Every year, just as the last days before Christmas approach, we hear increasing moans and groans from family, friends, and co-workers. There is so much to do and it’s all become a burden to them by December 24. They just want to get it done and get it over with! All around me, I hear the same refrain, “Next year, I’m going to start sooner and do less!”
For many of us who sit around the Christmas dinner table with only enough energy left to scarf down some food and keep our eyes open through gift-giving, we wonder why we do this to ourselves year after year. It’s impossible to miss the advice from the media—the start-early, get-organized, plan-ahead, prioritize advice. Still, we always have too much to do and too little time to do it in. Most of us were too tired to start with, but some of us were so busy with the endless parties and to-do lists that soon Christmas Day looms like impending doom rather than joy. How did we miss all that media advice about simplifying our lives or planning ahead? Were we not listening, or does the media really have the answer? Actually, the real secret is in what I call “The Seasons of the Signs.”
Awareness of the Seasons of the Signs can help you get more enjoyment out of the holidays. You may even survive to have a smile on your face and enthusiasm in your heart. The first key to these holidays is that from about November 23 to December 21, every year, the Sun is in the sign of Sagittarius. These dates are very important, as they mark what I call the Season of Sagittarius.
The Season of Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter. Keywords for Jupiter are worthy of your consideration as you observe others and make your own holiday preparations. There are many Jupiterian keywords, but notably during the Season of Sagittarius keep in mind the following: extravagant, charitable, excessive, joyful, expensive, hopeful, and exorbitant. Each holiday season we hear how busy everyone is, followed by how everyone is gaining weight and going broke from their holiday shopping. Once you think of Jupiter’s keywords, it’s easy to perceive that during the Season of Sagittarius we are more (Jupiter) optimistic about what we can accomplish and overly (Jupiter) indulgent (Jupiter) in our spending, eating, and drinking. Awareness of the Season of Sagittarius and the potential of Jupiterian keywords may help you think about making better choices and gain a perspective on the holidays that non-astrologers might miss.
The symbolism of Jupiter is wonderfully illustrated as we kick off the Season of Sagittarius, not just with football (rough-’em-up, playful Sag), but also with Thanksgiving, the holiday that celebrates the end of the harvest. Our American Thanksgiving is a feast commonly portrayed by the Horn of Plenty. There’s another Jupiterian keyword, “plenty.” How lucky (Jupiter) can we be to have gathered in the harvest and be able to share this abundance (Jupiter) with those we love! The tradition of serving a large (Jupiter) turkey is often evident in newspaper and magazine articles that offer various recipes for Thanksgiving meal leftovers. Even the newspaper comic characters have jokes about leftover turkey, despite the fact that many serve ham and others serve vegetarian meals.
This celebration of the harvest is immediately followed by the biggest (Jupiter) shopping day of the year. There is a seemingly endless list of items we may shop for, including ornaments for both the inside and outside of our homes, not just for decorating the tree, but also for decorating our tables, walls, floors, doors, windows, lawns, and rooftops. There is everything from indoor and outdoor lights, to bows, bells, and candles. We shop for parties and buy special clothes, gourmet foods and drinks, and imported gifts. Once we have the gifts purchased, we are in the market for gift-wrapping paper, name tags, ribbons, and bows. We buy clothes, books, and toys for children as well as for adults. We buy decorated holiday cards and stationary so we may spread cheer and Peace-on-Earth from one end of the world to another. As we gather to ship our gifts and cards to relatives and friends, the lines at post offices soon appear to stretch just that far—around the world. Retailers are hopeful (Jupiter) that you will buy their stock, and shoppers are optimistic (Jupiter) about what they can afford. In the end, the sky lord Jupiter leads us to believe the sky really is the limit, and soon we max out our credit cards.
My favorite illustration of the Season of Sagittarius is the abundance of food. This Jupiterian abundance, or indulgence, is everywhere. Throughout the holidays, offices and businesses display fancy candy bowls and cookie trays, loaded with all sorts of edible treats. Whether it’s your local suburban auto shop or the corporate office in a downtown skyscraper, co-workers bring in sweets of all kinds to share. You can not escape it—from the office, to your friends and relatives, to samples offered in stores and malls. People everywhere are rolling out dough for sugar cookies, praline bars, gingerbread houses, and pumpkin pies. They are also buying up imported (Jupiter) specialty chocolates as they answer the call to adventure (Jupiter) in taste-treats for themselves and to be offered as special gifts. When else does the whole country break out in zits from the abundance of chocolate truffles and luscious pastries!
The optimism of the Season of Sagittarius is healthy, as we joyously strive to include everyone we know in our holiday cheer. Long-distance correspondence (Sagittarius) is especially high as the postal and shipping services are overwhelmed with greeting cards and holiday packages. For many people, this may be the only communication they receive from certain friends or relatives throughout the entire year. We give holiday cards not only to the few we seldom see, but also to those we see every day at work or our own immediate family members whom we greet every morning when we get up. The Jupiterian symbolism for the ninth house (long-distance) is also reflected in packed airports as college students head home on winter break and families travel across the country to join parents, grandparents, and in-laws (Jupiter) for the holidays.
Then there are the parties. Think of the god Bacchus as the epitome of Jupiterian gusto and you will see the party life at the office during the holidays in a whole new light. There can be a party nearly every day in large cities, and in the smallest communities there can be one every week. Hand-in-hand with all this joy and celebrating, the benevolent nature of the Season of Sagittarius means it’s the time of the year when charities receive their highest contributions. Donation boxes are available at local grocery stores for food banks, and malls provide sites for toy and clothing contributions as well as “gift-tag” trees for services. Many service groups, from the local church to your fire department, and even corporate employers, promote “adopt” programs with toys, cards and letters, clothing, and personal assistance, varying from help with heating bills to transportation to the doctor. Even mail-order companies provide a way for a portion of their sales to be returned to community resources that aid the disadvantaged. Many holiday parties are held specifically for the purpose of raising funds for charities. This is the season to give (Jupiter), as more people share not only their money, but their time and abilities as they serve in soup kitchens, visit nursing homes and hospitals, and help with meals and distribution of gifts to others outside their immediate circle. Heart-warming tales of individuals sharing touch the beliefs (Jupiter) of many religions. The optimism of Sagittarius encourages us to open our hearts and our checkbooks to help those less fortunate.
The second key to the holidays is that from about December 22 to January 21, the Seasons of the Signs bring an interesting change as the Solar Light moves into the Season of Capricorn. Once you recognize the natural potential for overdoing during the Season of Sagittarius, you can prepare yourself for its possible impact in the one that follows it. One of those impacts is the change from the sheer-optimism of Sagittarius to the near-pessimism of the Season of Capricorn.
We have new keywords to consider during this Season of Capricorn. With Capricorn’s ruler Saturn, we remember keywords like responsibility, duty, burden, obligation, restriction, limitation, and debt—or even guilt. Suddenly the holidays have caught up with us and it seems now we are overburdened and out of time. We begin to realize that we broke not only our pocketbook, but our bathroom scale, and we haven’t even eaten Christmas Dinner yet. But the Season of Capricorn brings us down to earth (Saturn) and helps us focus so that we can actually be ready for Christmas. The last-minute trees are bought and decorated because by now family and friends have guilt-tripped (Saturn) you so that you have to have one. You get those last-minute greeting cards for those people you now owe (Saturn) because they sent you a card, but you didn’t have them on your list. Does this sound like joyous expansive Sagittarius? No, we are now full-swing into the Season of Capricorn!
For many of us, once we enter the Season of Capricorn, things are not so much fun anymore. But you need to look at your own chart to see what houses are occupied by Sagittarius and Capricorn, as well as the placement and aspects for Jupiter and Saturn. Also look at Dell horoscope’s Self-Guidance Chart to see what transits are occurring that may influence your chart during these seasons. Not everyone is going to feel as sober and serious about the holidays as others, and many will not lose the holiday spirit. Check your chart each year during the Seasons of the Signs to see how best to handle the potential of these energies.
The Season of Capricorn tends to open that door to guilt for what we haven’t done yet, to remind ourselves of how overbooked and overburdened we are. During the Season of Sagittarius, you might openly and joyously embrace many commitments until now your cup overfloweth and so does your Day-Timer. Stress becomes such a significant factor during this time that holiday counseling groups have sprung up across the country to deal with the impact. The demands of work and partying and preparations at home take their toll. It may be easy to think of Capricorn’s keywords and realize that where you “played” before during Sagittarius, you will “pay” during the Season of Capricorn.
As the Solar Light from Sagittarius fades and moves deeper into the Season of Capricorn, our focus shifts and we are starting to think of the next party, New Year’s Eve. These New Year’s parties tend to be more Capricornian than Sagittarian, as businesses are truly out to court customers and try to gain their favor in the coming year. Still, New Year’s Resolutions are on everyone’s minds and in the headlines as discussions range from how to lose those holiday pounds and pay off those bills to what goals to accomplish in the year ahead. Reality (Saturn) seems to drag us back to business and belt-tightening. Would we focus so much on our weight or budget, if we had not just gone through the indulgent Sagittarian holidays? Certainly, but with the Solar Light in Capricorn, we are now giving our attention to duty and responsibility.
Remember, though, that while you are making those dutiful New Year’s Resolutions, you are making them during the restrictive Solar Light of Capricorn. Soon follows the Season of Aquarius. And what happens every year? People are tossing off those unreasonable restrictions, and New Year’s Resolutions soon are dropped—not by everyone of course, but by many. Once we realize the potential for setting high expectations of ourselves, whether for our career, our weight, or our budget, perhaps this may help us establish goals for ourselves that we can actually accomplish. Then when the next season follows, we can use that to make ourselves stronger and continue our journey to success in our dreams.
So the secret to enjoying the holidays is awareness of the tendency to overdo, overeat, and overspend during the Season of Sagittarius. And, knowing that once the Solar Light moves into Capricorn, you are more likely to experience the downside of those excesses.
You don’t have to be a time-management guru or an obsessive planner to put into practice those media tips to start early and prioritize and to minimize stress and indebtedness. In fact, it’s better to do your planning before the Solar Season of Sagittarius is upon us. The Season of Scorpio, which precedes Thanksgiving, provides a less excessive (Sagittarius) period to plan and even to scheme (Scorpio) to come up with gift ideas for your favorite people! The Solar Light of Scorpio is a favorable time to plan the details (Scorpio) for the rest of the year, though some people start even sooner.
The caution is not to assume that you have to do everything while the Sun is in the sign of Sagittarius. So plan ahead, prioritize, and try to make life simpler for yourself so that you will have time to enjoy it. The Season of Scorpio is also a good time to look at how your finances will hold up until the holiday bills arrive in January. Don’t forget to consider the budget impact on your significant other or your extended family members where that may apply. Wherever you overspend (Jupiter) on gifts, you may be teaching your child to do the same or guilt-tripping (Capricorn) other family members to spend more than they can afford.
While you do not have to plan ahead before Thanksgiving to truly enjoy the holidays, it is easier on your life to balance the Season of Sagittarius and the Season of Capricorn. We seem to cram all the things we have wished to do the whole year into these few holiday weeks. Unfortunately, by the time we get halfway through our to-do list, some would rather leave for boot camp. Resistance is not futile. The more you accomplish before the Season of Capricorn, the fewer burdens you must deal with when the Light turns its sober influence on your duties.
No matter the Season of the Signs, we are thankful for what we can share with others. We look ahead and set goals and hope, most of all, that we may help bring joy and peace to the world as well as to our own loved ones.
May the Solar Light be with you.