December’s Full Moon, the one that comes before Yule, is called the Cold Moon. It’s a time of festivities, and it’s also a time when some sensitive souls may prefer to hunker down low.
The December 7 Full Moon highlights the axis of the mind, with the Moon in Gemini and the Sun in Sagittarius. A Gemini mind is insatiably curious, seeking out mountains of data and storytelling in all its forms. A Sagittarius mind takes an aerial view and asks: what is true and meaningful? Both signs are mutable, meaning changeable. They cannot really be said to be ready for a winter’s nap.
The key feature of the December 7 Full Moon (8:07 p.m. on the West Coast) is the exact conjunction the Moon will make with Mars just ten minutes after lunar fullness. Mars is in an extra-long period of retrograde motion from October 30, 2022 to January 12, 2023. It has also lately been making a square to outer planet Neptune, bringing tension around individual and collective visions of fact versus delusion. Retrograde Mars can be frustrating as things are just not moving in their normal direction.
Any Full Moon time can feel emotionally fraught. A Gemini Moon can feel wiggly and indecisive. Gemini is one of the communicative and social air signs, and with Mars there for so many months, the light of the Full Moon punctuates the interplay between one’s thoughts, speech and actions. Especially at the time of the Full Moon, things might easily go off the rails into a wordy mess. There might be outbursts, seeing red. The best advice, as always, is to guard what stories one tells, to oneself as well as to others.
One saving grace is that the Moon, on December 7, will be moving toward a harmonious trine with Saturn, still ensconced in its airy home sign of Aquarius. Saturn is a slowed-down teacher of stable maturity, and Aquarius lends an objective tone.
Astronomically, on the night of December 7 and into the early morning hours of December 8, the Moon will pass over and eclipse Mars. This is called an occultation, related to the word occult. It’s something mysterious, rare, and hidden from view. The Moon will briefly override Mars’ visibility, like a pause and then a refreshment of Mars’ assertive functions. Though the red planet will remain in retrograde motion, it will be vibrant again once the Moon proceeds on.
The other key feature of the December 7 Full Moon is that both the Sun and Moon are “applying to” i.e. moving toward, a square to Neptune, which recently resumed direct motion. (Venus in Sagittarius has been squaring Neptune for some weeks, and it’s been like wearing some shiny rose-colored glasses in relationship realms.) Neptune still in mutable Pisces is the focal/apex planet of a T-square with the Sun and Moon. This T-square makes the December Full Moon more tense than others.
Neptune is the star of this full Moon T-square, as it will receive pressure from both the opposing Sun and the Moon/Mars conjunction. Despite the usual cautions about Neptunian fogginess and—especially in our times, concerns about mass propaganda—Neptunian energy is also one of transcendent beauty. To say that a T-square is an aspect of pressure does not mean it’s bad. A T-square heightens the symbolic potency of the apex planet.
The Moon at its full phase each month has reached its maximum capacity to reflect the Sun’s light. Anything and everything can thus be revealed. Then comes the next part of the lunation cycle, which is the dissemination of what one has learned, and now knows. The mental axis of Gemini/Sagittarius teaches that good information yields wisdom.
Neptune in Pisces, at the apex of the T-square with the Gemini Moon and the Sagittarius Sun, calls forth the idea of a Cloud of Unknowing, the title of a 14th century Christian mystical text. It is an uncharted, non-physical place of waiting, where Divine Love resides, beyond intellect or belief. I am reminded of some words of poetry about the receptive heart from Sufi Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan who wrote: “Enter unhesitatingly, Beloved, for in this Abode, there is naught but my longing for Thee.”
Blessings for the Gemini Full Moon!