The much-discussed Winter Solstice of 2012 will arrive this Friday at 11:12 UTC (or 6:12 am here in the Eastern US). I’ve really been enjoying reading up on the various ways mankind has celebrated the change of seasons over time and across cultures, and I’m not surprised to see that the common theme has been “the return of the light.” Dependent as we humans are on the Sun for survival, it only makes sense that we’d create rituals to honor him or plead for his continued blessings.
Whether it’s the Inti Raymi celebration of the Inkans in Peru, the Saint Lucia Day festivities of the Scandinavians, or Alban Arthuan of the ancient Druids, our eyes have always looked to the heavens for a promise of the Sun’s return. Light and fire hold center stage in all Solstice traditions.
For me, the language of astrology always seems to sum things up beautifully. Last month, the Sun was in the constellation/sign of Sagittarius. The Archer–a Fire Sign–represents vision, our search for meaning, and higher education. It’s a time for wandering and seeking. But now, as the Sun enters the constellation/sign of Capricorn, we need to turn those visions into reality. Capricorn is an Earth Sign, and so it asks us to work within our Earthly constraints of time and structure.
I’m understanding more and more why some of our ancestors considered the Winter Solstice as New Year. With the Sun in Capricorn, and with the lengthening days, it’s time to get down to work. All those resolutions you thought of? Make them happen! All your daydreams and plans? Put them into action! The Sun is returning, shining down his warmth and energy on you and your ideas, helping them to grow.
Happy New Year!