Sun enters Capricorn: ‘ …at the still point of the turning world ‘

I find approaching the Winter Solstice each year, a very frustrating time…there is all the frantic gearing-up for Christmas and its attendant spending-fest which one gets dragged into – just when I wish to sink into the fertile spaces of the dark inner world.

Photo: Anne Whitaker


This time asks to be honoured with retreat, contemplation, awareness of how essential the hidden fertility of darkness is to the eventual emergence of new life. Perhaps we especially need to be reminded of that ancient truth during a time of great turmoil and darkness for our world, and of our own individual losses, pains and disappointments.

The great religions at core, have their ways of honouring this annual point of deepest darkness, then the slowly re-emerging light. My small way of doing it is by finding some quiet time, by seeking out a poem which speaks to me at ‘… the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight…’ – and by sharing it.


I hope my choice of winter solstice poem for 2021 strikes a chord with at least some of my Followers:

“…This is the solstice, the still point

of the sun, its cusp and midnight,

the year’s threshold

and unlocking, where the past

lets go of and becomes the future;

the place of caught breath, the door

of a vanished house left ajar…”


― Margaret Atwood, Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995


( North West Scotland, Arisaig shoreline, Solstice sunset, December 2018: photo by Anne Whitaker. )
Sun enters Capricorn at 16.00 GMT 21.12.2021

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400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2021

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

6 thoughts on “Sun enters Capricorn: ‘ …at the still point of the turning world ‘

  1. Anne, thank you for this. This post really resonated for me…I feel it in my body.
    “…where the past lets go of and becomes the future…”

    This feels like the eve of a new beginning in a way that New Years Eve never quite offers in the same way. The natural world has it. The man made world feels like it is crumbling…as it should.

    1. Thanks, Carrie, for your always thoughtful words. Yes, I truly share your feelings about cyclic Solstice time, as distinct from the arbitrariness of linear time manifest in New Year’s Eve/Day, which has never held any great significance for me.

  2. Thank you for sharing this lovely poem, Anne! I’m just now catching up with all of my email, and beginning to wind down from paper-writing. I really appreciate you pointing to the inward nature of the season. In Chinese medicine, winter solstice is the most yin time of the year – but the world is in a deranged state of yang-obsession with shopping, parties, etc.. No wonder people are getting sick. There is so much more wisdom in going inward.

    Wishing you a peaceful and joy-filled holiday. See you in 2022! – Elizabeth

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