Solstice Sisters

by angeliska on December 21, 2014

Happy Winter Solstice, and new moon in Capricorn. This is a reflective season, a time to go inward and focus on the light within. The regenerative powers of darkness gather around us now, and give us a container to find our own healing in. The long hibernation of woodland animals in their dark dens and caves can teach us something about not stretching ourselves too thin. Now is a time when it is so easy to give in to the relentless hustle and bustle. This is a time to honor the elders, our ancient teachers, and all their experience has to give us. I am calling upon these energies tonight: old man time, the Hermit, the Crone, the wise men and women who came before us. Saturn rules Capricorn, the sign I was born in, and also these powerful archetypes. I am strengthened also now especially by the female energy of all my sisters: warrior women, witches, hearth-tenders, fierce mothers, sorceresses, artists and creators that inspire me every day. This post is dedicated to all of them, to all of you who are reading! Thank you for showing me the way, Solstice Sisters.
Illustration by Mammamina
“I remember feeling that pieces of me were scattered around the world;
I belonged to her, Mother Earth.”

Raquel Cepeda
Solstice Sister - Leilani Bustamante
Artwork by Leilani Bustamante
“Just let go. Let go of how you thought your life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness.”
Caroline Myss
Several of these wonderful images and quotes have been very helpful to me of late. I found them through the good folks at Evolver Social Movement.
Artwork by Vladimir Fokanov
I’ve been going through kind of a dark season, recently. The grey weather and a broken heart make for dim days, even here in Texas. I’ve feel like I’ve been carrying a heavy weight, for many years – and that I’m finally ready to lay it down. Lay down that burden and ask myself honestly why I hell I felt I needed to shoulder it for so long. Saturn is working on me again – that dark teacher. I am ready to learn these lessons now, because I know I can’t continue to live on this earth and truly thrive unless I find a way to fully heal myself. These big shifts are happening across the board, for so many people: this huge opportunity for healing and growth. I’ve found a lot of solace in knowing that I’m not alone in experiencing some profound shifts towards transformation and healing, and that there is apparently quite a powerful celestial precedent for a lot of this intense internal and external movement. Aepril Schaile of Aepril’s Astrology, in particular, has been an incredible source for astrological insights during this time. I have found the wisdom that she shares so generously to be invaluable to this process of deep change that I’m going through. I recently purchased a transit reading from her, and it brought me an amazing amount of understanding, clarity and peace. I recommend her as an astrologer very highly! An in-depth look at your own personal horoscopy can help you learn more about yourself in relation to the cosmic tides, and you can support a small woman-owned business focused on promoting happiness and growth at the same time! Truly: this lady knows her stuff, and delivers the information in a very clear, compassionate and powerful way.
“As I write this post, the Moon moving through her final minutes in Libra on her way into the Dark Goddess sign Scorpio. The last moments of the overtaking Dark are here. The Moon continues to wane before renewing in a powerful cardinal New lunation on Sun the 23rd. Saturn continues to travel through the last degrees of Scorpio before changing signs on the same day. And, the Sun, who has been appearing to diminish in power, is renewed once more on the Solstice, when He appears to stand still and then move again toward glory!
So here it is folks…We’re in it. Anyone who was ANYONE in the world of Myth had to go to the Underworld to gain full Sovereignty. Goddesses, Gods, heroes, heroines…most took a journey of one kind or another into dark and difficult territory in order to come back bigger and better than ever.
In these last few days, it may appear that the Dark is winning. Here’s a secret: it’s SUPPOSED to look that way. We’re supposed to wonder if we have gone too far from the Light, if we will ever heal, if life is worth this battle, if the Sun is ever going to come back to life. That’s a crucial part of the story. The cup has to be emptied in order for it to be able to experience being filled. We have to “not know” in order to seek the knowing. We have to journey out into the Dark in order to experience the Joy of returning home to the Light.”

excerpted from Aepril’s Astrology: Before the Light
and this:
The New Moon happens just two hours after the Solstice, both happening at 0 degrees of Capricorn. Zero degrees of any sign is very powerful, but for a cardinal sign, this packs an extra punch! This is potent moment of both release and intention setting, of calling in AND allowing for space. The space of the quiet of Winter, where the Sun Child (who is ourselves) can develop in infancy; we have entered a state of re-birthed consciousness.
Capricorn has to do with the structures and traditions of the family, and society. Uranus calls on us to awaken to how we really feel about our relationship to this. What needs to awaken, to break through or break out? Capricorn is also an earth sign, and it has to do with manifestation. If we want to continue to manifest what we have, we can keep doing what we are doing. We if need and/or want something different, something has to be done differently. The impetus comes from within, and it comes from the FEELINGS. Go toward what has heart and meaning. There is nothing to “work through” or “figure out”. Haha!
Venus in aspect to Pluto/Uranus invites us to ask ourselves: “If I were someone who truly loved myself, what would I do right now?”
Hint: the Angel does not answer rationally. (If it was rational, you have have thought of it by now.)

excerpted from Aepril’s Astrology: Nuit Report – Solstice and New Moon!
Photograph by Nyree Mackenzie
Photograph by Nyree Mackenzie
“When winter comes to a woman’s soul, she withdraws into her inner self, her deepest spaces. She refuses all connection, refutes all arguments that she should engage in the world. She may say she is resting, but she is more than resting: She is creating a new universe within herself, examining and breaking old patterns, destroying what should not be revived, feeding in secret what needs to thrive.
Winter women are those who bring into the next cycle what should be saved. They are the deep conservators of knowledge and power. Not for nothing did ancient peoples honour the grandmother. In her calm deliberateness, she winters over our truth, she freezes out false-heartedness.
Look into her eyes, this winter woman. In their gray spaciousness you can see the future. Look out of your own winter eyes. You too can see the future.”

Patricia Monaghan
Winter Witch - Photo by Lee Jeffries
Photograph by Lee-Jeffries
Hanna Zavorotnya, 78, survived the Nazi military occupation of Ukraine
Hanna Zavorotnya, 78, survived the Nazi military occupation of Ukraine
Through the loveliness and power of her dream world she was now, in her old frock and botched shoes, very likely the loveliest, mightiest and most dangerous person on earth.” 
― Karen Blixen, Winter’s Tales
I really loved this post/letter from Elizabeth Gilbert:
Dear Ones –
OK, we all know about the “inner child”, right? The innocent being who still lives inside of us, who needs and deserves love and care, and whom we sometimes have to channel in order to learn self-compassion?
I’m a big fan of the notion of the inner child. It can be a really healing construct. Once, when I was going through a particularly dark season of self-loathing, I taped a sweet photo of myself (age 2) on my mirror, and taught myself that any harm I did to me, I also did to HER. It made me kinder and more tender to myself. Imagining other people’s inner children makes me kinder and more tender to them.
So the Inner Child is a good thing.
These days, though, I find myself spending less time thinking about my Inner Child, and more time focused on my INNER CRONE — the old lady who lives inside me, whom I hope to someday be.
Because she’s a serious bad-ass.
The really old ladies always are bad-asses. I’m talking about the real survivors. The women who have been through everything already, so nothing scares them anymore. The ones who have already watched the world fight itself nearly to death a dozen times over. The ones who have buried their dreams and their loved ones and lived through it. The ones who have suffered pain and lived through it, and who have had their innocence challenged by ten thousand appalling assaults…and who lived through all of it.
The world is a frightening place. But you simply cannot frighten The True Crone.
Some might consider the word “crone” to be derogatory, but I don’t in the least. I honor it. The crone is a classic character from myth and folklore, and she often the bearer of great wisdom and supernatural power. She is sometimes a guardian to the underworld. She has tremendous vision, even if she is blind. She has no fear of death, which means: NO FEAR.
I keep a wall of photos of some of my favorite crones, for inspiration. The photo below is of a Ukrainian babushka named Hanna Zavorotnya who lives in (get this) Chernobyl. There are a group of about 250 such women — all tough elderly peasants — who have all recently moved back to the radioactive area around Chernobyl.
You know why they live there? Because they like it.
They like Chernobyl because that’s where they came from. They are natural-born farmers, who got kicked off their farms when disaster struck. They hated being refugees.They resented being shunted off their land after the catastrophe. They hated living in the shabby and crime-infiltrated and stress-inducing government housing in the city, and much prefer the independence of living off the land.
So they moved back home — illegally — to the most contaminated nuclear site on earth. They have formed a stupendously resilient retirement community there, in what some would call the world’s most terrifying landscape.
Is it safe? Of course not. Or, whatever. After 90 years of hard living, what does “safe” even mean? (If you survived World War II and Stalin and famine and communism’s ravages, how worried can you be about “safe”?) They drink the water. These women plant vegetables in that radioactive soil and eat them. They butcher the wild pigs that scavenge around the old nuclear power plant, and eat them, too. Their point is: “We are old. What do have to fear from radioactivity? At this age? Who cares?”
All they want is their freedom. So they take care of themselves and each other. They cut and haul their own wood. They make their own vodka. They get together and drink and laugh about the hardships of their lives. They laugh about everything, then they go outside and butcher another radioactive boar and make sausage out of him.
They are living longer and healthier lives than their peers who stayed behind in refugee housing in the cities.
I would put these women in a Bad-Ass Contest against any cocky young alleged Bad Ass you’ve got going, and I guarantee you — the Chernobyl crones would win, hands down. Put the lady in this picture in a survival contest against any Navy SEAL; she will endure longer.
We live in a society that romanticizes youth. We live in a culture where youth is considered a real accomplishment. But when you look at a seriously powerful classic crone like the woman in this photo, you see how foolish we are to obsess over youth — to imagine that the young offer much for us to aspire to, or learn from.
No wisdom like the wisdom of survival. No equanimity like the equanimity of somebody who plants a garden right on top of a nuclear disaster and gets on with it.
So these days, when my Inner Child gets all fluttery with the panic of living, I just ask myself: ” WWMICD?”
“What Would My Inner Crone Do?”
Ask yourself that same question. See what she tells you.
One thing I can promise you she will never say? She will never say: “WORRY.
She will more likely tell you this: “ENDURE.”
So listen to her, and get on with it — get on with the powerful act of LIVING.
Hang in there, all you future awesome crones!
p.s. — and if you want to read more about Hanna and her fellow bad-ass Chernobyl crones, and see more photos, here is a really wonderful article:
The women living in Chernobyl’s toxic wasteland
Matrena Olifer, 72, lives alone in her house in Gornostaypol village.
Matrena Olifer, 72, lives alone in her house in Gornostaypol village.
Savor, endure, partake, worry not.
Heart true, review, sand to sinew,
Savor, endure, partake worry not.

– wise words that I have taken to heart, from my dear friend FLINT FANCY, a powerful witch, great musician, and badass mother of three.
Rebecca Guay
Artwork by Rebecca Guay
Rebecca Guay’s Dreamlike Paintings Explore Sensuality
Zhang Jingna
Artwork by Zhang Jingna
Zhang Jingna’s Photographs of Fairytale-esque Beauties
new moon in Capricorn
Capricorn tradition and its origin is the Goat “Koza” means Goat and Capricorn the Goat has had a long and sacred tradition on earth within the rituals of our Ancestors. Gwiddon Harveston wrote that one of the typical traditional Koliada (Winter Solstice) songs is…
“It is not just us coming
we are leading the Goat
Where the Goat will go
the grain stock will grow! 
Where she shakes her tail
there will be an abundance of grain. 
Where goat stomps her hoof
they’ll be harvest through the roof!
Where goat shakes her horns there
will be great huge stack of corn!”
Goat by its nature is full of abundance, she gives milk, she gives us cheeses and meat as well. Capricorn is represented as a Mountain Goat and the Sea Goat was seen in ancient Mesopotamian cultures as Ninurta, the God of Fertility and Agriculture. Unlike his brother Nergal (Mars), Ninurta was seen as firm and reliable, slow and steady in his movement through the sky which ultimately gave him the title… ‘Sun of the Night’ not a return of the light. This links it to the Winter Solstice of the Koliada Wheel of the Sun which burns at Night. Symbolically meaning we are darkened by the season of the night and when we let our light be our strength of our struggles, we learn personal responsibility for our true natures. Our earthly responsibilities in the Winter season can be harsh or difficult and sometimes the quality of how we learn to fight, retreat, bow or flight – is also contributed from our family’s “emotional traditions”.
Try to review how your family or the family you created acts upon emotions or lack of. This moon is the ‘cold moon or month of asking” in a more ancient tone of the Slavs, and for other cultures, about our root primal family relationships. Sagittarius last month was about freedom and learning, which in moon terms, is a big inner struggle. In this moon it is about our core responsibilities to our own healthy choices of how we react (grace) or respond (project), and generally can be a big struggle this moon in Capricorn. Remember moon work means working with oppositions, both the joy and the pain of something with acceptance. Accepting and welcoming struggle or fear in order to heal it, not just asking if to be ‘over and done with’ as soon as possible so no personal involvement or accountability can be contemplated and reviewed of our own nature and behavior. These actions are how we grow spiritually (emotionally) one moon at a time.
Also something else unique is happening – the Capricorn Moon enters at “00 Degree” with is our 3rd of 4 consecutive Moons. This is very rare for four new moons to sit at 00 degrees, and because of such synchronicity, the planets are starting a new beginning in their lunar internal cycle relationships. The planet Saturn, who starts off our Winter Season, as rulership, has nothing to do with lightness, the light or anything else, it is a somber energy, a cold wintry landscape of snow and barrenness, a time of contemplation, quiet and retreat.
These are heavy players of shifting the internal emotional energy, the dreamer’s veils and soul realities of our karmic past lives and its coming relationship.

– Lunar Dreamology by Phoenix
Here are some links to more Solstice reading, for your delight:
NEW MOON in Capricorn and SOLSTICE December 21st 2014 from Mystic Mamma
Solstice Meditation by Tracy Cochran
Veil of Dreams: A Pilgrimage through Icelandic Magic
Summer Solstice Reverie from Sophia Rose of La Abeja Herbs
My writings from Winter Solstices of yore:
Winter Solstice – Messe de Minuit 
Winter Solstice – Dark Season


your writing is a constant source of empowerment, and true magic. little gifts that are exactly what I need to read when I need to read it. thank you doesn’t seem like enough to say, but thank you anyway. we are never alone in our darkness.

by O. on December 22, 2014 at 11:17 am. Reply #

Dearest Angel
Blessings for being a light in the darkness.
Keep burning bright sistah!
(Isn’t Aepril awesome?)

by Rose on December 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm. Reply #

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