Mercury in Scorpio Dec. 1st – Dec. 20th
Mercury leaves Libra - a sign it has been intensely concentrated in for the past few weeks due to its retrograde motion - and moves into Mars' sign Scorpio on December 1st. This releases the playful planet from the disturbing influence of the two most stressful energies in the planetary line-up i.e. Rahu and Saturn; setting up a powerful interaction between itself and a another significant stress in our lives- namely Mars.
Mars creates problems for us through selfish desires and destruction which is above and beyond that which is necessary for living a healthy life. Our communications may become rather rash as a result, as we focus on our own interests and try and fathom our deepest and darkest fears. I use the word 'try' because Mercury does not operate as well in watery signs like Scorpio and can easily muddle our minds and subsequent interactions with each other.
This is a good time to delve deeply into the unconscious, especially on December 1st and 2nd with the Moon together with Mercury in Scorpio. It may not yield any results which satisfy our rational minds, but we must dig deep and process nonetheless. When Mars is influencing there is always some brute force involved and a communication style which may seem inappropriate at times.
Mercury does not stay very long in Mars' domain and will leave just before the winter solstice on December 20th, as it enters a more philosophical environment in Sagittarius. It still has an influence from Mars while in Sagittarius and , unlike in Scorpio, becomes all the more frank and open because of this. Mars is particularly strong during the beginning of December, so be aware of the need to be more forceful in your communications as a result of its influence on Mercury.
New Moon in Scorpio Dec. 3rd
The new Moon is at 16 degrees of sidereal Scorpio, within the lunar sign Jyeshta which is ruled by Mercury. Mercury itself has just entered the sign along with the new Moon and this brings an added awareness into our hearts and minds of our fears.
Steady the mind during this new Moon phase, as it is one which can lead to too many negative thoughts. Even though the aim is to find strength by being prepared for the worst, we of course know that the worst rarely occurs and instead we spend the time worrying unnecessarily. Use this new Moon phase to come back to your center and find rest there.
The new Moon is always about a new phase and a new beginning. It takes us to our core to reconnect with a deeper sense of Self, beyond worldly concerns and distractions. Scorpio brings us even deeper, through our fears and deeper still into a silence and transformative experience in the stillness which lies beyond those fears.
Ketu in Ashvini Dec. 3rd 2013 – July 13th 2014 (True Nodal Position)
Ketu leaves the lunar sign Bharani, ruled by Venus; a planet which has seen its fair share of transformations over the past few months. Ketu, the south node of the Moon, behaves like the trans-formative Mars but with more intensity, cutting away our worldly illusions altogether. Its influence on Venus has been more obviously a financial disillusionment, as we see what is going with the economy and our bank accounts. However, it has also brought about radical shifts in how we interact with one another, with a breakdown of old ways and innovative ideas coming to the fore.
Ketu is now moving into a lunar sign which it rules and will be more able to express its unorthodox approach and ability to cut away that which is unsatisfactory. Ashvini is the first lunar sign of the zodiac, represented by the Ashvini Kumaras. As horse-headed, physicians to the Gods, they symbolize virility, strength and stamina. This lunar sign is all about healing and finding strength through removing impurities – wherever they may be lurking in our lives.
With Mars currently transiting in the solar sign Virgo, we may see many health issues come to the fore, with Ketu now in this position. Great healing is possible as a result, but of course for there to be a healing there must first be the acknowledgement of a disease.
Look to the sign Aries to see where you experience this energy and need for purify at this time. Ketu's presence here over the last number of months has brought about a need to go deeper into these, with the possible result of dissatisfaction. Some with this sign may have perhaps lost something here and as that something is lost, a stronger sense of connection to its essence is achieved.
Look to the sign Aries in your own horoscope to see if you can determine its essence.
Now that Ketu gains strength in its own section of the zodiac, the fiery energy of destruction can only increase, burning up anything which is not connected to pure being - your essence.
Venus in Capricorn Dec. 5th – Jan. 6th 2014
(Retrograde Dec. 21st 2013 – Jan. 31st 2014)
Venus enters a friendly environment in Saturn's earth-dominant sign Capricorn on December 5th. It stays for longer in this sign due to its retrograde motion by the end of the month, which sees it backtrack into Sagittarius for a time early next year and then reemerge as the bright morning star once again by mid-January 2014.
This places the planet of love and harmony in an altogether more realistic and down-to-earth environment for the festive season. This is not a particularly negative thing and the planet of love is afforded the great strength of an exalted Saturn. However, because of its retrograde motion in Saturn's sign and Saturn itself being placed in Venus' sign Libra, we are all going to have to be take a wide angled lens approach to all that we hold dear. We may also have to tighten our purse strings somewhat for the coming weeks and be more realistic about our affairs in general.
This is because of a powerful interaction between the planet of pleasures (Venus) and the planet of restraint (Saturn) for most of the winter, leading to austerities and reassessments of the economic situation and in our relationships in general. While we could all do with a little restraint around the festivities, we must make sure that the energy of these transits does not dampen the mood too much.
Getting a balance between what we can afford and over-induing is one which is on offer this winter. You may think of this in terms of resources or in romantic relationships if you do not know what Venus represents for you personally (this is dependent on your rising sign).
While Venus is retrograde we are undergoing a review of what and who we value in our lives. It is therefore an inopportune time to trade in especially expensive items (or to trade in partners!) without a lot of forethought, as the value is unknown by both the buyer and seller.
Once Venus shows itself again by mid-January, it will be more exposed to the light of the early morning Sun. This places our values in relationships and self-worth in a more scrutinized position. I may use an analogy of a night out dancing. The lights are dimmed and we enjoy the interaction with a partner (or perhaps several partners) as we dance. We twist and turn around those in the room. The night brings a darkness which suits the activities of Venus. However, we may also stay until the end of the night and the lights get turned up. That person or persons we were dancing with do not look like we had imagined in the dimmed lighting. The harshness of the light makes us scrutinize all of their imperfections.
This scrutiny is possible in the coming weeks in all our relationships as we reevaluate those things we have placed great value on in our lives.
While we review our relationships we should find some insights into our relating dynamics with the help of the more objective Saturn. It is not necessarily an appropriate time to make any rash decisions about our observations. It is more beneficial to review these and make our decisions once this period is over by February of next year. This may be more of a challenge in the new year, as Mars encourages movement on certain issues in our relationships after January 6th. However, with Saturn also having an influence during this whole Venus retrograde period, we can always remain somewhat detached, allowing things to evolve as they will.
Jupiter's influence on Venus in the New Year and its continued influence on Saturn, allows us to look at what we value with more depth and detachment. This brings a steady growth. If something or someone does not live up to the type of discernment Jupiter offers, however, we may have to let go and move on with the help of Saturn.
Sun in Sagittarius Dec. 15th – Jan. 14th
The Sun moves into Jupiter's domain for the Christmas period, as it does every year, and we are brought into a more philosophical and traditional space once again. This year we also have Jupiter's influence from the opposite sign Gemini, ensuring a traditional Christmas, as we remember Christmas's of the past. We should be grateful to have something with more depth to indulge in this year.
Jupiter brings a depth to whatever area of our live it influences. This has been our interactions with each other as a global family. We are more aware of others around the world at this time as a result and no matter how tight the purse strings have to be kept for our own festivities, we must always remember how blessed we are when considering the plight of so many around the world.
I imagine you are one of those more fortunate in a material sense if you are reading this via the internet from the comfort of your own home. If you are in such a position, you may think about reaching out to others who are not so fortunate, lessening the harshness of winter for them.
The Sun moves into the lunar sign Moola. Moola is represented by a bunch of roots, tied together and is symbolic of our own roots to something beyond this material existence. As the light of the Sun lessens in the lead up to the solstice on the northern hemisphere, we are asked to go into the dark with our eyes open, ready to greet a new birth of the Sun on December 25th. The Moon then continues to wane in the last days of the year and we must return to source to find recoup our energy to find a new start on the new Moon in Sagittarius on New Year's day.
This year the Sun has all of the outer planets (Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) bringing their influence while it transits Sagittarius. Jupiter and Saturn bring a balance of joy and sadness, while Mars brings courage in facing a new year and all of its new challenges.
Full Moon in Gemini Dec. 17th
The full Moon is at 1 degree of sidereal Gemini in the lunar constellation known as Mrigashira. This lunar sign is ruled by the planet Mars and is symbolized by a deer's antlers. It is representative of how our minds can run in several directions and takes us into the sign Gemini, a sign which prefers choice and debate over action.
This full Moon phase is blessed by being with Jupiter, granting us a more hopeful sense for the upcoming festive season. Here we can balance our more philosophical concerns with the need to communicate from a intellectual standpoint.
Be sure not to let your mind wander so far that is becomes a futile exercise. Take some time out after this full Moon phase in the lead up to the solstice in order to recharge and renew.
Mercury in Sagittarius Dec. 20th – Jan. 8th 2014
Mercury moves swiftly into Jupiter's sign on December 20th and receives a strong influence from Jupiter while it is placed in the sign. This brings a more philosophical approach to our communications, which will benefit from such, considering Saturn's influence. Saturn can make us think and speak more narrowly and pessimistically, where Jupiter brings expansion and hope into our minds. This balance of Saturn and Jupiter is one which the sign Sagittarius has been experiencing since the summer of this year, and now that Mercury is involved we may find the words to express this sense in this area of our lives.
With Jupiter backtracking in Mercury's sign for the next few months, and now Mercury in Jupiter's sign for the next few weeks, we are given another powerful play between two planets. We already have Venus and Saturn exchanging signs, and previously we had Mercury exchanging with Mars, as well as Mars and the Sun.
Now we have Mercury and Jupiter exchanging. After the harsh decisions are made and the necessary actions are taken we can now learn from these actions, as we review the year.
The balance of the signs Gemini and Sagittarius becomes even more pronounced during Christmas and the New Year as a result of these transits. Gemini represents our own interests and playful nature, often expressed through the internet these days. Sagittarius represents that which brings us beyond all our mundane concerns in our everyday lives and takes us somewhere more profound and purposeful. Appropriately enough for this time of year, we will be wishing to review our beliefs and those who teach us due to Jupiter's retrograde motion. Now that Mercury joins in we are able to communicate from such a place, declaring what or who has given us depth to our lives in recent times.
Sharing knowledge which is of benefit to others is a worthwhile pursuit, as we are taken out of our own petty concerns for a time and experience the connection between one another beyond that which words express.
Solstice Dec. 21st (17.11 UTC)
It is time to make friends with the darkness. Open your eyes and welcome it in completely. An Osho darkness meditation is one where one stares into the complete darkness, becoming one with it. There is nothing negative about this darkness. It is only our avoidance which makes it so. It is simply an absence of light and you are invited to take it in as part of your being at this time of year.
For the next few days we are at the darkest time of the year on the northern hemisphere. By December 25th the Sun appears to rise by one degree on the horizon and we celebrate this in various ways around the world. This is felt as a relief for those who are unable to acknowledge their insecurities, fears and shortcomings, or who make stories out of this natural phenomenon. Stories which take up so much energy and time to keep alive - the monsters in our closets, the ghouls under the bed, the negative feelings we suppress or the negative thoughts we indulge.
Once the solstice has passed and the New Year rolls on, the light begins to increase and we are given a sense of a new beginning on New Year's day when we also have a new Moon. This increase of light happens naturally, just as every time we stumble and fall, we simply get up and try again. This winter we have Mars' influence helping us get on to our feet with added gusto, and Saturn and Jupiter's influences making sure we keep things in perspective.
OM TAT SAT