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by Anita

Winter solstice! We can all breathe a sign of relief that, finally, the days will be getting longer again (at least, in the northern hemisphere). We can celebrate that we've survived the time of darkness, and can look forward to the forces of light reasserting themselves.

To find plenty of links to articles on how to celebrate Yule and its significance, visit http://www.witchvox.com/holidays/xyule.html

December 19
Mercury goes direct at 10:29 p.m. Yay! We can communicate again.

Solstice (Yule): sun enters Capricorn December 21, 4:42 a.m. PST. Astrologically speaking, this is the time when the sun moves into Capricorn. Capricorn is the sign of mastery, and is an earth sign. While the sun is in Capricorn, it's a good time to discover what are your areas of mastery. It's also a good time to work on grounding yourself, and to practice practicality. The tarot card 8 of pentacles shows an apprentice practicing and practicing, to get his craft right. Eight is the number for Capricorn, and pentacles is the suit representing earth. Mastery is achieved through small efforts like this. As you set your goals for the coming year, the month when the sun is in Capricorn is a good time to start developing habits that you want to be automatic.

The sun in Capricorn is also a good time to appreciate yourself, your strong points. Capricorns are generally humble, and don't realize how strong and capable they actually are. Because they are reserved, they tend not to ask for help and, as a consequence, learn how to be independent (a good preparation for Aquarius). Study yourself, determine where in your life you work alone, without help, and ask your guardian angel to help you discover the resources available to you.

Christmas day, December 25

What a collection of aspects today! First of all, the moon opposes Pluto at 5:30 a.m. This is somewhat like a giant full moon (which, incidentally, happens tomorrow). Emotions can tend to run high, and to fluctuate from one extreme to another. Think back to November 27, which is the last time this aspect happened. Other things to watch out for, under this aspect: others may tend to try to control or dominate you, or you might tend to be particularly domineering yourself, if you're not careful. Try to avoid power struggles.

The moon is void of course at 5:30 a.m. on the 25th, and doesn't enter Cancer until 8:38 p.m., so don't expect to start any new projects today until later in the evening. When the moon is void of course, any new project you begin you'll have to redo, and redo again. Under this influence, it's best to just sit back, relax, and let things happen.

The moon enters Cancer, its home, at 8:38 p.m. Cancer is a sensitive sign and stimulates rapport between people. If you've had a troubling day today, it's likely to settle down after the moon enters its home sign.

Sunday, December 26

Full moon at 7:06 a.m. PST (moon in Cancer, sun in Capricorn). This is a good time to work on issues relating to the way your emotions and childhood memories influence and possibly work counter to your social, business, and professional goals. This is also a good time to work on parent issues, since Cancer represents the mother, and Capricorn the father. If you have conflicts with one or both of your parents, this is a particularly good time to work for harmony and balance.

Monday, December 27

Venus sextile Neptune at 8:32 a.m.
Moon conjunct Saturn 11:34 p.m.

Use the Venus/Neptune aspect for any psychic work, or for goal-setting. This harmonious aspect between the planet of love and attraction, and the planet of idealism, can lend good energy to any creative visualization exercises.

The moon conjunct Saturn brings a somber mood to the evening. This is a good time to work on issues relating to your parents, or issues stemming from childhood experiences or traumas.

January 1, 2005
The new year begins with a waning moon in Virgo, and the number for the year is 8 (Capricorn). This year is a good time to focus on practical issues, and on trying to ground-or bring to earth-your goals and ideals. The influence of Virgo requires us to deal with details and correct them (Virgo being a natural editor). Virgo also deals with issues relating to health and healing, especially herbal healing or alternative medicine.
January 3

Venus conjuncts Pluto at 3:33 p.m.

This can bring a great deal of passion and emotional intensity to your personal relationships. It's a good time to work on transforming (Pluto) personal relationships (Venus).

January 7

Sun squares Jupiter, 6:12 p.m.

Don't promise more than you can deliver. Jupiter tends to be generous, so generous that it can't say no. Don't let this happen to you. The moon is also in Sagittarius, Jupiter's home sign, so it's possible to easily absorb all that wonderful expansive philosophy. This is a good time to do a ritual asking your guides where and how you give too much.

January 9

Venus enters Capricorn 8:56 a.m.
Mercury enters Capricorn 8:09 p.m.

The planets of personal relationships and personal communication are entering the sign of seriousness and practicality.

January 10
New moon at 4:03 a.m.
The moon is in Capricorn, another good time to do work on grounding yourself, working on mastery, self-control, self-sufficiency.
January 19

Sun enters Aquarius 3:22 p.m.
Aquarius is the sign of group cooperation. The Aquarian view is that every human being is equal to every other human being; the CEO of a company abides by the same rules as the mailroom clerk; the murder of a homeless vagabond or a prostitute is as beastly as the murder of a police officer or firefighter. Sun in Aquarius is a good time to turn your thoughts toward celestial rules, to examine karma and how it operates.

I used to be a rower, and still try the sport every once in a while. Rowing is the only sport I know that typifies the Aquarian energy. The crew works together as a unit; all people in a boat, whether it's 2, 4, or 8, need to do exactly the same thing. No single individual shines, although each person has their own function. The stroke maintains the pace; the bow helps maintain stability, and the rowers in the center of the boat provide the brute strength. Oh, and did I mention-they're all going backwards. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the planet of reversals. I will always be grateful for the lessons in astrology that rowing gave me: the knowledge of what it means, and what it feels like, to work cooperatively together in a group.

January 25
Full moon in Leo 2:32 a.m.
This sun-moon aspect focuses on balancing your unique individuality with your ability to cooperate with others in a group. The Leo moon could enhance your sense of drama. Be cautious about leanings toward egotism; however, this is a good time to work on self-esteem, and on finding what your unique talents are. It's a good time to make presentations to others, and to do anything that puts you in the spotlight.
January 28
Mars conjunct Pluto
Refer to the Venus-Pluto conjunction on January 3. The energy being magnified today is that of overpowering force and explosive anger. Be extremely cautious today. A good use of this energy is to work toward protecting or defending the underprivileged. For more information about other aspects operating today, see http://www.astroprofile.com/2005sky.htm.
February 3
Sun reaches 15 degrees Aquarius, the traditional calculation for Imbolc.
I am always interested in feedback. If you have questions or comments about this article or series of columns, please contact me at sylviafan@juno.com. I'd especially love to hear from any of you who have experience with astrology for the southern hemisphere.
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