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Our BetterMost Community => The Holiday Forum => Topic started by: Front-Ranger on December 16, 2006, 03:55:34 pm

Title: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 16, 2006, 03:55:34 pm
I am consulting my daughter's book "Celtic Wicca" about the Winter Solstice, or Yule. Having finished the harvest from the fields, farmers turned to the forests at this time of year to make sure enough firewood was harvested.

This is a time for renewal and faith. Set aside some time to be solitary, don't try to socialize all the time. The celebration of Epona, the Celtic horse goddess, is December 18. Call upon her before making journeys, and wear or decorate the tree with a small metal horse charm.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: newyearsday on December 18, 2006, 04:52:39 pm
Happy Epona Day, Bettermostians!!

I'm sleeping more lately and think it has something to do with the coming of the longest night. If you have any good books to recommend about Celtic or Wiccan Solstice traditions, I'm all ears.

Jenny
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 18, 2006, 05:05:20 pm
Happy Epona day to you! I'm wearing a little silver horse on a pendant today in honor of her. I have a whole stack of books about the solstice, wicca, and such that I took from my daughter's room yesterday...Will catalogue them here soon as I get home tonight.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 20, 2006, 12:51:15 am
Saturnalia started Sunday, the ancient Roman solstice celebration.  They decorated trees, gave gifts, burned candles, partied hard and for a brief time 'turned the world upside down'.

Best I can do is decorate my place with sun ornaments, red and gold decorations in the evergreen swags, bring out my statue of Saturn with his bags of seeds and other symbols of fertility and richness (a modified earthy Santa Claus stands in amazingly well) burn candles, wear bright colors every day and give friends the traditional gifts of silver and candles (which represent the rebirth of the sun).

I'd be having more cocktails too, if I wasn't feeling so under the weather.   ;D

Io! Satvrnalia!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: newyearsday on December 20, 2006, 06:46:58 pm
Saturnalia started Sunday, the ancient Roman solstice celebration.  They decorated trees, gave gifts, burned candles, partied hard and for a brief time 'turned the world upside down'.

Best I can do is decorate my place with sun ornaments, red and gold decorations in the evergreen swags, bring out my statue of Saturn with his bags of seeds and other symbols of fertility and richness (a modified earthy Santa Claus stands in amazingly well) burn candles, wear bright colors every day and give friends the traditional gifts of silver and candles (which represent the rebirth of the sun).

I'd be having more cocktails too, if I wasn't feeling so under the weather.   ;D


Io! Satvrnalia!

Ahh, a woman who sounds like she knows what she's talking about! (I've admired your sig line for weeks, too). Maybe we should start a little Brokeback sect for pagans or wiccans or some such thing.)

Lee, have you got that list ready yet?? I'm looking forward to your recommendations.

J
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 20, 2006, 07:07:40 pm
Thanks to a snowstorm in the Rockies, I have time to work on this now. The first book I would like to mention is the prettiest book I ever did see. It's called The Celtic Book of Living and Dying, by Juliette Wood. Published by Sterling, it is only $13 US despite the lavish illustrations. Not very scholarly though, but it would be great in combination with other books. I might try scanning an illustration or two (will try to have this done before the solstice occurs!)

There is also a book called Wicca Candle Magick by Gerina Dunwich.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 21, 2006, 12:26:26 am
Thanks to a snowstorm in the Rockies, I have time to work on this now. The first book I would like to mention is the prettiest book I ever did see. It's called The Celtic Book of Living and Dying, by Juliette Wood. Published by Sterling, it is only $13 US despite the lavish illustrations. Not very scholarly though, but it would be great in combination with other books.


What is the book about?  I've never read any of the living and dying guides (the one I've seen the most is The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: Practical Rituals, Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations on Crossing Over by Starhawk and M. Macha NightMare)  I imagine they are like the Egyptian Book of the Dead.  The reason I ask is that a friend of mine is at a crossroads, a biopsy scheduled for next week.  She is a Celtic Wiccan and I want to give her some solace, but IMO the book title is inauspicious in conjunction with the Solstice, though apparently the Egyptians didn't think so.

Quote
I might try scanning an illustration or two (will try to have this done before the solstice occurs!)
  Please do, I'd love to see them.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 21, 2006, 12:28:18 am
Ahh, a woman who sounds like she knows what she's talking about! (I've admired your sig line for weeks, too). 
 

 ;D  Thanks! 

Quote
Maybe we should start a little Brokeback sect for pagans or wiccans or some such thing.)


I'm all for talking sects.    ;) :-* :-*
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: newyearsday on December 21, 2006, 10:50:19 am
Happy Winter Solstice to All!


Exact time for the Solstice is 7:22 pm Eastern Standard time tonight, or 12:22 am Greenwich Mean Time (in England)

I'll be doing my private thing at 7:22 but would love to meet with any like-minded souls in the chat room later if I have finished my gift-preparations....


 :D Here comes the sun!! :D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2006, 10:53:19 am
Thanks, Jenny. I will try to join you!

I recently listened to a book by Robert Thurman about the Tibetan Book of the Dead and posted about it here:

http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php?topic=710.0 (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php?topic=710.0)

I will also review the Celtic Book of Living and Dying here shortly.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Daniel on December 21, 2006, 10:54:07 am
Happy Yule!

While mead is good, its also stronger in alcoholic content than other beverages, so go easy with the stuff.
Title: Santa Claus as Shaman, etc.
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2006, 01:56:17 pm
Here's something else I found hidden away on the ol' hard drive.  ;D I have no memory of how I got it or where it came from, but at least this one has an author credit.

--"J.W."


Santa's Many Faces: Shaman, Sailor, Saint
Holly, Jolly Old Elf, Other Traditions Show Solstice's Mongrel Past


by Kathie Dawn

Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice is a tradition with its roots in the ancient past, twining from hunter-gatherer cultures through the Old Religion of Europe, influenced by the rise of Christianity from the Middle East. A look at some of the history can help you design your personal Solstice traditions.

Santa the Shaman
For tens of thousands of years, we humans have celebrated the seasons, the lunar and solar cycles and other natural events. While our bodies are not as strictly regulated as animals' regarding mating, migration or hibernation, we are deeply affected by our circadian rhythms, the lunar pull and our hormones, which interact with the sun. According to Jeremy Rifkin in Time Wars, "Chronobiology provides a rich new conceptual framework for rethinking the notion of relationships in nature. In the temporal scheme of things, life, earth and universe are viewed as partners in a tightly synchronized dance in which all of the separate movements pulse in unison to create a single organic whole."

Our ancient ancestors felt this connection without benefit of scientific explanations. Following their hearts and beliefs, they played their part in that dance. "Our holiday celebrations evolve in a cycle. We even refer to it as 'The Wheel of the Year,'" notes Richard Heinberg in Celebrate the Solstice. "Being aware of the different cycles in life, and understanding our place in them, were a part of our development as humans." In this cycle, in northern regions, Winter Solstice is often seen as the ending of the old year and the beginning of a new year.

In the early European cultures, a shaman of the Herne/Pan god led Winter Solstice rituals, initiated the new year, rewarded the good, punished the bad, officiated at sacrifices and headed fertility rites, according to Tony van Renterghem in his book When Santa Was A Shaman. This Herne/Pan god went by many names, always portrayed as dark, furry or wearing animal skins, with antlers or horns and - up to the seventeenth century - with an erect penis. Van Renterghem asserts "these (Herne/Pan) shamans sang, danced, jumped over fires in sexually symbolic fertility rites, some involving the besom, the broom-like phallic rod."

Shamanic traditions survived into historic times. Leaders and kings who wanted to see themselves as divine priest-kings - such as Moses and Alexander the Great - were depicted with shamanic horns. Shamanic horns on Moses shows an overlapping of pagan and Judeo-Christian beliefs that also appears in celebrations at Solstice.

Santa as a Christian and a Sailor
"(Christmas) was a seeming Christian answer to the pagan festival Natalis Solis Invicti, which carried with it the flavour of merrymaking of the Roman Saturnalia," Vivian Green writes in A New History of Christianity.

Christianity grew up with paganism, specifically Roman paganism. The Roman Empire ruled the land where the cult of Christianity was formed. The beliefs of this new religion were radically different from most pagans', and many people assumed the group would quickly die, as do many fads. But within 300 years, the cult was considered an unlicensed religion within the Empire. While the Romans had a long history of assimilating the gods of the conquered peoples into their own religion as a way of easing the transition, this was not easily accomplished with Christianity. There were a couple attempts to wipe out the religion, but the Christians maintained their foothold in the Empire by appealing to the lower classes and the illiterate.

Constantine called the Nicean Council of 325 after he reunited the faltering Empire. Having converted to Christianity, he wanted to bring unity and a single leadership to the faith. The emperor was openly hostile to pagans. Peter Partner, in Two Thousand Years-The First Millennium: The Birth of Christianity to the Crusades, tells us that "although pagan beliefs were not in themselves made illegal, many of the institutions that supported pagan worship were in effect proscribed." A semblance of the Old Religion was allowed to continue, but only lip service was paid to religious tolerance.

As Christianity marched on, entire tribes were converted. Charlemagne instituted a "baptize them or kill them" campaign against the "barbarians" on his borders. The conversion of Germanic peoples to Christianity changed the texture of the Roman Christian church.

Gregory of Tours' History of the Franks, circa 590, and Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, circa 720, both expressed anxiousness about the wealth and privilege the church received as rulers and great magnates were converted. The church had to absorb these rulers' values and culture, with the end result that "Christianity had been successfully assimilated by a warrior nobility," according to John McManners in The Oxford History of Christianity. This was a "nobility which had no intention of abandoning its culture or seriously changing its way of life, but which was willing to throw its traditions, customs, tastes and loyalties into the articulation of a new faith."

The mass conversion "did not sweep away pagan culture in a few moments," writes McManners. "We are reminded every year by the feasts of Christmas, the Winter Solstice celebration of the northerners for which the nativity of Christ is a cheeky Christian misnomer, and of the New Year, in Roman usage the great pagan feast of Lupercalia. In Rome the ancient fertility rites of Carnomania were still celebrated annually in the presence of the pope, as late as the eleventh century."

Pagan customs persisted within the heart of Christianity, and both faiths coexisted at the outer borders of the new religion's territory. While many people assume Christmas celebrations have a dark, distant pagan origin, it would be more accurate to say the two grew up together.

As Charlemagne began his conversion process, the legend of St. Nicholas was born. He was said to have been the Bishop of Myra in Lycia, now Turkey. According to "The Origin of Santa Claus" at www.religioustolerance.org, "He is alleged to have attended the first council of Nicea; however, his name does not appear on lists of attending bishops." Www.religioustolerance.org calls him a "Christianized version of various pagan sea gods - the Greek god, Poseidon, the Roman god, Neptune, and the Teutonic god, Hold Nickar." Crichton dates St. Nicholas even earlier, claming he was imprisoned in 303, during the Roman emperor Diocletian's effort to return the Empire to the worship of its old gods. Later, Constantine supposedly released him.

Nicholas was credited with many miracles, including aiding sailors at sea, providing dowries for young women who otherwise could not marry and using prayer to resurrect three little boys who had been killed and pickled in brine. He performed miracles even after his death on December 6, 342; a mysterious liquid dubbed the Manna of St. Nicholas was collected annually from his tomb and used to heal the faithful. The tales of St. Nicholas spread to Russia as Christianity converted the Eastern world. He became known as "Nikolai Chudovorits," the Wonder Worker.

By the seventeenth century, the patron saint reached Siberia, where tribes of nomadic horsemen lived. These tribes lived in tents during the summer, but north of the Arctic Circle, they needed something sturdier during winter. Their timber huts became buried in snow, with the only way in or out being by ladder through the smoke holes in the roof. Their annual renewal ceremony, according to Crichton, took place with their shaman entering a trance and climbing on a symbolic journey through the smoke hole. Christian tradition overtaking the indigenous religion, Nikolai became a Super Shaman, acting as a "mystic go-between for the people and their new Christian God." He would descend the smoke hole, another way of jumping over fire, to deliver gifts.

Nicholas traveled other directions as well, to reach the Normans, who as well as conquering England in the eleventh century engaged as traders and mercenaries in lands they did not control. They ruled the seas, and learned about St. Nicholas at Myra. As they had done with other saints elsewhere, the Normans accepted St. Nicholas into their belief system. Traveling with the Normans, St. Nicholas spread up the rivers and into the towns. A basilica was built in Bari, which became a great shrine to Nicholas. During the Crusades, countless people passed through Bari, making their obligatory stops at the shrines. From there, St. Nicholas traveled throughout the continent and beyond.

Dutch Santa and His Moorish Slave
In the fifteenth century, the Netherlands became a Spanish territory. Trade with the Indies and Americas made the Netherlands an important area. Spaniards filled the government and religious offices, and they brought St. Nicholas with them. To this day, the Dutch "Sinter Klaas" arrives by boat from Spain, dressed as a bishop with the tall hat and miter, riding a white horse. As was fashionable at the time during the Spanish Empire, Sinter Klaas had a Moorish slave who became known as "Zwarte Piet."

In Crichton's book, we find that "many of the customs surrounding Sinter Klaas are vestiges of an older, pre-Christian religion. Checking up on naughty children, riding a white horse, and leaving food out at night, can all be traced back to Woden or Odin." In Finland, St. Nicholas "assumed human form, adopting the older name of 'Joulupukki,' which literally means Yule Goat, and again harks back to Odin and the Old Norse customs."

In van Renterghem's work, we see that the Herne/Pan side of St. Nicholas was further restored. In 1581, the Dutch declared independence from both the Roman Catholic pope and the Spanish monarchy. Zwarte Piet, Sinter Klaas' dark servant, was returned to the fore as their shaman-god. When the Church tried to denounce Zwarte Piet as a devil, the Dutch retaliated by drawing him as a Spanish-looking devil, further aiding the Dutch cause. Children were encouraged to be good, or they would be carried off in Zwarte Piet's bag to Spain.

As the legend of St. Nicholas grew, he often had helpers who were easily traced to pagan roots. According to WorldBook, examples of these helpers include Knecht Ruprecht in Germany, Pere Fouettard in parts of France and Hoesecker in Luxembourg.

The Protestant Reformation ended the religious observance of Christmas temporarily in some places, more permanently in others such as England. This sparked several inventions that seemed even more pagan-oriented than the newly outlawed Christmas. In Germany, the Protestants invented "Christkindl," "a Christ child figure often played by a girl in a white robe with a veil and a star on her head - another legacy from the Roman Festivals," from Crichton's perspective. In Hungary, where Catholicism again replaced Protestantism, "the religious St. Nicholas, the secular Christkindl and the fur-clad Weihnachtsmann (Christmas Man) all exist side by side."

In North America, the Puritans made it a punishable offense to celebrate Christmas. But when Dutch settlers sailed to Manhattan, the figurehead on the flagship was none other than Sinter Klaas. Gradually the name was changed to Santa Claus.

In England, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert helped re-invent Christmas, and Santa was reintroduced to England around this time. As a British gift-giver, Santa Claus had many rivals including CheapJack, The Lord of Misrule, Knecht Rupert and Father Christmas.

In the United States, Santa Claus was further refined in literature and illustration. In 1822, Clement Clark Moore wrote The Night Before Christmas. In 1863, Thomas Nast used childhood memories of a small fur-clad fellow to create images for Harper's Magazine. In the 1930s, Santa hawked Coca-Cola, and in 1939, Robert L. May added Rudolph to the reindeer herd. By the 1960s, Santa had become quite commercial. During Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church concluded that St. Nicholas had never been officially canonized, recognizing the probable source of his notoriety as being pagan gods and legends.

Many other modern Solstice traditions have such pagan origins. Mistletoe was sacred to the Greeks and Romans as well as to the Celts, who according to When Santa Was A Shaman, "called this mistletoe 'Thunder-Besom' (from the besom, or broom, an ancient sexual symbol of male and female organs)" - which besom dates back to the Herne/Pan shamans. "The Germanic tribes believed that all who passed under the mistletoe were kissed (blessed with sexual power) by Freya, their goddess of fertility." The modern practice of a kiss beneath the mistletoe could still be seen as a minor fertility rite.

Whether performing in a pageant or dressing up as the jolly old elf for the kiddies, putting on Winter Solstice costumes also has ancient origins. Crichton notes that "in all primitive religions when a player dons a mask he is deemed no longer an ordinary man. For himself and those who take part in the ritual, he embodies the spirit he is impersonating."

It should come as no surprise that we continue with rituals and practices that some believe are 10,000 years old. Children still play with toys from the 5000-year-old tale of Noah's Ark. We still use the names of 2000-year-old Germanic and Greco-Roman pagan gods and festivals to identify the months and the days of the week. So too, we keep Santa in his many masks.

How Pagans Can Renew the World
Winter Solstice in northern climes is often a time of world renewal and the New Year. Theodor H. Gaster's New Year: Its History, Customs, and Superstitions outlines the rites of nearly all ancient New Year and world renewal ceremonies as following the same four steps: mortification, purgation, invigoration and jubilation.

In mortification, whose root-word "mort" means death, it is easy to see death symbolized in how the life of the people and the land slowed down. Often during this time, no business was transacted. The king was either ritually or actually slain, depending on the custom. Sometimes this involved mock combat between Life and Death, or Old Year and New Year. His death paid for the evil of the past year.

Next, the community purged itself of all evil influences through fires, ringing of bells and cleansing with water. Life was then invigorated with positive steps that symbolized renewal. The people and the land were made fertile and productive again by a deliberate release of sexual energy. Then, in jubilant celebration, feasts and other merriment were enjoyed. Life had prevailed. Nature and the community would continue for another year.

Drawing on this outline and the superabundance of Solstice ideas and examples, today's pagan can create a personal tradition. To gain a deeper connection between you and the cycle of Solstice, try adding something new. Visit a sacred site, or spend time with the land where you live. Visit a place where you can observe wild animals. Where possible, plant a tree, or some green plants indoors. Watch the sunrise and the sunset on Solstice Day, and feel a connection with your ancestors. Play the Super Shaman for your friends and family. Attach a note to each gift you give with something amusing about the person, and have everyone read the note aloud.

Food and drink can play a part. Adopt a certain dish to be made only at this special time of year. Or pass around a large chalice, reminiscent of the English Wassail bowl, pronouncing blessings or words of jest to the person who receives it from you.

However you do it, make the Solstice holiday a time of getting rid of that which weighed you down in the past and tying up the year's loose ends. Find ways to symbolize the renewal that the New Year brings, and mark the time most joyously. Whether you celebrate alone, in a small close-knit group or as one of thousands, have a happy Solstice.




Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2006, 01:59:42 pm
Thanks for the public service announcement, Daniel!! I've been reading the book, The Celtic Book of Living and Dying, by Juliette Wood, and there are some stories that remind me of Jack (it doesn't take much to remind me of Jack, LOL!)

A section called "The Wise Child" talks about special children who are born in darkness, either in a caul (a membrane of flesh) or a black bag. They are then submerged in water and are "born" a second time when they reemerge from the water with wisdom and supernatural powers. The hero Finn jumps into the water right after he is born to escape from a murderous king, and emerges with a magic fish. The names of these special children have to do with light, such as Taliesin, which means "shining brow." Taliesen was found in a black bag on Calan Gaeaf, or Winter's Eve, by the wastrel son of King Gwyddno Longshanks. He lifts him up on his horse, takes him home, and raises him as his own son.

Jack Twist was born at Lightning Flat, and was "baptised" in a watery way by his cruel father, from whom he had to escape. He is associated with water, fish, and eagles, another powerful Celtic symbol.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: newyearsday on December 21, 2006, 03:36:38 pm
Happy Yule!

While mead is good, its also stronger in alcoholic content than other beverages, so go easy with the stuff.

What's mead?

Happy Solstice Daniel!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2006, 04:18:54 pm
What's mead?

Jenny! You've never had mead?  :o

Mead is a fermented (like wine) alcoholic beverage made from honey. It's g-o-o-o-o-d!  ;D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2006, 04:25:01 pm
I did not know that you're supposed to drink mead on the Yule. Can I substitute Crown Royal?? That reminds me, there is a great movie playing right now called The Queen. There is a scene where the Queen gets her Land Rover stuck and has to wait for her groundsmen to come and she sees a -- oh I can't bear to print it! Too much of a spoiler. Yule just have to see the movie.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2006, 04:43:10 pm
I did not know that you're supposed to drink mead on the Yule.

Sure. Yule. Imbolc. Ostara. Beltane. Midsummer. Lughnasa. Samhain. Or any day between any of those. ...  ;D

(Sorry, I forget the name for Midsummer.)

Quote
Can I substitute Crown Royal??

I guess so. But somehow "Crown Royal Hall" just doesn't have that certain je ne sais quoi of "Mead Hall." Beowulf wouldn't be Beowulf with a Crown Royal Hall. ...
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2006, 05:12:19 pm
It's called Litha, according to yet another of Front-Ranger Jr's books, Wicca Candle Magick (where does she get the money to buy all these books??!!)

And I'm sure she has Beowulf there too. I'll put it on the reading list.

I've been enjoying reading about the special Solstice and Wiccan animals, including two that you've commented on before, stags and snakes. The association between them is that stags shed their antlers, and snakes their skins, and so are in a sense reborn every year. Like the moon which is reborn, and so are we all on this day of the most darkness and the return of light.

The nature god Cernunnos has a stag's horns and a stag often accompanies him. He is often depicted holding a snake. Snakes had a positive connotation before the dawn of Christianity as the givers of knowledge. One story tells of a hermit who finds a little snake and gives it milk to drink. He keeps it as a pet, but the snake grows so large that it threatens to destroy the hermit's cell. The hermit prays to God, and the snake goes to the lake from whence it came and disappears.

More recently Indiana (Gary, Indiana  ;)) Jones is looking for the most sacred artifact of the paternalistic Judeo/Christian religion, the ark of the covenant, and falls into a den of snakes. The myth continues....

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2006, 10:12:41 pm
Happy Winter Solstice! As a special dinner, I served salmon with toasted hazelnuts sprinkled over. Salmon travel upriver, resisting the flow of tide and time, to return to the waters of their birth. They span the distance between the world of the llving and the Otherworld of the dead. Eating salmon conveys the gift of prophecy on those who deserve it. Many people gained knowledge by visiting a special well where the resident salmon eat hazelnuts from a tree overhead.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 21, 2006, 10:38:57 pm
Happy Winter Solstice! As a special dinner, I served salmon with toasted hazelnuts sprinkled over. Salmon travel upriver, resisting the flow of tide and time, to return to the waters of their birth. They span the distance between the world of the llving and the Otherworld of the dead. Eating salmon conveys the gift of prophecy on those who deserve it. Many people gained knowledge by visiting a special well where the resident salmon eat hazelnuts from a tree overhead.


I would normally be cooking my honeyed dates as a sweet and a nice dinner tonight with candles blazing, but my stomach has not been happy with me for a week now so I have very little appetite and am extremely tired, so I will simply burn a candle and think of the rebirth of the sun as the earth goes careening back around in orbit and be grateful the climate is still holding.

The salmon story is fascinating.  Didn't know that about them, but while I read Tarot, I never read for myself and never scry.  Who wants to see the future?  Not me.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Kerry on December 22, 2006, 09:48:24 am
What's mead?

I found the following recipe for "Soft Mead" in the book "Wicca - A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner":

* I quart water, preferably spring water
* 1 cup honey
* 1 slice lemon
* 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Boil together all ingredients in a non-metallic pot. While boiling, scrape off the rising "scum" with a wooden spoon. When no more rises add the following:

* pinch salt
* juice of 1/2 lemon

Strain and cool. Drink in place of alcoholic mead or wine during the Simple Feast.

So mote it be.

Kerry

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: newyearsday on December 23, 2006, 12:07:46 pm
Thanks for the recipe Kerry. I enjoyed the Solstice (though I was only a minute shy of still being on the subway when it happened) and drew a couple of tarot cards for myself shortly after. Nice to see we have several like-minded worshipers among us.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 24, 2006, 01:54:25 pm
Thank you, this is wonderful information!!

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 14, 2007, 08:18:43 pm
Time to prepare for the Yule, which occurs on December 22 this year!!

Where's my merry band of revelers? Yule is a celebration, even though it is held in the darkest portion of the year. This year I have come to appreciate long moonless nites as never before.

I would like to talk a little about the wheel of the year, and yule chime in I hope!! The year begins...well, that's the point, it doesn't begin. It neither begins or ends. It's a wheel. So, let's just check in to where we are right now. At this point in the year, the Goddess is preparing to give birth to her sun. That's right, the sun is her son. It's also her lover and husband. But, I'm getting ahead of myself!!

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 14, 2007, 08:30:23 pm
Winter Solstice is called "Mean Geimredh", mid-winter, in Irish, "Alban Arthan", the point of roughness, in Wales, "Modranicht", mother night, to the Anglo-Saxon's, "Deuorius Riuri", great divine winter feast, in the Coligny Calendar and "Yule." The word "Yule," according to Bede and various other authorities of the olden time is derived from an archaic Norse word "Jol," meaning "a wheel."

The Winter Solstice represents the rebirth of the sun, which is a particularly important turning point. The night of Solstice is the longest night of the year. Darkness triumphs; and yet, gives way and changes into light. (Taken from "The Wheel of the Year at Muin Mound Grove, ADF" by Rev. Skip Ellison.)


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Kerry on December 14, 2007, 09:36:34 pm
I found this lovely quote at http://www.wicca.com/celtic/akasha/yule.htm and wanted to share it with y'all.  :D

Yule Lore  

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.

Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay visit to the residents.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder's land, or given as a gift... it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze be a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.

A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.

Deities of Yule are all Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid's flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda's cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.

Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.

Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.

Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).

Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.

Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.

Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.

Activities of Yule:
Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule

Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.

Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.

--Adapted by Akasha Ap Emrys For all her friends and those of like mind--
Copyright © 1997-99 Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection wicca.com. All rights reserved.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 14, 2007, 10:10:02 pm
Thank you, Kerry! This is wonderful information! With my Ponderosa Pine bough, I dub thee a knight of the Yule Table!!

Much of the information I'm going to post here comes from Gay Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Kerry on December 14, 2007, 10:45:00 pm
Thank you, Kerry! This is wonderful information! With my Ponderosa Pine bough, I dub thee a knight of the Yule Table!!

Much of the information I'm going to post here comes from Gay Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak.

Why, thank ya most kindly, Lee! I am honoured!  :D

I sure would like to experience a traditional, northern Yule some time. It's not the same at the height of a blisteringly hot Australian summer!  :-\

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 15, 2007, 11:22:14 pm
It's just 14 hours of driving flying, Kerry!! Hop on Qantas, you'll be here in two shakes of a lamb's tail!!

I'm enjoying the book Gay Witchcraft. It is chock full of rituals for any occasion. And stories, myths, etc. One that I liked was the story of the two kings of the Celts, the Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King reigns in the waxing half of the year, and the Holly King reigns during the waning half. Like yin and yang, they are complementary and opposite. There are very fine rituals for the transfer of energy from the Oak King to the Holly King and vice versa.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Kerry on December 16, 2007, 12:22:25 am
It's just 14 hours of driving flying, Kerry!! Hop on Qantas, you'll be here in two shakes of a lamb's tail!!

I only wish I could, Lee. Alas, I have a morbid, irrational fear of flying. The very thought of it terrifies me.

I have conducted a search for "Gay Witchcraft" by Christopher Penczak and located a copy online at the Adyar Metaphysical Bookshop right here in Sydney.

I have several books on Wicca already but none that specifically deal with gay Wicca. Other than, that is, "Wtichcraft and the Gay Counterculture" by Arthur Evans, which is less of a grimoire and more of a history book.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 16, 2007, 10:03:37 am
Maybe you fell off your broomstick in another life, Kerry!! Oh, well, fly on BetterMost then...I'm glad your found the book and I look forward to discussing it with you.

Songs for the Solstice are found here, as well as a discussion of The Mists of Avalon:

http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,6864.0/all.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,6864.0/all.html)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Kd5000 on December 16, 2007, 10:47:24 pm
The Ancient Romans used to have a large festival around the winter solstice called The Saturnalia. It was actually celebrated on December 17 which is tomorrow.  So it wasn't exactly on the date of the Winter Solstice.

I had a Saturnalia party theme as I was tired of the same old Christmas thing.  Instead of evergreen, I decorated the place with some laurel leaves, gilded a few wreaths, stuff like that. 

I had read previously that the early Christians had co-opted the Saturnalia for Christmas.  It now seems that idea is disputed per the article in wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

So Happy Saturnalia! :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Kerry on December 17, 2007, 09:08:19 am
Maybe you fell off your broomstick in another life, Kerry!!  Oh, well, fly on BetterMost then...I'm glad your found the book and I look forward to discussing it with you.

Songs for the Solstice are found here, as well as a discussion of The Mists of Avalon:

http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,6864.0/all.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,6864.0/all.html)


 :laugh: That has actually occurred to me, Lee!  ;)   :laugh:
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 18, 2007, 05:06:32 pm
Here is what I learned from reading Gay Magick about the origins of the winter solstice celebration, and those who are more knowledgeable, please make corrections and additions.

The winter solstice celebration is called the Yule, an ancient word meaning wheel. It refers to the cycle of life, and the ancients explained it this way. On the winter solstice, the Goddess gives birth to the sun, and from then on until midsummer, the sun grows stronger each day. At midsummer, the sun becomes her lover and the forces of dark and light are at equal strength. Then, at the fall harvest, the sun is cut down or "reaped" and begins growing weaker as the dark, watery feminine elements grow stronger. The whole process is repeated in the cycle of the seasons each year. This story was co-opted by the Greeks in the story of Hades and Persephone and by the early Christians in the story of Jesus. When they adopted the story, the Christians made the feminine role in this cycle taboo.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 18, 2007, 07:46:32 pm
What impresses me is that whether one celebrates Yule, or the birth of the Invincible Sun, or the birth of the Son/Sun of Righteousness, apparently the urge to celebrate at the time of year when darkness reaches its greatest extent and slowly the amount of daily light begins to grow is a very ancient impulse in human beings.

Thinking this makes me feel very connected to the very ancient, distant past, and the--what?--thousand generations of human beings whose DNA I bear?  :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 20, 2007, 11:41:44 am
Having some kind of rituals during the holidays goes a long way to alleviate the blues and stress that we all naturally suffer from at this time of year. The ancients knew that very well. Think how stressful and depressing it musta been facing the longest nite of the year without electric lights, and the coldest, most miserable weather without supermarkets! I hope we can discuss ideas for Yule rituals, as well as for Christmas and New Years so that we can build a shared Brokie culture that sustains us all thorugh this difficult period!!


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2007, 11:44:48 am
Think how stressful and depressing it musta been facing the longest nite of the year ... and the coldest, most miserable weather without supermarkets!

Not to mention without central heating. ...  ;)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 20, 2007, 12:11:27 pm
And it wouldn't have just been depressing or uncomfortable -- it would have been life-threatening. In years when harvests were sparse (or in pre-agricultural days, when they had to rely on foraged food), folks living in northern climates must have often faced very real worries about not surviving winter.  :-\


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on December 20, 2007, 12:16:22 pm
What impresses me is that whether one celebrates Yule, or the birth of the Invincible Sun, or the birth of the Son/Sun of Righteousness, apparently the urge to celebrate at the time of year when darkness reaches its greatest extent and slowly the amount of daily light begins to grow is a very ancient impulse in human beings.

Thinking this makes me feel very connected to the very ancient, distant past, and the--what?--thousand generations of human beings whose DNA I bear?  :)

Amen Brother, I like the idea of celebrating the solstice with a bonfire, or a lot of light.  It is like we have sung to the furtherest point in the pendulem, and we all gotta hold on until it starts swinging back into the warm and the light.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 20, 2007, 04:16:25 pm
Yes, friends, let's gather round the campfire on the Yule.

(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-8/1210035/07282001-campfire.jpg)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Scott6373 on December 20, 2007, 04:21:06 pm
No problem...long as there's plenty of whiskey and o one talks about whatever may happen, I'm cool with it...LOL
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 20, 2007, 05:41:27 pm
Yes, friends, let's gather round the campfire on the Yule.

(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-8/1210035/07282001-campfire.jpg)


And we won't freeze our asses off when the fire dies down!




Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2007, 07:00:55 pm

And we won't freeze our asses off when the fire dies down!


Better off sleeping in the tent, anyway.  ;D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 20, 2007, 08:29:23 pm
The Ancient Romans used to have a large festival around the winter solstice called The Saturnalia. It was actually celebrated on December 17 which is tomorrow.  So it wasn't exactly on the date of the Winter Solstice.

I had a Saturnalia party theme as I was tired of the same old Christmas thing.  Instead of evergreen, I decorated the place with some laurel leaves, gilded a few wreaths, stuff like that. 
I had read previously that the early Christians had co-opted the Saturnalia for Christmas.  It now seems that idea is disputed per the article in wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

So Happy Saturnalia! :)

It's Io Saturnalia!  ;)  I'm a reconstructionist, so I celebrate Saturnalia.  I've decorated, put up and untied my statue of Saturn, did the proper ritual and I'm sending out presents left and right, making sure I gift someone with the traditional gifts of silver and candles.  By the time it ends, on the Solstice, my holiday is over.

I just read the Wikipedia article.  I think it's right and wrong.  The Christians hijacked the birthday of Mithra and Sol Invictus so they could justify celebrating.  They made it a birthday, but they didn't hold the solemn religious rites associated with that day like the pagans did, they used it as an excuse to join the pagans partying.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Meryl on December 20, 2007, 09:15:12 pm
Here's a nice, crackling fire for your enjoyment.  Happy Solstice, Friends!  :-*

(1:59)

[youtube=425,350]http://youtube.com/watch?v=Vf-4lCsLlpg[/youtube]
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2007, 11:26:17 pm
I just read the Wikipedia article.  I think it's right and wrong.  The Christians hijacked the birthday of Mithra and Sol Invictus so they could justify celebrating.  They made it a birthday, but they didn't hold the solemn religious rites associated with that day like the pagans did, they used it as an excuse to join the pagans partying.

Hunh? You never heard of Christmas Mass? The whole name of the Christian holiday comes from that, "Christ's Mass."
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 21, 2007, 12:16:26 am
Hunh? You never heard of Christmas Mass? The whole name of the Christian holiday comes from that, "Christ's Mass."

EARLY Christians...circa 70 c.e. to 300 c.e.?  Those in 70 c.e. didn't have an official church, much less such rituals as Mass.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: southendmd on December 21, 2007, 09:52:58 am
Happy Solstice, everyone!

Here's a great holiday song:  Dar Williams singing "The Christians and the Pagans" live (3:19).

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Xdk4PujOE[/youtube]
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2007, 10:21:09 am
EARLY Christians...circa 70 c.e. to 300 c.e.?  Those in 70 c.e. didn't have an official church, much less such rituals as Mass.

I wouldn't be too sure about either of those points. I don't have a Bible or my Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church with me here at work. However, clearly the ritual commemoration of Christ's last supper with his disciples had begun to take shape as early as Apostolic times; this is why some churches actually quote Paul, in I Corinthians, for the Words of Institution at Holy Communion, rather than quoting the Gospels. And I think I remember the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church stating that the church at Rome had begun to celebrate the feast of Christ's nativity by the mid-200s, but my memory could be mistaken.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 21, 2007, 09:02:43 pm
I wouldn't be too sure about either of those points. I don't have a Bible or my Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church with me here at work. However, clearly the ritual commemoration of Christ's last supper with his disciples had begun to take shape as early as Apostolic times; this is why some churches actually quote Paul, in I Corinthians, for the Words of Institution at Holy Communion, rather than quoting the Gospels. And I think I remember the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church stating that the church at Rome had begun to celebrate the feast of Christ's nativity by the mid-200s, but my memory could be mistaken.


From a Google search:

EARLY CELEBRATION

Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus (b.. 2nd century; d. end of 2nd/beginning of 3rd century) and Tertullian (ca. 160–235) omit it from their lists of feasts; Origen (ca. 185–ca. 254), glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalitia, asserts (in Lev. Hom. viii in Migne, P.G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday; Arnobius (died c. 330 A.D.) (VII, 32 in P.L., V, 1264) can still ridicule the "birthdays" of the gods.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm


The earliest known Christian writings are the epistles of Paul, composed between 48 and 58 A.D. Some of these are of doubted authenticity (and were even in antiquity), but the debate is too complex to summarize here. The other letters...are of even more uncertain authorship and date. They are presumed to have been written in the same period or later (1 Peter, for instance, may have been written, some scholars say, as late as 110 A.D.).  The Gospels cannot really be dated, nor are the real authors known. It is based on speculation that Mark was the first, written between 60 and 70 A.D., Matthew second, between 70 and 80 A.D., Luke (and Acts) third, between 80 and 90 A.D., and John last, between 90 and 100 A.D. Scholars advance various other dates for each work...but all dates are conjectural. It is supposed that the Gospels did not exist before 58 simply because neither Paul nor any other epistle writer mentions or quotes them, and this is a reasonable argument as far as things go.

All the Gospels except John contain possible allusions to the destruction of Jerusalem, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., and thus it is likely they were all written after that date.


http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/NTcanon.html

and


II. THE MITHRAIC SACRAMENTS.

The principal rites of the worship of Mithras bore a very curious resemblance to those subsequently established in the Catholic church; they likewise furnished a model for the initiatory ceremonies observed by the secret societies of the Middle Ages, and by their professed descendants in modern times. The Neophytes were admitted by the rite of Baptism; the initiated at their assemblies solemnly celebrated a species of Eucharist...

The two distinguishing Rites, or "Sacraments" (to use the technical term) are thus alluded to by Justin Martyr (100–165 c.e.) (Apol. II) in the earliest description which has been left us of their character. "The Apostles in the Commentaries written by themselves, which we call Gospels, have delivered down to us that Jesus thus commanded them: He having taken bread, after that He had given thanks, * said: Do this in commemoration of me; this is my body. Also having taken a cup and returned thanks, He said: This is my blood, and delivered it unto them alone. Which things indeed the evil spirits have taught to be done, out of memory, in the Mysteries and Initiations of Mithras. For in these likewise a cup of water, and bread, are set out, with the addition of certain words, in the sacrifice or act of worship of the person about to be initiated: a thing which Ye either know by personal experience or may learn by inquiry."


http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/gar/gar18.htm

To me, what this all says, is the religion of Mithra came first, imported from other lands.   Christians didn't start their writings about Jesus - let alone create a religion about him - until after the fact of Mithraism's presence/practice in Rome.  Paul was still preaching in private houses, writing to chastise early followers about pagan things in their worship, hence his 'letters to'.  Early Christian writers all the way to the 4th century c.e. mock celebrating of birthdays of gods.  Certainly they wouldn't be doing that if they had their own celebration of Christ's supposed birth.  IMO, this all means masses were not yet formalized and Christmas wasn't celebrated in early Christian history in any form recognizable to modern times.  On the History Channel's "Christmas Unwrapped" it shows where the Cromwellian Reformers put a halt to Xmas, because the celebrations resembled Carnivale rather than a solemn religious event.  I kinda think the earliest Christians - without an organized Church to institutionalize the solemnity of the event - celebrated the same way pagans did.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 22, 2007, 11:09:25 am
Let's take a short break from the scholarly discussion. Yule all come over to the Social Events Forum today to help celebrate this ancient festival, I hope!!


http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,15657.0.html (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,15657.0.html)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Ellemeno on December 23, 2007, 04:18:38 am
Happy Solstice, everyone!

Here's a great holiday song:  Dar Williams singing "The Christians and the Pagans" live (3:19).



Gorgeous, Paul, sublime.  Thank you for introducing me to it.  It's only my second Dar Williams song, and it made me cry almost as much as my first one always does: The Babysitter's Here (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,6239.msg258846.html#msg258846).
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: David In Indy on December 23, 2007, 04:24:54 am
In the spirit of the Winter Solstice, I would like to offer the following....

(I did not write this, but I thought it was beautiful and it was within the spirit of the occasion...)



"I am the sun, I am Her son
I am the light renewed
I am the stag, I am the tree
The warrior in you
I give myself in death each fall
Returning in the spring
My birth comes near, to bring you light
The circle soon completes"
The circle soon completes

And at his sign the young men heaved
The log into the fire
The flames grew high and roaring loud
The light climbed to the stars
The warmth and heat filled all who came
To marvel at the sight
They waited there impatiently
For dark to turn to light
Dark to turn to light

The three still stood, in silence there
The Goddess in their eyes
They looked at each and everyone
The Celts who'd gathered nigh
They raised their hands, they raised the song
They raised the cone of light
They called the sun back from the dark
And brought the earth to life
They brought the earth to life

The people watched in wonder there
As the sun appeared
Over hills and over trees
The light was bright and clear
With gold and pink and red and rose
The morning sky was filled
The sun had come, returned to them
Through power of their will
Through power of their will

And with the dawn, the earth reborn
The people found their beds
The three, the priest their divine roles
And aspects they did shed
The wheel had turned through magic's call
The light had been renewed
In peaceful sleep, in loving arms
Their hope did spring anew
Our hope does spring anew

And so my friends, my story ends
I must bid you goodnight
And as I leave these words take heed
And carry all your life
Remember that the longest night
Will never stay to last
For light returns and fear is lost
And hope burns through the past
Hope burns through the past

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 02, 2008, 04:47:27 pm
It's just 14 hours of driving flying, Kerry!! Hop on Qantas, you'll be here in two shakes of a lamb's tail!!

I'm enjoying the book Gay Witchcraft. It is chock full of rituals for any occasion. And stories, myths, etc. One that I liked was the story of the two kings of the Celts, the Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King reigns in the waxing half of the year, and the Holly King reigns during the waning half. Like yin and yang, they are complementary and opposite. There are very fine rituals for the transfer of energy from the Oak King to the Holly King and vice versa.


Here's more information about the book Gay Witchcraft:

Author Penczak, Christopher. 
Title Gay witchcraft : empowering the tribe / Christopher Penczak.
Publisher York Beach, ME : Red Wheel/Weiser, 2003.
 
Awesome songs/poems, Paul and David!!


 
 
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 02, 2008, 07:59:30 pm

The earliest known Christian writings are the epistles of Paul, composed between 48 and 58 A.D. Some of these are of doubted authenticity (and were even in antiquity), but the debate is too complex to summarize here.

Sure enough. The Lutheran liturgy in use in my childhood quoted the Words of Institution from I Corinthians. The authenticity of I Corinthians as a genuine letter of Paul is not in doubt--or it wasn't when I was in college, anyway.

Quote
II. THE MITHRAIC SACRAMENTS.

The principal rites of the worship of Mithras bore a very curious resemblance to those subsequently established in the Catholic church; they likewise furnished a model for the initiatory ceremonies observed by the secret societies of the Middle Ages, and by their professed descendants in modern times. The Neophytes were admitted by the rite of Baptism; the initiated at their assemblies solemnly celebrated a species of Eucharist...

The two distinguishing Rites, or "Sacraments" (to use the technical term) are thus alluded to by Justin Martyr (100–165 c.e.) (Apol. II) in the earliest description which has been left us of their character. "The Apostles in the Commentaries written by themselves, which we call Gospels, have delivered down to us that Jesus thus commanded them: He having taken bread, after that He had given thanks, * said: Do this in commemoration of me; this is my body. Also having taken a cup and returned thanks, He said: This is my blood, and delivered it unto them alone. Which things indeed the evil spirits have taught to be done, out of memory, in the Mysteries and Initiations of Mithras. For in these likewise a cup of water, and bread, are set out, with the addition of certain words, in the sacrifice or act of worship of the person about to be initiated: a thing which Ye either know by personal experience or may learn by inquiry."


http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/gar/gar18.htm

To me, what this all says, is the religion of Mithra came first, imported from other lands.

This is very interesting, but say, rather, Judaism came first. Christianity began as a sect of Judaism, not as a sect of Mithraism. What this demonstrates is that certain practices (ritual purificatory baths, ritual meals) were common elements in various religions in the Near East at the beginning of the present era. It does not demonstrate that Christianity took these things over from Mithraism.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on January 02, 2008, 08:38:14 pm

This is very interesting, but say, rather, Judaism came first. Christianity began as a sect of Judaism, not as a sect of Mithraism. What this demonstrates is that certain practices (ritual purificatory baths, ritual meals) were common elements in various religions in the Near East at the beginning of the present era. It does not demonstrate that Christianity took these things over from Mithraism.

Kinda hard to say.  Where did Judaism get its rituals from?  Some say during their sojourn in Babylon, which is where Judaism picked up some Zoroastrian influences that it didn't have before (Mithra, being one of the heavenly beings in the Zoroastrian pantheon - to dfferentiate from Mithras).  Other theories are the influences from the Sumerian people who were city dwellers and writers long before the Jews put pen to paper so to speak.  Their worship included ritual meals and bathing.  I kinda figured it goes way back.  Jewish goat herders were not usually in a position to find sufficient water for purification baths on a regular basis unlike some more sedentary urban civilizations. 
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2008, 02:56:33 pm
The Solstice draws near...I will have my Tarot cards ready!!

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 21, 2008, 03:04:00 pm
I'm note one for Tarot or spiritual celebrating of solstice. But I'm damn glad the days will start to get longer again from tomorrow on :D.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Artiste on December 21, 2008, 04:03:52 pm
La journée la plus longue et la plus noire est aujour'dhui ?

Longest and darkest day is  to-day?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: ifyoucantfixit on December 21, 2008, 06:05:43 pm



       That picture of Jack with the sheep, is and has been my desk top pic.  Since the first day
I got it.  I love it, and it just mean BBM to me.
Title: First Card in the Winter Solstice Tarot Reading: Page of Cups
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2008, 06:19:44 pm
I'm glad you like it, Janice! It took some work to get that picture ready for the banner. I had to lighten it up about 200%! I hope it looks all right.

The sun's starting to go down on this, the shortest day of the year, so I'm beginning a Tarot Reading for BetterMost. First I shuffled the cards while trying to keep my mind clear (which was a challenge!). Now I have placed them in four piles, working from left to right with my left hand.

The first card in the top center spot is the Page of Cups. This card indicates the main issue that all the other cards will address. It may refer to a situation that is causing concern, a problem we are trying to resolve, an area that needs improvement or will soon bring great joy.

This card means: Don't get upset if things aren't going as you hoped. Be open to alternatives and prepare for a change of plans. Think before reacting, beware of childish behavior. 

Here is what I and others have written about this card before:

As long as you look for security from without, you will feel adrift. But when you are sure of your inner desires, you will find strength and inspiration. As soon as you are clear about your inner feelings, you will have a base on which to safely build. Strangely enuff, it is your desire that gives you a sense of security, even though your might be in a vast ocean without even a view of the shore. This desire is different from ordinary feelings because of the heightened sense of obligation and awe, intense longing and passion. Have the courage to find your true desire and express it.

Ennis and Jack expressed their true feelings and desire when they reunited over the laundromat in Riverton. For once, they were sure about their feelings. They'd had four long years to think about it.


(http://www.divshare.com/img/1082682-79f.jpg)


Title: Second Card in the Winter Solstice Tarot Reading: Chariot (rev)
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2008, 06:22:20 pm
The second card is the Chariot, reversed.

This card is in the spot that addresses past events, situations, and relationships.

Here is what oilgun wrote about the Chariot:

The Chariot = Pickup Truck

Success, victory through hard work; the well-balanced life.  Triumph over ill health, money difficulties, or enemies of any sort.  Aresposible nature, An ability to resist temptation.  Travel in comfort.

When reversed, this card means: People are more defensive now. Don't give in to intimidation or pressure. No one wants to waste time. Expect last-minute cancellations of plans.

Here is The Chariot from our special Brokeback Tarot Deck!

(http://www.divshare.com/img/midsize/4048246-b6b.jpg) (http://www.divshare.com/download/4048246-b6b)
Title: THird Card in the Winter Solstice Tarot Reading: VI of Disks (rev)
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2008, 06:24:34 pm
The third card is the VI of Pentacles, reversed.

This is in the place representing food for thought or things to ponder on.

This card in the reversed position means: Don't let your insecurities push you into being a workaholic. Choose well defined objectives that will bring growth. SLow down.

Pentacles are sometimes called Disks. This is what was written earlier about the VI of Disks:

VI of Disks: "Realised Needs." Satisfy other people's needs thru the use of your talents.

And here is what was written about the suit of Disks in general:

As oilgun said, these cards address practical matters as befitting the earth, the physical body, and finances. Disks is often represented by mirrors, so everything here is pointing to Ennis. Disks refer to the constant interplay between what we accomplish and that which defines us. Sometimes what looks like a simple rock becomes hidden gold.

 Interestingly, the card in my deck depicts a loaf of bread and a beanstalk curled around it. Instead of beans on the stalk, there are shiny gold coins.





Title: Fourth Card in the Winter Solstice Tarot Reading: VII of Wands (rev)
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2008, 06:25:55 pm
The last card is the VII of Wands, reversed.

This card suggests answers or courses of action.

This card in the reversed position means: Don't be indecisive. Say what you feel and move on. Situations are nowhere near resolution, so be patient.

This was written earlier about this card:

VII of Wands: Hard Work. Sharpen your energies. Get to know what you want to achieve. Get in touch with it. Take it in your hands. You must understand what you want to change. Any attempt at manipulation becomes superfluous or even a hindrance.
When you actively work with your will, you will gain advantage. Be open to growth and change. The way things are evolving gives you new power to stand up for those things that are closest to your heart. Make a new beginning.

Here's what Tarot Basics says about Wands:

Wands represent fire. Their key element is willpower...flames are constantly in motion when wood burns, and when you are in motion, you show the "fire" within you. Wands symbolize germination and growth because they are fuel, potential energy, and nourishment for the fire. Other associations include wood, the phallic symbol, children, roots or ancestors, vitality, fireworks, hellfire, male inheritance, the sun, and "knock on wood."





Title: The Winter Solstice Tarot Reading for BetterMost
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2008, 07:09:53 pm
I have completed the Winter Solstice Reading for BetterMost in the four posts below, and I invite your comments and interpretations!!

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Lynne on December 21, 2008, 08:52:29 pm
Here are a couple of lovely Winter Solstice images I found whilst browsing tonight...

(http://www.divshare.com/img/midsize/6148770-233.jpg)

Can be downloaded here:  http://www.divshare.com/download/6148770-233

(http://www.divshare.com/img/6148768-c20.jpg)

And the download is here:  http://www.divshare.com/download/6148768-c20
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2008, 10:14:09 pm
Here are a couple of lovely Winter Solstice images I found whilst browsing tonight...

(http://www.divshare.com/img/midsize/6148770-233.jpg)

Can be downloaded here:  http://www.divshare.com/download/6148770-233

(http://www.divshare.com/img/6148768-c20.jpg)

And the download is here:  http://www.divshare.com/download/6148768-c20

Incredibly beautiful! Thank you, friend!! ((((Lynne))))
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 22, 2008, 04:31:39 am
I'm note one for Tarot or spiritual celebrating of solstice. But I'm damn glad the days will start to get longer again from tomorrow on :D.

I hear ya, Bud!  That's it for me, too.  :)


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Ellemeno on December 22, 2008, 06:01:59 pm
Today's light is longer than yesterday's light!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 23, 2008, 12:00:56 am
Today's light is longer than yesterday's light!


Today's light in Minneapolis was three seconds longer than yesterday's. Tomorrow, we gain eight seconds.

Title: Re: The Winter Solstice Tarot Reading for BetterMost
Post by: horo04 on February 03, 2009, 01:36:48 am
I have completed the Winter Solstice Reading for BetterMost in the four posts below, and I invite your comments and interpretations!!


I'm very surprised Lee! I didn't know you had an interest in Wicca or paganism.  I have been into Wicca for awhile now....now I just gotta find those Brokie Tarot cards you made. ;D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2009, 09:51:09 am
Today is the Winter Solstice.

The older I get the more I get a feeling that there is truly something sacred about this day.  :-\

Happy Holidays to one and all!  :D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 21, 2009, 11:57:58 am
Thank you, Jeff!

One thing I love about this day is that it's a turning point -- this is as dark as it's going to get, and from now on the days will keep getting longer and brighter.

Of course, it's also going to get colder and snowier before it gets warmer. But in winter, you have to grab onto whatever hopeful thoughts you can.

I suffer from a touch of SAD. I tend to feel a little down after Labor Day, and upbeat in the spring. I also gain weight in the fall and early winter, and often lose some in the new year. (Of course, it's hard to separate how much of that weight gain is light-related, as opposed to birthday-, Halloween-, Thanksgiving- and Christmas-related.) And when I do something outside on a sunny winter day -- or even drive in my car with the moon roof open -- I can really feel the power of light improving my mood.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2009, 12:17:35 pm
Thank you, Jeff!

'Welcome, I'm sure!

Quote
One thing I love about this day is that it's a turning point -- this is as dark as it's going to get, and from now on the days will keep getting longer and brighter.

Something like that probably has something to do with my growing sense of the "sacredness" of the day. I also find myself wondering how deeply into the human past knowledge of such natural phenomena as the solstices and the equinoxes actually goes. Who figured this out, and how did the knowledge spread? I mean, how do you calculate something like this is the "shortest" day of the year when you don't have clocks? How long did it take someone to figure this out?  ???

Quote
I suffer from a touch of SAD. I tend to feel a little down after Labor Day, and upbeat in the spring. I also gain weight in the fall and early winter, and often lose some in the new year. (Of course, it's hard to separate how much of that weight gain is light-related, as opposed to birthday-, Halloween-, Thanksgiving- and Christmas-related.) And when I do something outside on a sunny winter day -- or even drive in my car with the moon roof open -- I can really feel the power of light improving my mood.

I generally manage to hold off the SAD till after the holidays. The fall is generally such a busy time of year for me, and then comes the holidays with their own busy-ness and lovely traditions to keep me occupied, or preoccupied. I have tended to bottom out after the holidays. These past few years, however, the depression hasn't been as bad is at times in the past. I'm thinking that perhaps somehow I've just managed to keep myself busier these past few winters and therefore just distracted myself.

Incidentally, I've never been clinically diagnosed as having SAD, but I've sure seemed to have symptoms, so I just assume. One reason I bought a home high up in a highrise building and facing south: I crave that sunlight.

Heh. I think it's probably humanly natural to put on weight in the fall and early winter. Some ancient "race memory" from our ancestors--maybe even with a genetic component--to "feast" in the fall when food is abundant to store up fat for the winter.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2009, 07:21:29 pm
I did something new this evening.

Technically it was after sunset when I got home from work this evening, but there was still some light in the sky. I decided to light a bayberry candle in honor of the solstice, and let it burn down. This is something my family does on Christmas Eve. I don't know why I felt compelled to light this candle this evening, but I did feel compelled, so I did it.

The candle is in a pewter candleholder, and the candleholder is sitting on a pewter plate to catch any drips.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2009, 09:20:49 pm
Happy holiday, friend! Bayberry is a most relevant way to celebrate!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on December 21, 2009, 10:33:06 pm
Regaining the sun from those down south.  ;) Happy Solstice everyone!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Oregondoggie on December 22, 2009, 04:41:39 am

Included this in some holiday greetings....

Winter Solstice

Brokeback Mountain lies written now in drifts of snow.

Listen! 
It is read by the biting wind.
It is lit by the Northern Lights
corralled by Heath on the slopes of Heaven.
 
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 22, 2009, 11:29:43 am
Wonderful, O-doggie! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 22, 2009, 01:32:39 pm
It was a beautiful day in my neck of the woods.

I wore yellow, all my amber jewelry and gold sun motif rings and earrings, dabbed on some "Sol Invictus" perfume I have.

My sister won some tickets to an ice-sculpture exhibit at a local resort so we drove out there.  This resort had some sort of 'freezer' exhibit hall were they'd created a storyscape of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' in ice sculptures.  It was amazing.  We were given parkas, they had a snow machines - reminded me of Edward Scissorhands - that had snow drifting through the cold air and an ice slide.  It was an amazing exhibit.  Unfortunately, they had a manger scene in ice just as you exited with recorded announcements about 'our god'  ::)  Oh, well, can't have everything.  But the creche scene was beautifully done.  

Then my sister treated me to supper and later that night, we drove through the rich neighborhoods to look at the Xmas lights, saw the horse-drawn carriages with people being given tours (I've always wanted to do that with friends or a SO.  Wrap up, take a horse-drawn carriage tour and drink champagne...someday...).

The lights were just beautiful.  All in all a very nice way to celebrate the day.  
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 19, 2010, 10:28:34 am
How will you celebrate? I'm revving up by reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It's a funny tale about his hike up the Appaliachian Trail.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 19, 2010, 03:20:16 pm
Don't know what I"m going to do this year.  Will wear my traditional yellow of course, and am hoping for clear weather to see the lunar eclipse.  I'll burn candles, incense, the whole 9 yards as usual, but don't know what else.  I have a nice bottle of Glogg, a nice red wine a friend brought me from Napa Valley and some pumpkin ale left over from Halloween.

Goodness!  I just remembered that I now own a house and have a yard and an outdoor fireplace bowl.  I could light a fire and wait for the eclipse and drink warm alcoholic drinks if I wanted and bring in the Solstice.

Hmmm...
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: lumberjack1963 on December 19, 2010, 06:54:21 pm
There is a ceremony at a local forest preserve (Severson Dells in Rockford Illinois).  Kinda Christian, kinda pagan, and very mystical.  Its gonna be the full moon too. Cant wait.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Lynne on December 19, 2010, 07:00:55 pm
How will you celebrate? I'm revving up by reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It's a funny tale about his hike up the Appaliachian Trail.

That's a wonderful book, Lee.  I need to revisit it.   :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on December 20, 2010, 12:19:05 am
And there will be a lunar eclipse in North America with said full moon.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Meryl on December 20, 2010, 12:57:45 am
There is a ceremony at a local forest preserve (Severson Dells in Rockford Illinois).  Kinda Christian, kinda pagan, and very mystical.  Its gonna be the full moon too. Cant wait.

Welcome to BetterMost, lumberjack!   Glad to have you here. 8)

Here's a thread where you can introduce yourself, if you'd like:
http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,31.0.html
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 20, 2010, 02:54:53 pm
No lunar eclipse here. We might be able to see just the very beginning of it, but the real eclipse will take place after the moon will have gone down in Europe.

No celebration either. But I will let out a content sigh of relief. I'm always happy when the winter solctice is behind us and the days get longer again. 8)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2010, 02:57:57 pm
I did something new this evening.

Technically it was after sunset when I got home from work this evening, but there was still some light in the sky. I decided to light a bayberry candle in honor of the solstice, and let it burn down. This is something my family does on Christmas Eve. I don't know why I felt compelled to light this candle this evening, but I did feel compelled, so I did it.

The candle is in a pewter candleholder, and the candleholder is sitting on a pewter plate to catch any drips.

I forgot I did this last year. I'm glad I found my own post and reminded myself. I think I'll do this again tomorrow evening. I think I've still got a bayberry candle stored in the refrigerator.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2010, 02:58:36 pm
I forgot I did this last year. I'm glad I found my own post and reminded myself. I think I'll do this again tomorrow evening. I think I've still got a bayberry candle stored in the refrigerator.

No bayberry, so this year I'll be using genuine beeswax. I'm afraid it will be well after dark this evening before I can light the candle. I have an appointment to get my hair cut after work today.  ::)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 21, 2010, 03:45:36 pm
Well, I saw some of the eclipse.  I took a picture, but it looks like a misshapen dot.  :(

Then when it went to full eclipse, it got hidden behind clouds.  >:(

Oh, well, at least I was there for some of it.  And today's going to be 80 degrees F.  A fine harbinger of the sweltering spring and summer to come.  :-\  :P
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on October 27, 2011, 09:40:26 pm
Here's an interesting explanation of the Yule tradition:

&feature=related
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 20, 2011, 11:12:31 pm
How are you celebrating the solstice, friends! I'll be lighting the candle that I brought home from the Outer Hebrides, which I first lighted on the summer equinox in 2010 at the standing stones of Callanish.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2011, 09:46:16 am
How are you celebrating the solstice, friends! I'll be lighting the candle that I brought home from the Outer Hebrides, which I first lighted on the summer equinox in 2010 at the standing stones of Callanish.

Do you light it at sundown, or when?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2011, 10:22:45 am
According to this, the solstice will occur at 12:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, Eastern time, so I'm going to stay up until then, and do a Tarot reading by candlelight!!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/winter-solstice-2011_n_1156526.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/winter-solstice-2011_n_1156526.html)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on December 21, 2011, 12:14:45 pm
When possible I try to have a fire outside, but it is raining today. I will light a candle.

15 years ago today I head the voice of Walt Whitman on NPR:

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBX2L_Re5Cc[/youtube]
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Lynne on December 21, 2011, 09:09:10 pm
Thank you for sharing that, Truman.  Just as relevant today as 15 years ago.  I believe I will find something to watch on Netflix - maybe something inspiring instead of mindless for a change - and turn in early.

 :-* :-* :-*
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 20, 2012, 11:03:25 pm
Happy winter solstice everyone! Seek warmth and friendly empathy!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on December 21, 2012, 11:44:47 am
Happy Winter Solstice and Mayan you have a nice day.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 21, 2012, 01:47:04 pm
Happy Winter Solctice everyone!
Days will get longer from tomorrow on, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: southendmd on December 21, 2012, 03:01:51 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/56/Winter_solstice.gif)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 21, 2012, 06:24:22 pm
Happy Winter Solctice everyone!
Days will get longer from tomorrow on, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Yaaaayy indeed!

Unless the world comes to an end today, in which case I'm afraid there will be no more days, longer or not longer....   ::)   ;)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: delalluvia on December 23, 2012, 11:03:28 pm
Yaaaayy indeed!

Unless the world comes to an end today, in which case I'm afraid there will be no more days, longer or not longer....   ::)   ;)

Nope, we're all still here!  Hope everyone's Solstice was grand!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 18, 2013, 08:43:20 pm
Old Farmers Almanac predicts that there will be record-breaking snow this year...gasp! Also, the winter solstice comes the earliest of any year since 1896. It will occur at 10:11 am Mountain Time. Drop everything and celebrate!

http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice (http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 19, 2013, 10:47:43 am
Old Farmers Almanac predicts that there will be record-breaking snow this year...gasp! Also, the winter solstice comes the earliest of any year since 1896. It will occur at 10:11 am Mountain Time. Drop everything and celebrate!

http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice (http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice)

On Saturday, December 21.

(Be careful of that link. I didn't even have time to read the entire almanac page when it launched a whole bunch of ads.  :( )
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 19, 2013, 10:53:30 am
As usual, I can't wait for winter solstice!
Especially today, since we have awful weather. You need the lights switched on inside all day, it's dark and grey so the daylight is very dim. I hate days when it looks like it doesn't even get light outside. :P
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 20, 2013, 12:18:20 pm
As usual, I can't wait for winter solstice!
Especially today, since we have awful weather. You need the lights switched on inside all day, it's dark and grey so the daylight is very dim. I hate days when it looks like it doesn't even get light outside. :P

Same here today. Cold, cloudy, a bit snowy, and the second-to-shortest day of the year. Ugghhh.

You know, it's a lot easier to take cold or snow or short daylight or cloudy weather if they don't all come at once. The sun helps a cold day, warmth helps a cloudy day, dry streets helps days of either kind, as does emerging from work to find it's still light out.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2013, 12:33:45 pm
I would like to understand why we have such an urge to celebrate when the daylight is at its shortest in the entire year. It's got to be something from very deep in the history of humankind, or at least humankind in the Northern Hemisphere. I really don't know about the Southern Hemisphere.  ???

I think I can understand celebrating the summer solstice, when the daylight is longest, but why when it's shortest?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 20, 2013, 01:25:57 pm
I would like to understand why we have such an urge to celebrate when the daylight is at its shortest in the entire year. It's got to be something from very deep in the history of humankind, or at least humankind in the Northern Hemisphere. I really don't know about the Southern Hemisphere.  ???

I think I can understand celebrating the summer solstice, when the daylight is longest, but why when it's shortest?


Out of pure relief. Relief that we have the worst part behind us. Days are getting longer again! This is a very joyous thought in the middle of dark days with shitty weather.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 20, 2013, 01:31:20 pm
Same here today. Cold, cloudy, a bit snowy, and the second-to-shortest day of the year. Ugghhh.

You know, it's a lot easier to take cold or snow or short daylight or cloudy weather if they don't all come at once. The sun helps a cold day, warmth helps a cloudy day, dry streets helps days of either kind, as does emerging from work to find it's still light out.


Yes, yes and yes. My overseas-twin. ;) :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 20, 2013, 01:38:45 pm

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=179

"December Solstice (Winter Solstice) is on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM in New York."

Just slightly less than 24 hours to go. (I'm posting this at 12:34PM in New York.) I cannot wait.  So glad the sun is swinging back our way!

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2013, 02:48:51 pm
Out of pure relief. Relief that we have the worst part behind us. Days are getting longer again! This is a very joyous thought in the middle of dark days with shitty weather.

Sure enough, but it still seems to me their are other ways to "celebrate" than the Saturnalia and consuming in feasting food supplies you might need because it's still a long time till the next harvest.

And of course on this side of the Atlantic, a lot of shitty weather, if not the shittiest, is yet to come.  :(  But I realize that has no bearing on customs that origiated in Europe.

But I shall celebrate tomorrow night none the less, with a feast of fried ham and a baked potato, by watching Auntie Mame on Turner Classics, and then by going out and getting drunk--though not so drunk that I miss the service of Advent lessons and carols at my church Sunday morning.  :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 20, 2013, 03:20:18 pm
Sure enough, but it still seems to me their are other ways to "celebrate" than the Saturnalia and consuming in feasting food supplies you might need because it's still a long time till the next harvest.


Saturnalia - never heard that one before. Thanks to LEO, my online dictionary.
their - I know you will bite yourself in the  :-X for this. ;)


Well, my reply was solely in regard to my feelings. I didn't mean the broader (ancient) traditions.


Quote
And of course on this side of the Atlantic, a lot of shitty weather, if not the shittiest, is yet to come.  :(  But I realize that has no bearing on customs that origiated in Europe.

Regarding the weather, it's the same here. Coldest months with the most snow are January and February. So as you rightfully said, the worst was still before the ancient kelts, or whoever came up with celebrating winter solstice. And the longer the winter lasted, the less provisions they had.
However, I think our ancestors were just as happy to know the sun would be back their way as I am today, if not more.


Quote
But I shall celebrate tomorrow night none the less, with a feast of fried ham and a baked potato, by watching Auntie Mame on Turner Classics, and then by going out and getting drunk--though not so drunk that I miss the service of Advent lessons and carols at my church Sunday morning.  :)

Cheers to your feast! :-*
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2013, 03:26:55 pm

Saturnalia - never heard that one before.


Well, I guess those ancient Romans knew how to party.  ;D

Quote
However, I think our ancestors were just as happy to know the sun would be back their way as I am today, if not more.

When all you had was a campfire in your cave, I would guess more.  ;D


Quote
Cheers to your feast! :-*

Thanks!

Speaking of celebrating, today is the day Evangelical Lutheran Church in America celebrates the life of Katharina von Bora.  8)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 21, 2013, 10:52:35 am
Credit for coining the catchy name 'Longerdays' for Winter Solstice goes
to our very own Serious Crayons! :D

Happy Longerdays, everyone!
 :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 21, 2013, 12:03:10 pm
Credit for coining the catchy name 'Longerdays' for Winter Solstice goes
to our very own Serious Crayons! :D

Happy Longerdays, everyone!
 :)



Happy Longerdays to you all!

In regard to the question of why celebrate on the shortest (i.e., most depressing) day of the year, I think it's a combination of what Penth and others have said: It's expressing happiness about the days getting longer (both in ancient times and now), even though much of the cold has yet to come. And it's also a sort of "screw you, winter" -- people gather inside, by the fire, with lots of reassuring lights and food, exchanging gifts. I don't know if the gift tradition dates back to the Celts, but all the lights and Yule log and tree symbology suggest a defiant but affectionate atmosphere of light and warmth. They were celebrating not the bleakness and fear of the outdoors in winter, but their own ability to transcend it.

Nature must have held a terrifying power back then, when a bad hail storm in August might literally mean starvation in January. My biggest fears are things like getting my car stuck or being uncomfortable walking from door to parking lot. Is it any wonder humans hoped for/created/found deities who would help them, or that there are more doubters now? Every year, I wish fervently that the earth would decide not to turn on its axis, yet it always happens. But know for certain it will turn back to warmth -- did they? Sure, they'd studied the patterns of seasons, obviously, but without a larger concept of the solar system and the earth's place in it, mightn't they suspect there was room for capriciousness?

 


Yes, yes and yes. My overseas-twin. ;) :)

 :-*





Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 21, 2013, 08:32:32 pm

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/12/20/earthrise_recreating_an_iconic_moment_in_space_history.html


Earthrise:
Recreating an Iconic Moment in Space History
By Phil Plait
DEC. 20 2013 12:24 PM



(http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/12/20/apollo8_earthrise.jpg.CROP.original-original.jpg)
The photo that divided humanity into the past and the future: Earthrise, Dec. 24, 1968.


On Dec. 24, 1968—45 years ago this week—by what is essentially coincidence and fast thinking, one of the most iconic photographs in human history was taken: Earthrise over the Moon.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/12/20/earthrise_recreating_an_iconic_moment_in_space_history.html


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 21, 2013, 08:50:49 pm


[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE-vOscpiNc[/youtube]
NASA | Earthrise: The 45th Anniversary

Comment:

(https://gp5.googleusercontent.com/-zuN9dkW3HnI/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAHzg/teDO0OEptA0/s48-c-k-no/photo.jpg)
Mark Rushing
1 day ago

 
The first Earthrise ever witnessed by humankind, recreated from NASA data, audio and video. Way to go, crazy monkeys! :-) 

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 23, 2013, 12:05:49 pm
Question: do you go deosil, like the Celts and Buddhists do, or do you go widdershins?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widdershins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widdershins)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 24, 2013, 01:50:30 am
Question: do you go deosil, like the Celts and Buddhists do, or do you go widdershins?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widdershins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widdershins)

I think I'm typically more of a deosilist. The bike paths around the lakes here in Minneapolis are deosil.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 03, 2014, 02:27:01 pm
I think I'm typically more of a deosilist. The bike paths around the lakes here in Minneapolis are deosil.

Oh, I just saw this answer! BetterMost is not the best place these days to post quizzes and questions! Any other deosilists out there?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 14, 2014, 04:12:52 pm
Guess what's only a week away!  8)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 14, 2014, 07:33:59 pm
Yes, and one week plus one day from now is the holiday I invented last year -- Longerdays.

Here's how you celebrate Longerdays: Get together with loved ones. Put lights, candles, berries, evergreen trees and other decorations around your home, or perhaps in the front of your home. If it seems appropriate, exchange gifts or cards. Enjoy special tasty foods. Build fires. Relax.

This holiday peaks on Dec. 22, but it continues on a lower key until you come out of work at the end of the day and the sky is not dark.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 15, 2014, 02:28:59 am
until you come out of work at the end of the day and the sky is not dark.


Oh yes. Don't you just hate it when it's pitch-black dark when you leave the house and as dark when you come home? :P
Longerdays can't come fast enough.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 15, 2014, 03:26:26 am

Oh yes. Don't you just hate it when it's pitch-black dark when you leave the house and as dark when you come home? :P
Longerdays can't come fast enough.
???But it is several days since I saw the dark. This morning sun rose at 5.43am and will set at 9.26pm  ;D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 15, 2014, 10:58:58 am

Oh yes. Don't you just hate it when it's pitch-black dark when you leave the house and as dark when you come home? :P
Longerdays can't come fast enough.

Funny thing. I don't so much mind it right now, at this time of year, but if you ask me again on December 26 I'll probably give you a different answer.  8)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 15, 2014, 12:25:15 pm
???But it is several days since I saw the dark. This morning sun rose at 5.43am and will set at 9.26pm  ;D

Rub it in, why don't you?!  :P
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 15, 2014, 05:08:48 pm
I probably asked this before, but do you think of the solstice as marking the beginning of winter, or midwinter?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 15, 2014, 06:23:50 pm
In the Southern Hemisphere or at least Australia and NZ, summer officially begins on December 1 and Winter June 1 but I think the Northern Hemisphere uses the solstices and the equinoxes as boundaries. However the hottest months down here are January and February and the coldest are July and August. Just as the hottest part of the day is about 2pm after the sun has begun to go down.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 15, 2014, 06:59:00 pm
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xXXV81B0ZO4/UNXYGeOT1VI/AAAAAAAAALQ/vhIyqgV-CsI/s1600/WinterSolstice.jpg)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 15, 2014, 11:49:14 pm
Quote from: brian link=topic=6898.
msg664139#msg664139 date=1418628386
???But it is several days since I saw the dark. This morning sun rose at 5.43am and will set at 9.26pm  ;D

Yeah? Let's talk again in late June.  ;D



Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 15, 2014, 11:59:52 pm
Actually last June 21 I was in New York , having had dinner with Chuck and Cindy the night before  :)
So I have had 2 summer solstices this year.
Next June 21 I should be in Dunedin but I will be in Vienna until June 9.
Sorry to gloat  ;D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 16, 2014, 10:33:09 am
I probably asked this before, but do you think of the solstice as marking the beginning of winter, or midwinter?

Tell you what, when I googled "midwinter day," what came up at the top of the list was the Wikipedia article on the winter solstice.

I thought I remembered reading that Imbolc was more or less halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox--which strikes me as more "midwinter"--and apparently in this instance my memory was correct:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc)

But then this article also describes Imbolc as a festival celebrating the beginning of spring (!), so go figure.  ???
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 18, 2014, 07:17:44 pm
Solstice is coming up soon!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 18, 2014, 07:20:31 pm
Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn, held on the 17th of December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to the 23rd of December.  The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves.  The poet Catullus called it "the best of days."

In Roman mythology, Saturn was an agricultural deity who was said to have reigned over the world in the Golden Age, when humans enjoyed the spontaneous bounty of the earth without labor in a state of social egalitarianism. The revelries of Saturnalia were supposed to reflect the conditions of the lost mythical age, not all of them desirable.



(http://www.thisistrue.com/images/saturnalia.jpg)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2014, 10:59:02 am
Happy Solstice! There was a thin hopeful light when I arose at 7 am this morning! And I'm looking forward to the rich dark night to celebrate the Solstice with a roaring fire...in the fireplace of my new home!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 21, 2014, 01:07:06 pm
(http://blog.joeware.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/HappyWinterSolstice.jpg)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 21, 2014, 07:10:08 pm
The winter solstice began at 6:03 p.m. ET today--

It will get only get better (light-wise) after this--

Weather-wise, well--probably not!  ::)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 21, 2014, 07:35:03 pm
http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com/2014/12/19/this-amazing-photograph-shows-the-suns-hairpin-turn-at-the-winter-solstice/


This amazing photograph
shows the sun’s hairpin turn
at the winter solstice

By Ana Swanson, December 19 at 10:43 am The Washington Post

(http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Matheson_analemma_1_time_use.jpg)



The winter solstice, the longest night of the year in the Earth’s northern hemisphere, will take place on Sunday night, Dec. 21. At that point, the sun will have reached its lowest point in the sky and will rapidly “reverse” direction – as shown in the photographic composite above.

The image above shows an analemma, a graceful figure-8 curve that results from marking the position of the sun at the same time each day throughout the Earth’s year. In the image above, photographer Thomas G. Matheson superimposed 26 separate exposures, all taken at 8 am in the morning in northern New Jersey, on a single foreground image.

The sun was not moving, of course: The figure-eight curve of the analemma results from the tilt of Earth’s axis and the variation in its speed as it moves around its orbit. The summer and winter solstices correspond to the top and bottom of the figure-8, respectively, the northern and southernmost excursions of the sun in the sky. Analemmas created from different latitudes appear slightly differently, as do those created at different times of the day. Those in the southern hemisphere see the figure reversed, with the larger loop facing “upwards.” From the Earth’s poles, only half of the loop is visible.

Analemmas can be created with other heavenly bodies as well. A lunar analemma captures the view of the Moon from Earth over the course of a lunar month, while a Martian analemma captures the view of the sun from Mars. Mars’ analemma is shaped like a pear rather than a figure-8, because Mars has a more elliptical orbit. The pointy side of the pear occurs when Mars is farther from the sun, and the sun progresses slowly in the sky. The rounded bottom occurs when the sun is closer and appears to be moving more quickly.

Photograph reproduced courtesy of Thomas G. Matheson, www.guidescope.net. All rights reserved.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2014, 10:22:55 pm
http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com/2014/12/19/this-amazing-photograph-shows-the-suns-hairpin-turn-at-the-winter-solstice/


This amazing photograph
shows the sun’s hairpin turn
at the winter solstice

By Ana Swanson, December 19 at 10:43 am The Washington Post

(http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Matheson_analemma_1_time_use.jpg)



The winter solstice, the longest night of the year in the Earth’s northern hemisphere, will take place on Sunday night, Dec. 21. At that point, the sun will have reached its lowest point in the sky and will rapidly “reverse” direction – as shown in the photographic composite above.

The image above shows an analemma, a graceful figure-8 curve that results from marking the position of the sun at the same time each day throughout the Earth’s year. In the image above, photographer Thomas G. Matheson superimposed 26 separate exposures, all taken at 8 am in the morning in northern New Jersey, on a single foreground image.

The sun was not moving, of course: The figure-eight curve of the analemma results from the tilt of Earth’s axis and the variation in its speed as it moves around its orbit. The summer and winter solstices correspond to the top and bottom of the figure-8, respectively, the northern and southernmost excursions of the sun in the sky. Analemmas created from different latitudes appear slightly differently, as do those created at different times of the day. Those in the southern hemisphere see the figure reversed, with the larger loop facing “upwards.” From the Earth’s poles, only half of the loop is visible.

Analemmas can be created with other heavenly bodies as well. A lunar analemma captures the view of the Moon from Earth over the course of a lunar month, while a Martian analemma captures the view of the sun from Mars. Mars’ analemma is shaped like a pear rather than a figure-8, because Mars has a more elliptical orbit. The pointy side of the pear occurs when Mars is farther from the sun, and the sun progresses slowly in the sky. The rounded bottom occurs when the sun is closer and appears to be moving more quickly.

Photograph reproduced courtesy of Thomas G. Matheson, www.guidescope.net. All rights reserved.

That is so cool!

And where you been, Aloysius J. Gleek?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 22, 2014, 04:01:24 am
This amazing photograph
shows the sun’s hairpin turn
at the winter solstice

By Ana Swanson, December 19 at 10:43 am The Washington Post

(http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Matheson_analemma_1_time_use.jpg)


Way cool indeed! Thanks for sharing. :)


We had guests all day yesterday, so I only had a quick thought about longerdays. Now I'm officially happy today will be longer than yesterday. 8)
Happy Longerdays y'all!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 22, 2014, 09:14:20 am
Very cool pic, John!!!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 22, 2014, 10:45:10 am
Now I'm officially happy today will be longer than yesterday. 8)

This is why I like to buy a local almanac every year. It shows the time of sunrise and sunset for every day in the year, so I can track the increasing length of sunlight hours.  :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 23, 2014, 11:15:29 am
I never thought to do that.  LOL  That's an interesting idea!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: southendmd on December 23, 2014, 12:20:06 pm
This is why I like to buy a local almanac every year. It shows the time of sunrise and sunset for every day in the year, so I can track the increasing length of sunlight hours.  :)

I can do that on my phone too.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 23, 2014, 12:42:40 pm
I can do that on my phone too.

Me too. Plus I can do it on my internet, not only for my city but for for any city in the world. I once did that in a conversation with Mikaela here about which city had worse light in winter, Minneapolis or Oslo. For the record, Oslo is far darker. Today, for example, Oslo's sunrise is at 9:19 AM and sunset is 3:13 PM, for a total of 5 hours, 54 minutes (about three hours less than Minneapolis).


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 23, 2014, 01:36:44 pm

And where you been, Aloysius J. Gleek?


Oh, here and there.    :)

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 23, 2014, 02:43:31 pm
Me too. Plus I can do it on my internet, not only for my city but for for any city in the world. I once did that in a conversation with Mikaela here about which city had worse light in winter, Minneapolis or Oslo. For the record, Oslo is far darker. Today, for example, Oslo's sunrise is at 9:19 AM and sunset is 3:13 PM, for a total of 5 hours, 54 minutes (about three hours less than Minneapolis).

Did that make you feel any better to learn that?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 24, 2014, 09:50:25 am
Oh, here and there.    :)


Well you come back and see us again soon!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 25, 2014, 03:32:42 pm
Did that make you feel any better to learn that?

Well, it makes me feel less envious of Scandinavians, though in almost every other way it does seem like it would be a great place to live.

I was talking to a coworker who lived in Iceland for a year. In the middle of winter, daylight was the sun rolling along the horizon for a few hours. In the summer, they'd come out of the bars at 2 a.m. to bright shining sun. I don't think I would like either one.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 26, 2014, 09:57:19 am
I'd have to agree, that would drive me nuts!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 26, 2014, 11:44:14 am
I'd have to agree, that would drive me nuts!

We'll have to schedule our visit around the equinoxes.  ;D


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 26, 2014, 12:01:26 pm
One of the big things you learn when you travel is that people have the innate ability to adjust to many different situations. In 2010, I spent the summer solstice in Scotland and oftentimes woke up at about 3:30 am when the sun came up. Remembering back, I didn't go to bed earlier, either, but I slept harder or more efficiently than usual, so I wasn't tired! Which was a good thing because I wanted to spend as much time seeing Scotland as possible!

I'd be interested in hearing how people made adjustments to their daily routines during their travels.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 27, 2014, 05:21:18 pm
This is why I like to buy a local almanac every year. It shows the time of sunrise and sunset for every day in the year, so I can track the increasing length of sunlight hours.  :)

My morning paper used to do that, but not any more. I've fallen out of the habit to check the time every day because of that.

In mid January the days are getting visibly longer here, esp noticable in the afternoon.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 27, 2014, 05:21:55 pm
I can do that on my phone too.

That's a good idea.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 27, 2014, 05:30:47 pm
Well, it makes me feel less envious of Scandinavians, though in almost every other way it does seem like it would be a great place to live.

I was talking to a coworker who lived in Iceland for a year. In the middle of winter, daylight was the sun rolling along the horizon for a few hours. In the summer, they'd come out of the bars at 2 a.m. to bright shining sun. I don't think I would like either one.



Many years ago I spent a vacation hiking with a friend, way the hell up in northern Sweden, well above the polar circle.

It never got even remotely dark, on the contrary it was bright daylight around the clock.

I had expected it to be hard to fall asleep, but it wasn't. (I was 18, at that age people usually don't have any problems sleeping  ::))

The really strange feeling came on the train back to southern Sweden, when it suddenly got dark again!

We hadn't had any darkness for 2 weeks, and all of a sudden it was totally dark outside the train windows! That was the strangest feeling!  :D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 27, 2014, 10:11:40 pm
I had expected it to be hard to fall asleep, but it wasn't. (I was 18, at that age people usually don't have any problems sleeping  ::))

The really strange feeling came on the train back to southern Sweden, when it suddenly got dark again!

We hadn't had any darkness for 2 weeks, and all of a sudden it was totally dark outside the train windows! That was the strangest feeling!  :D


That is really interesting -- thanks for sharing that! That's why I love interacting with Brokies from such a diversity of backgrounds.

Northern Minnesota is one of the most northernmost points in the United States. At the summer solstice, it's probably light out until about 10 p.m. That is my favorite length of day. In general, I like days more the closer they are to that peak, but the idea of going much beyond that -- having the sun shine until midnight or beyond -- isn't very appealing.

So much of it is what you're used to, though!  :D

Many people would not be able to fathom living in Minnesota because of the cold. I hate it myself, but I know it is survivable.  :-\



Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 28, 2014, 09:23:20 am
You're right. I don't particularly like the weather we have here most of the time, but I'm used to it and know how to deal with it.

And this is where my home is, an important factor.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 31, 2014, 05:50:54 pm
I just watched the sun sink below the horizon. That was fun!  :D

(Because the weather is clear today, it's still light.)

Around here, sunset today is a whole five minutes later than it was on Christmas Day.

Of course, the almanac also lists this morning's sunrise as two minutes later than sunrise on Christmas morning.  ???

At least that gives us a net gain of three minutes of daylight, doesn't it?  ???
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on January 01, 2015, 01:59:04 pm
I have noticed that it's lighter longer, even if just a few minutes.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on January 06, 2015, 11:01:20 am
You can't notice any real difference here yet, but in one or two weeks it'll be clearly noticable!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on January 06, 2015, 12:20:10 pm
OH, I've definitely noticed a difference here.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on January 06, 2015, 12:49:44 pm
I'll be so happy when I notice it here!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on January 08, 2015, 02:55:21 pm
Just give it time.  The light is staying here longer each day.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on January 10, 2015, 02:22:54 pm
Yup. Should be noticable in a week or so. Can't wait!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on January 31, 2015, 10:51:10 am
You're right. I don't particularly like the weather we have here most of the time, but I'm used to it and know how to deal with it.

And this is where my home is, an important factor.

That second sentence stopped me for a moment. For a second I thought, well how nice, she feels so deeply at home where she lives now that she wouldn't consider moving.

Then I realized -- duh! takes me a while sometimes -- that it wouldn't be that easy for you to move to a completely different climate. I'm constantly daydreaming about moving to some warmer state, and really the only thing that stops me is that I don't have work anywhere warm and most of my friends and family are here. But I have some f & f in Colorado, which is warmER, and Louisiana, which is actually too warm, so those places are possibilities. And even if I wanted to move to, say, Arizona, where I know no one, it wouldn't be a huge deal. I could eventually find work, I speak the language, etc. -- I could just move there and hope to adjust. So it's a lot easier than moving from, say, Sweden to Spain.

I guess that's a little compensation for not having national health care and paid parental leave and all of the other advantages that you Eurobrokies have.

I have a friend who lived here in MInnesota then sold everything she owned and moved to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. She sounds like she has a lot of fun and the idea is tempting, but I probably wouldn't do it because, like you, I feel this country is my home.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on January 31, 2015, 02:57:46 pm
I'm constantly daydreaming about moving to some warmer state, and really the only thing that stops me is that I don't have work anywhere warm and most of my friends and family are here.

I hear a lot of people say that.....I don't think that's something I could ever do, I like the change of seasons too much.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on February 01, 2015, 05:46:34 pm
I hear a lot of people say that.....I don't think that's something I could ever do, I like the change of seasons too much.

Having spent almost all of my life in some of the most extreme climates in the country -- Minneapolis, Duluth, New Orleans -- I feel like I could pretty easily live without season changes at this point. So if someone offered me a job and a condo in San Luis Obispo I'd take them up on it. But my ideal climate would be somewhere sort of in the middle, like Virginia or Maryland, where there's winter but it's mild.

If I could just pick anywhere in the country to live -- and friends and family and job weren't issues -- I would pick Norfolk, Va. The climate is mild, it's on the ocean and whenever you refer to your city you get to say "fuck."


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on February 01, 2015, 05:48:57 pm
The climate is mild, it's on the ocean and whenever you refer to your city you get to say "fuck."

:laugh:
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 01, 2015, 08:47:39 pm
But my ideal climate would be somewhere sort of in the middle, like Virginia or Maryland, where there's winter but it's mild.

So-called mild winters just annoy me. Or, I should specify, I'm taking mild to mean rain for precipitation rather than snow. I've had enough of that right here in the mid-Atlantic, gloomy, gray, damp, rainy weather that goes on for-ever, with the temperature in the 30s F but not cold enough for snow. I like a winter that's a real winter--but with a summer that's mild and not stinkin' hot.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on February 02, 2015, 11:56:41 am
So-called mild winters just annoy me. Or, I should specify, I'm taking mild to mean rain for precipitation rather than snow.

Actually I meant mild by Minnesota standards. So, a little snow, high temps mostly in the high 20s and 30s and maybe 40s, with occasional dips into the teens. A 50-degree day would be uncommon but not surprising. And winter ends by March or so.

Or even mild like Denver, where it can get bitterly cold and blizzardy but then be in the 50s or even 70s the following week.

As opposed to Minneapolis, where last year we had something like 29 days in a row with temps below zero, by January the snowbank on my driveway was above my head and to shovel it I had to heave snow six feet in the air, and Ground Hog Day (which is today, BTW) is a joke because there's almost always six more weeks of winter.

This winter is much better -- high temps in January mostly hovered around 30 and there's a drought so although there's snow on the ground it's not deep. But this is an unusual year.

But the sun's out today so I guess winter's going to continue through at least mid-March.



Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 02, 2015, 12:04:41 pm
By comparison to Minnesota, I can understand the attraction of Naw-fuck, Va., but, as you know, I spent 13 months in Tidewater Virginia 35 years ago (  :o ), and the summer humidity there is worse even then here in southeastern Pennsylvania, so it's not for me.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on February 02, 2015, 01:00:33 pm
I like a winter that's a real winter--but with a summer that's mild and not stinkin' hot.

Yup!  I'm the same way!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 02, 2015, 05:09:59 pm
I guess we missed Imbolc yesterday, hunh? We're about halfway to the Vernal Equinox?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc)

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 02, 2015, 10:49:13 pm
Thanks for the link friend. That was great information about St. Brigid's Day! I noticed it was happening, but didn't know how to celebrate.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on February 02, 2015, 11:50:30 pm
Thanks for the link friend. That was great information about St. Brigid's Day! I noticed it was happening, but didn't know how to celebrate.

I suppose some form of whiskey is appropriate for anything Celtic.  ;D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on February 03, 2015, 09:37:02 am
LOL......we just have the groundhog.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on March 03, 2015, 06:24:26 pm
That second sentence stopped me for a moment. For a second I thought, well how nice, she feels so deeply at home where she lives now that she wouldn't consider moving.

Then I realized -- duh! takes me a while sometimes -- that it wouldn't be that easy for you to move to a completely different climate. I'm constantly daydreaming about moving to some warmer state, and really the only thing that stops me is that I don't have work anywhere warm and most of my friends and family are here. But I have some f & f in Colorado, which is warmER, and Louisiana, which is actually too warm, so those places are possibilities. And even if I wanted to move to, say, Arizona, where I know no one, it wouldn't be a huge deal. I could eventually find work, I speak the language, etc. -- I could just move there and hope to adjust. So it's a lot easier than moving from, say, Sweden to Spain.

I guess that's a little compensation for not having national health care and paid parental leave and all of the other advantages that you Eurobrokies have.

I have a friend who lived here in MInnesota then sold everything she owned and moved to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. She sounds like she has a lot of fun and the idea is tempting, but I probably wouldn't do it because, like you, I feel this country is my home.


Exactly. Since I live as far south as you can get in Sweden, I would have to move to a different country if I want a change of climate.

And even though I could legally move to any country in the EU without any permits, it would mean tons of implications and problems like language, finding work, finding out how everything works, getting my licence conveyed and finding out how the health care system works etc, etc.

I get exhausted just from thinking about it!

In that respect, we are more stuck here (and I think language is the major problem), but as you say, we have huge advantages over you when it comes to health care and other social insurances.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on March 04, 2015, 02:31:46 am
That second sentence stopped me for a moment. For a second I thought, well how nice, she feels so deeply at home where she lives now that she wouldn't consider moving.

Then I realized -- duh! takes me a while sometimes -- that it wouldn't be that easy for you to move to a completely different climate. I'm constantly daydreaming about moving to some warmer state, and really the only thing that stops me is that I don't have work anywhere warm and most of my friends and family are here. But I have some f & f in Colorado, which is warmER, and Louisiana, which is actually too warm, so those places are possibilities. And even if I wanted to move to, say, Arizona, where I know no one, it wouldn't be a huge deal. I could eventually find work, I speak the language, etc. -- I could just move there and hope to adjust. So it's a lot easier than moving from, say, Sweden to Spain.

I guess that's a little compensation for not having national health care and paid parental leave and all of the other advantages that you Eurobrokies have.

I have a friend who lived here in MInnesota then sold everything she owned and moved to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. She sounds like she has a lot of fun and the idea is tempting, but I probably wouldn't do it because, like you, I feel this country is my home.


Yes, it's easier for you Americans to move to a different climate. But I also am baffled at your willingness to take up and leave everything behind. Over here you're famous for your ease regarding moving across the country.
We Germans might even be more unwilling to move than our European neighbors, not sure. But here you build a house once in a lifetime (if you can afford it) and then you live in it for the rest of your life. Even people who pay rent rarely move to across the country. Most people stay put after they finished their education.

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on March 04, 2015, 09:36:44 am
Interesting conversations about moving vs. staying put.

as for celebrating the winter solstice, have we celebrated too hard?  :laugh:

March 4th, just when you'd think it would start to warm up, the temp is dropping, and later today our rain is supposed to turn to snow, and we could end up with as much as 8 inches by tomorrow.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 04, 2015, 12:54:40 pm

Yes, it's easier for you Americans to move to a different climate. But I also am baffled at your willingness to take up and leave everything behind. Over here you're famous for your ease regarding moving across the country.
We Germans might even be more unwilling to move than our European neighbors, not sure. But here you build a house once in a lifetime (if you can afford it) and then you live in it for the rest of your life. Even people who pay rent rarely move to across the country. Most people stay put after they finished their education.

Quite a bit of this has to do with the Industrial Revolution. At the beginning of the previous century, about 70% of people in the US lived in rural areas and about 30% in cities. Fifty years later, that percentage was reversed. People moved to the cities for work. After corporations got all the people where they wanted them in the cities, they start working on getting people more mobile to be able to move from city to city to suit changing preferences of employers. States began offering generous incentives to have employers move to their cities, such as paying no state taxes, getting free real estate, etc. These incentives could total millions of dollars and were paid for by taxpayers (who were also employees). Many states have passed laws more attractive to employers such as the "at will" states (including Colorado where I live) in which all employees are working "at will" and can be terminated at any time for any reason or for no reason at all.

In addition, if you were an employee of a global company and wanted to remain with that company or move up you had to be ready to move anywhere on short notice.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 04, 2015, 01:19:07 pm
We Germans might even be more unwilling to move than our European neighbors, not sure. But here you build a house once in a lifetime (if you can afford it) and then you live in it for the rest of your life. Even people who pay rent rarely move to across the country. Most people stay put after they finished their education.

That's because all the Germans with the genes for moving came to Pennsylvania 250 years ago. The Germans with the "stay put" genes all stayed behind in Germany, so now you're all descended from the "stay put" Germans.  ;)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 05, 2015, 10:56:54 am
 :laugh: Jeff.

By the way, folks, the last full moon of winter, the "Worm Moon" is happening NOW! Go out and look at it, and its light shimmering on the snow. Arrivederci, winter!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on March 06, 2015, 01:29:34 am
That's because all the Germans with the genes for moving came to Pennsylvania 250 years ago. The Germans with the "stay put" genes all stayed behind in Germany, so now you're all descended from the "stay put" Germans.  ;)


That must be it. ;D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 07, 2015, 12:10:50 pm
Hmm. It seems without any Neopagans or Wiccans hanging around here anymore to remind us, we've missed Lughnasa.  :(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on August 07, 2015, 12:12:25 pm
Last weekend I was somewhere and there was a fair going. I thought about it being Lunasa, or however it is spelt, and I thought about jumping the fire, but decided I was too old. I might hurt myself.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on August 08, 2015, 09:55:25 am
You?  Too old?  far from it, friend!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 08, 2015, 11:19:54 am
Oh, it would be fun to celebrate Lughnasa! When does it occur? I can put it on the calendar.

I have two relevant things to say about it. Yesterday I was photographing some mead for a client who has a meadery. If I had known it was Lughnasa, I would have opened the bottle after I was done photographing it!

Also, I am reading a wonderful book, Celtic Myths and Legends by T. W. Rolleston. The book is a collector's edition published by Easton Press in 1997, bound in gilded leather with gilded edge archival paper, and with a brocade silk attached bookmark ribbon and brocade inner covers. The frontispiece is on glossy paper depicting Brigit. There isn't anything about Lughnasa in the book but a lot about Lugh.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 08, 2015, 11:39:52 am
Oh, it would be fun to celebrate Lughnasa! When does it occur? I can put it on the calendar.

Lughnasa is August 1, more or less. The Early Church Christianized it as Lammas, or "Loaf Mass." Both were harvest thanksgivings.

So we've missed it for this year.  :(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on August 08, 2015, 11:47:33 am
I have two relevant things to say about it. Yesterday I was photographing some mead for a client who has a meadery. If I had known it was Lughnasa, I would have opened the bottle after I was done photographing it!

You should try some of it some day--and report back!  ;D

I've had some home-brewed meads that were spectacularly awful, like trying to drink a jar of honey.  :P  I also, once, had some wonderful mead from a winery somewhere in the Midwest; it was very light.  :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on August 08, 2015, 12:04:07 pm
The Meadery I'm working for has been in operation since 1995 so they must be doing something right. They make a semi-sweet mead and a sweet mead, as well as about a dozen mead blends. It's called Meadery of the Rockies.

Here's a photo of the book:
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 02, 2015, 04:59:49 pm
As the winter solstice draws nigh for us in the Northern Hemisphere, here's a bit of good news. Friend EDelMar who knows about these things says the earliest sunset will be in a week or so, and then all the shortening of days after that will happen in the mornings, until the solstice on the 21st, when the days will start getting longer again!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 02, 2015, 05:40:43 pm
As the winter solstice draws nigh for us in the Northern Hemisphere, here's a bit of good news. Friend EDelMar who knows about these things says the earliest sunset will be in a week or so, and then all the shortening of days after that will happen in the mornings, until the solstice on the 21st, when the days will start getting longer again!

That's interesting! I must check my almanac.  :D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 03, 2015, 09:26:33 am
Solstice is coming!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 06, 2015, 09:34:42 pm
Some surprise good news. According to Earl Mellor (of Fritz and Earl fame) TODAY is the earliest sunset of the season. Sunrises will continue getting later and later until the 21st.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 06, 2015, 10:04:31 pm
Yup, they've posted that on FB.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2015, 05:41:35 pm
Is the winter solstice sometime tonight or tomorrow?  ???

I'm a little confused this year.

(The weather we're having here, it feels more like the spring equinox.  :P )
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2015, 07:57:26 pm
The solstice will be at a specific time...about 9:22 pm in my neck of the woods. Here's some explanation:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/winter-solstice-2015-five-strange-facts-about-astronomical-event-1534232 (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/winter-solstice-2015-five-strange-facts-about-astronomical-event-1534232)

Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: bentgyro on December 21, 2015, 09:19:42 pm
It was darkish all day and rainy.  I console myself with the thought that now the days will slowly get longer. :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2015, 09:39:54 pm
Solstice greetings, friend. EDelMar advises me that the solstice is still about 3 hours out.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2015, 11:34:40 pm
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2015/12/20/winter-solstice-first-day-of-winter/77667242/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2015/12/20/winter-solstice-first-day-of-winter/77667242/)

11:48 p.m. Eastern time today.

10:48 p.m. Central time today.

9:48 p.m. Mountain time today.

8:48 p.m. Pacific time today.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 22, 2015, 03:02:02 am
Like every year, I'm happy that the darkest day of the year is now behind us! :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: southendmd on December 22, 2015, 09:13:14 am
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY Robert Frost (1922)

Whose woods these are I think I know.  
His house is in the village though;  
He will not see me stopping here  
To watch his woods fill up with snow.  

My little horse must think it queer  
To stop without a farmhouse near  
Between the woods and frozen lake  
The darkest evening of the year.  

He gives his harness bells a shake  
To ask if there is some mistake.  
The only other sound’s the sweep  
Of easy wind and downy flake.  

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,  
But I have promises to keep,  
And miles to go before I sleep,  
And miles to go before I sleep.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 22, 2015, 09:25:27 am
(The weather we're having here, it feels more like the spring equinox.  :P )

You got that right.  The temps here for Christmas Eve are predicted for 70.  :o
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 22, 2015, 10:25:51 am
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY Robert Frost (1922)

Thanks, Paul. I love that poem.

And may Boston have a dearth of snowy evenings this season.  :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 22, 2015, 10:27:18 am
Like every year, I'm happy that the darkest day of the year is now behind us! :)

I wish I'd thought to light a candle, or something, last evening. Just because. But I didn't think of it.  :(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: southendmd on December 22, 2015, 10:28:57 am
Thanks, Paul. I love that poem.

And may Boston have a dearth of snowy evenings this season.  :)

Thanks, Jeff.  I hope Philly is spared, too.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 22, 2015, 10:39:42 am
Thanks, Jeff.  I hope Philly is spared, too.

Thanks. I think we will be.

I keep hearing people--mainly my father--saying things like, "Oh! Watch out for January and February." But I don't think so.

I'd like to know the location of the jet stream. I was thinking about this, this morning. You keep hearing, "El Nino this" and "El Nino that," but I seem to remember "they" used to talk about El Nino's influence on the location of the jet stream. If the jet stream is positioned such that it's pulling air up from the south over the East Coast, then we should have a mild, open winter.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 22, 2015, 07:15:58 pm
Lovely, evocative image of Stonehenge.  :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 23, 2015, 09:54:20 am
(http://rlv.zcache.com/winter_solstice_pagan_candle_with_pentacle_card-r2c7e1916844849e9845a51dc5f84daf1_xvuat_8byvr_512.jpg)
Title: Happy Imbolc!
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 26, 2016, 10:48:07 am
Can spring be far behind?

Imbolc originated as a Gaelic festival that celebrated the beginning of spring. Until today, it falls at the midpoint between the winter and spring equinox, usually around Feb. 1. The word “imbolc” refers to sheep's milk in Old Irish. During ancient times, lactating ewes represented one of the first signs of spring.
Title: Re: Happy Imbolc!
Post by: serious crayons on January 26, 2016, 02:04:22 pm
Can spring be far behind?

Imbolc originated as a Gaelic festival that celebrated the beginning of spring. Until today, it falls at the midpoint between the winter and spring equinox, usually around Feb. 1. The word “imbolc” refers to sheep's milk in Old Irish. During ancient times, lactating ewes represented one of the first signs of spring.

Here we are discussing lactation again :laugh: but wouldn't the ewes lactate in response to giving birth? In which case maybe the lambs would be a sign of spring, but the ewes wouldn't spontaneously lactate with the seasons ... or would they?

Or maybe I'm overthinking it. Maybe it's just new lambs = lactation = sheep's milk = spring.  :)


For me, the first sign of spring is when I can put in a full day of work at the office and when I go out to my car it's still completely light out.

We're not there yet, but at least it's no longer pitch dark. More like twilight.

So, in the spirit of the old Irish, I will name the beginning of spring Noheadlights.  ;D




Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on January 27, 2016, 09:41:42 am
:laugh:

With  Easter coming early this year, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb 10th, so I've decided that this Friday I'll be putting up my Mardi Gras decor around my cubicle.

:)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on May 01, 2016, 09:57:21 pm
It's Beltane! And we just about missed it!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on May 02, 2016, 12:17:27 pm
(http://wildeyedsoutherncelt.com/wp-content/uploads/indexbeltane.jpg)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 16, 2016, 03:46:43 pm
The Winter Solstice is approaching: Wednesday, December 21.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 18, 2016, 06:05:06 am
The Winter Solstice is approaching: Wednesday, December 21.


Yes, and as usual, it can't come fast enough. Looking forward to days getting longer again! :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 18, 2016, 10:45:37 am
Yes, and as usual, it can't come fast enough. Looking forward to days getting longer again! :)

It's almost time to celebrate Longerdays!  :D


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2016, 11:35:07 am
And sol returns! At about 3:30 Mountain Standard Time! I'll be lighting a candle and probably doing a Tarot reading. I certainly need some insight into the coming year!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2016, 12:04:17 pm
Someone posted this (I cleaned up most of the errors):

An old Persian tradition. Persian people celebrate the longest night with fruits like pomegranate and watermelon and all kinds of mixed nuts and dried fruit, reading poems all night long. An ancient tradition to celebrate the longest night and birthday of the sun as days will get longer next morning. It is called Yalda night.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2016, 12:34:26 pm
And sol returns! At about 3:30 Mountain Standard Time! I'll be lighting a candle and probably doing a Tarot reading. I certainly need some insight into the coming year!

It's already winter here! I'd like to light a candle at sunset, but I won't be home until after dark.  :(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: southendmd on December 21, 2016, 01:14:54 pm
It's almost time to celebrate Longerdays!  :D

I put it on the banner!

Welcome to BetterMost!
(http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/ss192/Penthesilea09/Nach%20Neugestaltung%20der%20Website/stonehenge_cloudy_sunset_zps8219009b.jpg)

We celebrate Longerdays,
formerly known as the Winter Solstice (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,6898.msg653397.html#msg653397)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 21, 2016, 04:40:39 pm
Someone posted this (I cleaned up most of the errors):

An old Persian tradition. Persian people celebrate the longest night with fruits like pomegranate and watermelon and all kinds of mixed nuts and dried fruit, reading poems all night long. An ancient tradition to celebrate the longest night and birthday of the sun as days will get longer next morning. It is called Yalda night.

Ha! I just heard about this on the radio a couple of hours ago!

They interviewed the head of the Iranian association here, and he said exactly that!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 21, 2016, 05:36:54 pm
Of course it is midsummer here in  Sydney so sunset at 8.06pm and sunrise at 5.41. Back home in Dunedin sunset is 9.29pm and sunrise at 5.44am.

However
On June 24 next year I will be in Fairbanks, Alaska where I see sunset is at 12.47am and sunrise at 3am with the "rest" of the night just twilight.
So no winter solstice for me until mid 2018.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2016, 07:15:26 pm
It's already winter here! I'd like to light a candle at sunset, but I won't be home until after dark.  :(

As soon as I got home, to honor the solstice I lit a soy candle with a spruce scent. My place smells wonderful!  :D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 22, 2016, 11:55:13 am
Of course it is midsummer here in  Sydney so sunset at 8.06pm and sunrise at 5.41. Back home in Dunedin sunset is 9.29pm and sunrise at 5.44am.

However
On June 24 next year I will be in Fairbanks, Alaska where I see sunset is at 12.47am and sunrise at 3am with the "rest" of the night just twilight.
So no winter solstice for me until mid 2018.

You just answered a longstanding question of mine, whether people in Australia and environs call our summer winter and our winter summer. And, they do!!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2017, 08:30:34 pm
Do LED candles count in solstice celebrations?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 22, 2017, 10:03:17 am
You just answered a longstanding question of mine, whether people in Australia and environs call our summer winter and our winter summer. And, they do!!

I always wonder that, too. Do they think of summer as a cold season and winter as warm -- or are summer and winter universal terms for warm season and cold season, respectively? Now we know it's the latter.

I think I asked Sheyne this question long ago, got an answer, but then forgot it.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 22, 2017, 01:22:51 pm
The only difference I know is that we say that Summer starts on December 1 and ends on February 28/29. Autumn starts March 1. You seem to start Winter at the solstice December 21/22
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 23, 2017, 11:39:16 am
The only difference I know is that we say that Summer starts on December 1 and ends on February 28/29. Autumn starts March 1. You seem to start Winter at the solstice December 21/22

Correct, the official calendar dates for the respective seasons coincide with the solstices and equinoxes. But people don't really think of them that way. It may be a little personalized and depends slightly on your location, but most people think of winter as December through February, spring as March through May, summer as June through August, fall as September through November.

That leads to much hilarity in broadcast weather segments when the temperature on the "first day of winter" is 10 degrees F below zero, which wouldn't be all that unusual here (this Sunday, the "fourth day of winter," the predicted low is -9F). Likewise the "first day of summer" coming after weeks of heat or the "first day of fall" happening long after the weather has cooled off.

On the other hand, when I lived in New Orleans, where it's 95 degrees through September, it's weird to hear a radio ad for an upcoming "fall festival."

 
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 23, 2017, 02:13:27 pm
Having lived most of my life in Sydney which has a latitude (34'S) and climate very like Charleston NC, I can appreciate life in New Orleans. For 28 years I lived 80 km inland and at 2000 ft a.s. l so it was not quite so hot and when I moved there it was usually cooler at night but that was changing.
I use to avoid staying overnight at my mother's apartment until after my birthday in mid-March but it was not always avoidable. The nights were so hot. It is why this year I have broken my promise (when I moved) to always return to my sister for Christmas. She lives on the same floor as my mother did but in a bigger apartment. However the spare bedroom is much like my mother's lounge room where I use to sleep with no cross ventilation. I made the definite decision to migrate when on my mother's last New Year's Day it was 46'C (115'F). My mother's oxygen machine broke down (we had to get the cylinders) and they were closing picture theatres due to aircon breaking down.

Now I am in Dunedin (46'S) much like Maine, the maximum temperature ever recorded was 32'C (90'F) however because the landmass of NZ is so much smaller we do not get the cold of Maine. I have not seen it below -2'C (28'F) at my place 300 metres a.s.l but it does get down to -6'C at the airport on the river flat to the south and can be -16'C (3'F) in inland areas of the province which is called Central and about 100km inland.

People are surprised that Dunedin has lower rainfall than Sydney because Sydney receives a lot in thunderstorms when it pelts down. In Dunedin it tends to be just drizzle. Also it is more reliable. Sydney has water storage to last for years (it was 7 years when I was teaching geography but probably much less now due to rising population, they have installed a very expensive water desalination plant). Here in Dunedin we have 3-4 weeks supply  ;D Also water is not metered, there have been no restrictions on use since I lived here but there have been some in the past. Watering gardens was often severely restricted in Sydney (only by hand morning and evening on 2 days per week when I left).
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 23, 2017, 03:24:03 pm
On the other hand, when I lived in New Orleans, where it's 95 degrees through September, it's weird to hear a radio ad for an upcoming "fall festival."

:laugh:
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 18, 2018, 07:22:11 pm
Friday is the winter solstice. Is anybody going to light a candle, or anything?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 18, 2018, 07:25:38 pm
I'm not sure!  I may do something in my apartment.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 18, 2018, 07:28:05 pm
We should have our annual "longerdays" celebration.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 18, 2018, 11:51:14 pm
This year I'm at a loss for where to find genuine bayberry candles. The place where I used to buy them has closed.  :(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 19, 2018, 11:57:49 am
We should have our annual "longerdays" celebration.

We should!  :D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 19, 2018, 07:40:17 pm
I think it's pretty cool that this year the Winter Solstice and the full moon almost exactly coincide.

What is it about the Winter Solstice that stirs something atavistic in me, even more than the Summer Solstice?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 19, 2018, 09:15:49 pm
Well, are you a summer person, or a winter person?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 19, 2018, 10:40:00 pm
I know that in Sweden they celebrate summer solstice by drinking vodka and eating crawfish. I know this because years ago I did a story on the crawfish industry in Louisiana.

So maybe we could come up with some similar custom(s) for Longerdays! After all, we pretty much invented the holiday.

So what should the food be? Most holidays are associated with particular kinds of food: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, New Year's Eve and Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Memorial July 4 and Labor Day (the last three pretty much the same).

So what should the foods be for Longerdays?



Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2018, 10:08:35 am
Well, are you a summer person, or a winter person?

I've never thought about it in those terms, but over the past few years, as I've been approaching the upper end of middle age, heat has come to bother me more than cold.

But I don't think it's a matter of summer person vs winter person. I think it's something much deeper than that, something much more primitive, related to the dying of the old year and the arrival of the new, going from the period of decreasing sunlight to increasing sunlight.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 20, 2018, 11:20:50 am

So maybe we could come up with some similar custom(s) for Longerdays! After all, we pretty much invented the holiday.

So what should the food be? Most holidays are associated with particular kinds of food: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, New Year's Eve and Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, Memorial July 4 and Labor Day (the last three pretty much the same).


Whatever it is, please don't let it be shrimp. R. and I went to a Korean BBQ restaurant and had shrimp yesterday. It was good, but let's just say that was not the last time I saw that shrimp!!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2018, 12:44:03 pm
Whatever it is, please don't let it be shrimp. R. and I went to a Korean BBQ restaurant and had shrimp yesterday. It was good, but let's just say that was not the last time I saw that shrimp!!

 :P  Sorry to hear that, FRiend.

Aside from the fact that I don't like seafood, that's one reason why I stick with chicken in an establishment like that.

I noticed some time ago that any Asian cuisine I've been exposed to has at least one dish that basically comes down to chicken and rice. My experience is that's usually a safe bet.

The chicken and rice I had at the Korean restaurant Monday evening tasted good and did not come back for a visit.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 20, 2018, 04:30:40 pm
I ordered the chicken; R. ordered the shrimp.I just had 2 or 3 of those.

Since I last posted, I found out R. is well today, but my son-in-law is sick like me. So I guess it's time to blame it on a flu bug that is going around.  :'(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 20, 2018, 06:25:40 pm
I ordered the chicken; R. ordered the shrimp.I just had 2 or 3 of those.

Since I last posted, I found out R. is well today, but my son-in-law is sick like me. So I guess it's time to blame it on a flu bug that is going around.  :'(

Well, I guess he won't be sick for Christmas, will he?
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 21, 2018, 11:31:48 am
I ordered the chicken; R. ordered the shrimp.I just had 2 or 3 of those.

Since I last posted, I found out R. is well today, but my son-in-law is sick like me. So I guess it's time to blame it on a flu bug that is going around.  :'(

But I bet you still won't be in the mood for shrimp for a while, right? I've often seen or had the experience of getting the flu and then feeling disgusted by whatever food I ate right beforehand. Evolutionary protection, I assume. Even if the shrimp (or unfamiliar berry or plant in Pleistocene days) wasn't what made you sick, that reflex keeps you from eating more in case it was.

It's similar to why a lot of children hate vegetables, I think. Children who stray off on their own could easily eat an unfamiliar plant or berry if no adult was around to warn them it was poison. So better not to like eating them at all.


Aside from the fact that I don't like seafood, that's one reason why I stick with chicken in an establishment like that.

I noticed some time ago that any Asian cuisine I've been exposed to has at least one dish that basically comes down to chicken and rice. My experience is that's usually a safe bet.

The chicken and rice I had at the Korean restaurant Monday evening tasted good and did not come back for a visit.

In most Asian restaurants, my goal is to get as many vegetables into the meal as possible, adorned with an appropriate protein and a somewhat spicy sauce.

That's my approach in a lot of restaurants, for that matter.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2018, 01:04:50 pm
Yes, you are right about that. Feeling much better today and getting into the Solstice and holiday spirit!!

Lots happening in the sky tonight! I'm going to go out and see whatever I can see!!

https://qz.com/1501492/the-full-cold-moon-and-ursids-meteor-shower-2018-a-guide-to-stargazing-during-the-winter-solstice/ (https://qz.com/1501492/the-full-cold-moon-and-ursids-meteor-shower-2018-a-guide-to-stargazing-during-the-winter-solstice/)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 21, 2018, 09:43:09 pm
something primative.....hmmm.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 23, 2018, 12:53:04 pm
A little late, but...

Happy Longerdays, BetterMost!
 :)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 23, 2018, 02:58:35 pm
Happy Longerdays to you and your family!!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 24, 2018, 12:21:39 pm

H A P P  Y  L O N G E R D A Y S




(https://cdn.patchcdn.com/users/532885/2012/12/T800x600/5dc8d3577440425a3733d76aa70d045a.jpg)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 24, 2018, 08:32:01 pm
Happy Longerdays!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 06, 2019, 05:57:53 pm
Getting ready for our homegrown BetterMost holiday.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 06, 2019, 11:07:26 pm
Yes it will be coming soon!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 17, 2019, 10:27:25 pm
This Saturday. Make ready the candles and the Yule log. Let the feasting and celebrating begin.  :D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 18, 2019, 01:45:44 am
Yup, the shortest day of the year,  and then each day gets lighter a little sooner.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 18, 2019, 12:04:45 pm
Chrissi and I celebrate 12/22 with a holiday called Longerdays.



Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2019, 04:22:51 pm
The solstice is today..
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 21, 2019, 07:36:05 pm
Happy Solstice, happy longerdays!! And I can't seem to find my Tarot cards, dang!

Sad Solstice for the southern hemisphere, I saw a picture of Sydney and you could barely make out the outline of the Opera House.

What shall we do to celebrate Longerdays? I have a little quiz for you:

What is one thing you've never done before that you would like to do in 2020, at least once?
2020 is a leap year. What special thing will you do on Saturday, February 29, 2020?
How will you celebrate the return of the light?
What will you change in 2020?
What did you do in 2010 that you want to do again in 2020?

No written answers necessary. . . just ponder these questions!
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 21, 2019, 09:44:59 pm
Nice set of questions. Thanks for posing them!

Not directly related, but since you bring up Leap Year, I'm glad 2020 will turn this year's awkwardly mid-week Christmas and New Years Day into convenient weekend or weekend-adjacent holidays for the next four years.

2019 Wed

2020 Fri
2021 Sat
2022 Sun
2023 Mon

2024 Wed

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on December 21, 2019, 10:22:58 pm
Not directly related, but since you bring up Leap Year, I'm glad 2020 will turn this year's awkwardly mid-week Christmas and New Years Day into convenient weekend or weekend-adjacent holidays for the next four years.

Got that right! Of course, my employer gives us Christmas Day off, but then this year we are also getting Decmeber 26, Thursday, as a holiday. So, what, they actually expect people to go in and work one day, Friday, and then be off again for a weekend? (Not me--I saved up enough Paid Time Off. I don't go back to work till January 2.) Weird.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 21, 2019, 10:49:17 pm
Got that right! Of course, my employer gives us Christmas Day off, but then this year we are also getting Decmeber 26, Thursday, as a holiday. So, what, they actually expect people to go in and work one day, Friday, and then be off again for a weekend? (Not me--I saved up enough Paid Time Off. I don't go back to work till January 2.) Weird.

I have the opposite situation. I had saved up a bunch of PTO thinking I was going to move and then not moving because the would-be buyers backed out. So I took the last half of December off, except for today (Saturday) because Saturday shifts are hard to fill but generally nicer to work, and also Dec. 26, because several other people on my team had already asked for it. Which is fine -- they're probably traveling to see family and I'm not, and hopefully it will be a quiet day.

I've been spending my PTO time downsizing, organizing, decluttering, etc. It's going very slowly. I shudder to think that if the home buyers hadn't backed out, I'd have to be out of here by Jan. 6. There's no way I'd be ready. Hopefully if I keep at it this month, and then on my days off in 2020, then whenever I actually do sell it I'll be more prepared.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 22, 2019, 12:17:00 am
Here it is compulsory to give employees Christmas Day off (or pay double time) also 26th and January 1 and 2. However the news is all about the traffic leaving the cities as most offices, factories closed on Friday and will not reopen until January 3rd at the earliest, more likely the 6th. Almost nothing is open on December 25, no public transport. At least there is no cruise ship in port this year. Two years ago I came out of the cathedral and there were lots of people milling around because, despite two ships in, the only thing open was Maccas. It is much the same on Good Friday.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 22, 2019, 12:29:14 am
However we have 3 ships in on 26th although one is the Caledonian Sky with just 57 luxury suites so I guess less than 150 passengers. The others are the Explorer Dream with 2,800 passengers and Norwegian Jewel with nearly 2,400 passengers, Then on Friday there is the Queen Elizabeth with 2,500 and Noordam with 1,900. The Ovation of the Seas comes in on New Years Day with up to 4,900 passengers. Sadly it cancelled its last visit as it was the ship carrying the people who were killed and injured in the White Island Volcanic explosion.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 22, 2019, 06:22:57 am
Chrissi and I celebrate 12/22 with a holiday called Longerdays.

You bet!

Happy Longerdays, BetterMost!
The darkest day of the year is behind us, spring must be around the corner ;)

Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 22, 2019, 11:38:55 am


Thanks, Chrissi!

HAPPY    L O N G   E R D  A   Y S   to you, too!


I was just about to send you a Longerdays greeting on Facebook, but it's especially nice to see you here!

Daylight in Minneapolis today is less than one second longer than yesterday. But tomorrow will be five seconds longer, and by the end of the month my days will be 3 minutes and 41 seconds longer.

Looks like your days are about 46 minutes shorter than ours at this point (and equivalently longer in June). Only last summer did I learn that most of Europe is north of the United States, that your temperatures were milder because of ocean currents, not latitude.

Here are some interesting maps that show where European and North American cities would be if they were on each other's continents.


(http://d36tnp772eyphs.cloudfront.net/blogs/1/2017/07/latitudes.jpg)


(http://d36tnp772eyphs.cloudfront.net/blogs/1/2017/07/Latitudess.jpg)


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 22, 2019, 11:49:32 am
Hello Bettermost!

Happy Longerdays and Solstice to you all!

Yes, with the Leap Year in 2020, next year's holidays will be long weekends for  me.  Off early Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, off Christmas Day and New Year's Day, and then no work on Saturday or Sunday.

;D
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 23, 2019, 03:30:23 pm
Nice set of questions. Thanks for posing them!

Not directly related, but since you bring up Leap Year, I'm glad 2020 will turn this year's awkwardly mid-week Christmas and New Years Day into convenient weekend or weekend-adjacent holidays for the next four years.

2019 Wed

2020 Fri
2021 Sat
2022 Sun
2023 Mon

2024 Wed


We don't particularly like that calender. We never get a free weekday to make up for a holiday falling on a weekend. That's just a lost free day  :'(.

OTOH, Xmas here is three days off. The 24th, which is when people celebrate; the 25th, which is when people recover, and the 26th, boxing day, which is when people start picking fights with their annoying relatives  ;D

So this year, xmas falls on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and a lot of people are able to take Monday and/or Friday off.

The next four years we'll lose 1 or even 2 days off  :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 23, 2019, 04:18:39 pm
I am surprised that you lose holidays in Sweden. In Australia such holidays are always Mondayised if on Sunday and generally if on Saturday although next year Anzac day is on Saturday and only the state of Western Australia has declared a holiday for Monday 27th April. It is only since I moved here that NZ has begun doing the same for Anzac Day and Waitangi Day and Monday 27th April will also be a holiday in NZ next year. Australia Day was Saturday this year and the whole country had a holiday on the Monday.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 23, 2019, 07:31:04 pm
It's always been like that, AFAIK. No compensation for lost holidays, ever.  :'(

In fact, it was only when I started hanging out with brokies on the forums that I found out that other contries (at least some other countries) get Monday off instead of a lost holiday.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 24, 2019, 07:03:39 am
It's always been like that, AFAIK. No compensation for lost holidays, ever.  :'(

In fact, it was only when I started hanging out with brokies on the forums that I found out that other contries (at least some other countries) get Monday off instead of a lost holiday.

In my job, we may get the Monday, or we'll be given a "floating day". 

Next year Christmas is on Friday, so we'll get out early Thursday, be off Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

When Christmas falls on Saturday, the branches will be closed.  Back office locations (like mine) will be given a floating day, meaning an extra day off during the year to use whenever we want.

When Christmas falls on Sunday, the bank will either give everyone a floating day, or we'll be closed Monday, whichever the company decides to do.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 24, 2019, 01:29:50 pm

We don't particularly like that calender. We never get a free weekday to make up for a holiday falling on a weekend. That's just a lost free day  :'(.

OTOH, Xmas here is three days off. The 24th, which is when people celebrate; the 25th, which is when people recover, and the 26th, boxing day, which is when people start picking fights with their annoying relatives  ;D

So this year, xmas falls on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and a lot of people are able to take Monday and/or Friday off.

The next four years we'll lose 1 or even 2 days off  :'( :'( :'(

Well, let me ask you this. How many annual days of vacation are mandated/commonly provided in Sweden? In the United States, it's common to get two weeks off (especially early in your career), plus five or so holidays, plus a few sick/family leave days. Nothing is legally mandated except family leave days. Many, many people get no paid vacation.

From what I've heard, European annual vacations are much more generous.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: southendmd on December 24, 2019, 01:41:27 pm
Ahem.  Some people with 18 days off at xmess shouldn't be whining about the occasional "lost free day".   :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 24, 2019, 03:39:17 pm
Four weeks vacation is the government mandate in both NZ and Australia. I just read it is 5 weeks in the UK. Of course, as a teacher I had 5 to 6 weeks at Christmas and 3 other 2 week breaks in a year, all on full pay, so I cannot imagine only having 2 weeks.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 24, 2019, 06:03:02 pm
Ahem.  Some people with 18 days off at xmess shouldn't be whining about the occasional "lost free day".   :laugh: :laugh:



:laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 25, 2019, 11:55:32 am
Four weeks vacation is the government mandate in both NZ and Australia. I just read it is 5 weeks in the UK. Of course, as a teacher I had 5 to 6 weeks at Christmas and 3 other 2 week breaks in a year, all on full pay, so I cannot imagine only having 2 weeks.

I once interviewed for a full-time professional job where they told me they only allowed one week off per year. I said nothing, but I’m sure a look of horror briefly passed over my face. Possibly one reason I didn’t get the job, which would have been a terrible one for a number of reasons anyway.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 25, 2019, 02:33:22 pm
Well, let me ask you this. How many annual days of vacation are mandated/commonly provided in Sweden? In the United States, it's common to get two weeks off (especially early in your career), plus five or so holidays, plus a few sick/family leave days. Nothing is legally mandated except family leave days. Many, many people get no paid vacation.

From what I've heard, European annual vacations are much more generous.

I don't know about the rest of Europe, it varies from country to country, but here in Sweden everone has a right to 25 paid vacation days, by law. If you don't work a full year, you'll get a proportional number of days.
Then, depending on your employer and age, you can get additional days. I work in public health care, and when I turned 40 I got another 6 days. When I turned 50 I got one more day, thus I now have 32 days of vacation. That's maximum in my field. People employed by the state have more, I don't know exactly how many. Private companies often stick with the 25 days, OTOH wages are usually higher in the private sector.

There are around 12 holidays throughout the year where most people don't work. Some of these will always fall on a weekend and hence be lost. So, roughly 8-10 free holidays a year.

Parental leave is now 15 or 18 month I think. When my son was born 32 years ago it was 9 months. It's not paid by the employer but by the social insurance, aka our taxes.

Sick leave is paid by the employer the first 2 weeks, after that by the social insurance. The employer can't restrict your number of sick leave days, but there are many rules in place by the social insurance system to try and get people back to work during a long sick leave period.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 25, 2019, 02:34:52 pm
Ahem.  Some people with 18 days off at xmess shouldn't be whining about the occasional "lost free day".   :laugh: :laugh:


Blahblahblah  ::)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: brian on December 25, 2019, 06:15:18 pm
My main social networking these days is with Tripadvisor and it is always slightly amazing to us when people from the USA ask about trips to Australia and/or NZ for 2 weeks. Even worse when they want to cover both countries in the 2 weeks. I do feel sorry for them. We have to explain that Australia is much the same size as the Lower 48 states. Even with NZ, with only 2 weeks, you are best to stick to just one of the islands.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 25, 2019, 08:37:54 pm
I don't know about the rest of Europe, it varies from country to country, but here in Sweden everone has a right to 25 paid vacation days, by law. If you don't work a full year, you'll get a proportional number of days.
Then, depending on your employer and age, you can get additional days

Well, suffice to say that in this country it’s worse in every imaginable way. None of it is government mandated, a huge portion of the population gets zero paid vacation, holidays, parental or sick leave. Most poor people don’t have those things but neither do middle-class people with contract jobs. Even people with fancy high-paying jobs don’t necessarily have it that much better (in terms of time off) either because their jobs are demanding, they want to look dedicated or both.

Years ago I wrote a feature story about this vacation inequity. The main explanation seemed to be that Europe’s labor unions are stronger.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 26, 2019, 07:12:43 am
The lawfully minimum in Germany is 4 weeks of paid vacation time, but 6 weeks is the rule. I don't know anyone who has less than 6 weeks.
We have roundabout 14 holidays, depending on your federal country. Of those 14 holidays, 2 are always on a Sunday, thus lost. Makes around 12 holidays per year.

Like Sweden, if a holiday falls on a weekend, it is lost, no making up for it.

Christmas is three days here, too. But Christmas Eve is no official holiday. Some people have to take 1/2 day vacation time, same goes for New Year's Eve.



Ahem.  Some people with 18 days off at xmess shouldn't be whining about the occasional "lost free day".   :laugh: :laugh:


Totally with Sonja here: blahblahblah...... ;D :laugh:


I can feel you, Sonja, regarding the Christmas holidays for the next years. Hate the calendar.


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: CellarDweller on December 26, 2019, 07:49:54 am
I love the calendar next year!

I"ll leave work early Thursday, be off on Friday, and my area is closed Saturday and Sunday.

:)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Penthesilea on December 26, 2019, 08:01:26 am
I love the calendar next year!

I"ll leave work early Thursday, be off on Friday, and my area is closed Saturday and Sunday.

:)


I guess it's all a matter of perspective :laugh:
I'll have Thursday, Friday, Sat and Sun completely free. That's 1/2 a day more than you have, but still I feel cheated out of one holiday (the Saturday).

And in two years it'll be worse because both Christmas holidays will be on the weekend. They're totally lost, eeek! >:(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 26, 2019, 10:07:11 am

I guess it's all a matter of perspective :laugh:
I'll have Thursday, Friday, Sat and Sun completely free. That's 1/2 a day more than you have, but still I feel cheated out of one holiday (the Saturday).

And in two years it'll be worse because both Christmas holidays will be on the weekend. They're totally lost, eeek! >:(

I can see how that would be frustrating ... unless you had a friend across the pond who gets only six holidays a year (there are other holidays, of course, but they're not typically days off work for most people). And she has to use vacation days to take those holidays off. And if she or a family member gets sick, there go more vacation days. (We don't even call them vacation days -- they're PTO, or paid-time off.)

And this is someone who has a relatively comfortable middle-class job with decent benefits. Those aren't uncommon, but they're becoming less so. Then there are poorer people with hourly wage jobs -- who can by law take time off to care for a sick family member but aren't necessarily paid for it and are not guaranteed holidays off or anything else.

But that also applies to people with theoretically middle-class jobs. A few years ago, I worked part-time contract at a huge international Fortune 500 company, My hourly pay was good (by my standards) but I had no benefits, including no PTO. On my 14-person team, mostly graphic designers, 11 were contract employees working 40 hours. But were contract employees. So they, like me, got no PTO or anything else but worked 40 hours a week.

Then there are rich people who, studies show, actually work more hours than people with lower incomes. But of course, in return they get high incomes and cushy benefits.

And don't even get me started on employer provided (or not) health care.  ::)


Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 27, 2019, 05:27:16 pm

Years ago I wrote a feature story about this vacation inequity. The main explanation seemed to be that Europe’s labor unions are stronger.

That could be it, although I'm sure there are additional explanations too.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 27, 2019, 05:29:15 pm

Totally with Sonja here: blahblahblah...... ;D :laugh:


I can feel you, Sonja, regarding the Christmas holidays for the next years. Hate the calendar.

You and me both, Chrissi!  :-* ;D 
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 27, 2019, 05:30:56 pm

And in two years it'll be worse because both Christmas holidays will be on the weekend. They're totally lost, eeek! >:(


 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 27, 2019, 05:41:35 pm
Well, if y'all hadn't fought against the English army, you would've had vacation and other benefits too!  ;D
Not to mention proper spelling   8)
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 28, 2019, 05:16:12 pm
That could be it, although I'm sure there are additional explanations too.

Sure. Though some of those are connected. For example, many Americans embrace a "rugged individualist" ideal, which comes with a lot of characteristics that can lead to unfairness.

I wrote the vacation story almost 20 years ago, but as I recall it included a number of different explanations. But unless unions work really differently in Europe than they do in the United States, they are a major factor in determining benefits like vacation time for large groups of people.

Unions have often been unpopular here forever and in recent decades have become increasingly weak. Most industries aren't unionized (mine is, thankfully). The United States does not have a Labor Party, unlike many countries in the world, including European countries.

(FYI, the Wikipedia entry on "labor parties" lists the United States as having a labor party, too, but Wikipedia thinks it's called the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party. Which I can say as a Minnesotan -- the only state to even use that moniker -- just means Democrat. I don't know why we keep that DFL designation, which may have come in handy early in the 20th century or something but now is outright inaccurate. Many farmers and laborers vote Republican.)





Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 29, 2019, 01:56:33 pm
Sure. Though some of those are connected. For example, many Americans embrace a "rugged individualist" ideal, which comes with a lot of characteristics that can lead to unfairness.

I wrote the vacation story almost 20 years ago, but as I recall it included a number of different explanations. But unless unions work really differently in Europe than they do in the United States, they are a major factor in determining benefits like vacation time for large groups of people.

Unions have often been unpopular here forever and in recent decades have become increasingly weak. Most industries aren't unionized (mine is, thankfully). The United States does not have a Labor Party, unlike many countries in the world, including European countries.

(FYI, the Wikipedia entry on "labor parties" lists the United States as having a labor party, too, but Wikipedia thinks it's called the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party. Which I can say as a Minnesotan -- the only state to even use that moniker -- just means Democrat. I don't know why we keep that DFL designation, which may have come in handy early in the 20th century or something but now is outright inaccurate. Many farmers and laborers vote Republican.)


I'm quite convinced that unions and labour parties are a very big factor in achieving benefits and legal rights for employees. Among other groups.

In Sweden the unions were really struggling and not always legal during the first decades of the last century, but later on the unions and the social democratic (aka labour) party have been one of the most important determing factors in developing the political, social and work related systems here.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: serious crayons on December 29, 2019, 03:20:49 pm
the unions and the social democratic (aka labour) party have been one of the most important determing factors in developing the political, social and work related systems here.

That's why a lot of Americans think your system sounds better. Others, however, think America is always the best at every possible thing.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Sason on December 29, 2019, 07:01:28 pm
That's why a lot of Americans think your system sounds better. Others, however, think America is always the best at every possible thing.

Yes, that's my impression too.
Title: Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 22, 2020, 05:04:02 pm
Imbolc is here! Celebrate with tastes of the season!

https://gathervictoria.com/2016/01/20/midwinter-feast-of-light-reviving-the-magical-foods-of-imbolc/?fbclid=IwAR0mgPosc6PwzYtC0I3JTSimVVnIxQFnntgcitvuENUiPdYfN86TXN4Wh5s (https://gathervictoria.com/2016/01/20/midwinter-feast-of-light-reviving-the-magical-foods-of-imbolc/?fbclid=IwAR0mgPosc6PwzYtC0I3JTSimVVnIxQFnntgcitvuENUiPdYfN86TXN4Wh5s)