FULL MOON IN GEMINI – Last Mercury retrograde period of 2016 (December 13, 2016)

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.

Astrology-New-Moon-Full-MoonIn the Pacific Time Zone, the Moon will be full at 4:05 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13.  With this Full Moon, the Sun in Sagittarius will be in opposition (180°) to the Moon in Gemini.  To further clarify how this Full Moon will impact you on a personal level, locate 23° of Sagittarius and 23° of Gemini in your birth/natal chart.  The issues associated with those two houses are going to be most impacted by this Full Moon’s presence.

As is true with all Full Moons, our goal is to find a balance between the qualities of the two signs involved.  In some ways, this is easier to do with Sag and Gemini than with other oppositions, because both of these signs love learning.  However, Gemini is more interested in basic education (e.g., facts, logical thinking, rational mind), whereas Sagittarius loves learning high-level information (e.g., ethics, intuitive wisdom, philosophy).  With this Full Moon, it may be a time when we need to find a better balance between these two equally important approaches to life.  It’s a question of focusing on the forest AND the trees.

However, this Gemini Full Moon is challenging to interpret because it is strongly influenced by a number of powerful aspects to both the Sun and the Moon.  We may find that one of the aspects described below will impact a certain area of our life, where another aspect will impact a different area.  Or could be that they all work together.

  • The Sun
    • The Sun is conjunct (0°) Saturn, which is usually a time when we need to “get real.” The Sun will want to shine its light on all structures to reveal “the truth,” and has already started playing out following the recent election in the USA.  We also will feel motivated to see tangible results from our efforts.  Although this isn’t a time to start new projects, it is a time to “hunker down” and get to work on what is already in process.  Success is more likely if we focus on creating order and taking back any responsibility that we have inappropriately delegated or even ignored.
    • Unfortunately, the Sun is also squaring (90°) Chiron during this same time period. Chiron is the “wounded healer,” which may cause us to lack our usual level of confidence.  Particularly if we are feeling insecure, we need to pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves during this time.  We need to consciously focus on what we want instead of what we don’t want.  If we can do this, then the light of the Sun can shine on our wounded inner child and provide insights that can lead to healing.  But we do need to be careful not to acquiesce in order to appease others during this time.
    • Luckily, the Sun is also trine (120°) Uranus, which is exact on Sunday, December 11. This aspect will be influencing us for several days before and after the Full Moon.  We may have sudden ideas pop into our heads.  Be sure to write those ideas down because they may disappear just as quickly as they appeared.  Be flexible because things can “change on a dime” during this time, which could actually lead to some new insights, discoveries, or inventiveness.  Whatever comes to us might be rather unusual or even unconventional compared to our typical approach.
  • The Moon
    • The Moon provides support for the work described above by trining (120°) Mars and also trining (120°) Jupiter. This forms a configuration called a grand trine (equilateral triangle) in the sky above us.  This free-flowing energy is in air signs (Gemini, Aquarius, & Libra, respectively), so our minds will likely be flowing at a rapid pace, and there will be a smooth-running energy between our emotions (Moon), actions (Mars), and the planet of expansion (Jupiter).  This may counter the insecurities of the square between the Sun and Chiron or the heavier energy of the Sun conjunct Saturn (as described above).  It is again important to watch our thoughts to make sure we are harnessing the “power of positive thinking” to make things happen right now.  It’s a good time to have fun with friends.
    • However, due to the Moon also being in opposition (180°) to Saturn, this is not a good time to confront authority figures, even if you feel misunderstood or you aren’t getting the respect you feel you deserve. Again, being around friends may be the better choice right now.
    • Being spontaneous or breaking your typical routine would be a good way to spend that time with friends due to a sextile (60°) between the Moon and Uranus. Be open to chance encounters or a last-minute change of plans.  This could actually lead to some unexpected emotional insights or breakthroughs.

On Monday, December 19, Mars enters Pisces, where it will remain until January 28.  Mars is the planet of action, and it does not feel comfortable in Pisces.  Pisces is symbolized by two fish swimming in a circle, chasing the tail of the one in front of it.  Where Mars wants to move forward, Pisces is unsure, indecisive, and timid.  We tend to feel less motivated when Mars is in Pisces, unless something has a spiritual purpose.  We need to be careful not to move or take actions (Mars) that reinforce any beliefs that we are a victim or that involve escaping through the use of drugs, alcohol, etc. (Pisces).  Instead, Mars in Pisces is best expressed through compassionate, spiritually-motivated actions that acknowledge that there is only an illusion of separation and we are actually all One with the Universe.

Also on Monday, December 19, Mercury in Capricorn begins its third and final retrograde period of 2016, which will continue through January 8.  This could begin a pretty intense period of time for us individually and on a societal level as well.  The retrograde direction is turning us inward, and we may become mentally preoccupied (Mercury) with issues related to leadership and authority (Capricorn).  We may become very focused on ferreting out “the truth,” which could leave us feeling unsure what to trust and even mentally confused.  Actually, having Mars located in intuitive, “non-action oriented” Pisces is excellent timing in some ways because Pisces tends to neutralize Mars’ tendencies toward aggressiveness.  However, when you put the inward focus on Mercury in retrograde together with Mars in float-y Pisces, we all may feel like we are living in, as they say in the Broadway musical Hamilton, “the world turned upside down.”  This may be very unsettling because what we have always relied on may no longer seem “real” or “true.”  All of this may result in the last 2 weeks of 2016 feeling rather surreal.  But if we consciously use this “upside down” phase to find our personal center of “truth,” then we will be more than ready to take action after Mercury begins moving direct again after the first of the year.

The Solstice occurs on Wednesday, December 21, which is when the Sun moves into Capricorn.  We see winter begin in the Northern Hemisphere and Summer begin in the Southern Hemisphere.  When the Sun is in Cap, we often feel an increased sense of responsibility and perhaps even ambition.  We strive for completion, and we prefer tangible results from our efforts.  And continuing a trend mentioned above, the Capricorn energy often puts its focus on already-started projects rather than new endeavors.  Laying a strong foundation for long-term goals is important now.

Saturday, December 24, sees the first in a series of three trines (120°) between Saturn and Uranus, with the others happening on May 18 and November 11, 2017.  The influence of this aspect will impact us for several days before and after the actual event.  Spontaneous Uranus will likely soften the often heavier, responsible energy of Saturn.  Additionally, the influence of Saturn will be to calm down the often unpredictable energies of Uranus, making it easier for us to move through any changes that are needed.  All of this is excellent timing given it coincides with many get-togethers with family and friends for the different holidays happening throughout the world.  If we can get these two energies to cooperate, we could also see new structures begin to take form in our lives that are fluid and flexible, which makes them more adaptable to ever-changing conditions.

In general, this Gemini Full Moon encourages us to find a balance between basic understanding and a higher perspective.  But with all the strong (and sometimes conflicting energies) associated with this Full Moon, our best approach may be to adjust our course when needed and be tolerant as we all try to navigate some pretty powerful waves.  And those waves are likely to become even more tumultuous as the year draws to a close.  Many of us will be questioning a lot of personal and social issues, and a feeling of “unreality” could leave people stretched to their emotional limits.  In addition to maintaining a positive attitude, we can use meditation, breathing, and exercise to help us maintain our balance while we search for our own personal truth.  It may help to remember, “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony” (Thomas Merton).


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  • Anne Reith, Ph.D. (AnneReith.com)
  • For information about Dr. Reith’s downloadable ebooks and meditations, feel free to visit her online Store


  • The Mountain Astrologer (magazine)
  • Various online sources (e.g., www.cafeastrology.com)


  • New Moons and Full Moons often influence us for the 3 days before and 3 days after the actual event.


Full Moon at 23° of Gemini

  • Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 4:05 p.m. PST
  • Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 7:05 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday, December 14, 2016,.12:05 a.m. GMT

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