Winter Solstice — December 21, 2013

This year’s Winter Solstice begins on the 21st at 12:11 PM EST — I always think of this as the time of the “Cold Winter Sun” — little warmth is conveyed by this lowest Sun of the year. The word Solstice actually means Sun standing still — and it reflects the fact that the Sun seems to slow as it approaches the Solstice date. There are many practices around the world that take note of this time period, going back centuries. We have all heard of Stonehenge, and its huge stones aligned with a sight-line to the Solstices — and having been there, I definitely did feel a surge of energy moving clockwise around the stones — there is undeniably an aura of mystery lingering within its boundaries. There is also Newgrange in Ireland, also worthy of note, having its major stone aligned to respond to the Sunrise on the Solstice. But Solstice are well documented throughout the ages in South America — the Incans used Machu Picchu, and the Aztecs used their temples of stone in many yearly rituals, and in the Orient where a days-long celebrations is held — the Yin/Yang balance and harmony of the cycles are ritualized and bring together families and clans to forge stronger bonds. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the return of the Sun — each day after the Solstice bringing a little more light into our realm.

Astrologically speaking, the 21st is an active day, the Moon is in the sign Leo — one might be urged to spend a bit more than would be practical if doing last-minute shopping. Perhaps if thinking of a major purchase, it would be better to wait until the Moon enters practical Virgo on the 22nd at 2:20 PM. Also, since Venus in late Capricorn will be going into Retrograde mode today, until the end of January, we will feel our emotions in flux, and should try to keep the true spirit of the holiday season in our hearts. We may get a chance to renew an old acquaintance, or repair an old affront. As the Sun enters Capricorn, we are reminded that zero degrees of this Cardinal sign is a World point — and can trigger any of the simmering conflicts that abound. Personally, for some, this can be an upsetting time period to those who feel like outsiders during these festive holidays. Try to include anyone you know who might not be able to be with family or friends at this time of year — immerse yourself in the humanity of the season.

We should all try to maintain the balance and harmony of the seasonal cycles that motivate us — the Sun moving into the sign Capricorn gives us the gumption to move forward with steady strides to get our chores done efficiently and with aplomb. Then we can happily look forward to our holiday celebrations with joy and love in our hearts. The Universe gives us the tempo and flow of harmonious action — go with the flow of the astral energies, and you will feel the smooth transition from one step to the next with ease. Breathe in the magic of this time of year, and allow yourself to be swept up in the positive emanations of your Galaxy! Work with the synchrony of the Planets, and your life will affirm the beauty and loving bliss that can be yours.

We can overcome the Cold Winter Sun, by evoking our highest and most loving instincts, and being that person who brings loving kindness and warmth to all of our fellow-men. Be that light, be your best self, be love incarnate — dwell and flourish in the burgeoning light! Blessings to all.