by Kate Hubert

Winter Solstice
21st December 2017, 16:29 GMT

At Solstice, the midpoint between the Sun and the young Moon is  occupied by the ruler of the underworld, Pluto, marking this time of darkness and peace with a charge of depth and power.  The dark nourishes and replenishes all of life, readying us for a new season of growth and expression.  Great potential lies in the deep tranquillity this moment offers. 

The spirit of any time is created by a field of resonance.  This is a musical chord that causes everything that vibrates at that frequency to sing.  The vibrational frequency that pertains at any one time conditions (rather than determines) what is imagined, experienced, perceived, thought and done in that time.  In this process moments arise that are openings into new territory, and astrology, the complex language of energy patterns in time, provides a sense of where and when these openings are and what opportunities might be found as we travel into the new.

In early October Jupiter's entry into Scorpio marked such an opening, offering a very different way of experiencing Pluto's renovation of Capricorn, which has, since 2008, been relentless in its revelation of the toxicity and corruption at the heart of our structures and systems of authority.  Jupiter's movement into Scorpio – ruled by Pluto – brought that archetype's concern with protection, benevolence and justice into our experience of societal corruption. The revelations that followed in the wake of the Weinstein scandal may have come as a devastating surprise to some, but were not news to most women.  The only surprise was that suddenly – after lifetimes – sexual predation and abuse of power through sexuality was being seen as “NOT OK!”  Pluto and Scorpio rule sexuality and power; Jupiter is illuminating plutonic vileness but in a helpful way, enabled by the resonance created by being in Pluto's sign. 

Furthermore, as Saturn (ruler of Capricorn, the sign Pluto currently occupies) has been travelling through Jupiter's sign of Sagittarius, Jupiter's entry into Scorpio put all three planets into a strong energetic relationship with each other: they all disposit each other.  This represents an opportunity for conscious recalibration which we can see reflected in the example of Weinstein and the #me too response.  That door is about to close as Saturn changes sign.

On 20th December, 36 hours before the Solstice moment, Saturn will come home.  It moves into its own sign, Capricorn, where it will edge slowly towards a major astrological moment: its conjunction with Pluto in January 2020.  We have had no major planetary conjunctions since 2011:  the longest period of quietude since at least 1900.  In 2020 we will have three!  Jupiter–Saturn, Jupiter–Pluto and Saturn–Pluto.  Jupiter–Pluto and Saturn–Pluto will be in Capricorn; Jupiter–Saturn will occur on 0° Aquarius (note this degree!)  Given the energetic relationship between Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto this autumn, we can see this time as a foreshadowing, a gathering of force for these major conjunctions to come in 2020.

At the time of this year's Winter Solstice all planetary energies (except Neptune in Pisces) will be pouring (by disposition) into Saturn in Capricorn.  Saturn is home and ready to build, manifest and give form to what we will.  Capricorn may be the sign of authoritarianism, materialism and avarice, but it's also the sign of spiritual aspiration and Initiation – tune into the level that you would like to manifest in your life, but please spare a thought for the rest of us; look unto the seventh generation, if you would!  Saturn in Capricorn brings the possibility of great steadiness, endurance and self-discipline; now is the time to garner the forces of the will to manifest new structures and forms of governance, individually and collectively.  What authority do we wish to honour and live by?  We've had time to think about it; now it's time to commit.

At the Solstice all planets fall within 167° of the zodiac, leaving 193° wide open and empty.  The midpoint of planetary activity is 0° Aquarius (remember?), site of the coming Jupiter–Saturn conjunction.  This gathering of planetary heft suggests the tightening of a bowstring and a taking aim into the other half of the zodiac where the warmth and caring connection associated with Cancer, and the joyful creative expression of Leo are indicated as crucial qualities to guide the will at this time and as we head towards 2020.

And let's not forget that the Solstice is created by the movement of our life-giving Sun, our guiding star, into its midnight place.  This year it is accompanied by Venus and Saturn (which shares the Solstice degree); exuberance and expenditure are chilled and stilled, replaced by the wish for something more serious, like real connection.  With care and joy, take the time to go deep and connect; know what it is that you will.  There is power in the stillness and silence of this time.

Kate Hubert