Winter solstice

28 December 2021
Image credit: Callanish Solstice watercolour painting by Joe Trodden

Last Tuesday was the shortest day of 2021. At around 4pm GMT on 21 December, the ‘sun stood still’ and the solstice occurred. At our latitude, the sun set at 3.37 on Tuesday afternoon and rose the next morning at 9.14, signalling the astronomical beginning of winter and the longest period of darkness of the year. Thankfully, it starts getting lighter again from here on.

We decided to celebrate this pivotal winter event with a group of friends at the Callanish Standing Stones. With flasks of hot beverages to stave off the cold, more than 20 friends between the ages of two and seventy gathered at this sacred site to share stories and be together at this time.

The clouds were low in the sky as we gathered at the stones to celebrate the solstice

At 4pm, those of us who wished to come together spiritually formed a large circle for group prayer and meditation. Then, as darkness fell and it became even colder, we lit a fire and sat around it to keep warm and enjoy each other’s company.

Later we enjoyed mulled wine and homemade sweet mince pies by the campfire

The onset of winter is a time for slowing down and conserving our energies, for keeping warm and getting lots of sleep, for reflecting on the past 12 months and looking with hope towards the new year. Like hibernating animals, we wait patiently for the light and warmth to return and trust that they will.

From both of us at Rudha Glas, we wish you a peaceful and joyous end to 2021, and pray that 2022 will be filled with warmth and light.


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