As we come to the close of another pandemic year, I can only describe the collective energy as exhausted. We, as a species, have been in crisis mode for almost two years. I want to keep reminding you of this if you start to feel that you, personally, are failing while everyone else has somehow figured out how to survive and thrive in these times. Some people may be more protected from the effects of both this disease and the global uncertainty we’re swimming through. Others are more visibly going through it. But we’re all still collectively just trying to manage in a world whose rules are still being rewritten.
Wouldn’t it be nice, at this point, for me to tell you that December’s astrology will be easy-breezy, and that 2022 is looking totally rosy? Aren’t we all just a little tired of character-building growth opportunities at this point? And yet, my friends, and yet. We are still very much in the midst this month. In fact, December brings the last of the three major clashes between Saturn (boss daddy) and Uranus (bratty power bottom). The themes we’ve been working with all year — personal freedom vs. collective responsibility, safety vs. adventure, traditional world vs. revolutionary new world — once more, these themes will be front and center in the second half of the month.
And of course we’re still in eclipse season as the month begins, with the Sagittarius eclipse on the 4th stirring up big feelings and possible big changes — especially for people with planets + points in any of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces). Eclipse season is a time when we’re uncovering what’s been hidden and may need to process what we haven’t felt, integrate what we haven’t integrated, and eventually make choices we’ve been as yet unable to make.
But wait, there’s more! All this AND the stars will throw in a special gift we call Venus Retrograde which is kicking into action on the 19th. As followers of all things astrological may know, whenever a planet turns retrograde is a time to review, reassess, and remap that part of our lives. Venus, planet of loving and being loved, creates a dramatically sludgy tone for relationships when it goes retrograde. This means we’re more likely to be reviewing (calling up exes, going back through old love letters), reassessing (pausing in new relationships to figure out what’s really going on, what you really want, why this feels just like old patterns, and is it really?), and remapping any part of our relational world that isn’t meeting our needs.
And luckily, that eclipse is sure to highlight any unmet needs for a lot of us! With the eclipses revealing new, necessary information and Venus Retrograde urging us to do all this review work, by the time we reach the final Saturn-Uranus square on the 24th we would do well to align ourselves with some major *Release:* release attachment to a past that’s no longer with us, release coping mechanisms that are blocking healing, release old dreams about the future, release the need to be impressive instead of vulnerable, release fantasies that someone else can fix it all for you, release cruelty to yourself and others, release pent up grief and rage.
If this all sounds like a lot and you are as exhausted as I think you are, I have a final piece of advice. Reach out to your future self. Write a letter to them. Ask for a lucid dream. Do some deep fantasizing. Find a way to connect with the you that is on the other side of whatever feels hardest in this moment. See that person thriving, wise, and loved. Hold that channel open to receive whatever messages you can from this future you.
And then take a nap.
My friends, I am available for readings throughout the holiday season so please get in touch. For more astro details you can follow me on Instagram, join me on Patreon, and listen to my New Moon podcast The Hum. Best wishes to you in these potentially turbulent times. Keep being gentle to yourself. I’ll see you in the new year!
Reveal: There are times when we all need to pause and assess the impact of our words and beliefs — like, how does your internalized fatphobia actually show up in how you talk about yourself, your body, your worth, other people’s bodies, their worth, etc.? I don’t say this to shame you in particular, but of all the signs you are the tiniest bit more likely to act/talk impulsively AND of all the impulsive signs the most capable of staying with the trouble that comes up and actually learning and growing through it. Believe in the possibility of learning and repair this month, and while I’m focusing on your words and actions it’s also likely you’ll be navigating other people’s internalized bullshit as well. So sorry, and also what beautiful learning opportunities!
Review: Venus retrograde is drawing back a curtain on what you expect from yourself and others in relationships. Related to your lessons around the eclipse, this is a time when it’s worth asking yourself what standards you hold for yourself and others. Are your standards for yourself and others unrealistically high? Appallingly low? A related theme is what accountability looks like; what it looks like to repair and make amends after harm happens — who are you willing to do that with? Who’s inviting you to do the same? Are your standards for actual repair unrealistically high? Appallingly low? Rinse, repeat.
Release: Ongoing tension about what you get to have for yourself vs. what you need to share with others or do for others. A zero sum mentality that if someone else has more you will have less. Fear that you’ve got to look out for yourself because no one else will support you if you need help.
Reveal: It’s always fun times when the stars ask Taurus to let go of anything. Literally anything. But whatever you’re emotionally hoarding has gotten so stale that this eclipse brings a welcome opportunity to clean out some stagnant corners of your psyche. Start sorting through what patterns, what habits, what feelings you’re ready to be fully done with.
Review: Our important relationships are a form of continuing education about how to be a human among humans — we’re all susceptible to insecurities, miscommunication, changes of heart, and most of all unspoken assumptions about what we have to offer and what we can ask for. You, my friend, aren’t the world’s champ at asking for what you need, as you’re far more comfortable in cozy retreat mode than braving the world of mutual vulnerability. What do you need to learn right now to help you be braver and more vulnerable in your most important relationships? What do you want to look different for you when you do this Venus Retrograde dance in another eighteen months?
Release: Ongoing stress about living up to your own very high standards, and how you might be asking others to live up to them as well. Questions about how you’re showing up authentically, if you’re being seen clearly, and what it means to aim for something big.
Reveal: Something is taking a turn in your partnerships, platonic or romantic. The people you rely on and who rely on you are posing new riddles for you to solve right now, and the answer has a lot to do with something deep in you that you’re ready to bring forth. These eclipses are hitting home for you, and you may find yourself in unfamiliar territory. Move slowly, ask questions, notice big feelings without believing all the stories they tell you. You’re going to know a lot more in just a few weeks and months than you do right now.
Review: What’s stuck in your nervous system / energy body / tender little heart than you need to unstick? What old wounds have you bandaged over and decided “I guess I’m healed enough” and never looked at again? Maybe it’s time, honey. Maybe it’s time to love yourself just a little more, in all your in-process messiness.
Release: A near-constant background tension about what you can control and what you can’t control. The desire to make things real and concrete while what you’re dreaming of is still mysterious and out of reach. A default habit of letting this paradox rattle your nerves instead of inspiring deep, rich laughter.
Reveal: Something isn’t quite aligned in how you’re balancing work, rest, productivity, and social time. I mean, duh. Hello, 2021. But I’m talking about what you do have control over — the choices you make when you can make a choice about how to spend your time. What are you trying to learn right now about your own internal rhythms? What would it feel like to give yourself as much permission as you can to obey them? Can you release shame about how much you might need to sleep, or cuddle, or watch TV, or eat? Can you give yourself as much as you can of what your body really needs?
Review: In every committed relationship, we’re constantly tending our edges. For water signs, those edges can get very blurry. As Venus turns retrograde, your homework includes taking a look at where you’ve dissolved a little into the people you love and vice versa. Clean up those boundaries, recenter your own needs and wellness, and notice how true intimacy sparks back to life.
Release: Ongoing tension about the pull between going deep with the people you love — healing, crying, holding each other through these tough times — and trying to show up for your bigger work in the world, whether that’s activism, leadership, or just trying to get through your 9 to 5. There is no perfect balance, really, so stop beating yourself up trying to find it. Just notice when you need to shift, and get curious if something internal tries to prevent you.
Reveal: You can get a little lost sometimes in the dance between “Pay attention to me, I’m important!” and “I shouldn’t take up so much space, I’m not that important.” Depending on how the people who love you have responded to your need to be seen and cherished, it might feel easier or harder to own that there is a piece of you that does need the spotlight. This eclipse season is helping you see how to balance that real and valid need with understand your place in a larger collective. You are unique and important, yes. And so is everyone else. Can you feel them both at once, as equally true?
Review: How is your body handling anxiety right now, my friend? Are you freezing up? Are you pacing? Are you in a disordered relationship to food? Are you sleeping enough? Are you having a hard time getting out of bed even? However your daily rhythms have been disrupted, this Venus Retrograde is here to remind you that loving yourself first means becoming curious about how to tend to your body and heart — lovingly, consistently, responsively.
Release: Ongoing tension about commitment, especially if the people you love are at all at odds with your big dreams and ambitions. Where do you compromise to stay in connection? How do you know if it’s worth it? What are the consequences of leaning too far in the other direction? Your deepest values have been tested this year, and what you’ve found may surprise you. As this aspect passes, gratefully release the need do it all at once.
Reveal: Are you asking way too much from yourself right now? What would it look like to not say no to your ideals and ambitions, but to extend the timeline of when you hope to reach them? In many ways, you’re most comfortable when you have a project — a relationship to fix, a pattern to heal, a problem to solve. But this eclipse is asking you what it would mean for you to let go a little more, to recenter in what you’re feeling rather than what you’re doing. If you can heed the call, where you launch yourself to after this pause will be far more authentic and sustainable.
Review: It may be more comfortable for you to play a support role in most of your relationships (informal advisor, accountant, assistant, manager, agent, etc.) but this Venus Retrograde is asking you about your unmet need to step into the spotlight. Where do you need to be taking up more space, asking for more, chasing your own dream instead of supporting someone else’s?
Release: A near-ceaseless anxiety about how much you need to worry about all the things—the global pandemic, your daily commute, the supply chain, that one mole on your thigh, the health of your loved ones, feeling stuck in a rut, the need for adventure, how exhausting it is to just keep worrying and still not feel actually prepared for whatever’s coming next. The tragedy and relief of your situation this month is just that: Worry will never prepare you for what comes next. How will you prepare instead?
Reveal: You’ve been tactfully not mentioning something that it is far past time to mention. This eclipse season is highlighting your default diplomacy, which means you rarely speak up about the things that are only minor annoyances until they become so major you have to do something about them (which may, still, not involve speaking up about them). What do you need to surface? Who needs to hear your truth? Can you let yourself in on the secret, even? I recommend some free writing time to let the words flow — you may surprised by what you’ve been holding onto.
Review: What’s feeling hard to you right now about your home? Do you live in a collective that’s been rocked by lockdown protocols and different desires about freedom and mutual care? Do you live with just your partner and are you down to your last nerve about that thing they do that you can’t stand? Have you been living alone and feeling isolated? Having you been living with family and regressing back to childhood patterns? Have you had to move when you didn’t want to? Whatever is happening for you right now around home, it’s worth paying attention to. Venus Retrograde is asking you to notice and heal what’s been hurting you in your efforts to just root down and feel safe somewhere.
Release: All year it’s been an awkward dance between the desire to connect (romance! first dates! dance parties! camping trips!) and the desire to retreat (I finally get enough time alone! No one can make me go to their art opening! I’m not missing out on anything!). As the world grinds awkwardly between reopening and re-closing, your entire social map has been similarly off-kilter. Let it be awkward. Not even you have enough grace to dance these steps without tripping sometimes.
Reveal: Of all the signs you are most skilled at tracking how things go wrong, when they’re on the way to wrong, and what the real consequences are when they inevitably go very wrong. This is a talent, my friend, but it also means you’re not always tracking how things go right, how to repair what went wrong, and what it looks like to build trust (instead of just offering trust freely then pulling it away when things go wrong). This eclipse season is asking you: How do you know what’s good, and grow what’s good? How do you focus on building what you do want, and knowing how to recognize it when you have it?
Review: Most Scorpio placements hold their secrets close, but if you’ve got more extroverted signs in your chart (I’m looking at you, Leo, Sagittarius, Libra, and Gemini) then you may find yourself torn about how much to share and with whom. This Venus Retrograde is bringing your focus to what you say, what you don’t say, and what to do about what you’ve already said and done.
Release: Ongoing tension in your current romances or platonic partnerships that’s steeped in old family dynamics. Notice how easy it is to expect the same old stories to play out now that you’re most familiar with. We humans love to recreate what’s familiar, even when it isn’t good for us. Dedicate this month to releasing your need to cast your current partners and lovers in roles of past family dramas. It’s time for a new script.
Reveal: Like Gemini, you’re experiencing these eclipses right where you live. That means the first week of December is shining a bright flashlight into that box near your bed where you keep old journals, tarot cards, and lube. Which is to say, there’s a need right now to look more closely at who you are, what you need, and where you’re headed — especially in light of your partnerships (current, past, or desired) and how relationship has shaped you. Be prepared for big shifts. Be willing to look clearly. Your next best self is around the corner.
Review: Sagittarius gets a bad rep for being too freedom-loving to commit and put in the hard work. That’s not true for every Sadge, but what is true is that if you want a long-term romance of any kind you’ll need to periodically keep refreshing it (and yourself) by doing new things, having new adventures, and taking new risks. You are on a path of lifelong discovery and learning but that doesn’t mean you can’t have stability and longterm commitment, if that’s what you want. Venus retro is asking you this month: what do you want to cultivate and hold onto? What do you need to do about your current or past relationships now so that you’ll be planting seeds for continuity and growth in the future?
Release: Okay, this might sound like a harsh read, but I’m going to call out something you may be doing that is entirely normal and human. Specifically, the end of the month highlights a yearlong pattern of tension between what you say you want and what choices you’re actually making. And I say this not to be mean, but to remind you (and anyone else reading this horoscope for you) to have some damn compassion for how hard it is ever, and especially now, to reconcile these two things. But you might want to release patterns of confusing yourself and others by not naming when you need to pivot. Pivoting is okay, change is beautiful, but your goal is to call it when you see it instead of finding yourself somewhere very different than where you thought you’d be and noticing all the bewildered emojis piling up in your text threads.
Reveal: A notoriously realistic sign, you might not always realize how your fantasies (and anxieties) distort your perspective on what’s actually happening in your life. This month’s eclipse brings into focus something you’ve been ignoring about how this inner world creates your outer world — we often unconsciously create the very conditions we’re afraid of by trying to indirectly prevent them. Pay attention to what part of your psyche is currently whistling in the corner, trying to look innocent and hope you won’t connect this horoscope to that pattern.
Review: With Venus stationing retrograde in your sign, it’s a time to review your innate tools for loving and being loved. What friendships are actually meeting you how you want to be met? Have you let them know how you want to be met? Do you even know? What relationship patterns are you ready to grow out of? What old heartbreaks are you ready to fully integrate and stop fixating on? What will it look like to choose more honest, intimate, reciprocal relationships now and in the future?
Release: Finally, the Saturn-Uranus square on the 24th is activating an ongoing cycle of tension around your need for self-sufficiency and an almost equal (if not always recognized) need to reach out. Capricorn energy is great at self-sufficiency (with sufficiency to spare) but not historically skilled at vulnerably asking for reassurance, witnessing, support, or attention. Nevertheless, you need all these things from time to time. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start balancing these two very different modes of being.
Reveal: You, more than most, understand the 70s feminist rallying cry that the personal is political, and this month’s eclipse will highlight this for you in bright lights. Pay attention to your own defensiveness and recognize the ways in which you might discount the validity of your own personal experiences while paying attention to someone else’s. For example, “Well, I’m not a trans person so what do I know about gender oppression?” when you are, perhaps, a fat femme non-binary person who has had plenty of gender oppression of your own. Or, conversely, you may find yourself needing to claim your own experience as more valid than someone else’s — both of these come from the same source, a fundamental confusion about your own worth within the collective. Your positionality isn’t the same as your fundamental human worth.
Review: You don’t love mystery in a relationship — it reminds you too much of the potential for being misaligned with someone in an important way that will lead to later ruptures. But this Venus retrograde is asking you to plumb the depths of your own mysterious desires and make room for your friends, lovers, ex-lovers, and polycules to be full of a similar swirling uncertainty. Clear communication is a beautiful goal, but only works in practice when our desires are crystal clear. Are yours? Are anyone’s? Be patient with a little confusion right now in your trusted relationships (which is not permission, btw, for people to gaslight or deceive you. Make sure you understand the difference!).
Release: All year, something has been at odds between how you’re just trying to do what you must in the world and how your family / chosen family has responded. Maybe your housemates want you around more, or your domestic partner wishes you’d practice different Covid protocols, or your parents wish you’d come visit them even though they’re not vaccinated — this year has been full of no-good-option choices that often pit our individual needs and against what our people want from us. Get ready to compost this whole mess, but be aware that like any weed its seeds may sprout anew. What are your tools for finding balance between your own boundaries and your people’s requests?
Reveal: Early in December you’ll be noticing what needs rebalancing in your current balance between home and the outward world — a balance that has been strangely shifted for all of us since the beginning of the pandemic. Have you been too anxious to go out, even when risk is minimal? Are you not yet or no longer in a home that’s meeting your needs? Which way do you need to focus your attention so that home can be a place of rest and ease — specifically, easy to relax in and easy to leave when you want to.
Review: What is your current relationship to the collective “we?” What groups were you once a part of that are no longer happening? What new communities did you find this year? What parts of yourself are known, held, and reflected in these groups? Are there ways you’ve lost your sense of collectivity entirely? Venus retrograde is asking you to notice what you need to understand and integrate about how you fit into the whole, and what groups help you be a part of things without losing your separate sense of self.
Release: Dreaming is your superpower, and this last square between Saturn and Uranus is activating a yearlong tension in your personal world between your dreaming self (poetic, empathic, living in speculative fictions as though they are the real world) and your ordinary, waking self (needing to write an accurate grocery list, letting your friends know when you’ll arrive, navigating the here and now alertly). What can you do this month to make peace with this internal conflict? What steps have you already taken to better integrate these very different needs?