The early 20th century Austrian philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner once likened the cycle of the Earth’s year to a breathing process, with an inhalation and exhalation happening in the same rhythmic regularity for the Earth as it does for the human being. The full-in breath he likened to the moment of Winter Solstice, when it appears as though the Sun stands still furthest south on the horizon, and then slowly, by degrees, it begins to move north again, restoring light to the northern hemisphere.
If you take a moment to pay attention to your breathing, you’ll notice that at each full in breathe and at each full out breath, there is a slight pause ~ the pause is the solstice moment, when the activity is stilled before it turns in the other direction.
The human being breathes an average of 18 times each minute. Since there’s 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day, we can estimate that the human being breathes about 25,920 times each day.
The Earth doesn’t breathe that quickly, but there’s a beautiful relationship here nonetheless. As it rotates and orbits, the Earth is also wobbling, at a rate of 1 degree every 72 years. Since there are 360 degrees in the zodiac, it takes the Earth 25,920 years for this cycle to complete. In other words, the human being takes the same number of breathes in one day as the number of years it the Earth takes to wobble through its whole cycle!
One complete wobble of the Earth on its axis is known as the Great Year, or the Platonic Year.
When Solstice happens this Saturday, December 21st, think on your breathing, and the peace of being in harmony with the great breath of the Earth
The great pause in Earth’s breathing begins at the Winter Solstice in-breath, at 11:19 pm est on Saturday, December 21st.
“We too should make ourselves empty, that the great soul of the universe may fill us with its breath.” ~Lawrence Binyon
~Mary Stewart Adams
You can find the Storyteller’s Night Sky every week on Interlochen Public Radio!