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01-19-19 – Judith Ashley – My Sanctuaries and Safe Havens: Writing and Spiritual Practices

Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy #WinterSolstice!

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. Are you all excited for Christmas? I may be celebrating something a little earlier...
Aside from Christmas itself, the winter solstice is my favourite day at this time of year. Why on Earth would the darkest day of the year and the first day of true winter be anyone's favourite?!
Well, not only do most of the Christmas traditions come from this pagan holiday, but it means after today...the days start getting longer again. Yay! Of course, we still have a couple of cold, dark months to go before we're back to spring, but those few extra minutes of daylight each passing day can make all the difference, even if in reality it's more the thought than any actual sunlight thanks to the traditional gloomy British weather.
The solstice marks the point when the sun is at its most southerly point, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. Technically that will take place at 22:23 GMT today. Here, the winter solstice is still a major pagan festival celebrating rebirth, with many visiting Stonehenge to watch the sunrise. Many of the things we now associate as Christmas traditions have come from the pagan holiday, including Christmas trees, Yule logs, and mistletoe - evergreens such as holly and mistletoe being symbols of everlasting life.
It has also been the inspiration for a story that I'm working on. After struggling with the concept of Christmas in Spaaaaaace!, I went back to basics. Since many of our modern holidays came from pagan origins based around seasonal changes (which in turn have planetary causes), I figured that while holidays like Christmas might not survive in its current form, perhaps colonizers of other planets would go back to astronomical events. Landing Day, of course, but whatever the planet it would have its own solstices and equinoxes that could be used for celebrations new or old. So instead I wrote a winter solstice story (and maybe one day I'll actually finish it!).
So while Christmas is the big holiday for my family at this time of year, I will raise a glass of hot berry cordial to toast out the day as I look forward to those few extra minutes of even the murkiest daylight tomorrow, and maybe use the cold and gloom to help me finish that solstice story.


7 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Wishing you a Winter Solstice filled with inner light as your story about Christmas in Spaaace is manifest. What a cool idea and I love that you're going back to the Seasons however they may show up in the galaxy of your choice. And, I love your images including your Merry Christmas wish graphic. Very cool!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

We're big on Winter Solstice in Alaska, too. Happy Solstice, and I hope you finish that book so I can read it one day. :-)

Pippa Jay said...

Thank you both. Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas!

Maggie Lynch said...

I love Winter Solstice, even more than Summer solstice. I don't think of it as the darkest day of the year, bur rather as the coming of the light because it marks when the days start getting longer, minute-by-minute.

I also love this time of year as a time to look back at the past, gather the lessons learned and take them forward into the new year. Great for letting go of the past that didn't work and using those that did generate my new goals.

Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you, Pippa! I'd read that story you've mentioned. So, I hope you do finish it one day.

Barbara Strickland said...

wanted to share this on twitter but apparently I am blocked. Good post

Diana McCollum said...

Great post, Pippa! I too love winter solstice! Merry Christmas and May you be blessed in 2019 with an awesome year!!
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Pippa Jay said...

Thank you, and the same to you all!