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Your Weekly Guide To Planetary Influences - December 25 to 31, 2023

Your Weekly Guide To Planetary Influences - December 25 to 31, 2023

CANCER FULL MOON: The final lunation of 2023 occurs at 4:33 p.m. PST this Tuesday, December 26, when the Moon at 04°58´ Cancer is exactly opposite the Sun at the same degree of Capricorn. Emotional sensitivity is always heightened at the time of a Full Moon, especially when Luna is in Cancer, the sign of empathy and nurturing, home and family.

With this being the season when many are physically present with — or at least reminded of — people and situations from their past, we may already be in a nostalgic mood. This Full Moon can increase a tendency to mull over early childhood memories and may add to an already strong yearning for "home."

The challenge with a Full Moon is always about finding balance — in this case, between seeking inner emotional fulfillment (Cancer) and pursuing outer achievement (Capricorn). It is time to ask ourselves whether we are attending equally to both ends of the spectrum. 

Is our life in a healthy balance? Or have we become too withdrawn and protective? Or, at the other end of the scale, are we overly busy, perhaps to avoid facing emotional issues? Are we able to find contentment and satisfaction in the present, or are we dwelling either too much in the past (Cancer) or too much in the future (Capricorn)?

Aspects from other planets to the Full Moon both support us and challenge us. A Moon-Jupiter sextile increases a sense of hope and faith in the future, while a Moon-Saturn trine enhances inner strength and maturity. However, the closest lunar aspect is a semisquare to Uranus, which can manifest through impulsive actions, perhaps to avoid facing our true feelings. This aspect requires that we gain greater self-awareness and interrupt fight-or-flight reactivity.

COMPLICATIONS: As we move through this last week of the calendar year, we will be navigating a rather complicated mix of energies. Retrograde Mercury will align with Mars, at the same time that both planets are in harmonious trine aspect to dwarf planet Eris but also in challenging square aspect to Neptune. Let's take these aspects one at a time:

Usually, when Mercury and Mars conjoin, we anticipate that we will have exciting new ideas and feel drawn to act on them. We may be especially motivated by this week's alignment in idealistic Sagittarius; our minds are optimistic and we feel the urge to take a great leap of faith. 

However, Mercury is currently moving backward, so the voice of astrological wisdom tells us that while brainstorming is a great idea this week, it is best to wait until Mercury goes direct (on January 1) before taking action.

On the other hand, with Mercury and Mars in aspect to reactionary Eris in Aries, it may be hard to rein in the need to DO something. Impulsiveness could be a problem.

Adding to this complexity is the planet Neptune, which is square Mercury and Mars. When it is in hard aspect to Mercury, watery Neptune blurs our rational thinking process. We can miss important details or be overly idealistic in our assessment of a situation. And, with a challenging Mars-Neptune aspect, we can lack a clear sense of direction and our intuition may be slightly off. It can be hard to know for sure what we truly want and need.

Based on all this, it appears that it's best not to leap off any cliffs this week. At the same time, we could feel very restless if we're not taking some sort of risk or asserting ourselves in some way. Perhaps we can satisfy a desire for new experiences by exploring our inner realms using a new meditation technique or by listening to a podcast that stretches our minds and challenges our beliefs.

JUPITER STATIONS DIRECT: Jupiter is completing its retrograde phase this week, coming to a standstill at 05°34´ Taurus on Saturday, December 30 (6:40 p.m. PST). Over these past four months, retrograde Jupiter has asked us to turn within, to ponder our foundational beliefs and life philosophies and to discover if they truly resonate with our spiritual core. It has been a time of questioning our place in society, where we fit in (or not) and how we want to participate. 

In the New Year, as Jupiter begins to move forward again, there will be more opportunities to take action on the insights we have gained. With Jupiter's help, we will be feeling more spiritually in tune and able to take concrete steps to manifest a higher vision and a life of greater meaning.

DAILY ASPECTS: Here are my brief interpretations of this week's most important planetary aspects: 


Venus trine Neptune: With affectionate Venus and compassionate Neptune in harmonious aspect, relationship dynamics may flow more easily, especially in the first half of the day.  


Sun sesquiquadrate Uranus: A lack of sympathy could ruffle feathers. The need to break free from tradition is strong.

Full Moon: The Cancer Full Moon is exact at 4:33 p.m. PST. Under stress, people can be especially moody or defensive.

Mercury square Neptune: There is a lack of clarity in our thinking, making it hard to communicate. We may miss important details when trying to make a decision or can miss a turn when driving.


Sun trine Jupiter: Hope springs eternal, especially with Jupiter at a standstill now. It is easier to feel optimistic about the future with this influence.

Mars trine Eris, Mercury conjunct Mars, Mercury trine Eris: Self-confidence is enhanced, but it will be important to take our time when making decisions or taking action.


Mars square Neptune: Our direction can seem unclear. We may not feel like we truly know what we desire, or what we believe in. What used to fulfill us seems now to be somehow lacking.

Pluto semisquare Ceres: We will need to monitor a desire to control those we care about. Relationships, especially with family members, can reveal where we tend to be self-righteous and overly directive.

Venus sextile Pluto: This aspect increases our ability to understand others on a psychological level. Honesty can lead to greater intimacy or may show where deeper self-reflection is needed.


Venus enters Sagittarius: With Venus in the sign of The Archer from December 29 through January 23, we seek new experiences in the realm of relationship. We may feel bored by routines, restless with too much structure, or stifled by too much emotionality. We seek to grow and to experience a sense of greater meaning through relationships.


Jupiter stations direct: Jupiter has been moving backward since September 4. As it comes to a standstill in Taurus, we can gain clarity on our values and our belief systems.


No major aspects are exact today.

IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK: There is great benefit in introspection this year, especially when considering your long-term goals. Overall, you should feel a good balance between realism and optimism. However, you may also have a sense that certain elements of your life are fading away, dissolving, or becoming less tangible or important to you. Certain projects may seem to be "on hold" while you do your inner spiritual work. It is tempting to try to hold onto what is familiar, but you are encouraged to surrender to the process and to have faith that once the process of dissolution is complete, you will have access to greater levels of personal fulfillment. (Solar Return Sun conjunct retrograde Mercury, trine Jupiter, sextile Saturn, square Neptune)

In peace, love, and gratitude,


Aspects of Note This Week:

All times listed are Pacific Daylight Time. For Greenwich Mean Time, add 7 hours.

  • Monday: Venus trine Neptune
  • Tuesday: Sun sesquiquadrate Uranus, Mercury square Neptune
  • Wednesday: Sun trine Jupiter, Mars trine Eris, Mercury conjunct Mars, Full Moon 4:32 p.m. PST, Mercury trine Eris
  • Thursday: Mars square Neptune, Pluto semisquare Ceres, Venus sextile Pluto
  • Friday: Venus enters Sagittarius
  • Saturday: Jupiter stations direct
  • Sunday: No major aspects are exact

SEE YOU IN CLASS THIS WEEK! My class covering the Month of Capricorn is this Wednesday, December 20. If you've already registered, you should have received an email last Thursday with the three class handouts. Please check your inbox on Tuesday for an email with your Zoom link and passcode.

This class will cover planetary influences from December 21 to January 20, including the uplifting energies of the Full Moon and Jupiter's station in late December, but also the challenges that could arise with Mercury and Mars in hard aspect to Neptune as we complete the year. We'll talk about what to expect as 2024 begins, especially as the Sun and Pluto complete their transits of Capricorn and move into Aquarius together. The teaching section of the class will focus on Saturn transits – and, as always, the last portion of the class will be open for you to ask questions about how the planetary aspects will be affecting your own chart and life.

There's still time to register! If you can't attend live, you'll be able to watch the replay at your leisure. Here's the link: 


"BREAKTHROUGHS & AWAKENINGS": My webinar covering the first four months of 2024 will air live on Wednesday, January 10! See below for a full description or register at

INSTAGRAM: I invite you to check out my daily astrological updates on Instagram: 

Astrologer Pam Younghans writes the NorthPoint Astrology Journal based on planetary influences and insights received. Her hope is to bring astrology "down to earth" in a way that will help readers navigate current energies, while also utilizing these energies for spiritual and personal growth.
Feel free to share this NorthPoint Journal with others who may enjoy it! Please forward it in its entirety, including all contact and copyright information.
To learn more about Pam's work, please visit

NorthPoint Journal copyright 2023 Pam Younghans. All Rights Reserved.

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