This is one of two Moments of Earth’s annual orbit around Mother Sun when She/we enter/s a Season of Solstice.
For the Southern Hemisphere December Solstice is the Summer: the awesome fullness and peaking of the light part of the day, and the turn /return to lengthening dark out of that fullness. It may celebrate the fullness of being, and the pouring forth of it, a fulfillment of purpose, a radiant giving away.
For the Northern Hemisphere December Solstice is the Winter: the magical fullness and peaking of the dark part of the day, and the turn/ return to lengthening light out of that fullness. It may celebrate the birth of all manifest form, of being, and the promise of ongoing Creativity.
The actual Moment of December Solstice @ EarthGaia this year is 10:02 UTC 21st (20:02 21st EST Australia which is where I am). For other global times see archaeoastronomy.com .
The two Solstices occurring co-incidentally as they do, mirror each other, as parts of the whole planetary moment. The Summer peaking of light celebrating a Radiance, the shining forth of all that a being is, which is at the same time a dissolving of self: and the Winter peaking of dark celebrating the Origins/Womb of all, which is at the same time a Flaring Forth of being.
The Solstices – both Summer and Winter, may celebrate an essential Cosmic mystery of sacred interchange, a reciprocity at the heart of life, the relational quality of existence … as Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry have expressed: “to be is to be related”[i]. To be is to be in deep communion. Mother Sun may be a primary model for this deep communion, and generosity of being. This essential quality has been named by Australian Indigenous peoples as “ngapartji-ngapartji”[ii]: it is a primordial “Mother” quality, understood by all Indigenous cultures, and Earth-based religious traditions. It is She in Her quality of Mother who may be particularly celebrated at the interchange of Solstice – Summer and Winter: Her burgeoning fullness as light pouring forth and Her burgeoning fullness as dark birthing womb.
Summer Solstice may be a remembering of the purpose/destiny of the fullness of being as all is given over to re-unite with the Space/Void/Night; the Season celebrates the re-union of this form we so love with All-That-Is. We accept even the passing of the Sun and may shine forth as She does. The small selves that we are may shine forth and are given over in an ongoing “Give-Away”[iii] in every moment, in every day.
Winter Solstice may be a remembering of the Space/Void/Night out of which All arises. So often in the christianizing of this Seasonal Moment it is the Child that is focused on, and the Womb of All is given scant recognition; and the Mother’s gaze is usually upon the Child, no longer holding Her own integrity, but both are essential. Existence and light springs forth in every moment out of the dark sentience in which we are always immersed: it is an ongoing miracle of manifestation, in every moment, in every day.
The actual Moment of December Solstice @ EarthGaia this year is 10:02 UTC 21st (20:02 21st EST Australia which is where I am). For other global times see archaeoastronomy.com
For Summer Solstice poetic video: PaGaian Summer Solstice 2009
For Winter Solstice poetic video: PaGaian Winter Solstice 2009
If you are celebrating Winter Solstice, The Birthplace of the Universe may be an inspiring contemplation of our Origins, the Womb in which we are. And whichever Solstice it is that you may be celebrating, these short clips of Brian Swimme’s DVD’s may be nurturant of that spirit: Radiance and Generosity of the Sun.
Here at my place in country Australia, we will gather for Summer Solstice ceremony near to the actual Moment on December 21st, and I invite others in my hemisphere in this way:
This is the time when the light part of day is longest …
You are invited to celebrate
Light reaches Her fullness, and yet …
She turns, and the seed of Darkness is born.
This is the Season of blossom and thorn, fragrance and blood
– for pouring forth the Gift of Being.
The story of Old tells that on this day
Beloved and Lover dissolve into the single Song of ecstasy
– that moves the worlds.
Self expands in the bliss of radiance, the giving away.
Sun ripens in us: we are the Bread of Life.
We celebrate Her deep Communion and Reciprocity.
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Summer Solstice/Litha
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Winter Solstice/Yule
Some Summer and Winter Solstice story may be found in Appendix F of PaGaian Cosmology, or if you have a paper version of the book there is an Index for references throughout. These Seasonal Moments in relationship to the whole Wheel of the Year may be found in Chapter 5, and ceremonial scripts are offered in Chapter 7, which may be re-created and adapted to regional and personal poetics. The on-line versions are different from those in the paper copy of the book, as they have varied and evolved.
There are Summer and Winter Solstice meditations available individually in digital format on PaGaian Cosmology Meditations. The whole set of meditations are a beautifully produced collection which may support celebration and ceremony for each Seasonal Moment, for individual or group.
There is a PaGaian Cosmology Facebook group where all members may initiate discussion and/or respond, and also a Pagaian Cosmology Facebook Page. To be on the PaGaian Cosmology Seasonal list (for both hemispheres) please contact me.
[i] Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, p.77.
[ii] for more on this term see PaGaian Cosmology Chapter 8, p. 256, or this essay: https://pagaian.org/articles/ngapartji-ngapartji-the-magic-of-togaianess-by-glenys-livingstone-ph-d/
[iii] As Starhawk describes Summer Solstice, The Spiral Dance p. 244.
Livingstone, Glenys. PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. NE: iUniverse, 2005.
Starhawk. The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess. NY: Harper and Row, 1999.
Swimme, Brian and Berry, Thomas. The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.