The word ‘Solstice’ does not mean ‘return of the light’…
Solstice refers to the two times of the year when the sun is closest to and farthest from the earth’s equator. The word itself is of Latin origin with “sol” meaning “sun” and “sistere” meaning “stand still.” The latter refers to the sun’s apparent stoppage in the sky as observed by someone on Earth.
It’s more in tune with nature’s mood to remember that today is the first day of winter.
January brings us into the coldest month of the year, which we are just beginning to feel with the weird, prolonged autumn warmth we’ve been enjoying.
For the Word on the Return of the Light, I look to what is written on the Providence Journal weather page. They publish a nice almanac. You’ll note that immediately after Solstice we do not get any day lengthening action at all, and for weeks following, the days lengthen by a minute every couple of days–if you are lucky enough to see the sun through the iron grey clouds that strew freezing rain or snow. Harsh, I know, but let’s get real. This is why people move to Florida.
For a sense of lengthening days, I try to hold out until Candlemas, February 2. That’s the midpoint to spring, when we have six more weeks of winter no matter what the groundhog sees. And in Rhode Island, it’s anyone’s guess whether we’ll have spring.
I might leave my lights up till then, Christmas lights are the best Pagan fusion party idea ever invented.
I’m really enjoying a blessed season with a combination of mindfulness, gratitude and strategic griping. This is a sample. You don’t beat seasonal affective depression by being chirpy.