If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo word salad. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT). Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.
If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not;
Speak then to me.
-- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 1, Sc 3, L 58
December has lots of celestial action, prefiguring plenty of drama on the world stage and in our personal lives. Mars Max remains in effect all month (and well into the new year), so we can expect a surfeit of the regular Red Planet stuff: fires, crashes, clashes and explosions; people on edge and pushy, so keep alert and keep your distance. Mercury Max likewise holds on until the 22nd, when the little planet reaches its maximum elongation west of the Sun (with the retrograde portion of this cycle lasting until the 14th). Add in a lunar eclipse (on the 10th), a Jupiter station (direct) on the 25th, and Jupiter lingering within a couple degrees of its last pass opposition to Saturn from late December into early January, and what weíve got is another month of extraordinary times.
Some months are slower and sleepier, others are strident and eventful. December falls in the latter category in this long passage which I have for years now characterized as a time of "panic in the markets, panic in the streets, people in need of rescue, just a whiff of revolution in the air". It may have sounded far-fetched when I first wrote it several years ago, but now it just sounds like another day in the news Ė and it will continue to have that all-too-familiar ring for several years to come, exactly as predicted. Thatís the difference between real astrology and that psycho-babble word salad stuff: the real thing segues easily from forecast to reality.
Take the Mars Max cycle, for example. Having described the celestial mechanics of this phenomenon in some detail already Ė see the October forecast Ė I wonít delve into the nitty-gritty again. Suffice it to say that the Mars Max cycle is the Red Planetís close approach to Earth, when Mars shines biggest and brightest in our skies. Like all such planetary close approaches, itís a cycle that includes the planetís retrograde period Ė that part of the planetís synodic cycle when its apparent motion through our skies slows down, comes to a standstill and then reverses. Many traditional astrologers look upon a retrograde planet as being somehow Ďweakenedí or Ďdebilitatedí, which in fact is the absolute opposite of the truth. No one who actually looks up into the night sky and sees Mars Max in all its glory can make such a mistake.
This great, big, bright Mars Max Ė and it will be biggest and brightest around the time of the Sun-Mars opposition on March 3, 2012 Ė is in the sky above us, of course. But itís within us as well. Watch for the signs, and youíll see them: people on edge and irritable, hasty and careless; even hostile and aggressive. This operates at the collective as well as the individual level Ė because the collective is made up of individuals, of course. So youíll see not only an upsurge in notable interpersonal violence and mayhem (from spectacular accidents, crashes, fires and explosions to heinous crimes like mass murder and spree killings, school and workplace violence, etc.; but also a growing crescendo of geopolitical conflict.
Itís already taking shape. Since the current Mars Max cycle began on October 28, 2011, the IAEA has reported evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons This great, big, bright Mars Max Ė and it will be biggest and brightest around the time of the Sun-Mars opposition on March 3, 2012 Ė is in the sky above us, of course. But itís within us as well. Watch for the signs, and youíll see them: people on edge and irritable, hasty and careless; even hostile and aggressive. This operates at the collective as well as the individual level Ė because the collective is made up of individuals, of course. So youíll see not only an upsurge in notable interpersonal violence and mayhem (from spectacular accidents, crashes, fires and explosions to heinous crimes like mass murder and spree killings, school and workplace violence, etc.; but also a growing crescendo of geopolitical conflict. program, followed by intimations that Israel and/or the US might launch an air strike on suspected Iranian nuclear facilities. There have also been reports, confirmed by eyewitnesses and photographic reconnaissance, of explosions at those facilities. Thereís also sabre-rattling in the Pacific, where the US and Australia have announced a new military cooperation program aimed at countering Chinese influence in the region. On a more personal level, the news has been full of reports about police violence against protestors in the streets of Egypt, Syria and the US, shopper-on-shopper mayhem in US stores on Black Friday, and an extra measure of interpersonal violence scattered here, there and everywhere.
Mars Max is a long lasting cycle, and this one wonít be over until July 12, 2012. Obviously itís impossible Ė not to mention unhealthy Ė to keep your guard up day in and day out over so long a period. But do be aware of this background theme, and maybe be especially alert around the time of Decemberís emphatic Mars factors Ė including, for example, the December 2-4 squares to Mars from the Sun and Mercury and the Moon-Mars alignment on the 17th. These are times to stay focused, calm and collected as best you can, steering clear of conflict and danger as much as possible. Remember that Mars Max will be manifested worldwide, perhaps especially in areas of particular vulnerability during this cycle. Astro-locality mapping the March 3, 2012 Sun-Mars opposition that anchors the 2011-2012 Mars Max cycle reveals several longitudinal special risk zones, including one in the western US from southern California in the vicinity of Los Angeles due north through western Canada, passing over the pole to come down through Russia and the Middle East in the area of the border Iran shares with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Except for skimming the far north of Canada and the southern tip of Greenland, the Sun-Mars horizon arc mostly spans open ocean - except where it touches eastern Australia (around Melbourne), Papua New Guinea and New Britain on its way across the Pacific to the Kamchatka Peninsula and the coast of Siberia. This is not to say that everyone outside those target zones can relax Ė not by any means. But keep your eye on these areas during this long Mars Max.
part from the direct impact of the fires, clashes, crashes and explosions that are par for the course under this sort of Mars close pass, some such incidents can raise the possibility of a disruption in the oil and natural gas supply chain - which in turn can shock the financial markets and set investors and institutions in a mad dash for the exits. Military conflicts can have the same effect - and not only on energy supplies specifically, but on the whole spectrum of commerce. The centerpiece of this particular Mars Max, the March 2012 Sun-Mars opposition, also features a Venus-Saturn alignment; which suggests a strong potential for greater or lesser financial panics stemming from mishaps and misadventures associated with this Mars cycle - and certainly not only around the time of the Sun-Mars and Venus-Saturn alignments themselves, but throughout the Mars Max phase.
Itís well worth remembering that nothing happens in isolation: everything is connected to everything else, and the Mars Max is one among many ongoing and simultaneous cycles. For example, thereís the Uranus-Pluto square that grew out of the Saturn-Uranus opposition that grew out of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune T-Square, which in turn fell smack in the middle of the Trigonalis Dawn Ė the period between 1980 and 2020, which Iíve been writing about for years now. Iíll put all this into perspective in my 2012 World Forecast Highlights. For now, just keep an eye on the Jupiter-Saturn opposition lining up in the heavens again this month. It points to a political and economic crisis response, possible anytime this month but probably peaking in early January, as the Venus-Neptune alignment chimes in . . . euro, schmeuro Ė short the thing anytime it pops up much over around $1.37! (And while the collar and US Treasuries look like a safe haven in comparison, thatís very much a relative calculation. The dollar will not disappear as a reserve currency, but it will more and more become one of a number of important currency (and commodity) reserve. You should know the drill by now: by precious metals (gold and silver) on the dips; likewise blue-chip high-dividend stocks . . . remember: these are general principles I follow (and have followed with good results these past few years). They have worked for me and for others I know, but they may not be appropriate for you.
For now, letís just say that the "panic in the markets, panic in the streets, people in need of rescue, just a whiff of revolution in the air" Iíve been describing as a backdrop to world events these past few years has been exacerbated by strong Mars factors in the sky. These will continue to be heightened in the current Mars Max cycle, so donít expect the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and similar revolutionary movements to go quietly away. Yes, this one and that one will peter out, but the underlying movement will live to fight another day. Anyone who thinks that the crises of the day will go quietly away is like King Louis XVI asking if the storming of the Bastille was a revolt, only to be told ďNo, Sire, itís a Revolution.Ē (Which revolution, incidentally, followed in the wake the 1782-83 Saturn-Uranus oppositions and attendant volcanic eruptions and climate change.) Sound familiar? Look at the headlines and the news, read my world forecasts for the last several years.)
For now, letís just say that the "panic in the markets, panic in the streets, people in need of rescue, just a whiff of revolution in the air" Iíve been describing as a backdrop to world events these past few years has been exacerbated by strong Mars factors in the sky. These will continue to be heightened in the current Mars Max cycle, so donít expect the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and similar revolutionary movements to go quietly away. Yes, this one and that one will peter out, but the underlying movement will live to fight another day. Anyone who thinks that the crises of the day will go quietly away is like King Louis XVI asking if the storming of the Bastille was a revolt, only to be told "No, Sire, itís a Revolution." (Which revolution, incidentally, followed in the wake the 1782-83 Saturn-Uranus oppositions and attendant volcanic eruptions and climate change.) Sound familiar? Look at the headlines and the news, read my world forecasts for the last several years.)
The other Max cycle in effect this month elongs to Mercury. Having described (and illustrated) this phenomenon in some detail in last monthís forecast, Iíll simply remind you that the current Mercury Max began on November 14, includes the November 24-December 14 retrograde and the December 4 inferior conjunction, and wraps up with the western elongation extreme on December 23, 2011. Practically speaking, this entire period is one that emphasizes the need for careful thought and planning; due diligence, backups (of the computer and power variety, as well as more generally). If youíre not well prepared and sharply focused on the task at hand, it will surely get out of hand before you know it. So pay attention! And be aware that most people donít (pay attention, that is), so youíve got to make allowances for their inattention causing havoc. Schedules are unreliable at times like this, due to mishaps, strikes, weather delays (including space weather messing up satellites, infrastructure and the like). Computers and networks are a mishap or a hack away from seizing up, so be ready for it. While these things apply throughout the whole Mercury Max period, you might want to be especially alert around the4th, 10th, 14th and 23rd in particular.
Speaking of weather, look for an increase in newsworthy storm and seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) during the December 7 to 13 geocosmic shock window associated with the December 10 lunar eclipse. Itís the second (total) lunar eclipse of 2011, and the last eclipse of the year. The full moon at 18° 10í Gemini anchors this eclipse, which includes a T-Square with the addition of Mars; and also features yet another appearance of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition. These are signs of social and economic problems coming into strong focus again: debt defaults, government austerity programs and tax hikes cloud the picture once more. The geocosmic shock window for this eclipse runs from December 7 to the 13th, but the political problems run much deeper and longer than just these few days. Public expression of outrage runs high for a short time, but the underlying discontent is a much deeper situation. Street demonstrations can quickly turn violent under this kind of celestial signature.
Thereís always a geophysical dimension to an eclipse: the usual enhanced probability of newsworthy storms and seismic activity (including moderate to severe earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, with an attendant risk of tsunami. Mercury Max being in full swing at the time, itís reasonable to expect weather-related disruptions to all kinds of transportation and communication networks, and power outages for the same reason. Itís probably not the best time to travel, unless youíve got an extra supply of patience and other essentials to see you through an unexpected layover. This applies planet-wide of course, given the astronomical scale of the eclipse. Iceland is a major nexus for all the horizon arcs at the time of the eclipse. One of these arcs sweeps northeasterly from southern California and northern Mexico across the northern Plains and Canada (passing near Winnipeg), crossing Greenland and Iceland to come down through eastern Europe and the Middle East as well as northeast Africa. Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand come under the eclipse Mars horizon (which cuts across eastern Brazil in the New World), while the Jupiter-Saturn meridian runs north south right through the US Midwest in the western hemisphere and western China/east India and Nepal in the east. If youíll be in one of these zones during the December 7-13 shock window, donít just assume that it will be business as normal. For most people, it will be Ė but we canít all be that lucky which time and space conspire to stir things up and shake things down.
Other, lesser geocosmic shock windows this month surround the Moonís northward crossing of the celestial equator on the 3rd (in effect from the 1st through the 5th), the lunar north southward lunar equatorial crossing on the 17th, (effective from the 16th through the 18th), the lunar south declination extreme on the 23rd and the new moon on the 24th (in effect from the 21st through the 27th); and the Moonís northward equatorial crossing on the 30th. effective from the 29th into January 1st. These are all good times to have some candles and batteries and canned goods and bottled water just in case.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)