top of page
  • Writer's pictureIlin Shieh

Winter Solstice Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius 12/21

Welcome to the winter solstice Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius read. Both the new age/occult and the secular have been pinpointing this event as a turning point for both personal and collective transformations. I too look forward to feeling a shift and a new kind of excitement for the new year.

However, the cards never cease to amaze me as they indicate something a lot more subtle and grounded in the seasonality of Mother Earth. It is a reminder that planetary events, such as this one that runs on a 20-yr cycle, actually reflects the kind of transformation that takes time and patience. While we may feel some excitement, we are just starting to develop the potentials of this conjunction.

The cards simply say that we are still in Winter. So respect the intentions of Mother Earth and get with the program without skipping steps. Full disclosure that I really wanted to skip steps and get to the good stuff, the “gifts” of this conjunction. So I tried again but got very similar energies, which means I stick with the original spread. This indicates to me again that tarot is like an energy weather projection system and doesn’t go far beyond the cusp of manifestation. In other words, it is not predictive, but reflective of directionality and potentiality. It grounds planetary events in the now and gives freewill and flexibility for what it can be.

Here we go with the Herbcrafter’s spread of four, clarified by White sage tarot. The period is set for Winter Solstice Jupiter/Saturn conjunction 12/21 until Mars ingress into Taurus 1/6.


Curandera of Water, 9 of Pentacles/The Emperor, Judgement/Knight of Wands

The King of Cups has been through it all. The highest of all waves crashing on rocks, and the existential calm of the deep sea. He’s seen it all, felt it all, and therefore has the empathy and a range of capacity to offer compassion to himself and others. 9 of Pentacles and the Emperor suggest a self-knowing of one’s own talents and value. We are able to share fully who we are in the world with a softness and kindness when we're grounded within. Judgment and Knight of Wands is a resurrection and alignment to purpose with enthusiasm and vigor. We meet with people, places, circumstances that give us the spark and impetus to shift towards meaning and grace. Self-care is indicated here with the Herbcrafter’s King of Cups. Soak in seaweed bath, reflect on the flickering light of the water, and light the candles for inspiration. Again, a lot of reflections on winter solstice is indicated here, as we’ll see this repeated throughout the read.


Death, 3 of Cups/Knight of Pentacles, 10 of Wands/5 of Swords

Immediately we have another card reflecting the season - death. And what a relief to just stop and let the cycles of life take its course. Some of us are looking at an internal release, some of us facing the physical passing of loved ones, and many of us both. In either case, it is okay to still celebrate and exchange emotionalities with friends and family. Our cheers may be a bit subdued with the Knight of Pentacles, but it’s a practical reminder for us to keep making social connections for the sake of both emotional and physical grounding, even amid a season of pause and endings. And we are seeing endings with the 10 of Wands. After a harsh and intense year of upheaval, shifts, and continuing challenges, it’s time to put down the heavy loads that don’t seem to get us anywhere, and relinquish the fruitless fight with what is. There is refuge in acceptance, and it will be one of the foundational qualities we take into the new year.


The Fool, 3 of Swords/8 of Cups, Knight of Cups/7 of Swords

We are called back to the beginner’s mind and a sense of adventure with the Fool. Innocence in the face of heartbreaks and the continual acceptance and release of anger, grief, and fear. Regardless of the cynicisms of the world, actual or projected, we focus on our purity of heart with the Knight of Cups and offer sweetness and comfort wherever needed - for ourselves and others. This group in combination speaks of seeing the vicissitudes of life from a perspective of purity and love. As we honor winter and the last stretch of Sagittarius season, we want to invite back a sense of hope and vision for the world. And in order to give light, we must be able to channel light by continuing to surrender. It’s not easy, but it’s safe to feel the feelings like a fool diving off a cliff. Just trust, that at the end of grief, there is emptiness and space and the lightness of being. The innocence to begin again.


Six of Air, 4 of Swords/6 of Wands, 7 of Pentacles/6 of Swords

Double six of swords on the table indicating a time of healing and moving away from troubled waters. The messages are repeating themselves - be in self-compassion because we are still shedding, releasing, and composting. These are the moments of sacredness and profound quietude. Of seeing how far we’ve come, the joy, the laughter, and also the loss and sorrow. There is a bittersweet reckoning that yes, we could’ve done without the pain, but we wouldn’t have wanted to miss the beautiful dance. Let this season lead us into the silent prayer of not needing anything to be different from what had happened in the past and where we are right now, but a continual gratitude for the depth of beauty we are experiencing. We are integrating the lessons of the past two decades, so sit back, and allow the realizations and insights to touch our hearts.

Practicality-wise, we’re at the point of seeding. As an example, the last time this conjunction happened in my tenth house twenty years ago, I had just started my educational journey to become an architect. It is a long process and takes dedication, and I’ve encountered many Saturnian challenges along the way. And twenty years later, I am now an architect with my own studio integrating new age philosophy into design. It's something that I never would’ve thought of when I began the journey, but makes plenty sense in retrospect with my midheaven lord Venus right above the ascendant in the 12th. I am continuing to evolve as a professional as Uranus is having a prolonged transit back and forth my midheaven, aptly indicating some unconventional maneuver combining design and new age. But as the next Jupiter/Saturn cycle unfolds in my seventh house, I know I would be focusing on partnerships and relationships in general, and likely building foundations in the home and hearth with 7th lord of Uranus in the 4th/5th sector of home and children. Also its traditional ruler Saturn in the 3rd may suggest a certain direction toward leading and teaching. Am I going to see all of it manifest tomorrow and “feel it” right away? Of course not, this is a twenty-year cycle. The next time it occurs in 2040 I would be having my second Saturn return in the 3rd house and likely stepping fully into writing and teaching. And in another twenty years, the conjunction would be in Gemini in my 11th house sector, ready to release everything I have into community as I begin to take my leave from this world.

I digress. Point being that these are development cycles that take time and patience. What tarot points to is to honor the victories of the conclusion of the last cycle and to now pause and rest to receive cosmic downloads that shift our gears. The cycles are automatic and never-ending, so trust that the universe is doing its work like the cycles of Mother Earth, and we would be once again ushered into action and forward movement at the right moment. All is well.

The next major planetary event is Mars ingress into Taurus 1/6. Until then, celebrate.

And so it is. Namaste.




bottom of page