Winter Solstice 2023
5:27 pm AHST 12/21/2023
7:27 pm PST 12/21/2023
10:27 pm EST 12/21/2023
3:27 am GMT 12/22/2023
Solstice is the end of the year in many cultures, and astrologically it’s about endings and beginnings. Darkest night, shortest daylight in the Northern hemisphere, an event since ancient times that has been celebrated with bonfires, and mystical rites of passage, as the veils between the worlds thin. Even the magnetic field of the Earth for 3 days around this time wanes and allows for more cosmic rays to penetrate the atmosphere, reaching and energizing us humans (and all creatures) with sometimes mixed results, but affecting us on deep levels, and impelling us to make meaning of what we might glean from the energetic push from the Great Beyond.
It’s definitely a time for new beginnings, New Year’s resolutions and such. If we can navigate the pull downward at this time, there may be secrets to uncover, or ideas from our dreaming and slumbering that can guide us into the New Year.
This chart actually, if I may say so, brings a ray of hope into the darkness. Despite the fact that the Sun is conjoined Mercury retrograde, which bodes for confusion and lack of mental clarity, it is largely an Earth element chart, with no Air elements. So this is about getting in touch with our sensation function, letting go of our brilliant ideas, and exploring our deepest “humanimal” self for wisdom, which sometimes arrives seemingly out of nowhere.
The tightest aspect (planetary angle) in the chart is a trine from the emerging Capricorn Sun (0˚) to the Moon at 0˚ of Taurus, also conjoining Jupiter in Taurus. The Moon’s position in Taurus astrologically is an exaltation, meaning its placement there brings stability to the otherwise ever-changing Moon, which changes signs every two days. Taurus is grounded earth, and its presence next to Jupiter brings fortunate energies to “the people” (represented by the Moon). So this to me means the New Year brings a more advantageous harbinger of the awakening of the needs of the people reflected in coming events.
Saturn, the planet of limitation and karma, also is nicely forming harmonious sextiles (angles of 60˚) to Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Jupiter. We like it when Saturn isn’t forming hard aspects, as it means if we apply ourselves well, (nothing is automatic in the realm of astrological influences) we can make some gains this year, both personally and politically.
Venus in Scorpio (intense passionate desire—perhaps for change) is trine to its higher octave planet Neptune in this chart, bringing Vision to the people, and possibilities opening up for the power of love within us to rise this year. As MLK said, “Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
We’re going to need it! Pluto squares the Moon/Jupiter (forms a challenging 90˚ angle). Pluto squares act as “exposers” of things we need to take a look at. It’s bringing our attention to where we need to edit our feelings and actions in relationship to feeling powerful, or feeling powerless, two sides of the same coin. And Sun, Mercury and Mars also all form squares to Neptune, cautioning us to remain grounded (there’s that word again) with our fantasies, or our illusions this year. We need to have a dream (MLK had one) but we also need to dream about how we can enact the elements of our dream in our daily mundane activities. Healing the planet also means healing our own relationship with the darkness inside ourselves, to see it as a pathway of delineation, much as shadows are in contrast with and bring out the light in paintings, photos, and in Nature.
We have much to navigate in the coming year, and Venus in opposition to Uranus says to me there will be much emotional instability that we have to accommodate. Our attempts to bring out our light will be met sometimes with denial, rejection, and outright hatred from those elements of humanity that refuse to accept that the world is changing in fundamental ways which threaten to globally upset the balance of powers. So at this darkest day of the year, I underline that it is our duty, and our commitment to do what we need to do to keep our hearth flames burning brightly. Like the fire deep within the core of the Earth, our heart/hearth flame at times may seem to be hidden, but it is the Source of the Life Force, the deep inner focus that inspires hope in times of great change.
Happy Solstice to you all!
All charts here are using Natural House system: i.e. the Ascendant is always at 0˚ of Aries.