Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Solstice and holi-days (holy-days)

While blog hopping I ran across Michele's posting at With heart and Hands blopspot and was complelled to parphrase this post about the Solstice and Eclipse, a special time. "From ancient times, the winter season has been seen as part of the balance of nature such as light and dark as well as the long and short. Another time where the balance point shifts. It is a time for change and a natural time for letting go of all that which seems dark within one's life. A natural time for making choices to bring in the light...both to lessen the darkness within, and to open ourselves to life's full beauty and grace.

Throughout history, in all of the world's cultures and through many belief systems, festivals, traditions, the changes in the cycles of birth(death and rebirth) have been intrinsically and symbolically honored with the solstices. From this honoring comes our holidays...our 'holy days.'

When we walk between the veils of one season and the next......or one change or one emotion and the next...or even one 'holy day' and the next..we find ourselves always balancing our emotions...balancing the dark emotions (the ones which create power and change), with the light emotions (the ones which bring in joy and abundance).

Solstice is of Latin deviation and means 'sun stand', referring to the appearance that the sun's noontime elevation stops in its progression. It is both the shortest day yet of course the longest night of the year. Many cultures, the world over perform solstice ceremonies. It is a time when we can most acutely feel the greatest darkness or the brightest light...a time of giving, of receiving.....or for some a time of the loss of light, and a feeling of going into the dark.

This is a deep and sacred time. A symbolic time for many of us experiencing loss, facing those emotions and feeling the sadness, the yearning, and the grief that such loss brings into our lives. Yet with that darkness, comes the sacred birth of a new light and all of the wisdom, power, and knowledge that this sacred birth created and brought into our lives. We create gifts of abundance, we manifest blessings and peace as we enter into that new place of well-being and joy. Celebrating with gifts of nature, gifts of our hands, and many blessings and gifts from our hearts."

Winter Solstice and the Lunar Eclipse happening on Dec.20 or Dec 21 depending on where you live is rare. This lunar eclipse falls on the date of the northern winter's solstice. Total lunar eclipses in northern winter are fairly common. There have been three of them in the past ten years alone. However, A lunar eclipse on the date of the solstice is not usual at all. Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years. "Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 DEC 21," says Chester. "Fortunately we won't have to wait 372 years for the next one...that will be on 2094 DEC 21."

I recently watched a show talking of the norse men leaving signs of their travels in America, specifically starting in 1637. It was informational and I learned of a stone structure in Newport, Rhode Island called the stone tower. In history books its reported as a Windmill stone structure, however some idiosyncronities about it were highlighted and causes me to think it may have actually been the bones to some religious stucture. The window placement allows a Key stone in the structural remains of this tower to be highlighted (illuminated) during the solstices. The resemblances of it's supporting columns closely resembles many churches built in Northern Europe during that time period is too much of a coincidence. That and the astronomical designs with window placements that correlate with the winter solstice and other peak seasons really amazes me. Reminds me of New Grange in Ireland, and that is predates the pyramids of Egypt by 500 years!

"Many cultures celebrate or celebrated a holiday near (within a few days)of the winter solstice... Yalda, Saturnalia, Christmas, Karachun, Hanukkah, Festivus, and Kwanzaa." With the light now becoming stronger and our "Holy-day" of Christmas on the cusp, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Let your inner light shine and Happy Holi*days,

Sources for this post came from Michele of With heart and hands blogspot and from some articles by with a bit of me thrown in to the mix too. I was compelled to write about the solstice and my embracement of it after visiting Michelle's blog. The solstice and some pagan traditions have always held a certain charm despite being a Christian and that I wanted to share this feeling with you during this powerful time.

1 comment:

Michele Bilyeu said...

Even as Christians, our roots to others and to a deep sense of wonder and mystery and connection is so very strong. I connect with your own connection and the desire to quote from my piece.

That you add your own additional thoughts is ever better. That is how our connections grow...from one of us to another and another. Blessing to you this most holy of holy seasons.