December Solstice

December Solstice
wheel of the year

Yes, these are dark times, and winter is here. For meteorologists, winter  begins on December 1.

Astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere  begins on the December solstice. This year, it falls on December 21 at 4:40 am Central Time.  At the time of the December solstice, the sun appears to be  directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern hemisphere.

Winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere  is the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere--so they are celebrating  summer in Antarctica.

It is the shortest day in Chicago -- 9 hours, 7 minutes, and 43 seconds. On December 21,  sunrise will occur at 7:15 am. Sunset  will occur at 4:23 pm.

After the winter solstice, increasing hours of daylight begin, leading up to the summer solstice in June--the longest day of the year.

On the Old Celtic Calendar, the December solstice was called midwinter. Yes, there will be solstice gatherings at Stonehenge.

It may be that the winter solstice was the most important celebration of the year. The main stones are directly aligned with the sunset on the winter solstice. It marked the completion of the circle of the year, the darkest time, the longest night, and the beginning of the return of the sun.

The dark times of winter are also a time of growth and  renewal.   May you enjoy the bright lights and company of family and friends. May you find  peace and clarity in  quiet  pursuits.  May you find balance in this season.

Whatever you do, know that now the light is increasing.  Yes, a little bit more each day.

Love light and peace to all!


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  • Thank you for a very clear explanation. Have a great solstice.

  • Thank you, my friend. Love and light to you!

  • Also explains all the candle festivals around now.
    However, it doesn't explain why between Phil Schwarz and Jim Ramsey, Spring is supposed to return this weekend.

  • In reply to jack:

    It may feel like spring to people...I hope the magnolia is not fooled...

    May your light shine brightly, Jack!

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