December’s Full Moon is all about choices and decisions, communication and clarity. The Full Moon in Gemini is likely to have a very Hermes-like feel to it. This is all about bridging gaps and paradigm shifts – seeing things from a different, perhaps more joined-up perspective. One of the main things I think we may begin to notice is a closer alignment between our inner and outer worlds…Two fabulous images that seem to be symbolise this particular 2019 lunar phase are the bridge and the gate.
Taking place on the 12th day of the 12th month in dual or bi-corporeal signs (Moon in Gemini, Sun in Sagittarius), it also has a distinctly dualistic/mirror-like feeling to it. We have to remember that Mercury-ruled Gemini is associated with trickster energy and so, it will be important to keep your wits about you and not fall for Neptunian ‘smoke and mirrors.’ (See the Aspects section below where I discuss the implications of the T-square between Neptune and the luminaries).
On top of that, this particular moon phase occurs smack-bang in the middle of the double conjunction of Venus, first to Saturn (11th), and then Pluto (13th) in Capricorn. On an individual level, this is likely to coincide with some make or break moments in finances, relationships and creative projects, perhaps due to factors that are beyond your control.
On a collective level, this major aspect is also likely to give us our first taste of what the much-feted Saturn-Pluto conjunction in January 2020 may hold in store for us. It goes without saying that this is likely to be a big time for politics in the UK (there’s an election happening on the same day, in case anyone hadn’t noticed!) and possibly America (both UK PM, Boris Johnson and US President, Donald Trump are both Sun Gemini’s) More on that on my Astroinsights blog.
December’s Full Moon takes place in the fast-moving and fluid sign of Gemini. This mutable air sign is ruled by Mercury, god of travel, communication, mental acuity and of course, persuasion.
In his Greek form, he is the archetype par excellence of liminality, which gives him the ability to cross thresholds, move between realms and connect opposing points of view with ease. And at the Gemini Full Moon, with its emphasis on mirroring and duality, I think this will be a decided plus.
Karmic Crossroads and Important Choices
This particular lunar phase is likely to emphasise choices of all kinds. Hermes is the patron god of crossroads, and over the next two weeks, we could find ourselves at a fork in the road. In fact, December’s waning Moon phase is likely to be an eventful, fast-paced two weeks that may have us feeling time-pressed and up against it – a situation exacerbated by a triple conjunction between Venus, Saturn and Pluto in the days just before and after the Full Moon, adding a degree of intensity to proceedings.
In fact, when it comes to choices concerning finances or relationships, you may find yourself feeling a bit as though it’s ‘now or never’. Given the energy of Saturn and Pluto (which are both about cycle endings), it’s probably best not to start anything new, but instead, focus on ruling options out, rather than in. This is an excellent time to shed burdens, lighten karmic loads and generally make yourself more agile so that you are able to take advantage of the new and exciting opportunities that are likely to start coming in when we start a new soli-lunar cycle at the New Moon in Capricorn on December 26.
However, if you are forced into narrowing down your options between now and then, I suggest you follow the advice of this month’s Sabian symbol to slow things down and really chew things over in your mind before making your choice.
Sharpening our mental agility and verbal acuity
In many ways, we are being asked to sharpen our decision-making abilities and take our mental and verbal faculties up a gear – a trend that first began at the Sagittarius New Moon when we were urged to see situations from a higher perspective. Gemini is a mutable air sign, making it perfectly suited to help us take on this challenge. The element of air is all about logic and rationality – think the suite of swords in the tarot deck – which makes it both emotionally detached and sharp enough to cut through any BS or deception that the T-square between the luminaries and Neptune is likely to throw up.
Over and above that, though, we are being asked to switch up the way we perceive reality – to see beyond the illusion of separation and duality.
Seeing beyond separation and duality
In many ways, we are actually being initiated into a new way of thinking that is alient to us moderns but was very familiar to our ancient forbears. It involves bridging the gaps between seemingly opposing perspectives in order to transcend the dualistic thinking that has become such a habit for many of us. Think of the High Priestess card in the Tarot. This lunar goddess sits BETWEEN two pillars, one dark, one light, holding a book of secret knowledge. She seems to be telling us that, in order to pierce the veil of consciousness behind her, we need to learn to walk the middle path between worlds – to think more like our oriental counterparts in China, India and Japan and find the third way that joins the dots and bridges the gaps between polar opposites.
On hand to help us is the spirit of Mercurius, who in alchemy, performs the role of the ‘third thing’ – the bridge or catalyst that enables the sacred marriage between the Sun and Moon, the archetypes of yin and yang, day and night, male and female energies to take place. This back and forth movement both connects and balances, enabling a freer flow of energy between viewpoints, things, people, places or situations that may normally be cut off/separated from each other. Such as the head and heart, or between people (or political parties) with seemingly opposing views.
It’s worth remembering that Mercury is the trickster and thief of the planetary pantheon – and it is this cunning, wily energy, which sees outside the box – beyond the boundaries of normal thinking, that will enable many of us to escape the false binaries that may be presented to us around this time. Duality (or separation thinking) is an illusion – and one that we must strive to overcome at this time.
The Sabian symbol for the degree of the Gemini Moon is:
A cafeteria with an abundance of choices.
Although at first an oddly mundane image, it resonates very strongly with something by Tom Cheetham that I read recently, which has really had me thinking. In his book, Green Man, Earth Angel, he writes:
We are dominated it seems, by Hermes, god of boundaries and their violation, of communication, of language and lies and the flash of inspiration. He is the god of the open road, of journeys, of twisting passages, of motion. He is our disease. He eats on the run, at Quik-stops everywhere. There is no time for slow cooking, for digestion, and assimilation. Hermes is always grinning, always on a sugar-high.Green Man, Earth Angel, p. 14-5
Hermes is, of course, the Greek equivalent of none other than the Roman god, Mercury! And Mercury is the planetary ruler of Gemini. As a mutable air sign, there’s nothing Gemini loves more than having options. Like its fiery but equally mutable counterpart, Sagittarius, Gemini is not a sign that enjoys being tied down or committed to anything for too long if it can possibly help it (we must remember that Mercury is exalted in earthy and precise Virgo – not Gemini!) So it’s interesting that we have a Sabian symbol that speaks of choices but also of eating.
According to Tom Cheetham, the way to counter this Hermes-like tendency to mindlessly consume without questioning and gobble things down on the run (which can lead to indigestion), is to cultivate Hestia, goddess of the Hearth. Unlike cold, canny and breezy Hermes (Mercury in Gemini), Hestia is associated with the warmth of the hearth, of convivial togetherness (family meals) and the stabilising ties associated with family and belonging. For the Romans, she represented not only the centre of the home and of nourishment (lunar territory) but also feasts, toasts and libations – the communal act of ‘breaking bread together’. Very Three of Cups energy actually – just look at those women in togas celebrating with their goblets in the air in the Rider-Waite tarot deck (left). And perhaps a hint too of the Empress (although she is a lot more earthy and regal by nature – Venus/Moon in Taurus perhaps – but still, 3 energy).
Given the cafetaria motif in our Sabian symbol image, there seems to be a natural resonance with this comparison (which has a certain Gemini-Cancer feel to it – perfect for Moon in Gemini). At this time of the year, which can often be frenetic, we can often find ourselves juggling a varity of social commitments and festive events. Although it does offer us plenty of opportunities for communing with others, this can very quickly spill over into excess (a very Jupiter-Sag phenomenon) as well as superficiality, especially if we are not mindful about what invitations we accept or how we choose to spend our time.
Cheetham urges us to think of our relationship with the world as bein rather like our relationship with food. Too much can lead to weight gain; chewing too quickly = indigestion; while choosing convenience/quantity over quality often results in poor nutrition and a less than satisfying culinary experience. Worth bearing in mind.
As we begin the countdown to Xmas and the Dec 26 eclipse, which begins the six-month lunar cycle that will take us into 2020 and the Saturn-Pluto conjunctions, it is going to be important to slow down and become very aware of our actions and decisions, as well as who we surround ourselves with.
In preparation for this new cycle, we first need to undergo a process of shedding – an activity that is perfectly suited to the waning phase of the moon, which begins at the Full Moon and ends at the winter solstice.
At this time, then we are being asked to avoid the usual excesses and distractions of Gemini-Sagittarius, and instead, be more thoughtful and reflective than usual about goal-setting for 2020. Instead, Hestia is advising us to spend the next two to three weeks communing only with those who truly raise our spirits; and to make time to become more conscious of where our thoughts, words or behaviour may be preventing us from aligning with our highest goals, principles and truths.
Keywords: Overwhelming alternatives in modern society. Satiation. Everything provided for. Self-service. Issues of indulgence and one’s needs satisfied. Salivating over what’s on display. The incredible number of “choices” in a technological society. Too many choices (food, lovers, jobs, opportunities) – so little time. Instant gratification. Takeaway food. Buffet-style meals. Obesity. Chef’s surprises. The need to be discerning. Mechanized systems that don’t require much thought.
The Caution: Taking everything you can simply because it is available, regardless of needs. The inability to make life’s decisions. Things so near, yet so far. The inability to satisfy no matter how much one has. Feeling that one has to eat because it’s there. Indulgence beyond reason. Indigestion. Waste. Obsession with food. Using up people one by one.
The Sun and Moon will be making a mutable T-square to Neptune. This combination can lead to self-deception, as well as a testing of both psychological and emotional boundaries. In fact, with Venus moving to conjunct lords of karma, limitations and cycle endings, Saturn and Pluto, around the time of the Full Moon, it’s likely that relationships are likely to become karmic testing grounds for us.
Between now and the New Moon in Capricorn, we’re being challenged to see if we’ve learned the lessons of the last six months. If not, then we may be challenged to get very clear about what we will and will not tolerate, what we want and what we need to think about from a karmic – rather than an emotional/emotive – perspective.
In many ways, we are being called on to release (waning moon) any tendencies to escape, run away from situations, not take responsibility for our actions or evade the truth. No more numbing out, no more making excuses – it’s time to get honest and real.
We are also being called on to let go of any illusions, fears, worries, feelings of unworthiness, depression, unrealistic beliefs/ideals that we may have picked up in the 3-D world of separation consciousness, either in this lifetime or previous ones.
In this sense, it is worth remembering that we are not only entering the waning moon phase of the current lunar cycle, but we are also coming to the end of several major cycles: a six-month eclipse cycle (begun in July), the end of 2019 and the end of a decade. All of which makes it a great time to purge in preparation for what’s to come at the solar eclipse on Dec 26 when everything resets, and we begin the countdown to 12 January 2020 and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction.
Outwitting the Cunning Fox/Thief/Trickster Archetype
There’s another way this energy can play out – and it’s something I feel I need to mention, given the fact that we also have an election (and impeachment processdings) taking place under this particular Full Moon phase.
Given the highly liminal nature of this particular Full Moon, with its Hermes-like trickster energy, I think it will be important to keep your wits about you and not fall for any slick Gemini-style sales tactics or Neptunian ‘smoke and mirrors’.
In this respect, it’s perhaps worth noting that in ancient folklore, this Moon was known as the Cold Moon, no doubt because it takes place close to the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. However, from a symbolic point of view, it also seems to emphasize the fact that Gemini is an air sign – not a water sign – which means that during what is usually an emotionally-charged time, it may be important to employ cold hard logic and rationality in order to make decisions about your private affairs, particularly matters of the heart.