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  • #31
    Ooooooooooohhh, gorgeous, Cheddarsox!
    "We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers--you can blame anyone, but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's ALWAYS your fault, because if you wanted to change, you're the one who has got to change. It's as simple as that, isn't it?"
    -- Katharine Hepburn

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    • #32
      cheddar, that's so pretty!
      sigpic

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      • #33
        WOW!

        :boing:
        ~*The Image is Clear & So Is The Choice*~

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        • #34
          Thanks guys...Winter Solstice is one of my favorite Holy Days. It comes when I most need it, and I do so very dearly love the sun.

          cheddar
          In a love affair with sunshine

          Live this day like an altar to what you believe

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          • #35
            Originally posted by cheddarsox View Post
            Here is a pic of our Solstice altar.




            Oooh! The Return of the Light!

            Our Winter Solstice celebration was postponed because of a blizzard. Wah.
            ____________
            If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
            If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.



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            • #36
              Cheddarsox, your altar is beautiful.


              "Madness takes its toll, please have exact change".

              -Jessica [aka Whitewolf]sigpic



              Myspace:http://www.myspace.com/White_Wolf1

              My Paganspace page: http://www.paganspace.net/profile/whitewolf51



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              • #37
                I just can't resist. I love building altars! I didn't take any night pictures for some reason... brain fart, I guess. I had plenty of candles but the flower arrangement was so huge that it eclipsed having too many. The silver plate in the background represents the sun and the leaves are it's rays. The black netting with the sparklies is deep space filled with stars. I just love it!
                The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
                --Bill Watterson

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                • #38
                  Lovely! Thanks for sharing.

                  So often people think all pantheists are "cold" and just sit around talking logic and science...so it is neat to see the passion and beauty that we are inspired by and to.
                  In a love affair with sunshine

                  Live this day like an altar to what you believe

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                  • #39
                    I love the idea of using the sparkly netting and the symbology of the plate. I may adapt those ideas to my own altar. Lovely.
                    ____________
                    If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
                    If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.



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                    • #40
                      Cheddar and RavenStars, thank you for sharing those pictures with us. Those are truly beautiful and inspiring altars.

                      My wife and I did manage to stay up all night, but we're not going to do it again in future years. It didn't go so well for us. We're intelligent women; surely we can come up with a way to honor the longest night without being awake for all of it.

                      We did manage to make it into the local newspaper. That was a strange and unexpected twist to the evening for us, but they were doing a photo essay on Winter Solstice celebrations, and through a series of events so convoluted only a journalist would ever think of them, the photographer found us and asked if he could take some pictures of our ritual. Explaining that we were just going to be sitting around in our pjs didn't dissuade him at all, so in the end we invited him to come get some pictures of us walking the snow labyrinth we built in our backyard. One of the pictures was on the front page of the Metro section. And there's a slideshow on their website of all the rituals and celebrations he went to (we haven't looked at it yet, but other people who have tell us it's cool).

                      So a strange night all around. Very...enlightening for us. But we'll definitely come up with something different for next year.
                      If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
                      helps you feel your life protects you,
                      cradles you and connects you to everything.
                      Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

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                      • #41
                        The slideshow was very cool.

                        *le sigh* Our Yule ritual was postponed because of a blizzard.
                        ____________
                        If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
                        If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.



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                        • #42
                          that slideshow is really neat. I feel fuller inside, knowing that all over, people were observing the day/night...in whatever style moved them. That we are together in that, and that I am part of that primal unity.

                          Snow labyrinth! How amazing! and beautiful.

                          I live in warmer climes these past few decades and snow is a novelty that happens every year or two...I have to paint my labyrinths onto the lawn.

                          I am no longer of an age where pulling an all nighter...even for a good intention, is feasible. As much as I adore the sun...I would be in no shape to greet it after a night like that, but we learn so much from the experiences of ritual...so much about ourselves and our relationship with the universe.

                          Solstice day here, was overcast, but a very comfortable temperature. After our evening meal of soup and bread, I did the "Solstice Walk"...which takes me on a path around our vast and bushy yard, stopping at various points to contemplate the characteristics of various plant life which grows around the yard.

                          In years when I have a big group ritual, I often set up plant stations, with some characteristics "spelled out" to get people started, but this year, I just sort of "went with it".

                          And it was, as holy day observances so often are, full of suprises. I was drawn to stop at plants I had overlooked before, and to have fresh insights and lessons taught me by some that I thought I knew. I really got some needed insights into life, myself and relationship.

                          I realized how, over the past few months, I've become alienated from myself, and the larger "world"...and I don't think it is coincidence that these things happen concurrently. When I lose touch with what is going on "out there"...I get all skewed about what is going on inside myself as well.

                          I recently added two pet tortoises to my family. And I think it is neat that they are fellow sun worshippers. One, an adult male...basically has been in hibernation since I brought him home. The other, only a few months old, has remained active.

                          I go out into the yard each day after work to pick weeds to feed my little tortoise, and that is so often the highlight of my day. Those few minutes in the sun, breathing the fresh air, stooping toward the earth, noticing how even in winter, the variety of plants changes weekly.

                          New things are popping up all over the place, for many, this is their season to grow, when the grass is dormant, when the sun is not brutal..this is when they spring up and even flower, in a small, ground hugging manner.
                          And it is exciting, and hopeful.

                          So my tortoises are good therapy for me...both in what they require of me, and in their different approaches to winter...digging in and sleeping, or staying active and foraging...and benefitting from the suprising gifts that even this season has to offer.

                          I put a little tortoise statue above the Solstice altar, along with chicken and rooster statues...for they are true greeters of the sun.

                          I always look forward to the Solstice, but this year I was fearful...because I have been very down, because we weren't having a group ritual, because I was afraid that if I didn't make the Solstice "happen"...it wouldn't be what I needed it to be. But, thankfully, that is not the case. An open heart is enough, and the universe takes care of the rest. I walked around the yard in the dark, and the plants provided the lessons, and the stone provided a place to rest, and the moon behind the veil of clouds provided light to find my way. And again, I was reminded, and comforted by the fact that I don't have to add anything, I just have to be open to What Is.

                          And I feel better than I have in months.
                          Last edited by cheddarsox; December 25th, 2007, 07:57 AM.
                          In a love affair with sunshine

                          Live this day like an altar to what you believe

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                          • #43
                            Our Solstice last Saturday was great!

                            The night before we did our last candle in our darkening candles ceremony, and did a short ceremony in the stone circle, with a big (& shortlived - just lighter fluid) fire in the middle. We talked about the dark, and how this was the longest night. Then we had our Yule log (ice cream log from baskin robins with candles). The kids were pretty excited knowing it was the night before Solstice, but they did get to bed OK.

                            With the clouds we opted to go "see" the sunrise at a local hill instead of lake Huron, and 8 minutes before the sunrise we talked about a photon leaving the sun, then around 2 minutes later, about it passing the orbit of mercury, then at around 5 minutes, Venus, and we cheered when it hit the cloudtops at the sunrise time. It was cloudy and foggy, but we could see a deer in the valley below. Then we came back & did the stockings and presents (our middle kid got his first bike), and played with all that. My wife had set up a cool "figure out the mystery person" thing to get the stockings. The whole day was a blast.


                            Enough for now. I've got work to get done today. Have a fun day-

                            Equinox
                            -Equinox

                            I like my spirituality because I think it's true. But I love my spirituality because it makes me excited to be part of the universe. - Ben Trimegistus, 2004.2.23 (That's how I feel too!)

                            (webpage temporarily down) my webpage:

                            In short, I'm a Naturalistic Pagan spiritually at home in Unitarian Universalism.

                            Talk with us! New Naturalistic Pagan Yahoo Group

                            Equinox/Solstice Times . . rise/set and phase dataDaily Devotion for Naturalistic Pagans (Click Here.......... or Here) :fpraiseyo

                            P. S. thanks so much for all the people who have given me karma. With a very slow connection, I simply don't have time to give out nearly as much as I'd like.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by equinox2 View Post
                              Our Solstice last Saturday was great!

                              The night before we did our last candle in our darkening candles ceremony, and did a short ceremony in the stone circle, with a big (& shortlived - just lighter fluid) fire in the middle. We talked about the dark, and how this was the longest night. Then we had our Yule log (ice cream log from baskin robins with candles). The kids were pretty excited knowing it was the night before Solstice, but they did get to bed OK.

                              With the clouds we opted to go "see" the sunrise at a local hill instead of lake Huron, and 8 minutes before the sunrise we talked about a photon leaving the sun, then around 2 minutes later, about it passing the orbit of mercury, then at around 5 minutes, Venus, and we cheered when it hit the cloudtops at the sunrise time. It was cloudy and foggy, but we could see a deer in the valley below. Then we came back & did the stockings and presents (our middle kid got his first bike), and played with all that. My wife had set up a cool "figure out the mystery person" thing to get the stockings. The whole day was a blast.


                              Enough for now. I've got work to get done today. Have a fun day-

                              Equinox
                              good to see you back round these parts! And I love the darkening candles thing, especially with kids...and the keeping track of the photons on their journey...wonderful!

                              I wish you'd of been MY dad! LOL.
                              In a love affair with sunshine

                              Live this day like an altar to what you believe

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                              • #45
                                Hearing & seeing what everyone here did made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
                                I know I tell you all this about every 6-7 weeks, but you're all amazing and I feel blessed to have you.
                                sigpic

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