The Astrological Weather – December 2011

As we wait for the calendar to turn to  the now-mythic year of 2012, the astrological clock continues to tick.

On December 10, a lunar eclipse at 18 Gemini occurs on the same day that Uranus goes direct.  Watch out for rogue Aquarians!

No, seriously, the days leading up to this eclipse are important days for all signs, particularly, Aquarians as well as those born in the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn as well as those Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius folks born between the 8-13 of March,  June, September, and December.  Those whose Ascendants occupy these signs are also affected. The rest of us will also feel the effects more or less depending on the aspects this eclipse makes to our personal horoscopes.

A lunar eclipse by definition occurs when the Moon (representing the emotions) which normally reflects the light of the sun (the ego)  at the time of the Full Moon is blocked by the Earth (the body). Occurring in 19 year cycles, lunar eclipses signify a major culmination of an energetic cycle.  Since the light is blocked, we are called on to trust that terrifying experience of being in the dark, of not knowing what the next step is, and to trust that we will evolve. This as a great opportunity for healing.

Mars in Virgo squares this South Node eclipse of a Gemini Moon, and there’s more than the usual amount of nervous tension.  Virgo and Gemini are the signs ruling the nervous system so if you’re feeling overly sensitive, high strung, and stressed out, you’re not alone.  Details, details, and more details. The forest and the trees seem to be at odds. Your brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors, and people in your immediate environment know exactly how to push your buttons and might be a source of disappointment or frustration.   Try to stay balanced through so much unpredictability.  Remember Mercury is still retrograde until 12/13 so don’t be in a hurry to sign on the dotted line.

Pay attention to the symbolic meanings of seemingly minor digestive upsets, sore throats, and coughing fits. These manifestations of your physical body reveal the state of your energy in more ways than the obvious. As much as you might feel your body is just a vehicle at this time,  be aware of your needs for rest, physical and emotional nourishment, and downtime.  Medieval astrologers would have advised you to make a point of eating more root vegetables (they develop in the dark) as well as nourishing broths.  Sleep?  Much harder to manage with your nervous system on overload. As much as you want to stay in touch, try turning off all electronics after 9 PM if you want to have a chance at some decent rest

The rest of the month sets the stage for the intensity of 2012 which will be defined by the Uranus/Pluto square.  The Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement are just the beginning of a wild ride.

Blessings to you all!

Buddha, Tibet, 2011                                               ©Sharon Smith                 All rights reserved

December’s Important Dates (EST)
12/10–A Red Letter Day!  Lunar Eclipse at 18 Gemini;  Uranus direct at 0 Aries

12/13 –   Mercury direct at 3 Sagittarius

12/18 –   Venus in Capricorn squares Saturn in Libra

12/20 – Venus enters Aquarius

12/22 – Winter Solstice – Sun enters Capricorn at 12:30 AM

12/24 – New Moon at 3 Capricorn

12/25 – Jupiter direct at 0 Taurus

12/29- Sun conjunct Pluto at 7 Capricorn

December 2010- The Astrological Weather

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period…..”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

The optimism, hope, and expectation of the New Moon in Sagittarius on December 5 combines with a strong planetary emphasis in Capricorn to make this holiday season even more complex than usual.

The beginning of the month starts out with a bang as Uranus, planet of revolutionary change, goes direct to finish out its time in Pisces on the day of the New Moon.  This is the end of a major cycle (see Not Yet Crossing), and most of us are weary of the old and chomping at the bit to be released from whatever version of suffering we have been experiencing. We are excited about all kinds of possibilities.

We would like to believe (oh, how we want to believe!) that better times are around the corner and we are itching to welcome them in. All of our dreams and hopes are on the line here, and energy is available for us to aim high and reach for the stars.  Take a risk.  Spread your wings.  Direct your energy with laser-like precision to reach your target.  Release the arrow from its quiver and enjoy watching it fly directly to your target.  Don’t be afraid to send a message in a bottle.  You never know who might pick it up.

But what about those nagging fears?  What if it’s all pie in the sky?

Fortunately, during this long transit of Pluto in Capricorn, we have learned that magical thinking is delusional.   Idealism and strong belief needs to be backed up by pragmatic action, and Mercury’s conjunction with Pluto on the same day provides us with the depth we need to ground our vision.

With Mars energizing this same pattern on 12/13,  these planets are screaming loud and clear, “Show me the money!” This is also a critical day for travel so be careful as you move through your day.  Particularly if your ascendant or your sun sign is in the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn.

Mercury goes retrograde on 12/10. Use your time well before then to plant your seeds, back up your hard drive, make sure your car’s in tip-top shape, and check the details and paperwork for your travel plans.  If you find yourself in a jam despite all your efforts, realize that it’s just the universe asking you to slow down.  There’s a good chance that things might not go smoothly since Mercury backs up into Sagittarius on 12/18 and can’t be bothered with all the small details.

All of this is the prelude to the main event on 12/21 — the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in the last degree of Sagittarius/Gemini immediately followed by the entrance of the Sun into Capricorn.   A lunar eclipse is by definition, a time when the moon’s light is blocked and some major cycle is over. The Moon represents the feeling sense,  intuition, our emotional disposition, and sense of security and stability.  During an eclipse,  we are called on to trust the state of being in the dark. If your Ascendant or Sun sign is in the last degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, or Sagittarius, or the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, reflect on the past 19 years and be willing to let go of whatever no longer works in your understanding of your life path.  Pay close attention to your body’s needs for rest, nourishment, and downtime.  Make a point of eating more root vegetables and nourishing broths and getting as much sleep  as you need.Taoists believe that the solstice and equinox points are energetic gateways to heaven. Times of transition like sunrise, sunset, noon, and midnight, they signify different moments in the transformation of “chi”.  Approximately three days before and 3 days after the winter solstice is the time of maximum Yin energy.  A womb-like experience, it signifies a time of gestation before birth where you have a very strong energetic connection to the forces of nature, particularly the earth force. Don’t be afraid to go to this dark, extreme Yin state. The seed of yang is there. Make like a bear in winter.  Stay quiet and soft, and when you’re ready to be roused, go toward the light, toward love and happiness.

Blessings and Happy Holidays!

December’s Important Dates (EST) :

12/5 –A Red Letter Day!  New Moon in Sagittarius; Mercury conjunct Pluto in Capricorn; Uranus Direct at 26 Pisces

12/7 –   Mars enters Capricorn

12/10 –   Mercury retrograde at 5 Capricorn

12/13 – Another Red Letter Day! Mercury conjunct Pluto again; Mercury conjunct Mars; Mars conjunct Pluto

12/18 – Mercury backs up into Sagittarius

12/21 – Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse at 29 Gemini followed by the Winter Solstice

12/26 – Sun conjunct Pluto in Capricorn

12/30 – Mercury goes direct at 19 Sagittarius


Astrological Weather for January 2010

January’s (and perhaps the entire year’s) energetic weather is dominated by planetary events occurring over three days.  On January 13, Saturn turns retrograde at 4° Libra, followed by a New Moon solar eclipse on January 15 at 25° Capricorn.  Fortunately, Venus conjuncts the eclipse point providing some comfort for those of us who are uncomfortable with hard edges. Then several hours after the eclipse, Mercury stations direct at 5° Capricorn.

Saturn rules all the planets in Capricorn and is exalted in Libra (see November 2009 – The Astrological Weather for more on this) so clearly, he’s the guy in charge these days. He’s the adult with a capital “A” — a combination of the Cosmic Architect, Auditor, Cop, Organizer, Disciplinarian, Timekeeper, and Parent.  Saturn is what makes us work for our rewards and then bestows them upon us when the time (in the karmic sense) is right. When we are in harmony with Saturn, work and success are synonymous.

The New Moon Eclipse signifies a time of new beginnings (see ECLIPSE MANIA! SOLAR ECLIPSE at 29 Cancer).  So wherever you have Capricorn in your horoscope is the arena where you will start a new cycle of incredibly hard work to manifest something,  where responsibility is the name of the game, and you will struggle to fulfill your commitments.  And if you have no goals, you will wake up to the fact that building something can be satisfying, even if it’s a little castle in the air and it takes a long time.

Which it will.  Whatever you start now will take time and effort to accomplish.  That is the nature of Saturn. Since the eclipse is happening at the time of its retrograde station, this function is moving away from externals.  You might think it’s not worth it, but you will find yourself doing it anyway and actually experiencing fulfillment there.  It is actually an act of faith that there is a future.

Shirking your responsibilities and/or acting childishly will not get you anywhere.  Mercury’s direct station will help you get moving again, but that slogging-through-the-mud feeling might be something you have to accept for the time being.

As mentioned above, Venus conjuncts the eclipse point which can provide some sweetness when we feel that all work and no play is making us dull.  If you’re stressed, counteract the tough, cold reality of Saturn with some Venusian comforts – get a massage, inpsire yourself with beautiful art, go to a concert, or splurge on a nice dinner with some friends.

Particularly affecting all the cardinal signs born 12 -19 of April, July, October, or January and those of us with planets in the last 7 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn.  All of  us are affected to varying degrees. Look at your sun sign and ascendant if you know it.

Aries – You’re the only one that can get serious about your career, your partner, notwithstanding. If not now, when? Taurus – What’s it all about? Do some traveling either literally or in your armchair and get a bigger perspective. Or if you’ve always wanted to get that Masters degree, what’s stopping you? Gemini – It’s about the cosmic glue. Whether it’s sex, drugs, or the proverbial rock and roll, what is it that bonds you with others? And perhaps more important, how can you experience more of it? Cancer – As difficult as others can be, it’s becoming clear to you that you can’t do it alone. You need that irritation that allows an oyster to create a pearl. Others provide a mirror as well as that special ingredient that makes alchemy happen; Leo – Keep a good mental attitude while continuing to roll that rock up the hill at work. Neglecting your health is not an option; Virgo – Your children need to know that you’re the one who’s the parent. And if you have a screenplay or (something else) gathering dust in the closet, pull it out and get to work; Libra – Literally or figuratively, it’s time to build a new home.  Because it’s all about your family and your base of operation; Scorpio – Your siblings, relatives, neighbors and cousins need to hear from you.  In fact, everyone needs to hear from you these days.  Write, speak, broadcast.  It’s all about communication; Sagittarius – Take a cold, hard look at your bank account. Learn about money by making more of it and spending it on things you value while saving some for a rainy day; Capricorn – You are not the Biggest Loser, but you can be the Biggest Winner if you keep up your discipline. This is the time of your life. Don’t sleep through it; Aquarius –Spend time by yourself for a change without the company of your computer or television. Meditate and contemplate your divine place in this amazing world; Pisces –Take care of your friendships first. You achieve more fulfillment by making a firmer commitment to your dreams and goals by connecting with others around a common purpose.


On July 21, the sun will be eclipsed at 10:35 PM EDT and the world (or at least that part of the world with the biggest population – India and China and places surrounding them) will be plunged into darkness for approximately 6 minutes.  A wonder of nature,  this eclipse is the longest eclipse of the 21st century.

So what does it mean when the sun disappears?

From time immemorial, earthlings have pondered this question and superstitions abound in every culture. Many cultures believed that a demon or dragon ate the sun. In Hindu mythology, the two demons Rahu and Ketu are said to “swallow” the sun during eclipses, snuffing out its life-giving light and causing food to become inedible and water undrinkable. Pregnant women are advised to stay indoors to prevent their babies from developing birth defects, while prayers, fasting and ritual bathing, particularly in holy rivers, are encouraged because temples are often closed. In ancient times, the Chinese believed that a heavenly dog or dragon devoured the sun during the eclipse. As the story goes, people would make noise to scare off the dog and rescue the sun. In the Odyssey, Homer states that, “the Sun vanished out of heaven and an evil gloom covered all things about the hour of the midday meal.”

Negative people make a living off of doomsday predictions.  But the truth is that solar (as well as lunar) eclipses are natural phenomena.  They usually happen twice a year although occasionally there are three of them. Often, secrets are revealed at this time or an awareness becomes apparent that sheds new light on something.

The eclipse can be either a south or north node eclipse. This particular one is at 29 degrees of Cancer meaning the Sun and Moon are together with the south node of the Moon.  The south node is a place where we are addicted to an old behavior pattern, something that we run to without awareness or consciousness. The sign of Cancer is about security, nurturing, hunger, relationship with the mother, creativity, fertility, and children.  The south node in Cancer is about clinging to these things to avoid whatever they’re covering up.

So wherever one has 29 degrees of Cancer in their personal horoscope will be the arena where this eclipse is operating.  Those born from July 17-22, October 17-22, January 17-22, and April 17-22 are most affected but most of us will feel the eclipse as a nagging dissatisfaction with something we are involved with compulsively.

Look at your sun sign and ascendant if you know it:

Aries – creating a home and being a parent; Taurus – being heard; Gemini – making money; Cancer – doing it all yourself; Leo – hiding out in work or not working; Virgo – being a team player; Libra – getting recognition from the powers that be; Scorpio – leaving your community for foreign shores; Sagittarius – gratifying your desires; Capricorn – considering your partner more than yourself; Aquarius – working and taking care of yourself; Pisces – kids and your creativity

Since solar eclipses happen at the New Moon, they signify a time of new beginnings but you often have to proceed on faith because  the light is blocked. Since eclipses come in 19 year cycles,  whatever seeds you plant now will take 19 years to bear fruit.

If you think that’s a long time, consider this.  The Queen Mother of the West (a Taoist goddess) was fortunate enough to have a peach tree of immortality in her garden.  Blossoming only once every 3000 years, it took another 3000  years for the immortal peach to finally ripen.