Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas!
For your holidays and beyond,
I wish for peaceful moments to lighten your day,
to comfort your soul,
and to renew your faith
in the richness of potentials that await you.
from my heart to yours, with love….Rose Marcus
The end of 2023 can come as a welcome relief for many, especially for those who have suffered torn apart lives. Although there is no end in sight for the daily exposure to war, violence, and tragedy – something no child nor living soul should be subjected to – the stars of 2024 offer substantial opportunity to start over, start fresh, to completely reinvent. A fast-track year lies ahead. It is one that brims with fresh potential.
Over the first week or so of December, the stars assist you to get it under better control. Mercury in Capricorn helps you to better practicality and organization. Thanks to Venus turning a corner with Pluto, you can feel a sense of getting over the hump as early as December 3. For the most part, December 4 to 8 sets up a smooth-running week. Aim to get it accomplished or said, and you should feel pleased with how far you get.
Another Mercury retrograde is on the way. I’ve covered the month ahead in detail:
Mercury tours Capricorn, December 1 to 22;
Mercury travels retrograde: December 12 to January 1, 2023:
Mercury leaves Sagittarius for Capricorn on Dec 1, but it won’t tenant this sign for long. This is due to the upcoming retrograde cycle which starts on Dec 12.
Over the past few weeks, Mercury in Sagittarius has put added attention on the future, on travel, and on the holidays. Bigger picture questions have likely occupied you too. December 1 to 22, Mercury in Capricorn keeps the focus on timelines, on immediate concerns and priorities, on the workable and affordable. Realism and practicality is the order of the day when it comes to thinking, planning, communications, and to the task at hand. This Mercury transit will prompt or force you to better organization and efficiency. Aim to use your resources wisely. Cut out the time or money wasters. When in doubt, choose quality over quantity.
Envisioning, foresight, and staying a step ahead are talents of the Mercury in Sagittarius transit that has just finished and that will be revisited from December 22 to January 13. Laying the right foundation falls under the jurisdiction of Mercury in Capricorn. When you can optimize on both influences, you’ll set yourself up for the win. To December 12, Mercury in Capricorn is a useful transit for keeping it real, for get better organized and grounded. It also makes you aware of the limits, the importance of time, and necessity to put time to good use. Don’t let the gift of the moment slip by.
Mercury retrograde begins in Capricorn on the Sagittarius New Moon, December 12:
As already stated, Mercury tenants Capricorn from December 1 to 22. Here is the Mercury rundown for the next two months:
Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, December 12 to 22.
Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, December 22 to January 1, 2024
Mercury direct in Sagittarius, January 1 to 13.
Mercury direct in Capricorn, January 13 to February 4.
More crowds, more concerts, more travellers, more packages en-route, and more ads – the Sagittarius new moon on December 12 pumps up the volume everywhere. Even more attention turns to the holiday countdown, to saying goodbye to the end of a long hard year, and to the look ahead. Feeling overwhelmed or exhausted by it all? Yes, aim for more leg room or leeway. In dynamic aspect (square to Neptune), the new moon is an ideal time to shift gears and to pull back. Don’t force what isn’t coming naturally.
Coinciding with the new moon on December 12, Mercury turns retrograde in Capricorn. Try not to over-plan your day or to hold to high expectations. The day could be a waste. Mercury retrograde can mess with the plan, timetable, and intention, especially at the launch of the cycle.
Noting Neptune’s influence on the new moon (and the start of Mercury), December 12 is a day to stay vigilant, protect your immune system and to safeguard your valuables. Porch thieves and potential shop lifters are likely to be taking full advantage of their opportunities. Under this influence, it is easy to lose track, to forget, misplace, or to make mistakes.
As Mercury turns retrograde, it can be difficult to maintain tight control or to stick to a set plan or schedule. Instead, surrender to the process, to the flow. If you find yourself plagued by confusion, dilemma, a sudden change or challenge, tend to what is most pressing, or doable for today. Keep chipping away at it. You might be surprised at how effectively it can reduce stress. Do what you can as you can and watch the good it does. The result is that you will find yourself less encumbered. In turn, you’ll set tomorrow on track to sort out with better odds.
There is still so much uncertainty in the day-to-day reality and so much mistrust in the potentials of the future too. We tend to be overly conditioned and controlled by our fears and anxieties. Mercury retrograde in Capricorn sets up an opportunity for you to think and to do for yourself. This includes a pull back from the negativity and pessimism that runs the world. Life: it is how you see it, how you judge it, and what you make of it.
While Mercury tours retrograde in Capricorn, you can find yourself working within a restriction or a limit. On a bigger picture scale, you can feel that you have come to the end of the road regarding the perpetuation of a relationship or circumstance that has reached (or surpassed) its expiry date.
Time is a Capricorn archetype. How little of it may be left, the preciousness of it, how much has been wasted – this awareness is not lost on the moment. Perhaps the passage of time is even more poignant as we remember how life can change or evaporate in a singular moment, as it has done to so many (and in such shocking ways) over the course of this year.
Have you taken on too much? Have you put enough effort forward? Have you given it enough of a fair shot? How big is the pile-up or debt load; how much more work is necessary to get yourself up from under the rock? This Mercury retrograde calls into question all the above. Are you simply going through the motions? The retrograde transit can make you feel under added pressure to fulfill duty, responsibility, and obligation. It prompts an examination of the plus and minus of what you have committed to. Take time to review your ambitions and goals (personal and professional). Do you need to revise your rules, or to refortify your boundaries? You can feel the task at hand to be a work in progress and/or to continue to hold an after-effect that will extend to the middle of January (or beyond).
Mercury retrograde advice is always worth a repeat. Stay extra vigilant, play it safe, guard your health, your wallet, your loved ones, and your heart. Do your homework, don’t hesitate to check it twice or thrice, double check plans or instructions, ask more questions. Temporary or short term is okay, but it is best to avoid a major purchase or significant contract signing during the retrograde cycle. If you cannot hold off and a biding commitment is necessary to undertake, try to create extra wiggle room, to make a provision for the unexpected.
Additional margins and safeguards are wise. You may be working toward a deadline or goalpost, but delays are typical of the retrograde cycle. The timetable could get pushed back. Expenses can add up to more than you may have budgeted for. As of December 22, Mercury retrograde backs into Sagittarius again. As is typical for the few days before Christmas, expect to see more shoppers and travellers everywhere.
Speaking of the pumped-up increase everywhere, dire need sits at the top of the critical list. Please donate what you can to the food bank and to those less fortunate. Sagittarius puts more of everything on the increase and/or onto a fuller swing. This also includes anything that has been recently delayed or held up.
Venus tours Scorpio, December 5 to 29:
Is it worth it? How much have you already invested? How much are you tempted to invest now? What are you getting out of it? Venus in Scorpio triggers a deeper examination regarding your evaluation process. On the material end, this transit can prompt you to be more selective and/or strategic regarding financial choices and expenditures. On the emotional end, Venus in Scorpio can call for more soul searching, for more feeling your way along to what is in your highest and best interests. Pay attention to the speak of your body. It holds tremendous wisdom. Make sure to listen up. State alert, pay attention to signals, instincts, and intuition. All the senses (sensual responses and sexual interest included) are heightened under this transit. On a karmic potency level, Venus in Scorpio intensifies magnetism and energy fields. To the plus, you could feel irresistibly attracted to someone or something. If so, your soul has a reason for calling it/calling them forth. Know there is more than meets the eye and that an initial attraction will unfold in layers over time. On another karmic level, the karmic draw/replay is quite strong. Issues of trust or abandonment can also trigger during this transit too.
The transit of Venus is of particular significance as it is currently one of the rulers of the transiting karmic axis (the south node point). Through the end of February of 2024, Venus is on a completion and seeding track. At the end of November, Venus moved into a next phase. This is a next phase of something that has been in the works for close to 2 years, and more recently, since July. (The entire cycle extends to the end of 2024/start of 2025. February 2024 onward can mark a springboard time for relationships, financial matters, and major lifestyle reinvention.)
Venus turns a corner with Pluto on December 3, just before leaving Libra for Scorpio. You can feel this as an internal or external shift of momentum or attention. December 7 – 9, Mercury/Jupiter (trine) and Venus/Jupiter (opposition) puts everything on the increase, intuition and emotional responsiveness included. Of course, as is typical of this time of year, we’ll see a fuller swing regarding holiday activities and events. Hopefully, we’ll see the spirit of giving also increase, especially where it is needed the most.
December 20 – 21, Venus/Uranus (opposition) triggers another shift of momentum. While there is sure to be plenty of last-minute things to claim attention (or add stress), this planetary pairing suggests it is time to redirect to quality over quantity regarding how you spend your time and with whom (and that “whom” could refer to “me, myself, and I”).
Neptune in Pisces ends retrograde, December 5:
Outer planets travel retrograde every year. Neptune’s retrograde tour serves to attune you to the potentials on brew. As Neptune now returns to direct motion, more surrendering is called for, so those potentials can reveal themselves at the right moment. The realization of Neptune’s potentials is not something that can be timed. Neptune’s gifts are realized through allowing yourself to be as fully present as is possible for you, to open yourself to more of the bigger picture process. As mentioned above, the days following the end of Neptune retrograde put the action of the moment into a fuller swing.
Know also that Neptune rules the immune system. You are wise to put attention toward safeguards and refortify your health (even if you have recently caught a virus or had Covid, despite reports of diminishing numbers). Simple observance (get your rest, eat healthy, etc.) can go along way here. Mostly, the first ten days or so of the month are opportune. Still, a word of caution – try not to get too far ahead of yourself (via expectations, promises, or wishful thinking) as once Mercury begins retrograde on December 12, you might have to, or want to, make revisions.
Winter Solstice, December 21: 7:27 pm PST
Derived from Latin meaning “sun at standstill”, the word solstice references the appearance of the sun (by declination) from our Earth vantage point at that moment in time. The December 21 solstice marks the start of winter for the northern hemisphere and the start of summer for the southern hemisphere (and vice versa for the change of seasons on June 21).
Many traditions consider the creative renewal energy of the sun to hold increased potency at this time. Some consider the solstice to be a portal between the manifest world and spirit realms. No matter your own beliefs, a change of season naturally prompts a time to shift gears – to reflect and reset intention. The increase of daylight hours (for northern hemisphere dwellers) is considered a fruitful time to set conscious/mindful attention to actions and activities. The increase of night hours (for the southern hemisphere) is considered a potent time to tune in to the deeper urging and yearning of the soul.
The solstice and equinox charts are also used to analyze the season ahead/the next quarter of the year. Two important influences standout for the December 21 solstice chart. Firstly, Mercury retrograde in Capricorn and the sun are just one day from an inferior conjunction. At the inferior conjunction, Mercury is in orbit between the earth and the sun. The inferior conjunction always happens when Mercury is retrograde (the planet’s visual rather than actual appearance of travelling backward from our earth viewpoint).
The Sun/Mercury retrograde conjunction marks the coming season as significant in terms of something historic, of important developments, significant milestones, and accomplishments, (among the list of news headlines: political negotiations, legal rulings, official judgements, banking/finance, institutional/government reforms, corporate sponsorships, trade). A key person or key event can make or rewrite history in some significant way (actual, metaphoric, karmic). Someone in a leadership role could take a notable exit. This sun/Mercury conjunction could bring a career to an end, or it could launch destiny for one whose time has come (be that stepping on to the world stage or taking an exit off the planet.) The Capricorn archetype signifies endings, beginnings, and achievements of significance. Noting that Mercury is retrograde for this solstice chart, we could see a revisit of the past (actual, historic, karmic). Endings, beginnings, circumstances, and developments can drag on for longer than usual. A time extension or delay falls under the jurisdiction of Mercury retrograde (and Capricorn). If it grinds to a halt, it isn’t likely to do so for long. The transiting moon (of the solstice chart) sets a fertile and lucrative backdrop for the first quarter of 2024.
Another standout for the winter solstice chart is the Mars/Uranus angle. You may feel this influence as moving past the past, but not yet far enough along. (There are a myriad of ways that statement rings brutally true for today’s world reality.) More research, education, and investment (time, effort and heart included) are required yet before fruition or more solid ground can be met. You can spend the next couple of months doing exactly that.
Christmas Week. Full Moon in Cancer, December 26:
Venus in lovely shape with Neptune sets a backdrop for tapping into the deeper meaning of the holidays, and for forging a deeper emotional connection with those you love. Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling, even if it is grappling with loss, sorrow, or disillusionment. Buried deep within these difficult emotions, the seeds of renewal can be found. Surrender is a starting place to transcend these emotions and to gain better traction toward the new day’s dawn.
The Gemini moon keeps it upbeat and rolling on Christmas Day. The backdrop is set for good conversation and sharing with friends and family. Spontaneity can deliver well. Stay flexible with plans. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination or to get the day up and running. (In the end you might not need it, the pace could move at a good clip, but extra margins or provisions are wise.) Noting the Moon/Mars and Moon/Mercury oppositions, know it can be easy to get distracted, carried away, or to go overboard, especially when you want to get a point across or have a goal in mind. A restless and impatient edge could be in the mix too. Keep it fresh, keep it moving – it’s the best way to navigate the day. Should you find yourself alone over Christmas, be your own best company. The Gemini moon suggests you can/will enjoy your own company just fine.
Chiron in Aries ends retrograde on the full moon in Cancer on December 26. Chiron’s switch track can be subtle (depending on how sensitive you are to the energy), but there is always something poignant about Chiron’s interface with a particular moment in time. Adding to this poignancy (and an empathic response to those you share time with) is a full moon in sensitive, protective, and nostalgic Cancer. Rousing tender emotions and memories, both the sun and moon are well placed for this full moon. Drink in the moment. Of course, a full moon can strain emotions and/or make you feel “water logged”. If so, make sure to gift yourself with some good mothering and self care.
Finishing the month: Venus enters Sagittarius December 29; Jupiter ends retrograde December 30:
The last week of the month dishes up a steady run of stars. You can feel this week as somewhat of a mixed bag of spurts of energy and activity, along with some interludes of losing steam or losing track. As such, it is a good week to take it one day at a time. Give yourself extra time to relax and/or to get it accomplished. Ease up and go with the flow.
If you haven’t been able to get yourself re-energized or plugged back in the days after Christmas, you will soon enough. Venus in Sagittarius, starting December 29, is a mobilizing transit. It can mark the start of an upswing of travel, shopping, interest, and momentum.
Have plans, prospects, or matters to do with finance been moving too slow in recent months? Have you been grinding away, spinning wheels, or dragging your heels? Jupiter in Taurus ends retrograde on December 30. It has been travelling retrograde since the start of September. Extending through the middle of May, Jupiter in Taurus can help you to make progress where it adds up the most. Through May, Jupiter in Taurus sets a more fertile and lucrative backdrop. There’s better prospect ahead for acquisition, for putting your hands and heart on what is most worthwhile and of value.
The moon in Virgo on December 31 can set a backdrop of “just another day”. I promise you that the year ahead will be anything but “just another year”. (That could prove to be an understatement!) If you do plan to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, this Virgo moon asks you to keep health and safety in mind. Minimize on expense, work, and complexity. Enjoy the moment instead. Simple does it best!
Mercury ends retrograde on January 1. The first five months of 2024 are slated for action. I will be back next month with an overview of what to expect and how to make the most of your opportunities in 2024.