Welcome to the Witches Digest for Saturday, December 2nd (Where has this year gone?)

Winter Fantasy
The Witches Digest for Saturday, December 2nd


Your Daily Sun & Moon Data for Saturday, December 2nd

The Sun
Sun Direction: ↑ 133.56° SE
Sun Altitude: 15.04°
Sun Distance: 91.638 million mi
Next Solstice: Dec 21, 2017 10:27 am (Winter)
Sunrise Today: 6:50 am↑ 117° Southeast
Sunset Today: 4:37 pm↑ 243° Southwest
Length of Daylight: 9 hours, 46 minutes

The Moon
Moon Direction: ↑ 321.42° NW
Moon Altitude: -30.27°
Moon Distance: 223994 mi
Next Full Moon: Dec 3, 20179:46 am
Next New Moon: Dec 18, 201712:30 am
Next Moonrise: Today4:17 pm
Current Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous
Illumination: 98.1%

The Lunar Calendar
Moon Direction: ↑ 322.08° NW
Moon Altitude: -30.59°
Moon Distance: 223990 mi
Next Full Moon: Dec 3, 20179:46 am
Next New Moon: Dec 18, 201712:30 am
Next Moonrise: Today4:17 pm



Your Daily Sun & Moon Data for Sunday, December 3rd (Those Down Under)

The Sun
Sun Direction: ↑ 164.20° SSE
Sun Altitude: -32.46°
Sun Distance: 91.638 million mi
Next Solstice: Dec 22, 2017 3:27 am (Summer)
Sunrise Today: 5:37 am↑ 118° Southeast
Sunset Today: 7:52 pm↑ 242° Southwest
Length of Daylight: 14 hours, 15 minutes

The Moon
Moon Direction: ↑ 325.16° NW
Moon Altitude: 33.55°
Moon Distance: 223973 mi
Next Full Moon: Dec 4, 20172:46 am
Next New Moon: Dec 18, 20175:30 pm
Next Moonset: Today5:13 am
Current Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous
Illumination: 98.2%

The Lunar Calendar
Moon Direction: ↑ 323.72° NW
Moon Altitude: 32.84°
Moon Distance: 223965 mi
Next Full Moon: Dec 4, 20172:46 am
Next New Moon: Dec 18, 20175:30 pm
Next Moonset: Today5:13 am



Overview of Your Daily Astronomy for December 2nd

(Northern Hemisphere)

The Sun continues to transit Taurus until 4:22 PM EST, and is void, suggesting the going would be tough if we were to begin brand-new endeavors during this period. It’s better to take in than take action now. The Moon enters Gemini at 4:22 PM, stimulating our desire to communicate and connect.

A Sun-Mars semi-square this evening casts a somewhat tense or aggressive tone to the day. As long as we channel the excess energy constructively, instead of wasting our time arguing, we can accomplish much.

However, a lovely Jupiter-Neptune trine occurs tonight and is a longer-term aspect that will reconnect again in May and August 2018. Effectively, this aspect is in influence until next August and can be considered an overarching trend. Idealistic and humanitarian goals or impulses surface now.

Making connections with others from a different background and widening our minds through unusual or different experiences can be part of the picture. Practical considerations may take a back seat now, although Saturn moving into Capricorn on December 19th will push our practical affairs.

Generosity, faith, and compassion increase. We more readily make personal sacrifices for what we believe to be the greater good.
The Moon is void until it enters Gemini at 4:22 PM EST.

Jupiter forms a trine with Neptune On December 2nd

(Northern Hemisphere)

This is the first of three aspects in a set. Jupiter at 11° Scorpio 30′ forms a trine aspect with Neptune at 11° Pisces 30′. This aspect will perfect two more times: in May and August 2018.

With Jupiter forming a trine to Neptune, idealistic and humanitarian goals or impulses surface now. Making connections with others from a different background may figure. Widening our minds through unusual or different experiences can be part of the picture. Practical considerations could take a back seat now. Generosity and compassion increase and our faith is boosted. We more easily make personal sacrifices for what we believe to be the better good.


1st: December 2nd, 2017, when Jupiter is at 11° Scorpio 30′ and Neptune is at 11° Pisces 30′ (first)
2nd: May 25th, 2018, when Jupiter is at 16° Scorpio 20′ and Neptune is at 16° Pisces 20′
3rd: August 19th, 2018, when Jupiter is at 15° Scorpio 36′ and Neptune is at 15° Pisces 36′ (final)

Overview of Your Daily Astronomy for December 3rd

(Down Under)

Today is very busy astrologically and potentially congested. Mercury turns retrograde in the last degree of Sagittarius, still very close to Saturn. This retrograde cycle will last until the 22nd and will remain in Sagittarius for the full period. This can be a time for reconsidering a long-term dream or vision of our future, and it’s strong for returning to an old study, writing project, or personal interest. There may be scattered thoughts and mental disarray, however. The tactlessness of Mercury in Sagittarius is magnified making it necessary to be especially careful with our choice of topics and wording. The chances of being misinterpreted and missing deadlines or appointments run higher than usual, even more so than with other Mercury retrograde cycles.

Mercury’s retrograde station today can be confusing. As the shift from direct to retrograde occurs, there can be the magnification of problems and difficulties understanding directions.

During the cycle itself, our thinking is turned inward as we review and re-assess matters. Mercury retrograde periods can be times of heightened inner awareness, when meditation, journaling, reworking old plans, and reviewing past work are favored. Minor breaks in the mechanical aspects of communication can re-connect us to other, possibly more meaningful, means of communication. The more difficult times are the periods of the shifts themselves – near the stations – after which we grow more and more accustomed to the energy.

As well, the Sun forms a square to Neptune this morning, and then a Full Moon occurs in the sign of Gemini. The Full Moon can bring sudden awareness to our lives and an urgent “need to know,” to get a critical message across, to finish a communications project, or to make an announcement. Travel and communications are in sharp focus. However, given the current astrological climate, we may be dealing with misinformation, sloppiness, or exaggeration. We may return to a past problem or discussion with a critical eye, but it’s important to keep in mind that we don’t have the full story. There can be a temporary drain of energy as we are challenged to consider our spiritual needs, which might at this point seem to contradict our plans and goals; or we may need to confront how current projects or conditions aren’t measuring up to our ideals. Until we find ways to incorporate imagination and spirit into our lives appropriately, there can be problems feeling motivated.

With Mars in minor square to Neptune, we may believe the route to our desires is a roundabout one. There can be some disorganization or a desire to act upon an unrealistic fantasy. The Sun-Neptune and Mars-Neptune challenges today reduce our sense of certainty, and we can choose to go with that flow or resist it and feel a little lost and without direction. Concentrating on artistic or spiritual pursuits is better than focusing on things that require straightforward, factual thinking makes the most sense now. The Moon is in Gemini all day.

Mercury Goes Retrograde on the 3rd

(For Those Down Under)

Mercury turns retrograde today at 29° Sagittarius 18′ beginning a retrograde cycle that lasts just under three weeks. Mercury entered its pre-retrograde shadow on November 14, 2017.

Mercury will be retrograde until December 22nd when it reaches 13° Sagittarius 00′.

Moon in Taurus

(Both Hemispheres)

The Moon is traveling through comfy Taurus today. Eat something you love. Have a second serving.

We are motivated by the desire for serenity, security, peace, and comfort. The Moon is at her most sensual and constant in Taurus. Our basic impulses are to relax, resist change, and “stop to smell the roses”. Life slows down a little, and we get comfortable. We may also be inclined to stubbornness and materialism under this influence.

The Moon in Taurus generally favors the following activities: Substantial and material actions that yield solid results. Financial activities, and those involving personal possessions, applying for a loan, beginning a potentially long-term relationship, music, home decor.

The sky this week for December 2 to December 3

The First Quarter Moon brightens to Full as it’s joined by Mars, Mercury, Uranus, and Jupiter in the sky this week.
By Richard Talcott

Saturday, December 2

Head outside before dawn and you’ll find Jupiter blazing low in the southeast. The giant planet rises 2.5 hours before the Sun and climbs 15° high an hour before sunup. Jupiter shines at magnitude –1.7, which makes it the brightest point of light in the night sky, and resides among the much dimmer stars of the constellation Libra. A telescope reveals the planet’s 31″-diameter disk.

Sunday, December 3

Full Moon officially arrives at 10:47 a.m. EST, though it will look completely illuminated all night among the background stars of Taurus the Bull. The Full Moon rises close to sunset, appears highest in the south around midnight local time, and sets as the Sun comes up. Our satellite reaches its Full phase just 17 hours before its closest approach to Earth during its monthly orbit. The coincidence between these two events makes this the largest Full Moon of 2017, and you can expect to hear the phrase “Super Moon” used to describe it. Just how special is it? This Full Moon spans 33.4′, 7 percent larger than average. Most people won’t notice that small of a difference, but you can bet a lot of them will head out this evening, see the bright Moon hanging low above the horizon, and be amazed at its size. But this is an illusion — viewing the Moon near familiar foreground objects tricks the mind into thinking it looks bigger.


The Astronomy Magazine

Your Cosmic Weather Report for December 2017

by Jane Lyle, Astrologer
From The Astrology Room

Thought for December:

“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.”

– Dr. Carl Jung

December opens with intensity, and a shape-shifting full Moon in tricky Gemini.

The first few days of December pack four important cosmic patterns into a short space of time. It’s a dynamic, eventful start:

1) Sudden Actions: Mars in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries

These are uncertain days, with impulsive acts and unexpected upheavals flagged up by the stand-off between warrior Mars and rebellious Uranus. This connection symbolises electrifying moments, sudden outbursts, and more than a whiff of excitement at best, accidents, fights, and danger at worst. Anyway, more haste, less speed – and take it easy. Alongside this, there’s the hallucinogenic supermoon – full on 3rd December – but heightening emotions and craziness from 1st to 5th December.

2) Gift from the Sea: Jupiter in Scorpio trine Neptune in Pisces

‘The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach- waiting for a gift from the sea.’

– Anne Morrow Lindbergh, ‘Gift from the Sea’ (1955)

I’ve written about the beautiful potential of Jupiter and Neptune in the Cosmic Weather horoscope for November. It’s wonderful for creativity and spiritual adventures, yet generally very dodgy when it comes to delusions, financial bubbles, and unwise investments of love, cash, or belief.

In honour of this watery, magical astrology I’ve chosen the work of three mystical women artists for three of the illustrations this month. They are – Georgiana Houghton, Ethel Le Rossignol, and Hilma af Klint.

Jupiter and Neptune have all the glamorous allure and danger of fairy gold. This aspect repeats again exactly in May and August, 2018.

3) Invisible Hands: Full Moon, Supermoon in Gemini, 3rd December 2017

‘Hardcore spirits have been exorcised with the vacuum cleaner of secular psychology, but what can we do if their invisible hand sometimes still wants to reach out to ours and shake it?’

– Marco Pasi, Associate Professor in History of Hermetic Philosophy, University of Amsterdam. From ‘The Hidden Hand, Tate Etc. Summer 2016’

Here’s a chaotic full Moon at 11 degrees of Gemini, spilling over with wild gossip, high spirits, and mesmerising words. Many of us will feel a little unhinged – mostly in a delightful way, I hope. December is full of magical folklore and ghostly tales, and this full Moon favours a few otherworldly Yuletide adventures.

This is a supermoon, closer to us here on Earth – with clear winter skies, it should look stunning.

4) Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius

Mercury backtracks through the sign of travellers, philosophers, sportsmen and women, humorists and adventurers. I don’t think it bodes well for seamless holiday travel plans – strikes, cancellations, and other delays or hold-ups are very likely. Making careful plans, allowing plenty of time, and seeing the funny side should help.

Things tend to backfire when Mercury travels in reverse – and in Sagittarius this includes jokes, social media posts, and generally tactless remarks. Avoiding social media when intoxicated is always wise, and never more so than right now.

Mercury retrograde is always a helpful time to review things. If something needs more research, or a fresh point of view, now’s the time to tackle that.

Mercury is retrograde from 3rd December until 23rd December.

18th December:

Traveller’s Tales: New Moon rises in Sagittarius, 26 degrees

This exciting, fiery new Moon offers inspiration for the month ahead, particularly over the next two weeks. It favours what’s unconventional, and loves spontaneity and the far horizons. The far horizons of your own imagination will be just as important as real-world traveling.


20th December:

Saturn Comes Home to Capricorn

It’s an extremely important astrological moment, right on the cusp of the Winter Solstice. This is Saturn’s season, when the Roman Saturnalia meant that the god Saturn was unchained, and bacchanalian mayhem celebrated his temporary release from bondage. In 2017, Saturn enters the sign of the Sea Goat for the first time since 1988. Here, Saturn is rock solid – perfectly at home in the sign it rules, and master of earthly powers. Saturn in Capricorn will be part of our lives and culture until 2020.

Seven Saturn in Capricorn characteristics:

Ambition and love of status and social success
Hard work, veering towards workaholic habits

Eleven Saturn in Capricorn themes:

Building – strong foundations and lasting structures can be created
Budgeting – Saturn in Capricorn can be particularly frugal and risk averse.
Banking and finance – Saturn in Capricorn wants to see stricter controls and rules in these areas.
Authority – Saturn represents the archetypal, old-fashioned father-figure.
Science – Saturn is all about structure and foundations, so scientific work that examines these is favoured – for example, in physics, chemistry, and genetics.
Medical and archaeological research involving bones and fossils is also highlighted.
History and archaeology in general are favoured by Saturn in Capricorn.
Older people and the stories of our ancestors

21st December:

Winter Solstice – Sun enters Capricorn

Human beings have celebrated the Winter Solstice for thousands of years. The Sun dies, the Sun is reborn – it’s just such a powerful moment for life here on Earth.

This year, the astrological Capricorn flavour is strong. The Sun, Saturn, and Pluto are in Capricorn, joined by Venus on Christmas Day to make a serious line-up in this, the most serious of signs. It’s a dynamic Solstice season, favouring realistic, rational plans and ambitions. Yet Capricorn is also musical, has a quirky, often dry, sense of humour, and admires stylish glamour. The determined goat climbs, the fish-tailed part of Capricorn dips into the waters of wisdom and universal knowledge.

If you’re a December Capricorn, March Aries, June Cancerian, or September Libran this is a notable turning point time for you – now, and on into 2018.

25th December: Happy Christmas!

We’re drawn to tales of the past, and the romance of wild places this Christmas.

Venus enters earthy Capricorn today, joining the Sun, Saturn, and Pluto in this dynamic cardinal sign. The Moon is in mystical, musical Pisces. In many ways, it’s a sentimental Yuletide holiday this year with a strong feeling for tradition and ritual.

2018 has much positive potential for quiet achievements and massively important changes in finance and politics. It will be a very tough year for those who resist restructuring and rebuilding – what needs reforming is already obvious, so if we can work with that, then changes can be made more constructively and have lasting value. As ever, we can always hope. Wishing you a very happy, fulfilling 2018!

The Witches Current Moon Phase for Saturday, December 2nd

Waxing Gibbous
Illumination: 98%

The Moon today is in a Waxing Gibbous phase. This phase is when the moon is more than 50% illuminated but not yet a Full Moon. The phase lasts round 7 days with the moon becoming more illuminated each day until the Full Moon. During a Waxing Gibbous the moon will rise in the east in mid-afternoon and will be high in the eastern sky at sunset. The moon is then visible though most of the night sky setting a few hour before sunrise. The word Gibbous first appeared in the 14th century and has it’s roots in the Latin word “gibbous” meaning humpbacked


Phase: Waxing Gibbous
Illumination: 98%
Moon Age: 13.41 days
Moon Angle: 0.54
Moon Distance: 367,288.85 km
Sun Angle: 0.54
Sun Distance: 147,467,663.08 km



Tomorrow’s Night Full Moon Is A Supermoon

What Is a Supermoon?

A Supermoon happens when a Full Moon or New Moon coincides with the Moon’s closest approach to Earth; also called perigee.
A Super Full Moon looks around 12% to 14% bigger than its counterpart, the Micromoon.

Next Supermoon December 2017
The next Supermoon will be on December 3, 2017.

The Supermoon on November 14, 2016, was the closest since January 26, 1948. The next time a Full Moon will come even closer to Earth is on November 25, 2034 (dates based on UTC time).

Perigee and Apogee
The Moon’s orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle, but elliptical, with one side closer to Earth than the other.

As a result of the Moon’s elliptical orbit, the distance between the Moon and Earth varies throughout the month and the year. On average the distance is about 382,900 kilometers (238,000 miles).

The point on the Moon’s orbit closest to Earth is called the perigee and the point farthest away is the apogee.

Super Full Moon and Super New Moon
When a Full Moon coincides with its closest approach to Earth, it is called a Super Full Moon. A New Moon that takes place when the Moon is around its perigee is known as a Super New Moon.

A Micromoon, on the other hand, is when a Full or a New Moon is farthest from the Earth, around apogee. It’s also known as a Minimoon, Mini Full Moon, or a Mini New Moon.

Not an Official Name
Supermoon is not an official astronomical term. It was first coined by an astrologer, Richard Nolle, in 1979. He defined it as ‘a New or a Full Moon that occurs when the Moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in its orbit’. It is not clear why he chose the 90% cut off in his definition.

There are no official rules as to how close or far the Moon must be to qualify as a Supermoon or a Micro Moon. Different outlets use different definitions. Due to this, a Full Moon classified as a Supermoon by one source may not qualify as a Super Full Moon by another.

Supermoon Definition
The following definitions are used at timeanddate.com:

Supermoon: A Full or New Moon that occurs when the center of the Moon is less than 360,000 kilometers (ca. 223,694 miles) from the center of Earth.
Micromoon: A Full Moon or New Moon that takes place when the center of the Moon is farther than 405,000 kilometers (ca. 251,655 miles) from the center of Earth.

Technical Name: Perigee-syzygy
The technical term for a Supermoon is perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. In astronomy, the term syzygy refers to the straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies.

When the Moon is close to the lunar nodes of its path during syzygy, it causes a total solar eclipse or a total lunar eclipse

Looks Bigger and Brighter
The Full Moon setting over Jobs Peak, Carson Valley, Nevada.
Because it’s so close to Earth, a Super Full Moon looks about 7% bigger than an average Full Moon. When compared to a Micromoon, it looks about 12% to 14% larger.

A Super Full Moon also looks about 30% brighter than a Micro Full Moon and about 16% brighter than an average Full Moon.

Biggest During Winter
Supermoons during Northern Hemisphere winter months tend to look larger than Supermoons that occur during the rest of the year. At this time of the year, Earth is closer to the Sun. Because of this, the Sun’s gravity pulls the Moon closer to Earth, making any winter Super Full Moons look bigger than summer Super Full Moons.

Best at Moonrise
The best time to enjoy a Super Full Moon is after moonrise when the Moon is just above the horizon, weather permitting. At this position, a Super Full Moon will look bigger and brighter than when it’s higher up in the sky because you can compare the apparent size of the Moon with elements in the landscape like hills, foliage, and buildings. This effect is called the Moon Illusion.

Higher Tides at Supermoon
The greatest difference between high and low tide is around Full Moon and New Moon. During these Moon phases, the gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun combine to pull the ocean’s water in the same direction. These tides are known as spring tides or king tides.

Supermoons lead to around 5 cm (2 inches) larger variation than regular spring tides, called perigean spring tides.

The tidal range is smallest during the 2 Quarter Moons, known as neaps or neap tide.

Natural Disaster Trigger?
Although the Sun and the Moon’s alignment cause a small increase in tectonic activity, the effects of the Supermoon on Earth are minor. Many scientists have conducted studies, and they haven’t found anything significant that can link the Super Moon to natural disasters.

According to NASA, the combination of the Moon being at its closest and at Full Moon, should not affect the internal energy balance of the Earth since there are lunar tides every day.



Next Up…

Your Survival Guide for Saturdays!