25 Years of Celebrating Life’s Cardinal Turning Points
© 2013 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved
strology is based on the seasons, and the when the Sun enters 0o Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, we greet Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. These changes are as certain as the sky itself.
You don’t even have to be into astrology to “go by” this orderly march of time. People the world over have read the Old Farmer’s Almanac since 1792 to find out the best Moon signs for planting certain crops. There’s nothing we can do to stop the seasons from changing. As the old saying goes, since we can’t beat them, I suggest we join them.
As I’ve shared in many previous posts, I’ve celebrated the solstices and equinoxes for many years with a groovy group of women. We call ourselves the Solsisters. It started with my metaphysically-oriented workmates at my government agency for waste management and recycling. We shared a natural love of Earth and Sky. Since Winter Solstice 1988, we have been focusing on how these outer seasonal changes herald inner changes inside us—and our rituals focus on welcoming these shifts with open arms.
I consider the practice of doing rituals at these Astro-turning points—many add the cross-quarters —to be the most practical and experiential astrology we can practice. Ceremony takes astrology out of our heads and brings it down to our earth and into our hearts and hearths—the latter, especially at Winter Solstice, when we burn pieces of paper in the fire with lists of what we want to let go of in our lives.
These celebrations are all about synchronizing with the way the planets are moving and life is reliving itself, with every passing year at a higher octave of the previous spring, summer, fall and winter.
Of all the seasons, winter has in many ways become my favorite, though it’s neck-and-neck with autumn, the cusp on which I was born and whose blatant beauty takes my breath away. I co-facilitate the Solsisters events with my friend Christy. Over time, we’ve found our natural groove. She’s an Aries who loves the light and does the Spring and Summer rituals. I do Autumn and Winter. My first astrology teacher, Gavin Carruthers once said that men grow into their Moons as they age and women into their Suns. There’s no sign at its highest expression more ritualistic than Virgo, and when you add my Cap Moon that’s such a wintry “feeling” sign, I get why I have become fonder of winter the longer I’ve lived in a climate free from snow.
As time has marched on, I have come to love Winter Solstice for its invitation to “go inner” and how it has taught me the beauty of darkness. If you aren’t already doing it:
Don’t let another year go by without creating Cardinal rituals, even if they’re only for yourself. Better yet, do what I did and create a circle of celebration that sustains you—ours for more than a quarter century.
At our 25-year celebration (see my Facebook page for photo), I told those present, “Solsisters is a gift we’ve given ourselves.” This is absolutely true, and it can be true for you, as well. I encourage you to take astrology out of your mind only and to enliven your life with it by embracing the changes it represents in various rituals and celebrations, all of which you can craft yourself with our greatest gift of all—creativity.
You can search The Radical Virgo under a variety of key words for tips about what we do: solstice, equinox, ritual, celebration or the season names themselves. Search the Internet for every kind of suggestion, poem and activity imaginable. Many of ours are drawn from what’s publicly published, and watching our creative process as great minds merge to celebrate life is one of the sustaining highs of being a leader of this circle.
Of course, I thanked the Solsisters present profusely for all our years together at our silver anniversary celebration this week. I want to thank your for our circle on The Radical Virgo, too. Even though it has been less than five years, in over 300 posts, we have celebrated life together. A poet popular in the 1970s, Rod McKuen, once wrote, “Love is a season and holidays like signposts mark the time.” The same can be said of the solstices and equinoxes, but they do even more than ring in the new. They confirm the rhythm of life and a cosmos in a never-ending cycle of re-creation.
Here’s to marking these times by using all our senses and all our parts—body, mind and spirit—for as long as we’re still standing to embrace life.
Photo Credit: © glopphy- fotolia.com