Winter solstice blessings

June 21, 2013 at 11:06 am (Magic, Wheel of the Year) (, , , , )

blogyuleLThe winter solstice occurs today at 3.04pm AEST. This is the moment of Midwinter in the southern hemisphere, from which the days begin to grow – albeit infinitesimally – longer and warmer.

At this moment the earth’s south pole is tilted away from the sun, at its greatest angle for the year. The sun rises north of east and sets north of west. It is the longest night and the shortest day of the year – in Sydney the night is fourteen hours and six minutes long, with only nine hours and fifty-four minutes of daylight. In comparison, on the summer solstice, on December 22 this year, there will be fourteen hours and twenty-four minutes of daylight.

I am wishing all my friends in the south a magical, blessed Yule, and those in the north an inspiring, energising Litha. The winter solstice is about the re-emergence of light from the dark, so it is a celebration of the earth – and our – renewal. Symbolically and energetically it’s a time to honour your inner wisdom, consider the lessons you learned during winter’s introspection and integrate them into your life so you can start to initiate change. This festival of hope and renewal is the perfect time to reflect on the past year, to acknowledge the good and the bad, the dreams you fulfilled and the ones you let die, and the things you still hope to achieve. To celebrate your potential and start dreaming of all the things you want to make happen in the coming year. It’s a time for nurturing your heart and soul, listening to its wisdom, tapping in to the subconscious thoughts that have been buried and learning the lessons of the past so you can emerge from your wintry cocoon and take action to manifest your hopes into reality in the new light and energy to come.

There’s a great article from Sydney Observatory about Winter Solstice here.

It is interesting that In Australia winter is considered to start on June 1st, whereas in other parts of the world it starts on a different day, and from a nature perspective, with Yule//Midwinter/Winter Solstice marking the middle of winter, it is considered to start at Samhain, which falls around May 4 in the southern hemisphere.

Dr Nick Lomb, Curator of Astronomy at Sydney Observatory, explains: “In Australia winter starts on 1 June. Nobody knows for sure why that is but it is believed to be due to the NSW Corps changing from winter to summer uniforms on 1 September in the early days of the Colony. In northern hemisphere countries, traditions are different and seasons change according to the equinoxes and solstices. There is no right or wrong date, but whatever works for the country. The Australian scheme with winter spanning June, July and August implies the coldest days are in the middle of July and that matches observations. So the scheme works well here.”

And why, if the winter solstice marks the turning point of the sun, with each day after that becoming longer, are our coldest days often in July? “There is a lag between midsummer and the hottest days and between midwinter and the coldest day,” Nick says. “This is because in summer the ground, the oceans and the atmosphere all need time to heat up and come into balance between the heat received and the heat radiated. Similarly in winter they need time to cool down and come into balance.

For more information, visit the Sydney Observatory. Their Facebook page is here.

Or visit the Melbourne Planetarium.

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Into the Mists reviews

June 4, 2013 at 3:48 am (Book reviews, News and updates, Publishing)

ImageI’ve been blown away by some of the feedback for Into the Mists. I’ve added some below, so I have a copy I can keep too… (And OMG, Juliet Marillier is one of my favourite writers ever, so I was speechless at that comment…)

The book is available from SereneConneeley.com, from Amazon and other international retailers, as an eBook from Amazon.com, and soon in book stores across Australia…

Into the Mists is Amazing!!!! With a capital A! It’s comforting, healing, empowering, inspiring and like all this author’s work, magical! I absolutely love it! I feel like the little kid on the never ending story, tucked into my own little world with Carlie! I can’t describe it with words, except to say it has opened my heart and inspired the magic within me. It’s one of my favourite novels ever! I absolutely loved it! I would love a sequel! Now that I’ve finished, I’m missing Carlie and Rose. So magical and inspirational! I would highly recommend it! Like, highly! SB

What can I say! I have just finished reading Into the Mists and I loved every single page! I could not put it down, and I have not enjoyed a book so much since I read Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier! I’m officially now in Into the Mists rehab! Please, please can we have a sequel! JB

I love Into The Mists. I’ve picked it up every spare minute since it arrived and just this very second, have finished. I loved every word. The characters feel so real – I want Rose to adopt me. And the storyline is woven brilliantly. The grief journey of Carlie has helped me with my own. Brilliantly written! I didn’t want the story to end. Another please! AM

Cannot put down Serene Conneeley’s novel Into the Mists … It’s so compelling and beautifully realised – so much magick – I absolutely recommended! I loved it! LC

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