Planetary Trends for December 2022 by Belinda Dunn

WHAT’S UP – December 2022

Belinda C. Dunn

Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon

December 7 @ 11:08 pm EST

Winter Solstice

December 21 @ 4:50 pm EST

Capricorn New Moon

December 23 @ 5:16 am EST

Mercury retrograde

December 29 @ 4:32 am EST

As customary, December begins with all the fanfare, and over the top extravagance, of the holiday season. Lights, camera, action! While decking the halls can be a joyful expression for many, too often the season becomes a minefield of expectation and burdens, depending on where you stand. From the standpoint of astrology, Neptune is the prominent planetary player for the first half of December, and we may do well to remember the aphorism, “All that glitters is not gold.”

First of all, strengthening its influence, Neptune is stationary direct on December 3. Neptune is transiting through Pisces, a very inspirational combination, but possibly innocent, gullible, and easily persuaded. A hallmark of these times, elements of the nonsensical weave with confusion as the mind spins in an endless circle of truth vs. falsehood. Neptune teaches that only essential Truth can be real, while falsehood is but illusory, always changing, mutating into the next drama.

While there are many ramifications, and every planetary combination manifests with both opportunity and challenge, December begins with an aura of, “What’s happening ??!!” Mercury is in stressful square to Neptune on the 1st. Venus follows closely, squaring Neptune on December 4th. It may feel like walking through a hall of mirrors, gazing at reflections, knowing that at any moment the mirror can shatter and scatter beyond repair. Because once the illusion falls apart, there is no turning back.

All these factors feed into the approaching Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon, exact on the evening of December 7. Shining bright, this lunation amplifies all facets of communication, personally and collectively. In fact, there are numerous breaking developments as the Moon exactly conjoins Mars in Gemini in opposition to the Sun in Sagittarius. The very word “opposition” implies conflict, difference of opinion, and efforts to persuade others to one’s point of view. The air waves will be on fire with the latest story, and a sense of urgency and pressure can overtake reason.

Sagittarius, the zodiac sign of belief, can range from open minded and curious to dogmatic, opinionated, and close minded. Most likely, this Full Moon concerns the finalization of mid-term elections that can change minds, or deepen division. The political turmoil of recent years is not just a war of words, but a war of ideology. Reading like an open book, this Full Moon has the potential to illuminate contradiction, duplicity and fantasy. It is a turning point, a decisive note on which to end the year.

Another key factor for consideration involves transiting Mars retrograde (October 30 – January 12). It can be helpful to look back to important events in late October. To some degree, November was a month for pausing, perhaps stalling, allowing adjustments and alterations to future plans. December is a month for defining and refining direction, and beginning to make movement, if possible.

Returning to Neptune, the Sun makes a final square to Neptune on December 14th. Therefore, the first half of December can be a breeding ground for a proliferation of schemes and scams with desperation as the driving force. Of course, this can wreak havoc on gift purchases, so choose wisely and carefully. Likewise, the high side of these planetary alignments can instill compassion for those in need, and can result in extraordinary acts of generosity.

By the week of December 19, grounding planetary influences come to the forefront. Marking the annual Winter Solstice, Sun enters Capricorn on the 21st. The longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere, solstice is a time for honoring traditions, lighting candles and basking in the glow of a perfectly stoked fire. By now, Mercury and Venus are in cautious and practical Capricorn, and the solstice chart shows a predominance of the earth element. Reverent, solemn and responsible, Capricorn energy helps to stabilize the metaphorical ship on stormy seas of planetary evolution.

Within days, Moon joins Sun is a Capricorn Super New Moon, exact on December 23. In the dark of the Moon, setting the tone for year-end reflection, this is an especially important lunation for each and all. Concluding a divisive, turbulent and war torn year, a profound reckoning is taking place. From a multitude of vantage points, many are asking, “Where do we go from here?”

The New Moon chart shows a major grouping of planets in Capricorn. In addition to the luminaries, Sun and Moon, there are three planets, Venus, Mercury, Pluto. Known as a stellium, these concise and powerful alignments can dissolve illusions and fantasies, and dash expectations on the hard, cold rocks of reality. This is when the rubber meets the road in a call for responsible management of resources, starting with one’s immediate sphere of influence.

Now what makes this New Moon even more powerful is Mercury preparing to go retrograde on December 29th. As Mercury begins its routine (3 times a year) retrograde, it is within three degrees of Pluto, very close. As though egging Pluto on, Mercury will not make an exact conjunction with Pluto until February 10. So, even though there is plenty of time to get the drift, in reality, there is no time to waste.

Let’s take a laser like focus into the compelling lessons of the zodiac teacher Capricorn. To recap, in its long 246 year orbit, Pluto has been transiting through Capricorn since 2008. Wrapping up fourteen years of history, next year Pluto enters Aquarius around the Spring Equinox. It is clear . . . a tremendous shift, monumental in scope, is underway. It is so easy to lose sight of this in the humdrum of daily life, but nevertheless, we are along for the ride.

An apt representation of Capricorn is the hermit on the mountain top, holding high a lantern to light the way for other climbers. In this way, Capricorn is wiser, stoic, more experienced, and above it all. Capricorn also represents the parent, and in particular the father. While this may be an idealization of parenting, and most parents understandably fall short in real life circumstances, the ideal parent is reliable, consistent, caring and conscientious. Older and wiser, a parent takes the long range view, fostering character development in offspring, and development of the internal compass commonly called conscience, morality, ethics.

Shifting gears . . . in this day and age, the community and family unit is besieged with dysfunction and numerous societal stresses. Substance abuse is rampant, schools are no longer safe havens, there is violence on the streets, political turmoil, economic disparity, mental illness is normalized, and meanwhile, greedy, tyrannical leaders play around with weapons of mass destruction. Need I go on?

I realize this is not a positive note on which to end the year. Sorry, but this major alignment in Capricorn with Mercury activating Pluto over the coming weeks, it’s time to face reality. Otherwise, we may miss the substance and continue to blindly stumble along in desperation and delusion. This alignment can assist each and everyone to grow up, sidestep the habit of victimization, and mature in leaps and bounds by taking personal responsibility. Tap into inner guidance, your GPS of personalized instructions, and discover ways to fortify yourself for the inevitable vicissitudes and storms of life.

From the national picture . . . all year we have been tracking Pluto’s return to its exact degree in 1776, the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The third and final conjunction is December 28th. This makes complete sense to astrologers, and no wonder so many systems are in a state of decay and breakdown, re-imagining and reconstruction. Pluto is literally flushing out the past.

So often, as archetypal god of the underworld, Pluto gets a bad rap. Pluto’s job is to bring enlightened awareness into areas of denial and repression. Exposing the underbelly, so to speak, Pluto’s action is transmuting, transforming and transcending. This takes many forms such as the psychological pressure to evolve, exposure of corruption, criminality, pollution and decomposition.

As the world turns, humans tend to forget that beneath our feet, night and day, is earth, our glorious planet Earth. Under the surface, there are vast stores of minerals, gems and crystals. Under the seas, a vast wealth of sustenance and wildlife. Abundance is the nature of life, but all this is pushed aside, easily forgotten in the insatiable rush to dominate, acquire, accumulate. But, whether acknowledged or not, humans are on a treasure hunt for the real wealth, the Truth beyond all understanding.

In conclusion, I am reminded of a remarkable story of the clay Buddha. In 1955, a clay statue of Buddha was being moved to a new temple in Thailand. In transport, the clay cracked to reveal a pure gold Buddha. Apparently, during an invasion centuries earlier, monks covered the Buddha with clay to protect and preserve it from harm.

This story has so many layers of relevance and meaning, but the essence is a helpful reminder. No matter what “things” look like on the surface, appearances can be deceiving. Beneath all trials and tribulations, sorrows and joys, abides a hidden existence, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be known, and ready to be embodied.

As another year draws to a close, may each of you, your loved ones, and all beings experience the true wealth; peace, happiness, health, contentment, and a deep abiding sense that all is well, and love really does make the world go ’round.

Enjoy the season, goodwill to all, and 2023 . . . here we come !!!

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation.;

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