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Astrological Overview: December 25-31, 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: 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


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."

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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 Or have we become too withdrawn and protective?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: You have a strong need to expand your horizons this year, and you will likely not be content to stay, metaphorically, "at home." This restlessness may be satisfied by traveling into new territory, whether your journey be physical, mental, or spiritual. It is a good year to ask yourself what experiences will add greater meaning to your life, and to give yourself permission to have those adventures and take those risks. (Solar Return Sun trine Jupiter)


BREAKTHROUGHS & AWAKENINGS: My webinar covering the first four months of 2024 will air live on Wednesday, January 10! To learn more or to register:
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.