Winter Solstice brings the return of the light – the promise of summer is held within the darkest, longest night that opens the Winter season. The Sun arrives in the cardinal earth sign Capricorn, the sign of the Goat, depicted as Pan with the tail of a fish – this imagery is said to come from a myth where the Greek gods shapeshifted themselves into animals to escape the monster Typhon. In Greek and Roman mythology Capricorn was considered the “Gateway of the Gods” – this first month of the Winter season invites us on a journey into the transpersonal aspects of our collective conscious existence. The Great Gods Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are all poised to teach us and help us evolve during the Earth season, Winter.
Capricorn energy is ambitious, active, industrious. The Winter season has arrived but the Sun shines on us still, highlighting this part of the collective human spirit that is concerned with building a concrete future that serves society. The ruling planet this month is Saturn, the God of Time, who brings a restraining energy to the cosmos, the energy of restraint and discipline by way of balance to the expansive, generous spirit of Jupiter, who was ruling the last month of the Autumn during Sun in Sagittarius.
The Winter is the season (in the northern hemisphere) where the ancient gods of the outer planets offer their weighty vibrations to our story here on earth, attempting to remind us that we are part of a transcendent unity of consciousness, love and spirit. Capricorn energy is about creating institutions that serve the whole society, Aquarius, ruled by the revolutionary energy of Uranus, seeks to bring love, light and understanding to the community, plus ensure personal freedom within that societal whole, and Pisces, ruled by the mystical Neptune, feels the feelings of the whole and merges into it via the emotional/spiritual planes. Before Uranus was discovered, the ruler of Aquarius was considered, like that of Capricorn, to be Saturn, which reminds us that is a time of year when there are restrictions in place and lessons to learn. Nature’s seasonal journey affects us, we are also part of her… In Winter we have to retreat, take time to rest and be dormant, to reflect and dream. If we do not take this time for ourselves, to let our spirit recharge, then nature delivers us colds and flu to slow us down.
Pisces was once considered to be ruled by Jupiter, whose energy is generous, jovial and abundant. Not words often associated with the last part of the Winter season. People often dread the Winter, and a belief in Seasonal Affected Disorder has spread widely. But the seasons are doing their thing, and as part of the earth we are perfectly designed to cope with that. We have forgotten how to adapt to the changing energies, humans have come to expect that we should somehow stay more or less the same – in energy, in work, in family life etc – throughout the whole year. In fact Nature is calling us to be flexible and explore the many aspects of Being that are available to us as conscious manifestations in the universe. Winter is a time when the planets are calling us to remember our part in the cosmic whole. During the Autumn we shed leaves just as trees do… our leaves are emotional and energetic. Autumn can have painfully intense periods as old parts of us die off. As Winter comes we can look forward to a more settled, earthed, calmer time where our connection to the spiritual planes can bring us healing, inspiration and hope.
The ruling planets of Winter are on our side. Saturn has a very sexual, celebratory side as well as more serious aspects, which are there to help us improve and hone our lives. Uranus wants us to find our uniqueness, find out how we stand out from the crowd, and revel in it. Jupiter reminds us that there is a lot of joy and pleasure to be had from Piscean energy…. While the modern planetary ruler of Pisces, Neptune, reminds us the way to that joy is to become attuned to the mystical currents of creation, to unconditional love.
Winter invites us to slow down, turn within – some of the time. If we take the time to do that we will reap benefits. Winter also brings us the active energy of Capricorn, which includes the Yuletide party season (Pan loves to party – the Romans celebrated the Saturnalia festival at this time), the radical, humanitarian energy of Aquarius and compassionate, cosmic spirit from Pisces.
Imbolc is the festival of earth awakening which comes halfway through the Winter season, celebrated on February 1st, but also on the closest New Moon to that date. At this festival we can harness the energy of potential, promise and divination as the Spring energy starts to slowly awaken in the earth, getting ready to burst into high speed growth from March. The Maiden aspect of the Goddess is celebrated at Imbolc, following on from the Hag/Crone/Grandmother who was leading us through the last stage of Autumn and into the Winter. The Maiden brings the promise of a fertile, creative and abundant year ahead, which will be all the more amazing if we have taken time in the Winter to visit the inner worlds, commune with the gods of the season, in order to heal ourselves of past hurts, free ourselves from limitations (especially in our concepts of Who We Are and What Life Is), and plant seeds of intention and ambition for the year ahead.
Winter is about Wonder
as the winds howl and the rain lashes at the windows
as faerie lights twinkle and christmas trees sparkle
warmth enters the heart and enchantment is felt
the year may be at its darkest point
but human love and goodwill keeps the light burning
banishes the shadows and brings cheer over fear
we are entering the WONDER time of year
look at a snowflake, soak up winter sun
since the solstice a time of delight has begun
when holiness is celebrated and souls come home
when it is easier than usual to live in the zone
winter is the time to absorb the wonder
feel held in the mystery we all find ourselves in
heal what needs healing so a new life can begin
discover the wonders of GOING WITHIN.