Winter Solstice and Return of the Light
Solstices are turning points where we honour the cycles and the seasons that remind us of the ever-changing flow of life that we are a part of. During June 21, we welcome the winter on the Southern hemisphere while we experience the longest night and shortest day. The Winter Solstice is also the celebration of the return of the light. Leading up to it we spend an increasingly longer time in the darkness. On the Solstice itself, we reach the pivot point and moment of change. This is traditionally a time to celebrate the Sun, but let’s also celebrate the Sun’s shadow, the Darkness. We enter a new cycle, we cross over a threshold.
Magic happens in the dark. In myth, the hero/heroine journeys to a place of death, darkness and rebirth. The myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone comes to mind. In ancient Greece, Demeter (Latin = Ceres) was worshipped as the Great Mother, Goddess of agriculture and fertility. One day Persephone was abducted by Hades/Pluto, Lord of the Underworld. Demeter was distraught and went on a long search to find her daughter. While she was grieving over her loss, nature dried up and become a wasteland. Persephone was eventually returned and her mother rejoiced; seeds sprouted again and flowers bloomed; crops once again filled the fields. The myth describes the birth of the yearly round with its seasons as well as the cycles of life. In ancient Greece, the ‘Eleusinian Mysteries’ developed as a form of initiation and celebration to honour Demeter as the Goddess of fertility and Guide to the afterlife. The basis of these mysteries was an old agrarian cult which included a cycle with three phases, the “descent” (loss = autumn), the “search” (winter) and the “ascent” (spring, summer). The main theme was the “ascent” of Persephone and the reunion with her mother. The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret and consistently preserved from antiquity. For the initiated, the rebirth of Persephone symbolised the eternity of life which flows from generation to generation. In this sense, the Winter Solstice suggests a moment of pause, a period of time-out for finding the truth in the dark, for contemplation and emptying out, so that we are getting the rest and power to return renewed.
Examining the Winter Solstice chart, the Ingress of the Sun into Cancer, we find Mars and the Sun in emotional and family oriented Cancer and the Moon in earthy, comfort loving Taurus, its sign of exaltation. The Taurus Moon is conjunct Venus, the goddess of beauty and pleasure who has her astrological home in Taurus. Both carry the frequency of the Divine Feminine and are in an exact trine to Pluto, Lord of the Underworld. This is a lovely invitation to pause, enjoy the stillness of the moment, regenerate and restore our spiritual and physical energies. Neptune is square the Black Moon Lilith, suggesting that we find healing through facing the shadow, embracing the darkness and listening to our intuition. Ceres/Demeter is opposite Saturn (exact June 26), indicating that we need to take responsibility for our own happiness and well-being. The Cancer New Moon follows on June 24. Mars and Mercury are also present in Cancer, supporting an atmosphere of caring and sharing for and with those who are close to our hearts. Mars in Cancer squares Jupiter in Libra (exact June 25), and forms a trine with the transpersonal planet Neptune in Pisces (exact 26). The entire period around the Winter Solstice is a time of great cleansing and return to Unity Consciousness. Let’s set our intention now and speak our vision for the planet and welcome this new cycle!