For the Southern Hemisphere December Solstice is the Summer peaking of the light part of the day, and the turn /return to the dark part of the annual cycle. Out of the fullness of light the seed of dark is born: henceforth it will grow. It may celebrate the fullness of being, and the pouring forth of it, a fulfillment of purpose, a radiant giving away: the small self dissolves in a display of radiance, of the gift that it is.
For the Northern Hemisphere December Solstice is the Winter peaking of the dark part of the day, and the turn/ return to light. Out of the fullness of dark the seed of light is born: henceforth it will grow. It may celebrate the birth and promise of any new being, the advent of all manifest form, the miracle that we are part of, and the promise of ongoing creativity.
The actual Moment of December Solstice this year is 21:36 UTC 21st (7:36 22nd EST Australia which is where I am). For other global times see archaeoastronomy.com .
The two Solstices occurring co-incidentally as they do, complement 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 sacred interchange, as both are turning points, one into the dark and the other into the light: both are gateways, an opening. The Solstices express the relational quality of existence; “to be is to be related”,[i] to be in deep communion. Mother Sun may be a primary model for this relational quality, as She pours forth in every second, and Earth is nourished. The Solstices celebrate a primordial Maternal quality, understood by all Indigenous cultures, and Earth-based religious traditions; the quality is named by Australian Indigenous peoples as “ngapartji-ngapartji”.[ii] It is a quality of abundant fullness and may be particularly celebrated at the interchange of Solstice – Summer and Winter: as fullness of light pours forth, and fullness of dark births all.
Summer Solstice may be a rejoicing in the full expression of being, and Summer fruits and warmth, and also a remembering of the purpose/destiny of that fullness of being; all is given over. The purpose of the fruit and the grain is to be consumed to nourish the world; and the purpose of any small self that each is, is to shine forth and participate in an ongoing “Give-Away”[iii] in every moment, in every day. We do feed the world every day with our being; so the question could be asked “Who are you feeding?”, and are you happy with the answer.
Winter Solstice may be a rejoicing in the advent of new being, and the promise that new life brings. It is a rejoicing in the fullness of the dark Womb of All who brings forth the holy child, the miracle of manifestation, in every moment; out of the dark sentience in which we are always immersed. It is a celebration of our Origins, our Cosmic lineage, and the surprise and certainty of Cosmogenesis.
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 22nd, 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.
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. They may nurture your meditations and participation in this Seasonal transition. Many use them for family/group ceremony.
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 hemsipheres) 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.