The Winter Solstice
"Depart we now for fast will fade
That solemn splendour of decline,
And deep must be the after-shade
As stars alone to-night will shine;
No moon is destined pale to gaze
On such a day's vast Phoenix blaze,
A day in fires decayed !
There hand-in-hand we tread again
The mazes of this varying wood,
And soon, amid a cultured plain,
Girt in with fertile solitude,
We shall our resting-place descry,
Marked by one roof-tree, towering high
Above a farm-stead rude.
Refreshed, erelong, with rustic fare,
We'll seek a couch of dreamless ease;
Courage will guard thy heart from fear,
And Love give mine divinest peace:
To-morrow brings more dangerous toil,
And through its conflict and turmoil
We'll pass, as God shall please."
~ The Wood, Charlotte Bronte, 1846
Registered purposefully in the Scottish Register of Tartans on this day as a wish for hopes for the coming year, the Phoenix Rising 2020 tartan "was designed to depict the Phoenix, a mythical bird of fire and flame which rises from the ashes becoming a universal symbol of renewal, rebirth, immortality and resurrection. The tartan was registered at the Scottish Register of Tartans on the Northern Hemisphere Midwinter Solstice (21st December 2020), in recognition of the Earth’s astronomical position relative to the Solar System – the date representing optimism with the returning of the Sun."
Today also marks a unique observational opportunity for stargazers in the long dark night. Jupiter and Saturn will be so close today that they will appear to form a "double planet" visible in the night sky. Such a spectacular great conjunction, as the planetary alignment has come to be known, hasn't occurred in nearly 800 years. The 2020 great conjunction is especially rare — the planets haven't been this close together in nearly 400 years, and haven't been observable this close together at night since medieval times, in 1226. 🪐 🔥 🔭
In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again.
Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, although other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again. There are different traditions concerning the lifespan of the phoenix, but by most accounts the phoenix lived for 500 years before rebirth.
Scholars have observed analogues to the phoenix in a variety of cultures.
These analogues include the Hindu garuda and gandaberunda, the Russian firebird, the Persian Simorgh, Georgianpaskunji, the Arabian Anka and from that, the Turkish Zümrüdü Anka, the Tibetan Me byi karmo, the Chinese fenghuang and zhu que, and the Japanese hō-ō.
Designed by Steven Patrick Sim, this tartan was designed to depict the Phoenix, a mythical bird of fire and flame which rises from the ashes becoming a universal symbol of renewal, rebirth, immortality and resurrection.
This tartan was registered at the Scottish Register of Tartans on the Northern Hemisphere Midwinter Solstice (21st December 2020), in recognition of the Earth’s astronomical position relative to the Solar System – the date representing optimism with the returning of the Sun.
This tartan is derived from the Phoenix Rising tartan with a reduced sett size for weaving.
For more on the legendary phoenix, click the painting of "Phoenix Rising" by Marina Petro.