What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
Today the Sun ingresses into Capricorn. We move from the warmth and abundance of Sagittarius to the dark and restraint of Capricorn ruled by Saturn. The winter solstice marks the shortest day (or longest night) of the year in the northern hemisphere. Another way to look at it is that we hit rock bottom and the only way is up. The light returns in infinitesimal increments until we reach the summer solstice in June and the cycle repeats again.
This solstice of all, seems to me to represent a low in the collective that has been sinking in over the year and half of COVID and isolation. In the lead up to the new year, I am listening to different people parse the movement of the planets in the sky over the next year and offer their own interpretations of it. I am sobered by how different the energies look for the upcoming year.
2022 seems to be characterized by the lack of heaviness rather than the presence of lightness. The aspects, the movements all seem more fluid, harmonizing and light as compared to 2020 and 2021. There are patches of true dreaminess in April but the direction overall seems to be heading to a culmination of sorts that the divisiveness of the past decade has been propelling us toward.
I look at the year ahead and wonder what lessons we will carry forward into the new year from the collective year that 2020/2021 was. Do I even want to go back to what was? The mindless travel, the endless consumerism, the monotonous routine without a crisis to precipitate reflection?
The pandemic years as I will refer to the past year and the current year have been a time for a lot of inward gaze for me. In the months my family and I were huddled at home, I had a ringside view of what it takes to be a teacher, what it takes for my children to learn. I got to see what it is like for a neurotypical child versus a neurodivergent one. These months and years gave me understanding, compassion and empathy for what it is like trying to navigate a world set up for success for the “normal” folk. These years gave me an understanding of why inclusivity, diversity cannot just be buzzwords at school, work and the outside world. These things have real world implications within the four walls of my home. How I parlay these lessons I have learned into my work in the world is something I have to pause, reflect and chew on as I go through the year ahead.
As I wind down for this year, I have to figure out which burning issue around me needs my time and attention. There are many worthy causes all of which move me, but how do I make the best use of my time, energy and skills on things that have the most impact for me?
If the winter solstice is the time of minimal light, this inflection point personally is about finding clarity within. As the Sun moves into Capricorn and kick starts birthday season and the return of the light, I feel renewed, hopeful and intentional.
I wish those of you who made it this far, a happy New Year. I am hopeful the year ahead will be better than the one we leave behind.
Peace and love to you.