If you pay attention to your circadian rhythm, you’ll notice something tonight. The sun will set a bit early and morning will come a bit late tomorrow and the long night will feel still. Tonight marks the great stillness — the darkest day and the longest night of the year– the Winter Solstice. The word solstice comes from the Latin and literally means sun set still.
People have marked this moment for tens of thousands of years. Every morning the sun rises on a slightly different trajectory than it did the morning before, and at this point it appears not to move at all. That must have really rattled our ancestors. Winter brings scarcity and hardship. You’d want to know when the season would change and plenty would return. The Winter Solstice was a time for celebration and joy and many early cultures held solstice ceremonies to coax the return of the warming sun. Some still do.
So… turn off your electric lights and immerse yourself in the long dark tonight. Light candles and reflect. It’s time to count your blessings and contemplate a new year. The return of sun is as good a time as any to take stock– a time to be thankful the sun will rise in the morning and you’ll live to see another day. Share the stories of your lives with your loved ones. Tell them how thankful you are that they are in your life. The winter solstice is a time to mend relationships and renew your hope and goodwill. And come tomorrow, you’ll find the day just a little bit longer, a little bit brighter. Spring is around the corner.
May 2016 be blessed for you.
Whatever you dream you can do – begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Begin it now.
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Here’s a great explanation of the hows and whys of the Winter Solstice from the US Navy.
Solstices and Lunar Standstills? Ancient megaliths around the world mark both celestial events. Here’s a clip of one famous spot:
And here’s an extra bit of trivia for you. A Roman Saturnalia greeting in ancient times was io! That i is pronounced like an H. The next Ho Ho Ho you hear, you’ll know exactly where it comes from. That Santa is a tricksie fellow.
There was a time when cards and letters exclusively told friends and family you cared. Vintage holiday postcards and greeting cards were often beautifully done things. That and the sentiment behind them were the reason so many were kept as keepsakes. From now until January, I’ll share vintage holiday postcards for you to enjoy.
Scroll down to see previous vintage postcards and learn how postcards became popular greetings to send, what is cost to send them, and about the big changes made after WWI.
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~Alfred North Whitehead
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