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Yule 2011
~ Summer Solstice in Northern Hemisphere ~

The Sparrishoop rose has large juicy hips in winter.

The Sparrishoop rose has large juicy hips in winter.
Beautiful even as they age, they contain seeds which germinate readily in Spring,
whether they fall, or are spread by birds who appreciate the fruit during winter.

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

News from the RainbowWeb
It's difficult not be immersed in astronomy just now.
More below, in the usual space.

We're experiencing a real winter again this year, which I enjoy.
It isn't really unusually cold for June, daytime temperatures are around average.
The scent of the hyacinths I planted earlier in the year to bloom inside is pervading the whole place.
I've been enjoying crocheting by the fire, making 'coral' for the RiAus Coral Reef Project.
A recent TV programme about Charles Darwin reminded me that he thought
coral a better analogy for evolution than the tree, & that he had written a book about coral reefs.
So I downloaded it from PROJECT GUTENBERG.

I've also done a great deal more work on the website, so I hope you will check out the new, & newly edited pages.
The Virtual Tour has now been illustrated/linked as much as possible.
Go to Updates for a full list.

The Washington Navels are ripe, the mandarins colouring, there are lemons galore, the avocados
being picked as needed, the winter vegies are doing well, & there are still plenty of mushrooms.
Crops are smaller this year, in spite of heavy flowering, & I suspect that the possums have been snacking on the flowers.
They eat wattle pods almost as soon as they form, & seem to relish the leaves - not the stems - of soursobs!
The Wattle birds are back in their usual nesting site, and this year I have a pair of Willie Wagtails.
One of the delights of winter is to watch flocks of Ibis flying from the river to the college oval in the early morning,
and back again at sunset.

At this season we continue to contemplate endings
and some of us may have experienced the death of a neighbour, friend, or relative.
Death is inevitable, & necessary - it prepares the way for new life.
A peaceful death in old age is perhaps the greatest blessing we can experience,
but death can also bring an end to suffering earlier in life.
The worst suffering though, is often endured by those left behind.
I feel this suffering is made worse by the media,
and by the medical culture, both so often refer to death as something which can be avoided,
as though there is a choice.
Just as even scientists no longer speak of species becoming extinct,
but "going" extinct - as though they had chosen extinction!
If you are grieving a loss of any kind, I hope you will visit the pages below.
leaves in winter

Healing ~ Death & dying ~ Grief ~ Anger ~ Funerals & burial rites ~ Love not, or no longer returned ~ Love

As Queen Elizabeth said, concluding her letter to the American people after 9/11:

"Grief is the price we pay for love"

winter leaves

Some thoughtful books include Stephen Levine's: Healing into Life and Death
and Starhawks"s The Pagan Book of Living and Dying

The Sun enters the Tropical sign of Cancer
at 17.18 GMT on June 21st., 02.48 on June 22nd. in Adelaide.
Here in the South this is the astronomical Winter Solstice
although the apparent standstill of the Sun actually lasts for several days.

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

This June Solstice occurs during a series of three eclipses,
a partial eclipse of the Sun at 21.17 GMT on 1st.June,
a lengthy & spectacular total eclipse of the Moon at 20.12 GMT on 15th.June,
and another partial solar eclipse at 8.39 GMT on 1st.July.
This is a phenomenon which occurs much less frequently than
the usual pair of eclipses, one of the Sun, & an accompanying lunar eclipse,
which occurs twice each year.The last time it happened was in July 2000.
The next will be in July/August 2018.
Series of three eclipses involving two eclipses of the Moon
with a solar eclipse in between
occur more frequently, but the pattern is extremely complex
as I discovered when making a quick trip through the Ephemeris.

Summer Flowers

In the Northern hemisphere, it is the festival of Litha, or Alban Heruin,
when everything seems to be in flower, & seeds have not yet begun to form.
Some 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,
and many festivals of various kinds take place,
but this year the solar eclipses will bring real drama to the mid-summer skies,
although the lunar eclipse will not be visisble to most of you.

See WIKIPEDIA for more information & lots of dates & pictures.
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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