A dear friend of mine, who hails from Northern climes, starts to freak out right after Summer Solstice, bemoaning the fact that the days are getting shorter. He counts the days until Winter Solstice when he knows the light will return and he can be sure that summer will come around once again. He’s probably not alone in his primal response to the cycle of light waxing and waning throughout the year.
Humans have been observing, experiencing, erecting monuments to, and performing rituals around this cycle of light since the very beginning of us walking upright.
Today, with our astronomical insights, we understand technically what’s going on to create these cycles of light to dark and back to light again. The Earth leans slightly on its axis, exactly 23 degrees and 27 minutes off the perpendicular to her plane of orbit, around the life-giving Sun. This miraculous tilt is what causes climate variation, seasons, and the length of day and night. Even though we understand the science of what’s happening it still boggles the mind to note that ancient cultures knew, tracked, and created precise rituals for these events.
The Winter Solstice, meaning “standing-still-sun”, is the moment in the yearly cycle when your hemisphere is leaning farthest away from the Sun. Daylight is shortest. The sun is in his lowest arc in the sky. And just like that, at solstice, the earth turns and begins to move towards the Summer Solstice when the days are longest and the sun is at his highest arc in the sky.
Centuries before Stonehenge and the Pyramids were built the Celts created Newgrange, an astounding monolith that at dawn on Winter Solstice receives a shaft of sunlight deep in its central chamber illuminating a stone basin sitting below intricate stone carvings of spirals, eyes, and solar discs. Go to the Candlegrove web site to read more about ancient cultures and their connection to the solstice.
Hidden away in our cozy, warm homes, so many of us are painfully disconnected to any form of ritual unless it involves shopping and organized religious practices, much which have lost meaning. The Winter Solstice is a time to honor the magical, miraculous planet we inhabit through lighting of candles, being in joyous celebration with others, and acknowledging that all is well, the light is, indeed, returning.
This year the Winter Solstice occurs as the Sun enters the constellation Capricorn. This year it will occur at exactly 6:59pm EST on 21 December 2010. Adjust for your time zone. The Winter Solstice occurs a few hours after a powerful Full Moon lunar eclipse. Eclipses are times when the electromagnetic forces from the Sun and the Moon are interrupted, creating potent opportunity for shifting thought forms and consciousness. Old thought forms more easily dissolve, making way for new thought forms much better fitted for ushering in the new.
As this Full Moon (Moon in Gemini, Sun in Sagittarius) is the third of five full moons occurring at the last degrees of a sign, opportunity for transformation is amplified. We incorporate what we learned of the sign just passing, Gemini, and move into learning and mastering the next sign, Cancer.
Many planets are involved and affect this Full Moon eclipse and the solstice. Both chaos-maker Uranus and expansive Jupiter square the eclipse. Best to expect the unexpected and go with the excitement of accelerated flow as things are rapidly changing. Hanging onto the life raft of Faith and Trust with all the joy you can muster will greatly enhance your ride on this wild river of transformation and change we are on. Stay flexible and deal with WHAT IS, not what you wish would be, while still holding fast to your visions of possibility. I know, it’s a delicate balance, for sure!
The Moon opposes Navy Seal dwarf planet Pluto, who with laser-like precision, cutting to the core of your fears and attachments, facilitates your release from these binding thought forms, like fear.
Fear is a thought form. It exists only in your mind. To release fear, replace with love.
Dispel fear through releasing your attachment to expectation and outcome. Focus entirely on raising your vibrational frequency, filling your thoughts with love. Do something extraordinarily generous for someone else (preferably anonymously) and stop cursing the darkness.
It’s Winter Solstice! Light a candle, preferably with others. Keep that flame glowing in your home and your heart until the fear subsides, replaced by the peace of connecting to all that is, all that ever was, and all that ever will be. When peace is securely anchored in your heart the magical transformation can occur.
And we all really could use that right about now!
Cindy Morris, MSW, is the talk show host of Priestess Entrepreneur: Kitchen Table Conversations (http://PriestessTV.com), author of Priestess Entrepreneur: Success is an Inside Job, and astrologer-at-large. You can reach Cindy through her web site, Priestess Astrology, or by phone at 720. 480. 9322.