Winter is officially here!  It’s time to chill out, warm up and snuggle in with family & friends!  You’ll want to slow down, regroup and get back to the basics.  The Sun’s entrance into CAPRICORN on December 21 always marks the beginning of the new season, the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year.  From here on, we’ll be getting more daylight hours, as the Sun—appearing to have reversed directions—is now headed northward.  Since the beginnings of civilization, the ”return of the light” has been a time for celebrating the sacred, as well as the secular.  Spiritual, religious & community traditions, ancestral customs and familial ties are being honored & renewed as this solar month begins.

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A cardinal, earth sign, CAPRICORN is associated with the status quo, form, structure, government, rules & regulations, contracts, business matters, insurance, death & taxes.  The emphasis this month is on discipline, integrity, responsibility, parental & financial obligations and long-term commitments.  During the past SAGITTARIUS month (“eat, drink & be merry”), we stretched out our pocketbooks & our waistlines — now we need to tighten our belts and conserve our energies.  Sobriety is in, excess is out!  The challenge now is to re-establish normal routines, shed those extra pounds and make a reality check of your current lifestyle.  Change out your calendar & appointment book, clear out the old files and make way for the new year ahead.

Saturn—ruler of CAPRICORN—has been in CAPRICORN for the past two years; its presence in this conservative, paternalistic sign has required us to be more economical, practical, patient and realistic in how we manage our lives & finances.  Related imagePluto has also been in CAPRICORN since 2008, and Jupiter just began a year’s transit in this sign on December 2.   Once Mercury joins the Sun in CAPRICORN—late on December 28half the planets will be in CAPRICORNHoly goats!  The major keywords this month are accountability, respect, morality, decency & reality (although in the current political climate, there are radically different opinions as to what reality is). With 6 planets in earth signs at this time, the emphasis is certainly on restructuring, stabilizing and paring things down to their essentials — keep your feet firmly planted on the ground!

Mercury is in enthusiastic SAGITTARIUS as this solar month begins, brightening the mood, stimulating laughter and balancing out the heaviness of the CAPRICORN energy.  Venus has just entered AQUARIUS, and its square to unpredictable Uranus on December 22 could add a note of surprise & spontaneity to the solstice and Hanukkah celebrations.  The potent Mars-Pluto sextile, also on this day, will stir up some powerful, playful energy — enjoy the rich intensity of this aspect.  The electrical Sun-Uranus trine on December 24 could bring real magic to Christmas Eve activities – do things differently this year!

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The New Moon/Solar Eclipse, on Christmas Day at 9:13 pm PST, sets the stage for upcoming month, and will nudge you to establish your priorities, cement your intentions and solidify your commitments.  Turn your inner mountain goat loose to scale the heights – the force is with you!  The focus is on taking care of business ‒ put your financial affairs in manageable condition, prepare for taxes, review insurance policies, reduce debts, handle any legal issues or deal with city hall.  Lighten your load by cleaning out the closets and recycling outworn possessions; at the same time, you could discover some major bargains at garage sales, consignment shops & department store clearances – ‘tis the season to be frugal!  With patience, self-discipline and conscientious effort, you’ll be able to manifest your ideas and set your plans into motion.

Enjoy the exuberance of the expansive SunJupiter conjunction on December 26 (Kwanzaa & Boxing Day); communicate your truth, but curb the tendency to pontificate, overindulge or spend too much.  A more somber, serious perspective will develop after Mercury’s entrance into CAPRICORN late on the 28th, and unresolved relationships or issues from the past may emerge with the Sun-South Lunar Node conjunction (aka Moon Wobble) on December 30.  While you may feel an urgency to do something right now, it’d be best to avoid impulsive decisions or rash actions around this time.  Wait until all the facts are in and your mood lifts a bit!  The sparkling Mercury-Uranus trine, also on the 30th, could provide you with some innovate solutions & bright ideas for moving your life forward into the New Year.

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The uplifting Mercury-Jupiter conjunction initiates 2020 with a spirit of optimism on January 2, and Mars leaves SCORPIO and begins a new 6-week cycle in adventurous SAGITTARIUS on January 3. Travel, foreign affairs, education, writing, publishing, politics, marketing or sports will be highlighted as the New Year begins.  Look at the big picture, take a philosophical approach and stay in integrity with yourself; envision the future you’d like to experience and set your intentions for the New Year.  Expand your horizons and open your heart & mind!

Some deeply buried emotional issues, grief, disappointments in family relationships or financial worries may resurface with the Mercury-South Lunar Node conjunction (also on January 3) and the Jupiter-South Lunar Node conjunction (January 8).  Allow the healing energies of the Sun-Neptune sextile (January 6) and Mercury-Neptune sextile (January 8) to bring understanding & forgiveness — and  to release you from whatever has been holding you back.

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A very intense, turbulent period will come to a head with the emotionally-charged Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in CAPRICORN & CANCER on January 10 at 11:21 am PST.  Financial concerns, survival issues, parental matters and unconscious fears could erupt (especially since this Full Moon falls on the heliocentric nodes of volatile Pluto).  Find a balance between meeting your personal needs — and meeting those of others.  Nurture yourself, as well as your loved ones! The Sun-Mercury conjunction, also on the 10th, could provide some much-needed insight & clarity.  On the same day, Uranus (in TAURUS) completes its 5-month retrograde and turns direct — be open to alternative  approaches and different perspectives.

We are in store for some major upheavals, transformational experiences or sobering realities this month, due to the multiple, heavy-duty conjunctions between the Sun, Mercury, Saturn & Pluto in CAPRICORN on January 12 & 13.  Instead of taking things too seriously, getting depressed or getting caught up in fear-based thinking, make a realistic assessment of what needs to be done in your personal life and pour yourself into constructive endeavors.  Whatever happens during this period could provide the impetus to get some major plans, projects or business enterprises off the ground.  You’ll have the basic tools for turning your dreams into realities — make some calculated risks, commit yourself and take a big leap forward!

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Once Venus leaves divisive AQUARIUS and moves on to compassionate PISCES on January 13, the dust will begin to settle and it will be time to regroup and heal from all the intensity.  It’s a good time to focus on your work and health, start an exercise program, take a class in yoga, meditation, art, photography or spiritual studies, get a pet or seek out volunteer opportunities in your community.

Mercury frees up from the CAPRICORN pack on January 16 and enters unconventional AQUARIUS, and with an assist from the quirky Mercury-Uranus square on January 18, some log jams will begin to break apart.  Take care of business this month so that you can be well-prepared for the significant changes that are on the horizon!  May you have a loving Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa ‒ and a positive start to 2020!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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© 2019  Diane Elizabeth Clarke

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