During times of collective uncertainty, it’s hard to lean on truths. We all disagree, after all. That’s the nature of subjectivity.
And although astrology is widely open to interpretation, and cultures all over the world from Mideival Muslim astrologers to tribal African astrologers to pagan Latvian astrologers assign different symbols and meanings to heaven-sent events…
We are at least all looking at the same sky.
And it turns out that Monday night heralded a particularly interesting event. Several celestial occurrences converged, and in a year fraught with muddled meanings, checking the fixed bodies in the skies has brought clarity and direction to many.
For starters, Monday, December 21st was the winter solstice.
That means that it was the shortest day of the year, and we can all look forward to longer days to come – no, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere won’t have much long evenings in the immediate future, but every little bit of sunlight counts.
Physically, the solstice occurs because the sun is at its lowest point in the sky in December (just like it’s at its highest point in the sky in June), but emotionally, the solstice rings with importance.
The Solstice, Your Soul, and the Double Blessing of a Short 2020 Day
In simply describing what the winter solstice is, we can find meaning in its metaphor.
It is the longest, darkest night of the year… followed by a “rebirth” of the sun, as no night will be as long as this one for another year to come.
Because darkness is followed by light, people today and people long ago interpreted the solstice as a time for reflection, stock-taking, and meditation on future growth. Pagans celebrate “Yule”, a holiday praising the Goddess Moon.
Traditionally, feminine energy was often associated with the concept of birth and life-giving, and the inevitable continuation of the cycles of the universe.
This 2020 cycle will end… and another will be born.
Commonly, the solstice’s focus on composting the year behind us and generating the year before us leads to symbolic rituals. For example, sitting in darkness so as to really absorb the collapsing of the former sun before its rebirth can help encourage us to reflect on who we’ve been showing up as in the world.
Followed up with bonfires, candle-lighting, and other light-centric celebrations (where do you think we got the idea to light up our Christmas trees?) reminds us to raise our eyes and register the illumination before us.
Ask yourself questions like…
- Who was I in January? Who am I now?
- What has happened in my relationships this year?
- What choices have I made that have shifted my life’s trajectory?
- What don’t I feel ready to let go of?
- Who DO I feel ready to let go of?
- How will I shape my next Life Garden?
And while we have the opportunity to reflect on the solstice once a year…
Something else happened on Monday that hasn’t happened in about 800 years.
The Great Conjunction
Jupiter and Saturn – you know, the planets – will appear to draw so close together that you’ll need binoculars in order to tell they’re not overlapping. Of course, in reality they’re miles and miles away from each other. But that’s not what we’re talking about.
Now, this happened in the 17th century as well, but they couldn’t be observed by the naked eyes of Renaissance era watchers.
Technically, conjunctions happen every twenty years – however, the last time these planets were observably this close together was in the year 1226.
(The Great Conjunctions that happen every twenty years don’t happen as distinctly as this one, the one 400 years ago, or the one 800 years ago.)
And that’s significant.
While it’s been 800 years since we’ve been able to visually experience the Great Conjunction, as it’s called when Jupiter and Saturn appear to overlap, it’s been 200 years since another big change.
You see, for the last two centuries, every Great Conjunction has occurred in an Earth sign. But this Great Conjunction is in an Air sign.
Thus, an era is ended.
Wait, What? Go Back
These Great Conjunctions all occurring in Earth signs have reinforced the “Earth energy” that has been dominant for the last two hundred years – heavy emphasis on certain foundations, structures, material reliances, and institutions that may not continue to be important during the next two hundred years.
In the next two hundred years with our new “Air energy”, experiments, efficiency, community, and ideological power over using “tradition” as guidance will rule.
Great Conjunctions mark shifting moments in society.
If this one in particular marks…
- The first visible Great Conjunction at this order of closeness in 800 years…
- The first Great Conjunction at this order of closeness in 400 years…
- The first Great Conjunction outside of an Earth sign in 200 years…
- And is occurring during the winter solstice…
We’ve got a big and gradual energy change in store for us.
Less tradition, more innovation. Less institution, more ideals. Less foundational, more expansive. Less individual, more community.