Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere. It is a time celebrated since before monotheism, as the stone circles around Europe show. For 9am start workers in the U.K. it’s the ideal time for seeing the sunrise, as it is the latest it rises, around about 8.30am.
Sunrise Viewing Weather Dependent
There was a great sunrise over Gott/Armley Park on Saturday, like in the photos I took and videos I made in 2009 and 2010.
Cloud has hidden the sun today, and looks likely to in Leeds tomorrow. Hopefully, it should be visible on Thursday, which is forecast to be sunny.
Whether it’s on the actual Winter Solstice or a day before or after doesn’t really make much difference; it’ll look the same, just a couple of minutes earlier, as the sunrise starts its return journey back to the summer early hours of the morning, which is really just about our planet’s tilt as it orbits the sun.
The sun is really looking out at all in its gravity-formed solar system, including Earth, the third planet out, rather than the sun being our special-to-us light and warmth provider, as it sometimes seems.
Ancient and Modern Paganism
To me, sunrise is just a beautiful sight. We now have the benefit of scientific astronomy, so know our place in the universe, and why and when the sun rises and sets.
I won’t pretend to know what the ancients thought, as they aligned their stone circles such as Stonehenge for sunrise on the Winter Solstice.
Did they have more knowledge about our origins than we do today, with the modern world clouding our instincts and DNA memories?
I don’t know, but think we must know more now, with the benefit of all the scientific advances we’ve made, and our journeys into space.
I guess the ancient people would have loved to have had such tools and vehicles as there are today, so they could see what we can see.
Modernity and Christianity
Which is one reason why I don’t want to return to those times. It’s nice to escape the modern world sometimes, but also nice to return. That world is also more for the young, with the comforts of the modern world more welcome as one ages.
I think I did pretty well at Download this year, with little sleep in a waterlogged tent, but I certainly wasn’t enjoying the conditions like some of the young rockers were. Congratulations to all those who endure such harsh conditions; it is a kind of endurance achievement.
I think it’s the same for society. I hope the near future can bring greener energy, keeping air and resources such as water as clean as possible, but I know that most people don’t want to go back to living in huts and tents, as I remember the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu saying on Question Time a year or two ago.
Christianity Better Monotheist Option
I think Christianity is quite a nice religion most of the time now, and churches are useful in winter in the U.K. etc, when the weather is inclement. It would be more impressive if Christians braved the weather more, but modern British and European Christianity mostly isn’t really about that, and that’s probably a good thing, as extremism in some ways can lead to extremism in others.
I don’t like the fact that Christianity is still converting people leading a natural life around the world, as told historically in the 1986 movie The Mission, where South American villagers were persuaded to cut down some of their sacred forest to build a church, only for the conquistadors to then destroy them. I commented on that in Werewolf of Oz.
However, Christianity is mostly peaceful now, whereas militant Islam is still acting the way it did in the 7th century, converting by violence and threats, kidnapping and rape. Moreover, Europe seems a target now, with the native people under attack from Islamic colonialism and terrorism.
Not all Muslims are bad, as not all European colonialists were bad, but the sheer numbers, and violent minority, mean trouble for native Europeans the way mass immigration from Europe meant disaster for native Americans two centuries ago. We are the barbarian unbelieving kafirs to the fundamentalist Muslims, like the pagan native Americans were considered savages by Christian religious extremist Puritans.
Some Muslims blame outside forces for their civil wars, but in reality they are acting like Christianity about 500 years ago, with their religion about 500 years younger. They need to reform the religion, and admit the ‘prophet’ wasn’t perfect.
The War Lord: Pagan Wedding Scene
I recently saw a pagan wedding scene depicted in the 1965 movie The War Lord. I related more to the Frisian villagers than the Norman war lord by the way, before the Double Negatives try and twist the message, but they probably will do anyway.
It had lots of greenYgrey relevancy, as well as Canadian-born American actress Rosemary Forsyth looking like a pre-AAW-WOW AAW. The wedding ceremony was conducted under tree and stone, like a reference to the greenygrey, cementing the relationship I was recently made a-were (sic) of in the tree and stone sculpture of Andy Goldsworthy.
The grey of greenygrey had originally referred to cloud, but stone has become more and more relevant over the years, and maybe it was what the original use of grey should have been. Grey stone often shares the land with green in nature and when it is used in human constructions, such as in roads and buildings.
Ironically, in today’s Britain, it is usually the Christians who are right-wing and against immigration, and the neo-pagans who are left-wing hippie festival types that support open borders, meaning more people, who are usually monotheist-anti-pagans, and more environmental destruction!
Happy shortest/longest day sunrise Winter/Summer Solstice! See you on the other side…
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