out what does work and what will last now than at many other moments.

However ... this is not to say everything we decide on now will work, work out perfectly or encounter neither an objection nor a hitch.

Far from it. Mercury will be going retrograde beginning on the 19th. And because just about all of this retrograde will be in Capricorn, there are sure to be some glitches, changes of mind and a few 'course corrections' along our Mercurial way. Just before this retrograde ends (on January 8th) Mercury will dip back into Sagittarius - which may well turn out to be when new (or) “missing” information we may have been waiting for becomes available. That Sagittarius period is also likely to be a relief to many who will (for personal reasons) be 'working to get through' Mercury in Capricorn - which can be a lonely or alienating them when we focus on mistakes, lacks and time's passage rather acutely and not always optimistically. 

With Mercury entering Capricorn unaspected by any of the standard planets, tradition suggests we will be free (or at least feel free or freed up) to ‘exercise’ our thoughts and choices to the extent we feel we 'deserve' to. That doesn’t guarantee success, of course, and with Mercury going retrograde come mid-month some part of our thoughts, plans and choices may need to be revised or revamped. Given Capricorn's sober, determined, enduring and durable standards, we may now choose to work alone (or) we may need 'space' - be it psychological or physical - in which to operate. 

Capricorn favors order. And as order (schedules, deadlines, timeliness, responsibilities) seems to be difficult and sometimes on the proverbial 'back burner' during the holidays, just that fact may spell out how (and why) things we are doing now, or that which we start now takes longer than usual. Or we may be choosing to get everything 'lined up' and organized (as Mercury starts into Capricorn) with the understanding that we are going to take time out for the holidays and then come back to come January when Mercury goes direct on the 8th or reenters Capricorn on the 12th.

There's one other thing to know about December 2nd, and it fits with Mercury shift as it pertains to Saturn, ruler of Capricorna. As of December 2nd, Saturn will come into orb of the trine it will make to Uranus on December 25th. 

If you are a regular reader of astroPPM, you may remember how in our 'last episode' Jupiter came into orb of Uranus too. And that means the whole of December is going to occur under these vibes: Jupiter effectively opposing Uranus as Saturn is trining Uranus, a combination which speaks to 'changing structures,' whether that's a reference to changing your place of residence, dismantling an old car, ending or beginning a job, changing relationship aims, our way of life (or) a change in the way we see or respond to things in those basic terms which have to do with who we are in this world.

Jupiter and Saturn are the 'generational' planets - a term which reflects their tendency (by sign) to show the strengths of any given astrological generation and the work it is meant to do. Where the inner astrological 'planets' (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) talk about our personal world, the generational planets refer to what we each will do in 'the' world and all the effort (plus all we will need to learn) to achieve those aims. So to have both planets in aspect to Uranus - especially during the holidays - may seem odd, as it all would seem to mark a period when we determine that a 'change of personal direction' is needed, along with thoughts on what we are going to do in light of such notions. 

On the mundane level, this Jupiter/Uranus, Saturn/Uranus connection also indicates 'the unusual,' which can turn out to be good, bad, exciting, difficult or anything else which shocks, surprises or astounds us ...  or which simply gets us to move off some 'position' we have been more or less 'glued' to or 'planted' in. Uranus does require flexibility (of mentality, if not of body) and it's reputation for manifesting as that which is manifestly unexpected is reliable in its unpredictability.

And of course there is the fact that Uranus will also be going direct at 20 Aries as of December 29th to consider. 

December 5-6 
Speaking of 20 degrees, with an orbit around the Sun which takes 687 days (1.88 years) and with 360 degrees in the zodiac, some quick and dirty math makes understanding how when Mars is moving at more or less ‘normal’ zodiacal speed it takes something around to two days to move through a single degree. So as Mars transits 20 Aquarius on December 5th and 6th, we can expect a few ambient impulses and Urges of the Restless Type to be set off.

As for what 20 Aquarius will add or promote, by definition 20 Aquarius is a degree which isn’t entirely personal - though it may well refer to our being personally involved in something. Said to present twin aspects prone to manifest as social arts and attention to the 'finer details of functionality,' in combination with still-subterranean Uranus effects this may time out hopeful moments and useful discoveries even as we come to grasp more about the kind of resourcefulness which we may well need if we are to achieve our goals and aims.

With this, (or as an offset to this,) we may also now become aware of that which is urging a termination or discarding of some things which may seem reasonable but which are likely to trigger intolerance, confusion, upheaval or other kinds of ‘messy situations - even though that may not be the real problem (or origin of some problem).

With Medea about to go retrograde on the 6th, there is every chance some sort of fixation is involved here, and such fixations don't bode well specifically where we have been ‘chasing’ something which never seems to work. Loyalties being out of  balance with facts and rampant emotions (ours or those of others) may also figure now, though with Medea going into retrograde such moments are more than typically likely to be private, reflecting a recognition where our feelings have somehow 'run away with us,' causing us to 'undercut' our Self and what we 'started out to represent' or do. 

Representing confrontations with our darker and most desperate desires, by natal placement or by transit Medea is not only a projection onto others of that we think we want them to be (do, provide, say, agree, etcetera) - but more importantly, our capacity to either drive our Self to distraction over something we suspect we cannot be (have, achieve, understand, control, etcetera) ... or our willingness to face having lost something irreplaceable through valuing 'the dream' over reality/realities.

At its most basic, Medea is about where ego gets waylaid by that part of our 'shadow nature' which dreams 'big' - whatever 'dreaming big' may means in your life. Given that, having Medea go retrograde in a degree (12 Leo) which speaks in one direction to an idea of ‘the blessings of the fortunate’ which challenge us to carry through on the fullness of our potential in spite of not having been forced to (problems with 'follow through' being noted) ... as well as the distinct chance of fortunes (or the manifestations of good fortune) to be gained and/or lost in unpredicted manners.

Medea by Henri Klagman (1868)
In going retrograde at this degree, Medea’s station promises some among us will meet up with situations or moments which will cause us to recognize where (or how) ego undermined our best intentions even as others are rededicating themselves to personal goals which may yet be (or become) their undoing. Temptations, tensions and jealousies may figure here, and though they may not end up being ‘deadly,’ they do represent an aspect of something which can be (or become) corrosive, poisonous and/or problematic.

That Medea is turning retrograde with Venus just about to finish its transit of Capricorn also suggests real-life circumstances being involved. Plus with Pax (peace, tolerance) and Orcus both about to go retrograde there is every likelihood that some part of what surfaces cannot now be changed (no matter how much we want to). 

December 7 
Another of our favorite meteor showers, the Geminids begin on December 7th and, in running from the 7th through December 17th, promise a ‘sprinkling’ of new ideas and information of many kinds as we head towards Mercury's retrograde station. Mind you, because we are in Mercury's retrograde shadow, that does suggest new things which do cross our path now are like as not going to have to wait a bit to be taken on seriously.

But it never hurts to look, think, and consider, right?
Because the Geminids are a product of rock comet Phaethon and Phaethon's radiant (the point in the sky it appears to 'come from') is in Gemini and associated with Castor (the Gemini twin associated with earthy and earthly things), this yearly period tends to be one when we 'hear the cry’ of our those more earthy, earthly and physical attributes. That's just an interesting concept, seeing as so much about life and our world shifts away from the strictly intellectual and worldly attributes associated with the other Gemini twin (Pollux) at this time of year.

But then, the tale of the Gemini twins is all about finding how to fulfill an ultimate purpose (zodiacally shown through the polarity of Sagittarius to Gemini) with fixed star Alhena, the ‘star of purpose,’ being the left foot of Pollux being that which asks us to 'step into the future' (or to take 'steps' to assure our Self of a place and function in that future). But come every December, we put that aside for a little while under this 'sprinkling' of 'feeling sparks' - which is part of this polarity's 'ultimate' lesson about not being 'one thing' OR 'the other,' but about how productive lives are made up of 'equal parts of thought and feeling' ... with all of that 'need to balance' optimally being helped out by new ideas and inspirations which now 'appear from out of the darkness.'

Plus asteroid Pax will be adding its own touch here. In going retrograde at 19 Leo, Pax is likely to 'test the peace' (our peace, or our ability to be peaceful) by 'bringing home' 19 Leo's qualities of determination and aptitude for winning through earning (or earned) respect in such a manner that some of us are likely to ‘dig in’ and do whatever needs doing  with understanding even as others succumb to negative feelings of various kinds.

And then we need to add in the fact that TNO Orcus will also be turning to retrograde motion here - and that Orcus will be doing its turnabout at 9 Virgo, the degree of last September’s eclipse. By itself, Orcus indicates that which can no longer be changed - the good and bad of which we will need to 'account for' to ourselves and thereafter 'live with.' Having poignant feelings and sudden recognitions get evoked around the time of Orcus' retrograde station is rather typical as Orcus 'brings to light' factors, things and considerations we hadn't thought about or yet confronted.

All this is worth noting by itself. Then again, it's also worth noting as a set of 'side dishes' to the idea that Venus will be also entering Aquarius at 14:52 (2:52 p.m), UT/+0 time on December 7th.

Normally we associate Venus in Aquarius with opportunities which both test our ability to understand what 'works' while rewarding us for where we understand 'appeal' (or our personal ability to generate things which are 'appealing') while also being drawn to that which we conceive of as being 'common ground' of the social, societal or personally ‘useful’ type and alienated by that which threatens our 'group' belief or attitude.

Venus in Aquarius (glyph chart)
December 7, 2016 - 14:52 (2:52 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Venus in Aquarius (text chart)
December 7, 2016 - 14:52 (2:52 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific) 
With Orcus going retrograde as Venus enters Aquarius, one would suspect there will be a chance that something we have been trying to ‘hold off’ on stops being an issue now (or at least our issue to contend with). The news may be welcome or not, with Pax' turn to retrograde pointing to reasons for mixed feelings. With Jupiter (in Libra) sextiling the Sun and Saturn in Sagittarius, we are working at our own speed and conscious of the “things on our list,” and as Venus is entering Aquarius with Mercury trining the North Node (and sextiling the South Node) there is a definite strain of 'the necessary’ which may turn into a moment or series of days when in spite of all we are getting done we find ourselves also having to deal with (at least mentally) something left undone, or possibly bypassed in error.

Aquarius being the third and most worldly of the zodiacal air signs, in keeping with how the first sign in any element is personal, the second being interactive and the third being global and not specifically ‘personal’ (though its effects on our life can be personal indeed), Venus in Aquarius is all about ‘how to get’ what we want from others and our world. So during Venus' transit of Aquarius, we do that which is needed to generate friendship and connect effectively,  whether that involves "marketing" (personal or professional) or some active or passive (planning) effort aimed at 'earning' our place in the world. 

Due to be in Aquarius until January 3rd, while Venus transits Aquarius we can expect a bit of quirkiness and humor. We may well find ourselves responding to things we don’t ordinarily respond to and taking a liking to things or people or 'styles' which have singular or unique qualities. It's thought of as a 'friendly' influence which promotes the kind of general platonic receptivity which favors business. Given the ongoing Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus t-square, the shift from Venus in Capricorn to Venus in Aquarius is more likely to be felt as more of a distinct ‘plus’ or ‘minus’ moment (depending on our natal chart and how we feel about change) - and with asteroid Eurydike being about to go retrograde motion our ideas of 'brighter days ahead' will need to be sized up in terms of what the ‘cost’ is.

Do we need to make compromises? With Venus in Aquarius we may, as Venus in Aquarius would be a time when working in groups (or with others) in creating 'group success' would be fairly typical - if also likely to require a few 'modifications' to our estimations, schedules, methodologies and plans. 

December 9 
In now going retrograde at 23 Leo, Eurydike is referencing the ‘cost’ of a choice, or our ability to choose to 'pay a price' for something, someone or some cause or project we believe in. A degree said to be inspiring if not distinctly motivational, with 23 Leo being where Eurydike is going retrograde even as Venus has just moved into the opposing sign of Aquarius (with three major planets sitting in a t-square) suggests some sort of hesitation, or having to do one thing and not another.  

Regrouping (or the need to regroup) is also possible here, and while certain things may be ill-advised, unlikely or impossible as things stand, that does not mean we may not choose to take them on, whatever the cost may be. 

December 10 
With the transiting Sun (still in Sagittarius) conjuncting transiting Saturn now as it sextiles transiting Jupiter, December 10th is another December date when the ongoing outer-planet (Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus) t-square may well get triggered, particularly in the lives of anyone with a natal charts which is aspected to energies positioned in high ‘teen’ degrees (eighteen being the key number here), corresponding to strong feelings about that which happens to, or among many.

Likely to be a moment when we are (for whatever reason) in a ‘response’ rather than ‘initiation’ mode, with asteroid Maximov going retrograde at 19 Leo questions as to why (or) whether we should 'carry on' on (with something) comes to make us conscious of what it means to need to press on, come what may. And with the Sun in a semi-sextile to Pluto at the moment, despite annoyances (including the possibility we were wrong about something) this is also a time when discoveries may get made ... not that they are likely to be what we were looking for. The 'condition' of things may well alter our alter our perspective - and perhaps even our priorities now, though with Saturn involved it will take work, time and dedication to reach any goal we are likely to focus on now.

Taking all this together, evidently we need to be (or get) in touch with how much we want the ‘accomplishment’ versus how willing we are to weather conflict(s) as we meet up with whatever we haven't yet resolved in our Self through others, or situations which prompt such internal questions. 

December 12 
Playing off the positives (and possible negatives) of the ‘trying’ spirit of December 10th, with the transiting Sun moving through 20 Sagittarius on the 12th (late on the 11th for those in Greenland and the Americas) we can expect a somewhat unusual day, whether it offers surprises and possibilities ... or delays and reasons to change our mind, course of action or personal priorities.

As for why any of this would happen (and what it will pertain to), there are a few interesting hints here, one being how December 12th is (a.) one week prior to when Mercury will go retrograde, and (b.) how December 12th is the date on which Mercury enters its orb of conjunction to Pluto.

Mercury’s connections with Pluto always spell mental intensity and the distinct chance of getting obsessed about something or ‘going overboard’ in thought, word, deed or choice. Alternately, they can represent 'finding' something, whether that refers to locating something which has been lost, or simply coming across things which 'transform' our opinions, motivations, rate of activity, aims, or other current facet of activity or thought.

Mercury-Pluto contacts often represent our wanting to change things (or) represent the forces which generate changes, be they something we do personally (as individuals or as humans) or some natural event which 'changes the landscape' - sometimes literally, which with Uranus so active this month is something to think about, as shifts of Uranus have been astrologically connected to events such as earthquakes, quakes being exactly Uranian in that they are  sudden, unpredictable and a force which 'changes the status quo through a liberation of energies.'

Accidents (or) doing things 'accidentally' would be typical of this collection of energies, too. So take your time doing things - it is in the moment of distractions (given this month's energetics) that such things will tend to occur. 

Speaking of changes, as often as Mercury-Pluto connections represent our meeting up with something which change us, this combination also comes with a healthy helping of feeling like we want to effect changes as well - whether that means cleaning out the garage or ‘straightening a few things out' with somebody on a verbal basis.

And yes, Mercury-Pluto can indicate arguments and power struggles. This combination is often seen where and when we are wanting to change the overall 'direction' of things by trying to ‘slant’ or 'cant' them in our favor, whether for reasons justified or not. Persuasion, manipulation and doing that which will 'cause' certain reactions ("manipulate the outcome") are also very apt now, which is fine if you're thinking about giving a present or designing a holiday menu to thrill the dullest palate. Against this however, there is also a chance of being conned or lied to.

Equal to Mercury/Pluto as a signal of 'finding the lost thing' is the tendency to lose things now, for things (or feelings) to 'disappear' and for that which is important enough to 'change everything' to become evident (or get found out) - all of which reflects Pluto as a force which indicates ‘changes of status,’ particularly where we are unwilling to see the truth.

Particularly the truth about ourselves.

With this being that week prior to Mercury going retrograde, there is also a tendency for situations to become more focal or focused in ways which cause us to ‘push’ to get things done, though there is a standing Mercury retrograde 'warning' about not pushing too hard now. In other words, that which does not occur more or less naturally now should not be pushed, lest something get forgotten, left out or otherwise compromised.

Things often slow down or get delayed during the week prior to Mercury's retrograde station with the astrological 'rule' being they will likely not 'straighten out' until after the retrograde ends, which with the holidays starting makes sense, though it isn't exactly what stores, shopkeepers and the travel industry is likely to hear. 

So all that is just about your 'standard' Mercury-Pluto contact - with the conjunction being the more 'personal' forms of all of the above. But does this change or have yet another meaning (or perspective we should think through) because this particular Mercury-Pluto conjunction is happening with Pluto (aka Pluto/Vega) sitting at the apex of a cardinal sign, major planet t-square?

Well, yes. For one, Mercury (as a symbol of mentality) coming into conjunction with Pluto now suggests this is a time when 'things are changing' in some inexorable way. It also suggests this as a time when everyone (globally) is experiencing unbidden changes of perspective. All of this goes back to what Capricorn is as a sign - and how Pluto's years-long transit of this most worldly of earth signs speaks to changes of structures and standards and what we think of as 'the standard' pretty much across the board in our world, in our life - and in lives and life as a whole, which isn't to say everyone is going to gleefully adopt the new and unknown.

Having entered Capricorn back in 2008, during Pluto's traverse of degrees 0 through 9 (where Capricorn refers to our accomplishments and our 'standing' in the world) the world itself changed. Physical and operational parameters, imperatives, challenges, methods, priorities and standards all changed - changing how we do things and go about being who we are, sometimes for the better and sometimes not.

Now, with Pluto in Capricorn's second decanate (degrees 10-19), our 'structural feelings' or our feelings about how life is structured and how the structures of our lives are being challenged and/or transformed in ways and by things we also have no control over - all that has, at some level, come to control us. It doesn't matter how big or small, rich or poor, well or badly adapted we are, our feelings about life and our world are being inexorably transformed.

And over the past few years of Pluto conjuncting fixed star Vega, a star noted for its connection with 'appeal' and 'charisma,' what is appealing and why it appeals to us - all that has been changing as well. Values which just a couple of years ago meant everything now have lost their power and potential. Structures which have stood (and withstood) many a test of time are being tossed away. In occurring as we are still experiencing the vast upheavals associated with changing astrological ages, by the time Pluto exits the orb of conjunction to Vega which goes with this particular Pluto-Vega conjunction (which will take a few years yet) a lot of ideas, structures and 'standards' which have been with humans for thousand of years will be either be altered or completely eliminated.

And none of that is generally a genteel process - history teaches us that much.

So when we apply all this to the current t-square, considering how any t-square speaks to challenges which are not limited to the personal (they include us, but are not limited to us) ... and considering how we know Pluto's energy is being focused on areas of the zodiac (and life) where feelings about how things 'have been' and how that affects us either does or doesn't function constructively, we know things are going to change - because they should and because they need to, whether we like the idea or not.

For the record, where Pluto is concerned there is always going to be resistance, and some of that resistance will take the more 'negative' Pluto forms of coercion, threats, malice and even self-defeating destruction. To be understood here, however, is how such 'battles' are not with us or things in society but rather with the Self and our issues with 'control.' 

Ultimately Pluto teaches that we are not 'in control' (no matter what we think). Representing forces in life which are 'beyond' us, Pluto 'experiences' always expose us to things we have never seen clearly - particularly with regards to our Self and how our emotions operate at a 'subterranean level,' creating situations which challenge us and undermining our goals (seemingly in spite of our desires) because life seeks not to 'reward' us with status, but rather to provide us with that potential which is the product of a healthy emotional psyche.

Remember: Pluto is the outcome ruler of Scorpio. It's purpose is therefore always about teaching us the difference between instinct and fact.

So here we have Pluto as the functional 'hurdle' in a t-square, forcing us to discard our preferences (personal, cultural and otherwise) at least in terms of how we judge stability, worth, value or integrity. That may take some doing (Pluto issues often do) ... and being how this energetic is coming from the worldly non-personal world of Capricorn, we may have to discard a conviction or two along the way, whether or not we feel hospitable mood about facing that which challenges us to change both on the surface and beneath.

For some, this t-square is going to be an indication of things which in changing are altering a status quo we have believed in or strived to be part of for quite some time, and that may not be comfortable. With this configuration (and the Pluto-Mercury issues just discussed) occurring now during the holidays, no matter who we are and which holiday we like best (or least, come to think of it...) there is also likely to be some degree of free-floating alienation and a sprinkling of annoyance too. Perhaps we aren’t feeling our most chipper about things? Or maybe we just aren’t in a place to be of the mindset others think we “should” be in at the moment.

Given the nature of the t-square, many among us are going to react to things with pleasure while others will react with alienation. And recognizing what’s going on, or rising above a need to 'react' to such moments and feelings, that may be difficult. Expectations may well be part of the problem here - and that may refer to expectations we have for this time, expectations we have in terms of our Self, or things others 'expect' of us, with the point being that even if our expectations are theoretically 'fulfilled,' that ‘fulfillment’ may well not feel as 'fulfilling' as we thought it would.

Plus as Mercury will be going on station while in this conjunction with Pluto, what with proximity and our standard 'station allowance' that marks the whole of December 12 through December 25 a ‘Mercury-conjuncting-Pluto’ period, which with Mercury stationing on the 19th is (a.) guaranteed to bring things out around the time of the station ...  and (b.) which to some degree reiterates how matters connected with this Mercury retrograde are likely not to be 'over' and done until Mercury comes out of retrograde in January.

One more wee detail about this Mercury-Pluto tango: after Mercury goes direct in January, it will come back to these degrees and yet another round of conjuncting Pluto from January 23rd through January 31st, with Pluto by then being located at 17 Capricorn. By the time that happens the Sun will be in Aquarius (as opposed to Sagittarius, where it is now). That indicates a different set of circumstances and subjects coming up to be debated, obsessed over or otherwise focused on come January, though the passion with which we have those discussions or with which we go about our business will (like as not) be similar.

So why care now about this ‘second round’ of Mercury-Pluto doings yet to come? That would be because, in spite of the fact that the subjects change, how we reactioned to Mercury-Pluto going into this little sub-cycle (and whether those tactics have worked well or not) probably won't change - or change much, giving us something more to work with come the latter part of January. 

December 14 
In coming to full phase at 00:07 (UT/+0 time) at 22 Gemini, this month’s Full Moon is ‘highlighting’ many multi-faceted qualities which together may construct a grand plan or idea even while simultaneously pointing out disparities, inconsistencies and problems with situational priorities.

Full Moon at 22 Gemini (glyph chart)
December 14, 2016 - 00:07 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Full Moon at 22 Gemini (text chart)
December 14, 2016 - 00:07 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific) 
Like all degrees of Gemini, this one has several different sides. One concerns a generous expression of feelings and a willingness to interact and share, while the other is described as a hard or harsh capacity for rejection, disloyalty and the kind of self-concern (or pettiness) which ends up not getting (or) remaining involved where there is no personal advantage to be gained or garnered through expenditure of effort.

Representing challenges to integrate the Self which are brought on through external means, a Full Moon at 22 Gemini (in conjunction with TNO Chaos and fixed star Bellatrix) speaks to difficulties experienced when or where situations, needs, desires and priorities test our capacity for integration, particularly if (or where) breaking things apart or ‘compartmentalizing’ priorities and feelings may seem easier or convenient. Bellatrix (in particular) often indicates a capacity for quick decisions, efforts, responses and statements which end up need to be corrected, added to or modified. And with Mercury (as ruler of Gemini) in its approach to its retrograde station, the haste often associated with Bellatrix (and Mercury, just prior to its retrograde station), that may be of concern. Alternately however, with TNO Chaos in this mix, as this is about 'chaos' in the original (Greek) sense it is a reference not to 'a mess' but rather to 'endless possibilities' - which may just mean this Full Moon coincides with not wanting to 'give up' on something because we are convinced we have 'other answers' which may yet work. 

Writings on Bellatrix speak to difficulties in being understood or in getting some idea across to others - and in this vein is also associated with ‘blindness,’ particularly when found with the Moon, as it is here. This may be physical blindness, but may also be a 'blindness' of the emotional or psychological type - meaning denial or even amnesia. Or it may just be a reference to some kind of inability to see something simply because we don't have a photo or a clear line-of-sight. 

Whatever gets 'highlighted' now by the Full Moon, the degree 22 Gemini is said to speak to our need to integrate and ‘universalize’ our thinking and parameters, lest we fall afoul of not having done so. That may seem (Bellatrix) difficult - or maybe we don't understand why we need to do anything.

With the Sun at 22 Sagittarius and therefore exactly conjunct fixed star Ras Alhague, questions get posed about whether we want peace and healing or not - and just to be clear here, whenever we see Ras Alhague, we should not assume peace and ‘wholeness’ is the desired or desirable thing. With Ixion practically next door at 24 Sagittarius (with Achilles and Kleopatra at 20 Sagittarius and Saturn at 19 Sagittarius) this Full Moon may well indicate or show up problems which may (or which have) 'killed' some chance to accomplish something - at least in the short run - as beliefs in skills are challenged and that we have 'failed to take into account' come up for questioning.

With Mars squaring the Full Moon, irritations, frustrations and concerns about being 'shown up' are also part of the emotional cocktail. And being that this Aquarius Mars is also conjunct Damocles, things which are (or have been) difficult are not all that easy to face, explain, untangle, take care of or (possibly) live down at the moment. 

December 17 
In the wake of a Full Moon, another meteor shower - the Ursids - starts on December 17th and runs through December 23rd, a span of time which this year rather neatly encompasses the days of Mercury's station, turn to retrograde and Pluto(/Vega) conjunction, injecting something of a metaphysical 'looking glass’ quality to this moment.

How so?

This idea starts with how the Ursids are produced by Comet Tuttle - which we can all be forgiven for feeling like we have heard about (and recently) if we don't get straight on the fact that there is a Comet Swift-Tuttle (to which we owe the Perseid meteor shower), a Comet Tempel-Tuttle (which gives us the Leonid meteor shower) and plain old Comet Tuttle, from which we get the Ursids.

How did that happen? It's simple: comets tend to be named for their discoverers, and a very busy astronomer by the name of Horace Parnell Tuttle was involved in the discovery of all three.

More to our point here, the radiant point - or that place in the sky where Comet Temple appears to ‘come from’ (or radiate) is near a fixed star named Kochab (alternate spelling: Kocab) which is part of the constellation known either as the Little Dipper or the Little Bear.

Not much gets said about Kochab (not at least that I've heard over the years), but in being a high latitude northern star, we do know it metaphysically will refer to the use of thought and intellect (or) how well (or not well) our intellect functions as part of the ‘balance’ of our greater human nature.

That said, like fellow Little Dipper star Polaris, Kochab is also a member of an extremely "exclusive" group of stars which form the precessional circle - Earth’s circle of planetary pole stars.

And so you know, that list also includes Vega.

What exactly is the precessional circle?

Precession is about the Earth. Imagine that ‘stick’ we think of as being stuck through the Earth from its north pole to south pole. At the moment, that 'stick' “points” at Polaris, which is why we refer to Polaris as the ‘pole star.’ But much as a top (or gyroscope) wobbles ever-so-slightly as it spins, so too does the Earth. And that 'wobble' (which in case you care, orbits in a direction opposite to that in which the Earth turns), that wobble causes the imaginary stick to describe a circle which takes 25,920 years to go once around.

That's Earth's precessional cycle. So over time, the 'stick' slowly moves, pointing now to Polaris as it pointed to Kochab back around 1,000 BCE.

With Polaris currently positioned at 28 Gemini, that puts Polarity in a long-term conjunction with fixed star Betelgeuse. And with Betelgeuse being known as a star representing a search for ‘an easier way’ (which in alternative form becomes ‘opting for ease’ or ‘taking the easy way out’) with Polaris as a star which ‘points the way’ and often associated with leaders, leadership and the act of striking out, or ‘taking the lead,’ that may well say many things about our world, times and - in conjunction with the changing of the Ages, where societies are life are going.

That being a book-worthy subject in its own right, let's just focus here on the idea that three thousand years ago Kochab was Earth’s pole star, which with the Ursids radiating from a point which from our vantage point seems close to Kochab tends to say this meteor shower tends to manifest as moments which ‘sparks’ old feelings and 'feelings of old' - which is very much in keeping with the holidays as a period of 'traditions,' many of which have century's old origins.

And beyond that, being that we know (and have been living through) Pluto’s long-term conjunction of Vega, with Pluto’s orb to Vega due to continue through the year 2019, we also know society and life on earth is going to continue experiencing a significant and sometimes bumpy (Pluto/Vega) evolutionary process for some time yet.

In fact there's another fixed star Rukbat which, in being conjunct Vega (and thus also now being conjuncted by Pluto) should probably enter the conversation here. Considered somewhat less 'influential' than Vega, Rukbat is part of constellation Sagittarius - forming the Hunter's foot, to be totally specific. Said to refer to 'lessons' in the sense that we need to be (or become) of 'sound footing' in whatever we are doing in order to succeed, lore on Rukbat suggests that when or where we are NOT 'standing on firm foundations' (literally or metaphysically) we are going to be in for some form of 'education' of some sort. So, with Rukbat currently at 16 Capricorn and therefore in position to represent all which gets transited (and therefore activated) after Vega, in being conjuncted by Pluto, Rukbat represents what we will learn (or need to learn) as a result of all the changes we are currently going through. 

Now ... taking all this into account, given how we are talking about fixed stars on opposite sides of the precessional circle, this represents world-wide (and long lasting) issues of polarity within our selves and everything our world is, from nature down through nations to our cultures and individual priorities. It is a subtle, long term suggestion about how issues of polarity, are due to be presenting us with diametrically oppositional (and polarized) views on (Polaris) leadership about now. And how our views on what leadership is and isn’t (in general and/or specific) are changing - and that we have things to learn about our selves, about our world, individuality, responsibility, universality and about Earth and life as part of the shift from the Age of Pisces into the Aquarian Age. 

So all that is (and has been) going on in the greater metaphysical sense - and it means different things to different people, not just because we are all individuals, but because the Ages are changing. People born after 1980 (or so) are being (and have been) born into a different basic orientation towards potentials from those those born prior to that time because they are being imprinted under Aquarian Age dynamics instead of a Piscean Age orientation. That is why so many people born after that time think of themselves as 'millennials' (in the general societal sense) even if astrology defines the 'millennial generation' an entirely different way.

Such people are 'Age of Aquarius' folks, but not necessarily astrological Millennials. How so? Remembering how entirely astrology is 'birth date oriented,' astrology’s ‘Millennials’ are those born under the sign Pluto was in at the time the millennium actually happened, which happens to be Sagittarius.

So astrologically we have the Baby Boomer generation (Pluto in Leo for which the dates are June 14, 1939 – October 19, 1956 ... the Pluto in Virgo Yuppie tribe (June 10, 1958 – October 4, 1971), the Gen X Pluto in Libra group (July 30, 1972 – November 4, 1983) and the Pluto in Scorpio tribe (August 28, 1984 – October 9, 1995), all of whom were born before we get to the astrological Millennials, a generation which astrologically began on October 10, 1995. (And about the date gaps: because of Pluto’s retrograde cycles, anyone born in one a ‘gap’ between listed dates needs to look up their particular birth date to know what sign your Pluto is in.) 

In any case, the group which 'feels' this shift are those born under Pluto in Scorpio. It's a generation with a deep sense of life as a ‘consequential' and important to participate in, but which is also challenged by its own insecurities. (It's a Taurus polarity thing, sorry.) Pluto in Scorpio people all have an incredible awareness of what can be lost, and what may yet be gained - and how through losing, we sometimes gain more than we suspect. This generation was born to stand on a brink and at the beginning of an entirely new era - one which (perhaps not coincidentally) will have Scorpio at the top of the wheel of the Age, telling us how "above all" the Age of Aquarius is about our own search for the feeling of being 'empowered' - which many will simply convert to a personal search for power or anything with which they can subvert or subjugate others so as to 'feel powerful' at least for a time or proverbial 'moment.'

The optimal is about working with others while understanding how the most powerful of interactions are those which test us most deeply as those are the times through which we learn or stand to truly make gains in terms of our own weaknesses or feelings of vulnerability.
Bottom line, the Pluto in Scorpio tribe is born to live an existence which isn’t easy (for whatever reason) and a life (or lifetime) being involved with fleeing, confronting and fixing all sorts of things which are neither easy to face or deal with.

Yet from those experiences come the exact sense of power and confidence this generation will eventually thrive on. 

So all this is going on. It is the backdrop to much which has been going on for years, and much of it now continues amid the 'sparking' of Ursids as Mercury is moving on station. And considering all that, we may now be feeling nostalgic ... or simply in a mood to think back on times past with an eye to how things have truly changed. Or maybe we will just find ourselves waxing nostalgic as we look forward to 'tradition-oriented' moments, moods and meals. 

For some, this will be all about the delights of the season. For others, these days may underscore or even exacerbate some sense of loss, feeling displaced or that we are ‘a fish out of water’ in some way. 

December 19 
There is a list of 'standard' pre-Mercury station suggestions which includes attending to maintenance and nailing down details concerning anything having to do with communication (phones, computers, etcetera) or ‘communicating’ (moving, travel, shipping) - including dealing with needed repairs.

Once Mercury retrograde starts (or even as we get close to Mercury's retrograde station) astrological lore teaches that everything tends to get delayed, creating associated problems where intersecting schedules get fouled up. Misunderstandings and messages going (or having gone) astray are famously part of snafus under Mercury's retrogrades, and hardly an astrologer around will vote in favor of making long-term, binding commitments (verbal or contractual) under Mercury retrograde - which in this case begins on December 19th at 10:56 in the morning (UT/+0 time).

There is one exception to this 'do not sign on the dotted line' warning, and that concerns something which is intended to be temporary. For instance: do you want to sign a home mortgage under Mercury retrograde with the idea of living in that home for 50 years? Maybe not. (Probably not - at least not according to astrological tradition.) However, what about if you are looking to buy a house in order to remodel it and then sell it again? That fits this kind of exception. 

As Mercury will be taking station at 15 Capricorn, with Pluto having moved on to 16 Capricorn, Mercury’s station is exactly conjunct Vega, with all of this (including Pluto) sitting at the apex of the t-square we have been talking about indicating various kinds concerns and ‘conflicting ideas’ which seem to leave us somehow 'stuck' with (or in) something feeling anywhere from angry to lonely to sincerely frustrated and confused. Consequential decisions are possible now, but there really is no guarantee we will like what happens - and moreover are likely not to know whether our choice(s) were right until (at minimum) late January.

On the other hand, with Vega and Mercury in a degree which is known for a desire to please, warm times may soften chipped shoulders even if in spite of all we know we will be facing harder, tougher-to-sort-through thoughts soon enough. Mercury going retrograde is a natural metaphor for taking that 'step back' many of us will be doing around now by shifting our focus from work and public doings in favor of focusing on those closest to us, so just doing that much may also be telling.

Maybe because of the juxtaposition of things we have some change of mind - or heart - now. Or maybe we will be swept away by something which fascinates or moves us.

And maybe with Pluto, Vega and Mercury all involved we will realize how much is positive or negative depending on how you look at it - and how much of that is about our ability to (Capricorn) structure a stable world ... personally, and globally.

Mars in Pisces (glyph chart)
December 19, 2016 - 9:24 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mars in Pisces (text chart) 
December 19, 2016 - 9:24 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
But we aren't done yet. Mars is also entering Pisces on December 19th - at 9:24 (UT/+0 time) to be precise - and that raises the likelihood of being moved, and of 'moving' our Self from the more 'exposed' and 'worldly world' of Mars in Aquarius to Mars in Pisces, a more 'behind the scenes' private world. 

On its own, Mars in Pisces signals a higher level of sensitivity than usual, which is fine now as most of us are preparing to take some kind of time off at the holidays, but which may not be as welcome come January. Not exactly lethargic, Mars in Pisces is more about emotional assertiveness (and assertions) than physical ones - though there's nothing shy about Mars in Pisces. Far from that, Mars in Pisces will mark a period of 'emotional courage' for many, whether that means facing our own ghouls or something in the world which is for the benefit of others and not our Self.

That is the consistent conflict here: Mars represents how our ego asserts itself, and Pisces is a sign which denies ego. So helping or contributing to a 'cause' fits this combination - as does going after someone who has harmed someone else. Fighting (or standing up) for the helpless would also fit this influence, as would having the courage to sit and listen to someone's grief or pain, no matter what that requires of us.
Under Mars in Pisces we feel what 'restraint' means. We sense our own vulnerabilities. Because of that and to the extent that we understand how everyone goes through such times we are able to achieve the kind of compassion for others which ends up teaching (and earning) us respect of a new and inspiring type.

Often a complicated time which tires and exhilarates us through our emotions rather than through activities or achievements, Mars in Pisces passages can find us avoiding things and facing things with equal aplomb. And yet, Mars in Pisces can also represent an earnest search for meaning or personal history or understanding. It can be a time when we face or come to be confronted by truths and things which are beyond our knowing how to cope with, proving to us how mortal we truly and really are - and again, what being one human among the human race (and all of life on earth) really means.

Sometimes Mars in Pisces marks a time when we work on things without discussing them with anyone. Or it can be a time when we commit to things and carry them out in the limelight, yet without a care as to who is watching - as might happen during a natural disaster, or simply as part of our anonymous day-to-day functioning. 

Emotionally, Mars in Pisces can manifest as ecstasy or a simple faith in doing what we need to do. It can manifest as the kinds of disappointments and emptiness we associate with life feeling ‘meaningless’ or mark a time of heightened creative instinct. Quiet rather than boisterous activities may appeal now: music, art, gardening, reading.

Against all this however, is how the next six weeks of Mars in Pisces can spell something which reveals some willful blindness and all which has resulted from it. Or it may show us where our professed desire to ‘have faith’ is actually masquerading as a cover-up for failures to see, hear, or proceed on the basis of truth. (And less ego.)

The 'Eye of Mars' as photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope
(photo credit: NASA, JPL)
That said, Mars is also entering Pisces with Pallas (dispassionate wisdom) in its wake, asteroid Hel (an indication of having made things harder for ourselves), grudge-holding Nessus, and rebellious OR10 just ahead at 2 Pisces and royal star Fomalhaut at 4 Pisces with the South ('easy thing') Node at 5 Pisces.

That last part (the South Node at 5 Pisces) refers to something which is easy for us to access, fall back on, rely on or relate to in a degree which, while it lends strength, also points to problems arising from involving others in plans, schemes or ideas which were founded in our hopes rather than in any workable or proven reality. And when we add that idea to the one which says royal star Fomalhaut promises success only if corruption and the corrupt are avoided, Mars entering Pisces may offer the potential for rest and time away from stress, but given that plus Nessus conjunct OR10 (and both conjunct Fomalhaut and the South Node) there would seem to be some unappetizing and emotionally gooey moments ahead concerning that which has not been 'taken to heart.'

Plus, with the North Node conjunct an 8 Virgo Moon, there is every chance some misguided sense of priority has caused us to be (or become) aligned with something we normally wouldn't agree with until events force us to see things with sufficient clarity.

Why didn't we see or choose to understand what was really at stake?

Planets entering Pisces often symbolize a time (of short or longer duration, depending on us) when we go through some sort of ‘reconciliation’ with our world and Self. They 'evoke' difficulties and hard emotional moments so we can understand them and our Self and get more honest as to who we are - and aren't. Mars in Pisces can be expected to drain a few emotional abscesses and douse a few unmerited hopes along the way to revealing possibilities, which means some of us will spend the weeks ahead facing their problems while others of us use this time to escape or minimize them. 

A time of weakness for some, Mars in Pisces can reveal others as stronger than anyone knew - including the native.

Mars in Pisces is all about the process of finding out what the truth is ... particularly that truth we feel like we are most afraid to know. 

December 21 
With the Capricorn Solstice (the Sun entering Capricorn) at 10:45 a.m. (UT/+0 time) on December 21st, things are likely to move towards being more practical and pragmatic. Time and timeliness becomes a focus (whether that is a plus or minus) - and with the Ursids peaking precisely on this date, our feelings with regards to others and the descent of humanity through time come to be stirred, whether we greet that with respect or otherwise.

With Mercury in retrograde, situations prompt reflections and new ideas are unlikely to get 'moved on,' though they may well remain in our thoughts.

Sun in Capricorn (glyph chart)
December 21, 2016 - 10 45 am (UT +0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun in Capricorn (text chart)
December 21, 2016 - 10 45 am (UT +0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Speaking of Mercury retrograde, once the Sun moves into Capricorn, thoughts and the general sense of awareness will be less frazzled and rushed, allowing for more organzation and a feeling of being ‘grounded.’ Comparisons and contrasts we haven't thought through now get some attention - and thanks to Mercury’s retrograde being in the same sign as said Sun (not to mention Mercury/Pluto being part of a cardinal sign t-square) some of these are likely to produce some dynamic (perhaps even dramatic) Jupiter in Libra insights.

Because this solstice moment is also occurring as Bali is about to go retrograde at 21 Leo, situations which don’t exactly “delight” us may also occur. Or they may need taking care of. Beyond that, with Saturn and Jupiter (which are in sextile to each other) closing in on their appointed December 25th and December 26th dates of exact aspect Uranus - and Uranus due to go direct on the 29th, things are likely to become unpredictable - though in some cases that will merely be surprising

Depending on how well we tend to deal with change, responsibility and learning, the effect of so much Uranian influence can be either exciting or disruptive, with those among us who are the most 'wedded' to their schedules, habits, emotional positions, rituals and ideas ... OR those who have the fewest options being the people most likely to have the hardest time from now into and through New Years.

Since we’re talking about Uranus, all the other classic Uranian issues also apply. What other issues? Those which speak to applied (or systemic) power and those which refer to separation versus unification, class versus classlessness and the individual versus, as part of, or against any given group.

All those issues also apply. Natal Uranus referring (generally) to things and areas of life we lack innate comfort with, its placement speaks to something we will instinctively 'differentiate' or 'separate' ourselves from - and which in moving 'away' from, we often come to understand with more perspective than most. And that helps when we get to the day and place when we come to recognize how much we need a 'whole' life - or for our life to feel more 'whole.' 

That said, how easy the balance of the month is for any of us depends on all just mentioned plus the location of 20 Aries - that being the degree Uranus will go direct at.

Wherever we see Uranus, we expect the ‘different’ or unusual. And contrary to what some think, Uranus is not an energetic about destruction but rather one which makes sure we do not become too settled or limited by our own tendency to adhere to 'status quos.' Uranus and Uranian events teach us how important it is to be aware and willing to keep changing and growing, and sometimes - when we are less inclined to 'flex' or change, Uranus thus manifests as moments which are unsettling, destabilizing or startling.

It is not that Uranus energies are 'bad,' in other words ... it is more about life as an eternal process of time and change and personal evolution which we humans do not always want to subscribe to which causes the bumps and jolts.
Hold that in mind from now until January first. 

December 22 
Being that Bali is going retrograde at a degree (21 Leo) which is in trine to Uranus’ station while also in trine to Saturn in Sagittarius creates a transiting grand trine which, in involving two major planets and one asteroid suggests variations on themes which at one end of the polarity would be of the anticipation or excitement nature - - and which at the other is likely to involve stress, concern and possible anxiety, with it being perfectly possible to be subject to both feelings (alternately or simultaneously) about the same subject.

The tension implied as part of this degree sort of pits the idea of pleasing others against that of pleasing one’s Self, which with Bali doing the turnabout suggests anything from trying our best while hoping for the best (and that others like, enjoy or approve of our efforts) to preparing ourselves to do what needs doing while being pleasant about it, in spite of the fact our heart or mind may not be entirely ‘in the game’ of the moment.

There is some likelihood for preoccupation here, which given real time responsibilities may become mildly problematic, though with good humor things shouldn’t get all that difficult. Still, with Bali making this turn to retrograde now, and with this being the last astrological indicator we will have until Saturn perfects its trine to Uranus early on the 25th there is some chance that things could get ‘rocky’ or ‘go off the rails’ now for reasons beyond our ability to predict or prevent, which suggests some testing of our ability to adapt, remain flexible (the Uranus byword!) and laugh at how life has a way of tossing the unexpected into our plans. 

December 25 
Speaking strictly from an astrological perspective, December 25th and 26th are probably best viewed as a ‘two-day event’ … or as an evolving situation … or as some sort of personal experience which in ‘staying with us’ (for whatever reason) has a marked or concerted effect whether that effect is fabulously fun or rancidly regrettably. (Or anything between.)

Our story starts with Saturn trining Uranus at eighteen minutes after midnight (UT/+0 time) on December 25 brings together two entirely different sorts of energies: that of change (Uranus) and that of stability (Saturn) - - or if you prefer, that of the unbounded, unlimited and universal (Uranus) and that of the defined, regulated and discrete (Saturn).

The Castration of Ouranos by Chronos (Saturn)
credit: Georgia Vasari & Cristofano Gherardi (1560)
Obviously this combination could possibly present a few problems. Then again (and especially because we are talking about a trine), there is a long-standing notion that Saturn’s trines to Uranus are also filled with possibilities and potential. So this moment could manifest as a time when a bevy of wobbles and tremors either start up or quiet down, stirring things up a bit or bringing thing into balance (whether temporarily or on a lasting or permanent basis).

There are a few distinct pluses here, particularly with regards to the holiday-du-jour (Christmas), as Saturn’s ability to generate the kind of patient focus and attention, when added to the Uranian willingness to ‘try (or) figure things out’ is the hallmark of science and technology - - which may say a lot about gestures, gifts and all those dads, moms, aunts, uncles, siblings and friends who stay up through the night, dutifully doing their best to decipher unintelligible foreign language instructions while facing the ‘ho-ho-ho’ deadline when it comes to putting toys together for the young ones. Saturn trining Uranus can represent an artful blend of ‘old and new’ (or the modern and the more traditional) - - and the flash of momentary regret which soon brightens into enjoyment when something anticipated isn’t quite as we thought it would be, but soon proves to be a happy enough substitution.

Both planets are at 20 degrees here. That means, with Saturn at 20 Sagittarius we get the benefits of 20 Sagittarius’ social and helpful bent while needing to remain mindful of the tendency for any planet at 20 Sagittarius to ‘tire quickly’ or to grow restless when not fully involved. Pluses are said to outweigh the negatives where 20 Sagittarius is concerned, though with Saturn being the planet in this degree, plainly we will get what we earn from any given situation, as that’s how Saturn works. As for Uranus, representing all those unpredicted and unpredictable forces which alter the status quo and many a predetermination, Uranus being at 20 Aries can manifest ‘regenerative’ forces which go on to seek and find new or different ways to tackle personal challenges or a moment which ‘sparks’ or rekindles interest.

With a nod to all those late night Santa’s helpers, the negatives with 20 Aries are said to arise where and when we go ‘overboard’ (or) beyond where we are knowledgeable, which with Saturn in trine here may help with the quelling of frustrations and disagreements which may arise. And with Venus joining this Christmas party by being positioned at 20 Aquarius (which in being the midpoint between Saturn and Uranus sextiles both), falling back on manners may well save the day where things go awry - - as may the judicious use of music, humor and supportive camaraderie.

Twenty is also the first degree of any zodiac sign’s third decanate (or third and last set of ten degrees). With the first decan being personal (degrees 0-9: actions and physicality) and the second being emotional or ‘emotionally driven’ (degrees 10-19 always refer to the ‘emotional version’ of the sign), the third decanate (degrees 20 through 29) is where each sign of the zodiac displays that which we don’t control, but react and respond to (or) witness or participate in … and if these divisions within the signs remind you of how we also see the signs and houses of the zodiac in a first, second and third group of four signs (or houses) which are by turn personal, interactive and global (or) non-personal, you are entirely correct. So there is an aspect of whatever happens now which is not ‘within our control’ (shades of Uranus) - - against which there exists an ongoing obligation (first and last to our mortal and tangible Self) to choose our actions (whatever they may be) with an eye to responsibility and (oh yes…) possible consequences.

And just to make things even more interesting here, as Mercury is currently in retrograde, while we can gain much from ‘detecting’ (or ‘playing detective’) what that means - - or is going to mean when everything ‘comes out in the wash’ is something we don’t know yet, and which we aren’t likely to fully understand until sometime in January.

As I said, most of us will experience this as a two-day transit - - and without question this period is going to be most notable in the charts of anyone with placements at/around 20 degrees of Aries, Libra and Sagittarius (within 5 degrees, either way). And yes, Jupiter is involved, both in this connecting to Libra by transit and in the sense that Jupiter’s perfecting of its opposition to Uranus brings a whole new ‘spark’ to the whole t-square process. 

December 26

Pluto conjuncting Vega we have discussed any number of times - - if you would like to read a post exclusively devoted to the subject, here is one dating from the early period of the conjunction: 

With Icarus having joined Pluto and Vega at the apex of this t-square, something which has been decided or ‘moved on’ overly quickly (‘in haste’) is key to ills and situational challenges of the moment. Of course, with this being the day after Christmas, that may simply mean we are exhausted for all we have done in a short amount of time - - or that we are diving into the deluge of returns, shipping and shopping which starts up as soon as the last Christmas carol has been sung, . (And sometimes before.) With Icarus sometimes representing haste in its careless form and sometimes representing haste as a well-intentioned effort which goes awry, having Icarus at 19 Capricorn adds a good deal of determination (or stubbornness, depending) to this mix, which may serve us well or badly depending on how self-aware we are or aren’t. Given Pluto-Vega’s tendency to operate as a force which is greatly about how we are perceived (or how we perceive others), that suggests moments we are involved in (or which we witness) which we are likely to think are ‘just about us’ when they are not. T-squares tend to indicate global situations we take (or see) from an overly personal perspectives, which with Pluto - - a symbol of our ‘obsessions’ (or areas and moments where we tend to get overly focused or ‘too close’ to the situation) is all to easy to do.

And with Jupiter’s opposition to Uranus perfecting at 18:33 or 6:33 in the evening (UT/+0 time), that suggests some amount of going overboard which has to its true origins (which we may not even be thinking about in the moment) in subconscious fears of invalidation and a desire to change things and thus come to ‘feel better’ about who we are (or) where we are in life at the moment. Then again, the opposition from Jupiter to Uranus is also one which can bring sudden and surprising opportunities, which with Icarus present we shouldn’t jump into without understanding, but which we can’t delay about either, as Jupiter-Uranus contacts are the essence of ‘the moment’ and representative of something we seldom expect would last all that long.

Then again, Uranus is going direct by the end of the week - - so many things are likely not to turn out quite as we might have expected ... or at least on the timetable we might have considered apt.

To the subject of that Uranus station, with Uranus going direct on the 29th, that means the ‘two-day allowance’ (before and after) begins on the 27th and extends through December 31st, New Years Eve. And that, with the Moon in Aquarius on said New Year's Eve night surely promises ‘the new and unusual’ if nothing else - which (hopefully) is warning enough that everyone should mind their p's, q's and forms of frolic.

That said, because the week has started with Saturn and Jupiter directly aspecting Uranus, the whole of this time is likely to be alive and twitching with the usual, the startling and all forms of that which make being entirely bored pretty much unlikely. Energies, feelings, ideas, situations and interactions are all likely to be outside of the norm - and some such 'intrusions' may have lasting consequences, especially where they represent a 'change' of direction, be that mental, motivational or inspirational.

December 29 
December 29th is the date of December’s New Moon - which for all intents and purposes is January's New Moon as the cycle starts now and goes all the way through January 28th.

Occurring at 6:54 in the morning (UT/+0 time), this New Moon’s position at 7 Capricorn focuses on us personally and physically at the ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’ level of life. And with Icarus is sitting at the apex of the Pluto t-square at the moment of this New Moon, that Capricorn New Moon is also likely to bring out differences between being prompt, being hasty, and simple 'efficiency.'

Sometimes spoken of as ‘overly assertive’ and ‘opinionated,’ any Moon in Capricorn can signal (and trigger) drive and ambition (or) expose us to the results of same, be that a positive or negative. Earthy by nature, the lunar month which begins with the New Moon in Capricorn is a time for considering and contending with things ‘basic’ with an eye to growth if possible, but stability as a basis upon which we  proceed - and where problems arise 'challenging' such issues, we may get emotional indeed.

New Moon at 7 Capricorn (glyph chart)
December 29, 2016 - 6:54 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
New Moon at 7 Capricorn (text chart)
December 29, 2016 - 6:54 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
As for the degree 7 Capricorn, it is referred to as ‘jealous’ by some texts with incident of problems having something to do with the gender/gender mix of those involved (and nature of their relationship, no doubt!). Yet between the Sabian symbol for this degree ‘In a sunlit home domesticated birds sing joyously’ and how Capricorn is far more likely to concern itself with one own’s place in the world rather than someone else's world, that reference to ‘domesticated’ may well define the focus of interactions, with 'joyous' - considering Uranus' station on this date, being subject to reversal, division, an 'on/off' intermittent quality or some sort of 'separation' which allows us to focus solely on that which meets our approval (whether for good or not so good). 

What things 'look like' at the moment may seem to matter, but may not prove out to be adequate or stable motivation - or ambient needs may change, creating needs for revisions, alterations and adaptations throughout this next lunar month - all of which goes double what with Mercury in retrograde.

And again, with Pluto (aka Pluto/Vega) sitting at the midpoint between Jupiter and Uranus, some need or desire to ‘expand' our influence, effect and/or understanding is not likely to be comfortable or appealing at the moment, but it is seems the only path to freeing our selves of something which seems to 'seek' to control us.

Is it seeking to control us? Probably not. Pluto (and hence, Pluto/Vega) most often represents unconscious energies projected onto others, or which we 'seek' out in order to test our Self against them in an effort to 'prove' ourselves not to others, but rather to our Self. And here, that concept - whether conscious or unconscious - represents a 'transformational force' which can provide (Uranus) 'freedom,' whatever that term might mean.

Getting there does require control - but not of others, but of our Self. T-squares always refer to something we see 'too personally' or from a personal vantage point. That's the thing we have to change, 'see' our way past or be 'transformed by.' 

With Mercury at 6 Capricorn and very much conjunct this 7 Capricorn New Moon, the idea of ‘reviewing’ and ‘wrapping up’ or ‘tying loose ends’ is also applicable here, with 6 Capricorn bringing an emphasis on relationships (business or personal, friendship or intimate), particularly with reference to relationships which are ‘out of sync’ or experiencing current difficulties.

Issues of direction and who is going to ‘take the lead’ (or) 'go first' is a theme here - as is the overall issue of respect. In some situations, differences will simply be generated by the nature of, or perceived nature of the relationship, which may be 'the problem,' or at least the start or 'indication' of current challenges. With fixed 'star' Facies being not one star but a nebula composed of many stars positioned at 8 Capricorn, there are likely to be many things, facets or pieces of a puzzle which apply or need to be taken into consideration. And as Facies has a reputation for (a.) bias and (b.) a lack of consideration, being aware of who we are dealing with (and being) is also important, as Facies often brings us into contact with people and situations which are, or which prove to be insufficiently supportive.

That said, whenever we find any planet positioned within five (5) degrees of the Sun (by conjunction) we also have a situation where the Sun's energy is said to ‘burn’ (override, overwhelm or drown out) the 'normal' qualities associated that planet, creating difficulties with perspective. So with Mercury but a degree shy of this New Moon, that says two things.

One, that we may not be thinking (or thinking clearly) now, and to some degree throughout the coming lunar month.

And two, our plans (and planning) may well need revising, teaching us a valuable (negative-feeling, if not necessarily actually negative) lesson as to what being 'ready' or 'qualified' really means.

It's all very unpredictable. But then, with Uranus going direct on the 29th at 9:30 in the morning (UT/+0 time) what would we expect?

A crescent Uranus, as photographed by the Voyager 2 spacecraft
during January of 1986 (photo credit: NASA, JPL)
The energy of Uranus is all about 'breaking us through' either our resistance, or lack of understanding. So with Uranus in ‘goal’ position when it comes to the Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus t-square we have been talking about, that 'goal' has something to do with the lifting of a burden - which for all we know may be something we don't realize is (or is the thing which is) burdening us.

So there's something unattractively 'Pluto-Vega' which we have to 'get past' thinking - which, in typically Pluto style indicates something about us which we (our Self) and/or perhaps others don't want to see, know or otherwise deal with.

Just understand: the really important part here is the 'us' part - and global transits truly are global, so no one gets out of the bucket without passing their Pluto exam... 

…into which comes the idea of Uranus as either a 'facet' of our Pluto 'education,' or our futile effort to avoid same. In going direct at 20 degrees of Aries, Uranus' station will stir up the energy of change as that pertains to how we will (or won't) change our being or life, with much of what happens (or) evolves from this point being neither gracious nor ‘smooth.’ With Eris sitting close by, it is likely that the greatest changes will be those we experience with regards to our Self, and how we see that Self in relationship to others.

But how that happens? And the pace at which that happens?  
That will be strictly individual.

The degree 20 Aries itself being considered unpredictable (even without Uranus) and known for that which is absolutely not 'the same old thing' that which we had not expected may now become likely - which would fit with the nature of Uranus, as Uranus is often experienced as some moment or situation which 'tests' our ability to be flexible. Put them together (20 Aries and Uranus, that is), and we may find our Self in a position to do something quite out-of-character. Or we may now opt for something other than what we might usually choose. The idea of 'experience' is said to matter where 20 Aries is concerned, which on one hand suggests something which may come to mean a lot to us (i.e., "the experience of a lifetime") ... and which then again may suggest caution where risk is involved. Either path may backfire or reward us, based on how we are approaching things and why we feel some perspective is so important.

Getting back to Uranus in that t-square’s ‘goal’ position, there is also a chance something now will occur (or evolve) which  causes us to change our mind or ‘end’ some connection to something (or someone). Things which have seemed ‘worthwhile’ may lose their appeal now all on their own ... or as something (or someone) new catches our attention.

One note there as well: whenever something (or someone) ‘new’ shows up at a Uranus station and creates a 'sensation' or feeling like we want to 'drop' one thing for another, caution is needed. Uranian associations may only be a temporary, though the changes of status, efficiency of function, forms of 'rupture' or breakage they may create in the meantime may not be.

And it is to always remember this: even when Uranus stations or transits coincide with grief or terrible moments, they are an energy of freedom. Sometimes the 'break' with the old is hard, and sometimes it isn't. Uranus is always the energy of that we find exciting, whether we are screaming with delight on a fun park roller coaster or screaming in terror as our world - real or theoretical - crumbles and rains down all around us.

Whatever happens - some old 'status quo' vanishes under Uranian effects in order so that we will see the world in a new way and in a new mental light ... or as the astrologer who first put an astrology book in my hand put it, ‘Uranus ensures that even if you insist on living in a rut, how from time to time you will be compelled to redecorate that rut.’

Uranus moments can be very compelling. Known for sudden effects and moments startling and sometimes unsettling, Uranus is a ‘transpersonal’ planet the effects of which operate in (and out of) a realm of perspective we only occasionally have access to, hence Uranus' association with ideas, fields of study (of which astrology is one) and abilities which go 'beyond' normal understanding, such as prophesy, clair audience, far-seeing or any of the branches of mediumistic or shamanistic work. It calls our attention to the idea and process of knowing, thereby causing us to learn greater awareness and that capacity which allows us to connect with All and the whole of What Is instead of only that we ‘like,’ approve of, or are familiar with.

All this applies in the moment. Then again, with this 'moment' being that of a New Moon, traces and threads of such nuances can be expected to wend among us all month.

Plus there is one other fact. What's that, you ask?

That wee fact is simply this: this particular New Moon is also the beginning of Eclipse Effects in advance of a solar eclipse at 8 Pisces we will all be experiencing this coming February. How that eclipse is ultimately going to affect us is entirely individual of course, and much about this eclipse and its effects in (or on) life won’t become active for a while yet. What we do know is how from here until February 26th (the date of said eclipse) our resistance to understanding certain things about our Self will begin ‘breaking down’ - with this effect being stronger or weaker depending on where 8 Pisces falls in your chart.

The last solar eclipse was in Virgo, an earthy sign all about the realities of health, work and service which in being eclipsed 'brought out' all the nasty ways we are (and have been) violating the premises of 'health, work, service' in (and over) real and Earthly time (in particular, the last 19 years, if that means anything to you).

And as our 'earthly' actions, standards and motivations were tested and exposed the last time around, with this next eclipse, so will our emotions, emotional positions and choices based on values be brought out.

In other words, expect to see and hear about the best and worst of -- and in people, particularly where denials of not just responsibility, but decency are involved.

In testing our emotions and emotional ‘continuity,’ this next eclipse will raise and exacerbating emotional vulnerabilities in particular - which given how emotions function may lead to any number of strange-and-stranger events. As with all eclipses, the ultimate aim is to ‘root out’ bad apples and other forms of emotional malignancy, creating the kind of emotionally 'healthier' situation which supports productivity and healthier lives, efforts and attitudes.

But getting there? That may be a bit like going to the emotional dentist. In falling in a first decan degree (8 Pisces) this next solar eclipse it is going to feel personal - and to some extent yes, it will be about who we are, but more on the level of 'who are we as human beings' than as individuals. There are general themes connected to 8 Pisces concerning emotional integration and how a lack of integration causes instability and problems, in particularly in our personal (as opposed to public or business) life.

With this onset of eclipse effects as well as Uranus’ station taking place under Mercury retrograde, some of us will surely be arriving at this Changing of the Calendar Page in a thoughtful, reflective and even nostalgic mode, while others will be saying ‘good riddance’ to last year while busily wiping their slates clean in preparation for a whole new plan of action.

And then again, some of us will be doing both. Neither mode is right, and neither is wrong - it is all about our awareness of who and where we are, and whether we think we are almost ready to take some 'next' step.

So with that, a happy and safe December to you and yours. Try not to set too much in mental cement, and remember schedules (and diets) are the first thing(s) Uranian energy generally blows apart (particularly with Mercury retrograding over the holidays).

Also, if you're traveling over these holidays, leave extra time, expect the unexpected and check your 'check lists' twice, as the confluence of a Uranus station and Mercury retrograde can not only manifest as usual occurrences but the prompting of panic over having lost (or forgotten) something.

So be safe and get ready for 2017. It's going to be an interesting year filled with questions - and opportunities we may yet question.

Until then, here's to being warm and feeling warmly welcomed this season. May the reasons blessings exist become ever more evident to all of us, for that would be the greatest miracle of all.
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