The long-anticipated winter solstice of 2012 is now just weeks away. I may be one of the few people considering the 2012 issue for 25 years who did not make a religion out of this event, which marks the end of the 13th bachtun of the Mayan long count. I have a prediction for you: The world will not end.
I was first introduced to the 2012 idea when I was living in a spiritual community in 1986, in my first year as a professional news reporter. My year in the community—Miracle Manor in Piscataway, NJ—ran from September 1, 1986, through August 31, 1987. That August was the Harmonic Convergence, a global event orchestrated by José Arguelles, author of The Mayan Factor. Twenty-twelve is coming, he said, and we better get ready.
Arguelles did not come up with all of this himself. Credit to introducing December 21, 2012, into public consciousness goes to the brother act of Dennis and Terrence McKenna in their 1974 book The Invisible Landscape. Yet it was Arguelles who, with some collaborators, took tangible, worldly action and helped us establish an anchor at one end of what some came to know as the 25-year span, from the Convergence to winter solstice 2012.
We are now on the exit ramp from that span, completing a cycle that has stretched on for 5,125 years, or more than 1.82 million days. It will deposit us right on the winter solstice of a year that included one of the Mayan's favorite things ever, a transit of Venus (that was the big news back in June).
The Mayans calculated this and plenty else besides without the benefit of the US Naval Observatory's ephemeris or the Cornell supercomputer. They were amazing at math and astronomy. They also dealt with a lot of the same problems we now face—climate change, war, and political strife. In all likelihood they were not transported back to the Pleiades aboard the Mothership. It is probable that their civilizations were scattered and they became refugees, long before the arrival of Magellan.
From the beginning of my astrology studies, I cast the chart for the 2012 winter solstice over and over, and I could find little that was distinctive about that particular day. It's true that every day is different and has something special; this chart does not stand out.
However the era we are now in was daunting to consider. Many outer planets would be changing signs in the years leading up to it. In the last years before 2012, there were many planets discovered orbiting our Sun. Many interesting stories were being told in the sky in those years, and these very days.
Yet no matter how carefully I looked and how many new planets I brought into the chart, I could find no special "winter solstice alignment." When the Sun sets that night, there will not be an eclipse or a string of planets glowing in the sky, harkening the New Age. The Sun will make no special alignment to the Galactic Center. I could not find one of those theories that added up to the actual astronomy involved.
The one thing I kept noticing involved an asteroid called Juno, which was discovered in 1804. When the Sun arrives in Capricorn on December 21, there will be a little planet waiting for it on the solstice point, one that most astrologers associate with marriage and jealousy. Juno was named for the Roman equivalent of the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus and the queen of heaven. She was notoriously jealous and thought nothing of spreading all the emotional grief, despotism, and clever revenge she could dish out.
"Well, her husband had a lot of affairs," her apologists always say, as if that's vindication for all the agony she wrought. Here is early evidence that jealousy is rarely perceived to be the issue of the jealous person. It's usually blamed on the person who is "making" them jealous. See how far that gets you in therapy.
Juno in a natal chart also describes potential marriage partners and tendencies around marriage, particularly the first one. A Sun-Juno conjunction in Capricorn looks like it's describing the "institution of marriage," since Capricorn addresses all things corporate in nature. This would include the institutionalization of relationships: their tendency to be rigid, to follow old rules and traditions, and to be excessively materialized (all properties of Capricorn).