Winter is officially here!  It’s time to chill out, warm up and snuggle in with family and friends! The Sun’s entrance into CAPRICORN on December 21 (at 2:23 pm PST) marks the start of the new season, the Winter Solstice, and the shortest day of the year.  We’ll now be getting more daylight hours as the Sun appears to reverse directions and head northward.  Since the beginnings of civilization, this ”return of the light” has been a time for celebrating the sacred, as well as the secular.  Religious, spiritual & community traditions are observed, ancestral customs are honored and familial ties are being renewed.

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Sobriety is in, excess is out!  During the past indulgent SAGITTARIUS month (“eat, drink & be merry”), we stretched out our pocketbooks and our waistlines; now we need to tighten our belts and conserve our energies.  The challenge this month is to re-establish normal routines, shed those extra pounds and make a reality check.  It’s the time to slow down, regroup and get back to the basics.

A cardinal, earth sign, CAPRICORN is associated with structure, form, habits, the status quo,  rules & regulations, governmental matters, contracts, joint finances, insurance, death & taxes. As a result, the emphasis this month is on accountability, integrity, responsibility, discipline, financial obligations, parental issues (fatherhood, in particular) and long-term commitments.

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The focus of this solar month is on taking care of business — put your financial affairs in manageable condition, prepare for taxes, review insurance coverage, get a loan or reduce debts, deal with any legal issues or take on city hall.  Lighten your load by clearing the decks, cleaning out the closets and recycling outworn possessions.  At the same time, you could pick up some major bargains at garage sales and department store clearances — ‘tis the season to be frugal!

Considering that Saturn—the ruling planet of CAPRICORN—is in CAPRICORN these days, we’re required to be even more practical, economical and realistic in the way we manage our lives this month.  Related image Downsizing, reducing, restructuring and stabilizing are the major buzzwords during Saturn’s three-year cycle in conservative CAPRICORN (from December ‘17December ’20).   With patience, self-discipline and conscientious effort, you’ll be able to manifest your ideas and set your plans into motion.  Instead of taking yourself too seriously or getting caught up in negative thinking, make a realistic assessment of what needs to be done and pour yourself into constructive endeavors.

The emotionally-volatile Full Moon in CAPRICORN  & CANCER (on December 22 at 9:49 am PST) gets this solar month off to an intense start!  Survival issues are alive & well — there’s lots of uncertainty in the air, considering the threats of government shutdowns and the erratic swings in the financial markets.  Make it a point to take care of your own needs & concerns while tending to your responsibilities to others.  Nurture yourself, stay hydrated and go with the flow; don’t let insecurities or anxieties get the best of you.

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Stay clear & conscious while you’re doing any last-minute running around on December 24, as the spacey square between Mercury (in SAGITTARIUS) and Neptune (in PISCES) could lead to reckless indulging, spending or driving.  The Moon’s in LEO on Christmas Day, so give yourself permission to relax and just BE!

Stimulating social or romantic contacts could be stirred up with the lively Venus-Pluto sextile on December 28; say  yes to any invitations that come your way, as some exciting new relationships could develop around this time.  New Year’s Eve could be especially creative and fun-loving this year, as Mars begins a new 6-week stay in playful, innovative ARIES that evening.  Do something new & different to bring in 2019 – let out your inner child!  Some exciting new projects could be stirring as the New Year unfolds. . .

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2019 begins with the serious Sun-Saturn conjunction on January 1— what an ideal day to make your New Year’s resolutions!  It can signify a time for reminiscing and sharing meaningful, memorable visits with family and old friends.  It can also represent a time of social isolation, depression or loss for some.  Make it a point to provide emotional or financial support to those who are alone, in need or have lost a loved one.

Life will brighten up as the enlightening Mercury-Uranus trine builds up on January 3 — there will be magic & electricity in the air as the first week of the New Year gets underway!  Enjoy the healing presence of the Sun-Neptune sextile on January 4; take a spa day, go to a concert or movie, see a health practitioner or set aside time for meditation and contemplation. Visualize how you’d like things to develop in the year ahead.Image result for capricorn symbolMercury leaves SAGITTARIUS and will join both the Sun and Saturn in CAPRICORN on the evening of January 4.  It’s time to get down to business, establish your priorities and solidify your commitments, especially as the New Moon (and Solar Eclipse) in CAPRICORN  plants the seeds for productive action on January 5 at 5:28 pm PST.  You will have the astrological support for bringing your dreams into reality.  Turn your inner mountain goat loose to scale the heights — the force is with you!

The Venus-Uranus inconjunct, which also peaks on January 5, could require you to make some adjustments in your attitude, as well as in your one-on-one relationships.  On January 6, Uranus completes its 5-month retrograde and turns direct — be open to different perspectives and new wrinkles.  Image result for uranusExperiment with ways to achieve increased freedom and spontaneity in your personal world!  Venus leaves SCORPIO and enters SAGITTARIUS on January 7; you’ll be motivated to travel, take classes, write, publish, initiate an exercise program or expand your social sphere.  It’s time for humor, adventure and new horizons! Speak your truth, but be kind and watch your tongue as the harsh Mercury/Mars square builds up on January 8.

The creative & turbulent Sun-Pluto conjunction on January 11 will provide the impetus to get some major projects or business enterprises off the ground.  You can expect a certain amount of upheaval or volcanic activity around this time, although that may be what it takes to get you going!  Be willing to take some risks and let your enthusiasm be your guide.  The pragmatic Mercury-Saturn conjunction on January 13 can be utilized for cementing your intentions — patience, practicality & perseverance will be rewarded!

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Although this down-to-earth CAPRICORN energy can seem a bit heavy & stodgy, it will serve as a necessary counterbalance to the spacey square that has been building up between Jupiter & Neptune over the past month.  Chaos & misinformation tend to accompany this major aspect, which involves the signs SAGITTARIUS & PISCES.  Peaking on January 13, this particular square is usually accompanied by an overdose of misplaced trust, miscommunication, confusion, hype and irrationality.  This will be one of the basic themes of the year ahead (it returns on June 16 and September 21).   

The challenge here is to distinguish truth from fiction, the real from the surreal — question everything!!  Smokescreens, scandals, lies, fraud and fake news will be running rampant as this aspect develops!  Be wary of get-rich-schemes, snake oil salesmen and fanciful promises; maintain clear boundaries and don’t be a sucker for a sob story.  Drugs & alcohol may have a more toxic effect than usual.  Find positive outlets for any escapist tendencies you may experience.  Take your vitamins,  get plenty of sleep and engage in healthy habits; protect yourself against contagious organisms, which will also be in circulation.  The mystical Mercury-Neptune sextile on January 14, however, could  help you align with some higher truths and lift your vibration — sing, dance, listen to music, meditate and pay attention to your dreams.  Important insights could be revealed!

At the same time, the exhausting Sun-South Lunar Node conjunction (aka Moon Wobble) will be further disturbing the energy field.   January 16 will be the midpoint of this unstable 2-week period —avoid impulsive actions and major decisions until this disruptive cycle passes.  Old karmic issues from the past could bubble up and foment fears, frustrations, delays or disappointments.  Financial matters, government processes, debts, duties and obligations could be particularly trying or draining at this time.  Be patient and gentle with yourself and others — and don’t take things too seriously.  This, too, will pass!

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Fortunately, there will some positive energy as this solar month comes to an end, with the socially-scintillating Venus-Mars trine, the transformative Mercury-Pluto conjunction and the unpredictable Sun-Uranus square — all falling on January 18.  Slough of the old burdens, break up any log jams and let go of negativity & judgment.  Life will start moving forward quickly once the Sun leaves CAPRICORN and moves on to freewheeling AQUARIUS on January 20.  The Full Moon/SuperMoon/Lunar Eclipse will accompany this transition, so get ready for some wild & crazy times ahead!

May the remainder of 2018 be meaningful and pleasurable for you, and have a happy, healthy and productive New Year ahead!! Image result for snowflake


© 2018  Diane Elizabeth Clarke