December is generally regarded as a festive month of parties, beautiful music, gathering friends and family.  The holidays and dawning of a New Year also mark an unofficial anniversary in our lives, one of self-reflection:  so what have I accomplished in the last year?  Have I improved or fallen off the mark somewhere?
December 2017 is particularly given to reflection for two notable reasons.  First, Messenger Mercury, ruler of communication, is retrograde motion for the balance of the month, and task master Saturn ends its cycle in truth telling Sagittarius before shifting into earthy Capricorn.  Hard though it may be to hit the “pause” button during this very busy time of year, it is vital to schedule breaks for yourself until the New Year arrives.  Lean in to any activity that clears your body/mind/soul…exercise, meditation, a woods walk, time spent on, in or near the water, yoga, and journaling all come to mind.  You will feel refreshed beyond measure when you partake.
Day 1 of December opens with Venus, planet of love, money and relationships changing signs, from intense Scorpio to wise Sagittarius.  In this fire sign, Venus values freedom, honesty, learning and studying, and adventure.  She is generous with her wallet here too, as she wants the best for her fellow man.  In fiery Sagittarius, Venus is not afraid to take risks and put herself out there.  Over the course of December, Venus gradually joins Messenger Mercury, the Sun (our will) and heavy weight Saturn.  She lightens our load and sees the brighter side of life.
A good thing too, as the beginning of December is so loaded you may feel ready to snap:  Motivating Mars in Libra directly opposes Uranus in active Aries while we approach the Full Moon on December 3rd.  The same day, Messenger Mercury turns retrograde motion.  This Full Moon could hardly be any more fraught with relationship tension.  A helpful reminder from the Tao this first week is:  “Tension is who you think you should be; relaxation is who you are.” Breathe!  As I write, a volcano in Indonesia is stirring mightily.  Already exploding, it could soon wreak devastation with the Full Moon acting as the trigger; communications may be severely hampered afterward with Mercury in reverse gear.  

In terms of our individual lives, watch your words, behavior and interactions with everyone during the first week of December, especially the 1st -3rd.  Put your earplugs in if necessary, bite your tongue, or use whatever other language filtering practices you rely on.  In short:  think before you speak.  Ordinarily, I encourage free self-expression and honesty; however, the first week of the month is cosmically challenging.  As above, so below.  So err on the side of less is more in all you do and say.
Complicating our filtering efforts, Saturn in the final degrees of Sagittarius demands the truth, from ourselves and with others.  In the sign of The Law (both earthly and universally), we will be held accountable for our actions.  If you need to make amends to anyone, December is an excellent time to atone.  Nevermore so as Mercury moves into reverse on December 3rd.  Let’s each of us own what we do and say/have done or said, so we may begin January 2018 with a truly clean slate.
December days can feel dicey, with Mercury retrograde until the 22nd.  A strong suggestion for managing your holiday shopping during this time:  best to hold off on major purchases now.  If you want to give something large, such as a car, jewelry or technology, consider wrapping up an I.O.U. note for your loved ones to open on Kwanzaa, Chanukkah or Christmas Day.  The I.O.U. offers a promise to go shopping with the recipient after the 22nd.   Another advantage of this is that you also will find huge deals in the post-holiday season that may save you oodles of money.  Laptops, phones, TVs and entertainment systems especially are best bought once Mercury turns direct motion the 22nd.
Messenger Mercury is spending a really lonnnnng time in fiery Sagittarius too, from November 6th to January, 10th, 2018.  For the first two weeks of December, the communications planet joins with task master Saturn, the Sun (our will) and Venus.  Retrograde Mercury invites us to turn inward.   Practicing gratitude, good old fashioned counting your blessings – even for the smallest things, reflecting on who we want to be and how we want to live in 2018, adjusting our goals accordingly, is the best use of time until the 23rd.   What do you want your life to look like and how do you want to get there?
Our ruminations are deepened by Motivating Mars entering psychological Scorpio on December 9th.  Through the beginning of January, Mars gradually joins Jupiter in Scorpio, for deep dives into our psyches.  Scorpio rules transformation – the really big guys:  sex, death, re-birth in all its forms, as well as the metaphysical realm and joint finances.  All during December as Mars moves toward Generous Jupiter, our x-ray senses are sharpened.
Answers are now revealed, people and entities shown for what they truly are, especially after Mercury turns direct motion just before Christmas.  Deniers or those trying to hide will be exposed.  A tricky time is at hand as Scorpio loves secrecy; rules it in fact.  However, the abundance of Sagittarian energy (4 planets!) demands the truth.  The Law will be upheld.  You can run but you will not be able to hide.  Watch the news unfold; what this period portends for the US government and Mr. Trump in particular is crucial.
We are invited to acknowledge soul truths now.  Set your intentions for the New Year on this roundly honest Sagittarian New Moon December 18th.  Hand write up to 5 goals, wishes or prayers that you hope are fulfilled in 2018.  Then cast these in a moving body of water or plant them in the ground to grow and bloom over the coming months.
This New Moon sets off a series of planetary shifts.  One right after the other, Saturn, the Sun then Venus change signs and Mercury turns direction motion.  First, task master Saturn:  For the last three years, Saturn has been cycling through Sagittarius, sign of the law, adventure, education, spirituality, things foreign and the truth.  Some of us have sought our own truth, while others have been brazenly shown the truth.  Saturn is dharma (responsibility with a capital R) and karma (what goes around comes around).  No one escapes or is excluded from Saturn’s hand.  In Sagittarius, justice is done.   What the recently outed sexually abusive men in film and media wouldn’t give to escape the truth and regain their reputation…
Reputation is everything. 

My father used to say, “if you don’t have your reputation, what do you have?”

This is never more true as Saturn moves into its own sign Capricorn on December 20th.  Here, ruling reputation, status, business, tradition, integrity and honor, we see in no uncertain terms who we are.  Saturn is structured, formal, concrete, black and white energy.  It is the building block backbone of the zodiac and governs architecture, construction and the skeletal system of our bodies.

If you have not done your work to date – as Saturn has demanded while passing through Sagittarius – been honest with yourself and others, the structure of your life with Saturn in Capricorn will not hold up.  Watch for everything from bone fractures, difficulty with teeth, to earthquakes and systemic shakedowns.  Saturn and Capricorn oversee government and big business…so the piper will be paid in these realms too.
However, if you have been “on path”, doing your soul work, in all honesty and fair practice, your reputation will be cemented for good and you may even be rewarded.  Black and white, no-nonsense Capricorn energy is further heightened and crystallized in the following days as the Sun joins Saturn at 00 degrees, a highly notable attention-getter.  Venus collaborates with these two in Capricorn on Christmas Day, with Mercury turning direct just prior on the 23rd.
Guys, if you are planning to propose marriage, the stretch from Christmas Eve through New Years is a wonderful time.  This holds true as well for those tying the actual knot.  Capricorn is not known for its romance, sexiness or passion (rely on Mars-Jupiter in Scorpio for that!) but it gives a lasting sound structure, firm foundation and solid substance to any relationship begun now.
“Where attention goes, energy flows” is the old adage and a terrific mantra for the New Year.  Point your gaze, time and attention at what you want to achieve and then build baby build.  May you each find lasting and sustaining health, peace and joy in 2018!
Of Special Note:  For that special someone or the person who has everything, consider giving the gift of a Reiki or astrology session.  Please see my website to purchase gift certificates for either: