December Monthly Forecast

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Dec. 1 – 10

Mercury retrogrades into the late degrees of Scorpio on the first of the month, and Venus (now direct) enters the early degrees of this sign again on the 2nd. This pattern brings us back to themes of Venus’ retrograde in this sign throughout this past October. What did you learn about yourself and your relationships this fall? As we near the end of the 2018 Season of the Retrograde, you can take some small steps to put insights into action. Small choices, like a few words of self-love or a decision to wait before speaking, can have ripple effects in your life. Holding your tongue in the first few days of December will be wise, as we are sensitive to the wounding and healing power of words.

Mercury stations direct at 27 Scorpio at 4:21 pm EST on December 6th, marking the final retrograde of 2018! Yes, Venus and Mercury will both be in shadow until later this month, but we can at least begin to move forward with less resistance, after about five months of more-or-less constant reflection and waiting. We can focus more of our energy on removing obstacles with Jupiter, in his lucky position in Sagittarius.

After Mercury’s direct motion, we begin a new lunar month with the new moon at 15 Sagittarius, at 2:20 am EST on December 7th. This moon squares the exact Mars-Neptune conjunction that’s happening at 13 Pisces. Mars and Neptune together in the sign of the dreamer sing of fantasy, illusion, delusion, fiction, deceit, escapes, spiritual journeys, and false gurus. The dark moon, in Sagittarius, challenges us to play with the imagination well – truthfully, without deceiving ourselves or others. Sagittarius likes to ask big questions, so it’s a moon of metaphysical and creative exploration. Ruled by Jupiter in Sagittarius, the overall tone of this lunation is one of imaginative expansion. An enjoyable start to the lunar cycle, as long as we don’t go overboard with drink or drugs.

December 11 – 22

Mercury, in direct motion, returns to Sagittarius on December 12th. Since we are still in the shadow of the retrograde (until December 24th), we can finish the things that were waiting to be done while Mercury was retrograde and process the insights we’ve gleaned since November 16th.

Venus exits her shadow period on December 17th. Thus ends our most recent Venus retrograde cycle, which has taught us a lot about the shadow-side of our relationships, our attitudes to sex, death, and the taboo, our self-love, and our ability to receive. As we wrap up this year, we can take all of our hard-won wisdom from the second half of 2018 and plan to use it for growth in the new year.

Note: I don’t put much emphasis on Mercury’s shadow periods, because Merc Ret is such a common occurrence, happening 3-4 times per year. With a cycle that happens that frequently, we’re just living life as usual—sometimes with quiet periods, sometimes with tech issues, sometimes with smooth roads ahead. I don’t see a reason to block out nine weeks of your life for a standard three-week cycle. Consider that if we allow for all of Mercury’s shadow periods, we spend half to three quarters of every year in the Mercury retrograde zone. In this case, we might as well switch to putting our emphasis on Mercury direct, since it would be out of the norm. Venus and Mars retrograde are less common. For that reason, I pay close attention to all three parts of their retrograde cycle (pre-shadow, retrograde, post-shadow), because the insights will resonate for a full 1.5-2 years.

As we head into the third week of December, aspects from the sun in Sagittarius to Chiron in Pisces (Dec. 19th) and Uranus in Aries (Dec. 20th) speak of the holiday season paradox: joy and stress. Take care with yourself and others, and remember to take pleasure in the things that matter most to you. On December 21st, the sun moves into Capricorn, marking the Winter Solstice. This is the longest night of the year and the return of the light in the northern hemisphere: the days will get progressively longer from now on. Our Solstice this year features Mercury and Jupiter together in the sign of Sagittarius, giving us a great deal of optimism, exuberance, and warmth as we celebrate the sun’s return. Venus trine Neptune gives this day a romantic glow as well.

We have a full moon at 1 degree of Cancer on the Solstice weekend, on December 22nd at 12:48 pm EST. This one is rather unaspected, aside from a couple of out-of-sign aspects to Uranus and Chiron. In the sign she rules, at her fullest, with little influence from other planets, Luna is undiluted. This is pure emotional, intuitive, nurturing, creative, mysterious energy. Emotions could be overwhelming with this one. At the same time, divination and other uses of intuition will flow well. Gather your loved ones close for the holidays – it’s a very family-oriented Solstice, and that of course includes chosen family members, who may be in need of a holiday “home.”

December 23 – 31

Mercury leaves his shadow period on December 24th, officially, really, finally ending 2018’s Season of the Retrograde. In the week before New Year’s, Mars moves closer to Chiron in Pisces, making an exact conjunction on the 29th. With Mars and Chiron here, we are once again challenged to acknowledge collective wounds, feel how much they hurt, and engage in the ongoing process of healing. These two remind us that healing has much more to do with walking into darkness to meet the shadow than working with the light. Mainstream culture is obsessed with happiness and positivity, and mainstream spiritual culture reflects that obsession with ideas about lightworking. Let’s balance some of that with the less appealing, but necessary, shadow work.

On New Year’s Eve, Mars moves into Aries, the sign of his rulership, as if to say, Charge! Mars in Aries means action, now. Here he speaks of bravery, leadership, and vitality. This can be a hot aspect, even warlike, if we aren’t acting consciously. However, we can choose to activate the divine masculine here. Mars in Aries can be the steward of the earth, initiating growth and vitality in our lives just as the first shoots of grass push through the ground in Aries’ season, at the spring equinox. In this way, our New Year’s has the flavor of new beginnings, after a long year of endings. Happy Holidays and a Blessed New Year to all!

November Monthly Forecast

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November 1 – 11

Jupiter’s last Scorpio aspect – a collectively healing trine to Chiron in Pisces – is exact on the first of the month. Reflect on the truths that Jupiter has shown you during his year-long reign in the sign of secrets. What knowledge do you have now that was previously hidden from you? The truth, however horrifying it might be, can ultimately heal our collective wounds. The sun makes this same aspect at the end of the month (exact November 20th), reminding us to take a good look at the wound so we can diagnose it, clean it, and heal.

Venus continues her retrograde through Libra in the first half of the month. The themes of Venus here are all about relationships, equality, balance, harmony, peace, and beauty. With Venus retrograde in Libra, the cracks begin to show in a facade. Something that once looked beautiful or peaceful could turn out to have some ugliness, resentment, or uneasiness underneath. Peace and equality can be restored, if we look honestly at the situation and address it together diplomatically. Practice the art of compromise in the beginning of this month.

Venus begins to rise in the pre-dawn sky, as the morning star, on November 3rd. Venus as the morning star is known as Phosphorus, the bearer of light. She rises from her stay in the Underworld a bit lighter, having left an old habit, relationship pattern, or self-image down there to die. Shed your own old-era leftovers and greet Venus with the dawn on Saturday.

While Venus retrogrades through Libra, she will make a pleasant aspect to Mars in Aquarius (exact November 9th). The Mars retrograde of May through August was the first half of this story, where you became aware of blocks to your desires, and reflected on the actions you might take. The second half of the story is still unfolding, with Venus as the receptive nature showing you where you may have blocks to receiving, and asking you to reflect on what you’ve been tolerating. Venus and Mars are working together this month to help you bring your active and receptive natures into balance.

The sun in Scorpio shines a light at Neptune in Pisces on Midterm election day (November 6th). This could signify using our power and the wisdom of the truth to realize an elusive dream. It could also signify confusion, powerful manipulation and deception, and sleepiness or escapism from people who don’t want to look at the truth. With Neptune, we can always go both ways. We must envision a positive future together in order to live the dream we want. Wake others up from the collective nightmare. Since Uranus moves back into Aries on this day, too, we may be in for a volatile election.

For those who celebrate Samhain (the point in time at which the ‘veils’ between the worlds are thinnest), astrological Samhain is said to be when the sun reaches 15 degrees of Scorpio. This year, on November 7th, we have a Very Samhain New Moon at 15 degrees of Scorpio on the date of Samhain. (New moons are always at the same degree as the sun, but Samhain does not always coincide with a new moon). If you’re a procrastinator, an astrology fanatic, or if you just want to annoy everyone with your longwinded argument for why Samhain is actually November 7th – it’s a great new moon for a dumb supper for your ancestors. Set intentions to release and transform, break out your ouija board, and brew yourself a potion. This moon carries over that dreamy resonance from election day. Communication with those on the other side will be easier than usual, as will any kind of trance state, dreaming, journeying, or divination.

The biggest news of the month, in a month with a lot of news: Jupiter enters Sagittarius on November 8th! Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius. He will be happy to get back to his throne, where he can dole out good luck and abundance. Jupiter in Sagittarius is full of joie de vivre. He loves a raucous party, an adventure abroad, or a long, funny story. This year will be good for the expansion of knowledge, for traveling, and for luck in general. The Sagittarians could use it. Right away, on November 9th, Jupiter makes a beautiful aspect to the north node in Leo. Expansion will happen when we are true to ourselves and have free reign for self-expression. I’ll write more about Jupiter in Sag in a longer post.

The Scorpio sun gives a friendly nod to Pluto in Capricorn on November 11th. This aspect is in play the day after midterms, so hopefully we will speak truth to power and see some more changes in the crumbling traditional structures of the post-recession world. Keep one eye on the world’s 1%. Manipulative tactics can only succeed if we allow them to stay in the darkness.

November 12 - 20

Mars has spent much of the year in Aquarius. He’ll move into the watery sign of Pisces on the 15th of this month. Pisces is the sign of spirituality, collective consciousness, imagination, film, music, and the ocean. Mars, planet of action, has trouble making things happen in such a dreamy, peaceful sign. The traditional way of acting—going for it, competing, winning—won’t work for Mars here. In Pisces, Martial action happens through dreaming. Conversing with spirits, dreaming reality into being, and creating art are all Pisces-type activities. Mars may not look like he’s doing much here, but the action is all happening behind the scenes.

On the same day as Mars’ move into Pisces, the moon’s nodes change signs. This is significant because it heralds the ending of our Leo-Aquarius eclipse cycle (officially finished in January 2019). With the nodes in Cancer and Capricorn, our new Cancer-Capricorn eclipse cycle is underway. We started this cycle with the Cancer eclipse on July 12, 2018. Here’s what I said then about the Cancer-Capricorn axis:

The Cancer-Capricorn axis is about integrating emotions with ambition, trust with control, love with power, sensitivity with difficult choices, creativity with sensibility, the mystical with the practical. The north node in Cancer is about letting go of a need for order and recognition, and focusing our attention on caring for others. People with this placement excel when they put their talent for leadership to use for the welfare of children.

The nodal cycle lasts for about 18 months. For the next year and a half, we’ll be thinking with these themes. When the nodes move to 29 degrees of Cancer and Capricorn on November 15th, they’ll be in a tense configuration with Uranus in Aries and Venus in Libra. This cardinal tension puts us in a hot spot mid-month, just as Venus stations direct. What did you learn about desire and relationships this year? You’re about to be tested.

On November 16th, Venus stations direct at 25 Libra, ending our 40-day retrograde reflective period. But on the same day, Mercury stations retrograde at 13 Sagittarius! There is still more reflection to be done this month. Nevertheless, you will be able to move forward more easily on questions of relationships and value, a little lighter for what you’ve shed.

As always, Mercury retrograde happens 3-4 times a year, it’s over-hyped, and it’s just a time to exercise your patience. Re-think and re-do (all the re- words) during this reflective period. I will say that holiday gifts with mechanical elements – computers, phones, cars, gadgets – are best purchased before November 16th or after December 6th. Mercury is out of his element in Sagittarius, where he tends to be rather brash, maintain fixed opinions, and speak out of turn. It’s not the best Thanksgiving for reaching across the partisan table and convincing someone to see things from your point of view. In the case of political differences, arguments are likely (as if you needed an astrologer to tell you that in 2018). Focus on the nodes in Cancer and Capricorn instead: spending time with family and nurturing children. Use your Mercury Rx time privately to re-investigate some of your own opinions that have become dogmatic truths for you. Mercury will station direct at 27 Scorpio on December 6th.

On the 19th, Mars will square Jupiter in Sagittarius, reminding us that we can make our own luck when we believe in possibility. Conversely, if you believe you won’t get what you want, you’ll be right. Use this month to do some creative work behind the scenes, imagining a wonderful year with Jupiter in Sagittarius. You’ll be tested again when Mercury (retrograde) squares Mars from Sagittarius, where he’ll be hanging out with Jupiter and the sun on the 26th. Your thoughts have a lot to do with your luck.

November 21 - 30

The sun enters Sagittarius on American Thanksgiving this year (November 22nd). From people celebrating Thanksgiving as a time of gratitude, to people honoring the realities of history and indigenous genocide with UnThanksgiving at Alcatraz, Sagittarius season is all about the wider world. Sagittarius at its best seeks understanding with people in other countries, with immigrants, and with people of many religions. As I’ve mentioned, Mercury will be retrograde, so it’s not the best time for convincing arguments. Try to find some common ground with others.

There is a full moon at the 1st degree of Gemini on Thanksgiving night (technically November 23rd at 12:40 am EST). Ruled by Mercury retrograde, and in wide opposition to him, this moon is all about curiosity. Explore some new ideas. Believe nothing; entertain possibilities. Big ideas may inspire you. On Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (the 24th), Neptune stations direct at 13 Pisces. Because Neptune is an outer planet with a long retrograde cycle, you will probably only feel this if you have planets or points around 13 degrees of Pisces, Virgo, Gemini, or Sagittarius in your natal chart. In this case, you may feel a sense of slipping back into the dream you were having before Neptune stationed retrograde on June 18, 2018.

The sun, Jupiter, and Mercury Rx will all be together in Sagittarius at the end of the month (exact November 26th and 27th). The time when Jupiter and the sun meet is usually considered to be lucky. However, this year they meet Mercury retrograde, too, with Mars squaring all of them. It’s possible to be so optimistic that we miss our blind spots, or have such fervent faith in something that we forget to question our opinions. Approach the end of the month with cautious optimism, then. At least Mars make a friendly aspect to Saturn in Capricorn on the 27th, helping you to see that austerity isn’t always your enemy. Sometimes the hard work just lines you up with the dream to come. Creativity flourishes within restrictions.

Venus will be in opposition to explosive wildcard Uranus all month long. On November 30th, she will make the third exact opposition of this Venus cycle, although the first two were on the Scorpio-Taurus axis and this one will be Libra-Aries. Finding balance and creating harmony won’t be easy with Uranus setting off fireworks at random times throughout November. Your grace and patience is requested, as you master the impulsive side of your nature with self-control. True to the themes of 2018, this month will be anything but boring!

October Monthly Overview

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Venus Retrograde & Mars out of Shadow

This Libra season, with Venus in Scorpio, is imbued with the dark, rich undertones of that mysterious sign. October is no exception. Venus stations retrograde October 5th, leading us down the shadow-path of our secret stories about relationships, intimacy, and/or money. We can all use this time to review lessons from past relationships, investigate deep questions in current relationships, and reaffirm our core values. Mars leaves the shadow zone of his retrograde on October 8th, allowing us to integrate what we learned about our desires this past summer into this Venus cycle.

The cosmic dance of Mars and Venus symbolizes the dance between the yang and yin principles within all of us. Mars is active desire (yang/masculine), impulsively chasing what is wanted and taking action to create results. Without the aid of Venus, Mars can be thoughtless, brash, selfish, and unrefined. Venus is passive desire (yin/feminine), attracting and receiving what is wanted. Without the aid of Mars, Venus can be lazy, shallow, envious, and sacrifice true desires to keep up appearances. These archetypes need each other to be whole. The cosmic dance is the balance between the two extremes. When Venus squares Mars again on the 10th, it’s another step in this ongoing tango of desire. Mars’ retrograde through Aquarius this summer was frustrating, and that frustration taught us something about what we want. Now, Venus retrograde challenges us to take a deeper look at why we might not have what we desire. It is necessary to act, and equally necessary that we stay open to receiving. How are you achieving your desires? What is really stopping you, below the surface?

New Moon in Libra

The applying Venus-Mars square features in the new moon on October 8th. The new moon, at 16 Libra, squares Pluto in Capricorn, signifying buried emotions, compulsions, power struggles, and deep transformation. Moon in Libra is typically peace-loving, striving to create harmonious conditions between people in order to feel safe and happy. This lunar cycle, though, challenges us to break through surface harmony to get at the root of an emotion or a relationship issue. Only then can we transform and evolve. This lunation is framed by Mercury square Pluto on the 2nd (a preview) and sun square Pluto on the 12th (a review).

Uranian Fixed Cross Aspects

Mercury enters Scorpio, sign of depth, power, sex, mystery, history, taboo, and the occult, on the 10th. Mercury in Scorpio loves to play detective, asking the questions without easy answers and staying on the scene until he finally uncovers the truth. Immediately, Mercury makes an opposition to Uranus in Taurus (Oct. 10th) and squares the moon’s nodes (Oct. 11th), creating a fixed cross just as Venus did in mid-September. This pattern is still challenging us to make changes in areas where we would rather stay consistent. Themes of radical reinvention, money, power, individuality, and the environment all apply. The investigative quality of Mercury in Scorpio gives this set of aspects more of a mental focus: radically reinventing our thoughts. This opposition to Uranus and square to the nodes repeats when the sun enters Scorpio (Oct. 23-24): themes of radically reinventing the self. It repeats again when Venus retrogrades back over the earliest degrees of Scorpio Oct. 30-31: themes of radically reinventing values and relationships.

Creative Sextiles to Capricorn

A series of sextiles from planets in Scorpio to Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn symbolize building creative solutions to our problems, and thorough methods of investigating the questions that come up. This pattern includes Mercury sextile Saturn on Oct. 12th (building a laboratory for further investigation) and Mercury sextile Pluto on Oct. 22nd (powerful discoveries and transformative talks). Venus Rx then sextiles Saturn on the 24th (desiring stability in relationships), and the sun follows suit on the 27th (taking up the mantle of authority with ease).

Mercury in Scorpio, continued

Mercury meets our retrograde Venus in Scorpio on Oct. 15th, helping us to ask the right questions and speak the truth about Venus-retrograde themes: relationships and values. On the 19th, Mercury makes his own square to Mars, echoing the previous Venus-Mars squares and helping us to further investigate our active responses to our desires. Mercury also makes a trine to Neptune in Pisces on the same day, aiding us to create the ultimate vision that will prompt that action.

Full Moon in Taurus

After the sun enters Scorpio on the 23rd, we have a full moon at 1 degree of Taurus on the 24th. This full moon is conjunct Uranus in Taurus and opposite its’ ruler Venus (retrograde), giving the lunation the flavor of the fixed-cross set of aspects this month: radical reinvention. This is the part of Venus retrograde where something comes to fruition or needs to be let go. We are radically reinventing relationships, values, money, power, and our use of resources. Expect the unexpected where Uranus is involved. This is a moon for swift, extreme change.

Still in Scorpio

Venus Rx meets the sun in Scorpio on the 26th, illuminating some of the desires or lessons we’re left with after that full moon. On the 29th, Mercury meets with Jupiter in Scorpio, giving us some wisdom from this one-year period. Jupiter will move into Sagittarius on November 8th. What secrets have you uncovered since Jupiter moved into Scorpio in October 2017? What mysteries have you followed down the rabbit hole? What have you discovered about your own power? Jupiter will be trine Chiron in Pisces all month (exact November 1st): a set of teachers for our collective healing through the discovery of the truth.

Halloween

Finally, on October 31st, Venus moves into Libra to continue her retrograde journey. Venus rules Libra, so she is at home here in the sign of relationships, harmony, and symmetry. Still retrograde, Venus here asks us to reflect on the source of harmony in our partnerships: is it rooted in understanding, or are we just “keeping the peace” to avoid conflict? Mercury moves into Sagittarius on the 31st as well. Sagittarius is the sign of adventures, travel, philosophy, honesty, and enthusiasm. Mercury here is brashly honest and sometimes comedic: he will say what he thinks, and tact is not a strong point. With Venus retrograde and Mercury in the sign of his detriment, it can be a fun, raucous party as long as the Librans can tolerate tacky costumes and tactless remarks with some good humor. Halloween this year actually has less Scorpio energy than most of October so far. Jupiter in Scorpio is still along for the ride, though, inviting us to explore the darkness of this spooky holiday. Happy Halloween!