Poor Will's Almanack: December 18 - 24, 2018

Dec 18, 2018

The gibbous Flowering Jessamine Moon waxes until it becomes full on December 22. After that, it wanes throughout the remainder of the week, reaching perigee (its most powerful position closest to Earth) on December 24.

This week’s lunar position, coinciding with two major December high-pressure systems increases the likelihood for deep cold and precipitation throughout the country.

And his week every single day is the shortest day of the year, as the night’s advance finally stagnates for solstice, December 21.

Nevertheless, on the 24th of December, the Sun begins its ascent toward June, shifting from a declination of 23 degrees and 26 minutes to 23 degrees and 25 minutes. Although the days in do not start to lengthen until the 26th, the 24th is the first day of the Season of the Rising Sun, a period which divides the year into two equal halves and which lasts until the Sun stops at its highest point above the horizon between June 19 and 23, the longest days of the year,  and then begins to fall towards winter solstice on June 24.

And if the days of the week ahead seem hopelessly brief and cold, know that winter has stalled deep on the beaches of the Gulf, and that ocean winds are already shortening the dormancy of trees and shrubs, hurrying the gestation of spring and opening the yellow Jessamine under the Flowering Jessamine Moon.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of Early Winter and the fourth week of the new Flowering Jessamine Moon. In the meantime, close to noon, mark the advance of the sunlight though a south window. Wath it slowly recede as the Season of the Rising Sun brings back spring.