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Strict Noel

December 24th

The activity of the 25th really dominates the week, and everything Capricornian, as the Sun, Saturn and Venus will be, but first on the 24th we receive the Moon conjunct Neptune square Mercury. This will be Mercury newly direct but still languishing in detriment, confusing and mixing intuition and instinct with fact and data, squaring a Moon growing in emphatic energy that has just bumped up against Neptune’s watery fantasies of universal dissolve. This could looks like some christmas eve drunkenness; wishful, wistful hopes about how it could or should be; lying to oneself and others without realizing it; telling people more about your fantasy self than your actual situation. Not a huge aspect but likely to set a tone for Venus’ ingress into Capricorn just after midnight (EST) where Venus immediately conjoins Saturn, crossing the gate into his boney arms, inciting appreciation and knowledge of the true value of materials, what things are actually made of, and a recognition of natural beauty, as well as discovering charm and elegance in the traditional. The aroma of evergreen, the freshness of cold and the flame of a candle are far more enchanting than flashing lights and plastic toys. This can make for a more somber holiday but also gives an opportunity right at the beginning of Saturn’s ingress to see what is beautiful about Saturn’s rule in Capricorn. The silence, simplicity, strength, endurance, stoic sterility, ancientness etc. This is the appreciation of graves and dolmens, cairns and catacombs, statues and mausoleum, traditions unchanged in generations, ancestry and the safety of security; admiration and reverence of things that take a long time to form. For those surrounded by such elements the kind of awe majestic mountains and austere monuments invoke will bolster hearts; for those subject to temporal commercialism with its instant gratification and addiction to waste, an emptiness will reign leaving some feeling undernourished and depressed, wishing they could be somewhere else, pining for places more spiritual and stable.

December 25th

Venus’ ingress collision with Kronos certainly dominates the day, but another shift to keep in mind is Mars’ movement into the second decan of his rulership. Mars, though extremely strong throughout all of Scorpio, holds the most power in the earliest degrees of the sign. On the 25th his insatiable desire toward primal conflict, copulation and wrath shifts toward fixed confrontation and combat. Think of ongoing periods of sparring that improve the skills of both fighters, or indefinite tantric embraces that teach nuance to both partners; both situations involve experience and intense engagement. This might be when you feel the impulse to tote tactics to the table; when you bring your A game, and have it tested. The wise have already begun the process of peeling back layers of poison and pain and exposing the dark recesses so opportunities of new growth become possible since Jupiter’s ingress into Scorpio in early October; like the cutting back of rot once hidden by the surface brush; exposed and wounded we walk into the arena, wearing our scars; but also in close cropped hair so opponents might not seize our locks and pull us down. This is severity, sparsity and sagacity; when well played; for others its like taking a good beating, but the one they needed to get their act together, if it doesn’t kill them in the process, which it shouldn’t ultimately, as Jupiter offers support from the ringside all year long. Certainly this is a situation of internal alchemy in an atmosphere of testing amidst a newly inaugurated pace of slowness. Last year’s frantic fire has subsided but not been extinguished, only purposed. What might have been the flare of chemical reaction throughout 2017, the initial flashing of dynamic activity, has become the fire you feel within muscles as they tear and build in strength. Both Saturn and Mars say “Feel the burn”, while Venus is admiring hand made weapons and hunting spears, delicately carved fish hooks and bone sewing needles, the craft put into fishing nets and tent hides hard won and well worked; heirloom tools and wood of good grain and steel worthy of the whetstone. Saturn is going to be constantly reminding us that it is going to be a long haul and we have to be strategic, disciplined, determined and resourceful. Mars wants us either doing reps or demolition, (and we must take heed because this may be the forceful removal of relationships or people depending on our chart placements) while Jupiter will be reading to us from both hermetic, tantric and martial philosophies until November of 2018. Venus will eventually move on, but her initial tour of Saturn’s domicile and meeting with the Lord of the Inescapable will provide us with a chance to fall in love with our duty and to romanticize the difficult lives and cultures of those who persist, and even thrive, in the snowy wastes and arid deserts. Saturn’s significations are at the core of existence, his cycles through our lives mature us slowly by facing us with trials, and Venus’ time in Capricorn can set our aesthetics and senses of pleasure upon what will be there to hold onto for the next three years. Learn to love to learn to trap rather than be paralyzed by being caught in a cage yourself. Come to appreciate with reverence the beauty of the wilds and the impassible, rather than seeing them as restrictions to your movement. Venus stops to smell the roses, and in Capricorn where all moves at its slowest, she stops even to smell the earth at her feet with every step. Enjoy it. Try to learn from what you gather and sense, what you see and touch while there is the time.

This all applies to the Sun as well; Helios’ passage through Kronos’ house illuminates and revitalizes the lair of the old and wise hermit; we may see how he has kept alive for so long in stillness and contemplation. There are things we can learn from visiting the old and wise, and it is a joy for them to get the attention, and be invited to share in the gnosis of the radiant, even though these visits are not typified by wild abandon and epicurean pleasure, they are the meetings where we learn eternal secrets, that which puts into perspective both mortality and its opposite. This is not “live fast die young”, but “live slowly and indefinitely”. This is the Sadhu that is four-hundred years old rather than the franticly shouting firebrand; although, Saturn may bring the overdose to the overindulgent, as he doesn’t hesitate to hand out the result we have ourselves earned.

On this note a greater or wider cycle must be acknowledged, that of Jupiter and Saturn’s conjunctions which occur about every twenty years; the pair coming together ten times about every two-hundred years each time in the same element. Much has been written on this sine wave through time, a pulse that occurs in living history which allows us to compare events and precedents with astrological dynamics. The element that hosts these conjunctions presides over the activity and focus of the era. In three years, at the end of this current decade, we transition from earth sign conjunctions to air sign conjunctions. The period we are completing began in 1802, and all of the industrial revolutions occurred within it; economic botany, chemistry, physics as we know it, the machine age, dependence on energy drilled out of and sucked up from the recesses of earth. These were the Elemental Epochs of antiquity known as Trigonalis epochs of the Great Chronocrators, Jupiter and Saturn, the two most distant and slowest planets known then and seen with the naked eye. So Saturn’s time in Capricorn this round is his last time to rule his Yin domicile in this epoch, and so his concerns may be a bit more acute as well as all encompassing. We will soon find out what the planet of inflexibility and endurance thinks about a society that has devastated resources and threatened the continuation of the species. There are times that we don’t always say with bittersweet or melancholy sentiments “It was the end of an era.” So challenge yourself to achieve being romantic about the limitations and value of material existence from a perspective yet to come rather than being wistful about when we still could overfish oceans and simply bury trash in the earth as a solution for its riddance.

These Trigonal epochs overlap to an extent on the ends due to planet’s retrogrades, and the mathematical mean differs from the result in reality, so we have had a series of Libra (air sign) conjunctions in 80-81, as well as the mathematical mean epoch switch in 2000, even though earth conjunctions persisted for another 20 years (the average varies from the actual). Both factors point to a situation of one foot in each element; that perhaps much of what is to come is already fully formed but not yet on stage. Air element is intellectual, information oriented, abstract, searching, and also cultural (art culture, science culture, journalism) and a bit romantic but with a filtered emotion; more like fine art and discourse than domestic partner needs and feelings. Most of us now are aware many of the solutions to ecological crisis already exist, its more a matter of those in control positions moving them into place, or at least ceasing to block them. We have wondered for more than a decade now en-mass why renewable energy has not been implemented on a large scale, and it may be that suddenly it will just appear, as if the baton had been passed long ago but the camera hadn’t yet panned over to the next runner. The frame switch is still in three years time, when the slowest pace sign transitions to one of a faster element. At that point we may not be thinking about solar panels, that are factory manufactured and battery bays, which still require disposal, but holographic lighting in every space we need it that runs off cellular networks, and other yet to be seen innovations that no longer sound far fetched. In the mean time, as we wait for the technological update, we may watch the world begin the slow work of reversing an epoch of industrial impact with wide scale permacultural pursuits and professional rewilding; both rapidly becoming supported sectors that the wealthy are willing to pay into and even the lower classes are willing to group fund. Surely we will see more space program buzz, whether or not that blossoms fully in the long term, but that process might begin to be criticized more heavily as a distraction from the work that must be done here, considering the daunting infrastructure that would be necessary to relocate a world population (or at least those most fortunate or unfortunate, depending on the scenario) requires generations; and this is in a world becoming acutely concerned worldwide of decolonization. The Mars colony of the air epoch might be a specter of the old epoch’s science-industrial-capitalist-progress driven-adventurism that gets its coattails caught in the doorway as it crosses the threshold; ultimately, but probably there will be no real way to tell in my lifetime; the streamers and flares will be popping off for a while.

Some fodder to chaw as we immerse into year’s end celebrations; but we must return to the week in question. Although, for calendrical or traditional reasons, as well as astrological, what culminates on the 25th is certainly the main event, after which we are drawn back into the regular, ever-changing drama of the sublunar realm.

December 27th

The Moon waxes up to the second quarter on the 26th, revving up the energy and pace as narrative substance begins to collect, and which story strands appear likely to later but becomes more apparent. I find this is often a good time to throw some tarot or what be your mode; New Moons have flavor, as do most seeds, but it is here that the tides of reality begin to roll in and take shape; by the second quarter there becomes something for the oracle to describe and is normally your opportunity to catch a wave. Surprisingly and not surprisingly Mars trines Neptune just after on the 27th; in the holiday aftermath, and even if you didn’t visit family, are simply not of the persuasion, or belong to another tradition, Western or American Christmas (and the whole commercial holiday season in general) blasts a pretty wide whole in societal activity and certainly collective consciousness. Take Mars and Jupiter in Scorpio’s ruthless project of revealing traumas as work out fuel and think about what kind of power bars you might have received in your stocking; they may have been laced! At least as much as an overabundance of caffeine or Adderall switches tracks on your choices and causes your train to chug so fast it sways on the rails. I imagine this will make some people who aren’t in their own neck of the woods begin to feel itchy for departure, even dangerously so. The sedentary schema that is part of landing at many familial compounds could make for some monkeys in cages; thrashing against the feeling of confinement as you were on a roll before you left and there is so much to do back home you can’t stand it. What to do with all this excessive energy? Some might turn to booze. As is the perennial recipe; this could be perfect if in moderation, but into excess might become disastrous. Trines are normally positive aspects and can require a bit of volition to be engaged, but the obsessive, secretive, determined aggressive competitiveness of Mars in Scorpio in harmony with the imaginative, hallucinatory, fantastical, consciousness dissolving agenda of Neptune in Pisces is not going to work well for everyone. If your crew likes to eat mushrooms and wrestle than this configuration is your jam. Magically lycanthropic quality time with grandpa actually sounds amazing to me, but whether or not it’s possible is another story. For those in transit, Mercury will be direct, but still in detriment, and this blurry worldview coherent of combat might make the open road rather thorny. If you are able to do your own thing, a more physically challenging ritual could be nicely fit in here, especially one that pushes you through higher layers of manifestation. Some ecstatic exertions or beyond your threshold yoga might bring some visions, especially if banefully assisted.

December 28th

We receive a nice contrast with the Moon in Taurus trine Venus in Capricorn. This is the Moon exalted in Venus’ sign harmonized with Venus in another earth sign. Venus has a hard time with conjunctions with Saturn, as it typically puts restrictions on pleasure, and as we’ve discussed, there is more than usual to consider with this particular meeting of the Old One and Aphrodite; regardless of how well you approached or experienced the 25th’s conjunction the waxing Moon’s aspect to Venus separating from Saturn is sure to imbue some sense of grounding movement and organic rhythm to a Venus that might have seemed to suddenly cease or stop in her tracks. She is well under the beams, so her influence will be particularly introverted, and we might have to go looking to find her; these particular moonbeams should act as a lunar searchlight to find the feminine divine hidden in all that we see, smell, touch, taste and hold; She, that is there in every movement and motivation. Again, as it is a trine, you might have to turn it on to get the circuit to fill up with juice, but as the Moon will be well on her way towards fullness, there should be plenty of gentle electricity to run through like the currents of streams and low slow rivers. This should be more than apparent as she has come around the bend and is in the final stretches; it’s not far for her to wax in exaltation in Taurus to fullness in Cancer which is her crowned rulership. The Full Moon doesn’t occur until January 1st, but being more than halfway there Luna may be beginning to identify more with her glorious apex than her rough inception.

Venus proceeds deeper and deeper into combustion throughout this whole period, and so we must strain to behold the pleasures, the beauty the love and the art, and it becomes increasingly difficult to express these sentiments outwardly. As she becomes obscured by light she is purified and renewed, eventually beginning a fresh cycle of values and attachments. Beginning in Scorpio, this round she has been peeled away by flames of focused desire, philosophical intent and finally the hierarchal stratifications of reality. Steam, fire and magma do the job, and after she has been made a pure and precious stone she gets polished by blasts of hot air in Aquarius over January and then is finally quenched in cold, celestial waters of her exaltation by February. It’s worth being aware of this process, as you may let fall burnt and curling layers of what you once loved and ready yourself for the clean and slick marble busts of tomorrow which we will then begin to dress anew, styling in refreshing costumes.

December 30th

It is only likely to exist beneath the causal level, but Mercury’s trine to the North node, now that we are only a month away from the next set of eclipses, may sling some spider webbing across the subconscious as the secret material that forms our life-tales, the cobble path you pass in a dream, or the significant nothing you feel at the sight of a particular house or the etching caw of a crow; as the “Shadow Grabbers” (essentially how the node’s terms translate from Sanskrit) influence us from secret pulls this way and that, like the shady behind the scenes machinations, the bureaucracy of fate itself that slips in and out the various veils as Sun and Moon are momentarily halved, halted or hidden from sight. There may be nothing in particular here, but keep an eye on the peripheral, and note things that happen to fall into sequence with seemingly meaningless themes since the August set, and even precedented in mid February when the first eclipse happened in this pair of signs. If you know already which signs this eclipse series is transiting in your chart, and have ideas about what its doing to your life, this might be a day for having ears opened and eyes peeled. You might catch a glimpse of the Dragon and take some notes on its behavior. If you don’t see anything pop up out there in the dark ocean, don’t fret. The hours marine biologists or astronauts observe the void are not what’s published, even though it tends to fill the majority of their time.

December 30

Before the Moon reaches its protective nest in Cancer where it will rejoice in fullness, it passes through Gemini, highlighting Mercury’s forward movement through enemy territory as the messenger picks up speed to catch up with himself, and with the pace of the season which burgeons. We might begin to feel the significance of what had been and what had not yet been reported during the season we just left. This is maybe the ongoing release of details and analysis of the late fall and early winter’s stories, both personal and in the news, as articles transition from the front page to the editorials and serials. What might have originally hit in confusion, or in the shape of a question mark begins to get straightened out into linear shapes and narratives, which may dart and pierce some of our hearts, or at least make some jabs in our guts. Whether they are inspiring or nauseating or both, the journalism that pulls your heart strings sets us up to finish Mercury retrograde’s elemental alchemy, refining, resetting and fine tuning our individual and collective spirits as he moves on to brass tacks in Capricorn by January 10th, as well as the particularly juicy Full Moon which follows Luna’s Geminiic passage.

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