Monday, December 21st is Winter Solstice

Solstice literally translates from Latin as “sun stands still”. This happens twice a year, in June and December.  In December, in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Pole points toward the sun, and the sun is at its closest point to the earth.  The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere, where the South Pole points away from the sun in December. Days are long, and it is summer solstice.

In 2015, solstice takes place at 4:48 Universal Time on December 22.

Here, where I live in the North America, the actual solstice falls on Monday, December 21 at 9:48 p.m. Mountain Time.

CelestialSolstice Green Man Father Winter

I use solstice as a metaphor to go into stillness in meditation, to reflect on my relationship to dark and light elements within my own nature and within the collective and to look into our blind spots and commit to the renewal of our greatest aspirations.

Around the world, we have been marking this day in various ways throughout history.

In Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul was held during December solstice.  Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun and a Yule or Juul log was brought into the home and burned on the hearth in honor of the God Thor.

In Ancient Rome, the Winter Solstice festival Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for a week.

The ancient Incas celebrated a special festival to honor the Sun God at the time of the December solstice.

Today in the northwestern corner of Pakistan, a festival called Chaomos, takes place among the Kalasha or Kalash Kafir people and lasts for at least seven days, including the day of the solstice.

As for me, I will celebrate with a gathering at my home.  We will cast our darkness into the flames of a fire pit outside my house and plant the seeds of our dreams into our hearts to draw from the sun as it grows closer to the earth.

We will share with each other what Renewal means to each of us, and I hope to share with you some of these thoughts and lessons in future blogs.

Wherever you are and however you chose to spend your solstice, I wish you inner radiance that illuminates your world with the deep peace and love of this very sacred season.

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