The first day of winter arrives today, bringing with it the winter solstice. As the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, it caps six months of gradually decreasing light since the amount of daily sunlight peaked with the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—in June.
Over the last half year, the waning light has brought changing seasons and cooling temperatures that encourage us to imitate nature by slowing down and harvesting the fruits of our labors over the past year. Also, this period’s longer nights draw us indoors and help us recharge from months of increased activity by encouraging us to rest and sleep more.
Focus On Spirituality
Along with these necessary physical adaptations, the decreasing daylight signals us to give more time to spiritual pursuits; with less physical light to guide us, we must increase our inner or spiritual light and learn how to let it direct our lives. This focus on spirituality accelerates as the amount of daily darkness increases and peaks at the winter solstice. As a result, today offers one of the year’s most powerful opportunities for going within, reflecting on our spiritual lives, and setting new intentions.
Also, every year at the winter solstice, the Sun moves out of fun-loving, philosophical Sagittarius and into sober, disciplined Capricorn, marking the official start of winter.
Look At Sagittarius Themes
Given these momentous planetary changes, this year’s solstice encourages us to reflect on Sagittarius themes—such as higher education, publishing, travel, law, religion, philosophy, and beliefs—and how they have evolved in our lives from 1995 through 2008, when tiny but mighty Pluto moved through Sagittarius. Pluto’s penchant for destruction typically brings turmoil, especially if we hold onto what no longer serves us, yet its power ultimately frees us by reducing anything that is outmoded to rubble so it can be rebuilt on a firm, fitting foundation. Along the way, it transforms us by connecting us to our inner selves as we search our souls for signs of the Divine.
Look At Capricorn, Too
This year’s solstice also presents a potent opportunity to explore the Capricorn themes—such as discipline, ambition, solitude, karma, and the kind of authority represented by big government and big business—that will become increasingly important over the next month during the Sun’s annual journey through this sign and in the years ahead as Pluto continues to bring transforming energy to all things Capricorn. If we have the courage to set aside the materialism and worldly ambition that so easily distract this sign, we will be ready to undertake Capricorn’s true work of climbing the inner or spiritual mountain and using the highest ideals as a foundation for anything we build in the material world.
On this day of greatest physical darkness, may our inner light shine brightly as we reflect on the past and begin the work of building the future.