As the Sun enters Capricorn on December 21, we observe Yule or the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere—the longest night of the year, as the Sun crosses the degree of its maximum southern declination, when the north pole is inclined furthest from the Sun. It’s a time for turning inward, for honoring the fallow period of winter, for drawing close to those we love and creating light and life with one another to see us through the darkness. It is also a moment of rebirth for the Sun, as from this point the days will gradually grow longer.
This year as the Sun enters Capricorn, it joins Mercury, Pluto, and Venus, just a few days into its retrograde and still closely conjunct Pluto. This Venus retrograde invites us to reflect on our commitments, examine the ways that power operates in our most enduring relationships, unearth the ways in which we re-enact our experiences of trauma or harm in our patterns of relating, and build foundations that can support our ability to love well. At the time of the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn, Mercury is also conjunct the asteroid Juno, the queen of heaven and goddess of loving commitments. How do you express you love to those with who you are committed? How do you commit yourself in words to being in practices of love, even when they require work or facing what might be difficult? This is the context into which the Sun is moving as we mark the start of winter.
The brilliant bell hooks, who is now a Black feminist ancestor, writes in All About Love: New Visions, “Love is an action, a participatory emotion. Whether we are engaged in a process of self-love or of loving others we must move beyond the realm of feeling to actualize love. This is why it is useful to see love as a practice. When we act, we need not feel inadequate or powerless; we can trust that there are concrete steps to take on love’s path. We learn to communicate, to be still and listen to the needs of our hearts, and we learn to listen to others. We learn compassion by being willing to hear the pain, as well as the joy, of those we love.”
May we all recognize love as an action, moving beyond the realm of feeling to engage in the practice of loving, learning to communicate, to be still and listen, to hear the pain as well as the joy of our own hearts and the hearts of those we love.
[Image 1 reads: Astrology of the Wheel of the Year Yule Winter Solstice 21 December 2021 in gold letters on a dark green background of flowers and stars. Image 2 shows the chart for the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn on 21 December 2021 in Columbus, OH.]