The Season of Solstice celebrates the sacred Moment when Earth’s tilt leans both hemispheres, South and North, to the furthest point in relationship with Mother Sun: it is the Seasonal Moment when the hours of light or dark peak, come to fullness, and there is a turning, a re-turning, to the other again. Solstice may be considered a moment of Sacred Interchange; an interchange of the manifestation of light and form, this life that we can touch and taste, with the manifesting sentient dark, where all is in flux and transforming. With Summer Solstice, which it is in the Southern Hemisphere, there is a turning into the dark, the pouring forth of fullness of being; it is a return of the gift of being to the Great Sentience whence it comes. With Winter Solstice, which it is in the Northern Hemisphere, there is a turning into the light, the promise of ongoing creativity and being.
The Solstices mirror each other … the Summer peaking of light celebrating a Radiance, the shining forth of all that a being has become, which is at the same time a dissolving of self … as the Sun does in every moment: and the Winter peaking of dark celebrating the Origins/Womb of all, which is at the same time a Flaring Forth of being … as happens in every moment in the quantum foam, and as the Sun’s “return” may assure. Solstice – Summer or Winter – may be a special Seasonal Moment for celebrating the sacredness of this place of being, the communion that we find ourselves in, the reciprocity at the heart of life. Mother Sun is the primary model for this deep communion and generosity of being: pouring forth in every moment, feeding the world, and embedded in every thought and action. We may celebrate Her gift, and remember our source and destiny. To my mind, celebrating Solstice or any of Her Seasonal Moments, is the only party worth going to: entering into Her Poetry, Her Poeisis, how She makes the world.
The actual Moment of December Solstice 2021 is 15:59 UT 21st or 1:59 22nd EST Australia which is where I am (plus 1hr for NSW and Victoria AEDT). For all planetary times see archaeoastronomy.com
In the Southern Hemisphere December Solstice is Summer with the peaking of the longer daily hours of light, and the awesomeness of the birthing/return of the dark: the Omega. It may be a celebration of the fullness of being, the shining forth of it – an invoking of it, and the organic re-union with the Space/Void/Night – to whom All returns: it is the fulfilment of our purpose, existence is poured forth, given away, in every moment, in every day. Traditionally it has often been expressed as a union of Lover and Beloved, which may be understood as immersion/union of small self in Larger Self.
In the Northern Hemisphere December Solstice is Winter with the peaking of the longer daily hours of darkness, and the magic of the birthing/return of the light. It may be a celebration of the dark Space/Void/Night, Her fertile dark matter out of which All arises: the dark sentience in which we are immersed and from which existence springs forth in every moment … it is an ongoing miracle of manifestation, in every moment, in every day. This has been expressed cross-culturally and throughout the ages in the icon of Mother and Child.
For some Summer Solstice Poetry: PaGaian Summer Solstice on YouTube
For some Winter Solstice Poetry: PaGaian Winter Solstice on YouTube
At my place in Australia I will celebrate Summer Solstice, on the weekend before, with a local Goddess group and my partner Taffy. I invite others 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
– 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 creativity.
Sun ripens in us: we are the Bread of Life.
We celebrate Her deep communion and reciprocity.
PaGaian Cosmology blogs forSummer Solstice/Litha
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Winter Solstice/Yule
PaGaian Cosmology Meditations have been beautifully produced to support the celebration of the Seasonal Moments. Winter Solstice or Summer Solstice tracks may be purchased individually (digitally) or you may purchase the whole set (in CD form or digitally).
Some Summer and Winter Solstice story may be found in Appendix F of the book PaGaian Cosmology, or if you have a paper version 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 – the on-line versions are usually a bit different from the paper versions, as they evolve and change, and depending on current context.
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.
Getty, Adele. Goddess: Mother of Living Nature. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990.
Livingstone, Glenys. PaGaian Cosmology: Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion. NE: iUniverse, 2005.
Swimme, Brian. The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos. New York: Orbis, 1996.
Swimme, Brian and Berry, Thomas. The Universe Story. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.