Solstice and New Moon in Capricorn
New Moon times:
12:16 am AHST 12/23/2022
2:16 am PST 12/23/2022
5:16 am EST 12/23/2022
10:16. am GMT 12/23/2022
Many very important astrological events are happening in the next few weeks, all coming together to create a kind of apex of changes. Some of them will be not immediately noticeable, while others will directly affect our lives. But together, they are activating us for the great changes and turning points that are available for us to choose.
First of all, Jupiter is moving out of Pisces and into Aries on December 20th. Jupiter governs our optimism, our connection to Spirit, and while in Pisces this year, has deepened our availability toward inner world connections, especially as it was very close to Neptune in Pisces, the planet ruling our unconscious world. We may have found our idealism running up against the reality of the outer world’s imbalances. Now moving into Aries, actions in the outer world take center stage. We’ll need this boost of Jupiter’s tendency for acting as a positive force for change.
Then on the 21st, the Sun enters Capricorn. Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, marks the shortest day of the year, the time of greatest darkness. With the Moon at its last stages of darkness before the New Moon just two days later, the energies around us are exceedingly dark, uncertain, and we may feel a loss of meaning, a sense of being in the morass of the world’s chaotic state. In ancient times, the Solstice was associated with the end of the growing cycle, a time when winter prevailed and the darkness reminded us of our own mortality, and the fear that this might be the end of our days. And so we lit bonfires and danced together in shared knowledge of our connection to the Great Cycles around us, reinforcing the slim rational knowledge (in the face of our fears) that the light will return, and the crops will grow again in spring.
But with our mortality as a race of beings in the crosshairs of our own self-destructive impulses, this Solstice, and each one coming, bears greater weight. Will there be a Silent Spring, as Rachel Carson forewarned? Will humanity let go of being in the thrall of control and violence and its addiction to a war economy, and its systematic programming of hatred and prejudice? Will we cut down all the trees and be left with a desert? Will we desert ourselves and our integrity? All this hangs in the balance.
But Solstice is a time of gathering together to dispel our fears in the light of our human companions, our shared fealty to each other as we move through another turning of a yearly cycle.
Chiron goes direct in the early morning hours of the 23rd. It’s the planet that represents the connecting links between our mortal self (and therefore our suffering) and our transcendent self (how we frame our suffering). Whenever a planet shifts from retro to direct, our awareness of its presence surfaces to our consciousness. We may experience this in many ways, but often it has to do with our recognition of our mortality, and even perhaps a renewed sense of living life to the fullest, aware of its preciousness and relative brevity.
Then, also on the 23rd, we have our New Moon in Capricorn. Finally the lunar darkness is ending and the Solstice darkness shifting, and we will begin to move toward the light. The Solstice chart features an exact square between the Sun and Jupiter, and it’s in this New Moon chart as well. Sun/Jupiter squares are very energetic, almost too much so, and so caution is always advised when we want to take action to not be impulsive or to overdo things, but to check our motives, pause and then move forward. The New Moon chart features Venus, Mercury and Pluto all together in Capricorn, a rather sobering and serious energetic to begin the New Year with. It’s a kind of “roll up our sleeves and do the necessary work” energy that is before us, whatever that may be.
On the 27th of December, Pluto will make its third and last return to the position it was in at the dawning of the United States in 1776. A Pluto return, which is a cycle of 248 years and doesn’t affect humans, does affect countries. When it happens, Pluto’s transiting energy always has to do with a kind of stripping away of the old and outworn fabric of a nation. Pluto eliminates the old and sets up the energy for a renaissance of a country. But that often involves revolution, an overthrow of those forces that do not wish to give up their tried and true methods of governance. We’re seeing it blatantly now in the two divided realities in the US, one which insists upon the old belief in its rightful ownership of the country, and the other which is grappling with a “house divided”. But Pluto’s force is inexorable, moving slowly yet assuredly in the direction of transformation, in whatever way we choose to experience it.
And then as if all this wasn’t enough, Mercury will go retrograde on the 29th. Exactly conjoined with Venus at that moment, and still near Pluto, our hearts and minds are in for a re-do of a sort, an inventory of our beliefs and thoughts about the world. The Moon will be at 29˚ of Pisces, conjoined with Neptune, and also conjoined with Jupiter at 0˚ of Aries. This is like one foot on the gas and the other on the brake. Feeling deeply interior, and yet ready to move forward. These are the elements in the chart of the retrograde period which ends on the 18th of January, 2023, but which will extend its influence through Mercury’s shadow period, when it returns to the place where it went retro, which is February 6th. Interestingly, that date is a few days after Imbolc or the pagan celebration of the beginning of Spring, and also Groundhog Day in the US, as well as the day after the Full Moon. This may bring a sense of relief, or a revelation, or a break from all the “transformation”.
It's a lot! But then, these are the accelerated times we had been warned about (for those who are older and who follow these things) back in the 90’s. The times warrant the necessary birth pains characteristic of a paradigm shift, which will be formulating our collective experience for decades to come. It’s most important to “keep the faith” by connecting with those people, experiences, writings, music and art that we trust, that inspire us and speak to our heart. We all have a lot of healing to do, and none of us can do it alone, by ourselves.
Wishing you all a blessed Solstice, full of grace, love, and sweetness.
All charts here are using Natural House system: i.e. the Ascendant is always at 0˚ of Aries.