Astrology of Now: Solstice

Friday December 20th 2013
Winter Afternoon — Yuli Yulievich Klever —

It’s just after four in the afternoon and night already. Daylight went in a blinking here in the deep of the year.

Tomorrow the Sun moves into Capricorn, Saturn’s sign; the sign of responsibility, of the father, of old age — and the sign of deep earth magic. Capricorn — half fish-half goat — a tail in the world of spirit, hooves planted on stone, horned head looking higher.

From this point in the year, each day will be longer than the last. We are at zero, the pivot, the hinge of the year.

Eric Ravilious – Winter Landscape

Outside, the last leaves have finally dropped. The trees are sleeping. But in the heart of the earth, new life is already stirring, and in fact, if you look closely at the shrubs in our garden, you can see next year’s buds already formed and waiting.

The Romans said Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, was the tutelary deity of Capricorn. She teaches Capricorn what he needs to know. Vesta is both the cooking fire and the sacred flame; simultaneously homely and holy. She was also the most widely worshipped deity in classical times.

At this time of year we need her more than any other time. From Diwali in November to Christmas to Candlemas in February, we celebrate fire in winter. Fire warms our hearths and our hearts.

St Lucy’s Morn, December 13. Karl Larsson

This year Vesta is in Libra, the sign of social connection, politics, peace, deal-making, conversation. It’s otherwise a very difficult period astrologically, but Vesta offers us hope now. She’s joined by her sister Ceres, the goddess of abundance. Together they oppose Uranus in Aries and square both Pluto and Jupiter, in Capricorn and Cancer respectively. Mars is also in Libra now, rapidly approaching hostile aspects to Uranus and Pluto, so there will be fireworks. But Vesta, keeper of the sacred flame of domesticity, and nurturing Ceres, may offer us guidance through this gale.

It’s around our own hearths that we have influence. It’s here right in our own parlours, in the heart of our own families, that we can make a difference. We can talk. We may not agree, but we can talk. We can be steady like Vesta, we can be generous like Ceres. In Libra, we keep communications open — and Mars in Libra counsels jaw jaw not war war.

Of course, this is a time when those without family feel that lack most keenly. Christmas can be cruel. And some families are too awful to ever heal. They just are. All we can do is sit with that sacred flame, that spark of life, and take care of our part of it, so that there’s something left to pass on, even if it’s just the tiniest wisp of light.

We are all keepers of the flame, visitors for a short while before we return to the light.

I’ll put a candle in the window now.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hooray! I see that right now Vesta is conjunct my sun, almost to the minute, and therefore also directly opposite my natal Jupiter. No fire to light chez moi, but plently of candles on the go. My three lovely children all with cardinal moons will all be here soon, I’ve been wondering how things will go this yuletide… perhaps I’ll just pootle about cooking and keeping the real flames alight, hoping the metaphorical ones don’t spark off!

    Happy Christmas and thank you for your really interesting and enlightening posts.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A lovely and loving post. Thank you.

  3. mm says:

    Beautiful post. I’ll be lighting a gold candle a little later on and putting up the fairy lights. My Vesta is at 24 Sag conjunct the IC. I love the Winter Solstice.

    I’m not sure how the coming week will be but I want to meet each day with no expectation and work with what is rather than what others (and I) think it “should” be. In other words surrender – rather apt as tr Neptune is currently square my natal Sun. Not easy, it has to be said.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This Christmas Vesta and Ceres are conjunct my IC – I shall be cooking for a few relatives and I guess we will be taking a trip down Memory Lane, remembering our Mum who died this year – it will be a beautiful Chirstmas

    Merry Christmas, Christina, and thank you for writing such interesting articles – I really like your blog


  5. Isy Aweigh says:

    Vesta conjunct Ceres makes me think of Persephone’s youthful aspect as Kore and her mother Demeter (or Proserpina and Ceres in their Latin names), especially with those hard aspects to the outer bodies Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter. Not a comfortable image. It’s like they’re hanging onto each other as the old guys are tearing them apart.

    My rather wild Taurus/Gemini kitten took off last night. Until then, it was a lovely vacation. Under these aspects I don’t know if I’ll see him again. I sure hope he turns up fat and sassy, but it’s not comfortable waiting.

  6. I ll be going to Burning the Clocks parade in Brighton and I felt the urge to cook a fiery chilli con carne for my family today, including 2 Aries men, 1 Sag teenager and a whole lot of air signs! No need for me to worry about a warm fire this evening 🙂

  7. Beautiful, thank you, you’ve caught that still moment in all pre-Christmas rush. I’ll keep it burning. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Christina.

  8. Diane L says:

    Thank you for the reminder about Ceres & Vesta in Libra. Vesta will conjoin my Moon on Christmas Day & I’m the person hosting family that day. 🙂

    May you & yours have a lovely, peaceful Holiday Season!

  9. weaver says:

    powerful post; you have averted my attention to where it should focus. happy holy days, christina

  10. […] Meanwhile, Ceres, the goddess of abundance, she who harvests the pomegranate, nurtures the children, squares from Libra, the sign of social grace. Ceres in Libra: a perfectly set dining table piled with good things to eat. Ceres is currently joined by her sister Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, who will be in Libra as long as Mars — until the summer that is — because of retrograde motion later in 2014. Vesta is the domestic goddess, the goddess we cherish most dearly in the dark of winter. For more on this and why Vesta can help us through Christmas week click here. […]