Friday, December 7, 2007

New Moon for December 9, 2007: Winter's Wonder

There is so much happening in the next lunar month I almost don’t know where to begin. This lunar month, which initiates the Winter season, is full of story, is deep with dream, is rich with transformative possibility. When there is so much energy, there is a danger of being overwhelmed. And the danger in being overwhelmed is that we aren’t able to make the most of these possibilities. So, I recommend finding your most centered place this month, setting intention for what you most desire, and meeting the flowing energy with wonder and agility.

Things to notice this month:
From Sagittarius to Capricorn
Mars retrograde continues
Nodes of the Moon changing signs

Summing up Sagittarian lessons. The chart for December’s New Moon shows Jupiter conjunct Pluto in the final degrees of Sagittarius. Jupiter infuses the things it touches with optimism and potency. Pluto challenges through the intensity of shadow and transformation. Because Jupiter is well-placed here in Sagittarius, it is possible now to choose a life-affirming conclusion to Pluto’s transit through Sagittarius. Pluto entered Sagittarius in 1995. During this time, we have seen the shadows inherent in religious fundamentalism (a Sagittarian theme). Pluto’s transit has revealed how we need to understand the impact of our truths on the world. The stories we believe, the stories we tell about the world, create the world. As astrologer Caroline Casey often reminds us, we have choice: What story do you wish to animate? What reality do you wish to create?

The exact conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto happens on December 11 at 28 degrees Sagittarius. Both of these planets are on their way out of this sign. Jupiter has been in Sagittarius for one year, Pluto since 1995. The last conjunction of these two planets happened December 1994 at 28 degrees Scorpio.

Also pay attention to these dates that contribute to this story:
December 19 – Mercury conjunct Pluto
December 20 – Sun conjunct Pluto

From Sagittarius to Capricorn. One important theme this month is the ingress of several planets into 0 degrees Capricorn. The Winter Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches this degree. Winter is the quietest time, the darkest time, the stillest time of the year. Solstice means Sun standstill. The Sun stands still now and at the other mirror time – the Summer Solstice— for about three days. It doesn’t seem to change its position in the sky relative to the horizon for about three days. On the solstices, the Sun reaches the edges of its course through the heavens. In Summer, its highest and brightest edge and in Winter, its lowest and dimmest edge. In the Winter, this standstill seems more profound. The ear is cocked, the eyes are focused inward or out on the far horizon, the body settles into the dark and waits for illumination. It is a time for divination, a time for communion with Mystery, it is a time to begin again as the light ever so slowly to returns to us.

At the crossroads. Winter is also a time of choices made for survival. This is perhaps one of the most important things to remember as we consider the transits that are happening at 0 degrees Capricorn this lunar month and next year. Uranian astrologers call zero degrees of all the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) the World Axis degrees. When transits happen at these degrees, we can expect realignment along the axis of reality. This axis can be imagined as a cross, with the Aries/Libra arms stretching out horizontally – symbolizing the opposites of self and others. The Capricorn/Cancer axis is vertical reaching from the foundations of inner realities into the broad heavens of cultural values. When one arm of this axis is activated, all these areas are also activated. This Winter begins the year-long transit of Pluto at zero degrees Capricorn. (exact on January 25, 2008 for the first time) As we have noticed in Sagittarius, Pluto will reveal shadow and present us with the choice of transforming that shadow into life-renewing power.

Upcoming transits to zero degrees Capricorn:
December 18 Jupiter enters Capricorn for one year.
December 20 Mercury enters Capricorn (in itself not a significant event but Mercury adds to the Capricorn energy field).
December 22 The Sun enters Capricorn

Lunar nodes pointing the way to evolution. December 18, the nodes of the Moon shift into new signs. Since June 2006, the north node has transited through Pisces (the south node through Virgo). Since the nodes move backward through the zodiac, the North node will move into Aquarius next. The South node represents karmic lessons to work on. The North node represents the growing edge of evolution. The Pisces/Virgo lessons have been about releasing the details so that we can dream the big dreams. For example, it has not been the time to get bogged down in the details of how we will solve our problems; rather we have been called to believe again in our dreams. From there we will find a way. Now, we let go of some Leo qualities, such as believing that only an extraordinary person could lead us into manifesting our dreams, and grow into realizing that we are together co-creators of the future. The nodes will remain in these signs until August 2009.

Mars retrograde journey intensifies. Please see last month’s New Moon forecast for background on Mars retrograde. When a planet turns retrograde, it looks like it is going backward against the background of the stars. The planets that the retrograding planet encounters along this path have special importance to its story. What do you as the hero need to learn from each of these planets?

December 11 - Mars (7 degrees Cancer) trines Venus (7 degrees Scorpio)
December 22 - Mars (3 degrees Cancer) opposes Mercury (3 degrees Capricorn)
December 24 - Mars (2 degrees Cancer) opposes Sun (2 degrees Capricorn)
December 26 - Mars (1 degree Cancer) opposes Jupiter (1 degree Capricorn)
December 31 - Mars re-enters Gemini
January 2 - Mars (29 degrees Gemini) opposes Pluto (29 degrees Sagittarius)

This last Mars transit of this lunar cycle is especially important. Due to its retrograde cycle Mars opposes Pluto three times. (The first time was September 21, 2007 and the final time will be March 7, 2008.) This encounter with Pluto may be the core message from this Mars retrograde journey. When these two planets oppose, there can be confrontation that leads to violence. Certainly, we are able to see our automatic reactions to things that we fear. The choice again, because we do have choice, is whether to let our fears take over our reactions or to let our intentions overcome our fears. The promise of Mars opposing Pluto is greater clarity about our desires and how we intend to manifest them.

Lot of energy this month. But this does not need to be a time of anxiety or uncertainty. The gift of Winter for me is the night sky. I live in Minnesota. In Winter, I am able to go outside my warm home and immediately feel the sharp, crisp air on my skin as I look up in wonder. The stars seem closer in Winter. Perhaps they are, and all of their wisdom is perhaps closer as well. I invite you to breathe in the light.

Teri Parsley Starnes