Winter officially begins on December 21st, but as usual, most of us have been getting our winter vibe on for weeks now.

Days are shorter, nights are longer, and there's a significant need to focus inside, to reflect and reassess before responding.

Above us, the influences of the planets always give us depth and awareness to help explain our emotions and thoughts, and sometimes, actions. The complexity of the planets helps us understand more so we can plan and prepare our choices. Knowing the astrological energetics and influence gives us a heads-up for the season ahead.

I had my seasonal conversation with my favourite karmic astrologer, Marielle Croft (croftastrologer.comright before the actual Winter Solstice. I could feel it was time to dive deeper into the astrological perspective of winter 2022/23.  


JONNI: Marielle, what can you illuminate for us a bit about this year's winter solstice?

MARIELLE: The winter solstice will occur on Wednesday, December 21st, 2022, at 1:50 pm, PST.  That’s when the Sun leaves Sagittarius to go into Capricorn. In other words, it moves from Fire (Sagittarius) to Earth (Capricorn). 

The sign of Sagittarius, being of the Fire element, tends to be open, passionate, confident, and could even be excessive in the enjoyment of what they like whether it's sports, food, arts, religion, or work.

The sign of Capricorn on the other hand, being an Earth sign, is more contained. It likes to nurture a project, goal, or exploration, for longer. It needs to take time so the result is accurate and lasting. Capricorn prefers long-term commitments rather than enjoying everything in the spirit of the moment in a Sagittarian manner, for instance. 

Capricorn is the first sign of Winter. It's a bit like nature around us: it's withdrawn and resting, but even though all is quiet on the surface, underneath great fertility is in the works to organize, prepare, and make ready. Eventually, the result will spring forth beautifully in the next season of spring.


JONNI: How beautifully said, Marielle. So what can we look forward to in the season of winter this year?

MARIELLE: This year, the planets are not particularly triggered for this season, meaning we don’t have major conflicting connections between them. However, globally we continue to cope with the issues at hand, meaning what has been, continues to be.

On another note, Jupiter calls for attention.


JONNI: Oh? Tell us more.

MARIELLE: First, as a reminder, you'll recall that each sign has an owner or ruler. For example, Capricorn’s ruler is Saturn.

Now, Pisces has two owners: Jupiter and Neptune. Pisces is the sign of mystics, spirituality, the universe, the oceans, large bodies of water, our vast collective subconscious aura, the mystery, secrets, abstract, the hidden, viruses and germs, and more.

Neptune’s orbit is so large it takes 165 years to complete just one orbit around the Sun. For that reason, it's rare for us to experience Neptune in Pisces’ frequency. We are lucky! Neptune is in Pisces from February 2012 until February 2026.


JONNI: What does that mean for us? For everyone?

MARIELLE: Neptune & Pisces are the masters of the mystery, the abstract, and the spiritual. For example, we've seen a huge expansion of activity on social media with people hiding behind their screens and bashing others in a hurtful manner. Another example is the increase of fraudulent email messages presented in a way to click on links with very complicated and unfortunate consequences. These are examples of the expression of the lower side of Neptune: the hidden, the mirage, and the confusing.


JONNI: And the positive side?

MARIELLE: We're also seeing a huge offering of all sorts of spiritual and self-transformation courses, webinars, and teachings, available globally on the web. These reflect the positive side of Neptune.

Neptune and Pisces represent large bodies of water. We've observed lots of issues with an excess of water as in flooding, while other parts of the world had droughts.

While mysterious Neptune reigns in Pisces, we have to pay attention to any planet travelling in Pisces that would conjunct with Neptune because that could carry messages that'll reveal their secrets in time.

So, back to what we were saying - Jupiter calls for attention. Jupiter is the other owner of Pisces which means the two rulers have been together for a while.

Jupiter represents the law, philosophy, religion, governments, organizations, systems, the world, the international, sports, the outdoors, higher studies, long-term projects, etc. 

Jupiter and Neptune have been conjunct in April 2022 at 23 degrees in Pisces. That means something started there, some new agreements, some research, or some studies. We don’t know what that is yet because there's an element of secret, cautiousness, observing before saying, spying even, testing, and whatnot. Some secret alliances may have been concluded that will either be progressively revealed or in some cases remain secretive and active behind the scenes.

So, from that Jupiter-Neptune meeting, something might begin to show because, on the day of the Winter Solstice, Jupiter is at zero degrees in Aries making a hot square to the Sun at zero degrees in Capricorn. Think of zero degrees as baby steps.


JONNI: And what could that look like then?

MARIELLE: We can easily imagine this connection as the beginning of new laws being written to protect nature, to protect people or something like that. It seems to be the ABC of a global reform that could start to spit out a few drafts to test the ground and see how to develop them one way or another, eventually. The rule of thumb around this kind of energy is reform and pioneering action.


JONNI: Understood and exciting too. Okay, can we talk about any retrograding planets coming up this winter and their effects? Retrograding planets often feels confusing to some people.

MARIELLE: Yes. Remember, a retrograde planet is really an optical illusion. From our perspective, when a planet is in front of the Sun going, say from left to right from our viewpoint, eventually, the planet following its natural orbit will eventually be on the other side of the Sun and, again from our viewpoint, will move from right to left. That part is what we call ‘retrograde’ but the planet itself never changes direction. It continues to pursue its journey round and round around the Sun.

However, when a planet is in its retrograde cycle, its manifestation in our life seems to meet some delays or occasional mishaps. Every planet will be retrograde almost every year, except for the Sun and the Moon but, of course, they're not planets. They're luminaries.

In the summer and fall seasons, all the slow-moving planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) are in their retrograde phase. Among them, only Uranus is still retrograde and only until January 22nd, 2023.


JONNI: And what will retrograding Uranus represent?

MARIELLE: Uranus in Taurus creates erratic outcomes such as lack of staff, lack of produce, increases in food prices, weather patterns making farming difficult, economic problems, etc. When it's retrograde, Uranus makes these issues even more complicated.


JONNI: Got it. In the fall, Mars started its retrograde cycle too, right? What does that mean?

MARIELLE: Indeed, we have Mars in Gemini continuing its retrograde cycle from October 30th until January 12th, 2023. This is excellent for communicators and writers developing new styles, and changing their habitual ways of working, for example. It's excellent for developing new gadgets for fitness, sports, and such. There's an enthusiasm in Mars in Gemini that risks making people embrace more than they can chew. That means go for it if you’d like, but not making any promises or signing major long-term contracts just in case you can’t deliver or honour them.


JONNI: I'm liking the sounds of Mars in Gemini still! Any Mercury retrograding coming up soon?

MARIELLE: Yes, Mercury in Capricorn will be retrograde from December 30th to January 17th, 2023. That’s an excellent time to cocoon at home more, to read, study, to do things with your hands such as crafts, for example. It's a wonderful time to sort out stuff as well, clearing closets, cupboards, garages, etc., and passing things on where appropriate.


JONNI: I agree. I love retrograding Mercury for clearing and cleaning! And eclipse. Are there any eclipses we need to note coming up?

MARIELLE: We're done with the eclipses this winter season! Now, there will be a New Moon in Capricorn shortly after the solstice on December 23rd, at 2:16 am, PST. Although the New Moon is the beginning of the Moon cycle, there is a very mature tone to this one because she's not only with the Sun but also with Venus, Mercury, and Pluto, and all five in Capricorn. 


JONNI: Wow. What effect can that have?

MARIELLE: There's an atmosphere of economy, respect, planning, consolidating alliances, and such. It feels as if a new form of mature wisdom could progressively take place in the world. Maybe we'll learn how to do more with less, learn how to preserve more, or how to be more effective with the long term in mind. 

The other New and Full Moons of the season are not showing any spectacular activity (dates are on Marielle’s website: www.croftastrologer.com). One thing to note though is that the New Moon on December 23rd, the New Moon on January 21st, and the New Moon on February 19th, all are at the very beginning of signs as in 1 degree in Capricorn, then 1 degree in Aquarius, and 1 degree in Pisces. There is definitely a breeze of fresh air, a renewal, and a new beginning that continues throughout the season. Perhaps we could find this in the works under Jupiter as I mentioned. 

JONNI: I like that! 


MARIELLE: As always, Jonni, it's such a pleasure to have this opportunity to share with you and all our readers. Wishing you all a great and fruitful introspective journey this winter season. Looking forward to meeting again at the spring equinox.

JONNI: "A fruitful introspective journey" - I love that! And to you, Marielle. We all appreciate your perspective and insights. Speak with you next year.


- And just a reminder, if you want a PERSONAL natal chart or yearly update, you can find Marielle at croftastrologer.com. I recommend her.

There are no coincidences.

Did someone you trust recommend me? Did you google-search 'spiritual psychologist'? Did you follow an internet link or find me on Instagram? If you want me in your inbox, providing context & support for the disruptions, confusions, & stuckness that may be happening in your life, I'm there. 

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