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Still, still, still
One can hear the falling snow
For all is hushed
The world is sleeping
All the stars their vigil keeping
Still, still, still
One can hear the falling snow.

This month’s New Moon falls in Sagittarius on 18th at 1:30 am EST. Sagittarius is the party sign — sociable, fun-loving, and adventurous. That’s why there’s always the interesting dichotomy at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere between the frenzy of holiday parties and preparations, and the need for rest and quiet time as the days shorten. As Sun passes through this fiery sign towards the shortest day of the year (when it moves into earthy Capricorn) it reminds us to value the human connections, the underlying social contracts that are such an important part of our ability to survive all the winters of our lives. Sun in Sagittarius also encourages celebrations, ritual, and expansion into the wide world around us.

But at the same time, the days are getting shorter, and we are being called inward by the Sun’s turning, called to rest and to dream. Once Sun moves into Capricorn on Solstice, that call becomes even stronger. You’ll find that if you can get most of the celebrating and shopping out of the way before the 21st, the rest of the holiday season will be more inspiring and healing and much less stressful. That’s true for any year, but especially this one. Take some quiet time for yourself right at Solstice, and let the rest of your holidays focus on hearth and home.

Sagittarius is also concerned with religion, social justice, philosophy, law, and truth, and the chart is exploding with these issues. You’ll want to watch your personal communications carefully, and rein in any tendency to gossip, use words as weapons, or speak thoughtlessly. If possible, reserve making judgments in difficult situations — it’s likely you don’t have all the facts right now. Consider and evaluate any news you hear before you take action based on it, because even trustworthy people can get their facts wrong. Be very aware of the possibilities for confusion, illusion, and outright deception in your social interactions.

But do make time for those social interactions and communication! This chart inspires innovation, prompts us to try new solutions to old problems, and encourages us to band together with others to celebrate community. You might also consider how to strengthen and empower your community. This is also a great month for dreaming, both awake and asleep. What are your best dreams? It’s important not to lose sight of them, because our personal and collective imagination helps shape the future.

The Astrology

Before I look at the month ahead for the country and get into what you can do to help shift our collective reality, here’s some info for astrologers who want to follow along.

Cast the chart for December 18, 1:30 a.m., Washington, DC, 14º 08’ Libra rising. Note Venus ruling the AS, and the Jupiter-ruled stellium in Sagittarius in the third house of transportation, communication, the national mental state (ouch!), trade within the borders of the country, and ideas of all kinds. Opposite the third, the ninth house is the house of international trade, law, academics, and immigration, and you see that it is ruled, in this chart, by Mercury, which is itself in the 3rd house in Sagittarius. Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius, but right at home in the third house.

Jupiter is in the second house in Scorpio, in a wide but approaching conjunction with Mars, and tightly square the nodal axis (indicating the collective). It’s in an ongoing trine with Neptune. Also see Pluto in the 4th, conjunct the IC, and Saturn, in the third, ruling the fourth, teetering on the edge of the 29th degree of Sagittarius, conjunct Sun/Moon, and tightly semi-square Jupiter. Also note the tight semi-square between Venus and Mars, and recall that Venus rules women, resources, money, art, social mores, and diplomacy. Mars rules action, war, men, industry, fire and conflict.

If you work with midpoints, you’ll see that UR = MA/AS which is another indicator of violence and/or sudden events, and runaway egos. (Sagittarius itself will often indicate a tendency to violence in a chart, especially a mundane chart.) Also note JU=NE/PL. This indicates to me a tendency for spiritual awakening in some people, and a complete disconnection from reality for others. It can also indicated an opening to other realms of Consciousness.

On the National Stage

Events on a personal and even small-community scale can be directed by personal intentions and choices into evolutionary pathways. Those of us who work to be more conscious and aware, who let our dreams inspire action, can run with this energy, avoid most of the pitfalls, and have a mostly fun, productive, inspiring, and energized month.

Those who are blinded by greed and self-interest, who cannot even see their own hypocrisy, will find this chart remarkably challenging, and so it is that events that occur on larger stages this month may be more frustrating than fun, more destructive than productive, and even some of the most aware among us will find it challenging to deal with community-wide events and issues that may feel more like dead ends than evolutionary.

On a national scale, since our political and corporate zeitgeist tends towards greed and self-interest, this New Moon presages major events in the month ahead that involve our communications networks and the media. We will see transportation problems and maybe some breakthroughs, especially those having to do with any extracted or liquid fuel. There will be those who discover innovative solutions to problems, and hopefully, we will listen when they do.

We’ll be grappling with questions of social justice, and there are indicators of violence in response to injustice (actual or perceived). Our legal system and its often labyrinthine ways will be challenged, and some will look for ways to bypass the system and act as both judge and jury. #MeToo is not going away (though a backlash seems imminent) and issues and situations involving women’s rights will be front and center.

There might be upheavals around trade issues — buying local vs buying from China, for instance. I would not be at all surprised to see the flag of the elusive border wall raised and waved around by those seeking attention or distraction. Debt — both the official national debt and our collective personal debt — will demand our attention.

Environmental crises seem likely, involving mines or anything that is mined, earthquakes, pollution, fuel, or extremely cold weather. I’m not saying all of these things will manifest, only that they are the primary sectors under stress. Additionally, the Capricorn Ingress chart, which I’ll cover in another post, shows indications of possible environmental crises involving fuel and/or water (too much or too little) and/or storms.

I don’t mention these possibilities to frighten you — I want you to think about how well you might be prepared for a crisis, and emphasize that you should pay attention to any warnings or calls for evacuation. There’s a lot of pressure and tension on our land and resources. The real estate market might also be challenged in some way. Disagreements around the use of public lands will almost certainly continue.

How You Can Help Change Happen

I hope you will do whatever you can to encourage more evolved and empathetic responses to crises in your home, your community, and the larger world. The actions of each individual, making moral and just choices in connection with their larger community, is the source of justice and healing for our nation and our world. Every single one of us has a role in this ongoing play that is transforming our world. What’s yours?

Your role builds on your personal skills and interests, and your soul’s focus for this lifetime. So often, our deep interests and skills, and the inner promptings we get as children to pursue certain paths, are ignored and dismissed by adults, and we repress inner longings that still haunt us in adulthood. Too often, we work to fulfill the expectations of other people, and ignore the promptings of our soul.

This is a good month to listen to your soul and consider your core beliefs. You can explore your inner world through meditation or journey, and by paying attention to your impulses. You don’t need to act on them, but it is important to acknowledge them, and track them back either to a wound that needs healing or a creative urge that needs expression.

Your soul’s intentions and aspirations for this lifetime are reflected in your natal astrology chart, so you might want to spend some time with your chart, if you know how to read it, and/or your astrologer. (Don’t have an astrologer? You can contact me here.) Then go out and find, as Frederick Buechner suggested, “…where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”

Quiet and joyous blessings of the season to you.

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