The midwinter solstice has always been regarded as one of the year’s pivotal points. Many Neolithic monuments are oriented to the year’s shortest day for obvious reasons; here is the point at which light returns, whether celebrated as a pagan rebirth of the Sun or Christianity’s birth of The Son.
This year the solstice arrives on 21 December at 16.27.55 GMT, with the Sun moving into Capricorn a matter of hours after Saturn makes the same shift. Such an occurrence is not without precedent but it is unusual; you have to go back to 1664 to find something comparable.
What does it mean? Since Saturn rules the sign of the Goat, matters Capricornian are brought to the fore; the establishment, the patriarchy, big business, property. In one’s personal horoscope, Saturn in Capricorn is a very useful placement, denoting one tough individual, but on a macro-level, it doesn’t promise much in the way of fruitful change.
And, looking a little further down the line, to when Saturn passes Pluto in January 2020, some ground-shaking event is on the cards.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. December is dominated by planets in Sagittarius and Scorpio, with messenger Mercury in retrograde (just the job for leaving your shopping on the bus). The new Moon of November 18 is a point of finale and renewal.
The forecasts are a little shorter this month, firstly because the cycle of Jupiter in Scorpio was dealt with in November’s forecasts, while another – Saturn in Capricorn – more properly belongs to next year’s considerations, and to Your Stars 2018, my annual Sun Sign forecast which will be on sale at this site for New Year’s Day.
I would like wish all my readers a Happy Christmas and a joyous, prosperous new year.
Saturn is the planet of tough decisions (often forced upon you), and whether they have involved a relationship, a job, a property deal or the old folks at home, the last two years have handed you at least one critical problem. The leaden planet leaves your skies on December 20 (for another 28 years) making December a time for closure in some cases, for ‘moving on’ as the saying goes, and for ensuring that details on any deals are tied off.
That last point is emphasised by Mercury pulling its retrograde act in your skies from December 3 to December 23; a good time for correcting mistakes, revising plans and looking up long lost friends.
As birthday months go, this looks rosy despite Mercury’s go-slow. Venus is in your skies until Christmas Day, ideal for a charm offensive, attracting people to your side, and spending too much money on a good time. You have a giddy full Moon opposite you on December 3, a moment of potential excess and, say it quietly, misjudgement (Neptune is involved). Keep things simple.
The new Moon od December 18 really does spell a new chapter opening for all of you, not least for birthdays on that date and for December 19-20 birthdays, who finally get a brief (though perhaps telling) touch from Saturn before it leaves. This new Moon is closely aligned with planet Prometheus and asteroid Pallas, both of which promise intriguing twists to your romantic life; juggling dates, perhaps, or finding a way to lose a lover (just drop off the key, Lee).
Many Centaurs will have planets in your adjacent sign of Capricorn; if so the slew of planets that moves into the Goat’s skies at the midwinter solstice will be sparking them into the New Year. In your solar ‘scope Capricorn is about cash and resources; navigate those shark-infested waters with care right from the outset. And Happy Birthday.
Planets often behave like buses; you wait and wait, then they arrive in a bunch. This is the case at the midwinter solstice, when the Sun is joined by Saturn – Capricorn’s personal ruler – and shortly after by Venus and, in January by Mercury and a new Moon. Pluto, of course, has been in the Goat’s skies for what seems like a small age (since 2008).
All of which makes your coming birthday month a potential cracker, highly busy, full of good company, new beginnings, and the start of a two and half year Saturn cycle; issues that will be explored in 2018’s Your Stars.
Meanwhile a great deal seems to be happening behind the scenes, either because your plan for world domination is not ready to unveil, or because you are using the pre-Christmas period to rest up (good idea). Not that you can simply snooze through December. As explained in last month’s forecast, Jupiter is now highly active in the zone of fellow travellers and group action, and will be joined there on December 9 by Mars. This is high-energy pairing that rolls you through to February, and calls for keen engagement with colleagues and people with whom you are on cordial rather then more personal terms. Think mutual advantage and common cause, think taking one for the team; as one bard sang; there is power in a union!
Snags? Not too many. The full Moon of December 3 might throw your communications system into temporary meltdown, while your home continues to look a lively place/insoluble issue, but that, too, can change in 2018.
Mete out your energy with care and you can sail into the New Year on a natural high. Your stars are in scintillating form, though not without certain demands.
At first those demands should be easily met. The full Moon of December 3, in the sign of Gemini, is in the pleasure-oriented zone of your solar ‘scope, and with Venus handily sited you should be able to network and parade through to Christmas Eve. Mercury is retrograde, also until Christmas proper, so there is an element of catch-up going on, both with your recent business and meeting with old friends.
The new Moon on December 18 comes mixed up with your two competing totem planets, Saturn and Prometheus, and for birthdays 13-18 February, an issue with which you have tussled all year comes into sharp focus; a deal or a decision calls to be sealed or broken, perhaps formalised. Aquarians are known for their detached manner, and you may have to adopt a chilly attitude here. It isn’t time for sentimentalities, despite the festive season.
Thereafter planets tumble into Capricorn, and into the part of your horoscope where you keep issues and developments out of public view. These are early days in a phase that lasts a couple of years, but more inner work is implied. But as Jupiter and Mars sail across the roof of your ‘scope this winter, another imperative is a professional profile where you are seen to be still delivering the goods. A phase of energetic networking is in order.
You are confronted with an odd schedule this month, partly because Mercury is doing its retrograde thing, and partly because two powerful new planetary cycles are just warming up. The first – Jupiter in your ninth house of exploration – was covered in last month’s forecast. This month Jupiter is joined by Mars, making a forceful combo across the winter months. Under these planets you…explore!
The cycle that has held most sway over the last two years – Saturn in your tenth house of achievement – reaches its end and for some you, (like birthdays March 18-20) its finale. The new Moon of December 18 brings clarity if not ease. There seems to be more work to complete, more arrangements to make, despite imminent holidays. You may be able to push things back to post-Xmas, when Mercury is behaving again and Saturn has moved on, leaving a more amenable atmosphere around career concerns in the New Year.
First you must negotiate the full Moon of December 3, which along with the Sun forms a precise triangle whose third point is Neptune in your skies. That’s an intense and intuitive configuration, not least for birthdays March 1, for whom in particular I restate Neptune’s meaning from last month: “a deep ambiguity between charisma, artiness and fame on one side, and delusion and victimhood on the other. Make sure you get the tasty end of that particular stick!”
Incidentally, on the subject of lunations, the waxing Moon you can see in the skies over December 24/25 is in Pisces’ skies; very handy for winning all the festive games and with Neptune involved, for, hic, overdoing things.
Life may not have been simple the last month or so – pressure from the world of work and from significant others has seen to that. However, you finish December with a very different planetary picture from its start. The mood around partners, ex’s, and friends with whom you are on the out changes once ruler Mars moves out of opposition on December 9 – the first week of December looks all aflutter with arrivals and departures.
Ensconced in your 8th house alongside Jupiter, the red planet promises a mini-revolution in your fiscal outlook and/or your sex life over the next couple of months.
December also sees Saturn complete its transit of your fellow fire sign Sagittarius, perhaps bringing a work or property issue to a head shortly before Christmas. You can delay a response – Mercury isn’t out of retrograde until December 23 – but you will likely have to move quickly to shape events once the festivities are over. Saturn reaching the peak of your ‘scope on December 21 – for the first time in 30 years – opens a more demanding phase in your public life, the implications of which will be considered in Your Stars 2018.
The slew of planets in the Centaur before the solstice, including a new Moon on December 18, is supportive and exploratory, not least for romantic interests (perhaps from afar). Venus moves on at Christmas Day, so take your chances as they present themselves earlier in the month.
Buckle in – December presents you with a bunch of disorderly (though not disagreeable) planets ready for a different (perhaps profoundly different) outlook in 2018. One big change is already under way – that’s Jupiter in opposition, whose implications were considered last month. Broadly speaking, this transit turns up the volume (and bass and treble) on all partnerships. From December 9 Jupiter is joined by Mars in Scorpio – the red planet’s home and also your opposite and complementary sign – which raises the potential for ding-dong battles with you-know-who, while also leading astray (in a nice way) the singletons among you.
Mars in dignity has to be respected, so before you respond to any red rags being fluttered at you, breathe deeply – you are likely on the back foot.
The group of planets in Sagittarius, which includes Saturn and a new Moon on June 18, are a more oblique presence. December is the culmination of any financial convolutions of 2017, so you are asked to be tricky with money. Mercury is retrograde until the 23rd so deals are inconclusive, yet what happens, especially between the new Moon of December 18 and the midwinter solstice of December 21, could resonate in the long term. Stay tuned.
The move of Saturn into Capricorn on the solstice is weighty and significant for Taureans, aligning one earth sign, the Bull, with another, The Goat. If you are in the business of acquisition – which most Taureans are – then Saturn can help over the next two years. More details in Your Stars 2018.
Tricky. Very tricky. You are juggling a heap of planets in December, a keep-the-plates-spinning act that calls to your role as the zodiac’s trickster. Gemini’s freshness, adaptability and way with words is encapsulated in your Mercury ruler. The quicksilver messenger planet is retrograde in opposition until the 23rd, the cue for mis-heard arrangements, flake-outs and abrupt changes of plan.
With your opposing sign of the Centaur so busy, you won’t be short of company – a mix of old chums and fresh faces. Venus opposing you promises romantic interests for those in the dating game.
First item on the agenda however is a full Moon in The Twins on December 3 (precise at 15.47 GMT), making for one sweet Sunday providing you don’t give in to your inner werewolf (it’s been known). This Moon aligns precisely with Neptune at your midheaven, so it’s also good for a touch of spin in your career. Be your own PR.
The biggest news of the month is that at the midwinter solstice Saturn moves on from its opposition over the last two and a half years. Now there’s a load off! At worst Saturn sets tasks at work, brings grumpy partners, physical stress and grey skies. Its departure lightens the mood, Just before the solstice the new Moon of December 18, alongside Saturn, allows you to despatch a practical matter that’s been bugging you for most of 2017, and/or to find closure to a problematical relationship.
Saturn in Capricorn for the nest two years is a less challenging transit for you Twins, and is focussed on money matters, more of which anon. The last week of the month allows you, courtesy of Mercury scooting forwards,, to do some major catching up. Don’t take it too easy!
As recent months may have shown you, to advance along your chosen professional path sometimes calls for improvisation and risk taking; something that remains a theme in 2018 and, indeed, in early December. Prometheus is the major planet responsible, and its somewhat complex timetable should keep you on the hop in 2018.
Meanwhile, December is eventful. As discussed in last month’s forecast, Jupiter is now in excelsis for yout, freshly installed in fellow water sign Scorpio. On December 9 Jupiter is joined by red-blooded Mars, encouraging a more swashbuckling attitude in your personal life, and drawing hot-blooded, passionate people into your orbit. Make it so!
That said a big part of your ‘scope remains glued to a less exciting zone of your solar ‘scope, where Saturn’s presence over the last two years has majored in duty before pleasure, health anxieties and simply getting through another day at the treadmill.
The major news of late December is that Saturn moves into opposition at the solstice, an immediate big deal for those of you born close to the summer solstice (21-23 July) and cause for thought among all Cancerians. How to handle Saturn in opposition (for two years plus) is something considered in Your Stars 2018. Suffice to say that it is a challenge, though one you can overcome by staying firmly on the front foot. Drifting along is not part of Saturn’s agenda.
Also moving into opposition – on Christmas day – is Venus, a sweet transit (as in, pass the chocolates) that brings fine company and peace deals and at worst, jealousy – as in she has a better present than me!
History may have shown you that December, with Sun ruler in the fiery Archer, is a favoured time for Leos to shine. So it is this year, with a full Moon in The Twins on December 3, the waning Moon in The Lion December 8/9, and a new Moon at December 18. All stand-out dates.
You are operating under the indignity of a Mercury Retrograde until the 23rd, but this is a matter of lost brollies and old flames showing up, so relatively low grade (unless you decide the old flame could be new again). Venus, also in the Centaur until Christmas Day, promises sweet company, art galleries and the social whirl – nice work if you can get it (and you can get it if you try).
There is a major change of mood music come the new Noon of December 18, which is in part about bidding goodbye to Saturn in fellow fire sign Sagittarius – and perhaps saying sayonara to a romance as well. At the least it’s a moment to assess your feelings before Saturn moves into Capricorn, where the ringed planet will be putting your working life under examination in the New Year.
The very root of your solar chart also remains under emphasis as Mars follows Jupiter here to accentuate the need for a decent, fixed-up home and the sacred place of family (or perhaps the usual hullabaloo that comes when the relatives gather). However you fit/don’t fit into your clan, remember that at the end of the day, especially Christmas Day, bloods thicker than mud.
What cricket commentators call “an interesting passage of play” is one way to describe December, full of twists and turns and spilled secrets and unexpectedly large numbers of people showing up for dinner at yours. Ruler Mercury is retrograde and sloppy until the 23rd, so you need plenty of Plan ‘B’s in your ‘to do’ list.
Fortunately, there isn’t too much else adverse going on. Venus in your domestic zone favours elaborate decorations for the festivities, while a full Moon atop of your ‘scope on December 3 puts you at the top of the tree for a couple of days. Said Moon is precisely aligned to Neptune in opposition, so you may find yourself fielding a person of glamour or deception, especially if your birthday is circa September 3.
The Sun trundles across the floor of your chart every year at this time, with a new moon involved on December 18, but this is the last time for 28 years that Saturn will also be here. Saturn may have loaded you up with domestic or family anxieties in 2017 but the taskmaster planet moves on come the winter solstice to a far more obliging position in Capricorn, a fellow earth sign.
With the Sun and Venus also in the Goat’s skies over the last week of December, be sure to escape the confines of family to get out the house and play. Siblings, however distant, may provide an unexpected source of pleasure and interest.
Mars is finishing its six weeks in your sign with a bag rather than a whimper, your task being to use its energy to provide entertainment for your public, and to keep what may be a somewhat unorthodox love life on an even keel. With Prometheus in your zone of significant others, people come and go abruptly and for those in the dating game it may be hard to keep up with your infatuations.
Mars will join Jupiter in your cash zone come December 8, and that pair should keep you shopping hard right through to the end of the sales season. Fine, providing you are also generating funds…
The cluster of planets in your third house of communications, including a new Moon on December 18, favours you rattling round the ‘hood greeting all and sundry, and putting across your latest news/project/obsession. With Venus onside, your Libran charm should work well enough, even if a retrograde Mercury (until the 23rd) suggests it may be old news you are peddling or old-time friends you are greeting.
The midwinter solstice has especial importance for Librans this year as Saturn accompanies the sun across the root of your ‘scope. For those of you born close to the autumn equinox (September 23/24), the effect could be pretty instant, as Saturn hands you a hot potato marked ‘fresh responsibility’, though for most Librans the outcome will be more muted. Nonetheless, you should head into 2018 with a new sense of mission, not least where home and property are concerned.
‘Grrr’ and ‘harumph’ are the kind of noises on makes when Mars enters one’s skies, especially when, as in your case, it’s your ruling planet and especially when, as in your case, you already have Jupiter in your skies. This pair will deliver all the energy, dissatisfaction and good luck you might muster, especially after the 8th, the trick being to reign in some of your appetites (a keenness for a scrap/ profligate spending/ your sin of choice) and take things at a steady pace.
Helping you do so is Mercury in retrograde, until December 23, slowing everything down. With Mercury, Venus, Sun, Saturn and a new Moon all in your zone of income, funds and self-worth, concentrating on how to raise more funds is better than splashing the cash, festivities or not. The new Moon of December 18 promises to be something of a turning point in the way you handle finances, as Saturn changes sign three days later. A debt may be called in, or a loan not get repaid, or an income stream evaporate. You need to be alert.
With Saturn and the Sun and Venus all changing signs simultaneously, moving into Capricorn, December post-solstice looks a lighter, more intriguing place. If you are looking, the full Moon of December 3 is worth considering for a hot date and/or falling for someone who isn’t quite what they seem, and exactly the same goes for the final few days of 2017. Remember that Scorpios are good at seeing beneath the surface!