This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath―Margaret Atwood.
The days before the shortest day of the year are shaped by the honest starkness of winter. Colours seem brighter, a flurry of buttery-yellow gorse, a russet flash of a fox daintily picking her way across a glistening frosty field, a tangle of burnished bracken, the glossy green boughs of holly, the silouette of a red deer―all reminders that in the darkness of winter, life begins anew.
On December 21st, a new Sun is conceived in the dark womb of the heavens. It quickens and stirs at Imbolc (Candlemas), to be resurrected in the urgent thrust of Aries accompanied by a melody of green shoots and delicate blossoms at the Vernal Equinox.
Anchored to the restless tail wind of strikes and industrial action sweeping across the UK, the Sun and Moon meet in stoic Capricorn on December 23rd. This final New Moon of 2022 makes a determined square to Jupiter in energetic Aries, as we steady ourselves, prepare for change. This Saturn-ruled lunation reminds us that like the animals who survive in what is left of their natural habitat, in the dark of the year, we must gather our resources, prepare for lean times, adapt, to grow in ways we never dreamed were possible. New Moons are times of conception, transitional moments, times when the heartbeat of heaven resounds through the blackness of the night skies. New Moons signify endings and brave new beginnings, that may be overlooked in our brightly lit, forward-thrusting lives.
Capricorn is an earth sign, a sign that is associated with the quiet alchemy of winter, with lean times and stoic determination. The essence of Capricorn is structure, so amidst our midwinter rituals, this is a perfect time for putting things in order, preparing for a spiritual or physical metamorphosis.
For some this may be a lonely wintering. A period of poignant, painful anniversaries of the heart. A fallow time of scant resources. For some, the protracted dying of a relationship may rachet up the strength to shrug off a life that now feels too small, too tight. For others, this festive season may be a time of joyful celebration, as we welcome a new baby into the family, or reunite with a much-loved friend.
Mercury swings into reverse on December 29th (24° Capricorn) a Retrograde cycle that lasts till January 18th 2023. This is a reminder, as we re-imagine our future lives to focus on what we can “realistically” manage.
A slow-burning Gemini Mars Rx (retrograde) exacerbates residual frustration as our will may be thwarted by those things we simply cannot control. Mars Rx often signifies an internal war. Those unsettling “climates of feeling” that author Anne Morrow Lindbergh describes so beautifully. Amidst the last minute shopping, the wrapping of gifts, take time to rest, hone a sense of humour, be kind. Mars in Gemini has been in a murky square with Neptune in Pisces since October, and will make a final square in March, though Mars moves direct (8° Gemini) on January 12th, reigniting embers of hope, a latent passion, clarity, as we rise above the mists of confusion.
With both Mercury and Mars moving Retrograde, we may feel burnt-out, fractious, an illness may confine us to bed, redressing an imbalance of energy, depending on what area of our birth chart they are now traversing back and forth.
There’s a deeper message contained here, said so simply by the Buddhist monk, Haemin Sunim: When everything around me is moving so fast, I stop and ask, “is it the world that’s busy, or is it my mind?”
Thank you all for all your love and support during this year now almost gone. Wishing you a restorative and hope-filled Solstice.
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Welcome in the new calendar year with a deeply nourishing exploration of the astrological weather forecast for 2023, combined with inner reflection, poetry, music and art.
Stories Written in the Stars Friday January 6th, 2023, 10.30 AM PST and 6.30 pm GMT.
Join me, and mythologist Dr Kayleen Asbo, poet Rosemary Wahtola Trommer, and artist Johanna Baruch, for an epiphany of comfort and joy, an exploration of the sky story for 2023, and a celebration of the gifts we each bring to at the turning of the year.
To register, here is the link: