For most of my life, I haven’t been a fan of winter. A lot of people have asked me: “Are you a winter or a summer person?” and the answer was always summer with very little thought.
I found that I am not as energetic and enthusiatic in winter, as I am in summer. Naturally I perceived this as a negative feeling. To me, it was a season I just needed to ‘get through’.
So much has changed in the last 2 years of my life, since I have been digging up the garden and paying closer attention to nature and the solar events.
For the first time, I welcome winter and I am excited to encournter new experiences at this time of year.
The shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere is on the 21st of June and is also known as Winter Solsctice. The word solstice is derived from the Latin ‘Sol Stice’ or ‘sun stands still’. But what do they mean ‘sun stands still’?
This is because of an annalema. If you took a photo of the sun every day at noon, you will see that the position of the sun at noon moves. We know that the earth revolves around the sun but in the sky, the position of the sun changes. On the shortest day of the year, the position of the sun will be at it’s lowest point, in the sky, and it will stay there for a while before the position starts to move upward. I have included some youtube videos to explain the annalemma and the earth’s ellptiical orbit around the sun.
Some mark the winter solstice as the end of the earth’s eliptical orbit around the sun but how can an oval shape have a beginning and an end? If we consider the seasons, it is a time to pause in the darkness of winter and contemplate that after this point in time, days will become longer again, as if we are coming into being again.
Some celebrate this time by bringing greenery into the home and lighting candles to emphasise light and life, in the dark barren winter. A rebirth of the year so to speak. There is feast with some wine and gifts are exchanged. Does this sound a lot like Christmas to you? If it is does, it is because winter solstice in the Northern Hemishere is around the 21st of December and many of Christmas traditions stem from ancient practices long before christianity. Many old traditions were based on celestial movements that had a profound effect on the success of our crops at that time.
When we start to live regeneratively, we tend to pay more attention to the weather, the seasons and other changes in nature. This winter, I will enjoy the dark mornings that I awake to because I can still gaze at the stars. The constellations will be in different places and so the celestial scenery changes. I can rest more during this time and use it for spiritual growth. I can use it to plan what I will do when the days are long and warm. Winter time is my new ‘me’ time. I will use this time to focus on me and whatever my intention for myself is. More reading, more meditation, more yoga time, more relaxation and hibernation time so that when Spring arrives, I will feel rested, rejuvinated and ready to plant in Spring.
Happy June Solstice.
The Unicorn Cafe Team