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The Winter Solstice

 

The winter solstice occurs in 2014 on Sunday, December 21, at 3:03pm PST (23:03 UT), when the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn. This is considered the shortest day of the year for those north of the equator. It's the time when the Sun appears at its southernmost point in its path around the sky. At this time the Sun has the least amount of distance to travel from horizon to horizon, hence the shorter the day. Compare the distance traveled by winter Sun in the image below to the distance traveled by the summer Sun in this image.

Solstice means "Sun stands still". The Sun's path stops shifting far south in the winter and stands still readying itself to move northward (vice versa in summer).

 

The Sun and Moon at the Winter Solstice

Image: Star Gazer graphic made with TheSky Astronomy Software
Positions shown at one hour intervals for mid Northern latitudes.

 

The Paths of the Sun and Moon

At the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere the Sun's annual path across the sky is at its lowest, or closest to the southern horizon, while the Moon's path is at its highest north. The Sun and Moon appear to reverse positions at the summer solstice with the Sun at its highest north and the Moon at it's lowest south. Image

Within each month the Moon has a northern and southern range of moonrise / set points. It is at its highest one day and two weeks later at its lowest. It takes the Sun one year to accomplish this range of movement. This occurs because the Moon makes a full orbit around the Earth each month and follows a similar path across the sky that takes the Sun a year to complete.

Note: The Moon swings its highest for the year near the winter solstice and its lowest for the year near the summer solstice. We experienced an extreme high and low 18.6–19 year cycle in 2005 and 2006 called a lunar standstill season. See Moon Swings ~ Highs and Lows to learn more.

 

Does the Sun always rise in the east?

This photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis shows the wide swing of the rising Sun. In Athens, Greece the sunrise from southeast to northeast varies by more than 65 degrees. The Sun rises due east only at the time of the spring and autumn equinox.

Sun's Seasonal Path

 

Hmmm ... Why are there 6 shortest days?!?!

San Francisco Sun Data for December 2014 shows there are 6 shortest days, each with 9 hours and 33 minutes of daylight, December 18–26! (2 of these days are 9 hours and 34 minutes.)

This occurs because the declination of the Sun changes or varies only slightly during the solstices. The analemma, an unsymmetrical figure-8 shape of the Sun’s daily position at the same time, illustrates this concept with its flattening at both ends.

The length of daylight (as measured in minutes) is pretty much the same for several days or more, both at the winter and also the summer solstice. If you were to do the calculations down to the exact second of time, then the shortest amount of daylight would coincide with the time of the solstice. Thank-you James Davis and Joe Rao / SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist for these valued insights.

BTW: If the first days of December feel shorter than the days around the solstice, it’s because the Sun sets earlier in the beginning of December. Most people gauge the length of a day by the time of the sunset. To find the total hours and minutes of daylight you must know when the Sun rises and sets.

Why isn't the earliest sunset on the shortest day?
This link is bound to expand your horizons.
Warning: You may not achieve full understanding.

Important Concept:
The day as measured from true solar noon
to true solar noon exceeds 24 hours near the solstices.
Learn more about solar time.

 

Spiritual Significance of the Winter Solstice

Global Meditations ~ December Solstice

There are a variety of solstice global meditations occurring at various times during the day. Participate in one or more of these meditations to strengthen the Light Grid of planet Earth. Those living in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are participating in December's solstice meditations.

Solstice Exact: Sunday, December 21 at 3:03pm PST (23:03 UT)

Planetary Solstice Meditation
Sunset Saturday, 12/20 - Sunrise Monday 12/22

The Spiritual Hierarchy enters meditation in
preparation for the outpouring of Wesak energies.
You are invited to participate in this receptive
planetary meditation and align with the new
potent cycle of spiritual approach. Meditate with
SouldedOut.org 3:03pm PST 12/21 (23:03 UT),
or join in anytime during this 36-hour period.
Use a candle or light in a window to
represent the spirit being invoked. This
is an opportunity to become aware of
the cosmic energies that are influencing
us and the possibilities they offer
humanity for spiritual evolution.
* * *
Additional Links of Interest
Significance of the December Solstice
The astronomical and meditative timing of this cycle
affects all of Earth and its spiritual evolution.
Connect in the Global Care Room
"Enter As Guest"

 

Global Solstice Meditation
(Stay tuned for 2014 update.)
Meditation Begins: Dec. 21 at 2:38pm PST (22:38 UT)
Communion of Souls: Dec. 21 at 3:03pm PST (23:03 UT)

A 30-min. audio meditation is provided.
The recording is designed to begin 25
minutes before the exact solstice time.
In addition 2 images are provided that
participants refer to during the audio meditation.
You may choose to not use the recording and
participate in the Communion of Souls
occurring at the exact equinox time.
[Or ... choose a time of your choice.]
If so, a 15 minute preparatory
meditation is recommended.
“We shall never underestimate the
power of our Union to bring about swift,
near miraculous changes around us.”

 

Global Attunement for Peace
Sunday, December 21, 2014
3:00pm-4:00pm PST (23:00-24:00 UT)

Immerse yourself in deep sacred space
during this holiday period. Contact a source
of blessing for yourself, your family, and
our world. Hosted by the Gaiafield Council
via a free 1-hour teleconference/webcast.
Details are provided on registration.

 

Global Solstice Sunrise / Sunset Meditation
December Solstice: Sunrise or Sunset
Sunday, December 21, 2014

Participants in this World Unity Celebration
TuneIn and SoulConnect 10 minutes before
the sunset or sunrise till 10 minutes after.
One opens the heart to the flow of Universal
Unconditional Love to heal oneself,
all of humanity and the planet.
Global Sunrise SunsetTimes

 

Global Solstice Meditation
For the Oceans and the Cetaceans

December Solstice: Anytime

This is a beautiful meditation that
includes stunning pictures,
inspirational words and
18 minutes of wonderful music.
Anyone who participates will be
sending as well as receiving a healing!
Marine Animal Meditation Music by Kauwila

 

Worldwide Didgeridoo Meditation
December 22 at Sunset

This a worldwide link-up of people supporting
environmental and personal awareness.
It is held on the equinoxes and solstices.
Starting at sunset participants are asked to
play or listen to meditative music
(preferably didgeridoos) for 45 minutes
and then sit silently for 15 minutes.
(Be with us in spirit as much as you can
during that hour beginning at sunset.)
This wave meditation starts in New Zealand,
is followed by Australia, Asia, Arab countries,
Israel, Africa, Europe, with America,
Canada, Middle and South America
completing the world wide circle.
Participants Worldwide
Global Sunrise SunsetTimes

 

Candle Night Winter Solstice
December Solstice Evening
8:00pm-10:00pm Your Time

A “Candle Night” can increase one's ability to
be still and know, therefore it is included
in this list of global meditations.
Spend an evening by candle light and
take a break from the everyday
hectic pace of life. Turn off lights;
light a candle; make Divine contact.
This biannual solstice event held since
2003, was originally initiated by
several of Japan's environmental non-
governmental organizations. Candle Night
is spreading from Japan to the world.
Lots of ideas about how to enjoy this evening
are included on the Candle Night website.

 

Winter Solstice Gabriel Meditation
December 21-25, Sunday-Thursday

On these sacred days of the Solstice Festival,
call upon the Archangel Gabriel to illuminate your
mind, elevate your Soul, and grant you a Vision.
Seek the Vision of the Inner Sunrise in a late night
meditation. Allow the indigo blue of a clear, cold
starry night to permeate your consciousness.
More meditation details are included.
Learn about the science, mystery
and mysticism of the winter solstice.

 

Current and Ongoing Global Meditations

I'd like to know your thoughts about The Night Sky and
if you'd like reminders to Look Up! ...

send me an email
.
May your Night Sky traveling always be filled
with Celestial Delights and Treats!
Susan Sun

 

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