A wizard gestures his hands forward, drawing through him powerful forces of nature. Dark clouds gather above as a thick mist gathers around his feet. By his command, lighting strikes a nearby tree branch with a deafening flash and blinding thunderclap that rips across the countryside.
All of his energy is focused on a singular purpose. A second lightning bolt fells another branch, a bit closer to his target this time. Not shaking his concentration in the slightest he gestures forward one more time. This time the bolt hits the intended branch, splintering it without breaking, so that it slowly begins to descend.
The wizard gracefully rushes to stand under the branch as a kitten slides down from it into his arms. The clouds disperse and the sun returns. A young girl emerges from behind a bush and is joyfully reunited with her kitten. The wizard moves on, magnetized by his inner calling to be where he is needed next.
Here in the Midwest the Winter Solstice occurs at precisely 11:11am (Central Time) on Saturday, December 21st. Numerologically, it would appear we are entering a year with the theme of mastery. Astrologically this theme fits, given Saturn in Scorpio's ongoing test of our soul-work — what dark corners in that subconscious cellar of yours still need cleaning out? — at square with the Leo Moon — can you turn your emotional struggles into creative gold or are you going to complain that it's too hard?
The statement of this Solstice chart, which carries its energy through the season with influence throughout the year, is a rather fierce one. We are purging in transformation, learning to mix right action with determined patience. But if we remember to share the journey with others, we can harness our mastery together, and by giving ourselves wholly to the work we can make great progress. All told 2014 looks to be a year for potentially greater growth than the past two years, and for many that's saying a lot.
Continuing this year is the Uranus/Pluto square, which began in 2010 and continues through 2015. This is the grinding engine of world transformation, sparking revolution and systemic political, economic and social change. Added to this mix on the solstice is Mars in Libra at opposition to Uranus making a square back to Pluto. This is the so-called t-square aspect that generates a great deal of stressful energy needing to be released, and due to retrogrades this aspect is going to come in and out of phase for several months. The question is whether we can harness the energy for creative conscious intention, or whether it gets so bottled up it has nowhere to go but explode. Jupiter in Cancer will make the t-square into a Cardinal Grand Cross — opposing Pluto, squaring Mars and Uranus — as it moves retrograde and eventually direct.
The dance of these four planets is a big subject, but it's basically about how well we take on leadership. Can you lead towards a higher vision without alienating others? Can you take up positions of support for others who are leading? This kind of planetary pattern can force us into situations where we either take the reigns or get utterly trampled. The key points to remember are:
- Keep your emotions buoyant by nurturing faith and expanding self-love (Jupiter in Cancer);
- Strive for personal and collective liberation, take new and bold risks (Uranus in Aries);
- Take the hands of others, whether you or they are offering it (Mars in Libra);
- Keep...going...even if needing to destroy something from the past that blocks you (Pluto in Capricorn);
The Grand Cross is teaching us that we can no longer hold on to our beliefs of powerlessness. We are powerful, we are responsible and we must lead. But this part of the story is uplifted by Saturn's trine to Jupiter, which also comes in and out of phase from now until June. The message here is that we are given the necessary lift we need to do the work, so long as we genuinely commit, and we can make great strides as a result. Any benefits of our work are magnified by our devotion to do, or not-do, whatever it takes to grow.
At the moment of the solstice Venus is just a few hours from retrograde in Capricorn. This continues to test integrity in relationship, where illusions, manipulations or denials can be outed. Take some time to reflect on how you show up in relationship, as this is a good time to step through fears, insecurities or protective emotional patterns to get at a more authentic bonding. This allows you to connect more authentically to yourself and cultivate a deeper sense of meaning for your life. Mars in Libra lights the fire under our butts to work on relationship, which will only burn us if we spurn others.
I'll be writing more about the coming year soon, but it looks like we've got another wild year ahead, testing our courage and faith while making us stronger and wiser as we learn to love more deeply and unify our power with each other and with the greater powers of Creation. No matter the size or import of the task at hand, whether saving a lost kitten or a lost nation, such lessons are the nature of Mastery.