Forecast for Dec. 18-31

The winter solstice accompanies the sun transiting into goal-oriented Capricorn on the 21st, which means it’s time to get your New Year’s resolutions in gear. Then investigations and research are favored by the sun-Pluto conjunction on the 22nd. Practical actions and ideas are further energized by some earthy influences, including Mars entering Capricorn on the 26th, Mercury trining Saturn on the 26th, the new moon in Capricorn on the 27th and Mars merging with Pluto on the 28th. Business ventures get a boost from the Mercury-Jupiter merger on the 31st, but Saturn moving retrograde from the 31st through May 15 will prompt some backtracking over business plans. The sole idealistic light in this sensible gathering is the Venus-Neptune conjunction in Aquarius on the 27th, which illuminates spiritual connections in relationships.

If you know your rising sign from your time of birth, read that too.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

A cadre of career influences, including the new moon, energizes your reputation and brings kudos for your expertise. Networking with colleagues can open doors. In the love arena, romance may be found/enhanced through friendly gatherings.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Bulls can expect some intuitive promptings from the new moon and other cosmic energies that will guide their direction in 2009. Cultural, spiritual and educational activities can bring opportunities over the next month or so.

Gemini (May 21-June 21)

The new moon and other practical influences energize your financial-assistance sector and may prompt you to deal with debt or seek out an investor for your project. In romance, passion heats up but emotional walls can keep intimacy at bay.

Cancer (June 22-July 22)

Think in terms of two. Partnership activities are energized by the new moon and other influences, which favor romantic trysts as well as working with your significant other or business partner on professional projects.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Professional projects can take over your life during the next month as the new moon launches a new cycle in your work sector. Mars also energizes your work and prompts you to accelerate your exercise routine as well.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Set aside work and focus on fun as the new moon and other heavenly bodies rev up romance and risk-taking over the next few weeks, which can prompt a leap of faith in a relationship, creative project or business opportunity.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

The powerful focus from the new moon and other homey influences energize family interactions and home projects over the next month or so. A creative idea or romantic opportunity may surprise you around the 27th.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Your way with words can accelerate romance and bring professional opportunities after the new moon and beyond. You’ll need to tame argumentative Mars, though. Travel and networking can open doors as well.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Your finances get a hefty helping of prosperity from the new moon and Mars, which can bring a solid moneymaking opportunity. However, idealistic Archers will need a grounded approach to take advantage of these influences.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Cosmic energies are aligned to hand you the brass ring you’ve been seeking in your personal and/or personal life. Sharing who you are and promoting your projects after the new moon will help manifest your goals.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

A brilliant flashlight, via the new moon and other influences, is illuminating your unconscious so you can resolve blocks that hold you back. Meditation and dream analysis will accelerate your inner awakening.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Socializing skyrockets as the new moon and other cosmic forces present opportunities through friends and group endeavors. Your humanitarian side is being awakened as well, which may get you involved in a community project.