December 2017

There are two big things to talk about this month. Mercury will be retrograde in Sagittarius from December 2/3 to the 22nd. This communications breakdown cycle calls for adaptability, especially in your upcoming holiday travel plans. It is also good to do some behind the scenes preparation for future projects. (I shall be preparing my annual January talk on what’s up in the New Year). Mercury is retrograde over an energetic point called Galactic Center, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. “Long term goal” Saturn also travels over this point from late November into early December. A possible meaning for this uncommon alignment is that it is time ta align yourself with a higher purpose for the New Year. Sagittarius takes the high road and makes big plans. Perhaps it is time to prepare to travel or publish? The second big event of the month is Saturn moving into Capricorn for two years beginning on December 19. This involves the very structure of your life. In the world, it has to do with taxes, infrastructure, boundaries, prejudice and the law. On the personal level, it is time to step into your wise elder authority figure. Take responsibility for something larger than your personal self. Establish healthy boundaries and be willing to restructure the core foundation of your life. Winter Solstice on the 21st is under a social and friendly Aquarius moon. Christmas is relatively quiet under an introspective void-of-course moon. The moon is in talkative Gemini for New Year’s Eve, making for sharing your ideas, but don’t believe everything you hear!

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Portland, Oregon Yurt Community: Winter Solstice Journey & Meditation Night. There is a journey/meditation evening being held at the Yurt (Yes, it is still standing) on Wed. Dec. 20 at 7 PM. For more info call Araline at (503) 245-9330:

The Winter  quarterly Astromark newsletter will be uploaded by Dec 17 (or sooner) for your review.

December 1-2:

Venus moves into Sagittarius on Friday through the 24th. This is a highly social energy so get out and meet new and old friends. It isn’t the best commitment energy for romance, but it is a lot of fun. Mars is also opposite Uranus early Friday morning. That can produce difficulty sleeping on Friday morning but it may also produce a brilliant idea. If so, write it down or it will be gone by morning.The moon moves into Gemini on Saturday, so that support short projects, errands and quick conversations. Since Mercury turns retrograde today, give yourself extra time to get where you need to be

December 3-9:

The Gemini-Sagittarius Full Moon is on Sunday at 7:47 am (12 degrees Gem//Sag.. The fire and air elements are particularly strong now, so bring out your passionate ideas. This makes for a great combination for early holiday parties. There is a challenge to the full moon coming from Neptune. This stimulates you to open your creative imagination to new and higher visions, but it can also lose you in unrealistic fantasy thinking. So before you jump into that holiday romance or big business investment, take some time to research it a bit better  After all, Mercury did just turn retrograde and that means review, revise, research and allow room for adjustment. But this is a fun Super Moon, so emotions are elevated.

The moon is in Cancer Monday after lunch until lunchtime on Wednesday. Share a meal with family or those who are in your inner comfort circle. On Wednesday, Mercury aligns with Saturn, a combination that will dance together into January due to Mercury moving backwards and forwards in its retrograde cycle. This is a time to put your brain to practical use. Find a way to bring your ideas into the mundane world, giving them a workable form. This makes for a lot of conversation midweek. On Friday at 3:09 PM Pacific Time, Mars moves into deep feeling Scorpio until late January. If you are passionate about what you are doing, you can push through problems like  locomotive train. The moon i in Virgo this weekend, so get all your errands and practical tasks completed.

December 10-16:

The early hours Sunday morning may have you overthinking or maybe even flying in your dreams. Write down any brilliant ideas when you wake up as Mercury i in harmony with inventive Uranus, or they may dissolve away quickly by sunrise when spacey Neptune is active. Tuesday represents the halfway point in the Mercury retrograde cycle that started on December 2/3. It is time to start thinking about the future and working on future projects, just allow room for adjustment later. Friday is an excellent day to talk about your relationship needs. It is also  highly social weekend under a party Sagittarius moon.

Do you want a better understanding of terms like “void of course” moon? Download the free Basic Astrology Primer

December 17-23:

The New Moon on Sunday lands right on the black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy (27 degree Sagittarius). The meaning of this is speculative, but perhaps it is time to align with your larger galactic self. Sagittarius is the sign of higher philosophy, generosity and the expansion of belief systems.Restructuring Saturn is just two short days away from moving into serious Capricorn through 2020. The foundation of your life is about to go through a fundamental shift in priorities, so you might as well open to a larger set of beliefs. A Sagittarius New Moon is a generous benefactor, so give and receive from a mindset of prosperity and abundance.

On Tuesday, Saturn moves into Capricorn through 2020. This changes the very structure of your life. It is also the combination of an initiation into a higher order, assuming your are ready to go there. If not, then it is the task master that will get you prepared. Serious choices need to be made in the coming year, choices that go beyond your day to day “stuff.” On the esoteric level, this is the combination of initiation into a new order, where you go beyond the confines of this material existence into a larger consciousness.

Winter Solstice is on Thursday December 21 at 8:29 am PST. The sun is shining on Saturn which is now two days into its 2 1/2 years in Capricorn. Combine that with the moon still in the New Moon phase from earlier this week, and you have fresh energy for the coming three months. There is a price to pay, and that is that it is time to step into a larger responsibility in your life. That can mean changing the very structure of your daily life, improving boundaries, and making choices for long term benefit. Those people who are operating on an “I want it now” level of thinking will be heavily challenged to change their patterns This is part of something larger, meaning that we must go beyond politics, and beyond fear-based news and behavior. There is great opportunity coming from ambitious Mars aligning with expansive Jupiter now. If you are willing to eliminate beliefs, behaviors and people who drain your power, you will find it easier to take steps to bring forth your passions and higher ideals. The trick is to keep your heart open without getting sucked into emotional drama. I am fond of calling this a practice in empathy rather than sympathy.

On Friday, Mercury ends his retrograde cycle in time for afternoon rush hour, so allow extra time in traffic or knock off a little early if you are able. Friday night is more friendly social, and Saturday is quite pleasant but prefers to be around people who are more emotionally and spiritually tuned in..


December 24-30:

Sunday, Christmas Eve, has the moon in quiet and gentle Pisces. This is great for spiritual activities or a good movie. Also on Christmas Eve and lasting until mid-January, love & money Venus moves through practical Capricorn (which reminds me of getting white socks for Christmas!). December 25th has the moon in its introspective void-of-course phase until 4:27 PM PST. That can make for a quiet and lazy day. Tuesday and Wednesday are more active under an Aries moon. Get your new year exercise program started now. It would be great to put practical effort into manifesting your dreams and goals on Wednesday while aggressive Mars makes nice with visionary Neptune. Purchase durable goods on Thursday and Friday. Moon in Gemini on Saturday is great for running errands and sending thank you cards.

December 31:

The year ends with the moon in Gemini, and that suggests lots of talk on New Year’s Eve. Gemini often prefers to do things in a short and quick way, so that means short parties or moving from one person to the next. It would be a great night to write down your goals and dreams for the coming year, but know that Gemini will not do them all. That’s OK. You can break the list down later. The moon is in its quiet void-of-course phase for the evening, so many people will choose a less public way to celebrate the new year.

January Preview:

Relationship planet Venus is in her more serious expression the first half of the month, so that is better for tending to practical business, and then moves into a more social mode on the 17th. There is a lunar eclipse on January 31 to bring up heart issues and an opposing perspective from the eclipses last August.  Check back for details.


Following is a new column I am writing for New Consciousness Review:

Quarterly Astrology Forecast: December 2017-February 2018

Your world is going to change in the coming year. Perhaps you can say that every year, but 2018 will be a year that sticks in your memory as a shift in attitude, beliefs and the very structure of your life in transition. Expansive Jupiter started stirring the pot of your deepest emotions, desires and fears in October, bringing an emotional Scorpio energy that has not been around for 12 years (fall 2005 through most of 2006). On December 19, foundation-changing Saturn moves into structural Capricorn after being in philosophical Sagittarius for over two years. While Sagittarius has talked about big ideas in a not so grounded way, Saturn in Capricorn through 2020 installs the groundwork for the changes you are committed to making in your life. Early January has ambitious Mars pushing hard to bring expansive  Jupiter ideas into reality. Late January and February brings eclipses to give you perspective on your life since eclipses occurred in the opposite signs last August. Be prepared to be pulled apart to be re-integrated in a new and innovative way,


Two important planetary shifts provide the theme of December. The first event is mental Mercury turning retrograde in high-minded Sagittarius from December 2/3 until the 22nd. The other is a more long-lasting shift as restructuring Saturn moves into long term planner Capricorn through 2020. As an added bonus, both of these planets are passing over the black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Although Galactic Center was very important to ancient cultures such as the Mayan’s, its importance has become somewhat abstract in modern times. Tune in this month to find your own personal meaning to this important alignment. One suggestion is that your higher mind and bigger projects for humanity are being brought down into the lower mind where they can manifest in the mundane world. Think of yourself like an architect who turns an idea into a model, and then goes out and builds the idea in the physical world. On a more day-to-day level, double check your upcoming holiday travel plans and practice adaptability during Mercury retrograde. Rather than hiding under covers when the communications planet breaks down, be willing to re-vision big projects for the New Year. This Mercury retrograde cycle is aligned with boundary-setting Saturn before the 19th, suggesting you communicate healthy boundaries to the people in your life. It also supports learning new methods to manifest your goals. Research or learn a new software or new a technique that will help your next big project.


January 1st begins with a full moon in nurturing Cancer and responsible Capricorn. Create a better balance between your personal life and your work in the world as the New Year begins. But do not carve your plans in stone because “expect the unexpected” Uranus is ending his retrograde cycle on the 2nd. Think back to August when the revolutionizing planet turned retrograde. The world saw many problems then, such as massive fires and warrior words with North Korea. If you had innovative projects or some needed changes that got stuck on hold, the coming weeks gets you moving again. January’s biggest event is the lunar eclipse on January 31 in Leo. It is best seen in Hawaii, but also available to early risers in the Pacific Time Zone. Lunar eclipses tend to pull you apart emotionally so you can re-balance opposites. In this case, the lunar eclipse is in the opposite sign of the previous one back on August 7th in independent Aquarius. You now receive the bookend opposite energy in heart-opening Leo. It is time to improve your sharing, fun and creativity time. Look at where your heart is engaged to decide which activities and/or people stay or go. If your heart isn’t in it, why are you doing it?


Valentine’s Day is the day before a solar eclipse in friendly Aquarius. The general rule of thumb in astrology is to not initiate important new projects in the days just before a solar eclipse. They are thought to have an unknown or karmic energy implication to them. So it isn’t really the best day for marriage or marriage proposals. The moon is in Aquarius on Valentine’s Day, and that is better for friendships and sharing your idealistic vision for your life. Be certain you are looking at your relationships (plus the rest of your life) for where they are now rather than getting caught up in fantasy thinking. Venus will be traveling through Pisces, February 10- March 6, so it would be easy to get lost in illusion. The positive side of this combination is to open your imagination to new possibilities and practice compassion in your world. A final note on the solar eclipse is that it is positioned exactly opposite the total solar eclipse in Leo last August. Consider where you are now relative to the issues of August 2017. An example is that issues with North Korea were in fiery, dramatic Leo then. Hopefully cool and detached Aquarius will bring level heads to the interaction there. On the personal level, keep your heart open but stay detached from the drama.

Mark Dodich has provided astrology and intuitive consultations internationally since 1980. In addition to natal astrology, Mark specializes in ACG Relocation Astrology Maps and Seven Ray Esoteric Astrology. Check out at  or contact him at (503) 252-1558 (land line).