Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Dance of Lights, A Dance of Fools

"A Dance of Lights, A Dance of Fools"
Winter Solstice Ecstatic DanceDionysus

For six days in the northern hemisphere (where we live!) at the end of December, the sun ceases its slow southerly dance on the horizon and appears to rise and set in almost the same spot. Solstice: from the Latin sol stetit, meaning "sun stood still." From the ancients, we know that this is a primordial moment of change. Will the sun begin to move again? What will move the Great Wheel of Life? Will the Rhythm end?

As each year ends, as the drama of change completes its annual cycle, our human hearts feel more deeply connected to the collective theater of grief, grace, and gratitude than any other time of the year. Our sorrow meets our joy, our sacrifice dances with our passion. The Sun dances with the Moon.

A long, long time ago, our ancestors followed the cycles of the moon. Tribal cultures had no need for solar calendars. As civilization became more complex, the need for a solar calendar (His-story) developed. The lunar year was 354 days, the solar year 366 days. So, at year's end, the twelve days between were set to observe a bridge between the solar and lunar calendars. These 12 days belong to no calendar. It is the time of No Time.

Eventually, these 12 days became the 12 Days of Christmas, but long before the Church aligned the Christ story with the Ancient Ones, the days around the solstice were feast days honoring the gods of change. The Greek festival of Dionysus (Lord of the Dance!), the Roman festival of Saturnalia (Saturn = Father Time), both echoed through the Middle Ages in the European Feast of Fools, when the common folk could mock the rich and powerful, social hierarchy was reversed and the rules could be broken.

So much moves through us this time of year. I often have felt bound by the pressures of the holidays and stress of so much to do. This year feels different. This year, I will dance with the Sun and Moon.

Where & When
Spokane Yoga Shala
505 E 24th Ave
Spokane, Washington 99203
December 19, 2009
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

1 comment:

  1. Ian nice work on the blog- sorry we missed the last dance- we'll be there next time. Keep on with the dance....yippee!