Today, 21st December, is the solstice – the Sun moves into Capricorn and for those of us in the northern hemisphere it’s marks the turning point of the year when the nights start to get shorter and the days longer – hooray! (For those in the southern hemisphere of course, it’s the other way round).
Today also marks the end of the 13th B’ak’tun and the end of the Mayan long count calendar – I wrote a little about this and links to some interesting sites here pointing out the symbolic relationship between this time and the round of eclipses and retrogrades we have experienced this year. It is pretty potent symbolism that the Mayan long count cycle coincides so precisely with the annular cycle of the Sun and the Earth (though it’s very possibly not a coincidence that they do coincide) and therefore worth having a look at the chart for that turning point to get a hint of things to come – patterns that sow seeds for the future. It reminds me of William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence which begins:
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.
With many thought provoking lines between the beginning and the end, the full poem can be read here.
Today’s chart is really interesting, and dominated by the yod between Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, all now on 8+ degrees. Also very prominent is the t-square pattern between Venus, Neptune/Chiron (and asteroid Lilith) and Jupiter (with Mean Lilith). Some of these aspects are separating (the squares to Neptune and from Venus to Chiron) showing what has passed, what we are leaving behind. Some of the aspects are applying (squares between Jupiter and Chiron and to and from asteroid Lilith and opposition between Venus and Jupiter and Venus and Mean Lilith) showing what is yet to unfold.
Just looking at the shifting energies in the t-square we can see that the dreamy, idealistic, poetic (and sometimes deluded, vague and deceptive) Neptune’s influence is weakening. Hopefully we have picked up enough spiritual inspiration from this mystic planet in its own mystic sign of Pisces and are ready to move on into doing something with it. Lilith’s involvement might not always be comfortable but she demands equality and integrity. Lilith also shows where issues have become repressed, suppressed, oppressed – she insists on bringing them to the fore again and again and again. Her involvement in this t-square pattern suggests some difficult bumps along the way to getting where we want to go – and given the involvement of Jupiter and Chiron these ‘bumps’ are likely to relate to issues around our ideals, beliefs, philosophies and religion. It could also highlight things to do with culture in its widest sense – not just art but how well we are able to live together and share a common understanding of the world and what is important. Venus’s involvement picks up on personal issues that have been raised over the past months as she moves opposite both the Jupiter station direct degree and her own station direct degree of earlier this summer. Relationships of all kinds are likely to come to the fore over the coming few days – and how we value those we are in relationships with. Concerns about many things from finances to shared ambitions could be the stuff of discussions over the holiday period – hopefully in a pleasant and productive way with plans hatched to travel and see the world together (even if that is just an inspiring plan for a holiday later in the year, or shared delight in a travel dvd for Christmas, or a resolution to contribute to a charity.
Dealing with the t-square is one thing. The yod in the chart holds a very different kind of energy. It’s more insistent but at the same time difficult to spot – it’s like it nags away at you and you can’t put your finger on what it is that’s irritating you. I’ve written before about this ongoing yod but thought it could be useful to look at the Sabian symbols for today.
First of all we have Jupiter who has just moved from 9+ back to 8+ degrees – rounding up (as you always do with Sabian symbolds gives:
(GEMINI 9°): A QUIVER FILLED WITH ARROWS.
KEYNOTE: Man’s aggressive relationship to natural life, as a basis for survival and conquest.
The bow and arrows represent symbolically man’s ability to extend the scope of his conquest of nature and to kill enemies in order to build a larger base for the collective development of a culture and an organized society. Implied in the symbol of the arrow is the piercing of a target. The mind of man is essentially a trans-piercing power; it goes through the object toward which it is aimed. It seeks to go through and beyond the obstacles on its path, and this usually implies the destruction of the obstacle. At a higher level — as in the Zen practice of archery — the obstacle is the ego.
At this fourth stage of the fourteenth five-fold sequence of phases in the cyclic process of human existence we are shown the archetypal symbol of Man, the Conqueror. It may be a conquest of outer nature, or that of instinctual drives and of the limiting power of the ego. It is always CONQUEST.
This shows the necessary attitude in order to channel the energies of the yod productively.
Saturn and Pluto provide the base energies for this approach. Saturn’s Sabian symbol is:
(SCORPIO 9˚): A DENTIST AT WORK
KEYNOTE: Overcoming the negative results of social practices and ego-cravings.
In order to properly evaluate and interpret this symbol we should realize the meaning of the teeth. Permanent teeth appear normally at age 7, when, according to some occultists, the personalized individuality of the child – the ego – takes full control of the physical organism. The teeth are used to tear down foodstuffs so they can be digested and assimilated. Social living and cultural patterns impose upon us certain habits of eating, arouse desires for unwholesome or denatured food, force us perhaps to eat in tense circumstances or hurriedly. This results in tooth decay far more frequently than should be inevitable through aging. The symbol therefore shows us how society and civilization, which may indirectly cause tooth decay, then have to invent means to skilfully repair the damage.
At this fourth stage of the five-fold sequence we see once more a hint of technique. Life in society both perverts, and repairs, destroys and rebuilds – truly a vicious cycle. Man is compelled by social needs to display INVENTIVENESS.
Whilst Pluto’s is:
(CAPRICORN 9°): AN ANGEL CARRYING A HARP.
KEYNOTE: The revelation of the spiritual meaning and purpose at the core of any life situation.
This picture simply says that “heaven is within us.” All we have to do is to be open and listen to the total harmony of life, a harmony in which we play a part that is necessary to the completeness and meaning of the whole. In order to do this we have to surrender our separative ego- consciousness and flow with the universal current which, to the religiously minded person, is the Will of God.
This is the fourth symbol of the series. The technique it implies is that of ATTUNEMENT to the rhythm of universal life. Angels are to be considered personalizations of various aspects of this life, and totally subservient to its rhythms and purposes.
So at the base of the yod we have symbols which show how a method or technique and a sense of something universal and spiritual at the core of everyday life can give us the focus and direction to conquer our ego.
Bringing Venus into the mix, as she is providing a focus to this yod, we now look to the symbol for 7+ Sagittarius:
(SAGITTARIUS 7°): CUPID KNOCKS AT THE DOOR OF A HUMAN HEART.
KEYNOTE: A stirring-up of individual longings for romantic love.
In contrast to the preceding, this symbol refers to what one might call a personal initiation through an ideal love. Far from being related to social value, ideal love tends to exalt individual characteristics in that it glorifies what seems able to fill poignant and often unconscious needs. Such a love is a projection of the anima or animus Images which in a sense complement the outer character of the one who loves. It is a subjective event which tends to bring to the lover a crisis or emotional chaos. Such a love often turns asocial if not antisocial and is blocked or frowned upon by society.
This second stage symbol is in direct opposition to that of the “cricket game.” Intensely romantic love knows no rules and ignores collective purpose or dictates of reason. Yet it may bring to the individual an intensity of feeling which no group togetherness can arouse, at least at the ordinary social level. What is implied is a challenge to EMOTIONAL REBIRTH.
This is what the energies of the yod can achieve – it can provide the means to overcome ego desires and fears and bring us to a place where we can experience relationships which are truly sustaining and fulfilling for us, whether or not they are approved by society or our culture. There is an opportunity at the moment to find relationships which are rooted in the everyday and help lead us towards the universal and spiritual – and/or which are rooted in a spiritual relationship and can bring the emotional fulfilment of companionship in the everyday world. It just needs a little application and a determination to reach beyond fears, expectations and desires which have been put onto us by our encultured egos and see clearly our truer needs and desires.
Here’s an interesting take on this solstice from Darkstar astrology:
And from Aquarius papers: