A Coffee at the End of the World
So, 21st December 2012 is almost upon us. A whole industry has grown up around this date, which apparently marks the end of the Mayan calendar.
Will the world (as we know it) end? I’m so sure it won’t, I’m meeting a good friend the day after for a coffee to celebrate the continuation of the status quo. We always meet on the last Saturday before Christmas, at the same coffee shop and order the biggest, sweetest coffees on the menu, topped off with a tower of squirty spray-can cream.
It’s an indulgence which, though unspoken, celebrates another year of our enduring friendship. We’ve been doing it so long it’s turned into a tradition.
Tradition of course, is associated with Capricorn, the sign the Sun moves into on 21st December. The Sun's ingress into Capricorn marks the Winter Solstice (the Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere). The chart for the Solstice is traditionally used as a predictor for the season to come, at least until the Spring Equinox.
So what message is the Solstice chart carrying?
|December 21 Solstice, set for London (Click to Enlarge)|
The first stand out is Mars in Capricorn. Mars is strong in Capricorn, exalted. We are expected to respect and look up to whatever Mars in Capricorn is symbolising. If we’re looking at this chart from a collective perspective, then Mars here represents those in authority - leaders, organisers, decision makers, action takers. Bravo Mars!
But look a little more closely at Mars and all is not as it first seems. Mars is unaspected, making no major aspects to any major planets. Mars in this position wants to do its own thing, unchallenged. But here’s the rub. It’s void of course, meaning that it won’t make any more aspects before it moves into egalitarian Aquarius. (its exact Sextile to the Nodal Axis occurred three days before the Solstice). All this means that by the time of the Solstice, Mars in Capricorn has already completed its work and has nothing else to do. Because, of its exaltation in Capricorn, however, it will still arrogantly cling to its sense of self importance and fail to see the impotence of its position.
Draw whatever conclusions you want, but it seems assured that those in positions of authority in society will find they are not able to Get Things Done in the way they would like during the coming three months or so.
Mars is a masculine energy, so we need to look elsewhere for the feminine. There is a clear pointer in the Solstice chart towards a positive surge of balancing feminine energy. Juno joins the Sun at 0 degrees Capricorn - the Aries point degree, where a great rush of energy projects outwards into the world, seeking manifestation. Juno symbolises the union of the masculine and feminine, including the legal union of marriage. Juno also stands for primal feminine power and issues of equality, a useful counterpoint for the male power represented by the Sun. Interesting that the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK is currently on the political agenda. We will also hear more about female inequality in the workplace (the Sun-Juno conjunction falls in the 10th House for the UK), with female unemployment reaching an all time high in 2012 and with mounting pressure on corporations to promote more women to the Board.
The first major aspect to become exact after the Solstice is Saturn’s first Sextile to Pluto on 26 December (it will also fall exact in March and September 2013, with its influence stretching from November 2012 to November 2013).
Saturn in Scorpio is in mutual reception with Pluto in Capricorn, meaning that Saturn and Pluto fall in the sign of each other’s ruler. Planets in mutual reception support each other. They can be powerful allies as the world and individuals work towards positive change. Just as easily though, Saturn and Pluto can become dangerous partners in crime. It remains to be seen how this will go, but it’s likely we will see both extremes. The opportunity during this Sextile, if we choose to take it, is to push the relationship towards its more positive expression.
Probably the most significant pattern of this chart is the exact Yod, with Jupiter in Gemini making Quincunx aspects to Saturn and Pluto in Sextile. In Dynamics of Aspect Analysis, Bill Tierney describes a Yod as a fork in the road, the finger of fate, the opportunity to follow a new direction. Uncertainties may be felt and adjustments may need to be made, but change is necessary. He goes on to say that with Jupiter at the apex, the opportunity is for an expansion of consciousness and the broadening of a social vision.
This is a Yod charged with aspiration, optimism and idealism, which has the potential to make a big social impact. Jupiter in Gemini wants freedom of speech, freedom of mind and freedom of movement. Jupiter is in detriment (meaning that it’s difficult to operate to its best potential in Gemini), so it might be easy for the more negative side of Jupiter to find expression: over reaching; impractical and excessively moralistic. We will need to tap into the more positive energies of Saturn and Pluto to be reminded that real and lasting change requires time, effort and patience.
The chart also gives us Saturn Trine Neptune. If we are being optimistic we can predict peaceful resolutions, treaties, new understandings and a more compassionate idea of morality. This is an opportunity to show we care and to do something practical about it. If we want to be cautious, we should be wary of those who merely pay lip service to compassionate actions and humanitarian causes, while surreptitiously pursuing their own agenda.Looking at this from the perspective of the 2012 predictions, Jupiter in detriment in Gemini in the Yod can all to0 easily make him a false prophet, the witting or unwitting spreader of fear and overblown, baseless theories and rumours. The Saturn Neptune Trine also has the capacity for deception. We need to keep our wits about us if we suspect others are using our fears to control and manipulate us. Putting fearful energy into our endeavours and reactions can create a strong negative force. Refusing to panic and facing our fears (if we are called to do so) can, if done with self compassion and care, become a powerful healing energy.
The key to facing our fears is keeping them in healthy perspective. Our guides for this journey are Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn, who together push us to the edges of our worst fears and force us to stare down into the abyss, with the purpose of offering us freedom from them. My e-book on Saturn in Scorpio deals with the issue of fear, control and keeping safe in detail. Here’s an exclusive extended excerpt from the book.
There’s no doubt the world is constantly changing, but it’s an evolution that is slow, ongoing, complex and multilayered, as reflected by the long cycles of the outer planets: the 493-year Neptune-Pluto cycle; the 120+ year Uranus-Pluto cycle and so on.
As the planets turn and connect, we are still here, working out the same old Karma. Now if that is not enough to help put things in perspective, I don’t know what is!
Happy 2012 Solstice.Subscribe to receive Astroair Astrology in your inbox