Venus in Libra
The sign Libra has had its fair share of pressure in the past year due to Saturn and Rahu being placed either side of the sign, creating a less than harmonious environment, and this continues in December, with Mars joining in on the assault on Venus.
At least Venus is placed in its own sign and December brings more parties to enjoy, of course, offering us new opportunities of connecting with each other in more harmonious ways than November offered us. However, there are other, more turbulent, transits which continue to demand we negotiate our way out of a very tight squeeze in December.
Mercury enters Sagittarius Dec. 6
Mercury's transit through Sagittarius will increase powerfully held beliefs being expressed. Mercury is ordinarily more suited to the idealism and frankness of Sagittarius, then it is to the emotional depths of the previous sign Scorpio. However, Mercury's transit through Scorpio was helped enormously by its ruler, Mars, being placed in Mercury's exalted sign Virgo. This exchange of signs is the first of three in December and puts Mercury and Mars in strength until December 6, which can be a good or bad thing, of course. Planets which are not friendly to each other do not negotiate as well. So Mars, the planet of war, and Mercury, the planet of communication, create a decidedly warlike rhetoric.
December is a better time to communicate from an ideal vision and a new hope and optimism. However, because Mars influences Mercury from Virgo and Jupiter influences from Leo, it is best to reign your enthusiasm a little if you only end up beating someone over the head with your firmly held beliefs, or worse still, harm someone because of what they believe.
This time of year represents a need to engage more socially with our faith, of course, and many around the world gather in places of worship. As Mercury transits through Sagittarius through Christmas day, we can deal tune into the beliefs we hold, and whether these beliefs are still relevant to our lives. Jupiter gets us to think big and Mars cuts to the chase, allowing us to process data more effectively.
New Moon in Scorpio Dec. 11
The Moon reaches the Sun's degree (24 degrees) at 10.29 GMT in the sign Scorpio on December 11. This New Moon is placed within the lunar sign Jyestha which is symbolized by a talisman, representing the acquisition of power. It is a sign which is represented by an elder, and shows the depths we need to go to in order to become wise. Those that have pain etched across their faces have grown through the pain and continue to expand inwardly. Many of those who have experienced the pain of leaving war-torn regions of the world have also had to move on in physical space - on a quest to find a new sense of hope and build a new life for themselves.
This new Moon phase is a time to turn inward to find inner strength and resilience in the face of perceived threats, whether real or not. The effect fear has on our minds is what is relevant. We must rise above the pain and reach a more philosophical state of being, represented by the following sign Sagittarius.
For this new Moon in Scorpio, Mars is placed opposite Uranus, and in a square aspect with Pluto, as it continues to be influenced by the Moon's nodes and the degrees which became eclipsed earlier this year. Uranus and Pluto are the outer planets of endings and new beginnings which, when interacting with Mars, create many turbulent and unsettling events in the world. And as the Moon moves through Mars' sign by the new Moon phase from December 10, a volatile situation is created, with a sense of vulnerability during the dark nights of December.
Sun enters Sagittarius Dec. 16
At this time of year we begin to turn our attention to the beliefs we hold, moving us into a New Year. Sagittarius represents a need to move from an experience of pain and reach outwards with a new sense of hope and optimism.
As the Sun transits Jupiter's sign, Jupiter is placed in the Sun's sign. This is the second exchange of signs - this time between the Sun and Jupiter - and a time to look closely at the beliefs, and the people, we would like to guide us forward, with a strong sense of Self guiding us in our decisions.
The Sun's transit to Sagittarius is stronger and we feel more energized and charged as a result. This is especially the case as the Sun moves away from the restrictive influence of Saturn in Scorpio, and we can tune into the expansive quality of Jupiter.
Solstice Dec. 22
The Sun seems to hang in the skies in Sagittarius and the lunar sign, Moola which represents our origins, during the period of the Solstice (meaning to 'stand still'), and for the three days following until it appears to move upward once again on December 25. On this day (Christmas Day) it begins its northerly route once again for those on the northern hemisphere, heralding a new beginning. Of course, the southern hemisphere experience this as the Sun beginning its southerly route, which is a more internal shift into the winter months.
Either way, things hang in the balance for the whole planet. This stand still requires us to do the same. By this point, we should be in a position to wind down and take care of ourselves, after the recent intensity has kept us busy and stressed out.
Of course, it is often the case that when we finally do slow down we experience a crash and so we must look after ourselves even more during the still nights at the year's end.
Mars enters Libra Dec. 24
Mars moves out of the frustrating analysis and the turbulence it experienced in Virgo, and moves into a tight squeeze between the north node (Rahu) and Saturn in Libra. It does so just as the ruler of Libra, Venus is about to move into Mars' own sign, Scorpio. This is the third exchange between planets this month. Although it is not as co-operative as the Sun and Jupiter, it is one which gives strength to both gender planets nonetheless.
Mars' impulse is to destroy weakness. Libra's impulse is to find balance. Mars can make finding balance an act of aggression and we lose balance in the process, so its exchange with Venus is welcomed. Homeostasis is not achieved through struggle, after all. With Venus in Scorpio plunging us into the depths of loyalty and betrayal, we will see lots of passion leading to many an overindulgence by Christmas. Again, we must be thankful for Mars exchange with Venus which lends itself to a more disciplined approach to the festive excesses.
Venus enters Scorpio Dec. 25
Venus enters Mars' sign on Christmas day, just after Mars has entered its sign, Libra. This exchange is a passionate mix which could be a good or bad thing depending on your experience of these planets. In general, anytime these two planets get involved intimately there is a lot of passion and indulgence which needs to be regulated if a balance is to be kept.
Venus is not alone while in Scorpio. It is placed with the planet Saturn. Venus placed alongside the planet of restriction is a time for a reality check after all of the money has been spent. This is especially felt by the New Year as Venus and Saturn come together. This is a more sobering period in relation to the financial sector and relational diplomacy on a global scale, as well as our own finances and relationships.
Venus in Scorpio causes the planet of harmony to rock the boat a little, as it tests the waters in relation to loyalty and commitment alongside Saturn.
Full Moon in Gemini Dec. 25
Christmas day is also a full Moon phase which culminates at 11.11 GMT in the sign Gemini and the lunar sign, Ardra. This lunar sign is a turbulent and stormy sign which can lead to a lot of turbulence. The Sun sits opposite in the lunar sign Moola which connects us to our origins and keeps us more steady. Although some may not be able to see past their own origins of ancestry and personal history, many more will be able to access our true origins, beyond religious beliefs or cultural backgrounds, tuning us into our shared humanity.
Mercury enters Capricorn Dec. 26
Mercury moves into Saturn's sign and into an aspect from Saturn while in Capricorn for the New Year. As Mercury moves forward into 2016 we are struck with the need to look more closely at our lives in the cold light of day. Once the Christmas lights are taken down, and we get back to our schedules, we engage with what needs to be done once the indulgences of December become a blurry vision.
Mercury is about to move into its first retrograde phase of 2016 and will move back into Sagittarius where it receives the influence of hopeful Jupiter by mid-January. It will move retrograde from January 5 until January 25 2016 (more on this next month) and will bring a need to backtrack over what we hope to make happen in 2016, and the practical steps we need to take in order to see it through.
This is a wake-up call for the New Year but one we all need all the same. Jupiter also begins its retrograde period in January, stationing retrograde by the New Year, and asks us all to be more introspective about our ideals moving forward into 2016.
Saturn enters Jyestha Nakshatra
Saturn moves into the last lunar sign in Scorpio known as Jyestha on December 28, and remains in this sign until January 26 2017 - apart from a period spent in the previous sign, Anuradha from July 8 to September 17 2016. It returns to Jyestha from June 21 to October 26 2017 due to its retrograde transit back into the last 3 degrees of Scorpio in that year. Jyestha is a lunar sign ruled by Mercury, a friend and ally to Saturn, and we can use the wisdom of the ages to help us in our practical needs at this time. Practices like yoga, or energetic exercises which bring balance to the air element and the resulting fear, are helpful during this period.
Jyestha means 'elder sister' and one of its symbols is an earring, or talisman, representing magical powers. Those with the sign prominent are fond of acquiring power through means which are often hidden from view and performed in secret. This is one reason the sign Scorpio is known for its secrecy.
If you have any planets or important degrees within the late degrees of Scorpio (16 to 30), then the next couple of years are important for you to pay attention to. Acquiring power for your betterment is a better way of helping yourself and others who may experience a lack of power, or are overpowered by other powerful people or events in the next couple of years.
Saturn's transit to this sign marks a key shift in world events and in our personal lives, as the intensity of the transits of 2016 and 2017 begin to play out. Being aware of stormy weather allows us to plan more effectively, of course. And although many may try to hide away in relative safety, we are all affected by the storm raging outside, and are better prepared if we are fully informed.
It is time to face our own weaknesses and turn these into shared strengths.
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
OM TAT SAT
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.