What the 2020 Winter Solstice Means for Your Zodiac
The longest night of the year approaches. Are you ready to face the darkness and navigate your way through this potentially tricky time?
Are brighter days ahead?
December 21, 2020, marks the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. Known as the winter solstice, this is the time when darkness takes up as much time as it can before finally giving way to the increasing daylight of spring. But there’s a lot more to the winter solstice than you may realize. Solstices are important astrological events wherein one cycle ends and another begins, and according to astrologer Emily Ridout, it’s as much of a psychological shift as it is a seasonal one.
“Scorpio and Sagittarius season lead up to the winter solstice, [which is] the contemplation of the darkness,” Ridout explains. “The solstice is the moment the sun enters into Capricorn. Capricorn energy is really focused on life on the Earth plane.” You’ve spent the dark days of winter living in introspection and probing profound metaphysical ideas. When that long night is over, Capricorn season wants you to focus more on the physical world—the here and now. The sun will mount its comeback, and humans should prepare to do the same and build into the new year. Some zodiac signs will enjoy readying themselves for this golden opportunity, but others will not. You made it through the 2020 summer solstice, but how will you fare during the winter solstice?
Aries (March 21–April 19)
Aries is one of the zodiac signs that doesn’t much appreciate the winter solstice. As a fire sign, they are eager to get back to the bright, full days of spring, but Ridout says they must be patient and not jump into action too soon. “Aries is a cardinal sign—it likes to go, it likes to self-express,” Ridout explains. “It might be more difficult for an Aries to self-express at the time of the winter solstice. [But they should] move cautiously and slowly.” People of this sign are gradually inching closer to a time when they will thrive, but they aren’t there quite yet and should wait for the right moment. In the meantime, check out these 13 fascinating winter solstice traditions around the world.
Taurus (April 20–May 20)
Taurus, on the other hand, is an earth sign just like Capricorn. Because they share the same element, Taurus usually knows how to get along in Capricorn season. During this time of change, people of this zodiac sign find solace in their environment. “Taurus likes to hold energy,” Ridout says. “They want to have their things around them, they want to feel comfort, they want to find beauty.” This holiday season may not live up to other years’ expectations due to limitations imposed by the novel coronavirus, so it will become the job of a Taurus to find beauty where others might not see any. Instead of baking holiday cookies for a large party, for example, Taurus needs to find a way to experience joy in making cookies for themselves this year. Need some inspiration? Try these Christmas cookie recipes you’ll want to make this year (and every year).
Gemini (May 21–June 20)
Gemini is used to being the life of the party, always seeking to improve every situation for themselves and for others. This is a great skill and ambition to have, but people of this sign need to remember that others won’t be nearly as optimistic or energetic during the winter solstice. “They might want to cheer people up,” Ridout says. “If you want to create the fun, be the fun-maker. But also realize that this moment isn’t always fun for all people. Really see people and empathize with their thoughts.” Also know that sometimes it is better to sit and contemplate a situation rather than try to fix it right away. One thing you can do to add cheer is to decorate for the holidays according to your zodiac sign.
Cancer (June 21–July 22)
Cancer is the sign of the summer solstice, so this is exactly the wrong time of year for them. Enduring this difficult period will require a lot of self-awareness and maintenance. “This season contains [Cancer’s] opposite,” Ridout explains, “so they need to take extra care of themselves. Make sure they’re finding self-nurture, even if they’re also in charge of caring for others.” Find the time to indulge in your favorite hobbies, and make room in your diet for those feel-good sweets. Little, consistent rewards like this will help ease some of the natural discomfort you feel this season. Perhaps finding the best pet, based on your zodiac, will help, too.
Leo (July 23–August 22)
Like Aries, Leo is a fire sign, so these people will feel somewhat displaced during the winter solstice. While it’s not their season now, there are still things they can do to improve their daily life. “Leo needs to find ways to stay physically active and bring fire into the season,” Ridout recommends. “They are ruled by the sun and will do well to remember that summer is going to come again.” Until then, they should focus on improving their connections with others as well as themselves, on both a spiritual and physical level. If you were born in the summer, this is what we know about you.
Virgo (August 23–September 22)
“The simple fact is the death and rebirth of the sun is a messy process,” Ridout asserts. Virgos, however, do not enjoy messy affairs. This sign loves order and organization, which can often lead to perfectionism. Virgo has to realize that not everything will happen according to the plan they’ve carefully laid out. “Any time you look into the darkness and try to build something from what you’ve found,” she continues, “there’s a way to experience things [for] what they are, even if it doesn’t look like what you envisioned.” Find meaning or happiness in the real things happening around you, and allow yourself to let go a little. Here’s the best way to de-stress based on your zodiac sign.
Libra (September 23–October 22)
Winter is an extreme season: There is extreme cold, extreme darkness, and, historically, an emphasis on basic survival. Libras thrive in times of peace and moderation, so the hardships of winter make them uncomfortable. “They want partnership, they want beauty, they want justice,” Ridout says. “They want things to be in balance, and the winter solstice is an extreme. For them, the message is also of patience: Keep going, [and] hold steady to your vision that you’d like to see manifest in the world.” Learn a few things you never knew about the spring equinox before it comes.
Scorpio (October 23–November 21)
Scorpio is one of the only signs that actually thrives during the winter solstice. “Scorpio rules the death of the sun,” Ridout explains. “Scorpio is the most comfortable with the depths and the shadows. They’re going to be OK holding this energy.” People of this zodiac sign are ready and willing to stare into the abyss and have the abyss stare back at them. The long night of the winter solstice will emphasize the deep connections they are able to foster with others, as well as themselves. Who are you most compatible with? Here’s the ideal best friend for every zodiac sign.
Sagittarius (November 22–December 21)
Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is relatively at ease this time of year. Sagittarius season, which directly precedes the Capricorn season introduced by the winter solstice, focuses energy on the unknown. While other signs might be fearful of the unknown and the darkness, Sagittarius enjoys being a traveler there. “Sagittarius is the sign that’s most likely to want to explore higher philosophies,” Ridout says. People of this sign also literally love to explore and travel, which has of course been out of arm’s reach during the pandemic. But now is the time to plan ahead. “Use the birthing energy of the sun and the infusion of Capricorn energy to figure out how [you are] going to have that fun time,” she advises. Plan your ideal vacation according to your zodiac sign.
Capricorn (December 22–January 19)
Capricorn will enjoy the steadiness and sense of calm they derive from the winter solstice, as it is their season. “Capricorns tend to feel pretty good because they have their solar return,” Ridout says. “They might experience a bit more freedom and ease. Keep your ability to work and to strive for what you want to build, but take a moment to relax.” Capricorns have put in their dues for the year, and now is the time to reap the benefits. Looking for the perfect gift for that special someone? Look to the stars—and, more specifically, to our ultimate gift guide for every zodiac sign.
Aquarius (January 20–February 18)
Aquarius is a uniquely inventive sign with a strong vision. According to Ridout, this is a trait they should embrace during the solstice. “These people tend to be able to see clearly what is optimal for humanity and those around them,” she says. “Advice for them would be to enjoy themselves in the situations that arise and allow themselves to innovate and have fun.” So, do what you do best, but keep it lighthearted. Being too serious or forward with your ideas right now may put people off.
Pisces (February 19–March 20)
Pisces is stereotypically known as the artist amongst the zodiac signs. This is because people of this sign possess the natural ability to interpret the world around them in a very intimate, striking, and meaningful way. “Pisces rules the element of the human psyche,” Ridout explains. “Their job at the winter solstice is to take the moment and make it more artful, to give people and themselves a peek into a deeper meaning.” When Pisces express themselves, they also open windows for others to see through and behold the light. Next, see what 2021 has in store for you, according to your Chinese zodiac sign.
- Emily Ridout, astrologer