We are getting a wintry treat here in Portland with some holiday snow. It comes just in time to help us slow down for Mercury Retrograde (Monday the 19th) and Winter Solstice (Wednesday the 21st).
I have been appreciating this enforced “time-out” during a usually busy time of year. Normally I’d be spending a few hours of my time in line at the post office, sending out my packages of baked goods and homemade fudge to family. (I tried to break them of the fudge habit last year, but let’s just say that did not go down well. Easier to make the fudge than to endure the guilt trip from my 87-year-old grandmother!) But this year, the weather over the past few days has given me a great excuse to spread out my cooking hours and delay the dreaded post-office trip. I’m relieved to surrender to a force bigger than me – the weather – which is giving me a relaxed attitude toward all this. The packages will go out when they will.
While I appreciate this helping hand from Mother Nature, I also realize that I need to learn to set these boundaries on my own, without the need for an “excuse.” I am trying to get better at saying no to holiday chaos during this time of year when my energy tends to be at a low ebb. In fact, the energy is at a low ebb for us all: this is the darkest time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. The solar cycle is telling us to go inside, both literally and figuratively. I feel that this coming week, which features the Solstice and Mercury Retrograde, the best strategies are to set clear boundaries and slow yo’self down, even as the world swirls around you. This week is a time to get centered, grounded, and clear.
The Sun enters Capricorn on Wednesday at 2:44 AM, marking the first day of winter. This is a good day to celebrate or do ritual, whatever is meaningful for you in honoring the turning of the season. It is a time to welcome the returning of the light, at the same time recognizing that we are still in the darkest time. The Sun in Capricorn over the next month invites us to get practical, focus on the tasks at hand, and to do so with patience and strategy.
Mercury stations retrograde in Capricorn Monday at 2:55 AM. This retrograde lasts until January 8th. It spends most of the period in Capricorn (through Jan. 3rd). Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, is a sign associated with patience and endurance. We are called to consider the long-view right now rather than rushing results or focusing on outcomes.
During the retrograde, avoid (if possible):
Travel, signing contracts, major purchases (especially vehicles), marketing launches, mergers, important communications
Instead, focus on:
Revising, redoing, rethinking a strategy, taking down-time, simplifying and streamlining procedures, waiting for ideas to percolate
So follow the impulse to curl up with your loved ones (humans and/or animals), and take extra good care of yourself this next week. Setting this example may give others around you permission to do the same.
Want to learn more about how to work with the cycles of the Sun, the Moon, and your body's wisdom? Check out Cycles of Wisdom, our multi-media ebook and course.