Feel like 2018 had you running the gauntlet?  You are far from alone.  For most it has been a savage year.  The exceptional number of retrograde planets on top of multiple eclipses has left us betwixt and between. 

Focusing on your own goals and life continues to be the best use of energy. 

While difficult, this year has also offered us several breaks from the intense celestial gear shifts: notably, May-June, September and now December.  Thank Goddess!   December is substantially calmer than the past two months with only 3 regular planetary sign changes beginning with Venus shifting into Scorpio on December 3rd.
 Venus cycled back into Libra during her recent retrograde period.   Now the planet of love, money and relationships has moved forward again into transformational Scorpio.  This autumn water sign rules joint finances and shared resources, sex and regeneration.  So beneficent Venus brings blessings and good news to this realm of our lives.  She remains in Scorpio all month long, lining our wallets (sometimes unexpectedly), revealing what has been hidden, adding extra touches of magic to the holiday season.
Venus begins casting her glow in mysterious Scorpio just as Messenger Mercury turns direct motion on December 7th exactly on the same day as the New Moon!  Can you say power packed messages?  Use this energy to your advantage.  Be sure to hand write 3-5 goals, wishes or prayers and cast them into a moving body of water or plant into the ground on December 7-8.  The New Moon in adventurous Sagittarius will be sure to deliver your soul messages.  And it is always worth remembering that our prayers are often answered through silver linings or the opposite of what we hoped might occur…which turns out to be a good thing!
Sagittarius rules spirituality (and yes religion too).  In this Season of Light, we are reminded that Spirit is alive and well on Earth and we don’t need to have ALL the answers all of the time.  Put down the burden of needing to know or control everything.  Instead, use the fiery Sagittarius energy to aim your focus on what you can manage and release the rest.   As wise yogis tell us:  if we do nothing about 90 per cent of what concerns us, it works out (or goes away) on its own.   Instead, take joy in what gives you purpose.  Do what fulfills you.
From the New Moon on December 7th to December 15th, Motivating Mars conjoins dreamy Neptune in Pisces, both challenging the Sun.   I call this the “Look under the hood” aspect.  Pisces and its ruler Neptune govern dreams, fantasy…and also illusion, deception and delusion.   With the agitating energy of Mars paired tightly to Neptune, make sure to ask ALL of your questions before buying anything, signing major contracts, sealing big deals.  Trust your intuition now as Mars-Neptune in Pisces tells you that your hunches are correct. 

The Sagittarius New Moon urges us to live large.  That’s fine if you are not spending beyond your means.  And up against Mars-Neptune we can be tricked (or trick ourselves) into believing something or someone that may not have our best interests at heart.  Watch for an internal tug of war around a need for freedom.  Sagittarius rules freedom while Pisces rules escapism.  There is a BIG difference.  Notice what is happening for you.   You don’t want to be fenced in; but in your quest for freedom are you merely pressing the escape hatch, seeking a quick fix by getting away, running from something?  Check your motives the first half of December.   Have a good long look in the mirror.  Are you afraid of what you see?  Are you chasing light for the sake of it?   You don’t want to rush into or away from a situation only to regret it later.
So take your time.  There is really no rush.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, the adage goes.  Do look under the hood of the proverbial car/product/relationship before committing.  The Sagittarian Sun rules the Truth. Wants the honest story.  Questions now reveal the truth.  So ask.  If someone or something is pushing you, can’t wait a day or two for you to sleep/think on a situation:  that tells you a whole lot about what you may be getting in to.  Ask about return policies, escape clauses, warranties.  Can you get out of the prospective relationship/deal/contract if it breaks, doesn’t live up to its promise or doing its share?  This pertains to business, legal, education, spiritual and travel arenas.  Make sure you know your legal (Sagittarian) rights before signing a thing.
Pisces rules water and Sagittarius rules adventure, travel and freedom.  The best use of this challenging combo is travel involving water (beach, lake, ski vacations).  Be sure you to allow plenty of time for travel as ice/snow/fog can foil plans at mid-month.  Pay up your insurances and make repairs on roofs, gutters, or water-based appliances.  You don’t want the hot water heater or pipes to burst while you are in vacationing in Florida…
Our quest for the truth surges along with our interest in learning around December 13-17 when Messenger Mercury joins Sun-Jupiter in Sagittarius.   The final fire sign is the seeker of light and knowledge.  It is universally agreed that the more we learn, the more we grow.  That knowledge truly is power.  The Sagittarius Sun (our will), Jupiter (abundance) and Mercury (communication) push our quest for answers.   Look at life, says Sagittarius, as a giant game of hide and seek:  knowledge is “out there” (and also in there, in you);  how will you go about finding it? And more to the point, what will you do with what you learn? 

Sagittarius delivers lessons now both in formal classroom settings yet also real life situations.  You don’t need to have a Ph.D. to learn life’s most important lessons in:  love, power, grace, forgiveness.  Again, the caution here is chasing light and learning as an escape method.  Best to have a goal in mind.  Map your ideas out on paper if need be.  “All those who wander are not lost” goes the saying.  While this applies to some of us, just make sure you have a back-up plan so you don’t end up going around in circles out in the wilderness.
Keeping it real for everyone are transformer Pluto and taskmaster Saturn in Capricorn. Rely on and use this earth energy to plan pragmatically and prepare accordingly.  Yes it’s great to dream big, but you also have to eat and pay your bills.  How’s all that real-life stuff going to work while you chase your dreams?
The good news is that from mid-December to New Years, planetary titans Jupiter and Saturn are making a helpful angle to each other.  They work harmoniously to bring about the best life circumstances.  Jupiter in Sagittarius dreams big while taskmaster Saturn gets the job done.  Whatever you are aiming to accomplish right now – no matter how large – lay the ground work for it. 
This energy builds beautifully toward the Full Moon on December 22nd.  Most Full Moons are laden with challenges.  This particular Full Moon is, simply put, enchanting.  First, it falls ON the Winter Solstice!  How cool is that?!  Jupiter conjoins Mercury aiming our spirit arrows at what ignites our souls.  Beneficent Venus aligns beautifully with inspirational Neptune, granting our wishes.  Even the challenging planets Mars and Pluto align while Saturn and Neptune manifest our dreams.  If you have been working so hard for so long putting one foot in front of another, this Full Moon delivers.  All Full Moons are a time of culmination and fruition.  For those on their rightful soul paths, rewards are yours now.  Enjoy and revel.  For those questioning their path, off path or lost:   ask now and you shall find.  Take advantage of this amazing energy to ask questions and learn.  The Full Moon always shines light on where you need to go and how best to get there.   What do you want your life to look like?  Trust the answers you receive.

The Sun shifts into practical Capricorn on December 22, joining heavyweights Pluto and Saturn.  More than most year ends, you will feel your resolve for 2019 take shape between Christmas and the New Year.  We are really ready to put that past behind us and focus on building our future like never before.   The Solstice Full Moon and Sun catalyze us into action. 
The holidays are a time of proposals and committing to life changes.  From the Full Moon on the 22ndthrough New Years, we are afforded an incredible and potent supply of inspiring, realistic and knowledgeable resources.  Quite an amazing mix that tees us up beautifully for 2019.  Create a list of two or three key goals you intend to accomplish during the next year.  Outline how you plan to manifest the goals (ie, weight loss:  join a fitness class, reduce your carbohydrate intake, and steps to stick to your goal).  On January 1:  go to it!
Of Special Note:  Looking for a present for that hard-to-buy-for person?  Consider the gift of an astrology reading or Reiki session for the holidays.  Please visit www.hilaryharley.com to purchase a gift certificate.  Have a warm and wonderful holiday season.