WHAT is the winter solstice, and why do so many people around the world bother to celebrate it, as they do every year at this time?
“The word ‘solstice’ derives from the Latin sol (meaning sun) and statum (stand still),” explains the NY Times Op-Ed Contributor in the article”There Goes the Sun.”
The phenomenon reflects what we see on the first days of summer and winter at dawn for two or three days.
At that time the sun seems to linger for several minutes in its passage across the sky, before beginning to double back.
Winter in the northern hemisphere marks the annual return of an ancient solar festival. Indeed, “turnings of the sun” is an old phrase, used by both Hesiod and Homer.
The novelist Alan Furst has one of his characters nicely observe, “the day the sun is said to pause,” recalls the NY Times Op Ed: “Pleasing, that idea. …
As though the universe stopped for a moment to reflect, took a day off from work. One could sense it, time slowing down.”
But the event has deeper, metaphysical implications. Both the Sun and the human heart are the two greatest life-givers we know. Indissolubly interconnected, according to occult teachings, both radiate continuously a powerful aura of biological and regenerative energies.
“The Sun has but one distinct function,” Blavatsky explains to her students (Transactions, 116) — “it gives the impulse of life to all that breathes and lives under its light. The sun is the throbbing heart of the system, each throb being an impulse. … This impulse is not mechanical but a purely spiritual, nervous impulse.”