Celebrating the Summer Solstice – horoscope for Dec 2016
For thousands of years, people all over the world have celebrated the first day of summer also known as Midsummer Day, St. John’s Day, Litha or the Summer Solstice. Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning ‘sun’ + ‘to stand still.’ As the days grow longer, the sun rises higher in the sky until it seand Slavs celebrated this important celestial occasion with dancing and bonfires to help increase the sun’s energy; the Chinese associated the summer solstice with the earth, femininity and Li, the goddess of light; the Druids celebrated the solstice as the wedding of heaven and earth, while in Britain, pilgrims still gather each year at Avebury and Stonehenge to watch the dawn sun rise above the great standing stones.
This year the Australian summer solstice falls on the 21st December, a time to relish the fullness of life and raise our energy to create abundance and manifest dreams.
Happy Summer Solstice to all LivingNow readers!
Sun in Sagittarius – vision, adventure and freedom
From 22nd November to 21st December, the sun travels through Sagittarius, an intuitive fire sign noted for its vision, adventurous nature and love of philosophy. Sagittarius is the ninth sign of the zodiac with keywords ‘I seek’ and ‘I expand’ and those born under the sign of the Archer often struggle to integrate their animal nature with their more lofty human side.
Sagittarians seek expansion on all levels, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, and can usually be found travelling, studying and exploring life’s big issues. They love to share their wisdom and are often talented writers or teachers. At best they are intelligent, honest, generous and inspirational. Negatively, they can be tactless, self-indulgent, coarse and hypocritical. Some Sagittarians are drifters, constantly in search of new horizons and ever more exciting adventures. Most Archers eventually realise that true freedom comes from commitment and dedication to a personal vision, rather than from the outer world.
In medical astrology, Sagittarius rules the liver, hips and thighs and sacral regions of the spine. When Sagittarians are out of balance they can suffer from sciatica, hip diseases, rheumatism and weight gain. The Sagittarian colours are purple and deep blue. Sagittarius’s greatest lessons are commitment, moderation, tact and learning to deliver what they promise.
Mercury is the fastest moving planet in our solar system, orbiting very close to the sun. In Roman mythology, quicksilver Mercury with his magical winged sandals and helmet was the Messenger of the Gods, carrying messages between gods and humans and those who dwelled in the underworld. In astrology, Mercury is the planet of communication, helping us put our thoughts into words; plan our daily activities; interact with one another and explore new ideas and information.
Every four months, Mercury appears to slow down, change direction and travel backwards for approximately three weeks. Astrologers refer to this period as ‘Mercury Retrograde’ and this month, from 19th December to 8th January, Mercury will be travelling backwards through earth sign Capricorn. When Mercury is retrograde, our unconscious and intuitive sides are particularly active and the best laid plans often come to a halt as events take on a life of their own. We are asked to go within (to the underworld or unconscious) and meditate and reflect, rather than pushing forwards with life in the outer world.
Mercury retrograde can be a time of frustration and misunderstandings when things keep going wrong or breaking down. If this happens to you, take it as a sign to be more conscious of things you’ve been ignoring or are perhaps unaware of. You may also need to complete unfinished business that’s preventing you from moving forward. Mercury retrograde brings hidden information to the surface, forcing us or helping us to see the truth. As Mercury travels backwards through Capricorn, ask yourself: “How can I be more authentic, responsible, accountable and productive?”
December full moon
The December full moon falls on the 14th in air sign Gemini (22-23°). The Sabian symbol for this full moon shows three fledglings in a nest high in a tree. These young birds symbolise the Divine Trinity and, in particular, the integration of the creative power of the spirit. As the moon reaches fullness, she forms a mystic rectangle with the sun, Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter producing enormous potential for the creative and constructive use of your own unique, natural talents.
December new moon
The December new moon falls on the 29th in earth sign Capricorn, the time of year when we reflect on the past and wonder what the future might bring. This new moon is full of ideas and promise, but achieving dreams and goals requires hard work and dedication. Cast your mind back to this time last year and reflect on how far you have come, then set your intentions for 2017. With Mercury still retrograde, you will instinctively know what is most important.
December stars – horoscope
|Aries||December will be a special month with many opportunities for socialising with friends, deepening your relationship with your partner and broadening your horizons in general. Make sure you look and feel your best so you can take advantage of all the opportunities coming your way.|
|Taurus||Work and travel are both favoured this month, so make sure you devote time to both. A trip in nature would do you the world of good and help you stay grounded and connected. December is also a good month for checking your finances and making sure everything is on track for 2017.|
|Gemini||Relationships are blessed this month with the late November new moon lighting your house of intimate partnership and a powerful full moon in Gemini on the 14th. Creative projects will flourish, particularly in the first half of December and you’ll be able to enjoy the results of all your hard work.|
|Cancer||A new moon in your relationship sector in late December could set the scene for a new love or offer you the chance to deepen and strengthen an existing relationship. December is also the perfect month for all things domestic – entertaining, decorating, renovating, spring cleaning or simply hanging out and enjoying the festive season with friends and family.|
|Leo||You’ll be working hard in the first week of December, but once Venus moves into your relationship sector on the 8th you can let your hair down and enjoy yourself. December is a great time for a health kick – summer is here, so head out into the fresh air and get that blood pumping.|
|Virgo||December could be a challenging month Virgo where you’re forced to strike a fine balance between joyful time with family and friends vs the need to earn money and focus on your work. But don’t worry too much, you’ll find new and creative ways of managing your time, particularly in the second half of December.|
|Libra||Home is where the heart is this month. Don’t waste time on expensive outings and holidays – look at all the good things going on in your own backyard and neighbourhood. You might also like to spend a few days on your own or with a close friend/partner to regroup and make plans for the new year. Think yin, not yang!|
|Scorpio||Money could be a concern during the festive season, so rather than splashing out on expensive holidays and presents, enjoy the company of friends and family in your local neighbourhood and at home. And make sure you spend some time alone too, reflecting on goals and dreams for the year ahead.|
|Sagittarius||Happy birthday Sagittarius! The last couple of years have been challenging for you with Saturn forcing you to slow down, plan ahead and be realistic and practical. With just one year of Saturn to go, if you’ve played your cards right, 2017 will be the year you reap the rewards of all that hard work!|
|Capricorn||The Capricorn new moon on the 29th promises clarity, abundance and insight and is a great time to set intentions not only this period, but for the whole of 2017. Intuition and psychic ability are particularly strong, so trust your gut. Career progress is favoured with lucky Jupiter blessing you until late next year.|
|Aquarius||This month the focus is on friendships. Many of us take friends for granted, so be pro-active in getting in touch and letting people know how much you care. And with warrior god Mars in Aquarius for the first three weeks of December you should have the power, courage and determination to push forward and achieve goals.|
|Pisces||Action planet Mars will travel through Pisces from 19th December to the end of January offering you a boost of energy and vitality to use in whatever way you wish. You could also find yourself benefiting from the generosity and good will of those close to you, so don’t be afraid to reach out if there’s something you need.|
December moon Calendar
Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the full moon to the third quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next new moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your sun (or star) sign.
|1st – 4th||Capricorn||Earth|
|4th – 6th||Aquarius||Air|
|6th – 8th||Pisces||Water||First quarter|
|8th – 10th||Aries||Fire|
|11th – 12th||Taurus||Earth|
|13th – 14th||Gemini||Air||Full moon 14th|
|15th – 16th||Cancer||Water|
|17th – 19th||Leo||Fire|
|19th – 21st||Virgo||Earth||Third quarter|
|21st – 24th||Libra||Air|
|24th – 26th||Scorpio||Water|
|26th – 29th||Sagittarius||Fire|
|29th – 31st||Capricorn||Earth||New moon 29th|
|31st – 2nd||Aquarius||Air|
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant. Search “Stella Stuff’ for her fortnightly column.
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