If the intensity of the moment has you feeling restless, overwhelmed, or thoroughly electrified and eager to step into the future, you're simply feeling the eclipse season vibes. With last month's lunar eclipse and full moon in Taurus behind us, this month hosts a doozy of a Sagittarius new moon. Not only is it the last new moon of 2021, but it'll also occur at the same time as the final solar eclipse of the year and the last eclipse in a series occurring on the Sagittarius-Gemini axis that began back in June 2020. As a result, you could be feeling an air of finality.
Ruled by Jupiter, the planet of abundance and excess, this lunar event — hosted by the Archer and occurring on December 3-4 at 2:42 a.m. ET/11:42 p.m. PT — magnifies your ability to embrace and speak your truth while amplifying nervous energy and promoting a hardworking, rational point of view.
Here are all the details and how you can best navigate December 2021's Sagittarius new moon and solar eclipse.
The Power of Solar Eclipses
First, a few new moon — and solar eclipse — basics. The opposite of a full moon, a new moon, occurs when the moon is not illuminated by the sun from our perspective on Earth, meaning it's not visible to us at all. And that dark, blank sky can function almost like a vision board on which you can envision and pin your hopes, dreams, and goals. Every month - and very rarely, twice a month - the new moon presents an opportunity to get clear on long-term intentions and projects.
During a solar eclipse, not only do you get a deep, black sky as a result of the moon's position, but the moon also casts a shadow on the sun. This creates even more of a "blank slate" on which you can project your long-term wishes. And because the sun will conjunct (aka pair up with) the moon during a solar eclipse — versus opposing it, as it does during a lunar eclipse — it brings your purpose, identity, and confidence (ruled by the sun) in sync with your emotions and intuition (overseen by the moon). This can make for a powerfully motivating moment in which you could feel deeply compelled to take initiative to change course and move in a whole new direction. (See: What Your Moon Sign Means About Your Personality and Life Path)
New moons are often the jumping off point for a particular narrative in your life, and that's especially true for shakeup-bringing solar eclipses. Every eclipse is part of a series of eclipses happening in opposing signs, and each event in the series often serves as markers in a larger journey. You might begin to think about leaving a relationship, have a fight, separate, move, and end it for good, only to later realize all the twists and turns that eventually added up to a major life change occurred in tune with eclipses.
This solar eclipse is the final event in the Sagittarius and Gemini series, which began on June 5, 2020. It included a lunar eclipse in Gemini on November 30, 2020, a solar eclipse that happened on December 14, 2020, a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on May 26, 2021, and solar eclipse in Gemini on June 10, 2021. Themes of this series: soaking up knowledge, sharing information, and checking your belief systems.
Even if this solar eclipse isn't connecting in a significant way with your natal chart (more on that in a moment), you'll likely notice that it feels more like a full moon in that it can be emotionally-charged and shocking. But new moons — and especially eclipses — serve as crucial astrological "checkpoints" for launching into uncharted but ultimately rewarding territory. (Related: Why You Should Consider Astrology Even If You're a Nonbeliever)
Working with an Eclipse vs. a Full Moon
Around a regular new moon, you might make an attempt to gain clarity on long-term dreams, goals, and big-picture projects. You'll open a therapist or loved one, journal, light a candle, or do a visualization practice in an attempt to pinpoint what you want to achieve and then set a powerful intention. But when you're dealing with a new moon and solar eclipse, the energy is so intense that it's thought of as unwieldy. It's not really meant to be "worked with" through rituals so much as you're urged to let go and open yourself up to whatever the event is meant to bring you.
For example, eclipses — even those that coincide with new moons, like this one — are known for serving as the backdrop for relationships ending, relocation, career changes, or major family or financial drama — occurrences that significantly change up the landscape of a part of your life. That said, if an eclipse is interacting with your birth chart in a significant way, it's less a matter of figuring out how to channel its power and more so giving yourself over to its game-changing effect.
This isn't to say that you couldn't possibly be inspired to do something concrete (think: prioritizing healthy meal prep if the eclipse is hitting your sixth house of wellness and daily routine or signing up for an online course if it's in your ninth house of higher learning). It's more that there's no prescribed must-dos for eclipse; it's more about engaging in the activity that's most centering for you.
Themes of the December 2021 Sagittarius New Moon
People whose birth chart features Sagittarius placements tend to be natural born entertainers and free-spirited adventurers who are all about living life to the fullest. They're perpetual students of life who strive to broaden their horizons and relentlessly chase after eye-opening experiences. They can also be brash, direct, and susceptible to proselytizing. Mutable in nature, Sag is capable of taking new info into consideration and switching gears when necessary.
Regardless of its aspects to other planets, Sagittarius new moons typically ask you to pinpoint your truth, stand in your sense of self, and share how you feel in a fully unfiltered way. Because this is a new moon and solar eclipse — and because the moon will tightly conjunct information-gathering Mercury (they'll be just three degrees apart in the sky), you'll be driven even more intensely to think and act in a bold, fiery, knowledge-seeking Sagittarian way and to stand up for everything you hold dear. You'll want to speak from the heart and the head, pushing for a new beginning that feels truly adventurous, free-spirited, and in line with your core belief system. (See: What Your Moon Sign Means About Your Personality and Life Path)
Speaking of Saturn and Uranus, the two power playing planets have been squaring off against one another all year, highlighting our collective need to push forward and spur progress and change (Uranus) versus attempts to cling to the past and maintain the status quo (Saturn). On December 24, they'll square one another for the third and last time in 2021. Major aspects between two outer planets, such as this square, nod to long-term trends and patterns for society overall, so the final square on Christmas Eve could mark a moment in which we really feel the weight of the push-pull between new versus old, rebellion versus status quo. And this solar eclipse, falling in freedom-loving Sag and interacting with both Saturn and Uranus, echoes that message.
On a more personal level, you could feel torn between wanting to cling to what you know all while realizing it's time to release what's no longer working and fully embrace a new reality.
Who the Sagittarius New Moon Will Affect the Most
If you were born under the sign of the Archer — approximately November 22 to December 21 — or with your personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars) in Sag (something you can learn from your natal chart), you'll undoubtedly feel the power of this eclipse and feel driven to initiate a game plan or move the ball forward on an existing endeavor. More specifically, if you have a personal planet that falls within five degrees of the eclipse (12 degrees Sagittarius), the need for change — or actual shifts — will be especially apparent.
Similarly, those born in fellow mutable signs Gemini (mutable air), Virgo (mutable earth), and Pisces (mutable water) will feel its energy in a more intense, personal way. (BTW, if you haven't read up on your rising sign, you definitely should.)
The Spirited Takeaway
This lunar event — and the ones that preceded it in the 2020-2021 Gemini-Sag series — have likely inspired, and at times, compelled you to seek out and express your truth while navigating quite a few chaotic twists and turns. Eclipses can shake you to your core and throw wild wrenches in even the most meticulously constructed plans. The events that transpire around this time could force you to reimagine your course, a proposition that's pretty much always perceived as terrifying. But if change is inevitable, there's really no sign better than Sagittarius to lead the charge. Philosophical, pioneering, and life-loving, the audacious Archer understands that without change, you're simply stuck. And that is a fate that's far worse than being thrust into a new adventure that asks nothing more of you than to adapt.
Maressa Brown is a writer and astrologer with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to being Shape's resident astrologer, she contributes to InStyle, Parents, Astrology.com, and more. Follow her Instagram and Twitter at @MaressaSylvie.