Moon, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"x24"
Today is the 2012 date for the Winter Solstice. It's the day with the longest dark period in the Northern Hemisphere, so a just finished and rather mysterious moon scene might be appropriate for this notable day.
Ancient people marked the solstices with rituals and celebration. It is believed that the date of Christmas was set to offset some of the pagan rites of Winter Solstice. Many Christmas traditions such as the Yule log, mistletoe, singing, and sharing of food may have been adapted from pagan celebrations.
The passing of the winter solstice brings thoughts of longer days and springtime ahead. Days will begin to shorten, and our world will begin, slowly, to awake to a new year. The animals will begin spring mating rituals and the plants will respond with new growth.
If you want to mark the solstice yourself, notice where the sun sets tonight outside your home. In the months that follow, you should be able to follow the sun setting further and further into the northwest. It will continue to move in that direction until the time of the Summer Solstice in June, when it will begin it's return journey.