Today is the Day! The True NewYear. The Day the Sun is Born!
The Winter Solstice is effectively the longest night of the Year, and from here on out the days are increasing in length as the dominance of night decreases. For me this is the most significant day of the Solar Cycle, and a time to set my intentions for the new, coming Cycle.
As the Light, Heat, and therefore Energy of the Sun grows with each day, so to does the Subconscious Power of Intention. This next Three Months (moon-ths) from the Winter Solstice to the Vernal Equinox is like the Incubation of a Seed. It is a chance to lay our Plans, to prepare for what we will do when the Sun is High and the weather is Warm. Today is a Day to Set Your Intentions
And yet... the Solstice is so much more...
At 12:47 pm EST the sun crosses the Celestial Tropic of Capricorn, and at that moment is the Winter Solstice! This is Yule, and it is more than just a holiday, it is a precise geometric alignment that happens once a year.
The Earth and its relationship to the Sun is the primary Calendar, and what we call Astrology is actually a very advanced method of keeping time. Your "Horoscope" (from Hour + Scope, to see the hour) is really a snapshot of the sky (actually of the Ecliptic ) and the planets positions relative to one another and to the Earth at the exact moment you emerged from the womb. This by the way is based on where you are (your exact Latitude and Longitude), and is essentially unrepeatable. Each of us is totally unique.
It seems that the societies of the ancients were primarily concerned with the study, calculation, prediction, recording, observation, and mythologizing of the events of the heavens.
The study of this Ancient Science is now called Archaeoastronomy, and though ancient, can till be employed today. In fact, it is employed today, and the very method worked out to study the heaves by our GeoCentric (Earth at the center) ancestors is still used by our Heliocenntric (sun at the center) Astronomers today (the Celestial Sphere used in Astronomy is a Geocentric model) The understanding of the Solstices and Equinoxes is the beginning of understanding the calendar itself. This involves more than simply knowing what day these fall on, but rather, how the geometries work.
I taught myself years ago with some Books, Toy Globes and a Night Sky Map.
Check out these Amazon links below if you would like to get started too.
The Stars book by H. A. Rey is written by the same author who wrote the 'Curious George' child's book series. I love it when technical material is dealt with in a simple and clear way (Idiots Guide style), and this book makes it easy.
The Great Atlas of the Stars is a profound work. It is primarily full page images of the sky with clear page overlays that show the constellations. What is so amazing about this book is that the sky photos are designed to be the same size as what your eye sees in the sky when you hold it out at arms length. This was instrumental for me in being sure I was identifying the constellations correctly.
The Map of the Sky I used to place a small globe on to understand the turning of the Earth and the Earths trip around the Sun and how this affects which stars are in the sky at which times.
The Petzl headlamp is great because it has a red light function and this keeps your night vision intact. If you are using a white light to look at your Star Atlas, then look down back up to see the stars you are identifying, your night vision will be temporarily thwarted...
These are enough to get you started... there are few things in life as timeless and rewarding!
I will continue to post things like this on the Solstices, Equinoxes, and if you like, the cross-quarters too.
Enjoy this day, the most Sacred Day of the Year. The Day the Sun is Born!
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