Welcome the Winter Solstice!

A New Season is Upon Us: Welcome the Winter Solstice!

Today is a special day in the Northern Hemisphere: The Winter Solstice.

This annual milestone brings with it a unique blend of astronomical wonder and cultural significance.

Understanding the Solstice: A Cosmic Event

At exactly 10:27 PM EST on December 21st, the Earth experiences a fascinating solar phenomenon. As our planet orbits the sun, its tilted axis (about 23.5 degrees) results in varying sunlight exposure around the globe.

As the Northern Hemisphere tilts farthest from the sun, this creates the year's shortest day and longest night.

Although this marks the beginning of the colder months for many, the days begin to have increasingly more light throughout the rest of the season!

The Solstice and Biological Life

The Winter Solstice also brings significant changes to biological life on Earth. For example:

  • Animals adapt by migrating, hibernating, or altering their behavior and physiology. Think of a bear hibernating in a cave.
  • Plants enter a period of dormancy, responding to the light and temperature changes. Many plants lose their leaves and their energy descends into the roots, rather than the branches.

Now, how does the Solstice impact cultural life on Earth?

Cultural Impact: A Time for Celebration and Reflection

Historically vital for agricultural planning, the winter solstice also holds deep cultural importance.

Many societies celebrate this time with festivals and rituals, symbolizing the rebirth of the sun and the triumph of light over darkness.

It's a period of reflection, renewal, and embracing the changing seasons.

Reflecting on the Solstice

Similar to how your circadian rhythm aligns with the sunset and sunrise each day, this celestial event reminds us of the opportunity to align with the cosmos’ greater rhythms of the seasons.

So, how can we cultivate the warmth of our inner light during the colder months?

To stay attuned to your natural rhythms, try these lifestyle tips:

  • Reflect & Go Inward: Winter is a potent time for introspection. What can you shine the light of awareness on? 🌌
  • Natural Light Exposure: Although it’s colder, spend time outdoors and get natural light on your eyes and skin, even if only under gray skies. Remember, direct early morning natural light is key to syncing your circadian rhythm. ☀️
  • Balance the Elements: Just like we balance darkness and light during winter, expose yourself to the warm and the cold—saunas, cold plunges, etc. This will help you practice finding harmony between life’s polarities, as well as optimize your cellular function.
  • Red Light Therapy: Especially in the absence of adequate natural sunlight, red light therapy can keep your body clock in tune and nourish your cells. Use it in the morning to wake you up for the day or anytime you’re missing the warm glow of the sun on your skin.
  • Stay Protected in the Dark: With the season’s longer nights, wearing Ra Optics becomes even more vital. When the sun sets and you are exposed to artificial light, wear Sunset Lenses. And if you are driving at night, try Daylight Lenses.
  • Rest and Rejuvenate: Similar to how a bear hibernates in the winter, this is the season to rest and recharge. To relax naturally at night, fall asleep faster, and sleep more deeply, wear Ra Optics at night.

Looking Ahead: Brighter Days Are Coming

Remember, the winter solstice isn't just an astronomical occurrence.

It's a pivotal moment that influences climatic patterns, ecological systems, and cultural practices globally. It reminds us of our connection to the cosmos and the importance of syncing with the natural world. From today onwards, the days will gradually become longer, symbolizing a return to light and warmth.

(And to our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, we wish you a joyful Summer Solstice!)

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December 18, 2023 — Tim Jacobsen

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