This week, Mercury is the major player as it continues its retrograde cycle. Mercury has been treading backwards through the beginning degrees of Sagittarius over the past week, and re-enters Scorpio on Sunday the 10th. Mercury was in Scorpio fairly recently (November 1st-23rd) and so these themes will be familiar. While the past week had more chaotic, impatient energy thanks to the interplay of Mercury and fiery Sagittarius, the next week and a half will be a little less outwardly manic and more focused on internal dynamics. We may be forced to reexamine our communication styles in love and intimate relationships of all sorts. Themes of possessiveness and jealousy may come up again, in different forms for each of us. As with any Mercury retrograde, it is best to take things slow. Thankfully the urge to act without thinking has been lifted a little, but Scorpio is still known for striking whatever moves through its domain. Displays of passion are fairly likely, and should be handled with understanding and patience if possible. On Tuesday the 12th, Mercury comes into conjunction with the Sun at 27 degrees Scorpio, which signifies the halfway point of this retrograde.
On Friday the 15th, the Geminid meteor shower reaches peak visibility around 2am EST, with around two meteors a minute. The constellation of Gemini, of course, is ruled by Mercury. Everything seems to come back to the planet of communication this week.
Mercury’s starring role continues on Friday, as it comes into conjunction with Venus at 23 degrees Scorpio. The two planets form a trine to Rahu, which initiates a karmic sequence for most regarding personal relationships and soul connections. Mercury is in retrograde, so brings a certain level of confusion or inability to recognize the truth about a situation (or at the very least, to communicate it to others). Rahu forces us to move out of our comfort zones in order to evolve, particularly when it comes to our ties with others. It is likely that over the next two weeks, relationships will both evolve and dissolve under the residual pull of this transit. Scorpio makes everything seem more significant and intense, and so it is possible that these dissolving relationships can be re-examined once Venus and Mercury have both moved into Sagittarius the first week of January.
This week kicks off with the visibly largest full moon of the year, a true super moon in the constellation of Taurus. If you check the skies Saturday night as the moon rises, it will likely look extremely large on the horizon (provided there isn’t cloud cover to hide it!). The sun remains in the sidereal sign of Scorpio and so this full moon is in the sidereal sign of Taurus. This is a time for gathering our resources, and preparing ourselves for the next stage. Much of this will be very physical and tangible in nature, i.e. gathering supplies for our next project, finding the funds necessary to purchase a car or home (or even much smaller things), and building the relationships and connections we need to make these things a reality. There may be some resistance to working with others, since Scorpio keeps things hidden and closed off by default. The Taurean grounding allows us to step out of our comfort zones a little and try something that we may not have dared to in the past. This will allow us to travel further than we believed possible.
On Sunday the 3rd, Mercury’s retrograde cycle begins. Mercury is currently in the Sagittarius constellation, which it entered on November 24th. The effect of the past week of Sagittarian Mercury has brought a renewed energy and mental stamina. We may have found it difficult to relax, or to quiet a curious mind. Mercury will halt in its place at 6 degrees Sagittarius, and will begin the illusion of moving backward across the backdrop of the night sky. The key word here is illusion. Illusions can be very persistent in this world, and can feel extremely real in nature. Mercury will cycle back into Scorpio, retracing its path all the way to 19 degrees Scorpio. This retrograde cycle will cover 17 degrees of the zodiac and will complete on December 22nd. As with any retrograde cycle, the issues that tend to come up are mirrors of issues we just seemed to have gotten through. Mercury’s area of focus tends to be on communication, memory and technology. He deals with anything that is being passed from one place to another (typically intangible but sometimes not). This process gets slowed down a bit during this time, and with all the cultural focus on Mercury retrograde, we tend to exacerbate this period even more. Mercury throws up illusions that remind us of issues we have yet to overcome in ourselves. Impatience tends to be the biggest one for most of us during these periods, but you may find different variations on this theme for yourself and those closest to you. We will continue to discuss Mercury retrograde in the next two forecasts, but this week be aware of your tendency to want to push forward frantically in order to get immediate results. This is the first trap that Mercury throws out for us, and can be overcome by going against the instinct and moving with a slow and steady pace. This will alter quite a bit by next week, when Mercury re-enters Scorpio, so this chaotic energy should only be an issue over the next several days.
The Geminid meteor shower begins this week on Monday the 4th, though it will not reach its peak until the 13th. If you search the skies in the middle of the night, you may be able to see some dust trails from the meteors that trace back to the Gemini constellation.
On Friday the 8th, Jupiter becomes the brightest point in the early morning sky. Jupiter is currently transiting the Libra constellation, and will be visible clearly about three hours before sunrise. Jupiter’s appearance heralds the coming of the Sun into Sagittarius next week, and provides an expansive look into our own imaginations. Jupiter’s prominence is a good omen for travelers and for those who seek to explore through knowledge or spirituality. Jupiter’s appearance bodes well for those interested in using this time (about three hours before dawn) for lucid dreaming, astral travel or for simply getting up to study. Knowledge soaks in easier during this period.
This will be a highly transformative week as we make our way toward the New Moon in Scorpio this Friday, which coincides with the day of the Leonid meteor showers. As with any time before a new moon, we may do well to turn our attention to that which no longer serves us. This is a time for clearing out old beliefs and thoughts which may be hampering our success, along with clearing out physical objects. The energy of the Scorpio new moon is quite mysterious and draws our attention to those things which normally remain hidden. The Scorpio new moon is akin to shedding a thick layer of skin and reemerging with a fresh outlook. Those that fight this transition may experience some discomfort.
We are aided by the Jupiter/Venus conjunction in the constellation of Libra, which has been building over the past several days. The exact conjunction occurs on Monday the 13th at 13 degrees Libra. You will be able to view this conjunction in the southeastern sky about an hour before sunrise against the backdrop of the Libra constellation. Astrologically, when Jupiter comes into conjunction with another planet, it expands and magnifies the qualities of this planet. Venus is still transiting the Libran constellation, and so the planet of love and beauty has been at home in the sign it rules over. Partnership and romance are brought to a greater focus. Keep in mind that for some this may manifest as an attention to the lack of a balanced partnership. Libra desires balance above all, and seeks the partner to fill in the areas that are lacking. This may become obvious this week, but any issues in this area can be overcome by honing and recognizing your own special gifts and skills, or by seeking balance between the various areas in your own life.
The fixed star Fomalhaut is visible for the early part of the week. You can find it in the southern sky during the early evening in the constellation of Pisces, very close to the horizon for those in the northern hemisphere. Fomalhaut means “solitary one” which is a fitting name for this star that is basically all alone in this empty patch of sky during this time of the year. The star appears to be solitary in the autumnal sky, and so earned its reputation among early astronomers as a “lonely” star. The good news about poor Fomalhaut is that this is in actuality an illusion caused by our Earthly perspective of this area of sky during this time of year. Fomalhaut carries the Piscean qualities of idealism, sensitivity and intuition. The starry-eyed enchantment that Fomalhaut brings can make it a challenge to navigate the more materially-based world, but is a huge boon for artistry and creativity of all types. Those who have planets in their own chart that aspect Fomalhaut (3 degrees Pisces) will find these qualities enhanced during this period of the year.
The Sun enters the Scorpio constellation on Thursday the 16th, which amplifies the need many are having now to hibernate and take their activities indoors. This may be short lived because of the meteor shower that has some astrological impact.
The Leonid meteor shower will be remarkably visible on Friday morning the 17th, particularly between 3am and 5am. The meteor shower will take place in the constellation of Leo the lion, of course, and is visible every year around this time. The reason it will be more visible this year is that it happens to occur on the New Moon, and so the sky will be mostly dark. Provided we have clear skies, this will be an ideal atmosphere for viewing. Leo is in square to the Scorpio moon. Themes that may come up will center around the idea of giving without expecting compensation or a return of any kind, and the ability to communicate our feelings on a grander scale. Scorpio enjoys hiding, but Leo forces her out of her secret lair onto the stage. The sparkling meteor shower show is the ultimate Leonian expression, and allows for a greater expression in our personal lives should we choose to share our ideas and abilities with others.