This December, beauty, art, design, creativity, spirituality and love all raise the spirit. In December, Venus in adventurous and outgoing Sagittarius will create a strong response to beauty, art, spirituality and love that should boost your wellbeing, sense of belonging, ambition and purpose in life.

The Gemini Full Moon on December 4th will offer the opportunity either to return to an old haunt; or to move on from old and tired circumstances, stimulating debate and discussion about the chance to bring diversity into your life. This Full Moon will coincide with Mercury turning retrograde, making this month a particular turning point for Geminis, Sagittarians, Virgos and Pisces, and those with prominent astrological points in these signs. Reviewing and consolidating circumstances will appeal, bringing a deeper understanding of your priorities, which will help you to move forward with exciting plans into 2018.

The New Moon on December 18th will characterise another theme this month: that events may be a double-edged sword. This theme will result from growing pains that are inevitably associated with change. In other words, where you must shed an old skin and embrace the new, there will be adjustments to make that may be challenging. The New Moon will be in Sagittarius, stimulating your sense of adventure and thirst for knowledge and advancement. Such interests as travel, broadening spiritual understanding, and sports will be attractive, and yet events may also highlight where in life things are simply not perfect. This will be a call to strengthen your abilities and resolve to conquer weakness and lack of knowledge.

The tense aspect between the New Moon and 'wounded healer' Chiron will stress this important fact: the toughest times are often those that lead to a breakthrough. Luckily, the grounding effect of Saturn later in December will help you come to grips with an element of your life that will benefit from more structure and stability over the next few years. And, with Venus stepping into practical Capricorn on Christmas Day, love and friendship will figure strongly into the New Year. Persist and you will attain a goal in readiness for exciting new prospects in 2018.

Patsy Bennett has been a professional astrologer for over 20 years and is the author of 'Astrology: Secrets of the Moon', the 2018 Astrology Diary and the Zodiac Reading Card oracle set, published this month by Rockpool Publishing.