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AstroUpdate – December 2013

By Stella Woods, 01-12-2013

Welcome to the Stella Starwoman December AstroUpdate and Happy Festive Season to all! You should have already received an email with our Special Christmas Magic Book/Card Offer – if not CLICK HERE for more info.

This month the big astro news is the Venus retrograde transit which begins on the 22 nd December – read on to find out what that might mean for you!

Venus Retrograde – The Shadow Side of Love…

On 22 nd December love goddess Venus slows to a standstill and begins her six week retrograde phase. This phenomenon only occurs every 18 months and while Venus’s apparent change in direction is an optical illusion from our earthly viewpoint, its effects can nonetheless be extremely disruptive. Venus will travel ‘backwards’ from the 22 nd December to the 1 st February, moving from 28º Capricorn back to 13º Capricorn and offering special insight to those born with personal planets in this section of the zodiac, as well as to those Capricorns with birthdays between the 1 st and 21 st January.

The Goddess Venus Venus is a dual goddess with a light and a dark face. She embodies the paradox of the sacred and the profane; the divine and the temporal; life and death and love and war. As ruler of Libra and the morning star, Venus represents the refined, ideal, heavenly and socially acceptable idea of love and what we consider to be culturally desirable or aesthetically pleasing. As ruler of Taurus and the evening star, Venus represents the sexual, sensual, physical and selfish or instinctual side of love and desire – a side we often ignore or push down. Venus has been visible as the evening star since early June - you may have noticed a beautiful, bright ‘star’ in the western skies after sunset. Venus will be an eye-catching sight for at least a couple of hours after sunset right through the Christmas season, reaching her most brilliant on 6 th December.

Venus Retrograde Mythology According to Aztec mythology, when Venus was the evening star and stationery retrograde (14 th -29 th December in this year’s cycle), she came to earth in the form of a man. The man met Xochiquetzal, the goddess of passionate sexual love who seduced him, making him break his vows of purity, and from their union, a sky monster was born. In his shame at allowing his baser instincts to take control, Venus descended to the underworld and was challenged to play a ritual ball game, peylota, also known as “the game of life.” He lost the game and was sacrificed by the sun. As Venus died he became invisible, resting in the arms of the sun for eight days and was eventually reborn as the morning star, in female form.

Handling Venus Retrograde Symbolically, the Venus retrograde period makes us re-evaluate our deepest values and examine our closest relationships. As Venus moves towards conjunction with the sun (22nd December – 11th January in this cycle), we are challenged to let go of old ideas of purity and ‘right behaviour’. Seduced by our desires, we often feel

ashamed and try to hide our actions and thoughts, creating ‘sky monsters’ in our minds. Going within (to the underworld or unconscious) a battle takes place between our values (Venus) and our essential self (the sun). This encounter with the shadow can produce feelings of irritation and anger. Expect irrational outbursts and surprising behaviour or feelings of willfulness, lust and desire. There may be dissatisfaction with our relationships, appearance, finances or surroundings. Or perhaps we feel completely liberated from past commitments and responsibilities.

Venus retrograde can be extremely challenging, particularly for those in unhappy relationships or who are living a life of duty, rather than pleasure. Imagine a bright torch shining into the deepest recesses of your heart – you can no longer hide your true desires or keep up appearances. When analysing a Venus retrograde transit, look back eight years to see when Venus was retrograde in the same area of your chart (13-28° Capricorn). Similar themes are likely to emerge.

Here are some possible manifestations. -Compulsive attraction to someone or something. -‘Out of character’ behaviour reveals true motives and intentions -An instinctive understanding of events and interactions. -War on the senses, on attitudes to love and on old, dead values. -Conscious or unconscious retreat. -Lovers from the past (especially women) coming back into your life -Forbidden or secret love – breaking social norms and conventions. -Guilt and shame over feelings of love or lust. -Infidelity and jealousy - the dark side of passionate and romantic love. -A cold, hard look at relationships of all kinds, often leading to break ups but also to reconciliation and to new, more honest expressions of love. -Understanding what is needed to maintain personal integrity. -A time of failure, resignation or accident. -Feeling as though your world has been turned upside down. -Awareness of hidden needs or desires can create emotional turmoil.

The best way to prepare for the Venus retrograde cycle is to be honest about any shortcomings in your relationships, or any area of life where you are living a lie and not acting with integrity. Take action to sort out the problem rather than waiting for it to surface and take you by surprise. If you feel guilty or ashamed about your feelings, talk to someone who can help you process them. The Venus retrograde cycle offers you the chance to get in touch with your true needs and desires even if they seem inappropriate or unacceptable. As Venus rules aesthetics, beauty, fashion and interior design, December and January are perfect months for a physical makeover, wardrobe cleanout or home decorating spree. And as Venus is also the planet of money and wealth, you may find your finances take a downward turn as the dark goddess heads into the underworld!

December New Moon,

This month’s new moon falls on the 3 rd in intuitive fire sign Sagittarius. The Sabian Symbol for this degree of the zodiac (10-11° Sagittarius) shows a lamp burning in an ancient temple in a container shaped like the human body indicating the importance of listening to the wisdom of the body. Our society has become over-reliant on expert advice and intellectual concepts. The true meaning of “in-tuition’ is that all answers lie within if only we would take the time to listen. At this new moon, make a commitment to listen to the guidance from your inner voice and especially the signals from your all-knowing body.

December Full Moon

The December full moon falls on the 17 th in air sign Gemini. The Sabian Symbol for this degree of the zodiac (25- 26° Gemini) shows a group of leafless trees against a winter sky representing the essential rhythms and bare bones of existence. At this full moon we are asked to combine Gemini intellect with Sagittarian wisdom and intuition to grasp the essential truth behind the packaging in all life situations. In a world that worships youth, beauty, hype and marketing we need to look beyond surface appearances to what lies within.

Featured Sign-Sagittarius

From 22nd November to 22 nd December, the sun travels through Sagittarius, an intuitive fire sign noted for its vision, adventurous nature and love of philosophy. Sagittarius is the ninth sign of the zodiac with keywords “I seek” and “I expand”. Those born under the sign of the Archer often struggle to integrate their animal nature with their more lofty human side. Sagittarians seek expansion on all levels, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, and can usually be found travelling, studying and exploring life’s big issues. They love to share their wisdom and are often talented writers or teachers. At best they are intelligent, honest, generous and inspirational. Negatively, they can be tactless, self-indulgent, coarse and hypocritical. Some Sagittarians are drifters, constantly in search of new horizons and evermore exciting adventures. Most Archers eventually realise that true freedom comes from commitment and dedication to a personal vision, rather than from the outer world. In medical astrology, Sagittarius rules the liver, hips and thighs and sacral regions of the spine. When Sagittarians are out of balance they can suffer from sciatica, hip diseases, rheumatism and weight gain. The Sagittarian colours are purple and deep blue. Sagittarius’s greatest lessons are commitment, moderation, tact and learning to deliver what they promise.

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Key Astrological Events - December

Communication planet Mercury will be in fire sign Sagittarius from the 5 th -24 th December stimulating the imagination and providing life, fire and soul to pre-Christmas celebrations. With the Sun also in Sagittarius, this is a great time for reading books, planning your holiday or booking in for courses in the New Year. Sagittarius offers the gift of intuition or inner knowing, so follow your instincts and hunches and you can’t go wrong! Action planet Mars moves from earth sign Virgo into air sign Libra on the 8 th December helping us resolve arguments and find the middle ground. Mars in Libra has fine aesthetic taste and will stimulate your appetite for beauty helping you choose the perfect Christmas gift, decorate your home or office in style and look great all through the holiday season.

The Sun moves into Capricorn on the 22 nd December and communication planet Mercury follows two days later on the 24 th . With Venus and Pluto already in Capricorn, the Venus retrograde cycle and a Capricorn new moon on New Year’s Day, the first part of December (up to the 21 st ) will definitely be a more fun and relaxing time than the latter part of the month. Capricorn is a sign of business rather than pleasure – good news for those who have to work over Christmas and New Year!

In fact, the final week of 2013 promises to be quite tense with a few surprises brought about by a closely aspected T-square involving no less than five planets. Mars in Libra (desire to compromise) will oppose Uranus in Aries (sudden surprises, wilfulness, breaking free) and at their midpoint we have Mercury (communication), the Sun (identity, the self) and Pluto (death and transformation) all in practical and serious Capricorn. One way of understanding this planetary line-up is to think of these five planets as characters in a drama all struggling to make themselves heard or impose their will. As this is the one week in the year where practically everyone spends time with close family members, forewarned is forearmed. Discuss plans for Christmas and New Year in advance to make sure everyone is on the same page otherwise there could be some fiery arguments with people refusing to budge. And if you’re heading off on holiday, drive carefully and take your time – Mars in combination with Mercury and Uranus can produce sudden lapses in attention and concentration.

If this sounds like a depressing start to the holiday season, consider turning this energy to your advantage. Instead of fighting - play sport; sing and dance; engage in vigorous outdoor pursuits or get everyone in the family pitching in to burn off all that excess energy. Plan something different or exciting to stimulate the senses rather than arguing over trivial matters. And have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I look forward to sharing my love of astrology with you in 2014.

 December Moon Calendar

Launch projects at the New Moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the Full Moon to the Third Quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next New Moon. The period between the New Moon and the Full Moon is the waxing moon (moon getting bigger and fuller). The period between the Full Moon and the New Moon is the waning moon (moon getting smaller and thinner).

You can use this moon table to select the most favourable days to slow or increase hair regrowth. Full instructions can be found in my Lunar Hair Care guidelines at but to get you started I’ve marked the best dates for waxing/shaving to slow regrowth in yellow and the best dates to cut hair for thicker, lusher growth in green. If you’re serious about Lunar Hair Care - order your own Moon Calendar from the Stella Starwoman Store then you’ll know exactly what time of day the moon changes from one zodiac sign to the next meaning you can fine-tune your activities with confidence.

Thanks for being part of AstroUpdate. If there’s something you’d like to see featured, or have something you think would interest others, please contact me at

PS – Don’t forget to check out your December Monthly Stars at to see what’s coming up for you this month.

Happy Stargazing Stella Woods