(Note: This chart is timed for PST and the time/rising of the chart will vary depending on your location at the time of the Winter Solstice. I've used this one because this is closest to my location.)
I was recently asked to take a look at the chart for Winter Solstice this year, and I thought it might be prudent to make this a blog post for anyone interested, and for anyone this may resonate with.
The Winter Solstice begins exactly as the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, the first official sign of winter (and diametrically opposite the first sign of summer, Cancer.) This is the day with the least amount of day light, and from this point forward, the Sun's light will begin to slowly increase. Capricorn is one of the homes (or domiciles) of Saturn, traditionally considered the Sun's enemy, and the ruler of darkness. The season of winter is one of the darkest periods of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, this is flipped for the Southern Hemisphere), which may be why it has come to be associated with Saturn. This is a time for hibernation, for resting, and for processing the events of the previous season.
As a sign, Capricorn is of the earth element, of the qualities of cold and dry. It has natural associations with death, decay and decomposition. These are darker themes, but death is an inevitability of life, and the deconstruction that is signaled through Capricorn is what will allow for the creation of fertile soil so that new things can be planted and grown in the spring. It might not be the most glamorous process but it's a necessary, vital process. It reminds us that in order for new things to take root, old things have to be released so they can return to the earth and be broken back down to their building blocks, and new structures can rise from that. This is the ultimate recycling process.
(Moon in Sagittarius collage - made by me)
The Moon will be in the sign of Sagittarius at the moment of the solstice. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, a sign of deep knowledge, seeking truth in however that looks to you - spiritual, emotional, mental, physical. As a fire sign, it touches all these different aspects. Fire is the only element that rises upward, which makes it arguably the most spiritual and intuitive of all elements (even though water famously gets that title). Over the last season, deep truths and knowing have been gathered, so now is a time to sit with this and process that learning. The moon phase is in the final stages before a new moon, which is called the balsamic phase. With the moon's light here, this is a good season to go into meditation and seek answers to the question: "So what does it all mean?" The balsamic phase is also a classic time of mourning. This is the end of a cycle, something is dying so that something new can be born. This winter is echoing back to us the importance of processing what has been lost to embrace what has been gained. What habits do we need to let go of and what new habits can replace them with instead? With the Sun and Moon unable to see each other, we might find ourselves with conflicting interests -- to daydream and to make plans. Both are valid.
The Moon's most recent aspect was a supportive trine to Jupiter, suggesting we've been feeling full of faith and hope, and inspired by the knowledge we've acquired. The Moon's next aspect is going to be an opposition to Mars retrograde in Gemini. We're rethinking the ways we used to put our energy into action and reconsidering if this is the best course, or if we need to consider different pathways. We're looking for the most direct way to share our message with others. There might be better ways to put our new wisdom into action, especially if the ways we've tried in the past weren't yielding the desired results. This should be factored into our plans.
To get even more meaning of tone of the time, we can look to the rulers of the Sun and Moon, Saturn and Jupiter, to gain more information. Saturn, as the ruler of the sign Capricorn, is in its other home sign of Aquarius. This is going to help usher in the seriousness of the time and highlight the interest in planning our next steps, and wanting to make tangible progress in some way. We've learned so much and we're ready to start putting it into action. To play with the new tools in our toolbox, so to speak. We're looking for ways to structure, crystalize and make everything more clear, to create a strong foundation for all the things we're seeking to build. Saturn is going to support this, but is going to be stingy with the materials. It's going to be essentials only, no frills, no bows. We are only going to get exactly what we need and nothing more. The house in your chart that aligns with Aquarius has been feeling restricted, held back, inhibited, in some way, and this has been primarily all of 2021 and 2022. When Saturn transitions into Pisces in March, there will be a relaxing and releasing of that part of your life.
Jupiter has just re-entered the sign of Aries, it was previously there from May 10, 2022 - Oct 28, 2022. We're retracing some ground from the last year, and Jupiter, as the Great Liberator, is looking to clear out anything that is blocking our way in the house that Aries belongs to in your chart. Sometimes the things we think are in our best interest are not, and Jupiter will release anything that isn't working out for us. This can result in changes, and sometimes a loss of some kind. It's easy to get caught up in the crisis of the moment, and to be angry, and everything we feel about it is okay. However, Jupiter asks us to put our faith into the universe and trust that there's a reason and that by closing some door, a new window is opening. The Moon and Jupiter are making a supportive (but separating) trine, which indicates this might be a period where we find it easier to feel that faith and trust in the path. We may feel this very tangibly in our bodies, where hope, faith, gratitude are flowing out of us. This is a time we might find ourselves reaching for faith, and feeling new ideas bubbling to the surface. Keep notes, write it all down because the time to put them into action will come in the Spring. This is time to feel deeper into what we've learned and continue searching for the kernels of truth, because we will find them.
(The Signs of Winter collage - made by me)
The Winter season (Dec 21 - March 21-ish) is characterized by the Sun traversing 3 zodiacal signs - Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces - the last 3 signs of the zodiac. As a temperament, this time is characterized as phlegmatic, meaning it is cold and wet. This is a time of preservation, of holding on to something, and of deep processing. Capricorn and Aquarius, as Saturn signs, teach us about restriction, to live with the bare minimum, to be efficient, to break down old foundations and lay the grounds for new ones. Saturn also wants us to act responsibly, to take ownership for what we've done and to use our gifts and talents responsibly with others. We have a duty to care for each other, and when we experience the harshest times, we remember the people who have less than us. We have a responsibility to care for all who seek our aid and need our help.
Pisces, ruled by Jupiter, is the transitional time into Spring. "Hope springs eternal" comes to mind, maybe because this is the transition into spring (and the astrological "new year".) Pisces is one of the most misunderstood signs of the modern times. The true essence of Pisces is about the unconditional nature of love, and the wisdom of contradiction. A personal example I like to use is as a swim teacher, I've often worked with students who are afraid of water, and this can really show up when learning how to float. In order to truly float in the water, you have to relax your body, and the block to that relaxation is often psychological - ie the fear of sinking, or getting water on the face. The irony is the more you relax and trust that you will stay on the surface of the water, the easier floating becomes. But the trust has to come first, by releasing the fear. This is the heart of the wisdom and truth of Pisces and Jupiter -- all things are possible, but first there has to be trust, and to let that trust and faith become greater than our fears. In a scientific minded world where we often want to see evidence before we believe, this can be a big lesson to unlearn. There's a true grace in allowing faith - in ourselves, in our guidance - to outweigh our fears and help us to create the life we seek to live in this world. My practical note to this is there's a time and place for everything -- there is a time to trust and have faith, and there's also a time to demand evidence. Perhaps the true wisdom is knowing the difference (the contradiction of Pisces strikes again!)
Wishing you lots of warmth and wonder this winter,
Chart image is from AstroGold software. Both collage images were made by me in CanvaPro. Astrology concepts used in this post are inspired by lectures, podcasts, and/or written work of astrologer Stormi Grace & Dr. Ali A Olomi.