The Many Faces of the Winter Solstice

Here in Molly’s Permaculture Land, we put a lot of emphasis and importance on the solstices/equinoxes/astro-influences. Call me crazy, but I strongly believe that presence and awareness of our outer landscape influences our “inner” landscape; therefore, how could changing of light and seasons not be important?

Anyway, I probably don’t need to make a case if you’re reading this, but I’ve met many people who have little to no awareness of the solstices. They’ve been an important part of my experiences for a long while now, and I would like to share!What if we put as much focus on the turning of time as we do on Christmas gifts?

Speaking of Christmas! Let’s talk briefly about the many holy days that surround the beginning of winter and/or the return of light (I’m lookin’ at you, December 21st). I’ll just list them, shall? Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas (the big three); other roots of Christmas such as: Jul (Norway), Yule (Germany), and Saturnalia (aaahh Roma); and then some lesser-known celebrations (perhaps): Cassave (Taino), and  Soyal (Hopi).

Many to all of these celebrations have roots in the solstice or at the very least share the same theme: light and the return of it to the Northern Hemisphere. Although our systems work on the twelve month schedule with the new year beginning on January 1st, I would strongly argue that the true beginning of the New Year happened yesterday at 3:44  in the morning (Mountain Time).

Alright, so now we know that there’s hope. The sun is slowly, slowly coming back to us. Vitamin D deficiencies will soon be a distant memory. Unfortunately, however, the planets move at a rate that is seemingly slow to we humans, so until then, we still have a lot of dark afternoons to look forward to. I refer you to this brilliant bit of writing to remind you that you can always benefit from getting outside, as well as another little bit of astrology (if you bear with me).

We’ve got a planet in retrograde, people! Mercury to be specific, and my, what an effect this little planet can have on us. I say this because this past Monday I was having a little bit of a breakdown about my current working situation. To be brief, I don’t like it. I don’t feel it reflects my values, nor do I feel valued in the situation. I was talking to a coworker at a different job and I told her that I felt like I needed to do some reevaluation and reassessment of what I need and want.

Then I went home an picked up my super-hippie-environmentalist-feminist-astro-spirituality-nonsense bible and found that, lo and behold, Mercury will be in retrograde from Dec. 19th through Jan. 8th, indicating a time to “re-assess what is most important. Take a hard look at how your resources are used, and re-purpose where necessary” (We’Moon). I was impressed, to say that least, at how relevant that little piece of advice was to me and just how on point the timing of it was.

My point is that it’s the new year! We are in the midst of death and rebirth at the same time! We’re also (hopefully) on the edge of having some time off of work (depending on your work) and might have some time to do that reflection, reassessment and reevaluation that we need. I recommend you try it out- and maybe go for a walk at the same time.

Kind regards and happy holidays,



One response to “The Many Faces of the Winter Solstice”

  1. I certainly did resonate with this post… the increasing darkness of the past few days was starting to seep into my countenance in a way that was disconcerting to me. What helped was going for a long walk, albeit icy here in NH. Looking forward to more light in the coming days!


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