The Solstice Lady

An Archive of Solstice Legend and Lore

 A collection of Winter Solstice traditions from around the world. This multi cultural compilation hopes to demonstrate the universality of the celebration of The Return of the Sun. Find myths and stories that were told by our ancestors to explain the loss of the light.  Discover the traditions that have fallen out of custom and the surprising origins of our annual Christmas past times.

Would you like to hear some stories about the rich history of the season?

Stories from other cultures and other times?

Here's your chance...

Will be working off a free conference line so there will be optional call numbers for areas outside of the Pacific time zone

Will be working off a free conference line so there will be optional call numbers for areas outside of the Pacific time zone

*warning- this talk may offend Christians who wish to maintain

that Christ is the reason for the season

 

The word solstice comes from the latin sol - 'sun'

and sistot (a form of sistere) which translates to' standing still'

So the word solstice means - 'sun standing still'

As the ancient peoples watched the skies, each culture came to realize that the days got shorter as autumn proceeded.   Careful sun watchers and early astronomers took note of the rising and falling of the sun and they charted an alarming observation.   As the winter dug in, the sun stopped travelling along the horizon in its rising and setting.  It rose and fell in exactly the same spot for days, rising lower and lower in the sky each morning.

During the days where the sun stood still, it seemed to be struggling for its very life.  The people of the earth despaired, for if the sun abandoned them, or was taken from them, it would mean the death of every living thing


 

                                                                  photo by nasa

                                                                  photo by nasa

axial tilt is the reason for the season

 

The planet earth does not sit perfectly up and down on its imaginary axis in respect to its positioning.

In fact, the earth tilts about 23 degrees off its axis.

This means as it goes around the sun, some parts are farther away from the sun than others.

This causes the effect of the shortening of days and nights that we associate with the solstices.

 

         Sample image showing tilt of earth. Created by Wapcaplet in Blender. (pink line is the earth's axis)

         Sample image showing tilt of earth. Created by Wapcaplet in Blender. (pink line is the earth's axis)

 

 

 

All images of sunrises on this site were taken on Winter solstice- if you have any images of solstice sunrises you would like to share, i would be happy to display them here



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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