Friday, 16 December 2016

Astrology: The Winter Solstice, Wednesday, December 21, 2016 5:44 am

Diplomatic Solutions 
Ancient Sacred Calendars gave a symbolic spiritual importance to equinoxes and solstices, those four dates forming four key moments in the year, a cross within a circle, symbolically. The Neoplatonic philosopher, Porphyry, in his eloquent essay “On the Homeric Caves of the Nymphs” explains that the tropic of Cancer  is related to Summer and the  Moon and is the North gate where the souls descend ; The tropic of Capricorn is related to Winter and Saturn, and is the South gate of ascent. Ascent is related to liberation; for example, the Roman Saturnalia festival is related to the Southern Tropic and features elements of divesting of garments, symbolising the return to pristine felicity, the fountain of life. 
The entrances are said be aligned with the North-South tropic rather than the East-West/Aries-Libra equinoctial axis because Sothis, the Dog-Star is near Cancer and related to the new moon, thus a symbol of generation. The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun's path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction. The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year and, following Ragon, it symbolizes the birth of the sun and thus coincides with the birth of Mithra with the Persians, the birth of Horus with the Egyptians, Dionysios in Grece, Adonis in Phoenicia, Attis in Phrygia, the Sol Invictis in Rome and the birth of Jesus Christ in Christianity.
Cardinal outer planet Pluto – Uranus - Jupiter T-Square
The general background for this year, is the  Cardinal outer planet Pluto – Uranus - Jupiter T-Square (which formed after the earlier Neptune-Jupiter-Saturn T-Square) with the Jupiter-Pluto square going  exact on November 24 and the Jupiter-Uranus opposition going exact on December 24, and can be considered the big configuration for 2017, in effect for the first nine months. (The T-square aspect pattern is formed when points in opposition also form a square with another point. The T-square is characterized by many obstacles that need to  be overcomed, along with the energy and drive to do so. The Cardinal quality is action and identity-oriented but with impulsivity that wastes energy.
This dynamic T-Square is characterized by a need for radical active change, (Uranus in Aries), rigid conservatism (Pluto in Capricorn) and open debate (Jupiter in Libra) which at best, can lead to, productive comprehensive reforms and at worst, to intense but chaotic and unproductive discussions and initiatives. Inner planet Mercury’s conjunction with Pluto intensifies the aspect of discussion and investigation of social problems and realities and the desire for revision and review of existing ideologies and systems. Note that Mercury went retrograde on December 19, which can add confusion, but also bring up underlying, lingering problems and past mistakes that need to be addressed.
Barry Perlman notes that: “Jupiter in Libra holds the promise of enhancing our capacity to weigh both sides of an equation, to advocate for fairness over domination, and to gracefully negotiate win-win solutions where all parties gain something while giving something else up. These are some of Libra's finest qualities, and Jupiter's presence there beckons us to invest greater enthusiasm and broad-sweeping vision in such approaches, as a counterbalance to both impetuous one-sided action in the name of unspecific 'change' (Uranus in Aries) and covert authoritarian dealings which seek to strengthen and secure existing status-quos by any means necessary (Pluto in Capricorn).”

Sun square Moon (in Libra)
We also have a Sun square Moon (in Libra) aspect which can heighten the expansive Jupiter/Uranus vocal ambitions for reforms. Mars opposite the North Node adds to the Uranian individualistic impetus for social protest against Plutonian repressiveness.
Venus-Uranus-Saturn/Sun and Saturn/Sun–Venus–Jupiter Minor Grand Trines
The two other major long-term aspects, Saturn’s trine to Uranus and sextile to Jupiter can help stabilize the volatile T-Square (the Saturn-Uranus trine goes exact on December 24) and for the solstice chart, Venus, and the Sun help form two minor grand trines superposed over the T-Square in a harmonious symmetry.   A grand trine is a planetary pattern composed of three or more planets in a chart located in Trine joined together to form an equilateral triangle.  The grand trine symbolizes earned, special advantages to be enjoyed in this life in the element common to the three planets. A minor Grand Trine, has only one trine, with two sextiles, meaning that the aspect requires more work for the aspects to be beneficial. They are occupying two fire signs (Aries, Sagittarius)  and two air signs (Libra, Aquarius)  Venus is in Aquarius and so allowing one another freedom of expression, and treating others fairly, unselfishly, and impartially, are some of the good qualities here.
The T-Square creates a strong drive for change, but with a volatile conflict between impulsive optimism (Uranian, Jupiterian) and conservative realism (Pluto). These Minor Grand Trine alignments are ideally positioned to give synergy to the T-Square, creating an opportunity where Venus and Saturn are collaborating to give the diplomacy and pragmatism needed to undertake some progressively productive comprehensive reform initiatives, thus taking some of the edge off of the volatile, confused quality of the T-Square.
It would seem that in the next quarter, the Uranian current of change, individualism and originality, is the strongest corner of the T-Square, as it is benefitted by aspects giving better organization and diplomacy. There is a strong mood for discussion and dialogue of all sorts, with lots of power struggles created by resistance to innovation and polarized ideological, religious views and socio-cultural differences.
 In this age of dynamic information technology, there is a tendency to get lost in a sea of pointless discursiveness, ineffective bureaucratic procedures, and confused information. The winds of change can be positive and stimulating, albeit quite abrupt and difficult, but it would be good to watch for impulsiveness and make sure the planning and organization aspects are solid, the goals and objectives clear and realistic. It could be a favorable time for a re-organisation process built on more efficient methods and more informed ideals and values, ideally in an environment of productive discussion.
On a more mystical note, the geometrical harmony of the two Trines over the T-square form a kind of five-pointed star figure, with the apex at the Mercury/Pluto conjunction at mid-point in the very spiritual sign of Capricorn. Coincidently, the five-pointed star is closely related to the symbolism of Capricorn (see Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine II, pp. 576-580).
“There is an earthly sun, which is the cause of all heat, and all who are able to see may see the sun; and those who are blind and cannot see him may feel his heat. There is an Eternal Sun, which is the source of all wisdom, and those whose spiritual senses have awakened to life will see that sun and be conscious of His existence; but those who have not attained spiritual consciousness may yet feel His power by an inner faculty which is called Intuition” (Paracelsus, De Fundamento Sapietiae, Hartmann, 145).
Robert Pelletier, Planets in Aspect.
Robert Hand, Horosocope Symbols
Jean-Marie Ragon, La Messe et ses Mystères