Why Celebrate Winter Solstice; This is the 21st century?

The text in the green word bubble says: "Did you know that the word “silent” has the same letters as “listen”?
Illustration by Teresa Villegas From the book "How to Celebrate Winter Solstice" Text 
in the green says: "Did you know that the word “silent” has the same letters as “listen”?
In ancient times people lived closer to the land and had a strong sense of relationship with their terrestrial and celestial environment. Therefore, this was the focus of their celebrations. Each person felt a heightened connection with the natural world and an awe with the cyclical pattern of life. In short, the Winter Solstice was the community's way of re-centering itself with nature. At the heart of the ancient Solstice celebrations was an acknowledgment of the predictable patterns of life while recognizing the progression of time within an individual's milestones.
For the most part, we who live in the beginning of the 21st century no longer celebrate or have ever learned about mankind's long relationship with Winter Solstice. Or, if we do, we observe them in alternative forms ---as examples of seasonal religious holidays and secular gatherings which have become highly commercialized affairs. Large populations have moved away from the agrarian lifestyle that depend on animals, nature and the seasons. We now live in cities and suburbs that depend on commerce, industrial farming and grocery store chains. The connection with the impact of seasonal change has become far removed from our daily lives.
The good news is that people everywhere are voicing their concerns about the environment and are looking for ways to reconnect with nature and make a difference. More and more, we are realizing that it is time to return our attention to the Earth and to minimize our negative impact on the environment. There is a growing awareness to return to the basics, to a simple gratitude, respect and appreciation for an Earth that gives to us and sustains us.
Question: "Is the celebration of the Solstices pagan or un-Christian?
Answer: The Winter Solstice transcends religious ideology; it is simply an astronomical fact. From historians we know that Christmas -the most popular Christian holiday -was deliberately timed to coincide with the Winter Solstice. Many familiar Yuletide customs have more to do with the Winter Solstice than with Christian doctrine. Winter Solstice focuses the unique meaning of a winter holiday and for us all to rediscover a celebration in which EVERYONE can participate.
"How to Celebrate Winter Solstice" is an illustrated guide book designed to help you, your family and friends engage in the ideas of change, seasonal recognition and personal growth by rediscovering an experience that had deep meaning for the ancients and that is increasingly relevant today. Winter Solstice is not an occasion for expressing ones beliefs. The focus of this book is to enable you to celebrate the changes of the Earth while acknowledging your awe-inspiring personal growth as a part of our relationship with our awe-inspiring planet and universe.
In Richard Heinberg's book "Celebrate the Solstice: Honoring the Earth's Seasonal Rhythms Through Festival and Ceremony" reminds us that "...nearly every culture archeologists have surveyed so far, myths and rituals of the Solstices have been focused on the theme of renewal----the renewal of kingship, vegetation, the year, the people, the Sun---indeed, of the world as a whole. Christmas had been associated from the beginning with the Winter Solstice... the theme of renewal when nature, cosmos, and humankind existed together in perfect harmony... shamans from Australia to Africa, and from Asia to America, were thought to have been capable of flying through the air and of moving at will among the various spiritual and material realms of existence... while it is impossible to trace any direct connection between the shamanic tradition and Santa Claus, his appeal may nonetheless draw upon collective memories and beliefs from the past."
"How to Celebrate Winter Solstice" is a little book with modern sensibilities that are combined with an ancient holiday tradition that honors the intrinsic meaning of the Winter Solstice in ways that are relevant for ourselves and our world.
Our world is getting smaller (or larger - and more inclusive, depending on how you want to think about it) as we communicate with each other via the internet. As humans, we still have an innate need to connect, to celebrate, to respect, to appreciate and to love. We need occasions to come together, and we need to feel a part of something larger than ourselves and our families, something more intrinsically meaningful and global. As nearly all cultures have known for thousands of years, the celebration of the Winter Solstice is an ideal way to fill all of these needs.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published