December’s Astrological Forecast Reminds Us That “Winter Is Coming”—Are We Ready?
The month of December 2019 is a farewell to a calendar year that held some potent personal and collective challenges, as well as polarizing planetary themes and energies that called on all of our instincts to reconcile and integrate. We say goodbye to twelve months of soaring optimism with generous Jupiter in its powerful, fiery home sign of Sagittarius, and turn toward duty, responsibility, and rebuilding the foundations of our lives.
This month hosts some important astrological shifts and aspects that foreshadow the upcoming themes of 2020. December holds the winter solstice, but also a sense that an astrological winter is upon us, testing our ability to shift into pragmatism, realism, and perseverance. A theme of cautious optimism takes hold as we gather our resources to weather the new lessons ahead. Sounds heavy, and maybe it is, but times like these show us who we are, and will ultimately make us stronger!
December 2: Jupiter enters Capricorn
The month of December begins in the heart of fiery, adventurous Sagittarius season, when holiday parties are ramping up, and we are beginning to plan our winter travels, studies, and projects. It’s a high note for sure, yet under the surface a more serious tone begins to settle in with Sagittarius’s planetary ruler, Jupiter, moving from its bold, generous domicile of Sagittarius, into sober and serious Capricorn, where it will remain for the next year. While we keep our chins up, we get the feeling that it’s time to come back to reality and begin looking ahead to a new year of managing our resources carefully, and constructively finding a way to make the lofty dreams of 2019 come true.
December 3: Mercury is sextile Pluto, and Venus is sextile Mars
Mercury in Scorpio makes a sextile aspect to Pluto in Capricorn, drawing laser-focus and mental tenacity toward the transformative messages that Pluto delivers in dutiful Capricorn. Meanwhile, demure and reserved Venus in Capricorn makes a supportive sextile to Mars in its powerful domicile of Scorpio, activating themes of love, attraction, sexuality, and creativity. Venus in this Saturn-ruled sign wants us to get serious in matters of love, while Mars’ warrior instincts are focused on the prize. This is a time to feel courageous in commitment and to be very productive in our creative projects.
December 8: The sun is square Neptune, while Venus is sextile Neptune
The sun in enthusiastic Sagittarius makes a catalyzing square connection with transcendental Neptune in Pisces, amplifying idealism and daydreams. Our imagination may run away with us today, which could be great for creativity, but not the best for clarity. Meanwhile, Venus in Capricorn makes a sextile to Neptune, heightening idealism in love. While we may feel a little impulsive, it’s sure to be a dreamy, feel-good day!
Read me: The Three Decans of Sagittarius: Which One Are You?
December 9: Mercury enters Sagittarius
December sees the swift, trickster planet through three signs, which is a big switch after Mercury being in moody, tenacious Scorpio for the whole month of November. This month is filled with variety in communications—modulating between the expressions of emotional water, passionate fire, and pragmatic earth.
On December 9, Mercury moves from Mars-ruled Scorpio, to join the sun in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius. Mercury gets a little sidetracked in Jupiter’s signs, putting its usual talents for detail and analysis at a disadvantage. Classically, this was called a place of “exile” for Mercury, a little like the messenger planet being in a foreign land where it doesn’t know the local language. Mercury is all about the small details, while Jupiter is all about the big picture, so in optimistic, philosophical Sagittarius, our thoughts tend to wander, our focus meanders, and storytelling goes off on epic tangents! Communications are inclined toward speaking the truth, and are sure to be passionate, social, and adaptive. This will definitely be a spirited, refreshing shift.
December 11th: Venus is conjunct Saturn in Capricorn
Aphrodite and Kronos come together in steady, earthy Capricorn, heightening themes of responsibility and long-term commitment in love. Venus also rules over pleasures, and luck, so with Saturn’s presence here we are taking our good fortunes seriously and are less likely to waste or squander what we have worked hard to receive, or have been fortunate enough to be given. A sense of reserve, caution, and consideration will color our connections.
December 12: Full moon in Gemini
The sun and moon come into a perfect polarity today amidst optimistic Sagittarius season. The full moon in Gemini is a culmination of a seed that was planted six months ago, when the moon was new in this mutable air sign. (Check which house Gemini rules in your chart to see how this connects with you!) We may be reflecting on all that we have accomplished since then, how we have grown, and how our new emotional awareness has evolved our ability to communicate. The sun in Sagittarius is passionate, and the moon in Gemini is endlessly social—surely creating an upbeat and lively mood today!
December 13: Venus is conjunct Pluto in Capricorn, and Mars is trine Neptune
Venus makes an exact conjunction with transformative Pluto in Capricorn, emphasizing themes of deep evolution in love and commitment. Pluto is slowly renovating our foundations and testing what we have become materially attached to. Venus’ conjunction asks us if we are ready to put our whole heart, and soul, into what it is that we love, knowing that it will change us forever. Meanwhile, Mars in incisive Scorpio makes an exact trine with oceanic Neptune in Pisces, activating a powerful instinct to go into creative visualization and meditation. If we can dream it, it can be done!
December 15: Jupiter is trine Uranus
Expansive Jupiter in stoic Capricorn makes a powerful trine aspect with radical Uranus in grounded Taurus. It highlights an activation between change-oriented planetary energies that are molding, influencing, and re-working our earthly, material reality. We can expect sudden shifts forward in new directions today, opening opportunities to establish our security and personal resources. These opportunities may come from surprising new places, or in unexpected forms, but the time is now to seize the moment, and to take calculated risks.
December 19: Mercury is square Neptune, and Mars is sextile Saturn
Big ideas and grand expressions are amplified by today’s exact square between Mercury in bold Sagittarius, and enigmatic Neptune in Pisces. We may get lost in our own story today, where fact bleeds into fiction. Fiction can become fact however, with Mars’ sextile to Saturn today, providing initiative, structure, and stability behind the illusion.
December 20: Venus enters Aquarius
Venus leaves behind the reserve and caution of Capricorn, to enter airy and unconventional Aquarius today. We may feel somewhat liberated from structure and tradition for the rest of the month, amidst some heavy Capricornian themes of duty and dependability. Aquarius still has a Saturnian connection, also being ruled by this stoic planet since the classical eras of astrology, yet where Capricorn likes to build structures and systems, Aquarius likes to test the relevancy of these to see if they hold up to current societal awareness. Venus here challenges the status quo in love and relationships, and rebels a bit against the norms. We may begin testing the terms of commitments that we have made to see if they make space for healthy, individual expression.
December 22: Venus is square Uranus, and Mars is sextile Pluto
Venus newly entered innovative Aquarius is starting to shake up the status quo, as she comes into a challenging square with Uranus in Taurus. Uranus is already teaching us how to manage our material realities in a new light, yet Venus’ square is highlighting how our need for independence within relationships is testing our sense of security. Potent Mars in Scorpio’s sextile with Pluto underscores the unpredictability of the day with an activation of drive and transformation.
December 23: The sun enters Capricorn / Winter Solstice
Winter is here, and so is Capricorn season. It is the shortest day, the longest night, emphasizing a time to go into contemplation, hibernation, and energy reserve for the next three months in the northern hemisphere. Slowly but surely, many major planets are collecting in Capricorn this month, concentrating the powerful themes of earthly authority, tradition, and pragmatism in our personal and collective awareness.
Capricorn is an enigmatic sign, with its fish tail swirling in the mystic waters, while its goat hooves plant firmly into the earth, teaching us mastery over our world by being practical, adaptive, and intuitive all at once. Just as we need to be tough and inventive to survive the winter season, we also need patience and perspective to endure life’s challenges. How well we weather these challenges has everything to do with how well-resourced we are, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, so during Capricorn season, we can take the time to fortify ourselves in all ways. How are we saving for the future? Are we taking care of our physical, and emotional health? Do we need more support? How can we nourish our souls? Winter also asks us to clear the excess, discard anything that does not serve our lives, and to refine our awareness until we are clear, practical, and efficient on our journey.
December 24: Sun is trine Uranus
The sun newly in Capricorn forms a powerful trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus. This echoes the Jupiter trine of December 15, showing energy and attention being poured into the sudden opportunities that are emerging. Our perceptions tune into the ways we need to balance practicality with adaptivity, and flow with the forces of change.
Read me: 2020 Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction: Birthing Ambition and Passion from the Core
December 26: Solar eclipse in Capricorn
Today’s solar eclipse at four degrees Capricorn indicates the work and restructuring that we are enacting on a material plane is leading to profound change, cleansing, and release. It’s time to let go of anything that is toxic, outdated, and does not serve our personal and collective evolution or survival. Eclipses are a time of reflection, mourning, and surrender, so it’s an opportunity to leave the heavy burdens of 2019 behind, and make space and clarity within ourselves to receive the new.
Pay attention to any dreams you may have, as these can give clues as to what is leaving your life, and how to let it go. It’s best to rest now, and forego any rituals, as eclipse rays are meant to be released, rather than captured. Instead, take a detoxifying salt bath, enjoy more sleep, and be gentle with yourself and others. Oh…and drink water. Eclipses can be dehydrating.
December 27: The sun is conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn
The sun and Jupiter come together in the most powerful and pragmatic of all earth signs, blending forces of expansion and perception. This is the time when we will truly feel Jupiter’s shift from Sagittarius into Capricorn, and fully understand where our awareness and work for the upcoming year will be directed. Jupiter still wants to expand, teach, and inspire, but does so in a more controlled, measured, and conservational manner in Saturn’s sign. Today the sun sheds light on the lessons we need to learn when managing our resources and how we can learn to work within the limits of what is sustainable. We will still have optimism, but it will be more cautious, and we will still have hope, but we will need to work hard to be the force of change we would like to be in the world.
December 28: Mercury enters Capricorn
Thoughts, communications, and ideas become more grounded and realistic as Mercury moves into Capricorn today. We become more focused on the economy of words, respecting boundaries, and contemplating our plans and intentions in pensive silence. With Mercury joining the sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, and the south node in Capricorn, a powerful stellium has formed, setting the stage for some of 2020’s major conjunctions. The true astrological winter has arrived, and we may find ourselves focused on issues of sustainability, responsibility, endurance, and restructuring our sense of personal and societal authority.
December 30: The sun is conjunct south node in Capricorn
The last major aspect of the year is an opportunity to make important new calendar year resolutions. An echo of the eclipse on December 26, we may now be surer of what is no longer useful in our lives, and are prepared to purge anything that is holding us back, and wasting our precious energy. Capricorn asks us to get real, to become more practical, and the south node dissolves whatever was not built to last. The sun opens our perceptions to see things as they are, the good and the bad, and prepares us to meet the new year with clarity, strength, and resolve. There may be mountains ahead, but we will climb them together, mighty as goats, one step at a time!
Art by I. B. VISUALS