Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, on the 21st of June in the Southern Hemisphere at 10:07pm on June 21, 2018 NZST.
The solstice occurs when the sun’s zenith is at its most furthest point from the equator. it reaches its northern most point and the earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at approximately 23.4 degrees.
Astrology & Solstice
In astrology, the winter solstice is related to four of the astrological cardinal signs. Although winter starts in June (Gemini zodiac), Cancer is the cardinal sign as it the new starsign of the season. Thus, winter solstice can be called ‘Cancer Season’. Interestingly it is also known as the northern solstice given it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere.
What Does Solstice Mean?
“Solstice” (in Latin: “solstitium”) means sun-stopping. It is the point on the horizon where the sun appears to rise and set, stops and reverses direction after this day.
On the solstice, the sun does not rise precisely in the east, but rises to the north of east and sets to the north of west, this means that it is visible in the sky for a longer period of time.
Four Starsigns Affected
The four cardinal signs that are affected by the winter solstice are Cancer, Libra, Capricorn and Aries.
Cancer – embrace all praise, own it and be proud to.
Libra – you may find things are full on and stressful at the moment, ask for help when you need it and let your loved ones help you.
Capricorn – it could be emotional upheaval for you, even some romance coming your way… flow with it!
Aries – for this fire sign, the winter solstice is going to be calm and soothing for you. Consider goal setting and contemplating your achievements.
History of Solstices
Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired countless midsummer festivals (in the Northern hemisphere) and religious traditions. Here in NZ it was recently
One of the world’s oldest evidence of the summer solstice’s importance in culture is Stonehenge in England, a megalithic structure which clearly marks the moment of the June solstice.
In the Southern Hemisphere, where the June solstice is known as the shortest day of the year, it marks the first day of astronomical winter, but the middle of winter in meteorological terms.
Matariki & Winter Solstice
The Māori new year occurs at a similar time to winter solstice. The herald of the Maori new year (aka Matariki) gives the rising of star cluster Matariki, also known at the Seven Sisters, the most celebrated of all stars.
Southern Hemisphere Polar Night
On our side of the planet, south of the Antarctic Circle we have Polar Night, meaning no sunlight whatsoever, on the June solstice.
Personal Ritual & Tradition
Winter solstice is a time to honour and recognise the flow of life and cycle in nature. Be present in the crisp, misty winter mornings and dark evenings. Spending more time in the home, the hearth. Clear still skies and rain which cleanses the air and nourishes the plants. We become more passive, sleeping more, introspective and storing energy. A time to reflect and consider what is most important to you in your life.
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