capricorn“Breathe deep into the energy and, like a surfer, picture yourself getting up on top of the wave rather than trying to quiet it. The wave is a wave, it is what it is and it is building, so no sense in waiting for it to pass, it won’t.” – David Pond, Winter Solstice Newsletter

Winter Solstice, the darkest time of year, calls us inward to meditate and reflect on what we’ve created and how those creations are serving the greater whole. As the Sun shifts into Capricorn — Wednesday, 9:32 pm PST — we enter a new season, the beginning of the end of the astrological year that began at Spring Equinox on March 20. What did you initiate then? What do you want to bring to completion?

The Solstice Sun’s square to Uranus in Aries and conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn activates the Uranus-Pluto square, which will be exact for the first time in June 2012. The Sun’s interaction with the cosmic headline of the next few years urges us to consider our personal expression of the Light within this broader context.

As 2011 comes to a close, instead of getting caught up in the hype of “What’s going to happen in 2012??” a more useful line of questioning might be: How can I be an effective participant in co-creating a peaceful, sane world? What’s my unique role to play? How can I best utilize my skills and talents, and step into my soul’s purpose?

“Belonging to a Greater Whole”

“Imagine a world in which denial of our interrelatedness is no longer an option.” – Christine Page, 2012 and the Galactic Center

saturnThe chart of the Solstice can be read as an energetic blueprint for the next three months, and Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, holds special significance. Saturn in Libra, the sign of partnership, peace and justice, says that the most practical thing we can do is to recognize our relatedness, our inherent kinship with all beings.

Saturn is forming a close trine — 120-degree angle of ease and flow — with dreamy, mystical, visionary Neptune. The Saturn-Neptune trine enhances cooperation between the seen and unseen realms, and reminds us that, as Caroline Casey is fond of saying, “the imagination lays the tracks for the reality train.”

Neptune in Aquarius asks, What’s your most inspiring, liberating dream for our collective future? What’s your best-case scenario? And practical Saturn asks, What’s one step you can take in the here and now to ground your vision into reality? Who can you partner with to increase your potential for success?

Neptune is preparing to move into Pisces in February, and in the last phase of his 14-year tour through Aquarius, we seem to be witnessing the dissolution of democracy in the U.S., exemplified by police violence against peaceful protestors, and now the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. As I wrote in a previous post, Unconsciously navigated, Neptune the mystic devolves into the illusionist, and over the past decade, we’ve witnessed the Neptune in Aquarius shadow — the eroding of freedom and the illusion of democracy.

In an environment of dissolving democracy and increasing assaults on freedom, it’s easy to get caught up in the Capricorn/Saturn shadow — fear — and to give away our power to totalitarian police state versions of the future (see Fear and Power). When we start buying into that dream, we’re feeding it energy and helping to create it. A more useful approach would be to address the fear itself and process that emotion, which then frees us to claim our authority to write the script for a more positive future, team up with others who share our vision, and start doing the work to bring it into reality.

Saturn also opposes Jupiter in Taurus, extra-potent right now as he stations and prepares to turn from Retrograde to Direct on Christmas day. Jupiter signifies how we make meaning — the stories we tell ourselves — as well as trust, confidence, optimism and expansion. Jupiter Retrograde has invited us to reconsider the stories we tell ourselves about pleasure, money, resources and the Earth, and to realign with our personal values and priorities. The Jupiter-Saturn opposition pushes us to take responsibility for our beliefs and ideals, and strengthen our faith in positive outcomes.

venusIntriguingly, Venus — ruler of both Taurus and Libra and therefore the dispositor of Jupiter and Saturn — squares both planets. Venus in Aquarius wants to extend the consciousness of kinship beyond personal relationships, and out into the wider collective. Venus’s square to Jupiter amplifies and stabilizes expression of the feminine — love, connection, compassion, receptivity, pleasure, beauty and art. And her square to Saturn points to the feminine as key to liberation from fear and tyranny.

The Sabian Symbol for Saturn at the Solstice beautifully articulates the Venusian theme of connection and kinship, as well as the Neptunian theme of support from the unseen:

“A man becoming aware of spiritual forces surrounding and assisting him:  The realization, at any level of existence, that one is never alone, and that the ‘community’ — visible or invisible — is sustaining one’s efforts…. At the animal level, the whole biosphere is the community; for the ordinary human being, it is the tribe or family, the village community, the nation. As the individual expands his consciousness, he may become aware of a spiritual community…. [T]his stage should bring the realization of ‘belonging’ to a greater whole.” (Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

– Emily Trinkaus

Note to Portlandia friends: Join me and my amazing high priestess friend Katie Todd for Activating Feminine Power, a workshop for women starting in January. Check out all the details here.