by Heather Roan Robbins
The Moon waxes full, glowing off the crystalline northern slopes, glinting off the waters in the south, bathing our world in cold winter moonlight in this darkest week of the year. Moonlight can lighten the soul when all else seems confusing while Mercury retrogrades, and can soothe the worry and the deeper work brewing under the seasonal cheer while Mars conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn.
This Moon waxes full until a the lunar eclipse-Full Moon in Sagittarius early Tuesday morning, right before the Sun enters Capricorn on that shortest day of the year. Winter begins, and we celebrate the slow return of the Sun and/or the Son, the promise of the return to life after winter’s trials, a few days later when we can first see the days begin to lengthen again.
In this darkest week, and with Mercury retrograde, it would be wonderful to take time to for a personal retreat, if only for a few hours, to quiet down and listen. Listen to the trees in the winds, to the soul’s demands, to the cries of the world. Come to a stop. Hear our connection to all that is, to the earth beneath and the stars above, hear our connection to all sentient beings. And then gear back up into the New Year renewed.
Whether or not we take an intentional retreat we may find this is a more introspective, intimate holiday than usual. It’s not an easy time to meet new friends or to argue with old ones; the mood is outwardly friendly but inwardly intimate and guarded, warm but private with Venus in introspective Scorpio sextiles to Mars in determined but emotionally conservative Capricorn. Our oldest and most personal family patters are up for review. Fewer people respond to an invitation than expected, encouraged by Venus and the weather to stay home and keep their energy inwards. Scorpio is naturally suspicious so we can get snagged by unnecessary trust issues at home or in our politics, but we can choose to make the most of the situation now and work to improve trust in the future.
Right now it is easy to go about in a relatively sweet mood until Mercury retrograde jerks our chain, some miss- sent email trips us up, the holiday present arrives 3 sizes too small or is sent to the wrong address, or we leave our car keys on the post office counter as they lock up behind us. Then we can too easily tap into a snarky energy that’s now running close to the surface. So forgive people their little snits or abrupt phone hang-up; give them a minute to process and try again to straighten out the snag.
Wherever possible, enjoy the running slapstick gags of Mercury retrograde, and laugh at the clown energy we accidentally channel thereby. We can let every technical challenge, every broken light bulb or miss-sized present be a bonding moment, a memory to laugh about rather than get hung up about its significance or difficulty. This really is a year when our attitude of gratitude will make the difference between joy and disgruntlement.
The weekend begins cuddly and practical, a good time to deal with practical necessities and comforts under a Taurus Moon, cuddle up, but let’s only go shopping if we’re feeling flexible and curious; we may find a few good surprises, but stores aren’t going to let things go cheaply yet, and people are territorial and pushy. Friends may be possessive of our time and need reassurance.
Over the weekend Mercury backs into Sagittarius and returns a taste of casual, glittery celebration to the season after a tough hard work week. As Mars continues to conjuncts Pluto this week it adds power and determination to our work but can make us impatient and worried about the course of our life’s work, and imbue a manipulative undertone. It also encourages surgical thinking, so we have to watch what gets cut out. Watch the power plays across the headlines and notice when grandmother are tempted to lean in with the guilt trips.
But be careful how this is used in personal life; it’s easy to think we know best what our beloveds need to do, but any attempt to take away their self-responsibility or to strong-arm them into behaving will not grow the love. Just give them the information they need to make good decisions and lay off. If we have to set boundaries, let’s make them few, specific, reasonable, and hold fast.
Get efficient rather than controlling. We can use this Mars-Pluto aspect to power our engine. It helps to get physical and move a piano or chop wood, we just need to stay within our physical limits and not strain our back or drop the ax on our foot.
Sunday through Monday night is great for a party under a voluble Full Gemini Moon, socialize now but don’t get overtired and energetically stretched too thin, or the immune system may get threadbare and the respiratory system weaken. We may feel the need to talk about our differences in opinions and argue over philosophy or religious differences, but the argument won’t get us anywhere. Aim for growing understanding instead.
Tuesday the Moon is full and eclipsed at 1:15 am MST and enters Cancer an hour later; one story ends and a new one begins. The Sun enters Capricorn at 4:15 pm MST and we head home; our energy turns towards tradition, family, seeking how to better balance work and home, balance domestic policy and international needs. Prioritize the more intimate relationships for the next few days.
We need to stay loose and be prepared to change our minds and our plans all week as Mercury square Uranus. Our family and friends reveal themselves and unexpected realities come into the light. Old traditions fall away and new ones are created. Get inventive.
Transportation and communications will get really strange for a while, so please make no assumptions and confirm, confirm, confirm before reacting. It really is better slow down, do less and do it right the first time. Do it with heart or don’t do it at all.
Friday, Dec 17: People are feeling a little moody and needy, but may have trouble expressing it. Physical comforts can stand in for emotional, so keep the cookies under control. Practicalities need attention this morning, forgive a social awkwardness and avoid aesthetic decisions midday as the Moon opposes Venus, hope no one buys you a holiday sweater now. Hearts can feel smaller; we can find cheap excuses to be difficult, but this only spoils our fun, not theirs. Formal evening, if conversation lags, bring up a controversial topic and give them something to chew on.
Saturday, Dec 18: Our senses want to be fed this morning; a certain materiel hunger can make us want stuff, presents, food, textures, just the right lights. If we buy too much we will probably regret later, no one is giving stuff away just yet. But the Taurus Moon also loans us the capacity to work with what we have and make the most of it. Midday, it’s hard to make up our minds as the Sun square Uranus brings surprising switches and unexpected hurdles; become more careful under pressure, not less. Afternoon our efforts seem to go in circles, evening laughs and sparkles as the Moon enters Gemini. Accept or send an invitation.
Sunday, Dec 19: Rest. Our nerves vibrate if we get too busy; outer obligations clash with introverted souls and this can leave us feelings stretched too thin and lower our respiratory immune system. Laugh where possible and conserve energy. Edit the commentary, it’s hard to find the right words so we tend to fine a lot of them instead, and unexpected information can pour out in the process.
Monday, Dec 20: Make the list and check it twice, find out who’s naughty and who’s late this snafu-filled day as Mercury sextiles Chiron and squares Uranus. It’s time to confront a misconception. Notice where words have caused hurt, and repair; build a bridge over a gulf of understanding or create new pathways around an obstacle. Breakthroughs are possible tonight if we’re honest and don’t get caught up in the buzz, the Moon is eclipsed in the wee hours of the morning.
Tuesday, Dec 21: Something changed overnight, figure what it is. Our energy turns inwards, our feeling tenderize this shortest day, as the Moon enters Cancer early on and the Sun enters Capricorn at 4:39 pm MST. Finish dealing with the public contacts early; afterwards, and through Friday, our thoughts and feet turn homewards. We may feel homesick for a home that isn’t now and never was, our challenge is to make present the best as possible.
Wednesday, Dec 22: Who can we feed today: make cookies, work in soup kitchen or buy a bag of rice for the women’s shelter under this Cancer Moon. Memories flicker, if this leaves us feeling sorry for ourselves as while Mars semi-squares Neptune, the best medicine is to get over ourselves and help someone else. People need to know they are accepted for the content of their heart, not for the product of their pocketbook; drop comparisons and see each other kindly.
Thursday, Dec 23: Although a Leo Moon adds more sparkle to our celebrations, more melodrama to the family arguments, we can feel at loose ends. We see the early stages of some emotional drama or comedy now, one that plays out throughout the weekend as the Sun composure Pluto next week. So play it for the long haul and don’t worry about winning a skirmish.