The Astrology Blog 16 December 2019
All times in GMT
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
How was last week for you? I felt totally exhausted by the end of it. The once a year Venus conjunctions with Saturn on Wednesday and Pluto on Friday were tough, either side of the Full Moon on Thursday, and noticeable in the main news stories.
- Venus rules how we relate and is everything to do with love, money, women, children, pleasure and beauty
- Saturn is work, effort and achievement but the flipside is barriers, obstacles, delays, authority, deaths – or just being a major misery
- Pluto rules all power and control issues, black holes including financial ones, and “no going back” endings – change of the wipeout and irrevocable kind
So as I said last week it doesn’t matter how you look at these combinations, there’s nothing easy or pleasurable about them, and unfolding events bore this out. There was the horrendous NZ volcano (avoidable) disaster, the eruption from the black hole of a crater, with recovery of the dead being delayed because of the risk of another eruption and rescheduled for Friday 13th (when the Venus – Pluto conjunction was exact). And a leading female figure in the world Aung San Suu Kyi (Venus) was in court to defend Myanmar against the Rohingya genocide (Saturn/Pluto) charge. The inhumanity of the reports defies belief or understanding. It’s hard to imagine anything more descriptive of the “anti love” themes of Venus being thumped by Saturn/Pluto.
Closer to home a friend of mine in the UK was a victim of road rage after picking up her children from school, from a guy who seemed to hold her responsible for being held up at a blocked (Saturn) junction. He is also a parent with a child at the same school and is known for his aggression. Once the traffic got going it then escalated into this maniac trying to run her off a main road and unfortunately on a stretch of road in London that doesn’t have security cameras. Remember that the Venus – Saturn meeting was in “blind spot” quinqunx aspect to the Full Moon. Extra lunacy. Fortunately this friend is made of stern stuff, she was able to hide her fear from her children and is also a good driver, which is why they’re all still alive. She reported the incident to the headmaster of the school who took it extremely seriously and was personally in the car park the following morning to meet my friend. The last she saw was the guy arriving as usual with his own child and then being escorted to the headmaster’s office!
Re minor hassles my Greek bank account changed their online banking system and it refused to recognize my password. I ended up blocking myself out of my own account and had to start again, with card number, pin, personal details etc – yawn. My application for a Greek driving licence (a must have re Brexit regulations) was accepted after a very long wait but my passport photo was rejected – because I have a fringe. I had to go back to the photo shop and get the photos done again wearing a headband which scraped all my hair off my face. Trust me, the result was not Venusian.
On Thursday morning I took Coco, one of my dogs who is now 14, to the vet for what I thought was an eye infection that wasn’t clearing up. It turned out to be an ulcer deep in the corner of the eye. So this came to light on a Full Moon (when the “lights”, the Moon and Sun, are exactly opposite each other – also known as the “luminaries” and in the physical body they rule the eyes. In a man the Sun rules the right eye and the Moon the right eye – other way around for women).
And you may remember from last week that this Full Moon coincided almost to the hour with Chiron turning direct (having been retrograde since 8 July). Chiron is strongly linked to health issues, especially in terms of uncovering wounds and discovering what needs healing, physically or emotionally. On the same day I stopped colluding with a friend about passively staying year after year in a dysfunctional relationship and said exactly what I thought. I didn’t decide in advance to do this. As I’ve said before astrology is like this great big cosmic mirror that reflects our world. The Full Moon – when things are at full stretch – and Chiron changing direction brought healing issues into the spotlight.
What’s Happening this Week?
It may be a quiet start to the week but don’t be fooled. It’s now Mars’ turn to align with Saturn and Pluto. This makes for an awesome trio, especially as Mars in Scorpio and Saturn in Capricorn are both “dignified”, and Pluto in turn is co-ruler of Scorpio –
Thursday 19 December
- Mars 20 Scorpio sextile Saturn 20 Capricorn 10.01
Sunday 22 December
- Mars 22 Scorpio sextile Pluto 22 Capricorn 14.29
Again it’s not an easy picture, but at least Mars can stand up for himself and doesn’t have the vulnerability of Venus. If you have to defend yourself or fight for something remember that Mars in Scorpio doesn’t operate with all guns blazing. This Mars is about subtle but unswerving determination, knowing your own power and not handing it over to anyone else.
It has to be said that there’s a quality of ruthlessness in this combination, maybe of the being cruel to be kind variety, getting something totally straight, or sticking to your guns no matter what somebody else says or does. It may be impossible to avoid all conflict or arguments but it’s worth noting that the best possible results can come from using your power and sense of self wisely, calmly and firmly. The very best of this Mars in Scorpio is deep spiritual awareness and healing abilities (natal Mars for Mahatma Gandhi).
The flipside of this Mars is the abuse of power (natal Mars for Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby) with the intention to wound or dominate, an out of control libido, destructive feelings such as sexual jealousy or the desire for revenge, not the things that any of us want to feel and definitely not the things that we want to be on the receiving end of either. It’s not a great time to make any enemies and it’s definitely not the time to issue ultimatums of any kind unless you really mean them.
I get the feeling that this trio is pretty loaded when it comes to emotional or psychological factors, so be clear about your own boundaries. Avoid getting pulled into other people’s arguments or chaos. There’s no point in stepping into the line of fire unless you really have to, fighting other people’s battles is so often a thankless task anyway and right now it’s probably more thankless than ever. Save your energy for your own challenges and stay focused, as this combination is pretty impressive for just getting a job done. As I was saying last week both Saturn and Pluto are about endings, Pluto is also about total change and rebirth symbolism, so prioritise your to-do list and focus on wrapping things up. If you’ve got a workload to shift before Christmas then roll up your shirt sleeves and steam in. Mars favours those who are independent, self starters and finisher-completers. You could move mountains.
However don’t apply speed in terms of driving or hastiness. That road rage incident is still in my mind and nobody wants an accident, ever, but especially not the week before Christmas. Remember the Mars in Scorpio approach of slowly but very surely.
Note that this aspect falls on the same day as the Winter Solstice, which also carries death – rebirth symbolism as you’ll read further on, and also that this is Mars’ final aspect on his journey through Scorpio (will move into Sagittarius on 3 January) so this theme of out with the old and in with the new is being hugely underlined. So this week carries finale flavours in itself but it’s also paving the way to Eclipse season starting next week (every 6 months) and I suspect that many people’s New Year resolutions will be along life changing lines more than usual.
Mercury and Venus Squares
The next two major features of the week fall in the early hours of Friday –
Friday 20 December
- Mercury 16 Sagittarius square Neptune 16 Pisces 04.21
- Venus ingress Aquarius 06.43
Sunday 22 December
- Venus 3 Aquarius square Uranus 3 Taurus 13.31
This is Mercury’s last major aspect before changing sign (will move into Capricorn 29 Dec), Venus changes sign and makes her first aspect, a clash with Uranus, on Sunday. Note that this coincides with the Mars – Pluto finale and the Winter Solstice, so there’s a lot being packed into this coming weekend!
Squares generally spell discord, friction or things going wrong. Firstly, Mercury at odds with Neptune is a bit like a retrograde Mercury, so don’t believe everything you hear. This combination is a classic for misunderstandings, distorting the truth, someone telling you only what you want to hear or even telling whoppers. It’s also textbook for tears, anxiety, insomnia or an over active imagination. But you don’t have to go down with the ship. Remember this is a blip. Check your facts. Be there for a friend in a state. Try to delay important decisions, and so on. By the weekend the fog will have cleared and you should have the sense that everyone is thinking clearly again.
In terms of practical issues Thursday night is tricky for travel. Allow extra time and be vigilant about your belongings. In the home it’s water problems. Add the number of a good plumber to your phone!
And Venus’ new journey gets off to a rocky start too. Now in Uranus’ sign Aquarius and also squaring up to Uranus is another double whammy. At best this is a crazy, let your hair down partying picture, office parties and so on. Aquarius/Uranus often signals group events. At worst Uranus is the divorce and separation planet, so there may be news of a relationship in trouble or someone having a money crisis. If this is you then my advice would be don’t rock the boat deliberately or try to force any issues, there will be enough to contend with anyway.
The Winter Solstice
The Venus – Uranus square is preceded by the Sun moving into purposeful Capricorn in the early hours of the morning –
Sunday 22 December
- The Winter Solstice Sun ingress Capricorn 05.21
Also known as Yule or Midwinter this is one of the festivals of the pagan calendar and Elisabeth Brooke writes about the traditional rituals of all the festivals in her lovely book A Woman’s Book of Shadows. She explains how the traditional rituals for this time of year reflect the main theme of death and rebirth, that, “At Yule witches celebrate the coming of the summer. At the darkest point of the year we look forward to the warmth and light of midsummer.”
So symbolically this is the stuff of the darkest hour is the one before dawn, that the relationship between light and dark is dyadic (two parts making a whole), that we can’t have one without the other. We know daylight only because there is darkness, and vice versa. We know and value life because we know there is death. In our lifetimes we all go through probably hundreds of “deaths”, those moments when things come to an end but which are not the end of our life experiences. Rebirth carries on repeating too, ushering in new cycles, enabling us to reinvent ourselves, to shed old skins and grow new ones. The perpetual motion of the heavens reminds us that nothing ever stays the same, life is constantly work in progress in one way or another, but there are times when there’s more change going on than usual and from last week up to Christmas is one of them.
Stay cool! Until next week,
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper
And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us — listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.