The Sabian Symbol for today’s New Moon (December 29, 2016 at 7 °59' Capricorn) evokes the joy and light of the season: “In a sunlit home domesticated birds sing joyously.”
This is the time of year to make space for happiness and ease. So let’s begin with an image of birds singing an optimistic tune to lift us out of our self-imposed darkness. The Sabian bird image amplifies all those domestic warm fuzzies that we love during the holidays. Christmas, Solstice, and Hanukkah remind us of the hope provided by the returning light. Today's new moon carries a divine message: make a space for the light to re-enter our lives, our home, our calendar.
The day after new moon, Uranus and Jupiter move into peak opposition. This conspicuous configuration will be featured in our sky until late summer 2017. Jupiter in Libra stands ready to give us every niceness and goody available if we can only come to the table with good manners. But Uranus in Aries takes on the guise of terrorist rebel smirking in the corner. But, more than anything, Uranus craves freedom, especially when feeling hemmed in by Jupiter’s overly politic niceness. Give Uranus freedom and he may take some of the tension off Jupiter. He could even change back into a kindlier revolutionary persona: more Gandhi, less anarchist. Uranus, if handled well, can provide a truly new way of solving our predicaments.
This year Mercury is retrograde until January 8, a period that brings trepidation about miscommunication. But during this retrograde period, Mercury has a key which unlocks the gifts of Jupiter and Uranus.
While it’s true that Mercury retrograde feels more like one of Ebenezer Scrooge’s midnight visitors than one of the kings of the Epiphany, this ghost is bearing important gifts. Sometimes part of moving forward is looking back. I’ll walk you through the riddle.
Mercury retrograde comes to us in the persona of Ghost of Christmas Past. The retrograde period invigorates “re” words like: review, re-assess, or re-organize. This ghost reviews the hardships of our past. Hardships can leave unforgiven stuck places that play an endless loop in our minds. It is time for forgiveness. “Really? But I did that last month,” we moan together. “Keep the hope and faith,” our feathered friends remind us. We can go into these old memories and re-assess them, because we are bigger now, because we know more now than we knew then.
How is forgiveness going to get me the gifts of Jupiter and Uranus? Sometimes you and I feel like no-one on our naughty list deserves anything better than a lump of coal. But this season is a generous time of year. Forgiveness is an important tool in the quest to release ourselves of old chains. Marley knew and warned Ebenezer not to miss the opportunity. Let's just crack the door open to this bugger Forgiveness; let him sit at the table with us and at least ask what he wants.
Let me tell you the story of the monkey trap. Here’s how it goes: you put a nice tasty apple in a box with a hole just barely big enough for a monkey to slip his hand through. He grabs the lovely fruit. On the return trip out, the hand and the apple can't get out the small hole. There he is trapped. Can't let go, can't pull his hand out. Now I’ve never gone monkey hunting in the jungle, but I do know there is a monkey in my mind who has this problem. My monkey is often stuck holding onto something it likes to savor. Sometimes the thing my monkey has grabbed is not nice and tasty, in fact, often the thing that has my mind trapped is something awful, like a grudge.
But here’s the gift: every so often, something like grace enters and my monkey is able to put down the grudge. I experience a wondrous sense of forgiveness. This is an epiphany! By letting go I am freed! When I no longer have to keep replaying old unforgiven patterns, I am open enough to accept the gifts from Jupiter.
Jupiter represents optimism, growth, generosity, joy, and abundance, and here is the good news: this time Jupiter is playing the Ghost of Christmas present! We are still alive, and still have time to join the fun. There is plenty of hope and grace and peace for all.
This is a season that supports an infusion of joy and hope. Use this time of natural review to forgive yourself and others. Let a few grudges go, sing some joyous songs, and reap the rewards of this generous spirit.