Rhythms of Deep Time


by Amy Martin (c)


This is the day of deep time, the kind of time that stars and planets feel, their big bass beats to our tiny staccato days and nights.

Boom! Solar perihelion!

As our planet swings around the Sun in its squashy oval, we are at the point in the loop closest to the Sun by a few million miles. It happens every year about this time, making the sunlight a little brighter—the brilliant winter light.

The smallest radial distance of an ellipse is a periapsis, which for an orbit around the Sun is called perihelion. Gothika/Duoduoduo/Wikimedia commons 3.0 license.

So close to the Sun, yet so cold. Earth is the paradox planet. The daily winter solar path arcs low across the southern horizon, matching the deep tilt of the Earth on its axis. The slanting rays struggle to pierce the atmosphere and lose their heat.

Yet the vivid winter light persists, providing more light for the Moon to reflect, creating the Grandmother Moon of winter, several percent brighter than other times. Listen to her radiance with your heart.

Boom boom! Full Moon at solar perihelion!

Tomorrow, as the Earth continues its close approach to the Sun, the Moon is opposite to it, almost 180 degrees away. The Moon is heading toward Full, the entire lunar face awash in illuminated by the intense perihelion sunlight. She rests in the infinite potential of winter’s long night.

Boom boom boom! A new year! 

Winter Solstice, solar perihelion, Full Moon, and in two weeks a New Moon that marks the halfway point to spring. The Chinese New Year—2023, the year of the water rabbit—will erupt. Much of the world will celebrate the slightly longer days and promise of spring to soon unfold. Fireworks explode in the dark sky in a week of non-stop partying, while rituals of release, renewal, and manifestation occur behind the scenes.

Michael Elleray. from England, UK.

Seize this moment when deep time converges with our own earthly time. Feel the rhythm and dive deep for the next few weeks. Use the fertility of darkness, the energy of the perihelion turning, to refine the purpose of your life. And then surface into new light, your own initiation complete.

January 3, 2023