Earth enters the Season of Solstice in our orbit around Mother Sun: She/we are tilted in both hemispheres to the furthest point; either away from, or toward, Sun – our source of life and energy. For the Southern Hemisphere it is the Winter Solstice – the time of longest hours of dark. For the Northern Hemisphere it is the Summer Solstice – the time of longest hours of light. The actual peaking Moment is 10:07 June 21st UT. All global times can be found here: http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2018.html
The Solstices – Winter and Summer – celebrate a Sacred Interchange of the manifesting creative dark and the manifestation of light and form: it is a holy moment. It is that Moment when, depending on your hemisphere, the fullness of dark or light gives birth to either the light or dark; both of which continue to wax into fullness again reciprocally, until the next Solstice Moment (December), and the Interchange occurs again. The Solstices – both Winter and Summer – celebrate an essential Cosmic reciprocity at the heart of life, the relational quality of existence … “to be is to be related” – to be is to be in deep communion. This place of being in which we find ourselves is a never-ceasing interaction of the manifesting dark and the manifest light and form: we exist within a dance of form and dissolution At the Solstices we may celebrate the turning, the gateway, in particular.
Winter Solstice is the sacred interchange of what is not-yet with what will be, celebrating and marking the coming into being. Summer Solstice is the sacred interchange of what is with dissolution, celebrating and marking the fulfilment and purpose of that being, and its return to the Mother. As the Southern Hemisphere turns/ returns to the light – a celebration of the Birth of all manifest form, of Being, the Promise of ongoing Creativity, the Northern Hemisphere turns /returns to the dark – a celebration of the Give-Away of the fullness of Being, They mirror each other, and are the fulfillment of each other.
The Winter Solstice peaking of dark celebrates 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” assures. Winter Solstice Moment is a remembering of the Space/Void/Night out of which All arises: and this “vacuum” is everywhere, we are immersed in it, it is within and without, this “emptiness”, or pure space. Out of it “particles simply foam into existence … being itself arises out of a field of ‘fecund emptiness’. … The ground of the universe then is an empty fullness, a fecund nothingness … The base of the universe seethes with creativity, so much so that physicists refer to the universe’s ground state as space-time foam’.” Winter Solstice is a celebration of this deep mystery of being – the emergence, the Birth of the New Young One from this full darkness: and this Creativity is present in every drop of space-time. We live in an omnicentric and sentient universe, subjects within a great Subject who is birthing in every moment, and so may we.
The Summer Solstice peaking of light celebrates a Radiance, the shining forth of all that a being is/may be which is at the same time a dissolving of self: I find this to be a deep mystery, a kind of Zen koan. It puzzles me, this Giving-Away of all that a being is – in every moment actually – in that it is both a display/full expression of the self, and a dissolving of that self at the same time. And Mother Sun does this in every moment – pouring forth 4 million tons of Herself in every second. As cosmologist Brian Swimme reflects: “The Sun is, with each second, giving itself over to become energy that we, with every meal, partake of. … its spiritual significance is supreme.” The peaking of light at this time of year, is a moment of celebrating and graciousness for all that is and has been given. At its deepest esoteric meaning, Summer Solstice is a celebration of the Mystery of Union – Re-Union – of this form that we are with All-That-Is – in its everyday reality. The fullness of expression of this form – the small selves that we are – fulfill our purpose, and we dissolve: and we may do so in every moment and action.
For some Winter Solstice Poetry: PaGaian Winter Solstice on YouTube
For some Summer Solstice Poetry: PaGaian Summer Solstice on YouTube
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: Generosity of the Sun and Radiance
In Australia where I am located, since I am travelling at the moment, I will celebrate the Winter Solstice Moment with simple ceremony on the 23rd June. Celebration is invited:
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.
… oOo …
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Winter Solstice/Yule
PaGaian Cosmology blogs for Summer Solstice/Litha
PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs have been beautifully produced to support the preparation and performing of the Seasonal ceremonies and celebration. The Winter Solstice or Summer Solstice tracks may be purchased individually (digitally) or you may enjoy to purchase the whole set (in CD form or digitally).
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 ritual scripts are offered in Chapter 7, though they always evolve and adapt to personal and regional poetics. The on-line versions are usually different from those in the paper copy of the book.
 Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry, The Universe Story, p.77.
 Brian Swimme, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, p.92-93.
 Brian Swimme, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, p.40.
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.