December 2016 Astro-Insights


November’s cosmic energy epitomised Scorpio energy in some many ways – first the world experienced a bout of crisis and shock (rather like The Tower card in the Tarot) followed by a period of realignment as Mars, Jupiter and Saturn came together to work with Uranus in rebuilding the foundations of structures that it had knocked down earlier.

Although things are likely to surge ahead at quite a rapid rate during the first half of the month, by the time we reach the winter solstice, when Mars enters spiritual Pisces and Mercury turns retrograde, it’s time to slow down, recharge your batteries and contemplate your next move. Spend this time setting your intentions for the coming New Year with a view to articulating any specific wishes or affirmations around the New Moon on Dec 29 if you want to get a head start on 2017.

Both the winter solstice and Christmas Day look set to be rather special times this year. In my analysis of the solar ingress chart for Dec 21, I discuss how the Capricorn sun will help begin an ascension process associated with the merging of the divine feminine energy of Regulus in Virgo with the Christ-like male energy of Mars in Pisces. See below for details.

Christmas Day is also set to be extra special this year, thanks to a plethora of stunning planetary aspects between Venus & Jupiter, Saturn & Uranus, including a minor grand trine in air signs. Keep an open mind, look for ways to blend the old with new traditions, and be ready to shift into a brand new paradigm in the New Year. After a difficult year, there’ll be much to celebrate and give thanks for this festive season.

Lunar Phases

NEW MOON IN SAGITTARIUS – 29 November 2016, 12h18 GMT

December’s lunar month begins early with a New Moon on November 29. Coming before the ‘official’ start to December, this is likely to generate a feeling of urgency – a degree of panic even – as new projects and offers start pouring in before everyone has had a chance to finish traditional ‘month-end’ tasks. Rather than overreact – always a possibility with this combination – it’s best to tune into the expansive, enthusiastic energy that a New Moon in a fire sign brings and use it to get a headstart on travel and study plans, as well as family or food arrangements for Christmas.

This particular New Moon will occur at 7 degrees of Sagittarius. An upbeat, fiery sign, Sagittarius urges us to aim high, dream big and be adventurous.

Sabian Symbolism for the 8th degree of Sagittarius


This month’s Sabian symbol carries a lot of mining and alchemical analogies, which is interesting, given the recent news about Pluto’s ‘heart-shaped depression’ and the recent Jupiter-Pluto square (24 Nov). Both last month’s Full Moon (14 Nov) and this particular New Moon also happened to coincide with increased earthquake activity, especially along the edges of the Pacific plate, which again seems significant. Both earthquakes and mining are very much associated with Pluto, while many people believe that the Moon’s gravitational pull may somehow trigger earthquake activity. Jupiter also happens to be the planetary ruler of Sagittarius, so somehow, all three planets seem to be linked through this particular New Moon.

Lynda Hill’s interpretation of this Sabian symbol is as follows:

‘Deep Within the Depths of the Earth, New Elements are Being Formed’ indicates that deep, organic changes are occurring. Whilst these shifts may be big, significant and extremely life changing, they may not be all that obvious on the surface. It seems certain that ‘Deep’ down and ‘Within’, there is a lot going on, regardless of one’s external demeanor.

Seismic shifts seem to be going on behind the scenes, as reflected both by tectonic plate movement below the earth’s surface and the shifts in political sentiment across the world, as represented by things like the outcome of the American presidential election. This Sabian symbolism therefore seems both relevant and portentious – certainly something to bear in mind during the coming four week lunar period. How will you use this energy to affect changes in your own life (and heart)? This New Moon suggests that we dig deep and sift through the debris of our inner worlds in order to find the seeds of our next personal chapter. A new phase is beginning, both personally and energetically – use this New Moon energy to begin the incubation process, working from the inside out using your experience and intuition to give birth to the ‘new elements’ that will form the basis for what should come next.

The New Moon will form the epicentre of a T-square involving the lunar nodes. This suggests that whatever may be next for you may involve going against the crowd or popular mood – something to bear in mind if you’re the sort of person who usually seeks support from loved ones before embarking on a new course of action. It may well be that you’ll have to run the risk of criticism or lack of support from family or friends if you’re to remain true to your heart and beliefs. If you can accept this as a possibility at the outset, you’ll probably be less upset or deterred if/when it does occur. We’ve all had spells where we’ve chosen to follow the ‘road less traveled’ – and this just might one of those times.

FULL MOON IN GEMINI – 14 Dec 2016, 00h05 GMT

Mid-month, a Full Moon in Gemini may force us to question how we travel, express our opinions, or receive and disseminate information. Political initiatives and policy decisions are also likely to take centre stage as natural milestones in the process are reached. Taking place in a mutable sign, it is possible that we may hear more about Brexit-related plans (the Brexit vote took place, after all, under the auspices of a Saturn-Neptune square in Sagittarius-Pisces and when both Mercury and Jupiter were in mutable signs). Alternatively, there may be news about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (December moon phases seem to have a certain resonance with this couple, perhaps because of William’s mutable natal Mercury an Ascendant) – see my comments on the Sabian symbol of this Full Moon below.

Developments related to the September solar eclipse in Virgo are also a possibility. Worth remembering is the ‘message’ of the 19 North Saros family, which Bernadette Brady associates with ‘realism, a coming down to earth’ and a need to tackle the truth. So let’s hope this coincides with a waning appetite for spin, political falsehoods or fake news stories on social media – all of which are ruled by Gemini.

The Sun will be conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius, signifying a desire for substance and gravitas, while the Moon will be sextile Uranus and trine Mars, both of which have no truck with ceremony or pretense. An interesting combination! This certainly seems to suggest a popular desire for change and a liberation from old ways of being/living, so it will be fascinating to see how this plays out for any figurehead keen to roll back the clock and eliminate social/political progress or civil liberties for the sake of self-interest or the wellbeing of an elite few. I think we’re in for a fascinating time, especially on global political and media front!

Sabian Symbol for the 23rd Degree of Gemini


My first thought here is: baby birds – will we hear about the imminent birth of Royal Baby No. 3 for Kate and Wills? For most of us though, this symbol concerns both growth/development as well as themes around dependence and nurturing – after all, the fledglings are not yet ready to fly the nest, so are still dependent on their parents for food and protection. This may also point to plans that are still ‘in progress’ – not yet fully formed or ready to implement – perhaps a hint that we needn’t feel rushed into making important decisions if we aren’t 100% prepared/ready (hello, Moon-Mars aspects!)

Lynda Hill offers the following advice:

The situation facing you is full of promise for the future. The ‘Fledglings’ are not yet ready to fly and are still in need of the “mother” to sustain, protect, nourish and educate them. The universe flows in a pattern, and this pattern includes taking time to grow, mature and learn how to fly off into our own lives under our own steam. This period in the ‘Nest’ gives us a time to be dependent and nurtured. Knowing that you will be able to rise up on your own and leave the security and safety of the ‘Nest’ is the motivation to focus on whilst growing and developing your inner self.

So, although there may be a certain degree of impatience or frustration to take action or be free, the time may not yet be right to do so – to act now would be premature – something that media outlets and politicians might want to take on board before they publish or campaign (or say, activate Article 50?). The upshot: you can’t rush the process of change without risking the entire process, or at least creating unforeseen consequences. So be like the tortoise, even if you wish you were the hare right now.

Solar Phases

SUN INTO CAPRICORN – 21 December 2016, 10h45 GMT

This year, the winter solstice, marked astrologically by the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn (using the Western tropical zodiac), will take place at 10h45 GMT on December the 21st. Rather like the dark moon, which remains invisible for two days prior to its first appearance at what we call ‘New Moon’, the winter solstice (at least in the northern hemisphere anyway), marks a liminal threshold or turning point, between dark and light; winter and spring, between the old year and the new one. Think of this ingress then as a ‘seed moment’ – or solar equivalent of New Moon – a time best spent thinking about what you’d like to accomplish or manifest during 2017, so that by the time of the Capricorn New Moon on 29 December, you’re ready to magically set your intentions for the coming year through a little lunar ceremony or personal ritual.


2016winsolsticechartIf we look at a chart for this year’s Capricorn ingress, we notice a mystic rectangle involving the Sun; the Earth; the fixed star, Regulus, and the north node, all in earth and water signs. As I mentioned in a recent blog, a lot of people within the philosophical and mystic community are talking about a shift in the earth’s frequency and in our own consciousness as we enter a new age of relational and technological inter-connectedness and the imperative to change the way we treat our planet and its natural resources becomes more urgent. Many people are talking about a revival (or return) of sacred feminine energy – a return of horizontal, rather than hierarchical systems of thinking and behaving, and of right-, rather than left-brain thinking, of a shift back towards spirituality as opposed to a worship of logic and science. This time round, though, many think that instead of an “either-or” scenario, that we are moving towards integrating BOTH into the way we approach nature, ourselves and our souls.

To me, this seems to be reflected in the Capricorn ingress chart:

  • For one thing, we have Regulus in Virgo – a great emblem for female/inclusive styles of leadership and the divine feminine (abundance of the harvest, health of the body etc) orbiting close to the north node (the divine destiny of our planet?).
  • Opposite Regulus is Mars, the ultimate symbol of thrusting but also initiating and fertile male energy – but it is in the soft, compassionate and dreamy sign of Pisces, suggesting a new type of masculine energy – more in keeping with the sort of energy embodied by Jesus than say Donald Trump!
  • Then we have the Earth, in the ultimate sign of the great mother, Cancer = Gaia at her nurturing best.

And making positive aspects to all of the above, is the Sun in Capricorn. This is not the bright daylight sun of the summer solstice. No, it is the sun in the earth – the dark winter or black sun – which dies and is reborn in the darkness of mother earth. This sun marks the beginning of the phase of ascension, from its lowest point of declination, back up towards the heavens. It therefore represents a threshold, the start of a phase of renewal.

So are we, indeed, on the threshold of a new earth and a shift in cosmic energy? This chart seems to suggest so – one that begins with the re-ascension of the sun – which is in direct relationship (opposition) with the earth along the ancient axis of death (Capricorn) and rebirth (Cancer), but using the transmuting energy of Mars and Regulus, (representing the masculine and feminine poles embodied in the axis between Virgo and Pisces)  to retune our planet and all the beings on it. 2016 has been quite a ride – as far as I am concerned, things can only get better as we move into 2017!

Cosmic Weather Forecast for December

Use the key of cosmic weather symbols to decipher how favourable or challenging each transit promises to be.

Key with wind


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