Solstices have long been celebrated and written about. December 21 is the shortest day of the year and the longest night, and officially marks the first day of winter. You can take a scientific look at the solstice. We know that as the Earth travels around the Sun in its orbit, the north-south position of the Sun changes over the course of the year. That is because of the changing orientation of the Earth’s tilted rotation axes with respect to the Sun. When we arrive at the points of maximum tilt( marked at the equator) we get the summer and winter solstice depending on what hemisphere we are in.
The word solstice derives from the Latin word sol(sun). As we leave Autumn behind and continued on our journey into the Winter Solstice, we dive deeper into the cold and wintery months ahead. The Solstice is a time of quietude, of firelight, dreaming, when seeds germinate in the cold earth and bells mingle with the chimes of the icicles. In this abounding darkness, the ultimate of yin, we travel into the world of the water element. Like the trees that have shed their leaves and stand bare against the horizon, it is in this deep dark mysterious place where we let go of the things that need to die. We do this in order to hold on to the potential for new life as it surges forward in the spring. Winter is associated with Kidneys (and Urinary Bladder) and with the water element. The Kidneys are a very important organ because they are the root of both Yin and Yang energies of the body. The water element is about courage and will. Winter darkness has a positive side to it, as we celebrate the change from autumn to winter, we recognize and honor the beauty in this season.
We can be grateful for the wisdom winter brings us, as it teaching us about the need for withdrawn: which is an essential part of renewal. Encouraging our spirits as the Earth prepares to come forth from this time into a season filled with light. Here is poem that marks the season!
Winter’s Cloak by Judy Rupp
This year I do not want the dark to leave me. I need its wrap of silent stillness, its cloak of long lasting
embrace. Too much light has pulled me away from the chamber of gestation. Let the dawns come late, let the sunsets arrive early, let the evenings extend themselves while I lean into the abyss of my being. Let me lie in the cave of my soul, for too much light blinds me, and steals the source of revelation. Let me seek solace in the empty places of winter’s passage, those vast dark nights that never fail to shelter me!