This week holds within it the sacred shift of the winter solstice, a rebirth of new life, light, and beginnings. As Capricorn season commences, Mercury continues its retrograde and reenters Sagittarius, offering us another opportunity to re-write our story as we retrace our steps.
Solstice. A word derived from the Latin terms “sol” for “Sun” and “sistere” for “stand still.” December 21 represents the darkest and shortest day of the year as the northern hemisphere of the Earth is tilted the furthest away from the Sun it will ever be. It is space. It is silence. It is the cold of winter.
As we reach the peak of the solstice, the Sun appears to stand still, or rise and set in the same place, for a few days. It gifts us our longest night of the year. It is distance. It is darkness. It is emptiness that allows for fullness, silence that allows for noise, stillness that allows for movement, reflection that allows for insight.
Just like a new Moon cannot be seen in the darkness of the night, it is from this space of emptiness, of our shortest day and longest night, that we find ourselves in a rebirth. The winter solstice is a final tipping point, a preparation for the rebirth of the Sun. After today, the Sun will continue to grow in influence, lesse its distance, and strengthen its expression. Our days will begin to lengthen, our nights shorten, and more light will find its way into our lives.
The solstice is an essential cycle in the yearly dance of the Sun and Moon. The days will continue to lengthen following the winter solstice as the Sun draws closer and closer until we reach the equinox, a perfect balance of light and dark, day and night, and then ultimately we reach the longest day with the most light and shortest night until it begins to wane and release and we meet our second equinox of the cycle. It is a cycle of growth, balance, and release. Growth, balance, and release. Nature shows us, over and over, that we are cyclical beings, just as the Moon grows into fullness where she then begins to release. We are destined for various seasons of ourselves.
Sun Enters Capricorn
As the Sun is reborn and continues to grow in its offering, it also shifts into the zodiac of Capricorn on December 21, 2023, where it will remain until January 20, 2024.
The grounded, determined, devoted, and patient Earth sign of Capricorn understands the wisdom in cycles, for it does not rush, it does not force. It continues planting its seeds of desires, claiming its path, and taking step after step after step along its path. It looks forward, it dedicates itself, and it bows its head to the responsibility of its own life, its own version of success, and its own becoming of what it needs to be before it can realize its vision.
As the solstice brings the beginning of Capricorn season, we are gifted an opportunity to bow our heads not only to the cycles of nature but to our own internal cycles and to ask ourselves where we are going in this new chapter. The Earth is beginning again, the Sun is beginning again, we are beginning again. What seeds do we wish to plant into the Earth? What dreams are we ready to devote ourselves to? Who are we ready to become?
Mercury Retrograde Reenters Sagittarius
When a planet is in retrograde, from our perspective on Earth it is retracing the steps it has recently taken. As if it were walking again on the path just journeyed, to see it from a new vantage and explore all that was unseen the last time.
Mercury entered Capricorn before its retrograde began on December 1, 2023. Prior to this, it was moving through the fire sign of Sagittarius, inviting us to expand our horizons and narratives of what is possible for us.
This week on December 22, 2023, Mercury takes another backwards step and returns to the zodiac of Sagittarius. It is an opportunity for us to receive what was missed through its prior moments in this sign, an invitation to receive the wisdom that comes with reflection and the insight that meets us as we experience things from a different vantage.
This dance of Mercury’s, moving between Sagittarius and Capricorn, holds within it beautiful opportunities and invitations, especially as we begin to ponder our year ahead and what it is we desire to experience in our lives. While Sagittarius is here to explore meaning, purpose, possibility, and adventure, Capricorn is here to ground, build, and master its vision.
This vision is often born in Sagittarius, as this sign encourages us to expand our ideas and narratives of what it is we can do and who it is we can be. It invites us to witness the barriers of our mind and acknowledge that what we believe is available to us in this life—and it is exactly what is available to us in this life—until we stretch that belief of what is and find much more that exists outside of our internal constructs. Sagittarius is the expansion of the mind. Capricorn is then the tangible building of the dream.
As Mercury retraces its steps in Sagittarius, it will remain in retrograde until January 1, 2024. It will then begin moving forward, traveling once again the path recently taken. It will continue in Sagittarius until January 13, 2024, when it will reenter Capricorn. It is a tale of dreaming, redreaming, reviewing, contemplating, observing, playing with possibilities, receiving new insights on these possibilities, and then building, grounding, devoting, and bringing our chosen possibilities into our lived experience.
Like most good things, the week to come holds both a rebirth and a review. A building and a reflecting. A forward movement and an inner journeying.
As the Sun comes to a point of stillness in our skies, there is an invitation to come into a point of stillness within ourselves. To observe the sacred within as we observe the sacred without. To honor our cycles and seasons and reflect on the season that is drawing to an end. To begin to question what is birthing through you, too.
The shift from Sagittarius from Capricorn invites us deeper into the body and into our connection and relationship with all things tangible. What a gift it is to be in this body and in this world, seeded with our dreams and possibilities for the limited time we have here. Capricorn invites us to begin looking ahead at this new chapter that awaits in 2024, and while Mercury returns to Sagittarius in its retrograde motion, there is an invitation to begin curiously exploring ideas for this new year and letting them be just that, ideas, at least for the moment. Capricorn may love committing to its direction, but until January 1, we are sitting within a space that asks more for reflection and exploration than ultimate decision.
When you feel into your year ahead, what are some of the ways of being you desire to embody? When you think of your most fulfilling day, what comes to mind? When you think of the fire in your heart, where does it guide you? Open exploration will be your ally this week.
Learn more about the influence of astrology in your life, including astrological events, the Moon cycles, your Sun and Moon and rising signs, how journaling can help you connect with the current influences, and more with Jordane Maree at Girl and her Moon.
About Our Contributor
Jordane Maree is the founder of Girl and Her Moon, a platform and community exploring Soul through the lens of astrology, tarot, and energy healing. She is a writer, intuitive astrologer, energy and soul guide, and host of Girl and Her Moon, The Podcast. She is inspired, every single day, to be the mirror for you to see all that you truly are, you in all your infinite abilities, in total expansion, in infinite opportunity and love.