By Ichrak Dahou
December brings a different quality of high octane energy than November did. The planets are reflecting excitement, nervous tension, and impatience with the status quo. Responding quickly to these impulses will be tempting, and easy to do. But a concurrent influence of caution, deliberateness, and strategy will allow us to rein in our compulsions. Radical change is called for, but we must proceed with caution and consideration for what needs to be preserved.
Coming into the first week of the month, the Sun will shine a spotlight on Saturn. This is an annual event, and it highlights the personal nuts-and-bolts work we are each engaging in. This provides an important opportunity to gain clarity about what that work is, and where there are support beams that need to be constructed or strengthened. Saturn will be in Sagittarius until the end of 2017, so this month is a good time to take notes and apply our available awareness to the coming year.
Mercury goes retrograde from December 19 until January 7th. This is a potent retrograde cycle. The mind will be compelled to new depths of insights, but beware of paranoia, rigid thinking, and defensiveness. The gift of this time is the deep reflection that is available, and the chance to watch how the truth is available in an almost holographic way, with reference points across differing situations. Take the first few weeks of the month to address your technological concerns. Postpone purchasing new electronic devices until after the retrograde is over. Think back to January 2016, when a similar pattern of retrograde constellated, for clues about how to make progress with this one.
By the time the solstice arrives on the 21st, the landscape will be beginning to morph, and the natural inclination will to turn inward. Take stock of your inner resources and how they can be put to use. Seek out activities in these weeks that provide a stimulation that is subtle, deepen the soul, and are creatively nourishing. I wish you a wonderful December.
When dealing with forces larger than you, your guiding truth should come from a place of expanded perspective. Think about possibility and importance on the scale of infinity: what if you literally had all the time in the world to accomplish your life’s work? Does that perspective prompt you to reprioritize your most urgent efforts? There is a need, now, for rethinking the way you have always done things. But remember that there is nothing new under the Sun — everything old is new again. History repeats itself in cycles. After the past several years of your life, you have gathered the insights, experience, and fortified tenacity to add to the wisdom that has survived the ages. You may even be in a position to resurrect a primal ancient wisdom that we all need access to now. In this moment, the trick is to go out of your way to step into the shoes of people who are in strong contrast to you. This can help you sharpen your position, and notice how the clarity of vision within your inner space directly influences the tangible effects in your outer world. Be deliberate about creating awareness around the levers of power, and ask yourself how you want to shape your world with respect to those. This month is about the long game.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for spirited Aries: Tangerine (Sean S. Baker, 2015)
You are undergoing a process of evaluating your vital life force, and what provides that for you. Consider that money is a stand-in for fairness in exchange. Ideally, things purchased using money are nourishing to us in proportion to what we have paid for them. In your life, money as a tangible and measurable thing now benefits from also being understood as a metaphor for other kinds of exchanges. These ideally should be clean, straightforward, and above all, fair. Taurus is known to rejoice in quality. Take that as a reason to audit the exchanges of energy in your life, especially with others. This is also about fusion and union. In the most intimate scenarios of your life — in marriage, in family, in partnership — the idea now is to strive for fairness, even if it takes a bit of deep thinking, uncomfortable conversation, and recalibration to achieve this. Listen to voices that offer perspectives outside your routine point of view, in the interest of bringing into adjustment anything that may have become too extreme. This month’s Mercury retrograde will help you to bring in a sense of far-sightedness as you consider this deeper process.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for solid Taurus: Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
You are learning about integrity in relationships. As long as you proceed with the attitude that any challenges you experience in your intimate partnerships are designed to ultimately equip you with a new sense of solidity, clarity, and reliability in partnership, you will be fine. The best shortcut I can offer you is to delve into the granular details, take the long way, and to ask all the questions that need to be asked. The process you are going through is learning about relating to others, and teaching others how to relate to you. You may have to create new standards here. You may have to excavate old stories, rinse them off, pop them back into place, and give them a fresh paint job. You have support in this process. Whether you’re single or partnered, taking the time to deliberately go through this kind of mental mining will both bring excitement into your life, and bring you closer to crossing off some long-held bucket list items. You are creating a way of relating that will remain with you for the foreseeable future. This month’s Mercury retrograde begins with a deep reflection about the global systems that affect all of us. On a personal level, you will want to bring order to ways your life is woven in with and dependent on other people — financially, emotionally, sexually. Come at this with a sense of bringing clarity and uprightness to your closest bonds. Also, you are starting a several week long energization of your career. How you feel emotionally and how well you care for your body affects your performance in this area.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for perceptive Gemini: The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
On the surface it seems like the intensity with someone close to you is mounting. Together you are being called to explore heavy material, unearth unspoken dynamics between you, and think through the underground highways and tunnels of your relationship. This month’s Mercury retrograde is a good time to think about this extended churning process of purging and purification happening in your realm of partnerships. It could play out any number of ways. You might come head to head with powerful people and learn something new about yourself in the process. You could become better skilled at wielding your own power when dealing with powerful people, organizations, or institutions. You might recognize the power and influence you bring into your relationships, and the power you absorb from directly dealing intimately with others. You may recognize how much more sheer energy, fearlessness, and empathy for others’ suffering emerges in you, when you honestly grapple with all the inner debris that arises from your interactions with formidable forces. This is a process that has been happening for a while, and will continue for a while yet. You have plenty of time. This month, this process is accessible to your conscious mind, and you have the opportunity to put energy into it. The yield on the energy you invest into this process is the kind that, while certainly noticeable to yourself and others, can’t be measured in tangible units, but still has strong staying power.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for intuitive Cancer: Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
This is a month for taking care of the practicalities of day-to-day life. As you go through the month, you will be invited to tune up the most basic parts of your everyday life. You want to be thinking about how much sleep you’re getting, whether your body is receiving and absorbing all the nutrients it needs to function optimally, what your diet and digestion are like, if your exercise needs are being met, and how much you are doing things you enjoy — happiness-bringing activities — in your everyday experience. There are benefits for giving energy to this kind of work, namely: having the structures that give you the energy, space, and time you need. Your astrology suggests that there is someone you can call upon to help you with this, perhaps someone you already know. Pay attention to the energy you give to others and how you support them. There is a lot you can give freely and selflessly, and that would benefit your soul. Ideally, in very close relationships, you want to see a nourishing and fair exchange. This dynamic will invigorate you, and enable you to advance your cause and give more to everyone you touch in your life.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for charismatic Leo: Macbeth (Roman Polanski, 1971)
Romantic overtures, salacious sexual conquests, and the amorphous fluidity of a gentle partner are nice, but wouldn’t it be better if everyone were on the same page? If there were trackable, identifiable agreements in relationships, and if your partners were not so fiercely determined to be so vague? This month’s Mercury retrograde says it is your task to do some re-structuring within the agreements of your closest relationships. The way you share love needs to undergo an explicit re-visioning process to accommodate a life change. Intricately folded in with this is a literal or figurative change in the very foundation of your life. The boots-on-the-ground-process of moving house or renovating has begun. While you are, in fact, making real and tangible shifts at home, your astrology suggests that what you are unearthing is a process of mending the story of your bloodline, your ancestry, the family constellation you orbit in this lifetime. This is a long-term process that will become more clear and gain more traction in the months to come. For now, know that you have a strong influence supporting the deep changes you are making. A measured and paced approach when it comes to your money and shared money is the intelligent one to take this month, especially where it seems alluring or exciting to to act before thinking all of the steps through.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for structured Virgo: Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016)
After the influx of information, work, and new projects that have flooded your life over the past year, it is time to zero in on your vision. Your palette of possibilities has grown and expanded, now you must solidify the structures that support the things that are important to you. You now have more influence as a leader, and people are looking to you to demonstrate the best of what your sign has to offer. The Libran qualities of fairness, objectivity, and always taking the other person’s position into account, become even more valuable in environments that are increasingly erratic and unstable. They are also available to you in greater supply than usual. It is as if, for the time being, everything about you is magnified in proportion to your environment. That means that your gravitational field carries more sway, people are more likely to notice and act on what you bring attention to, and they are more likely to follow the example you set. When others around you want to go off on a hare-brained idea, you have the ability to bring perspective to what they are offering and ground their high-flying schemes into defined ideas. Your approach can bring suitable, sustainable structure for the long term. This month’s Mercury retrograde cycle provides an opportunity to re-think what sustains you on the most essential levels — home, family, security of and legacy of clan. Your job is to look through the biggest, brightest, most expansive, most emotionally nuanced and satisfying view of your situation, then work diligently to make it a reality in your life.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for harmonious Libra: Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July, 2005)
You are going through mystical process that is outside the rules of time, logic, or space, but deeply profound and meaningful. When you see omens of what’s to come, these bends and junctures in the fabric of time are uniquely meaningful to you. And where there might usually be pain in solitude or retreat, for you there is now peace, a recalibrating expansion of your inner space, and an ability to access an inner wisdom, or deeply acquaint yourself with an outer one. This month, these processes are consciously available to you. You may get a lot of use out of them if you engage them fully, exploring all their facets, and then share your insights with others. Also this month, Mars enters Pisces and your sign’s fifth house, and joins a host of other bodies in the sign. Pisces, your sister sign, will give you a rush of good feeling in your body, and you can make something beautiful out of that energy. In another part of your life, you are learning about your relationship with money. This is an extended process of creating structures in your life that can serve as material supports for the kind of liberation you want to achieve and disseminate in your day-to-day life. The New Moon at the end of November shone a spotlight on a new beginning with this, and you’re well positioned to gain solid traction on it, starting now.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for passionate Scorpio: Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)
Turn the beat around. That is the theme song for you this month. What you are turning around is your approach to your finances. Something is to changing in the way you earn or structure your money, and this is an area you could give devoted attention to for much of this month. You may wish to consider ways that you can use the systems already in place to make your money work for you. But all this money stuff is just the evidence of the longer term changes you are going through in your self conception. This month presents you with the opportunity to be concrete in all the ways you are emerging into new facets of yourself. Think about how the children in your life offer you liberating ideas of how to be. What growth would you take on if you knew you had a safety net of support, and in what ways can you drum up that support? What inner movements of your soul would benefit from being put on creative display and shared lavishly with others? This is a moment of self reflection, and the first responsibility you have is to yourself. When you do what’s right for you, it winds up being right for everyone else too. Everything else flows from there.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for far-sighted Sagittarius: Cría Cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976)
This time of year every year is usually more reflective for you, but this year is particularly special because the Sun is illuminating Saturn, shining a spotlight on the deeper emotional folds and facets of your soul. You can access the kind of insights that a devoted monk receives while deep in meditation. There is an unspoken understanding in certain spiritual and mystical circles and gatherings, which is that no one will explicitly tell you what are the most important things to pay attention to. An enumerated list of guidelines for best practices would be helpful, but you won’t find them hanging on the wall, or handed out in a pamphlet. You are expected to have created a space in yourself for the insights to flow into, and refined your perception enough to be able to perceive the shapes that live there. If you are in the know, it is because you became that way through observation, appreciation for subtlety, and a fine sense of discernment. Further, these processes are not undertaken because they’re easy, but because they improve the quality of the soul. The truest honesty you could ever give the world is the honesty you share between you and yourself.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for patient Capricorn: Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
This month’s Mercury retrograde may be frustrating for you, as you think long and hard about something that needs to be changed, yet the more devoted logical, linear, rational attention you give to it, the more the solution eludes you. Try creating as clear as possible a definition of what it is you want clarity on. Once you have that, stop thinking about it consciously. Then do things that intentionally remove you from the space of linear thinking — sitting on a canoe and letting your thoughts drift where they may, replaying your dreams when you’re lying in bed in the morning. Free-associate with your creative method of choice, taking intentional and conscious retreat from the popular thought fault-lines of day-to-day life. This approach will get you solid progress during this Mercury retrograde. Remember the core idea of the sign Aquarius: you are represented by the water bearer. One of your core purposes is to take the insights to which you have markedly crystal clear access, and to find interesting ways to share those with the rest of us. In this way you water the body of humanity, creating a ripple effect that benefits all of us.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for independent Aquarius: The Tribe (Myroslav Slaboshpytyski, 2014)
Pisces is the sign of reflexive emotionality. You have the ability to expertly adjust your response to the world, day to day and hour to hour. Pisces people seem to take sincere interest in everyone, and people who orbit Pisces’ effusive creativity feel the expansion that this interest creates. The thing to know about Pisces is that unlike your sister water signs Cancer and Scorpio, you don’t have a hard shell to protect you. While you might feel defenseless, in another sense, the love that you emit is unqualified. This is as close to Love with a capital L as you can get. This month, your evergreen ability to see reality in a slightly different way than everyone else can open up doors, whether they are the doors of connection and achievement or the doors to other people’s hearts. For the next several weeks you possess an ability to surgically, expertly recalibrate your actions so as to flow in concert with the forces in your environment. Defending your position is yielding to the truth that you swim in an ocean of love. This will fuel your spirit and fill your wallet. Where you may wish to bring a more goal-oriented approach is to aspirations you have for yourself that you’ve allowed to get dusty while you were doing other things. You will certainly find momentum backing a re-visioning and re-structuring of your long term goals, and you may find plenty of reflection in your environment to push you along the lines you are already considering. You could tap those closest to you for a joint re-visioning process, and the truth is they would be as invigorated by you as you would be inspired by them.
BLARB’s December movie recommendation for generous Pisces: Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)