By: Janette Dalgliesh – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
The best thing about astrology?
Its ability to create a bridge between magic and science.
One the one hand, it’s a language created in ancient times, arising from our collective human unconscious over generations. It’s a living language, always evolving, and it’s also our connection to mythology, mysticism, and our capacity for awe.**
On the other hand, it has its roots in (and gave rise to) the neutral, measurable cosmic facts observed by science, dating back to Galileo and beyond. Astronomical data lies at the basis of all astrological observations.
Astrology speaks to both the scientist and the magician we each carry inside us.
The December Solstice in 2020 is an unusually powerful example of this.
Science observes the astronomical effects of the solstice: the turning point of the season, and the weather changes over the following three months as the south side of the planet gradually cools into autumn, and the north warms into spring. These things are concrete and measurable, affecting the whole planet even though our seasons might be opposite.
Meanwhile, although the specifics are different, the cultural and spiritual traditions associated with solstice are also filled with familiar elements and echoes. At December solstice the north celebrates themes of rebirth and hope as the light returns – and these themes inform much of the various European based traditions including my own western (tropical) astrology.
Of course, for countries like Australia where the colonialising influences brought winter tropes such as Santa in his woolly hat and nativity scenes in the snow, there is a weird cognitive dissonance which goes along with opening reindeer-themed Christmas cards while sweltering under the aircon!
Every December Solstice sees the Sun move into the Cardinal Earth sign of Capricorn.
This is the realm of the magical sea goat, whose fishy tail navigates the ocean depths with ease, but whose overarching desire is to climb, climb, climb the dizzying ambitious heights of the cliff tops.
Don’t be surprised to find an urge to move things from the swirling, intangible sea floor to the solid reality of the mountain summits.
But wait – there’s much, much more that makes this Solstice special.
Within just a few hours of the exact Solstice, we will experience an extremely close meeting between Jupiter and Saturn, at 0° of Aquarius (exact times below).
Whichever way you slice it, this is big.
Every twenty years or so, these two lords of the sky move close to each other, and astrologers mark the event.
This year, their dance brings them so close together, even astronomers are excited – the last time they were this close, Galileo was alive.
And with the naked eye, it’s almost impossible to discern the two separate planets in the sky – they look like a single, very bright dot.
Jupiter is the lord of expansion. By his very nature, he is non-linear; he has no difficulty conceiving of amazing things beyond the known horizons of possibility. He’s not interested in details, or logic, or things being realistic, or HOW we get from here to that imagined future. He doesn’t even really comprehend the concept of time, so future is already here anyway. His nature is what we might call quantum. Or magical.
Saturn is the Lord of mastery. He is linear in his thinking, he cares deeply about getting the details right, and he knows exactly how to create the step-by-step path which takes us from point A to point B. He doesn’t like to skip a step, and his planning and drafting is immaculate and thorough. His nature is ambitious and he seeks to build. He is the engineer and the mogul.
You can see how these two planets might struggle to understand each other – Jupiter with his wild crazy daydreaming, and Saturn with his rigorous attention to detail.
You can also see how these two planets are both essential, if we are to create something brand-new.
Saturn cannot go beyond the limits of his own experience, and when we plan from a Saturnian position we simply end up with more of what we already have, rather than something genuinely new, fresh and expansive.
Jupiter cannot work out how to get from where we are now to the very next step along the path, because for him there’s no such thing as a path – he can simply leapfrog to the new future without needing to know how to get there step by step.
And of course, we can’t let these two planets do each other’s work – Saturn doesn’t know how to daydream, and Jupiter doesn’t know how to follow through.
These two coming so close together can crack open the doors to brand-new possibilities we may not even have seen coming.
It’s the ultimate expression of the scientist and the magician.
The only things that will hold us back from taking advantage of this energy?
Our own old thought habits and patterns of behaviour – the way our brains are filled with a system of oppression which worships Saturn (productivity and perfectionism) and has little time for Jupiter (daydreaming, imagination, optimism and crazy ideas).
So here’s the really good news.
If there is one sign in the zodiac designed to challenge and smash old paradigms, it is Aquarius – which is where these two heavy-hitting planets are meeting.
This is not the intensity of Scorpio – which also lens it self to deep transformation – but rather, it’s the combination of intellectual curiosity, rebellion and inventiveness which is the nature of Aquarius.
With this solstice, ask yourself some useful questions:
- What has been swirling and unclear within me, which now seeks powerful physical expression?
- What part of me has only had existence in the dream lands, and now seeks to be built into solid, fleshy substance?
- Can I see the old patterns of thought and behaviour which have made it difficult to see these possibilities in the past, which make it difficult to imagine that I could even pursue these possibilities?
- What one new thought could I practice on purpose, which would help me to shed all of those old patterns of thought and behaviour which are no longer relevant?
Some possible thoughts you could practice which might help with that last question:
- I am worthy, exactly as I am, because I am a messy, imperfect human
- I am loved, and everything I do creates value for someone else
- All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well
- It is safe for me to receive my good
- I love myself because of (not despite) all my flaws and wounds and pain – because every living creature warrants my love and compassion, including me
And if you’d like some rituals to mark the Solstice for yourself, here are some options to consider (these are designed to help boost the Jupiterian energy, since most of us are well-versed in how to pay attention to ‘get it done’ Saturn)
- Write a letter of farewell to the old version of you, which has done a great job of getting you this far by building the foundation for what comes next
- Light a candle (pick a BIG one if you’d like to honour Jupiter) and imagine the flame burning through the obstacles that you feel stand in your way
- Devote some time to daydreaming, and go waaaaaaaay bigger than you ever have before. Keep it playful (this is dreaming, not goal-setting) and go crazy big. Want to own your own planet? Go for it. Anything goes. This will please Jupiter, whose spirit of expansion always has a playful element to it.
- List 50 amazing things you have achieved this year. And don’t just say ‘five people hired me’ or ‘I kept going through COVID’. Take credit for them! Make it ‘I created five clients!’ and ‘I navigated a pandemic with zero training or preparation – go me!’ This will please Saturn, who likes to keep track of accomplishments, both big and small.
- Identify the top five habitual thoughts which you know hold you back. Write a replacement thought you can activate instead, and create a way to practice those new thoughts every day.
- If you believe your nervous system has a trauma response which gets activated easily (something I think most of us humans have, to some extent) – use this time to begin building a habit of self-compassion and radical kindness turned inwards. Let Jupiter expand the compassion, and Saturn manage how to implement it bit by bit.
For an even more precise way to leverage this amazing time, look in your chart to see where 0º Aquarius sits. You can get your chart for free at astro.com
If you’d like me to dive in and check your chart for you, I’ll be including this for anyone who books a StarMap over the next few weeks.
**This applies whether we’re talking about European or other astrological traditions – since my own tradition is European, that’s what I can talk about. Happily, there has been a surge of interest lately in Indigenous astronomy, which is extremely cool (and not my place to talk about, as a white woman). You can read more here
Exact Times (US Eastern Time)
- 21 Dec, 5:02 AM – Sun enters Capricorn = SOLSTICE
- 21 Dec, 1:20 PM – Jupiter conjunct Saturn at 0º Aquarius
Janette Dalgliesh helps smart, progressive women change the world AND have dreams come true, with her unique blend of coaching and astrology. Find Janette at her website when you’re ready to create your own joy-filled success.