Monthly Vedic Astrology Forecast

December 2020

by Kerry Shamblin

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


On December 1, the Moon enters into Gemini and begins to wane after the total lunar eclipse of November 30. Mercury has joined the Sun in Scorpio, moving in to witness first hand the upcoming total solar eclipse of December 14. There are a few important shifts and meetings that December 2020 will offer; after an arduous year globally, this may be a good month to clean the chalkboard as we move into a new calendar year.

Venus Transits Scorpio December 10 – January 3

Venus and Mercury were having some good times in Libra, under the circumstances, which are that Libra has been receiving the dual aspect of Mars and Saturn, which can create a bit of heat and pressure. Venus is strong in Libra, her own sign, and will be moving through murkier waters from December 10 – January 3. Scorpio is currently charged up as the eclipse cycle is under way. Venus will be moving past Sun and Ketu during this few weeks.

Venus governs our interactions as separate beings who are all woven with the same thread. It's complicated. This extends from relationships all the way to how we interact with our planet, such as dyeing wool or cooking pumpkin soup. Venus gives us a strong creative urge and inspires us to celebrate the beauty of the Earth and all of her children.

Scorpio is the scene of going deep and examining the innards of things. In Scorpio, we dive down, questing to understand how things tick or gathering resources and materials with which we can build stronger structures. Scorpio provides a backdrop where situations can be examined objectively, with surgical precision.

The diplomatic approach of Venus can be overrun in the uncomfortable reality that Scorpio reflects. This will be a time to face and take responsibility for actions, rather than decorating cold, hard truths in an effort to smooth over obvious wrinkles.

Most of Venus' transit through Scorpio occurs after the total eclipse of December 14. This is a good time to allow creative solutions to establish root systems. Nourish the deep parts of any endeavors. Heal the cracks in the foundation before building new structures. Rediscover deep connections with others. This is a time for closing the eyes and allowing the inner life to unfold.

New Moon Total Solar Eclipse in Scorpio December 14

The Moon slides into perfect alignment with the Sun on December 14, at the moment of the new Moon, causing a total solar eclipse visible mainly in South Africa and South America.

The Sun and Moon join at 29º Scorpio, in the last quarter of the nakshatra Jyestha. This is rather close to Ketu, the south node, at 26° Scorpio, making the eclipse total. Joining Ketu at the same degree is Mercury, the planetary ruler of Jyestha nakshatra.

The idea behind eclipses is that something obscures the light of one of our main luminaries, the Sun and Moon. When the Sun is eclipsed, the Moon is lined up just right to get exactly in between Earth and Sun, such that the light of the Sun is obscured. That is what we will experience on December 14.

In astrological interpretation, eclipses are seen as dramatic triggers to a chain of events. One has to watch the degrees of the eclipses closely and observe what happens when other planets interact with that degree until the next eclipse cycle. This can be tedious and even paranoid, which oddly are two words that we can associate with the nodal axis itself. Alternatively, if one has important placement at eclipse degrees, it may trigger something relevant to that placement.

Because the phenomena of light and shadow is present in every scene on this planet, we have the opportunity every moment to play in the field of revelation and obscurity. Hide-and-seek is fun for children of all ages! Rather than seeing eclipses as an across-the-board negative event, we can consider that sometimes reducing the amount of light on a certain subject reveals contrast that help us to understand more deeply. Both light and darkness have gifts to give.

In a solar eclipse, the Moon (the mind, the emotions, sense of belonging) is acting to obscure the light of the Sun (sense of self, individual agenda, ego.) In this case, they are joining in Scorpio with Ketu (intuition, body intelligence, liberation) and Mercury (analytics, transactions, communication.) In translation, perhaps the darkness implied by this eclipse is an invitation to realign with what makes you feel good, deeply and truly. Leave behind striving to be a star in the world's eyes for a moment in order to feel what it's like to deeply nourish your roots.

Sun Transits Sagittarius December 15 – January 15

The winter solstice occurs on Monday, December 21, 2020 and marks the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The darkness increases dramatically during the few weeks leading up to the solstice and in many places the lengthening of days just after is palpable and gives a feeling of hope to the dormancy of the cold winter.

The winter solstice occurs after the Sun moves out of the cold waters of Scorpio and into the bright, expansive and hopeful environment of Sagittarius. From mid-December to mid-January each year, the Sun graces the shining hills and valleys of Jupiter's fire sign. For the past few years, 2017, 2018, 2019, the Sun has struggled to shine at full capacity while in Sagittarius due to Saturn's transit there. Perhaps this year will feel a bit more positive during the holiday season, despite the ongoing effects of the global pandemic.

This may be a time when we feel we can begin to "right" what has felt "wrong." Sagittarius is currently squeezed between Saturn+Jupiter on one side and Ketu+Venus on the other, but is also free of extremely weighty or negative aspects. Sun's transit here will give us good perspective and allow us to integrate the lessons of the past year as we look ahead to 2021.

Mercury Transits Sagittarius December 16 – January 4

As noted above, Sagittarius is currently a relatively sunny place to be, so we should expect good results from Mercury who races through Jupiter's fire sign from December 16 – January 4.

Mercury is right on the heels of the Sun and moving at a fast pace. Mercury conjoins and passes ahead of the Sun in the zodiac on December 20, moving quickly away from the heat of the day star.

While time in Sagittarius may give good perspective and help us to organize our plans for learning more or improving our situations, we may still feel a bit blocked due to Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius coming up hard on a conjunction with Saturn. For many, the first few weeks of December may create an environment of profound stasis and a feeling that change or relief may never come.

This may feel frustrating to quick Mercury, whose strategy usually lies in doing more and planning less. Beware of pulling a trigger too soon, before the foundations are solid.

The Great Conjunction December 21, 2020

On December 21, 2020, Jupiter catches up to Saturn at 6°20' Capricorn. Jupiter and Saturn are the farthest out planets visible to the human eye, so the observation of their paths through the zodiac has been possible for as long as human eyes wandered there. As we are watching Jupiter close in on dear Saturn through this rather exciting year, this astrologer has been obsessed with the meaning behind this dance between Jupiter and Saturn.

Jupiter takes about twelve years to move through all of the zodiac signs. It finds exaltation in the sign of the Moon, Cancer, and debilitation in the sign of Saturn, Capricorn, the site of this current conjunction with Saturn. Jupiter represents positivity, growth, truth, knowledge, children, fruits and teachers. Jupiter lords the signs of Sagittarius and Pisces.

Saturn takes from 28-30 years to move through all zodiac signs, spending about 2.5-3 years in each sign compared to Jupiter's one year in each sign, approximately. While Jupiter inspires us to expand, Saturn pressures us to contract. Saturn exalts in the sign of Libra and is debilitated in Aries, claiming lordship of Capricorn and Aquarius.

Saturn reminds us that our time is finite, that we are responsible for our actions, and that real results take effort, perseverance, and patience. Saturn's practicality can come across as fearful or negative but generally protects from harm at the expense of experiencing the thrill of risk.

As Jupiter's route is faster than Saturn's, there is a pattern they make with their conjunctions and oppositions. They conjoin approximately every 20 years and then oppose on the alternate 10 years. Coincidentally, these conjunctions and oppositions come at the turn of our western calendar decades, perhaps explaining the cultural phenomena that we assign to our decades.

After a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, for the next decade, Jupiter is moving ahead and away from Saturn in the zodiac. Perhaps during these decades, hope, faith and growth prevail over difficulty. We may also over speculate, which is a feature of Jupiter's agenda. Eventually, Jupiter comes to a point where he is opposite to Saturn in the zodiac, a tipping point, perhaps. Jupiter then moves toward Saturn for the next decade, when perhaps we are called to pay debts, tighten belts, increase our responsibilities and work a bit more diligently.

Jupiter eventually joins up to Saturn again for a new cycle to begin. We are at that point now. So now we know that every 20 years, these two great planets join, forcing us all to re-set our programs for growth and limitation, for winning and losing, for learning and ignoring, for youth and age. The paradoxical truth that the door of birth and the door of death are the same portal comes through this reckoning of Jupiter with Saturn.

Here's a brief rundown of the past 100 years Great Conjunctions:

1921 – Virgo
1941 – Aries
1961 – Capricorn
1980 – Virgo
2000 – Aries
2020 – Capricorn

See a pattern? Will the 2020s be anything like the 1960s? Were the roaring 20s anything like the deficit-driven growth of the 80s, with a stock market crash toward the end of each? This could be a fun project for historians.

A few take-aways from historical events shortly after the last Great Conjunction in Capricorn, which occurred on February 19, 1961, could help us predict how things may go in the next six months. It is interesting to note that there was a total solar eclipse on February 15, 1961, which is also a parallel in this current scene.

March 1, 1961 – President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps
April 12, 1961 – Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to orbit the Earth
May 4, 1961 – Freedom Riders begin testing integration laws on interstate bus rides
August 1961 – Kennedy launches "Alliance for Progress," an initiative to strengthen ties with Latin America
August 13, 1961 – Construction of the Berlin Wall begins

These are just a few events from 1961. You can read more here.

For a more direct look at how this great re-set will affect one on a personal level, it is good to study the horoscope and see what role the sign of Capricorn plays for each chart.

Mars Transits Aries December 23 – February 21

Mars moves through the Pisces-Aries gandanta on December 23, pushing us collectively into a new beginning. "Gandanta" literally means "end mark" and shows a joint, a place where direction or function changes. In the zodiac, there are three of these joints, all transitions between two disparate elements: water and fire. This implies that there are three distinct zones of the zodiac that lie between these joints. The slower-moving planets that cross through these spots can reflect an individual or collective period of going through a trial of some kind that either elevates to the next level or causes us to further concentrate on the issue.

These end marks of zodiacal sections come between the signs of Cancer and Leo, Scorpio and Sagittarius and finally Pisces and Aries. Another interesting signification of these points is that they also cleanly divide the nakshatras (lunar signs) into three sections as well. It is at the gandantas that the sun signs and the moon signs harmonize.

Each zodiac section will contain four Sun signs (rasis) and nine Moon divisions (nakshatras.) This is an interesting thing to note, as "4" in a chart shows the mother principle and "9" shows the father principle. The Moon (mother) designation carries the father principle with the nine nakshatra sections. The Sun (father) designation carries the mother principle with the four rasi sections.

Perhaps the implication is that the difficult puzzles that gandantas offer are an alchemical invitation to solve problems that harmonize and liberate the mother-father/Moon-Sun principles. Harmonizing the Sun-Moon principles is popularly known as yoga, which has many forms and methods.

The elements of the signs on either side of the gandantas have been mentioned, water and fire. The planetary rulers of the nakshatras on either side of the gandanta are also consistent: Mercury and Ketu. It is perhaps in the energy of these two planets that we find the methods and solutions.

On one side of the gandanta, we have Mercury territory in a water sign. This implies a struggle for our ability to see clearly, to integrate information or to have analytical ability in the face of emotional overwhelm. It's at the end of a section of the zodiac, the experience of which has built up and needs to be processed and transformed.

On the other side of the gandanta, we have Ketu territory in a fire sign. We have moved from dissolution to initiation. This shows having the courage to follow our intuition after recently integrating deep lessons. It is the beginning of a new section of the zodiac, which we face humbly and vigorously in anticipation of new experience and progress.

With that introduction, let us now turn our attention to Shri Mangal, Mars, who is currently in direct motion in Jupiter's water sign, Pisces. He has crossed the gandanta between Pisces and Aries twice recently due to a retrograde period, with the third time being the charm on December 23.

Mars is in charge of our power, which makes his agenda focused on resources, protection and law enforcement. We've all heard the saying, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." There is truth to this, which is why in astrology, we tend to blame Mars for aggression and anger while forgetting that he is building houses, cooking breakfast and farming land.

A well placed or well-guided Mars is what keeps us all in food, clothes and shelter (without having to harm others.) We could say that while Mars has been in Pisces, both retrograde and then direct, he has been forced like many to immerse in those lessons and suffer a dispersal of power.

Many have followed the directive to sit and wait. Pisces as the 12th sign of the zodiac implies places of confinement, which can also be expansive, like the ocean. We can be safe on the ocean when we have a boat, which literally saves us but it also becomes a place of confinement.

Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, which is a good influence on Mars. Additionally, Mars has had the brakes put on him by Saturn from Capricorn, which again forces our hand with regards to sitting back and waiting while we integrate lessons shown in the final section of the zodiac.

When Mars advances into Aries, we may feel some rapidly developing movement after a long period of stagnancy. Mars moves through Aries December 23, 2020 – February 3, 2021. Aries is Mars' own fire sign, which could manifest as bolstering feelings of resolution, courage or strategic inspiration.

This progression into Aries comes on the heels of an eclipse cycle and the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. For many there may be feelings that chapters have finished and new stories are on the horizon. While Mars may feel super charged, and somewhat unfettered, we must remember that Saturn and Jupiter are still showing that any growth or movement must be calculated, slow-paced, fair to all parties and infused with wisdom.

Except for a couple of visits from the Moon, Mars will be flying solo in Aries, with no planetary aspects coming at him from anywhere. This means Jupiter will not be advising him, nor Venus, nor Sun. Let's hope that Mars absorbed enough wisdom floating through Pisces to avoid any rash moves, unnecessary aggression or angry outbursts while he moves us forward during this transit.

Full Moon in Gemini/Ardra December 29

After the solar eclipse at new Moon on December 14, the Moon waxes her way past all of the other planets. Remember, the Moon was one of the main characters in the eclipse, moving between the Sun and Earth to block the light. Moon was new and with Ketu, Venus and Mercury in Scorpio. She takes off immediately to Sagittarius, gathering herself from later on December 14 through December 16.

December 16 – 18, the Moon moves through Capricorn, passing by the nearly conjunct Jupiter and Saturn pair. This could be an emotionally dynamic time.

December 18 – 20, waxing Moon gets another breather moving through Aquarius. A good time to get the big picture.

December 21 – 23, Moon joins Mars in Pisces, moves past Mars and leads him into Aries. December 21 is also the day Jupiter/Saturn conjunction is exact. This could be a powerful time in some way.

December 23 – 25, Moon with Mars in Aries. Dynamic energy, so make an effort to keep the mind calm and focused.

December 26 – 28, Moon with Rahu in Taurus. This is interesting. Moon and Venus opposite one another, in the recently active eclipse axis. Moon is strong, exalted and waxing. Time for deep cleaning the mirrors of our hearts.

December 28 – 30, Moon in Gemini, opposite Mercury (ruler of Gemini!) and Sun. This could feel really free, open and hopeful, even though all the other tough stuff is still going on. At the moment the Gemini-Sagittarius axis is relatively negativity free, so this may be a good time to get ready, clear, focused and organized for the new calendar year.

The moment of the full Moon comes in the evening of Tuesday, December 29 when the Sun reaches 15º Sagittarius, flanked by his sidekick, Mercury, while Moon becomes full at 15º Gemini, in Ardra nakshatra.

This feels like a full circle moment. In 2019, there was an eclipse on December 25-26 in the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, with a total solar eclipse in Sagittarius. The focus was in Sagittarius, with six planets placed there. Crafty Rahu, on the other end, was in his own nakshatra of Ardra, and unbeknownst to most of the world, SARS Covid-19 was born and began to spread.

This year, at the full Moon in Gemini on December 29, the Moon will occupy Ardra nakshatra, recalling the 2019 eclipse but not repeating, as Rahu has moved not only out of Ardra but also out of Taurus. The full Moon in December 2020 signals completion of the cycle begun with the eclipse of December 2019. It's time to clean up, reflect and reorient. With caution, with patience, with wisdom and with open minds. Shed the tears. Feel the turmoil. Feel the peace.

Let's go.

Season's Greetings

To all of my readers, I thank you for checking in with the messages the planets are here to give us. I appreciate you wading through my poetry to pluck the fruits that may be hidden there!

It has been a challenging year for each person on the planet Earth. May we all find solace in the regularity of time and the abundant gifts of Mother Earth.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. Peace, joy and love. – Kerry

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