Join in this magnificent drama playing at horizons in northern hemisphere nearest you!
The timing couldn’t be better! Last week I published the blog post Lighting Up 2 on Seasons and the Cosmos and now voila! Here is the Summer Solstice (in the northern hemisphere) right on our doorstep!! Monday June 20, 2016
Whether this is your first time or you do this annually, it matters not. Best seats: lakeshore, seashore, mountain or hill with unobstructed horizon, or high-rise or condo. Or search for the highest point in your area.
This year special viewing: full moon and the Solstice, together. Every nineteen years this happens.
Seeing sun and full moon in opposite ‘corners’ always always brings a catch in my throat.
Read below for all the details and some ideas on creating either a community or solo event to witness this cosmic ‘standing still’. If you’ve been struck intensities of world events lately, what better grounding than participating in this cosmic show right now. It’s an open invitation from Earth herself!
My friend and colleague, Mary Stewart Adams, Program Director of the International Dark Sky Park in Michigan provides details of the timing of the dance of the Sun and Moon that will essentially light up our sky for 24 hours on Monday. See below.
To get a front row seat: Make a note of the times to get outside and get up early to observe the sunrise/full (almost) moon setting or mark the Solstice moment, followed by the magnificent evening final curtain: sunset and full moon rise on the longest day of the year.
Simply pay attention to what you notice within you as it all unfolds.
Even better, can you find friends, family to join in this moment together? Children will remember this the rest of their lives, right? Share this background Mary provides. Find a local spot where you can see the sunrise and/or the sunset and moon rise at 9:32 pm. Poetry? Songs? Music? Drumming? Candle lighting, of course!
Here are essential details (EST) from Mary:
The Cycle of the Year as a Breathing Process of the Earth~Summer Solstice at Headlands at 8:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Just like the human being that breathes in a regular rhythm throughout every moment of every day, so, too, does the Earth follow a regular and predictable rhythm through its annual cycle of seasons. The longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, referred to as “Summer Solstice” arrives Monday, June 20th, the same day that Sun and Moon will balance the visible horizon with Full Moon rising in the east as the first Summer Sun sets in the west.
“Full Moon at Summer Solstice only happens once every 19 years, and it means there will be no real darkness to speak of for an entire 24-hour period,” said Mary Stewart Adams, Emmet County’s Program Director for the Headlands International Dark Sky Park. “This provides a really unique opportunity to consider the harmonious rhythm of the natural world, and how, despite our most sophisticated technological advances, we are healthiest when we live in harmony with these larger rhythms. If we consider the cycle of the Earth’s year like the in-breathing and the out-breathing of the human being, then Summer Solstice is like the out-breath, so I am very excited that we will have the opportunity to also work with local yoga instructor Mary Reilly at this event, to bring beautiful emphasis and awareness to our own breathing.”
In addition to leading participants in a basic yoga breathing experience, Mary Reilly will share the story of the “Song of the Immortal Gander”, a beautiful and timeless story of the double nature of the gander as it relates to being human and to the breath…
here is a list of what’s happening celestially that day:
The Sun will rise at 5:49 am on June 20
Half an hour later, the Moon will set in the west at 6:17 am, just 45 minutes shy of being at total Full Phase
The Moon will be Full at 7:02 am (because this Moon arrives at Full Phase before Sun achieves its solstice moment, this is the last Full Moon of the Spring)
Sun then arrives at its Solstice moment, when it is highest above the celestial equator, at 6:34 pm
Sun will set in the west at 9:32 pm, while the Moon rises in the east at the exact moment
“This year’s Solstice marks a moment of celestial superlatives that lends itself to taking a deep, cosmic breath, so we’ll take advantage of the night to learn our way around the sky, (see below for Mary’s story of the ancients and Saturn, Jupiter and Mars) and to consider the dynamic, rhythmic motion of things,” said Adams.
Read below for a further helpful connection to the three companion actors (aka planets) in this week’s prequel to Solstice/Full Moon drama. Or listen in on the Mary’s radio program here.
Waxing Moon and the fall of the ancient gods: this week on The Dark Sky
By MARY STEWART ADAMS • June 13, 2016
This week the Moon grows through the evening sky toward Full Phase, passing three bright planets on the way and ending up aligned with the galactic center on Summer Solstice.
This week’s journey of the Moon is a bit like the ancient story of the Olympian gods gathering their forces to overtake the Titans, the first generation of gods in the ancient world.
The story stars Saturn, who was the Titan son of Uranus (the sky) and Gaia (the Earth), to whom it was prophesied that his children, the Olympians, would overtake him, led by the youngest, Jupiter. This dramatic passing of the old gods was the way the Greeks described the mighty, evolutionary processes of becoming.
Looking into the sky this week, you’ll see the Moon high in southwest, just east of Jupiter the Olympian in the region of the lion, the symbol of royalty and kings. On Tuesday the Moon sweeps past Spica, gathering forces from this star of abundance on its way to the warrior planet Mars on Thursday, which signals the impending fight for dominance, which comes at the end of the week when the Moon encounters Saturn, hidden in the clutches of the Scorpion underworld in the southeast region of the sky.
It’s easy to imagine that the English poet John Keats was describing this very scene when he wrote the words: “Deep in the shady sadness of a vale, far sunken from the healthy breath of morn, far from the fiery noon, and eve’s one star, sat gray-hair’d Saturn, quiet as a stone…” This is from Keat’s poem “Hyperion”, which is about the fall of the Titans.
Two days later, the Moon will be Full. This will be Summer Solstice, June 20th, when the Sun stands still at its highest hour. The Moon is opposite the Sun when it’s Full, so that means it will be at the Winter Solstice spot~where we find the galactic center. So the two great lights will occupy the Solstice, or standing still moments, as if giving pause to honor the mighty passing away of the old order.
Follow this link to John Keats’ poem “Hyperion”:
I hope you enjoy pondering these descriptions; being there as the curtain rises or sets; finding your own poem, prayer, song to share; even simply bee-ing in heart Silence.
You may also want to check out the next sequel: the bonfires of Midsummer’s Eve on the 24th June!
Would love to hear of your Solstice pilgrimages!!
Here is a waking connection I had last week:
I am – We are –
connected to the rhythms
of the spheres – these rhythms move
through us, within us.
We scarcely know them, these currents
in our bodily sensing.
And yet, reminded anew
of Earth’s continual
intimacy with us!