My holiday revelry has been light, kicked off with a solstice cradled by the Moon’s peaceful exaltation in Taurus, and blissfully continued through a fulfilling Cancer Full Moon opposite Sol in Capricorn. Evenings spent with all manner of loved ones, sharing stories, enjoying wine and Opeth’s chocolatey 25th Anniversary stout from Northern Monk. Yesss.
Cycles and Seasons
Just as the inhalation of Spring gives way to the full lungs of Summer, the exhalation of Fall gives way to the empty lungs of Winter. Breath drawn inward nurtures the emergent ‘sense of self’ and ‘self-development’ characteristic of Spring and Summer signs, its movement outward the orientation around ‘relationship’ and ‘the world’ associated with Fall and Winter signs.
Cardinal signs instigate the seasons, representing generation on the left and preparation on the right — the groundwork laid and led by. Fixed signs are the focused center of the seasons, representing transformation on the left and concentration on the right — the ‘cherubic’ stretch. Mutable signs are the adaptive end of the seasons, representing reintegration on the left and dissemination on the right, synthesizing the lessons of each season.
The Winter Solstice holds the longest night of the year, with the light increasing by one minute a day each day thereafter. Conversely, Cancer’s commencement of Summer holds the most light while announcing its slow waning. Every moment of exaltation is bound up with inevitable change — rise and decline dancing forever. Each of us contain countless narratives, and for every wave’s trough a following crest, if not in this lifetime then in the next.
From Full Moon to New Year
Christmas’ Full Moon in Cancer activated the Cancer-Capricorn axis, putting activity in all four cardinal images. This pair of opposing signs refers most immediately to home (Cancer) and work (Capricorn), and the internal and external ‘domains’ our souls find expression in. Cancer’s enduring associations with home, the roots, nurture and subversive sources of emotional comfort express the ‘down and in of the yin’ (water, warm and wet), while Capricorn’s longstanding associations with career, the consummate work, organization and aesthetic perfection express the ‘down and out of the yin’ (earth, cold and dry).
Astrologers often describe a ‘trailblazing’ or ‘looking ahead’ quality to the yang sign dimensions of our spirits, while there is a more nostalgic and ‘remembering’ energy found in the soulful parts of us represented by yin signs. Our yang aspects are usually quicker to move beyond or disassociate from past ills, whereas our yin aspects are often prone to harboring resentment.
The Sea Goat is perhaps unique among the yin signs in that it is known not only for ‘looking back’ energy, but also for looking into and preparing for the future, in a blend of mundane, practical and visionary ways. This connects instinctually to Capricorn’s commencing moment of least sunlight in the year, which then mounts a minute per day. This solar, ‘looking ahead’ energy is thus the spirit fortifying itself against the elements. It is the Goat’s inward cultivation of the light it is surrounded by a void of, in slow, persevering ascent.
From the Cancer Full Moon in its domicile (sign of rulership) to its current placement in Leo, December’s close seems to maintain a warmth in multiple ways. Luna’s activation of a Grand Fire Trine to Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Sagittarius extends from the evening of Sunday December 27th into today. This might summon a sudden re-visioning of the heart’s goals and focuses, or the reemergence of a dream or desire which seems to ‘transcend’ or come ‘bigger than’ obstacles of the past month. Despite this, the approaching exactitude of the square from Mars in Libra to Mercury in Capricorn might bring diplomatic tension… all this going into the coming week of Venus’ entry to Sagittarius and Mars' entry to Scorpio. Frictional heat might be a better forecast than mere warmth!
From cancerian themes of home and roots to leonine themes of creation, children and bloodline, the heart activation of this season’s beginning is pronounced. As the Sun approaches Pluto in Capricorn, listen for the lineage of your spirit, the shedding of skin and soulful transformation.
Now, an excerpt from Spirited Away, a masterpiece by Hayao Miyazaki, whose Grand Fire Trine is another we will explore in coming days…
Chihiro: Haku, listen… I just remembered something from a long time ago… I think it may help you. Once, when I was little, I dropped my shoe into a river… and when I tried to get it back, I fell in. I thought I’d drowned, but the water carried me to shore. It finally came back to me… the river’s name was the Kohaku River. I think that was you! Your real name is the Kohaku River!
[ Haku transorms into a boy again, shedding away his dragon skin. The two fall from the sky, holding each other's hands. ]
Haku: You did it Chihiro… I remember, I was the spirit of the Kohaku River! My name is the Kohaku River.
Chihiro: They filled in that river, it’s all apartments now…
Haku: That must be why I can’t find my way home, Chihiro... yes, I remember you falling into me.
Chihiro: So you were the one who carried me back into calm waters, Kohaku… you saved me! I knew your spirit is good!