“Yule, is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half.
Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day.
Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb.
Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider.”
Welcome the Winter Solstice
This year, December 22 marks the Winter Solstice, a time when we are amidst the shortest days and longest nights of the year.
This is when the Sun reaches its southernmost rising and setting points in the northern hemisphere. At noon today, the Sun’s apex is at its lowest point of the year
“The term solstice means “sun stands still,” according to National Geographic. This is when the Sun is farthest from the Earth’s tilted celestial equator, so it’s as if the Sun is leaning on the edge of the Earth, waiting to fall slowly into the next season.
Find a sense of peace today, away from the holiday hustle and bustle, and settle into this introspective time of year.
The Sun’s Renewal
The Winter Solstice has been celebrated for generations by people from all over the world. It is the start of the solar year, which allows us to enjoy the “rebirth” of the sun. From this day forward, days will begin to gradually get longer until the midsummer in June.
The December solstice has historically coincided with some religious celebrations of Christmas, so many of the Western traditions of the holiday season are also rooted in the observation of the natural rhythms of the Earth.
“While religious observance of the winter solstice is not as common as it once was, many in the Northern Hemisphere will surely give thanks for the slow but steady return of the Sun.”
Brighten The Season
Bring light into these dark days by spending time with the people you love. The holidays are full of frenzy, but make sure you remember to brighten this season with compassion, love and gratitude.
“I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
‘We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,’
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.”
Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing