Living Now - - Contents - by Stella Woods

Cel­e­brat­ing the Sum­mer Sol­stice

For thou­sands of years, peo­ple all over the world have cel­e­brated the first day of sum­mer also known as Mid­sum­mer Day, St. John’s Day, Litha or the Sum­mer Sol­stice. Sol + stice de­rives from a com­bi­na­tion of Latin words mean­ing ‘sun’ + ‘to stand still.’ As the days grow longer, the sun rises higher in the sky un­til it se­and Slavs cel­e­brated this im­por­tant ce­les­tial oc­ca­sion with danc­ing and bon­fires to help in­crease the sun’s en­ergy; the Chi­nese as­so­ci­ated the sum­mer sol­stice with the earth, fem­i­nin­ity and Li, the god­dess of light; the Druids cel­e­brated the sol­stice as the wed­ding of heaven and earth, while in Bri­tain, pil­grims still gather each year at Ave­bury and Stone­henge to watch the dawn sun rise above the great stand­ing stones.

This year the Aus­tralian sum­mer sol­stice falls on the 21st De­cem­ber, a time to relish the fullness of life and raise our en­ergy to create abun­dance and man­i­fest dreams. Happy Sum­mer Sol­stice to all Liv­ing­now read­ers!

Sun in Sagit­tar­ius – vi­sion, ad­ven­ture and free­dom

From 22nd Novem­ber to 21st De­cem­ber, the sun trav­els through Sagit­tar­ius, an in­tu­itive fire sign noted for its vi­sion, ad­ven­tur­ous na­ture and love of phi­los­o­phy. Sagit­tar­ius is the ninth sign of the zo­diac with key­words ‘I seek’ and ‘I ex­pand’ and those born un­der the sign of the Archer of­ten strug­gle to in­te­grate their an­i­mal na­ture with their more lofty hu­man side. Sagit­tar­i­ans seek ex­pan­sion on all lev­els, men­tal, phys­i­cal, emo­tional and spir­i­tual, and can usu­ally be found trav­el­ling, study­ing and ex­plor­ing life’s big is­sues. They love to share their wis­dom and are of­ten tal­ented writ­ers or teach­ers. At best they are in­tel­li­gent, hon­est, gen­er­ous and in­spi­ra­tional. Neg­a­tively, they can be tact­less, self­ind­ul­gent, coarse and hyp­o­crit­i­cal. Some Sagit­tar­i­ans are drifters, con­stantly in search of new hori­zons and ever more ex­cit­ing ad­ven­tures. Most Archers even­tu­ally re­alise that true free­dom comes from com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion to a per­sonal vi­sion, rather than from the outer world. In med­i­cal as­trol­ogy, Sagit­tar­ius rules the liver, hips and thighs and sacral re­gions of the spine. When Sagit­tar­i­ans are out of bal­ance they can suf­fer from sci­at­ica, hip dis­eases, rheuma­tism and weight gain. The Sagit­tar­ian colours are pur­ple and deep blue. Sagit­tar­ius’s great­est lessons are com­mit­ment, mod­er­a­tion, tact and learn­ing to de­liver what they prom­ise.

Mer­cury ret­ro­grade

Mer­cury is the fastest mov­ing planet in our so­lar sys­tem, or­bit­ing very close to the sun. In Ro­man mythol­ogy, quick­sil­ver Mer­cury with his mag­i­cal winged san­dals and hel­met was the Mes­sen­ger

of the Gods, car­ry­ing mes­sages be­tween gods and hu­mans and those who dwelled in the un­der­world. In as­trol­ogy, Mer­cury is the planet of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, help­ing us put our thoughts into words; plan our daily ac­tiv­i­ties; in­ter­act with one an­other and ex­plore new ideas and in­for­ma­tion.

Every four months, Mer­cury ap­pears to slow down, change di­rec­tion and travel back­wards for ap­prox­i­mately three weeks. As­trologers re­fer to this pe­riod as ‘Mer­cury Ret­ro­grade’ and this month, from 19th De­cem­ber to 8th Jan­uary, Mer­cury will be trav­el­ling back­wards through earth sign Capri­corn. When Mer­cury is ret­ro­grade, our un­con­scious and in­tu­itive sides are par­tic­u­larly ac­tive and the best laid plans of­ten come to a halt as events take on a life of their own. We are asked to go within (to the un­der­world or un­con­scious) and med­i­tate and re­flect, rather than push­ing for­wards with life in the outer world.

Mer­cury ret­ro­grade can be a time of frus­tra­tion and mis­un­der­stand­ings when things keep go­ing wrong or break­ing down. If this hap­pens to you, take it as a sign to be more con­scious of things you’ve been ig­nor­ing or are per­haps un­aware of. You may also need to com­plete un­fin­ished busi­ness that’s pre­vent­ing you from mov­ing for­ward. Mer­cury ret­ro­grade brings hid­den in­for­ma­tion to the sur­face, forc­ing us or help­ing us to see the truth. As Mer­cury trav­els back­wards through Capri­corn, ask your­self: “How can I be more au­then­tic, re­spon­si­ble, ac­count­able and pro­duc­tive?”

De­cem­ber full moon

The De­cem­ber full moon falls on the 14th in air sign Gem­ini (22-23°). The Sabian sym­bol for this full moon shows three fledglings in a nest high in a tree. These young birds sym­bol­ise the Di­vine Trin­ity and, in par­tic­u­lar, the in­te­gra­tion of the creative power of the spirit. As the moon reaches fullness, she forms a mys­tic rec­tan­gle with the sun, Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter pro­duc­ing enor­mous po­ten­tial for the creative and con­struc­tive use of your own unique, nat­u­ral tal­ents.

De­cem­ber new moon

The De­cem­ber new moon falls on the 29th in earth sign Capri­corn, the time of year when we re­flect on the past and won­der what the fu­ture might bring. This new moon is full of ideas and prom­ise, but achiev­ing dreams and goals re­quires hard work and ded­i­ca­tion. Cast your mind back to this time last year and re­flect on how far you have come, then set your in­ten­tions for 2017. With Mer­cury still ret­ro­grade, you will in­stinc­tively know what is most im­por­tant.

De­cem­ber moon Cal­en­dar

Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to com­ple­tion in the pe­riod from just be­fore the full moon to the third quar­ter phase and wind them down and re­flect on de­vel­op­ments in the week be­fore the next new moon. Im­por­tant events such as par­ties, con­fer­ences and wed­dings are best held close to the full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your sun (or star) sign. ■

Con­nect with other read­ers & com­ment on this ar­ti­cle at www.liv­ing­

Stella Woods is an as­trol­ogy teacher and con­sul­tant. Con­tact Stella at stella@stel­las­tar­ or www.stel­las­tar­ or www.face­­las­tar­woman Visit www.liv­ing­­umn/ as­trol­ogy-stel­lar-stuff for Stella’s on­line col­umn.

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