20 Dec Fall of the House ~ Capricorn Season – December 21st, 2022 – January 20th, 2023
After the exhausting journey through the final days of darkness in Sagittarius season, on December 21st the solstice arrives. This represents a universal moment of celebration. After reaching the lowest point in the heavens, the Sun finally returns to its path of ascent.
This begins the season of Capricorn, where the Sun fixes its gaze onward and upward. In the northern hemisphere, Capricorn is the beginning of winter, characterized by the struggle to draw breath underneath the weight of death.
The Sun has descended to the bottom of the sky and gravity pulls down hard. But this births the indomitable spirit of Capricorn that pushes and climbs no matter how much resistance there may be.
“The ninety and nine are with dreams, content, but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.”
Capricorn is where the way of the world becomes known. And the burden of this knowledge often inspires cynicism and apathy, especially when things appear to be falling apart.
The sign of Capricorn is Saturn’s domain, where time and space condenses all energy into matter, naturally evolve into civilizations, including political philosophies, economic systems and social hierarchies. There are ages where these systems are flourishing. And there are ages where they fall into decay.
2022 has been a long hard road out of “new normal” hell.
And with Pluto trailing the final degrees of Capricorn, the weight of the world has become crushing. Governments have been incompetent, abusive and genocidal. Corporate media has utterly failed to speak truth to power. And the current economic forecasts all look grim.
But the purpose of astrology is to set your sights higher, aligning with the cycles of light. And at the winter solstice, you become attuned to the Sun’s power of ascent.
This is why Capricorn unleashes the indomitable spirit within. And if you’re willing to reach for the sky, the dawn of the New Year will be blessed by tremendous creative power and the birth of new vision. Touched by the fire of Jupiter in Aries, the first few months of 2023 can rekindle your spirits.
The Fall of the House…
“There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart – an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime”
To connect with the spirit of Capricorn more deeply, consider the life and work of the greatest American writer, Edgar Allen Poe.
Born January 19th, 1809 with his Sun and Mercury conjunct in Capricorn, Poe embodied the tenacity and spirit of his sign in his life and art.
For one thing, nobody worked harder than Poe. He was a prolific writer of poems, horror stories, and essays. He was also a magazine editor and a literary critic.
Part of his indomitable work ethic was driven by his genius talent and part was driven by tremendous financial struggle. He barely slept and his life was never easy.
Poe created a new voice in American literature that was wildly popular in Europe, he invented the genre of the detective novel and he won many awards for his poems and stories. Aside from his artistic success, Poe had a biting and acerbic wit that he used to throw shade in his literary reviews.
He had no respect for establishment writers and tore down many great reputations when he judged their work to be unremarkable. He once publicly accused Henry Wordsworth Longfellow of being a plagiarist.
Poe is famous for his dark imagination and melancholic moods, fueled by the many tragedies in his life. But his genre writing wove in plenty of philosophical depth, and the dark humor of his dry soul.
As one of America’s greatest writers, it’s not surprising that Poe would be able to capture the feeling of the country’s depression and decay. His gothic horror story, The Fall of the House of Usher, seems like a black mirror during the US Pluto Return.
The Fall of the House of Usher uses all horror genre conventions, including a haunted mansion, isolation, madness, being buried alive, incest, and a family curse.
The last living members of the house of Usher are an incestuous brother and sister, who’ve long isolated themselves from the world. Without friends, marriage, children or any new light in their house, their entire existence collapsed.
The sister is buried alive. Due to her pathological condition of settled apathy, her lack of responsiveness is mistaken for physical death.
In the night, her brother hears her trying to escape from her coffin, but fear paralyzes him. He lets the sounds torment him, until his sister finally breaks out, throwing herself on top of him and killing them both.
“…and in her violent and now final death-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to the terrors he had anticipated.”
At the end of 2022, what could be a more perfect metaphor for the American political system than a pair of incestuous twins that haven’t left their house for decades?
President Joe Biden is the hideous face born from many decades of necrotic political incest. His bloodless face and incoherent ravings seem to be ripped straight from a gothic horror story.
But all the ghoulish figures that run the world, from the White House to the World Economic Forum, are the soul-sick reflections of the collective apathy and fear that have allowed them to breed.
Pluto’s journey through the last degrees of Capricorn over the next couple years represents the end of an era, the fall of many incestuous houses. But all that’s dying is weakness and corruption.
Pluto’s shadow of death is followed by a regenerative wave, an opportunity to heal the soul-sickness of fear and apathy within yourself.
Invite the pain, revulsion and fierce love that your soul was born to feel. As Poe said:
“Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed.”
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
The French poet, Charles Baudelaire, prophetically warned that apathy or ennui was the true evil of modernity. While other poets were swept up in writing idylls, Baudelaire documented the industrial age destroying the soul of Paris.
He wrote about ennui in the opening lines of his 1857 volume of poetry, Flowers of Evil:
“There is one uglier, wickeder, fouler than all! He does not strike great attitudes nor utter great cries, but he would happily lay waste the earth, and swallow up the world in a yawn. It is Ennui! — You know him, reader, that fastidious monster — hypocrite reader, my fellow-man, my brother!”
Throwing shade at the pseudo-intellectuals of Paris was not lucrative. But Baudelaire was able to earn an income translating the works of Edgar Allen Poe into French. And Baudelaire’s translations captured the French imagination, making Poe the first truly celebrated American author.
There’s no doubt that the mystery and horror in Poe’s stories influenced Baudelaire’s own poetic voice and philosophy. Inspired by The Fall of the House of Usher, Baudelaire clearly identified the root cause of the modern world’s moral and cultural decay as being, ennui. Or as Poe described:
“A settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person…”
Intensely inspired by Poe, Baudelaire pushed back against settled apathy by embracing the darkness: mysticism, the macabre and the grotesque. The chill of horror was preferable to numbness. And the fear of death was in fact, a pulsing sign of life.
At the dawn of 2023, as the Sun crosses through the shadow of Pluto in Capricorn, the clouds of collective apathy and fear will grow heavy. You’ll be tempted to give up on your dreams, to stop trying, and to numb your senses.
But the spirit of Capricorn season is meant to align your soul with the power of the Sun’s ascent, offering you the strength to push back against the weight of the world to find deep personal meaning and love for life.
“To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.”
When you read Poe, your spirit is strengthened by his ability to find everlasting beauty even in the agony of life. His writing asks you to dive straight into the darkness, looking into the abyss to discover an infinity of new possibility and potential. As he describes in his dialogue, The Power of Words:
“Look down into the abysmal distances!—attempt to force the gaze down the multitudinous vistas of the stars, as we sweep slowly through them thus—and thus—and thus! Even the spiritual vision, is it not at all points arrested by the continuous golden walls of the universe?”
It’s not the end of history. It’s the beginning of a new era, with multitudinous vistas to discover.
And as you say farewell to 2022 and look ahead to a New Year, let Edgar Allen Poe be your guide. His writing inspires the soul to relish horror, to breathe deeply even under the weight of grief and to transmute the fear of death into immortal art.
Happy New Year!