By Amanda Painter
This last week of December always feels rather like it’s in limbo, doesn’t it? There’s a sense of winding down, review and setting intentions for the next year, but that happens between major celebrations. Fittingly this year, the astrology as we head into the weekend is noticeably calmer compared to last week, which may come as a relief — though we are building to a Full Moon on New Year’s Day.
Today’s trine between Mars in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces should lend some practical idealism to your New Year’s resolutions, goals and intentions as you formulate them.
Yet regarding how that aspect affects your activities today, think in terms of helping others. You may find yourself more sensitive to the needs, desires and energy of someone else, and willing and able to meet or assist them. You don’t have to play ‘savior’ (in fact, it’s best to avoid that mentality); it’s more like allowing an awareness of interconnectedness to guide you.
On Saturday, Venus makes a conjunction to the asteroid Eros in Capricorn. Some potential ways this could manifest: receptivity and connection feels sexy, especially through ‘practical eroticism'; down-to-earth kink; cool on the outside, molten on the inside; solving an erotic problem together.
I know many people pin big expectations on New Year’s Eve romance, but it appears Dec. 30 could hold a little more potential for that. Dec. 31, on the other hand, looks like a better time to shift your mentality away from ‘getting some’ and more toward offering nourishment by speaking from the heart (thanks to a Mercury-Ceres trine from Sagittarius to Leo).
Softening those expectations could also help you to manage any emotional intensity that builds as we approach the Jan. 1 Cancer Full Moon. This is the Moon in Cancer, its home sign, opposite the Capricorn Sun, exact at 9:24 pm EST. Oppositions — especially Full Moons — are about relationships: the meeting between Self and Other. Sometimes this meeting is like a dance; other times, like a tense standoff.
If you notice that homebody urges start conflicting with ideas about traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations, that might be a manifestation of this Full Moon. There’s also a reminder here to be extra-sensitive about others’ sensitivities. Neptune making harmonious aspects to the Sun and Moon bodes well for making music part of your celebration, getting imaginative with how you navigate any conflict, and heightened intuition.
However, what I’d really like to do today is to check on how you’re doing with Saturn’s recent shift to Capricorn. Most astrologers are heralding this transit as a relief; after all, Saturn rules Capricorn and expresses itself quite comfortably there. But what if your experience of it so far feels anything but comfy?
It’s entirely possible, and you’re not alone. Specifically, if you have Capricorn on a particularly sensitive angle of your chart, you might be experiencing some discomfort, frustration or uncertainty in the area of your life represented by Capricorn.
This is because Saturn is an enforcer. He’s the stern teacher who won’t let you get away with ignoring or half-assing things; he’s the limit you run into when you overextend in some way without replenishing, balancing or finding extra support; he’s time flying by when you’re not prepared or organized enough to use it well.
In short, Saturn represents the principle of self-mastery. So if you’re struggling with the sudden concreteness of whatever it is that you’re running up against right now, that’s a valuable clue. It’s pointing you to a place in your life where you still have to learn how to take greater responsibility for yourself, some way in which you need to become more accountable for your choices.
That’s not necessarily an unpleasant thing. For example, I recently took a weekend workshop designed to foster greater ownership of one’s creative choices through playing ferociously. Although participants experienced moments of discomfort in facing certain insights, we also had a hell of a lot of fun in the process — and we were able to hold space for the ‘itchy’ bits with empathy and presence.
There are ways to meet and begin to embody Saturn in fun or enlivening ways. The thing is, if you’ve been avoiding doing so for a long time, chances are the learning curve is going to be on the steeper side. Embrace the process, and that curve might begin to even out sooner than you’d expect.
The toughest hurdle is often facing the fear that gets generated when you’re in this position. Fear of the unknown — which is what this is, because we never really know how our lives or sense of self might change if we commit to growing — can be incredibly paralyzing. You might find you need help, such as in the form of a support network, one trusted friend, or a therapist, to soften the edges of the fear and see it as the fertile mystery of potential that it is.
I know, I know; easier said than done sometimes. But it’s not impossible. One key to getting started is to want to feel better — to want to feel like you’re in the driver’s seat of your life as much as possible; to want to feel clear about your desires, intentions, commitments and identity, even when they’re fluid; to blame others less and understand consequences more; to make space for healthy interdependence where unhealthy dependency once existed.
Saturn in Capricorn could be a very powerful ally in this process, should you choose to enter into it consciously. We’re still getting a feel for how it operates and what it’s asking us to take a good, honest look at. Discomfort, dissonance and uncertainty are not necessarily signaling ‘the worst'; those feelings might simply be pointing you to a new level of inquiry. Sounds to me like a good guide for setting some intentions for 2018.