Monday 12/26/2022: Sneak Peek at the Week; Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide; U.S. Pluto Return

It’s Monday — and a holiday, since Christmas fell on a Sunday. Whatever holiday you may  — or may not — have been celebrating, I hope it was happy, merry and bright!

Mine was tinged with a bit of irony, as the heat in my building was out for most of the day and night…

…which was also the eighth night of Hanukkah.

Some thought we’d actually run out of oil.

Which isn’t how the story is supposed to go.

Here are the highlights of the week:

  • Venus sextiles Neptune on Wednesday.
  • Mercury goes RETROGRADE on Thursday. BACK UP YOUR COMPUTERS NOW.
  • Venus meets up with Mercury on Thursday.
  • Venus meets up with Pluto on Sunday

I was out of town last week — and ended up extending  my stay away another two days. Thus, I didn’t post a detailed forecast for Friday’s New Moon in Capricorn, exact at 5:16 AM ET. Here is that chart, set in Washington, D.C.:


  • The focus for this New Moon is on values and worth — prominently so.
  • A New Moon in Capricorn needs needs needs to achieve goals, and this New Moon is also at the Aries Point. Ambition — early in the game as it may be — is likely to be prominent.
  • Neither Mars nor Saturn are connected to any of the other kids in the cosmic sandbox, and thus may also command our attention by making a lot of noise. Mars is in the 7th — of adversaries and allies — and it is still in double-talking Gemini, with words as its preferred weapon.
  • It’s interesting that the Ascendant for this New Moon chart is 3 degrees of Sagittarius — same as President Biden’s horoscope.
  • Labor and health issues may be a source of groundbreaking progress or disruption.
  • Borders and foundations may feel nebulous.
  • The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon was discussed in the last forecast. It is “three stained glass windows, one damaged by bombardment,” and here is Blain Bovee’s intriguing analysis.  As for how it applies to these United States at this particular time, note that we had truckloads of information revealed last week — as Heather Cox Richardson reported —  including the January 6th Committee’s final report. The Symbol smashes some of what may have been rose-colored glass, allowing pure light to shine through. Bovee advises us to apply this Symbol with a mind to “windows of opportunity that may be dangerous; suspense while waiting for a resolution…Critical times within the transfer of power.” Perhaps we can apply this to the question of who will be the next Speaker of the House, apparently to be chosen with both Mars and Mercury retrograde. Hmm.
  • You are more personally affected by seed-planting ambitious potential of this New Moon if you have planets or angles around 2 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn. That includes Rep. Jamie Raskin.

As for this week:

  • MONDAY: If this day got off to a heavy start, it likely reflected the Aquarius Moon’s conjunction with sobering Saturn, exact at 1:19 PM ET. The Moon has been void ever since, suggesting you roll with any twists or flakes that disrupt efforts to move forward in a straight line. Crises that erupt are likely much ado about nothing. CHILL! Moon enters Pisces at 2:33 AM ET on…
  • TUESDAY: …and inclines us to identify with impressions. A little empathy goes a long way in the morning, as the generally accommodating Pisces Moon harmonizes with the Sun at 12:23 PM ET. The afternoon may be more energizing, as the Moon squares aggressive/assertive Mars at 6:53 PM ET. Practical idealism is humming in the background (as you’ll read in a minute), and this Moon-Mars square could add drive to your crusade — or backfire if you lash out at someone out of anger or frustration.  FOCUS and choose your words carefully, reflecting Mercury (how we need to think and communicate) as it slows to a virtual standstill and prepares to turn retrograde on Thursday.
  • WEDNESDAY: The practical idealism humming in the background is suggested by two patterns. The first is a sextile between Venus (women, money, values and social expression) and Neptune, exact at 3:31 AM ET. Cooperation among unconventional allies may be facilitated in the early part of the day, as Moon sextiles innovative Uranus at 4:02 AM ET. Double-check the fine print around 5:05 PM ET, as Moon meets up with foggy/dreamy Neptune. The rest of the evening may be inspired, as Moon sextiles Venus and Mercury at 6:24 PM ET and 7:43 PM ET…with added depth in the wee hours, as Moon sextiles Pluto at 1:20 AM ET on…
  • THURSDAY. Chill during the four-hour Moon void. Mercury turns retrograde at 4:31 AM ET. Moon enters Aries one hour later, at 5:36 AM ET, rarin’ to get something started, especially with the Moon conjunct expansive Jupiter at 7:11 AM ET.  Perhaps you can REview a few pie-in-the-sky ideals that may have cropped up just before Thanksgiving, when Mercury and Venus met up in boundary-pushing Sagittarius. How can these ideals be made manifest here on Earth? Mercury and Venus — now in Capricorn — want to know, and they are conjunct at 8:58 AM ET.

A pause, while we discuss this Mercury retrograde.

Mercury will appear to move backwards in the sky at 24 degrees 21 minutes of Capricorn. It’s not really moving backwards, but that is how it looks from our perspective here on Spaceship Earth.

Contrary to popular belief, Mercury retrograde is no reason to freak out. Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap because we are geared, in this crazy modern age, to always be thinking, doing, moving FORWARD. You know what that gets you? BURN OUT. We need our down times, and Mercury retrograde is a perfect time to give our minds a rest. Why else would your computer, phone and/or car choose THIS time to malfunction? Because you are supposed to be slowing down. And as you slow down, it is vitally important that you FOCUS.

When Mercury is retrograde, be prepared for travel delays, scheduling screw-ups, mechanical breakdowns, computer crashes, having to repeat what you’ve just said, misunderstandings, the past coming back for a second look, surprise reunions and having to repeat what you just said. Use your FOCUS and double-check important details, like whether the restaurant you’ve chosen for a meet-up is still in business. Or whether it is booked for a commercial shoot or a private party — all of which has happened to me during Mercury retrogrades.

If you are looking for a job, Mercury retrogrades are a perfect time to reach out to people from your past. Mine your address book and trust that your contacts will be happy to hear from you. However, do not be frustrated if your target is away on vacation or keeps rescheduling meetings. Also, triple-check your emails and resumes before you hit “send,” as there is a higher probability of typos and other sloppy snafus.

In your business, you’ll need to make sure all communications have been received and are clearly understood. Be mindful of the higher potential for communications equipment to go on the fritz. MAKE SURE YOUR FILES ARE BACKED UP. Also be aware of a higher than average probability for delays in shipping and travel arrangements. For this you will need an extra dose of patience.

You may also find it profitable to REview a project from the past. Maybe you shelved it then, but now is the time to REconsider. However, be advised that a spontaneously, “out-of-the-blue” idea for advancement may not be so sound when Mercury turns direct. This is why the conventional wisdom advises against finalizing and/or signing contracts on deals during Mercury retrograde. An exception might be supported if you are REnegotiating or RElocating. If you absolutely must close a deal, triple check everything. The key is not to RUSH.

This is a good time to schedule a corporate REtreat. Any activity that affords the opportunity to REview past performance is encouraged. REsearch on a new strategy is also favored.

Mercury retrogrades are not favored for launching a new website or a new communications systems. There is a higher than average probability of technical glitches and confusion. REvisions, however, are A-OK.

In general, adopt a playful attitude of flexibility to whatever twists you encounter. Avoid making major purchases (especially electronic ones), unless your A/C unit has died and there’s a heat wave.  Sometimes you just have to buy an appliance, Mercury retrograde or not. This is life. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Don’t believe everything you hear or read in the papers when Mercury is retrograde. Rumors have a higher probability of spreading. Avoid losing patience — that’s a big one.

When in doubt, be silent!

Do plan on RElaxing, REviewing, REsearching, REorganizing, REgenerating, REconnecting and REcreating….and REviewing your life with your astrologer.

Mercury will travel backwards in Capricorn until January 18th. Mercury turns direct at 8 degrees of Capricorn. Mercury won’t cover new ground until February 7th, when it returns to 24 Capricorn. Mercury retrograde in Capricorn suggests a ton of discussion in matters of corporate and governmental authority and responsibility.  There may be a notable quest for vision and innovation in these matters, and I say this because during this Mercury retrograde period (including Mercury’s shadow period), Mercury sextiles Neptune (vision; idealism) three times.  Mercury is also in a series of trines with Uranus (innovation; technology).

The Sabian Symbol for this Mercury retrograde is “an oriental rug dealer,” which Sabian Sage Blain Bovee interprets as an opportunity to get oriented and/or take a stand. Somehow we’re likely to see these themes in the news. You are more personally affected by Mercury turning retrograde this week if you have planets or angles at 24 degrees of Capricorn, Aries, Cancer or Libra. Note that the United States has its Mercury at 24 Cancer, so it as a nation is being challenged to think in more practical, less touchy-feely, terms on who exactly should be in charge, possibly releasing what no longer serves.

Back to the Forecast for the week:

  • THURSDAY (cont.): The me-me-me first need of the Aries Moon squares the corporate/governmental fire of the Capricorn Sun at 8:20 PM ET. Who will lead the way? Initiatives are supported by the Moon’s easy flow to action-oriented Mars, at 10:17 PM ET, followed by…
  • FRIDAY: …another easy flow to Saturn (authority; structure), exact at 9:52 PM ET.
  • SATURDAY: A difference of highly-charged thoughts may need review and revision, as Moon squares Mercury at 1 AM ET. A clash of values and social expression may arise between 6 and 8 AM ET, as Moon squares Venus and Pluto, respectively. Chill during the 4 1/2 hour Moon void. Moon enters Taurus at 12:08 PM ET, determined to get the New Year off to a stable, secure, start…even as a conjunction between Venus and Pluto, exact at 12:24 AM ET on…
  • SUNDAY: …suggests extremes in matters of who, what and how we need to love. There could be a need to slash and burn in social expression and values. Venus-Pluto contacts suggest stormy weather, including emotional storms and “witchy-bitchy” women. Your coping strategy — especially with Mars and Mercury retrograde —  is to count to ten before lashing out. On the other hand, the focused passion of Venus-Pluto could compel you act on a burning passion — or to cut straight to the heart of a matter of desire. You may be feeling the urge to cut to the quick more personally if you have a planet or angle around 27 degrees of Capricorn, Aries, Cancer or Libra. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has Venus at 26 Capricorn. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Ascendant is 26 Capricorn. Wonder what they are doing on New Year’s Eve.

Beth Owl’s Daughter’s always-in-sync Tarot Card of the Week captures the strategic planning and organizational potential of four planets in Capricorn, ready to be harnessed by their ruler, Saturn, which is powerfully positioned in Aquarius. And yes, those Really Useful Mercury Retrograde Survival Guide bookmarks Beth was kind enough to mention are still available. Toss $6.99 into my Cosmic Tip Jar and email me your snail mail address, and I will happily send you three bookmarks. May they always help you find your place.

And now, the news.

The end of a lunar cycle is an apt time for something you hope will fly under the radar. That happened last week, as the Sun — leaders — demanded our attention on the Winter Solstice, especially as it squared Jupiter — expansion —  at the Aries Point. So what happened?

  • “Deep secrecy; high risk. How Zelensky’s improbable DC visit came together.” This story is pretty darned amazing. Oh, but Jupiter had just entered Aries, where nothing is ever improbable or impossible. Right? And this Jupiter is currently trine President Zelenskyy’s showstopping Mars in Leo. We anticipate an easy flow of expansive, dramatic action. Meanwhile, transiting Saturn is on his Midheaven and trine his 21 Gemini Ascendant. Saturn on the Midheaven often coincides with professional achievement. Here is Zelenskyy’s horoscope.
  • Congress passed a ginormous spending bill that will fund the government until the end of September 2023. Heather Cox Richardson has the details on this — and more. September will be an interesting time for a power play, if you ask me — because Pluto will be turning direct (on October 12th),  and sitting a hair’s breadth away from an exact conjunction to the U.S. Pluto.  Oh so close…but not quite. And speaking of the U.S. Pluto…

Note that on Wednesday we will have the third hit of the U.S. Pluto Return. Watch for stories focused on potential shifts in the balance of power, including this one where Rep. Jamie Raskin — who will become the Ranking Member on the Congressional Oversight Committee in the 118th Congress — declares that the Electoral College is “a threat to the American people.” Raskin has his Mercury at 1 Capricorn — on the Aries Point. What he thinks and communicates can’t help but attract attention, especially now, as it is squared by transiting Jupiter.

I leave you with funny writer Dave Barry’s annual recap of all the top stories of 2022 — in case you missed them.

Please stay bundled up in this cold weather.

Here is the 411 on personal consultations and more…

Whitney & I will record a fresh episode of Off the Charts: A Stellar Newscast. Look for it this Friday.

I do hope this statue of Mercury is still standing strong in Ukraine.

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