The Great Conjunction

Today, December 21, is the day of the Great Conjunction: Jupiter aligns with Saturn. The conjunction of the two planets happens once every 20 years but this time it's special. The last time they came so close together was in 1623. And not only that, but the conjunction also coincides with winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere), the longest night of the year. NASA says it will be possible to see the stars if you go to a Southwestern spot and look at the sky after sunset.

Image source: NASA

Over here at Solitaire Times, we like to pretend that these celestial phenomena have magickal meaning (we even did a solstice countdown last year). Now we decided to examine what Jupiter and Saturn represent, and apply their energies to our gaming life.

Image source: allure.com

In astrology, Jupiter is the planet of growth, initiative, leadership and wealth. Saturn, on the other hand, is the planet of restrictions, limitations, discipline, stasis and depression. Now that these two opposites unite, it's the best moment to make plans and achieve goals. Jupiter will help the plans come to fruition and Saturn will make sure you don't go overboard.


To take advantage of the occasion, JW (virgo) and I (aquarius) take a look at our collections, reflect on our buying habits, and set goals for the new age.

Wishlist coming true


JW: On the top on my wishlist right now are Hallertau and Aurelian, Restorer of the World. I may eventually buy Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance. And I'm pretty sure I'll splash out on one of Worthington Publishing's deluxe reprints of old VPG games.


Athena: I've been thinking about branching out to a few eurogames this year. Specifically Hallertau, Faiyum and Expedition to Newdale. I don't want to expand my collection too much, I already have enough games. It is only my curiosity and the drive to try new things that motivates my purchases. I'm also looking at Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps but I'll try to look away.



Gaming goals


JW: The last four years I took part in lots of game challenges on BGG. Like play 17 games 17 times in 2017, play 100 different games solo, or learn to play a new game every week. They helped me out in moments when I didn't know which game to pick. And I liked working towards a goal.


This year however, I failed most of them. They were more of a hindrance and made me feel bad. So I will try to do a very hard thing: just one challenge in 2021. And that one should be just for fun. I haven't decided yet, but it will probably be "learn to play a new game every month" (by which I mean play it 3-5 times at least until the rules stick and I'm able to think up strategies). As I love playing something new to me.


Athena: I am relatively satisfied with my gaming pace, I usually play 3 or 4 times a week. It will be good to keep it up next year too. I don't participate in challenges because they feel like an obligation, I want to have the freedom to choose what to play.


I have so far been reluctant to play games with automas... I wonder if I should lay down my guard and dive in. If I do, it might be with Trismegistus. The problem is that, if I don't like a game, it's not so easy to get rid of it.


Selling and buying


JW: This year I sold and gave away more games than I bought and received. I want to do so again in 2021. It will be harder (most rubbish is gone), but it's very satisfying to be able to buy new games with money you made from selling old ones. And also I want to keep free space on my shelves.


Athena: As my collection grows, I will sooner or later have to cull it. This means some games will have to be put to the test: staying or going. Tainted Grail is likely to see the exit (just received the expansion). I have a few games I never play but somehow feel attached to. Decisions will have to be made.


Website plans


JW: The last few months Athena did all the work. In 2021 I'd like to do a session report or grumpy post every week, plus help out with writing the news posts again.


I really like the longer essays Athena has written last year about board game art and I'll think about adding something like that as well. Except what do I know. 😄


I also really liked temporary series like Home Alone, Lazy Links and now End Times. So I'll certainly try to come up with some next year.


Athena: I hope we can keep the website going in the same rhythm as this year. Producing content almost every day can be taxing. It makes me happy, however, especially when JW and I come up with new ideas, and when our readers enjoy to visit and participate. Perhaps I can ask Jupiter to make us more creative and more popular. But then we'll have Saturn stepping in like a party pooper. Not sure if we can trust these planets.


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So, dear readers, light a purple candle (the color of Jupiter), and make (gaming) wishes for the new year. Write them down and share them with us too, to make the universe hear you.

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