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 real substance of the concealed (Sun) is a nucleus of Mother substance,” Blavatsky writes in The Secret Doctrine (1:290, xxi). It is the heart and the matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our solar universe.
“As its substance is of a different kind from that known on earth, the inhabitants of the latter, seeing through it, believe in their illusion and ignorance that it is empty space,” she says (1:289, xix). Yet there “is not one finger’s breath (angula) of void Space in the whole Boundless Universe.”
Ancient astrology and astronomy identify many ancient temples, and pyramids around the world connected to solar symbology. Such sites and mounds are considered mere burial tombs by mainstream archeologists, most of whom are disinterested in spiritual traditions.
But at the time of their construction these sites were in fact intended, wrote H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled (1:270), to be sacred places of initiation. Describing the Spiritual Sun, called “Agni,” the ancient Rig-Veda declares, she says, “His radiance is undecaying …
…the intensely-shining, all-pervading, unceasing, undecaying rays of Agni desist not, neither night nor day.”