Here’s what our yoga astrologer has to say about the shifts happening this month, and how to work with them in your yoga practice.
While last month was as full as could be with Scorpio intensity, it’s opened us up to seeing the places in our lives where we’ve been covertly resisting change. Because of this, December will feel like a breath of fresh air, as Sagittarius guides us to take our newfound (and hard won) insights and use them to craft a life that has more meaning.
On December 2, Venus moves into Scorpio
Scorpio (yes, Scorpio again!) wants us to alter stagnant situations in our lives—and that call to duty isn’t quite over yet, because although Venus isn’t moving backward any longer, she must still complete her retrograde mission by returning to Scorpio for a few more weeks. Venus represents love and self-worth, which makes this a potent time to look back at your life since October 5 (when the retrograde transit began) and ask: What do my relationships with myself and others look and feel like now? Have I gained any confidence? What does inner pleasure mean to me? As Venus finalizes these lessons, know that change is still available, and Scorpio highly encourages it.
Practice: Venus is often related to both Svadhishthana (the sacral charka) and Anahata (the heart chakra). Utkatasana (Chair Pose) supports both by building energy in our sacral area and opening our hearts.
On December 6, Mercury stations direct
Starting December 6, we have a cascade of excitement as Mercury, our opinionated planet of discourse, stations direct in the late degrees of Scorpio. This particular Mercury retrograde cycle began on November 16 with Mercury in Sagittarius, where we were reminded that a strong opinion about something doesn’t make it right or true for everyone. As Mercury begins to move forward in Scorpio, we complete the teachings with some Scorpio wisdom—which means you might find yourself questioning the validity of everything. (Not with the intent to argue and cause division, but with the idea that true self-awareness means acknowledging that even when things seem black and white, we can choose instead to perceive them in shades of grey.)
Practice: Mercury retrograde periods activate our minds, and if yours seems particularly busy right now analyzing and processing ideas, concepts and beliefs, A Flow to Calm Your Crazy Monkey Mind for Meditation may be the very thing you need to slow everything down.
On December 6, there’s also a new moon in Sagittarius
Later in the evening, when the Moon in the sign of Sagittarius becomes completely enshrouded in shadow, we have opportunities. When the Sun and Moon join each other (as they do during a New Moon) it creates the perfect environment to birth new things into the world. This is especially true when Jupiter is involved. Jupiter bestows us with the gift of grace and reveals things that make our spirits soar. Use this New Moon time to hatch new plans. What big talent do you have that wants to be expressed?
One caveat: The sky is busy right now, as Uranus (a.k.a. the changemaker) squares the nodes of the moon (the points where stagnation versus growth come into play). The result? We may feel extra pressure to create change in our lives at this time. The Sun and Moon also make a tricky connection to both Neptune and Mars, slowing our pace and mixing clarity into frothy confusion. Just know that even with the noise in the background, our higher selves will be leading the way.
Practice: When we’re in times of creation, precision is key, but it’s not always available. If cultivating some certainty sounds appealing (and you need some extra help doing that) Elena Brower’s Yoga Sequence to Create Space + Find Clarity will help loosen and move energy.
On December 21, the sun moves into Capricorn and we welcome the Winter Solstice
Capricorn gets a bad rap. High and exacting standards feel hard to meet sometimes, but it’s those very structures that, when in place, allow us to relax. As the Sun moves into Capricorn, be aware that a tightening of the belt may be necessary in the coming month. We may find that some of our soft spots will be called to the table to be reworked and strengthened. If we’re willing to reality check ourselves, inner authority and self-mastery develops naturally, and it’s those things that allow us to soften into what is.
The Winter Solstice falls on this day in the Northern Hemisphere, too, which is always a powerful time to go within and contemplate the meaning of the Sun. After all, this is the darkest day of the year, making the Sun a powerful force and worthy of honor on this day.
Practice: If you’re called to meditate, but the idea of sitting in stillness feels difficult, how about a moving meditation instead? Mindful Meditation is a great precursor for sitting, or you can simply make this flow the meditation.
On December 22, there’s a full moon in Cancer
With the Sun in Capricorn and the Moon in Cancer, this particular full moon brings us into the tension we all experience when trying to make sense of the differences between our inner emotions and our external individuality: feelings versus identity; instinctive response versus worldly success. This duality may be particularly strong during this time, as the moon in Cancer has us feeling moody and in need of extra nurturance, while the sun wants us to buck up and focus on cold hard logic.
A difficult connection to the planetoid Chiron (The Wounded Healer), may bring up old hurts that beg to be tended, so we’ll have to decide whether to honor the healing of those wounds with compassionate nurturing or with a more rational approach. Either would work.
Practice: Learning to maintain emotional equilibrium is a never-ending project, but one that is especially important during a full moon. Fortify your physical body with balance poses or incorporate an entire sequence.