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Author Topic: solar ritual cycle?  (Read 15103 times)
SunflowerP
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« Reply #15: December 06, 2007, 08:44:50 pm »

I find I grow more comfortable with a continuum of change as the years pass. So the start dates being so arbitrary, I just stick to the science dates.
Heh... another "things I tell my students" item is that the sabbats aren't "the day on which the Wheel moves", they're points at which we celebrate its constant motion.  (Hmm, there's that dynamic balance again....)

And I've long been an advocate of observing one's own local conditions and basing celebrations on what one observes, rather than being slavishly faithful to what some or another book says conditions are "supposed" to be.  Hence, my Brigidfeast/Imbolc is all about returning light, with nary a mention of snowdrops (I don't even know what a snowdrop looks like; we don't have 'em here).  Too much "book" and not enough "look" is why that "thirteen full moons in the year" misconception gets perpetuated Roll Eyes.

Jenett makes an excellent point about what can happen if one doesn't use a balanced frame of (admittedly arbitrary) dates, or at the very least have some method for ensuring one's observations are fairly evenly spaced.  Left to myself, I pay a lot less attention in the cold months, because I'm likely to be thinking about getting in out of the cold, not savoring what's going on.  The Wheel turns in its own time, but we hoomans - being 90% water and subject to freezing Tongue - have a slightly different cycle that affects our perception of the turning.

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« Reply #16: December 06, 2007, 08:50:27 pm »

If it's snowing on Beltane - and it has

I have pictures - somewhere - of a beautiful 4" snow that fell on the Greater Cincinnati area on Mother's Day 1988.
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« Reply #17: December 06, 2007, 08:54:53 pm »

Too much "book" and not enough "look" is why that "thirteen full moons in the year" misconception gets perpetuated Roll Eyes.

I agree. In actuality, most years only have 12 moons - there are 13 once every two or three years depending on how they fall.
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« Reply #18: December 06, 2007, 09:03:02 pm »

The Wheel turns in its own time, but we hoomans - being 90% water and subject to freezing Tongue - have a slightly different cycle that affects our perception of the turning.

Heh. Yes.

Though I did have a lovely time Wednesday morning shoveling snow before dawn. (It didn't stop until after midnight, and I was going to be out until after 10pm). Not the way I really want to start every morning, but it was incredibly lovely. In between the shoveling bits.
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« Reply #19: December 06, 2007, 10:04:50 pm »

I had a lot of trouble getting a real handle on the equinoxes.  Planting/harvest?  Yah, yah... though March is really not planting season in these parts.  Balance, sure, but so what?

The Vernal Equinox is when things seem to start *moving* again, at least from what I've seen.  (Both in nature and not - this year I had two job interviews around that time. Smiley )  I get the harvest bit on the Autumn one - that's actually the sabbat I've done the most year-to-year consistent rituals on.  (Oh, and I got a job around that time last year, too.  Hmmm.)

I like your idea of dynamic balance.

For me, my default facetious Golden Dawn-derived concept of the Equinoxes is "time to abrogate some stuff!".  I should at very least change my various computer and internet passwords.  Smiley  (In the Golden Dawn, they would change officers and passwords at each Equinox.)
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« Reply #20: December 06, 2007, 10:49:09 pm »

One of the reasons I'm a little wary of "Seasons happen in their own time" as in Altair's comments (while I do get the concept, and see a lot of merit to it) is that it strikes me as very possible to end up with a whole lot of one of those four, and not so much of others - which means you get an oddly shaped wheel that wobbles a lot, and I'm not sure I like that symbology much.

For me, the symbology doesn't change (similar to Sunflower, I summarize the seasons as She wakes, She thrives, She tires, She sleeps); there's just a recognition that the various aspects of nature have their own rhythms, and they're highly unlikely to adhere to a schedule we impose for our convenience.

Anyway, solstices (and equinoxes) as start dates suit me better, if only because hot weather defines summer for me, and cold defines winter. Since the heat and cold peak a month or so *after* their respective solstices, the solstices don't feel like a midway point. But that's just me.
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« Reply #21: December 06, 2007, 11:14:11 pm »

Jenett makes an excellent point about what can happen if one doesn't use a balanced frame of (admittedly arbitrary) dates, or at the very least have some method for ensuring one's observations are fairly evenly spaced. 

Yeah, before I even knew what "pagan" was, I celebrated summer solstice by staying outdoors all day...and that was it. It was great, but it felt out of whack somehow.

I added my winter solstice observance (staying up all night) not long after. That solved the problem.
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« Reply #22: December 06, 2007, 11:48:21 pm »

Yeah, before I even knew what "pagan" was, I celebrated summer solstice by staying outdoors all day...and that was it. It was great, but it felt out of whack somehow.

I added my winter solstice observance (staying up all night) not long after. That solved the problem.

Yay, someone agrees with me. WOW! That's rare, VERY RARE. I'm gonna try the stay up all night idea, possibly add, no lights allowed until sunrise. It seems like a fun idea though! But I'm not yet sure they make perfect sense to me yet. I'll probably just do it for the fun aspect!

-Tj
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« Reply #23: December 07, 2007, 12:43:30 am »

Yay, someone agrees with me. WOW! That's rare, VERY RARE. I'm gonna try the stay up all night idea, possibly add, no lights allowed until sunrise. It seems like a fun idea though! But I'm not yet sure they make perfect sense to me yet. I'll probably just do it for the fun aspect!

I've made it my habit the last 8 years to get up the morning of the Winter Solstice to watch the sunrise. I sit out on the stoop with my camera and a cup of coffee and wait.
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« Reply #24: December 07, 2007, 08:59:44 am »

I've made it my habit the last 8 years to get up the morning of the Winter Solstice to watch the sunrise. I sit out on the stoop with my camera and a cup of coffee and wait.

I woke up for sunrise the past couple of years.  The first year I went back to bed, the second I didn't.  Smiley
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« Reply #25: December 07, 2007, 09:49:30 am »

What about the perihelion and aphelion?

Fiamma asked specifically about non-Wheel solar rituals, and we've mostly been discussing Wheel-based, so, to correct the topic drift a bit:

I don't celebrate perihelion (Earth's closest point to the sun in its orbit) or aphelion (Earth's furthest--I had to look that one up!), because they're not something anyone can notice by simple observation. Also, they come so close on the heels of the solstices--a phenomenon I *do* experience, and therefore celebrate--that it doesn't make sense to me as a holiday.

On the summer solstice, however, I take a moment at 1 PM (which is noon, correcting for Daylight Savings Time) to note the position of the sun in the sky: its zenith, the highest point it will reach in the sky all year, and the height of its power in the northern hemisphere.
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« Reply #26: December 07, 2007, 10:51:13 am »

On the summer solstice, however, I take a moment at 1 PM (which is noon, correcting for Daylight Savings Time) to note the position of the sun in the sky: its zenith, the highest point it will reach in the sky all year, and the height of its power in the northern hemisphere.

One thing that I do on Summer Solstice is watch the sun set and note the spot on the horizon where it sets. I have a good view of the Coast Range to the west, there's a big hill just to the east of me so I'd have to go somewhere else to see the sun rise. Of course, this is only if the Solstice occurs during the week, if it's on the weekend I'll probably be at a festival.

One of the reasons I'm a little wary of "Seasons happen in their own time" as in Altair's comments (while I do get the concept, and see a lot of merit to it) is that it strikes me as very possible to end up with a whole lot of one of those four, and not so much of others - which means you get an oddly shaped wheel that wobbles a lot, and I'm not sure I like that symbology much.

The way I see it the wheel is balanced, more or less, the cross quarters aren't celebrated at the precise midpoints between the quarters, but fairly close. The seasons, however, are based on your local climate and I'd expect most folks experience an "imbalance" with a couple of seasons bigger or smaller.

For me summer starts when the spring rains taper off and the first 80 degree day comes along, somewhere in June. It runs until Fall Equinox. Fall only lasts from the equinox to Samhain. Winter is from Samhain to Imbolc then spring runs to it's fuzzy ending.

Folks in dry climates probably experience short springs and falls with longer summers and/or winters.
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« Reply #27: December 07, 2007, 01:22:16 pm »

And I've long been an advocate of observing one's own local conditions and basing celebrations on what one observes, rather than being slavishly faithful to what some or another book says conditions are "supposed" to be.

I generally notice the dates of the solstices and equinoxes but don't do anything with them.  Seasonal observations are a bit different, though.

Where I live in Ontario we tend to have two seasons - snow removal and road repair.  If we were farmers we'd have more, but dh is a heavy equipment operator, so these are the ones that influence us.

Dh has a collection of yellow metal models of backhoes, pay-loaders, snow-plows, rock trucks, graders, etc.  He tends to make dioramas of the kind of day he expects to have on the kitchen table, and when he was working a job with a lot of landslides a few months ago I would re-inforce the walls of his play-pits as a bit of sympathetic magic.

When he was working plowing snow a few years ago we made a diorama in a little box using flour for snow and set his mini-equipment up in it.  Playing in it seemed to bring the snow.

We have no kids.  We get to play with toys ourselves instead. Cheesy

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« Reply #28: December 07, 2007, 04:23:40 pm »

Where I live in Ontario we tend to have two seasons - snow removal and road repair. 
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We have that in Michigan too.  Except we call our seasons 'Winter' and 'Construction'.
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« Reply #29: December 07, 2007, 05:12:33 pm »

I generally notice the dates of the solstices and equinoxes but don't do anything with them.  Seasonal observations are a bit different, though.

Where I live in Ontario we tend to have two seasons - snow removal and road repair.  If we were farmers we'd have more, but dh is a heavy equipment operator, so these are the ones that influence us.

Dh has a collection of yellow metal models of backhoes, pay-loaders, snow-plows, rock trucks, graders, etc.  He tends to make dioramas of the kind of day he expects to have on the kitchen table, and when he was working a job with a lot of landslides a few months ago I would re-inforce the walls of his play-pits as a bit of sympathetic magic.

When he was working plowing snow a few years ago we made a diorama in a little box using flour for snow and set his mini-equipment up in it.  Playing in it seemed to bring the snow.

We have no kids.  We get to play with toys ourselves instead. Cheesy

Absent
Ahh canadian weather. Cold, Colder, Miserable and Cold and Hot.
I do notice distinct changes in seasons, however. If you ask me ontario (or waterloo, where I am) has 5 seasons:

1. nice and green, not too hot, just nice and cool. (April beginning to about June)
2. Very hot. (June end to about September end/October)
3. make way for the cold cold winter. Temperature Starts to fall below 10 again,lower precipitation.(the leaves are fall for this reason) (September end/October to about Mid December)
4. Cold, Deathly cold. And lotsa snow.
5. Snow is starting to melt. Some rain, makes everything mushy and watery more like mushy cold pasty stuff on the ground than white powdery stuff, or puddles. It's still winter since I still come back home everyday with my toes frozen.

The last one a lot of people consider to be spring or at least spring-ish, since strictly speaking it's not snowing anymore. And there is a bit of greenery among all that mush. But to me its more like a transition phase, and since It is still below 10 most of the time I like to think it as winter. By the time the equinox comes by I generally find (with an error margin of about 1 or 2 weeks), its starting to get above 10, and the negatives start to disappear, making way for nice cool spring, and much greenery. So rather than celebrate seasonal changes.

I find its the same for the rest of the quarter days. Its usually give or take about 2 weeks at an average. But that's just the way I look at it. The first sign of any season is different for everyone (except of course fall, we all agree fall = when the leaves start to fall). To me fall is also when the temparature starts to go lower. Below 10-15 degrees. Winter is when There's not only a lot of snow but the temparature starts to steadily remain under 0. So sometimes it snow's in fall, but in waterloo it rains more than it snows if it does precipitate around November, so I'm ok with that (In india "fall" was actually monsoon or rainy season since leaves don't fall there). Rather than celebrate a date that changes so much year to year, I just go with the quarter dates as the start of the season, since they are that scientifically, and they do change a bit from year to year, so it feels right. Start of a season should change a bit from year to year.

So to me seasonaly observations and quarter dates go hand in hand. But again that's just me.

-Tj
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