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Planet Weather for the Week of December 28, 2008
SkyWatch: Moon phase of the week – There is no Moon phase this week! This is one of those rare weeks when the Moon does not undergo a phase change. This happens only about two or three times a year, since the lunar cycle is roughly 28 days and there are four major phases (New, First Quarter, Full, and Third or Last Quarter). So usually, we get one phase per week. However, the New Moon occurred on 12/27, and the First Quarter occurs on January 4, 2009, so this lunar cycle is spanning the Old Year and the New (and hopefully providing a measure of continuity). Skywatching events of the week: 12/28 – The Moon makes a close pass by Mercury and even occults Mercury as viewed from parts of Southeast Asia. However, their point of closest approach occurs at 10:53 PM EST, when neither body is visible from North America. 12/29 – The Moon makes a close pass by Jupiter and, again, occults the gas giant as viewed from Southeast Asia (but, again, not North America). The two will be well below the horizon at their point of closest approach but look for Jupiter near the thin crescent Moon just after sunset. Space news of the week: NASA just released an updated report on the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster that occurred in February of 2003. A summary of the study makes for fascinating reading. One of the conclusions is that a shuttle crew might survive even a disaster of such proportions, given enhanced protection measures on the forward crew cabin. (The cabin is apparently designed to break free of the main body of the shuttle in the event of extreme conditions such as the loss of a wing on re-entry that doomed the Columbia.) Go out! Look up!
Knowing when VOC Moons occur is key to planning your successful week!
The Void-of-course (VOC) Moon is a kind of limbo. As it reaches the end of a sign, the Moon makes no major aspect to another planet before it enters the next sign. VOC is best for less outcome-oriented activity, since VOC often means detours, distractions, drifting, or delays. If you want specific outcomes, or if timeliness is critical, don’t use a VOC Moon time. VOC is best for processing, imagining, creating, and open-ended activities, like parties, research, or cleaning your desk/closet for instance! It is said that when a new action is initiated during VOC, “nothing will come of it,” or energies go in unplanned directions, which may not necessarily be negative.
Week of 12/28/08 – Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday are the most active energetically and potentially very productive days – more Moon or planetary aspects for engagement with others or projects, and/or producing results. On 12/29/08, the Moon is VOC Capricorn from 4:20AM to 7:42AM EST. – On 12/31/08, the Moon is VOC/Aquarius from 1:34PM to 7:27PM EST. On 1/3/09, the Moon is VOC/Pisces from 3:51AM to 4:50AM EST.
The following planetary energy patterns flavor the day and are felt or experienced often hours before and after their exact culmination. They remain effective, certainly until the next major planetary pattern comes along to shift the energy gears.
Mars in cardinal, earth Capricorn conjunct Pluto/Capricorn @ 1deg. on 12/28/08 @ 2:59PM EST. The sky is heavy with Capricorn planets – which always means that we have to attend to business and/or address serious problems and conflicts. The list of issues we must resolve is long, that’s clear, and the renewed, tragic escalation of hostilities in Gaza is just the latest of these – ignited by the heavy emphasis recently of planets making conjunctions with Pluto. Mars/Pluto represents among many other interpretations – reigniting of old wounds and the stirring of deep feelings. Personally, we may feel the weight of our own history, how we have managed time and constructed our lives up to this moment, and our plans for time to come. Of course, these kinds of thoughts are common at the end of one year and the birth of a new one. But this year is heavier with the Sun, Pluto, Jupiter, Mercury and Mars all in Capricorn between 12/27/08, and 1/1/09. After that, the Capricorn group shrinks by one on 1/1/09, and then shrinks again by one more on 1/5/09.
Mercury/Capricorn conjunct (0deg.) Jupiter/Capricorn @ 28deg. on 12/31/08 @ 8:41AM EST. Serious thinking for this New Year’s Eve, as mentioned in the paragraph above. On a personal level, this combination can represent your willingness to make certain commitments to put your time and energy on the line toward a goal that you deem worthy of pursuing and reaching. Many factors will be weighed in order for you to make this decision, and the decision requires responsibility and accountability on your part. On a global level, consolidated and concentrated efforts can yield some real solutions.
Saturn in mutable, earth Virgo turns Stationary Retrograde (SR) @ 21deg. on 12/31/08 @ 1:09PM EST until 6/16/09. Saturn’s backpedaling for the next six months will allow our next President to carefully review the serious issues on his plate as he takes the oath of office on 1/20/09, and begins the process of rebuilding. And for the rest of us – we can take stock as to how life has changed and how it will continue to change and what we need to do to keep up and meet the challenges of a new reality forming. Can you feel the subtle and not-so-subtle pressure? When you do, back off, regroup, and evaluate your plans. Saturn in Virgo tends toward stress and at times focuses on the insignificant. Use this energy for quality control instead and build a finely-crafted future for yourself. Consider the skills you’ve developed and by playing to your best, you will achieve. If necessary, add to your skill level and move toward mastery. Strong Saturn aspects always include looking backward. How have you used your time in the past and what has it earned you? What are your priorities going forward?
Mercury enters fixed, air Aquarius on 1/1/09 @ 4:52AM EST until 1/21/09 when it retrogrades back into Capricorn. Mercury re-enters Aquarius on 2/14/09 and leaves the sign on 3/8/09.
** Mercury turns Retrograde (Rx) in Aquarius on 1/11/09. The mental tone for the New Year is creative innovation and fresh solutions, with an eye to long-range application. The Aquarian mindset seeks truth and doing the right thing. It is often stubborn in its evaluation of what that “right” thing is. It’s cool and abstract energy is unemotional in its evaluation, and it loves the wide perspective. We hope some really great ideas emerge from this long Aquarius/Capricorn “get it done” retrograde cycle. More about this in future issues of Planet Weather.
Venus enters mutable, water Pisces on 1/3/09@ 7:36AM EST until 2/2/09. The beginning of the year brings lots of changes, and this Venus focuses on the magic and ideals, the hopes and dreams of a nation and of the world, as the USA ushers in a new and historic administration. There’s a gentleness and tenderness in Pisces that emerges as compassion but also avoidance of conflict in relationships. Tread lightly but disclose your feelings, even if they seem contradictory. Pisces is about those grey areas of life – those inscrutable, ubiquitous, and complicated parts that make life the magical journey it is. Find the magic in the midst of the chaos and confusion and you will triumph.