It’s a wild ride this December as we enter both the holiday and ‘eclipse season’, so instead of my regular New Moon essay, I’m publishing a few cliff notes for these last two weeks of 2009.

The Sagittarius New Moon on Wednesday 12/16 encourages the power of  our enthusiasm, our joy for life, our innate optimism, and seeing our life problems through the higher perspective of meaningful journeys. It’s time to re-affirm our faith that the Universe is conspiring for our blessings, and no matter our situation we can make lemonade out of lemons. If you’re feeling more angst than enthusiasm, remember that Sagittarius is a Fire sign. In the process of Alchemy, a psychological metaphor for the cycles of growth, fire is the element associated with the Calcinatio stage. In this stage, fire is typically felt as frustrated desire. The animals connected with Calcinatio are the Lion and the Wolf, two symbols of hunger, pride, arrogance and desire. Whether we have a frustrated love life, career or bank account, frustrated desires are fuel for the burning process of becoming. Liz Greene says, “The frustration of desire is not based on conventional or moral grounds. Frustration is a painful but compassionate contribution to the process which is trying to unfold.” Essentially, this process occurs so that  something else can emerge. Lately, it’s amazing how many stories I’ve heard about houses burning down to ash and the resilient nature of human beings to find meaning and mission in the most difficult of experiences. Alchemy & the Sagittarius New Moon remind us that there’s an opportunity to find gold at every stage of life. 

We get the chance to locate our inner heat with the upcoming Mars retrograde cycle, in the bright shiny sign of notice-me Leo (12/20/09-3/10/10). We need to be patient with our self and others, as there’s clear difficulty in externalizing our Cat-like Warrior prowess in the outer world. This phase make also have us think we’re not accomplishing our goals, but that’s just part of the process. We may want to be noticed but we are noticing our fire, both where it’s going and where it is clearly not. 

Take a moment to breathe deeply and light a candle on Winter Solstice, 12/21 the longest night of the year. The world needs your light right now.

Shortly after Mars, Mercury moves retrograde in Capricorn (12/26-1/15/10). Retrograde Mercury brings communication and information slowdowns and reminders of all sorts, including the missive to not fall asleep regarding the details of our lives, as well as reflections on where we’ve been and where headed. Make peace with a slow pace. We slow down for a reason.

On New Year’s Eve, December 31, we experience a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Cancer (10′ 15′). With the two busiest planets in a resting phase, New Year’s Eve may be best spent cozied up by the fireplace. Yet we do begin to feel the effects of eclipses at least two weeks before (or more) so I can’t help but think of a holiday season full of drama and not a bit of comedy, as funky family dynamics are further exaggerated by retrograde energy and emotional hiccups in that world of family and feelings we affectionately call Cancer. Feel your feelings. Perhaps the best remedy for a peaceful holiday season this year is to be compassionate with your self, and your self-compassion will naturally extend outward to others, calming them down, too. 

Happy Holidays.