December 2021 – Formalities

After being battered around in 2020, many of us came into 2021 hoping for a better year. As we move through the last month of 2021, it might be time to reflect on what’s happened and how we’ve managed events, on both the individual and collective levels. It’s no surprise if our assessments fall short of excellence.

Of course, there’s always an astrological storm brewing somewhere. How much it affects each of us depends on a number of factors, including our natal charts and – most importantly – the degree of awareness and compassion that we can bring to a situation. That said, December of 2021 certainly keeps the celestial winds blowing strongly. There’s a great deal of potential for inner work over the coming months, but outward activity will have its challenges.


Things are likely to be seen out of proportion in the first week of December. What we are concerned about is real enough, but the magnitude of the potentials and problems is probably not what we think it is.

Neptune stations to go direct on the 1st. Neptune stations can be inspiring or frightening, but they are very rarely realistic. This is a good time for meditation and other psychic voyages, but it’s a uniquely poor time for practical decisions and actions.

The intensity of the Sagittarius New Moon on the 4th is heightened by Neptune’s distorting lens, but also by a solar eclipse. This eclipse is on the South Pole of the Earth, and so not visible to us – although those concerned with global warming might note the significance of the location.

Mercury is square to Neptune on the 7th, suggesting that messages might be lost or misinterpreted, or that information might leak out unintentionally. Sagittarius may mean that beliefs triumph over facts. Given Neptune’s station, the eclipse, and this aspect, we might think of the first week of December as Mercury retrograde raised to a power. It’s a good time for inner exploration, but not for operating in the outer world.

Containing ourselves gets harder as the week progresses. Mars squares Jupiter on the 8th, just ahead of the first quarter moon on the 10th. Despite all caveats, this is likely to be a time when folks will act.

Keeping the illusory vibe going, the Sun squares Neptune on the 12th. This aspect can lead us to make gods or demons, heroes or villains, out of ordinary folk. As it’s a square and the Sun is in Sagittarius, we may project our dark sides onto those who disagree with our beliefs. It’s also possible that this aspect will lead to some deep questioning within, about our own values.

December 19th is a busy day in the sky. Chiron stations direct in Aries, so you may be a little more inclined to self-doubt than usual. It’s the Gemini Full Moon, too, so emotions will be running high. And Venus stations to retrograde until late January.

Venus retrogrades every couple of years, ushering in a forty day period when it’s wise to back away from pleasure and partnership. It’s a time to cleanse and renew, and it resonates with the forty days of lent in the Christian calendar, as well as the forty days of the flood. Unfortunately, this retrograde happens just as the holiday season gets into full swing. It won’t completely squash the vibe, but could make merriment a bit more reserved, especially with Venus in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn. Formality is favored in social situations with this placement.

A common caveat for Venus retrograde is to avoid buying luxury items – for many, that could be a hard pill to swallow at this time of year.

Image by larsen9236 via Pixabay

Keep an eye out for what happens in your love life and financial situation right around the 25th, when Venus meets with Pluto. You might revisit issues from around December 11th, but could have to wait until early March, when they meet again, to get resolution on matters.

The Sun enters Capricorn on the 21st, at 10:58a EST, marking the Winter Solstice and the beginning of Sol’s long climb northwards. The days will begin to grow longer – imperceptibly at first – as we move through the coming months.

The last major aspect of the month is Saturn’s square to Uranus on the 24th. This is ‘the’ aspect of 2021, and the third and last time it will be exact. It marks a conflict between progressive and regressive forces in society, between change and steadfastness, and between innovation and security. Look for it to play out on the collective level in the last ten days of December.

Jupiter comes home (again) to his second home in Pisces on the 29th, opening up a broader perspective and helping us to dissolve boundaries (whether we want them dissolved or not).

To wrap up the month, Mercury meets with Pluto on the 30th. This is a time when we speak truth to power, letting others know what we think. Given the tense energies in the air and the coming new moon, it could be a time when we let go of things we perceive to be holding us back. Leave if you want, but don’t burn bridges just to see the flames.

Wishing You a Happy New Year!