Instead of publishing both my monthly astro-insights and blog all at once, I have decided to try and sync my astrology writing with the phases of the Moon. So, from now on, the monthly Astro-Insights predictions will come out at the beginning of the month, close to the New Moon, whilst the Astro-Insights Blog will be published around the time of the Full Moon, mid-month. Notifications of any new posts will appear on the AA Facebook page .
Over the course of a year, the solstices and equinoxes of the Sun mark out the changing seasons, which affect not only the beginning of different natural cycles, but our moods and choice of activities; whilst on a smaller scale, the Moon’s phases make up the time-span of a month. In fact, the etymology of the word month, comes from the Indo-European word, ‘me(n)ses’, meaning “moon.” 1
During this period, the Moon also moves through the zodiac, with every progressive full or new moon cycle occurring in the sign more or less following that of the previous month.
December’s New Moon will take place in jovial and adventurous Sagittarius on the 3rd of December just after midnight GMT (00h22 UTC/02h22 SAST). For those in the US, this lunar phase will actually occur on the 2nd at approximately 19h22 EST. Expect to feel energised and ready for new challenges now as the enthusiasm of the Archer begins to permeate how we act and feel. Travel, learning and competitive activities such as sport, are all likely to be on the agenda for the next 30 days or so. Also, don’t be surprised if you also feel drawn towards large animals like horses, fast cars as well as any undertaking that promises to expand your horizons or challenge you to grow, especially on an emotional level. Intellectual undertakings and physical activities are especially well-favoured now, thanks to a Mercury-Mars sextile set for the same day. At this time, you are likely to have high motivation levels and will be able to grasp new concepts or techniques very quickly – ideal for learning a new sport or skill, especially if it involves using your hands or great attention to detail.
Anything related to travel, teaching and communications is likely to climax or conclude at the Gemini Full Moon on December the 17th. Taking place at 09h28 GMT (04h28 EST/11h28 SAST), this Sun-Moon opposition is asking you to finish off any writing or or editing projects that you may have begun last month. Speeches, lectures, transport negotiations and commercial contracts are also likely to reach their natural peak now, as will anything to do with birds or things that come in pairs. If you haven’t checked your facts or done your research, then you could be called upon to explain yourself now, especially if you work in publishing, the news media, PR, education or politics. Short courses, business trips and anything to do with commuting or local travel is also likely to peak around this time. This is a great time to sell a car as well as books, textbooks or computers.
This year, the winter solstice, marked by the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn, will take place at 17h11 GMT on December the 21st, which is 12h11 EST or 19h11 SAST. Rather like the dark moon that remains invisible two days prior to the appearance of the first New Moon, this phase of the year, at least in the northern hemisphere, marks the turning point between winter and spring. I am often reminded of Hexagram 24 in the I Ching (or Book of Changes) which in some texts is called Turning Point. In the translation by Richard Wilhelm, the Image of this hexagram is described as follows:
Thunder within the earth.
The image of the turning point.
Thus, the kings of antiquity closed the passes
At the time of solstice.
Merchants and strangers did no go about
And the ruler did not travel through the provinces.
Wilhelm interprets this in a way that I think provides us with new insight into the Sun’s ingress through the sign of Capricorn:
In winter, the life energy, symbolised by thunder, the Arousing, is still underground. Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be strengthened by rest so that it will not be dissipated by being used prematurely. This principle…applies to all similar situations. The return of health after illness, the return of understanding after estrangement: everything must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return may lead to flowering.[i]
[i] Richard Wilhelm (transl.) 2003, I Ching or book of changes, Penguin Books, p. 98
Mercury into Sagittarius: 5 December 2013
On December the 5th, the planet of information, travel and commerce will ingress into gregarious and freedom loving Sagittarius. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself overtaken by a touch of wanderlust. New horizons, whether they be imaginary or real, are likely to beckon as your need for intellectual stimulation, excitement and adventure becomes palpable. Day trips, especially those that involve physical activities such as hiking or climbing, as well as educational or cultural exchanges are all good ways to tap into this energy. Your curiosity about other religions, languages or nations is also likely to be quite strong now, making it a good time to meet or get to know people from different backgrounds.
Business opportunities revolving around travel, sport, large animals or livestock, as well as fast cars, are a distinct possibility now. If you are in the communications or media industry, then these are all likely to be good sources for stories. Foreign policy, cultural dialogue and international diplomacy will all feature strongly in politics for the next few weeks. Whatever you do, try not to over-indulge or over-spend: two distinct possibilities during the so-called ‘festive season’.
Mercury into Capricorn: 24 December 2013
This month, Mercury will change signs not once but twice. After spending just over two weeks in jolly, good-time Sagittarius, Mercury will ingress into sensible, old-fashioned Capricorn on Christmas Eve. If you’ve spent too much money on gifts or party outfits in the lead up to Christmas, then you may now experience buyer’s remorse. Cash is certainly likely to be tighter for the next few weeks while opportunities to travel and socialise will also become few and far between, with the exception of New Year perhaps. Use this quieter period to plan how you’d like to make some progress towards achieving personal or career goals next year, decide what bad habits you’d like to let go of and you’ll be making good use of your time. Putting your intellectual faculties to practical or serious use will help stave off the winter/post-Christmas blues and keep things ticking over until mid-January rolls around and things begin to pick up again.
Mars into Libra: 7 December 2013
After a tour of helpful and efficient Virgo, Mars will ingress into relationship-oriented Libra. Not traditionally the happiest place for Mars, which likes to be focused on achieving one thing at a time, rather than being forced to try and achieve balance between two opposites. Mars can also encourage competitive, self-seeking behaviour and so finds compromise and co-operation difficult. Yet that is precisely what is needed over the next few weeks. Grooming products for men, taking a more sensitive approach within relationships and men or masculine females generally getting more in touch with their feminine, more receptive sides, are all constructive ways to express this energy.
Uranus Direct: 18 December
Today Uranus, planet of reform, technology and democratic movements, changes direction, thereby ending its annual six month retrograde period in Aries. If you have been champing at the bit to push through political or legal reforms, introduce new technologies into your day to day life, or getting noticed for your unique way of expressing yourself, then now is the time to when your efforts are once again likely to gain traction. Don’t be surprised if you encounter some initial resistance or find yourself having to go over old ground – as Uranus passes through the same degrees over which it recently backtracked, it’s possible that you might encounter a certain amount of repetition. The second time around, though, you’ll be far more prepared when it comes to tackling any objections, overcoming technical hitches or obfuscation, and in so doing, giving you the courage of your convictions to make plans stick.
Venus: 21 December 2013 – 31 January 2014
Venus, the planet of relationship, sensuality and creativity is once again due for a retrograde spell. A relatively rare event than the backward-turning phases of the other planets, a Venus retrograde spell usually happens once every 18-19 months. The last time we experienced one was back in May 2012, which resulted in Venus spending nearly four months in Gemini – rather uncommon when you consider that, on average, she changes signs every month or so.
This time, Venus will spend a total of four months in Capricorn, a sign that does not exactly encourage or support her usual vivacious sociability, flirtatiousness or expressive nature. Instead, this energy is likely to become quite introverted, cautious and shy. The focus for creativity will be very much on trying to find the beauty in muted colours and stark or paired down shapes, environments or situations, so minimalism is likely to make a comeback. Learning to enjoy spending time on your own may be another lesson of this period, as will be concentrating on what really matters when it comes to relationships.
This is not a period for partying and one night stands but rather about qualities such as loyalty, dependability, pragmatism and economic stability. Although not exactly glamorous topics, such attributes are essential for oiling the wheels of any long term committed relationship, whether it be romantic or commercial. Any kind of romantic courtship is also more likely to follow tradition or convention now, so be prepared to take things slow and act like a lady or gentleman.
Social mobility is another possible issue that may come up between now and March 2014. Although generally frowned upon by others, in many societies, marrying well remains the only way to move up in the world. Between now and March, don’t be surprised if you encounter documentaries or new reports dealing with such issues, as well as topics such as the success or failure of the feminist movement and the politics of romance in the 21st century. All very topical under a Venus retrograde in Capricorn.
December’s headline news is a very rare and powerful Jupiter-Saturn transit. Below is a synopsis of what this could mean for everyone:
13 December: Jupiter trine Saturn
Pregnancy or adoption hopes realised, beliefs made manifest, and responsibilities taking on a whole new meaning – these are just some of the ways that this rare but significant transit could transform your life now. Another chapter in the story of July’s major grand trine in water signs, this aspect is all about the power of intention to create positive changes in your life, and the lives of others. Having faith in family and home, and the abundance of the universe, combined with hard work, drive and determination can move mountains now. Family or cultural traditions may become extra meaningful as they are seen in their wider contexts, whilst those who may have felt isolated could now enjoy more of a sense of belonging and integration due to attitude shifts or efforts at improving community relations. On a social level, this could signal a period when ethics, morals and philosophical arguments are likely to reign supreme, overtaking more base drives like greed and envy. Increased religious tolerance and social integration, as well as a temporary truce between science and spirit are also possible if those in positions of authority are willing to be reasonable and entertain a more open frame of mind. If you have an ambitious project that you’d like to get off the ground, especially one that involves property, food or something aimed at families, then you could well attract some financial backers or formidable allies who can provide you with the practical help, monetary support or industry know-how you need to get the ball rolling. The key is to be proactive and not just wait for things to happen. If you’re prepared to put in the effort, events should unfold very naturally and smoothly – as if they were meant to be – and given such an auspicious aspect, that may be exactly the case.
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