“…I think something is burning.
Now you’ve ruined the whole thing.
Muffle the smoke alarm.
Whoever put on this music
Had better quick, sharp, remove it…
Pour me another.
Oh, don’t wag your finger at me.

It’s that time of year,
Leave all our hopelessness’s aside
(if just for a little while)
tears stop right here
I know we’ve all had a bumpy ride
…I’m secretly on your side”
– Imogene Heap — Just For Now

Full Moon Gemini, Thursday, December 15, 2005 8:15 AM PST

It’s that time of year. The holidays pinch us like a crazy Uncle who has just moved into our 1 bedroom studio. He’s good-hearted family who just needs a roof under his head for the holidays…and yet, his needs, his demands on our space, time and energy, his very existence stretches every part of us. How are we triggered? The seasonality of love, generosity, goodwill toward mankind, peace on earth… we fall into a pattern of pushing our limits in all directions- financially, emotionally, physically. We smile at one another, generating attempts to connect. The twinkle in our eye belies a manic exhaustion. We wonder why we do not feel all the good cheer we are told we should.

This lunation, the Sun is with Pluto, lord of the Underworld. The underworld rules all the dark material, trauma and attachments that hold us from moving forward. What triggers us is where we need to be. Where are we? We are precariously perched on the fire escape of our design. Vagabonds in our own house, we feel pushed out on the ledge. With the intensity of a Marlboro reds smoker, we sit on the cold metal staircase, exhaling ice vapor, our uncle in our favorite chair, steaming up our windows inside, where we should be, warm. Why are we out here on the ledge when everything is exactly how we set it up to be? What is pushing us out? Is it really that person, symptom, need, that extra demand? As we sit on the fire escape to get perspective, our excuses appear as compulsive as the cigarettes we’re smoking, crutches to every other irritant. Underneath the resistance is the stuff we can’t talk about, share or even voice to our self. This is the truer longing for connection, connection to the deeper, abandoned parts. Sometimes we require the right ear for listening; now we are ready to hear what we’ve been saying all along.

If we’re faced with our own or others inflexibility we’re at a crossroads. We could keep going with the way things are or make room for change. Life transitions are happening all around. But change appears as the generous Uncle who comes to roost in our cramped apartment, ‘too close for comfort’. He may bear gifts, but as we invite him in we are pushed against our limits. Where are we “crying Uncle”? We ask for perspective: How can we change our expectations about an uncontrollable situation and still stay in power & control? And how do we take faith in the truism: “accept your less to receive your more?” Ironically, in the constellation of Sagittarius, the sign with an ability to view panoramic vistas from mountaintops, there are several stars with an inclination toward blindness. Nearsightedness, losing the particulars and follow through required for the fulfillment of the sweeping brushstroke Sagitarrian vision can be this sign’s fatal flaw. The grand gesture is lost to the demands of reality. As the truth forces us to look at the details of our predicament, we bequeath to this year a parting gift: at least one less attachment to the tie that blinds us, whatever that may be. Like the Uncle happily perched in your favorite chair, the truth is glaring and the truth is generous. There are gifts around the corner. And the fire escape is a perfect roost amidst the squeeze of the season.

New Moon Day, 12/15 Jupiter the planet of expansion squares Saturn, the planet of contraction. These are not easy astrological times! We feel the limits of growth, like giants in little people clothes, we’re outgrowing modes of being and it’s uncomfortable. Saturn in Leo asks: ‘who’s your daddy?’ How are your authority figures doing? How is your personal authority doing? It’s not time to move, just feel into the pressure and learn from our inner dialogue. Mercury in Sag is moving forward so we’ve made progress pushing the paperwork through the system even if we have not a clue about what it will all mean. Venus has just freshly entered Aquarius…but immediately joins Chiron, the wounded healer. The Goddess of pleasure, love, appreciation, value & worth is shacking up with your favorite Achilles heel. This isn’t a match made in Olympus, is it? Venus in Aquarius will show us the collective wound. Throughout the month, we may find ourselves asking one another: where does it hurt? If we don’t ask, we’ll likely be told by society at large. Venus in Aquarius derives pleasure by giving gifts to humanity: how can I use my position in life to make the world a better place? With Chiron, we look around and see so many ills, so many in need of love.

12/16-17 Moon in Cancer and Jupiter/Saturn exactly square 12/16. This is the first of 3 waxing squares, second on 6/22/06, third on 10/25/06. What is toggled with now, repeats again next June, and then moves forward in October. What’s bugging us now perhaps is with us for the duration. The moon gives gentle help through troubled waters.

12/18-19 Moon in Leo. 12/18 Mercury squares Uranus giving our mind a tendency to stumble over itself. Before we say the wrong thing we can make it right by watching our hurry up foot-in-mouth impulsivity. Leo makes sure we’re maintaining our stance for better or worse by the late evening. 12/19 Mercury quincunx Mars looks for creative ways of tackling our mental ennui. Words come too easy, especially when we’re frustrated…it doesn’t have to turn into an argument.

12/20-22 Moon in Leo through the evening of 12/20, then Virgo, Mercury trines the North Node. Perhaps the mental stimulation of the last few days results in some positive connections. Mercury with the node brings learning through experience, new awareness picked up in the environment, facility with communication, skillful versatility in writing and speech. 12/21 More Mercury…! The winged messenger trines Saturn. A diploma or a contract secured. We’ve learned our lessons, secured our spot via that little bedevilment called Adaptation, thank you very much. Now we’re on solid ground as Sun moves into Capricorn. This is a most realistic time of year, just like the sign. The air is crisp and clear; the shadows fall dark to light. This realism follows the ambitious undertakings of, Christmas and New Years! If Sagittarius rules the Christmas buying season, Capricorn picks up the credit card debt and has been working on her resolutions list since last June. Through the eyes of Capricorn we can see the consequences, limits and obligations we’ve created in the month before. Whereas sparkly Sagittarian ambitions are short on follow through, Capricorn ambitions are more likely to pan out–she won’t use glitter glue, so her plans don’t fall apart. This is a Spartan time of year, so we learn how to work with what we have and to use resources shrewdly. She is the sea-goat, drawing from deep reserves, with the tenacity of the mountain goat we climb… On the surface, this energetic day ends on an optimistic note, in the spirit of the festivities. 12/22 Moon is quietly reflective, catching up, wrapping up the workweek. This evening we’re stirred up, taking things personally or feeling easily slighted.

12/23-24 Last Quarter Moon in Libra. How do our relationships register the consequences of our shifting awareness? New information can be unsettling to the Libra scales; balance is what we’re looking for, but Libra would like to spend most of her time being in balance instead of searching. Moon kisses Venus this afternoon for some sweet moments—perhaps the perfect time for last minute shopping. This Sun/Moon integration point always brings career/purpose issues into focus. 12/24 The day runs smoothly, finishing up business in the early morning leaves time in the afternoon and evening to just enjoy. Sit by the fire. Venus goes retrograde until 2/3/06, not retracing her steps completely until 3/7/06. Venus begins her backward motion with Chiron, again opening the heart to wounding, or more hopefully, healing. For Taurus, Libra Sun and rising signs (and for all of us to some extent) we will find our relationships, finances and emotional sensibilities re-evaluated. Expect the unexpected in the sign of Aquarius. We may make friends with unusual people, be drawn to experiment with our tastes, or look for our mental, not just sexual equivalent in our partner. During Venus Rx, Relationships may cool down. Legal issues, divorce, marriage proceedings all move markedly slow. This is not a good time to get engaged or married. It is a good time to deal with past relationship issues, clear ‘em up for once and all. Venus also rules artistic sensibilities, your personal style, clothes, and hair…so…save your money and go clothes shopping in the spring. What you buy now you may never wear again! Here’s a list of Venus retrograde reflections to share with your partner: Do our friends reflect our sensibilities as a couple? How important are our friends in our live(s)? What are our visions for the future? Do we have a shared purpose? What would that look like?

12/25 Santa hopes the gifts will be to everyone’s liking! Venus fresh retrograde makes us sensitive to disappointments. Evening Moon in Scorpio adds to the grumbling. Why is Moon so unhappy in Scorpio? Something doesn’t turn out the way she wants it to. Maybe we’re remembering better times, someone forgot to buy the pie or the gravy is burnt. Sorry to be the Grinch who stole Christmas but Mars square Saturn is also active (see 12/27) Take the bitter with the sweet. This too will go down in your scrapbook of Christmases past. A Venus/Chiron retrograde song…

It’s that time of year,
Leave all our hopelessness’s aside (if just for a little while)
tears stop right here,
I know we’ve all had a bumpy ride (I’m secretly on your side)

How did you know?
It’s what I always wanted,
Could never have too many of these
Will ya quit kicking me under the table?
I’m trying, will somebody make her shut up about it?
Can we settle down please?

It’s that time of year,
Leave all our hopelessness’s aside (if just for a little while)
tears stop right here,
I know we’ve all had a bumpy ride (I’m secretly on your side)

Bite tongue
Deep breaths
Count to ten
Nod your head

I think something is burning,
Now you’ve ruined the whole thing
Muffle the smoke alarm
Whoever put on this music
Had better quick, sharp, remove it
Pour me another
Oh, don’t wag your finger at me

It’s that time of year,
Leave all our hopelessness’s aside (if just for a little while)
tears stop right here,
I know we’ve all had a bumpy ride (I’m secretly on your side)

Get me outta here, Get me outta here, Get me outta here…

12/26-27 Moon in Scorpio, Mars square Saturn. We have fleeting reprieve on 12/26 as the day goes up, then cranky, then up towards the end of day. A Moon/Jupiter conjunction has us all feeling a bit more optimistic about our presents this evening, but don’t take your big plan to the bank just yet. 12/27 hosts the pressure cooker aspect, Mars Square Saturn. Frustration, fair and square. This combo can cause a host of problems- accidents, injury, problems with cars and authority figures. Saturn’s nature is to hold and restrict; Mars’ is to bust through everything including longstanding obstacles. For some folks, this will appear as a time bomb, when things which have built up over time, culminate in a crescendo. Others may feel it as a more minor frustration, such as delays traveling, broken down cars or another unfortunate unforeseeable. On some level we all experience the unhappiness of these two planets meeting at squares.

12/28-29 Moon in Sagittarius. If we’ve been cautious and aren’t on clean-up duty after the holidays, Sun sextile Uranus is hopeful. This is the breakthrough after the breakdown. This Sag moon will help pull us out of the quicksand as we find the wherewithal to say ‘throw me a rope!’ to the Sky-God of ingenuity & sudden saves. Gosh, we could use a lucky break.

12/29 The dark of the moon, the best time to shed anything you don’t want- habits, patterns (no, re-gifting doesn’t count!) Perfect timing, the New Moon falls tomorrow, the day before New Years Eve. Get your intentions ready. “Out with the old in with the new” is such a powerful cultural myth. You can ride the energy behind this intention to create new life for yourself. Muster whatever courage and strength you have left and… let the breath in.