Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

Jyotish Forecast Archive

I write a forecast each month about the current planetary placements.

Current Forecast

December 2018

by Kerry Shamblin
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Calculations are done using the Chitrapaksha ayanamsha and the mean node. Timings are based on Mountain Time Zone, US.

Mercury Direct in Scorpio December 6

As 2018 reaches its final chapter, we see quicksilver Mercury coming to a brief halt, hovering for a moment at 4° Scorpio while resuming direct motion on December 6. Mercury retrograde periods come approximately three times per year, and in 2018, each of Mercury's retrograde events occurred in water signs: Pisces in March, Cancer in July and now Scorpio in December.

A retrograde planet can give opposite, intensified or unpredictable results from what can generally be expected. For example, Mercury is debilitated in Pisces, so it can be difficult to have successful communication or transactions, but when retrograde and debilitated in Pisces, we may see Mercury completing impossible transactions and skillfully communicating.

The Rahu-Ketu axis has been slowly moving backwards through Cancer-Capricorn throughout 2018. This gives Rahu presence in all of the water signs, since Rahu is giving aspects to the signs that are trine (120°) from his position. With Rahu naturally wobbling in retrograde motion, this can amplify the retrograde status of Mercury via Rahu's aspect.

We generally expect Mercury to be cheerful and emotionally detached, but with the retrograde factor added into Rahu's aspect, we could find ourselves a bit swamped in our emotional state. Mercury in Scorpio, specifically, could have us delving deep into our own subconscious, analyzing emotional reactions and thought processes. Since Mercury is also the ruler of currency and markets, we could see some instability with accounts and investments, as well.

Mercury is joining Jupiter in Scorpio, so there may be some deep student-teacher interactions during this time, or this conjunction may also signal returning to studies that were previously halted or interrupted. After resuming direct motion, Mercury makes an exact conjunction with Jupiter on December 21 and moves into Sagittarius, joining Saturn and Sun, just before the ball drops on December 31.

This month could be quite well used to get a lot of shopping, organizing and studies completed as energetic Mercury gets a boost from Jupiter while in the stars of Scorpio.

New Moon in Scorpio/Jyestha December 6-7

After Mercury resumes direct motion in the afternoon of December 6, the Moon slips further into the Sun's halo, giving us our new Moon moment just after midnight on December 7. The Sun and Moon are joining at 22° Scorpio in the nakshatra of Jyestha. December 6 is amavasya, the day leading up to the moment of the new Moon, when our physical and mental energy has ebbed and we may experience fatigue or emotional lows. It is a good day to rest and retreat.

Jyestha nakshatra is ruled by the planet Mercury and also by the deity Indra, the king of the devas, or divine beings. The combination of ruling planets and deities of this region of the zodiac makes this a place of deep action, protection, courage and great effort. This is the final portion of Scorpio that leads us to the second gandanta in the zodiac, a place of difficulty and challenge. The three gandanta points of the zodiac fall between the water and fire signs.

Use the intensity of this new Moon to gather strength and resources with the intention of making it through some difficult task or event that requires strength and bravery. Symbolically, we are quietly planning an advance or attack at this time. The beneficial presence of Jupiter and Mercury near to the Sun and Moon during this time will help us research, learn and seek wisdom as we prepare.

Sun Transits Sagittarius December 15 – January 14

The Sun moves from sign to sign around mid-month; on December 15, the Sun pushes through the gandanta point between Scorpio and Sagittarius, leaving behind Jupiter's company in exchange for that of Saturn. Each year, the Sun meets for one month with his enemy Saturn. This will be the second of three meetings of the Sun and Saturn in Sagittarius, due to Saturn's deliberate, slow forward motion that takes approximately 2.5 years to complete a transit of just one sign.

For the slower moving planets, the nakshatra position gives us a bit more information about how we can expect that planet to express. Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter, giving reluctant and constrictive Saturn a positive and expansive platform on which to sit. Generally, we can expect a nice balance between growth and contraction with this transit of Saturn, with some variations over the entire transit.

Last year when the Sun visited Sagittarius, Saturn occupied the early degrees of the sign, in the nakshatra Mula, ruled by Ketu. On November 27, 2018, Saturn moved from Mula into the nakshatra Purvashada, ruled by Venus and by Apas, lord of the waters. Saturn will occupy this nakshatra for much of 2019, joined by Ketu. We will explore this theme in the January 2019 forecast further.

Purvashada may be a more welcoming environment for the meeting of Sun and Saturn this year, which can create friction due to the opposing energies that they represent. The Sun focuses on individual expression while Saturn pushes us toward stepping away from individual expression in favor of collective support. The Sun celebrates while Saturn performs austerities.

This Sun and Saturn interaction can manifest as confrontation when matters of individual vs group emerge. We can learn to manage our level of pushing agendas or deferring power when these themes come up this month. Notice if there is an increase in this friction as the end of December approaches. Sun enters Purvashada nakshatra on December 28 and passes through Saturn's space on January 1, 2019.

December 21 marks the winter solstice, when the Sun has reached the turnaround point of its southern journey. The Sun will be at 6° Sagittarius on this day. If you do greet the Sun on this day, know that you will be gazing in the direction of the center of our galaxy. It is a good day to center the mind and realign with your core purpose and heart's desire.

Venus Transits Libra Through December

December begins with Venus in direct motion in the early degrees of her own sign of Libra. This is a very strong Venus that is unaffected by negative aspects, allowing us all the luxury experiencing Venus' bright, clean and vivacious energy.

Venus is the minister of relationships, human connection and creative energy. The desire to celebrate, decorate and socialize should be strong as Venus transits Libra all month. Venus in Libra inspires us to reach out and spend time with others, to build and bolster relationships through diplomacy, to enjoy comforts and pleasures and to celebrate the beautiful gifts of the earth through the creative process. Make some time this month to seek relaxation, communion with loved ones and to play with the materials that the earth provides in creative process.

Recall that the friction between Sun and Saturn is a feature in this month's astrological weather. Use the strength of this pure Venus to negotiate around any struggles that are centered on imbalanced ego issues.

Both Venus and Mercury will be switching signs as 2018 becomes 2019, signaling a new chapter as we all move forward together.

Full Moon in Gemini/Ardra December 22

Just after the winter solstice, the Moon moves into opposition with the Sun, catching its full power and shining back to us the cool light that it can embody while full. This gives us physical energy and high mental activity, as Moon will be at 7° Gemini, Mercury's air sign. This region of Gemini is called Ardra, symbolized by a teardrop.

Ardra is considered to be an intense nakshatra that promotes gains or success after a struggle or search. This implies achievement and the sacrifice that goes into reaching it. Ardra is ruled by the deity Rudra, the Howler, a primordial and ancient deity that in more modern times morphs into the form of Shiva, the destroyer of the Vedic trinity. This nakshatra has Rahu as its planetary deity, who is also considered to have exaltation in the sign of Gemini.

As we stand together howling at the Moon on December 22, we are perhaps experiencing a preview of one of the major astrological foundations of 2019, the moving of the Rahu-Ketu axis into the signs of Gemini-Sagittarius, which occurs in March 2019.

Look to this full Moon in Gemini on December 22 to fill your mind and heart with the inspiration for how to direct your physical and mental energy as the new calendar year dawns. If you don't already know, identify where you really want to put your effort in the coming year and begin the search for the path that leads to your goal.

Mars Transits Pisces December 23 – February 5, 2019

Mars makes his move into the new year early, by continuing to move further away from Capricorn, where he spent half of 2018 with Ketu, creating fiery intensity from May – November 2018.

Mars moved from Capricorn to Aquarius on November 5, a sign co-ruled by chaotic and unstable Rahu and by stern and detached Saturn. Further, Saturn also aspects Aquarius and its inhabitants from Sagittarius. This sustained lordship of Mars by Saturn could be getting frustrating to those who are strongly influenced by Mars, who wants to plan, gather resources and execute missions. Saturn can obstruct and dissolve the best laid plans of Mars, which in some cases may be the best scenario and in others may be destructive of Mars' attempts to provide protection and sustenance.

When Mars moves to Pisces, this should also change the scene somewhat, as Mars will gain the support of Jupiter in two ways. Jupiter is lord of Pisces and from Scorpio is also aspecting Pisces. Jupiter and Mars are considered natural friends, so this gives Mars a nice platform from which to launch his next mission.

This transit will be powerful for both Jupiter and Mars additionally because of the parivartana (exchange of signs) that will occur. Mars rules Scorpio where Jupiter is currently placed and Jupiter rules Pisces, where Mars will be.

The best news is that the watery environment of Pisces is a safe place to handle the fiery power of Mars. This is a very fertile time for wrapping up and finishing work projects, journeys and courses of study while at the same time pivoting toward new horizons. Mars gives us courage to build or destroy, depending on the objective.

Of course, we can't have everything be neat and clean, so we also factor in the influence of Rahu, who also aspects all of the water signs during this time. Mars likes clear cut thinking and set plans while Rahu injects chaos and instability, so this could be a bit of a challenge as we move forward.

While we try to navigate new channels, we can't totally turn a deaf ear to Rahu's whispered suggestions to "just see what happens," because amidst the clutter of Rahu's directions, we can sometimes find inspired gems that help us rise quickly and magically through the genius of innovation.

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