“Solstice” comes from two Latin words: sol meaning “sun” and sistere meaning “to stand still” because it appeared as though the sun and moon had stopped moving across the sky. This longest night of the year, followed by a renewal of the sun, demonstrates the cyclical order of the cosmos. In this way, celebrating the solstice can be a beautiful remembrance that our lives are part of a larger order, always changing, always renewing. – Deena Wade in Winter Solstice Traditions: Rituals for a Simple Celebration
Without spending time in the darkness of Earth’s soil, seeds would have no power to meet the Spring. Seeds, shoots, leaves, roots, and flowers naturally attune themselves to the energies of the seasons following what’s often called “the great wheel of the year.” Farmers and ranchers and others whose vocations or avocations depend on nature, are better than most of us at following the wheel of the year–out of necessity if not also for spiritual reasons.
Wade says that “In Celebrate the Solstice, [Richard] Heinberg writes that ‘wisdom consists in knowing one’s place in any given cycle, and what kinds of action (or restraint of action) are appropriate for that phase.’ Attuning our senses to the subtle changes and cycles of the seasons might help us attune more lovingly to the subtle changes and cycles in ourselves. By performing simple rituals with personal meaning to celebrate the solstice, these rituals will serve as touchstones to help us cultivate an attitude of receptiveness and appreciation that will carry us through the holiday season with more ease.”
Needless to say, our lives in a science and technology world take us away from nature and the lessons of nature and the literal and spiritual truth found in Ecclesiastes 3: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
If you follow a Traditional Craft or pagan approach to life, or to some parts of life, then you have the tools, insights, and practices that will help you align, or re-align, yourselves with the seasons, especially Winter and Yule. If you don’t, all is not lost for you can imagine yourself on this day and in this season as a seed–or, if you like, as a person figuratively plugged into a huge battery charger like a cellphone waiting for use.
Wade’s site has a wealth of suggestions. Even reading it brings us power, the power to remember who we are and to act accordingly.