Rudolf Steiner speaking, in Berlin in December 1905, about the ‘marvelous fire festivals that were celebrated in ancient times in regions of Europe, Scandinavia, Scotland, and in England’:
‘They celebrated the end of the winter season and the approach of spring. Though, to be sure, winter deepens as we move toward Christmas, nevertheless, a victory proclaims itself in nature at this time that is the symbol of hope, confidence and trust for man. In this way the victory of the sun over the counter forces of nature was expressed in most languages. Today we have felt how the days have grown shorter, which is an expression of the withering and falling asleep of the forces of nature, and this will continue until the day we celebrate as Christmas, a day that was also celebrated by our ancestors. From this day on, the days begin to grow longer. The light of the sun celebrates its victory over darkness. Materialistic thought does not reflect much on this event, but for those endowed with vital feeling and knowledge, it was the living expression for a spiritual experience of the Godhead that guides our lives. As an important and decisive event is experienced in the individual personal life of a man, so the winter solstice was experienced as a decisive event in the life of a higher being — as the memorial of something uniquely sublime. We are thus led to the fundamental concept of the Christmas festival as a cosmic festival, a festival of the first order for humanity.’ — Steiner
I’ve come down with a cold, so I don’t feel very enlightened or cosmically festive at the moment. Couldn’t shoot any new solstice pictures either, but I have so many photos on my computer that I have not done anything about yet. This one above is from Skansen, last Sunday afternoon, December 19. I like the barely visible window embedded in trees and snow.