Friday December 16, 2022 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC [Updated December 24, 2022]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
The winter solstice is coming up this Wednesday December 21. In the Pacific Time Zone in BC, that will be at 1:47 pm.
This marks the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
The winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the whole year, making it the “shortest day” of the year.
A moment over several days:
Sometimes the winter solstice is thought of as an event that spans an entire calendar day, but the solstice actually lasts only a moment.
Specifically, it’s the exact moment when a hemisphere is tilted as far away from the Sun as it can be.
The word solstice comes from Latin sol “sun” and sistere “to stand still.” So, loosely translated, it means “sun stand still.” Why? For a few days before and after the solstice, the Sun’s path across the sky appears to freeze. The change in its noontime elevation is so slight that the Sun’s path seems to stay the same, or stand still.
Many world religions hold celebrations around the time of the solstice, celebrating the rise of the sun again after the darkest point of the year.
Those who follow old Celtic and Irish traditions marked the winter solstice as Yule, among other traditions gathering mistletoe (‘ever green’) from oak trees, in an attempt to ward off negative influence. In Druidic traditions, this day was known as Alban Arthan meaning ‘Light of Winter’ in Welsh. Today, there are six known remaining Celtic regions; Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man.
This year in BC, the premier noted that Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean communities across the world mark the Winter Solstice today by gathering with family, sharing a festive meal, and celebrate longer daylight hours that will soon arrive.
Through an astrological filter, the winter solstice heralds a time of inner transformation through deep healing.
Technically speaking, the winter solstice always occurs when the sun makes its annual entrance into the sign of Capricorn.
As Mercury is retrograde over most of Capricorn at the end of December 2022 and into January 2023, unlike most years, this Capricorn season is not a time to finalize new goals (which makes for an interesting impact on new year’s resolutions). This year, over the new year season the astrological indicators show a recommendation to take a step back and revise one’s strategy gracefully and slowly, in directions where one feels intuitively guided.
Winter Solstice – the Celtic journey
Winter solstice 2022: Shortest day of the year is long on pagan rituals (December 21, 2022 – CTV)