Happy Winter Solstice!

But is it happy?

Three days ago, it was the last day of autumn, and I have to say that autumn was not my favorite season so far this year. Weatherwise, it wasn’t too bad. But from the equinox to today, I have to say that a lot happened, and I’m not ready to process it all yet. I now know that yes, should my car end up in the shop for weeks, get the damned rental car. But that’s not the biggest deal. I turned 43, which is interesting because I thought 42 was going to be fated for me in some way. I guess I should admit that I thought it was fated for me because I predicted that 42 would be a death year for me, but it turns out, it’s not. Perhaps just internally. Perhaps just in small ways. Ooh, I started dating again after over two and a half years of being single, but that’s ended fairly quickly too, at least for now.

I’m still working out the astrology, but for anyone who feels that fate will never bring them a lover, I suggest looking at progressed charts more to find the hidden gifts that will appear.

And busy. Work has been very busy, a wrapping up of things as we head into the austere season, which makes sense — and I’m hoping that as the austere season is underway, there’s fewer infernos and more of the little fires to put out.

Perhaps it’s the lack of snow in Chicago, or perhaps it’s my own lack of engagement, but every year, Christmas seems to feel like something that’s just happening around me but not necessarily with my participation, the way Chuseok would happen in Korea. It was fun to eat moon cakes and see people dressed up, but it’s not my homeland, not my ancestors, not my feast.

And that’s fine. Christmas is not my feast, though I wish it were, because the housewife in me really would like to be putting on Christmases again.

But here’s the thing:

I really needed this winter storm. It doesn’t make sense on its face, because at the solstice, the Sun is exactly conjunct my natal Venus, so isn’t this a time for fun, merriment? It was, during Sagittarius season, but Venus in Capricorn is easiest as a introvert’s Venus, and it is an introvert’s Venus. However, it’s also a traditionalist’s Venus, and it’s not quite traditional to treat Christmas like any other day. My part of fortune is in the 4th house in Cancer, and the ruler, the Moon, is in 1st house Aries, and the ruler of that Moon is in 6th house Virgo conjunct the North Node, so it doesn’t feel right to not be baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, or otherwise putting on Christmas for other people, because inside of me is a housewife that really wants people to take care of, to make a cozy home for, and to tuck into warm beds at night.

I’m kind of addicted to home decor Instagram and catch myself guiltily putting together my Pinterests. And eventually, when I meet someone, I’m going to have to explain or demonstrate how all of my various contradictions somehow fit together in a continuum that creates the arch that keeps up this entire structure I call a person, including the fact that I ambitious enough to go to law school in my late thirties, become a lawyer at 39, but takes just as much pride in making soup from leftovers in the freezer and finding the perfect throw pillow to match that throw blanket…

Solstice transits

Right now, as in right now as I type this part on Christmas Eve, there is a stellium in mid-Capricorn with Mercury (in the shadow of retrograde), Venus, the Moon, and Pluto. Something about the Moon conjunct Pluto does something to me, I’ve learned – it seems to turn me into a werewolf, or at least something that has forgotten her buttoned-up Venus, so right now I’m a little nervous that I may accidentally on purpose butt-dial someone I really shouldn’t. So instead, I will blog.

But what do we learn from a Capricorn stellium? There’s an emphasis on quality vs. quantity, on appreciating the things that will last, that have withstood the test of time – both material and immaterial, including relationships, including practices and rituals, including feelings. Here, we have three planets that are fast-moving, so while the emphasis is on the things that last, Mercury, Venus, and the Moon are suggesting that quality acquired now is good too, perhaps better than the things you have in your life simply because they’ve always been there, but you don’t see yourself truly wanting these things years down the road (Pluto in Capricorn). The pandemic has tested the strength of a lot of relationships, as proximity can cause bonding, but not necessarily love, and distance can cause strain, but not necessarily the end of love. But distance also gives us an opportunity to figure out what is love, and what is dependence, what is love, and what is familiarity, and what is love and what is the fear of being alone.

And then there’s Jupiter in Aries again, and what to make of that? I’m convinced that Jupiter is no savior as a transit globally — like other planetary transits, it’s good for some people and circumstances, and it’s bad for others. While we like to think in terms of abundance, there’s only some things are abundant because they can be generated repeatedly with no shortage of materials, and that’s mostly love and expressions of love, like enthusiasm and generosity (Jupiter in Aries). Jupiter, however, expands on what’s already there because Jupiter doesn’t create stuff (the Sun is creativity) or unearth stuff or completely destroy some stuff (that’s Pluto) or solidify stuff (that’s Saturn) or motivate stuff (that’s Mars) or make stuff pleasurable (that’s Venus) or tell all the world about stuff (that’s Mercury) or make us more sensitive to stuff (that’s the Moon) or give us visions of stuff that could be (that’s Neptune) or drive us to look for new stuff and get rid of the old stuff (that’s Uranus). Jupiter expands what it touches, and it can expand good things and bad things. The same Jupiter in the 6th house that gives me a large capacity for work also gives me a large appetite. Jupiter conjunct the MC can give someone great ambition but also a great need to be a cheerleader for absolutely no reason, to the point where they’re walking around promoting stuff just for the sake of promotion. Jupiter in the first house can make you so goddamned friendly and interested in meeting other people but can also literally make your body expand. Jupiter in 2nd house can make you very generous with your money and possessions but can also make you quite greedy for money and possessions, too.

So what to do about Jupiter in Aries?

The good news is that it brings fire back to the celestial season, a fire we lost when the sun went into Capricorn. But it can be good, depending on 1) if you’re open to an expansion of Aries energy in your life, and 2) if the energy you’re expanding is what you really want. And you may say “OMG it’s Jupiter OF COURSE I WANT EXPANSION!” but let me be your Lorne Malvo for a moment.

Because right now, I have that Jupiter exactly conjunct my Moon, and while I am definitely more sensitive and also definitely more social, I want to be social but I am not in a position to do so. I’m making new acquaintances in a time in which people are gathering with their families. I am feeling very sentimental in a time in which I don’t have anything sentimental to cling to. I’m also feeling very snacky during a time when I need to not eat everything in sight, and frankly, it wasn’t helpful that Mariano’s had fried chicken all-dark meat 8 piece packages on sale for $3.50 because it’s Christmas Eve, or that the fruitcake was on sale, and so was some rum, and then I decided to get some heavy cream on sale because fuck yes we’re having egg nog and rum-soaked fruitcake because it’s Christmas. And I’m not indulging nearly as much as I normally would, but I know I could thoughtlessly graze on carbs day in, day out, if given the opportunity.

But I’m having hot toddies tonight, and you can probably tell already.

I’m waiting to see if my psychic ability expands, if my empathy expands, or if I’m just going to be emotionally curled in a ball, or if what ends up happening is that I redecorate my entire home. Or maybe, if I’m really lucky, I can get into one of the bigger apartments in this building. Or maybe my idea of home will expand in a different way. But wait! The moon rules my part of fortune, sure, but it also rules my 5th house, so while not exactly the expansion you’d see in a Jupiter transit to the 5th house in which you’d say “an expansion of 5th house things, like lovers or children” but rather the area in my life you may see this lunar expansion expressing itself is with 5th house things, which includes lovers, children, and means of self-expression.

And since about Halloween, I’ve discovered that it is indeed time to start exploring the idea of lovers again, and I had a triple-threat Moon conjunct Pluto event that made one inevitable that I’ll write a bit about before I finish this post.

But look at where Jupiter is transiting your chart because it does expand everything it touches, for better or worse. In fact, it kind of doesn’t matter the aspect – a square is an expansion that you will know about because it will too much or bad timing, or too much of a good thing.

Transiting Jupiter squaring a natal point or planet is kind of like going to a buffet when you’re starving, getting your money’s worth from some on tasty food (psst…my favorite Chinese buffet, so far, is in Belmont), but you’re sitting down and forgot that you have to get up, go to your car, drive home, and go on with your day despite the fact that now, you really would rather have your pants unzipped (or off), and then take a massive shit and lay down for the rest of the day, but damn that buffet was good!

On the other hand, transiting Jupiter trining a planet is far more chill and brings about abundance kind of the way the tide brings in random stuff: it’s almost like it’s your turn, or rather, it’s just how things flow even though you are actually a part of the action. You just don’t feel as if you’re putting forth effort because it seems effortless. Like, I have Jupiter trine my Venus exactly right now, but it’s been trine for some time, and it seems that now is the time for Venus things to expand: love, relationships, socializing, beauty, pleasure, and it is happening, but I’m not waking up every morning saying “I want Venusian expansion. How can I do that?” Like, I find myself more easily being out in the world. It’s not as if I’m finding myself juggling multiple suitors or laying around all day doing nothing but eating and painting my toenails, but there are gentlemen, and there are days of toenail painting, bubble baths, and laying about.

Transiting Jupiter conjunct a natal point or planet is like blowing up to it’s absolute capacity, so depending on what planet or point, it may be great or not to have it all turned up to 11. Unlike a square, it’s not necessarily too much or too quick, and unlike a trine, it’s not effortless, but it’s a big deal. Now, Jupiter conjunct Saturn is a lot different from Jupiter conjunct the Sun, or Moon, or Venus. Jupiter conjunct Saturn expands all the Saturn things, even in ways that seem contradictory, like expanding restrictions: more things may seem to have gatekeeping, or require you to work longer, and harder, or if you’re been putting in the work, you start to reap the rewards. On the other hand, if you were at a Saturnian standstill about something, like staying in a bad relationship out of duty, then all the things that suck about that relationship are now going to be so loud that you can’t hide from them, so do something or get better earplugs.

Transiting Jupiter opposite a natal point or planet is like a conjunct in that it expands to absolute capacity, but it’s also screaming “timber!” because something has to give, and Jupiter will make something give. For example, Jupiter opposite the North Node will compel you toward your fate because it keeps reminding you of the issues with your South Node and why you can’t stay there forever. Jupiter opposing your natal sun is telling you that you have to do great big things with your life in order to better express yourself, huge things, bigly things, and so what if they’re real or not? Just do it, and you’ll sort it out later. The important thing is to get out of your comfort zone and just do stuff.

And Jupiter in Aries expands on the wild-eyed innocence of Aries, that Dennis-the-Menace wild-eyed innocence of Aries, so take some of that and apply it to your holidays, because there is something magickal about the strange religion of Christmas.

Christmas is not a holiday. It’s a religion.

And if you don’t believe that Christmas is a religion, at least in the United States, I ask you to look more closely at how we celebrate Christmas here:

First, the only excuse you have to not celebrate is because you have a non-Christmas religion. Anyone else is shunned as a Scrooge or a poor soul needing to be saved (like Scrooge).

Christmas was a pagan holiday appropriated by conquerors to keep the conquered pacified.

Christmas has an avatar of the Christmas spirit: Santa Claus, a supernatural creature who is immortal, omniscient, and rewards the good and punishes the bad.

Christmas requires people to change their behavior. For example, you might not ever hand money to a weirdo in a red suit ringing a bell outside a store at any other time except Christmas. But, if you’re not worried about the Salvation Army’s track record for turning away the LGBTQ in need, you will give money because of…Christmas, whether or not you believe the almighty SANTA is watching you. People use this as a reason to correct or augment a child’s behavior toward something more socially acceptable.

The Christmas spirit, but way of the avatar Santa Claus, engages in an annual miracle of delivering toys to children over the course of approximately twelve to fourteen hours, depending on time zones. He often knows what children want, and he has an uncanny way of wrapping gifts just like your Mom does and strangely enough, he also has handwriting just like your Mom.

The Christmas spirit, through the avatar of Santa, demands sacrifice in the form of milk and cookies and sugar cubes for the reindeer who pull his divine chariot across the sky.

The Christmas spirit demands that you change who you are fundamentally to be acceptable into Christmas world, and while it can be good by requesting that you stop being selfish and callous, it also requires you to stop being introverted, to start cooking and baking even if you don’t like it, and to go to your office holiday party.

The Christmas spirit demands that you change your entire life, in fact, to be acceptable to the Christmas Spirit. Your home looks different. Your time looks different. Your bank account looks different. Your sanity looks different.

There are many, many cultural reminders in the form of books, movies, television shows, and songs that remind us of the magickal powers of Christmas.

Christmas requires magickal events, like snowfalls, and people having changes of heart, to prove the power of the almighty Christmas spirit.

If you do not partake and have no religious exemption, then you are an apostate who needs to be brought back into the fold, and you will be evangelized.

Christmas has its own language, its own customs, its own evolving history, its own sects, its own rituals, and its own calendar. It has sacred symbols, sacred colors, sacred foods, sacred songs, sacred stories.

Christmas has art about people converting to Christmas-religion, like A Christmas Carol, and every stupid Hallmark movie where a woman lowers herself to get laid with some hick.

Christmas is literally just another day for people who are not part of the Christmas religion, but Christmas-people can’t fathom it.

Christmas is essentially cargo-cult in which people put symbols of Christmas on the ground to entice the avatar Santa Claus to bless them with packages from the sky.

And here we are, Christmas Eve, waiting for the avatar to fly overhead, break into our homes, and leave us socks and airpods. But the thing is, I actually really wish I could be a part of the holidays, but that requires having people to make Christmas for. Maybe that comes next year? I’m in the middle of a long solstice ritual, and the hopes and dreams for the new year is up tonight.

Sleep tight kids. Winter is long, and it is cold, but the nights are getting shorter, the days longer, and in 12 weeks, spring will be here. But until then, you need your rest, and I need to finish this hot toddy and looks forward to what winter is bringing me.

Oh, almost forgot!

I met someone, but that’s not important, and it ended, but that’s not important either. What’s interesting is the fatedness of it that was not in synastry. I mean, we liked each other, and if we were willing to stick it out, the composite chart showed a good relationship, but it wasn’t meant to be much more beyond what it was. But here is how two people can come together, be strongly pulled to one another, without strong synastry:

On Halloween, I met someone on a dating app. That night, I got on a dating app on a whim and told myself not to get overwhelmed in the first five minutes and delete my profile. And then we talked, and then about two weeks later, we met, and then we met a few times in what I can only describe for me as being in a trance, and then it ended about three weeks ago. I have woken up from this dream, and I am out of bed and have accepted it as a dream, as I have been told that it’s kind of like a dream.

When I met him, the Moon was conjunct Pluto in Capricorn my 11th house. Incidentally, in my progressed chart, the moon was conjunct Pluto in 5th house Libra. Incidentally, in his birth chart, the Moon is conjunct Pluto in Libra in his 12th house. And I know what you’re about to say: Miriam, you know better that to dive into someone with a 12th house like that, and I do. I absolutely do. I just didn’t care. It was something I needed to do, and here comes this guy on the tide of life who unlocks a door that’s been closed for about three years now, and then goes out with tide. I don’t think I’ll be seeing him again because I think our karma in this life is complete, but it’s interesting what else we miss when we’re looking at synastry.

Because sometimes people come in your life and go out for a specific reason, and they’re not keepers. And that’s okay. But I think he was a clue as to what I’m supposed to be looking for at this stage in my life. I just have to figure out what that clue is, and that’s the universe’s present to me this Christmas.

And also the winter storm. I am grateful for that.

Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s a little Jo Stafford for your holiday:


2 thoughts on “Happy Winter Solstice!

  1. Merry Christmas! That was fascinating stuff and I like your analysis of the holy day. I have managed to escape a lot of stuff you describe, but I tend to stay inside if I have no Xmas plans. In case someone tries to rescue me! Jupiter is hanging around my sixth house opposite my north node! I did get a nice bonus which may have been fated, we’ll see.


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