We’re now a couple of weeks into the New Year, the weather is turning cold and in a few days the Sun will leave Capricorn and enter the sign of Aquarius. Like most of you, I guess I’ve spent the past month either preparing for or recovering from Xmas, so it’s only now I’m getting around to some of my New Year’s resolutions, the first of which is to welcome you to Starcrazy Pie!This may seem strange, deriving the name of an Astrology Blog from a Cornish Fish Pie but let me run with this and tell you the tale of a Christmas delicacy that looks to the stars…
Many years ago, the story goes, during a wild and stormy winter, the villagers in the Cornish village of Mousehole were starving. Their fishing boats were unable to go to sea and, as the villagers relied on fish for their livelihood and staple diet, their Christmastide looked bleak. However, a hardy soul, one Tom Bawcock, decided to brave the elements and returned safely to port with a huge catch, enough for all the village to enjoy. To celebrate their good fortune (and to honour Tom Bawcock), the villagers cooked up a great feast, the centrepiece of which was a ‘Stargazey Pie’, with the fish poking their heads through the great crust to look at the stars. Every 23rd December, the locals still celebrate ‘Tom Bawcocks Eve’ with this feast.
It’s a great story, whether true or not, and given the date on which the tale is set, it’s not hard to find a link between the Cornish celebration and the myriad of winter feasts and celebrations which take place during the time of Capricorn, Christmas included. At this, the darkest time of the year, we – very appropriately – indulge ourselves in Saturnalia. I say ‘appropriately’ as our entire Capricorn month is dominated by the traditional festivals of Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn. Saturnalia, in all it’s forms, is a reminder of the essential nature of Saturn.
After a long year of hard work, Saturn rewards us with time off. Relaxation. R&R. However you want to describe it the point is, quite simply, the daily grind is suspended – however temporarily. As a reward for hard work, Saturn allows you to let your hair down, to enjoy yourself in whatever way your local custom dictates. And that’s also the point – ‘Saturnalia’ is a always a public festival, ordered by well worn traditions. For example, if Christmas is your thing you know how it goes – whether you are religious or otherwise, your festivities follow a well worn path. This is no spontaneous party, it’s a well planned event, usually demanding a great deal of hard work to produce the appropriate amount of pleasure. And every year, I suspect your family party will follow a familiar and comforting routine. No surprises. During the month of Capricorn we know what to expect and what is expected of us.
That’s not to say, however, that we feel no need to rebel. During our midwinter ‘festivals of light’, we often drink too much, eat too much, have family arguments and of course we often spend too much, to the extent we often spend January counting the cost of our Christmas excess. And this is so Saturn. We spend the year working hard, we get time off to enjoy ourselves (within limits) but do not imagine Saturn gives you anything free of charge. Pleasure is always tempered by some form of sacrifice. When the decorations have been put away suddenly everything looks drab and you can be very aware, with alarming immediacy, of how much hard work lies ahead of you in the coming year. The New Year may not always feel happy during the period of Capricorn.
However, Saturn’s challenge to us is to make us face up to our responsibilities – and that’s not always a bad thing. As the time of Capricorn progresses, Saturn prompts you to realise what’s important in your life – and that can always be a good thing. After the party, when the hangover has subsided and you feel ready to face the world, Saturn gives you focus. Suddenly you know what is important to you. Your New Year’s resolutions owe a great deal to Saturn – after all, resolve is nothing if not Capricornian in nature.
So, this year, I resolved to start this blog, continue writing the book I began last year and have planned new writing projects for this year. I’ve planned to restructure my day job and, of course, give up chocolate, wine and, of course, exercise more, etc… And here we are in mid January. And how are my resolutions going? Some better than others, but, it has to be said, for me, Capricorn time seems to be a time of decision making not implementation. For that, I need the urgency of Aquarius. With Saturn, you need to tie up your loose ends before moving on and as we approach our Aquarian month, I feel excited at the prospect of making some changes. Well planned changes of course. Saturn is still in charge – for a few days yet.
© Sara Shipman