One Sky for December 2021 November has been intense, and I wish I could report that the intensity is over. Instead, I can offer that the intensity of December is more nuanced than the inexorable grind of the Saturn-Uranus square of 2021, which is likely hitting Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius rising signs hardest on a personal level, and seems to be manifesting at the collective level as supply chain issues, Skimpflation, and the Great Resignation. In December, there is something intense for everybody!
We’ll start the month with a total solar eclipse in Sagittarius. There have been big beginnings and endings here for about a year and a half, and this month will be the last push in that story of change that particularly affects our Gemini, Virgo, Sag and Pisces rising folks. The Saturn-Uranus square will be exact a third and final time December 24, just in time for everybody to have a Supply Chain Issues Christmas! But the main story is Venus, the planet of love and relationships, grinding to a halt and starting a forty-day retrograde cycle in Capricorn. Venus appears to move backward every 1.5 years or so, for an iconic forty days and forty nights. It makes sense that it’s the time when Jesus went into the desert to get tempted by the devil. It's a time when we focus intensely on love and desire, and what is and is not working in our relationships. If you needed more proof that these are interesting times, this Venus retrograde is happening right on top of Pluto, a/k/a the lord of the underworld. This sustained contact with Pluto makes an intense time potentially explosive. It also presents an interesting opportunity for honesty. The second most popular story to describe Venus’ retrograde is an inaccurate revision of a Sumerian myth, Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld. In the Joseph Campelley version astrologers tend to use, Inanna, goddess of love, embarks on a heroine’s journey to the underworld to do something vaguely virtuous regarding her sister Ereshkigal, goddess of the underworld. Ereshkigal flays Inanna’s body, thereby forcing her to face the darkness in herself, and she is saved and emerges whole through this encounter with her own pain. This Plutonian Venus retrograde, I propose that this is the right myth, as long as we accept that we’ve been telling it wrong. In fact, the story starts right after Inanna killed Ereshkigal’s husband. Inanna is going to the underworld because she’s insisting on attending his funeral, a dick move by any standard. Inanna squirms out of being held accountable for her actions through her powers of manipulation and attraction by brokering a return to this world. Inanna is a jerk, not a brave and virtuous heroine. The moral of the story is about unfairness, not wholeness.
Can we deepen our relationships by sacrificing our inaccurate identity as the virtuous hero or heroine of them? Let’s consider this question as we look at the highlights! December 4 Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius All New Moons are a beginning. A solar eclipse is a very big beginning. This eclipse is the last one in a series that has been unfolding in Gemini and Sagittarius since May, 2020, so you may want to think back to how your life has evolved since that time. This eclipse has a particularly withering, releasing, or purifying quality. And it is conjunct Mercury, so this very important beginning and its sense of release or purification will be linked in some way to a game, speech, sharing information, or making a deal. And in a month that will be focused on questioning virtue, it’s funny that Mercury in Jupiter’s sign of Sagittarius is a key player because he can be a little bit of a liar. He can’t help himself. He wants people to get on board with what he’s proposing. He sees the big picture and wants to fill in all the credible details, even if he does not know them. Be on the lookout for a big new beginning that comes out of letting go of something. And be on the lookout for an acceptable or perhaps necessary element of spin or embellishment in it. December 19, 2021--January 28, 2022 (But we may feel it as soon as December 5) Venus Retrograde Venus starts her retrograde by slowing down and inching her way into a conjunction with Pluto, and we are likely to feel that gradual slowing and intensification in our relationships as well as other Venusian things like comfort, cleanliness, and grooming most of the month. Because this retrograde is happening in Capricorn, the boundaries and structures of relationships will be important. Because Pluto is involved, we are likely to be caught up in power dynamics, experience profound personal growth, or do or experience things that are really fucked up. I think that the most useful way to engage this time, which could so easily go sideways, is to relentlessly remind ourselves that we have a distorted self image as the heroes at the center of a virtuous journey. It is so easy to center ourselves and see our virtue, no matter what actually happens! We are around ourselves all the time. We know our own inner life and motivations, and we need to be able to live with ourselves. We all have egocentric myths that we tell ourselves. They are a useful coping mechanism when we are hurt and have no power. They can propel us away from crappy childhoods, the wrong job, and bad relationships. They can make a lifetime of structural oppression survivable. And because we are living in a culture that actively wants to generate pain, shame, lack, and oppression in as many people as possible, I have a feeling that we’re meant to confront a pernicious side effect of this coping mechanism during this Venus Retrograde. We have such a diminished capacity to understand the people we love beyond our own trauma responses and coping myths, at both a personal and cultural level. We know so little about the thousands of ways we do harm when we don’t mean to, because we are all so hurt. Maybe we are meant to learn how to apologize for our actions instead of defending our intentions. Maybe relationships are about fully witnessing the other, whomever that other is, rather than fulfilling our heroic quest. Because we are all to some degree fragile and traumatized, these are tough propositions. That is appropriate because Venus will be on top of Pluto most of the month and the Plutonic thing to do is drive headlong into the deep end! All I can say is that those of us who have the resources to go here bravely and intentionally will be better off than those of us who wait for external events to unfold that will drag us, kicking and screaming, to the same dark and difficult conclusions. Life has a way of doing that. December 18 Full Moon Gemini All Full Moons are culminations, and this Full Moon in Gemini is suggesting that we have help. Many of us will experience luck and support that gives us the capacity to advocate for more authentic relationships to authority, particularly those of us who are looking toward a future that is more equitable for more people. This is the most joyous and helpful Full Moon we’re going to have for a bit. It’s a good time to schedule important meetings, do a Full Moon ceremony, or go get coffee with somebody who can help a project. Um, About Christmas... It’s a good idea for many of us to carefully consider our plans. We’ve been talking all year about the Saturn Uranus square, which can basically be summed up as profound limitations and pressure driving an explosive need for freedom. Some of us are being driven to methodically enact a big, previously unimaginable change, and are under the stress of that. Many more of us are living through an exasperated reaction to scarcity, restriction, or rules in one part of their lives, and dealing with that by being incapable of tolerating any more shit in another. This square will be exact for the third and final time on December 24. At the same time, Venus will be retrograde and exactly conjunct Pluto. And for those who want just a little more holiday intensity, the Moon in nitpicky Virgo will be in a perfect square to Mars the evening of Christmas Eve EST. This holiday looks like big, dumb arguments about the little things because everyone is feeling a lot of pressure and confinement and there’s no other release. And it looks like a lot of us are going to take that moment of frustration very seriously, and rightly or wrongly believe that this frustrating moment reveals something devastating about who these loved ones really are. The things that are going to make this worse are baked right into Christmas-as-usual! It is a holiday that many of us white-knuckle our way through, surrounded by people we tolerate, because we feel obligated. I generally feel that the astrology of any moment is just meant to be lived… but those of us who can would benefit from deciding to spend Christmas with carefully chosen people. Who do we want to have deep, revelatory interactions with? Who do we want to reveal ourselves to? Who can we fight with productively? December 28, 2021--May 2, 2022 JUPITER ENTERS PISCES! We felt this last spring--for a long moment the pall lifted, masks came off, and life got easier and more fun. Some of us received a windfall, others made up for lost time socializing. We all felt the shift. When Jupiter enters his home turf, good things will feel better and luck will feel luckier. This is a big sign that things are going to continue to get easier. Enjoy it! December 31 Sun Trine Uranus We end a grueling 2021 on a bittersweet note. The Sun, a/k/a your inner hero, in Capricorn with Venus and Pluto, has ideally been disabusing itself of its delusions of this virtuous journey, and is perhaps instead sitting with a far more nuanced and difficult accounting of how we show up in our relationships. There is real potential for that deep work to pay off in the form of a big breakthrough that is freeing or leads to more authenticity today. Your Sky—Rising Sign Horoscopes* Aries The solar eclipse ends a period of disruption and change in your education, skills, or how you build and apply knowledge. Be on the lookout for a paradigm shift or the ability to embark on a new educational journey that might come out of very gently saying no to something else. As the month wears on, you may find yourself focusing intently on your public persona and work in the world. How do you position yourself as the virtuous hero in your work and public life? When does your need to be recognized as a good person stand in the way of your best work? This Venus retrograde might show up literally as a job shift or public recognition, or the power dynamics in your public life might generally be up for review. Either way, your ability to interrogate and publicly own the parts of your work that are more complicated than virtuous is going to help. You might want to make sure you spend Christmas with someone who knows your public and social selves, and can offer useful feedback about the way these aspects of your life are making you feel. With all these social and public pressures, it’s not surprising that when Jupiter enters Pisces you will find the greatest ease and joy in being alone, or working deeply on yourself. Taurus The solar eclipse ends a period of growth and change around your self worth, resources, debts, and obligations to others. You might begin a new relationship with a donor or take on new debt because you sold yourself particularly well, or you might be able to release a long-held anxiety because you figured out what to tell yourself about it. On the heels of this, you are likely to find your relationships with teachers and institutions, or how your relationships are informed by your beliefs, coming under intense review. Maybe this refers to a specific relationship, like a betrayal by a teacher, or a virtuous crusade within or against an institution. You might also be relating to people in ways that harm, but you deeply believe you are right. Whether you feel like a crusader or a victim, your best bet will be to account for your own power, agency, and decisions. You might want to consider being around the right people this Christmas, because you will be under peak pressure to reinvent yourself in the face of career challenges, and your ability to align your actions and your beliefs may be under renovation. You might feel vulnerable and not be great company! But keep in mind as the month goes on that working on relationships is going to pay off. Your social circle or general sense of belonging is going to feel great this winter and spring! Gemini I have good news! This eclipse is the last in a series of dynamic changes in your personal identity, health, or appearance, as well as your closest relationships. You might find a door opens because a work or life partnership is either being pared down to its deepest essence or ending, and this might manifest as deepening a commitment, a skillful breakup, or deciding to creatively redefine a work partnership. Later in the month, your obligations to others, and how obligation impacts the power dynamics in your relationships, will be coming into sustained, intense focus. This Venus retrograde might be about literal debts coming due or an inheritance that impacts you in a powerful way. But it could also be a time when the power we are constantly exchanging through sharing resources and depending on one another is particularly important to explore. Are you trying to be the hero of a situation that is actually just obligatory? How does that make the people you’re obligated to feel? Can you still meet your obligations without needing to be perceived as virtuous about it? You might not be able to sit out a rough Christmas with the people who need you there. But can you apply some of the tough, incremental lessons you’ve been learning about your beliefs or spiritual life? Can you find a little freedom from your own self limiting beliefs? Also, even if Christmas is hard, take heart. When Jupiter enters Pisces your work in the world--whether that’s your career or unpaid roles like caregiver or enthusiast--is going to get a big shot of positive energy! Cancer Good news! The solar eclipse on December 4 ends a period of regular challenges both to the hard work and pain you endure in your daily life, and the way you can isolate yourself, and relate to pain in a way that turns it into suffering. You might find yourself facing a mountain of work in order to start a new chapter. This could manifest literally as a job search or applying to schools, or a similar effort to present yourself in the best light. As the month wears on, your closest relationships, how they are structured and the power dynamics in them, are going to increasingly pull your focus. You might experience this as falling obsessively in or out of love, a powerful business partnership, or an explosive betrayal. Whatever happens, resisting the urge to see yourself as the center or hero of these relationships is going to make the intensity easier to navigate. You are probably not going to be able to choose your Christmas plans because things like lineage, family karma, and obligations have been placing restrictions on you all year. In fact, your Christmas drama could be as simple as responding to this double-barrelled intensity around relationships and the obligations they create by needing to hang out with your friends! See if you can build in time during the holiday to get away and be with people that you just have fun with. And take heart--even if Christmas is grim, you will get away sooner than you think. Travel, exploration, and higher education are all looking great next year! Leo The solar eclipse ends a period of growth and change around the good things in your life--your luck, friend groups, audiences, attraction, children, creativity, and romance. You might begin a new creative project that requires you to loosen up, or begin a new chapter with a child because they are growing up. Throughout the month, you’ll likely start to focus on your relationships at work or with people you’re in service to, or you might find yourself ruminating about what is being dumped on you in relationships, or the work you need to do in them. This might manifest as explosive conversations with employees, fights about housework, or falling deeper in love through caregiving. You might also find that things you used to tolerate as the price of admission to a certain relationship are a problem. You are likely having to serve and take a back seat more these days! But see if you can sacrifice this distorted self image as the hero that is virtuously enduring a crappy situation. Christmas is likely to be a time when you’ll once again be asked to take one for the team, and there’s a huge learning opportunity in this if you can be vulnerable. You have been leveling up your love and business partnerships all year, and you have been needing to do different work in the world. You’re also going to find that when Jupiter enters Pisces that sharing resources and being obligated to your partner becomes a source of real abundance. If you can stay open to the relationship lessons you’re learning, and all the work you’ve been doing for others, all of this relationship focus might synthesize into a very powerful new partnership that makes a new career possible. Virgo The solar eclipse ends a period of growth and change in your home and family, as well as your work in the world and how you are publicly perceived. This last one might manifest as losing a roommate and having to rethink your living situation in a positive way, or the truth about a family member coming out in a way that enables better relationships. Your Venus retrograde is likely to be intense in a good way, and could absolutely involve news of a pregnancy, if that’s a goal (be careful if not!), or a very intense romance. If you do fall for someone this month, try to spend the holiday with them. You will likely be obsessed anyway! You might also do well to travel somewhere new. You can’t really go wrong. Your daily grind and work will likely follow you, but you are the one rising sign that is well positioned to take these intense energies around Christmas and use them to do something positive, like fall deeply in love. In fact, when Jupiter enters Pisces, the romance in your life could easily evolve into a strong, positive, enduring relationship, or you could make and sustain powerful new business partnerships. Libra The solar eclipse is the last puzzle piece in a larger restructuring of both the things in front of you like your daily schedule, neighbors, and siblings, and the things that transport you, like travel, study, and higher education. You might lose some aspect of your daily schedule and find that this loss makes new patterns possible. Or you might make a deal with a sibling that frees up time. As the month wears on, the focus on your home and family is going to intensify. This could manifest for you as the unearthing of a potentially explosive family secret, moving to a new home, or profound dissatisfaction with who is doing what at home. This Christmas, you are not likely to be able to avoid this pressure, because it’s at home and with family, and also because it will be paired with this frustrating pressure you have been feeling all year to get in touch with what pleases you, or deal with your children differently, and thereby release yourself from the obligations that are not really yours. What you can do, and I get that it’s a tall order, is sacrifice this idea that you are the hero of your home and family. At least when Jupiter enters Pisces, your health routines, work, and to-do list will get easier and feel better. They will not get smaller, though! That’s not Jupiter’s thing. Scorpio The solar eclipse December 4 ends a period of growing and changing resources--from net worth to self worth, and from literal debts to our feelings of obligation more broadly. This may manifest quite literally as spending some money on career development or image counseling, or you might change your self worth by telling yourself a new story. That would come in handy because as the month wears on your focus on communication, or the relationships that surround you every day like neighbors, siblings, or extended family, will sharpen. You might find out an explosive family secret, re-establish contact with an estranged family member, or get into a surprisingly deep and meaningful interaction via email or social media. Choosing your company wisely this Christmas is a good idea. You have been feeling pressure and limitations in your family or at home for some time, and this pressure has been feeding a real itch to get free of inauthentic relationships. Maybe taking care of yourself by choosing to be around the people you can already be real with is the top priority. And take heart. When Jupiter enters Pisces you might get pregnant if that’s a goal (be careful if it isn’t!), or your social and dating life is going to take off. Either way, life is going to get a lot more joyous! Sagittarius I have good news! This eclipse is the last in a series of dynamic changes to your personal identity, health, or appearance, as well as your closest relationships. This might manifest literally as a radical haircut, or going clothes shopping after losing weight. You might also find yourself dropping an identity that no longer works. As the month wears on, your relationship to money and value, and the relationships that make you money, are going to start pulling intense focus. You might face a literal financial betrayal, or you might just start questioning your networking strategies. How transactional are your transactional relationships? Are you selling out, or worse, are you holding back from valuing your work and needs enough? This Christmas you might feel pressure to be with your extended family, and this could put all these questions about your financial relationships and self worth in the same vice that has been squeezing you all year about who, precisely, you should be in service to. The good news is that while the pressure in some parts of your family like siblings, co-parents, and the family system in general continues, your actual home, parents, and core family unit is getting a big lift all winter and fall! Capricorn Good news! The solar eclipse ends a period of regular challenges both to the hard work and pain you endure in your daily life, and the way you can isolate yourself, and relate to pain in a way that turns it into suffering. You might find yourself shedding a long-held undermining belief, or going into a relatively productive period of isolation like an art or writing retreat. This is well timed, because your identity, how people relate to you, and how you relate to yourself are all going to come under intense and potentially explosive review. You might perceive this quite literally as conflict directed at you, radically changing your appearance, or health issues. Or you might find this to be an intense period of intense psychological growth. Strongly consider a “you do you” Christmas! You are likely in a rebuilding time after significant personal upheaval in 2020, and are rightly focused on figuring out how to face financial limitations or build stable self worth, while also making sure you authentically follow your own joy. Let others go for a while. Besides, right after Christmas you get a big boost on the family front as Jupiter enters Pisces. Communication and relationships with siblings and the family as a whole are going to become a lot easier and more abundant in time for New Year’s. Aquarius The solar eclipse ends a period of growth and change around the good things in your life--your luck, friend groups, audiences, attraction, children, creativity, and romance. You might find a fortunate new beginning in finding the right friends, or feel more solid about a plan for the future. Enjoy this, and don’t forget about it as the month wears on and you turn inward. Your relationship with all the parts of you that you repress is likely to come into deep and sustained focus. You have a real opportunity to grow a lot spiritually and psychologically this Venus retrograde if you can lovingly face the way you’re not really as put together or as virtuous as you think you are. During this time of self exploration and growth, you might want to make your own plans for Christmas. You’re deeply looking under your own hood, and might not be amazing company this Christmas! That is deeply okay. Take care of yourself. And take heart! When Jupiter enters Pisces all this work you have been doing on yourself could positively impact your self esteem. You also might get a higher paying job, come into a little extra cash, or otherwise benefit financially. Pisces The solar eclipse ends a period of growth and change around your home and work lives. You might be opening a new chapter in your career by ending a job, or finding that people see you differently now, and that this opens new doors to a career or life change. Any big career change requires people, and as the month wears on, you’re going to get a lot of information about how robust your loose networks, professional affiliations, audiences, and groups you belong to are. You might find that you haven’t invested properly in these friends, or that they are a very powerful and lucky force propelling you forward. Either way, seeing that you aren’t the center of these relationships--that they are always about giving and helping--is going to make them much more powerful. You might want to budget extra time this Christmas for things ike professional socializing, even if you have to be the one throwing the party. Your focus will likely be here anyway, and this might offset another ongoing pressure you’ve been facing to get free of a sibling or member of your extended family. Also, investing here in these relationships that push things forward is a way to take advantage of Jupiter entering Pisces. You will become a powerful force of good until mid spring! And you’ll need an audience and a network to share all this shine and abundance with.
*You could read these for your Sun sign, but they would be wildly inaccurate most of the time. If you need your rising sign and know your birth time, I will hook you up!