The Week Above is a weekly astrological "weather report" detailing the major planetary configurations for the week ahead. All times and dates given are in Eastern Time. There will be references to your birth chart and your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs throughout. If you aren't sure of what that means, check out Astrodienst for free online chart drawings, and Cups & Crowns for the basics of how to understand a drawn chart.
Mercury square Neptune - December 24th
Mercury is the planet of careful analysis, of sorting into neat little categories, of making everything organized and distinct, of getting the point across clearly and precisely.
Neptune is the planet of turning things into abstract, boundariless, indistinguishable slush. So it’s not exactly a friend to Mercury.
Whenever Mercury makes a hard aspect to Neptune, you get a period of a couple of days where Mercury Retrograde-like effects happen, including miscommunications, mishaps with technology and travel, and strange ideas burbling to the surface. It’s great if you want to go full mishmash intuition, and not so great if you want fully-conscious lucidity.
It’ll be a day or two of things like this (though not nearly as bad as this Mercury Retrograde that just happened) which happen to coincide with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for those who celebrate.
My family usually goes out for Chinese food on Christmas Day, although this year it’s a bit different. If your family has a similar tradition, maybe double-check the reservation was put in the system correctly. If you’re working retail, my condolences and be careful counting your drawer. If you’re spending it at home with family, just be conscious of how you communicate what, and try not to take things personally if someone’s being critical (also don’t be the one criticizing family members). The Moon is in Leo during this time as well, so egos are a bit more easily bruised. Drinking to deal with difficult family members likely won’t help very much this time—so keep it in moderation.
This transit will affect you most if your Sun, Moon, or Ascendant is in Gemini, Virgo, or Sagittarius.
Venus sextile Pluto - December 28th
Venus and Pluto are an odd mixture. The Goddess of Beauty and the Lord of the Underworld. Together they tell a story of Hades and Persephone, Life and Death, Love and Obsession.
This is one of the easier Venus-Pluto aspects, and they’re not exactly opposed in natures the way Mercury and Neptune are, so this is a relatively benign alignment all things considered.
Desire gets more intense, passions get more unbridled, animal lust comes out where it’s welcome. With hard Venus-Pluto aspects, these underworld passions can wreak havoc, but here it’s just a matter of the right time and place being a vessel that gets nice and full with this energy.
If you’re an artist you might find that around the 28th you get inspired to make something a bit darker and more intense than usual, or that your passion for creativity is alert and focused in a special way. Enjoy it, and put pen to paper (or brush to canvas, or stylus to tablet) with gusto this weekend.
This will be most intense on December 28th regardless of time zone, because Friday is Venus’s day, and whatever’s up with a planet gets felt more strongly on its day.
This transit will affect you most if your Sun, Moon, or Ascendant is in Taurus, Libra, or Scorpio, or if Venus and Pluto are in aspect in your natal chart, or if you have an intensely passionate nature in general.
Mars conjunct Chiron - December 29th
This is a bit of a toughy, not gonna lie.
Chiron is the wound. Chiron is the pain that won’t go away. Chiron is the thing that hurts forever, even if the hurt gets less with time.
Chiron is sensitive—in Pisces, he’s especially sensitive. And this week Mars comes up and punches him in the nose.
So be mindful of your old wounds, as around the 29th they’re likely to be triggered in a jarring way.
Chiron is also the teacher and the medicine. When you can see a trigger coming, you can process it and handle it more easily. You can anticipate the reaction, and let it pass over you and through you, like knowing how to take a punch. Everyone has wounds. What matters is what we do with them. Easier said than done, but with practice we can take the poison and turn it into medicine. We can take the trigger, distance ourselves from it without denying it, and watch it to learn from it. We can process it, and through processing it become more aware of how it functions within us, and the superstructures in our psyches built around it. The contexts we created because of it.
And in becoming aware, gain power we might never have access to otherwise.
Mars enters Aries - December 31st
It has been a long time since we last saw Mars in good condition in a sign he likes. Barring a brief period of time before and after he stationed direct around August and September (during which time he was in a good sign but not amazing shape), it’s been six and a half months of a year in which time has moved incredibly slowly (blame Saturn for that) since Mars was in Capricorn, the sign of his exaltation. For scale, Mars left Capricorn the day of the North Carolina teachers’ walkout in the United States.
As the New Year turns (it’ll happen after midnight outside of North and South America), Mars arrives home in Aries for the first time in two years, and he is happy to be there. Mars in Aries is a very Mars-y Mars. He’s everything he is, only more so—aggressive, passionate, driven, energetic, excited, impulsive, forward-focused, horny, temperamental, athletic, warlike, prone to machismo, vigorous, bold, full of gusto, etc.
Aries is in some ways the puer eternus of the zodiac, a perpetual teenage boy. In Aries, Mars lacks impulse control but can get its ass to the gym no problem. There’s a lot of New Year’s Resolutions to start exercising which will last longer than you might expect, though many of them will only last until Valentine’s Day, when Mars leaves Aries and enters Taurus.
This transit will affect you most if you have the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or Midheaven in Aries or Scorpio, and if that’s you then you should be looking hella forward to this.