The Sun rises for the first time this year in the second decan of Sagittarius on Saturday, December 2nd. The second face of Sagittarius is a stubborn and tenacious one. Indeed, in Liber Hermetis, the decan is represented by a weasel-headed figure walking a steep and slippery incline. Anyone who’s spent time with the members of the weasel family know them to be infernally tough. They will back down animals many times their size, and stop at nothing to get into the chicken coop. Not only are they fierce, they are flexible. They walk, climb and tunnel their way to meals. The tenacious weasel is thus a fitting animal for this decan, as its planetary ruler via the triplicity system is Mars, and the weasel well embodies the ferocity of the red planet, adding fuel to the flexibility of Sagittarius’ mutable fire.
Another relevant image for this decan comes from the Rider Waite Tarot card linked to this decan, the 9 of Wands, which shows a bandaged man defending a grove of staves. This picture, like the slippery slope which the weasel-man walks, is a perilous situation, but its nature is
defensive. While the figure from Liber Hermetis seeks something precious, the man in the 9 of Wands is gaurding something.
This decan has a decidedly martial flair, and martial dynamics look very different depending on which side of the exchange you are on. The wounded man defending his little hilltop implies an aggressor, perhaps a roving band of particularly ill-tempered weasels. A weasel with a chicken in its mouth is a happy weasel, the chicken in the weasel’s mouth is a less-than-happy chicken. Are you the weasel, seeking a meal, or the farmer, protecting your own? This decan looks over matters of attack and defense. Though the experiences are different, determination and steadfastness are crucial in both roles.
This decan points to a very specific type of strength. As I wrote in 36 Faces, it is particularly a matter of:
“…the ability to keep body and mind in line with intention, despite contrary forces. This may seem stressful, but this level of friction is necessary to generate the heat capable of fusing mind and body, vehicle and will. There is no hero without a nemesis.”
The second decan of Sagittarius is therefore a place where we learn to use pressure and friction to strengthen our resolve. This year, the planets are happy to provide the resistance, as the Sun gallops into the decan just as Mercury stations retrograde whilst conjoining obstructive Saturn.
Mercury’s retrograde complicates journeys from Point A to Point B, locking doors and closing the main roads. Thus, in order to achieve your goals, you may need to consider alternate routes. To get to the heart of issues may require you to tunnel below the surface, to make pathways where none currently exist. Others may find themselves defending rather than seeking, and plugging weak spots as they arise, keeping protective structures intact. Regardless of which position one finds themselves in, tenacity, steadfastness and flexibility are virtues which will be well-rewarded during this span of days.
Mercury and the Moon
The decan begins with Mercury’s retrograde station on the 2nd, and a near-simultaneous Full Moon in Mercury-ruled Gemini early on the 3rd. The weekend is further complicated by the Full Moon’s tight square configuration to Neptune, which further confuses things.
While retrograde Mercury and the Full Moon in Gemini highlight complicated questions and tangly situations, Neptune does us the additional favor of fuzzing the facts and obscuring the details. Although the questions which emerge under this configuration may be very real, and in need of answers, the circumstances are not likely to facilitate the clarity necessary for problem solving. Take care not rush to premature conclusions or try to implement unripe solutions. Hasty answers are likely to exacerbate issues rather than resolve them.
Not long after Mercury’s station, early on December 6th, the backward-walking planet makes its second conjunction with Saturn, the first having taken place on November 27th. Though the messenger’s reunion with Saturn pulls the mind toward difficulties, it is a necessary and useful gravity, as a sustained and patient gaze will be necessary in order to arrive at workable solutions.
The very word “solution” is relevant here, as “solution” refers to the physical process by which a solid substance is dissolved into a liquid one. The solid, in this case, is the issue. The liquid is your own presence of mind — it’s Mercurial, quicksilver substance. The solid will dissolve, but only after sufficient immersion, as well as the occasional agitation. You can’t expect a solve from just a splash of attention.
Jupiter Trine Neptune: The River and the Sea
While Mercury leads us along tangled ways, dark and deep Jupiter in Scorpio completes a trine with oceanic Neptune in Pisces. This happy angle between the two planets affects the actions of both. Jupiter in Scorpio’s process of growth through dialogue with the hidden and forbidden is given greater breadth by Neptune in Pisces. Together, the two provide for an expansion of awareness into emotionally difficult territory. It is both therapeutic and spiritual in nature, a quiet and profound counterpoint to the anxious questions posed by Mercury’s retrograde. Jupiter’s trine with Neptune is exact on the 2nd, but will be active for the entirety of the decan, particularly so on the 5th, when the Moon in Cancer provides an additional linkage between the two. It is worth noting that this is the first in a series of three trines between Jupiter in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces, with the other two occurring in May and August of 2018.
Mars in Scorpio: Hello Darkness
Mars enters Scorpio, its home turf, early on December 9th. The red planet’s transition from Libra to Scorpio is a dramatic one. Mars is impeded in Libra, weakened and bottled up by indecision and social niceties, while in Scorpio, the red planet is at the very height of its power. Mars in Scorpio opens up cans of whupass and pours out vials of wrath. The Martial current, restricted over the past 6 weeks, is due to overflow for the next month and a half.
Mars’ time in Scorpio is always significant, but it is doubly so this year, as Scorpio is the sign which Jupiter has chosen as its home until November 2018. All of the themes linked to Jupiter in Scorpio will be intensified while Mars shares the sign with the big planet.
Mars and Jupiter’s time in Scorpio holds great opportunity for achievement and self-overcoming. As an alternative to letting the gluttonous inertia of the holidays drown you in gravy, consider taking the 6 weeks which Mars and Jupiter are together in Scorpio a period of relentless accomplishment and ruthless self-improvement.
Mercury stations retrograde on Saturday the 2nd, asking you to reconsider the method by which you have been trying to reach long term goals. The nearly simultaneous Full Moon in Gemini, though, points to your daily round of tasks and short term goals. The challenge here is to further entwine the short and long-term goals so that each benefits the other.
Mars’ entrance into Scorpio on the 9th should put some octane back in your veins. Mars in Scorpio calls you to the pleasure of struggle, but may also start some fights on your behalf. Inequitable exchanges of time, money and energy within your relationships will be a trigger point during the 6 weeks that Mars is in Scorpio, so try to make double sure you’re fair in your dealings.
Mercury’s retrograde station and the Full Moon in Gemini on the 2nd and 3rd both ask that you take a look at what is yours, what is theirs and what is shared. December may very hold for you a series of revelations and reconfigurations of what you keep for yourself, what you share, and how you repay what is loaned to you.
On the 9th, Mars enters Scorpio, turning up the heat on your relationships. The red planet stirs up fierce passions during the 6 weeks it resides in Scorpio, and may well ignite a conflict or two between you and yours. Watch your temper, and channel power surges into productive activities.
The Full Moon in Gemini and Mercury’s retrograde station during the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd spotlight the Self-Other axis. Listen to others, for they may be able to illuminate you from a novel angle. The 3 week retrograde provides an opportunity to reconfigure the way you present yourself with respect to what others see.
Mars enters Scorpio on the 9th, with plans to camp out in the scorpion’s nest until late January. The red light of the planet casts rays upon your to-do lists. The next 6 weeks thus conceal within them an opportunity to power through heaps of neglected tasks. Not only that, Mars’ time in Scorpio is also an excellent opportunity to rein in your bad habits and get back in fighting shape.
The simultaneous Full Moon in Gemini and Mercury retrograde station on the 2nd and 3rd spotlight both your mental and physical health. The weeks of backward motion which kick off on Mercury’s station begins asks you, in particular, to consider the structure of your physical habits and their linkage to mental habits — your patterns of thought and emotion.
Mas enters Scorpio on the 9th. In Scorpio, the red planet supercharges your creative capacity, yet it also inflames your desire to have a good goddamn time. Let your hunger both to create and enjoy carry you forward, but keep a leash on that wolf, and remember who’s driving.
The Full Moon in Gemini arrives on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd, as does Mercury’s retrograde station. This pair of celestial events spotlights the relationship between what you’re creating and who can see it. Mercury’s retrograde, in particular, poses questions about what you’re putting your energy into and what you’re getting out of that investment. Meanwhile, the Full Moon throws a silver spotlight across your social world, highlighting the way that your life impacts others, and is perceived by them.
Later in the decan, on the 9th, Mars enters Scorpio. Deep in the Scorpion’s burrow, Mars has plans to reawaken the fight buried within you. Although this fire can warm your entire home during cold months, it can also burn the thing down. Keep an eye on relationships with family and cohabitants for the 6 weeks Mars is in Scorpio, as they are the most exposed to stray sparks.
December 2nd holds Mercury’s retrograde station, followed shortly by the Full Moon in Gemini on the 3rd. This pair spotlights both your home and work lives, activating the axis and pointing toward the way the two entwine. Mercury’s retrograde station kicks off a trio of weeks which ask how you might rethink your obligations to home and family in a way that would better support your professional ambitions.
On the 9th, Mars comes home to Scorpio. During the 6 weeks of the planet’s residency here, you may find yourself hungrier for accomplishment than you would otherwise expect. Although the holidays often bring a period of idleness, if you try to just sit around for more than a day or two, you’ll likely find yourself itchy for action. Plan accordingly.
The Full Moon in Gemini arrives on the 3rd, just following Mercury’s retrograde station on the 2nd. The Full Moon shines bright across the landscape of your long-term goals, but Mercury’s reversal pulls your attention to the structure of your daily life, and the many little challenges and tasks therein. Your challenge during Mercury’s 3 week retrograde is to figure out how to knit the near and far together. Each step taken towards a goal matters, as does every pace in the wrong direction.
On the 9th, Mars enters Scorpio. Mars will be in the sign for the next 6 weeks, and will for that period emphasize your financial status. Consider what resources you have available to you, and how best to deploy them. Lack may sting a bit more during this period, but let it be as a lash, goading you to focus on solving what financial stress afflicts you.
Mercury’s retrograde station arrives on the 2nd, followed immediately by the Full Moon in Gemini on the 3rd. Both point to matters of ownership and resource, particularly the line between what’s yours, what’s not and what’s shared. December strongly suggests benefits will come by contemplating the exchanges of time, money and energy in your life. Clean and clear arrangements build trust and make for happier relations of all sorts.
Later, on the 9th, Mars strides into Scorpio, injecting you with a booster-shot of vim, vigor and venom. For the 6 weeks which the red planet is due to spend in your sign, all of your Scorpionic virtues and vices will be magnified. It is both a chance to remember your power, and a test to see how wisely you wield it.
Mercury stations retrograde in your sign on the 2nd, and the Moon attains maximum fullness in Gemini shortly thereafter, on the 3rd. The Full Moon’s rays fall on your significant relationships, highlighting partnerships romantic and otherwise. Meanwhile, Mercury’s about-face pulls you to focus on how you’ve come to think of yourself. There are likely elements of your current self-concept which are due for a reformulation, and the messenger’s 3 week retrograde will be more than happy to facilitate that.
A little later in the decan, on the 9th, Mars enters Scorpio. The red planet’s time in Scorpio, which will last for approximately 6 weeks, is due to bring your subconscious to a boil. You may see increased dream-activity, as well as a potentially confusing mixture of intuitive and delusional moments. Disproportionately strong feelings of anger and frustration may emerge during this time, old poison coming to the surface. Try not to confuse what you’re processing for what’s actually happening.
The Full Moon in Gemini arrives on the 3rd, just as Mercury stations retrograde on the 2nd. The Full Moon throws a silver spotlight on the status of the mundane duties you have to perform, while Mercury’s about-face points toward more subtle matters — your mental and spiritual health. During Mercury’s retrograde, which will last for the next three weeks, you may find yourself re-thinking the way you carry the burden of being yourself. It may be that what you imagined to be baggage is in fact exactly the equipment you need for your journey.
A week later, on the 9th, Mars enters Scorpio. In the arachnoid sign for the next 6 weeks, the red planet will light up your social world, making the power of allies clear, yet setting fire to bonds of a more compromised quality.
Mercury stations retrograde on the 2nd, and the Full Moon arrives shortly thereafter, on the 3rd. The Moon offers you a silver surfeit of creative energy, while Mercury’s reversal opens up questions about the structure of your social life, and your position within those communities of which you are a member. As Mercury makes its way backward over the next three weeks, set aside a few moments to consider who you’ve obligated yourself to, and whether you’d like to strengthen or loosen those bonds.
Mars enters Scorpio on the 9th, with plans to remain in the stingered sign until late January. Mars’ stay in Scorpio is due to rouse your hunger for professional attainment. Though you may be less patient than normal, use those moments of irritation as fuel. There are plans to lay and paths to blaze.
Mercury stations retrograde on the 2nd, followed by the Full Moon in Gemini on the 3rd. This pairing highlights both your professional and personal lives, with a specific focus on how your professional duties impact your home and familial relationships. Is there any way to reengineer your professional life so that it has a more positive impact on your home life? The answer may be entirely literal, but might also just be the way that you’re wearing your burden on the inside.
Later, on the 9th, Mars enters Scorpio. Here, Mars’s red light illuminates your long-term goals, rousing your passion to achieve what once seemed distant. Additionally, Mars will inflame your ideas about what is truly real, setting the stage for both heated discussions of both the productive and useless varieties.