We had the Winter solstice. Now what?

Yesterday it was hard to get away from the fact that it was the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. There were articles like this one from Newsweek, of all places: Winter Solstice 2017: Meanings and Celebration Ideas From Witches, Druids and Astrologers. Like many events in the wheel of the year, the Winter Solstice, or “Yule,” is a threshold. (Many think all that singing about Yule-tide and such is about Christmas. Have some fun with that!)

Crossing a threshold is a big deal. Some of them are hard to get to and they are all worth noting, but what is most important is usually what happens on the other side of the threshold more than the doorway itself.

Many of us are familiar with the lunar cycles, the waxing and waning of the moon. Metaphysically, one will aim to manifest things in the waxing—growing—energy and to banish or lessen things in the waning—diminishing—energy. With a solstice, we are working with the solar energy, a much longer, but no less important cycle. For many months we have been working our way away from the sun and its energy and power has been growing less and less. When we are furthest from its influence we are much more ruled by the lunar energy, connected with emotion, intuition and many of the more shadowy things. It is no coincidence that this season between Samhain (Halloween) and Yule (Christmas-ish) when the veil between the physical world and the spirit world is considered thinnest. It is no coincidence that these are the times when we think about what we want in our future, make plans and resolutions. This is a time when the darkness and the weather turn us inward to hearth and home, family and friends. We are a little more focused on survival, and the blessings that allow us to survive. If we are quiet enough to listen, we tune into a lot of stuff here.

Now it’s the day after Yule. (I had to finish this a little late, so it’s technically a couple of days after.) The sun is returning. The days are already getting longer. Just as the new moon marks the lowest point in the lunar energy, Yule marks the lowest point in the solar energy. It is returning, bringing more light and warmth with it. This is the time to begin nurturing all of the things that we want to grow, all the plans that we have. New Year’s resolutions aren’t just a quaint tradition. They are proclaiming our goals and what we want to bring about, using the power of the growing sun.

Interestingly enough, I did a mini reading for a mother and daughter that we will call C and S. One of them took a reading with my tarot cards, the other used my common playing cards. These are the cards they drew.

These are actually the same card. The pentacles of the tarot evolved into the diamond of the playing card. The knight evolved into the jack. Clearly, this mother and daughter have their destinies tied together. The message of the cards is also ideal for Yule. This is earth energy, what we nurture and grow, what grounds and centers us, where our true bounty lies. The knight is a card of questing, of pushing forward, of getting away from the comfortable and journeying forward.

From my perspective this is exactly what the post-Yule energy is all about. We’ve sheltered ourselves from the darkening days. Now it is time to look toward the planting season and the work that leads us to the next harvest. Don’t we have a good deal more of cold to look forward to? Of course we do! But as we wait for the spring, we will begin to prepare our minds and our means for action when the sun, again, warms the earth and the ground is ready.

We have learned from our time of enhanced intuition and spirit connection. We have been inspired by revelations. Our vision has changed or clarified. Now it is time to begin building the path to realizing that vision.

What do you think about the solstice alignment thing?

This was a question I was actually actually asked by someone at the Museum about the solstice. I think they were referring to the event mentioned in the article I referenced above about the two astrological events coming with the solstice. We are hitting the end of the Mercury retrograde (the favorite metaphysical excuse of many for many problems) and the sun moving from Sagittarius and into Capricorn.

My opinion on any events is that we need to know what the conditions are, but that we don’t cancel our important journey. If our intentions are sound we don’t cancel them because the ride may be a little bumpy. We use what we know about the conditions and plan accordingly. Clearly the rising energy is going to require that we be organized and that be prepared to do some detail work and deal with some levels of process. Continuing with the travel analogy, airport security is going to be tighter and they are going to be cracking down on all the rules for this trip, so we know the rules and we follow them. If faced with an obstacle, we work with the system to fix it. We won’t make this trip based on luck as much with planning… but we will still be home in time for the family. We may need to pack more carefully and leave earlier. We may need to send some packages that we had planned to carry. There are answers to everything, but we need to be prepared.

I feel this way about any interesting astrological event. Understand it, but don’t be ruled by it. We will likely be affected in some way, but we’ll work our way around it.

Looking forward

Looking forward is exactly where we should be right now. We are through the darkest part. Everything is onward and upward from here. Make plans. Make important plans. Envision what you want to manifest and grown in your life. Make clear intentions and begin the groundwork to manifest them in the upcoming year. You are still driving. You are always driving.

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