Some thoughts at the Winter Solstice:

……a quotation from “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach states……
“ Gloom we have always with us, a rank and sturdy weed, but joy requires tending.”
Barbara Holland
Winter Solstice 2018 by Anne Whitaker
Winter Solstice 2018
by Anne Whitaker

This has never seemed truer as we approach the end of what has been a very difficult year, our human community across the world riven with even more – and more angrily polarised – conflicts than usual.

It is becoming much harder, since young Greta Thunberg’s resolute pounding on the door of our resistance to facing the truth of our planetary crisis, to avoid facing certain harsh realities. It’s been a year for being confronted with those, both individually and collectively. Many of us are feeling pretty dispirited, exhausted, lacking in optimism for the future.
So, what to do?
Having an astrological perspective is a great help, at least in being able to stand back and realise that we very clever 21st century folk are not immune to the turbulence which has followed the unfolding of the human story throughout history. The planetary cycles are telling us quite clearly, as I outlined in my recent article on Astrodienst, that we are at a time of extraordinary, epochal change.
For the old order to die, and the new one to emerge, we need to go through a form of collective death and rebirth.
How can we help this along, and in our own small way contribute to a more positive world in the future?
Personally, I find it helpful always to return to Jung‘s view: if there’s something wrong with the world, with society, with nation or with family, then there’s something also wrong with ME; so, taking responsibility for who I am and where I’m at, is the first step in changing the world for the better.
In other words, start where you are, and do what you can, to bring some light into the dark both at this solstice time of year, and during the year which is fast approaching. As the wise quote says, we need to keep ourselves from becoming too gloomy, and cultivate joy wherever we can.
Today, I had a lovely experience of doing just that. I met up with a young friend who has just completed her first term at university. After many very difficult years, she has gradually found a firm place on which to stand in her life: in a mutually supportive relationship, she knows what her future vocation is now, and her studies are focused on some very clear goals. She is fizzing with enthusiasm and excitement, and has done extremely well in her first term’s exams.
It made me feel joyful to share her enthusiasm and her optimism for the future. As an older person, being able to support young folk like her is a simple and positive way to keep the rank weed of gloom at bay, and cultivate a positive approach to whatever our future proves to be.
So – what’s your recipe for cultivating joy as 2020 approaches? Do share!

Winter Solstice 2018 by Anne Whitaker

550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2019

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 



17 thoughts on “Some thoughts at the Winter Solstice:

  1. Anne, a very thoughtful and informative piece for the times we are ALL experiencing – whether or not we are attuned to the bigger picture. My grandson, who just completed his first semester at a large university, has provided much joy as well as inspiring hope for the future. I’m grateful for his proximity to where I live, as I am afforded the opportunity to participate in the caravan of relatives who participate in getting him and some of his classmates home. The recent news of another grandchild on the way in 2020, again provides hope and underscores that the species continues…reminding us all to keep our focus on caring for our Mother Earth. I send my blessings and wishes for an enjoyable holiday season, and peaceful new year – for all countries…especially for yours and mine.

  2. Glad you have enjoyed the post, Leslie. And I’ve enjoyed our mutual engagement through our respective posts and comments throughout 2019. Solstice Blessings to you and yours..

  3. Via Facebook:
    Emilie Llewellyn Simons:
    Thanks for your post and re-emphasising what I’ve been feeling. I’ve found this year personally very difficult. I’ve been in quite a place of doom and gloom and have had to make some dramatic changes in order to shift the darkness. I’ve moved to a very small town in the West Coast of Tasmania, where the weather is very gloomy, but I’m finding great strength and joy in the energy and atmosphere of this place and finding support in the community. I’m finally starting to break-out and un-abandon my blog/website, get back on Facebook, and start painting again. Yes, very important to cultivate and find joy in these times <3

  4. Hi Emilie, it’s so good to hear from you about your move of location, its nurturing effect, and your increasingly successful attempts to break out of your personal bit of gloom! Do keep dropping by…keep us posted! 😍🌈

  5. Via Facebook:
    Carla Sharp:
    Simply looking forward to leaving this era behind and starting fresh with major change foretold gives me hope. Thanks for your uplifting post.

  6. Via Facebook:
    Barbara Monica:
    I’ve been in a dark place with what’s going on on the planet for years. 2013 was a real meltdown with climate for me and Saturn and Pluto have been aspecting my chart in ways that have made my life very hard.
    But right now I am busy birthing a project which deals with it all.
    I’m quite excited!
    It’s a big project. Equal in measure to the many years of darkness and difficulty but if all the things I have tried, this really feels like it meets it all.

  7. Via Facebook:
    Janet Bowman Johnson :
    I’m going to allow myself to feel the sadness with the passing of the familiar, the comfortable. And remember to breathe as I face the uncertain future… chin up, eyes open, standing ready…

  8. Can you believe I missed the Solstice? Well, at least I wasn’t aware it had arrived. I suppose it’s left-over discombobulation from moving, as well as the utterly gorgeous weather we’ve been having: seasonally cool, but sunny and bright. I enjoyed your post; it’s filled with wisdom for the gloomier times of our lives. Right now, I’m not at all gloomy, but it’s going to be a year of work ahead of me to get back on my feet financially after some dental bills and my move. Still, that’s not gloomy, either. I’m just happy to be healthy and able to work — and have work to do!

    My best to you for the season, and for the coming year. Won’t it be fun to see what reveals itself to us as the months unroll?

  9. “…secret for cultivating joy?’ . for me it is easy: Just smile, especially to a stranger.
    That happened a few nights ago before I loaded this post of yours. I entered the restaurant and nodded to a family at the other corner table. The young girl was probably 8 or 10, and she had a solemn look on her face. I smiled and gave them the customary ‘Buen Provecho’ and then nodded to the girl and added, “Buen Provecho Princessa!” She looked at me almost in shock – that I had seen in her a princess, and she beamed with joy, as did the parents. I ordered, tucked my head into the computer and barely emerged – but at times she would look at me and smile.. and I smiled back.
    When they left, they paused at my table to wish me a Feliz Navidad, and all were still smiling when they left.
    Another table did the same when they left, and that time it was me who was the recipient of unexpected greetings.
    How easy it is to uplift another with a simple greeting, or just a smile.

    Happy Holidays, Anne and I send my smile to you!

  10. Hello Anne, I very much concur with your observation regarding astrology’s poor reputation in the area of event prediction. This is one of the main reasons I stopped doing consultative work a number of years ago and opted to do research instead. Many clients who seek out astrologers do so on the understanding that astrology is going to tell their future and regrettably some practitioners fall into the trap of attempting to satisfy this expectation.

Leave a Reply