Saturn and the Sun in Capricorn: some thoughts at the Winter Solstice

Tomorrow the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, the zodiacal backdrop to our journey through the dark heart of  winter each year. This year its entry, and the Winter Solstice, is lent especial significance by Capricorn’s ruling planet, Saturn, having come home to its own sign today. I have been feeling the gravity of this, as I am sure have many of my readers.


In essence, my feeling about the period we are moving into from Winter Solstice 2017 is this: Saturn is the planet which dispenses strict justice, telling us that what we sow, we reap – for good or ill. As he moves slowly towards conjunction with mighty Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, at 22 degrees Capricorn in 2020, a meeting which only occurs every thirty-five years or so, we are being reminded that environmentally, politically and financially there is a collective reckoning on its way. Jupiter’s presence in Capricorn that year further amplifies the encounter’s significance.

The consequences of our actions are looming; there is a rebirth coming which hopefully in the long run will challenge us as a human community to behave with greater integrity in our dealings both with one another and with our precious mother planet. So, the turbulent times ahead will force us to confront our failures and shortcomings, both personally and collectively.

But they will also offer us satisfactions and rewards in those areas of our lives to which we bring integrity, personal responsibility,  patience, persistence and honesty. The choice is ours – as always. 

It’s important to give profound times their due. But we also need comfort and distraction, especially in the ‘bleak Midwinter’…

We humans in the Northern Hemisphere, beset by darkness and cold, have from long antiquity needed light and celebration to lift our spirits in the bleak midwinter, no matter how much the grimness of world affairs or the pains of everyday life hold us down: 2017 has been a particularly harrowing year.

We have, also, long needed ritual to guide our lives through the passage of all kinds of seasons: seasons of the year, seasons of our lives, seasons of joy, seasons of mourning…these rituals give significance, dignity, to the archetypal processes of life and death, then rebirth to new life in one form or another.

 An annual event in our Scottish household is to flick malt whisky symbolically onto the Christmas Tree, the modern version of the ancient Sumerians’ Moon Tree, and to read Susan Cooper’s wonderful Winter Solstice poem aloud. All families across the world have their own variations on seasonal ritual.

I hope you find comfort and joy in yours.

Ancient Akkadians honour their tree of life

Ancient Akkadians honour their tree of life


So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!


In the bleak Midwinter...

In the bleak Midwinter…

600 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Susan Cooper 2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

16 responses to “Saturn and the Sun in Capricorn: some thoughts at the Winter Solstice

  1. Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:


  2. Via Facebook:
    Amron Kelly:

    The last Saturn in Capricorn was quite different as both Neptune and Uranus also joined in the dance with saturn as it entered Capricorn and was also opposed by Chiron. Pluto was also in Scorpio then. On a personal note – I had bought what I thought was my ‘dream home’. To discover that it had major dry rot that the surveyors had missed! Saturn was transiting the end of my 10th house in placidus, start of 11th house in whole sign. Certainly a difficult period with unforeseen increased costs and major repairs going on. My daughter was only one and we had to live with our in laws for 3 months. Need to go and dig out the diaries!


  3. Thanks for this useful feedback on the previous cycle, Amron. There is a great deal to say about all this, which is why I attempted to extract an essence to start off with… I recommend following Jessica Adams’ detailed ruminations – part one is already on my page, and part two is due just after Christmas. Solstice blessings to you and yours 🙋⚡️


  4. Via Facebook:
    Elaine Seefeldt:

    Feeling drained & anxious mood, my daughter who is an auxiliary nurse has been floored by flu & chest infection and l’ve been looking after her even though l have fibromyalgia, osteo arthritis, asthma & copd. I’m hoping n praying l don’t catch it because l’m spending my 1st Xmas up north with my son who moved back to Scotland a few months ago after 16 years in England.

    The media complain about hospitals not reaching waiting time targets but when medical staff are falling like flies across NHS, especially with flu(even with flu vaccine) and noro virus which my daughter’s ward was closed last week with, its no surprise they are missing waiting times and delays with seeing specialist appointments eh. I hate being in baa humbug mood especially considering my small moans are nothing compared to so many globally in war zones, homelessness and so many children in food poverty, l always count my blessings


  5. … and Solstice blessings to you, Elaine. Yes, these seem to be difficult times for so many of us just now.


  6. Via Facebook:
    Trish Brady:
    Last time Saturn moved into Capricorn, and also crept into my 3rd House, it was the beginning of a beneficial period for me. This time? Not sure.


  7. Well, Trish, as Saturn would no doubt say – Time will tell…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Via Facebook:
    Michael Rider:
    I’m having flashbacks of Pluto-Uranus squares…on steroids!!


  9. This quite defies a reply, Michael! Hope you enjoy the trip…


  10. Via Facebook:
    Frank Vaisvilas:
    I am on an emotional roller coaster


  11. Yes, Frank, you are in lots of good company there…


  12. I feel positive about Saturn’s move into its home sign. Being in dignity I hope all those Saturn/Cap traits will manifest positively, especially when Uranus shifts into Taurus in May (a rather more uncomfortable blend), but then perhaps I just feel the lift of Saturn leaving my heavily populated Sagittarius horoscope 🤔😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for these encouraging words, Carole!


  14. As always it’s great to read your post, but especially nice as the solstice marks the sun’s retreat toward the other end of the solar calendar. The Ancient Akkadian/ tree of life-image caught my eye because of similar images that mystify archaeologists in Ecuador. See bottom image on page 8 :

    Every time I explore those images, I end up with pages and pages to read offline!

    Happy New Year a little early!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Lisa, and very much the same to you. I have been very occupied with family matters over the last few weeks so only done the minimum on the web. Hope to catch up with your posts and those of other good web friends in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime very happy 2018 to you And many thanks for supporting my writing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.