Thursday, 21 December 2006

Happy Solstice !

Winter Solstice - 00:22 GMT
22 December 2006

In the bleak mid winter

frosty wind made moan,

earth stood hard as iron,

water like a stone;

snow had fallen, snow on snow,

snow on snow,

In the bleak mid winter, long ago.

Christina Rossetti - Gustav Holst

ADDENDUM: For an explanation of the Winter Solstice and the part it plays in belief systems before and after the birth of Christianity, in both hemispheres, see this site and the entries for 21 December and 25 December.


Blogger BloggingMone said...

I don not particulary like pink, but in this picture the colour looks just wonderful. And thanks for the nice poem!

Thursday, 21 December 2006 at 10:36:00 GMT  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Just think - from tomorrow, the days are getting longer.

Thursday, 21 December 2006 at 13:31:00 GMT  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Thanks BMone - its too early in the winter for southern England to have snow - today being the FIRST day of winter, but today we have had freezing fog which has coated all the trees and hedges in white hoar frost, very beautiful, with a glimmer of wintery sun through the mist at midday.

Charles - no, no, no, not yet !
You are in good company, even the BBC Science page says from today the days will get longer. Not so.
For a few days the sun rises and sets at exactly the same degree, and in prehistory when folks measured such things, they noted that the sun's rising and setting point on the horizon did not move, both at the summer solstice and winter solstice. So during these few dark winter days we amateur pagans bring as much light as we can into our homes, to encourage the sun to return to its 'normal' progression across the sky. The sun starts to move again, to increase its arc, by Christmas day ! The Christian tradition therefore says THAT is the day Christ was born, which is what the sun worshipers said, but phrased it differently !
What a glorious mixture our traditions and beliefs are :-}

Thursday, 21 December 2006 at 14:14:00 GMT  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

See ADDENDUM for further info.

Thursday, 21 December 2006 at 17:11:00 GMT  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Sheesh, I bet there was panic up Stonehenge when the first primitive noticed that - how could they know that the days would ever start to lengthen again?

They probably sacrificed the nearest carol-singer just in case.

Friday, 22 December 2006 at 10:04:00 GMT  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Perhaps that is why they built Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, and all the other scientific stuff (way before the pyramids) so that they could say with some confidence -




Friday, 22 December 2006 at 13:37:00 GMT  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Hoar frost may be "beautiful" to look at through your cottage window, Sally, but it's a b****r to be out in.

The ground is frozen hard at 7am when I go out to the animals and I slipped while carrying a kettle of hot water for the duckpond, came down wallop on one knee and bent the kettle, which is now all lopsided.

Hear suspicious quacking noises from inside the duckhouse that sounded exactly like raucous laughter.

Friday, 22 December 2006 at 20:03:00 GMT  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Charles you are starting to imagine things, the ducks are not laughing at you - you are projecting onto your ducks your unconscious knowledge that really you ought to be doing something concrete about your physical limitations before YOU end up in hopsical over Christmas !

Now, may I suggest the wheeled trolley I have emailed details to you. I find mine invaluable when I am transporting hot huge pans of simmering soup from the AGA to the kitchen to cool in the porch.

No one will see you wheeling your trolley down to the pond, (only you are out in the garden at 7 am !) and only you and I (and the countless hundreds on the site meters) will know about it ! And get the council gritting lorry to do your garden path when they go past at midnight, lights flashing, waking you up.

" ...quacking ... exactly like raucous laughter ..." indeed; you will be imagining cocks crowing next !

Friday, 22 December 2006 at 21:35:00 GMT  
Blogger Charlesdawson said...

Sally, thank you very much for the trolley picture.

I hat to admit this, but I already have two trolleys, one for indoor, one for outdoor, and a nice gentle path up to the ducks.

So why didn't I use them? Because I am an idiot, I was in a hurry, it was cold, the birds were shouting for their breakfast.

Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 18:29:00 GMT  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Silly Billy !
Rather, sensible Charles, an indoor and an outdoor trolley, so that the wheels, like wheelchairs, don't bring mud into the house.
So use them !

Take care.

Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 19:12:00 GMT  
Blogger Val said...

Hallo Sally - I see you also enjoy Sig's Geomancy website. Have you met him, he lives close to us in Glastonbury?

Enjoy reading your blog so far.

New Year's greetings from just west of Dorchester!

Sunday, 31 December 2006 at 12:31:00 GMT  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Hello Val, thank you for stopping by. I have spent many happy hours in Glastonbury - the Chalice Well a particularly favourite place. Labyrinths, sacred architecture, earth mysteries, are all of interest to me, and I have read some of Sig's work.
Your blog is very interesting, and I particularly enjoyed your pictures and writing on Japanese gardens. And bell ringing ! What a wonderful mixture.

Sunday, 31 December 2006 at 13:15:00 GMT  

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