December 22, 2018 at 9:49 am PST / 17:49 UT

The Moon and Sun opposed at 00°49' Cancer/Capricorn

imageThis last lunation of the year sets a warm tone for the holiday season: a "long night's moon," just a day after winter solstice, shining from Luna's own nurturing sign of Cancer. If you remember, we began the year with a Cancer Full Moon right on New Year's Day, so the first and last lunations of 2018 happen to be Cancer Full Moons. We begin and end the year with this sign of home and family highlighted.

Comforting, Compassionate, Sometimes Cranky-Pants Cancer

The bright side of Moon-ruled Cancer illuminates all things cozy and warm: close friends and family, that innermost circle of intimacy where emotional support can be found, where we can retreat and recover from the harsh, demanding world. Cancer has a long memory and can be rather moody, so watch out for a tendency to dwell on the ghosts of the past, to compare this year's festivities with past holidays, leaving a wake of loneliness, regret and sorrow. Keep an eye on irritability. For all the joy the holidays are supposed to bring, it can be a rough time, Saturn's higher ideal is to prod us to face reality, deal with our problems, not run from them — yet not get swallowed up by them either!overflowing with busyness, unwise spending and other over-indulgences, and too many gatherings. So use the best aspects of the Cancer Full Moon to be a good mother to your self: eat well, say no when you must, take your vitamins and immune supplements, get enough rest, and keep up the exercise routines.

For those of us who have lost loved ones recently, or estranged from our families in other ways, the holidays can be especially brutal, intensifying the grief and loneliness. And this holiday season being particularly Saturnian adds to that "glass half empty" tendency to see the world through a rather gloomy lens. Cancer and Saturn are both broody hens, so if you drop into despair or sorrow, the best thing to do is take the focus off yourself, do something for someone else. Happiness is truly a function of focusing "out there" rather than listening to that internal echo chamber. Saturn's higher ideal is to prod us to face reality, deal with our problems, not run from them — yet not get swallowed up by them either! Luckily for us, a cheerful Mercury-Jupiter conjunction in jolly Sagittarius falls on the same day as solstice to provide a joyful counterpart to solemn Saturn.

A Long Night's Moon

As the December Solstice is marked by the Sun's entry into Saturn-ruled Capricorn, the Lord of Karma is the Big Kahuna, the master of ceremonies for this particular turning point in the solar year. With Saturn currently transiting through Capricorn, its very own sign, this adds to its already strong presence. Moreover, immediately following the holiday season, we arrive at the first eclipse of 2019, on January 6th, a partial solar eclipse in Capricorn. This is another reason not to wear yourself out over the holidays, for out of the frying pan and into the fire we go! Eclipses always bring turbulence.

So here we are in a "Father Time" time. Difficult, sometimes painful, lessons to be learned about facing reality, growing up, and becoming more effective in life come around when Saturn is active. Responsibilities and duties tend to pile on. "Buck up, quit your whining and procrastinating," our cosmic parent roars while giving us a swift kick in the tush. What Saturn lessons do YOU need to take to heart? really learn? Yes, I'm referring to those lessons — the ones you have been failing to deal with over and over again. Did you really expect to get away with this forever?


So we have a tender, if a bit cranky, Cancer Full Moon widely conjunct Saturn and following swift on the heels of a Saturn-ruled solstice. Here's my offering on this key station in the solar year.

May this holiday season bring you peace.

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December 21, 2018 at 2:22 pm PST / 22:22 UT

The Sun Arrives at 0° Capricorn

picWhen our central star glides into the cardinal, earth sign of Capricorn, it marks an important turning point in the solar year: the winter solstice and longest night — for those of us north of the equator. At the Capricorn solstice, the Sun concludes its long, half-year descent into the southern sky. High noon on this day, it shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn, its southern-most extreme: 23.5° latitude, south of the equator.

The triumph of darkness over light at this time of year is tempered with the knowledge of the never-ending, turning of the wheel. For after the December solstice, our days gradually lengthen until eventually summer solstice arrives, six months from now, marked by the Sun's entry into Capricorn's polar complement: the feminine water sign of Cancer.

While those of us in the north huddle by the fire sipping hot toddies and peering out at a stark winter landscape, our friends in the south are enjoying the peak of the Sun's strength, the lush, high greening of the land. If there's ever a time when the fundamental, dual nature of life here on planet Earth is most evident, it is at the two solstices — the "Sun extremes" of the year.

Here's the link to read the full Capricorn Solstice post.


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Mary Cassatt "Young Mother Sewing," Oil on Canvas, 1900. Source Met Museum

The winter landscape photo is from this wallpaper site.