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It was a full weekend between social activities and getting caught up at the office. Whenever either happens, my time for writing and reading blogs dries up quicker than rain in the desert.  My mind feels dried up as well; the Muses left early for their winter holiday with the Fates.   This leaves me with the Norns for inspiration and consultation.  Of course, they want me to write about the winter solstice.

As I drove to work this morning in the predawn, I remembered this week is the ‘darkest week of the year’.  I rather like the winter solstice. I suppose my Northern latitude genetics makes it so.  I try to make it a quiet peaceful time, with plenty of candles to welcome the returning sun.

Unfortunately this year’s Winter Solstice tranquility is being marred by all the Mayan nonsense.  I would readily dodge it all by turning off the media, but patients keep bringing it in as a source of angst de jour.

 

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Someone (not my Someone) recently pointed out the similarity between f the Mesoamerican calendar and the Oreo cookie.  Rather than prescribing tranquilizers, I am going to tell the new-age anxious to make Oreo truffles:

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36   OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided

1  pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened

16oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

RESERVE 1/4 cup cookie crumbs. Mix cream cheese and remaining cookie crumbs until blended.

SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.

I plan to ‘celebrate’ this week with as much peace and quiet as possible. Someone (my Someone) is always concerned my mania for lighting candles will burn the house down. This would be a fine ‘end of the world’ indeed – our own little personal Gotterdamurung. Thanks Norns.

So that’s all the Spo-thoughts on his bright but brief winter morning. I will try to keep you abreast of the news if I happen to see any Mayans or Oreo cookie sightings.

Tonight is the winter solstice, or “Yule” as it is called.  I like this day and this time of year. My Celtic/Northern European genetics surges up at this time of year. 2500 years of hasn’t buried my Pagan roots very deep; a simple scratch and they bolt up and out.

I started to write what I thought was an original blog entry on the day, only to discover “I already had’ a few years ago. Phooey. I hate it when I think I am being brilliant and original, only to realize I am repeating myself. Still, that is what annual holidays are for, repeating something. Every year is different but still the same.
So, with no apologies, here is the original blog entry reprinted:

It is the winter solstice. I like this event. Many ancient cultures and civilizations – at least those in the Northern Hemisphere – celebrated this time of year. They welcomed the ‘return of the Sun’.

It is no coincidence Christmas was placed at this time of year.  The early Protestants were not wrong trying to ban the celebration as a pseudo-pagan holiday.  The event touches on the archaic. The solstice has an element of hope. Just as things seem darkest, the Light appears and what seemed dark and dead begins to become alive. Mankind needs this; and Yule/Winter Solstice fills this.

Solstice no longer evokes fears of ‘How are we going to make it until the spring time?”  Now that I live in Phoenix, the return of the sun is no longer a such a joyous event.

All the same. It makes my Nordic and Celtic bloodlines bubble a bit with ancient memories of long ago winters.

I will light some candles and welcome the light. A new year is on its way, with hope and longing for the green of another spring.

There it is. There is not much more else to add, other than this year I plan to raise a glass of wine (or better yet – Glogg) and toast the return of the light.

Happy Yule!

It is the winter solstice. I like this event. Many ancient cultures and civilizations – at least those in the Northern Hemisphere – celebrated this time of year. They welcomed the return of the Sun.

It is no coincidence Christmas is placed at this time of year.  The early Protestants were not wrong trying to ban the celebration as a pseudo-pagan holiday. The event touches on the archaic. The solstice has an element of hope. Just as things seem darkest, Light appears and what seemed dark and dead begins to become alive. Mankind needs this; and Yule/Winter Solstice fills this.

Solstice no longer evokes fears of ‘How are we going to make it until the spring time?”  Now that I live in Phoenix, the return of the sun is no longer a such a joyous event.

All the same. It makes my Nordic and Celtic bloodlines bubble a bit with ancient memories of long ago winters.

I will light some candles and welcome the light. A new year is on its way, with hope and longing for the green of another spring.

In the northern hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It’s officially the first day of winter. It’s officially the first day of winter and one of the oldest known holidays in human history. Anthropologists believe solstice celebrations go back at least 30,000 years before humans even began farming on a large scale. Many of the most ancient stone structures made by human beings were designed to pinpoint the precise date of the solstice. The stone circles of Stonehenge were arranged to receive the first rays of midwinter sun. It’s too bad I am not a Druid, as I revel in old ceremonies.

Seasonal rituals capture the Numinous. The modern Christian paint job applied to these ancient mysteries is barely enough to prevent the pagan parts from poking through.

It is now the darkest time of the year. Many past and present cultures in the Northern Hemisphere mark this week with solemnities and celebrations. Candles, lights, green things etc. were incorporated to welcome the return of the Sun.

On the Solstice I too light some candles. I play Loreena McKennitt’s “To Drive the Cold Winter Away” – one of my favorite holiday CDs.  It is linked in my mind to the Winter Solstice.  I usually make a hot cup of something (mulled wine is best but Urspo-co-co will do). I meditate on the past year and of the pending new year ahead. Where am I going? What am I doing?

In this little ritual I sense my ancestry, going back to its Celtic and Norman/Viking roots. It is a comfort to know I am doing something on this day as did countless generations before me.

Happy Solstice to you.

It is Sunday night. Once again I don’t have anything written ahead of time.

It has been a tiring few days. An out of town guest kept us busy (no time for blogging!). Someone and I have been catching up with Christmas decorating and a few social events. I am happy to report the lights are up, the decorations are out, and most of the major ‘to do’ chores are completed. I can sit still – finally. It feels good to sit and think.

I have a few candles burning. I like candles, especially at the Solstice. It welcomes the return of the light.  Solstice and Christmas have in common the concept of Light and Hope showing up just as the year becomes its darkest.  I hear everyday more people losing their jobs, income, and health insurance. It seems there is little hope and joy this season. I hope all my blogger buddies have a good enough holiday. I hope 2009 brings you all better times and happiness.

The candles burn; the luminarias glow outside. Our christmas tree angel carries two tiny lights to keep the dark away.

These next few days could be frantic for me; it tends to get that way prior to a major holiday.  I need to take each hour, one hour at at time.  I don’t know how much free time I will have between now and Christmas, so don’t fret if you don’t see me leaving as many comments this week.  But I will try to post, and ‘make rounds’ on my (every growing) Friends of Spo.

As Nick says, give someone a hug.

By the way, I named the penguin Walter Weebles.  I will give him a hug.

The Winter Solstice has been celebrated in rituals for millennia long before it was baptized into Christianity. Just about every culture north of 45 degrees latitude seems to have some sort of holiday at this time of year, to mark the return of the sun and the spring. The celebration of the sun’s return was more appreciated when I lived in the Midwest.  In Arizona the sun’s return means temperatures will soon again be over 100!  

My British/Anglo-Saxon/Celtic blood tends to boil up at this time of year. As a few psychoanalytic teachers have said – “The archaic is never that deep within”

Rituals are vital to the Psyche; on this day I light a candle and think about the past year and the year to come.  

It seems I am focusing on the “glass half empty” part of 2007. It was a tough year. Or I am recalling only the tough parts?  I need to reread my 2007 journal and blog to remind me of the good elements that are presenting eluding memory.Work was tiring; there were few deaths at work. Our last cat died. The house has some problems that want repair.  Some of my favorite bloggers closed down. There were a series of disappointments in my personal life – a few more than ‘the usual amount’. I end this cycle of the sun feeling worn down.  I need to revitalize, and get more sleep. Eat better; attend more to stretching. And not let work get me down so.  The usual self-care things 

Happy Solstice!  May the return of the sunshine and next year’s spring be a better time for all of us.  

It is the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of the year. My ancestors (all from northern climates) would celebrate with fires and lights  to welcome the return of the Sun. Springtime is around the corner and new life. Just as it is the darkest; the light returns.
I like the Winter Solstice. I light a few candles  and I think.
I think my last entry upset and worried some when I said 2006 was overall a bad year. I think I was having a bad day and ruminating on the World’s Woes too much.
Rodger at RodgetDodger recently reminded me in a few comments that life ain’t too bad. Thank you Rodger and others for reminding me that 2006 was the year I fell down the rabbit hole into that fabulous Wonderland of Blogging. I have enjoyed it a great deal. I have grown fond of my fellow bloggers. I very much look forward to reading them each day. I laugh at their jokes. I get sad when they hurt. While I have never met or talked to any of them (so far) I consider them friends. I am thankful for all of you.
So these are good thoughts on this darkest of days. I welcome the Sun and a ‘new year’ with hopes of growing friendships. Who knows, I may meet one or two of you!

Please stop by on Christmas; I will have virtual Christmas ‘prizes’ for everyone.

It is the Summer solstice. Folks are dancing about Stonehenge; the sun is rising around 5AM in the Kingdom of Spo: The Weather Channel is counting down the hours/minutes/seconds to the exact moment, like New Year’s Eve. (what does one do when it ‘hits’?). Every day is sunny and over 100 degrees.

It is the time of year to play Mendelssohn’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream, eat popsicles, suck watermelon (after the Fourth of July, of course) and see the summer movies. As a rule they are not of great quality but they are fun. I am looking forward to the new ‘Pirate’ movie.

Summer reading begins. For me this means vintage science fiction, usually purchased for a few dollars in old used book stores last winter. They have dated covers and they smell like old paper. Despite being about the future, they read like the 50s and 60s novels they are. They induce feelings of nostalgia.

We will go to Colorado to attend a family reunion.
We go soon to Santa Fe to hear the opera.
August sees the annual trek to Stratford; this year we will get to the Shaw Festival as well.

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Spo-Reflections 2006-2018