Pagan aspects of the Solstice
Astrologer Gary Caton has a nice article [article no longer available] about the pagan symbolism in the Wheel of the Year and also connects the Solstices and Equinoxes to the Tarot:
There are 4 cards in the Tarot which tell the story of these 4 cardinal points that begin the 4 seasons. The first of these cards is The Sun. This is the card of the Winter Solstice and it speaks of the re-birth of the Sun at mid-winter as the days begin to grow longer again. It is followed by The Emperor (Spring Equinox), which speaks of the triumph of Light over Darkness as the days become longer than the nights. The Hanged Man (Summer Solstice) follows, and speaks of the surrender of Light to the growing Darkness as the days begin to shorten in length. Finally we have The Devil, who is sort of an anti-Emperor and speaks of the triumph of Darkness over Light as the nights become longer than the days. …
The Horned God, who is the consort of the Goddess, takes two forms which alternate much like the yin/yang of the Taoists -the Holly King and the Oak King. This can be seen to reflect the declination cycle of the Sun through the seasons as outlined above. At Winter solstice two kings are born -the Light King and the Dark King. The Light King rules the first half of the year. At midsummer he is sacrificed (in effigy) and the Dark King rules the 2nd half of the year. The Dark King can be thought of as Bacchus or Dionysus instead of the “Devil.” He represents chaos and catharsis whereas the Light King represents order and stability.