Happy Winter Solstice, or Yule! Of course, our spherical planet also gives us the beautiful symmetry of the Summer Solstice (Litha) being celebrated now by our Southern Hemisphere friends. With the exact Solstice moment at 5:02 am on December 21st, the longest night for those in America and Europe is the night of the 20th. About half the time or so, the longest night is not the night before the Winter Solstice but rather is the night after the Winter Solstice. This is different for every time zone, and is easy to figure out (for this year, most places West of the Middle East or so have their longest/shortest night on the night before the Solstice). If the instant of the Solstice is in the morning (before noon) in your local time zone, then the longest night is the night before. If it’s in the afternoon or evening, the the longest night is the night after the Winter Solstice for you.
Don’t miss Jupiter and Saturn joining our Solstice celebrations this year! Galileo saw the last time they came this close to each other in the sky! This month brings many celestial wonders, with meters showering our Earth, and a total solar eclipse in addition to the planetary conjunction. Also – updated Solstice online event links.
The pandemic gives us even more reason to turn inward, to stay cozy, and reflect on the hibernation of much of the wildlife (in cooler areas, at least). For many of us, this is a big Sabbat, which takes a more preparation (and if you are buying gifts, the Naturalistic Pagan Gift List here might help). Whether it’s due to cultural inertia, or kid’s expectations, the importance of Stars and this Sabbat, or whatever, it’s a big deal in our family. We’ve are about to start the Solstice doors and decorating (with a relatively late US Thanksgiving this year). If you have been doing your Winter Solstice traditions for years, if you are just starting your family and are currently building the traditions which will bring the Universe to your kids, or anything in between, I hope that the traditions and practices on this post are found to be useful, inspiring, or just comforting.
Like so many of us, our family is planning the gifts for Winter Solstice/the holidays. Those of us who celebrate the Winter Solstice have an even shorter time than most Americans for holiday planning and waiting for deliver, so with still some weeks before the Winter Solstice, here are some gift ideas to give or ask for! Of the items here, many will help your spiritual practice, enriching your daily life. Books and other indoor items are especially useful during this pandemic, as 2020 winds down. Read More