Dec. 11, 2001 – Happy Birthday, Sagittarians! Fiery Sagittarians are the adventurers and gypsies of the zodiac. Like the bear who went over the mountain to see what she could see, sage Sagittarians keep going over that next mountain. Highly intuitive, naturally wise though oddly gullible, with their eyes on distant horizons, their enthusiasm can be contagious.
December's New Moon on the 14th, the last one of 2001, is one of the most powerful alignments of the year, featuring an annular eclipse of the Sun. In this kind of eclipse, a narrow ring of the Sun is visible around the dark mask of the Moon. Centered in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, this eclipse will be partial and less dramatic in the Virgin Islands even at its peak – around 4:44 pm local time (AST).
A New Moon always begins a new monthly cycle, but an eclipse suggests a significant change in the energy field with effects that continue beyond this month. This eclipse aligns with the most powerful planetary pattern at work now transforming our reality.
The remote planet Pluto, invisible without a telescope, has been in Sagittarius since 1996. Named for the god of death and rebirth, Pluto reflects deep transformations that evoke powerful forces. With an orbital cycle of 248 years, Pluto takes more than a human lifetime to make a round of the zodiac and stays in a sign for many years, digging up ignored issues that must be faced: often centuries-old, deeply buried conflicts, such as what we are seeing in the Middle East.
Joining Pluto in Sagittarius for this eclipse are two other mythic planets:
Venus, goddess of love and beauty, and Mercury, messenger of the gods. The touch of Pluto on these planets suggests a deeper plunge into the mysteries of love and wisdom. Honesty in communications, shared with heart, can renew understanding and may be necessary to move forward. Some relationships are ready to end and meaningful new ones begin or go further. New information and insights necessitate a change in perspective.
On the other side of the sky is Saturn, the ringed planet. All winter we will see Saturn in the night sky. Look slightly east of the Pleiades, a favorite star cluster known in Japan as Subaru. The steady radiant light of Saturn contrasts with the reddish twinkle of the bright star Aldebaran right next to it. Aldebaran is a red supergiant star marking the eye of Taurus the Bull. See if you can see the V-shaped head of the Bull pointing away from Aldebaran and Saturn.
Named for the grim, austere timekeeper, Saturn represents necessary discipline and focus. We don't get away with anything where Saturn is. In Gemini, the sign of the Twins, the contrast between light and the dark is evident, but it depends on your point of view which is which. Saturn in Gemini brings important information and equally important questions. Saturn insists that we seriously consider how we think about things and what response is appropriate to the intensity of change at hand, both personal and worldwide.
Opposite Pluto for the first time in over 30 years, Saturn agrees that things cannot continue the same. We could not miss that message on September 11, right after the first face-off of these two planets. They remain tightly in opposition through May into June. This Pluto-Saturn dynamic is activated on this New Moon eclipse, the kick-off to the next phase of this major transition we are in, alone and together.
Wherever this planetary opposition lands in your own birth chart indicates the circumstances or themes urging you to let go of old stuff and open into expanding possibilities. What is your vision? What do you believe is the potential of this time? We can respond from fear or love. Which side of the coin is up for you? When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, edit yourself. Those downward thoughts take you in the wrong direction. Look at it from a different point of view. Go do something that makes you feel better. Find a reason to smile. Enjoy.
Sagittarius, sign of the Truth-seeker, is seeking universal truths, not those that are true for only one people, one religion or one nation. This is a test of our faith and our morality – are we living up to our truths? Are we walking our talk? On this New Moon eclipse, light a candle into your own heart–and listen to its light.
The light of this moon grows full on December 30. Until then….
Editor's note: Internationally-known astrologer Kelley Hunter, M.A., is a resident of St. John, where she leads star-gazing nights and offers consultations and classes. Contact her at 340-693-5839 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her new web site will be on-line soon: www.heliastar.com.
M. Kelley Hunter, Astro-consultant and mythologist
PO Box 37, St. John, USVI 00831