The Winter Solstice – Handsome Essential Darkness

December 17, 2013

Holidays, Religion, winter, Winter Solstice

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” – Anne Bradstreet

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In all it’s handsome darkness the Winter Solstice teaches you about the need for withdrawal as an essential part of renewal. The season requires you to honour it’s courage and respect it’s wisdom. As each night before the solstice grows longer and the air circling around you gets colder, the earth withdraws, sleeps and renews itself.

Some of you abominate winter. You struggle through the season’s bleakness. You tire of the endless dark and dreary skies and wish you can fast-forward to spring. Some of you rejoice in winter’s beauty. In the essential darkness you celebrate the Winter Solstice because it signals the return of light and warmth to the hemisphere, more and more each day.

The Winter Solstice begins the turn to greater daylight and the slow return of the sun. Our planet prepares to come forth from this time of darkness and withdrawal, into a season filled with light, hope and the coming of spring.



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December Solstice

The December solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, it is when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun.

Known as the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, the December solstice marks the day of the year with the least hours of daylight. In the southern hemisphere the December solstice is known as the Summer Solstice and marks the longest day of the year.

Winter Solstice - Image 2

Winter Solstice Dates 2013 & 2014

Northern Hemisphere: (North America, Central America, Europe, Asia, northern Africa) – Winter Solstice Dates: December 21, 2013, at 17:11 UTC / December 21, 2014, at 23:03 UTC
Southern Hemisphere: (Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southern Africa) – Winter Solstice Dates: June 21, 2013, at 05:04 UTC / June 21, 2013, at 10:51 UTC

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A Blessed Yule

Yule began as an indigenous winter solstice festival celebrated by the Germanic peoples of ancient times. It was later absorbed into celebrations surrounding Christmas with Christianization.

The observance of Yule, the Winter Solstice was significant to our ancestors. It was a holy day when the sun god’s return meant spring was on its way, and with it, the birth of new animals and the planting of new crops.  Much of the folklore surrounding winter solstice rituals has to do with very basic symbols of agriculture and animal husbandry.

This song (video) wonderfully sums up the spirit and energy of the Winter Solstice: Damh The Bard – Noon Of The Solstice. Enjoy.

Winter Solstice - Image 3


Written & Adapted by John Zeus | Primary Source: timeanddate.com, Video: YouTube, Images 1, 2 & 3: Google Images, Winter Tree photo by John Zeus

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John Zeus

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  1. Surfing the Solstice Dark - APOTHECARY'S GARDEN - December 30, 2013

    […] The Winter Solstice – Handsome Essential Darkness […]

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