Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice, Stonehenge Solstice

At the moment I am writing, 10:28 AM MST, the sun at at the Northern Hemisphere Winter Solstice point. In the new calendar, this is the first day of winter, but in the old calendar, this is Mid-Winter's Night, when the daylight hours are the least of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The revolution of Planet Earth around our star is the Master Clock by which human beings have been counting time for millenia.

The Chemistry Geek Princess is in England right now, and she is/did go to Stonehenge today.
Although the big Stonehenge day is the Summer Solstice, I think it would be pretty cool to be at Stonehenge for the Winter Solstice as well.

This picture of Stonehenge in winter was downloaded from Google Images, because the CGP has not sent pictures yet.

Here in New Mexico, the Solstice dawned pink, as the incoming frontal clouds indicated an unsettled upper atmosphere.
The storm going through Washington State, Oregon, and northern California, will reach us tomorrow evening and Tuesday.
Our side of the Sandias are in the high-pressure cold-front side of the clouds, but behind the mountains, a warmer, wetter air mass bringing low-pressure is approaching, bringing us snow a few days hence.

We captured images of the Solstice sunrise from two new locations this year. The incoming clouds made them dramatic indeed!

Here is the Sunrise at Teypana and Via Sedillo. This corner is our Winter Solstice marker, because on this day, the sunrise is directly over the road going to the top of the ridge in front of our house.

And here is the Solstice sunrise from the top of the ridge itself. The clouds will soon cover the sun, as it rises up behind them, so we will not see the sunrise from the meadow behind our house this day.

The Winter Solstice is the astronomical event from which Northern Hemisphere cultures took their midwinter festivals: the Celtic Yule, the Roman Feast of the Unconquerable Sun, the Indian Devali, and the Jewish Hannukah Festival of Light, and the Christian Christmas. Each festival has it's own stories and origins, but they all are gathered 'round the common theme of growing light and warmth against the darkness and winter's cold. They all stem from the ancient celebration of the Winter Solstice.

Here is a You Tube video of Witches Circle bringing you Silent Night, Solstice Night.

Hannukah--our Festival of Light, and Feast of Dedication begins tonight at sunset. For eight days, we will celebrate the growing light against the darkeness, a minor festival in the Jewish Calendar, but one that reminds us to be strong in who we are in the face of those who wish us to become a different people.

Here is the Ragamuffin Household's wish for Joyful Holy Days and a Prosperous New Year to you and yours. The Christian prayer for "Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men" is one to which Ragamuffin House joins in saying AMEN!


Melora said...

Lovely photos. Have a happy Hannukah!

Amie said...

That's right! The days start getting longer now! That's worth celebrating.