We open this month with a total solar eclipse in Sagittarius on Dec. 3, the last of the Gemini-Sagittarius eclipses that first began in 2020. This closing Sagittarius eclipse puts a wrap on a concealing and revealing process that centered on the life of the mind and the philosophy with which we weave our worlds. Neptune stationing (standing still) for what feels like forever can feel like treading water, or inspiration without drive—though it is also gathering strength for the blessing of Jupiter’s conjunction in May 2022. Meanwhile, action-oriented Mars continues to challenge us to find a steady path forward amidst the moving pieces and shifting sands underfoot, while the mind of Mercury also struggles to find a good expression within the diffusion of Neptune. We’re also beginning to get a sense of Venus’ incoming retrograde, which will have us face our fears and vulnerabilities in the realms of romance, finance, and intimacy of every kind--sending us on a journey into the underworld.
Neptune Stationing Direct
Our fair planet of dreams and delusions, Neptune has been standing still at 20° Pisces for a month and a half, and after officially returning to direct motion on December 1st, will still be standing at 20° Pisces for another month and a half!! before actually eking into the next degree. Standing still in the sky indicates an intensification of Neptune’s qualities, but the slippery nature of Neptune is to remain hidden and elusive, or so pervasive as to go unnoticed. And yet dreams may be more vivid than usual and we may be more susceptible to (and desirous of) intoxication during this period. For those who have a planet near that mutable degree, this may be a time of increased inspiration but lowered vitality or motivation.
New Moon, Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius
The New Moon is another period of time that typically reflects low vitality when we might retreat, take rest, and rejuvenate. On the New Moon at 11:43 pm Pacific on December 3rd, we will experience the final eclipse of the Gemini/Sagittarius eclipse cycle which started creeping in, in June 2020 but fully took hold in November 2020.
The Gemini/Sagittarius polarity is a cerebral one, quite concerned with conceptual reality, our ethical orientation, and the exchange of ideas. Under this eclipse, we can reflect on how our philosophies and our understandings of life, our means of communication, and our social networks have shifted or been challenged over the last eighteen months. How will we gather ourselves to consciously integrate these shifts and move forward? We can also think back to the last time there was an eclipse at approximately 12° Sagittarius, which was on December 4, 2002, since that may give us some of the shapes of this eclipse and its significance in our own lives.
This current eclipse particularly highlights any difficulties with sorting out fact from fiction or connecting our dreams and aspirations to reality. We may be drawn to consider how we fight for what we believe in, and whether or how that fight serves us or undermines us. And for whatever of our lives has been shaped by this series of eclipses, the continuing pressure of Saturn square Uranus’ structural adjustments suggests that the new ground beneath us has not quite yet found its final form. We may work to establish our new footing but can expect the unexpected to continue to pop up. It is natural to feel weary, but half of the challenge may lie in accepting new drivers of our lives, our will, our desire, and being willing to take a leap into the new.
Mars trine Neptune, sextile Pluto, and square Jupiter
The energy to take leaps and marshall courage or persistence, embodied by the red planet of Mars, continues a powerful march through the simmering sign of Scorpio. We may still be dealing with the aftermath of November’s rambunctious Mars, which pushed many of us into expressing our frustrations and releasing pent-up tensions or aggravations. Any efforts to make a repair or move towards conflict resolution are aided by Mars’ flowing trine to the healing powers of Neptune (exact Nov. 29). Mars-Neptune can put us in the mood to be more introspective and sensitive to feelings of aggression and brings a conciliatory tone to an otherwise inflated sense of one’s righteousness.
Mighty Mars is also making a soft sextile to the intensity of Pluto (exact December 5), bringing some supportive strength to our will to face off with challenges in our lives. Mars-Pluto speaks of fearlessness and tenacity, but the softness of the sextile can keep us on task and away from the overwhelm of trying to address too many things at once.
However, the stressful square of Mars to inflate Jupiter (exact December 7) could lead us to overestimate our capacities a bit and bite off more than we can chew. Excessive (Jupiter) enthusiasm (Mars) may color this week, and within the context of the solar eclipse, may lead us to act more boldly than wisely. This aspect certainly is one of championing causes or ideas and rooting our actions in a higher authority, such as the divine or one’s country. Look out for pushing ourselves beyond our physical limits—and also for treading on others’ toes with too much zeal, righteousness or certainty that we, and we alone, are correct.
Mercury square Neptune
For unless we are strong in the practice of meditation, we’re likely to be a little off on our analysis of events this week, as the mind of Mercury squares foggy Neptune (exact Dec. 7). This aspect is symbolic of the mind of the mystic, but only where that mind has been trained and refined through a process of burning away delusions, projections and wishful fantasies. It may be tempting to give into fantasy or try to dream away our real troubles. While there is a proper place for play time and fruitful absorption in the imagination, the discordant square aspect warns us against letting fantasy overpower our capacity for discernment. And it is not always a rosy vision which clouds our perception—being overly negative and ruled by irrational fears can just as easily prevent us from seeing the beauty of the truth before us.
Venus Retrograde Incoming
Much in the realm of truth and beauty is being stirred now, as Venus moves through the shadow of her upcoming retrograde before turning retrograde on December 19. Shadow periods—when Venus walks the steps she will retrace during her retrograde—bring us a foreshadowing of the challenges we may encounter during the retrograde. Venus will conjoin with the fearsome power of Pluto during this cycle, promising to unearth our relationship to power, control, transformation, and intimacy. Pluto brings an epic magnification of the descent into the shadowy underworld of the heart that Venus retrogrades already signify.
We can look back to the last Venus retrograde in Capricorn in Dec. 2013—which also involved conjunction with Pluto—for some insight into the potentials of this incoming retrograde. What fears or desires are emerging for you now? We will be well-served by calling upon a sacred curiosity, and marshaling our inner resources to embrace swirling emotions and grow through the inner tumult, rather than being possessed by fears of the worst-case scenario.
Venus Retrograde Dates
Venus enters shadow on November 17, 2021
Venus stations retrograde at 26° Capricorn December 19, 2021
Venus stations direct at 11° Capricorn January 29, 2022
Venus exits shadow March 2, 2022
*Stay tuned for Venus Retrograde report coming soon!*
Cosmic sightings by astrologer Erica Jones
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