The Crosses of Winter

One of the most popular songs of the Christmas season is the classic “There’s no place like home for the holidays.”  The song lists all of the pleasures waiting at a family gathering, though it does admit “From Atlantic to Pacific, Gee, the traffic is terrific.”  However, the indications in the Winter Solstice chart suggest that there may be more difficulties than just traffic to worry about for the holidays. Rather than thinking about “Home Sweet Home” for the holidays, people may be thinking of Leo Tolstoy’s quote, “Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

   The first thing to watch out for in the Solstice chart (Washington D.C. 12-21-2022, 4:49 pm) is that there is a Cardinal Grand Cross with the Sun opposing the Ascendant, and both are squaring an opposition between Jupiter and dwarf planet Ceres. The degrees of this square are on the Cardinal points, with only the Ascendant one degree away squaring the Aries point.  The Cardinal Grand Cross shows that most concerns will be on matters beyond those of family concerns. Ceres in Libra in the Fourth House may try to make a focus on family concerns. However, the opposition from Jupiter entering Aries and the Sun squaring from Capricorn suggests that outside financial matters may cast a pall over some family matters. People may be spending more time discussing family expenses rather than sharing family memories.

     This does not mean a nostalgic family Christmas is totally forgotten, but it may be hard to maintain the façade. Vesta, asteroid of hearth and home, is conjunct the Midheaven.  There may be a desire to buy presents for the family. Yet, squaring Vesta and the Midheaven are the Moon in the Sixth House and Mars Retrograde in the Twelfth House. It is possible that health problems and hospital bills may interfere with the holiday shopping. The Part of Fortune is conjunct Mars, and that could be a sign of financial aid in dealing with medical bills. With the Moon opposed by Mars and squared by Vesta and the Midheaven, this may not be a holiday to remember. The difficulties of so many losses, both personal and financial may cast a pall over the season.

     Pluto in the Eighth House may bring much remembrance of those who passed on this year. Pluto is opposing Pallas, asteroid of wisdom. Much of the wisdom left by those who passed on may be forgotten.  Pallas is also being opposed by Mercury, and people may not want to talk about what was said by so-and-so at such-and-such a time.  Oddly enough, the most popular topics at the time may be the forbidden ones, Religion and Politics. There is a conjunction with Neptune and Juno, which is trine Pallas and sextile Mercury.  Now that certain family members have passed on, it may be permissible to speak one’s mind about spiritual doctrines and political stands.  Although such topics may have been avoided for years, families may discover they have a lot in common once they bring up elements of religious belief and government policy. Relatives may find out their kin are good Christians, even if they don’t like loudmouth evangelists, and they may be good citizens even if they don’t like who is running the political parties. 

      Uranus might help with some reconciliation with a sextile to both Juno and Vesta and a trine to Venus and Mercury. People may start relating to one another if they talk about TV shows or websites that they enjoy.  They might turn on other relatives to new electronic experiences. Discussion of medical matters may help in bringing about further conversation. Chiron is sextile Mars Retrograde and trine the Moon. People may be very understanding of the medical ordeals that relatives have gone through. However, with Chiron squaring Venus they might not be willing to chip in financially to pay the medical bills. Chiron quincunx the South Node might make personal medical expenses a taboo subject.

     The difficulty of the season may not be discord as much as it is lack of connection. Pallas and Mercury are squaring Eris, dwarf planet of discord. So many people may be talking about their own problems that Eris may not have a chance to stir up contention between people.  The only one body left for Eris to motivate may be Saturn in the Ninth House, which is approaching a sextile to Eris. Saturn may be brooding, and thinking of “the good old days” when everyone knew their place and did as they were told.  Saturn may spend so much time brooding; there may not be time to upset anyone else.  Saturn and Eris may end up sitting alone at the old folks table after Christmas dinner, while the rest of the relatives pair off to discuss health, religion, politics, and the latest You Tube videos.

      The secret to having a happy holiday may be not to expect the holiday or the season to be happy. To build on Leo Tolstoy’s quote, each unhappy family has to find their own way out of unhappiness.  Maybe just listening to small stories of personal success, or even appreciating the right kind of stuffing in the turkey may brighten the season. Don’t expect Santa Claus or a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge to make the season happy. Just be grateful you have not been carried off by Krampus or that Scrooge has not sent you to debtor’s prison.  Little joys like that can make a happy new year.