The shortest day of the year… well also the longest night of the year! Ah the Winter Solstice is here, the first day of winter, a time for the spiral dances tonight under the dark skies and the fire dancing as we celebrate life in it’s many dimensions. New Beginnings, a new season.
The Winter Solstice begins Dec. 21, 2013, at 5:11 Coordinated Universal Time or 12:11 p.m. Eastern time. On that day, the continental United States will receive nine hours and 32 minutes of daylight. The solstice is powerful, it is a tilting time for the Universe. Let us hope that this year we will align ourselves in good and healing ways.
The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words “sol” for sun and “sisto” for “stop.” Today our sun will stop moving southward. It will pause and begin moving northward. So very amazing still when I think about it, This date has held special meaning throughout history, as has the celebrations that continue on.
“Culturally, the solstices and equinoxes are typically used to denote either the beginnings of the seasons or the center points of the seasons,” as in England, Rick Kline, of the Spacecraft Planetary Imaging Facility at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., tells USA Today. “Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays have arisen out of the solstices, equinoxes and the midpoints between them.”
Other traditions see the Winter Solstice as the turning point in the year. It’s a “cosmological crisis point, in which the outcome of the coming year would be determined,” Edwin Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, says. Now that is quite the “mouthful” I’m thinking… Reminds me of the full moon we have all just witnessed and it’s impact on people. Seems this last moon had quite the impact on folks around the land as moods were quick to change, emotions ran high, and left so many in awe of behaviors, words, actions. Let’s hope as the moon waned so did the actions, and as we enter into the Winter Solstice good things are seen with the newness of winter and the pause of the sun gives enough pause to let go of the things that seem less than desirable. Now maybe if you feel a bit tippy tonight it is a result of the North Pole being “tipped 23 degrees from the sun”. The good news is that despite what folks might think.. it is a myth that folks feel the most depression on the darkest day of the year, most just move about it with the Holiday rock and roll, while others plan great celebrations celebrating the light that is returning to us along with the official beginning of winter. There are those who delight in the longest night of the year as well.
One can hope.
The Tye in to Christmas? Well… so it is said, Long before there was a man called Jesus, the winter solstice was celebrated as a the return of the sun. In Scandanavia, the time would be marked by burning large logs — believing that each spark from the fire would represent a new pig or calf in the new year. In Rome, early Romans observed Saturnalia, a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture, and Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome.
No matter what our spiritual beliefs, or what part of the world we live, we all share the turning of the sun on the solstices. Winter Solstice on December 21 is the shortest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. After the Winter Solstice, each day becomes longer until the longest day of the year arrives around June 21st.
Honoring the solstice is something lost to most of us, and it feels deeply meaningful, in a mystical sort of way, to choose to make a glimmer of connection. We each in our own way can celebrate the Winter Solstice, some will sleep through it, while others will join their fires with those near and far, doing a spiral dance on this most magical night of darkness while feeling the light beginning anew.
Wherever you are, whatever path you are taking, I hope you walk it with pride, with integrity, with an open heart and mind.
See you at the fire!
Walk in beauty
- 5 Easy Winter Solstice Recipes (mademan.com)
- Winter solstice: The day the sun stands still (dailykos.com)
- Winter Traditions (tonningsen.wordpress.com)