Winter Solstice / Capricorn

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Happy Solstice! This year’s celebrations will be extra special as the Solstice corresponds to the much-discussed “Great Conjunction” of Saturn and Jupiter. We’ll experience Winter Solstice here in Italy at 11:43 pm, December 21, 20202. It’s a great time to light a candle, put the topper on the Christmas tree or, with a ritual that is meaningful to you, to consciously align yourself with what the Earth and Sun are doing. Express a wish for the coming year, psychologically let go of 2020, and open yourself to the changes ahead. To me (and lots of other people), Solstice celebrations are New Year’s Eve celebrations.

There is a lot to be said about the myth of Santa Claus, the symbols, accoutrements, colors, and more about the holiday, but we’ll leave the discussion of Christmas for another time. For now, let me say that the practice of gift-giving probably came from the times when we lived closer to the Earth. Back then, living this far into winter was a real accomplishment. If one did so, the feelings of plenty and prosperity probably prompted a desire to share of ones abundance.

Worldwide, there are many festivals related to the Solstice and the returning of the light, including the burning of the Yule log (which is the trunk of last year’s tree). There is mention of Solstice festivals in several ancient cultures, too – Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Middle Eastern. In ancient Rome, they celebrated Saturnalia (a 7-day festival that overlapped the Solstice), which is a festivity held for Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn. The ancient Roman celebrations of Saturnalia were depraved, vulgar, and excessive because they were a suspension and a reversal of the usual order established by Saturn.

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If you know someone born between January 25 and June 13, 2008 or after November 26, 2008 (until January 20, 2024) they were born with Pluto in Capricorn. The underlying tone of their life is about emotional maturity. They will be very bent on achieving positions of authority and conforming to values of the traditional past. They are learning that internal security is not linked to external conditions, and have lessons related to responsibility – what to take responsibility for and what one need not take responsibility for. They often have an intense sense of guilt that can’t be explained. People who have Pluto in Capricorn (or the 10th house, or the South Node in the 10th house or in Capricorn) have a complicated relationship with authority, including abuse and misuse of it. They have come to atone for something from the past. They may have experienced a fall from grace as a politician, or have experienced both sides of totalitarianism. Boundaries are an issue for those with Pluto in the 10th or Capricorn, as is judgement, punishment, maturity, and discipline.

‘Capricorn souls’ as these people are called, are working on self-forgiveness, they are getting in touch with their emotional body. They may be stiff physically because they’re suppressing their emotions. Capricorn is the part of the cycle when the form has completed its expression and is now seeing what it is made of. When we reach the age of Saturn, the elderly years, we see what we’re made of. Was the form/life successful enough that there is a seed to pass on or will the form simply calcify and die? Saturn is the reality-checker, the buck stops with him. Capricorn is the ending of the cycle.

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If this information is compelling to you and you’d like to know if you have Pluto in the 10th house, send me your birthdata and I’ll send you your chart.

Current Events: 5 planets retrograde

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There are a number of the reasons why 2020 is an exceptional year, astrologically-speaking. One of those reasons is that every single planet will turn retrograde this year. The outer planets, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn, turn retrograde every year for a few months, but the other planets change direction less frequently. Jupiter goes retrograde every thirteen months. Mars goes retrograde every two years. Venus goes retrograde about every year and a half. And Mercury goes retrograde three times a year.

It’s mid-June and already five of the eight planets are retrograde. Wednesday, June 18, Mercury will station retrograde at 14º Cancer, and June 23, Neptune will station retrograde at 20º Pisces. Confusion, delusion, and a sense of uncertainty will prevail for the next three weeks, although things will slowly begin getting clearer when Venus turns direct Thursday, June 25, and Mars moves into Aries Sunday, June 28. Towards the end of the month we will begin to feel some wind behind us. Until then, creating forward momentum in your life might seem impossible. Instead, this is the time to turn the attention and energy inward. With so many planets retrograde, this is the time to roll up your sleeves and clean up the inner workings of your website, update the internal documentation that makes your company run smoothly, clean out your closets, gather your resources, or re-organize your life. Retrogrades are an excellent time to close projects and to make changes, but they’re not a great time to begin new things. Wait until July 13 if you can, when Mercury stations direct, to put new procedures and ideas into practice.

Later this week, just hours after the Sun moves into Cancer and we celebrate the Summer Solstice, Sunday, June 21, we will experience a total, annular Solar eclipse (visible only in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa). An annual eclipse is one in which the Moon is too close to Earth to cover the face of the Sun completely. This event won’t bring us any clarity but it will give us some great pictures of a blazing ‘ring of fire’.