Even with all the holiday preparations and celebrations December is a solitary month. The snow covered landscape with its pale colors, bare trees and chilling wind begs us to slow down, let go of the superficial and honor what is most sacred. Winter has its own magic; silent and deep as the night, as private as the owl perched among the hemlocks; it is a listening time, a learning time.
The sign Capricorn is associated with ambition, responsibility, and hard work. But the mountain goat (the symbol of Capricorn) does not scale the lofty peaks simply for fame and fortune; it’s always about finding the right mountain, the real work. The goal of Capricorn is to discover something in the external world that expresses who we are inside; it’s about finding our calling, our mission, then doing it with the utmost integrity. “Dignity, the only true dignity, is just this, to rediscover oneself in hard work.” — Federico Fellini (born on the New Moon in Capricorn)
A New Moon is always a new beginning, a seed point, and a starting place. This New Moon takes place in the first degree of Capricorn, a potent degree, full of promise and potential. This coming week is excellent for launching or completing long-term goals and projects. Capricorn, the wise elder, wants to manifest something tangible, to bring forth a great work. What do you want to create this year? What are you being called to do? Are you ready to make a commitment? Not only is the Sun and Moon in Capricorn but Mercury, Venus, Pluto and the asteroid Vesta are there as well, turning up the volume on this highly motivated sign. Remember, you don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward. Not sure what to do? Do one thing. Take one step. Then, another….
That rebel Uranus in explosive Aries ends its five month retrograde period on December 21, a few minutes before the New Moon, making it extremely restless and like a thoroughbred horse that’s been cooped up in the barn, ready to bolt. It can be reckless in its desire to move forward; be careful not to confuse action with progress. Stay grounded and centered.
“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn/ anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” — David Whyte
The ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto is particularly strong right now; they made their sixth exact aspect on December 14. The combination is edgy and intense. The house (the area of the chart) where Pluto is transiting (traveling) is where we need to do the necessary work; to be willing to look deeply and honestly at old patterns and release what no longer serves us. That process creates a foundation that allows us to take conscious action and make positive changes in the house where we currently have Uranus. It’s not easy and at times it may feel like we’re having a breakdown but there’s potential for real breakthroughs and an invitation to transform and heal. Ultimately these two planets are pushing us to become more authentic.
Saturn enters Sagittarius on December 23: Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn and the planet of reality and responsibility) has been in intense Scorpio since October 2012. In Scorpio we’ve all been exploring and experiencing deep issues such as death, grief and loss; we’ve been facing our fears, and healing old wounds. Except for a brief retrograde period from June 14 to September 17, 2015, Saturn will be in Sagittarius until December 19, 2017. Visionary Sagittarius is the sign of the philosopher, the gypsy, and the pilgrim. Saturn is asking us to get serious about our beliefs, our faith and whether or not they support us. With Saturn in Scorpio we’ve all been dealing with our addictions and getting sober (on some level). In Sagittarius we enter AA (so to speak); we are invited to clarify and refine our beliefs and create a philosophy that is aligned with who we are; we learn to “walk our talk.”
Winter Solstice, December 21, is the first day of winter: Once again we have come to the great crossroads of the year in which we look both back and forward. What have we gathered and learned, where do we go from here? The questions hang suspended like frost upon the window pane. And yet, the darkest night is also the turning point, the moment when the Sun begins its long journey back; days begin to lengthen as the light of the Sun overtakes the darkness of night. This is the month we celebrate the great traditions: Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa; yet it all comes down to the same story; the birth of the Sun God, the son of God, the return of the light, and the greatest time of spiritual renewal. Love, Virginia
“God, give us a long winter and quiet music, and patient mouths, and a little pride…Give us astonishment and a flame, high, bright.” — Adam Zagajewski