Paying back La Befana

Thomas Canfield

     One of the most unusual Christmas stories is the Italian tale of La Befana. She was supposed to have been an old woman who was greeted by the Three Wise Men on their way to see the Baby Jesus. La Befana was invited to join the Wise Men, but she was too busy cleaning her house. Once she was done cleaning, she began her own search for the Baby Jesus, but she could never find him. She started giving candy and gifts to all the children she met in honor of the Baby Jesus. Just as Saint Nicholas became the great Christmas gift-giver to the Dutch, La Befana represented Christmas generosity to the Italians. Since she never met the Baby Jesus, she could not be considered a saint.  So, the legend made her into a witch who was immortal, but nice enough to give presents.

      The reason for mentioning La Befana is because the Winter Solstice chart shows a strong, feminine influence. It may be a time of payback for women like La Befana who have been generous and giving over the years. This could be a time when old-time feminists are rewarded and acclaimed for their work for more than fifty years.  It would be a big surprise for La Befana to receive some gifts after all of the ones she gave out.

    The first feminist aspect is a trine between the Solstice Sun and the Moon in Taurus. The Sun is in the Fourth House of Family, and the Moon is in the Eighth House of Other People’s Money. Women who have been working for financial rewards, such as in discrimination law suits, may finally get restitution. Adding emphasis to this gain is Mercury Retrograde conjunct the Sun and Jupiter Retrograde conjunct the Moon. Both are sextile Saturn in Pisces. The financial rewards might not be extravagant, but the legal implications and the precedents set may be the real rewards.

        Adding to the feminist fight is Ceres conjunct Mars, and both are squaring Juno, the asteroid of marriage/political gain, and Neptune. With Juno opposing Neptune, there may be a falling out between the religious right and the scheming right-wingers determined to gain power. Ceres and Mars squaring both Juno and Neptune may help in driving a wedge between the two factions. Women who promote control over their own bodies may form a more militant version of feminism. Some women had promoted vasectomies as an amusing solution to the abortion problem.  Don’t be surprised if more women start promoting that as a serious solution. Ceres and Mars are trine Chiron, and there may be more medical authorities who speak on out women controlling their own bodies. 

   Helping the political cause of women will be Venus conjunct Pallas, with both sextile Juno. Pallas is sextile the Ascendant, and more wisdom from female candidates may be heard at this time. Venus is trine Neptune, and more religious voices may be standing up for women’s rights. Venus and Pallas are being opposed by Uranus in the Ninth House. Talking heads may be speaking against women, and might encourage more lawsuits against women’s groups. Yet, with Pallas sextile the Part of Fortune, the women’s groups may come out on top in legal actions. The Part of Fortune is squaring Chiron retrograde, and medical groups may not come out with an advantage in legal matters. 

     Mars is approaching a trine to Eris and the North Node. This could mark more militant action against the Supreme Court. Mars squaring Juno could see a political shift in court leadership. Mars is quintile Saturn which can stand for nostalgia or limited thinking. Being in Pisces, Saturn may seem to be in a fog. Mars in Sagittarius offers a more aggressive form of thinking. Mars may be giving Saturn a few jabs in the fog, but though the action is a bit painful, it may help provide direction and focus to Saturn.

    Two bodies that have had some roles in past upheavals may be feeling lesser influences at this time. Vesta, asteroid of hearth and home, is in an out-of-sign opposition to the Solstice Sun and Mercury Retrograde. The vision of an old-fashioned Christmas may be diminished. Pluto is in an out-of-sign square to the Moon and Jupiter retrograde. As Pluto is departing Capricorn, the old power structures may be too worn out to handle the changes coming forward. The quincunx between Vesta and Pluto may mark confusion as some people long for the “Leave it to Beaver”  days, but they may not like the Union power and the high tax rates of “the good old days.” 

     In this modern Winter, La Befana is no longer worried about cleaning her house.  When she appears, she may be getting a load of presents from admirers. What do you give a 2000 year old homeless woman who hands out candy? A warm coat? New boots? Warm stockings? A Caribbean cruise might be a good idea. If anything, La Befana may be spreading the message that you have to move beyond your home if you want to find a quest that will help others. Forget the house cleaning and move out to talk with the women.