Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

December 2013

by Kerry Shamblin

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

Mercury Enters Scorpio December 1

By the time that Mercury exits Libra and enters Scorpio on the evening of November 30, things have become relatively simplified in Venus' air sign, Libra. When Mercury moves out, only the two main players will be left to do their work in Libra: Saturn and Rahu.

With most of the drama initiated by this point, the challenging influences given by Saturn and Rahu may have reached the "clean-up" phase, as they move steadily away from each other due to Rahu's retrograde motion. Whatever has been set into motion by events from the past few months is calling for a firm foundation (Saturn) and creative innovation (Rahu.)

Mercury, having recently passed through the region occupied by Rahu and Saturn, carries forward the data, analysis and information of recent events so that we can use whatever lessons we have learned recently to move us forward and put us back into communication and exchange.

Moving quickly through Mars' water sign, Scorpio, until December 19, puts Mercury in exchange of signs with Mars, currently transiting Mercury's earth sign, Virgo. The exchange of signs between the energetic Mercury and the powerful Mars should allow us to make good strides forward with our work and projects, especially if they involve writing, communication, design, building and research.

Mercury then moves to Sagittarius on December 20, Jupiter's fire sign, which creates an exchange of signs between Mercury and Jupiter, currently occupying Mercury's air sign, Gemini. Although no longer in exchange of signs with Mars, Mercury will also receive an aspect from Mars via Mars' 4th aspect.

This creates quite a well-supported month for Mercury. The time in Scorpio may allow us to make contact with and communicate deep thoughts and emotions; the time in Sagittarius may be good for study, teaching, arrangements for schooling, writing and revision (Jupiter is retrograde now) and for travel, both short and long journeys. Mercury exits Sagittarius for Capricorn on January 7, 2014.

New Moon in Scorpio-Anuradha December 2

During the last couple days of November, the waning Moon plunges into the sign of Libra, squeezing through the central degrees on November 30, flanked on either side by Rahu and Saturn, currently at 12° and 24° Libra, respectively. Sliding further toward total cover by the Sun, the Moon enters Scorpio and joins the Sun at 17° on December 2 as the Moon is rising in the eastern hemisphere.

Thus, from sunset of December 1 to sunset of December 2, the Moon has reached the final stage of its cycle, amavasya, the day before the brief moment that the Moon and Sun conjoin in order to begin a new lunar cycle. Amavasya is a good time to withdraw from heavy activity in favor of spiritual practices, relaxation and rejuvenation. While it is not feasible for many of us to stop our busy schedules in order to withdraw, at least we can arrange some time to sit in meditation, take a yoga class, or spend quiet time in contemplation for awhile on this day. The Moon's energy is at its greatest ebb during this time, so we may feel the need to replenish our personal energy.

After the recent eclipses, this new Moon will have the benefit of being relatively unaspected by difficult influences. This gives us a chance to collect ourselves peacefully and quietly in the dark evening of winter. Grant yourself the space to make friends with the silence and the dark this Monday evening, December 2.

This new Moon occurs in the very beginning of the nakshatra (lunar mansion) called Jyestha, ruled by the planet Mercury and by the god Indra, lord of the heavens. Jyestha offers us the gift of boundless depth and wisdom; by moving through difficulty, fear and loss, we learn the deepest lessons of life and emerge stronger and wiser, able to open further to life's experience. With Indra, the great warrior, as the patron of this nakshatra, we are invited to meet fear and difficulties with courage and to draw upon the depth of our wisdom to guide us toward the light.

Venus Enters Capricorn December 5, Retrograde Starts December 21

Venus moves out of an opposition with Jupiter, moving into Saturn's sign, Capricorn, on December 5. This puts Venus and Saturn into an exchange of signs, giving each planet even further strength and support during this exchange.

The evening of December 5 should be great for viewing Venus close to the crescent Moon. December 6-7 is also the time of brightest magnitude of Venus, so be sure to check for her in the western sky just after sunset.

From here, Venus moves forward a few degrees and then begins a retrograde cycle on December 21, whence it will begin to move in line with the Sun in the zodiac, disappearing from sight eventually during the first week of January and finally re-emerging as the "morning star" a couple of weeks later.

The exchange of signs between Saturn and Venus during this month should be positive for the recouping of peace and sanity; the foundations that Saturn wishes for us to establish will be laid with the influence of Venus, filled with compassion for others and the beauty of our earthly domain.

With Venus retrograde motion, we have three retrograde planets influencing the already slow and steady Saturn: Rahu, always retrograde, Jupiter, retrograde and aspecting Saturn, and Venus, retrograde and in sambhanda (complete connection) with Saturn. The steady, deliberate energy pattern set up by these three planets could be very beneficial in our current pursuits and relationships. Jupiter brings positivity and expansion, Venus brings attention to the practical side of relationships, Rahu brings in the excitement of the unknown and uncontrollable and Saturn brings truth, structure and boundaries.

Surrender to slow, strong growth, attention to the needs of others and the guidance of the wise. Relaxing into this fertile ground could yield great results. Remember also that Mercury and Mars are in mutual exchange of signs, as well. This could introduce an air of impatience and need for speed that will create waves in the larger creative process. Make sure to create proper channels for the energy and speed of Mercury and Mars such that they can exercise their gifts without weakening the foundation.

Jupiter Aspect Direct to Saturn December 9-17

While Jupiter can aspect the entire signs of Libra and Aquarius from his position in Gemini, when a planet aspects another while they are at the same degree, the aspect becomes exact, giving more potency and poignancy to whatever influence is flowing from one planet to another.

Retrograde Jupiter and Saturn will both be at 24ยบ of the signs that they currently occupy, Gemini and Libra, from December 9-17. Saturn is still strong due to being in its exaltation sign, and Jupiter in retrograde motion is also strong. With the planet of expansion directly aspecting the planet of contraction, we may feel the ability to make things grow (slowly, of course) that may otherwise be resisting out of fear or reticence.

Sun Transits Sagittarius December 15-January 13

The Sun makes its annual trip through Jupiter's fire sign, Sagittarius, from Sunday, December 15 to Monday, January 13, 2014. Since all planets aspect the sign opposite them, Jupiter will also be giving a nice aspect to the Sun as he moves through Sagittarius. This could signal a nice period where we really feel at home on our path; though things may be growing at a slow pace due to Jupiter's retrograde period, we may experience contentment with where we are.

The Sun in Sagittarius will have Venus in Capricorn on one side and Mercury in Scorpio on the other. Having two benefic planets flanking on either side is supportive to the Sun; with those two supporting planets being Mercury and Venus, we may feel especially confident in our communication and creative self-expression.

Another influence on the Sun as it transits Sagittarius is Mars by its 4th aspect from Virgo. This gives energy to the Sun, and may give us energy as well. Mars gives the urge to gather, accomplish and build. This could add a layer of confidence to move forward with our projects in a positive way.

Keeping the Sun somewhat in check, Saturn also aspects the Sun in Sagittarius via his 3rd place aspect. This is a nice check and balance system with both Saturn and Jupiter giving their influence to the Sun. We may feel especially ready to face another person or situation in our life that will bring growth and expansion. This could be from relationships, receiving teachings or delving more deeply into the study of subjects that expand our consciousness.

Full Moon in Gemini December 17

At about 2:30 am MST on December 17, the Moon moves into full reception of the Sun's brilliance at 2° Gemini.

There is underlying influence of Mars and Ketu on this Full Moon. Mars rules the nakshatra Mrigashirsha, where the full Moon will be placed. Sun will be in the lunar mansion called Mula, ruled by Ketu, currently placed in Mars' fire sign, Aries. Mercury, lord of Gemini, will be in Scorpio, co-ruled by Mars and Ketu.

The power of Mrigashirsha is the giving of fulfillment; the ruling deity is Soma, the god that brings us the nectar of immortality.

All of these factors point toward a culmination and shift of energy; Mars, Sun and Moon will be in mutable signs, signaling an opportunity to move and change our mind, energy and perception. Mercury's influence also supports shifting the way we think about things, perhaps inspired by what Mercury may be learning below the surface of things, located in Scorpio.

Restless searching may finally lead us to a place of fulfillment and satisfaction, but it will take a conscious change of heart and mind in order to pull ourselves toward that place where that which is no longer relevant falls away in favor of new horizons.

Winter Solstice December 21

For those in the Northern hemisphere, the Sun reaches its annual ebb on the morning of Saturday, December 21 at 6° Sagittarius, in the nakshatra of Mula, which is the direction of the galactic center.

Mercury joins the Sun in Sagittarius this day, moving in from Scorpio, giving further good energy to the transition that the Sun makes toward its northern course, as our days will begin to extend in length. Mula nakshatra can be somewhat fierce energetically, ruled by Ketu, Mula has an ascetic nature that can be somewhat detached; Mula also means "root" so there is also the indication of concentrated, essential energy.

Read a nice article to help understand the Sun and the Seasons astronomically.

Remember that we also see Venus begin a retrograde cycle this day; after a couple of weeks Venus slips from our view as it gets closer to the Sun. The astronomical shifts on this solstice day further support the changes that are invited from the Full Moon of December 17.

New Moon in Sagittarius January 1

The last week of December sees the Moon waning and passing through the signs Virgo, Libra and Scorpio, each of which offers the Moon some challenges. Mars occupies Virgo; this could create agitation for the mind. Libra is holding Saturn and Rahu, further providing a challenge for the mind and emotions that the Moon represents. Finally, the Moon passes through Scorpio, the sign of debilitation for the Moon.

After the excitement of the holiday season, we may find ourselves reflected in the mood of the Moon; slightly depressed, emotionally challenged and drained of energy. Plan to nurture yourself during this time, keeping the schedule light and arranging activities that allow you to recharge and re-set.

Just before sunrise on the new year, January 1, 2014, the Moon moves into alignment with the Sun at 17° Sagittarius. New year, new Moon. This makes the infamous New Year's Eve a great time to turn within and contemplate the ending and beginning of a lunar cycle as well as the ending and beginning of a western calendar year.

Mercury joins this Sun-Moon conjunction within a couple of degrees and this trio receives the bold aspect of retrograde Jupiter from Gemini. Also influencing will be Saturn from Libra, giving a bit of pressure, practicality and reality and energetic Mars from Virgo, pushing us to move and build, even in the face of lower energy levels.

Almost all of the planets interact with this new Moon; some offer positive energy and change, some suggest retreating and relaxation. Plan your celebrations and/or spiritual retreats accordingly!

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