Low-Down Archives for December 2011

Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius, Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Sagittarius
Chart of Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Sagittarius

Nov.25 – SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in SAGITTARIUS (02:36 of Sagittarius)

SOLAR ECLIPSE
NEW MOON in SAGITTARIUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Nov.25, 2011, 1:09 AM EST

London, UK:

Nov.25, 2011, 6:09 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Nov.25, 2011, 5:09 PM AEDT

"What's a Solar Eclipse?"

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

You won't be able to see the eclipse this time unless you're down in or near Antarctica! The good news is it's Spring down there now. ;-) In case you're down that way, remember to never look directly at a solar eclipse without proper eye protection.

After Scorpio, what?

After you've finished wrestling with your demons in the Underworld, and then clawed your way back to the surface, what now?

Just because you've been released (or escaped) from the dungeon doesn't mean your conflict with the royalty that put you there has ended. If you go back to confronting them as you did before, you'll just land back in the dungeon again, and what's the point of that? After a while the bread and water cuisine definitely starts to lose its rustic appeal, and you long for a grand buffet from which to feast on luscious morsels.

And being hurled back into the dungeon again would be a rather annoying distraction while on your way to the grand dining hall. After all, when the royalty said, "Let them eat cake," you took that as an invitation to join them for dinner. So sabotaging that invitation isn't an option.

However, neither is it an option to give up on your quest to enlighten the ruling class about the plight of the outcasts knocking at the gate to the kingdom. It was this quest that got you thrown in the dungeon to begin with. And knowing, as you do, the frustration and rage of those outcasts, it is important that you continue to fight for what you believe is right. The truth shall set us all free (or so you believe).

So, what now?

The question now is not: "What succulent delights shall I indulge in tonight?" nor even "Should I use belladonna or cyanide to poison the King's wine?" but rather: "How can I continue to challenge the Powers That Be without losing my seat at the royal banquet?"

Mars to the Rescue!

In the chart of the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius we again see Mars opposite Neptune and Chiron, and again, playing a central role in the chart (as they did at the Scorpio New Moon and the Taurus Full Moon). This opposition still forms the spine of the Grand Trine Kite that has been hovering in the skies for the last 2 weeks and will continue for a few more days.

And now this opposition also forms a T-square with the Sun-Moon conjunction—the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse—giving the eclipse a flavour of combat for a higher cause, confrontation that generates enlightenment, and "lancing the boil" in order to bring about healing.

What's changed is that Mars is now in Virgo, the sign of healing, service and perfection. Mars in Virgo can be like your high school French teacher who insisted you must shape your mouth precisely so," in order to create the proper sounds while reciting the past, present and future perfect tenses for all verbs starting with the letter "g." What did that thought in your head just say you wanted to do to her? Well okay, as long as you think it in proper French... ;-)

However, Mars in Virgo is also the motivation, dedication and drive to do whatever needs to be done to bring about healing. This is like the surgeon who can quickly cut through to the heart of the problem and then put you back together again. Or, perhaps it's the chiropractor whose sudden jerk of your neck can realign your back, while being an act of violence in any other context.

So, for Mars to be in square aspect (90°) to the eclipse, there's a choice to be made about which way you will use that Mars. Will you use your powers for good or evil? ;-) This can be the spiritual warrior who uses confrontation and discord to serve a higher purpose. However, you could easily become conflicted between how much to focus on practical matters (e.g. creating effective results in the short run) versus matters of principle (e.g. making sure your intentions and ethics are pure).

Either way, getting tangled up between the Virgo minutia and the Sagittarius righteous quest could cause the situation to deteriorate. It's important to be wary of becoming so adamant about getting your message across or accomplishing your quest that you cease to listen, recognize options or see the bigger picture. Otherwise, you risk becoming like a dogmatic preacher who attacks anyone who disagrees with a torrent of criticism designed to slice up their opinions like a blender, all the while insisting their message is rooted in love and compassion.

On the other hand, that Virgo minutia can also be used for fine-tuning the idealistic Sagittarian archer's aim. In that case, the Mars-eclipse square could indicate a mighty effort to attain and act from higher principles and understanding. Virgo knows that if you aim even a sliver to one side of your target, it will distort and amplify your trajectory, and the Sagittarian arrow you shoot in the air will be way off target. So, that Virgo nitpicking can actually help you "get it right."

Stationary Mercury ~ the Mouse the Roared

Mars is likely to be an unusually loud noise in the eclipse symphony. Mars is disposited by Mercury (the planet ruling Virgo, were Mars is). Mercury turned retrograde just 23 hours before the eclipse is exact, so it is still stationary and therefore extremely strong, .

Mercury is in Sagittarius, a sign of its Detriment. Generally that means it is a lot harder for the planet to express its natural energy, or the sign brings out the worst in the planet. In this case, it might make you more talkative or distractible than usual (being in expanding, amplifying Sag), as your brain jumps around trying to keep up with all the experiences, thoughts, feelings, observations and ideas that are flying through your inner skies.

Retrograde Mercury is no doubt worried that he missed a lot of the vast surrounding landscape the first time through, so now has to go back and retrace his steps to collect the information he didn't notice. But it's easy for him to get overwhelmed by such a huge smorgasbord of food for thought.

Tell your inner Mercury it's okay to pick and choose what seems important and leave the rest, to prevent him from crashing his database, burning out his hard drive and leaving you staring stupefied at the mental equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death. Or, use this time to review and revise your strategy about how you're going to break free of something in your life that limits you excessively, while still being able to reap the benefits of what that limitation is meant to give you.

On the other hand, being in larger-than-life Sag, Mercury also has a private line to the Executive Director of the Big Picture. ;-) As a result, Mercury's vision is able to extend farther than usual right now, so it's good to take advantage of that. If you're in a situation where you need your superpowers of broad vision and complex understanding, Mercury's your guy. Not only can he identify, sort and catalogue gynormous amounts of information while in Sag, he can also cross-reference it all in a broader context that adds additional dimensions of understanding. Just remember that, being retrograde, Mercury (your conscious awareness) is likely to function more effectively if he's allowed to work in the observation booth backstage, rather than being shoved out front to run the show.

Mercury has lots of company, being part of the Stellium in Sagittarius: Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus. This really emphasizes the Sag qualities and experiences of questing for truth, justice and freedom. What flavours this energy is Sag's ruler, Jupiter in Taurus. Since the Sag Sun and Moon are royalty and Taurus is food and other sensory delights, Jupiter used the eclipse chart to spin the little story you read at the start of this article (what can I say: he was hungry when he wrote it).

Solar Eclipse and the Sagittarius Shadow

The last thing to mention is the fact that the New Moon in Sagittarius is also a Solar Eclipse. Eclipses are like supercharged New or Full Moons, but they're more than just amped up lunations. An eclipse is an alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth such that light from the Sun or reflected light from the Moon is temporarily blocked out. What is left is shadow, and in psychology the shadow is the area of our unconscious where we shove all the stuff we don't want to (or don't know how to) deal with.

So any eclipse kind of gives you a peek into your shadow, and reveals something you've been trying to avoid or something you've tried to leave behind but without doing the work necessary to untangle it from the knots of your psyche. (Pushing something out of your mind isn't the same as letting it go.) So, in a way, an eclipse may disrupt or constrain some area your life so that you can see beyond the cheerful, reassuring light and into the dark shadow where something important is waiting to be recognized and integrated as part of who you are.

The shadow of Sagittarius is perhaps the flip side to its glowing principles of freedom, justice, truth, faith and adventure. For example, Sagittarius doesn't like to acknowledge the lesser human qualities, like stupidity or caution or cynicism or bigotry. It's not that these are desirable qualities, but they are sometimes a part of the human psyche that needs to be acknowledged and understood before it can be healed and transformed.

If you feel it's never okay to have those qualities, and you would rather drink vinegar than accept them in yourself or others, then these qualities tend to get pushed into the unconscious shadow, from which they emerge in other unpredictable (and often inconvenient or embarrassing) ways. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is one example. Even if your conscious motives and intentions glow with a heavenly light, it's still possible to do the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons. True freedom (one of the gems in Sagittarius' bag of ideals) means we must be free to acknowledge all aspects of our nature, not just the ones that Sagittarius believes are honourable, righteous, intelligent and will portray oneself in the best light. We need to aim for self-acceptance, seeing ourselves as an imperfect work in progress, rather than self-esteem that judges ourselves as a success or failure as a whole human being.

So watch for a "flip side" of Sagittarian qualities being played out in your life over the coming 6 months. The natal house in your chart where the eclipse takes place will also show something about what you can find in your shadow. And if the eclipse forms a major aspect to planets or points in your chart, these will reveal a theme about something in your shadow that you have a chance to recognize, reclaim and reintegrate into the whole of who you are.

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Nov.19-Feb.25.2012 – Jupiter opposite Saturn (not exact)

Jupiter and Saturn made 3 exact opposition passes in the past year (May.23.2010, Aug.16 and Mar.28.2011). However, in Dec.2011 and Jan.2012, these planets are in close opposition, even though the aspect is "out of sign" (not in the usual opposite signs) and even though they never reach exact. The closest they get is 1:58 orb on Jan.08-09, and they are within a 7-8° orb from mid-November until late February. When these two planets were opposed during the last year, they were part of the Cardinal Cross when they combined with the Uranus-Pluto square. This time, they are well away from Uranus and Pluto.

Jupiter's love of freedom and expansion chafes against Saturn's dedication to structure and discretion, and vice versa. This could also be read as the forces of liberal politics polarizing with the forces of conservative politics (although we certainly don't need an astrology chart to see that!). Jupiter loves to follow its heart and do whatever moves the spirit. Saturn prefers to follow the norm and adhere to tradition.

Where these two diverse energies can find common ground is in the areas of justice, truth and a desire to ensure a positive future. Jupiter is all about the principles that lead to justice; Saturn is about the rules and laws that map out what justice should look like. Jupiter strives to understand a higher truth about life; Saturn deals with logical, provable truth that is reliable and enduring. Jupiter has a vision of an ideal future that can raise up humanity to its highest potential; Saturn plans for an enduring future where the basic needs of all can be met.

They may have different ideas on how to get there, but they both care deeply about creating a better world. If these forces are creating tension in your life over the next few months, look for ways to make decisions that reflect the principles you value. Or, strive to reach out to new horizons in ways that have some practical continuity with your current reality.

There are 3 planets that form the apex of a T-square aspect pattern with the Jupiter-Saturn opposition. These apex planets indicate areas where you are likely to find the Jupiter-Saturn tension playing out in your life, and may also offer ways to bridge the gap between them.

Venus: Dec.15-23. This could affect finances, and considering the time of year this is happening, be careful not to get caught in a pendulum swing between "I'll just put everything on the credit card and not worry about it" versus "Everyone's getting a $5 gift certificate this year, period." Relationships could also be affected, which could trigger conflicting feelings of wanting to break free and enjoy some freedom versus feeling the restraint of commitment.

Sun: Jan.15-26. 2012. This time period includes the New Moon in Aquarius on Jan.23, which should be an interesting lunar cycle! You could find yourself at cross purposes with leaders, authority figures or men (especially your father), or if you are in one of these roles, yourself, you might find it difficult to decide if you want to be the benevolent Santa Claus who grants wishes or the disciplined leader who provides structure. In the same way, your sense of self could feel conflicted, with part of you wanting to chuck it all and fly off to Mexico for the winter (or whatever), and another part of you wanting to knuckle down and get a lot accomplished. How about a compromise, where you take a weekend break at a nearby resort after you've done a certain amount of work toward your goals?

Mercury: Jan.24-31.2012. Your perceptions, ideas and communications are likely to be affected with this T-square. Do you wax philosophical, writing poetry to the Moon, or should you make everything short and sweet and to the point? Do you explore ideas and observations to see where they lead, or should you just do what's necessary and get on to the next thing on the agenda?

There's no one right answer to these questions. It's a matter of finding a balance between conflicting desires and needs. So use Jupiter to brainstorm some fresh ideas, and use Saturn to find ways to implement them.

Nov.26 – Venus enters Capricorn (until Dec.20)

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.

Nov.26 – Venus square Uranus (00:42 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Nov.27 in UK, AU)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.

Nov.26 – Venus sextile Chiron (00:46 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Nov.27 in UK, AU)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

Nov.27 – Venus trine Jupiter (01:41 of Capricorn/Taurus)  (Nov.28 in AU)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement.

Nov.28 – Regulus enters Virgo (Read the NEW article!)

The fixed star, Regulus—the central star in the constellation of Leo—is moving into Virgo. Right about...now! How can a star move into a different sign? To understand this, you need to know that there are two different zodiacs: tropical and sidereal. In a nutshell, the tropical zodiac is measured relative to Earth's seasons, whereas the sidereal zodiac is measured relative to the fixed stars themselves.

So does that mean the star Regulus is physically in the constellation of Virgo now? Does it actually move? Well no, not relative to the constellations and other fixed stars (hence the term "fixed" stars). Constellations you gaze at in the sky remain the same (they do change slightly, but we're talking about thousands of years to notice a difference). This sign change for Regulus has to do with the way the two zodiac systems interact with each other.

Virgo is an Earth sign, which is all about growth, nurturing and harvesting what we have planted. It's significant that our awareness has been turning recently to the realization that we have to take better care of our planet, or risk driving ourselves and other species into extinction...

Read the whole article...

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Dec.01 – Venus conjunct Pluto (06:15 of Capricorn)  (Dec.02 in AU)

Intensity in love and close relationships can occur under this transit, as well as a compelling need to get more control over your finances and assets. This could manifest as power dynamics emerging in your interactions with others, in which you engage in a negotiation for a better balance of power that is more in your favour. Or, you might become somewhat obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure and beauty, possibly trying to compensate for a low sense of self-worth. Or, there can be a valuable opportunity to develop a deeper connection with those close to you. You might find it necessary to negotiate with others for financial support. You may have to dig deeper than usual to extract needed resources from hidden places (or to deposit them there, out of reach from others who want a piece of your hoard). Keep your integrity high and dry by being honest with yourself about the ethics of your actions.

Dec.02 – Sun square Mars (09:59 of Sagittarius/Virgo)  (Dec.03 in AU)

Assertiveness, aggression and intense energy burst out under this transit. This can be a time of being pushed into taking action...or it can erupt in anger, irritation and hostility (in yourself or others). It may seem like everything pushes your buttons and rubs you the wrong way, creating conflict and putting you on edge. You may feel the impulse to burn off this excess energy through sexual activity. If you look beneath the irritation you may see a frustrated part of you that wants change, yet you have held back for some reason. Being pro-active and initiating steps for voluntary change is preferable, since you will have far more control over the process than if you get pushed into a corner and forced to act. The more preplanning you've done for this moment, the more successful you're likely to be. But if you get caught in a whirlwind of change, connect yourself to the part of you that wants change and let that ground and guide you.

Dec.02 – Mercury retrograde conjunct North Lunar Node (14:18 of Sagittarius)  (Dec.03 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Ideas are in focus, especially when they're shared with others. It could be a time when you observe or notice something new, giving you a new perspective that you will mull over for the coming several months. Or you might be called upon to give a talk or presentation that shares information with others. It might be an especially active time with emails, Facebook, Twitter or texting. Communication and collection of thoughts and ideas is the central theme here. Keep your eyes, mind and curiosity open – the world could be showing you something important and fascinating!

Dec.04 – Sun conjunct Mercury retrograde (11:50 of Sagittarius)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface.

Dec.04 – Mercury retrograde square Mars (11:00 of Sagittarius/Virgo)  (Dec.05 in AU)

Fiery speech, argument, hot debate and impatience characterise this transit. You may encounter conflicts of interest and want to solve them NOW. And in your haste to find a quick fix, you could wind up creating more problems than you solve. You might also feel like you have hit an impasse or roadblock in a problem that began since Mercury entered the shadow. What you thought was a solution or agreement might now show itself to be unworkable or needing adjustment. Getting angry or frustrated is likely to just aggravate the situation, so it might be wise to vent these feelings well away from the actual situation or people that are triggering them. Your mind may see what needs to be said, but you could wind up blurting it out before you've had a chance to choose your words more carefully. Figure out what you really want, and when you feel a bit calmer and more grounded, THEN have your say. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you find the courage to speak up or assert yourself in situations where you have been overly inhibited before now. Don't become so calm that you lose your edge, but do use good judgment when choosing when and how to act. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires and use your ideas to generate action (not reaction). Pace and harness the energy like a race horse. This is a time to "do your homework" and find new solutions to existing problems.

Dec.05 – Venus trine Mars (11:17 of Capricorn/Virgo)  (Dec.06 in AU)

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

Dec.06 – Sun conjunct North Lunar Node (14:17 of Sagittarius)  (Dec.07 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

For a few days before and after this date, your sense of self and purpose are in sharper focus. You might encounter people who understand you more than usual, or you could find the courage to shine a little brighter than you normally do. However, this also brings a challenge to find and fulfil your potential within a broader context of life, friends, associates, groups and the world. It is a good time to look at your vision of the future—on a personal level but especially the wider vision you have for the world around you. What is your greatest potential over the coming year? Ten years? The New and Full Moons just before and after this transit are usually Eclipses. Check to see if those Eclipses form major aspects to your natal chart, since these will show a future direction for you over the coming months. The Sun-Node transit happening right now will help to focus those changes.

Dec.06 – Jupiter retrograde sextile Chiron (00:58 of Taurus/Pisces)  (Dec.07 in UK, AU)

There is a chance to make some progress in the area of spiritual healing now. What that means is that it may be easier to bring old wounds and lingering hardship in your life to a renewed sense of optimism and faith that meaningful change is possible. When we're talking about Chiron, there's always a level of hardship that lingers and can't simply be wiped away, in the same way that you can't "un-ring" a bell. But it is possible to live without that hardship dominating your life or your spirit. Jupiter is here to remind you how you can rise above the hardships and live closer to a state of hope, joy and gratitude for the blessings in your life. Jupiter may or may not bring a chance to actually improve that hardship in some substantial way, but it is capable of lifting your attitude out of pessimism if you let it.

Dec.10 – Uranus stationary direct (00:38 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.

 

Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Gemini Chart of Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Gemini

Dec.10 – LUNAR ECLIPSE ~ FULL MOON in GEMINI (18:10 of Gemini)

LUNAR ECLIPSE
FULL MOON in GEMINI

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.10, 2011, 9:36 AM EDT

London, UK:

Dec.10, 2011, 2:36 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Dec.11, 2011, 1:36 AM AEST

"What's a Lunar Eclipse?"

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Are you ready?

I said: Are You READY!!??

Listen up! I'm here to tell you this Full Moon Eclipse is going to take us all on a wild ride!!

For one thing, it's in Gemini. The sign ruled by Mercury. The Trickster. Who is currently Retrograde in Sagittarius. And turning direct in just 3 days. 'Nuff said.

For another thing, Uranus is super-stationary and turning Direct. Actually it was precisely stationary a mere 7 hours before the Eclipse is exact. The hurricane turns! And Uranus is often called the higher octave of Mercury. So we've got double trouble – a spinning double vortex of puckish Trickster energy! 'Nuff said.

And as if that wasn't enough, Uranus is also at the apex of a very tight Little Eye aspect pattern while it stations direct. The Little Eye acts like a highly sensitive satellite dish, pulling in subtle signals through the apex planet and relaying them back us. ET phone home!

Little Eye aspect pattern

Jupiter and Chiron form the outstretched arms of the satellite dish. From Jupiter in Taurus, Uranus picks up on delicious delights through indulgence in sensory pleasures (think yummy holiday goodies), the organic wisdom of creaturehood (the body knows), and the influx and/or outflow of money and possessions (think holiday gifts).

Through Chiron in Pisces, Uranus is sensitive to the magical healing of innocence (a common spiritual theme at this time of year), the need to be alert to escapism and bad habits (don't drink and drive), and/or the awkwardness of feeling on the outside looking in (think bah humbug).

However, Uranus is waking up to a new day! It's at the start of a new forward journey (turning direct), and doing it from the initiation point of the zodiac: 0° Aries. So Uranus is likely to put a whole new spin on these and other Jupiter and Chiron issues. Being a Trickster kind of energy, Uranus could have a few surprises in his bag of tricks. Be alert to unusual ideas, unexpected insight or unconscious intuition that could open up a whole new perspective.

But is this a good thing or a bad thing? Yes!

So, back to Mercury, who is still in a retrograde holding pattern waiting for landing clearance. Mercury is in Sagittarius and in square aspect (90°) to Chiron, which could cast some doubt on Chiron's "healing thru suffering" tag line. Mercury in Sag isn't much for suffering for any reason, least of all for a paradoxical one! It's not that Mercury isn't into weird ironies—especially when he's retrograde—it's that Sag just doesn't quite "get" torment and grief as the road to hope and liberation.

Mercury's scepticism could inspire him to play some practical jokes in order to disrupt Chiron's plan to wash away everyone's pain with a good cry. But the thing is: the Mercury-Chiron square doesn't become exact – Mercury stops just 2:40 short of an exact square when he turns direct on Dec.13. He drops the argument with Chiron, no doubt deciding he has better adventures to pursue.

At the Full Moon, Mercury is also in trine aspect (120°) to Uranus, so he's likely to conspire with Uranus to devise some devilishly fun schemes to get Chiron to lighten up and also to inspire everyone's playful Inner Brat. But again, Mercury changes his fickle mind when he's just 3:12 shy of the exact trine, leaving it up to Uranus to use Mercury's ideas to tease Chiron into submission.

T-square aspect patter

However, Chiron is the least of Mercury's worries. Mars in Virgo, which was square to the Sun and Moon at the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius (Nov.25) is still hanging around in a T-square aspect pattern with the Sun-Moon opposition. Since Mercury rules the Gemini Full Moon, this makes Merc's job a lot harder! Mars has been a pain in the planetary posterior for a few weeks. He's now being equally annoying to both the Sun and Moon, reprimanding them for being distracted by Mercury and Uranus, and insisting they must get down to business if they expect to accomplish anything.

The Sun and Moon just thumb their noses and blow raspberries at Mars. They've already passed the square aspects to Mars (Dec.02 for the Sun) and they know he can't catch up to them to retaliate. So, you might hear an irritating Martian buzz in the back of your brain as he bellyaches: "No fun for you!! You haven't earned it yet! Get back to work!" It's not that Mars is wrong (hard work is good for you—just ask Virgo!) it's just that all work and no play makes a gloomy doomy astrologer. And we mustn't have that!

Irritation Wedge aspect pattern

Meanwhile, Venus is very tightly quincunx (150°) to the Moon and semi-sextile (30°) to the Sun. Planets that are in quincunx or semi-sextile aspect to each other are in each other's "blind spots." They don't see each other clearly and can therefore trip over each other when they least expect it, especially when distracted by other things. Altogether, you might call this an Irritation Wedge (or maybe just an irritating edge!)

Venus in Capricorn being about realistic money management, these aspects offer a warning to make sure your Sagittarius Sun side doesn't go completely overboard with the spending this holiday season. (For some very personal and unique gifts, at prices that Venus in Capricorn will absolutely love, check out our Half Price Reports Sale!)

Venus in Capricorn is also about commitment and clarity in all close relationships. So the Venus also cautions against behaving in a way that could inadvertently create problems with a loved one; for example, in situations where you're busy having fun and your awareness of them has dropped off your radar.

This is both a Full Moon and a Lunar Eclipse, meaning the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned so perfectly that the Moon moves through the shadow cast by the Earth. This is also a rare and extra special Lunar Eclipse!

Visibility: It's always okay to look directly at a lunar eclipse (it's only the solar eclipse that could damage your eyes). If you're in North America, you can see the eclipse just before dawn as the Moon sets in the west, and in some areas (weather willing) you'll be able to see both the setting eclipsed Moon and the rising Sun in the sky at the same time – a very rare event!

If you're in Europe, Africa or the Middle East, it's the other way around: the Moon will be eclipsed as it rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west. If you're in Australia, New Zealand or southeast Asia, you'll be able to watch the whole eclipse in the night sky. Unfortunately, if you're in South America, the eastern Caribbean or in the Atlantic ocean, or if the weather is simply uncooperative, you won't see it at all. Check out this world map from Sky and Telescope Magazine that shows areas of visibility.

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Astrologically, this Lunar Eclipse in Gemini will affect you most if you have planets or points at roughly 13-23 degrees of the Mutable signs: Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo, Pisces. Remember that a lunar eclipse is the temporary blocking out of light reflected off the Moon, and also involves the Moon being seen in a very different kind of light that's refracted through the Earth's atmosphere.

The Moon is feelings, needs, memory, our vulnerable Inner Child, and the source of our intuition and creativity. When the Moon is eclipsed, you these parts of yourself are revealed "in a new light," which could be a disturbing experience or merely unusual and mysterious. If your experience is one of mystery and fascination, do the Gemini thing: write down your impressions, ideas, thoughts and intuitive awareness. Or be playful and have fun with it, allowing it to inspire you creatively.

If your experience is more disturbing, unsettling or disorienting, again it can help to do the Gemini thing: talk to someone you trust about it, read up on what is coming up in you, and gather new information, insight and feedback that can help you understand what's happening from a fresh perspective. Get some ideas on how to turn a disconcerting experience into something you can laugh about, learn from and feed your creative muse with.

A personal astrology reading is extremely valuable to help you get on top of what's happening to you. I'm available for private readings throughout the holidays, and right now you can get a great price on a personal reading—for you and/or someone special! Find out more or contact me for details.

Dec.13 – Mars square North Lunar Node (14:16 of Virgo/Sagittarius)

For a week or so, it might feel like the actions you must take to deal with current circumstances are at cross purposes to what you see as your higher purpose or optimal direction in life. You might feel at odds with others, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the other hand, this can be a time when being forced to take a temporary "detour" off your chosen path can bring an opportunity to gather new resources, information or insight that can actually help you more, in the long run, than if you had stayed on the main path. However, there's never any one way to experience a given transit. The question becomes: is veering off the main path something that enables you to avoid something you should be facing? Or is does this detour bring you to a new perspective or resources that you are resisting because it's off the main path? Either way, it's a good idea to balance your impulses and passions with mindful awareness.

Dec.13 – Mercury stations Direct (03:51 of Sagittarius)   ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or simply changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde for the last 3 to 3½ weeks, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. This period has challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again.

Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow, your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge you've gained from your retrograde "dreams" and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time.

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Dec.18 – Venus square Saturn (27:19 of Capricorn/Libra)

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

Dec.19 – Sun sextile Saturn (27:24 of Sagittarius/Libra)

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.20 – Venus enters Aquarius (until Jan.14.2012)

Relationships, material abundance and values take a step back to gain perspective, detachment and room to breathe in freedom. You may find that you want to use your finances and resources to benefit those who are disadvantaged or to support the greater good of society in some way. It can be a good time to experiment or try new things, to network with groups of people, and to take an objective view about intimacy and interaction. Relationships can take on an idealistic edge, seeking a state of equality and rebelling against imbalances that give one person advantage over the other. Having a strong element of friendship in your intimate relationships may become very important during this time, and friendships themselves could take a central place in your life. Detachment without disconnection is the ideal here. You may not be in a position to foresee future possibilities and translate desires into wishes and new hope.

Dec.20 – Sun sextile Neptune (28:36 of Sagittarius/Aquarius)

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.20 – Venus square Jupiter (00:24 of Aquarius/Taurus)

"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.

Dec.21 – Venus sextile Uranus (00:41 of Aquarius/Aries)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.

Dec.22 – Sun enters Capricorn (until Jan.20.2012)

SOLSTICE DATES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Dec.22, 2011, 12:30 AM EST

London, UK:

Dec.22, 2011, 5:30 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Dec.22, 2011, 4:30 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 trine Jupiter (00:23 of Capricorn/Taurus)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it can 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, finding new meaning in your live and the events that unfold around you. Self-confidence can run high now, and you could feel inspired to fight for justice or some cause. At the same time, there is a chance that all this self-assurance and "knowing" could go overboard into over-confidence, dogmatism or over-indulgence if it's not grounded in realism and humility. Just use your best judgment and enjoy this warm, shining energy!

Dec.22 – Sun square Uranus (00:42 of Capricorn/Aries)

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.23 – Sun sextile Chiron (01:32 of Capricorn/Pisces)

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.

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Next Update:  NEW MOON in CAPRICORN, available by December 24, 2011.

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© 2011 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Chess players by Clarita on MorgueFile.com . Sagittarius centaur: [CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons. Gemini the Twins by Stanisław Wyspiański [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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