Undoutedly bumpy, this autumn has brought some of us to the edge of the void, while others have stared deeply into it, while still others have been smack dab in the void.  Way, way down inside.  Any one with even the smallest shred of awareness cannot miss just how raw a time this is.  A world away from where I write a cataclysmic cyclone decimated part of the Philipines.  By some measurements, the storm was the worst in recorded history.  Only days later, horrific tornadoes wiped away Midwestern towns in the United States.  Images surfacing from both of these events are difficult to look at, just like parts of our own lives and communities we’d prefer to avoid.  However, such destructive storms occur for a reason:  to get our attention and to remind us that each of us touches the life of every one and every thing on this planet.   Most notably, such events also offer us an opportunity to rebuild our lives into more accurate depictions of who we really are. 

With a finely tuned syncopation that only the planets can render, out of the darkness of November and the sting of its Scorpion shadow, December opens with a dark moon.  This is a good thing.  For the first two days of the month we are given a window to make wishes and say prayers for the upcoming month.  Take full advantage.  Two days later the New Moon occurs shining a sliver of Light down upon us.  Yes, you guessed it:  a cosmic metaphor that from the deepest dark of our lives we inevitably emerge into eternal Light.  It is always there for us.  We simply need to remember.

Much like forgetting that the Light is perpetually available to us, we occasionally need to remember who we are, and why we are.  Especially after the gut-wrenching days of last month, perhaps your life has been forever altered.  There is no turning back.  With the Sun now in philosophical Sagittarius, December prompts us to take a cue from the great French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre and ask the hard questions.  This month we are afforded ample opportunity to learn.  Ever the seeker, archer Sagittarius points his arrow at The Truth.  Nothing less will satisfy.  The archer wants to know why?  Journeyman, searcher, spiritualist, teacher and preacher, Sagittarius asks:  what is the meaning of life?   The archer bolsters our strength to be adventurous:    in faith go forth in search of answers.  Then, share the knowledge you learned on The Path.

Messenger Mercury enters Sagittarius on December 5th, underscoring our questions and increasing our thirst for knowledge.  Be careful of mixed signals during the first ten days of the month.  While Mercury challenges foggy Neptune making it difficult to see The Path let alone our destination, Mercury helpfully aligns with ingenious Uranus.   In short:  you will have significant help finding your way and not getting lost in murky disillusionment.  You are offered new ways of thinking about old situations.  So hang on.  By December 10th bolts of lightning in the form of creative insights arrive to deliver solutions.  Perhaps, prevent us from repeating the same old-same old patterns and get us out of our routine ruts.

Meanwhile fiery Mars enters Libra at a critical degree bringing relationship concerns to a head.  The beautiful angle between relationship planets Venus and Mars shift into a more difficult axis now stressing its importance.  Don’t look now, you may just refuse to put up with nonsense any more.  That no-nonsense energy builds all through December as Mars challenges Pluto and Uranus to heat life up to intense levels.  That nagging matter has reared its ugly head again.  It just won’t go away.  Only this time, it has sprouted horns poking you to pay attention.  Address, confront and deal with the situation.  Will you?  The catalytic energy between these feisty planets begs for (if not encourages) grace, dignity and tolerance to be applied to possibly explosive circumstances.  Established relationships or habits now shift.  Watch for crimes of passion, dramatic or sudden events jolting our consciousness…to remember.  The Sagittarius Sun and Mercury are key to remembering this month by prompting the hard questions:  who are you now and who do you really want to be.  If you have shrunk from seeing your Truth, the Mars-Pluto-Uranus troika will make sure can’t miss it now.

One thing that has become lost in the crush of living is the massacre at Newtown, Connecticut.  Only a year ago, in some way the event seems like another lifetime.  Although not for the families of the victims, I’m sure.  Around the same time last December 2012, game-changer Uranus turned direct motion as it does this month the December 17th.  Do you remember hearing the news that day?  Horror let loose.  Little children, devoted teachers, innocent all, shot in cold blood.  Again, beneath a Sagittarian Sun, such an event incited us to remember what is truly important in life.   Things we often take for granted or rush through as we hurry toward the “important” stuff.  When really, the lives of our children, their hopes and dreams bundled up with ours for them, are truly all that matters.  Anniversarys occur for a reason:  to stop and take a moment to reflect.  Ask yourself what has changed since Newtown?  Anything?  Nothing?  Well, surely a great deal for some and very, very little for most.  Gun laws in the State of Connecticut are tighter.  But in no other state.

Like the families who live with that horror every day, we pause now and ask, what is it all about?  What is it all for?  How have I changed since that day?

Helping to soften Uranus’ jolt forward, the moon joins Jupiter in its own nurturing sign of Cancer, beautifully aligning with heavyweight Saturn in Scorpio all this month.  Feelings are tender.  Acknowledge them, do not ignore them.  Offer care and compassion to others.  Your children, adults behaving like children.  Your inner child.  Maybe you don’t remember, but when you were little you probably asked your parents and siblings all the time:  why and how come?   You were learning.  And you still are.

The third week of December messenger Mercury tightly conjoins the Sun to highlight our questions before both enter practical Capricorn.  Now we put to work what we’ve learned over the past month and season.  We use our knowledge gained.  A word of caution:  on December 21st as the Sun enters Capricorn, Venus turns retrograde motion.  Ruling love and money, this is not the time to make significant investments or purchases.  Nor is it optimal for intiating relationships or bringing current relationships to new stages of development (ie, engagement or marriage).  With a helpful angle between Neptune-Chiron and all that Capricorn energy, it is better to envision ideas for your future.  Step by step.  Fantasize about what kind of car, house or bank account you desire or the kind of partner you want to attract.  Then ground it all with a little mental elbow grease:  do some research then make a list of the qualities of what you want.  It may not sound sexy, but creating a business plan for your house, career, mate, life will get the job done. 

Christmas Eve, Mercury enters the sign of Capricorn, joining the Sun and Pluto.  Great for observing tried and true traditions, this troika fosters self-reliance and responsibility even as the are challenged by radical Uranus and fiery Mars.  Established order(s) are given a run.  Some will feel truly threatened that time-honored holiday habits shift and change beyond their control.  It may feel the world is disintegrating beneath our feet.  Others, the young and young at heart will feel exhilarated during this time.  That everything and everyone feels shiny, brand new and full to the brim with new life, new ways to grow.  Take a chance.  Be flexible.  Open-minded is the watchword through the New Year.   Be open to the new.  With Mars in artistic and relationship oriented Libra, go to a holiday party instead of hosting one or vice versa; attend concerts, art shows, museums, plays.  Surprise yourself. 

The angels will watch over you and make sure you are safe.  On New Year’s Eve, Mercury, Pluto and Mars are each at the eleventh degree of their signs:  11, 11, 11.  So how can you go wrong?  Numerically the angels protect and guide us to make a wish on this magical night and believe it can be so.