Wheel of Light: December 2009
December is the darkest month of the year. It calls on us to go inside, both in the context of indoors as well as within ourselves. This is a time to contemplate, past choices and actions as well as to plan for new beginnings in the New Year. This year we have a useful tool with which to do this. Mars, the planet of action, initiation and assertiveness turns retrograde on December 20th. and remains so until March 10th.
Mars pertains to anything we do that is physical, from working out, to building something, to being sexual. It retrogrades approximately every two years, for about ten weeks. The longer Mars remains retrograde, the less physical drive and energy we have. So, in combination with the season, this is not a time to start anything significant. Our interest in the project may dissipate and our interest in completing it follows accordingly. If circumstances conspire to demand that we must start something at this time, it’s advisable to start slowly and allow the activity to pick up speed once Mars turns direct.
This is not to suggest that we just focus on the present and forget everything else. Mars retrograde is a good time to complete previously unfinished projects. It’s a good time to research things to do in the future and even to plan and strategize when to start and the best ways to do them.
Mars is in the sign Leo, and will remain there the entire time it is retrograde. Leo can very loving and playful. It is creatively expressive, sexual and athletic. Thus, in general, review and pan activities that involve these qualities. If you know or have a copy of your natal horoscope, you can personalize this transit even more by noting the house (area of life experience) where the sign Leo resides in your chart. This is the house where you can take greatest advantage of the Mars transit at this time.
Mars is a fiery energy and Leo is a fire sign. The temptation to go and do something, perhaps even something big or grandiose, could be strong. If it involves having a good time, especially during the Holiday Season, go for it. This is not a time to just sit around and think. Especially because of the long nights and short days, this could lead to seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as depression. Leo loves to party and entertain. Use those tendencies as ways of fending off inner darkness. But keep your expectations and expenditures small. A get together with a few good friends will feel better and be more fun than trying to throw a party for neighbors and fifty friends.
The influences of a retrograde planet actually begins prior to the day of its retrogradation and continues for a while beyond its turning direct. We call these extra days “the shadow”. Mars retrograde shadow began in mid-October. After it turns direct in March the shadow will remain until mid-May. Some of us may have been feeling this shift for a while. Whether we are already feeling it or not, however, the shadow period is a time to become aware of the slowing down of our drive and impulse to act. This rate will continue even after the retrograde period is over. Tune in to your body. It will let you know when and at what rate to slow down, stop, review, plan, when to go forward and when to pick up speed in the New Year.
Aries: Since Mars is your ruling planet, you may have a harder time during its retrograde period. It is your nature to initiate projects. Trial and error could be your mantra. Growth for you at this time involves digging all those unfinished projects out of the cabinets and garage. Completion can help you to learn one of the hardest but most important lessons for Aries: patience.
Taurus: Challenges come up from mid-month on. These could involve intimate relationships, emotional and/or financial. Be precise about your goals in these areas and state them clearly, but don’t be so stubborn about maintaining them that it creates alienation from your partner. Growth comes from your willingness to be open to innovation and experimentation. Satisfaction can come even if you don’t get everything that you want.
Gemini: The full Moon in Gemini on the first provides an opportunity to express your deepest feelings to those closest to you. This honesty could produce a sense of vulnerability, and others may feel overwhelmed with the information. In the long run, however, this type of interaction can create a sense of emotional well-being for you and feelings of stability in the relationship.
Cancer: Strong desires to be of service could manifest for you this month. This could come from actually doing something for others or by simply sharing with them information that would be beneficial for them. Mid-month in particular could bring a variety of situations and people, possibly outside your regular social circle or daily routines. Growth for you comes from being discriminating about what to share, with whom, at what time and in what way.
Leo: Physical activities, including holiday shopping and party giving should be done early in the month. Feelings of love and generosity will abound for you at that time. After that, pay attention to the energy that you actually feel in your body. If you run through an internal stop sign you could feel very depleted by the holidays or early in the New Year.
Virgo: Early month could bring conflicts or power struggles with children or lovers. Be clear about your goals and needs in those relationships. Growth can come from sticking up for yourself. One option, to resolve at least some of the issues, is to play. This could be in an artistic context or simply doing something that you find fun and enjoyable. Doing something like that with whomever you are in conflict with makes it a particularly delicious experience.
Libra: This is a good time for you to do some deep introspective contemplation. Writing, either in journal or creative form, could be a good way to access valuable internal information. It doesn’t matter if you share this with anyone. It’s a way to gain perspective about yourself. Being at home and sharing time with family and good friends could bring some deep bonding and emotional fulfillment.
Scorpio: Although Mars is the co-ruler of Scorpio, you might have an easier time during its retrograde period than other signs do. The key is not to try to do too much. Powerful feelings of love and generosity could give you a false sense of energy and you could wind feeling depleted. Take advantage of the good impulses, but remember to tune in to realistic energy limits and boundaries.
Sagittarius: Physically and socially there is an abundance of energy for you, especially early in the month. You could feel drawn to be of service to others in your community or simply to share your positivity with those closest to you. Either way, compassion and concern for others helps to boost your spirit and your consciousness during the holiday season.
Capricorn: This is a time for deliberate and methodical activities. Slowing down is good, but don’t stop doing what you enjoy and what is productive. Growth comes from learning to share with others in balanced and harmonious ways. You don’t have to lead the parade or take responsibility to make sure everyone else is having a good time. If others see you enjoying yourself, they can follow your example by making sure they are benefiting from their own experience.
Aquarius: Take time to go within this month. This could take the form of a spiritual retreat, extended periods of meditation or having fun with art projects. Whatever activity works for you, opportunities lay in spiritual growth and consciousness development. Being with others who share the same form of communion enhances the potential of the experience for all concerned.
Pisces: Powerful feelings of compassion and a drive to be of service to others abound for you all month. There may be challenges to your philosophical points of view, but the confidence to maintain your beliefs helps to overcome those disputes. Growth comes from developing the attention to detail that enables you to be most effective in your contributions.
Rio Olesky offers classes and private consultations in Sonoma County. Join Rio for his annual Perspectives talk on Tuesday January 5, 2010 at The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. For more information about Perspectives 2010, regular classes or to make an appointment for a reading, call Rio at 707-887-1820. Check out his website: www.starwatcher.com