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©2015 by Richard Nolle
last revised NOV 30, 2015

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 psycho-babble 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, aka GMT). Location for all mundante charts is set for the Great Pyramid at Giza; the choice being strictly arbitrary in any case. 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.

PLEASE NOTE: This month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2015 World Forecast Highlights (38 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2015 World Forecast Highlights is available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761), and charged to any major credit card. Advance PayPal orders for the forthcoming 2016 edition may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page. (The 2016 edition is embargoed until December 31, 2015; no orders will be mailed or emailed prior to that date.)

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
-- Dr. Seuss

The Skinny

Mercury's Synodic Cycle Is it the first Mercury Max of 2016, or the last one of 2015? Yes! The lastMercury Max of this year begins on December 29, when Mercury as "evening star" reaches its greatest elongation east of the Sun (sets as late as it gets after sunset). But it carries through into 2016, finally coming to a close on February 7, when "morning star" Mercury achieves maximum elongation west of the Sun (rises as far ahead of sunrise as it gets). In between comes Mercury’s infamous retrograde; January 5-25, in this case. Be ready: Mercury looms large in our lives as 2015 draws to a close, and on into next year. (Because it’s primarily a 2016 phenomenon, I’ll cover this Mercury Max in detail in my 2016 World Forecast Highlights.)

Mercury Max is definitely different, but it’s not the Murphy’s Law mayhem we’ve all been taught – thank heaven! It’s an emphasis on Mercury (as he little sun-grazer makes its close approach to our home planet; which is practically the polar opposite of the silly astrological tradition that treats Mercury retrograde as some kind of debilitation. (For a fuller treatment of the whole Mercury Max cycle, see my article on that subject.)

DEC 29, 2015 Mercury Maximum Elongation East (Mercury Max Begins)Don’t forget the year’s signature alignment, the Uranus-Pluto square. Although their last exact quadrature was back on March 17, 2015, these two outer planets have remained within a few degrees of exact more or less continuously ever since – as they have since 2011. Think of the Arab Spring and Occupy uprisings as emblematic of this alignment: the masses protesting and rebelling against the social/political power structure; always passionately, sometimes violently. (Often especially violently, when significant Mars alignments occur in the heavens.) We’re not through it yet, in fact it continues into early 2016 – and is growing closer all through December, a month which happens to include one of those significant Mars alignments.

And then there are those notable shock windows this month, surrounding the December 11 new moon (with its simultaneous Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-Square and Saturn-Neptune square) and the December 25 full moon (which also features the Saturn-Neptune square, and occurs on the threshold of the start of Mercury Max). Both alignments point to disturbances at the geophysical, geopolitical and personal levels. There’s also the tail end of the Sun-Mercury superior conjunction back on November 1l8, which set up a shock window from November 30 through December 3. Add up all that drama in the sky, and you get a lot of drama down here, in and around us all. Let’s get started.

Solar Storm Watch

There are a pair of solar storm signals of some note this month. The first of these is associated with the superior (far side) conjunction of the Sun and Mercury back on November 18. This is typically an indication of a burst of solar activity some two weeks later, give or take a few days either way. That puts the next notable blip in solar flares, coronal holes and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) around the end of November; more particularly from around the 30th on into early December (from the 1st through the 3rd, roughly).

And then there’s the start of Mercury Max on the 29th. Any Mercury Max cycle coincides with increased solar storminess, particularly within a few days either way of the key points within the cycle: the start (Mercury’s December 29 maximum elongation east of the Sun, the retrograde station (January 5 2016, in this case), the inferior solar conjunction (January 14), the direct station (January 25) and the end point of the cycle (Mercury’s maximum elongation west of the Sun, February 7 this time around).

Add them up, and the picture emerges of December getting bookended by solar storms at the beginning and end of the month – and continuing strongly into January (December 26-January 1, roughly). These are not items of interest to astrophysicists only. Inject Gigawatts of surplus solar radiation into Earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere, and you get a real power surge – manifesting as extra storminess in the atmosphere, in the crust (seismic stirrings including M5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) and in the magnetosphere (Kp 5 and higher geomagnetic storms, plus showy auroral displays). Watch the news, you’ll see what I mean.

Also be aware that electrical systems of all kinds are apt to go fritzy under these two solar surges. That means electrical grids, electrical and electronic devices and networks, satellite systems and the like are all extra vulnerable to disruptions – as is the human nervous system, a particularly sophisticated and sensitive electrical complex. Have your backups and backup plans current, just in case.

Seismic, Psychic and Atmospheric Disturbances

DEC 11, 2015 New Moon Aside from the beginning and end of the month surges, there are several more notable windows for disturbances in the seas, skies and crust of our home planet. Nothing in the eclipse or SuperMoon class, but notable nonetheless. These include the new moon on the 11th, as well as the full moon on the 25th. The corresponding geophysical shock windows are December 8-14 and December 22-January 1, respectively. The latter window gets extended a few days by its proximity to the December 29 start of the next Mercury Max cycle. This latter shock window looks like the more significant of the two, what with the full moon occurring within hours of the Moon reaching maximum declination north of the celestial equator, and within days of the start of Mercury Max. If I couldn’t prepare for both of this month’s storm, seismic and psychic shock windows, the one I definitely would not overlook would be the December 22-28 full moon event.

The above dates are the times this month to be mindful of the heightened potential for strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation, as well as moderate to severe seismic activity (Magnitude 5 and higher) and notable volcanic eruptions. Having your emergency kit stocked and ready during these particular storm windows won’t do you any harm – and could do you a world of good.

DEC 25, 2015 Full MoonBe aware that storm surges in our home planet are reflected in us, to a greater or lesser extent: greater, all else being equal, if you were born with significant horoscopic points around 19 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) and/or three degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn). Check your chart!

These are the degrees emphasized by the new and full moons of December, respectively. I’m expecting the full moon on the 25th to be the heavyweight contender this month, for the reasons mentioned earlier. Any full moon emphasizes relationship issues and the resolution of conflict generally, so get ready for turbulence. Make peace where you can, and be on the alert in any case. Scrambled neural circuits make for erratic human behavior – even more erratic than usual.

The new moon shock window looks especially significant at the level of mass behavior, given that it occurs on the same day that Mars exactly opposes Uranus, forming a T-Square to Pluto. (Saturn is at the same time just over a degree from exactly squaring Neptune. This is indicative of violent, fanatical clashes – between people, ideologies (including religions) and nations. Since this has been routine since the Uranus-Pluto square began back in 2011, I’m expecting something more than the ordinary background level of belligerence – gruesome, even. A good time to separate yourself from the herd, as best you can – and to stay alert to your surroundings in any case. While the peak of this risk window falls in the few days either side of the new moon itself – i.e., from the 8th through the 14th – Mars remains within a few degrees of this whole T-Square configuration from the 1st through the 16th. It’s this wider window that bears watching, even though the exact peak falls on the 11th.


All mundane astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are set for the Universal Time (UT) of the event, and calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Charts are set for the location of the Great Pyramid - a purely arbitrary choice, since location is irrelevant to these charts. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe app for iPhone, or produced by Starry Night for Windows; storm tracks are screen captures from The Weather Channel app for iPhone; and earthquake maps are screen captures from the Earthquake Alerts ör QuakeWatch app for iPhone.

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