Hello to readers in Sligo!
It’s forty-six days until the calendar New Year 2018 begins and 36 days until the solstitial New Year on December 21/22. During the final days of this truly trying year there is enough planetary activity, personal and political, to keep most of us busy right up to the stroke of midnight on December 31. Get out those to-do lists and start keeping notes—it won’t be easy to track all the threads as 2017 comes to a close.
Here’s the skinny:
(1) From December 3-23, we’re in the grip of the final Mercury Retrograde of 2017, which throws a monkey wrench into most of the month, which is traditionally devoted to shopping, reveling, partying, traveling, and other festivities that require good timing. Make your travel plans now before the retrograde makes getting around more than a little gnarly. (Yes, I know that it’s a couple of weeks away, but forewarned is better prepared.) And while you’re at it, you might also do your online Christmas shopping early too, especially if you’re having gifts delivered.
Most of you know the Mercury Retrograde drill by now, but just in case you’re an astro novice…Mercury Retrograde is a great time to pause for review and a lousy time to start something new. Travel plans go wonky and every variety of communication device starts speaking in tongues. (More about Mercury Retrograde challenges as we get closer.) Of course, a review at the end of the year is always a wise way to spend your time, but when Mercury Retrograde insists on that review in the middle of celebrations, mulling over and over and over the details can be soul-crushing, especially this year when there are so many unpleasant memories to review.
On a completely different Mercury Retrograde note…it might also be wise to start your back-up engines now—check external hard drives, flash drives, the cloud, Dropbox and every other data storage device. By the time December 3 rolls around, it might be too late.
(2) There is also a pernicious wind blowing through the next couple of weeks. It started Saturday, November 11 with a Mars/Pluto square, which is exact and separating on November 19, but lingers until November 30. Mars signifies the warrior archetype. Pluto signifies issues of power and control. Squares signify fractious interactions. And when the clash is between Mars and Pluto, even the air becomes cruel and brutal. From a personal perspective, this combination indicates harsh attitudes aimed at yourself or at others. From a collective perspective, this Mars/Pluto square can also indicate increased violence—everywhere.
Unfortunately, on November 24, just as the Mars/Pluto square pulls apart (and just in time for the Thanksgiving leftovers), Mars moves into an opposition with Uranus, which will be exact and separating on December 1. Oppositions symbolize tension. Uranus symbolizes rebellion, with or without a cause. And Uranus, not to be outdone by Pluto, exacerbates the already stress-laden atmosphere by fueling the need to break free from stagnant situations that no longer serve—on the heels of the Mars/Pluto square that could easily escalate all sorts of bellicose words into aggressive behavior. Anticipate a stressful start to the holiday season, especially as that Mars/Uranus opposition starts to separate at the same time Mercury is ‘slowing down’. At the very least, the combination of Mars, Uranus and Pluto is probably going to make many of us more than a little cranky-pants, and when you add that to the normal seasonal mood swings, it’s gonna take a lot of work to find the jolly.
(3) And there is more: On December 20, Saturn shifts Signs, and as the Lord of Karma (as some like to call Saturn) leaves the Fire of Sagittarius, with all its idealism, and enters the Earth of Capricorn, its Home Sign, with all its rules and regulations, we are likely to experience a profound shift in focus. Don’t misunderstand: Saturn in Sagittarius wasn’t fun, even if Sagittarius is the Sign of humor. But Saturn in Capricorn is more than slightly serious, and it will definitely take more than a moment to adjust to the new frequency.
For the next several week as the planets dial up the intensity, skillfully handling the stress won’t be easy. You’ll need more than patience pills or shots of Tequila—you might even want to stay in Shavasana for days on end…and if you do, no one will blame you. It is possible to harness the planetary intensities, but to do so requires an objective stance that doesn’t need to blame anyone. Just don’t confuse the absence of blame with an acceptance of a negative or even egregious situation. Not-blaming simply bypasses the conditioned responses of the emotional body and its need to go into lengthy diatribes that only strengthen an attachment to anger and resentment, and instead asks: What are we going to do about it? Each of us can do something every day by reaffirming our commitment to joining love with revolution so we can create evolution.