Earth enters the Season of Solstice at this time in Her orbit around Mother Sun.
In the Southern Hemisphere it is the Winter Solstice: the lengthening dark part of the day will peak and there will be the turn/ return to the growing light out of that fullness of darkness. It is a Moment for celebrating the birth of all being, of all manifest form, and the renewed promise of ongoing Creativity: warmth and growth will be felt again.
In the Northern Hemisphere it is the Summer Solstice: the lengthening light part of the day will peak and there will be the turn /return to the growing dark out of that fullness of light. It is a Moment for celebrating the ripe fullness of being, and the pouring forth of it, a fulfillment of purpose, a radiant giving away: the remembering of change.
The two Solstices occurring co-incidentally as they do, mirror each other, as parts of the whole planetary moment. The Winter peaking of dark celebrating the Origins/Womb of all, which is at the same time a Flaring Forth of being. 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 into the Source of all.
The Solstices – both Winter and Summer, 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, as She pours forth freely everyday, generating every thought and action on our Planet. This essential quality of reciprocity has been named by Australian Indigenous peoples as “ngapartji-ngapartji”[ii]: it is a primordial Maternal quality, understood by all Indigenous cultures, and Earth-based religious traditions. It is the Universal creative quality of Mother who may be particularly celebrated at the interchange of Solstice – Winter and Summer: Her burgeoning fullness as dark birthing womb and Her burgeoning fullness as light pouring forth.
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 focussed 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 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.
Summer Solstice may be a remembering of the purpose/destiny of the fullness of being to re-unite with the Space/Void/Night; the remembering of the dark sentience to whom all returns, 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, be radiant. 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.
The actual Moment of June Solstice @ EarthGaia this year is 3:32 UT 21st, or 13:32 21st EST Australia which is where I am. For other global times see archaeoastronomy.com
For Winter Solstice poetic video: PaGaian Winter Solstice 2009
For Summer Solstice poetic video: PaGaian Summer 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 in country Australia, we will gather for Winter Solstice ceremony on the night of the 19th June, and I invite others in my hemisphere in this way:
At this time when the Dark part of day is longest, as Earth leans us away from Sun to the furthest point,
You are invited to celebrate
Darkness reaches Her fullness, and yet …
She turns, and the seed of Light is born.
This is the season for the lighting of candles,
and receiving the Gift of Birth.
The story of Old tells us that on this night,
the Great Mother gives birth
to the Divine Child
– the New Young One within all.
We celebrate Her eternal Cosmogenesis,
and the Miracle of Being.
O Holy Night
Some Winter and Summer 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 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.
You may enjoy the Winter or Summer Solstice tracks on PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs – available for purchase individually in digital format – to nurture your meditations and participation in this Seasonal transition. They may be useful for a group also.
To be on the PaGaian list for notice of Seasonal Moments, 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.
Iglehart Austen, Hallie. The Heart of the Goddess. Berkeley:Wingbow, 1990.
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.