It’s all about adjustment when the month opens. Six planets are in mutable signs (which are
Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces). However, in the third week of December, the heavens
open as several planets reach the destination they’ve been rushing toward since early August.
If you’ve been feeling the Grand Whoosh, you’re not alone. This month we get to rest, if not
Jupiter’s the star of the month. After it conjoins with Pluto for the first time in 13 years, it enters
Capricorn for the first time in 12 years. Every time a planet changes signs, we feel it, even if we
don’t know what we’re feeling. (This is one good reason to study astrology - it helps us make
sense of the world and its rhythms.) When Jupiter enters a new sign, it’s pretty easy to feel the
shift. I was told when I was first studying that Jupiter affects everything in a sign as soon as it
enters, and I have had no reason to doubt this since. So, if you have any planets in Capricorn,
you’ll be feeling the magnifying glass on those planets starting December 18, if not a few days
Under Jupiter’s glow, we feel that life is rosy, perhaps blinding us to factors we need to consider.
However, its transit certainly lifts our confidence level to take on goals and tasks we might not
If that’s the big event of the month, there are others that rival it. Saturn is in the picture around
the 19th, and there’s a whole drama around that. There will be a palpable shift to a new pattern
that we’ll begin to feel in earnest on the 21st. It will be like day and night in difference. How it
will feel will depend on how the new planetary positions light up your chart.
If you are, you’re not alone. There’s a pattern in the sky through the 20th that has been with us to
varying degrees of intensity since 1995, increasing in 2003, and much stronger since September
2nd. This involves the mutable signs mentioned above. To understand the depth and impact of this
experience, we have to cast it a Saturnian light. That is, it’s all about Saturn. The “Saturn period”
actually started on November 30 with the Sun-Saturn contact, but its roots are buried it what’s
been happening all fall.
To look at it in impersonal terms (unless you’re Burmese or Pakistani), the difficulties in
Pakistan and Burma (Myanmar) follow this thread. Saturn in Virgo ties in with a recognition of
the plight of the community, and eventually it generate more community-friendly government
policies (or any structures in our lives). We can follow this thread in US politics in terms of the
extent to which the US has fallen from grace in the international community. The dollar is losing
its popularity as a common currency, while China decides it’s suddenly okay to renege on an
agreement with the US to permit US military ships to dock in Hong Kong while on furlough.
This loss in popularity may seem to be of minimal importance when we look at other, more
fantastic events. However, it has an affect that is not to be denied.
We are about to find out more about what that affect is. While you may not care to ruminate over
the place of the US in the global community, this set of circumstances will be playing out in your
life as well. You may benefit by asking yourself, “What is it that I’ve been overlooking — a flaw
in my plan or approach — that I can correct in the coming five months?” It could be something
you’ve back-burnered in favor of more pressing matters, unless you’re sensitive to Saturn, know
it’s important to attend to it, figured out how to appease it, and done so successfully. Chances
are, there’s still some tweaking to go in creating a successful new enterprise, if not a major
Saturn Presents No Surprises.
The good news with Saturn is that we get the benefits of a continuum. The bad news is that,
whatever problems we might perceive in our lives, they’ve been with us for a while. They didn’t
occur overnight. Now maybe we’re just tired enough of them to decide to do something about
That’s the way it works: You set your resolve, then the solutions come. We don’t attract the
solutions until we’re open to them, and we’re not open to them when we’re afraid that a problem
is unsolvable. So, here’s question #2: What problem have you been unable to solve? That is
where your fears lie. Open up to (face) the situation, then it will open up to you.
Sometimes the problem stares us right in the face. For me, that’s what’s happened. I have had a
nagging chronic health problem that I’ve been attempting to resolve for several years because it
substantially limits my productivity, not to mention my enjoyment of life. My understanding of it
has evolved, to where this fall I believe I’ve figured out how to resolve it. As with any treatment
plan that uproots an imbalance rather than covers the symptoms, it will take time and retraining,
because I have to change my way of living. This I am willing to do. It will involve discipline and
perseverance (Saturn words), but I will retrain myself.
Given the timing of my efforts, I would expect it to take about 5 months for the retraining to
become robust and for the issue to be history in my experience. This means that I will need to
give this part of my life and its remedy extra attention during that time, in addition to whatever
else I am doing. I might add that this is quite in keeping with the part of my birth chart that
Saturn is visiting.
The critical dates that tie into Saturn’s cycle are August 21, November 30, December 19,
February 24, May 2, October 18, and December 13.
Celebrate the Holidays With Saturn.
I have this sign, clipped from the newspaper, taped to my desk. I can’t look at it without
laughing. Anyone who knows about the humorless image that Saturn has can’t imagine what it
would be like to invite him to a holiday party! Yet this year, that’s what we’ll do, because its
energies will be so strong most of the month.
This is not a bad thing. What if we decided that Christmas (Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanza) is not
about buying the perfect gift for everyone we know, or splurging beyond our means to uphold
unrealistic expectations for what makes this a happy holiday. What if we decided instead to have
a meaningful holiday? How about if we create a memorable experience instead of just another
holiday dinner that blends in indistinguishably from those in the years before and after? Why not
break with a hollow tradition?
This is a great use of Saturn’s energy (although it won’t please the retailers), and it will be in
harmony with the flow of the future as well (when Pluto enters Capricorn in January for a 15-year stay).
The First Three Weeks of December
So if Saturn is the dinosaur in the living room, what song is the band playing? Several other
planets are periodically connecting with Saturn as they connect with each other, creating one
long, loud melody with percussive punctuation marks. We could say that the melody began on
November 23 (with the Full Moon and Uranus change in direction), with the music growing in
There will be sort of rhythm to our experiences, with the weekends requiring the most energetic
response from us. However, the punctuation that I mentioned above will mark certain days as
more significant in the process. They are:
Mercury squares Saturn
How do you need to change your perspective to
fit your new direction?
Sun squares Uranus
How do the changes you’ve been forced to deal
with this year help you to set your course for the
Mercury squares Uranus
What new ideas come to mind when I think over
what I’ve accomplished this year? What have I
Jupiter conjoins Pluto
What have I accomplished since 1995 and where
do I go in the next 13 years? Have I made
progress toward what I truly long for?
Mercury conjoins Sun
What new ideas do I have to help me in the
Saturn stationary retrograde
What do I need to accomplish in the next 9
months to create the new structures in my life?
Mercury conjoins Pluto
How deeply have I transformed myself since
1995? What do I know now that I didn’t know
Sun conjoins Pluto
What changes do I need to make in the next year
to accomplish my most meaningful goals? What
changes did I make in 2007?
Each one of these questions deserves a process of deep consideration. When so many of them
arise in such a compressed time frame, is it little wonder that we feel tension?! And we’re
supposed to celebrate the holidays while this subtext is playing itself out. If you can take the time
to pay attention to what’s happening on the inside while external events are playing themselves
out, you can recover the unprocessed material and work with it in a time frame more conducive
to its nature and importance.
An ideal time to do so is in the week between Christmas and New Year. Whether or not you
celebrate the Christian holiday, this is typically a quieter time that can be very restorative.
Yule Be Glad If You Do.
Yule (the winter solstice) could be called the True New Year. It’s celebrated on January 1 due to
a calendrical error that became obscured when people lost touch with the seasons and growing
cycles. This is a fantastic time to plant the seeds for your new year. In fact, the time between
Yule (December 21) and January 1 (including both dates) constitutes the twelve days of
Christmas celebrated in song.
What is all that about? The ancients understood (and have handed it down to us in the form of
various rituals) that cycles of time are related. Just like foot reflexology, where the entire body is
represented on the foot, the experience of a month can be seen in a day. The twelve days of
Christmas are the first twelve days of the new year cycle (starting on Yule). If we pay attention,
we can see what the coming twelve months will bring to us.
Even better, we can take a pro-active approach. We can consciously engage in events and
activities that represent what we want to experience in the coming twelve months. Want to go on
a vacation? Take a day off during this period and do what you want to do on the vacation. No,
you don’t have to go to Europe for a day if that’s what you want to do — just do something
Another thing we can do to potentiate the new year and create what we want is to make a treasure
map. For more on treasure mapping, go to http://inner-edge.com/WordPress/. Treasure mapping
is incredibly powerful, because it speaks to your unconscious, which is what REALLY runs your
The Coming Jupiter-Pluto Cycle
It’s big. It’s deep. It’s transformative. When Jupiter and Pluto conjoin on the 11th, a new
13-year cycle begins. To see how it works, we can look back at the last one, which began in
Scorpio on December 1, 1994. Although this was in a different sign, its flavor should be similar
to what we will feel and launch now.
In 1994, the Republicans grabbed the majority in the both the US Senate and Congress for the
first time in 40 years. George W. Bush was elected governor of Texas, and the civil war in
Chechnya commenced. The Channel Tunnel was opened, and Nelson Mandela was inaugurated
as the first Black president of South Africa.
Similar developments of considerable impact can be brought about in our own lives. It requires
vision, persistence, and a willingness to change to meet circumstances. Vision should be no
problem. Part of Jupiter’s magic is that it naturally induces vision when it makes contact.
Persistence is antithetical to Jupiter, but fortunately Pluto and Saturn provide that. Willingness to
change has to come from within, because Pluto (life) demands it.
If you know your birth chart, think about what house this new cycle will start in. There you’ll be
able to launch something powerful and enriching. It is the place where transformation will move
All year, until the conjunction, we’ve been careening toward a completion point that happens
when these two planets conjoin. We actually have longer to finish our Sagittarian tasks — part of
next year while Pluto returns to Sagittarius for a brief period. However, we are still likely to feel
rushed off our feet until we get past the 11th — then we’ll realize that there’s life after finality and
Jupiter Enters Capricorn.
On the 18th, Jupiter moves into Capricorn. Just as Mars has been cluing us in to what
Pluto’s transit of Capricorn will bring, Jupiter will do the same. We get some help from Jupiter,
and we may need it.
You could say that when Pluto goes into Capricorn, the pigeons come home to roost.
Jupiter will make sure that all the pigeons don’t land at once and cause a crash — if we listen to
the warnings rather than living in a bubble of denial of what will happen if we don’t.
Unfortunately, the powers that be are likely to ignore the signs and miss the window to a soft
I’m talking about the economy here. It is now pretty generally assumed that the US
economy is in for some harder times — unless you’re in the White House. Bush is sounding
disconcertingly like Hoover did just before the crash of ’29. There are other patterns that repeat
the events that occurred just prior to the Great Depression. For the perspective we can get from
Mars, see my blog entry, “Mars Retrograde in Cancer: A History - Astro-Weather 11/5/07” at www.terrylamb.net/WordPress/.
The last time Jupiter was in Capricorn, it was 1996; before that, 1984. To gain clues
about what you might experience in 2008, think back to those times. The nice thing about Jupiter
being here is that it turns us to looking at the future. Even if we are experiencing angst about
what the future holds, with global warming, high oil prices, and the housing bust, there can be
hope in our individual situations. It helps to know that life will go on, and that opportunity still
exists in each moment we draw breath. Since Jupiter is the “life is what you make it” planet, we
can use its aura of natural optimism to our advantage. We as individuals do not have to fall prey
to the slings and arrows of mediocrity.
We’ll feel a relaxation of tension, perhaps dramatically so, around the 18th. The planets
begin to emphasize the receptive feminine signs rather than the active masculine signs. This shift
will be complete when Pluto enters Capricorn in January.
Technically, a new year-long Jupiter cycle begins on the 22nd. This cycle of expansion and
enterprise establishes the timing of our Jupiter experiences in 2008. Related dates are May 9, July
9, and September 7.
Other Signs of Renewal
The start of a new yearly Pluto cycle of transformation is worth our attention, but it gets
buried in the midst of all the other changes, falling on the 20th. We are likely to experience it as
an underlying vein of intensity that culminates on that Thursday before Christmas. It may not be
easy out there in the malls of America! Whether we are focused on it or not, we’ll be planting
seeds for the changes we want or need to experience in 2008, so it’s worth noting what occurs
around this date. Related events will occur on or around April 1, May 20, and September 7 next
Over the Hump!
On the 22nd – 26th, the Mars retrograde reaches its culmination point. This is also the
halfway mark in the retrograde period, which started on November 15. By this time you’ll know
what your “Mars situations” are, even if they are not yet completely resolved. Look for their
resolution to proceed rapidly once we enter the new year. Mars is generally being well-aspected
during this period (see Chart B). However, the fact that there are three peak contacts in 3 days is
unusual, and it will probably coincide with significant news events, such as an unusually cold
period or a strong and extended winter storm (perhaps both). Travel may be difficult on these
days. It is also advisable to exercise more caution than usual, as accidents may be more likely. If
your chart is not contacted by the planets (in the early degrees of cardinal signs Aries, Cancer,
Libra, Capricorn), you may not be so affected, but you may know others who are.
One thing we may suffer when Mars is in Cancer is a galloping loss of perspective. The
bigger we perceive our problems to be, the more emotional we become. This is a good time to
get into the habit of stepping back from a situation to see it from a broader perspective. This is
the antidote for Mars in Cancer’s greatest weakness.
Venus & Mars: The Energizer Bunnies
Venus and Mars are careening headlong away from each other. The fact that they are
moving in opposite directions means that they make a record number of contacts with each other
in a matter of a few months. Because they travel at nearly the same speed, Venus (the quicker of
the two) only rarely catches up with Mars and makes an aspect. However, we have recently had a
sextile (October 16), a square (November 19),
and now a trine (December 11) and a
quincunx (December 30) all within 2 ½
months! This means that relationships are
experiencing a very rare process of heightened
growth. This could feel overwhelming in new
relationships or ones where growth is overdue.
It may be difficult to understand all the forces
in play, but allowing your partner the freedom
and time to assimilate what’s happening will
work to your advantage — you’ll need it too.
This may be a December to remember,
especially if you find something to make it
more meaningful for you. The best holidays
are the ones from which we get new stories.
Even if something does not go as planned, if
we survive it becomes a story that may give us
pleasure in years to come. May your holidays
be full of peace, health, and happiness.
Significant Planetary Events
Mars is retrograde. Venus and Jupiter are in
rulership. Mars is in detriment.