The Summer and Winter Solstice are important elements in virtually all cultures who observe the phenomenon at all. This is the point at which the light force is either waxing or waning. Winter Solstice is the longest night of the Year and succeeding days will become longer until the Summer Solstice, when we have the longest day and the lengthening of the night. Of course, the Equinoxes and other points are important as well, but the Solstice story is perhaps the most primal because we are talking about the greatest and lowest point of the Light Force as archetypes.
It should be remembered that there is no moral judgment implied regarding the Night and the Day Force, the Darkness or the Light. The darkening of the Year and corresponding lightening of the Year are equally valued. Night and Day are equal, as is the spiralling in and spiralling out of human consciousness. It’s the eternal relationship of feminine and masculine, complementary and inseparable.
This time of Year, traditionally known and celebrated as Yule, is when the Holly King surrenders to the Oak King. In fact, he is slain, just as he will slay the Oak King at Summer Solstice. They are of course two inseparable expressions of the same force. The Winter Solstice has always been considered the time at which the light is born.
The Holly King reigns until the moment of the Winter Solstice. He is associated with Saturn who is in turn the Lord of Capricorn and then Aquarius. None of this overshadows the festivities and we are reminded that Saturnalia was rigorously celebrated by Romans and others during this time of year. The halls are decked with boughs of holly.
The figure of Santa Claus embodies many of these themes. His Solar nature gives us associations of hearth and warmth. generosity and of course plenty of evergreen holly. His aged appearance speaks of the waning of the old year with the birth of the new. Saturn ruled over the Golden Age, long passed but still recalled.
The chart above is set for the exact moment of the Winter Equinox on 21 December at 9.11 am. Victoria, British Columbia (PST) with the Sun at zero degress Capricorn.. The Lord of the Geniture is a poorly placed Saturn who of course is also Lord of the Ascendant and Sun. This is a rather chilly presentation because Saturn in Scorpio is also the chart Almuten Figuris and squared the Moon in Leo, in turn parallel the fixed star, Regulus. Jupiter is in his exaltation and Lord of the Hour. He is also with some powerfully benefic stars but he is retrograde and this is a strong impediment. Nevertheless, both Sun and Ascendant are in good relation to the Part of Fortune
The debilitated Mars in Libra, is problematic as Lord of Saturn and suggests great conflict in high places. Overall, the chart is not a particularly malefic one.
It helps to look closely at the Humours. In this case we have a primarily Melancholic and a secondarily Phlegmatic nature. …. Cold and Dry and Cold and Wet. This and other elements of the chart indicate a cold winter overall. The area covered by the chart meteorologically is the West Coast on N. America from Northern British Columbia to the Baja. As always, forecasts must take this into consideration. With Saturn in the fixed water sign of Scorpio, we are further assured of this outcome.
Most importantly, I wish all my friends, readers, students and colleagues a Joyous Yule and a Blessed New Year !
P. S. – About those flying reindeer and hallucinogenic mushrooms ! (BBC Documentary)