Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

December 2019

by Kerry Shamblin

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


Mercury Transits Scorpio December 4 - 25

The sign of Scorpio has been the site of so much action in the past five years. On November 2, 2014, with Saturn entering into Scorpio, we began a long stretch of focus on this water sign that is co-ruled by two fiery planets, Mars and Ketu.

Scorpio, the eighth sign of the zodiac, is enigmatic territory and its indications correlate with those of the eighth house, which guards the domain of life associated with abrupt, deep transformations, chronic difficulties and subconscious explorations.

For most people, some aspect of this domain of life and death is challenging or frightening, to be avoided or ignored. The theme of water and fire mixing or co-existing is strong in Scorpio; it is also the gateway to the third water-fire juncture between signs in the zodiac, leading us toward the traverse of the final four signs of the zodiac where we are pulled to bring ourselves into an integrated, mature and spiritual orientation. It is a part of life's journey where we make a stand; to eliminate that which has been debilitating us or sapping our resources and then to courageously move forward into a higher evolutionary direction, exchanging fear for faith.

Saturn affected Scorpio from November 2014 – October 2017, bringing forth our attention to the facts of life, the unseen troubles that lie beneath murky waters. Between October 2017 and October 2018, Scorpio saw the regular transits of the faster moving planets and was flanked on either side by Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Libra, both occupying signs in which they are not comfortable and Scorpio was simultaneously receiving the aspect of Rahu in Scorpio, continuing to amplify the themes of vulnerability in the face of crookedness, pollution, defamation and aggressive manipulation.

From October 2018 to early November 2019, Jupiter's transit colored Scorpio, which brought about efforts to expand, cleanse and reform. These efforts were slowed and obstructed, however, as heavy and resistant Saturn has been occupying Jupiter's territory, tainting that positivity and expansion that we expect from Jupiter.

Jupiter and Saturn have moved on from Scorpio for now and we will continue to see the inner planets transiting there in years to come. The next major player to pass through Scorpio will be the south node of the Moon, Ketu, who is considered co-lord of Scorpio. This will be a strong placement from September 2020 – April 2022.

Mercury will be passing swiftly through the dark waters of Scorpio from December 4 – 25, which is looking to be an interesting day astrologically. Mercury exits Scorpio, joining the many planets in Sagittarius that will be involved in a solar eclipse event later that night as Mars exits Libra and enters Scorpio, all on Christmas Day.

Mercury, flexible enough to get by in most situations, considers Scorpio neutral territory; Mercury will also be relatively left to his own devices to research, organize, shop, write poetry, lesson plans or whatever his current hobby. This may reflect in our lives as perhaps being more efficient alone than with a team this month as the holiday glamour swirls in the marketplace.

Mars, as co-ruler of Scorpio is literally in the marketplace, the sign of Libra, until December 25, suggesting that we may all thrive more during the nearly unavoidable melee of the holiday season by applying our energy through efficient channels. Make lists, optimize calendars, protect lines of communication/supply and stick to the plan!

On December 25, Mercury will move through the gandanta zone between Scorpio and Sagittarius, joining Jupiter, Ketu, Sun and Saturn for the 2019 grand finale leading into New Year's 2020.

Full Moon in Mrigashira/Taurus December 11

The Moon moves into fully facing the Sun and reflecting its light back to us in the very late hours of December 11, just around midnight, at 26° Taurus, Venus' earth sign. This is within the nakshatra Mrigashira, lorded by Mars, and spanning the transition between Taurus' bull and Gemini's twins. This is a powerful and positive nakshatra that supports creative actions, enjoyment and fulfillment.

This is a clear, still point that calls for us to pause and enjoy the beauty around us, including the earth itself, the relationships we foster, the foods we enjoy and the creative methods we have for aesthetically enhancing our lives.

After the Moon begins to wane, it enters into Gemini, encountering Rahu, where things may become confused or obfuscated. Within the fortnight leading up to the Christmas solar eclipse, Venus moves to Capricorn, the Sun and Mercury join Saturn, Ketu and Jupiter in Sagittarius and Mars slips into Scorpio, creating a very interesting set up for the solar eclipse on December 25-26. All of this shifting about as the Moon is waning may be challenging in the sense of keeping up the efficiency suggestions of Mars.

Therefore, it may be wise to use the clear, strong energy of the waxing Moon combined with high-powered Mercury in Scorpio during the first third of December to both wrap up and organize the 2019 projects, reassess future directions and goals, and make initial decisions for 2020 directions. After mid-December, we may all be pulled toward the events pulling us into the heart of the matter shown by the many planets gathering in Sagittarius.

Venus Transits Capricorn December 15 – January 8, 2020

Venus is leading the charge, passing through the cluster of planets occupying Sagittarius and moving on to Saturn's earth sign, Capricorn on December 15 for a quick transit. Looks like the planet who rules relationships and connections is heading to the hills for a nice winter retreat. Alone.

Capricorn is an interesting place to be at this moment, with the planets gathering on the battlefield of Sagittarius in late December. Venus is a friend of Saturn, who rules the territory of Capricorn and can perhaps be the cool voice of diplomacy and restraint in what could be described as a planetary pressure cooker.

This position of Venus certainly implies a short season of distance, space or evaluation when it comes to Venus related matters such as creativity, business, contracts, partnerships or relationships. The Saturn-ruled environment expresses the need for diligence, patience and attention to all details, but is certainly supporting the creative process, even though it may slow things down temporarily.

Sun Transits Sagittarius December 16 – January 14

The Sun bravely crosses into Sagittarius on December 16, joining with both friends and enemies in Jupiter's fiery domain. Sagittarius is one of the four "dual" signs of the zodiac, of which Jupiter rules two and Mercury rules the other two.

These dual signs are the places of change, transition, movement, education, continuance and growth. The Sun joins Jupiter, Ketu and Saturn initially, and those four will welcome friendly Mercury on December 25.

These five planets will remain grouped in Sagittarius through January 13, when Mercury moves out into Capricorn. Fast moving Mercury will overtake the Sun on January 10 and jump ahead toward his friend Venus.

We can think of the Sun as the king, as the government, as a symbol for leaders of any kind. The planetary arch enemy of the Sun is Saturn, who symbolizes the subjects, the vulnerable, the weak or infirm. If it weren't for the people in need, how much simpler would the job of the governing bodies be?

These two planets do create a balance challenge for each human being surrounding the concept of "self" that we also call the individual ego. This plays out on an individual basis as we journey through life on a quest for a healthy ego that allows us to define our unique individual imprint while averting us from the disaster of an overblown sense of self-importance or, in some cases, self-debasement.

This year, the annual meeting of Saturn and Sun occurs with much more spice. The path of destruction that was wrought by the gouging plow action of the Saturn-Ketu conjunction through the summer months has become the trench in which we will see this year's meeting of Saturn and Sun, which occurs exactly as the Sun exits Sagittarius on January 14.

The addition of Ketu, Jupiter and Mercury to this mix, especially in Jupiter's territory, could signal a time of reckoning in the realm of personal responsibility. The weakness, corruption and decay revealed throughout the summer is begging to be broken apart, cleansed and transmuted; if that has not already begun after possibly painful breakups, disappointments or other means of creating separation, be ready for things to move, ready or not.

We are coming to a time where the desires of the individual will need to be balanced and integrated with the needs of the collective. Some will gain and some will lose, but a new point of balance is in the works. Where the Sun travels, light comes into dark corners and the pests that hide in the cracks will be forced out of their comfort zones.

While the Sun and Saturn are going head-to-head, Jupiter presides as the judge, Mercury is present to witness and record while Ketu perennially is present to break apart the illusion of material entrapment. However this plays out on a collective level or on an individual basis, we may be forced to accept responsibility for how we have contributed to the corruption that so readily repulses us.

Mars Transits Scorpio December 25 – February 7, 2020

As Mercury moves out of Scorpio on December 25, Mars moves in, which creates a very interesting shape in the South Indian chart style. This shape holds through mid-January and you can see it in the graphic below that depicts the annular solar eclipse on Christmas.

The shape reminds me of an arrow, in which the planet Rahu is the fletching, the grouping of planets in Sagittarius is the arrow's tip and Venus and Mars flanking either side of the grouping of planets are the barbs of the arrows. While there may not be ancient astrological meaning to this configuration per se, the visual does pull into mind the symbol of Sagittarius, which is an arrow, a symbol that is also associated with a few of the nakshatras.

Mars in Scorpio is acting as a backup energy or support system for the planets gathered under the spotlight in Sagittarius, just as Venus in Capricorn is creating a supportive energy on the other side. The pressure cooker environment caused by the combination of planets therein at the moment is being managed by Mars on one side and Venus on the other; both are well placed and could be the saving grace for the current times.

Even after the critical moment passes, Mars will be remaining in his own sign of Scorpio through the first week of February. This may be an indication of a period of focused effort, reorganization or accounting of resources while bravely facing problems that require us to dig deep and stand strong.

New Moon in Mula/Sagittarius (Annular Solar Eclipse) December 25-26

Depending upon your whereabouts this annular solar eclipse will either occur on December 25 or 26 and it will either be visible or not. In US Mountain time zone, the eclipse happens at around 10:15 pm, which means that we couldn't see the eclipse of the Sun (as it is below the horizon.)

The path of eclipse visibility runs through Saudi Arabia, South India and Indonesia, but eclipses tend to make a mark even on regions that may not be witnessing the eclipse. In this case we are having a solar eclipse, which happens during a new Moon, when the Moon passes in front of the Sun from the Earth's perspective, temporarily obscuring the sunlight.

The Sun and Moon meet at exactly 10º Sagittarius this month, in the final quarter of the nakshatra Mula. Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter, who is also a current occupant of Mula, at 12º Sagittarius. These three planets make up the group of the light-giving, positive, sattwic planets. They are also sitting in the nakshatra Mula, lorded by the planet Ketu and the goddess of destruction, Nirriti. And they are surrounded!

Nearby we have Ketu at 15º, the Moon's south node, a shadow planet who is the real causer of the eclipse. Ketu's energy is known to block or obstruct materially but to liberate spiritually, so depending upon one's desires, this could be favorable or utterly frustrating.

In the early degrees of Sagittarius is energetic Mercury, our source of exchanges, communication, learning, markets, somewhat outside the orb of the eclipse shadow but close enough to be included in the equation. In the late degrees of Sagittarius sits Saturn, causing pressure and urging detachment, preparing to shift signs.

The idea behind eclipses is that a shadow descends upon that which we count on to light our way. This obstruction forces us inward, to draw upon our inner resources to calm and guide us through darkness and difficulty. It will be profound to witness the temporary loss of the comfort and warmth of the Sun's light, the Moon's compassion and Jupiter's guidance. This shocking experience when channelled toward an expanded understanding helps us to gain perspective about how to manage our minds and spirits as they move through the material world.

For when the light returns and the shadow recedes, we have a newfound understanding of our purpose due to the struggle of maintaining perspective when the lights go away. This eclipse seems to mark a turning point for many as we surrender to circumstances, root down into our anchor points and fully let go of that which is actually begging to become free.

The chart below shows the planets configured in the sky at the moment of eclipse. Rahu is in the upper right corner (Gemini) with the grouping of six planets in Sagittarius in the lower left corner. The signs on either side of Sagittarius are holding Venus and Mars. The arrow is drawn back in the bow. The eclipse is that moment where all stops as we focus on our targets. When the shadows clear, the time to let fly will come. Where are you pointing your arrow?

2019 annular solar eclilpse

Preparing for Saturn in Capricorn January 23, 2020 – January 17, 2023

As ponderous Saturn prepares to change signs in January, we may want to reflect back on the previous transit of Saturn through Capricorn to understand how Saturn will affect our personal horoscopes. There will be other factors that also affect how this plays out for us, such as the transits of the other slow moving planets like Jupiter and the nodal axis, Rahu (north node of the Moon) and Ketu (south node of the Moon.)

Lord Shani (Saturn) last transited Capricorn December 15, 1990 - March 4, 1993, with two retrograde periods, May - Oct 1991 and May - Oct 1992 that kept Saturn in Capricorn for that whole period. Prior to that, there was a short, three-month preview when Saturn entered Capricorn March 20, 1990 and retreated back to Sagittarius on June 21, 1990.

Just as the upcoming transit may imply, with Saturn transiting his own sign of Capricorn, there is a general benefit in having a content, well-placed Saturn that will aid us in laying foundations, building slowly and carefully and leaving behind the trappings that do not serve our goals. In 2020, Jupiter will also be in occupation of his own sign, Sagittarius and by September 2020, we will also see Ketu in Scorpio, a sign that he considers home. These factors combined make for a positive outlook for 2020, with the realization that new forms emerge from the ashes of the defunct.

One exercise you can do is to review the historical events of 1991 and 1992, which may spark memories of personal experiences that occurred during that time. For example, we are seeing the same issues in the news that had roots in the events of 1991: Gulf War I started January, Rodney King Assault, Soviet Union dissolves December, etc.

Wikipedia 1991
Wikipedia 1992

When Shani moved into Capricorn in 1990, Rahu was also placed there, with Ketu placed in Cancer, the sign opposite to Capricorn. Combinations of Rahu and Saturn can tend to break things apart and destabilize in general; with this happening in Saturn's own sign of Capricorn, we may have seen a controlled and slow process, such as the ending of the cold war and the breaking apart of the Soviet Union during this time. This pattern held between December 1990 – April 1991 and could have been the most dynamic part of the Saturn transit through Capricorn at the beginning of the 1990s.

From April 1991 – November 1992, while Saturn plodded through Capricorn, the nodal axis moved so that Rahu was placed in Sagittarius and Ketu was placed in Gemini; this was perhaps a less stable addition to Saturn in Capricorn. Bill Clinton was elected president in November 1992, during a year when Bosnia went to a devastating war over independence and hurricanes mowed over both Kauai and Florida.

From November 1992 – May 1994, the nodal axis again shifted, moving in reverse zodiacal order naturally, with Rahu in Scorpio and Ketu in Taurus. This would have colored the last six months of Saturn in Capricorn, from November 1992 – March 1993 and would have perhaps been a relatively more stable period, although it could be argued that Rahu placed in Scorpio and Ketu in Taurus are not in the best disposition.

Bringing in the Jupiter factor, which balances out the contraction of Saturn with his expansive nature, adds more to the story. When Saturn entered Capricorn, joining Rahu in December of 1990, Jupiter was also in occupation of Cancer, the opposite sign, in exaltation and joining Ketu, the south node of the Moon. This conjunction of Jupiter and Ketu was quite positive, lasting from April – August 1991.

Jupiter moved out of Saturn's gaze and into Leo from August 1991 – September 1992. During that time of Saturn maintaining his place in Capricorn, Rahu – Ketu was in Sagittarius – Gemini, perhaps marking this section as the least stable time during that last Saturn in Capricorn transit. An exciting election was brewing in the US at that time.

Jupiter moved into Virgo in September 1992, which made for some good complementary action with Saturn during his last six months in Capricorn. Remember, Saturn says slow and Jupiter says grow, so when working in concert, stable forward progress is possible. With Saturn in Capricorn and Jupiter in Virgo, both planets were especially favorable for the signs of Capricorn and Pisces during that time.

Reviewing the events of the last transit of Saturn through Capricorn may be helpful in making decisions about how to go forward in the next few years. It is likely that the domains of life that thrived or suffered during that last transit will be similarly affected during the upcoming transit, of course with the understanding that each horoscope is also on its own schedule of planetary and sign periods that combine with the planetary weather to shape our individual paths.

We will explore the relationships of Saturn, Jupiter and the nodal axis as we venture forth into the next calendar year.

Joyous holiday greetings to all! Thank you for tuning in to my monthly forecast! Wishing you all a happy new year, 2020!

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