The chill breath of winter touches us,
As blankets of snow cover the ground.
With the glow of moonlight upon them,
Its like diamond sparkles all around.
Inside the room is cozy and warm,
The scent of evergreen wafts from the fire.
Surrounded with love and family,
I’ve got all that I could desire.
Sleigh bells jingle from the front porch,
As my coveners decorate outside.
They’ve no need of blankets,
They have the warmth of love inside.
In my home we all gather round,
And with Pagan carols our voices ring.
Then we settle down to enjoy the tale,
Of the Oaken Lord and the Holly King.
For our holiday is quite different,
Than the cowan Christmas night.
We cast our Circle, join together,
And welcome the return of Light.
Then we sit and share the feast,
As we pass bread and wine around.
As blessings from mingled voices…
“Never hunger,” “Never thirst” abound.
All too soon the rite is ended,
And we greet the newborn day.
As we clasp hands together,
This wish we send your way….
It’s no matter your tradition,
Be you family, friend, or guest.
We wish you joy and peace,
And may your Yule be Blessed!!
—Isha ArrowHawk, Author
Published on Pagan Library
Your Daily Sun & Moon Information for December 21st
Sun Direction: ↑ 142.67° SE
Sun Altitude: 19.46°
Sun Distance: 91.447 million mi
Next Solstice: Dec 21, 2017 10:27 am (Winter)
Sunrise Today: 7:04 am↑ 119° Southeast
Sunset Today: 4:41 pm↑ 241° Southwest
Length of Daylight: 9 hours, 36 minutes
Current Time: Dec 21, 2017 at 9:20:14 am
Moon Direction: ↑ 112.16° ESE
Moon Altitude: -0.73°
Moon Distance: 251200 mi
Next Full Moon: Jan 1, 20188:24 pm
Next New Moon: Jan 16, 20188:17 pm
Next Moonrise: Today9:23 am
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent
Moon Phase Tonight: Waxing Crescent
First Quarter: Dec 26, 2017 at 3:20 am
New Moon: Dec 18, 2017 at 12:30 am
The Winter Solstice
Shortest Day of the Year in the Northern Hemisphere
The December solstice is on either December 20, 21, 22 or 23.
It is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the darkest day of the year.
In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year.
The Sun’s Position
The Sun is directly overhead of the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere during the December Solstice.
The December Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.4 degrees. In other words, when the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the Sun.
Midnight Sun or Polar Night
Being the longest day of the year, also means that people in the areas south of the Antarctic Circle towards the South Pole will see the Midnight Sun, i.e. have 24 hours of daylight, during this time of the year.
For people in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the exact opposite, the day of the year with fewest hours of daylight. North of the Arctic Circle towards the North Pole there is no direct sunlight at all during this time of the year.
Solstices in Culture
The December solstice has played an important role in cultures worldwide from ancient times until our day. Even Christmas celebrations are closely linked to the observance of the December solstice.
There are also customs linked to the June solstice along with traditions linked to the Spring (vernal) equniox and the Fall (autumnal) equinox.
December solstice in the Calendar
December 21 or 22 solstices happen more often than December 20 and 23 solstices. The last December 23 solstice was in 1903 and will not happen again until 2303. A December 20 solstice has occurred very rarely, with the next one in the year 2080.(*)
Why Do the Dates Vary?
As with the June solstice, the December solstice’s varying dates are mainly due to the calendar system. The Gregorian calendar, which is used in most western countries, has 365 days in a common year and 366 days in a leap year.
However, the tropical year, which is the length of time the sun takes to return to the same position in the seasons cycle (as seen from Earth), is different to the calendar year. The tropical year is approximately 365.242199 days but varies from year to year because of the influence of other planets. The exact orbital and daily rotational motion of the Earth, such as the “wobble” in the Earth’s axis (precession), also contributes to the changing solstice dates.
The solstices can also be observed by noting the point of time when the sun rises or sets as far south as it does during the course of the year (winter in the Northern Hemisphere) or maximally north (summer in the Northern Hemisphere).
December solstice and seasons
It is important to note that Earth does not move at a constant speed in its elliptical orbit. Therefore the seasons are not of equal length: the times taken for the sun to move from the vernal equinox to the summer solstice, to the autumnal equinox, to the winter solstice, and back to the vernal equinox are roughly 92.8, 93.6, 89.8 and 89.0 days respectively. The consolation in the Northern Hemisphere is that spring and summer last longer than autumn and winter (when the December solstice occurs).
The relative position of the Earth’s axis to the sun changes during the cycle of seasons. This phenomenon is the reason why the sun’s height above the horizon changes throughout the year. It is also responsible for the seasons through controlling the intensity and duration of sunlight received at various locations around the planet.
10 Things About the December Solstice
Here are 10 things about the December Solstice you might not know:
1. Winter and Summer Solstice
In the Northern Hemisphere, the December Solstice is the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year.
Sunrise & Sunset in Your City
In the Southern Hemisphere, it is summer solstice and the longest day of the year, because equinoxes and solstices are opposite on opposite sides of the planet.
2. A Specific Point in Time
Most people count the whole day as the December Solstice. However, the Solstice is actually at a specific moment – when the Sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn.
In 2017, the December Solstice is on December 21, at 16:28 UTC. Due to the Time Zone difference, some locations will have their solstice on a different date.
3. Second Solstice of the Year
Solstices happen twice a year – once around June 21 and then again around December 21. On the June Solstice, the Sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23° 30′ North) in the Northern Hemisphere, while on the December Solstice, the Sun shines directly over the Tropic of Capricorn (latitude 23° 30′ South) in the Southern Hemisphere.
4. The Date Varies
The December Solstice can happen on December 20, 21, 22 or 23, though December 20 or 23 solstices are rare. The last December 23 solstice was in 1903 and will not happen again until 2303.
5. The Sun ‘Stands Still’
The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning ‘the Sun stands still’. This is because on this day, the Sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the Earth. The Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction. It’s also common to call it the day the Sun turns around.
6. It’s the First Day of Astronomical Winter
In the Northern Hemisphere, astronomers and scientists use the December Solstice as the start of the winter season, which ends on the March Equinox. For meteorologists, on the other hand, winter began three weeks ago on December 1.
7. The Earth Isn’t Farthest From the Sun
During winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth is actually closest to the Sun. Different seasons are not defined by how far the Earth is from the Sun. Seasons occur because Earth orbits the Sun on a slant, with an axial tilt of around 23.4 degrees. Therefore different amounts of sunlight reaches the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, causing variation in temperatures and weather patterns thoughout the year.
In fact, the Earth is on its Perihelion – the point on the Earth’s orbit closest to the Sun – a few weeks after the December Solstice.
8. Earliest Sunset Not on the Solstice
Most places in the Northern Hemisphere see their earliest sunset a few days before the Solstice and their latest sunrise a few days after the Solstice. This happens because of the difference between how we measure time using watches and the time measured by a sundial.
9. Daylight Hours Increase Faster in the North
If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the increase rate of daylight hours depends on your location’s latitude – in more northern latitudes you will see a rapid increase in daylight hours compared to if you’re in the more southern latitudes.
10.Celebrated Around the World
Many cultures around the world hold feasts and celebrate holidays around the December Solstice.
Your Astrology for December 21st
The Moon is in Aquarius.
The Moon is waxing and in its New phase.
The New Moon occurred on the 18th in the sign of Sagittarius, and the First Quarter Moon will occur on the 26th.
Mercury is retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius (Mercury is retrograde from December 3-22).
Saturn spends its first full day in Capricorn today (Saturn is in Capricorn from December 19, 2017, to March 1, 2020, and then from July 1, 2020, to December 17, 2020).
Moon in Aquarius
The Moon is traveling through Aquarius today. Go against the grain. Fight for a cause. Stand up for the underdog.
Attraction to all that is new and unusual, and an instinctive need for improvement, characterize the Moon in Aquarius. Reactions are more intellectual than emotional, and interactions are more impersonal than personal, under this influence. This is a time that promotes social gatherings, dealing with group ideals and goals for the future, brainstorming, new ideas, and progressive changes. We are open to new methods of doing things and we have our eye on the future. It can be hard to stick to schedules now, as personal freedom is most important to us.
The Moon in Aquarius generally favors the following activities: Unusual or radical undertakings, social pursuits, group projects, trying something new, joining a group.
Overview of the Stars & Planets for December 21st
The Sun enters Capricorn today and rather quickly aligns with Saturn, freshly in the sign. Under the Sun in Capricorn influence, with us until January 19th, we are motivated by feelings of responsibility, ambition, and respect for law and order. Capricorn wants tangible results, knows what is feasible and what is not, and is most comfortable working within an established framework and known boundaries or limits. Working towards a long-term goal is most satisfying with this influence.
The Sun’s alignment with Saturn in Capricorn asks us to get serious. We’re reminded of the constraints of time and motivated by the desire to manifest tangible results. It’s “nose to the grindstone” time. We may feel burdened, overworked, or restricted. However, we might also welcome some discipline into our lives. This is a time for working on a revised plan for creating order in your life, or on an old project that requires a new commitment. Emotional energy is not enough to fuel us for the time being; thus we could feel sapped on a physical level. However, making new commitments to old goals, shouldering responsibilities, and making careful use of our resources could feed our need for structure and order in our lives.
As much as we’d like to see things clearly today, Mercury is moving towards a station, and there can be some confusion surrounding this shift. The Moon spends the full day in Aquarius.
The Witches Current Moon Phase for December 21st
The Moon today is in a Waxing Crescent Phase. A Waxing Crescent is the first Phase after the New Moon and is a great time to see the features of the moon’s surface. During this phase the Moon can be seen in the wester sky after the sun dips below the horizon at sunset. The moon is close to the sun in the sky and mostly dark except for the right edge of the moon which becomes brighter as the days get closer to the next phase which is a First Quarter with a 50% illumination.
PHASE DETAILS FOR – THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2017
Phase: Waxing Crescent
Moon Age: 2.86 days
Moon Angle: 0.49
Moon Distance: 402,491.44 km
Sun Angle: 0.54
Sun Distance: 147,157,265.90 km
Your Cosmic Weather Forecast for December 21, The Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice – Sun enters Capricorn
Human beings have celebrated the Winter Solstice for thousands of years. The Sun dies, the Sun is reborn – it’s just such a powerful moment for life here on Earth.
This year, the astrological Capricorn flavour is strong. The Sun, Saturn, and Pluto are in Capricorn, joined by Venus on Christmas Day to make a serious line-up in this, the most serious of signs. It’s a dynamic Solstice season, favouring realistic, rational plans and ambitions. Yet Capricorn is also musical, has a quirky, often dry, sense of humour, and admires stylish glamour. The determined goat climbs, the fish-tailed part of Capricorn dips into the waters of wisdom and universal knowledge.
If you’re a December Capricorn, March Aries, June Cancerian, or September Libran this is a notable turning point time for you – now, and on into 2018.
Jane Lyle, Astrologer
The Astrology Room
I know Lady A said she regretted not being here with us to celebrate Yule. We regret her not being her also, it just doesn’t seem like Yule or we should be celebrating especially with her still in the hospital. We miss her and hope she returns to us very soon.
The Witches Guide to Yule
We still have the Go Fund Campaign going on. I checked the brass bed I was planning on saving. That was just a dream, the bed is beyond repair. She is getting out of the hospital soon. We still need a bed. I don’t believe we want her sleeping on the floor. She might never get up. If you haven’t grabbed our Go Fund Me link, please do so. Give if you can, if you can’t, take the link and spread it. That will be a great help. Thank you.