As the sun bleaches the blue from southern skies and a chorus of cicadas celebrate midsummer, the old Sun sinks wearily onto the cold belly of the earth at the midwinter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. We’ve reached the still point of the year.
Nature contracts, exposing an uncompromising knot-work of bare branches and stubble fields, and as the primordial pulse of the year stirs deep in our blood and bones, we might sense a slow, steady certainty moving through our body. The Solstice is the promise of life-giving light and rebirth. On Friday, December 21st at 22:22 GMT, we have the opportunity to pause, to realign, to plant new intentions that will ripen at the next Solstice on June 21st, 2019.
As the old year dies and the light of the sun rises again at dawn, if we look to the East, we may see Jupiter in Sagittarius, in conjunction with Mercury. Venus in Scorpio shimmers in a sweep of tangerine early morning sky as she makes a graceful trine to Neptune. Together these celestial messengers bring gifts of a new perspective, empathic and compassionate relating, and an appreciation for beauty, if we look beneath the ordinary, search for a chink of light.
The Sun’s last three aspects before it changes sign at 22:22 GMT on Friday, December 21st, are a square to Chiron (28º Pisces) on December 19th and the seamless embrace of a trine to Uranus (29º Aries). A tense quincunx to the Nodes in the cardinal Cancer/Capricorn polarity offers the opportunity to initiate change, to make adjustments in those areas of our lives connected to our home, our sense of security, our belonging. Now we can release limiting beliefs and futile striving, to embrace those things that nourish and sustain. Chiron represents a sacred wound, a painful prompting that leads us to us to a place where we would rather not go. An emotional or physical wound that will never heal, but that we can only bear with compassion and with understanding. Be tender and kind as a sudden remembrance leans against the bruise in our heart, or that familiar ache draws us back into our body. Amidst the tinnitus of the festive season, we may recognise and embrace a wounding that has been festering for years. In the days before the Solstice, there’s an opportunity for repair, for reconciliation, for release and liberation, if we trust the instruction of our heart. John O’ Donohue writes, “this is the time to be slow, lie low to the wall until the bitter weather passes…”
The belly of the Moon swells this week.
On Saturday the Moon (1º Cancer) opposes the Sun and sextiles Uranus. The Moon is in her own sign. With Cancer associated with the element of water, this lunation may heighten our instinctual response, amplify our emotion, sensitise our attunement to the unseen realms. Cancer is the Magna Mater, the Great Mother. The symbolism embraces all that brings us nourishment, comfort and safety. There’s a sepia-coloured nostalgia that infuses this lunation. A longing for a childhood that perhaps never existed. For delicious home cooked food and indolent afternoons stretched out on the sofa in front of the fire. For families gathered around a festive table. It’s a longing exploited by advertisers, and that compels us to buy those things that we want but don’t need. This lunation is a precursor of the eclipse season which begins on January 6th with a solar eclipse at 15º Capricorn. Full Moons bring culmination. They illuminate aspects of our lives and depending on where this Full Moon falls in your own birth chart, you may be instinctively led to those things that bring comfort and joy, nurture and safety.
Yet, this Full Moon illuminates an uncomfortable contradiction—amidst the excess and the exuberance of Christmas, there are millions of people who live their lives in the shadows of society. The old, the homeless, the working poor we summons from Uber and Deliveroo.
Capricorn is associated with the Father Archetype, with patriarchy and with the hard work of getting down to business. As Britain struggles to Keep Calm and Carry On in the face of an existential crisis, as walls rise around nations, and divisive thinking segregates, this lunation is a reminder of Cancer’s affinity with nurture and tenderness. This is an energising marriage that could be a cameo of things yet to come, as the heavenly bride and groom cross the threshold into the new year. Cancer is all heart and with the Moon at home, there’s a need to shut out the world, cocoon in soulful, familiar surroundings. Cancer is about family, simple pleasures. The focus is Home and Family, and the mood is tender and vulnerable. Capricorn brings a moral awakening toughened with pragmatism. An injunction that that every thought, every action, has consequences. A reminder that even in our light-filled lives, there is an inevitability some call Fate, others call death.
As ageing populations face the inevitability of death, the conundrum of euthanasia and the human right to die with dignity must be addressed. As the ghost of Jacob Marley brings us glimpses of Christmases past and present, and still yet to come, we may awaken this Solstice with more awareness and more integrity, sobered by the spectre of climate change, animal abuse, unemployment and homelessness.
May we cross the threshold into this new year with light footprints and generous loving hearts. Blessings and Love this Solstice!
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