At 1711 GMT tomorrow, 21st December, winter will begin. It will be the hour when the Sun stands still and, for a moment, time stops: it will be the Solstice.
This is the day when light is scarcest and darkness lingers in the longest night as the Sun waits to be reborn, and for a new cycle of life to begin. For thousands of years, pagan worshippers have built pyramids and temples designed precisely to capture the first rays of the Sun as it rises once more to bless and nurture Earth, and even today the dormant memory of your part in these ancient celebrations will come to life as you remember the Solstice.
[caption id="attachment_1862" align="alignright" width="150"] Rising Sun at the Solstice[/caption]
For me, and you too, perhaps, the winter Solstice marks the ending of one year and the beginning of a new one; there may be nostalgia for what is gone as you witness the dying of the year, an era of experience that never will be repeated, and there may be a longing for the comfort of company, familiarity, and a sense of community unity to compensate for the sense of loss. You are moving into the unknown, tomorrow, and the long dark night is a reminder of the spiritual mystery of your life and being.
Because this Solstice is a day for reflection, as you wait for the old to leave and the new to come, you may wish to set intentions for the new cycle – not goals, but intent, resolutions of principle and infinite possibility. Just before the new rising of the Sun, as the Solstice ends, sit in the darkness before the dawn to give thanks for what has been and what is to come: it is one of the most powerful times of the year, and one in which great magic can be created by you and for you, and for the world far beyond you, and one when you may feel the strong presence of Spirit.
As the first rays of sunlight appear, let your heart sing with welcome, for your source of life is returned.
(I have recorded a new, free guided meditation for the Solstice, and you may find it here.)