Happy Winter Solstice! We have crossed that threshold into the ‘last’ season of the natural year, in all its cyclic dance of impermanence. While one might think of winter as a time of darkness, its cardinal commencement marks the slow return of light, length to the day, nourishment to the indwelling spirit.
As fire signs give way to earth, so the living metaphor of the seasons’ waxing and waning light points to the Divine becoming enfleshed, spirit becoming ensouled, some intimation of the Logos finding foothold in the sensory world. Here, the third and final fire sign of the zodiac, the mutable fire of Sagittarius, gives way to the third and final earth sign, the cardinal earth of Capricorn.
In addition to beginning with the darkest day of the year, the Winter Solstice is also implicitly the first day of Capricorn, whose terrestrial domain is Saturn’s ‘feminine’ or yin home — both a mysticism and indulgence nourished, as much as a cool asceticism or a stoic denial. Such is the paradox of both the stingy Grinch and a bacchanalian excess.
With Saturn presently domiciled in its yang home of Aquarius, cerebral restructuring, rampant revolution and reckless reorganization run rife. (rrrrrr, digital pirates! aye… or did I mean AI?)
From there, the Star of Kronos dispatches a stellium of planets — Sun, Mercury and Venus — in their yin home of Capricorn ruled by said Saturn. They hold the mystery of not simply Cap’s stereotypical scaffolding, upward mobility or hierarchic hand, but a sort of ‘headless body’ as Austin Coppock put it, with sight through the feet; or the Queen of Disks, one might feel, her head turned away as she surveys the land. A stoic sage as much as a capricious climber, biding time, preparing.
Our paths in the material world are being ever reconfigured by ongoing transformations of how we value creativity, identity, relationships, energy expenditure, work — what ‘metrics’ the mind might measure these by while mired in society, with all the swirling chatter of binary code and changing novelties consumed and discarded. Saturn’s past five years across its homes of Capricorn and Aquarius, coming to an end in March, have seen societal power structures particularly emphasized and shaken up, with Jupiter at times lending a benevolent reprieve.
The Jupe-Saturn dichotomy of expansion and contraction, coherence and negation, consumption and forgoing, aiming for the heavens while minding one’s foothold… is emphasized not just from the translation of Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius to Saturn-ruled Capricorn, but also the exact Sun-Jupiter square taking place today, December 21st, 2022.
This solstice is particularly potent in the ‘cardinal’ sense. The Sun, by default at 0° Capricorn on this day, is squaring Jupiter which just reentered Aries after a two-month dip back into its nocturnal home of Pisces. With an ~11.8 year orbit around the Sun, Jupiter spends about a year in each sign, but typically not in one straight shot. The ‘Bringer of Jollity’ spent May 10th through October 28th traversing only the first decan (10°) of Aries, a face that has to do with spirited if not nascent torch-bearing as we forge forward — and one of the implicit severing involved in making any decision. And there it has entered once again.
‘One door closes, another opens’ is a message of changing fortune, waves that crest, peaks that are reached once again. But beyond the presentation of opportunity, the act of willfully walking through one door implicitly severs us from another. Every act is martial in a way, violent even — attention is cast one place and not another, feelings are privately hurt, unseen organisms are crushed underfoot. “Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born” as David Eagleman put it.
With the Sun at 0° Capricorn square to Jupiter at 0° Aries, we have a brusque forging forward, and one that might ask something be cut or burned away as much as boldly embraced. Cardinal signs are instigating, representing in ways a kind of ‘generation’ on the lefthand side, and a ‘preparation’ on the right. Traditionally, cardinal signs were considered as ‘undifferentiated’ as they were generative or project-starting; alongside the sometimes squirrelly nature of mutable signs, thwarted cardinality or cardinal hoarding can look like a lot of ideas that haven’t quite gotten off the ground, projects in the shed and strewn across the yard.
Mars in Gemini rules Jupiter’s ingress back into Aries, the red planet’s ongoing retrograde (which ends January 12th) highlighting inner duality and multiplicity of paths within and without — so there may be a call to clarify singularity of application, consolidate efforts, or even level with ourselves where self-deception may be occurring. But we might also have to push through, octopus-armed in our endeavors as we continue to integrate an era ever-drowning us in excess stimuli.
That said, the gusto needed to make big changes is available, if you have the Sun-Jupiter bigness of spirit, generosity to self and other (forgiveness included), and the courage to sever or build away from what is not in service to a greater coherence. Fruits of the spirit are easily radiated right now, but an unconscious hubris might also present itself. Sun-Jupiter can amplify excess grandiosity as much as constructively building towards the big picture. The road ahead may be uncertain, but confident strides can summon success with their affirming expectation, not unlike the astronomical Jupiter’s electromagnetic field shields Earth from asteroids and space debris.
Blessings sometimes come by way of both action and withholding, bringing together and severing, something one might feel is sung by Jupiter in Aries square to the Sun in Capricorn.
More to come on Friday’s New Moon. Swim well, stargazers ~
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