Winter Solstice 2014

Sun from a Falnama (1580s) watercolor on paper

Sun from a Falnama (1580s) watercolor on paper

First allow me to wish everyone a joyous solstice, with blessings of all kinds, as we celebrate the return of the light in the Northern hemisphere. The recognition of the importance of the Sun appearing to stand still before he begins to move towards the North is celebrated virtually universally in many variants from the beginnings of recorded history and surely long before. This is the time to welcome and celebrate the return of the Sun, See my previous article for the symbolism, lore and practise of the Winter Solstice 

The Solar symbol of the dot within a circle is one of th3e most ancient symbols. The Sun is the primary source of life. The Chart for the Year is cast for 0° Aries, the Exaltation of the Sun.

Spherical hand warmer, brass middle east 18th - 19th C.

A very Solar Spherical hand warmer, brass middle east 18th – 19th C.

The Winter Solstice charts provides us with relatively short predictions which are concerned specifically with season on Winter.  Solstice Charts are generally used to tell us of the current climate, both literally and figuratively and employed with a particular interest in the season itself. That is not to say they cannot provide us with more. For people living close to the Ring of Fire, earthquake and tsunami warnings are crucial. These predictions also include weather predictions of a general nature because we are talking about a three month period.

Below is the chart for the Winter Solstice 2014, including the seven hermetic lots. It is drawn for the West Coast on 21 December 2014, 15.03 PST. Victoria, B.C.  This gives us a chart for Day of the Sun and Hour of the Moon.


The angles are in Mutable Signs and Mercury, the most Protean of all planets is in Capricorn and the Almuten Figuris. He is of course also Lord of the Ascendant Moreover, the Lady of the Geniture is Venus, also in Saturnine Capricorn. The essence of the chart is Cold and Dry, or Melancholy, by Humour.

Sun, Moon and Mercury are all in the 22nd Lunar Mansion, known as the Head of the Dragon. The significance of this is speed, escape or personal power. Particularly because this is a Mundane chart, this planet and luminaries is stifled in the Eighth House. The Moon is Balsamic and Void of Course and the traditional decanate ruler is Saturn. The Sun is in the Decanate of Jupiter. The New Moon in Capricorn occurs at 5.25 pm

The Mercurial Hyleg is the Pars Fortuna in the First House, conjunct the Fixed Star Aldebaran, the Eye of God, in the fourth Lunar Mansion and often associated with blindness. The fact is the position of Al Debaran (the follower of the Pleiades) is crucial in interpretation. It is far better to have this star on the Ascendant, than in the Seventh for example. One of the Royal Stars on Persia, he is Watcher of the East. He can bring greatness if integrity and nobilit6y of character is preserved.

According to Vivien Robson, ” It gives honour, intelligence, eloquence, steadfastness, integrity, popularity, courage, ferocity, a tendency to sedition, a responsible position, public honours and gain of power and wealth through others, but its benefits seldom prove lasting and there is also danger of violence and sickness.”  [Robson Fixed Stars p.120.]

Aldebaran and the Pleiades are a prominent sight during Winter in the Northern Hemisphere

Mercury is Combust. Venus is Under the Solar Beams. The glimmer of hope lies in the fact that both the Lot of the Sun, the Moon and Venus are found in the First House with the Day and Hour of the chart underscored.taurus-the-bull

In the Seventh House of open enemies, we have the Moon  at 28.35° conjunct Acumen. This is interpreted as enduring attacks  that weaken.  The position of the Lot of Saturn only emphasizes the difficulties. Jupiter is extremely weak because he is deposited by the Sun in the Eighth House, retrograde and Peregrine – like a stranger in a strange land. As Lord of the Seventh he isn’t in a position to ameliorate.

We look then to Mars in the Ninth House and on the MC. in the 23rd Lunar Mansion known as the “fortunate aviator.” There is a suggestion here of attack from the air. Saturn is Lord of Mars, Sun, Venus and Mercury. Saturn is found in the Sixth House. and in Mutual Reception with Mars.

We have the potential for an attack – religiously motivated because of Ninth House placement – but on a limited scale, if not intercepted entirely  But there is definitely a need for heightened vigilance,  Again, we largely create what happens to us within prescribed limits and forewarned is forearmed

What initially appeared to be a fairly straightforward chart proves to be complex and suggestive of the following:

The weather will be changeable, from dry and cold to high winds and heavy rainfall. There is no indication of a major seismic eruptions, always of concern for those of us living on the West Coast, over the next three months. There is no indication of a Tsunami on the West Coast either.

The lot of the people collectively is somber and in need of leadership with vision and integrity. I would anticipate on-going protests to be particularly energized.

We are not passive observers in either our individual or collective lives. If the season is Cold & Dry we may elect to embrace its opposite, which in this case is Sanguine, or warm and wet.  This can be facilitated by the strong Mercurial signature in the chart, even with the afflictions. There is a reason that warm soup tastes especially good in the cold weather. Mild and pungent spices as well as squash, carrots and  other root vegetables may also help, unless there is some other reason you shouldn’t  eat these foods. If you are already of a Sanguine Humour, increasing its preponderance will server no useful purpose

Winter-Solstice-Lantern-Festival-Photo-by-eych-you-bee-ee-ahr-tee-via-flickr.Vancouver 2012

Winter-Solstice-Lantern-Festival-Photo-by-eych-you-bee-ee-ahr-tee-via-flickr.Vancouver 2012

Greet the return of the light with lanterns, candles, yule logs and solar incenses such as Sandalwood, Frankincense and Dragon’s Blood.  ,

Winter Solstice 2013

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.

Canadian Father Christmas with Child - 1884

Canadian Father Christmas with Child – 1884

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.  ws1

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)