Pasatiempo - - STAR CODES - www.roan­rob­ Heather Roan Rob­bins

THIS IS THE DARK­EST WEEK OF THE YEAR; we need to shine for one an­other. The sun stands still on Wed­nes­day, Dec. 21, mark­ing the be­gin­ning of win­ter and the astro­nom­i­cal turn­ing point, af­ter which, the light length­ens.

This time can also mark a dark mo­ment as thought­ful Mer­cury ap­proaches mys­te­ri­ous Pluto, stands still, and ret­ro­grades just a few hours be­fore the elec­toral col­lege meets. Mer­cury ret­ro­grade can bring about a re­ver­sal of de­ci­sions — but we can’t pre­dict whether that throw­back will be to a few months ago or to chal­leng­ing decades past.

This year is full of as­tro­log­i­cal wild cards. Our cul­ture stretched between 2008 and 2015 while Uranus formed a trans­for­ma­tive square to Pluto; al­though con­di­tions are still un­set­tled, the so­ci­etal rub­ber band wants to snap back. It’s our job to not give up in the face of this snap­back; we need to hold on to the changes we love and guide our cul­ture in its evo­lu­tion.

Over the hol­i­days, many peo­ple will see old friends and fam­ily or re­visit co­nun­drums from the past. We may feel trig­gered into old emo­tional pat­terns, or we may long for peo­ple who were once with us af­ter Mer­cury ret­ro­grades and Mars joins Venus in sen­si­tive Pisces on Mon­day. It’s a won­der­ful time to savor the past, but let’s not get stuck there.

Ex­pect some sna­fus this sea­son. Keep ex­tra bat­ter­ies handy and fig­ure out al­ter­nate trans­porta­tion when tires burst. Pre­pare to im­pro­vise around miss­ing in­gre­di­ents on old fam­ily recipes.

The moon en­ters out­go­ing Leo on Fri­day and lingers fes­tively through­out the week­end. Sunday grows more thought­ful and prag­matic but brings a potential cloud of low-level anx­i­ety or crank­i­ness. All bets are off on Mon­day as Mer­cury sta­tions. It will be help­ful to take some quiet time mid­week to rem­i­nisce and re­con­nect with our roots.

FRI­DAY, DEC. 16: Peo­ple are feel­ing sea­sonal stress as Mer­cury ap­proaches Pluto. There’s a fer­vency to our so­cia­bil­ity, a feel­ing that we have to hurry up and cel­e­brate.

SATUR­DAY, DEC. 17: Ap­pre­ci­ate a mix of fes­tive hol­i­day so­cia­bil­ity with streaks of per­sonal com­pe­tence wind­ing through tech­ni­cal sna­fus and an un­der­ly­ing stream of anx­i­eties. Af­ter­noon can bring some real de­lights as the Leo moon trines Saturn and Uranus; let them feed the soul.

SUNDAY, DEC. 18: An edgy vibe can bring out our crank­i­ness or im­pa­tience. Old phys­i­cal pains may start to ache again. Do heal­ing work, dive into some­thing with lots of de­tails — whether un­fin­ished work or or­na­ment cre­ation — and avoid giv­ing one an­other well-meant ad­vice.

MON­DAY, DEC. 19: Any­thing — or noth­ing — could hap­pen. Mer­cury sta­tions as Mars en­ters Pisces, so we may spin in cir­cles. Med­i­ta­tion helps; let life be an ex­er­cise in pa­tience and mu­tual sup­port. Tonight, en­gage in in­tense dis­cus­sion as the moon trines Mer­cury and Pluto.

TUES­DAY, DEC. 20: We may have to jump over hur­dles but can get a sur­pris­ing amount ac­com­plished as the moon squares in­dus­tri­ous Saturn. Our hearts soften if we can find a mo­ment of peace tonight as the moon en­ters so­cia­ble, egal­i­tar­ian Libra.

WED­NES­DAY, DEC. 21: The sol­stice re­turns us to the roots of our souls, our work, and our strength. Any mo­ment of quiet or gen­tle shar­ing fur­thers things. Bustling around like crazy may be tempt­ing, but it’s po­ten­tially coun­ter­pro­duc­tive.

THURS­DAY, DEC. 22: We’re mak­ing lists and check­ing them twice, be­ing both ob­ser­vant and judg­men­tal this morn­ing as the moon squares Mer­cury and Pluto. Check facts be­fore growl­ing or re­post­ing. Gen­eros­ity, with a ten­dency to overdo, re­turns this af­ter­noon as the moon con­juncts Jupiter. ◀

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