Winter Solstice: a poetic invocation for the Sun in Capricorn

Today the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, the zodiacal backdrop to our journey through the dark heart of  winter each year. 

We humans in the Northern Hemisphere, beset by darkness and cold, have from long antiquity needed light and celebration to lift our spirits in the bleak midwinter, no matter how much the grimness of world affairs or the pains of everyday life hold us down: 2016 has been a particularly harrowing year. 

We have, also, long needed ritual to guide our lives through the passage of all kinds of seasons: seasons of the year, seasons of our lives, seasons of joy, seasons of mourning…these rituals give significance, dignity, to the archetypal processes of life and death, then rebirth to new life in one form or another. 

All families across the world have their own variations on seasonal ritual. An annual event in our house is to flick malt whisky symbolically onto our Xmas Tree, the modern version of the ancient Sumerians’ Moon Tree, and to read Susan Cooper’s wonderful Winter Solstice poem aloud. I do hope, somewhere, somehow, she knows this.

Happy Solstice, Everyone! 

Our Midwinter Tree

Our Midwinter Tree



So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!


In the bleak Midwinter...

In the bleak Midwinter…

350 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Susan Cooper 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

7 responses to “Winter Solstice: a poetic invocation for the Sun in Capricorn

  1. Reblogged this on Hermit by Moonlight and commented:
    Reblogging a lovely post from Anne Whitaker. Happy Winter Solstice, Everyone!


  2. Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.


  3. Via Facebook:
    Elspeth Cherry:
    I go for a long walk and I this year thought, ‘This has been a year of revealing dark strategies, so that sometimes our hearts have felt broken as we read of abuse, corruption, neglect and war. Perhaps we are going through the Solstice of our times, time to reflect on truth and ‘post-truth’ and what it means when all meaning seems lost in the chaos of information that bombards us ever day. If Truth is dead, then it is up to us to replace it with a new consciousness, and that is an opportunity. We have been traversing Dark Times. Perhaps the one Truth is that truth only exists inside yourself. You are the only truth and you must navigate alone, making connections and meeting the love in others. We go long distances under cover – maybe undercover in plain sight – trying to understand our selves. We try to remember our sacred names in the dark and we find that it is alright.’


  4. Many thanks for this deeply thoughtful reflection, Elspeth. Very fitting for our times…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.