Low-Down Archives ~ Dec/12 to Jan/13

New Moon Sagittarius, Full Moon Cancer

Chart for the New Moon in Sagittarius
Chart for the New Moon in Sagittarius

Dec.13 – NEW MOON in SAGITTARIUS (21:45 of Sagittarius)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.13, 2012, 3:41 AM EST

London, UK:

Dec.13, 2012, 8:41 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Dec.13, 2012, 7:41 PM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

You're feeling inspired. You want to reach out for something special, meaningful and truthful. You want to take that inspiration and manifest something enduring, profound and powerful.

So where do you start? For that matter, where do you end up? What would your dream even look like? How would you know if you'd succeeded?

Do you start with simple ideas and then flesh them out? Or do you start with a vision of what you want to finish with, and then go about collecting the bits and pieces to construct it?

And how do you know that your vision won't end up as just another great idea that dissipates into the wind with the next distraction? How can you make sure your efforts will generate something real and genuine?

This is the dilemma of this New Moon in Sagittarius.

Sagittarius, a Fire sign, aims its passion toward something insightful, righteous and comprehensive. Its building blocks include principles, ideals and other conceptual prisms that glitter and glow with the light, but can be very difficult to convert into substance. How do you solidify Fire into Earth? In the coming weeks, it will be very important to do just that.

Let's start with Jupiter, the planetary ruler of Sagittarius. Jupiter is currently in Gemini, the sign of its "detriment," meaning it struggles against its own natural flow. Like a salmon swimming upstream, the planet and sign energies tend to mix awkwardly. Gemini likes to play with information, ideas, facts and articulation. Sag, by contrast, prefers to explore more abstract concepts, like meaning, truth, understanding and patterns of information.

So it's as if Jupiter tries to get off the ground and fly like a kite, where it can ponder the greater landscape. However, Gemini wants to discuss the fundamentals of kite construction, a little about its history, read up on the different kinds of kites to choose from, the aerodynamics of flight and, above all, the fun of flying the kite! In other words, it's as if both energies are interested in kites but their different approaches create a conflict of interest when they try to work together.

We have the opposite combination as well � Mercury is currently in Sagittarius, also "in detriment" (in the sign opposite the one it rules). Mercury wants to go play and have fun, running through the park, feeling the wind on his face, and get the thrill of seeing the kite soar into the air. Sagittarius, on the other hand, wants to make sure there's a "higher reason" for doing this � learning, growth, a moral purpose or exploring the wild blue yonder�anything other than mere entertainment. In response, Mercury yawns, thinking it sounds like the fun just got drained out of the experience, and wondering why Sagittarius has to make everything so complicated.

So Mercury and Jupiter are in each other's signs. This is called Mutual Reception. In this case, they also happen to be in opposition (180�) to each other, providing an even sharper edge to their combined energies. Being like mirror images of each other, they can reinforce the other's strengths or weaknesses, or both. So, they could chase each other in circles, like a dog chasing his own tail, trying to get the other to do it their way; or they could provide the other with encouragement and advice on how to navigate their territory. However, being a mutual reception, the effort must also be mutual � both energies need to be open to the other's knowledge and wisdom.

Jupiter is a very important player in the New Moon chart. For starters, it rules the New Moon (in its own sign of Sagittarius) and therefore whatever is going on with Jupiter will be reflected back into this 4-week lunar cycle. The reverse can also be true�the birth of something new at the New Moon can give Jupiter a sense that something exciting is hovering on the horizon, and perhaps the inspiration to try some new solutions to old problems.

In addition, Jupiter is the Handle of the chart. It is isolated away from the other planets, and can feel like the leading edge for the rest of the chart�or maybe an alien who doesn't quite belong. If the Jupiter part of you is stressed out (if your sense of wisdom, meaning and being part of something greater than yourself is unhappy or cynical or stuck in blame) then the rest of the chart (the rest of you) will also be unhappy and will vibrate with the same pessimistic energy. On the other hand, if your Jupiter is joyful (if your quest for truth, sense of purpose and your vision of life are fulfilling and encourage your growth) then the rest of you is more likely to feel the same way.

Yod aspect pattern

In the New Moon chart, Jupiter is impaled on the corkscrew end of a Yod aspect pattern, with Saturn and Pluto as the handle that makes the corkscrew turn. Jupiter is in a quonfusing quincunx aspect (150�) to both Pluto and Saturn, who are in cooperative sextile (60�) to each other. As you can imagine, this puts enormous strain on Jupiter to keep a clear focus (and stop the room from spinning). On the plus side, Jupiter has the opportunity to see things from a very unusual and unique point of view! However, he's probably blaming it all on Mercury the Trickster as the patron of Jupiter's current sign, and because Jupiter can "see" (relate to) Mercury more clearly, being in a plain ol' straightforward opposition aspect together.

This Yod pattern strengthens the forces of structure, manifestation, predictability and responsibility (Saturn and Pluto), and pits them against the force of curiosity, philosophy, faith and fun (Jupiter in Gemini). In other words, what is tying Jupiter up in knots (and therefore the whole lunar cycle over the next 4 weeks) is the need to bring all that fiery Jupiter energy back down to earth and manifest it in a practical, authentic, clear way.


What intensifies this corkscrew effect is that Saturn and Pluto are also in mutual reception � Saturn is in Scorpio (modern ruler: Pluto), and Pluto is in Capricorn (ruled by Saturn). (As an aside, Saturn in Scorpio and Mars in Capricorn are also in mutual reception, using traditional rulerships; however Mars is not part of the Yod.) So Saturn and Pluto are bouncing off each other, mixing it up with authority and power, commitment and obsession, responsibility and control, and manifestation and transformation.

Since their relationship (sextile) is one of cooperation, creativity and problem-solving, this can be a rewarding and productive partnership. However, to effectively steer these two powerful energies, it still requires great inner strength, integrity and self-honesty.

So in order to get a productive spin on the Jupiter philosophical perspective, it's necessary to firmly grasp and manoeuvre the Saturn-Pluto sextile, kind of like the way you use a corkscrew. Grab the wide end, give it a mighty twist, and aim that pointy end with good intentions!

It's not enough to wax philosophical on morality; you've got to turn that into integrity of action. It's not enough to explore and theorize about abstract or spiritual ideas; you need to find out if the theory actually works in the real world and then put it to use. And it's not enough to appeal to a Higher Power for support, validation and redemption; you have to take responsibility for becoming your own person, becoming self-sufficient and empowering yourself with authenticity.

There's just one other celestial performance that mustn't go unnoticed (and couldn't anyway, even if it tried). Uranus is stationary, turning direct a mere 3+ hours after the New Moon is exact. Just when you think you've got a grip on the Saturn-Pluto-Jupiter corkscrew�I mean Yod�along comes Uranus to make sure things stay shaken and shooken up! No rest for the weary under Uranus' watch. He expects us to keep things moving and spinning, swirling and twirling.

The Yod is a continual challenge to stay flexible in the quest to infuse inspiration and higher morals into practical manifestation and power structures. Our human instinct will be to normalize and stabilize the fluctuating energy that is generated, but stationary Uranus comes along to push us to take it all just a little farther, to reach just a little higher and to probe a little deeper, and then to be open to the unexpected insights and revelations that can be found there. It will help to ride that wave in a way that's spontaneous, a little out of character, weird and wonderful.


I want to wish all of my readers the very best of the season! The month of December is sacred or special to many religious, spiritual and cultural traditions. Make the most of it and revel in some of that jovial Sagittarius lust for life! But DO play safe. Please do not drink and drive, or text and drive, or phone and drive. Remember - I want you back here in time for the Full Moon in Cancer on Dec.28! :-)

Dec.13 – Mercury trine Uranus (04:36 of Aries)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Uranus now turns direct, after being retrograde for the last 4 months. 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.

Dec.14 – Mercury trine Uranus (04:36 of Sagittarius/Aries)

Unusual ideas, flashes of insight and seeing unexpected possibilities are all part of this transit. You may find it easier to be open-minded right now, especially about insights that have eluded you. Your ability to see beyond your usual horizon of perception can bring visionary brainwaves, as well as a fun sense of humour. You might be inspired to experiment with something new or do something out of character. You might have an impulse to break free of old habits or constraints. This can be a very liberating transit that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. However, be careful that you don't become so liberated and spontaneous that you become erratic, hyper or reckless. Words may come tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to consider their wisdom, or you might find yourself talking non-stop and interrupting, creating a bit of awkwardness in those around you. On the other hand, you might also find the clarity and vision that gives you the words to speak your truth with new conviction. It's a great time to do some writing or other form of self-expression, especially if it's spontaneous or involving technology.

Uranus is stationary right now, which will greatly emphasize the unexpected, out-of-character, visionary, spontaneous and freedom-focused nature of this transit.

Dec.14 – Mercury square Chiron (05:25 of Sagittarius/Pisces)  (Dec.15 in UK, AU)

Your mental focus and perceptions may feel a bit strained right now. You could find yourself locked in a struggle of indecision that stems from a "glass half empty" versus "glass half full" dilemma. It may be difficult to stay objective and evenly balanced in your perspective, but by working with this you could also find a new mental focus that gives you increased clarity. It might be tempting to sink into cynicism as a way to deal with what seems like a no-win situation. On the other hand, this transit could bring your mental perspective to a kind of "healing crisis" that forces you to get a better grip on the ideas, communication and frame of mind that have been problematic for you. Instead of reaching for extremes (hoping this will clarify the path in front of you), it will help more if you can take a few steps back to allow all the conflicting and out-of-sync elements to coexist together – creative paradox. If you have been in denial about something, this could be a turning point that allows you to grapple with the complex reality of your situation.

Dec.14 – Mercury leaves the Retrograde Shadow (04:18 of Sagittarius)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow�the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.

Dec.15 – Venus enters Sagittarius (until Jan.08.2013)  (Dec.16 in UK, 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.16 – Venus square Neptune (00:42 of Sagittarius/Pisces)  (Dec.17 in 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.

Dec.17-31 – Yod aspect pattern

A powerful collective energy is very close from Dec.17-31, although its influence can extend up to a week before and after these dates. Jupiter in Gemini is in quincunx aspect (150�) to Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn. Saturn is sextile (60�) to Pluto, and both are in mutual reception, meaning they are each in the sign that the other rules (using modern planetary rulerships). Planets in mutual reception reinforce each other's energy � both the benefits and the difficulties.

The benefits of Saturn/Capricorn and Pluto/Scorpio together include passion that is grounded in realism, authority with strength and endurance, and transformative change that manifests in concrete ways. The difficulties can include tyranny in the name of order, being overly controlling and rigid, and habitual obsession. Since we're dealing with the sextile, you're bringing these energies and qualities together creatively and cooperatively. Whether it leans toward the benefits or difficulties may depend on what you feed the mixture with � love or fear; personal integrity or dependence on arbitrary standards.

Yod Kite to MercuryYod Kite to Venus

The trick with a Yod aspect pattern is that the apex planet makes the sextile energy very complicated, confused and obscure. Jupiter is the apex planet. On the plus side, Jupiter is wisdom, understanding, faith, morals and vision. On the minus side, Jupiter can be overindulgent, dogmatic, holier-than-thou and so mesmerized with abstract principles that it feels too mundane to simply relate on an ordinary level. Jupiter in Gemini is also in its detriment, meaning that you must swim against the current to get anywhere. With all the Gemini bits of information, it's like Jupiter is trying to pick up a net full of tiny fish, which can be a heavy and exhausting experience.

Overall, this Yod could feel like you keep trying to leap with faith into a broad perspective, but keep getting bogged down in issues about power balance and practical manifestation. Religion, teaching, higher education and experience of cultures and countries other than your own could become complicated by issues about who controls the situation, what rules are best to follow and how to establish, maintain and respect boundaries in a way that isn't over-reactive.

Mercury forms a Yod Kite on Dec.17 (a.k.a. a "Boomerang" aspect pattern), where Mercury opposes Jupiter and forms the "spine" of a kite-like shape, which provides a clearer focus to the otherwise confusing or irritating energy of the Yod. Mercury and Jupiter will also be in mutual reception during that time, which combines (for better or worse) ideas versus concepts, information versus understanding, facts versus faith, and a local versus global perspective.

Venus does the same on Dec.23. The combined effect of Venus and Jupiter can bring in issues about finances, resources and hunger (literally or figuratively), plus the need for love and social connection, as well as what or how much will satisfy you in any of these areas.

The influence of both Kite figures extend for a few days before and after those dates, and will bring the irritation and struggle for clarity to Mercury and Venus areas of life.

Dec.17 – Mercury opposite Jupiter (09:20 of Sagittarius/Gemini)  (Dec.18 in AU)

Your thoughts and words can become amplified under this transit, which could bring a sense of adventure, a surge of ideas, and/or imbalance due to exaggeration. You may find it's hard to stop talking (or writing), your head is filled with so many possibilities. However, your judgment about the validity of your ideas may be a bit off, or you might feel the urge to overstate your position to keep from being misunderstood. Blame and judgment could creep into your perceptions of others or the other way around. This might spring from a need to find a greater meaning or truth in the facts, having difficulty bridging the gap between the raw information and the big picture. The trick is to keep a balance between simplicity and elaborate complexity. The challenge is to find ways to express, think about and understand the vast range of possibilities and meaning within the perceptions of everyday life. Not all of it will survive the translation, but enormous spiritual creativity can be generated in the trying.

Dec.19 – Venus trine Uranus (04:37 of Sagittarius/Aries)  (Dec.20 in 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.

Dec.20 – Venus square Chiron (05:36 of Sagittarius/Pisces)  (Dec.21 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.21 – Sun enters Capricorn (until Jan.19.2013)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.21, 2012, 3:11 AM EST

London, UK:

Dec.21, 2012, 6:11 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Dec.21, 2012, 11:11 PM AEDT

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 – Sun sextile Neptune (00:49 of Capricorn/Pisces)

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.22 – Venus opposite Jupiter (08:42 of Sagittarius/Gemini)  (Dec.23 in UK, AU)

This is a time when your desire for pleasure is wide open. Sexual desire could reach out using seduction. Desire for delightful tastes could become overindulgence in foods that may not be in the best interest of your health (e.g., sweets, alcohol, etc.). Spending can be impulsive and easily grow beyond your budget. Money-making opportunities could spill over into workaholic obsession. It might feel like nothing is "enough" and you feel compelled to continually reach out for more and more – a bottomless well of desire. On the other hand, this energy can also bring out your natural beauty and charm in social situations if you are shy or inhibited. If you've done your research and your comparative shopping, this could be the time you make a big purchase. Or you might find the feeling is right to make your move with a love interest and expand your intimate connection with that person. Or perhaps you feel generous and decide to donate your money or talents to a cause that reaches for a higher purpose. Enjoy, but don't blow your budget.

Dec.25 – Mars enters Aquarius (until Feb.01)  (Dec.26 in UK, AU)

This is a freedom quest! The assertive, forceful energy of Mars can be at its most rebellious, defiant and eccentric while in Aquarius. We may feel especially independent. Or perhaps more accurately, "counter-dependent" – whatever is perceived to be dependent or restrictive may trigger an automatic reaction in the opposite direction. On the other hand, you may be inclined to jump to liberate someone else who is in a dependent position – perhaps an "underdog" or a noble cause. Taking a leadership role to champion an unconventional cause may make you a lot more noticeable...which may or may not be to your advantage (depends whether you want to continue in that role). It can be a good time to invest your energy in activities involving groups, friends, community or Humanity as a whole. Motives, behaviour and energy can be a mixed bag of unstable, spontaneous, unpredictable, liberating, obstinate and/or humanitarian. Have fun with it, but it may be wise to keep a lifeline to something realistic and grounding.

Dec.25 – Sun square Uranus (04:40 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Dec.26 in UK, 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.

Dec.26 – Saturn sextile Pluto (09:08 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Dec.27 in UK, AU)

Saturn brings stability and structure to Pluto's transformative process of breaking down the old in order to prepare for the new. That stability might help to smooth out the rough edges of that process, or it could encourage you to rebuild some of the structure in your life that's been torn down by those changes. There is a potential to combined raw endurance with responsibility, deep concentration with a forward focus. It can give the capacity for empowerment that can stand its ground when pushed around while still being respectful, responsible and grounded. On the other hand, if you're hoping for a time when you can kick up your heels and fly on the wings of imaginative fancy, this may keep you a little more grounded than you'd like�but it's unlikely to be an unpleasant experience, and you can gain more from it than you might realize.

Dec.26 – Sun sextile Chiron (05:50 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Dec.27 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.

Chart for the Full Moon in Cancer
Chart for the Full Moon in Cancer

My apologies that this update is so late getting up on the website (due to illness). I want to extend to all my readers my very best wishes for the New Year 2013! :-)

~ Wendy Guy

Dec.28 – FULL MOON in CANCER (07:05 of Cancer)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.28, 2012, 5:21 AM EST

London, UK:

Dec.28, 2012, 10:21 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Dec.28, 2012, 9:21 PM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.
~ Khalil Gibran, The Madman

How do you feel safe when the world is turning around you like a tornado?

Spin can be a good thing sometimes. It can be exciting (we pay money to be spun out of control on a thrilling midway ride). It can also be helpful to get a fresh perspective by viewing your situation in a different context (sometimes called "putting a new spin on the truth").

Spin can also be scary, disorienting, disruptive or destructive; like a tornado. You can get yanked out of your centre and lose your sense of control as you're hurled out to the far reaches of the galaxy. You could also "spin the truth" too much, so that any real meaning becomes obscured or shredded.

The good news about this Full Moon in Cancer (and continuing for the 2 weeks, until the New Moon in Capricorn on Jan.11) is that there's no shortage of resources, perspective and insight.

The bad news—or maybe just tricky news—is that there's also a lot of energy flying around that makes it a challenge to access, absorb and benefit from these assets that nurture a sense of safety, protection, belonging and well-being. And if it's been so long that you can't remember what that feels like, then it's time find new ways to re-discover it.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
~ Claudia Black

On a psychological level, Cancer (wherein the Full Moon resides) is our home. It's where we feel we belong, where we can be and not feel like we're suddenly stranded on a distant planet being seen by others as a 3-eyed alien with green tentacles.

To feel that we're home means there is a sense of familiarity and acceptance around us. We're safe, secure, protected and that it's safe to trust. It is what every child needs, and sadly, what we often didn't get enough of. This is true for an actual child as well as the adult's Inner Child. Without having received some degree of Cancerian nurturing from someone while we're growing up, it's extremely difficult to achieve healthy growth, confidence, responsibility, relationships and a sense of self.

Thankfully, we all have a second chance at this, and even a third, fourth and so on. Part of our adult job description is to learn how to give that nurturing to ourselves, and to cultivate for ourselves those qualities that couldn't develop in our younger years. Step number one in this process is to unlearn the defence mechanisms we acquired earlier on, which allowed us to cope with and survive the environment that interfered with or damaged our earlier growth.

And yet, those means of coping can be valuable on their own. They have taught us how to deal with difficult circumstances and experiences. Life is full of onerous situations, and so it is important, even essential, that we cultivate a mixture of qualities in ourselves – both the tough protective shell that repels potential damage, and the soft vulnerable inner yolk that can absorb nurturing and can grow. The point is not to eliminate the benefits of a troubled past, but to be able to choose how you respond to the present and to become your own loving parent.

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
~ Maya Angelou, All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes

When life is continually chaotic, unpredictable, unsafe and disruptive (at any age), it's a serious challenge to achieve much of anything that's enduring or substantial. It's a bit like constantly stirring Jello and then wondering why it won't set. This Full Moon is a bit like trying to make Jello – there's a lot of adjustment, struggle and commotion going on that somehow needs to be balanced out with calm, stability and healing.

Grand Trine Kite aspect pattern

On one hand, there is a Grand Trine aspect figure in Water signs – Saturn, Chiron and the Moon – which can give emotional stability, resilience and intuition about how to get back to your grounded centre again. On the other hand, Pluto conjoins the Sun and opposes the Moon, turning the Grand Trine into a Kite.

That means in order to gain full access to that stability and balance, you will need to undergo some kind of transformation. Something must change in some fundamental way. For best results, this change also needs to bring out a more authentic You; in other words, it can't just be change for change's sake, nor an attempt to become something you're not.

The Cancer Moon (and hence, the Cancer part of you, as well as others) is looking for a home—literal or metaphorical—where it can find security, safety, belonging and wellbeing. The problem is there are so many other factors in the chart that are agitating, irritating and complicating that Cancer could easily get lost on its way home.

These factors could make it harder to take in or feel satisfied by nurturing energy, whether that involves you giving it to others, them giving it to you, or even you giving it to yourself. As a result, you (or they) might feel frustrated, unappreciated or drained by efforts meant to be healing, comforting and supportive.

There's no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another.
~ E.B. White

T-Square aspect pattern

What astrological factors are stirring the pot? Well, the Grand Trine Kite has already been mentioned. The Sun-Moon opposition is also hooked into the Uranus-Pluto square, forming a T-square that will not be easily ignored. Uranus loves to shake things up at the best of times, and Pluto lives to get to the down and dirty bedrock of the situation. So when they're engaged in mortal combat (square aspect), it's pretty safe to assume that the Sun and Moon won't enjoy sitting down with them in that T-square for a nice relaxing cup of tea.

Yod aspect figure

The other aspect pattern that is muddying the Grand Trine waters is the Yod that has been hovering overhead since early December and will continue a week or more into January. This is the figure with Jupiter at the apex, in quincunx aspect (150�) to Saturn and Pluto. The big difference is that the Sun is now conjunct Pluto, so the Full Moon energy now gets sucked into the vortex.

With its usual irritation and need to bend your mind in unusual ways, this Yod adds a more subtle flavour to the pot. It's a bit like donning battle armour to go have that cup of tea with Uranus and Pluto, only to find that you're wearing itchy wool long johns underneath. Squirming in your seat could make you spill your tea, which not only could rust your armour but might also offend and rile your already cantankerous hosts. Not to mention the icky discomfort of sitting in soggy but still itchy underwear. You see how complicated this Full Moon gets!

Thank goodness for that Grand Trine! Saturn brings in the structure of teatime etiquette ("one lump or two" refers to sugar, not smacking your guest upside the head with a mace). Chiron contributes the healing powers of some nice camomile tea, plus the soothing sounds of waves lapping on the shore playing in the background.

This energy will linger, to one degree or another, until the reset button gets pushed on Jan.11 at the New Moon in Capricorn. A New Year is also upon us, which will be born in much the same energy as the Full Moon in Cancer.

Watch for the opportunities that strengthen you, as well as the obstacles that challenge you. The important thing to remember until then is that you have access to the whole spectrum. People and things that will help you stay grounded and centred, and people and things that will yank you out of your centre. Situations that will unsettle your philosophy and beliefs about life, and situations that will help you find your faith again. Circumstances that will make you feel like you are no longer in control of your own life, and those that will help you become empowered again.

Whether you enjoy life best when it's wild and woolly or calm and serene, deep and mysterious or refreshingly straightforward, there's lots for everyone to go around. I've never ended with such a long quote but it's so beautiful, I couldn't resist. I think it speaks well to this holistic energy. It also seems fitting that it was written by Carl Sagan, who shared a love of the planets and stars but from a very different perspective.

May our own planet's collective perspective expand and grow in the year, and years, to come.

Happy 2013!

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
~ Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Dec.30 – Sun conjunct Pluto (09:16 of Capricorn)  (Dec.31 in 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.30 – Sun sextile Saturn (09:16 of Capricorn/Scorpio)  (Dec.31 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!

Dec.31 – Mercury enters Capricorn (until Jan.19.2013)  (Jan.01.2013 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.31 – Mars sextile Uranus (04:45 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Jan.01.2013 in UK, AU)

You have an opportunity to move forward through inspired action. This can bring creative problem solving to any conflicts or challenges that are currently in your life. Now is the time to think outside the box and experiment with trying out new responses, actions and directions. It may be easier to be spontaneous and even to act "out of character." If this is something you easily go overboard with, you might want to find ways to channel this constructively. The idea is to be refreshingly spontaneous, not recklessly impulsive. On the other hand, if you have trouble kicking up your heels and being free and unfettered, this transit can be used to get you moving a bit better. If you don't use this energy constructively or consciously, you might wind up feeling somewhat erratic or restless. Find something exciting, inspiring or unusual to spend your energy on.

Jan.01 – Mercury sextile Neptune (01:04 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Dec.31.2012 in MST, PST)

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.

Jan.03 – Mercury square Uranus (04:48 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Jan.04 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.

Jan.04 – Mars trine Jupiter (07:27 of Aquarius/Gemini)

Energy, assertiveness, aggression and sexuality are amplified during this time. Physical, mental and emotional energy can run high. Your motivation can take on an air of confidence and purpose. If you normally shrink back from asserting yourself, this can be a time when it's a bit easier to find the courage to take a stand. It can also make you more sensitive to this amplified energy in others around you. If you are distressed by Mars energy in general (afraid of anger, intimidated by aggression, cautious about sexuality, etc.), this transit might bring a bit more of it than you can comfortably handle. However, it can also give you an opportunity to experience and make friends with this energy. If you typically enjoy high energy, this can be a time when you can make progress with plans and projects, and have flirtatious or impish fun along the way.

Jan.04 – Mercury sextile Chiron (06:11 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.05 in 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.

Jan.06 – Mercury conjunct Pluto (09:31 of Capricorn)  (Jan.07 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.

Jan.06 – Mercury sextile Saturn (09:59 of Capricorn/Scorpio)  (Jan.07 in AU)

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.

Jan.07 – Mars square Saturn (10:02 of Aquarius/Scorpio)  (Jan.08 in AU)

The impulsive forward action of Mars meets the serious structure of Saturn. The resulting friction can often generate considerable heat in the form of frustration, argument, conflict and stress – but also productivity and results for hard work. Your efforts may seem thwarted and your actions blocked at every turn. Your sensitivity to problems with authority figures can be especially high, as well as your sensitivity to others not cooperating with your own role as an authority figure. The youthful, free spirit in you is somehow required to deal with the serious, responsible, cautious side of you, and a power struggle between the two energies can easily result. If one side wins out over the other, either depression and guilt or rebellion and obsession may result.

However, you are not without power or ability! This friction can also be put to use in very productive ways. Your energy, desire and goals can be made manifest and concrete – even if possibly forced by circumstance. Obstacles can strengthen us, if we work with them instead of just fighting against them. To minimise interpersonal problems, remember that assertiveness is important, but aggression or rigidity will usually only get the other person's back up. You may find yourself in a situation where you must defend or assert your personal boundaries. Or, you might find it difficult to comply with someone else's boundaries. If the heat from this transit starts to overwhelm you, take some time out, find a safe (perhaps creative?) outlet to vent your feelings, and then find a new way to approach the problem.

Jan.08 – Venus enters Capricorn (until Feb.01)  (Jan.09 in NST, UK, AU)

Friendly, abundant Venus travels through serious, structured Capricorn, bringing out her grounded, material side. It may be time to make new plans and commitments for material or relationship goals. It can be a time to get serious and make some solid decisions about what works and what doesn't. It may help to organise and systemise the way you approach relationships, finances, resources and pleasure. An example of systemising pleasure is to schedule regular time to pamper yourself, or to make a point of doing the hard work that will pay off in pleasure later (like eating healthier food or working out more). Although this might seem a bit unromantic or uninspiring, you'll find that laying the groundwork for what you want to attract into your life will provide support for the rewards to come.

Jan.10 – Venus sextile Neptune (01:20 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Jan.09 in CST, MST, PST)

Artistry, romance, creativity and faith have the potential to flow freely now. Your creative Muse is whispering in your ear, although it will still take your own elbow grease to turn it into something real. Socially and romantically, things could run smoothly and even a bit magically, so be sure you are clear in yourself about what you really want. This can be a time of blessings and abundance (in all areas of life) ...but there is also the risk of overspending and being overly optimistic in your assumptions about money and relationships. Your natural beauty and warmth can be brought out by this transit, but don't just waste it on creating a fa�ade of outer glamour and charm. Let the essence of your inner beauty and pure spirit shine through your appearance and mannerisms!

Next Update:  NEW MOON in CAPRICORN, available by January 11, 2013.

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