The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. It occurs when the sun’s daily maximum height in the sky is at its lowest, and the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the sun. It’s happening today, Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 5:03 PM CST.
The Winter Solstice is unique among days of the year — the time of the longest night and the shortest day. The dark triumphs, sort of, but only briefly, and the Solstice is the turning point. From now on (until the Summer Solstice, at any rate), the nights grow shorter and the days grow longer, the dark wanes and the Sun waxes in power. From the dark womb of the night, the light is born.
Many of the customs associated with the Winter Solstice derive from stories of a mighty battle between the dark and the light, which is won, naturally, by the light.
We have devised a new tradition to celebrate the New Year that starts on this Solstice Day: Casey is choosing a special, large, log for our night-time fire. We will write our hopes and wishes on it. As it burns, those dreams will be released to return to us in 2015.
We will consider our small spot on the wheel of life and thank The Lord for Love and Light in our lives. We will drink warm, mulled cider, spiked with bourbon, until we begin to sing…
Okay, Okay, so Casey won’t actually sing….in fact, he’s got a terrible cold and cough right now, so the wassail will be a toddy for him. Still, it is good to mark the changing of the seasons and to make a conscious effort to let our lights shine, overcoming our darkness, and lending a guiding beacon to those who need it.