We’re in eclipse season, a window between the November 19 Taurus lunar eclipse, and a total solar eclipse that will occur in Sagittarius on December 4 (December 3 at 11:42 p.m. on the West Coast.) One door has closed, and another is opening.
The December 4 New Moon eclipse will be the last in a series on the Sagittarius/Gemini axis since June of 2020. The next eclipse series will shift to the Scorpio/Taurus axis, as eclipses occur close to the nodes of the Moon, which change pairs of signs every 18 months. On January 18, 2022, the Moon’s nodes – the invisible points where the Moon’s path intersects with the Sun’s – will shift into Scorpio/Taurus.
Many different forms of astrology posit the lunar nodes as symbolic of fate, for individuals and for the collective. While the nodes have been in Gemini/Sagittarius since May 2020, there has been a focus on the changeable nature of storylines, including conspiracy theories, belief systems and dogmas. With the shift to lunar nodes in Taurus/Scorpio, the focus will become more reserved, and about issues of material and emotional security.
First, though, comes the December 4 New Moon eclipse in Sagittarius.
New Moons are powerful times for initiations in the dark. Much more so at an eclipse, when one may feel an unsettling jolt, like plugging into a light socket.
The day of an eclipse is considered not a great time to start something new, as it’s just too intense. Traditional astrology teaches to wait to start something for the first appearance of a crescent Moon in the sky. That’s when there’s momentum as the Moon light is waxing.
Each sign of the zodiac is a compliment and a corrective to the one that preceded it. The Sun moved on November 21 from the fixed watery realms of Scorpio to the upward-directed mutable fire sign, Sagittarius. The glyph for Sagittarius is an arrow pointing toward the sky. It is about freedom, inspiration, faith, no holds barred. At the December 4 New Moon eclipse, Mercury, the Winged One, representing thought and perceptions, conjoins the Sun and Moon. If your mind feels like it’s firing on all cylinders, jumping from one bright idea to the next – that’s Mercury in Sagittarius.
At this eclipse, Mars is still in its watery home sign of Scorpio, making an encouraging sextile aspect with Venus in Capricorn. These are the two inter-personal planetary symbols, characterized and often reduced – as in popular psychology – to “masculine” and “feminine,” though these polar archetypes are found in beings of all genders. In early 2022, Mars and Venus will have an unusually long two-month conjunction (because Venus will be in a retrograde period). It’ll be a time to consider, subtly, how to resolve those seemingly contradictory tendencies in ourselves that want to push forward and act, with those that want to receive and respond.
At the December 4 eclipse, Venus, the brightest star in the sky, is moving toward a conjunction with powerful dwarf planet Pluto, both in Capricorn. From November 17 until December 19, Venus will be in its “shadow period,” the time when a planet traverses the degrees it will revisit when appears to be moving in retrograde period. This Venus retrograde period will be from December 19, 2021 until January 29, 2022.
A Venus retrograde sojourn offers all sorts of symbology to unpack. At the most surface-y level, since Venus has to do with relationships, you might bump into an old flame. You might miss them, or you might recall with a bit of glee how you really dodged a bullet, with that one who got away. Relationships might be extra hard and unyielding, with Venus retrograde in Capricorn. Pluto in the mix may make you leery of explosive tumults. It may be best to go easy and not take the astrological symbols all too literally and simplistically.
Pluto, discovered only in 1930 and therefore a relative newcomer in astrological interpretation, gets a rap as being about power – as if that’s a bad thing. Plutonian power is neutral, more like a humming engine, like fuel – or like a hammer, that can be used for good or bad purposes depending on who’s using power, and why.
Pluto’s conjunction with Venus intensifies Venusian themes. These are not exclusively about relationships but also more broadly about values, material and otherwise. Venus spending a long time in earthy Capricorn might mean we take a good, hard look at our finances, our spending habits, how we accomplish anything in this still COVID-dominated world. Or, at what beyond the daily grind is of lasting value.
Capricorn is often depicted as goats climbing up a mountain. There is perseverance. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, representing maturity, limits, hard work. Capricorn, the opposite number to Cancer, the watery, protective energy of healing, shares with Cancer a theme of safety. While Venus is in Capricorn, relationships might require a lot of effort. But there is safety in healthy Capricornian manifestations: responsibility and integrity, gentle boundaries that speak more like a “no, thank you,” than an “f- off.”
The December 4 solar eclipse in Sagittarius points to higher ground, the big picture, the forest and not just the trees. It is the Divine as the Opener of the Way. It is like throwing one’s arms open and yelling: Yes!
Yes to what is to come, as December moves toward the long nights of Winter Solstice, where buried deep and still in the Earth itself, we may find true love and care.
Blessings for the Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius!