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Weekly Forecast December 16: Full Moon in Gemini, Sun Enters Capricorn

© Dzain for Dreamstime.com

© Dzain for Dreamstime.com

The week before the Christmas holiday is typically fairly quiet, but with this week’s dynamic astrological aspects, we’re going to see more than a few springs start to pop.

Most of the action takes place on Tuesday, when Uranus in impulsive Aries comes out of retrograde a few hours after the Full Moon in hyperactive Gemini. Uranus has been moving away from the heavily charged square with Pluto, but as of Tuesday, he’ll begin moving back toward Mr. Intensity until they form the next exact square on April 21.

Uranus and Pluto both like to break their toys – Uranus by throwing them at the wall or, better still, blowing them up; and Pluto by pulling off the moving parts slowly over time and stepping on them, dropping them off the roof, setting them on fire, crushing them in the trash compactor, flushing them down the toilet, etc. It can take a while, but making others suffer is part of the fun. When you put this pair together, you get double the destruction in half the time. Uranus waking up could reduce the time to seconds.

Possible events related to this shift include explosions, violent wind storms (not that we haven’t had plenty of those already), and other weather-related developments – all of which may increase as Mars approaches opposition to Uranus on Christmas Day. The week between Christmas and New Year’s could be difficult in many ways (more about that next week).

At the very least, it’s fair to say that we can expect to see some surprises or sudden changes, or both. This applies to individuals as well as the collective. You likely know by now where the Uranus-Pluto square has been transiting your chart, and you probably have some idea of how it’s manifesting in your life. The absolutely maddening thing about Uranus is that it’s useless to speculate about what kind of surprise you might get, because whatever it might be isn’t yet in your sphere of awareness.

In the meantime, all I can say is to cherish the ones you love, connect with your people, and resist the urge to spend. Rather than going overboard with holiday buying, be as conservative as possible. Hold something back for a rainy (or snowy) day. I do a lot of baking at the holidays, and I can tell you that a plate of homemade cookies is more appreciated than anything I could buy. I’ve been amazed by the reactions, but I finally got it last week after seeing a television commercial with a woman decorating “homemade” Christmas cookies that she baked with a packaged mix. Now that I don’t get.

Full Moon in Gemini

Click on image to enlarge

In the chart for the Full Moon in Gemini, you can see the T-square with Mars, Uranus, and Pluto just beginning to form. Those of us who are sensitive may start feeling jumpy again and probably exhausted, too. We had a break for a few weeks, and now we’re heading back into the turbulence. The good news is that if you’ve stuck, the extra jolt may push you out of a rut.

With Mars in Libra, relationships are especially subject to some shifting – all the more so with Venus about to turn retrograde. In romantic partnerships and close friendships, we often don’t talk about what bothers us, thinking that it doesn’t matter or that we should be able to “get over it” and move on. Love isn’t supposed to be petty, jealous, selfish, unkind, and all that. Very few of us, though, can truly let go of these things. Eventually, resentment builds up and can turn to anger, and we can explode at the smallest trigger. By then, it’s difficult to talk it out, because there are so many buried feelings that it’s virtually impossible to go back to the source of the problem.

Venus retrograde, Mars in Libra, and Mars retrograde in Libra in March, April, and May could help us get to the root. I just need to warn you that the process is work, it demands a lot of you, and it’s exhausting. But if you value your relationship, it’s worth the effort. You might get clues this week or maybe just a vague feeling or the seed of a new approach, and then events will unfold between now and next summer.

Diplomatic ties also are relationships, and all of what I wrote above applies to countries, too. The budding relationship between the United States and Iran will continue to unfold under these planetary influences, and relations with other countries in the Middle East also will require adjusting.

Saturday is Solstice Day, which many people celebrate as an alternative to the Christian holiday. For astrologers, it’s an important day in the year, when the Sun crosses one of the four cardinal points that mark the beginning of each new season (actually, I consider them to be the middle or height of the season, but that’s a story for another time). Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the longest night of the year, which of course means that the light steadily begins to return at this time.

In the Capricorn ingress chart for the United States (set for 12:11:10 p.m. in Washington, D.C.; chart not shown), the Sun is close to the Midheaven, in a close square with the Ascendant at 2 degrees Aries. Chart ruler Mars is in Libra in the seventh house, which strongly suggests that foreign relations will be a dominant concern throughout the winter. Current relations, especially those on shaky ground, might break down altogether when Mars turns retrograde, but there will be a chance to rebuild them into connections that are more sustainable, just, and equal. Meanwhile, at home, there will be growing unrest. If and when it erupts, it will be promptly put down by the Powers That Be, not unlike what just happened in Kiev. It’s also possible that there will be nationwide mourning of some kind, possibly for a beloved leader.

A few hours after the Sun enters Capricorn, Venus turns retrograde in the sign of the Seagoat. Financial concerns come into play now in a big way. Now that Congress has reached a budget deal, issues that stalled due to partisan infighting can get a second chance. One of the items on the president’s agenda is appropriating funds to repair the nation’s crumbling infrastructure – a fitting agenda item for Capricorn. Back in 2008, when Pluto entered Capricorn, I wrote about this national priority.

As I mentioned above, many relationships also will go through some scrutiny while Venus is retrograde. Capricorn is a sign of duty and responsibility, so committed partnerships are likeliest to need an investment of time and effort. And while Venus retrograde periods are absolutely not recommended for weddings, it is a good time to explore whether you’re ready to make a commitment and to face your fears.

I’ll have more on Venus and Mars in future forecasts. I want to spend to the rest of this one discussing comet ISON.

ISON has been pronounced dead. Nothing is left from its encounter with the sun but a cloud of dust. It’s all but certain that this visitor came but once, only to die on its journey. In searching for what its “message” might be, we can look at major contacts it made before breaking up.

First, it made a tight conjunction with Mars and Regulus in mid-October. As I wrote back then, astrologers have observed Regulus since ancient times to predict the future of the monarch. Regulus means “prince” or “little king” in Latin. This bright star, which is one of the four Royal Stars of Persia (also called the Four Guardians of Heaven), also is called Qalb al-Asad in Arabic or Cor Leonis in Latin, meaning “heart of the lion,” referring to its position in the constellation Leo. “Courage” and “encouragement” are from the same Latin root. We all can be more courageous by living from the heart, the true seat of the mind. Still, I believe this conjunction refers to a prominent political or military leader – Mars being the planet of war.

ISON also conjoined Mercury and Saturn, although not as tightly as his contact with Mars and Regulus. Planet Mercury is named for the mythological messenger of the gods and in astrology rules communications. Saturn, meanwhile, is the Lord of Time. Before Pluto was discovered in 1930, astrologers considered Saturn as the planet of death. So there is something symbolic in ISON’s conjunction with Saturn just four days before its fateful encounter with the sun. Saturn also is the Lord of Karma and karmic lessons.

The thing is, ISON wasn’t visible with the naked eye, so if there was a message, it likely wasn’t for the general population. That might discount obvious messages such as, “Wake up people, before you destroy the environment and blow up the planet.” A possible message might have to do with equality and justice, but I think it’s even deeper than that.

The third and last contact ISON made before fragmenting was with the stars in the head of Scorpio, not far from where Scorpio and Ophiuchus meet. Master astrologer Melanie Reinhart wrote an intriguing analysis for The Mountain Astrologer‘s blog, with stunning graphics (thanks to Osk for sending the link). She wrote the piece before ISON broke up, though, so her interpretation needs some updating. What’s left of the comet is following its predicted path, but there must be some additional symbolism in its passage through Ophiuchus and Serpens Cauda – the head of the snake being held by the snake handler/healer – as a ghost.

One last thought concerns the concept of cazimi in horary astrology. I don’t know if it applies here, but it’s interesting to contemplate the theory. Horary astrology is the art of prediction by casting a chart for the moment a question is asked or problem clarified. The rules for cazimi vary slightly, but the basic idea is that a planet is cazimi when it is in exact or very close conjunction with the Sun.

In an article in the current issue of The Mountain Astrologer, horary doyenne Deborah Houlding discusses the concept of cazimi and notes that while some astrologers in past centuries considered a planet to be strong in cazimi, others noted that it is similar to the human body undergoing detox – much weakened, but in a state that will lead to better health. At perihelion, ISON was conjunct the Sun and therefore could be said to be cazimi. Yet it emerged not in better health, but dead.

My initial thoughts are that it may take death to heal some of the deepest wounds, especially those with which we came into this incarnation. Death, after all, is just a passage from one state to another. All of the healing work we’re doing now, individually and in groups, may not have its greatest effect in this lifetime but in future incarnations. I, for one, would be elated if I came in next time around without all the accumulated karmic baggage I brought with me on this trip.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.

Weekly Forecast December 5: Uranus Direct, Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

The monolith from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 sci-fi breakthrough, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I keep telling myself that the universe was born out of chaos.

This has been my mantra for the past two weeks, which have been nothing if not chaotic. The week ahead is going to be even more so, with Uranus turning direct this Saturday less than eight hours before a lunar eclipse in Gemini. If any one planet spells chaos, it’s Uranus, bringer of upsets, surprises, and general mayhem. Gemini, meanwhile, is ruled by Mercury, a lower octave of Uranus.

Mercury also happens to be retrograde for another week – he turns direct on the 13th – and what a performance he has given us so far! Maybe if we nominate him for an Oscar now, he won’t feel obliged to keep up appearances for our sake. I’ve been “entertained” quite enough, thank you very much. Some of the things I’ve done have been shocking – and embarrassing. Can I tell my instructor that I lost a vital piece of equipment because Mercury was retrograde?

Eclipses can be chaotic events in and of themselves. Typically, we experience some kind of rapid change around the time of eclipses, sometimes within a matter of days, but sometimes not for another 30 or 60 days – another one or two lunar cycles. Sometimes, we even experience our “eclipse event” before the actual eclipse. However, this time around, I suspect the change will arrive within a week or two after the Full Moon, and it will correspond in some way to the solar eclipse on November 25. Check your chart (or your StarGuide December forecast) to see where the eclipse occurred. Then look at the opposite house and check what you’ve got going on there. Your “news” could come in an area governed by either house. You’ll be affected most if the eclipses are in an angular house – the first, tenth, seventh and fourth.

For example, if the solar eclipse fell in your tenth house and the lunar eclipse is in your fourth, you might hear about a new job, and it could require you to move or to spend a lot of time away from your family. However, with Mercury still in “reverse,” your actual start date might be delayed until after the first of the year. Indeed, let’s hope it is, because you really wouldn’t want to sign an employment contract or any other kind of contract while Mercury is retrograde. Also, if your eclipse event is an ending of some kind that makes you sad – for example, breaking up with a partner – you may need to let it go for good. Events that happen near eclipses seem to have a sense of purpose and permanence.

Chart for Lunar Eclipse in Gemini

Click on image to enlarge

In general, synchronicities continue to pop out all over. Every day, I hear a new tale or two about amazing “coincidences” with nearly impossible odds of happening. This is how you “see” invisible planetary energies. They manifest as events, people, and situations. You just need to learn to recognize the patterns. I liken it to the visual puzzles that used to appear in the comics section of the newspaper. Figures were hidden within drawings, and you had to turn the image around every which way to be able to find them. What was so amazing about the illusion was that some people could see it instantly, and others couldn’t see it, even with someone pointing it out to them. That pretty much sums up my take on the invisible energies coursing through our universe. Before we can learn to use them to our advantage, we have to learn to see them.

Speaking of which, here is this week’s outlook:

On Monday, Venus in Capricorn trines Mars in Virgo – two earth signs known for diligence and practicality. It doesn’t sound very romantic, does it? Then, there’s something to be said for doing it over and over again until you get it right. On the same day, the Moon in bold Aries opposes Saturn in Libra. Don’t even ask who gets to be on top (hint: Capricorn is sometimes symbolized by a mountain goat).

Saturday is the big day, with Uranus, the Awakener, waking up in the dynamic sign of Aries and ready to make up for lost time during all those months when he was retrograde. If you’ve needed a shakeup in your life, this could be your moment. Shakeups usually aren’t comfortable, but there’s no faster way to get where you want to be.

The eclipse occurs at 9:36 a.m. on the East Coast of the United States, 6:36 a.m. on the West Coast. We might get to see a bit of it here, if the clouds part long enough.

The weekend and the beginning of next week may be slow, but once Mercury returns direct on December 13, prepare to move forward at warp speed! Until then, keep your nerve … and keep your eye on the prize.

Wishing you all much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Full Moon in Gemini, December 1-2, 2009


If you feel like you are about to go into orbit, it could be due to a very energetic Full Moon at 10° 15′ Gemini on December 1 (December 2 in the Eastern Hemisphere). The majority of planets are in fire and air signs for a change, but it would behoove us to remember there is a darker undertow beneath that shiny surface.

Gemini’s ruler, Mercury, is in direct, outspoken Sagittarius closely sextile to Jupiter, Sagittarius’s ruling planet. Depending on your perspective, this aspect is either extremely creative and stimulating or full of hot air. That call I will be happy to leave up to everyone’s personal judgment. However, I do recommend taking time to check facts before taking action, because it is very easy for us to get ahead of ourselves under this very Jupitarian influence.

Since Neptune and Chiron in Aquarius are also exactly sextile to Mercury, we may have a realization slip into our conscious minds from below about an old source of pain and resentment, presenting an opportunity for healing. Another possible expression is seeing slights where none were intended and responding with harsh, wounding words, effectively alienating others.

Mars in fiery, outgoing Leo is further bumping up the desire to make a big splash one way or another. It forms a supportive trine to the Sun in Sagittarius and is sextile the Gemini Moon, encouraging fire and air signs in particular to get out and take advantage of various holiday gatherings. If you are out shopping for gifts, be aware it will be easy to spend too much, especially for glitz and glittery items. Otherwise this is a great aspect for throwing a grand party and having a great time.

There is one gentle sane note in this chart and that is Venus, newly arrived in Sagittarius, stabilized by a sextile to Saturn in equitable Libra. Saturn will help Venus maintain some decorum amidst all the hype and drama being generated now.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the party poopers: Mercury in Sagittarius square Uranus in Pisces and the ongoing Saturn in Libra square to Pluto in Capricorn.

Uranus turns direct at 22° 42′ Pisces a few hours before the Full Moon and forms a jarring square with Mercury in Sagittarius. Taking in consideration the already volatile sextile Mercury makes with Jupiter, the square from Uranus further increases the potential for jumping to unwarranted conclusions. Yes, it is always possible to use these potent energies in a conscious, helpful manner, but it will take focus and discipline. In other words, take extra care to express yourself in a thoughtful manner. Shooting from the hip could come back and bite you big time.

I am beginning to see the Saturn-Pluto square taking its toll in people’s lives and relationships. It is becoming clear our relationships are being tuned up, and where one person or the other has indulged in irresponsible behaviors, there is a very good chance that those relationships will come to an end. Pluto in Capricorn makes a very good executioner, too.

Clearly the Sabian symbol for the Full Moon of 11 Gemini, “Newly opened lands offer the pioneer new opportunities for experience,” reflects the exuberant sextile between Mercury in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Aquarius. We are drawn to seek new experiences and the excitement of going off the beaten track.

For the Sun in Sagittarius, the symbol is 11 Sagittarius, “In the left section of an archaic temple, a lamp burns in a container shaped like a human body.” This is a gentle reminder to take care of our bodies and treat them as “temples” that house our spirits.

With my Libra Moon conjoined Neptune in the eleventh house, I have learned to pay attention to my intuitive sense telling me what is out of balance in the collective as a whole. Libra is the sign of the scales, and many of us with a strong Libra signature in our charts automatically do what is necessary to restore equilibrium to any given situation. With the arrival of Saturn in Libra, there is a feeling of greater urgency about this mission.

When I am writing these posts on the lunations, I follow my intuition as to what to emphasize and seek to offer a balanced perspective. Writing about this Full Moon, it would have been easy to stick to a bright and cheerful message, but my inner voice was saying, “Don’t stop there. Remind people of the dark undercurrent out there we need to stay aware of.”

It is more important now than ever to interact with others in a kind and respectful manner. Doing otherwise holds the potential to backfire on us . . . badly. Spread thoughtfulness and love, not hate and dissension.

Libra always seeks balanceposted by Neith . . .

New Moon in Sagittarius, November 27, 2008

New Moon in SagittariusAll you Archers out there will be thrilled to learn that this is a quintessential New Moon in Sagittarius. Not only are the Sun and Moon conjoined at 5°49′ Sagittarius, but Mercury and Mars are within a couple of degrees as well. Yes, it’s time to celebrate Sagittarius!

It is fair to say we will all be feeling this stellium wherever it falls in our charts, urging us to think big and maybe take a chance or two. Sagittarius is interested in exploring different ideas and drawing concepts from many different cultures to build something new and interesting. With the drive of Mars in Sagittarius coupled to Mercury’s free-wheeling thinking in Sagittarius, this is a great time to travel to far away places, even if it’s only from your armchair. It is also time to put the intense introspection of Scorpio behind us for awhile.

Jupiter, Sagittarius’s ruler, is still in Capricorn, but he is conjunct Venus, and both are sextile Uranus, who stations direct three hours before the New Moon. This is a lot of creative, expansive energy looking for an outlet, and we might as well take advantage of it while we can. Indeed, from this day until the end of December, all the planets will be direct. So check and see what you have put off, because forward thinking is what will be rewarded.

Another big shift taking place the day before the New Moon is Pluto’s move into Capricorn, where he will remain until 2023. We have discussed numerous possibilities about what this move will bring and will continue to do so as Pluto settles into his new sign. In this chart, Pluto is exactly trine Vesta in Taurus, underlining the awareness of Capricorn being a feminine, earth sign and serving as a reminder of the inherent power abiding in nature. The season of Capricorn in the northern latitudes is one in which all the action in the growing cycle takes place beneath the surface, awaiting release to burgeon forth during Taurus’s season of late spring.

For now, the opposition between Uranus in Pisces and Saturn in Virgo is separating and will continue to do so until Saturn goes retrograde at the end of December. I am quite happy to catch a breather from this opposition before the second pass is exact on February 5, 2009. Right now, Uranus forms a lovely sextile with Venus and Jupiter, with Saturn trine that pair – a great pattern for actualizing and manifesting your favorite creative projects.

The Sabian symbol for 6 Sagittarius is, a game of cricket, with the keywords GROUP SOLIDARITY. Fairness and cooperation are needed to achieve collective goals. The stellium in Sagittarius on this New Moon encourages sportsmanship and fair play while keeping in mind it’s the process, not the result, that is important. We have spent far too much time and energy as a collective on “winning” during the Pluto in Sagittarius years, and now that Pluto is in Capricorn, we can start working together steadily to achieve our goals.

Let’s all enjoy this exuberant New Moon and brace ourselves for a wild ride over the next month. Remember to take time to express your appreciation for friends and family and practice kindness to all.

Libra with Scorpio risingposted by Neith . . .

Of course, today is the day to write your New Moon abundance checks! Here’s how.