Low-Down Archives December 2007

December 2007 to January 2008

For the New Moon Cycle in Sagittarius:
December 9/10, 2007 to January 8, 2008

Dec.01-18 � Stellium in Sagittarius (Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Pluto; plus Moon) ("What's a Stellium?")

Both Jupiter and Pluto are moving through Sagittarius right now. When the Sun and Mercury join them through most of December, they collectively form a Stellium (many planets in the same sign). This puts a lot of celestial weight in that sign, whose energy colours much of our experience during that time.

Sagittarius is expansive and larger than life at the best of times, and having so many planets there just feeds its visionary fire! This is a time when you can imagine what you would like your life to be like during the coming year. Imagining what you want to happen during the upcoming holidays may also take on a life of its own. It can be a great time for holiday partying, but be careful about over-spending on gifts or over-indulging in holiday cheer. Above all, please don't drink/drug and drive.

This planetary figure also surrounds the upcoming Jupiter-Pluto conjunction. That means some of the visionary quality of the stellium might also dip into some negative images. Pluto can often stir up some rather intense and dark imaginings, and combined with Jupiter's magnifying glass, your morbid imagination and suspicions could become amplified just as easily as your optimism and positive ambition.

If this happens, the use of positive affirmations can help, as long as you don't swing to the opposite extreme and assume that everything will be nothing but "sweetness and light" (which can leave you open to being blind-sided by reality). If you find yourself straying into the extremes of positive or negative, take a step back (Sagittarius loves perspective!) and use it as an opportunity to learn something about yourself and about life.

This Stellium figures prominently in the upcoming New Moon in Sagittarius, so it's important to focus and centre yourself in a vision of what's ahead of you that is both positive and grounded. The Stellium also becomes a Rolling Conjunction moving through Sagittarius and Capricorn throughout most of December. 

Dec.09 � NEW MOON in SAGITTARIUS (17:16)


Ottawa, Canada, and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.09, 12:40 PM EST

London, UK:

Dec.09, 5:40 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Dec.10, 4:40 AM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about the SAGITTARIUS side of your personality.

The New Moon in Sagittarius begins an expansion of vision into the realm of ideals, principles and larger-than-life possibilities. About half the solar system is partying in Sagittarius right now! This is the Stellium in Sagittarius that has been in effect since around Dec.01. The New Moon acts like a lightning rod for all this Sagittarius energy. Whatever visions, imaginings and dreams you have been focusing on during the Stellium will get carried into the new lunar cycle.

That includes their Shadow side too! If you have been focusing on "sweetness and light" and positive energy, and ignoring or dismissing the darker, heavier side of life, the latter could come out of hiding and catch you off guard. I don't mean this as a doom-and-gloom prediction, but to point out that life is a balance of "good" and "bad." There is always a combination of these, even in optimistic Sagittarius.

Mercury in Sagittarius is one of the players in the Stellium, and it forms a T‑square with Saturn opposite Uranus. We won't actually see the Saturn-Uranus opposition become exact until November 2008, but they are edging close enough that we will start to feel this transit between now and then. This T‑square is a prelude to the upcoming tug-of-war that pits practicality against spontaneity, realism against revolution and authority against freedom.

During this lunar cycle, you are therefore likely to question your ideals, dreams and aspirations with two extremes in mind. On one hand, are they practical and responsible enough to manifest in the real world? And on the other hand, do they really reflect and feed your highest spiritual potential? It's a real trick to develop and stay true to one side without sacrificing the other. An honest assessment of these areas is required to determine what is working well and what needs changing.

We're also coming up to a rare Jupiter-Pluto conjunction on Dec.11. (Read my new article on Jupiter Conjunct Pluto.) This is a rare transit�only once every 13 years! Its energy infuses this lunar cycle with some very intense and impressive energy, combining the expansive search for truth (Jupiter) and the need to shed old beliefs that you have outgrown (Pluto). However, also watch out for this conjunction pumping up any tendency to judge, blame, condemn or jump to conclusions about people or situations whose qualities are "pushing your buttons." As a religion teacher of mine once taught: if you think you've found the answers, check to see if you're asking the right questions.

I saw a description of spiritual advice-giving recently that said it was not about providing answers, but rather helping you find the right questions. I loved the way it was put, because that is very close to my own approach in astrology readings. This seems especially appropriate during this lunar cycle, with so much Sagittarius energy billowing around us. If you would like some help finding the right questions or discovering deeper answers to your questions, a personal astrology reading is a valuable and powerful way to do this. 

SPECIAL OFFER!  Get 100% refund on your last reading with me! Yes, you read that right. Find out how.

Dec.09-29 � Rolling conjunction in Sagittarius and Capricorn (Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Pluto)

This is a complex bunch of planets! Starting around the New Moon in Sagittarius, we begin with a 5-planet Stellium in Sagittarius: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto. One by one, they play "leapfrog" as the faster planets move past the slower ones, including Jupiter conjoining Pluto on Dec.11. It's as if the Moon, Sun and Mercury all come into Sagittarius to witness the marriage of Jupiter and Pluto and then follow as Jupiter leads the way into Capricorn starting Dec.18.

What does it all mean? This has a lot to do with the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction and both of these planets moving into Capricorn. A strong centre of gravity is moving from the jovial, philosophical, expansive Sagittarius energy into the more serious, structured, authoritative Capricorn.

This Rolling Conjunction reflects the gradual and complex shift of our collective focus from searching for The Answers to implementing The Solutions. This mirrors a much deeper transition that challenges each of us to pick and choose which of the possible answers and options are the ones we are prepared to commit to and develop into concrete action and long-term results.

This may not be easy! It's hard to leave behind the optimistic promise and potential of Sagittarius in favour of Capricorn where it seems we either succeed or fail in our goals. In order to manifest one of the many possibilities found in Sagittarius, we must choose one and let the rest go. We narrow our options down to one or a few. Life can seem a little harder, harsher and smaller compared to the expansive vision of Sagittarius.

However, the rewards are very real in Capricorn. Yes, we risk falling short of our goal and having to be accountable for our lack of intended results. But we also open the door to benefits that are real, specific and substantial, not just promises and dreams. Without moving from Sagittarius into Capricorn, we stay forever in the land of "some day it will happen" and never reach "today it is happening." We are forever inspired by the carrot on the stick but never get to eat it. While this can get us moving, sooner or later we require real substance in order to keep moving.

During this long multiple conjunction, ask yourself what you need to find the courage and commitment to move beyond the vision of potentials into the land of manifestation and realism. What, if anything, is holding you back? What is the best thing you imagine will happen if you go forward and have to let go of some of those shining possibilities? What is the worst that you fear if you do that? Watch for surprising answers. Sometimes we fear success more than failure because it can change our lives so dramatically.

This Rolling Conjunction also features prominently in another aspect configuration that includes the retrograde Mars � a Quadriform Kite (see Dec.20). We are challenged to explore what motivates us to believe in certain things. Although the Kite itself is only in effect for a few days, Mars continues to oppose each of the planets in the Rolling Conjunction throughout the active period of the Conjunction, until around Jan.03.2008.

The Mars-Pluto opposition plays a very significant role in the Rolling Conjunction, since Mars is still within orb of opposing Pluto when Pluto moves into Capricorn on Jan.25.2008. That means that much of the Rolling Conjunction is focused around our use of aggression, motivation, passion and determination, especially in the context of how our spiritual values form and shape our goals and commitments. Mars-Pluto challenges us to look at the ramifications of our anger, assertiveness and use of power. Is it in the highest good of all concerned? What is it made of underneath the surface? Fear? Guilt? Powerlessness? Insecurity? Or perhaps determination? Ambition?

The Rolling Conjunction is a complex dance that has far reaching implications. It is a special window that can show us a greater vision of ourselves and more about life than we normally see. Even more important, it gives us a chance to see better ways to "walk the walk," not just "talk the talk." Think of it as a spiritual exercise program. ;-)  

Dec.10 � Mercury square Uranus (14:53 of Sagittarius/Pisces) (Dec.11 in UK, AU)

Flashes of insight can show you new clarity but you might not like the answers you get, since they could disturb your logical perception of what's what. You might get some news or learn come information that shakes you up in some way. This isn't necessarily bad, since this may be necessary to open your mind to something you've been resisting. There's a Higher Truth here that wants to be told (by you or to you), but the way it's phrased can make a big difference in the reaction. There is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded," as the saying goes, and impulsive or reckless communication and ideas could create more problems than they solve. It will probably help to listen inside yourself first to discover what you really need to say, and then figure out how to say it in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. Strive to shine a light of truth without blinding anyone with it. 

Dec.11 � Jupiter conjunct Pluto (28:24 of Sagittarius) (Dec.12 in AU)

This rare transit challenges you to embrace and accept both the best and the worst in yourself and in life. Jupiter brings a love of freedom, knowledge, potential and justice. Pluto brings a love of power, domination, transformation and the need to accept things beyond your control. When these two planets join forces, you can get everything from learning to use power in an ethical, principled way, to finding a new philosophy of life based on your true inner passion, to having a crisis of faith as you are forced to reconsider what you believe and make adjustments according to how your life has changed in the last 13 years (since the last Jupiter-Pluto conjunction).

There is much more to this conjunction! To learn more, read the new article, Jupiter Conjunct Pluto : Plumbing Our Depths to Find the Highest Truth. To find out more about how this conjunction affects you personally, get a personal reading with your astrologer

Dec.11 � Venus trine Mars (07:32 of Scorpio/Cancer) (Dec.12 in AU)

It will be a lot easier to balance assertiveness with receptivity under this transit. In fact, it is a great time to take firm action that requires a sensitive touch, and to negotiate agreements in a way that is diplomatic, fair and powerful. Your ability to attract what you desire (money, love, pleasure, flirting, etc.), and to act on those desires, is strong right now, so use it wisely. This may include romantic attraction and sexual interaction, or it might involve artistic creativity. It could also be a time when your actions attract money and possessions, but it could also go the other way -- your spending may also increase! Again: use this energy wisely and don't overextend yourself, but do have fun with it!

This transit is significant because of the dance Venus and Mars have been doing recently. On Nov.19, just days after Mars went retrograde, Venus was in a stressful but dynamic square aspect to Mars. This created a conflict between the desire to draw what you want to you and the impulse to proactively go after what you want. Now Venus has moved on to trine the retrograde Mars�a more harmonious and easy-going influence. Much of the tension, struggle and challenge that you may have been feeling at that time will start to resolve or move a little easier now. You might even find you reap the rewards now from the work you invested at that time. 

Dec.11 � Sun sextile Neptune (19:43 of Sagittarius/Aquarius) (Dec.12 in UK, AU)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Although this is mostly a very positive energy, you could become so immersed in your longing for the ideal that you have trouble dealing with the less-than-ideal realities that still must be dealt with. Gaining the benefit from this transit will still require some effort. Hope, optimism and imagination are in the air, which could bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity and imagination can be very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision, and you may experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential now to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime -- spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately -- although this will require your cooperation to take advantage of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off. 

Dec.12 � Venus sextile Saturn (08:31 of Scorpio/Virgo) (Dec.13 in AU)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit. 

Dec.13 � Mercury sextile Neptune (19:46 of Sagittarius/Aquarius) (Dec.14 in UK, AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit, with a little applied effort and focus. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) The possible disadvantage is that you might want so much to reach a state of inspired intuition, magical outlook and effortless communication that you are willing to be deceived rather than fall short of what you are hoping for. Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground. 

Dec.15 � Venus square Chiron (12:13 of Scorpio/Aquarius) (Dec.16 in AU)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side. 

Dec.17 � Sun conjunct Mercury (25:18 of Sagittarius) (Dec.18 in AU)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act. 

Dec.18 � Venus trine Uranus (15:01 of Scorpio/Pisces)

Spontaneity and liberation burst into your relationships, finances, resources and pleasures. You might feel compelled to try something completely different that shakes up the "same-old-same-old" routines you're used to. The upside is that you have the opportunity to break free of some old habits and breathe some fresh air into your life. But the downside could come in the form of impulse spending beyond your budget, or recklessness in your interactions and relationships. Strive to break free of what holds you back from being your true self, without destroying the structure of order in your life. 

Dec.18 � Jupiter enters Capricorn (until Jan.05.2009) (Dec.19 in AU)

Jupiter goes from high to low, moving from Sagittarius (the sign of its rulership and strength) into Capricorn (the sign of its fall and debility). In Sagittarius, Jupiter's mission is to explore, expand, philosophize and theorize, which is in sync with its nature. In Capricorn, however, Jupiter must make hard decisions, limit its scope and work with concrete conclusions and answers, which is a much harder job description. Under Jupiter in Capricorn your leading edge of growth is likely to be aimed more at manifestation than exploration. At best, this transit can inspire you to bring a visionary, principled, compassionate or optimistic perspective to the way you do business, deal with limitations, assume authority, and make decisions and plans.

On the other hand, Jupiter in Capricorn might feel like it's throwing dirt on your sacred fire. Capricorn is about dealing with reality, which can seem lacklustre, harsh, oppressive or disappointing compared to the visionary promise found in Sagittarius. At worst, you might be susceptible to depression or discouragement. Life could feel like a lot of hard work with little hope of reprieve. It might be easy to blame other people or circumstances for your unhappiness, when your situation might simply be due to reality asserting itself.

The lesson of Jupiter in Capricorn is to distil your revelations, hopes and dreams into a more realistic view of what will work and what won't. It is time to pick and choose what's truly important to you, prioritize your top choices and focus primarily (or completely) on your top priorities. This means having to let go of other possibilities, which is a necessary sacrifice. If you try to "have it all," you will be investing too little energy and time into too many goals and none of them will flourish. Just like weeding out all but the strongest sprouts in a field of new growth, prioritizing your goals will allow the best of them to survive and thrive. 

Dec.19 � Saturn stationary Retrograde (08:34 of Virgo) (Dec.20 in AU)

For up to a week before and after this date, your physical and emotional energy may feel a bit heavy, stuck, serious or sad�or, you might feel unusually determined, steadfast or rooted in resolve. You might feel pressured by people or situations involving structure, rules, authority figures, expectations and responsibilities. For about the next four months, your ambitions and goals can benefit from planning and development at a deeper level. It is a time to rework and refine your goals to figure out how you are going to achieve them. You may also need to examine your motives for wanting to achieve these goals, as well as how feasible they are. You may therefore look at how your goals, or your method of achieving them, ought to be changed. This can also be a time of working with issues about authority, expectations, obligations or discipline, and today's station could trigger these issues. If these are areas you are uncomfortable with or are having problems with, especially during the last 3 months, this retrograde period can allow you to gradually build a new way of dealing with them or problem-solving the difficulties. After Saturn turns Direct in about 4 months, you will be in a better position to apply what you've learned and developed more fully.

Saturn stations within orb of an opposition to Uranus (6.5 degrees). The opposition won't become exact until November 2008, but we will start to see its increasing effects through events like this Saturn station. In a nutshell, Saturn opposite Uranus raises issues about authority versus rebellion, rules versus anarchy, structure versus spontaneity and conformity versus freedom. 

Dec.19 � Mercury conjunct Pluto (28:41 of Sagittarius) (Dec.20 in AU)

Deep insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. This can be a new beginning in understanding the deeper motives and dynamics of what is happening in your life, although this could happen with great intensity or obsession. The light can finally start to go on in the darker corners that have eluded you. Although what you see there might be both illuminating and disturbing, it is ultimately something you can grow from, which can transform your mental outlook into something more meaningful and resilient. This is a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities. 

Dec.20 � Mercury enters Capricorn (until Jan.07) (Dec.21 in AU)

Cheerful, adaptable Mercury travels through conventional, structured Capricorn, bringing out his analytical, focused side. This is a good time to plan your projects and map out a game plan to reach your goals. It is probably best to choose discipline over distraction. Communication, ideas and awareness may become serious, structured, grounded and manifest now. Just don�t let them become suppressed or censored. This is a great time to do some serious planning and organizing for future projects and goals. It is also a good time for analyzing and evaluating what you have been involved with during the past year or so. What have you learned? What information has come to you that has led you into new directions? What goals have you achieved, and what goals do you want to pursue now? What plan of action is required to get you from here to there? It may be a time when you can face some hard reality and tough decisions better than you normally do. Because Mercury in Capricorn tends to be serious and factual, it may also be a time when you are more prone to depression or discouragement. It will help to schedule regular breaks in your routine to get away and plug your head into a different perspective for a while. 

Dec.20 � Mercury conjunct Jupiter (00:28 of Capricorn) (Dec.21 in AU)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now. 

Dec.20 � Sun conjunct Pluto (28:44 of Sagittarius) (Dec.21 in UK, AU)

Your sense of purpose is potentially very strong right now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so great in situations requiring delicacy, subtlety or diplomacy. You have increased ability to see below the surface of things, although it may not be as easy to articulate it in a way that is received comfortably by others. What you pick up from others can also become mixed up with your own personal issues, making it hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. Paranoia and suspicion can be strong. It is possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours and others'), but it is important to be prudent in how you respond to this awareness. You have the ability to wound as well as heal right now, so probe into the depths (yours and others') as you would into an egg shell that you don't want to break -- gently, mindfully and respectfully. 

Dec.20-22 � Quadriform Kite aspect configuration (Venus square Neptune, Mars opposite Mercury, with Sun, Jupiter and Pluto) ("What's an aspect configuration?"  "What's a Quadriform?"  "What's a Kite?")

Why do you believe what you believe? It might seem like a strange question. Usually we're concerned with whether our beliefs are correct and true. Some become preoccupied with the idea that there must be an Absolute Truth�one belief system that renders all others invalid. And yet, when we believe in something, it could be as much because it fills an emotional or spiritual need, as because we believe it to be true. Even if you "don't believe in anything," you still have a sense of what you believe life is about and what your place in the Universe is. That's a belief too. So what do you get out of your beliefs?

For example, you might be drawn to a particular religion because it makes you feel safe. Or perhaps it gives you a chance to express and exercise certain qualities or attitudes. Maybe your beliefs provide a way to forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Or your convictions might enable you to reject other beliefs that you feel would oppress your freedom or rationality. You might even align yourself with a certain belief system merely because it makes you feel like you belong somewhere.

I'm passing no judgment here, nor trying to say any particular set of convictions is more valid than any another. The human psyche and its capacity for spirituality (seeking an understanding of the true nature of life) are profoundly complex. I'm merely pointing out that our motives for believing whatever we believe run far deeper than what we usually see on the surface.

This Quadriform Kite features retrograde Mars opposite the Rolling Conjunction in Sagittarius and Capricorn (see Dec.9-29). These two signs look at what you believe and how to live those beliefs and values. Mars retrograde in Cancer may evoke emotional responses about this, challenging you to look deeper into why you believe what you do and what you get out of it.

If emotional safety is an important factor in your spiritual needs, for instance, then this aspect configuration may bring a confrontation with a person or situation that can give you great insight into that part of yourself. Or, you might find yourself having to defend your philosophical position, challenging you to examine it more deeply than you usually do.

Venus square Neptune just adds to this dynamic, making you especially sensitive to the ways that your emotional needs and desires influence and get tangled up in your view of the Universe. This is probably not a good time to take life on face value alone. Your perception and interpretation of your experiences are likely to be very impressionable right now.

On the other hand, this can be a very potent and fruitful time for anyone who is creatively inclined or who requires a great amount of sensitivity to the world around them. Your capacity for empathy and compassion are likely to be quite high right now, but be careful not to get lost in someone else's emotional world. If you feel your boundaries are getting too blurred and you need some help clarifying them again, it may help to seek out the support of someone you trust, like a counsellor or spiritual advisor or your astrologer

Dec.22 � December Solstice � Sun enters Capricorn (until Jan.20)

Happy Solar Return to all Capricorns! And Happy Solstice and Happy Yule to all of us! When the Sun enters Capricorn each year, it marks the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere (longest night) and the Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere (longest day). Yule is the traditional celebration of the December solstice in European-derived cultures, welcoming the start of the increasing light. While the Sun is in Capricorn, we have the opportunity to explore our connection to the earth (Capricorn being an Earth sign) in a physical way. Whether you are bundling up to survive a cold winter, or unwinding after the summer heat, or getting down to business as the landscape blooms in "downunder" summer splendour, there is something very manifest and substantial about the experience of Capricorn. This energy calls on us to get real in whatever we are doing -- to bring structure, responsibility and discipline to whatever we do. It is a time to work on our "containment." Not in the sense of suppression, but in terms of defining the boundaries within which our growth can flourish down the road, and keeping our impulses from inconveniently spilling over the edges of those boundaries. Sometimes that means cutting back in certain areas in order to focus your energy and make room for new growth. Sometimes it means having to delay gratification and reward until you reach a certain point of progress. The Capricorn rule of thumb is: if you do whatever is necessary, the rewards will come. 

Dec.22 � Venus square Neptune (19:59 of Scorpio/Aquarius)

Money, material resources, relationships and pleasure could be subject to confusion, deception, or unrealistic wishful thinking under this transit. It may seem that what you thought you had (love, friendship, pleasure, money, resources) has suddenly disappeared or isn't as dependable as you thought it was. You might feel disappointed, disillusioned, sad or alone, but this is more likely to be a passing phase than a serious crisis. The question is: what are your secret longings and subtle desires that may be operating unconsciously? These could be clouding your ability to relate to people and situations in your life. Old addictions, depression or idealism may surface as way of dealing with feelings. A better outlet would be to channel your feelings and experiences into creativity, beauty, inspiration and compassion; for example, art, music or helping others. 

Dec.22 � Mercury opposite Mars (03:26 of Capricorn/Cancer) (Dec.23 in AU)

Fiery speech, argument, hot debate and impatience characterise this transit. You may encounter conflicts of interest with others and want to solve them NOW, but in your haste to find a quick fix, you could create more problems than you solve. On the other hand, it can be a time of sudden or impulsive decisions, as well as taking action on ideas you've been mulling over for a while. There is a strong tendency to say what's on your mind ...perhaps more abruptly or harshly than is wise, which could result in argument, overreaction and hurt feelings. Although argument can clear the air and be healing, it can also wound those involved and create ill will that lasts far beyond the original problem. This energy is potentially powerful, yet volatile. It can be used to pump up your motivational fire ...or to explode in hurtful anger. It is like a race horse that can achieve great things when carefully paced, but can be dangerous if allowed to run out of control. 

Dec.23 � Sun conjunct Jupiter (01:01 of Capricorn)

Confidence, optimism, leadership, vision and well being characterise this transit. Your self-esteem and self-awareness can be wide open now. Your sense of being part of something greater than yourself may be vivid and bright. And you may have increased ability to identify and act on opportunities around you, which can bring you "lucky" prospects. On the other hand, if you have difficulty embracing a positive sense of self, or if you shy away from believing you are a treasured Child of the Universe, then this transit might stir up those difficult feelings to the surface. You could wind up trying to compensate with over-confidence, arrogance, blind faith, or gambling on what are realistically poor prospects. The trick is to tap into the spirit of who you are. Let go of blame and instead apply some honest yet compassionate assessment. Let your spirit shine brightly out to the world, but not so brightly that you blind yourself or others by your own light. Consult a trusted friend for feedback or advice if in doubt. This is a great time to expand your horizons, whether that is through travel, by learning something new, by sharing your knowledge with others, or by exploring the Meaning of Life. 

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Cancer

Cancer 2

A man on a magic carpet hovers over a large area of land.

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") shows one way to gain perspective, by distancing oneself from whatever you want to see more clearly. This could be the definition of the opposition aspect! (namely, the Sun-Moon opposition of the Full Moon, as well as the Moon-Mars opposition to Pluto, Jupiter, Sun and Mercury in the Full Moon chart.)

About this symbol Dane Rudhyar says, "This is the paradox which confuses so many minds. As long as the intellect restlessly searches for new horizons it is confused by its searching. Accepting a stable focus, the mind can raise its point of observation and see reality in a truer perspective." (from An Astrological Mandala)

In other words, it is not by perpetually expanding your knowledge, passion or actions that you will achieve the wisdom you seek. Instead, by becoming centered on a still point within yourself, you can see that wisdom more clearly and embrace it more fully.

Marc Edmund Jones (The Sabian Symbols in Astrology) takes a different approach to the symbol. Rudhyar seems to assume our "man" has begun at ground level and then moved apart to a broader perspective. By contrast, Jones interprets it as starting from a distant overview before moving closer to embrace the ground details.

Different yet again is Lynda Hill's interpretation (360 Degrees of Wisdom). She sees the disconnection between our "man" and the land beneath him, symbolizing the potential to be stuck in limbo apart from reality. On the other hand, this distance also gives you heightened awareness and the ability to plan ahead based on your broadened view.

So... do you need distance after being too up-close to things? Or have you been a bit too detached and now need to risk closer involvement? Or are you just stuck in the middle somewhere and need to stretch yourself in one direction or the other to break the stalemate?


Explore the Sabian Symbols for yourself with these recommended books:

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

Dec.23, 8:16 PM EST � FULL MOON in CANCER (01:50)


Ottawa, Canada, and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.23, 8:16 PM EST

London, UK:

Dec.24, 1:16 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Dec.24, 12:16 PM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about the Cancer side of your personality.

Peace and light of the season to you! You may be celebrating Christmas. Or maybe you're entering the longest night of the year and welcoming the returning of the light at Yule or Solstice. If you're south of the equator, you could be enjoying the maximum light just as it's about to give way to increasing night time. Perhaps you're basking in the afterglow of Hanukkah. Or, marking the end of Ramadan with Eid feasting. You might be looking forward to the seven days of Kwanzaa. Or maybe you're just preparing to ring in the New Year. Whatever sacred or special occasion you are celebrating, doing it around this Full Moon is bound to make it particularly moving and powerful!

Astrologically this is a time of transition. The Sun is aligned with Earth at its southernmost point (the Solstice), marking a turning point of the light. In the northern hemisphere, we have the most darkness and the least daylight of any time in the year. Those who live above the Arctic Circle live in continuous night at this time of year. At the same time, the southern hemisphere is at its maximum time of daylight, marking the height of summer. Either way, the balance of day and night begins to swing in the opposite direction to what it has been doing for the last 6 months. Transition.

A New Moon is the time of maximum darkness of the Moon � the Dark of the Moon � when the Moon cannot be seen. Just as this is a time of transition, change and unconscious stirrings on the Lunar level, the December Solstice is a time of deep stirrings on the Solar level. Some consider the December solstice to be a kind of astrological New Year. In that archetypal darkness, something new is being born! This is the darkness of the womb where new potential can grow and spring forth.

At this time of the year, the solar energy "repolarizes" (as Dane Rudhyar would say) and starts to retrace its steps. The change from darkness to light or from light to dark is very gradual. You won't really notice it until almost Imbolc or Groundhog Day (Feb.01 or 02). Transitions are gradual, slow and often imperceptible. The Solstice time is no exception.

In the skies overhead at this particular Solstice, Mars is creeping backwards through Cancer and is within orb of its second opposition to Pluto (exact on Jan.02). This can make for a rather intense experience, but also one pregnant with potential and power! Transformation is Pluto's middle name (not sure what his last name would be...) so this intensifies and deepens the transitional nature of this time.

What is likely to be driving your motives and actions now is a quest to create something concrete and dependable that will bring the experience of comfort, belonging and empowerment. Just remember that creation of anything right now is likely to be a long-term project whose plans must remain flexible for a while�remember that Mars is still retrograde and therefore motives, actions, intentions and desires are still in flux. Don't expect instant results, although the Full Moon can be a powerful peak time when progress can be made.

In addition the Sun-Moon opposition (oh ya � remember the Full Moon??) is aligned with the Mars-Pluto opposition. The Full Moon acts like a lightning rod for that powerful Mars-Pluto energy. And on top of this, Jupiter and Mercury are conjunct the Sun and Pluto, forming a powerful multiple conjunction. Yes, it's going to be a very "interesting" Christmas! (or whatever you're celebrating)

So what is likely to happen? Much depends on your state of mind going through this time. If the holiday season has you feeling stressed out or anxious, the Full Moon could amplify this and make it difficult to keep your temper cool and your heart warm. With the Moon and Mars being in Cancer, you might be extra sensitive to the emotional undercurrents of everyone around you, and therefore you might feel their stress or anxiety quite easily. It's a good idea to give yourself some breathing room when you need it. Don't be afraid to take some time out from the holiday socializing to recharge your batteries and unload any accumulated stress.

On the other hand, this could be a very loving, caring time for you, if you can focus yourself in that direction. Pluto energy is capable of bringing out great depths of love and acceptance�not based on "being a good girl or boy" but on a passionate acceptance that we are all both good and bad in our potential. Just remember that Pluto is a bit like Santa who always knows when you're sleeping and when you're just pretending. If your loving acceptance is too forced or not yet established enough to hold its own shape in the face of hardship, you might find yourself swinging between extremes of "good" and "bad" in yourself or in others. However, if you focus your intention in the direction of the "good" you want to create (or a really good "bad" ;-) and let this emerge in its own way and at its own pace, you could find you reach a deep sense of love within yourself.

If you get caught up in the good-bad struggle, especially by judging yourself harshly or getting stuck in blame of yourself or others, it can help to get a reality check with someone you trust. A personal reading with your astrologer can light your path and help you achieve healthy progress. 

Dec.24 � Sun Opposite Mars retrograde (02:37 of Capricorn/Cancer) (Dec.25 in AU)

Mars is always retrograde when it opposes the Sun, and it marks the half-way point in that retrograde cycle. As Erin Sullivan writes in her excellent book on retrogrades, "...they meet to confront issues that have been suspended since the [retrograde] station." This is a critical turning point in the Mars retrograde cycle, when you may need to choose how you are going to tackle the challenges that have become apparent in your life, especially since the retrograde station. This is also a stimulating energy that could bring positive action or frustrating struggle, and maybe both. If you've been waiting to take action on something, you might feel inspired to do it now, although it might be based more on impulse than careful consideration. You could also experience a battle wills under this transit, between yourself and another person, or between different parts of yourself that are at odds with each other. This transit is about asserting yourself and your will, which could be done constructively...or possibly destructively. There is much potential right now to project your own anger or defensiveness out and then think it's just "the other guy." On the other hand, if you find yourself embroiled in conflict, this is a great opportunity to test out a new way of reacting to see if that works better than your usual style. Although anger and conflict are the most common ways for this transit to manifest, this could also be a time when you become extremely active or busy. Or you might find your libido running unusually high. Accidents are a possibility, since the impulse is often to act first and think later, so try to slow down long enough to see the obstacles coming and sidestep them. 

Dec.25 � Mercury trine Saturn (08:32 of Capricorn/Virgo) (Dec.26 in UK, AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority � yours or someone else's � and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience. 


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Dec.26 � Mars retrograde opposite Jupiter (01:50 of Cancer/Capricorn) (Dec.27 in AU)

Both inspired action and brash overconfidence characterise this transit. For up to a week before and after this date, you may find that your energy, anger, libido and ability to take action are amplified � so much so, that you may be pushing yourself beyond what is realistic or unable to deal with reasonable boundaries to prevent them from getting out of control. What is needed is to find that fine line of balance between ego-based desire and spiritual inspiration; between will power and focused faith; and between righteous anger and arrogant pride. Strive to bring both your ego's desires and your spiritual aspirations into what you do, for each has its own validity and won't operate well without the other.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.23, Dec.26 and Apr.24.2008. Think back to late August. The events, experiences and encounters you have now will somehow be connected to whatever was happening back then. Were you perhaps in a situation where you had to fight for justice? Or perhaps defend yourself against judgment? Maybe you were dealing with anger or aggression that suddenly loomed large. Whatever its effects in your life, this transit brings a chance to reconsider how you dealt with the situation back in August, and find a new approach or fine-tune whatever worked for you. 

Dec.29 � Mercury sextile Uranus (15:19 of Capricorn/Pisces) (Dec.30 in UK, AU)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them. 

Dec.30 � Sun Trine Saturn (08:27 of Capricorn/Virgo) (Dec.31 in AU)

This is a great time to apply yourself to serious work. You may feel especially self-sufficient and independent, with a strong and clear sense of self and purpose. There is support for your ambitions as long as you stay grounded and practical in how you approach them, which should come easily right now. Your ability to cooperate and feel comfortable with authority figures is likely to be high, along with your capacity to embrace your own authority and make solid decisions. This is a time when you are more likely to feel grounded and deal with problems in a practical, decisive way. Your energy may be more serious than "party animal," but even if you are in "party mode" it will be easier to realistically know your limits and not overdo it. If you've been waiting for the right time to move forward with or manifest a project or plan that you've been putting together (or wanting to), this could be the time when that happens. The final launch or manifestation may or may not happen now, but you will probably be able to at least move forward in some important steps. 

Dec.30 � Venus enters Sagittarius (until Jan.24.2008) (Dec.31 in AU)

Venus focuses her passion on truth-seeking, philosophical exploration, a lust for knowledge, spiritual intimacy, music in foreign languages and multicultural social discourse. It is a time to explore the meaning that your close relationships bring to your life, and the value that you bring to the Significant Others in your life. It is also a time when you might seek to increase your income (or your spending � careful!) and expand your potential for material wealth and self-worth. You will likely find that negotiations, interactions and transactions work best when you apply spiritual values to them and keep the big picture in mind. You may also find yourself involved with people and transactions that involve other countries, cultures, languages and travel. There could be a teaching-learning element in your dealings with people, so aim for the highest good of all concerned. 

Dec.31 � Mars retrograde enters Gemini (until Mar.04.2008) (Jan.01.2008 in AU)

Your physical and mental energy are likely to be more available in Gemini -- in fact, maybe a bit too available! You typically have the energy to pursue opportunities and ideas, but this can also make you a bit distracted or shorten your attention span. Inspired ideas can lead to impulsive action, which is great when you want to be decisive, take the initiative or find courage in the moment. However, if your ideas are not well grounded or thought out, you might "shoot first and ask questions later." The more you can focus your mind to go after what you want, the more effective your actions will be. With Mars in Gemini, "the pen is mightier than the sword." When conflict arises, it is more likely to be fought and resolved with words and ideas, than with fists. This is a good time to mentally focus your intent and then act on your ideas.

Mars was in Gemini when it first entered its Retrograde Shadow (Sep.17). Mars now moves in retrograde motion back into Gemini, urging you to rethink how to express your anger and assertiveness. Reconsider how to communicate your individuality or independence. Re-examine the ways you act on your thoughts, ideas and information. This process will reach a turning point when Mars goes direct again (Jan.30.2008). 

Jan.01 � HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!

Jan.02 � Mars retrograde opposite Pluto (29:12 of Cancer/Capricorn) (Jan.03 in AU)

Mars and Pluto doing battle in the skies can create a very intense showdown! This is a time when tempers can flare, power struggles can emerge, and aggressive action could seem like the only way to handle a conflict. If you feel yourself becoming entangled in a mounting tension with someone, you might do well to back off a bit to let the adrenaline subside on both sides. On the other hand, it is a time when we are often challenged to assert ourselves and strengthen our spirit, which can often be brought on by confrontation. This is the kind of atmosphere where our interactions with others can bring out deeply hidden and intense feelings inside us, which long to be expressed but are usually suppressed instead. This is an opportunity to observe what gets triggered inside of us and what kind of interaction triggers those feelings. It can be valuable to use the experience as a way to vent old frustration, work through unresolved anger, and ultimately heal our deeper wounds by letting go of whatever holds us back. Sexual energy can run very high under this transit, so handle it wisely.

This is the second of 3 passes of Mars opposite Pluto. This is a very important transit for many reasons. First, it involves both the modern and traditional planetary rulers of Scorpio. In a sense, you are experiencing two different levels of Scorpio energy � the blunt, forthright, aggressive and power-hungry side in combination with the secretive, mysterious, transformative and controlling side. Second, Mars is very close to the opposition to Pluto when it stations direct on Jan.30.2008, which could be a time of great intensity as well as tremendous energy available to transform and make changes in your life. Third, this transit escorts Pluto into Capricorn in January, which is a major event. The final Mars-Pluto opposition (Mar.07.2008) takes place at zero degrees of Capricorn � the December solstice point and a powerful degree.

So it is a good idea to stay aware of what Mars and Pluto are doing in your chart, since this has far greater implications than simply a transit from Mars. It can also give you a preview into how Pluto moving into Capricorn is likely to affect you and what kinds of experiences it is likely to stir up in your life. To get a more complete picture of how Mars and Pluto are affecting you, a personal reading is your best resource. Find out more...

Jan.06 � Sun sextile Uranus (15:33 of Capricorn/Pisces)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are more finely tuned during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Just have fun pushing the envelope! You may also find you want things to be spontaneous and new and out-of-the-ordinary so much that it's hard not to feel restless and dissatisfied with ordinary life right now. But remember that trying to plan spontaneity defeats the purpose of the exercise. And if you are hungering for something new but can't seem to find something satisfying, try digging a little deeper to see what is driving that hunger from inside you. You could find surprising answers. 

Jan.06 � Venus square Saturn (08:16 of Sagittarius/Virgo) (Jan.07 in AU)

Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for. 

Jan.06-11 � T-Square Aspect Configuration (Venus square Saturn opposite Uranus)

This T-square is an echo of the one of Nov.29-Dec.10 that had the Sun and Mercury squaring Saturn and Uranus. This time it's Venus caught in between. The Venus side of you is questing after a higher form of grace while in Sagittarius. For example, you might be reaching for a spiritual kind of love that goes far beyond meeting emotional needs. Or, you could be changing your basic value system to reflect higher moral principles. However, this is likely to be challenged by two factors. One is that your level of idealism could wind up expanding beyond what is familiar, comfortable or even humanly possible. Another is that you will need to find practical ways to apply these higher principles, and this process could tip into perfectionism that gets bogged down in details and strict rules that must be followed.

The trick is to find a bridge between the practical and the idealistic; between the strict conventions of perfectionism and the chaotic rebellion that leaves conventions behind. It may help to keep it centered in your personal experience rather than getting lost in the abstract. It can also help to aim for a clear understanding of the choices you are faced with. If you find yourself falling back on blind faith instead, watch to see if this might be based more on giving up in exasperation than on genuine trust in the Universe. 

Jan.08 � Mercury enters Aquarius (until Mar.24) (Jan.08 in UK, AU)

Mercury in Aquarius brings objectivity, detached mental focus and communication that strives for unprecedented breadth and height � even to the point of adopting an �ivory tower� mentality. This is a good transit for anything requiring a scientific or analytical approach, as well as anything that calls for you to "think outside of the box." This can be a time when you start to see old familiar situations in new ways, giving you a fresh perspective on things. This planetary energy is not likely to be supportive if you need to take a gentle or sensitive approach to personal interaction, however, since you may be more tempted to just say what needs to be said and let the chips fall where they may. Your mental outlook may be focused on upcoming possibilities, and it can be a good time to map out future plans and try on new ideas, since you are likely to be more open-minded to things you had previously dismissed as unrealistic or too "out there." This can be a time when you suffer from "cabin fever" and need to get out of the house more, especially if you've been cooped up for a long time due to bad weather, hard work or just lack of motivation to do something different. Breaking free of old routines can be a good thing � just remember you have to live with whatever mess you make in the process.

Mercury stays in Aquarius for almost 3 months! (That's a LONG time for Mercury.) That's because Mercury will go retrograde in Aquarius on Jan.28. It won't go into the actual Shadow until Jan.13 but even before then, you might start to notice Mercury's rascal side starting to come out to play. 

Next Update:  NEW MOON in CAPRICORN - January 8, 2008. Available by Jan.08.


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