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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Solstice
Summer Solstice Rituals and Traditions

Summer Solstice: Celebration of Light

June 20 is Summer Solstice! The Sun moves into the sign of Cancer at 2:44 pm PDT

The seasonal cycle of the year is created by Earth’s annual orbit around the sun. Solstices are the extreme points as Earth’s axis tilts toward or away from the sun—when days and nights are longest or shortest. On equinoxes, days and nights are equal in all parts of the world. Four cross-quarter days roughly mark the midpoints in between solstices and equinoxes. We commemorate these natural turning points in the Earth’s cycle. Seasonal celebrations of most cultures cluster around these same natural turning points.

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I Opened It © A. Levemark


Summit of full summer.

Feel the sun within you shining with abundance, as we blink in the light of that glowing promise, resurrection from death. The triumph of light peaks, slides slowly to dissolve. This is the tipping point for everything: democracy, misogyny, racism, climate, freedom. All are on a cliff edge. We've reached the neon-bright entrance to The Great Turning.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Psychological Solstice

“There's no more light now than there was a week ago—in fact it's even colder—but somehow just knowing that the solstice is past makes a difference.”

My non-pagan friend and I had been discussing the exhaustion and sense of listlessness that tends to dog this time of year.

For me, the Solstice is an occurrence of profound religious significance, for him it's not. But his comment is right on the mark, and it's good for me to be reminded of how the solstice looks from outside the Broomstick Ghetto.

The darkness, the oncoming cold, the cumulative rush of preparations for Yule often leave me feeling drained, as if there's simply not enough of me to go around.

But then we turn the corner.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Happy Christmas!

so this is Christmas / and what have you done
another year over / a new one just begun

Christmas Eve was always a favorite of mine when I was a kid.  We’d eat sloppy joes, go to church, open presents, enjoy hot chocolate from the machine at the gas station, and look at holiday lights.  (Yes, we opened presents on Christmas Eve.  Santa brings presents for you to open on Christmas Day, duh!)  One of my family’s favorite memories is when I came home from my first semester of college.  My mom was in nursing school at the time and busy working at the hospital that night.  I borrowed the old station wagon and took my sisters and their friends out to look at lights.  We might have listed to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” 1,000,000 times that evening.  My sisters still tease me about my annoying obsession with this Christmas song (but I won’t let them forget how they mixed up the sugar and salt for the cookies that year.)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I know it's an unusual interpretation but I think of a Nightmare Before Christmas as a Thanksgiving movie. The Santa Clause with
  • Trivia at the Crossroads
    Trivia at the Crossroads says #
    Hahah, I LOVE the idea of A Nightmare Before Christmas as a Thanksgiving movie - it's a great compromise. Also, I ADORE Rare Expo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Celebrate Solstice with Me

Yuletide celebrations of most kinds from traditions all over the Northern Hemisphere, capture my imagination. Ice-skating on frozen rivers in Quebec. Outdoor festivals in the short days of Scandinavian winter where traditions ancient and new blend together seamlessly. The famous outdoor Christmas markets in Germany where people come together for all the sun they can get in the darkening days. The gorgeous, books-and-chocolate tradition of Iceland.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. It literally means that the sun stands still: from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (standing still). The midwinter sun rises at its furthest point in the southeast and sets in its nearest point in the southwest, thus making the shortest and lowest circuit in the sky. For three days (the day before, the day of and the day after the solstice) the sun rises and sets on the same points of the horizon, until it begins to rise further east and set further west with each and every day. This phenomenon occurs between 20 - 22 December each year. The Welsh name for this time is Alban Arthan, a term coined by the 19th century poet and writer of forgeries, Iolo Morganwg. This translates as "Light of Winter" or "Light of the Bear", although it is also known as Alban Arthuan, which means "Light of Arthur". The "Light of the Bear" is an interesting translation, which may have roots going back 13,000 years and connected to the circumpolar constellation or Ursa Major, which would be very visible and very bright in the British Isles at this time of year, during the greatest darkness. [1]

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  • Agnes Toews-Andrews
    Agnes Toews-Andrews says #
    I enjoyed reading about Scriptor Syrus and how the new "Christians" created a diversion--Christ Mass, to offset the pagan Winter S

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Light Shines in the Darkness

I have been away for some time. And I have, unfortunately been away for a reason many of us know all too well:  Depression laid me low for several months from early spring all the way through the summer. I did not take the election of the current president of the US well, and my depression was, I believe, a manifestation of the agonies that many people went through at that time. 

I am pleased to report, however, that as the season darkens, my mood lightens, and that as I prepare for my annual winter solstice retreat, Going into the Dark, I delight in the grey and the rain and the lowering clouds of the Pacific Northwest. There is still the occasional visible sunrise or sunset, the first late and the second early, but mostly we are now in the rains of early winter. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jesse P. Smith
    Jesse P. Smith says #
    I was touched by your experience
  • Acacia hary
    Acacia hary says #
    Good article, I appreciate your photos, beautiful night sky picture. happy wheels
  • Alvina
    Alvina says #
    Subsequent to perusing this, I can just lament that I didn't read this when I was in school. The story can be deciphered in such G
  • jennyhannb
    jennyhannb says #
    Do you observe US Thanksgiving? And if you do, how do you do it? YES! happy wheels game online.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Gaia's Fires in the Cold of Winter

The Solstice is upon us and the chill of Winter is reaching deeply into bone. This year, in particular, is one that has tested the boundaries of cold and feeling isolated in a vast tundra of unknowing”ness”. Things change from season to season and in the never ending cycle that is life itself, Gaia remains steadfast and strong in offering up her body as our home and our refuge as Her fires burn brightly. 

Even though I know this to be true, the memory of her fires fades as the Light of the Solstice returns and Summer takes hold. But now, this is the time of remembering as the nights have grown longer and the cold seeps in, and I feel a chill that cannot be heated by physical warmth. This is a cold that holds the space of awaiting the stoking of the inner fires that resonate with that of Gaia and fuel the yearning, to once again, be held in her embrace. 

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