Thursday, December 21, 2006
Its 2:42 pm today and the sun is already lower in the sky. Yes its definetely the shortest day of the year. Here is some info I gathered on the Net.
The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word solstice, which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, “sun” and -stitium, “a stoppage.” Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.
Symbolism of the Winter Solstice
Fire and candles are important to many pagan holidays.The Winter Solstice marks a crucial part of the natural cycle. In a real sense, the sun begins anew its journey toward longer days, times of new growth and renewal of the world once again. In a spiritual sense, it is a reminder that in order for a new path to begin, the old one must end and that spring will come again.
The winter solstice is the longest night of the year and is said to be when the Goddess gives birth to the God. From here on in the year, the days will become longer as the god grows into his full strength.
Fire and candles are important to many pagan holidays, but especially so for the winter solstice, as the God of most modern pagan traditions is associated with the sun. The winter solstice is a time of feasting and celebration. Often trees are decorated with bright ornaments, a tradition going back to ancient Germanic peoples, who held the oak and the fir tree as sacred. The Yule Log, candles and mistletoe are all symbols of the winter solstice.
Women Celebrating Winter Solstice
We had a symbolic letting go of sorts at my womens group meeting on Monday. We let go of things we wanted and then listed things we wanted to bring into our lives and tossed them in the fire. Tonight I think I will have a fire and Sarah and I will do something similar. I don't really have a tradition with celebrating the solstice so I make it up as I go along. I know that my Irish ancestors celebrated this so in some ways I feel like I am reconnecting with that Celtic past. That feels good somehow.
This is the handmade paper I got from my friend Nancy. Its beautiful, has small amounts of several different colors and textures. I can't wait to use it in some artwork.
This is the journal cover I got from Celeste. I think I may embellish it a little and add a strap to it. Its made out of Velveteen and has a lavender colored blank book inside.