The Day The Sun Stood Still

Electric SheepToday is the winter solstice, the solar nadir in the northern hemisphere, a temporal event in Spaceship Earth’s rotations where the sun takes its lowest path through our sky and the daytime is least: the astronomical New Year.

This is an event that many wise have encouraged us to recognise as the origin of our ‘modern’ festive experience. The word solstice in fact derives from the Latin Sol meaning Sun and sistere which means to stand still, because this is exactly what it appears to do.

Our sun, having clambered ever lower over the horizon since midsummer, seems to be disappearing, perhaps eternally, an experience which was no doubt,a source of unquestionable anxiety to early peoples. When the sun was henceforth ‘reborn’ from the horizon, into a fresh cycle of light, there was much rapture and hedonistic release; it is not hard to recognise a common origin for the many religious rebirth mythologies in this event.

Read on at The Day The Sun Stood Still

,

21
More in Astronomy
Avatar’s Pandora May Be Real

Several news outlets are running a story about the likelihood of there being habitable moons like the one in the revolutionary movie Avatar. [As an aside, if you have the...

Close