Happy 2020 Everyone!
Today, January 14th, 2020 PST marks a very significant celestial event, for today, you begin a NEW CHAPTER of a NEW YEAR of your life!
As human beings, we are not only intricately intertwined with Earth, we actually are the planet Earth, so whatever is happening on or to the planet will also be directly reflected within us and our lives. And as seasons are connected to the Earth’s relationship to the Sun, when one growing season comes to an end on our planet, one growing season comes to an end in our lives. I like to visualize each of these growing seasons as “books” of my life titled, “1993,” “2001,” “2020” and so forth. But within these “books” we also experience distinct, although subtle, shifts of themes, which I like to visualize as “chapters.” These chapters are the RASHI, or “signs of the zodiac.”
As described in the Winter Solstice 2019 article, we came to an end of a growing season at the Winter Solstice, which marks the Sun’s journey through the Earth’s sky back to its southernmost point on the horizon, bringing with it the longest night and shortest day. This is also when the Sun is at its lowest daily maximum elevation in the sky, marking the “death,” and thus, ending/closing of the last growing season. But now, on January 14th, 2020 we experience the FIRST transmigration of the Sun from one sign to another since this big reset at the Winter Solstice. Thus this time will be bringing with it new themes and asks us to shift the focus a bit in our lives.
The Hindu culture celebrates this phenomenon as Makara Sankranti, which gives us further insight into the energetics of this occasion. Makara you may recognize from Makarasana, or “crocodile pose,” which has the same root as Makara Rashi, or the “sign of Capricorn”—for this sign is actually a goat in the first half and a crocodile in the second; so Makarasana would more accurately be “Capricorn pose.” Sankranti refers to the transmigration of the Sun from one sign to another, so there would be 12 sankrantis in total for one annular transit of the Sun, aka “year.” Thus, this indicates that the first transmigration after the Winter Solstice is happening today in the sign of CAPRICORN!
Now some of you may be thinking, “wait a minute! I thought the Sun moved into Capricorn around December 21st!” However, this relative motion of the Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn happens TODAY, January 14th, in real time, and happened around Dec 21st/22nd nearly 2000 years ago. Which brings us to a very wonderful opportunity for clarifying some concepts and perspectives, mainly the difference between mainstream “western astrology” and Vedic Astrology, which is the perspective from which I share information. But before getting into a full-fledged discussion about Vedic Astrology and its difference from mainstream western astrology, I’d like to talk about the themes of this new chapter for you, which are, then, the themes of Capricorn. (The Difference of Vedic Astrology and Western Astrology will be discussed in a coming article.)
You may have felt for the last few days now that you were in the midst of a shift. You may have noticed that you came to a feeling of “smoothing” things out from the start of 2020, but now you feel a new sense of vigor as though prepared to apply yourself to something, but what? The solar transmigration into the sign of Capricorn indicates that this is a time to focus on your daily work. We are closing up the “chapter” of Sagittarius where we were celebrating our beliefs, connecting to our families, taking part in the expansive abundance of life, and so forth, but now as we enter the realm of Capricorn it is time to WORK.
Capricorn is the abode of the planet SATURN: Father Time. This planet reminds us that we have a limited time here on this planet to experience human life. This individual experience is a gift, but one that doesn’t last forever, a fact which only enhances the beauty of life. Thus, Saturn asks us to examine our root. Have you the very necessities of life that will allow you to flourish in this lifetime? Do you have the basic foundations of your life in order to help you feel a sense of peace in your day to day experience? Remaining strong in our trust in the universe, we can journey inward into these areas to examine their states as a neutral observer. We may need to assess our budgets, our routines, our priorities to ensure that our foundations are strong—that we have access to optimal sources of nourishment, warmth and safety, and a sense of personal well-being. And this means also being careful not to neglect the most important basic need: your health.
This is actually a great time to explore routines and regimes for yourself that truly nurture your needs. But when I say “health,” I mean Total Human Well-Being, which requires healing and strengthening from the inside out, treating the source rather than symptoms. So as you find ways of staying strong, open, and flexible on the outside, also know that the work lies further than skin deep, for Capricorn in the winter months indicates deep INNER WORK.
Winter is a time of hibernation, regeneration, healing, incubation, self-reflection; for all human life begins in the womb. The winter season is a time of birth back into your seed state. The time is ripe for you to take time away from the social scene to spend time on your household affairs, home life, personal work and reflection. Time with yourself, on yourself and your life. So rather than putting off your personal work, NOW is the time. This is a time to focus your attention to yourself and what your needs are in a REAL way, meaning by putting in the time, effort, energy, resources, and focused presence into this area.
With the Capricorn energy focalized at this time we will also have the opportunity to see and work on tendencies of rigidity, coldness, and disconnect through a fixation on work; conversely, some of you will be reckoning with issues around work—what makes you feel you cannot put forth an effort? do you fear failure? do you believe you can’t do it? or this is the energy of the workaholic—so over-consumed with work, be it “personal” work or work for our careers, that we become distant from our relations. This energy can move inward into myopia or self-importance, becoming “chilly” to the people we encounter.
But whether this be your tendency or you come to encounter it in others, this will be an important time to work on acknowledging that everyone is on their path, doing their work the best that they can. Knowing that Saturn’s energy can elicit being cold and distant, use your awareness to notice times where you may have fallen into this or are being too harsh, and see how you might initiate a correction through lightheartedness and sweetness. It will be an important time to practice really seeing others wherever you go, especially when you are doing mundane things such as shopping at the grocery store, coming to a pedestrian crosswalk while in your car, etc.—really look at people and remain open to interact with focused attention when you are called to do so.
Personal work is necessary for your evolution. And Saturn’s time is about accessing your inner determination to be able to explore these depths, and cultivating the steadiness of work and discipline to do it for the rest of your life. But Saturn’s way is “steady and slow, slow and steady,” like putting one step in front of the other every time, every day, and if you step off, gently bringing yourself back again. You can see the type of work you are creating by the impact you are having on the people around you. When you are doing authentic work that’s true to your heart you will see your friends, families, neighbors, co-workers happier that you are around, while when one is cultivating a self-separating way of being you will feel the contrary, you will feel a sense of lack.
As Makara Sankranti is a celebration that honors Surya, one of the many names of the Sun above, it is also a celebration of the Sun within you. This part of yourself is the hero on the quest. So as this is a time that marks a shift into ever-lengthening days and welcomes a new season of harvest on our planet, it also brings a renewing vigor within you, brimming with the seeds of promise for this year’s harvest of your life! The personal strength and connection that you are able to work into this season will bring forth its fruits as the growing season moves toward harvest, but as Saturn teaches, “slow and steady” every time, every day, for the rest of your life. For those that are consciously on the path of the hero, he or she acknowledges that it is from himself and herself that the evolution of our planet comes, for evolution is simply the choice to adapt—I choose to look within myself for the answers to my own discontent, rather than blaming those around me for somehow having failed.
As the Earth orbits the Sun, creating “years,” it also rotates on its axis, creating “days.” But we mustn’t forget that as the Earth is awhirl with this movement, it is also orbited by the Moon, which creates energetic waves that ebb and flow within us just as the tides of the Mother Ocean undulate upon our planet. Now although we have come to the sankranti from Sagittarius to Capricorn which indicates a focus on the Sun, we entered into the waning phase of the moon the afternoon of Friday, January 10th. This indicates that it isn’t actually the time to start big new projects, rather, it is a time to tie up loose ends, for the energy of these lunar days are of a shutting down, a closure. So take some time now to reflect on things you’d like to bring closure to, or things that might need your immediate attention. Then, for the next 10 days let your reflections and desires speak to you, that you might understand how to step into your story with the greatest impact and for the highest good. And mightily take your stride into the next new moon phase, which comes to us on January 24th, 1342 PST, and supports you starting big new projects and embarking on new adventures!
One word of caution, as mentioned in the “Ring of Fire” Eclipse article, we have been in an eclipse phase since December 25th, 2019, so these 10 days are still in the effect of that energy, which brings with it the ability to take your personal work to the depth of working with the scars of your lineage. Tremendous opportunity, absolutely, but very volatile as well.
Bottomline: You are beginning a new phase of life that brings with it the themes of Capricorn, which ask you: how well rooted do you feel by the foundations of your life? how can you bring more stability into these foundations? what type of flexible routine can you create in your life that allows you to flourish, and makes you feel you are optimizing your human experience? what has been revealed to you in the past month or so that shows you the work that needs to be done on yourself? Then take the next 10 days to reflect upon these things and allow them to form into a new way, a new course to begin as we enter our next lunar phase on January 24th. And begin this new lunar phase with a you that is more prepared, more grounded, and more persevering in all your work because you took the time to reflect and move slowly and steadily into it.
Blessings to your New Beginnings!
Jane Oka Kaya Shin
Here are December 2019 and January 2020 at a glance: