Vedic astrology for December: how ‘spiritual knots’ and mercury retrograde could affect you

December is a significant month of introspection, letting go, and renewal. Three planets transit the intense but transformative degrees of gandanta, giving opportunities for rebirth. Mercury goes retrograde signifying a time of review and a need for discernment. The Sun joins Saturn in Sagittarius, creating openings to rectify old imbalances of power within ourselves and in our relationships with others. And Venus and Mars exchange signs this month, causing us to feel more creative and passionate. Finally, kala sarpa yoga occurs two weeks in December, demanding high ethics, focus, and commitment to our purpose in life.

Three major planets, Mercury, Sun, and Venus, travel the pivotal gandanta degrees, at the junction between the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius in December. Gandanta means a “spiritual knot,” and when planets pass through the cusp of a water sign to a fire sign, we are given opportunities for deeper soul growth and increased self-awareness.  As we go through deep change, we can feel emptiness or even doubt as we dismantle the old ways. We are benefited by moving through these energies with grace, non-resistance, and an open heart.

Mercury, planet of communications, speech, and travel, goes retrograde from December 3 until December 22, 2017. Mercury will begin its retrograde transit at 4 degrees Sagittarius and will move back a sign to 19 degrees Scorpio before turning direct on December 22. The more critical days are around December 9 and 10 when Mercury is at gandanta – 0 degrees Sagittarius and 29 degrees Scorpio. Also, Mercury will be combust the Sun from December 11 to 16, which weakens our ability to be heard by others. This is an especially critical time to be extra clear and precise with all types of communications. Travel plans can change. Back up your data and take note of your electronic equipment and vehicles.

At the beginning of December, the Sun transits the water sign of Scorpio, but shifts to the fire sign of Sagittarius on December 15, 2017. This is a pivotal transit of the Sun as it moves through the gandanta junctures of Scorpio/Sagittarius. The more sensitive days are December 14 through December 16. This transit of the Sun (indicator of the soul) could bring a type of identity crisis, as we break through long-held fears and patterns, and embrace a new and more powerful way of being. Career issues could surface as we want uplifting work that honors and expresses our greatest talents and gifts.

As the Sun begins its transit through the sign of Sagittarius, it first travels through Mula nakshatra from December 15 to 28, 2017, which is the nakshatra that includes the Galactic Center of the universe. Mula means “the root” and we want to go very deep and “get to the root” of things the last few weeks of December. We may find it easier to shift our attention from a more material focus into a higher, all-encompassing consciousness.

The deity connected to Mula nakshatra is Nirriti, the goddess of destruction (of ego). Nirriti is said to be both a goddess of misfortune, as well as a remover of misfortune. You can honor Nirriti through virtuous living, generosity, and practicing ahimsa (non-violence). As the Sun moves through Mula nakshatra, this period can be a catalyst for deeper soul connections and renewal. This is a period for profound self-examination.

The Sun joins Saturn as it moves into the sign of Sagittarius from December 15, 2017 until January 14, 2018. Saturn will be especially close to the Sun – called combustion, from December 15 to 27, and will exactly conjunct Saturn at 6 degrees Sagittarius on December 21. Combustion means the integrity of the planet is compromised. We can experience issues with self-discipline, patience, and finding our truth. Power struggles occur. We struggle between what society or others demands of us versus our desire for individual self-expression. We may see this express politically as well, in our desire for equality.

Mars, planet of courage, assertiveness, and passion, transits Libra the entire month of December, from November 29, 2017 to January 16, 2018. Mars joins benefic Jupiter in Libra which helps to protect ambitious and assertive Mars.

Venus, planet of relationships, love, and healing, transits the sign of Scorpio from November 26 to December 20, 2017. Venus transits the intense gandanta degrees of Scorpio/Sagittarius on December 19 and 20, pushing us to now resolve old beliefs and heartache in our relationships. Be especially compassionate, authentic, and forgiving during this time and you may help yourself and others re-define what love is.

A mutual exchange occurs with Mars in Venus’ sign of Libra and Venus in Mars’ sign of Scorpio, from November 29 to December 20, 2017. This combination amplifies the energies of Mars and Venus creating a “passionate wiring” and increased creative energy. You may feel more enlivened and vital. If you like to express yourself artistically, this is a great time for that.

Kala sarpa yoga begins December 7 through December 21, 2017, with all the planets sandwiched between the nodes of the Moon, Rahu and Ketu. This yoga is sometimes called “the snake of time” and requires that we respond to life with the highest of ethics and morals or we will suffer. Sometimes we can feel less free will and ability to move forward with this combination. Sudden or unexpected events that are out of our control might occur during kala sarpa yoga. If you respond with kindness, respect, and humility, you’ll grow spiritually.

The holidays are traditionally a time where we find that a flurry of year-end activities and social connecting can be both celebratory and challenging. Be aware of the intensely transformative astrology that is informing all the things you do during this time and make the most of the rest of 2017 while calling in the best of 2018. I wish you all the best!

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By Debra Infante

Debra Infante is a practicing Vedic astrologer and teacher. She was certified by The American College of Vedic Astrology as an approved teacher (Level I) in September 1999. She has been studying Vedic astrology since 1995 and been a professional astrologer since 1999. She is the co-editor of the recently published Path of Light, Introduction to Vedic Astrology (Volume I) and Path of Light, The Domains of Life, Volume II, written by James Kelleher. She has been teaching Vedic astrology to the students in the yoga teacher trainings at 7 Centers Yoga since 2002.

(Source:; December 4, 2017;
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