BLESSINGS FOR WINTER SOLSTICE AUSTRALIA
This year winter solstice, which is the time the Sun is at its furthest north for the year, occurs at 4:06 am Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday 22 June 2007. That means that Friday is the shortest day. Since the solstice occurs during the night of 21/22 June that is the longest night.
As most of the world apart from New Zealand is behind Australian time, in the time zones of countries like the UK and the USA the solstice occurs the day before that in Australia. Hence there is confusion for some people who have calendars with information sourced from overseas and who consequently think that the solstice and the shortest day are today. I should also point out that though from Friday onwards the days will start to get longer, the differences initially from day to day are only a few seconds and hence not noticeable.
An auspicious event
Midwinter is nigh and the shortest sojourn of the Sun will be marked and celebrated across the land. The sacred event of the Winter Solstice sings of a hope that the path of the Sun will soon grow strong; that life will burst forth and flourish once more. It reflects an ancient wisdom of vast faith and joy in the great forces of nature and divinity. Bright, colourful candles and bonfires will burn through the night to herald the rebirth of the light after this time of darkness is complete.
The Winter Solstice is known as a Lesser Sabbat in the pagan calendar and is celebrated each year between June 20 and 23 (southern hemisphere) and December 20 and 23 (northern hemisphere). hemisphere). The Winter Solstice foretells an auspicious event: it celebrates the birth of the new solar year and the beginning of winter. It acknowledges that, from this day, the days will again increase in length and growth of new life will be assured. In the coming months, the seeds sown will break through the darkened earth and draw energy from the life-sustaining rays of the Sun.
The ancient and globally celebrated rites attending the Winter Solstice symbolise the innate creative powers of nature that lie just below the surface at this time of year. This festival of inner renewal intimates potential and suggests we often sow the seeds of our life well before we see the outcome. The Winter Solstice offers a wonderful opportunity to come together with friends or spend time alone and take a moment to refocus; to put dreams into place for spring; to contemplate the seeds we plant within our heart and the blessed Earth; to reflect on and be grateful for all that has come to pass. While winter has a profound effect on the world outside, the inner human journey similarly quietens and slows as the energy of the season supports introspection.
Sacred knowledge of life
White Christian Witchcraft, has its roots in ancient understanding. The cycle of the Sun and its effects on the bountiful Earth are the wonderful synergy on which this ancient belief system is based; Father God caresses Mother Earth in an ancient celestial dance, magically weaving in all who participate.
Without science to explain the mysteries of the world around them, many primal indigenous tribes across the world arrived at similar beliefs. The Celts, American Indians, Persians, African tribes and Bon tribes of Tibet all knew survival was based on understanding the cycles of life. The land, rain, animals, plant life, warm Sun and cold winter were all revered because each played an essential role in the whole scheme. Mother Earth possessed the sacred knowledge of life, and in watching and working in rhythm with her patterns and the daily cycle of the Sun, populations flourished by learning to live in harmony with the forces of nature.