Photo by Kristopher Roller

Winter Solstice 2018: Celebrating the Saturnalia Self

Originally published at on December 20, 2018.

What is Saturnalia?

In fact, the majority of Christmas traditions evolved from Saturnalia traditions. Saturnalia, named after the God of agriculture and time, it was the most popular Roman holiday known for its riotous ways. Between December 17 and December 24 people exchanged gifts and offered acts of goodwill. Not only were there feasting and dancing but according to writings from several philosophers at the time, many enjoyed major drinking and gambling. So much so that some of them would leave the city, during the week-long festival, even Pliny the Younger whose name doesn’t seem to make it obvious that he was a bit of a Scrooge.

Solstice and Saturn

Winter begins as the Sun moves into the Saturn-ruled, tropical zodiac sign Capricorn. In this way, understanding the archetypal energy of Saturn and Capricorn can help us move into the winter season with more grace and ease.

How to Harness Saturn Energy

Behaviors of Saturn pull us into hibernation or isolation though often in service of maturity or grounding. Though Saturn is a dense planet and reminds us of the heaviness and depression that sometimes comes with this season as well. We can also notice its influence when we feel the urge to create more structure or discipline in our lives — such as the case with New Year’s resolutions. Other suggestions for cozying up with Saturn this winter season:

  • Practice mountain pose as the foundation of asana practice and for this reason, also signifies the grounding and stability of winter. The steadiness of the posture emulates the focus and strength of Saturn itself. Pay extra attention to the feet in this posture as the foot chakra is associated with Saturn.
  • Learn more about Saturn in your natal astrology chart, specifically if it has major aspects to your Sun or Moon or if have any major transits of Saturn to your chart (and if you don’t what this means, no worries). While the “Saturn Return” has been popularized, be wary of anything you read that makes it seem all doom and gloom. Just like winter, Saturn has both good and bad.
  • Perhaps Saturn’s greatest gift is that of understanding our legacy as well as what we have inherited from our past. Connecting to the family tree can be a meaningful ritual during this season for revitalizing your ancestral roots. The holidays are often filled with traditions that have been passed down by generation, pause to think about what you want to leave a legacy for your future ancestors.

Enchanted with Earth & Ether | M.A. Philosophy, Cosmology, Consciousness | Archetypal Astrologer & Writer |

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