The Winter Solstice

The winter solstice occurs in in 2012 on Friday, December 21, at 3:12am PST (11:12 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

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 7 shortest days?!?!

San Francisco Sun Data for December 2013 shows there are 7 shortest days, each with 9 hours and 33 minutes of daylight, between December 18–24!

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 / 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.

Spiritual Significance of the Winter Solstice

Global Meditations ~ December Solstice

Solstice Exact: Saturday, December 21 at 9:11am PST (17:11 UT)

Planetary Solstice Meditation
(Stay tuned for 2013 update.)
Sunset Friday, 12/20 - Sunset Saturday 12/21

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.
Join anytime within this 24-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.


Global Solstice Meditation
Saturday, December 21, 2013
9:11am PST (17:11 UT
) or any other moment

Join as One through a
global Communion of souls.
We shall never underestimate
the power of our Union to bring about
swift, near miraculous changes around us.
Rememberance Keys, Affirmations and
Universal Principles are included
to assist one in holding a sacred space.


Global Attunement for Peace
Saturday, December 21, 2013
12:00 Noon PST (20:00 UT

Honor the sacred solstice by sending
and receiving deep healing in a
Global Attunement for Peace.
Connect by phone/Skype:
1-724-444-7444; 131450#, then 1#
Connect by audio webcast
Listen live or at a later time.
Connect in the Global Care Room


Global Solstice Sunrise / Sunset Meditation
December Solstice: Sunrise or Sunset
Saturday, December 21, 2013

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

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 Solstice at Sunset
Begins: Sept. 22 in New Zealand
Ends: Sept. 21 in South Amerca

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.
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
is included on the Candle Night website.


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

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 Home