THE WINTER SOLSTICE occured at precisely 9:11 am today, when the sun was at its lowest, stoped moving south in the sky and reversed its course. Solstace comes from the Latin words "sol" for sun and "sisto" to stop, which describes its apparent pause before changing direction. We know the perceived solar movement comes from the earth's axial tilt and rotation as we look up from the northern hemisphere. If desparate for consistant daylight, we could move to the equator where sunrise and sunset occur at 6:30 am and 6:30 pm all year round.
For many the sun plays considerable importance to their everyday lives. So important, in fact, that the solstice event has been marked by major pagen festivals for centuries with rituals of death and rebirth. I, too, am not a fan of short winter days so I welcome this "turn about" as a time for celebration. Each day will now be longer than the last.
For the next six months our days will grow from 9.5 to 15 hours. That means more light, more warmth, and more beautiful sunrises to come. Each new dawn brings another promise of hope and new opportunity. Yea! Let's rejoice!