Friends, we have before us a quiet week with some nice aspects but there are a few challenges as well including Mercury stationary retrograde on Thursday and New Year’s Eve with not only Mercury retrograde but also Venus conjunct Pluto. Many people will embrace risk and some will suffer consequences that could have been avoided by taking precautions. It’s important that we remain flexible during the pandemic, able to mask up or otherwise protect ourselves and others when the risk increases, allowing ourselves to be more comfortable when it declines.
Here at the end of 2023 let’s take a moment to look back at the last three years. Since January 2020 the world has changed in remarkable ways. What have we learned? How have we evolved? Have we made use of this opportunity to develop patience, forbearance, and mindfulness? Have we found any tranquility amid the chaos? Or are we more caught up in the reactive thoughts and emotions? Are we learning to focus on the moment? Do we appreciate who we are with and what we have? Have we learned to cherish the commonplace? Or are we caught up in reactions to events that don’t directly effect us? Are we news junkies or are we immersed in the rich details of our own lives? Are we fearing something in the future, regretting something in the past, or are we in the moment making the changes that need to be made, doing the work that needs to be done. As Charles Dickens wrote, “There is a wisdom of the head, and there is a wisdom of the heart.”
Only lunar aspects are exact on Sunday Dec 25, Mon Dec 26, Tue Dec 27. Early and midweek are dominated by tomorrow’s dreamy Venus sextile but the end of the week is all about Venus conjunct Pluto. The first lulls us into a contagious desire to socialize especially in large groups while the Pluto conjunction reminds us of the danger. If there is going to be a big surge this winter New Year’s Eve may be an obvious reason why.
Wed Dec 28 Venus sextile Neptune is exact, with moon conjunct Neptune then sextile Venus in the afternoon. Have a beautiful and sentimental last week of 2023. Enjoy a movie or perhaps a bath with someone you love. Mystical and religious epiphanies are possible. Denial is also likely to be in full bloom. Take care out there.
Thu Dec 29 Mercury retrograde begins at 1:32 AM. About an hour before dawn Mercury is conjunct Venus. Mercury retrograde is nothing to be afraid of. Expect some delays, detours, confusion. Perhaps hold off starting new projects until the new moon, only a week away. Since Mercury retrograde favors introspection and reassessment take some time to ponder where we’ve been and where we’re going, where you have been, and where you would like to go. As Dickens wrote, “The most important thing in life is to stop saying, ‘I wish’ and start saying, ‘I will’. Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.”
Fri Dec 30 sun inconjunct Mars is exact in the mid-afternoon. As we have seen inconjunctions can indicate crisis in health, with the sun and Mars usually caused by suppressed libido, anger or ambition. This aspect can also indicate conflict that could turn violent, a battle of egos where the reactions are out of proportion to the issues at hand. Accommodate the big three drives, don’t ignore them. Try to keep ego out of conflicted situations.
The night of Sat Dec 31 Venus conjunct Pluto is exact. This could make for a New Year’s Eve to remember, or one your relatives and friends might never let you forget. On the low end of the spectrum pandemic problems, crimes of passion, obsessions, even acts of terror are possible. So if you are going to go out keep your wits about you, avoid dangerous areas and situations, avoid conflict, and take precautions. On the high end of the spectrum, love can be powerfully transformative and healing. When we suffer loss of what we love we can think love has disappeared from our lives forever. The love we have may become too painful to feel or think about. But knowing and expressing love in the face of loss is how we heal. As Charles Dickens wrote, “Depth answers only to depth.”
Jan 1, 2023 Mercury sextile Neptune is exact in the late evening adding the urge for intoxication to New Year’s Eve, and dreamy but foggy confusion for New Year’s Day. Alcohol sales are likely to impress. Relax. This combination of Mercury and Neptune is better suited for looking back on where we’ve been than imagining what may come next. Dreams may offer interesting insights. If you wish to inspire someone perhaps keep this quote from Dickens in mind, “A word in earnest is as good as a speech.”
2023 is a year of changes. For better or worse it will not be the continuation of the unchanging miasma since 2020. Venus enters Aquarius on Jan 2 bringing good vibes to collectives, and supporting women in the fight for their rights. Mars is stationary direct January 12 beginning the last leg of a long and challenging sojourn in Gemini that may have been especially trying for Sagittarius suns and ascendants. But those are small changes compared to what arrives in March when Saturn finally leaves Aquarius to the great relief of Aquarius and Leo suns and ascendants. Pisces, prepare for more hard work, opportunities for advancement, and the serious side of life. It may have felt like your dedication couldn’t find much traction these last three years, but you will soon stand on more solid ground, and mentors can help you. Also in March Pluto at long last dips its toes into Aquarius for an Aquarian spring that may bring some surprises. Pluto remains in Capricorn for most of the year but glimpses of the next cycle will be obvious and possibly shocking.
A new world is about to be born. The change from Pluto in Capricorn to Pluto in Aquarius promises to be as radical as that from Pluto in Sagittarius to Pluto in Capricorn. In 2008 the ever expanding optimism of Jupiter met the needle of Saturn and pop went the world economy. That optimism has never been regained as Pluto in Capricorn has continued to wreak havoc in traditional institutions of all kinds. When Saturn and Pluto get together the times are always troubled. When Saturn conjuncted Pluto in Capricorn the pandemic was heard around the world. It’s been all Saturn and Pluto for about fourteen years. Now it will be Uranus and Pluto. As Dickens wrote, “Change begets change. Nothing propagates so fast.”
What to expect during Pluto in Aquarius. Futuristic medical and scientific breakthroughs that leave us in 2022 looking like a frontier town where the barber is the doctor. Revolutions. A big war is possible but avoidable. Continued extreme weather with new extremes is likely. Uranus demands freedom, especially for the outsider and the eccentric. All tech updated. Privacy not so important. Not a good placement for attempting autocracies, last time Pluto was here we had the American and French revolutions. The 20th century will recede as icons pass. Younger generations will redefine their world for the 21st. On the one hand we could see sudden disruptions of our connectivity based world, on the other we may be about to witness one of those quantum leaps that human communities sometimes achieve. Finish up what you can over the next ten weeks or so. Get some rest. Get ready for spring. And remember no matter how much things change in many ways they are always the same. As Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”