Illustration by Taylor Dow

Illustration by Taylor Dow

Master of Reality

Capricorn makes us aware of time; Mercury makes progress.

Tick, tick, tick. We don’t have all the time in the world. Capricorn, Master of Reality, points out this uncomfortable fact all week. Once Mercury enters Capricorn on Wednesday, a total of five planets will be in Capricorn; plus there’s a Capricorn new Moon on Tuesday! To better understand an astrological sign, look at its planetary ruler. Capricorn is ruled by planet Saturn. (You may recall that last month Saturn entered Capricorn, and will pretty much stay there until 2020.) The Roman deity Saturn started out as the Greek god Cronus, a father who devoured his own children. Cronus sort of morphed into Chronos, the personification of Time often depicted as an old man wielding a scythe: Father Time. Scorpio may be considered spooky, but Capricorn’s planetary mascot is basically the Grim Reaper. Death comes for us all, eventually.

While it’s not fun to think about death, somber Capricorn season doesn’t want us to take anything for granted. This week’s astrology makes us examine how we’re using our limited time and resources. All these Capricorn-flavored planets are making us face the consequences of our actions (or inactions). So brace for a surge of responsibility and reckoning! The weekend (Friday evening until Sunday night) could feel especially difficult. Even after Capricorn season ends next week—in fact, as long as Saturn resides in Capricorn for the next couple years—we’ll hear a faint-yet-present background sound of sand slipping through the hourglass. But an increased awareness of time’s passing encourages us to work within time’s limits. While the sharp sickle of deadlines and due dates can cause anxiety and Capricorn is a sign known for its pessimism, it is also famous for its pragmatism. The realistic Earth sign can teach us about structure and discipline, but only if we are willing to face challenges directly and tackle unglamorous tasks.


Wednesday is a big day for planet Mercury. Not only does it finally move into Capricorn, but it also clears its post-retrograde shadow. At last! Although Mercury’s retrograde motion ended on December 22, it still had a lingering cough to get over as it trudged back from its retrograde slowness. Well now the little planet is feeling 100 percent again! A healthy Mercury can better support our new initiatives, movements, and plans. Since November 5, Mercury was stuck in Sagittarius, the sign of its “detriment.” It was a long, frustrating two-month stay. While in fire-sign Sagittarius, Mercury was hot-headed, confused about facts, and a little too honest; our words reflected that. But in Capricorn, Mercury’s communication becomes more literal, precise, and cautious. Lastly, on Friday night Mercury and Saturn will meet in a conjunction. Serious words! So expect an important conversation that may require increased commitment.


Mercury leaves its post-retrograde shadow and enters Capricorn on Wednesday the 10th, a day that will also reveal flaws to help you figure out where to get help and what kind of people you want to work with. There’s also potential for creativity and romance. The Moon is void most of the day on Thursday the 11th, so hold off on making big choices if you can. While there are opportunities for making progress, feelings will also seem big and loud today. Hang in there. Friday the 12th kicks off a three-day streak of intense reactions and explosive conversations and news. From now until Sunday, a series of planetary squares are shouting: “You can’t keep going on like this. So how are you gonna fix the problem?” You may face issues around nurturing and emotional boundaries on Friday. If you need extra alone time, take it. Saturday the 13th could present tension and irritation that ultimately pushes you to approach healing in a new way. Arguments are in the air. You might also feel a little down on Sunday the 14th when the Moon, Mercury, and Saturn all make conjunctions in Capricorn. If you can keep the morning free for doing nothing, do nothing. Be gentle with yourself. Monday the 15th looks somewhat better. It’s a good day for creative projects, speaking from the heart, and making breakthroughs in ongoing problems. There’s a lovely new Moon in Capricorn on Tuesday the 16th. This new Moon supports strong starts and forward momentum. Write down your goals!

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