Goodbye Venus Retrograde, Hello Venus Direct

William Blake, Venus and Anchises, 1889-1890. Venus falls in love with Anchises, who sired her son Aeneas, hero of the epic poem by Virgil The Aeneid

Many people are familiar with the phenomenon of Mercury Retrograde, but most don’t consider that astrologically, we take note of retrogrades of all the planets (except of course The Sun and The Moon, these do not retrograde). Venus is one of the brightest elements of our sky, appearing as the Morning or Evening Star, and moves around the Sun in 584 days, taking just over a year and a half to do her circuit through the zodiac. So what does Venus Retrograde mean for us anyway?

In mythology, Venus (or Aphrodite to the Greeks) is the goddess of love, sex, beauty, fertility, lust, luxury, passion and desire.  She was a fickle goddess, seeking pleasure above all, and was amoral when it came to the ideas of commitment and fidelity.  While married to Hephaestus, the god of fire, craftwork, metal work, blacksmithing, Venus was none too faithful, and frequently entertained suitors, most famously, Ares or Mars, Hermes (Mercury), Poseidon (Neptune) and Dionysus, the god of ecstasy, wine, fertility and madness.  

In our charts, Venus indicates where we find our pleasure, what we value, and how we focus on what brings us sensual and aesthetic fulfillment.  What is it that we desire?  What kind of art and designs appeal to us most?  What sort of fashion do we enjoy? What do we want most in a lover, what turns us on and motivates us sensually? Venus shows where we find beauty in our lives and where we strive to express it personally. Fulfilling material desires involves spending money, so Venus also shows us how we relate to money matters. While generally positive, Venus is also vain, and can be fickle in pursuit of desires (less so in a fixed sign like Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius). She can be vindictive if not violent when scorned. Don’t be fooled into thinking this goddess is a soft touch.  Withhold what she desires most and watch the vengeance fly. Venus is one of the most important personal factors in our charts as it indicates the fundamentals of why we like what we like – from bubble gum to bed sheets, and everything in between.

We began 2022 with Venus Retrograde, an event which happens every 18 months. The planet entered retrograde on December 21, 2021 at 26º 29’ Capricorn, and turns direct on January 29, 2022 at 11º4’ Capricorn.  As this placement has been carrying a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, we’re feeling a very goal-oriented vibe, an unrelenting desire to obtain what we want how we want it, with a definite emphasis on luxury and power.  This placement is active in everyone’s chart, either by direct contact with personal points or through inhabiting whichever house contains Capricorn, so it’s worth looking up.* 

Venus of Willendorf, oolitic limestone, 25,000 years BP. Found in Willendorf, Austria by Johann Veran, August 7, 1908. An early rendition of the Goddess, likely a fertility fetish object, though her actual purpose remains a mystery. Another face of Venus to consider in her most primordial essence.

Heavy, almost overpowering desires are common with Venus/Pluto contacts, especially the hard aspects, and even more so when colored by Capricorn’s Saturnian vibe, bringing a tendency to brood, nurture obsessive desires, engage in compulsive spending, get caught up in overwhelming infatuations and the like.  When Venus turned Retrograde, as with any planetary retrograde cycle, the action of the planet was arrested, causing an internalization and reconsideration process to take effect.  So how does this play out?

In existing, stable  relationships, Venus Retrograde brings a period of distance as both partners turn into themselves to accommodate personal desires, wishes and pleasures.  Love is still there but a bit distant and quiet as each in the partnership focuses on their own thing.  In new, or casual relationships, on the other hand, can often see a change of heart, a cooling off period, a realization that what we had expected of the other is perhaps not the real deal. We come to see things differently, noticing that what we have before us is not what attracted us in the first place, and often end up with a classic case of buyer’s remorse.  This can either lead to a break, or at the very least a shift in how the relationship plays out. Things will change as necessary to protect Self’s best interests.

In either new or existing relationships, we are presented with a different facet of the other person than we had previously known.  It may be flattering, unflattering, off-putting, or a welcome realization, but any which way, there is a reconsideration that takes place during the duration of the retrograde period which thenceforth colors our perspective of that relationship. Established couples learn to do things a bit differently, honoring “the space in their togetherness.” People we thought we knew surprise us, and we find a different level of relating. Frequently, brand new relationships are scrutinized and found lacking, requiring change that can even mean a permanent break.

One thing to keep in mind with Venus and relationships in general is that a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean with a person.  We have relationships with our work, our hobbies, our ideas, our memories.  We have a relationship with ourselves, and it is this fact that can activate interesting Venus retrograde experiences.  Are you having a relationship with your old memories? How do you relate to yourself?  How do you have fun? What gives you pleasure?  What do you do to feel good about yourself?  Do you spend too much money, or do you tend to hold back on spending? These factors can change when we go through Venus Retrograde, sometimes permanently, as we find different ways of understanding our pleasure principle.

Venus Retrograde is not the time to make large, luxury expenditures like buying a car, house or apartment etc.  Also not a great time for going on a pleasure trip, as your natural desire to have fun feels inhibited.  And Venus Retrograde is really not a good time to get married, go on a first date or try to break into the dating scene.  Anything to do with pleasure, like gourmet dining, attending art galleries or museums, shopping for luxury items or fine clothing will feel off, like we can’t quite connect even though we feel we should.  We feel internal and quiet, with an underlying need to tamp down on extravagance.

When Venus turns direct, an opening occurs as once again we feel interested in reaching out and connecting.  We’ve done the reflection, considered how we approach relationships, desires, pleasure and money differently, and we feel a resolution to incorporate what we’ve learned as we consolidate changes in our behavior. Maybe we’ve figured out that we don’t want to talk to that guy down the hall anymore because he’s just not who we thought he was.  Maybe we’ve resolved to spend less money on frivolities, and realized that we’re just fine without constantly consuming. It could be that we decide to let bygones be bygones and try again with an old friend, eyes wide open.  Perhaps we once again feel like connecting with dear loved ones, and do something new together.  Or we finally decide to go ahead with that big ticket purchase, the new hairstyle, coat, pair of shoes etc. we’ve been considering for so long.  Whatever was stalling our desires resolves and we can move forward with ease.

Venus direct is the time to step out again with the understanding that your perspective and what you expect from relationships is just a bit more evolved than it was a few weeks ago. Venus turns direct on January 29, 2022 at 8:46 UT, at 11º4’ Capricorn and won’t be retrograde again until July 23, 2023 at 28°23’ Leo. The next time we will have Venus Retrograde in Capricorn will be eight years from now, December 16, 2029 – January 26, 2030, as Venus follows an eight year cycle of returning to the exact same place in the sky on the same date.

The Five Petals of Venus, or the Pentagram of Venus, a diagram reflecting the eight year cycle of Venus. Image Guy Ottewell. An interesting article on the Venus cycle.

*Visit Astrodienst for one of the world’s best astrology websites and run your chart if you haven’t already.

For detailed information on planetary events in 2022, visit here: Planetary Events 2022

Astrology: Moon Phases and Eclipses

Moon Phases diagram courtesy of University of Iowa

Working with the Moon puts us in harmony with our world, and awakens in us deep understanding of our innate connection with life.  The Moon governs our emotions, our need for nurturing and our capacity to nurture others, psychological habits, body consciousness and habits of personal care, psychic connectivity, dreams, the Unconscious, women in general and how we relate to them, food, anything to do with water from baths to the oceans, our idea of home and home life, our inherited habits and proclivities, menses, the public and how we relate to the public, our digestive and reproductive systems, one’s wife, tides, and how we protect what we care about. Important stuff that bears careful attention!

The Moon changes sign within 48 – 60 hours, making it the fastest moving factor in our charts. Watch as people’s moods fluctuate: a grumpy, touchy Moon in Scorpio on Monday gives way to gregarious and philosophical Moon in Sagittarius on Wednesday, and all is well again with the world. Working with the Moon can ease our passage as we learn to go with the flow, and give up futile attempts to push the river where it’s not going. Particularly keep an eye on the major phases detailed below to allow deep personal work and development to occur more effectively, bringing greater success, peace and satisfaction.


New Moon: The moon stands between the Sun and the Earth, and the face that we normally see is almost invisible while the dark side that faces away from us is fully illuminated, so we rightly call this the Dark Moon. The Sun and the Moon are conjoined and will appear at the same zodiacal degree, creating a powerful one-note vibe. Ego and Emotion are aligned as we experience the most subjective time of the month, and we feel a sense of invigoration and spontaneity, ready to go on any new adventure that arises. However, this time can also reflect the idea of something being too close to see – we cannot separate Ego from Emotion, and this can lead to believing that what we feel must be who we are. This is a time to consolidate our energy and focus on positive visions. Strive for objectivity if possible, and consider your habitual blind spots. Listen to what feels out of balance, for it is now that sticking points can arise. Set pure intentions as the combined force of Sun and Moon allows us to access personal power at this time, but understand that patience and deliberation are required before fruition occurs. What is planted in the dark will grow with the light of the waxing moon, so do be careful what you wish for. Don’t wallow in darkness, but rather protect what needs nurturing. Plant your seeds.

First Quarter: Also known as the Half Moon, as the Moon appears as a half-circle in the sky. (Sometimes also erroneously called the Second Quarter Moon). The Moon is waxing towards Full, and is 90º into its monthly cycle, placing it at a square aspect to the Sun. Ego and Emotion are at odds with each other. This is a time for action, as tension spurs us to change, but do not expect culmination now. A good time for hard work, motivated intentions, building up and adding substance to existing foundations, but beware workaholic or obsessive tendencies, as well as impetuosity or callousness in our striving. People get pushy, but don’t necessarily have details that back up their direction. Watch plans take nascent form and nurture their development.

Full Moon: The Moon is at its greatest visibility, and is directly opposed to the Sun at 180º, standing behind the Earth as we face the Sun together.  The Sun illuminates the entire visible hemisphere of the Moon amplifying light, shining a spotlight in normally dark, unconscious places. This phase allows us objectivity and insight into things which usually remain hidden, as the power of Ego reveals the recesses of the Heart, showing clearly what needs to be understood.  A time of fulfillment, we are empowered in our ability to see more details of our situation than usual, though the Full Moon can also bring disillusionment if we are not following our heart’s path.  Poorly executed motivations can be fully viewed now, and adjusted.  Anything which has been a source of distress can rear its ugly head, driving many to escapism as they seek to dive deeper into unconsciousness and avoidance to get away from things we may not wish to see (think lunacy).  A good time to harvest what is working well, or to cull what is unnecessary or unhealthy, allowing dissemination and release of the energy back to earth. Intentions blossom now, whether they were consciously seeded and beautiful, or unconsciously strewn and self-negating.

Last Quarter: Also variously called Third Quarter or Fourth Quarter Moon. The Moon is waning, and has moved 270º away from the Sun.  This is also a square aspect, full of dynamism.  We have the impetus to clear up what we haven’t dealt with and address things that tripped us up with the recent Full Moon.  The insights gained with the Full Moon’s brightness give us a checklist allowing further refinement of our goals. If we haven’t followed our best interests, high tension and compulsion to change can occur at this phase; beware anxiety and spinning out in high stress. This is a good time for working with details, and outlining what needs to be addressed at the next New Moon. As we define our situation, we find ourselves descending, drawing back into a state of concentration which can become tunnel vision if we don’t come up for air occasionally.  Release negativity and think ahead to the next Moon cycle, considering what worked and what did not with previous intentions.


Eclipses:  Eclipses occur in repetitive cycles, which take approximately 18 years (or 223 synodic months) to recur. Solar and Lunar Eclipses occur consecutively, with a Lunar Eclipse always occurring fourteen days before or after a Solar Eclipse, with the complete eclipse cycle taking approximately 37.5 days.   On June 10 2021, we saw the last of the eclipse of the Gemini/Sagittarius cycle, and on December 19, 2021 we saw the beginning of a Taurus/Scorpio cycle.  The Aries/Libra cycle will begin on April 20, 2023, which will coincide with the ingress of the Sun into Aries, quite a potent day for early Aries natives.  Eclipses can be either total, partial or annular.  Total solar eclipses in particular are quite rare as the window of opportunity for the Moon to obfuscate the Sun is very short; most eclipses that we experience are either partial or annular.  Total lunar eclipses can last up to 2 hours, whereas total solar eclipses are only last for about 2 minutes. The next total Solar Eclipse will be April 8, 2023 and the next total Lunar Eclipse will occur on May 15/16, 2022.

Solar Eclipse: Also known as a New Moon Eclipse. Solar eclipses are conjunction of the Sun and Moon which occur on the axis of the Lunar Nodes.  The Sun and Moon are in the same sign as the North Node (within 15-18º)   and in opposition to the South Lunar Node.  Indicates an alignment of the Earth, Sun and Moon, with the Moon blocking visibility of the Sun from our perspective here on Earth. Traditionally considered malefic, as the Sun, source of power and life, is obscured and eliminated, however briefly. Significant in that issues of Destiny, Ego and Emotion are aligned, a Solar Eclipse is a powerful time to set intention for major change, altering life course, beginning new paths in directions previously untrodden.

Lunar Eclipse:  Also known as a Full Moon Eclipse. Lunar eclipses occur when the Sun and Moon are in opposition from one another and aligned with the axis of the Lunar Nodes (within 15-18º)  .  The Moon falls in the same sign as the Earth and the South Node, in opposition to the North Node and Sun, which fall in the same sign. The shadow of the Earth falls on the lunar surface and creates an impression that the Moon is being eaten up, either partially or entirely. Lunar Eclipses are powerful times for realization and manifestation.  Clarity of vision is profound, and many can experience watershed moments around these times if their natal placements are activated. If the process of change has been conscious, then Lunar Eclipses can provide a significant boost in direction, pushing one up to the next level. If change has been resisted, Lunar Eclipses can often provoke crisis that initiates one onto seeking a healthier, truer path. 


The effects of eclipses are most significant if the transiting Moon aspects natal points – particularly the natal Sun, Moon, or personal points like the Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant, Imum Coeli or the Nodal Axis.  These points are usually sufficient to provoke a response, however, you can also look to Arabian Parts, Black Moon Lilith or asteroids for interest.  Such factors will usually only be of importance if aspect to personal planets or points anyway, so keep that in mind and spare yourself unnecessary digging. The Vertex is another point which some astrologers use as a marker of fate, destiny, or wish fulfillment as well as being an indicator of relationship matters.  It is always housed in the western half of the chart, usually near the Descendant, and if touched closely by an Eclipse could herald significant changes in relationship – either status of existing, or initiation into a new love relationship.  Also consider the house in which an eclipse falls, and look to the rulership of the house, the position of the house ruler and if it is aspected by the Eclipsing Moon.  The chart ruler, in particular, if aspected by an eclipse should be considered as significant, indicating an invigoration of approach to the core personality. 

If a Solar or Lunar Eclipse aspects a personal planet or point within an 8º orb, you may feel the effects anywhere from one to three months prior to the actual event.  Consider this as rumblings in the deep soul trying to be heard.  All change that we experience has deep roots, created by seed thoughts which may be conscious or unconscious.  As our soul ripens to the impetus for growth, we will find that events align around us to facilitate our development.  Oftentimes, we cannot consciously admit what we want, but the soul knows how to sort the wheat from the chaff, and will subtly steer us in the direction which is best for our personal development.  A person may offhandedly say something, we see an image or an article that resonates with something deep within us, and the path of change is initiated, however quietly at first. If we choose not to listen to these happenchance messages then often after enough chances have passed by, something jarring and overt occurs which snaps us to attention, forcing issues of change that we have been avoiding.  It’s best not to let things go that far, needless to say, so take the time to meditate and listen to your Soul’s yearnings.

Eclipses can be the tipping points that we require to grow into personal well being. As they occur in cycles, we have multiple opportunities for spurring growth, and each passing eclipse will build on the progress made with the last. The effects of eclipses can be permanent, resulting in changed paths, the opening of new doors and a deeper knowledge of self. This does not happen for everyone, every time, so don’t be expecting every eclipse to be a profound cataclysm. However, if you watch the cycles and see how they line up with the particularities of your own chart, you can work with the energy in a focused, concentrated way – opening yourself up to growth and greater self-fulfillment. For most eclipses you can expect to see culmination of change within six months to one year. It’s good to remember that sometimes even little changes, bit by bit, can result in positive shifts in direction, so be patient and be kind to yourself, always.

For dates of this year’s major lunations see here: LUNAR EVENTS 2022 – FULL MOONS, NEW MOONS AND ECLIPSES

For more information on the science of eclipses, see these references:

Wikipedia: Solar Eclipses

Wikipedia: Lunar Eclipses

Short video: PBS Solar Eclipses Explained

Short video: PBS Lunar Eclipses Explained

And for a good online Moon Phase calendar that you can customize to your choice of year and location see here:

Time and Date Moon Phase Calendar

Astrology: Sun Sign Aquarius

Édouard Manet “Le dejeuner sur l’herbe,” oil on canvas, 1863. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. Manet was an Aquarius born 23 January 1832.
This piece is considered his most famous, highlighting various issues including the male vs female gaze, the iniquity between the main female being unclothed and observed by those wearing clothes. Quite Aquarian.

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”

James Joyce, Ulysses. Joyce was an Aquarius, b. 2 February 1882 – d. 13 January 1941

The Sun moves into progressive, experimental, visionary Aquarius January 19, 2022 at 21:39 EST (tomorrow 01/20 2:39 UT). Ruler Uranus turned direct yesterday adding a welcome boost of energy, releasing efforts at progress and change. Co-ruler Saturn is currently in Aquarius, and won’t be here for another thirty years, so if you want to define yourself Aquarius, now’s the time. Saturn is always there to help perfect plans and actualize ideals.


Each year, the Sun moves through the astrological sign of Aquarius from ~21 January to 18 February. This sign is Fixed Air. While the traditional ruler of Aquarius is Saturn, the modern ruler is Uranus, and this dichotomy of rulership can, in a sense, be said to define Aquarius, as it is a sign of paradox, embodying at one and the same time the essence of chaos, iconoclasm and unpredictability, as well as staunch conservatism and obstinate, holier-than-thou idealism and philanthropy. Aquarius is a sign that many love to hate, as it can be difficult to understand the people born under this star. Aquarius people are the ones we look to when we are all out of answers, when the problems before us are simply too twisted and seemingly unsolvable, as they are the original “think outside the box” types. A Gordian knot never stopped one born under Aquarius, as they love more than anything to sink their teeth into problems that have brought others defeat. Remember that the sign opposite to Aquarius is Leo, so there is a good deal of shadow pride at work in the Aquarius psyche, and being right, smarter and more interesting than their peers is definitely a goal to be pursued.

Imagine you have a friend who is, at times, extremely, pedantically political and yet, at other times vehemently apolitical, bordering on anarchistic and chaotic, presenting you with bizarre ideas of social upheaval and pictures of society straight out of a science fiction book. Even though at first glance, what this friend espouses may seem far-fetched, in quiet moments of consideration, you have to admit that they may just be on to something. And you can’t really disagree with your friend, as they are so charming and helpful, always ready to chat and socialize. Hell, some of the best conversations you’ve had have been with this buddy, so what was your problem again? This is Aquarius. They naturally have their finger on the pulse of society, and have the ability to divine how that pulse may express itself in the future, whether near or far. If they seem occasionally aloof and cold, perhaps it is because in their experience, they have been shut down too many times, told that they are just plain crazy, foolish or both, and they have learned to hold their cards close to the chest, mostly out of defense, and for some, out of a sense of nurtured pride and the understanding that what they know is not for all to understand. They hold within their hearts and minds visionary ideas which aren’t necessarily fit for public consumption.

Aquarius is passionately intellectual, and in their avant garde vision, can often seem quite glamorous, drawn always to the heights of refinement and beauty, as they understand on a deep level that Beauty is one of the constants of this world, to be revered and protected. And yet, that same sensitive, refined Aquarius can turn on a dime and seem only to enjoy espousing aggravating and inflammatory messages, presumably for the sake of provocation and theater, but more likely they do so out of frustration, and perhaps a touch of spite. They know, better than most, the effect that words and ideologies can have, and so they can take delight in stirring the pot, mischievously leaving steaming outrage in their wake. They like nothing more than to be right, and to “get your goat”. They love to appear cutting edge, but ultimately, when push comes to shove, they can be just as traditional as your Aunt Mae from Little Town, because Aquarius understands the comfort and security of a well-functioning society, and even if the society they presently inhabit isn’t functioning so well, they have awareness of the changes which need to occur to keep people happy. At their best, Aquarius is sophisticated, humane, thoughtful, considerate, understanding, innovative, creative, objective and insightful. At their worst, Aquarius is cold, indifferent, obstinate, perverse, pedantic, petty, short-sighted, eccentric, infuriating and contrary.

Aquarius Tarot Correspondence – Major Arcana XVII: The Star (Rider Waite Smith Tarot)

Frequently, Aquarius is labelled as “eccentric”, and if questioned about their peculiarities, Aquarius will always have excellent, compelling reasons for being exactly as they are, fully justified and tied with a bow. Aquarius is the intellectual par excellence, and only the very brave will foray into debate with these folk. Whereas Gemini likes to collect facts, Aquarius creates compendiums, annotated and organized not just alphabetically, but thematically, and usually, by date as well. These people thrive on information the way Scorpio thrives on sexuality, and the deeper, the gnarlier, the more arcane, the better, whereas while Scorpio revels in emotion, occasionally getting lost in the murky depths where others fear to explore, Aquarius always seems to float above it all, untouched, pristine, clean and cool. This world is a feast of wonder, and the information they collect becomes like a garden, well-loved and well-tended. An intellectual challenge is the ultimate turn on for Aquarius, and they will seek far and wide to satisfy their appetites which tend to grown more erudite as they age. If you have questions for which you cannot find answers, find an Aquarius friend. They will be sure to help out, for ultimately, this is what Aquarius loves best: to be friendly, to help and to share, for the betterment of all.

As mentioned above, the polarity sign of Aquarius is Leo, and Aquarius has much to learn from the Leonine folk, primarily in the area of self-awareness. Leo can teach Aquarius that it’s perfectly fine to put yourself first once in a while, to take the credit, accept the kudos and feel proud of your individuality for yourself and yourself alone. Many Aquarians will try to be a voice for all around them, couching their egos in the larger panoply of society, and this can lead to a sense of dissociation from self. Leo can show Aquarius that speaking with one’s true voice can in itself be a blessing to society at large, and that true individuality doesn’t always need to be plastered on a placard for the benefit of the greater good.

  • Keywords: individualistic, friendly, humane, curious, original, idealistic, inventive, intellectual, hopeful, pacifistic, avant-garde, acquaintanceship, aloof, creative, visionary, experimental, sociable, progressive, cold, indifferent, obstinate, perverse, paradoxical, pedantic, petty, eccentric, contrary
  • Rulership: traditional – Saturn; modern – Uranus
  • Modality: Fixed Air
  • Polarity: positive masculine
  • Gemstone: aquamarine, cubic zirconia, opals, black pearl, sapphire
  • Metal: aluminium, zinc
  • Tarot: The Star
  • Color: azure, violet, bluish mauve, sky blue, purple, changeable, inconstant colors
  • Deities: Nuit/Nut, Athena, Ganymede
  • Flora: olive, coconut, kiwi, apples, orchids, hybridized and genetically modified plants, rapeseed (canola), citrus, chilis, black pepper, elderberry, fruit trees, frankincense, myrrh resin, galbanum resin, spikenard
  • Fauna: large flying birds, migratory birds
  • Famous Aquarius Personalities: Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth, Rosa Parks, Kim Jong-il, Bob Marley, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Oprah Winfrey, Charles Dickens, Yoko Ono, Sharon Tate, Nicolae Ceausescu, Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keyes, Elijah Wood, Buzz Aldrin, Christian Dior, Virginia Woolf, Ellen De Generes, Justin Timberlake, Matt Groening, Harry Styles, Edouard Manet, Langston Hughes, Dick Cheney, Edith Wharton, Jackson Pollock, Toni Morrison, Malcolm Mc Laren, Jeb Bush, Christian Bale, Laura Dern

Astrology: Full Moon in Cancer January 17, 2022

Galileo Galilei, ‘Sketches of the Moon’, ink on paper, 1609. Image: Museo Galileo

The first Full Moon of 2022 arrives on January 17 at 23:48 UT (18:48 EST, 15:48 PT).  It’s a busy time – Mercury is retrograde, Venus is retrograde, Uranus moves direct on January 18th, and the Sun enters Aquarius on the 19th.  This Full Moon chart is dominated by the tight opposition from the Moon to the Sun/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, the Mercury/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius squaring off with tetchy Uranus, and a quiet but pervasive square between Venus and Chiron adding a touch of melancholy to the air as people grapple with things that seem unfixable. Mars adds smoky fire to communications, leaving open to debate what’s true and what’s fantasy.

Pluto’s presence in this Full Moon configuration brings current issues to a core level for all, and people feel compelled to expose their emotions, even if talking feels hard going (Mercury/Saturn). Pressures exerted from society at large are causing even the most placid to feel anger and frustration.  We look around to see that more than ever before the actions of total strangers affect our personal lives in very direct ways.  Patience and good humor have worn down as we are faced with ongoing restrictions, increased security and powerful monitoring measures that are unavoidable for even the most mundane actions.  Going to the grocery store, seeking personal fitness goals, international travel, working with other people, sending our kids to school – all of these things, once commonplace are now subject to officiated governmental scrutiny and societal commentary in a way that hasn’t been seen since WWII.  While this time feels heavy, the stricture is currently as pronounced as it will be this year, so bear with it and do the shadow work that needs doing.  Energies will shift as we move into the Spring Equinox  – it will still be an intense year, mind you – but won’t feel quite so bleak.  Right now, though, the overbearing powers of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are knocking hard, requiring everyone to manage global issues on a personal level.

However, there is a silver lining to all this gloomy cloud cover. It is through the pressure of universal energies that we gain greater understanding of the world around us. What we have happening here, folks, is evolution in action.  It’s been easy for people to retreat into their respective shells over the last few decades, as the spread of internet technology, social media and virtual reality (Uranus and Neptune’s influence) has allowed people to block out the world and carry on as if what we do on an individual basis doesn’t matter. The events that grip our planet at this time speak otherwise, and the message that is being brought to bear overall is strongly this: we are all One, we all impact each other, no matter where we are, and to move forward personally and collectively in health and well-being, we need to open our hearts, release fear and be willing to learn, to grow and to be more than we are as individuals.  Allow the light of this Full Moon to shine on what you need to see most – and don’t be afraid, we are all in this together.

“The world is evolving from imperfection to perfection, it needs all love and sympathy. Great tenderness and watchfulness is required from each one of us.

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Current planetary events:

Sun ingress to Aquarius January 19, 2022 21:39 EST (January 20, 2022 2:39 UT)

Mercury Retrograde until February 2, 2022, exits shadow on February 2, 2022

Venus Retrograde until January 29, 2022

Uranus Direct January 18, 2022 until August 24, 2022

Next Full Moon February 16, 2022 16:58 UT, 11:58 EST, Leo 29º

Forecasts for the month:

Aries: Home/work balance is under the spotlight this Full Moon, as surprising shifts in your values make existing social scenes and alliances feel sombre, with much reflection on what came before. Inspiration is calling – be who you want Aries, when was that ever a problem for you? Settle down a bit and meditate on it (really, do it!).  You’ll find what emerges most fruitful. Write it down when it comes.

Taurus: You feel inspired by beauty and called to find your deepest truth, and you want to talk about it, though it feels more emotional than usual.  Sex and money feel energized but elusive, so seductive, pushing you to the chase.  Light is available to heal your oldest wounds, though it may take some serious thinking on the career front to get you there.

Gemini:  The spotlight this full moon is on money – yours vs theirs.  What do you value, and how strong is your value structure when put upon by the wishes and pressures of the outside world?  There’s an underlying seriousness to you these days as you seek to gain lessons, and that may spell opportunity in career. Don’t let sniping undermine you.  You may have a foot-in-mouth moment.  Be careful what you say! 

Cancer:  Your emotions are on your sleeve, and partnerships feel intense as deep levels are being plumbed.  Watch for power plays that compromise self-identity. The heavy stuff – sex, death, commitment – feels serious, however, details remain to be clarified on the work front which raise questions on the ethical front. Career feels a bit Sisyphean but don’t fret, surprises and inspirations come through networking.

Leo:  Don’t let compulsions and old habits be your self-undoing.  Now’s the time to look at self-undermining behaviour, particularly in how you approach relationships, work and how you treat your body.  The heavy stuff inspires and creativity is energized – let it out, it’s gold.  Career could offer breakthrough over the next month, be open to your subconscious mind for inspiration.

Virgo: The spotlight right now for you Virgo is learning to have fun again.  What does pleasure mean to you?  Do you have people you can share yourself with, or have you been holed up? Reach out, allow romance back into your heart, and don’t be afraid to shake things up. Open up to new philosophies and dreams, and you’ll find new friends knocking at your door.

Libra:  Career vs home feel intense as you seek to manifest your deepest desires. Compulsions are surprising and add tension to pleasure, but on the other hand, you want to be serious about what excites right now. You might come across as aggressive at the wrong moment – say what’s on your mind truthfully, it will be easier on everyone. Have a spa day soon, it will be of greater than usual benefit. Beauty heals.

Scorpio:  Deep change pushes you to walk your talk, and embody your highest ideals. Romance is inspiring, and you look with a critical eye on long-term changes in the home.  Watch your health this month as old issues may come home to roost, requiring a stepped-up plan of action. Money talks – go for that brass ring now, but don’t be prodigal.

Sagittarius: You feel the Force as your values are overhauled, and your persona is energized and powerful.  The spotlight is on why you do what you do and who you do it with.  You are able to cut to the chase and isolate details that have been tripping you up for a while.  Home life comforts and inspires.  Even the most valiant knights need respite sometimes – don’t be afraid to slow down.

Capricorn:  This Full Moon allows you to expose your underbelly, Capricorn. You’ll want to talk seriously about your tender spots, as subconscious material pushes to the surface requiring an outlet.  You have lots of support, be willing to reach out and touch base, you’ll be surprised at how conversation flows.  Let work lie and pay attention to the foundational core stuff, even if it’s hard going.

Aquarius:  This Full Moon feels very businesslike for you, Aquarius, as you focus on how to bring what is hidden to the fore.  Deep subconscious material stirs up dreams, and mediation allows for core problem solving.  Don’t let old insecurities nip at your heels, identify them and put them in their place. Watch for surprises and accidents on the home front – keep any potential hazards under control.

Pisces:  This Full Moon feels romantic and inspired, Pisces.  What gives you joy? Where do you find romance and pleasure – or do you anymore?  Let yourself be inspired by the beauty of the world, and let your dreams unfurl. Communications can be surprising, and your subconscious wants to be heard.  Impressions of the day can surface at night – keep your notebook handy and pay attention.

Born on this day – January 17: Benjamin Franklin (1706); Anne Brontë (1820); Konstantin Stanislavski (1863); Al Capone (1899); Betty White (1922); Eartha Kitt (1927); Vidal Sassoon (1928); James Earl Jones (1931); Maury Povich (1939); Muhammed Ali (1942); Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952); Jim Carrey (1962); Michelle Obama (1964); Kid Rock (1971); Zooey Deschanel (1980); Jake Paul (1997)

Sadly, January 17 would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Happy Birthday Betty, blessings to you as you travel on your journeys.

January 17, 2022 Full Moon 23:48 UT, Greenwich, UK. Chart courtesy of astro.com

Astrology: Mercury Retrograde January 14, 2022

Reinhold Begas, ‘Mercury and Psyche,’ marble, Germany, 1878. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

It seems these days everyone likes to talk about Mercury Retrograde.  The phrase is bandied about at meetings, in casual conversation, social media is flooded with little tidbits about the phenomenon, and even mainstream news outfits dedicate an article or two each year to the idea (thanks Oprah!).  So what then should we know about Mercury Retrograde, and how does it actually affect our lives?

Astrologically, Mercury governs all things to do with communication, travel, our basic capacity for understanding, listening, agreements we make with others, arguments, clerical work, brain functions, business matters, computers, matters of diet, education, errands, forgetfulness, gossip, writing, ideas in general, illness – particularly public illnesses that spread, information and information gathering, the capacity to learn, mischief, the nervous system, news, newspapers and news commentary, the post (mail), reason, respiration, sanitation, service, stupidity, telephones, transportation, treaties, young people (especially those 5-15 years), and worries. Mercury is the ruler of the astrological signs Gemini, and Virgo, and all the matters ruled by these signs are also impacted during Mercury Retrograde (see Gemini and Virgo for more information on what these signs rule). The phenomenon of retrograde planets is particular to our perspective from Earth, as we look up at the sky and the planet in question appears to move backwards against the fixed canopy of the stars.  This “backwards” movement is a trick of the eye, perceived when regarding the relative speed of motion of the planets through the sky in relation to other faster and slower moving objects, as the planet does not literally reverse its direction, but only appears to reverse from its normal west-to-east motion across the sky to an east-to-west path.

Mercury’s orbit is 88 days, and it is never more than 28º away from the Sun.  With such a tight orbit, Mercury frequently conjoins the Sun, and this can occur in two different ways.  An Inferior Conjunction occurs when Mercury moves between the Sun and the Earth, and Mercury’s degree is past the Sun’s on the zodiacal wheel.  It is at this time that Mercury is considered retrograde. A Superior Conjunction occurs when the Sun’s degree placement is slightly ahead of Mercury’s, so Mercury passes on to the other side of the Sun as seen from the Earth, and needs to “catch up” by moving forward – thus travelling in direct motion. 

Let’s take the upcoming Mercury Retrograde period as an example: 

January 14, 2022 Mercury Retrograde 10º14′ Aquarius. Mercury is past the Sun, between the Sun and the Earth, and turns “backwards” to meet the Sun, making an Inferior Conjunction on January 23, 2022.
February 4, 2022 Mercury Direct 24º 23′ Capricorn. The Sun is past Mercury, and Mercury needs to “catch up” to the Sun with its direct motion, to eventually make a Superior Conjunction on April 3, 2022.
Charts courtesy of astro.com. Annotations by Veronica Childe.

Mercury goes Retrograde on January 14, 2022.  On that day, the Sun is at 23º43’ Capricorn, and Mercury is at 10º18’ Aquarius, and the Earth is at 23º43’ Cancer (the Earth is not usually shown on astrological charts, but is always 180º away from the Sun, in opposition). The Sun and Mercury are approximately 17º apart, and as Mercury is ahead of the Sun in its movement around the astrological wheel (Aquarius is the sign past Capricorn), from a geocentric perspective, it appears to move away from us, or retrograde.  On February 4, Mercury turns direct.  The Sun is at 15º8’ Aquarius, Mercury is at 24º23’ Capricorn and the Earth is at 15º8’ Leo.  Here, Mercury and the Sun are approximately 22º apart, but as the Sun has moved forward into Aquarius, and is ahead of Mercury’s degree placement in Capricorn, Mercury is behind the Sun, further away from the Earth, and so travels in direct motion, towards us geocentrically. It makes a Superior Conjunction on April 3, 2022 at 13º Aries.

On a mystical level, we can consider Mercury Retrograde as a time when intellect, or Psyche (Mercury), struggles to maintain attachment to the Soul (Sun).  It is only by joining Psyche and Soul together that we can find cohesion in Spirit, and so Mercury, rather than travelling on alone past the Sun, must turn “retrograde,” reversing so that the two can come together and travel forward in union again.  The reason why Mercury Retrograde cycles can feel difficult is that they highlight any disruption in our inner connection and make plain for us to see exactly where we are tripping up, going wrong, not thinking straight or being illogical.  This feels much worse the more we are out of sync with our Soul’s needs, and we need to backtrack to re-establish harmonious inner cohesion. To address this discontinuity, we need to take the time to re-establish our internal connections, meditate, slow down, perceive more carefully, and reflect. Mercury Retrograde is not a time for action, it is a time for slowing down, reviewing and reconnecting with our Spirit.

Certain Mercury retrograde cycles can be felt as more difficult than others, for instance, when Mercury has a longer retrograde journey. This January 14 – February 4 cycle, Mercury retrogrades for approximately 16º as opposed to later in the year when we see shorter cycles, as Mercury travels retrograde for approximately 8º and 9º in May and September 2022.  Further, when the retrograde occurs in signs that are ruled by Mercury – Gemini (May 2022) or Virgo (September 2022), we find particularly irksome difficulties arise, though this does not discount the fact that any Mercury retrograde cycle usually poses some difficulties for at least a portion of the zodiac. We can expect that this January 2022 Mercury Retrograde period will hit hardest for Fixed and Cardinal signs particularly those born in the first ten days of Aquarius, Leo, Scorpio, and Taurus, as well as the last ten days of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.  These people in particular need to slow down for a little while.

This upcoming cycle, as Mercury travels back through the first decan of Aquarius into the last decan of Capricorn, we can expect glitches in self-assertion, as ego moves – particularly in relationships –  tend to backfire at this time. More information will be disclosed than we might expect or want, and this applies doubly for those in power or authority positions.  It would not be surprising to see public announcements about high-profile extramarital affairs, sexual or financial indiscretions, or otherwise unsavory dirt over the next few weeks. Attempts at hiding the truth will fail and could prove embarrassing, if not completely overturning what seemed to be established, stable situations. Working methods will require switching gears on the fly, and interactions with others will need to be adjusted as people are just not doing what we expect.  All this may feel rather onerous, but at the same time, there will be a sense of “well, let’s just figure this out once and for all.”  In fact, that is the absolute best thing to do with this particular Mercury Retrograde, colored as it is by Saturn – rehash, perfect and finalize.  Don’t pull the trigger on plans, submissions, contracts and pronouncements until Mercury is fully direct on February 4, but do take the time to focus on getting everything done to the best of your ability.  As Mercury is conjoined with Saturn for this retrograde cycle, the power to perfect is on hand – Saturn wants to see discipline, and will reward your efforts, so do not stint on concentration and revision of details.  Doing so may just save your reputation and protect you from costly errors that will take months to repair.

All this being said, there is never any reason to worry too much with Mercury Retrograde.  Think twice before you act, cultivate patience rather than aggression, prepare carefully, and be willing to wait before signing any contracts. Take the time to read the fine print as things you blindly agree to during Mercury Retrograde almost always require revision, however minor, before a final result is achieved.  People find that it is with things they rarely focus on consciously anymore, like routines and habits, that problems arise, which is why we tend to see an increase in traffic accidents, and failure to receive basic communications like voice mail, snail mail, email etc. during Mercury Retrograde. What, you didn’t get the memo? Go ahead, blame Mercury Retrograde – at least you will know the logistics behind the situation! 

You can find information about more of this year’s upcoming Mercury Retrograde cycles as well as other planetary cycles for this year here:. Planetary Events 2022

Thank you for reading. Many blessings to you!

Astrology: Happy New Year 2022

Guercino, ‘Atlas Holding Up the Celestial Globe,’ oil on canvas, Italy, 1646.

Each year on January 1, we are greeted with the serious face of Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, and everyone, like it or not, takes stock on this day. It’s usually a somber time, for even if we have much to celebrate, Saturn likes to elbow in and say his piece, ensuring we prepare to fulfill our duties for the year ahead. However somber, this is also a time of great promise and hope, for it is only through commitment, hard work, and focus that we can accomplish anything, and it is at this time that these positive, useful energies are in abundance, more than at any other point in the year. I like to look at the chart of the New Year as a marker of the overall tone of the year to come, and we see that 2022 is chock full of intensity.

The overall theme of this year is passionate, concentrated intensity. Pluto is conjoined with Mercury and Venus in Capricorn indicating that what we hold dear is being considered and understood with great profundity. As we look back on a year that has been universally trying, we feel compelled to consider what we hold most important in life, and people are willing to dig deep and really embrace their desires and reflections in a practical manner. 

The Moon and Mars are conjoined in Sagittarius, and there is a bright, active philosophical tone to emotion.  We want progress, we feel hope, and we are enthusiastically broadminded, open to learning more about the world around us – even if it only involves our local neighborhood.  Some might feel scrappy or self righteous, particularly when faced with Saturn and Uranus as they maintain their travelling square, but by now, the sense of constraint that has gripped the world since early 2021 feels like old hat. More and more, people are willing to work with societal situations, making the best of looming restrictions, rules and regulations.  There is a feeling of supported empowerment in the air.

However, there is also a tendency to feel confused or overwhelmed at times, as Neptune squares the Moon/Mars conjunction, and what is defined as truth these days seems to be a moving target.  No matter, as a lovely Sun/Uranus trine gives a strong sense of wanting to do better, making people readily able to find innovative solutions to improving their lives day by day. There is an emerging sense of universal agreement that what is practical must be the rule of the day – very Capricorn – and a strong sense of push back is at play, as pointing out inconsistencies proposed by authorities and bureaucracy is the new norm all around. The voice of the individual speaking the truth of the many takes on new power, and we will see this theme become more important over the next year, particularly as Jupiter dances back and forth between Pisces and Aries over the coming months. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something bothers you – it’s likely that you are voicing what many people may be too shy to say.

2022 also begins with a New Moon on January 2, at 12º20’ Capricorn, and it promises to be a tender time, as the Sun/Moon conjunction squares Chiron, the wounded one.  This energy underlines the intense Mercury/Venus/Pluto conjunction as people are willing to examine and accept things that cannot be changed, and work at finding practical solutions to living with things which feel perpetually sensitive.  While not light-hearted, the executive power of Saturn available now makes this a perfect time to work on establishing our visions in reality.  If you have any plans drifting on the sidelines, pull them out and put them into motion.  Also, if you have any lingering problems – be they lifestyle, career, health or relationship issues – this is the most effective point of the year to hash things out, examine the pros and cons of your situations and consider what positive changes you want to see actualized.  Saturn, while often dour, is truly the best friend we can have, for without his guidance and foresight, very little can be accomplished.  Use the power available now to manifest your dreams in their most perfect form and let 2022 be your best year ever.

New Year January 1, 2022 Greenwich UK, 0:00 UT

January sees Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius, squaring Saturn and Uranus. Communications, paperwork and official matters will confound, but commitment to discipline will help clarify. Intensity in action puts dreams within reach.

February Mercury turns direct just before a sizzling Venus/Mars conjunction on Valentine’s Day. Discipline gets bumped by innovations, and watch for surprises in serious conversations, commitment and promises by month’s end.

March and April will prove to be a particularly intense months, and the Equinox in particular will feel a little hairy as Mercury, Venus and Mars are all involved in close contact with the heavy hitters Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Deep intensity, tensions and potentially explosive stressors will feel gnarly. Emotions are ready for deep work, beware of inflating desires.

May sees surprises as the Sun conjoins Uranus and squares Saturn. It will feel like an uphill battle as new constraints emerge, though powers of concentration will be flowing. Mid-end month will feel sensitive as hurt feelings want expression. Watch for tall tales from the 15th on.

June sees Mercury Retrograde from the 3rd the 26th and communications and travel will feel hard going mid-month. Make duplicate copies and write things down to be sure. Surprising pleasures lead to some remorse and power struggles by end of month. Keep a lid on it and save the embarrassment.

July is intense but vibrant and will prove to be a breath of fresh air in a year of contradictions. Go with the flow and enjoy the ride, but watch for aggressors at month’s end. Arguments and accidents arise from careless rushing and pushing. Be careful and be safe.

August flows with Leo’s passion, though beware of jarring surprises during the first week. Love affairs and obsessions could arise mid-month, and communication feels intense and drenched in mystery (or confusion!) Overindulgence mid-month spells remorse by month’s end. Remember Leo dignity and Virgo analysis and you’ll be fine.

September brings another Mercury retrograde, and loss of objectivity prevails mid-month. Passion runs high as dreaminess seeks to overcome reason. Personal empowerment holds the line – fix what’s been bothering you once and for all while the opportunity is there.

October sees Mercury, Saturn and Pluto turn Direct, while Mars moves Retrograde, and Retrograde Jupiter dips back into Pisces. The churning feels like revolving doors, as people mince words and hedge around the truth, which could lead to forcing issues by the 20th. A grand trine between conjoined Sun/Venus, Mars and Saturn allows for either free-flowing communication or floaty hot air. Maybe some tension’s not so bad after all.

November’s pressures could push things to a head and Jupiter turning Direct by month’s end feels like a gust of power blowing through and releasing tensions. The Full Moon feels romantic and grounded, but Retrograde Mars stymies action, requiring reconsideration of plans. Desire butts up against uncertainty as we race towards year end.

December begins with a sense of confusion, and if you feel like people aren’t listening, you are probably right. To frustrate matters, Mars is still Retrograde, and Mercury turns retrograde at month’s end. Jupiter moves back into Aries which feels powerful, Neptune turns Direct unlocking trapped dreams, and the end of the year finds us ready to celebrate, release and start the whole cycle again – one more time, with feeling!

Note: For this year, I will be posting monthly sign-by-sign reviews on the Full Moon. While the New Moon is the beginning of the lunar month, I have found that the power of the Full Moon is apprehended more strongly. The New Moon is a good time to start on new paths if required, seeding nascent manifestations (much like the beginning of the New Year), while the Full Moon is a time to take stock of what you have to work with in the here and now. The light of the Full Moon allows us to reflect, fulfill, create, release, cleanse, dispense with what is unnecessary, and see personal meaning and circumstance with maximum clarity. Essentially, more light is available for us to see during a Full Moon, and that increased light allows a greater conscious connection with personal power, and with the world around us.

Thank you for reading. Blessings to all for 2022!



Astrology: Planetary Events 2022

Lunar Eclipses:

April 30, 2022 – 20:29 UT, 15:29 EDT, New Moon Eclipse – 10º 28′ Taurus

May 16, 2022 – 4:15 UT/May 15, 2022 23:15 EDT, Full Moon Eclipse – 25º 18′ Scorpio

October 25, 2022 – 10:50 UT, 5:50 EDT, New Moon Eclipse – 2º 00′ Scorpio

November 8, 2022 – 11:03 UT, 6:03 EST, Full Moon Eclipse – 16º 01′ Taurus

For a list of all New and Full Moon events see: Lunar Events 2022

Solar Events:

March Equinox – March 20, 2022 15:35 UT, 10:35 EST, Sun moves into Aries

June Solstice – June 21, 2022 9:15 UT, 4:15 EDT, Sun moves into Cancer

September Equinox – September 23, 2022 1:05 UT (September 22, 2022 20:05 EDT) Sun moves into Libra

December Solstice – December 21, 2022 21:49 UT (16:49 EST) Sun moves into Capricorn

Mercury:

Retrograde January 14, 2022 – 10º18’ Aquarius

Direct February 4, 2022 – 24º23’ Capricorn

Exits Shadow – February 24, 2022.

Retrograde May 4, 2022 – 4º50’ Gemini

Direct June 2, 2022 – 26º50’ Taurus

Exits Shadow – June 19, 2022

Retrograde September 10, 2022 – 8º55’ Libra

Direct October 2, 2022 – 24º12’ Virgo

Exits Shadow – October 17, 2022

Retrograde December 29, 2022 – 24º20’ Capricorn

Direct January 18, 2023 – 8º9’ Capricorn

Exits Shadow – February 7, 2023

Venus:

Venus Retrograde December 21, 2021 – 26º29′ Capricorn

Venus direct January 29, 2022 – 11º4′ Capricorn

Mars:

Mars enters 2022 at 13º5′ Sagittarius

Mars Retrograde October 30, 2022 – 25º37′ Gemini

Mars Direct January 12, 2023 – 8º8′ Gemini

Jupiter:

Jupiter enters Pisces on December 30, 2021

Jupiter enters 2022 at 0º33′ Pisces

Jupiter enters Aries on May 11, 2022

Jupiter Retrograde August 2, 2022 – 8º41’ Aries 

Jupiter re-enters Pisces October 29, 2022

Jupiter Direct November 23, 2022 – 28º48’ Pisces, leaving the shadow zone on February 14, 2023

Jupiter re-enters Aries December 21, 2022

Saturn:

Saturn enters 2022 at 11º54’ Aquarius

Saturn Retrograde June 4, 2022 – 25º15’ Aquarius

Saturn Direct October 23, 2022 – 18º53’ Aquarius

Uranus:

Uranus enters 2022 in Retrograde at 10º57’ Taurus

Uranus Direct January 18, 2022 – 10º49′ Taurus

Uranus Retrograde August 24 – 18º55’ Taurus

Uranus Direct January 22, 2023-  14º56’ Taurus.

Neptune:

Neptune enters 2022 at 20º40’ Pisces

Neptune Retrograde June 28 –  25º26’ Pisces

Neptune Direct December 3 – 22º38’ Pisces

Pluto:

Pluto enters 2022 at 25º56’ Capricorn

Pluto Retrograde April 29 – 28º35’ Capricorn

Pluto Direct October 8, 2022 – 26º6’ Capricorn

Astrology: Full Moon in Gemini December 18/19, 2021

Joachim Wtewael, La Bataille entre les dieux et les titans (The Battle Between the Gods and the Titans), oil on copper, Netherlands, 1600. Art Institute of Chicago.

The last Full Moon of 2021 occurs at 4:36 UT December 19 (23:36 EST December 18, 2021). This is a Full Moon in the last decan of Gemini (which colors this Gemini Moon with Fixed Air or Aquarian energy) exact at 27º 29’, and the Sabian Symbol for this degree is: “A man declared bankrupt.”  For those not familiar with the Sabian Symbols, the system was created by astrologer Dr. Marc Edmund Jones in 1953, and they are a set of evocative images applied to each degree of the zodiac. They are striking, intricate and multi-layered and add an interesting element to chart interpretation.

So then:  “A man declared bankrupt.” What an apt image for the end of a year that has found the world staggering under the COVID-19 pandemic and all the economical, social and political fall-out it has brought. Many individuals and businesses have lost their established livelihood as the constraints of the pandemic have left their work obsolete or impossible to maintain with pre-pandemic methods. Add to this the rolling climatic events that are gripping the globe, with increasingly dangerous storms and wildfires destroying established communities, forcing people to rebuild at a time when they should be celebrating. We also have rampant moral bankruptcy that must be addressed.  The pandemic, while completely decimating so many, has also served as a boon to opportunists, those inclined to profit from the calamity that has befallen society.  Previously defined lines of morality have been blurred and greedy raider mentality has free reign during this time of indefinite circumstances with ill-defined rules and regulations. The morality displayed by our governments, while usually dubious at best, is now teetering on the edge of collapse as global power structures rapidly shift, deeming presupposed notions of hierarchy no longer valid. 2021 has been a very intense year, and there is much sorrow sitting on the planet right now – remember this holiday to say a prayer for those in need, those who have lost their lives, and the families that struggle without them. 

This Full Moon in Gemini is complicated, and its energy will punctuate any holiday celebrations over the coming weeks as we approach the New Moon on January 2, 2022.  Be cautious during gatherings as there is an overall sense of smoldering aggression in the air, and a readiness to jump to militant tendencies to prove a point.  The Moon and Sun are constellated in a wide T-square to Neptune in Pisces, adding an irksome sense of confusion, and an inability to pin down the ever-elusive concept of truth.  Questions of personal values are polarized against the need to recognize the emotional requirements of others, but communication will be unclear, despite people feeling quite philosophical and willing to discuss their issues. Venus and Pluto conjoined in Capricorn indicate that people are seeking tangible manifestations of power, and a heightened desire for structure and authority, but the continuing square between Saturn and Uranus indicate that any attempts at the establishment of control are going to be punctuated by potentially explosive tension, a constant cat-and-mouse feeling of needing stability that is undermined by a desire for change and innovation. Jupiter lends a hand by allowing a sense of levity and breadth to the talkative Gemini Moon and the gregarious Sagittarius Sun, allowing the free flow of idealism and an overall need to “do the right thing,” but we have the danger of self-righteousness creeping in as people can get proud about enforcing their favorite rules and theories – there will be a lot of bickering around the holiday dining table about things like vaccinations, for instance, as folks get together perhaps for the first holiday in over two years, and are just busting to share their opinions, for better or for worse.  The good thing is that after all we’ve been through, people have come to a greater global understanding, and most are sincerely willing to pitch in and help, though everyone wants to see the sense of overriding danger kept in check – somehow. Overall, this is a high-energy, idealistic, potentially explosive but communicative time.  Think carefully before getting into any big discussions, but enjoy this holiday season – there is much good will in the air right now, so stay positive and do your best to avoid arguing!  

Sign by sign:

Aries: This Full Moon the focus is on how you communicate your philosophy of life, how you feel about issues of higher learning, and how the idea of God and personal spirituality impacts your immediate environment.  This holiday season will likely see you involved in deep discussions with siblings or neighbors. Intense concentration smolders around career – be careful not to let thoughts become obsessive, though you may find that you have a definite magnetism right now, as you come across as powerful, even sexy on the career front. Social issues feel serious as you strive to circulate with those older and wiser.  Self-image is a work in progress, and may feel tender. Allow yourself to have a lovely, dreamy holiday, and remember to keep it light.

Taurus:  This Full Moon taps into your deepest concerns about how the power of others affects what you value, your deepest sense of security and personal ownership.  You will be feeling quite philosophical and willing to explore the bigger picture in considerable depth.  Career and public image feels serious as you strive to express your highest ideals as representative of who you really are, and plunging into the depths feels sexy and a bit dangerous. Allow yourself to swim in those waters, for it is in the darkest recesses that you can reveal the light that guides you. You might be inspired to try a new look to bolster your persona – go for it!

Gemini:  Who are you Gemini?  This is your focus for this Full Moon. Partnerships, close friendships and rivalries offer you a mirror to help determine how it is you are presenting yourself to the world. All of this self-reflection can feel a bit heavier than you are normally comfortable with; beware of compulsion driving you to places that may not be healthy.  Home life allows you the venue to show your true colors, while you may feel a bit murky about career matters.  Do the stage rehearsal for family and friends before letting the cat out of the bag at work. Social life may be tender now; work with it, it’s healing.

Cancer:  This last Full Moon of 2021, dive deep into the depths of your subconscious mind.  Now is the time to dream, meditate, cast your spells, and discover how old thoughts and memories, and those things deeply buried may be impacting how effective you are in navigating the challenges of your daily life.  Could it be that you have certain compulsions, habits or preconceived notions that may be hindering your effectiveness in the work setting, or your personal health regimen?  Now’s the perfect time to suss this stuff out.  Relationships are hot right now, and romance feels right as you share your dreams with those closest to you but, watch out for compulsive behavior, as the resulting power plays could prove highly sobering.  Friends surprise, and career feels tender. Communicate with those you value most, it’s a good time to unburden yourself of heavy secrets that might be holding you back.

Leo:  The spotlight is on your creativity, and where you draw your highest levels of inspiration.  What propels you, what guides you, who do you look to as your personal muse?  It may just be the larger forces of society prompting you to be the best that you can be, and that’s a wonderful thing, for by focusing on the bigger picture, your personal creativity gets that much better defined.  Surprises appear on the career front, but you are in for a nice time of rest and recuperation this lunar cycle, particularly if you have been feeling poorly, stressed or otherwise compromised.  An overhaul is in order, and if you want to break any bad habits, the force is with you now. Deeper motivations and power plays in relationships elude you, and watch for deceptions in finances – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably really is.

Virgo:  The spotlight for this Full Moon is on the relationship between career and home life.  A good time to sort out details that may have been sticking points for a while.  You are feeling serious about health, personal and daily work habits, but don’t be glum, for the discipline you need is now available.  Watch for nagging healthy issues cropping up, but if they do, know that you have the power available to overcome after a few adjustments.  Creativity, romance and fun take a sexy turn – be wild, Virgo. It’s looking like this could be a spicy holiday, but beware letting your head run away with your heart.  Surprising inspirations come from higher learning, and if you feel like talking about it (and you will) go for it. You’ve got the ear of someone important.

Libra:  The focus this last Full Moon of 2021 is on your deepest personal philosophies. Now is the time to review what is most important to you, what inspires and guides you, and own how it is you like to communicate, no judgements, just truth.  You will feel a strong urge to make your ideals real, grounding and owning the inspirations you find in the recesses, at the edges, and in the nether-regions that many are too shy to face. Relationships feel tender as you plumb the depths, and you seek to find gravitas in your creations. Career is on the backburner, but you may find solutions to gnarly problems in your dreams. Keep your dream journal close at hand, and be open to active imagination.

Scorpio:  This Full Moon hits you where the sun don’t shine, causing you to dive deep and ask the question “What’s that worth to me actually?”  Values tangle with your various commitments, leaving you to reflect on issues of personal power versus what’s expected of you, otherwise known as duty.  Creativity is inspiring, and romance can feel dreamy, but surprises may arrive in partnerships.  Work circumstances and old ancestral duties bring serious sentiments and considerations can leave you feeling tender as the same old stuff keeps coming around.  A profound discussion in your immediate environment stirs compulsive communication patterns and recurring thoughts. If you feel like fighting, take a breather and keep it nice. It may not seem worth it tomorrow.

Sagittarius:  Partnerships and self-definition are the key themes for you this Full Moon.  Meditate on how home life and career are working or not working with what you need for self-definition at this time.  Is it all about them, or all about you? How to get the balance right? New innovations in the workplace, perhaps the arrival or departure of co-workers or routines can be inspiring and lead to greater efficiency in communications, while seeming troublesome at the outset.  This holiday season, Sagittarius wants luxury, and only the finest gifts will satisfy you.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, you are likely to get exactly what you wish for.

Capricorn:  Capricorn, what you value is serious longevity, and you don’t want to see any superficial fluff flying around this Full Moon.  Your persona feels deeply passionate, and only intensity will satisfy you now.  The spotlight is on personal habits, health care and how old skeletons in the closet are messing with your sense of well-being.  Time to evict those old bones – don’t be afraid to purge what you don’t need. If you find yourself caught in a loop, and you can’t quite understand it, you’re probably working under a compulsion.  Study it, it’s ready for dissection, and be willing to leave behind what doesn’t work for you any longer. When one door closes, another one opens – it really is true. Romance and creativity are ripe with inspiration now – share your dreams and visions, you are connected to big things.

Aquarius:  This Full Moon shines a light on the connection between your creativity, your highest ideals and how you put yourself out into the world. As you rummage through the depths of known experience, your urge to communicate feels a bit tender, and rightly so. You are in uncharted waters Aquarius, but be bold and lead the way for others to follow.  Your persona is oscillating between somber and jovial, but your value system is inspired, even if tangible proof seems elusive right now. Your subconscious mind can provide a gold mine of rewards, be open and pay attention to dreams and visions, quiet manifestations and messages. You may be receiving more than you know.

Pisces:  Dear Pisces, it’s been a year, hasn’t it? This Full Moon highlights your home and how your public image impacts on who you are in your private moments.  You are putting yourself out there with great verve (even if all you do is visit the grocery store, mind you!)  Ask yourself – how does your public persona impact who you are in your most private moments?  Your identity is ever shifting, and what you value feels a bit tender as you realize that old ways need to be revised in order for you to move forward.  Watch for surprising communication from those closest to you, and be ready to revolutionize your social scene, what inspires you, and your biggest hopes and dreams.  Subconscious stuff can feel heavier than usual, watch for strangely upsetting Freudian slips or blurting things out that you may regret later.

PS: For anyone interested in Sabian Symbols, astrologer Lynda Hill has been working with the Sabian Symbols for decades and has a great website with a very fun instant oracle feature. Find it here: Sabian Symbols

Full Moon in Gemini, December 19, 2021, 4:36 UT, Prime Meridian at Greenwich, UK. Chart courtesy of astro.com