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Poor Will's Almanack: December 19 - 25, 2017

Carl Thomasson
Flickr Creative Commons

The Sun reaches its winter solstice declination on December 21, and that same day it passes from early winter’s prophetic Sagittarius into Capricorn, the fulfillment of the archer’s promise. Capricorn is the sign of the year’s end and of its beginning, the fulcrum on which longest nights of the year balance and fall into January and then turn toward June.

Those born beneath the sign of Capricorn are sometimes said to be ruled by Saturn, the planet that is associated with time and aging. As the new year of 2018 unfolds, Saturn remains Capricorn’s constant companion, leading that constellation across the night sky. It is visible far in the west after Sundown this week, then disappears until late winter when it takes Capricorn into the morning.

And so the late evening star, Saturn, planet of time, accompanied, this solstice, by the slim crescent Bedding Plant Moon carries us, as well as the Capricorn Sun, from dark December into shorter nights and brighter days.

We make our lives by the Sun and the stars and the planets even if we do not believe astrologers. We live by the seasons, are led by the great sky signs from one age to the next, can welcome Capricorn as a gateway to what we will become as its cold turns into the first pussy willows of  Aquarius and then into the daffodils of Pisces and then into Taurus and all the flowers of May.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I'll be back again next week with notes for the final week of early winter. In the meantime, along with the other saviors of your life, welcome the gifts of Capricorn’s solstice and Saturn’s wheel of time.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.