Greetings! Eating seasonally is the buzzword among organic farmers, gourmet chefs and astute eaters alike. But what is a season? While we commonly think of winter, spring, summer and fall, astrology has more to say. On December 21st the Sun left Sagittarius, the last sign of autumn, and entered Capricorn, the first sign of winter.
The Sun is our essential life force. Without sunlight there would be no life. So to enhance life, we align ourselves with the Sun. What does this mean with Sun in Capricorn? This is the sign most comfortable with setting limits. After we've enjoyed our Sagittarian excesses at Thanksgiving and parties throughout the holiday season, we now say Enough. Whatever diet, exercise or accomplishment plan you have in mind, Capricorn is a good place to start. This is especially true around the New Moon in Capricorn, exact Friday December 30th at 10:10 pm EST, into the next day, and of course January 1st 2006 too.
Capricorn is the energy of long term accomplishments. This is why so many people set resolutions for the New Year - this is the essence of Capricorn! And how long do resolutions often last? 3 weeks from the first day of the new year, until the Sun enters Aquarius and people change their own rules.
So our first step in following the Sun for maximum health is to set appropriate limits. This can mean less sugar, junk food, pesticides and whatever you'd be better off with less of. Capricorn energy is motivated by our responsibilities, plans and great successes. It does not care about the extra cupcake.
As the Sun begins its journey in light here, Capricorn is our foundation. In our body this relates to our bones. This is the best month to eat to strengthen our bones. With a firm skeletal system, we'll feel more confident, persevering, principled, powerful and durable in the midst of changing circumstances. If our bones are without strength, we'll be more insecure, vacillating, jealous and lacking deep inner conviction.
How best to strengthen bones? Though the dairy industry may advertise milk and its other products, the time tested way is to eat bone soup, otherwise known as stock or broth. Since we want our bones to have real strength, we emphasize beef and lamb stock over chicken stock, but a well made chicken stock can be good too. Some people might also like lobster or crab stock.
Stocks are the foundation of cooking, and their recipes often make up the first chapter in many traditional cookbooks. They do take time to make, but much of the time is unattended. If you have the right equipment, in a few hours you can make enough stock for the season. Because most cookbooks give recipes that are more suited to restaurant kitchens, here's a link to my own adaptation. This recipe is the result of several stock experiments over the years.
Even if you make your own stock or are able to purchase a quality version from a farmers market, it is a good time to supplement your diet with additional calcium and magnesium. I am not a health professional, but my favorite is Dr Ron's Ultra Pure calcium-magnesium formula because it is derived from the bones of healthy, grass fed cows from New Zealand. Here's a link to Dr Ron's website.
The other substance we need for strong bones is vitamin D. The most concentrated source of natural vitamin D is cod liver oil. Kept in a refrigerator or freezer, cod liver oil has the clean taste of the deep ocean. If you have unpleasant memories of bad tasting cod liver oil, it was probably rancid. Try again and this time keep it fresh. Cod liver oil is known throughout the world as a virtual panacea. In this time of darkness, its natural vitamin D can be a strong boost to our system. The best cod liver oil I have found is again offered by Dr Ron's Ultra Pure because it has significantly higher amounts of vitamins A and D than many other brands on the market. If you are shopping at Dr Ron's, make sure to get the high vitamin Blue Ice, not the other brand. (Note: I have no affiliation with Dr Ron's other than being an informed and satisfied consumer.)
Another element crucial to strong bones is magnesium, naturally found in greens. Greens are nourishing in so many ways. Their chlorophyll gives us a dose of sunlight, so important in dark winter. Iron in greens help build our blood, and minerals strengthen our system. And as we cut back from the sweets of Sagittarius, their bitter taste brings balance to our taste buds. Try making soup of spinach, kale or other dark leaves - one serving will have the green content of about 5 salads.
Capricorn is the sign of things that take time and old things in general. Braised dishes and slow cooked meals add warmth to our system. Old time foods include lentils, cultivated for thousands of years; olives and olive oil, also grown for many centuries; and my favorite, well aged red wine.
Capricorn's symbol is the sea-goat. This rather curious image is a cross between a sea creature and a goat. Seafoods can be emphasized, and if you live on the West Coast Dungeness crab is now in season. If you like goat cheese or have Capricorn Sun, Moon or Ascendant (rising sign), give it a try.
In the body Capricorn connects to the knees. A good way to warm up on winter mornings is old fashioned deep knee bends. When you walk, take care to keep the knees flexible. Locked knees are a sign of stress and fear, common Capricorn afflictions. Walk with your knees relaxed and have confidence in your forward path.
May you enjoy good health with the Sun in Capricorn. Watch for the next column as the Sun enters Aquarius on January 20th.
Jonathan Pearl is a traditional astrologer with a special interest in living with harmony with nature and time. For more information and his free weekly astrology column, please visit http://www.starpearls.com/.