The Mighty Solstice

STARCAST for Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 | Capricorn Solstice, Venus Conjunct Pluto

Graphic by Lanvi Nguyen

Dear Friend and Reader:

We have arrived at the far corners of the Earth’s journey around the Sun: the longest days in the Southern Hemisphere, and the shortest days in the Northern Hemisphere.

Today, Dec. 21, 2021, is the 23th anniversary of the Planet Waves website, which was published Dec. 21, 1998, from the home of Neal McDonough in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey. From the earliest editions, I announced to the world that we would be creating a reader-supported news and astrology platform.

Start of Season, or Mid-Season

In some traditions, the solstice is the start of the new season. In others, it marks the midpoint of the season. For example, some cultures count the beginning of winter at the Sun’s midpoint of Scorpio and the beginning of spring at the midpoint of Aquarius (at cross-quarter days). Most cultures I know of, however, count the beginning of seasons when the Sun’s rays are aligned with the tropics.

Analemma with the temple of Apollo by Anthony Ayiomamitis. This photo was created by placing the camera in the same place approximately every 10 days for a year, re-exposing one single frame of film over and over (with a very small aperture). The temple of Apollo is then added as a second frame overlaid on the first. As for how he placed the camera so prercisely, Anthony wrote to me just now: “I had a permanent base outside and protected from the elements, which received a contraption holding the camera at a fixed angle. The two pieces fitted each other like a glove with a hand.”

Presently, the Sun is aligned with the Tropic of Capricorn, and we begin the Sun’s journey through what is for this reason called the tropical sign Capricorn.

At this time of year, the noontime Sun will appear at its lowest point in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere, and at the highest point in the Southern Hemisphere. The sensation of both is similar: this has all gone far enough. It is a stretched to the limits of one’s patience kind of feeling.

Stretched or Pushed

While the average temperature may differ depending on your place on Earth, I have found that the sensation of longest day or longest night to be similar: the sensation of being pushed or stretched to one’s limits.

However, I’ve noticed something unusual this year, from my vantage point in New York and my particular soul. For the past week, the quality of the light has felt like spring is approaching, and the pressure of solstice has gone away.

While you could say that spring is always coming, I don’t usually get this feeling in the last days of Sagittarius, nor does the light look this way. The sensation in my body is one of thawing.

It’s not about the temperature; it’s the quality of the light, which looks more like it’s passing through Pisces than late Sagittarius. There is also something unusual about the psychic pressure lifting, when it is usually full-force this time of year. I am having this feeling right now as I write, and it’s the sensation of being just a little out of space and time, similar to deja vu.

I just went down to the Planet Waves business office (without mentioning what I was writing), where our administrative person Claudia said spontaneously that it already feels like the days are getting longer — but solstice had not yet happened (and it lasts for several days).

New maps of Pluto show details of the dwarf planet’s mountains. Shown here are the highest mountains. They rise 3 to 6 kilometers (1.9 to 3.7 miles) above the smooth plains called Sputnik Planitia. The plains are made of nitrogen-ice. Venus is now stationing retrograde conjunct this incredible planetary system, Pluto-Charon.

Venus Retrograde in Capricorn

Concurrent with the Sun entering Capricorn, Venus is stationing retrograde in Capricorn, which engaged on Sunday.

This is an outstanding Venus retrograde in that it involves a double conjunction to Pluto, which was exact Dec. 11 and will be exact again on Dec. 25.

Venus, shown in front of the Galactic Center.

This series of aspects is a wake-up call, to apply the evolutionary and spiritualizing power of Pluto to all that Venus represents: emotional intelligence, one’s deepest values, the meaning of love, and the meaning of sex.

There is also the matter of whether sex is a matter of power, or of pleasure. With Pluto, one must keep an eye on the power aspect of things, and be sensitive to the potential toxicity.

Eric Jong once wrote a fantastic article called, “Is Sex Sexy Without Power?” She was contemplating why people have relationships with their bosses or pay a dominatrix $500 an hour to dangle panties in front of their face. Her conclusion was that our whole notion of eroticism is wrapped up in notions of, and the experience of, power. This can be fun, though it’s worth sizing up what else is available — and there are varying degrees of actual and symbolic power (the domme is symbolic; the boss is real).

I go into greater detail on this in the new STARCAST (available Tuesday). Additionally, those on this wavelength may find a potentially helpful discussion in recent editions of Tantra Studio.

One other thing: I was studying the Mercury retrograde pattern today in preparation for the Gemini annual reading. All three forthcoming Mercury retrogrades end in earth signs, and the station direct is either in a conjunction or trine to Pluto. So this is going to be a rather plutonian year, yet in a way very different from 2020 and 2021.

TUNE IN 2022

TUNE IN 2022 Annual Edition in Progress

This time of year, I am traditionally involved in the Planet Waves annual edition, this year called TUNE IN 2022. Monday I recorded Capricorn and today I recorded Taurus.

I am near the halfway point and am on track to publish a bit ahead of New Year’s Eve. The annual consists of 12 readings of about one hour and 20 minutes. I feel like I am in the zone on these readings, which you may learn more about here.

Yes — there are written readings, by the way — in two formats: by sign, and by year. For more about written work, please read this letter and scroll down a little. Planets in Motion 2022 is outstanding — some of my best astrology writing ever.

These are readings that will stand up to many listens. Look for an email soon announcing single-sign sales. All subscribers will receive a discount coupon.


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