December Astrology Forecast: The Fourth 2023 Retrograde of Mercury Inspires an Entire Life Revision

November 30, 2023

If you hadn’t realized time is accelerating, it’s now December! As expected, 2023 has been a year of massive shifts, a trend that will continue in 2024. Luckily, instead of rushing to the finish line, we will be inspired to slow down and embrace reflection, allowing us to catch our breath. 

December kicks off with the sun shining in Sagittarius, a future-oriented sign whose influence has us asking all sorts of philosophical questions. What have we learned from the materialistic decadence of the past that can help us create a more functional and inclusive future for all? With Pluto returning to 29 degrees of Capricorn (December 19) and shifting to Aquarius almost for good on January 20, deeply meaningful themes are on our minds.

Astrologer Julia Mihas agrees, “Because this is the last big gasp of retrograde season, which officially ends in January 2024, December is a final opportunity for everyone to go back and tidy up our projects and activities of 2023. While retrogrades can be messy, they do help us to critically review aspects of our lives that may be weak or unfinished. You’ve got to go back so you can move forward!”

Mercury Goes Retrograde

What Julia is referring to is the retrograde of Mercury, the last and fourth of 2023. Spanning from December 12 to January 1, this retrograde is sure to pack a punch for two reasons. “December will be dominated by Mercury going retrograde in Capricorn and then Sagittarius. This time around, the messenger planet begins shifting its retrograde cycle in earth signs, which dominated 2023, beginning its backward dance through fire signs, a trend that will continue next year,” she adds. 

When Mercury goes retrograde in two signs instead of one, the effects are felt more intensely and by many more zodiac signs. “I think we are all going to feel it when retrograde Mercury slides into Sagittarius on December 22, as the sign of the Archer is a weird fit for the communication planet. Sagittarius is a travel sign, and Mercury represents modes of transportation like cars, boats, and airplanes. This is going to make traveling over the holidays chaotic! Expect delays and technical issues when you hit the road, plan on getting to the airport early, and keep your itinerary flexible,” says Julia.

Winter Solstice 2023

Going even deeper, we could even affirm that this retrograde of Mercury will color an entire season! On Thursday, December 21, the sun enters Capricorn, the last cardinal sign of the zodiac. It is officially Winter in the Northern Hemisphere and Summer in the Southern Hemisphere. In the astrological chart of the Winter Solstice 2023, retrograde Mercury is conjunct the sun, meaning that this period of adjustment and revision of our entire life and belief system will extend until March 20, when the Spring Equinox arrives! 

Revisions and adjustments aren’t necessarily bad—after all, they also mean second chances! As the Capricorn sun impregnates the air, it’s also forming a trine with retrograde Jupiter and a sextile with Saturn. Over the season ahead, the projects that didn’t quite gel for us in the second part of 2023 could now return and be successful. The other luminary, the moon, is freshly in Taurus, its sign of exaltation. Our emotions will be aligned with our minds, helping us grow and expand in the direction of our dreams!

It has been quite some time since the astrological chart of the sun’s entrance into a seasonal sign hasn’t been so positive. So, this Winter, bask in the glory of having more possibilities available to you—especially if you first approached them in the second part of 2023! 

The Last Full Moon of 2023

More good news! On Tuesday, December 26 at 4:33 p.m. Pacific Time, the last full moon of the year rises in the skies of Cancer. While some of us are bound to feel sensitive due to Chiron going direct today, there is plenty of healing and nurturing energy in the sky. According to Julia, “This full moon is cosmically gorgeous and is as powerful as lunations can get! For starters, it’s happening in Cancer, a sign ruled by the moon itself. It’s also receiving a helpful sextile from the luck planet Jupiter and a stabilizing trine from Saturn.” 

“Overall, this is a nicely-aspected and potent lunation that’s happening around the holidays. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, or just spending time at home with family, this full moon will polish off the year with warmth and nurturance. It’s also a very fertile lunation for pregnancy—if that’s in your plan, she adds. Whether you decide to stay at home with loved ones or spend it with your chosen tribe, this last full moon of the year promises lots and lots of cuddle puddles. 

Jupiter Goes Direct

Even with Mercury being retrograde, the month does end on a high note as Jupiter—the planet of abundance, luck, and philosophy—ends its four-month retrograde. Since September 4, Jupiter has requested we slow our roll in terms of growth and expansion. With the finality of getting us to be absolutely clear concerning our true desires, productivity has slowed down in the past few months. With this time in our hands, we’ve gone down rabbit holes, comparing, reviewing, and revising our strategies for growth.

Now, as Jupiter goes direct on December 30 (along with Mercury on January 1), we most likely have a clear plan in hand. We know exactly what to spend our energy on and what to leave behind. Jupiter will now remain direct in the Venus-ruled sign of Taurus, most likely adding gains to the pocket of those who dare to make bold and audacious moves. In 2024, Jupiter will conjunct Uranus in Taurus (exact on April 20), a once-every-fourteen-year combination that is expected to bring raises, unexpected gains, and perhaps even big windfalls our way!