The sun crossed into Capricorn, closely followed by Saturn.
The two aligned for the first time in 353 years, doing so during the winter solstice. This celestial movement, combined with the long dark of the solstice, sparked many a discussion that this day was poised to be the "worst day of 2017."
"I lost my job," said Melissa Scott, who grew up in Spirit Lake.
Did this ill luck come about because of the planetary shuffle?
"I'm not sure about the stars' involvement," she said. "I've never put a lot of stock in it, but always find it absolutely fascinating and very interesting when things like this align with my life."
According to some astrologers, this alignment of the sun and Saturn while crossing into the Capricorn constellation can make things more difficult than usual. A number of people in North Idaho reported Friday-the-13th-type shenanigans disrupting their lives on Thursday — spectacles and phones disappearing, panic attacks, leaky ceilings, earaches.
"I can't speak for what was happening in 1664, but all of these things are cyclical," said Lee Stillwaters, who has studied astrology — movements of celestial bodies interpreted to influence human affairs and the natural world — for more than 30 years.
"The planets all have their own momentum and their own mythology," he said. "The signs matter, the planets matter and the rate of speed of each planet matters."
British writer and astrologer Neil Spencer wrote earlier this month that this event is somewhat unusual and will spotlight the traits of Capricorn the Goat: "the establishment, the patriarchy, big business, property."
"In one’s personal horoscope, Saturn in Capricorn is a very useful placement, denoting one tough individual, but on a macro-level, it doesn’t promise much in the way of fruitful change," writes Spencer. "Looking a little further down the line, to when Saturn passes Pluto in January 2020, some ground-shaking event is on the cards.
"December is dominated by planets in Sagittarius and Scorpio, with messenger Mercury in retrograde (just the job for leaving your shopping on the bus)," he continued. "The new Moon of Nov. 18 is a point of finale and renewal."
Marie-Cecile Gargano of Post Falls, a regular at Gaia's Rock'n Crystals in Coeur d'Alene, said her winter solstice was the exact opposite of awful.
"I’m a Sagittarius and I happen to have a happy Saturn when it is in my sign," she said. "Only good things happen when Saturn is in my sign."
She said she feels things are taking on new meaning as we move into winter.
"I think it’s got to do with Saturn being usually thought of as a task-maker, the disciplinarian, so it’s like whatever you haven’t done, you need to do,” she said. "To me it also relates to doing new things that you have not done before."
Stillwaters said the feelings surrounding these concurrent happenings are affected by the spillover of energy from the eclipses earlier this year, especially the total solar eclipse in August.
"It was powerful medicine," he said. "It got me. You can feel it, it’s just the sun and the moon doing their dance among the other planets and stars.
"The whole thing is, it’s variable," he said. "Face the facts that it’s real cold outside and people go through anxiety when it’s cold and it's dark. We’re not expanding ourselves like we would if we were on the beach in the sun."
Holly Raymond of Coeur d'Alene said this energy should be more complimentary than the past few weeks of Mercury in retrograde, which is ending soon.
"However, Saturn is the planet of limitations," she said. "So for the next three years of Saturn’s transit through Capricorn, you may need more perseverance and dedication to achieve your goals than before."
Gargano said she feels people's addiction to negativity is what draws it to them, so attitude prevails when approaching something that has been introduced as a challenge.
"The dance of the astral object is dictated by the harmonics of the planet,” she said. "Everything that is outside of us is a reflection of what is within. If your focus is on the negative, that’s what you’re going to attract to you. If there’s a belief out there that this is a bad day, it’s going to affect you."