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Yule 2010
~ Summer Solstice in Northern Hemisphere ~

Sunrise 21st.June 2005, taken from my front gate.

News from the RainbowWeb

"The Earth is capable of replenishing herself and supplying every living thing with a home and sustenance"
Sarah King

I've planted a Loquat tree.
Since the apricot had to be removed, I'd been thinking about planting one of the winter fruits, maybe a Pomegranate, or a Quince.
But I've had so many gifts of both fruits that it seemed superfluous.
Then in May, when the Loquats were blooming, I remembered - how could I possibly have forgotten? -
how every year I've had to search for Loquat blossom to perfume the night of the May Full Moon.
The sensuous aroma of the Loquat flowers is so like that of the European Hawthorn, better know as May.

I light the fire and draw the curtains earlier & earlier as the year approaches it's nadir,
and during the long hours of darkness I find myself thinking about the mystery of silence.
It's a rare thing these days to experience a period of real silence, especially in the city.
When one does occur it seems almost tangible, and has about it a feeling of Otherness which I personally find reassuring and refreshing.

I've learned to store these magical moments, when even the birds are silent, & the fridge motor has stopped,
to be recalled when all the mechanical noises in the neighbourhood around me become intolerable.
These memories of silence can bring a sense of peace, and an assurance that such moments will come again.

Subjected as I often am to the constant racket of leaf-blowers, I wonder what happened to the broom.
Even in my seventies, I can sweep up leaves, prune, and cut up firewood, without the aid of motorised devices.
But for many, especially the young, silence seems something to be avoided at all costs.
I read somewhere recently that many people associate silence and darkness with death,
and their fear of it makes them try to drive them away with artificial light, and constant noise.
Perhaps this explains why many people of my own generation seem to need to have the radio,
TV, or CD player going all day, even though they're not really engaged with them.
The problem is that even short periods of loud noise damages hearing
while constant noise causes stress,and raises blood pressure, even if we do not perceive it.
It's an increasing problem in urban areas, where other people's noise
impinges on those who choose not to surround themselves with unnecessary sound.
While the problems are at last being acknowledged, planners, designers & architects are slow to address it.
and existing noise regulations are difficult to enforce.
While we wait for society to acknowledge & address the problem, (Do you sometimes despair of your local Council?)
we need to do all we can to protect ourselves from this menace.
Truckies earmuffs can help - I wear them while vacuuming, as well as when the leafblowers & lawnmowers get going -
but mental & psychological measures really can help lower blood pressure.

See Noise and The Nature of Peace
And for validation, this from the Radio National's All In The Mind website IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE


The June Solstice is one of the two periods when the Sun appears stationary
in it's path for a few days. It reaches it's furthest point South
in it's journey along the Ecliptic, or apparent path around the Earth.
The fact that this path is eliptical, not circular, accounts for the apparent lack of movement.
Even in built-up areas, you can observe this phenomenon for yourself,
since we all have a local horizon, even if it's a line of roof-tops.
It's just a case of observing at what point the sun rises above that local horizon, each day.
The wider the gap between the Sun's rising & setting points, the longer the day.

Our ancestors placed Standing Stones in various relationships with their local horizon,
to check the Sun rose in the "right" place for specific times of year.
In particular, they were keen to observe the resumption of the Sun's movement
after the Winter Solstice, this being the guarantee that all was in order,
that the days were once more beginning to lengthen,
and the warmth of Spring would eventually overcome the cold of Winter.
While the Solstice itself was a solemn time,
the resumption of movement signified the rebirth of the Sun/God,
a major celebration which eventually became the Christian's Christmas.

The Solstice 'point', or time of entry into the Tropical sign of Cancer occurs at
11.28 am GMT, 8.58pm in Adelaide.
Here in Adelaide this is the Winter Solstice

A simple & accurate explanation of the astronomy of the seasons in both hemispheres
can be found at: THE SEASONS

Summer Flowers
In the Northern hemisphere, it is the Midsummer festival of Litha, or Alban Heruin,
when everything seems to be in flower, and the seeds have not yet begun to form.
Some Christians still observe St.John's Eve on June 24th.
when the days are observed to begin drawing in.
In the most Northerly latitudes the sun does not set for several nights.

See also Seasons and Calendars for more information.

Balance of the hemispheres

Why observe and celebrate the interactions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun?

The Festivals, Feasts, and Fasts of most human belief systems originated in our observations of this Cosmic Dance and it's effects.
Everything is affected by the changing seasons and the rhythm of the tides.
Why not commit yourself this year to celebrating in tune with these natural rhythms?
You will benefit physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and it will help you to truly re-earth.

For those who dismiss such practices are mere superstition, consider that:

"We cannot know more than a fraction of what exists. We will always be a minor part of the information system"
Methods of Design - 3.10.3

and that: "Nothing we can observe is regular, partly because we ourselves are imperfect observers.
We tell fortunes, (or lose them) on the writhing of entrails, or cathode ray graphics;
on the scatters of dice or bones, or on arrays of measures.
Are the readings of tea-leaves any less reliable than the projections of pollsters?"
Pattern Understanding - 4.1
from "Permaculture - A Designer's Manual" by Bill Mollison


Seasons and Calendars
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