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Astrological Overview: December 11-17, 2023

Astrologer Pam Younghans writes this weekly astrological journal based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and insights to assist you in making the best use of current energies. This column is not intended as prediction. Your own experience will be more specifically defined by transits to your personal chart.

Aspects of Note this Week:

All times listed are Pacific Daylight Time. For Eastern Time, add 3 hours; For Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), add 8 hours.

Monday: Mercury sextile Venus, Sun quincunx Uranus
Tuesday: New Moon 3:31 p.m. PST, Venus sesquiquadrate Neptune, Mercury stations retrograde
Wednesday: Sun sesquiquadrate Jupiter, Mars semisquare Pluto
Thursday: No major aspects are exact today
Friday: Mars trine Chiron
Saturday: Sun trine Eris, Sun square Neptune
Sunday: Venus quincunx Chiron


SAGITTARIUS NEW MOON: A new and exciting lunar cycle begins this Tuesday, December 12, when the Sun and Moon align at 20°40´ Sagittarius. This New Moon is exactly aligned with the fixed star Atria (at 20°54´ Sagittarius). Atria is the brightest star in a constellation called the Triangulum Australis (Southern Triangle). It is about seven times larger than our Sun and emits about 5,000 times the luminosity. 

Atria is a very favorable influence, enhancing spiritual powers when it is activated. The fixed star also carries the positive energies of both Mercury and Jupiter, opening our minds to higher wisdom, facilitating the search for life's meaning, increasing optimism and hope, and favoring philosophical or religious pursuits. Atria is said to be just, truthful, righteous, and benevolent. 

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With the New Moon conjunct Atria, all these potentials and qualities are more accessible for us at the time of the lunation, as well as throughout the lunar cycle that begins on Tuesday. What excellent energies to work with as we complete 2023 and begin a New Year!

THE NEPTUNE EFFECT: The planet Neptune also plays a significant role in the new lunar cycle, due to being in hard square aspect to the New Moon. The God of the Vast Oceans always invites us to transcend our human perspective and to view life through our Soul's eyes. This lofty goal is sometimes difficult to achieve, and Neptune's square to the New Moon indicates that we may not be comfortable with what being "more spiritual" entails. 

To navigate this lunation successfully and to benefit from its gifts, we are asked to release qualities associated with the shadow side of Sagittarius. We must rise above judgment, self-righteousness, dogmatism, and any attitudes or beliefs that keep us in a lower vibration than love. In their place, we may call in tolerance, forgiveness, reverence, open-mindedness, generosity of spirit, optimism, and faith.

However, since this is a challenging aspect from Neptune, we will need to do our work. If we resist this process and choose to walk down the same old, tired path of judgment and intolerance, we are likely to encounter the less comfortable side of Neptune: disillusionment, lack of clarity, apathy and avoidance, deception, over-sensitivity, and even fear.

OTHER NEW MOON INFLUENCES: Other planetary aspects in the New Moon chart further clarify the energies we'll be working with this week. The Sun and Moon are widely conjunct Mars, so we will have courage and energy but might also be very restless and could act impulsively. A hard sesquiquadrate aspect to Jupiter contributes to a tendency to overdo and to leap without looking first. 

A challenging quincunx between the New Moon and Uranus indicates sudden or unexpected events, surprises that require us to adjust our expectations or our beliefs. But assisting us from the sidelines are harmonious trines to Chiron, the North Node, and Eris, which increase our confidence and help us be in alignment with our Soul's highest evolutionary growth.

DAILY ASPECTS: Here are my brief interpretations of this week's most important planetary aspects: 
Mercury sextile Venus: This agreeable aspect encourages conversation of a serious or profound nature.
Sun quincunx Uranus: We may feel unsure about our footing, sensing that change is in the air.
New Moon: The Sun and Moon align at 3:31 p.m. PST. This lunation sets themes for the next four weeks, with a climax of energies around the time of the Full Moon on December 26. 
Venus sesquiquadrate Neptune: We may be confused or disillusioned about relationship situation or financial matters. It may be best to delay important decisions in these areas, until our minds are clearer and our emotions calmer.
Mercury stations retrograde: The Messenger Planet will be moving backward from December 12 to January 1. Although the New Moon energies would typically support initiating a new project, with Mercury going retrograde today, the next three weeks may be best spent in more inward or introspective activities, to gain important insights into how we want to proceed in the New Year.
Sun sesquiquadrate Jupiter: This influence is very impatient and tends us to be judgmental or intolerant. The urge to convince others of the "rightness" of our perspective can trip us up.
Mars semisquare Pluto: Compulsive behaviors or impulsive actions can cause problems. We may feel restless and be easily irritated or angered.
No major aspects are exact today.
Mars trine Chiron: A renewed self-confidence is possible, inspiring and supporting us as we open to new ventures and unfamiliar ideas.
Sun trine Eris and square Neptune: An independent streak is strong, so we may want to include alone time in our plans for the day. However, Neptune's influence means that the road may be foggy and that our feet may not always find solid ground. It will be important to carefully consider all potential outcomes before taking risks.
Venus quincunx Chiron: A lack of sensitivity to another's feelings may trigger insecurities. Issues of trust are central to relationship troubles.


IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THIS WEEK: Your need for expansion is strong this year. Adventures may take physical form through long-distance travels, involve the pursuit of higher learning, or be more on the level of spiritual or philosophical journeys. Whatever you do, there is also a need for independence that wishes to be satisfied. One of the challenges of this year could be a lack of clarity about what you truly want and need; this will require introspection before taking action. You will also be learning the spiritual qualities of surrender, acceptance, trust, and faith as you navigate uncertainties.  (Solar Return Sun conjunct Mars, square Neptune, trine Eris)


SOLAR MONTH CLASS: My class covering the Month of Capricorn will air live on Wednesday, December 20! If you haven't yet attended one of these classes, here's what to expect:
I begin the class with a review of the daily transits for the coming month and talk about how we may experience their energies. Next, I use the birth chart of a well-known personality to show how transits work in real life situations. During the third part of the class, participants can ask questions about their personal charts and transits. 
The class is recorded and the replay link sent by email to all registrants after the class airs. To learn more or to register, please click on this link: 
(This is the first class of a new "season," so you'll have the option to purchase either a Single Class Ticket or a Season Pass for access to the next three classes.)
"BREAKTHROUGHS & AWAKENINGS": My webinar covering the first four months of 2024 will air live on Wednesday, January 10! See this pagefor a full description or register at
INSTAGRAM: I invite you to check out my daily astrological updates on Instagram: 


 TRANSLATION and AUDIO/VIDEO VERSION: This weekly Journal is now recorded (in English) AND the text is transcribed into 30 languages! You'll see a row of flags under "Available Languages" in the upper right. And, there are options to listen to the audio (in English)  or watch a video directly beneath the photo (see top of page).

The Journal entry is usually updated by Sunday evening, with the recordings appearing late Sunday or by Monday depending on your time zone. Please share this information with those who might benefit.


For previous weeks of the Astrological Journal, click here.


About the Author

Pam Younghans is a professional astrologer, editor, and writer. She lives in a log home northeast of Seattle, Washington with her beloved animal companions. She has been interpreting charts professionally for over 25 years. If you are interested in an astrology reading, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or leave a message at 425.445.3775.

For more information about NorthPoint Astrology offerings, please visit or visit her Facebook page.