As Above, So Below: December Edition

Astrological cultural commentary by your favorite actresses, Ruby McCollister & Mercedes Kilmer

Art: Jack Koloskus
Ruby McCollister and Mercedes Kilmer
sag awards

Astrology is an ancient cosmological tool. Previously revered as an esoteric “gentleman’s art,” over the past century it has been bottled and sold based on its most basic promise — to get your attention by talking, however abstractly, all about YOU. Yet past the boring individualism of horoscopes, astrology is a technology that reflects the rhythm of our collective culture. Transits of the planets correlate to fashion trends, government policies, the opening and closing of mediocre New York restaurants, or even your forthcoming divorce — it's all there, in man’s interpretation of the stars. To understand the stars is to take power in your hands, gaze at it, and dare to ask it: are JNCO jeans really being advantageously worn by Gen Z?

Ruby McCollister and Mercedes Kilmer, both actresses raised in Los Angeles, have studied astrology their whole lives, through books and real-life experience. (Acting and astrology go swimmingly hand in hand as they’re both tools of interpretation.) Each month, Ruby and Mercedes will offer you a charismatic read analyzing cultural patterns and personal reflections as told through the stars. After all, as any guy who has read a bunch of chaos magick books will tell you: As Above, So Below.


Venus, the planet of beauty and abundance, moved into Capricorn (the business manager of the zodiac) in November, creating a sobering effect. It’s no wonder that the most high-profile legal verdicts of 2021 are happening under this influence.

We embark on visions of upgrade, as the bohemian waters of Venus plummet into the aggressive action and struggle-oriented zodiac of Capricorn. Things MOVE under this influence. The elusive and random phrase “down to brass tacks” comes to mind.

But wait, there’s more — Venus goes retrograde on December 18, creating an EVEN MORE SOBERING EFFECT. But this retrograde also creates a much-needed period of our collective and personal dreaming processes. It’s the time to start food diaries, New Age regimes, elimination programs, or micro-needling. We plan for the beautification of the future. We recognize — as all Capricorns repeatedly show us — that we must work to see results. But it is important to make these plans before Venus goes retrograde, which will provide a hibernation period. Take initiative and act NOW.


Remember, whatever must happen will, but you must be dedicated — sign on the dotted line and show up for your own goals.

Culture during this time may be at a standstill. It’s a perfect time for everyone to go inside — perfect for the wintertime melancholy — and begin creating their own projects.

Once Venus moves into Aquarius in March, giving a glamorous partnership to her sugar daddy Saturn, we will all feel like singing “Happy Birthday” naked to an imaginary sexy authority figure. And thanks to Venus in Capricorn this winter, we will be drop dead gorgeous and ready to indulge. So book appointments, scour Groupon, kiss the long-standing mirage and disappointment of this past summer goodbye and say hello to a new you!

December also welcomes a total solar eclipse in Sagittarius.


Ah yes, eclipses: those bizarre Wizard of Oz-like occurrences in the sky that, in a strobe-like flash, can change everything!

On December 4, there is a total solar eclipse in Sagittarius, evoking wild fantasies of foreign travel and innovative dreams. This is the last eclipse of the year, bookending the previous lunar eclipse in Taurus in November.


This eclipse on December 4 reminds us to review our desires, our communities, and what we can depend on going forward in this year.

The Sun enters Sagittarius on November 22. The Sagittarius is a mythical being with the torso of a man, the body of a horse, the wings of a bird and the tail of a dragon. Not content to just stop there, he is aiming a bow and arrow at something, always eager to incorporate more, to set his sights further. Brilliant astrologer Chris Reppuci once told me that if Gemini is a dancer and a banker, Sagittarius is a dancing banker. With the Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Sagittarius at the start of the month, we might want to say yes to every opportunity and put a piece of every dessert on our plate. But look out for Venus in Capricorn; she wants to make connections and have fun too, but in the harsh dark winter of Capricorn she is anxious, practical and lean. She is whispering to us to go ahead and live it up, but make it count forever. She knows you can wake up after the Sagittarius party guiltily buying a Groupon for Pilates and a grapefruit juice and vowing to take care of yourself and do everything right this time, or you can wake up having made friends with your future boss.

Sagittarius is about amassing, incorporating and accepting, while Capricorn is about actually building. When Venus and Pluto conjoin in Capricorn on the 10th, there will be an opportunity to transform the fundamental architecture of our social relations towards something more practical and permanent. This might feel irreconcilable with the optimism and acceptance of the Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius, especially because the two signs are right next to each other in the zodiac. The planets in these signs can’t form any aspects or lines of communication to one another. But all these planets grouped together are like a locomotive wheel that picks up momentum and achieves balance via speed. Let’s let Venus lend her artistic touch to functional architecture for once, and let the Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius dream big and gather inspiration from everywhere to build a gorgeous future. With Venus in Capricorn I’m getting into wine, I’m going to do cocaine not for fun but to work more efficiently, and I’m going to get painful facials that make me temporarily uglier. I’m going to fall in love with myself and demonstrate it by nagging.

There might also be some tension between this all-ages-no-cover party in Sagittarius and the strategic laser focus of Mars in Scorpio during the first half of the month. On December 7, Mars will form a square to Jupiter in Aquarius, sending a jolt of forceful intention and merciless precision towards innovating belief structures. Mars’s influence on Sagittarius’s ruler could result in some dogmatic convictions and hot-tempered confidence. Mars is walking miles to your door to tell you God loves you and we are all his children, but if you don’t join our mailing list you will burn in Hell. He’s moving to an ashram in Sedona to spite his coastal-elite parents. He can give us the drive and focus to penetrate the bounty of opportunities presented in Sagittarius and the radical new thought patterns generated by Jupiter in Aquarius, but Venus in Capricorn cautions us against blind, brash fanaticism.

The Full Moon on December 18 illuminates the theme of splitting vs. consolidating. The Solar Eclipse/ New Moon on the third plants a seed in the abundant soil of Sagittarius. By the Full Moon on the 18th, it is time to behold and take stock of the tree that has grown... and then chop it up. This is a great time for pruning back overgrowth related to any endeavors begun on the third. We all struggle to balance the desire to consolidate and separate, to compute information based on similarities or differences. In the zodiac, the mutant everything-but-the-kitchen-sink beast of Sagittarius is opposite the separate Twins of Gemini for this reason, to provide the possibility of perfect harmony between these two parts of the psyche. When the Sun and Moon oppose each other here, they illuminate and draw attention to this axis. The house, or areas of life affected by these lunations, will depend on your rising sign. To anyone reading this, you can DM me your rising sign and I will tell you. For me, Pisces rising, this Full Moon illuminates separateness in my subconscious that affects my ability to be accepting and optimistic of work opportunities. I have a friend who is a Capricorn rising: for her this Full Moon illuminates a schism or paradox in her work environment and habits which affects her ability to openly and optimistically approach her mental health.

On December 22, the Sun enters Capricorn. Focus shifts to practical long-term planning and material stability. He joins Mercury, Pluto and Venus here, and that locomotive wheel rolls decidedly forward. In the terrain of Capricorn, Mercury’s mental agility gets squeezed into a long range blueprint with a reverence for tradition. Mercury conjoins Venus on the 29th: your cue to read the literary canon, write a grant for arts funding, and propose to your girlfriend.

To close out the month, Jupiter takes a lovely swim back into his domicile Pisces. This should feel like a breath of fresh air after he has been constricted by the weird cerebral domain of Aquarius. Wise, expansive Jupiter is finally back in the land of collective consciousness and the dreamscape. We had a little preview of this from May 14 to July 28, when Jupiter briefly retrograded into Pisces, so we can see some reprisals of whatever was going on during that time. Suffice it to say, there is a lot to be optimistic about! Happy Holidays!

December Transits

12/7: Mars square Jupiter (20 degrees Scorpio/Aquarius)

12/10: Venus conjunct Pluto (25 degrees Capricorn)

12/13: Mercury in Capricorn

12/15: Mars conjunct South Node (1 degree Sagittarius)

12/18: Full Moon in Gemini

12/19: Venus Retrograde (26 degrees Capricorn)

12/21: Sun in Capricorn

12/25: Christmas 🎄

12/28: Jupiter in Pisces

12/29: Merc conjunct Venus (24 degrees Capricorn)

Ruby McCollister and Mercedes Kilmer are both actresses raised in Los Angeles.