If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. 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).
Knowledge is of the past,
wisdom is of the future.
-- Vernon Cooper
The last SuperMoon of 2004 (the second most powerful such alignment of the year, after the one on July 2nd) augurs major turbulence in the Earth's crust, seas and atmosphere around mid-month. That's bound to be one of the big stories for December. The end of the month, under the aegis of the high-declination full moon on the 26th, is likewise more or less certain to see an upsurge in strong storms and notable seismic activity. These two notable geophysical stress windows aside, there's a lot more to December that storms, earthquakes and the like. The whole month pretty much falls within Mercury's intersolar cycle, including the Mercury retrograde which ends on the 20th: watch for news of the wacky, mixed up, screwed up and confused to make December look like a month dedicated to Murphy's Law. (Mail those Christmas gifts early, folks!) Not as long lasting, but still quite noticeable, are the Venus-Mars conjunction early in the month (very sexy and creative), the Sun-Pluto conjunction on the 12th (skeletons outed from closets, profits taken in the markets), and the Mars-Uranus square on the 31st (explosive, agitated).
Mercury's intersolar cycle, in which the little Sun-grazer is on the same side of Sol as the Earth, sets the stage for December as a whole. It's a phase that began November 21, when Mercury reached its maximum elongation east of the Sun; and continues until December 29, when Mercury attains its maximum westward arc from the Sun. This includes the legendary Mercury retrograde period of astrological tradition, which in this case began November 30 and continues until December 20. Commerce, communication, transport and all things mental are in the crosshairs during this period, and whatever can go wrong with them probably will. Delays in shipping, lost or misdirected goods and messages, transportation tie-ups and mishaps (including crashes, sinkings, derailings and the like): they're all par for the course. Whoever plans on and around such snafus will come out ahead, so take nothing for granted, follow up on everything, and have a Plan B ready before you set Plan A in motion. Don't assume that people get the message or understand the concept the first time around: tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em, then tell 'em, then tell 'em what you told 'em. While virtually all of December reverberates with these themes, they may be especially prominent on or about a few key dates: the 10th, when Mercury aligns with the Sun; the 20th, when Mercury's retrograde ends with the little planet's direct station, and the 29th, when Mercury comes to its maximum elongation west of the Sun.
It's good to bear in mind that there is a plus side of intersolar Mercury. It's a time of mysteries solved and problems fixed, by people who don't take things at face value. If you're willing to furrow your brow, focus your gaze and apply yourself, then this is a good time to take inventory, get to the bottom of things, find what's lost and fix up messes. Heaven knows, there's plenty of material to work with at times like this.
There's a whole lot more to December than screw-ups, of course. This is bound to be a memorably sexy, sensual month, particularly in the firs couple weeks or so. While Venus and Mars align at 17 Scorpio on the 5th, they're within a few degrees of exact conjunction from the 1st through the 11th. It's a time when sex, romance, the arts, scandalous affairs - why is it scandalous when two people you don't know do what you do? - beauty and charm are spread around like peanut butter. Titillating, endearing, gorgeous, pulse-pounding: there's no escaping it early in December, and who'd want to? The finer things in life, fine arts and fashion, parties and dances seem to be everywhere. But here and there the sex gets rough . . .
After the blast of killer quakes and storms and dangerous volcanic eruptions that marked the end of November, the Earth's seas and skies and crust should go into a relatively calm phase as December begins. A brief upsurge sets in from early on the 5th into early on the 7th, in association with the Moon's equatorial crossing on the 6th. Watch the news, the evidence is inescapable: strong storms bring heavy winds and high precipitation, closing runways and highways, bringing flooding and mudslides, tossing crews and cargoes in rough air and raging torrents of water. Moderate to severe earthquakes (Richter 5 and up) and volcanic eruptions are part of the pattern as well. No one can change these things, and we can't even always get out of their way. But we can be prepared.
By far the biggest risk of storm and seismic upheaval this month is the period from December 9 through the 14th. And easily the biggest indicator along these lines is the SuperMoon at 20 Sagittarius on the 12th. SuperMoon is a word I coined in my 1979 article in Dell's HOROSCOPE magazine, to refer to what is technically termed a perigee-syzygy: a new or full moon (syzygy) that occurs when the Moon is at or very near (in the 90th percentile or higher) its perigee (closest approach to Earth). (In addition, the Moon's maximum south declination on the 13th plays a part in the turbulence around December 12.) Regulars know what to expect: unusually high tides, strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation (in some cases causing floods or mudslides), and moderate to severe seismic activity (including Richter 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions).
Wherever you live, be ready for this one. Have your bottled water, batteries and candles ready, your emergency kit handy, your foul weather gear checked out and ready. Chances are, most of us won't need stuff like this during the December 9 - 15 SuperMoon risk window. But those who do will thank their lucky stars they were prepared. With a geocosmic alignment like this in effect, the whole of Planet Earth falls under its sway. That's exactly why everyone should be prepared just in case. But it's also the reason most of us will escape unscathed: it's a big planet, and catastrophes are more often than not localized.
Astro-locality analysis does suggest a few zones which may be particularly at risk during this SuperMoon period. Western Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and Hawaii are part of one danger zone, which arcs across vast stretches of open ocean to touch all of western coastal Africa (and inland a few hundred miles), and goes from there across the Middle East into Russia. Another lies along an arc stretching from Barrow, Alaska across the Great Plains from Alberta on into the Mississippi River system through New Orleans out into the Gulf of Mexico, across the western tip of Cuba and through Panama into northwestern South America and out through the southeastern coast of the continent (near Buenos Aires). Another risk zone runs north-south through Iceland, otherwise mostly over open ocean. Its mirror image is on the opposite side of the world, running north-south very near the longitude of Brisbane, Australia. Another north-south zone goes pole to pole through Prague (touching Rome, Tripoli and Kinshasa along the way). And finally, there's an arc of potential danger stretching from Bombay through Delhi and across western China into Russia (passing near Yakutsk) and out across the Bering Strait.
There's a psychological side to the SuperMoon period, in addition to its geophysical manifestations. Looking at the Moon-Sun-Mercury-Pluto stellium in Sagittarius during this SuperMoon window, I'm expecting some major profit-taking in the financial and equity markets during the few days before and following the December 12 SuperMoon. A good time to be cashed out and on the sidelines, I suspect.
After a brief respite, another storm and seismic risk window opens up from late on the 17th through late on the 20th, in association with the Moon's northward equatorial crossing on the 19th. This should be not only shorter than the SuperMoon period just passed, but also less destructive in terms of storm, flood and seismic damage. Still, keep an eye on the sky and be prepared just in case. The last big geocosmic stress window of the month will be in effect from the 23rd through the 29th, associated with the full moon at 5 Cancer on the 26th (the same day the Moon reaches its maximum north declination. This particular alignment looks nearly as dangerous as the SuperMoon on the 12th, where the risk of storms, flooding and seismic upheaval is concerned.
The month ends on an explosive, uncertain note, if the Mars-Uranus square at 4 Sagittarius-Pisces is any indication. Tempers flare, sabers rattle, criminals and terrorists strike; soldiers, sailors and aviators step up and put their lives on the line for a cause greater than self. Play it safe if you can. And if you can't, then pack heavy and keep your guard up. Mechanical and electrical mishaps figure prominently into events at times like this: not a good time to rely on automatic pilot, literally as well as figuratively.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)