Summer Solstice (June) | Winter Solstice (December)
The Summer Solstice
The Summer Solstice is the time when the Sun turns in its tracks and begins
its tropical journey south, towards the equator. This, the shortest night of
the year, happens on the eve of the 22nd of June (June 21).1 This major
calendrical event is the focus of religious and social festivities in all
cultures; Christian society marks the event with St John the Baptist's Day
Midsummer has historically been the central point of the magical year: even
today in some places, traditional hilltop bonfires are lit to revive the power
of the Sun; flaming disks are thrown into the air; blazing wheels are rolled
downhill; leaping and dancing around and through the fire are ritual
encouragements for maximising the harvest. Magical powers are heightened and
the little people are about. It is the ideal time for gathering magical herbs:
pluck them before dawn, before breakfast, while the dew still wets the petals.
Fern and fern-seed is gathered on Mid-Summer's eve, to harness the power of
the Sun. Golden solar flowers such as St John's wort, mugwort and mistletoe,
the golden bough, are worn as garlands.
Astrologically, the June Solstice marks the entry of the Sun into the
Cardinal, Water Sign of Cancer. The Tropic of Cancer is the actual degree of
latitude over which the Sun stops its journey north, and then turns, having
gone as far north as it is going to each year. Cancer is ruled by the Moon and
Mid-summer celebrates the elemental powers of fire and water, so people would
light fires and bathe in the dew on the morning of Mid-summer's Day.
In 2006, the Solstice coincides with the change from Aries/Libra to
Pisces/Virgo of the Moon's Nodes, a very significant 19 year cycle. The New
Moon on the 25th also energises this change of cosmic speed. As promised, I
have written an article on the effects associated with this cosmic switch, so
to read it, please click Cosmic Phase Switch.
Even in the twenty-first century, people still love to come together and surf
the cosmic wave of energy that is released at this time. Every person in the
Holy Grail – the Sacred Chalice, planet Earth's Light Grid – participates
in the distribution of the Life and in turn restores the Divine Plan on Earth.
As the Life enters and flows through all individuals and their world, it makes
the whole world sacred.
World Peace and Prayer Day
The Winter Solstice
The Winter Solstice is the time when the Sun once more begins its tropical
journey north. This, the longest night of the year, happens on the eve of the
22nd of December (Dec 21). A major calendrical event, it is the focus of
religious and social festivities in all cultures, including the Christian
celebration of Christmas. The birth of the Sun has been celebrated since time
immemorial on or around the solstice, which is why the birth of Jesus is
celebrated at this time (December 25). Ancient Rome recognised it in the day
of the birth of the Invincible Sun, so the choice of this day for Christmas
was a handy christianization of the established festival of Mithras, the Sun
Astrologically, the December Solstice marks the entry of the Sun into the
Cardinal, Earth Sign of Capricorn. The Tropic of Capricorn is the actual
degree of latitude over which the Sun stops its journey south, and then turns,
having gone as far south as it is going to each year. Capricorn is ruled by
Saturn, so the ancient Roman festival of the solstice was called the
Saturnalia. As with our festivities today, there was much feasting! Wine,
women and song were spread liberally around. Indeed, until the Christian
Church became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century,
Christmas was not actually an official festival. Its pagan nature was frowned
on. Things have loosened up a bit since then.
For a neat graphic and explanation of the celestial show, check out
1 NOTE: in southern latitudes, of course, the solstices are reversed, so that
the mid-winter character of Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere becomes a hot
mid-summer celebration in Australia, South Africa, South America, New Zealand
and other places south of the equator. Naturally enough, the mid-summer
celebrations in June become mid-winter chills down south! This presents
something of a problem for Christianity and for Astrology, or any other
seasonal philosophy with claims to universality, a question which is partially
addressed on this site in Ian Thurnwald's article on the Elemental Qualities,
the building blocks of astrology. However, the tropical zodiac seems to
delineate cultural forms (archetypes) within the Cosmic Mind. Our connection
via the collective unconscious enables us to interpret these forms using
astrology, even though the physical seasons may not actually comply with the
symbolism. Click for more on The Living Signs.
The Equinoxes mark the other points of the Cardinal Cross.
Article Source - http://www.astrologycom.com