Low-Down Archives Nov-Dec 2009

November-December 2009

For the New Moon in Scorpio:
November 16 to December 2, 2009

and Full Moon in Gemini:
December 2 to 16, 2009

Nov.16 � NEW MOON in SCORPIO (24:34 of Scorpio)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Nov.16, 2:14 PM EST

London, UK:

Nov.16, 7:14 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Nov.17, 6:14 AM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience SCORPIO energy in your life.

They say the truth will set you free.

But what is truth?

There are different layers and levels of truth. Truth isn't always what it seems. Is truth the same as facts? If the words and facts are true, wouldn't the overall message be the truth? By choosing true words very carefully it's possible to mislead someone. At what point does misleading become a lie? Mark Twain once said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

Isn't there a higher truth? Higher truth demands a deeper honesty within ourselves, but that means venturing into subjective territory. Who's to say whether someone is being fully honest with themselves? How do we know if what someone else is doing, saying or believing reflects their higher truth? It makes truth a highly subjective quality.

Scorpio is, among other things, about authenticity and inner reality. Subjective truth needs to be consistent with outer behaviour. That means you must delve deep inside yourself to discover what is really going on, then accept it (not reject or dismiss it), then integrate it.

But what if your inner reality feels ugly or shameful, or even potentially sinister or destructive? How can you accept something that feels unacceptable? And how do you integrate that without contaminating all the hard work you've done to become a better person? How can something that feels debasing be part of a higher truth?

These are questions that hover in the air at the Scorpio New Moon. A New Moon is sometimes also called the dark of the Moon because it's too close to the daytime Sun to be seen. The night sky envelops us in complete darkness. In that darkness, we aren't able to see what's around us; we can only feel it with other senses. We must rely on the distant light to guide us � the stars in the physical sky, or faint hope in our emotional realm. Neither is enough to see our path clearly. Whatever lurks in the shadows can be frightening until we understand what's out there and how to deal with it. It can feel a bit like being inside a womb waiting to be reborn.

Scorpio is all about rebirth, so it has a natural affinity with dark of the Moon energy. Scorpio is also a somewhat "dark" energy, expanding the depth and intensity of the dark of the Scorpio New Moon. Scorpio leads us through transformation � a process of change that fundamentally and alchemically alters us at our innermost level. Transformation challenges us at progressively deeper levels of our inner core and primal human nature.

In this process we confront the feelings, desires, thoughts and perceptions that can feel like they make us not okay. Yet, it is by shining the light of acknowledgement, acceptance, understanding and love on these parts of us that we liberate them from a shroud of fearful negativity. Through transformation we begin to see our "negative" qualities for what they really are � part of what makes us human and ironically containing the hidden treasures of our greatest gifts.

Scorpio is therefore about personal authenticity that illuminates our inner reality and gives depth, texture, meaning and realism to what it means to be true to ourselves. When we speak our truth and live our truth, Scorpio energy urges us to allow that truth to emanate from the deepest core of our being. It is not enough to simply try to adhere to shining principles that contrast with what might seem like our darker side of human nature.

Scorpio's message is that human nature is far more complex than can be squeezed onto a narrow path of do's and should's. Although transformation eventually involves letting go of old baggage, it is essential that first we go through that baggage to sort through what is worth keeping, what can be fixed or recycled, and what is no longer needed. And to do that, you have to acknowledge and connect with the scary bits hidden inside before you can finally let go.

This New Moon cycle shows a repeating theme of deciphering fact from fiction, truth from fantasy, assessment from condemnation, and the opportunity to tidy up and clean out the basement of your unconscious thoughts and feelings.

The New Moon itself (the conjunct of the Sun and Moon) is in a separating square aspect to the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune trio. You may be wrestling with apparent conflicts between the glowing ideals of what "should be" and the deeper truth of "what is." Whereas you might see gleaming possibilities if only healing can take place, the deeper reality might be that what must be healed involves a far deeper and more complex mission than you realized. One cannot simply be sacrificed, ignored or dismissed in favour of the other without losing something important, essential and valuable. If it's not possible to bridge the gap or compromise or integrate the conflicting factors, the experience can still teach you something worthwhile about how those factors are connected in your life.

Mars, the traditional planetary ruler of Scorpio, is in mutual reception with the Sun. In other words, Mars is in Leo, the sign that the Sun rules, and the Sun is in Scorpio, the sign that Mars rules. Even though they are not in aspect, they send each other energy. In this case, since the signs are in a dynamic square aspect to each other (90°), that shared energy is likely to amplify intensity and passion.

Mars is also widely opposite (180°) Jupiter and Chiron (and, by association, Neptune). However, Mars is in the Shadow and slowing down to go retrograde (Dec.20.2009 to Mar.10.2010). It stations just shy of the exact opposition, which it will not reach until starting in August 2010, but hovers within orb of this aspect from November through January. Mars in opposition to the trio could bring up anger, frustration or indignation if you feel that someone is being preachy, moralistic, insensitive or just plain flaky. On the other hand, it might also inspire you to reach toward ways of self-expression that are more idealistic, ethical, healthy or principled.

Mars also squares (90°) Venus in Scorpio, suggesting a struggle between the creative expression of who you are versus the release of desires that might not be in your best interests. Self-expression is best when it focuses on the core of who you are as an enduring entity, whereas desire may resort to manipulation, seduction or persuasion to gain short-lived rewards. At its best, this aspect can forge a creative alliance between them that can release a powerful force of nature from within � but be careful to use it wisely.

During the Scorpio lunar cycle, as Mars progresses toward the retrograde station (Dec.20), observe which situations, people, events or feelings trigger you into action or reaction. These themes may repeat over the next few months, and you will be challenged to delve into where the magnet is inside of you that attracts these things into your life. Throughout the Mars retrograde cycle, there is an opportunity to transform the destructive or reckless aspects of your energy into something more inspired, creative and optimistic. The pre-retrograde phase is a time when you might find your forward progress becomes increasingly stymied, redirected or in need of further investigation. The idea is to keep moving, even if it seems to go backwards for a while � it's all part of the journey.


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Pluto, considered by many to be the modern planetary ruler of Scorpio, is exactly square Saturn (90°) having been exact just one day ago. Again we have the factual Saturn battling it out with the inner reality of the Scorpionic Pluto. How do you define truth? Will it be Saturn's facts, figures and specifics? Or will it be Pluto's essential and psychological, but less precise, authenticity? Which do you believe � external facts that are derived from logic and theory, or visceral intuition that's based on instincts and inner knowing? You might have to choose between them, but that doesn't necessarily mean one is right and the other wrong. It may help ease any conflict or struggle if you can allow yourself to see the validity in both alternatives.

The quest for truth may take you on a journey that seems convoluted or leading down a dead end ally, but there is an eventual destination to it, even though it might not be what you were expecting. The New Moon trines Uranus, which can liberate you if you get stuck in a rut � just think beyond the boundaries of your dilemma and allow yourself to envision a bigger picture that contains your problem as merely one part of the whole. Become bigger than the problem and the problem can't own you.   Top of Page

Nov.17 � Mercury sextile Saturn (01:51 of Sagittarius/Libra)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's 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 ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.   Top of Page

Nov.19 � Venus square Mars (14:12 of Scorpio/Leo)

Your receptive, diplomatic side is arguing with your assertive, decisive side. The result is either a battle of wills between your Yin and Yang, or a new creative energy that harnesses both. This could manifest in the form of relationship problems, financial struggles, arguments about control, or you are propelled to take action with plans that have been percolating for a while. If you're usually more comfortable with your Yin side (receptive, diplomatic), you might feel a bit backed into a corner or forced to negotiate under pressure. If you're more at home in your Yang side (assertive, action-oriented), you may feel compelled to blunt or sheathe the sword you would prefer to smite your enemy with. Either way, this is about balancing the two sides and finding a new cooperation that works for both.   Top of Page

Nov.21 � Sun enters Sagittarius (until Dec.21) (Nov.22 in UK, AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Sagittarians! While the Sun is in Sagittarius, we all get to explore our horizons, seek our highest truth, discover our spirituality and gain fresh wisdom. Sagittarius energy encourages us to reach beyond our grasp, to exceed our limitations, and to rise above our primal impulses. Whether we are encountering other cultures, countries and languages, or expanding our horizons through new knowledge or spiritual awareness, this is a time to be uplifted and inspired. We are challenged to explore meaning in our lives and to connect with whatever we regard as sacred and sublime. In Sagittarius we also gather new knowledge and understanding, making sense of the patterns and themes within the raw information around us. It is not enough to simply have facts and data. Sagittarius presents us with the opportunity to reach for the highest truth we know, and then to exercise that truth in moral and ethical ways. The trap we must be careful to avoid is that it's easy to assume that our truth is truth for everyone else too, which is not necessarily the case. Our well-meaning wish for others to experience the inspiration and passion that we feel can seem to turn us into self-righteousness know-it-alls. It's tempting to believe that we are privy to knowledge that others are denied. There can be a fine line between sharing passionate knowledge versus shoving opinions down someone's throat. Everyone has their unique perspective on life, and therefore their own sense of meaning and truth that works for them. And yet, debating and challenging each other's knowledge, beliefs and values are also an important part of the Sagittarius passion for exploration. As the Sun journeys through Sagittarius, expand your awareness of how these issues play out in your life.   Top of Page

Nov.23 � Venus square Jupiter (19:56 of Scorpio/Aquarius) (Nov.24 in AU)

"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach" (as Mom used to say). That means you are more likely now to over-indulge, especially in the areas of relationships, spending, desires, pleasure and social contact. Your desire for fulfilment and satisfaction may exceed your resources, and you might not even realise it until the bill comes in later (probably under a Saturn transit ;-). You may also find you require more knowledge, understanding, faith, freedom or optimism than you have available, making it tempting to compensate by inflating what you really have. For example, you might want to resort to flattery, manipulation or over-optimism in an effort to make up for a lack of genuine confidence, rapport or preparation. However, this can also be a time when your creativity is running high and you are able to pull rabbits out of your hat on a moment's notice. The problem is that you could over-extend yourself by doing so.   Top of Page

Nov.24 � Sun sextile Saturn (02:29 of Sagittarius/Libra) (Nov.25 in AU)

You have an opportunity now to make some progress in obtaining results in your projects, career, ambitions and creative expression. It is possible to tap into a disciplined mindset, which can be used to take some steps toward goals that you're trying to manifest. You are surrounded by potential to achieve this, although it will not simply be handed to you � you will still have to work for it. Your mind and purpose are likely to be clear and strong now, enabling you to be decisive and productive. Leadership, management and organizing abilities are potentially high right now. Asserting your authority in a situation that calls for it can be done successfully, as long as you don't let yourself become rigid or bossy. It can be a good time to learn or practice new skills, or to apply yourself to any kind of serious study. It is also a time when you could formulate some solid plans for future projects or make some progress with current undertakings. Make the most of it!   Top of Page

Nov.24 � Venus square Chiron (21:32 of Scorpio/Aquarius) (Nov.25 in UK, 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.   Top of Page

Nov.25 � Venus trine Uranus (23:49 of Scorpio/Pisces) (Nov.26 in UK, AU)

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.   Top of Page

Nov.26 � Mercury trine Mars (16:19 of Sagittarius/Leo) (Nov.27 in AU)

It may be easy to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said under this transit. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Your communication is likely to be direct, concise and right on the mark, even if it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that � although perhaps not as good for a situation requiring a more delicate, sensitive touch. It is a time when you could potentially find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). Overall, this is a wonderful transit for anything involving direct communication (e.g., public speaking, writing, debating), as well as mental agility (e.g., generating ideas, finding solutions, making decisions).   Top of Page

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Nov.26 � Venus square Neptune (23:49 of Scorpio/Aquarius) (Nov.27 in UK, AU)

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.   Top of Page

Nov.29 � Mercury sextile Jupiter (20:41 of Sagittarius/Aquarius)

You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.   Top of Page

Nov.29 � Mercury sextile Chiron (21:41 of Sagittarius/Aquarius) (Nov.30 in UK, AU)

Your mental focus and communication could get an injection of healing energy under this transit, as long as you are prepared to put some effort into getting it. Your spirits can become uplifted now, from seeing a light at the end of the tunnel or from finding a light that guides you along the path in front of you. It will not, however, make the tunnel or the path go away; you'll still have to walk the walk. But your mental perspective can become more accepting of inconsistencies and frustrations under this transit, which can alleviate a lot of stress and make the journey a bit smoother. Mental struggles and critical "self-talk" may find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings peace of mind. You have an increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems, by providing insightful feedback. To get the most out of this transit, aim to find a mental outlook and communication style that can tolerate contradiction without having to eradicate one in order to justify the other.   Top of Page

Nov.30 � Mercury square Uranus (22:42 of Sagittarius/Pisces) (Dec.01 in 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.   Top of Page

Dec.01 � Mercury sextile Neptune (23:53 of Sagittarius/Aquarius) (Dec.02 in 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.   Top of Page

Dec.01 � Uranus stationary Direct (Dec.02 in AU) ("What's a Station?"  Read article on Stations.  Read more about Regrogrades.)

Uranus now turns direct, after being retrograde since Jul.01. This often brings a turning point in situations involving spontaneity, freedom, breaking free of old patterns, rebellion and expressing your personal uniqueness. For up to a week before and after this date, it could feel a bit chaotic or erratic�or perhaps just spontaneous and exciting. However, Uranus' ultimate agenda is to clear the way for your true spirit to manifest in your life. You may experience unexpected changes, flashes of insight, or disruption of established situations that aren't working well (which might include computers, Internet, mass media, groups, friends or future plans). This can be the awakening of a new perspective, to be brought into a clearer focus through open-mindedness and being willing to try new things.   Top of Page

Dec.01 � Venus enters Sagittarius (until Dec.25) (Dec.02 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.   Top of Page


Sabian Symbol Gemini 11: A new path of realism in experience.

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Gemini

Gemini 11

A new path of realism in experience,
Newly opened lands offer the pioneer new opportunities for experience.

The wording of this Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") varies depending on which book you read. Dane Rudhyar (who wrote the second phrase above) loved to reword the symbols to clarify what he felt was the deeper meaning of an ambiguous symbol.

Rudhyar saw this symbol representing the arrival at a new level of consciousness. (An Astrological Mandala)

Marc Edmund Jones interpreted this as the understanding that evolves from the weighing of pros and cons � a kind of experiential trial and error. (The Sabian Symbols in Astrology)

Blain Bovee sees the symbol as "an awakening to things as they actually are" as opposed to the pre-packaged perceptions that we often adopt from others around us. (The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed)

I think this is one of those wonderfully ambiguous symbols that can be shaped into many meanings depending on how you look at it.

In the context of this Full Moon, this symbol seems to express the unconventional, unexplored territory that is echoed throughout the chart. Yet, it adds a hint that your guiding principle must be realism � the ability to distinguish what your subjective experience is actually telling you from the assumptions, biases and expectations you hold.

That mental meandering could lead you along a new path, or it might turn out to be an old path seen from a different perspective.


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

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

Dec.02 � FULL MOON in GEMINI (10:15 of Gemini)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.02 2:30 AM EST

London, UK:

Dec.02,7:30 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Dec.03, 6:30 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience GEMINI energy in your life.

In the land of Gemini, we play with ideas. Concepts, thoughts, perceptions, words, descriptions and awareness. Words and names.

In Gemini, we name things. "What's in a name?" Juliet once pondered wistfully through the pen of William Shakespeare. The rose might smell just as sweet no matter what we name it, but in Gemini-land the name is important because that is what enables us to talk about it. Without a name, we must re-conjure the description just to talk about it. "That which we call a flower that grows on a bush at the end of a long stem with prickly thorns by any other description would smell as sweet." I dunno, somehow it just loses something, don't you think? ;-)

Language grows and evolves with the changing times, culture, environment and experiences of the people who use it. Like the air around us, names must adapt to fill the ever-changing space around the purpose of the speaker. If something completely new emerges, a new name must be found for it so that we can talk about it (or at least tax it). For example, in 1958 it became necessary to distinguish a computer's "hardware" from the formulae that generated the computations, and voilà � the word "software" was born! Even "hardware" is an example of a redefinition of a word that once meant only hammers and nails.

In today's cyber-age new words and meanings are being created virtually every day (pun intended). "Text" used to be just a noun, not a verb. "Tweets" only came from little birds. And even a mere 15 years ago, if you told someone you were going to "Google" they'd probably report you to the local loony bin.

Sometimes new definitions arise because of a misinterpretation. Take, for example, the term "Blue Moon." Your calendar may tell you there is a Blue Moon in December (Dec.31.2009), or perhaps in January (Jan.30.2010), depending on whether you happen to be west or east of Afghanistan. This is from a definition that says the second of two Full Moons in the same calendar month is a Blue Moon. In the case of the upcoming Full Moon in Cancer, which month�indeed which year�depends on the time zone where you happen to be located.

However, that common definition of a Blue Moon is actually based on a misinterpretation back in 1946. Traditionally, a Blue Moon was the 3rd Full Moon in a season of four Full Moons (usually there are three). By the original definition, the next Blue Moon isn't until November 2010. Yet even this older definition drew on a saying that dates back to 1528 which meant something that was very unlikely to happen. And that phrase probably originated from the fact that, under rare atmospheric conditions, the moon can sometimes literally take on a blue colour.

What does all this have to do with the Full Moon in Gemini? Glad you asked!

I have no idea.

Mercury, the trickster ruler of Gemini, seized my brain and ran away with it. He's in expansive Sagittarius right now, squaring Uranus, and so is prone to waxing philosophical and meandering in all directions with no apparent purpose in mind. And he's approaching his next Retrograde Shadow (Dec.09 to Feb.04.2010), so he's getting extra frisky right now. This could easily be the kind of energy you feel at the Full Moon in Mercury's sign of Gemini. Your mind could wander playfully off track and find itself in unexplored territory, only to have its leash yanked by the Saturn-Pluto square as they try to maintain some semblance of order and discipline.

On top of this, Uranus is still hovering after stationing direct yesterday (Dec.01), and Mercury is squaring that stationary Uranus. If life feels upside down lately, now you know why!

Add to this the fact that the Sun and Moon are almost unaspected, other than to each other. There is a wide separating trine and sextile to Saturn (just over 7 degrees of orb; exact 12 hours before the Full Moon), as well as a wide applying trine and sextile to Mars (also over 7 degrees of orb; exact Dec.10). That's it for the major aspects, and only a few very minor aspects. An unaspected planet is a maverick energy that's not wired into the chart in a concrete or conventional way so it tends to play by its own rules. Although the Sun and Moon aren't entirely unaspected, their ties to the rest of the chart are remote and, being easy-going trines, could be easily ignored. The Full Moon energy could therefore be a bit unpredictable, erratic or disconnected from the mainstream. The trickster side of Gemini is likely to be lurking around the corner.

And yet, wandering aimlessly can often bring you to a place that is unexpectedly useful, interesting, fun or eye-opening. Did you learn anything from my above ramblings about names, language and Blue Moons? Or maybe it gave you a new viewpoint to consider. That's the gift of both Mercury's trickster side and unaspected energies � they can bring you to a new perspective that you didn't even know you needed. Kismet! By keeping your mind open, this Full Moon could bring you insights, information, ideas and innovation that might seem pointless or distracting at first, but could be exactly the piece of the puzzle you need to bring the bigger picture together. Mercury's gifts often come in surprising packages.

Mars is another major player in the Full Moon saga. It is steadily heading for the retrograde station on Dec.20, closing the gap on his opposition (180°) to Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune. However, as mentioned in the update for the New Moon in Scorpio, Mars will slow down and turn retrograde before it reaches exact to any of them and won't catch up again until August 2010. Until then, Mars continues his long stride on the opposite side of the zodiac from them.

The Mars part of you is reaching for a higher vision of how to express yourself and demonstrate the very best you have to offer. Mars is ultimately looking for a glimpse of salvation and enlightenment that can heal the self-doubt, humiliation and rage that so often lurk deep inside us. We hide them behind a mask of what we intend to be self-confidence and courage, but they can come across instead as an overinflated ego and attitude of entitlement.


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As it opposes Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune, the Mars within us is able to see a vision of what it could be like to release those old wounds and become light with joy, faith and spontaneous freedom. The nature of the opposition is that you tend to see what the other guy is doing, but not so much what you are doing that the other person might be reacting to.

This can go both ways. For example, the uplifting inspiration you get from someone else might itself be inspired by your appreciation and esteem of that person. It can be easy to idealize others without recognizing that you also possess the same potential and value that you see in them. On the other hand, you might feel irritated by arrogance or condescension that you see in someone, and perhaps not realize that they could be overreacting from their own feeling of being intimidated or overwhelmed by something they perceive in you.

In other words, this journey of Mars may sometimes feel like you're wandering through a hall of mirrors, unsure which is the reflection and which is the real thing. December can be a very high stress month when expectations and wishful thinking can stir up a wide range of feelings from joy and delight to disappointment and depression. The answers you need are inside you, but if you find mostly resentment and judgment within, you might benefit from a reality check by an objective third party who can help get you into a better head space. Taking occasional time out from the chaos is an excellent strategy to preserve your energy and sanity. In the meantime, allow your Gemini social butterfly come out and play, enjoy the twinkling lights of the season and have fun in the moment!   Top of Page

Dec.04 � Venus sextile Saturn (03:13 of Sagittarius/Libra)

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.   Top of Page

Dec.05 � Mercury enters Capricorn (until Feb.10.2010) (Dec.06 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.

Mercury stays in Capricorn for 2 long months, since it will go retrograde in Capricorn (Dec.26 to Jan.15.2010).   Top of Page

Dec.07 � Mercury conjunct Pluto (02:25 of Capricorn)

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.

Mercury makes only one exact pass of this transit during its upcoming retrograde cycle. However, when it comes back and stations Direct (Jan.15.2010), it will be less than two degrees away from an exact conjunction to Pluto. Therefore, the events and issues that take place around today's pass of this transit are likely to come back again in mid-January. At that time they could be resolved, or create another instance of a difficult situation, or you could be ready to make a decision about some challenging choice in your life.   Top of Page

Dec.07 � Jupiter conjunct Chiron (21:57 of Aquarius) (Dec.08 in AU)

Magnanimous, merciful Jupiter meets Chiron, the "wounded healer." At their best, their combined energies can bring healing and balance through compassion, justice and greater understanding. On the other hand, Chiron tends to introduce an element of struggle, so this conjunction might not be entirely straightforward. Chiron is not a planet that tends to bring "happily ever after" endings, although Jupiter certainly aspires to them. Conflicts or struggles can't always be resolved completely, but you are likely to gain some relief and clarification.

The more difficult side of Jupiter-Chiron could involve becoming more aware of how you struggle with the less attractive side of Jupiter. That could include judgments, prejudice, blame, arrogance, blind faith or even believing so strongly in your own viewpoint that you can't or won't co-exist gracefully with the opinions of others. With Chiron involved, you might discover some of these qualities in your mental blind spot. It can help to remind yourself of the vast multiplicity and rich diversity of perspectives about life held by the billions of people on our planet, and consider the possibility that disagreement is a natural phenomenon rather than a sign of failure. Our survival � collectively and individually � depends on our ability to get past the limiting belief that there is only one right answer to the great questions of life. We need to allow Jupiter's expansive qualities, as reflected in human nature, to be free to grow and fulfill our greater potential. Chiron's role is to remind us that if we fall short of our most idealized visions, it need not indicate failure on our part, since it is not always possible to control everything that happens to us and around us.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: May.23, Jul.22 and Dec.07. The conjunction has been in orb starting around mid-March of this year. Think back over the last 9 months or so, and see if you recognize any of these themes in your life. You are on a journey to explore, develop, heal and accept the truth about these themes that lies beyond mere facts.   Top of Page

Dec.07 � Mercury square Saturn (03:28 of Capricorn/Libra) (Dec.08 in UK, AU)

Your thoughts, ideas and communication need to become structured, rational and discreet, although this may not be easy to achieve. You may have to work extra hard to get your point across now, since others might be resistant to your ideas or may not be familiar with the basic concepts. It is a time to be clear, objective and down-to-earth in your communication and thinking, but equally important to do this without going overboard and becoming rigid, autocratic or over-cautious. If you find yourself stuck in a "glass half empty" frame of mind, you might be sagging under the weight of melancholy ...Or, it might mean you are coming to terms with some hard realities and decisions and feeling the gravity of the implications. But also check to be sure you're not taking yourself and your situation too seriously. By applying your best efforts, this can be a very productive time, especially with anything involving communication, writing, organising or logic.

Mercury makes only one exact pass of this transit during its upcoming retrograde cycle. However, when it comes back and stations Direct (Jan.15.2010), it will be less than a degree away from an exact square to Saturn. Therefore, the events and issues that take place around today's pass of this transit are likely to come back again in mid-January. At that time they could be resolved, or create another instance of a difficult situation, or you could be ready to make a decision about some challenging choice in your life.   Top of Page

Dec.10 � Sun trine Mars (19:07 of Sagittarius/Leo) (Dec.11 in UK, AU)

Your energy, purpose, vitality and health are likely to be strong and clear during this transit. Your sense of purpose is supported by your ability to assert yourself and take a stand for what you want and what you believe in. In general, this transit is a great time to take action, especially if you have prepared the way and have all your ducks in a row. If you've been waiting for a spurt of self-confidence or motivation, this transit could give you the push you need to move forward in your plans or goals. Strive to be spontaneous rather than impulsive, and confident rather than arrogant.   Top of Page

Dec.09 � Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow (5:33 of Capricorn; until Feb.04.2010) ("What's the Shadow?"  Read more about Retrograde Cycles.  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury again enters the Shadow � the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde (Dec.26 to Jan.15.2010). During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more involved process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences�ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected�email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods. The situations developing over the next 2 weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes�or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct (Jan.15).

Mercury makes no repeated aspects to other planets during this retrograde cycle, which is somewhat unusual. However, it does conjoin the North Lunar Node 3 times (Dec.23, Dec.29 and Feb.03.2010) and is exactly conjunct it to the degree when Mercury stations retrograde on Dec.26 (Dec.27 in AU). For example, around the retrograde station you might seem to make some great networking connections with people that don't quite pan out right away, but may follow through in February when Mercury goes past its retrograde point again.

At the direct station (Jan.15), Mercury is conjunct (0°) Pluto but stations just 1:43 shy of being exact. Mercury is also square (90°) Saturn but is 0:54 away from being exact. This is likely to be an unusually intense Mercury station, especially since there is also a New Moon that same day and Mars is unaspected at that time. It could be a time when you are required to gather your personal power and true grit and make some pivotal decisions that will ripple through your life for years to come. As Mercury enters the Shadow today, watch for people, issues, challenges and/or projects that you will be taking on or wrestling with for the next couple of months.   Top of Page

Dec.13 � Sun sextile Chiron (22:12 of Sagittarius/Aquarius) (Dec.14 in UK, AU)

This is a time when you have an opportunity to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life. You may find new inspiration, motivation or confidence that can help rejuvenate waning enthusiasm or reconcile persistent problems, although you'll still have to apply effort to bring it all together. You might get the chance to demonstrate your ability to walk your own path in a new way. Or, you might get a peek inside the hidden shadow of your worries and discouragement, giving you new insight into how you might be unconsciously sabotaging your conscious efforts. You may have to face a bit of your own fear of failure or low self-esteem before you can get beyond these feelings and tap into the benefits of this transit -- not because you are failing but because these concerns may arise in response to the new potential now available to you. By tapping into this potential for creative problem solving, you can bring some healing to whatever your situation is.   Top of Page

Dec.14 � Sun square Uranus (22:46 of Sagittarius/Pisces) (Dec.15 in AU)

Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become too habitual, stuck or inhibited. The "radical rascal" in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which on one hand might be necessary but also very disruptive and possibly even destructive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat unsettled right now, but a space is likely being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time -- but it could create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim instead to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don�t work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and then surf the shock-wave.   Top of Page

Dec.14 � Sun sextile Jupiter (23:08 of Sagittarius/Aquarius) (Dec.15 in UK, AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!   Top of Page

Dec.15 � Sun sextile Neptune (24:09 of Sagittarius/Aquarius) (Dec.16 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.   Top of Page

Next Update:  NEW MOON in SAGITTARIUS - December 16, 2009. Available by Dec.16.

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