As usual, we weren’t exactly sure of what we would do for ceremony, except that Katarina and Mariella, the organizers, did know that I, Ann, as an astrologer, wanted to honor Saturn’s presence in the Solstice moment. More on that later.
But first, the feast. Which was full to overflowing with all sorts of goodies, including the usual baked chicken, plus spaghetti with meat balls, polenta, fried potatoes, squash, baked vegies, salads, rolls, on and on, I’m forgetting half the dishes! Plus finger food to start, wine and spiked egg nog. Tiramasu and Payton’s very first gluten free pie for dessert.
About 30 people showed up, regulars and a few we have never met, as usual! If one thing is true, it’s that these weekly dinners introduce more and more people to what we are doing here in Green Acres: creating a Village within a neighborhood, one that unites people with each other and with the Earth, and invites both full expression of individuals and full cooperation among equals.
The energy was high, very high.
and allowed plenty of room for kitchen talk and
small, intimate, conversation.
The real mover and shaker of this event, Katarina, shown here carving the chicken, presided in her element, preparation of food for the masses.
Afterwards, Kat and I quickly conferred, as Alex was igniting the fire outside in the fire pit, and decided that yes, now is the time to go out on the patio and gather round for ceremony. Twas a beautiful evening, not even cold, and clear, and everyone stood around the fire in a circle, expectant.
Kat handed out candles to everyone —
and told them what we were going to do. She would turn over the ceremony to me, Ann, and I would talk, as an astrologer, about the Winter Solstice, and what makes this particular Solstice rare: the presence of Saturn. Then, after I show them how to do the “Saturn walk,” we will walk in procession through the main garden. And that’s what we did.
I began by speaking of the Winter Solstice as the most holy moment of the year, when the Sun finally turns to go north again, and daylight begins to increase over darkness. This, I told them, is for me, the day that I celebrate, not either Christmas or New year, because Solstice is real, it has to do with the relationship between Earth, Sun and the solar system, rather than with stories humans tell each other, and the materialism that has fed Christmas to the god of greed. Furthermore, it’s the real New Year, when the Sun changes signs, moving from 29° Sagittarius into 0° Capricorn.
This year, Saturn moved into Capricorn on December 19, only two days prior to the Solstice moment. Saturn moves through Capricorn only once every 30 years, so this synchronicity is significant. For the next three years we will be working with this planet in its own sign — which means its effect will be stronger than usual. Saturn the planet of serious purpose, goals, focus, stern necessity, karmic payback, moving through Capricorn, sign of forms and structures of all kinds, including cultural.
Furthermore, as Saturn begins its transit through Capricorn, it will begin to catch up to the placement of Pluto in Capricorn, a much longer cycle. Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, the year the world financial system almost collapsed. When Saturn and Pluto meet up, during 2019-2020, we will experience the finale of the current destabilization of the centralized structures that organize and bind human civilization. And who knows what’s next?
Meanwhile, I told them, we need to slow down, focus, pay attention to what is at hand, what is real; it is time take action and begin to manifest our ideals and visions. We can’t afford to stay in our heads, but must move down into our bodies, and our connection to Earth. At this point I proceeded to demonstrate what the “Saturn walk” looks like: slow, measured, focused, one foot after another. No skipping along as if without a care in the world, but the opposite: moving with great care, caution, paying attention to feedback every step of the way, learning from mistakes.
I know Saturn doesn’t sound like fun. And I have a feeling that the revelers of that Solstice evening were brought up short by my little talk. Indeed, at the end of it, Mariella muttered to me: “Lighten up!” I laughed. Yes, lighten up. I wish I could! Saturn has me, whose birthday is December 19, conjunct current Saturn — as I’ve detailed in recent posts.
In my talk I also asked those who were in the 28-31 range to please raise their hands. Four people did. And the 56-60 range? One person did. Okay, these people are experiencing a very Saturn time, during which they need to consciously absorb the meaning of what they have done during the last 30 years of their lives. Why? Because Saturn returns to its natal place every 30 years. The first cycle of Saturn has to do with comprehending the way the rules and roles of society work; the second is spent carving out one’s own identity within or without the culture; and the third cycle, from 60-90, encompasses the cycle of the elder, or crone, the cycle of wisdom, when we are meant to share in community all that we have become during our first 60 years.
Saturn may not be fun. But it IS very real. I can remember as a young hippie, saying “don’t trust anybody over 30.” And then, once we reached 30, realizing that we can’t trust anybody under 30, because they don’t yet understand the law of cause and effect, how actions have consequences.
At this point, Katarina asked us all to follow her with our candles, knowing that some of them would probably go out. So we all did, walking slowly through the garden paths in a long line until done.
Afterwards, when we gathered again around the fire, Rebecca asked, “Now why did we do that walk?” “In order to experience the feeling of Saturn at Solstice,” I replied. And mused, internally: gee, did none of what I talked about make sense? Did I, in discussing this year’s Saturn presence, ruin the usual celebration of the return of the light at Winter Solstice? I certainly hope not!
In any case, people lingered by the fire for a while longer, or went back inside and resumed talking. But the evening was done by 9:30, only three hours past its starting point. About right, for me, who is newly three quarters of a century old, and wants to get to bed early.