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Astrology Highlights for Dec. 11-17, 2023: Homesick

The Darker Places

There’s something about talking with an older, wiser, gentler person that makes you feel like a better version of yourself. They seem to see you as kinder than you are, your motivations more honorable, your abilities more impressive. And without ever addressing the darker places inside you, they help lead you out of them and into the light.

At its best, Mercury’s transit through Capricorn can feel like talking with a wise elder. As Mercury sextiles Venus in Scorpio (Dec. 11, 2023, 11:17 am PST, 8º17′ Capricorn/Scorpio), they’re on on the Sabian symbols 9 Capricorn: An angel carrying a harp and 9 Scorpio: Dental work. Keep your eyes open; a wise person may offer an opportunity to confront the dark, painful places in order to move forward into your sweeter, stronger, better side.

Borrowed Eyeglasses

The Sagittarius New Moon (Dec. 12, 2023, 3:32 pm PST) is at 20º40’ Sagittarius, on one of my favorite Sabian symbols, 21 Sagittarius, A child and a dog with borrowed eyeglasses. This particular New Moon finds the Sun and Moon together in a square aspect to Neptune, and whenever Neptune is on the scene, we have to assume that we’re not necessarily seeing everything that clearly.

As a person of a certain age, I have several pair of eyeglasses for a variety of different functions. And lately, I find that I keep picking up my computer glasses, which of course are for seeing things that are about two feet from my face, when I am in fact looking for my long-range spectacles, and then I walk around in a haze until I finally figure out that I’m just wearing the wrong ones.

We need to look at things through the right glasses – our own, not somebody else’s, and the ones with the right prescription. Both the figures in this New Moon’s Sabian symbol are innocent and uncalculating. They don’t necessarily know the difference between their own point of view and one that they’ve borrowed from somebody else.

That can be our position at this New Moon. So we have to be careful about how we choose to look at things and to make sure that we’re looking through our own eyes, with our own beliefs and convictions, and not something that we’ve inherited or borrowed from somebody else.

The New Moon point is in a trine aspect to the North Node in Aries, which implies that this process of seeing more clearly points us in the direction of our most cherished ambitions. Because once you can see exactly where you are, you’re in a much better position to figure out how to get where you want to go.

Messages from a Higher Power

Mercury turns retrograde this week (Dec. 12, 2023, 11:09 pm PST, through Jan. 1, 2024), and by now, we know the drill: Slow down, leave space in your schedule, let your mind drift a bit, review recent events.

It’s easier said than done, especially with Mercury in Capricorn, which prefers moving ahead and working through a to-do list on our way to the summit. But Mercury turns retrograde at 8º29′ Capricorn on that lovely, otherworldly Sabian symbol, An angel carrying a harp. What does your higher nature want for you? How can you approach your daily routine with the gentleness and kindness of a respected elder?

Mercury backs into Sagittarius between Dec. 22-Jan. 13, so it’s a couple of weeks into the new year before Mercury is back in Capricorn and ready to craft realistic plans for 2024. This retrograde period includes Mercury’s second square to Neptune (the first was on Nov. 27) and second conjunction with Mars (the first on Oct. 29), and we’ll have to keep steady heads to seek clarity and avoid impatience and impulsiveness.

As Mercury enters its retrograde period, dream a little more. Nap a lot more. And review 2023 thoroughly before moving ahead to 2024.

Adventure and the New Frontier

Let’s say you fantasize about moving to a dusty little adobe hut in the middle of New Mexico, setting up your own little home, and living alone in a place where nobody knows you and you’re free to be whomever you please. In your imagination, this version of yourself would be brave, blunt, and unapologetic, embracing adventure and new frontiers.

The problem with that fantasy is that you probably like your life and yourself enough that you don’t really want to run away from home. But maybe you could take a couple of days for a retreat, or even just take a long train ride by yourself. Out of your usual context, who knows what you might learn about who you are and what you want?

As the Sun in Sagittarius trines the North Node in Aries (Dec. 14, 2023, 9:35 pm PST), an adventure, however modest, offers the most heartfelt and creative way to move in the direction of your best new frontier.


To understand the Sun’s square to Neptune (Dec. 16, 2023, 7:43 pm PST), imagine you’ve traveled far from home, to a place where you don’t speak the language and you’re not sure you’re dressed quite right, or that your natural personality is acceptable. Your usual persona has become a bit melty; the sense of self shifts, and confidence is a bit low. It’s uncomfortable, being a stranger.

But when you don’t have your usual bag of tricks to fall back on, when the construction of who you are and what you are doesn’t fit with your surroundings, you have the unique opportunity to figure out who you are without those constructions. Turns out, the real you has little to do with those things.

If you find yourself feeling a sort of yearning homesickness in the days surrounding this transit, consider that what you’re homesick for is not necessarily a different place or other people. What you’re homesick for is you.

Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent

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1 comment to " Astrology Highlights for Dec. 11-17, 2023: Homesick "

  • Isabella

    thank you as always for the beautiful prose, april. I’m in awe of your talent for breaking down the meaning of transits (which can be quite complex) into very relatable concepts and metaphors. thank you again and brava!
    a big hug,

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