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Astrology of December 2018: Holy Hologram

Around the rim the light curves and sizzles as if circling the horizon, cresting it sends shattered gold and bright citrine slivers sweeping the concave wall of brazen radius. It is distant, but grasped somehow by our future selves, a hand reaching into a pinkish cloud, so close we can taste it, the specter of destiny with outstretched hands and clear globes rising from their palms; each sphere contains a perfect and whole reality, a realization of an ideal, something we feel we always instinctively knew would or could be, but has yet to manifest, but might if only we set our sights on its center and extended our thinnest and sharpest extension of ourselves into its essence, if we could manage to just splinter ourselves and touch the most subtle spike of our being and prick the spinning cortex of such possible worlds, each a future to themselves in entirety, and penetrate their core, their colloidal signature, our seed would mingle with their design, and we’d be compelled forward toward our fate almost automatically. Like holograms, all of this ideal future we yearn for and can see so clearly would be then contained within each part of it, and us, no matter how small. A single particle of a single drop of our blood would contain the very instructions dictating how our destiny is to be met.

With golden rod emerging from our palms, with fresh green sprouting from this shaft, with arches of fuchsia fluorite framing a path to fall upon and free us from friction, we would glide, pulled by our forelock, our cheeks made glow from velocity’s swipe, our toe tip an olive oil caress upon marble, smooth stone ball bearing lubricated with viscous spirit in bare breath contact with the surface of our silent singing strip. What is wild and worth our want, the thing who’s fire glimmers and flashes farthest delivers pregnant hope to us today for our tastes tell us of the thing we’ll talk of having tomorrow today. Candles sink steadily down to their bases in bright escape of melting wax.

Because now we know our cable is connecting us to our angel blessed destination, we remove our bronze helmets and with them scoop up ambrosia, water sweet and still, the saliva of sages, and pour it out at the hill crest, where an ancient stream begins to babble, speaking of what adventures we’ll soon have, and what victories we’ll encounter via tying elegant knots from the tripwires and dragnets we’ll trigger. Fish leap from the flowing water down river as silver sparks and arcing opalescence which signals us toward our destination; we weave along with the water as it meanders through filter glades, parting grass and cleaving stream bed hair parts that neatly divide the territories we’ll pass in calligraphic scripture describing the way we touch that which we pass on our approach to that which was always ours; the gleaming, glowing, cup of stars brimming with potential, quantum foam frothing over the brim and moistening the hard and cracked cobble so that our step is soft and swift. We lean upon our staff of gold and curling copper, and with our faces forward the air we meet glides around our form as if we are but a falcon’s beak breaking aether.

We know well now what we seek as we had it filtered of its poison, had it blown to bits by the torches of Gods, had it sit and suffer in the stomachs of serpents where the acids disfigured its form and corroded its minutia. We had it passed through rings like scarves of silk, and then burn’t their perfumed sweetness down to ash through clouds of acrid gas. We returned to our experiments again and again to pour back over our results, and it is more than clear now why our hearts pump and propel us after what we seek. Shock after shock, pulse after electric pulse from brain to heart, from head to toe, from the darkness of our pupil and outward everywhere through the microcosm of our iris; the aperture narrows, the pattern concentrates, the path is revealed, the target is set, the thread is found, it leads to the needle in the haystack, the world widens, the chasm fills with a choir, the map fills with place names, the world a sanctuary for our quest, we fear not danger and the destruction of our loves but are instead attracted onward. We see every depraved detail of our current turn and move around bricks of murky water, poisonous stones that float about in the subterranean oceans; having to pass through such places could not deter us. The measure of music envelopes our weapons and we move in combat as if we stand on the sea’s floor; our violence flows like aqua flora, and beside that with which we wish to marry nothing else scarcely matters.

December 1st to December 9th

Mercury returns to the deep end of Scorpio in retrograde motion on the first day of December at 7am (EST), submerging our reversing logic back into the sewers of our desires. There is a perhaps a need here of finding out where the leaks are that sully our efforts and figuring out how to fix them. He returns to these sewer tunnels, the bowels of our being, that which we burn for in our guts, the place our shadow selves lurk, liking what they like despite our more noble efforts upon the surface to appear descent and function positively. It’s different here in the depths where anything goes, and emotions are often much murkier and scarier than sheer ideas. The intellect often has a cleanliness that is impossible for the soul. Mercury enters the back door to this place without fear, with his classic neutrality, but once inside and having a look at how the plumbing is put together things get a little trickier, and as a result our logic becomes more emotionally invested. Our base functions must be up to code for us to move forward on our Jupitarian quests with the Greater Benefic now in Sagittarius, as well as pass the rest of Saturn’s Capricornian tests. We might find our thoughts and communications with others focusing on these burst pipes and interior septic back ups, and though this might having us talking dirtier than usual, the conclusion of our work here will straighten out the operations of our intuitions and have us climbing up out of the pit better for it.

Mars continues on into the second decan of Pisces later on at 3pm of the same day, further gearing our tactical attacks to more mystical philosophies. This might look like “The Zen Art Of Motorcycle Mechanics”. What we are technically attending to and the critical details there of in an expanding representation of and mingling with the macrocosm at large; especially with Mercury retrograde and in a water sign. But, Jupiter, Pisces ruler is in rulership, so hopefully the grand perspectives and inspiring energy he might lend to Mars in Pisces are then extended to Mercury’s work in late Scorpio as that is Mars’ domicile. Mercury revisiting the blueprints of our soul’s septic system is part of a larger spiritual mission from both the tactical as well as the philosophically ideal, and is ultimately informed by mystical realizations. This is good, as long as we don’t attempt outright intuitive plumbing on ourselves and our lives; some things still require rigor even when intuition is an absolute prerequisite.

With the Sun moving into Sagittarius’ second decan in the wee hours that follow we are more than likely focused on consolidating our resources so that our overriding efforts to achieve our goals are funneled into with increased power from wherever we can find it. This might unfurl into a tiered or hierarchical cascade in our magics (and life in general); diversifying our techniques in the pursuit of reaching more singular and grander ultimate goals. Around noon on December 2nd Venus enters Scorpio again, and our desire house is once more chomping at the bit. Raw yearnings that might have surfaced from the past last month now present themself with just as much sexual potency but this time in a smoother and more refined form. We might have both our spiritual fires stoked from all the Sagittarian activity, but likewise, our loins are stirred simultaneously, lacing our attractions with urgency and predatory aesthetics. Accompanying this is an interesting grand trine applying between Chiron, the North Node and Mercury. The invisible threads of manifesting our needs harmonized with our personal trips surrounding accepting and letting go harmonized with logically rethinking habituation and addiction. As this touches the North Node, realizations here might foreshadow what gets shuffled around in our lives throughout the upcoming eclipse cycles in the Cancer-Capricorn axis. By evening the Sun squares Mars from Jupiter’s fire rulership to Jupiter’s water rulership, likely rendering this square more motivating and energizing than irritating; our clarity and motivation to take action in consolidating resources for power’s sake sets off mystically informed tactical action.

The next aspects we see come on Wednesday December 5th when the Sun in Sagittarius square’s Neptune in Pisces, which might be some mystical blowback from what we began dabbling in tactically over the past few days. Our visions of power and calibration of resources surge with intuitive tides and hallucinatory fantasy, likely powerfully engaging our imaginative faculties. Simultaneously, the Moon steps upon Mercury in his harmonic relationship with Chiron and the North Node, adding a deeper and more invested emotional layer to the previously described configuration. There is likely elements of illusion and even confusion here that carry and portend shifts in our needs regarding potent and ultimate fulfillment. This may come in the form off brooding, binging, gushing, or tearing up from sadness or even joy and inspiration and then assessing the bleary and blurry world through such melty and mix-y goggles, where like Van Gogh, the lights mix with the sights and hills swirl and flow into one another and visages display more than merely what is seen on the surface.

At 7pm the next day, December 6th, Mercury stations direct at 27 degrees Scorpio, concluding his reassessment of our souls sewer he becomes more productive actively organizing our thinking so we can examine the new blueprints and sign off on the updates. The cross-section of our innards and organs is digested with teary eyes through long sips of ale and shots of whiskey. We nod our heads, and in the blurriness and weighty water we wade through we understand it even better than if we had been sober; we know this section of our selves and life by touring it and getting our hands dirty and our feet wet, rather than having it merely explained to us. We remember what it felt like to be there, and that’s how we know, with our whole bodies not just our minds. I keep mentioning tears, but that doesn’t mean that there is necessarily sadness, but that peculiar cocktail of emotions where nostalgia, desire, inspiration, fear, satiation, excitement, anticipation, disappointment, remembrance, joy and numbness all mix; it may be at a wedding shower or at a wake, both of which are words that allude to water. However this is experienced personally, we here become ready to communicate and discuss our deepest needs, even if they describe depraved desires, we have found the words to articulate them.

In the initiatory dark hours of December 7th a New Moon in Sagittarius transpires incepting a cycle of imagining how resources can combine to reach ideal goals, as we realize which ideal goals are actual needs in our life— This can be a creative process in itself, and our spirits kindle, igniting emotions around need to take action, such as the need to harness power. This is likely a key moment in Jupiter’s thirteen months in Sagittarius, as it is here that some seeds will be planted which can sprout into holy grails or whole quests in themselves over the next year, likely showing themselves in miniature form by the culmination of the Moon’s waxing. Motivating insights are likely to manifest here, with which we can light our need-fires, the light which leads us through the darkness of the tunnel towards the treasures we seek.

December 10th to December 16th

Only a few days later the Sun reaches Sagittarius’ third face on December 11th and our sights set to the fixed end of our journeys, we orient ourselves with obtaining what we seek no matter the cost. This is not surprising considering the recent set of purifications, turnabouts and inceptions in and around Jupiter’s diurnal domicile. A candle is being carried, and the baton must be passed to the finish line in one hand or another. Mercury returns to Sagittarius the next day, Mercury day, at 6:30pm December 12th, and though in detriment in Sagittarius he rules this decan in the Chaldean order system, where he gets to flaunt his skills at organizing efforts and insights toward accurately and swiftly hitting targets; i.e. he applies his quick and nuanced calibrations to sharp marksmanship. He might tend to miss details that are not in his sights, but for those bullseyes he does point at, watch out! Also, he’s previously passed through this territory already twice, so upon this pass he’s likely to figure out or say all the things he didn’t nail or notice last time, as he’s got his arrows straightened and his bow now tensioned just so.

Sunday, December 16th Venus in Scorpio sextiles Saturn in Capricorn, incorporating solid collaboration from the practical and real realm, a probably much needed input at this time of mostly emotion and excitement. It might be the arrival of much needed fuel for the fire, such as all the art supplies showing up in the mailbox so all this creativity can be channeled into something productive, or the achievement of desires filed into a step by step plan; the soldiers are motivated and inspired to march but to what land will they be deployed? Saturn could throw some terrain under foot for our boots to chew. In essence this is primal attraction and dark aesthetics willing to work with limits and laws of nature and reality; a grounding effect which can stabilize or literally realize yearnings and burnings. By 10pm that night Mars reaches the third face of Pisces, the decan he rules in both systems. Here he directs actions and critical efforts to seek the true and subtle essence of things; a Mars who dissects away the greater nebula to leave only the DNA itself, plucking the bloody pearl from the amputated body of the universe. This “getting to the point” comes at an appropriate time, when “getting real” is willing to help our wild yearnings systematize, we also acquire command on greater and more purposeful tactical fluidity. This occurs sextile Pluto in Capricorn, looping Mars’ maneuvers back to Saturn’s most solid sign, and to Mars’ own exaltation space. Mars’ incorporates then a willingness to conduct operations under blinding darkness, and work out flows of moves that consider also great or unseen forces, mysterious powers are utilized and worked with rather than struggled against. Venus proceeds into Scorpio’s second face at this time, so her primal attractions become more directed toward extreme intimacy and the desire for deep engagement, something that poetically parallels Mars’ collaboration with the powerful and unseen forces of darkness; itself a kind of dangerous dance that can reap supernaturally weighted results in seeking ends.

December 17th to December 23rd

On Thursday December 20th the Sun in Sagittarius trines Uranus in Aries, where the volatile Outer Planet has returned to for a few months before he commits to the next seven years in Taurus. A vision of and orientation towards striving to do whatever necessary to seizing ideals and achieve goals harmonized with radical or revolutionary mutations of individual identity and action agendas. This might be brought on as side affects in Mars’ collaboration with forces bigger than the self, which leads to a very Jupiter in rulership growing and expanding of who we are and what we are capable of. Of course, as Uranus is involved, things could get shaken apart or short circuit during lift off so make sure you have a lightbulb to power when your key connects to the lightening. This is a trine, and Mars is in a sign that is being presided over by a ruling Jupiter, so there is likely to be more epiphanies and eureka moments encoded in this exchange than explosions, but monitor over enthusiasm nonetheless, as even naive overoptimism can lead to regrettable blunders.

Luckily, Mercury conjoins Jupiter in Sagittarius at noon on Friday December 21st. When Mercury and Jupiter come together there is a greater knowing of what is going on in that part of the zodiac’s significations from all levels of scale: the big picture and a philosophical coherence of the quest combines with the logic and communication of the details of said quest. Motivational speeches stream from us that clarify the details of the agenda as well as inspire us to think and act and dream with a quickened mind.

Simultaneously, Venus in Scorpio trines Neptune in Pisces and desires or pleasures of fixed, intense intimacy harmonize with mystical imagination, fantasy and illusion. As always we must be careful with Neptune to not follow our intuitive faculties into hopeless delusion, but considering the chain of rulerships here, there is likely to be much to gain from indulging in mystically loaded carnal experiences, and it is hard to not say psychedelic sex magic even if it is meant as metaphor. That is an interesting activity to trigger the insights and perspectives available from Jupiter and Mercury’s conjunction, but if it is the very purpose of the working then… why not? Either way, we are likely to emerge from this day with a different way of looking at how we interact, what we desire and by what methods and through what channels it can be achieved, no matter how fantastic.

After all this the Sun ingresses Capricorn at 5pm of the same day, and what we are looking at and what is being striven towards changes in modality considerably. It would appear that what perspective shifts occur from earlier in the day have us setting our sights on more solid objects and tangible results, as here we consider territory and its real value and advantages (or disadvantages) with Saturnian scrutiny. Being brought down to earth suddenly is not equally for everyone, but in this case there is great potential in beginning to put all of these insights, inspiration fires, and goal targets into action, and involving them in how we interact with the landscape around us. The goals and imaginative inflations and holy grails are not in an abstract elsewhere, they exist within our own space; in the stones and bones, in the trees and dirt, in the animals that populate, even in our own bodies, as well as the systems that exist among each and all of these things. Putting limits and laws into the heretofor limitless upwelling is likely a productive turn, even if it is a sobering one. Mercury follows into Sagittarius’ second face later that night, which has him organizing the details and making the connections necessary to consolidate resources in order to achieve increased power to reach ultimate destinations.

The Moon reaches fullness around noon on Saturday December 22nd in Cancer at just under 1 degree. As the Sun’s vision of territorial practicality and physical necessity lands upon us we gain an upwelling of emotion surrounding what we need to protect and feed, what needs our nurturing and what we need to be nourished and grow and feel safe. There is a dynamic here of reality checks being put into balance with the body and intuitive/emotional systems. This could sweep us up into our womb-worlds, and find us playing mother or fleeing into the wing cover of our own mother’s, and this occurs interestingly just before the Christmas etcetera events, where we more than usual might feel the refrain ‘there’s no place like home’. Of course the seeing clearly with our eyes the contour of the cliffs and knowing in our gut what we will need as far as rest and rations to pass over them plays out into longer tangents in our lives than the localized holidays.

The following day, Sunday the 23rd the Lunar influence continues, trining Venus in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces. Our most daring and deep intimate desires and greatest reaches of our mystical imaginings are in harmony with what we feel we need to protect and incubate, the sprouting seedlings in our greenhouses thrive on a much more complex cocktail than fresh water, and emotions, passions and spiritual notions up and down the spectrum flow out of the watering can. Jupiter moves into sagittarius’ second decan at noon on Sunday, expanding our coherence and optimism around harnessing more power and consolidating resources to aim at our mission. Many aspects of our life might be seeming to funnel here, all roads lead to Rome as they say, emotional, physical, and creative. This might be just what we were hoping, but keep an eye on that so you don’t get blindsided; despite the mass migration we still have to look both ways before crossing the street.

December 24th to 31st

By Friday December 28th Venus descends into the dark end of Scorpio, entering Mars’ water signs 3rd face, one who contorts her pursuit for pleasure to the far reaches where nothing is too depraved and nothing is ever enough; insatiable desires, nymphomaniac ,vampire type pleasures, and sordid aesthetics reign. By 4pm she completes a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn, deepening the tangible darkness of this placement considerably, as she becomes willing to work with the dark, mysterious, unknown, overwhelming, and all-powerful forces.

Mars conjoins Chiron in the first hours of the following day, Saturday December 29th, and is a fitting follow up to Venus’ desire to be swept away in crushing voids of oblivion: our intuitive, tactical operations to locate the essence of it all skewer a core sore spot, a pain pinch point that has us wince and recoil, but Mars’ is not the type to leave a scab alone, so we may attempt here improv surgery, cleaning and washing out the wound until we realize its time to let go and let healing occur on its own rather than hold on to this old trip wire. Stumbling upon such realizations while occupied with more high minded missions is startling at first but can be actually convenient, as built in distractions surround this space. “Oh that, yeah that’s ok, I’m over that anyway, I’m on to bigger things now.” And distracted we will likely be as Mercury proceeds into the third decan of Sagittarius soon after, where our rational minds will be tinkering away at bringing missions to completion no matter what, devising ladders and clever bridges to connect us to our Holy Grails, up all night drafting maps no matter how exhausted we may be and without regard to other matters that might need more immediate attention.

Following suit with Mercury’s pursuits, but on a much more grounded level, the Sun moves into Capricorns second decan on December 31st at 1pm, where having surveyed the land thoroughly for the past ten days now sets his sights on what monument can be built there, what temple or fortress might suit this space and what needs to be organized to get the heavy lifting happening. Later that night Mars ingresses Aries at 10pm Mars entering his fire rulership

where action becomes very impulsive and independent, highly capable and confident, full throttle, high octane, with open displays of power and energy, being up front about personal agendas, which suits Mercury and the Sun’s agendas well here as they need an engine of activity to carry out their programs. This can definitely play out to be both a strap down as well as a strap in period, combining Mars’ go and do with Saturn/Sun’s specific structure is a recipe for industrial manufacture. Although, as a general warning, Mars in Aries can become easily aggressive or combative so go easy on those who might stand in the way of your personal agenda or attempt to slow the progress of your temple project, or throw ambushes onto the road of questing; yes this is a time to certainly defend our quests, but we must remember who is friend and who is foe, and perhaps more importantly who is ally and enemy, and what are the subtleties of those relationships, as we might become all to ready to delete those who don’t get us where we are headed without realizing we only complicate the game board by doing so.

The Sun will conjoin Saturn just after the end of the month, where he will have his annual meeting with the regulator Inspector in chief, both bringing him to rebirth and burning away unnecessary restrictions, but also getting a look at our test scores for the year past, so if there is anything you left hanging in 2018, tie it up this month so you don’t end up with marring grades you may regret on your report card.


December 2018 Herbal Forecast for Liminal Light

These notes are suggestions for herbal allies to assist with the effects of the cosmic influences of this month. Before imbibing any of the herbs recommended, research what is a recommended dosage, & ask yourself & research such questions as, Does this herb interfere with any medications I am taking?, Does this herb match with my constitution?, Do I really need to take this herb into my body? Be wise: listen to your own body, intuition, guiding spirits & the plants themselves.

Imbibing the herbs recommended is of course only one way of meeting the herbs. There are countless manners of developing relationships with our herbal allies including sitting with the fresh or dry herbs, or a picture/drawing of the herb, making an amulet to wear or have on your altar (adhering to planetary hours/days is important here), visioning or meditating with the plant, & taking an herbal body or foot bath (In this case remember your skin is the largest organ of your body). Use your imagination & listen to the plants, they have been on this planet much longer than we have, are our Elders & have great wisdom to offer.

December starts off with Scorpio revisits by both Mercury & Venus, bringing us to the depths of our communications, to the depths of our yearnings & desires, to the depths of revisiting lands, sites & realms of the city of the red night. Since it is a return, we already know many of the nuances of these places & feelings, but it still can be challenging to accept & honor these sides of ourselves. Herbs that can help with this underworld work include Lavender (Lavendula officinalis), Juniper (Juniperus communis/ J. occidentalis), & Peony (Paeonia officinalis).

Lavender, ruled by Jupiter, Mercury & the Sun, as mentioned last month, has gathered the sun of Summer & is able to bear this as a torch, like Hekate Phosphoros, into the Underworld for clear, trustworthy visions. Lavender assists in keeping our spirits high when we are faced with things that can be challenging. This ally can be burned, carried on ones being, or a small amount added to tea or honey. Lavender honey can be brought into ones Underworld journey as an offering for the awe-inspiring guide.

Juniper, a Sun herb, when burned, offers a portal to commune with ones ancestors. In this way, it is also helpful in relating with other past & future aspects of self & guiding transformation. A German myth of Juniper tells of a boy gathering an apple to eat from the winter stock, caught by his stepmother, killed by her & then boiled into a soup. She buried the boy’s bones under a Juniper tree. The Juniper tree then set aflame & a bird flew from its branches touring the land telling of the murder. The bird dropped a millstone on the head of the stepmother, killing her & brought gifts to the murdered boy’s sister. The bird then returned to the fiery Juniper tree & reemerged from the flames as the boy once again. This could be a tale of delving into the depths of Scorpio as we have traversed the past year with Jupiter & then with Mercury’s & Venus’ zigzagging through this necessary dark land & eventually resurfacing anew, wiser in who we are & that which we wish to offer.

In Scotland, at Hogamanay (New Year’s), Juniper was burned & used to fumigate all the rooms, clearing the old & welcoming the new. The branches were harvested at dusk & laid before the fire to dry. Someone would go to the “dead & living ford”, a place where both the living & dead crossed, possibly a bridge over which caskets were carried to a cemetery, & gather water. In the morning, all would drink of the water, the head of home/clan would scatter the rest of the water over the beds & member of the family/community. All the windows & keyholes were closed off with rags & the burning & smoking Juniper branches were carried throughout the house.

When the home was completely sained or cleared, a whiskey bottle was passed around. The barn was also fumigated & after this was done, the first feast of the year could begin. Thus Juniper releases that which does not serve anymore & allows for transformation.

Juniper berries are eaten, usually no more than two per day, for digestive support. They help to stimulate bile production, so eating one twenty minutes before the meal readies ones gastrointestinal tract for digestion. As well the berries or evergreen leaves can be made into tea for a urinary tract infection, or used externally as a wound wash. There are a few Caveats with Juniper. The essential oils & other aspects of Juniper are so potent that it should be called upon as a tea or tincture for no more than a month & then taking a month break before using again. As well, if someone has compromised kidneys, Juniper is not their ally & it has abortive qualities, so should be avoided by pregnant women. Juniper is a protective plant to grow around ones home & to develop a relationship with.

Peony is a low dose botanical, meaning only 1-3 drops of the tincture should be taken at a time if it is to be ingested. Peony,is ruled by both luminaries, the day ruling Sun & the night ruling Moon. Peony root is often called upon during times when daily life seems to lack luster & there is a feeling of a shortage of confidence needed to step into ones being.

During Pliny’s time, physicians were called paeoni & medicinal plants were called paeoniae after the aspect of Apollo, Paeon who healed the wounds of the Gods that were received during the Trojan War. Ascelpias, the grand healer, was jealous of Paeon’s work of curing Pluto & attempted to kill Paeon. Pluto stopped this from happening, changing Paeon into the flower that he had used to save the God of the Underworld. Another tale tells of Peony rising from a moonbeam striking the Earth. Strings of beads of Peony root were strung on white string & placed around children’s necks to ward off illnesses, convulsions & to aid teething pains. As well, Peony is associated with woodpeckers & if there is one around, the Peony should not be harvested so not to gain the ire of the coveting bird.

Hildegard Von Bingen states about Peony, “If a person goes out of his mind, as if he knows nothing & is lying deranged in ecstacy, ,dip the seed of the peony in honey & put it on his tongue. The powers of the peony will ascend to his brain and stir it up, so that he will quickly return to his own mind & receive his understanding.” Peony can help bring us back from other realm travel & guide us to the messages we have received. As well, one drop of Saturnine Lobelia (Lobelia inflata), another low dose botanical, is a specific for just this as well, bringing one back to a realm of understanding.

The beginning of this month sees a Grand Water Trine with Mercury in Scorpio, Chiron in Pisces & the North Node in Cancer while the Sun is n the second decan of Sagittarius first squaring Mars in Pisces & then Neptune in Pisces on Wednesday, Dec 5. This is upwelling of grandiose emotion & the meeting of both fiery & watery Jupiter rulership, which offers volatile, flowing, expansive, boundaryless,choreography. Some Earthly grounding may be needed here, some solidity onto which this intuition & emotion can land. Oats (Avena sativa) is one of the most grounding herbal allies we have with its mineral richness providing the foundation for us to stand on, moistening & providing sustenance for our nervous

systems even as we ride waves & walk hot coals. Talked about often, Oats, can be a nourishing groundwork from which to work.

Another Earth ruled plant that is part of the Poaceae family (the monocot grass family), Vertiver root (Chrysopogan zizanoides, formerly Vertiveria zizanioides) offers a sensual, earthy scent that brings calm so that ones spirits can lift, encourages sound sleep & relaxing dreams. Vertiver, called ‘the plant that never dies’, is one of the oldest plants still alive today. It is a dense, clumping perennial grass, related to Lemon Grass, growing in zones 7-10, native to Tropical Asia. Veriver has been called on more recently to control erosion, conserve moisture & to clean contaminated waters & land. It is a non-encroaching plant, but very tough & tenacious where it grows, growing 3-9’ roots in the first year. Vertiver, in Madagascar, has been planted in hedgerows that filter sediments so that natural terraces are stabilized behind it. It can grow uphill & filter water thereby diminishing the amount of pollution in an area. Vertiver root tea can be drunk to stabilize ones being & the essential oil can be called upon, always with a carrier oil & never ingested, for this Earthly steadiness.

December 7 sees Mercury stationing direct at 27 degrees Scorpio & as well, the New Moon in Sagittarius occurs. This seems to be a Moon during which to call upon some fiery seeds like Mars ruled Cumin (Cumimum cyminum) & Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) & Jupiter/Fire ruled Star Anise (Illicium verum). It is a time to plant & germinate these dreams, desires & expansive visions by allowing the fires of passion to begin deep under the Earth, until the light comes back to the above ground. Adding these warming, carminative, antispasmodic seeds to ones cooking, having them as tea, invigorating ones altar with them or carrying them in your pocket will remind one of the inner fire, the naudiz that burns bright.

Tuesday, December 11, brings the Sun into the third decan of Sagittarius. This may be a time to bring out ones Hag’s Tapers, or Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) stalks that have been dipped in wax to continue to guide the way towards our goals. Of course these offer much smoke, so are better burned in the outer realms, where we are more connected to the expansiveness without the hindrance of ceilings. Air ruled Mullein will beckon forth Mercury who returns to Sagittarius at 6:30 pm. Mullein will also assist Mercury in analyzing & organizing with just the right amount of tension. Pictures, old Mullein stalks, & drop doses of tinctures can be called upon for this support.

Another herbal ally for Mercury’s return to this fiery place is Etheric, Jupiter ruled Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica). This Apiaceae (Carrot family) relative is called upon in India to enhance meditation practices through tea & fumigation. Gotu Kola offers relaxation for the nervous system combined with a heightened mind, focusing on the crown chakra. This is important for the work Mercury must perform in Sagittarius, not the easiest place for our dear messenger to roam.

As Venus in the depths of Scorpio sextiles Saturn in Capricorn, there is a solid ground that is offered while traversing the morass. Let Earthen & Venusian Oats continue to provide a steadfast footing. Some place Oats under the rulership of both Jupiter & Mercury, so that here Oats will aid Mercury in the Jupiterian sign of Sagittarius. Mullein, of Saturn, can help to provide the moistening & structure needed to continue this fluidity.

On this same day, with Mars entering his rulership by decan, into Pisces 3 sextiling Pluto in Capricorn as well as Venus entering the second decan of Scorpio, we are seeing Water & Fire in another strange, otherworldly dance with an Earthen landing to catch ones breath & to offer parameters & necessary limitations. Lavender can be continued to be worked with here as images of Hekate Phosphoros are invoked again, but also including Martian Fiery Damiana (Turnera diffusa). This aphrodisiac ally walks in partnership with Venus in Scorpio, a sensual partner in the fluid sparring of the warrior’s or the lover’s path, or the combination of the two.

Fire rules on Thursday, December 20, when the Sun in Sagittarius trines Uranus in Aries. To provide a fuel for & to honor this fiery way or to offer the ‘like treats like’ approach, one may wish to call upon hot Ginger (Zingiber officinale) or its cousin Galangal (Alpinia galangal). Chewing on Ginger enhances ones magical workings & spitting the plant matter at storms & illnesses can stave these off. In ones food, Ginger wards off malevolent spirits & can extract these if one has already entered ones body. Of Galangal, Hildegard Von Bingen writes, “A person with a burning fever should drink pulverized galligale in spring water, and it will extinguish the fever.” Both of these cousins will provide support for the immune system as we are driven & possibly ridden by this trine.

The winter solstice, Friday, December 21, this ‘Mother Night’, as Mercury in Sagittarius conjoins Jupiter in Sagittarius, as well, Venus in Scorpio trine Neptune in Pisces, this Fire/Water dance continues. Please continue to burn Lavender & Juniper & combine Martian, fiery Damiana, Ginger, & watery, Venusian Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) & Vanilla (Vanilla aromatica) for a divine quest. Vanilla enhances ones mental & sensual abilities. & all five allies have been called upon for love potions endlessly. Their combination creates a sensuous potion for this longest of nights.

This same day, being the Winter Solstice, the Sun also ingresses into Capricorn offering grounding to this pleasure. Continuing with moistening, earthly Oats & Vertiver will honor the sensual Earth energy here.

Our Full Moon of December, on the 22nd in less than one degree of Cancer, preserves this call for Oats & adds Rose (Rosa spp.) & Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis). This nurturing blend holds us in a comfortable lunar embrace in the very home of the Moon herself. The sextile of the Moon with Venus in Scorpio & Neptune in Pisces, offering an enormous amount of emotion & dream realms conversing, is stabilized by this trio of allies. These three allow for the watery dreamscape to flow, yet offer a steadfastness to ones step.

As Venus enters the third & most ominous decan of Scorpio, while sextiling Pluto in Capricorn traversing the halls of the unknown, & the next day as Mars conjoins Chiron in Pisces, watery, Venusian Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) advances as the warrior guide amongst the murky marshes, the deep underground caverns where meeting ones own personal gollum is sure to transpire. Yarrow being one of our pinnacle herbal wound healers & blood clotters, psychic protectors & filterers as well as psychoactive ambassador when fermented, ambles along with us on the many levels this overlay of planetary influences heralds. Antiseptic, circulatory stimulant, fiery, Mars-ruled Cayenne (Capsicum annuum) also clots blood, cleans & brings blood, movement & healing to an injury which can aid this meeting of Mars & Chiron in a place where this fluidity of restoration can take place.

The last day of December, of the calendar year of 2018, we see the Sun move into the second decan of Capricorn & Mars entering into fiery rulership in Aries. If ones finds fanning the fiery procession is what is demanded, continue working with Cayenne & our earlier fiery seeds of Cumin, Coriander & Star Anise. If one finds hotheadedness ruling the day, cooling with Oats & Lemon Balm, & grounding with Vertiver to be called for. Continuing with Yarrow as ones chaperon through this would be wise.

Recalling the messages ones Saturnine allies of Boneset (Eupatorium perfolatum), Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum) or Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) beset one with at the beginning of the year & tending to any last tasks before the Sun greets the great taskmaster, Saturn in Capricorn in early January 2019, is recommended.

Moon of Hyldemoer, Suzanne Stone, Community Herbalist.

This information is not a substitute for a health care practitioner. Not to be reproduced without permission.

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