\nDecember is here, and it begins full throttle with a full moon in Gemini on the third, which, interestingly enough, is the same day Mercury goes into retrograde. If you’re new to astrology, this might not make much sense, but no matter what you know or think or believe, the beginning of December marks an approximately three week period when we’re all about to get schooled by the force that’s greater than all of us: Life. During our yearly journey around the Sun, Mercury goes retrograde three times, for a period of about three weeks. A retrograde period means that Mercury appears to be moving backward. It isn’t literally moving backward, it only seems that way, and it’s all due to the positions of the Earth in relation to the Sun and Mercury.\nIn astrology, Mercury rules communication, travel, technology, commerce, and overall movement and chatter. Retrograde periods might mean a few weeks of misunderstood text messages, missed flights, printers going on the fritz, and mislabeled packages. This doesn’t mean that your life will be thrown into chaos, but it does mean to mind your T’s, cross your I’s, and dot your P’s and Q’s. In other words, pay attention, and maintain a sense of humor. Mercury is a trickster, and when the trickster is in the house, sometimes the joke is on you. We all get our 5 minutes of fame, and we also have our 5 minutes slipping on banana peels. It’s all good. Things will settle down after the 22nd, when Mercury goes direct again.\nSomething many of us might say at the end of the month is “well, THAT didn’t go as planned” but oh what a time we had. Lots of opportunities to peel back some layers and experience more soul-level love this month.\n \nAries\nIn the story of the tortoise and the hare, we know that pokey tortoise wins through perseverance and a steady pace. Although your Aries nature more closely resembles the hare, the first few weeks of December might have you feeling more like the tortoise. Keep your head down and stay focused, lest you miss something important and end up like a turtle on its back. It doesn’t matter that minding the details isn’t part of your fiery nature, suck it up and pause before hitting play this month. You will be glad you did later. Keep your nerves steely with some Daily Calm tea, or a little scoop of Ashwagandha powder in your morning shake.\n \nTaurus\nThis month, your one word mantra is “Comfort”, and your spirit animal is a fluffy pillow. This spirit animal will not only serve your needs in December, but will also avail itself for you to provide a safe and soft place for others to land. Creating comfort is an art form, Taurus, because it requires you to replace sharp angles with smoothness, abrasiveness with pastel sweetness, and cold corners with cozy nooks. You have probably surmised that this talk of creating comfort means cleaning up some of your personal inner emotional clutter that causes discomfort in both yourself and the people closest to you. Mercury retrograde periods are ideal for this type of housekeeping. You will feel a sense of lightness toward the end of December. A few drops of lavender essential oil in a diffuser will serve your needs well this month.\n \nGemini\nDecember begins with the full moon in your own trickster sign on the same day that your home planet Mercury decides to stir things up by moving backwards and basically showing off. As long as you don’t follow suit, Gemini, you will sail through this month without any collateral damage. It doesn’t matter how many balls, plates, and bowling pins you can normally keep in the air; this is not the time to demonstrate your amazing juggling skills. Make your lists, check them twice, practice deep breathing and meditation, and entertain yourself with a good book. Traditional Native American stories about Coyote the Trickster will provide plenty of laughs along with a few cautionary lessons. One thing at a time is your mantra. Your tea is Happy Place, and your aromas are frankincense and myrrh.\n \nCancer\nSensitive Cancerians like yourself have a tough exterior that you can use to your advantage whenever you need to. If the lights are too bright, and noises are just too noisy, demands are too heavy, and lists are too long, feel free to utilize your built-in personal shelter. You can also speak up and assert yourself, rather than retreating. Sometimes the people around you do need to pipe down, make their own dinner, and fold their own socks. The truth is that everyone feels a little extra pressure this time of year, and whether or not you need it, here is your official permission slip to be imperfect and annoyed these next few weeks. Your herb this month is Astragalus, a wonderful Chinese tonic herb that is believed to help create a shield of protection around the user from all external evils. Use it like a magical cloak.\n \nLeo\nYour overall forecast this month is pretty awesomely rock solid. There will be a few days around the Winter Solstice when the moon moves into your opposing sign of Aquarius that you might experience a little emotional kerfuffle, but other than that, Leo, you’ve got this. Your positive prognosis doesn't mean you won't get a flat tire or experience some ups and downs, but it does mean that you’ll be able to maintain your sense of Leonine Cool through it all. It’s this particular attitude that makes all the other animals in the jungle look up to you, proud that you’re their sovereign. The folks in your life will draw strength and inspiration from you, whether or not you realize it. Teas that are rich and golden (Happy Place or Lucky Morning Spice) or joyfully red (I Heart Pomegranates or Cranberry Apple Tart) will provide a well of health for you this month.\n \nVirgo\nYour ruler Mercury is in retrograde this month, so although you might experience minor glitches like everyone else, your forecast is looking pretty smooth from the 11th to the 22nd. When the moon moves into Pisces, the inner you, the You of you, might experience a feeling of expansion on the inside. You might recall, in the original Grinch Christmas show, how at the end the Grinch’s heart swelled up to the point of bursting due to all that Christmas spirit. I see a similar upwelling of soul for you, as you fill with the essence of what makes life precious to you. Life is better than good, Virgo, it’s REAL. I see visions of snickerdoodle cookie dough in your future, with hot mugs of Chai, and feelings of purpose and gratitude.\n \nLibra\nWhatever it is that keeps you going, Libra, set your focus there. Like the 3 Wise Men and the bright star that guided them, latch on to your North Star this month and follow its flickering trail. You can still accomplish everything on your to-do list because your journey is on the inside. You don’t have to sell all of your belongings, and travel in a tiny house on wheels. What you can do is make a commitment to yourself to follow what stirs and inspires you. You can work on your vision board and write in your journal and do all of the things that make you remember that fulfilling your dreams is your responsibility, and that doing so will not only make your own light brighter; your story might become a guiding star for others to follow. The scent of pure lemon essential oil will brighten your mind and help you fulfill both inner and outer to-do lists.\n \nScorpio\nThis month might find you contemplating some of life’s heavier topics. Scorpios in general have a reputation for “going there”: plumbing the depths of the human psyche in search of buried treasure, finding interesting monsters and thought-provoking unresolved issues while you’re down there. Your topic to ponder for the next few months is Time: its weight, speed, plasticity, and inevitability, and how it affects you going forward. Your one word mantra is Curation. When you adopt this mantra and apply it to your life, it will aid you in maximizing Time and filling your life with what is most dear and precious to your multicolored heart. An Elephant Never Forgets tea will provide your mind with crisp clarity and a feeling of fresh new energy. \n \nSagittarius\nYour challenge this month, Sagittarius, is knowing when you can relax, let down your defenses and be vulnerable, and when to wear your armor. Listen to your inner voice and read the world around you to know what’s best in every situation. There will be moments this month when you can even do both, to the benefit of yourself and others. Ancient Celtic warriors went into battle wearing nothing but a little paint, and it terrified their enemies. When you can’t hide behind anything, your truth becomes your strength. If you drink tea, your December picks are Rooibos blends, for extra antioxidant protection. Your aromas are tree oils: cedar, eucalyptus, juniper, and sandalwood.\n \nCapricorn\nYour birthday is on the horizon, Capricorn, the perfect time for a yearly review of your life and goals. While you do that, allow me to give you a preview of December. Keep it slow and steady for now, and avoid making big life-altering moves until the smoke clears from Mercury retrograde, around the 22nd of the month. The Sun enters your home sign on the 21st, placing the spotlight on you. You can use this extra infusion of solar power to charge your batteries, so to speak, and you can also use this to power up your goals for the upcoming year. Your key words for the last third of December are Foundation, Structure and Build. Capricorn rules the bones, which provide the structure of the body. Use what’s innately yours to build your goals for 2018. Your tea is Love My Hair, for its rich mineral content.\n \nAquarius\nHigher learning and connectivity are your key concepts this month, Aquarius. The time is ripe to expand your knowledge cache, because you never know what opportunities are on the road ahead. Be assured that there are opportunities directly in your path that you’re going to run into, but the question is: will you recognize them? The only way to know that is to expand your mind and your knowledge base now. There are no rules about what you need to study; whatever you find interesting or fascinating should do the trick. How you learn is also unimportant, as you can glean knowledge anywhere: deep conversations, YouTube videos, historical fiction, or the traditional classroom. Your mind is an open sky. Your December fragrance is rosemary.\n \nPisces\nWith so much happening this month in both the cosmos and our own lives with the holidays upon us, it’s only natural to feel slightly dizzy. Your Piscean ability to flow with the current is built into your personal “hard drive” but it’s up to you to activate the program when you need it. This month, whenever you feel stressed or anxious, I want you to visualize water, a slow and lazy river, to be precise. Picture its smooth flow meandering on its course, slipping around rocks and tree stumps, and going its merry way. Merry is our Christmas wish, and it also describes how we row our boat (merrily, because life is but a dream. It’s how you row). You know that you can add teas to your bath, right? Anxiety Relief tea can help relax any tension, both sipped and soaked in.