February 3rd-9th: Toward Unity

The weekend begins with the Sun moving into conjunction with Ketu at 20 degrees Capricorn. When a planet is in conjunction with the Sun, it is said to be combust, meaning the energy of the Sun tends to take over the energy of the planet or planetary body. Ketu is our karmic past and represents the lessons we have already learned that we often cling to for safety. Under the influence of the Sun for the next two or three days, Ketu takes on a brighter and more radiant role in our lives. We may be called on to look at the path we have already traveled, and this nostalgia is usually comforting and enlightening. In stark contrast to the heavier shadow work of last week’s transits, this is fairly comfortable and safe, depending on our own reactions and how we deal with our fears. It can be useful to look back on our past in order to better understand where we are standing in the present.

The moon is in Virgo for the duration of the weekend, entering Libra on Monday. The weekend is useful for organizing and simplifying things. It can feel pleasant to devise a system to help you focus; i.e. coming up with a new routine, installing organizational bins in the closet, or simply spending some time tidying up the area around you. Analysis and data work can flow a little easier this weekend.

On Tuesday the 6th, Venus enters Aquarius, where it will stay until March 1st. Venus is still in fairly close conjunction to the Sun, and this of course means it is in combustion. This combustion of Venus has been going on since before the new year, and has caused the planet of love and beauty to feel a bit smothered by the solar energy. In Aquarius, Venus will gain some ground and will be able to stand on her own two feet away from the influence of the Sun come February 19th. Venus is comfortable in Aquarius, more so than during the Capricorn transit. The Aquarian zone allows Venus more room to breathe and spread out. Aquarius is centered around expanding concepts and ideas, mental energy that electrifies and shakes up the system. Venus here can be utilized through arts and music and through new and exciting ways to express oneself creatively. Over the coming weeks this will need to become more centered around working with others and unifying with the cosmic whole as opposed to personal and ego-centered creation. This will not get us very far, particularly because of the humanitarian overtones of the Aquarian transit.

The moon enters Scorpio on Thursday the 8th, where it will remain through Friday. Scorpio lunar transits are useful for diving deep and exploring what is hidden. It is a good time for exploring the psyche or connecting with someone on a more intimate level. Scorpio moon cycles make it challenging to stay at a shallow surface level; even the most minor interactions take on a more intense flavor. If you are a sensitive person this may be a bit challenging to deal with, but the capacity for greater understanding and empathy is heightened and so it may be worth making the effort.



January 27th-February 2nd: Shadow Work

This weekend our mental focus begins to get more singular as Mercury shifts into Capricorn on Sunday the 28th. The more expansive transit through Sagittarius gave us a lot of ideas and excitement to implement these, while Capricorn will provide a more solid ground to build from. Mercury will be in Capricorn through February 15th. This time is useful for planning, organizing and beginning to shift toward a more responsible outlook that will allow for more abundance to flow. It is easier to not get too hung up on emotions during this time, or at least be able to set them aside in favor of getting things done. Students will find that their capacity for memorization and integration of information can increase throughout the next couple weeks.

We are building up to a full moon on Wednesday the 31st in the sign of Cancer. While the Sun transits Capricorn, the traditional “father” sign of the zodiac, and the moon shifts to Cancer, the “mother”, we often find duality in its many forms coming up in our lives. This may be so literal as to actually involve our own parents or ourselves as parents, or more figurative and connected to the duality of this realm. The many facets of ourselves are called together to become integrated. This process may be challenging, because it may seem as though each part is so separate from the other that there is no way they can work alongside each other. In our society it is especially difficult to feel this duality pull; for instance, it may be a challenge to be a sensitive, emotional person and also successful in the traditional sense. This full moon requires not an obliteration of one part of ourselves but a total integration and harmony.

This full moon in Cancer is especially notable because there is a lunar eclipse taking place. The eclipse will be most visible in the hours before dawn on Wednesday, particularly in the southwestern US/northwestern Mexico and parts of Central America. This enhances the theme of duality, and embracing our shadow selves as part of us. What is meant by a shadow self? This term refers to the parts of our psyche we may not show to others, that we deem as too “dark” or volatile. This is directly connected in to our ideas of vulnerability. We choose not to show these sides of ourselves out of fear of what may happen. What will others think of us? Could they handle the truth? In embracing our shadow selves, we are not necessarily letting all this anger or sadness come bubbling out for the world to see. Rather, we are forgiving ourselves for holding it and loving even these most guarded parts of ourselves. By doing this work we are allowing ourselves to step into a greater capacity for empathy, for not only ourselves but for others as well.

The full moon/lunar eclipse in Cancer takes place right beside the Beehive star cluster in the head of the Cancer crab constellation. The Beehive gives a sort of moody overlay to the full moon that can create an internal buzzing and restlessness. The qualities of the Cancerian crab are tempered by the positive poles of Capricorn: stability, physicality and tenacity. If you are feeling these mood swings during the full moon, consider physical exercise to help keep you grounded and centered.

Friday the 2nd is an interesting day because it is the midpoint between the winter solstice and vernal equinox. This is why the American folklore places Groundhog Day on this date in particular. The zodiacal light is visible this evening, which is a phenomena that is a bit similar to the glow of the Milky Way (though it is visible far less frequently, with viewing dates only in late winter and early spring). The reflection of ice and dust particles from the solar system reflects and creates a sort of cone-shaped column of light in the sky that is only visible away from city lights and moonlight. You can view this just above the western horizon this evening after sunset.

January 20th-26th: Inward, Outward

This week starts out a dreamy one – a bit slower moving and more lackadaisical. There are actually very few large planetary transits occurring, and so we may feel the effects of the moon a little more intensely throughout the next several days. The moon’s work is mostly internal and reminds us to get back in touch with our root self. This could be an emotional process, and requires some degree of trust and surrender. Dream work, or connecting to the core self through meditation and lucid dreaming, can be done with a little more ease on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday while the moon is in Pisces.

The Piscean moon offers us a glimpse of the pulse of our planet’s energy right now. Pisces, being the 12th sign, has a near omniscient presence that allows us to see through the veil into Source. To see into humanity’s present plight and suffering requires both empathy and divine understanding. Of course, this work is open to anyone who chooses to engage with it, but it does require a conscious choice. Labradorite is a very useful and gentle stone for working with the energy of humanity (and for the planet itself, along with its natural world) without being depleted by what you find.

We are aided by Jupiter this week, as the large planet becomes the brightest point of light in the night sky on Tuesday the 23rd. You can find Jupiter transiting the Libran constellation, making the stars around it appear extremely dim in comparison. Jupiter appears as a call to evolution, and to the reminder of loving-kindness as a means of overcoming stagnancy. Much of the themes I mention here are being worked through inwardly; this week’s astrology doesn’t lend itself particularly to loud or public displays until Friday. We are able to enact greater change by applying these principles to ourselves first.

The moon is in Aries from Wednesday through Friday, when it enters Taurus. This Aries transit, though brief, shakes up the heavy haze of the surreal Piscean waters. We may be called to action or feel impatient to get on with something we’ve been planning or working through mentally for some time. This is aided by Uranus having moved to the 0 degrees Aries point this week during its retrograde (which just completed on January 4th). Jyotish astrology does not address Uranus and the other outer planets typically, but I will briefly mention that 0 degrees Aries is the first degree of the entire zodiac system. This is extremely noticeable and its energy cannot be ignored. The point between Pisces and Aries at 0 degrees is a gandanta knot. The gandanta, or karmic knot exists between any fire and water sign (so Pisces/Aries, Cancer/Leo, Scorpio/Sagittarius) and is very uncomfortable for the transiting planet to cross. Having Uranus sitting on this point for several days is bound to create a restless, unsettled feeling. This transit has been bringing shake-ups in leadership and authority. The DIY mindset will continue to thrive over the coming months; communities would rather take matters into their own hands rather than relying on a figurehead or institution to provide help.

On Friday the 26th, the moon enters Taurus and transits the Hyades star cluster. This is considered the fixed star cluster of civil unrest and disobedience, located in the face of Taurus the bull . We are likely to see more activists coming forward during this time, and the energy shifts greatly from the more gentle inner work of the beginning of the week. Attention turns outward toward evoking and provoking change. This is all part of a bigger karmic picture, but remember to continue your inner evolution, as this will guide you in the outer world with more grace and ease.

January 13th-19th: Capricornian Values

Capricornian themes abound this week as the Saturn-ruled sign comes into prominence. Our attention turns toward stability and building a solid foundation for ourselves as Venus enters Capricorn on Saturday the 13th. Creative relationships and close partnerships shift towards material pursuits and tangible, security-related goals. Venus and the Sun have been moving together through the zodiac for the past week, and will continue to do so until mid-February. Venus then, is considered to be in combustion until this conjunction breaks apart. The Sun’s energy is overpowering Venus’s in a very real way right now. This feels very yang or masculine-tinged, with action, security and power taking precedence over intuition, emotion and natural manifestation. The desire to force things into being, or to exact change from situations that are not ready to allow it, will be high this week.

This is exacerbated as the Sun joins Venus in Capricorn on Sunday the 14th. The term that springs to mind is “cutthroat”, as this interplay of energies appears to force some to reach out for their goals, no matter the consequences. Reactivity follows, and then the situation continues to spiral deeper with the egoic self growing stronger all the while. It will be important to make use of the New Moon in Capricorn on Tuesday the 16th. The positive pole of Capricorn can be visited by glimpsing its negative (which in many ways, is still a mirror). We may become more focused and capable by recognizing the ways in which we are still scattered and overwhelmed. We will become more grounded and abundant by seeing that which holds us back from being so. This is the work of the new moon.

The new moon takes place in the Uttara Ashadha nakshatra, or lunar mansion. This mansion is the one of a quiet, composed and dignified leader who remains calm in times of strife. We are further reminded of this if we look at the current most prominent constellation in the northern hemisphere’s sky, Orion the Hunter. Orion climbs the southern sky a little after 10pm, and stands as a lone huntsman whose own ego became his downfall. This reminder shines bright above us. Our ego disconnects us from our true nature, and is little more than an elaborate, dizzying act. We may take on roles that we believe society or those close to us have assigned to us, and these build up into something that we do on a loop, out of habit. It is enough now to recognize these as they arise in us; we don’t have to completely dismantle our egoic selves as this is, more likely than not, impossible.

On Wednesday the 17th, Mars enters Scorpio which adds an acid-tinge to harsh words. Be careful in your dealings with others, because it may be hard to overcome such arguments later on. The positive side of this transit, which lasts until March 7th, is the boost of energy. Mars is quite content here in the sign it rules over (on the Vedic side of things at least) and allows for a lot of physical stamina and creative inspiration that will need to be directed. If it is not given a proper avenue to be released in, the Scorpion sting will be felt. Allow yourself to open up to where your personal energy is flowing, and direct it in a calm and loving way rather than forcing yourself into situations which only serve to empower your egoic self. It will be important to set realistic goals during this time, particularly in the realms of career and creativity, as the feeling of accomplishing things will be helpful. Otherwise, Mars makes us feel restless and as though we are sitting by idly (even if this is not true). Open up and take action towards something that feels authentic and true for you, even if it is something small and seemingly easy to complete.

January 6th-12th: Fog Lifts

This is an active and engaging week for us here on earth as the cosmos swirls above. There is a lot of interaction this week between planetary bodies in the form of conjunctions, and we are apt to feel this intensity here. Of all the astrological transits, conjunctions are the most intense and prominent for those experiencing them, although they can often slip by unnoticed because they feel like they are such a part of us.

First, we begin with a visible Mars/Jupiter conjunction on Saturday the 6th in the sign of Libra. This is the closest conjunction of these two planets for over 13 years (the last time they got this close to one another was in September 2004). This energy is big and while it may feel overwhelming, it can be molded into many shapes and forms with a little direction. The inclination to flail about because there are all too many options or things that need to get done is definitely there, so it will be important to cut through to the core of what you are trying to accomplish. Let the energy guide you and take things one step at a time. This conjunction will last until Tuesday the 9th, when Mars breaks away and moves ahead of Jupiter.

On Saturday, Mercury moves into Sagittarius, where it will stay until January 27th. Mercury is the fastest planet and so the transits can often feel like they are over in an eye blink. In Sagittarius, Mercury will find Venus, the Sun and Saturn. In the course of the next three weeks, Mercury will make conjunction to each of these in turn and then speed on ahead into Capricorn. We are still making our way out of the shadow zone of the Mercury retrograde from the end of last year, which will be over a little later this week. Having Mercury back in Sagittarius will bring in a breath of fresh air and will incorporate a bit more lightness into mental affairs and will encourage collaboration in learning over more heavy, solitary pursuits.

On Sunday the 7th, the Pleiades constellation is on full display in the southern sky around mid-evening. The Pleiades star cluster is associated with 5th dimensional energy and the raising of consciousness to a new vibration. The star cluster being more prominent and visible by the naked eye suggests that these teachings will come up for those who seek them. If you are uninitiated to these kinds of things, pay subtle attention to the connections around you that day. Teachings come in through those closest to us and especially through animals and nature.

Venus reaches combustion on Tuesday the 9th, moving into exact conjunction with the Sun in the later degrees of Sagittarius. Combustion occurs when any planet is in conjunction with the Sun, and its energy is effectively snuffed out until the bond is broken. The Sun’s light is very intoxicating and overpowering, and in conjunction with Venus, we are lured in by beauty and egoic vanity. Venus in her pure form is harder to access until Wednesday, and instead we may reach for inspiration only to come up empty handed. Using the Mars/Jupiter conjunction and approaching things in a more active and educational way may yield better results today.

Mercury finally exits the shadow zone of December’s retrograde on Thursday the 11th, reaching 7 degrees Sagittarius and finally breaking new ground. This will aid with mental fog and confusion, and help sweep away tired patterns and the inability to see beyond what is directly in front of us. We have always had this power, but Mercury retrograde throws out illusions which make it challenging to see straight. With these dissipated, we may see with new eyes and take on problems at work and with creative projects and tackle them fresh.

December 30th-January 5th: Watcher of the East

Happy new year! As we gear up to enter the new solar calendar, we have a couple lunar events that are quite stunning. The first occurs on Saturday the 30th, as the moon transits the constellation of Taurus and enters Gemini.  The moon passes over the fixed star of Aldebaran, eclipsing it in totality between 6 and 7pm EST. Aldebaran in legend represents Archangel Michael, and was called the “Watcher of the East” in former Persia. The ancients believed that this star brought prosperity and riches but a certain level of anxiety and chaos along with it. As the moon eclipses this fixed star (which should be visible through binoculars in the northern hemisphere), the ancients foretold of great honors being bestowed after personal trials are completed. Perhaps this is a theme as we arrive in 2018.

We begin the new year with a full moon in Gemini on Monday January 1st. This will be the biggest and closest full moon in the entirety of 2018 (although not technically considered a “super moon”). The moon reaches peak fullness at 9:24pm EST. At the height of the lunar cycle, this full moon activates the inner urge to fulfill spiritual quests that haven’t been explored for some time. The spiritual, creative urge focuses primarily on knowledge, through accumulation, reassessment and distribution. As we take in new information we are called upon to rethink previous ideas we’ve had. Discernment is key, as there is so much mental energy at the start of the year that it may be confusing what we wish to share and what we wish to keep to ourselves. Chattering away out of nervousness will be a common problem for some, while others may wall themselves off completely from others. Walk the middle line for the best results. It is a time when knowledge has the power to uplift and inspire, or chip away at/destroy. Our words carry weight, and this is what the full moon reminds us of this week.

Earth reaches perihelion on Wednesday the 3rd, or the closest point to the Sun on its orbit (91.4 million miles apart). Getting an extra burst of Sagittarian Sun power brings us a renewed burst of energy and perhaps a case of wanderlust for some. The need to explore new locations or soak up new information through study hits for most. On Thursday the 4th, Mars squares Rahu at 22 degrees Libra. Stubbornness and an inability to work with others is likely the result of this transit. Those who are being pushed too far out of their comfort zones in relationships or business ventures are apt to speak up this week. Though taking a risk may be in their best interest, it will be slow going if you try to force this on them before they are ready. The pull of karma is fought by many people this week. This is a personal journey and shouldn’t be interfered with.

On Friday the 5th, Mars moves into conjunction with Jupiter at 23 degrees Libra, which enhances the feelings of wanderlust sweeping through the minds of many this week. This is less about daydreaming and is more concrete, as Mars desires action and has little patience for future plans. Jupiter encourages expansion and is all about living the “good life”, wanting to soak up as many experiences as possible. While most people are not going to literally book a trip to some exotic locale this week, our minds and bodies will be pushed beyond the normal flow of our daily routines. Whether that moves us to travel, or to shake up our lives in some other way (be it so simple as taking a new route to work this week), this will be on the minds of many both Friday and Saturday. Some may resist the impulse, which will cause a bit of agitation and maybe even some physical dis-ease. Flow with the energy in whatever small way you can, allowing yourself to make the changes necessary to bring yourself into harmony with your own wishes and goals.

December 23rd-29th: Inner Life

This week is fairly quiet as far as planetary shifts go, with a seemingly subtle impact. However, the few transits this week revolve around Rahu, the cosmic karmic node. While Rahu works slowly and brings about more gradual change, its reach is wide and its work is more spiritual than material. The shifts are often not immediately apparent unless you are paying close attention.

On Monday the 25th, Venus reaches conjunction with Saturn at 6 degrees Sagittarius. With this transit coinciding with the Christmas holiday, there could be a tendency to burn ourselves out in the company of others. Even those who tend toward the more extroverted end of the spectrum could find themselves feeling sapped by too much stimulation. Sagittarius’s energy busts out of the gate with torches blazing, but quickly depletes itself if not checked and balanced. Themes of commitment vs freedom in relationships may come up for some. It is important to understand your own definitions of these states of mind, in order to properly navigate the issue. The moon is in Pisces on Christmas Day, skirting the edge of the Great Square of Pegasus. This is the double nakshatra (or mansion of the moon) known as Purva and Uttara Bhadrapadas. An auspicious domain for the moon, this transit will assist with communication in both speech and written word. Pegasus rules over the written word and is a totem for writers and communicators. The Piscean moon adds a gentle, otherworldly insight that will aid those who are looking to communicate empathically with those around them.

On Wednesday the 27th, Jupiter hits 22 degrees Libra and enters a square with Rahu at 22 degrees Cancer. Progress on a group karmic level may slow, or have the appearance of slowing. Those who we have close soul connections with may break away from group goals in order to work on personal tasks for a time. The square gives the potential for discomfort, but it is important to focus on private journeys now, which will provide more momentum to the group as a whole later on. Rahu in general forces us out of our comfort zone in order to bring more balance and unity to our soul. This often comes through exposing us to areas that need our attention, which can be uncomfortable.

Neptune is prominent and visible through binoculars during twilight this week in the constellation of Aquarius, just below the star Lambda Aquarii. Neptune’s transit through Aquarius began in December 2009, and we are about four and a half years away from its entrance into the sign it rules over, Pisces (which will occur in April 2022). Neptune’s prominence this week heightens spiritual awareness and also opens up the imagination to be able to explore more fantastical planes of reality.

On Friday the 29th, Mercury comes into trine with Rahu again as it retraces its steps after the retrograde. This is a repeat of the transit from last week, which opens up a channel to being able to communicate our highest goals with others. This will soften the Jupiter/Rahu square considerably, and while private work may still be the focus, we will at least be able to share our plans with others while we break away from the crowd.


December 16th-22nd: Expand and Grow

We begin this week with the Sun entering Sagittarius early on Saturday the 16th, joining Saturn in the Sagittarian domain. The Sun enjoys its time in Sagittarius typically, as the expansive and jovial nature of Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius connects well with the solar energy. There will be a slight sobering of this fiery energy on the Winter Solstice on Thursday, as the Sun and Saturn come into conjunction with one another. The next few weeks are highly creative and a bit scattered, but Mercury’s passage out of retrograde should help those who are feeling too overwhelmed.

The new moon occurs in Sagittarius very early Monday morning, with the Sun and moon meeting in conjunction at 3 degrees Sag. This energy encourages us to examine our own belief systems and attitudes toward knowledge and personal philosophy. This is a good time to sort through limiting beliefs or attitudes, and figure out what is working for us and what is not. This is a highly personal process and cannot be dictated by anyone else or their views. It can be useful to discuss this with others, but in the end the work is our own. This new moon calls us to examine our personal catalog of knowledge, and to clear out certain things so we can make room for the new. We may find our interests shifting, or our energy moving toward a new hobby or area to master. The Sagittarian overlay of this moon will make it feel very uncomfortable to limit ourselves while we are making these changes.

On Wednesday the 20th, Venus enters Sagittarius, joining the Sun and Saturn. This week is remarkably Jovial in nature, and has a very light, playful energy should we choose to align with it. Venus will transit Sagittarius until January 13th, and will encourage romantic trips, and travel as a means of understanding beauty and art. Creative partnerships open up once more. The relatively close conjunction of Venus and the Sun makes it impossible to view Venus in the morning sky during this time, but in another couple weeks we will begin to see Venus in the early evenings just after sunset as she follows the Sun through the zodiac.

On Thursday the 21st, we have the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, which brings the longest period of darkness of any day in the year. This day also coincides with the Sun/Saturn conjunction at 7 degrees Sagittarius. Saturn will duck behind the Sun, invisible from our viewpoint. Being the father of the solar system, Saturn’s seeming absence can foster the environment necessary for wild behavior from many. The chaotic energy of Mercury retrograde coming to a close in combination with the Solstice and the Sun/Saturn conjunction results in a dropping of inhibitions. The desire to be impulsive and act out cannot be held back anymore, and the feeling is akin to a dam that is ready to burst. This is a very short lived window that will last only through the next day or two. There may be judgment and dramatic reactions from some in the face of these unbridled, seemingly random actions from individuals and groups. The inner work of the new moon should still be underway this week, and it is a good reminder to try to focus on your own path rather than getting distracted by that of others.

On Friday the 22nd, Mercury retrograde comes to a close. This should allow for a more heightened focus and clearer communication, but we still have a couple more weeks until Mercury exits the shadow zone of the retrograde. During the shadow period, which lasts until January 11th, there may be echoes of the retrograde that are extremely illusory but can be distracting all the same. On January 11th, Mercury will reach 6 degrees Sagittarius, which is where it was when the retrograde cycle began. We will finally begin to break new ground at that point. For the next two and a half weeks until that day, there could be a tendency to fall into patterns or attitudes that are based on past feelings rather than present situations. If you are someone who struggles with staying present overall, it will be useful to practice awareness and meditation during his time. Physical activity will also assist with remaining grounded.

December 9th-15th: Mercury Rising

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.

December 2nd-8th: Imagination Sparked

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.