Archive for December 21st, 2016

Tarot for December 21st, 2016: Pleasure


Today’s Tarot card is the 6 of Cups (Pleasure), an interesting card for the Solstice and the following holidays, even if today’s Lunar aspects have been feeling less than pleasurable.

The thing is, this card is not about something particularly light and festive, and whether or not it is even social is questionable.  The 6 of cups falls within the realm of the Sun in Scorpio, which takes a pointed interest in all of the deep, dark stuff of humanity, the subjects that are typically verboten at the dinner table in polite company:  sex, money, politics, religion, and psychology.  And all of these are subheadings under the real topic of Scorpionic interest:  power.  Scorpio is deeply concerned with power, and secrets (the revealing of which leads to more power), and Death (against whom we are powerless).

And now here we are with the Sun having just entered Capricorn (which gets along remarkably well with Scorpio in comparison to most other signs), and with the Sun, Mercury, and Scorpio’s transcendental ruler Pluto all in Capricorn the mood that is normally light and festive is much darker than usual.  With Mercury in retrograde having gotten so close to Pluto before embarking on its review of the first half of its trip through Capricorn, our minds are a lot more interested in rooting through secrets, especially those pertaining to how we make our way out in the world, what our goals are, and what are the social structures that set us on our paths in the first place.  And that’s likely to dredge up some ugly wounds.

What does all of this have to do with Pleasure?

The 6 of Cups being within the realm of Scorpio indicates that it is not talking about pleasant surface feelings.  It is concerned with deep feelings, and when we feel deeply we are unlikely to limit that feeling to the pretty stuff.  Chances are that when we start looking at secrets and mysteries, especially our own, we are likely to experience emotions like fear, and anger, and pain, but facing those feelings is what helps us to heal and move forward, and when we have passed through all of that we can also experience pleasure and harmony, the kind of harmony indicated by the 6 of Cups, which shows us unity of masculine and feminine energies through the combination of fire (Sun) and water (Scorpio).  While this certainly can relate to sexual fulfillment, it also indicates regeneration, creative fertility, and the kind of success that results from being willing to face our deeper emotions, answer the difficult questions of Mercury retrograde on a Winter Solstice, and climb the mountains that we find before us with Capricornian persistence.  The process of healing is often difficult and the next few weeks may be challenging, but they are a precursor to us fulfilling our wishes and satisfying the longing in our souls’ depths.

Astrology of December 21st, 2016: Winter Solstice



Today is the day of the Winter Solstice, with the Sun entering Capricorn in the wee hours of the morning, starting the lengthening of days again, even if it takes a while for winter temperatures to catch up to the slowly increasing light.  

Shortly before the witching hour and extending into the wee hours, we experienced the first lunar eclipse on the Solstice since 1638.  This is an extra space of darkness on the longest night of the year and during the introspection of the newly-begun Mercury retrograde that already has an unusually dark flavor to it due to it passing through Capricorn and having started so close to Pluto in Capricorn.  Darkness often gets a bad rap in “spiritual” circles, but I am inclined to look at it as a chance to rest our eyes and spirits a bit from an excess of active yang energy and brightness.  In the case of a lunar eclipse, the light of the Sun (consciousness) that the Moon reflects (unconsciousness) is hidden, and the Moon is seen through a lens of darkness, giving us the capacity to examine our unconscious minds on an intuitive and even psychic level.  This is the time for revelations to come to us through hidden channels and unexpected sources, and we should take note of whatever dreams we woke up from this morning.

No astrological aspects appear to stir the Libran harmony of the morning thereafter, with the first aspect of the day appearing in the afternoon with the Moon in Libra inconjunct Neptune in Pisces, recalling last night’s inconjunct between the Moon and Mars in these signs, with less Martial fervor and more Neptunian confusion.  Still, this is not one of the more uncomfortable inconjuncts, for these are both romantic signs and romantic players within them.  Libra wants everything to be peaceful and harmonious; Pisces knows that it is possible once we discard the illusion of separation.  The Moon governs the subconscious; Neptune governs dreams.  And while inconjuncts typically do not understand each other, in this combination they have a far easier time balancing their dissimilarities than other signs and bodies do, especially considering that Libra is the authority on balance, after all.

Things get a little more difficult to sort out with the Moon in Libra squaring Mercury in Capricorn toward the end of the night.  That instinct toward harmonious balance bumps up against a retrograde Mercury’s Capricornian tendency to tell it like it is, bluntly, and that lack of tact could be the very thing that distresses diplomatic Libra the most.  That said, this retrograde is a season for getting to the heart of the truth, especially regarding social mores and hierarchies, and the Libran desire for peace at all costs is going to need to take a back seat to that brutal honesty.  Still, Libra has a point in desiring to hear all sides of a story before making any judgements, and this may be at the heart of the challenge between these two tonight:  truth does not require brutality, but rather a balance of perspectives.  And the instinct toward peace is every bit as valid as the need to reconsider one’s actions and goals over this retrograde, and come to some kind of harmony in the wake of dissonance.


(All aspect times are calculated for Pacific Standard Time.  I tend to speak in broad terms when I reference time on this blog, referring to time-frames like “morning” or “afternoon” rather than specific times, since I still have a lot of friends on the East Coast who read these posts and I’d like them to be pertinent to those friends as well as folks here on the West Coast.  Readers from further abroad will need to adjust time-frames accordingly.)