I think Christmas is like the bar exam: the point is to get it over with, and once you’re done one, you’ve pretty much done them all, even though you could possibly have to perform more of them as your life goes on, and life after the bar exam is nothing like the actual bar exam, because the bar exam is not like the practice of law, and the new year is not like Christmas time. Though, I have to say that if you think failing the California bar on the first try is shameful, you’re an uneducated turd who doesn’t really know what you’re talking about. I have exactly zero peers who think that this is something to scoff at, but can think of plenty of people who are no where close to ever taking a bar exam, let alone understanding what a bar exam actually is, who think this is laughable.
I’m not taking bar exams anymore. If I leave Illinois, I’m not going to practice law, if only because I don’t want to take a 3-4 month chunk out of my life to study for a bar exam full time. I’m not celebrating Christmas or Easter anymore either. I am liberated from it all, and I don’t want to do it. They don’t mean anything to me, not spiritually, not culturally. I don’t hate them, but I don’t feel the need to observe them.
Okay, I kind of hate Christmas nowadays. It’s exhausting, and frankly, when you’re an adult with no kids and you don’t believe in the divinity of Christ, it’s mostly a drain on you financially and psychologically, and even if you do have kids, it’s a financial and psychological drain, especially if you’re the one trying to perform Christmas so no one else misses out.
Christmas is a thankless job for a lot of adults, parents and children alike.
And then there’s that thing about the baby born in a manger into humble circumstances who would one day become king of all humanity, their savior, the one who gave all to save them from themselves.
Or something. Ooh look: Playstation 5 is out, and too many men my age are way too happy about this, so, Jesus, if you are real, please tell Santa that all I want for Christmas is for you to make sure my soul mate isn’t addicted to television or video games, please.
What even is the winter solstice?
The winter solstice occurs on December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Earth is tilted furthest away from the Sun, so that the Sun appears lowest in the sky than it has all year — the “death” of the Sun that slowly rises up a little higher in the sky each day until the Summer Solstice, when it is at it’s highest. The winter solstice is the first day of winter, the first day of Capricorn, and the beginning of the winter season and the end of the solar year. In pagan traditions, this time of year was celebrated with reverence and hope of the return of the light.
Unfortunately, because we no longer live on natural cycles, we no longer honor and respect nature and the slowing down that winter brings us.
What good is winter anyway?
While winter was a time of hard work, it wasn’t necessarily a time of continuous work, which is what winter essentially is for most people because we still work on a post-industrial calendar in which every day is supposed to be the same. Drive to work, drive home. Reap, sow, plant, repeat. Only that it’s harder to do when it’s cold and snowy outside and your body is telling you stop and sleep. However, if you did live on a farm, you didn’t have to worry so much about the crops as you did the animals, but that’s it. You didn’t have as much daylight to do things, so you did things that required less light, less exertion, like hobbies, like mending, like sitting around the fire staying warm with your family and getting to know them and remember what you love about them or at least see what you’ve been working so hard for the rest of the year. You didn’t travel for miles on end each day. You didn’t dig out your tractor each day. You didn’t spend an entire month planning for one day’s festivities that you had to pay for with your earnings from the other 364 days a year.
You spent three months working quietly and steadily on long-term goals, so that come spring, you were in good shape to hit the ground running. Winter is supposed to be quiet for all beings. It’s supposed to be a period of planning, of deciding what is important and unimportant, of rest and of focusing on what is important — and what is inside — before spring makes us all busy again.
Look at the three months of winter and their archetypes:
Capricorn: Planning, administration, integrity, coldness, solitude, ambition
Aquarius: innovation, future-mindedness, invention, solitude/individuality
Pisces: spirituality, collective unconscious, sympathy, empathy, sensitivity, humanitarianism
These are the months you use to get ready for spring. These are not the months of Aries, Taurus, and Gemini, when you are out in the world interacting with it and trying to get something from it. Here, you are within yourself, trying to create what will endure through those months, lest all your efforts go to waste and you have nothing to show for it.
Even proceeding that, the month of Sagittarius is not a double-your-efforts-for-half-the-reward month. It’s a celebration of the good harvest and the last chance at freedom before responsibility ties you down, and if there’s a time to hemorrhage money, it’s during this month, not Capricorn.
There is nothing Capricornian about Christmas.
Capricorn conserves. It focuses on what works and perfects it. It doesn’t waste money. It doesn’t do grand displays for either aesthetics or to impress. It doesn’t gather together, nor does it eat until it’s stuffed all the time. It doesn’t rush about trying to buy the perfect this or that, nor does it decorate every last square inch of its home with cheesy decorations. Capricorn doesn’t like gluttony or sloth, nor is it so overtly positive of the coming year.
Who thought putting the new calendar year in Capricorn made sense?! Not in astrologer.
In fact, if Capricorn celebrates, it celebrates a job well done getting ready for the winter, but it’s not going to go broke to do so because that makes no sense, since winter is long and cold, and spring cannot be met with empty hands. The gluttony of Christmas nowadays would have been impossible even 100 years ago.
Jesus was not born on December 25th. The Sun God is not reborn on the winter solstice — it dies on the winter solstice — but it’s reborn on the Spring Equinox when the previously waning sunlight is about to increase. The birth of Jesus was laid over on top of Christmas so the pagans could have their festivities without their gods. Strangely, it has become much more important than Easter, which is actually the most important day of the Christian calendar, because that’s when the Sun God rises from the dead and essentially creates Christianity. The Sun god dies at the end of the week (year) and rises again in three days (months) to save us from death (winter). I guess that Easter just isn’t the same type of catharsis that Christmas is. It’s not really predictable unless you are familiar with the liturgical calendar. It’s preceded by Lent, which is always a pretty big bummer. Did you know you don’t actually have to give up anything for Lent? That’s not a rule. There’s no canon law that says you have to give up something you like for Lent.
Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
The pandemic is a long winter.
I don’t necessarily hate that, not anymore. The dust has settled. There’s a vaccine, and it looks like it’ll be spring by the time people like me will be able to get it. Until then, we are in for a peaceful, indoors winter.
I’m going to watch the snow fall. I’m going to walk in it. I’m going to listen to my radiator hiss sweet nothings in my ear at night. These are the things I think are part of the sweet smallness of winter, the small joys of respite and becoming contained. And when I’m not doing that, I’ll work on the things I need to do in preparation for winter.
How will I actually celebrate the solstice?
This would be my first Christmas alone. On Thanksgiving, people asked me — or told me, rather — that it was very hard on me to be alone, and these are people that I can’t really explain why it was easy, and why life is easier now. Me, by myself, am doing just fine. I didn’t need Rick; he needed me, and I think that he knew that it was over, and I don’t think that people in my situation should have to be ashamed of their lack of grief, but I think it’s very difficult to tell this to the people who need you to grieve for some reason.
I’m not a prolonged griever anyway. I don’t stay in that place; my balm is looking to the future and starting over.
I also can’t say that there isn’t some part of me that didn’t want to be completely alone and that that part of me will be completely fulfilled spending Christmas in solitude.
It’s a good place to start over again, from the ground up, and that’s probably not a bad thing for celebrating Jupiter and Saturn entering Aquarius.
I don’t have a fireplace to burn a Yule log, nor do I wish to stuff my apartment with greenery. While I think holly and evergreen boughs would be pretty and smell nice, I frankly don’t want to clean up pine needles for the next few months. I don’t have a tree or anything to decorate one with, and I don’t think I’m interested in started to have a Christmas tree again. Maybe wings again? Definitely holiday buffalo wings again.
Astrology? Probably some astrology, too.
The horoscope of Winter Solstice:
This is going to be interesting! The Sun enters the 00 degree of Capricorn on the winter solstice, which is an Aries Point. This is a good day for focusing on what you will do for your career and professional reputation, because this is a point about recognition (Aries Point) of status (Capricorn), about being the best (Aries point/Cardinal sign) at what you do professionally or what you are reputed to be. This is long-term: what do you want to do that will have lasting effects? Capricorn isn’t focused on one big sale, but rather, growing the company’s entire worth: how will you become the BEST? Of course, one thing I’ve noticed about being the best is that you may not be rewarded for it by the rest of the world because often, the entire world doesn’t want the actual best: they want something digestible and accessible. I mean, have you ever seen a reality show competition before?
At the core of this Aries Point of 00 degrees Capricorn is authenticity and integrity, but not necessarily integrity and authenticity of the self, but rather, what one produces, because Capricorn need not keep it real (that’s Aries) in order to accomplish what it sets out to do, and it can perform a role, even a villainous one, in order to do what it must do to accomplish its goal.
But alas: The Moon is going enter Aries as well, creating an exact square to the Sun today, and with Jupiter and Saturn entering Aquarius, there may be bona fide newness of something, or simply the veneer of it, though not necessarily comfortable. It’s me vs. all of us, but douse it in kerosene and light a match:
On this day, the Moon will transit Neptune before it enters Aries, making things either magical or surreal, perhaps even triggering latent fears about the future and our own fates, perhaps even triggering some of us to either look within and determine whether we have been good or not (naughty or nice?) or to further kid ourselves into thinking we’re something we’re not.
On that note, people who are sensitive, who call themselves empathetic, psychic, or intuitive, may be especially prone to feelings of guilt or feeling as if their boundaries are even thinner. The worst you can do is pat yourself on your head for this, or make your boundary issues other people’s problems (cause you may do this today). Chill.
The rest of you may decide that today is a good day to do some day drinking or escape your psychic crisis in some other manner. Art is better, you know: it’s way sexier to have paint under your finger nails than to be bloated and red-faced from too much beer.
The good news is that with Sun conjunct Mercury in Capricorn today, we’ll be too stoic to say anything about it, so we’ll just wallow as Jupiter and Saturn stir us to look at the future and hope for change, hope for revolution, which we’re fine with so long as we get to be the architects (Saturn in Aquarius, Sun in Capricorn), and everyone we think is worthy can come along (Venus in Sagittarius). Too bad we don’t agree on who “we” is or who is worthy. As you may know, I don’t hold out hope for the end of the pandemic until the natural New Year, and by the looks of things, the vaccine may not be available until then, and it may be even longer before there’s herd immunity to protect the paranoid pieces of shit who refuse to take the pandemic seriously.
Oh, and by the way – you see how Uranus is conjunct Lilith in Taurus right now? Don’t hold out hope that people will come to their senses, especially now that Uranus and Lilith are making a square to Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Taurus, at its worst, is selfish. Not so much narcissistic, but selfish. At its worst, it does not share, it does not move, it does not volunteer, it does not help. The ruler of Uranus and Lilith is in Sagittarius, and while we’re all kind of, sort of celebrating that (great for the Christmas spirit, bad for family planning), it’s inconjunct Uranus and Lilith, which is irritating. Signs that are inconjunct irritate each other, and Sagittarius is a team-effort sign, a let’s all get together and have a good time sign so long as you don’t take anything I say seriously, ever, and Taurus is I’ll hover over the baked brie and eat it all, and by the way, everything is serious sign.
But what is more troubling is how Jupiter and Saturn will be square Uranus and Lilith in Taurus, because when the ruler of Jupiter and Saturn is in Taurus conjunct Lilith, the energy shifts away from the humanitarian, do it because it’s the right thing to do for the future energy and to the rugged individualism, fuck your feelings energy of Aquarius. So, I do think that curing coronavirus is going to be an uphill battle even though this vaccine could conceivably, possibly, cure future pandemics of coronaviruses.
Mars will be in Aries, squaring Pluto in Capricorn, and it will be all through January as well (check out my January horoscopes when they come out), so I think it’s going to be a lot of the same old, same old, tension between the individuals and the establishment, the radicals and the bootlickers, whoever you think they are, because frankly, I’m really shocked that the “spiritual” and “woo” community is just as elitist, gatekeeping, narcissistic, scientifically illiterate, and classist as the populist right in America, but we all live in different realities these days (thanks, Neptune in Pisces), but not entirely shocked, because I’ve been pushing back on Karencraft for quite some time now.
Fuck Karencraft. Back to the prediction:
What I hope will happen when Jupiter and Saturn enter Aquarius is that we have no choice but to focus on the future for everyone, and that the attitude of the day will leave the dream world and the retreat (Pisces) and enter into action in the material world (Aries), and that we’ll have some fucking vaccines injected already, so that people are well enough to shore up this utterly rebellious energy we have going on now.
My hope is that whenever someone is threatened with being “cancelled” that it’s a challenge accepted to force the world to remember that people can grow and change, and if you scare them away from growing and changing then they dig their heels in, give up on dialog, and put on a red MAGA hat and harass people on social media for making jokes about kids.
My hope is that we see this pandemic and what it has done to our people as a wake-up call, and maybe, just maybe for once in our country’s existence, that Mars/Pluto, Jupiter/Saturn things will be addressed: we all finally accept the notion that the economy isn’t the stock market, and yes, we need healthcare for all, and yes, we need a minimum wage, and no, Christianity is not morality, and yes, gender is a social construct as big or small as the imagination, and yes, college shouldn’t cost so much money.
And I hope that this transit helps us learn deep truths about how classist “classless” America actually is, so we can just be practical and raise the minimum wage and have universal healthcare. As a public interest lawyer, I’m totally fine with the manager of a McDonald’s making as much money as I do. You know why? Because I would never want to do that job in a million years, and it would be way too hard for someone with my personality, and I deal with less crazy people in the profession I have now.
I hope that people will finally realize just how insane and incompetent Trump is once there’s an adult in the White House again, though I do fear that the overly idealistic (Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius) will refuse to step out of their tofu towers to be practical, because Jupiter and Saturn are leaving the practical sign. You remember things like “wear a mask” and “stay at home” and “socially distance?” Totally practical, Saturnian things to do that aren’t inconvenient (Jupiter). Now, in Aquarius, it may be more commonplace to hear people resorting to things like using dubious technology and dubious occult practices to remain well (or praying in megachurches).
Aries Mars square Capricorn Pluto is financial, too, as is Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Aquarius, and I wonder what will happen with the student loan crisis in the United States, since so many have the loans and so few can actually pay them back affordably.
But now we’re getting into the weeds of the horoscopes that will be posted later this month.
What I hope for December 21st is to relax and brace myself for the changes that 2021 will bring to me and others. I will be resting and preparing for those changes during Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces so that I can hit the ground running during Aries and try to adjust to being in an office and within 6 feet of another human being. It’s been over eight months since I’ve had physical contact with a living human being, and I’m going to do it keep from dying, but I’m really kind of amazed that I’m able to do it. I didn’t break down, violate my lease, and get a dog (like I know my neighbors have, but I’m not telling). I’m recovering from trauma and discovering new things about myself, and I like finding out all the ways I can be self-sufficient.
Because it’s just a little longer, you know. It’s just a little more time, and we can fortify ourselves for the coming spring, because if the pandemic has brought us anything, it’s a proper and natural slow down to make sure we see another spring.
Oh heck. Maybe I’ll have a ribeye steak and some key lime pie for dessert. After all, it’s
Christmas the Winter Solstice.