Public realms of our lives became important in the next ten days, beginning on 11 December 2021 at 3:03 pm EST. All the planets but Mars are above the horizon, leading to an unusual and widely known series of circumstances in the coming days — one in which both ambition and seething tension lie just below the surface.
The ten days of Sagittarius III are attributed to Anangke, the … entity… the intelligence… the power — it’s hard to know what kind of name to assign to Anangke. She (and she’s definitely thought of as a ‘she’) is definitely not a goddess. But she’s not mortal either — she’s something beyond godhood, something beyond the ordinary limits of those kinds of words. The best translation of her name into English is Necessity — something which is as normal and essential and as pre-determined to the gods, as, say, geology or physics are to mortal human beings. Her symbol or likeness is a snake squeezing an egg — with the understanding that the cosmos is the egg, and Anangke is the snake — the beings inside the egg don’t know what a snake is. But they can sometimes see the ripples of the shell of the egg; and they themselves change shape in response the shifts of the yolk and albumen must undergo as the shell flexes and changes shape, where the snake’s coils have reshaped the container. We are barely aware of the shifts and changes the gods must go through — but we are ourselves shifted and changed by the changes that the gods over us are themselves submitting to.
Necessity is unavoidable: we are already in her coils.
Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces called this decan The Horse’s Skull, and noted that it’s assigned to Saturn in the descending Chaldean order. In Pamela Colman Smith’s Tarot deck, it’s the 10 of Wands that gets assigned to this decan — the burdens we labor under, that cause us to change our shape and become something or someone else, and usually growing old or weak as we do so. I’m mindful, even as I write this, that the astrology work I do keeps me in a chair and staring at a computer screen for hours on end, researching and studying as well as thinking about how to tell you what I’m finding in the charts for the days ahead. It’s simultaneously the Saturnian expertise coming into play, as well as the world-weariness of studying a subject too deeply (and beating the dead horse long after it’s no longer useful), and the physical and mental decline that Saturn represents. Be careful about the kind of life you choose to build, kids!
The dodecatemoria of Sagittarius III begin with Leo — and indeed Sagittarius season in the northern hemisphere begins with fickle weather changes (that’s the mutable aspect) as cold days intermingle with hot days (that’s Sagittarius I); followed by the more steady process of days characterized by the absence of heat, and the oncoming wet and cold, as Sagittarius II comes around. Now we’re wrestling in Sagittarius III with the steadying power of the cold and the wet of winter genuinely on stage. Leo is followed by Virgo and Libra, and Sagittarius III ends with Scorpio — the playful kitten maturing into a more discriminating young cat, then the master of balance perching on all the door lintels and mantle pieces she can find; before becoming the skillful predator eager to kill every mouse in the house and play with the corpses. The season of Sagittarius III is like that, too — the last vestiges of autumn being swept away, and the darkness descending to the solstice (which arrives right as Capricorn I begins).
The Ascendant is in Gemini and all the planets are above the horizon, making this a day chart with increased dignity for the Sun, Saturn and Jupiter — and decreased dignity for Venus and the Moon. Mercury as lord of the Ascendant but behind the Sun winds up neutral in this chart, making matters of self-presentation and household management more or less anodyne in the next ten days — although the North Node in Gemini still has a hunger for some sudden insight into the self that can’t and won’t be wholly cleared away until mid-January.
Mars, just below the horizon in the sixth house, retains a strange dignity as a night planet in a night house. Although cadent, he seethes with barely contained power, itching for a squared-off fight with the regular authorities represented by Jupiter. In a judicial chart, the sixth house represents the working classes, particularly miners and the military rank-and-file; while the ninth represents bureaucracies and the chain of command — this looks like some ongoing struggles between what the leaders expect to have done, and the what the doers will actually do. In a sense, this has already happened in the form of the Great Resignation.
In Sagittarius itself, The South Node, The Sun, and Mercury all tussle with questions about how we relate to “The others”. Some relationships are in the process of shutting down, likely with some permanence: the eclipse on December 4 ‘under’ Antarctica was kind of like a trapdoor opening up beneath our feet, dragging away some troubles but also costing us expertise and intellectual firepower at a time we need it. People with strong or important Sagittarius placements need some rest, but all of us may find that relationships that were once important, even essential, to our well-being… are now eh, I could take ’em or leave ’em. The square from Sun to Pisces indicates that we care far more about immediate family and friends than career prospects — even if we don’t want to admit it yet.
In Capricorn in the eighth house, Venus and Pluto have just held the first of three conjunctions between now and mid-March. This conjunction has a tendency to lead to intense new romantic relationships that veer toward abusive or controlling behaviors on the part of one or the other partner; unaddressed dysfunctions tend to surface pretty rapidly. However, they’re no picnic for long-standing relationships either: staleness tends to lead to argument and poor communication and resentment here, too. Neither planet will be out of co-presence in the third decan of Capricorn for long during this process — and the name for this decan the Throne, hints that fights over control of money, shared resources, and mutual responsibility will overshadow most of the first quarter of 2022. Cut your partner(s) some slack — but address the nastiness in the relationship, too, and fix it.
Aquarius and the ninth house hold The Midheaven, Saturn, and Jupiter, putting natural and lawful limits on travel. You may need to unwind those big pre-Christmas plans for a vacation as COVID restrictions are re-imposed — but you may find that the upcoming family drama just isn’t worth the hours in holiday traffic anyway. The Midheaven is in the The Mark of Exile, suggesting that your career is best served by departure from where you are now. Venus rules this decan, and usually this planet plays nice and patches over difficulties — but Venus has actively turned away from arriving here until mid-March. Being the loyal subordinate may be the right thing to do right now — but you should have your exit papers ready just in case. Jupiter is in the decan of The Knot, which is more about untying what’s bound than joining up — unraveling has its place in the learning of your life.
In Pisces, Neptune and Moon hold the last decan, The Cup of Blood, a place that’s associated with both effective medical treatments and outright quackery. The Moon’s presence here, in her 28th Mansion which is about the completion of cycles and the start of new processes, indicates that you’re likely to get good advice about your health in an intuitive way. Neptune’s presence, though, tends to suggest that all medical advice is tinged with a mix of both quackery and sage advice. It’s the standard problem articulated more than a half century ago: “I know that half of medicine’s information about curing illnesses is wrong — I just don’t know which half!” The advice you receive in workplace settings or directly from your boss is as likely to be tinged with this problem as from anywhere else — your own research is probably flawed, too, based on the Midheaven’s position. Be cautious about advocating your own regimen to anyone else.
Uranus is retrograde in Taurus in the twelfth house, in the decan called The Yoni-Lingam. In judicial astrology this is the place of medicine and institutions — both the loony bin for the crazy and the dissenters, and the hospital where the sick are made well; and the monastery or the ashram where we retreat for the sanity of our souls. The cure for our heart-sickness and our separations from one another are likely to be found in healing touch and connection with other humans after two years of restrictions — but Uranus warns us not yet, it’s not time. The revolutionary trickster remains retrograde until January 18… cautionary behaviors in large groups should probably be maintained until then. Additionally, Uranus is square to Saturn — making both revolutionary stress-testing of outdated systems, and orderly oppression of the progressive and the new, the basic standard of behavior. Supervisors will institute policies that are tone-deaf in their cruelty — and workers are going to rebel, with varying degrees of success. Don’t expect much kindness this Christmas season… but be prepared to live it yourself: be the light you hope to have in the world.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to the public; Decans II and III are available to the $3/month tier and above on Patreon.
have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it approaches the midpoint of its third year (I began with Leo I in 2019 ). We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. If you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time! I use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website, as is my Almanac for 2021. I follow T.Susan Chang and the Reverend Erik Arneson for insight into Tarot. Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, “A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight” contains these smaller collections:
- To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions
- For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars.
- The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar.
- Festae, hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits.