As 2021 comes to an end, the annual winter solstice has commenced. During this time, we are encouraged to reflect on the end of the year and prepare for 2022. This year’s winter solstice, which officially occurred on Dec. 21, also ushers in another year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The current spike in cases around Bushwick is a cause for concern and another reminder that the virus is here to stay. It is uncertain how long we will have to wear masks, socially distance and display our vaccine cards when we go out. However, a few planetary and occult themes might point us in the direction of what to look out for in 2022. 

To learn more about how this year’s winter solstice affects us, Bushwick Daily interviewed Hennesy Sanchez, a native New Yorker, artist and tarot reader for Catland Books, a witch shop located near the Morgan Avenue L train stop. 

The solstice, according to Sanchez, marks the beginning of winter and a time of celebration in Pagan tradition. To Pagans, it means the time where “the sun stands still.” 

“This is a time of reflection [of] one’s soul, journey and transformation. Think subconscious growth,” she added. 

When things are rapidly changing, and as Covid continues in Bushwick, this solstice hopes to teach us self love – to love ourselves through the good and bad, said Sanchez. This is also a time to notice the blindspots we all have and work on the things about ourselves that we do not like.

Essentially, it encourages us to change and be mutable. As 2022 draws nearer, this solstice “is about listening or becoming attuned with one’s inner world,” said Sanchez. According to numerology, a belief system that numbers from one to nine have spiritual meaning, 2022 is also the beginning of a nine-year number. It will focus on the cumulation of long-wished manifestations. 

“It is impervious that one clears themselves from thoughts that do not serve them. View the solstice as the ultimate release of ‘the old’ inner self concept, if you allow it,” said Sanchez. 

In addition to learning self love, a time of mixed signals, where technology fails and things go wrong, according to astrologists, will hit in the second week of the new year. Mercury retrograde, when astrologists believe mercury moves in the opposite direction, begins on Jan. 14, 2022. Mercury retrograde will continue for three weeks until it goes direct on Feb. 3. Sanchez has some tips to navigate the next Mercury retrograde. She said that the next Mercury retrograde is the continuation of lessons to go with the flow. 

“Structural changes are happening in our society. We must not fight resistance because it’s going to happen either way. Acceptance is key,” said Sanchez. 

Photo provided by Hennesy Sanchez

Sanchez said that the upcoming Mercury retrograde is also a reminder to remain grounded and trust our intuition. In addition, Sanchez pulled a tarot card to determine what we should know about the new year. She pulled the Sun card, which represents spiritual enlightenment, belief in ourselves. 

“Look for areas in our life that bring in joy, light and love,” said Sanchez. 

Featured image: by Peter de Vink from Pexels.

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