4 Zodiac Signs Will Feel the Emotional, Activating Energy of the Winter Solstice Most Intensely

Photo: Getty Images / Lorenzo Capunata
There’s always something a bit foreboding about the winter solstice, which arrives on December 21: It’s the day of the year filled with more hours of darkness than any other, and it heralds a season of dimness and chilly temperatures. If that description alone has you ready to hibernate, you’ll be pleased to know the cosmos is aligned for that endeavor. Astrologically speaking, the effects of the winter solstice will channel big emotions that warrant some time spent processing—especially for the four zodiac signs most affected by its energy this year.

The winter solstice figures big in Western astrology not only because it marks the changing of the seasons, but also because it’s the day each year when the sun moves into the cardinal sign of Capricorn, says astrologer Narayana Montúfar, author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. (If you picture the zodiac calendar, as a whole, you’ll note that each of the solstices and equinoxes falls at the start of a new cardinal sign's season.) “This is a supercharged moment in time that will set the tone for the collective vibrations we will experience for the next three months, until the spring equinox arrives,” she says.

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As for what that tone will be? Consider first the seriousness, ambition, and depth of Capricorn, which is a sign focused on “building strong, long-term foundations,” says Montúfar. Translation: We could find ourselves thinking long and hard about big projects and goals. This is timely for the new year to come, particularly as the sun also forms a square with expansive Jupiter in Aries, “another cardinal and can-do sign,” she says. “If we’re not careful, we could wind up getting over-ambitious with our goals, over-promising, or biting off more than we can chew.”

This year, the moon (which rules over the realm of emotions) will directly oppose Mars retrograde in Gemini, “leading our emotions to be quite volatile in the months ahead,” adds Montúfar. “It will be key to watch our words and learn to express anger in healthy ways.” At the same time, however, the moon will form a flowing trine with Chiron, an asteroid known as the “wounded healer” (ruling over past-life trauma), which could allow us to heal deeper problems of the heart if we’re brave enough to confront them.

Given the arrival of the winter solstice at the start of Capricorn season, it’s no surprise the sea goats will be deeply impacted by its astrological milieu. But according to Montúfar, there are three other zodiac signs destined to feel the effects of this winter solstice particularly intensely: Aries, Gemini, and Sagittarius. Below, she shares the particular vibe each of these signs can expect from the cosmic shift, and how to make the most of it.

The 4 zodiac signs poised to feel the effects of the winter solstice most powerfully, according to an astrologer


On any given day, you tend to be pretty ambitious, energetic, and excitable, as the first fire sign of the zodiac. But as the winter solstice arrives, you could feel even more energized than normal. On the day before, December 20, expansive Jupiter shifts back into your sign for the next few months. (Note that the planet was also in Aries from May 10 to October 28 of this year, so the current transit could have a similar vibe to that period of time.)

But despite all the activating energy you may feel, this isn’t really the time to take action, Montúfar warns. Your planetary ruler, intense Mars, is still retrograde, and retrogrades are times for reviewing, reassessing, and strategizing your next moves rather than pushing forward. “The time for you to act and put those moves into place is late January, once both Mars and Mercury go direct,” says Montúfar.


You’ve likely been doing some self-reflection and self-reinvention over the past few weeks with fiery Mars retrograding in your sign—aka your first house of identity and ego. “You may have found yourself working to abandon old desires or ways of chasing your goals,” says Montúfar. On the winter solstice, some part of that process could come to a head, with the moon opposing Mars retrograde in your sign. “This could bring a moment of crisis for you that, if handled correctly, could instigate big epiphanies about this journey of reinvention,” she says.


The moon is in your sign when the winter solstice arrives, bringing your emotions to the surface. This is a chance to wear your heart on your sleeve when around others, says Montúfar. “By learning to express your desires and needs more openly and calmly, you will be able to heal from past baggage,” she says.

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, this kind of transparency will set you up for a healthier romantic life, she adds. Indeed, “big learnings and progress in the realm of relationships” could be on your astrological horizons over the next few months, she says.


It’s the start of your season, Capricorn! That means you’ll be really in your element as the winter solstice hits—which, for you, means ready to work hard toward new and ever-loftier goals. But while this energy should certainly be channeled, Montúfar cautions, again, against taking any major action at this point in time. “Capricorns must be aware that Mercury will retrograde in their sign from December 29 to January 18,” she says. “For this reason, Capricorns should instead focus on strategizing toward the future right now, as making bold moves is not recommended.”

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