Hang your stockings and say your prayers because…the cosmos is getting hella crazy this Christmas
Buuuuut we’ve got every reason to be hopeful going into 2021. One, because it would be pretty hard to get much worse than this year. But also, the stars say so...
by becky hardy
So things are getting pretty crazy in the cosmos RN.
December has been packed with some of the most dynamic astrological events not just of the decade, but of the last 400 years – including a total solar eclipse and, as of tomorrow, an ultra-rare planetary alignment known as The Great Conjunction.
So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with last-minute present buying, festive food prep and trying to figure out exactly who’s own your pandemic holiday bubble, don’t beat yourself up – it’s probably the fault of our stars.
Don’t know your equinox from Uranus? Let us break it all down for you.
(Spoiler alert – if your ‘Mercury’s in retrograde’ excuse is wearing a little thin, you’re going to want to read on).
DECEMBER’S ASTROLOGICAL PRE-GAME
Ok, let’s get you up to speed. Christmas Day will fall between the mid-month eclipse (which happened on 14th December) and the end-of-year full moon, both of which have the potential – according to astrologers – to light up the month with lunar intensity.
What does that mean? Well, eclipses are usually said to bring with them shocking revelations that help to align us on new paths. Which seems pretty handy going into the new year. But wait – new moons set out to push our limits and expand our horizons. So maybe use any time off you’ve got over Christmas to take a breath, process any shake-ups and reset your personal compass.
CHRISTMAS WEEK: AKA WHEN THINGS GET CRAY
So it looks like the planets have been just as busy as we have this year. In fact, considering we’ve been in lockdown for what feels like 900 years, probably busier. Turns out that since last Tuesday, five of the major planets have got themselves a U-Haul and are shifting zodiac signs. This promises a wave of potent energy shifts that us mere earthlings may be starting to feel. But experts suggest that these changes are way more manageable if we’re willing to embrace them.
Tomorrow – Monday 21st December – is a key date, cosmologically speaking. Not only is it the winter solstice, but it also rings in the start of Capricorn season. For the last-minute Christmas shoppers among us, this couldn’t have come at a better time. Apparently Capricorn channels hella pragmatic, down-to-business vibes, which could help give us the kick up the rear we need to get to the end of our holiday to-do lists. Capricorn is also said to be very money-focused, so hopefully, the old goat will help us recover from our Christmas blow-out and get smart about our spending going into 2021.
THE GREAT CONJUNCTION AND THE AGE OF AQUARIUS
But something else pretty magical happens tomorrow, too. The crown jewel of cosmological drama, you might say. Because tomorrow, a long-awaited event known as The Great Conjunction will occur, meaning there will be a pretty rare alignment of Jupiter and Saturn in the zodiac. These two gigantic planets only mingle with one another about once every 20 years, so it’s kind of a big deal.
But more than this – “more?!” We hear you cry – is that this exceptional union of Jupiter and Saturn takes place in the sign of Aquarius. Yes, we didn’t know what this meant either, but it turns out this is very, very good news. Because astronomers believe this will herald in the ‘Age of Aquarius’ – a new era of enlightenment.
It’s the first time this has happened since 1405 and it’s the closest contact these two planets have made since 1623. Just think about that for a minute. Men were still wearing ruffs and codpieces and women looked like Anne Boleyn when this last happened.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Well, in astrology, joyful Jupiter is said to represent knowledge and growth, while strict Saturn governs over rules and responsibility. So think of them a bit like ‘good cop, bad cop’. When these two planetary powerhouses join forces in the innovative and humanitarian sign of Aquarius, then, it is said that we can look forward to a greater emphasis on community-building, friendships, and unconventional ways of thinking over the coming year and beyond. We told you it was cool.
And it’s not just astrologers who have been eagerly awaiting this event. The Great Conjunction is just as big a deal for astronomers too, as it’s the closest Jupiter/Saturn alignment that we’ll be able to observe with the naked eye since 1226. That’s right – we’ll be able to actually see these planets tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled for what astronomers have dubbed ‘the Christmas star’ in the evening sky, (so called because the two planets will look like a single, bright object to us). Whatever you believe, it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these two planets so magnificently from little, old Earth.
Just as there’s always a soothing, life-affirming cup of tea to look forward to the morning after a night out, so too is there a balm to this astrological activity on the horizon. On Tuesday 29th December, we’ll have the last full moon of 2020. Apparently an emotional event, it is said that this healing lunar moment will bring our feelings to a dramatic climax and prompt us to release a whole year’s worth of frustration and angst. So maybe go easier on the mulled wine around then.
Then again, we live for the drams, so why not get your girl/guy gang together over a cheeky Zoom, crack open the hard stuff and share a few cathartic, post-Christmas tears? After all, it’s written in the stars!
Whatever the cosmos has in store for us all over the next couple of weeks, what seems to be coming across loud and clear is that these rare, powerful planetary alignments are bringing with them an excuse to be empowered. So make like Aquarius and open yourself up to enlightenment this Christmas! Or else, just get lit.
HOW TO SPOT THE CHRISTMAS STAR
While The Great Conjunction takes places tomorrow, Jupiter and Saturn will be close in the sky in the days immediately before and after the event.
To see the Conjunction, look south-west as soon as the sun sets and find the brightest thing you can see.
Because the timing coincides with the winter solstice, sunset will be early. Jupiter and Saturn will be very low in the sky and will set quickly, so make sure you have a good view of the western horizon to catch them.
The darker the area, the clearer the sky, so if you live in a busy, urban area, try driving out somewhere a little quieter.
If you have a pair of binoculars to hand, the two planets will be visible separately. Saturn will be above and to the left of Jupiter.
If your binoculars are powerful enough – we’re talking a minimum magnification of seven here – you may even catch a glimpse of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons. Callisto and Ganymede will be on Jupiter’s left, while on its right (much closer to the planet) you’ll see Io and Europa.
For stargazers with a telescope, the view will be pretty special and something you won’t see again: Saturn with its rings and some of its moons, along with Jupiter, its Great Red Spot and all its Galilean moons, all visible at once. At least that’s one good thing to come out of 2020.