Mother Nature resting quietly during a short, late November day. Photo by Amanda Painter

By the end of this week, we’ll have entered the last month of the calendar year: a bizarre time when the nights are long yet the weeks fly by in a mad rush through the holidays. The Sun is in early Sagittarius: “home” to a couple of deep-space features that seem to contribute to both the philosophical, humanitarian, spiritual side of this sign (and this time of year) and to the sense of hurtling through these weeks as if drawn by a magnet that’s impossible to catch up to.

As I write this, Mercury — planet of the mind and communication — is also in Sagittarius, contributing to a sense of wide-ranging (perhaps even scattered) thoughts and, hopefully for you, some buoyancy amidst it all.

On Friday, Dec. 1, Mercury enters Capricorn at 9:31 am EST.

Mercury in Capricorn describes a steadying influence for what can be a mentally frazzling time of year. (It’s also an emotionally dark, fraught time of year for many. If that describes you, please be proactive about reaching out for the support you need. One person’s “steadying” can be another person’s “depressing.” You’re the only person who can gauge where you fall on that spectrum, but you don’t need to figure out how to make it though all by yourself.)

Capricorn is a sign of initiative, construction, leadership, and authority. And when Mercury arrives there it will form a potentially productive aspect to Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, which is hanging out in early Pisces.

It’s a great arrangement for taking on creative, constructive tasks that need good concentration through the weekend. Mercury in Capricorn in general describes excellent practical-problem solving skills (especially combined with the optimism and insights of the Sagittarius Sun) — which could be very handy during Mercury’s upcoming retrograde.

Yes, you read that right: Mercury will be stationing retrograde on Dec. 13.

I’ll take a closer look at that event closer to it. For now, ask yourself: where in your life do you feel called to build something, or to solidify an idea, or to communicate with authority?

There is potential this week to do so and receive tangible support, possibly even rewards or benefits down the line that may seem greater than the cause or effort put in. Embodying the generous spirit of the season looks like another key ingredient. I see this described in an extremely precise trine between Jupiter in Taurus (material benefits and expansion) and the centaur planet Pholus in Capricorn (small cause, big effect; chain reaction). Trines are harmonious, and describe ease and receiving.

Even so, Mercury’s relationship to Saturn describes taking the opportunity and focusing your mind to actually do the work, whatever that may be — and however creative and spiritual (or pragmatic and specific) your approach.  

You can also pretty much count on this process not being a straight, simple line between now and early-to-mid January thanks to Mercury’s retrograde. Mercury will station direct on January 1 (how’s that for a New Year’s “resolution”?).

Count on plenty of opportunities to rethink, rework, revise, redo, and repair whatever idea, structure, or process you are initiating this weekend. You’ll want to get down to its bones, get its foundation set, get the hierarchy clear, get the systems and responsibilities and accountability sorted. The old ways might not be the ways forward in the end, but chances are there is something important to learn from them during the last half of December.

One last thought about this weekend: Venus in late Libra will be in a square to Pluto in late Capricorn, exact on Sunday. Are you feeling any inner tension regarding a relationship — especially around its power dynamics (overt or subtle)? If so, what needs to change or shift to keep the relationship healthy, alive, and balanced? Note that this might mean “equitable” rather than flat-out “equal.”

Of course, a Venus-Pluto square could also just describe a deeply emotional experience involving love or sex.

But hey — that’s astrology for you! Everything has multiple potential ways of expressing, depending on the specific circumstances of your life. Notice how you’re feeling, notice what’s going on around you (Sagittarius is the sign of perception, after all) and trust that you always have choices about how to proceed.

With love,


Simplified chart for Mercury’s ingress into Capricorn — it’s the green critter with horns on the left, with a bold “00” next to it. Continuing from there, counter-clockwise: Pholus and Pluto in Capricorn, Saturn in Pisces, Jupiter in Taurus, the Moon in Cancer, Venus in Libra, and Ceres, Mars, and the Sun in Sagittarius.

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