Winter Solstice 2020
By Cathy Coleman
The Winter Solstice is always a special time, as it marks the darkest day of the year, and the turning toward the light. The Sun enters Capricorn tropically, marking the first day of winter. This year December 21st harbors an extra special Winter Solstice, as Jupiter and Saturn align at 0:29 degrees of Aquarius, symbolizing a new beginning, a welcome energy given the past year of turbulence that we have experienced. This conjunction is also aligned by declination, that is, both planets are parallel to the celestial ecliptic. When we look out at the sky they are both together. This alignment is known as the “Star of Bethlehem,” and is said to have been the same alignment at Jesus’ birth. This has not been observable since 1226.
This darkest day marks a time to restore ourselves. The dark is where roots grow and feed the plants. It is time to winter, to draw inward, to be quiet and contemplative, and to get more rest.
Jupiter is the largest planet, symbolizing expansion. Jupiter represents the search for meaning, optimism, faith, and confidence. It is associated with beliefs, philosophy, education, travel, and visions. Jupiter is an expansive, inspiring, and future-oriented energy, bringing fortune, knowledge and abundance. On the other hand, Jupiter’s shadow side can result in waste, excess, and inflation. Known as the “Great Benefic” Jupiter encourages us to connect with something greater than ourselves.
Saturn is the planet that symbolizes contraction, responsibility, tradition, and old age. It binds, restricts, and limits, and yet builds and manifests. Saturn is associated with stability, structure, boundaries, laws, and time. Saturn is slow and dense, yet with patience and sustained effort and commitment, we produce, harvest, and manifest.
Jupiter can sometimes be so expansive and far-reaching that its energies are light and superficial. Saturn can bog things down and create obstacles. The combination keep these two planets in check. Saturn grounds the expansive, visionary possibilities of Jupiter. Jupiter coaxes Saturn to stretch further, to explore, to be trusting, and to be more jovial. This conjunction may result in new systems of education as we are already experiencing from classrooms forced to turn to online learning, combining both principles of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius.
Financially, Jupiter is the investor, the gambler, the entrepreneur and the risk-taker. Saturn is the strict teacher, the planner, the careful, goal-oriented achiever. Together they can take measured risks and keep things in balance. We may see great gains as well as losses in the coming months.
The last time we had this Great Conjunction in Aquarius was the beginning of the Renaissance. resurgence of creativity came after the black plague. This is an interesting coincidence with the current time. With the restrictions of the past year, creativity is already flourishing in so many ways.
Aquarius is all about the future. Aquarius is a humanitarian sign and represents collaboration and community rather than competition. Aquarius is an Air sign, and with this conjunction we move into a 200-year Air cycle of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions. We will shift to a more inclusive and technologically advanced society. There will be rapid social progress, intellectual development and inventions, and perhaps the awareness of inter-planetary life and activity. We are in the opening cycle of Jupiter and Saturn, when it is time to create something new.
Also significant in the coming year are the Saturn-Uranus squares, the last quarter square of the 45-year synodic cycle of Saturn and Uranus. These planets will be exactly conjunct February 1, June 14th, and December 24th 2021. Jupiter will be involved only with the February 1st square, as Jupiter moves quickly through Aquarius and will move into Pisces on May 13th, leaving Saturn and Uranus in square aspect for the whole year. Saturn consolidates, and Uranus breaks things apart. One expression of this conjunction is that we are finally tackling climate change, and may invent new ways of addressing it.
This Winter Solstice is a day to envision your future and create a new plan for 2021. This is a time to seed enthusiastic new ideas and solid visions for the future. What do you have to offer?
Wherever in your horoscope you have the beginning of the sign of Aquarius may invite new intentions. Wherever you have planets near o degrees may reveal areas of your life where this conjunction can be especially powerful.
This Great Conjunction is near the Fixed Star of Altair. Altair is a star of that symbolizes bold action linked to human rights and relationships. It denotes fortunate action, leadership, and power. We are seeing the power of this star in the selection of Joe Biden’s cabinet of a group of diverse men and women who will lead various aspects of our country’s government.
Each degree of the zodiac is attached to a different symbolic meaning known as the Sabian Symbols. The Sabian symbol for the degree of this Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is “An Old Adobe Mission in California.” This is a symbol to build something from natural materials from the environment that protects, sustains, and nourishes the community. Caring about people in a community is about acceptance and reverence for each person’s divinity, and it is not about control. Keywords for this symbol are spiritual retreats, of which this ritual meeting is one, finding new ways to work with spirit, and hard work to create sanctuary and learning. The next Sabian symbol is “An Unexpected Thunderstorm.” Thus, there may be an unleashing of energy in the shifts we are about to experience.
In Vedic astrology this Jupiter-Saturn conjunction occurs in the Nakshatra, Uttara Ashadha, which is about humanitarian concerns and fairness to all races. Uttara Ashadha holds a lot of power, and a persistence to succeed with lofty goals and righteous causes for the benefit of all. Ruled by the Sun, it denotes leadership. Again, this Nakshatra shows a leadership emerging that is more diverse and inclusive.
As a practical offering, I’ve listed several things that would be appropriate expressions of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius:
1. Advance your technological skills.