Winter Horoscopes for Writers
Electric Lit’s astrologer provides guidance (and writing prompts) to get you through the next few months
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We begin this season with the winter solstice: the shortest day and the longest night, the technical start of winter at what feels like the depth of the season. Finally, we start moving back towards the Sun: the days inching towards light, the night slowly pulling back. This has been a long fall, full of shadows and retrogrades and many planets moving through deep, watery Scorpionic energy. A time of self-reflection. A time of healing.
The winter solstice is ushered in by a full moon in Cancer on December 22nd, inviting all of us to take a pause and consider how our emotional home base helps us build the empire that the Capricorn energy of late December gifts to us. What do we need to feel at home, to feel safe? And how will that help us build the dream?
Then, we fly. The energy in the air stirred by Jupiter in Sagittarius is furthered by Mars (the planet of action) and Venus (the planet of love and beauty) moving into fire signs in January 2019. The decisive, powerful earth energy of Capricorn moves quickly when aided by so many planets in fire: the time to act is now.
Chiron, the “wounded healer” minor planet in our chart which marks our great soul-hurts, is moving from Pisces into Aries on February 19th. This new cycle of Chiron invites us to work with our wounds in a new way, with all the grit of fast-moving, independent Aries energy. Chiron asks, “How can I support my healing?”
After the deep, watery soul work of the late fall, 2019 gets off to a start with all the fire and the earthy energy of action and building. But it’s not just about moving through cycles and discarding lessons: we want to integrate all that soul work from 2018 into what we are producing now.
The new year will feel particularly new for you, Aries. There is a lot of action happening in your house of self and identity, asking you to consider the tensions between how you take action, how you cause trouble, and how you work with your soul wounds. Uranus, the planet of change and revolution, is traipsing back through the last degrees, scraping out the bottom of the jar, combing through the last nooks and crannies. Odds are good that you’ve had some major (even disruptive) life changes over the last few years; Uranus, here in this final visit to your sign before it leaves for Taurus, wants to wrap up some lessons and make sure that you’ve got everything you need.
The good news? You’ll have the energy for that final Uranian push, because Mars, the planet of action, will also be going through your house of self and identity. After spending so much time in Aquarius throughout the summer and fall, and then zipping through Pisces this December, Mars gets a jolt of action on January 7th, returning to the sign it rules, Aries, where it is a warrior: energetic, fierce, emboldened. When Mars is in Aries, shit gets done. For you, this also looks like drawing boundaries, standing up for yourself (and your work), and having the motivation and self-direction to really push forward on projects that may have stalled out in late 2018.
On February 19th, Chiron, the “wounded healer” planet, moves from watery, nurturing Pisces into fiery, independent Aries — and your house of self and identity. Chiron has spent the last few years in your house of rest, retreat, spirituality, and intuition, and you’ve been working with wounds in perhaps unconscious ways (or, perhaps, consciously, in therapy or through creative work). Now, in Aries, the wound gets spoken. Noticed. Activated. It moves from the unconscious to the conscious, into the body, where it can be integrated into identity — and, perhaps, into the work.
Writing Prompt: What old wounds have informed your work over the last few years? What has caused discomfort? What have you shied away from writing about?
Winter kicks off in Capricorn season, which can feel familiar, in that it is also earth energy: slower-moving, quiet, grounded. For you, Capricorn is your house of travel, philosophy, and long-term plans: a time to look to the year ahead, to get that planner, to put feet under your dreams and consider your growth over time — where you’ve come from, and what you’re moving toward. Use the full moon in Cancer on December 22nd, which highlights your house of communication and short-term plans, to take a look at what projects are nearing completion, which dropped off your radar, and what is worth carrying into 2019.
If you’re feeling restless, even in the dead of winter, there’s a reason. You have a lot of action happening in your house of rest, retreat, spirituality, and intuition, what the ancients called the “house of self-undoing.” Uranus, the planet of change and revolution, disruption and technology, is here for one last visit before moving into your sign in the spring, rooting around the place and making sure you’ve got the lessons they taught during the last few years they spent in this part of your chart. Mars, the planet of action, will enter this house on January 7th for a quick sweep. When Mars is here, they ask, “what is holding you back? What are you afraid of? And what can we do about it?”
All of this unconscious action in your most deeply intuitive house offers a lot of creative juice, if you’re willing to work with it. When Mars goes into your sign, and your so-very-conscious house of self and identity, on February 15th, it’s time to pull out all of the gunk that they dredged up and really use it as motivation (or material). Mars in your house of self is energizing, self-motivating, direct, focused. And most of all? Ready.
Writing Prompt: Think about this time last year. Where did you think you would be today? What dreams did you release over the course of 2018? What dreams did you realize? What dreams were birthed?
You spent a lot of late 2018 learning about the vision for your work: how you dream, how you put feet under the dream, how your daily habits support the dream. Mars (planet of action) has spent a lot of time in your houses of long-term plans and also career and public recognition; meanwhile, Venus, the planet of love, spent forever in your house of daily routine, teaching you how to practice self-care while grinding and how to integrate themes of love and beauty into your daily life or work habits.
You’ve also spent a lot of time this fall thinking about the work you do in love, and the work you do in how you bring beauty into the world. Venus prompts you to bring love, attention, and creativity not only to your work, but to your relationships. First up, she enters fiery, independent Sagittarius, igniting your house of committed partnerships in the first week of the 2019 on January 7th. How are your romantic attachments — and business partnerships (or, say, committed writing groups or contracts with certain publications?) — serving you or affecting your creativity? Then, Venus zips into Capricorn and your house of intimacy on February 4th, really securing the partnerships you worked on at the beginning of the year. On March 2nd, Venus goes into Aquarius, and your house of travel and long-term plans. Time for a writing retreat with a creative partner, or perhaps a trip to the museum for inspiration?
One important note for you: the first Mercury Retrograde of 2019 will be in Pisces from March 5th–28th. While Mercury goes into retrograde several times a year (and, as such, is something to work with rather than to worry about), this one will be in your house of career and public recognition, so be mindful of the communications, newsletters, tweets, and press releases that you are putting out into the world at this time. Dot your Is, cross your Ts.
Writing Prompt: What have you learned about your work habits over the course of 2018? About how you do your best work? About the routines or practices that best work for you, even if they aren’t what everyone else seems to do? (And how are you doing with accepting that?)
On December 22nd, the day after this year’s winter solstice, we have a full moon in your sign. Full moons can be energizing; they are also a time of completion and release. The moon is ruled by watery Cancer (which is at home in the home, in the domestic, with women, with the goddess), which makes this full moon particularly powerful. What projects are you completing or releasing, and how can you best recharge? The full moon in your house of self and identity asks you to be mindful of the connection between your body, mind, and spirit, and to honor the needs of all three.
Throughout the winter season, there are many planets traveling through your fellow cardinal signs of Aries and Capricorn. Cardinal signs are the “leaders” of each element group — the sign known for its initiating energy. You, Cancer, mark the summer solstice; Capricorn, the winter solstice; Aries, the spring equinox; and Libra, the fall equinox. Depending on where your personal planets are located in your birth chart, you may particularly feel the effects of the Sun (the ego), Saturn (planet of time and responsibility), and Pluto (planet of transformation), which are in Capricorn, and Uranus (planet of change and revolution) and, later, Mars (planet of action) and Chiron (the “wounded healer” minor planet) in Aries throughout early 2019.
Saturn and Pluto are currently spending years scraping through your house of committed partnerships, completely transforming how you exist in partnership, what you look for in partnership, and what you desire. As we enter Capricorn season, the Sun — the ego, the core — shines a bright light on this part of your chart. These are not only romantic partnerships, mind, though the distinction between the personal and professional can feel increasingly arbitrary as we move through life; of course the personal affects the professional, impacts the spaces we carve out for ourselves, how we see ourselves, even the kinds of work we produce. But this house also governs long-term business and creative partnerships: agents, editors, people you write with. There will be a series of eclipses on the Cancer/Capricorn axis, between your houses of self and partnership, throughout 2019, really asking you to dig deep and do the work in order to bring your lived identity and desired relationships into alignment. The first new moon eclipse in Capricorn hits your partnership house on January 5th. Mark your calendar, and get ready for some journaling and introspection.
Writing Prompt: For you, what is the relationship between the personal and the professional, or the private and the public?
For Leos, Capricorn season is all about work — literally. The winter solstice kicks off in your house of habits, work, and health, asking you to focus on getting your daily routines in order. Now is the time to clean your desk, get a new planner, and make an appointment with your doctor, therapist, dentist, astrologer, nutritionist — whatever you’ve been putting off for your own well-being. This is the time to take care of your body.
But this winter is not all details for you. 2019 gets off to a fiery start, with Uranus, the planet of change and revolution, in Aries, and other planets quickly following — on January 7th, Mars, the planet of action, joins Uranus in your house of travel, philosophy, and long-term plans (road trip, anyone?). Also on January 7th? Venus finally moves out of Scorpio and your house of home and hearth (where she spent so much of the fall, possibly causing you to homebody it up) and into Sagittarius and your house of creative energy, giving your projects (and your love life) a major energetic boost. Aquarius is your opposite sign, so it’s usually a good time for you energetically, but with all those planets in fire, your creativity in early 2019 is going to be nurtured in a special way. Work with the energy and reap the rewards.
One thing to look out for? The first full moon total eclipse of the year is in your sign! January 21st: mark your calendar. Over the last year and a half, we’ve had a series of eclipses in Leo and Aquarius, asking you to consider your relationship between the self and the other (committed partnerships) — really digging deep and finding the groundedness within. This is the last eclipse in that series. Full moons are a time of completion and release, and this one especially so. Break out your journal.
Writing Prompt: What have you learned about your individuality, and about yourself in relationships (or your desire for relationship, or your patterns in relationships), and about the relationships between all of those things over the last few years? How do these inform (or not inform) your work?
After a long, slow-moving autumn, the winter solstice brings a burst of energy: the Sun in Capricorn moving into your house of creative energy, and a full moon in Cancer on December 22nd in your social consciousness, friendships, and the internet. Capricorn season is an energizing time: crisp and (perhaps) cold, the air is buzzing with ideas and possibility. Finally — finally — we are out of the depths of home and hearth and self-reflection; away we go into your creative projects and work life. Let yourself get carried away by the season, by the energy of the new year, by all of your ideas, even by the connections you’re making on Twitter. No need to get into the details yet. Now is the time for big ideas and expansion.
The creativity of Capricorn energy continues for you even after the Sun has moved into Aquarius and your house of daily habits, work, and health, as Venus goes into Capricorn on February 4th. Venus brings a touch of beauty, delight, and zest to your creative projects, buoying your energy even as Aquarius season invites you to consider the details and the routines necessary to get those projects off the ground.
A full moon in Virgo, in your house of self and identity, marks the beginning of Pisces season on February 19th. Full moons can be energizing, but they are also a time of completion and release. What projects are you wrapping up, here at the start of 2019? What cycles are finishing? Are there creative habits that no longer serve you, that you can finally lay to rest?
Writing Prompt: What projects have you not allowed yourself to work on, because you couldn’t figure out the details? Dream about those.
2019 is all about creative inspiration for you. On January 7th, Venus, which brings love and beauty to whatever she touches, moves into your house of communication and short-term plans, igniting a fire under your current writing projects. Also on January 7th? Mars, the planet of action, joins Uranus, the planet of change and revolution, in Aries, which is your house of committed partnerships. This can mean romantic partnerships; it can also mean business and creative partnerships, like, say, literary agents and long-term editors. Early 2019 is about bringing your creative work into the world with the right people. Let’s make it happen.
The good news is that all this fire is aided by empire-building, earthy Capricorn, one of your fellow cardinal signs. Cardinal signs are the “leaders” of each element group — the sign known for its initiating energy. You, Libra, mark the start of the autumnal equinox. Capricorn is the winter solstice, Cancer is the summer solstice, and Aries is the spring equinox. Lots of planets are moving through cardinal signs right now — lots of initiating energy, lots of “Let’s get going, already!” You know how to work with that: you’re comfortable with it. What you’re less comfortable with? Capricorn’s empire-building earth hits your house of home and hearth and deep family roots, whatever family means to you. Saturn, the planet of time and responsibility, and Pluto, the planet of transformation, are due to spend years in this section of your chart, turning the soil slowly, making sure you are good and comfortable with the discomfort that feeds a lot of that fiery creative energy.
But it’s all about how you integrate the energy, right? All about how you work with it. Towards the end of the season, the Sun and Mercury both move into Pisces, your house of daily habits and routine and health. Mercury will retrograde here, so be mindful of the little things, but this will offer some emotional glue and intuitive softness to the winter season.
Writing Prompt: What are you comfortable initiating, and where do you prefer to take a backseat or let others approach you?
You didn’t just have your birthday season this fall; you also had a number of planets transit your sign at the height of your season. Now, as the solstice heralds the arrival of winter on December 21st, the last of the planets in Scorpio finally clear their retrograde shadows. What have all those Scorpio planets going through your house of self and identity meant for you? What parts of yourself have been up for review these last few months — how you communicate, how you love and allow yourself to be loved and appreciated, how you look at yourself?
Now, as we enter the depths of winter, the planets turn toward fire. On January 7th, Venus, the planet of love and beauty, enters Sagittarius and your house of value and material assets. Venus rules this house, which is also about how our own sense of self-worth manifests materially around us. What kind of space do you allow for your creativity to flourish? What kind of material support do you think your work deserves? Here, Venus offers a touch of grace, and asks you to sit with the idea of the ways in which you are valuable before she goes into Capricorn on February 4th, igniting your house of communication and helping you to build out your new ideas around value, how your work is worth physical manifestation.
Also on January 7th? Mars, the planet of action, goes into bold and independent Aries, your house of habits, work, and health, where Uranus, the planet of change and disruption, has already been rooting around, shining a light on where it’s time to clean house. The new year is a time when we are often reconsidering and recalibrating habits, but Mars’ presence here gives you the extra energy and motivation to look at what’s working and discard what isn’t serving. It’s a new year, Scorpio. Time to take care of yourself.
Writing Prompt: What values feel like they have shifted for you over the last year? What areas of your life need the most tending in terms of daily routine? Is there overlap here?
The big story for you is, and continues to be, Jupiter, the planet of expansion, which moved into your house of self and identity on November 8th. Jupiter has had some time to settle in, to root around and get comfortable. What have you learned so far? What areas of your life have taken a turn for the better in the last month? How have you attracted attention, perhaps unwittingly? Jupiter is a magnifying glass that will expand whatever it touches, no matter the nature of what it touches. This is a time to get your house in order, to make use of this lucky transit in the best way possible. All eyes are on you — but how are they on you? Put in the work, put yourself out there, do a vision board, put feet under your dreams: this is how to make the most of a Jupiter transit.
On January 7th, Venus, the planet of love and beauty, goes into Sagittarius and your house of self and identity. Venus brings sweetness to whatever it touches, and when Venus visits your own house, you attract light. Venus will also meet up with Jupiter during this transit — a very attractive time when creative juice will flow and connections will come easy.
Meanwhile, it’s winter, which means there is a lot of action going on in your house of value and money (the Sun, Saturn, and Pluto, which are all in Capricorn), asking you to be extra responsible about your organization and spending (and invoicing and taxes, perhaps?). Venus will also visit Capricorn in early February, asking you to consider the relationship between your self-worth, spending, and underlying values that manifest in the material.
Writing Prompt: What opportunities do you want to attract in 2019? Make a vision board.
Happy birthday! Your season starts on the winter solstice: the darkest night of the year, a time of rebirth, renewal, and regeneration. The world spins toward light again, and your energy is at its height. Right now, a number of planets are in your sign: in addition to the Sun, there is also your ruling planet, Saturn (time and responsibility) as well as Pluto (transformation). This is a heady triumvirate of energy roiling through your empire-building house of self and identity this month: a time when all eyes are on you and the projects that you are undertaking and continuing to build in the new year. In February, Venus, the planet of love and beauty, comes along to join the other planets, adding a touch of grace and ease to your hardy efforts.
On January 5th, there is a new moon and partial solar eclipse in Capricorn, and your house of self and identity. This marks the beginning of a new series of eclipses that will take us through the next year: eclipses on the Capricorn/Cancer axis, which is traditionally associated with the public and the private, career and family, recognition and roots. For you, these eclipses will be bursts of energy, spotlighting your house of self and identity (Capricorn) and your house of committed partnerships (Cancer). How you integrate lessons about the self and the other, and your relationship to yourself and to those you partner with, will be under review.
Meanwhile, relationships of another kind are under review: your relationship to home and hearth, roots and family. Uranus, the planet of change and revolution, has been traipsing through Aries (this sector of your chart) for years, helping you redefine what home and family mean for you, and is currently wrapping up its journey here. Mars, the planet of action, enters the fray on January 7th, helping you integrate lessons from this holiday season into Uranus’ lessons. And on February 19th, Chiron, the “wounded healer” minor planet, enters Aries, inviting you to work with your wounds around family and home in a new way. You’ve got a busy winter ahead, Capricorn — but you’ve got the stamina for it.
Writing Prompt: How have your roots and/or family (what you consider to be family) informed your writing life?
It’s all about the writing, but sometimes it’s all about the writing. This is one of those times. The start of the year brings a number of planets into fiery, bold, and independent Aries — and your house of communication and short-term plans. Uranus, the planet of change and revolution, is finishing up a long transit here, revolutionizing your relationship to your work. On January 7th, Mars, the planet of action, moves into this house, lighting a fire under your ass: get ready to get shit done. And on February 19th, Chiron, the “wounded healer” minor planet, joins its friends, inviting you to work with your wounds around communication in a new way. Writing through the pain, about the pain? Alrighty then.
During your birthday season, you get an immediate energy boost from the Sun (the ego) shining a light on your house of self and identity. Also during your season, you have a new moon in Aquarius on February 4th, offering you the chance to set new intentions. New moons are a good time to start new projects, pitch stories, send newsletters, meet new people. Put yourself out there.
On March 2nd, Venus, the planet of love and beauty, also goes into Aquarius and your house of self and identity. Venus shines a light on you: on your efforts, and consequently your projects, bringing a sense of ease to your conversations and interactions with people. Venus smooths things over — this is a good time to be out and about in the world, networking and meeting new people. This is the tl;dr of winter, Aquarius: don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Writing Prompt: Make a list of intentions for the new moon. (An easy way to start: list five writing ideas that you want to turn into pitches, or projects, in the next six months. Go.)
Your birthday season comes at the end of winter: the misty air, the sludgy streets, when the days are longer, the warmth is returning, and we are so desperately waiting for spring. Pisces is the great connector, the most intuitive sign of the Zodiac: you’re the water sign that eases us from the last gasps of winter into fiery Aries and new spring.
So what is winter, for you? It’s the deep unconscious: the Sun goes into the deepest dark of your chart, shining a light on your hopes, your dreams, your spirituality, your unconscious — and then, finally, consciously, on yourself. On March 6th, there is a new moon in Pisces, in your house of self and identity, asking you to set new intentions for yourself in a profound way; asking you to consider how you treat your body, how you feed your mind, how you connect with your emotions, how you honor your spirit, and how you integrate all four. New moons are a good time to start new projects, pitch stories, send newsletters, meet new people. Time to take care. (Also take care from March 5th–28th — Mercury is retrograde in Pisces, again in your house of self and identity. This is careful proofreading time.)
Finally, a major transit from a minor planet. Chiron, the “wounded healer,” has spent the last few years in Pisces, in your house of self and identity, turning over the soil of your wounds around your self-image, your sense of individuality, and how you see yourself. Not insignificant questions. On February 19th, Chiron moves into Aries and your house of value and material assets. Chiron in Aries has a direct boldness that bluntly asks, how do I value myself? Do I treat myself like someone that I value? How do my material surroundings reflect that? Chiron will transit Aries for the next few years, offering you the chance to work with wounds and discomfort around value, materiality, and money. It’s hard work, but the rewards are great.
Writing Prompt: What is winter, for you? And what is spring? How do you see yourself, between these seasons?