Winter Solstice revelers gathered for the ninety-minute public opening at Stonehenge in Wiltshire England on Dec. 22, 2010 to celebrate the return of the sun at the Winter Solstice. A Druid priest Uther Pendragon led these hundreds of people in a dawn welcoming of the return of the Sun, even as the end of the European blizzard continued to keep temperatures cold and fill Stonehenge with snow.
The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, and marks the time when ancient cultures created elaborate, festive celebrations to make certain that the Sun would return and the days would begin to lengthen. In other words, it was a celebration of the end of dark, hibernating times and a movement toward the light.
The unusual weather conditions also sparked a spontaneous snowball fight following the formal ceremony. That impromptu moment of joy harkened back to the spirit of fun and joy that were present prior to other religions appropriating the solstice holiday to advance their own religious beliefs. Jesus was, after all, know to be born in the Spring.
The solstice also represents the true meaning of all the Winter holidays, which have now been turned into times of mindless spending and doing things to feel like we are contributing to others. For a short time at the power vortex of Stonehenge, that season of unconscious manipulation by corporations and governments was arrested as the crowd remembered the true meaning of this season.
Click here to see more pictures of the 2010 Stonehenge Winter Solstice Celebration.
May we all return to the true spirit of cooperation, compassion and giving from the heart 365 days each year.