’Tis the season to remember that no matter how dark the days may be—and these days are pretty dark—the light will eventually return. The winter solstice occurs on Friday, December 21 at 5:22 PM EST. In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice is the darkest day of each and every year, but it also signals the return of the light through the sun’s lengthening days, which is why it serves as the template for all the seasonal festivals of light. This year—more than ever—we need to celebrate that return with the awareness of how dependent we are upon the sun’s life-giving force and how thankful we should be for its presence. When you mix the potent power of the winter solstice—which is really the power of nature—with the commercial intensity of the shopping season and the emotional intensity that the holidays so often generate, the coming weeks are certain to be overwhelming for many of our fellow travelers, especially those who have a hard time managing the contrast between the organic reality of the solstice and the processed reality of Christmas. Do your best to avoid getting caught in the grip of the season’s greed and instead, align with nature. Even in the midst of highly populated cities it’s possible to find a connection to nature—a connection that is priceless, and one that our ancestors have been aligning with for centuries.
Several significant astral interactions color the moment of the sun’s standstill and set the tone for 2019. (For those new to these pages, the winter solstice is a compass point for celebrations of a new beginning and the chart for that moment can reveal information about what lies ahead; the Gregorian calendar also indicates influences for the coming year, and both are useful navigation tools.)
At the moment of the solstice, Saturn is at the midpoint between the Sun and Pluto, indicating that reality might make a comeback in 2019—and wouldn’t that be a welcome relief from the barrage of falsehoods that have become the political fabric of daily life. But keep in mind, it’s completely possible to land on the solid ground of reality with a thud that reverberates throughout the year. A getting-in-touch-with-the-truth frequency often gives birth to unexpected wake-up calls, coupled with difficult transitions, especially when it comes to dealing with the consequences of awakening from denial.
The next day, December 22, a full Moon, in Cancer, opposes the solstice Sun, indicating high emotional tides around the issues of safety and security. Align with the highest frequency of this opposition by determining a way to stay rooted in kindness even when dealing with the most difficult challenges of the practical world.
Back to the solstice chart: there’s also a wonderful Mercury/Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius—a reason to celebrate—because this dynamic duo fosters snappy, interesting, and informed conversations that cover a variety of topics, from the deeply philosophical to the just plain silly—and one of those subjects is certain to be “what is truth, anyway?” Lots of people will be talking like crazy during this coming celestial year, so get ready for everyone to be sharing opinions. Although the belligerent tone of Mr. Trump lingers through 2019—mostly because it’s his only tone—there is plenty of potential for the rest of us to share a very convivial attitude. The shadow of Sagittarius may be zealous fundamentalism that insists on one way and one way only, but Sagittarius is also a Mutable Sign, which makes it one of the peacemakers of the zodiac—its goal is actually sharing information and helping others to grow.
The friendly frequency of the Mercury/Jupiter conjunction lingers through Christmas Day, when it is amplified by the Moon, in Leo. While a Leo Moon can tend toward drama, Leo is essentially a generous Sign, and when that generosity is bolstered by both Mercury and Jupiter, it easily turns gregarious, which could infuse Christmas festivities with true goodwill.
As the final weeks of 2018 unfold, allow the winter solstice to inspire a new perspective—let it lift your spirit and illuminate all your celebrations with kindness and compassion.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
You’re moving with a lighter attitude—more philosophical than usual and slightly more patient. While I’m not guaranteeing an entirely new approach to persistently challenging situations, there are possibilities for transforming old habits into new, more positive, patterns.
Taurus April 20-May 20
Consider your current state of mind as an opportunity to shift into a more optimistic framework. Yes, there are obstacles to overcome, but there are also still things to learn, and if you can settle into a “beginner’s mind,” you’ll find it much easier to shift into a new attitude.
Gemini May 21-June 21
The focus is on revitalizing your relationships with significant others—all of them, personal and professional, but mostly importantly your relationship with yourself. Try a new approach, and instead of wishing for more intimacy, create it by being authentic with everyone, including yourself.
Cancer June 22-July 22
Your endeavors are a lot of work, but because you devote yourself to them with a great deal of enthusiasm, they can deliver a great deal of personal satisfaction. So whatever you are working on, concentrate your efforts on excellence and you’ll be pleased and satisfied with the results.
Leo July 23-August 22
The best gift you could give yourself is creativity. No matter what your expression may be—writing, painting, potting, planting, playing an instrument, dancing, or acting—have at it. Devote yourself to your gifts and talents and the rewards will be exponentially beneficial.
Virgo August 23-September 22
Breathe in a deep sense of well-being in the right place at the right time, even if that feeling is momentary. There are still issues to work on, but at this point in time and space, you’re feeling a deep sense of peace. Let nothing interfere with that groundedness—it’s making you stronger than you realize.
Libra September 23-October 22
The desire to share your opinions continues, only this week you’re more interested in speaking from the heart. Give yourself permission to be poetic—exaggerate if necessary; use metaphors, and don’t shy away from symbols. What you have to say is meaningful to many people, but especially to you.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
You’re still in a money-making mood, but you’re also in an exciting phase of self-awareness that supports a new level of self-confidence. Don’t hesitate to take your inventory—notice what still needs work, but also be aware of your strong suits—and own those gifts and talents without hesitation.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
You’re in your element, spontaneously sharing your ideas and feelings with all who will listen. Have at it, but also remember to listen as keenly to others. Unfortunately that won’t be easy, if only because you are so enthusiastic about what you’re saying that you may not even remember to breathe, let alone listen.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
Pay attention to your dreams: they are potent right now and sending succinct messages about several situations you’ve been ruminating on for a while. You may not find solutions delineated with as much detail as you desire, but you just might find a new perspective that will untie old knots.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
You’re in such a festive mood, you’re likely to accept every invitation to every party—why wouldn’t you? You’re feeling upbeat and optimistic about so many things and you just naturally want to share that joy. Follow your altruistic inclinations and commune with friends and family.
Pisces February 19-March 20
You might be in the spotlight, receiving the recognition you deserve, or you could experience an increased sense of personal accomplishment coupled with a new self-respect. In whatever way this plays out, the gift is a deeper appreciation of your ability to succeed at whatever you put your mind to.