Around the world folks are making preparations for Solstice. Read in the postcard below about the Latvian Festival, Greetings to Four Brothers. House cleaning, decorating and preparing special food are a common thread cross-culturally – I love how that makes us similar in intent to welcome the light. The 18th is also the birthday of of Paul Klee, one of my favorite artists, he got me hooked on the color salmon.

A note about the stamp: sometimes finding the right stamp for each day was a challenge. This one is perfect, dated to honor New Jersey, the garden state, shows a Colonial farmer graced with his harvest.

324 December 18, front

324 December 18, front

Speaking of stamps, England had this beautiful series of seasonal botanicals, like the pine cone on the postcard below. You’ll see more in a few days. My dad and grandfather started me collecting. I had to overcome a tabu of marking on them…

Posadas is a 9 day festival (December 16 – 24) that originated in Spain that reenacts the search of Mary and Joseph for lodging in Bethlehem. It is celebrated in Latin America and the Southwest US with variations that include candles, singing, music and star shaped pinatas.

325 December 19, front

325 December 19, front

Soyal is a 20 day Hopi Winter Solstice celebration. Homes are purified, prayer sticks are made to bless the community and welcome the Kachina Spirits back from their 6 month retreat.

326 December 20, front

326 December 20, front

Sunday the 21st at 6:03 pm ET, we celebrate the Winter Solstice. We turn off all the lights, and extinguish candles and the fire in our wood stove. Then at the exact moment, we light a candle, and pass that light to each person present, then relight our New Fire. How glad we are that the light and warmth has returned. And it makes us feel connected to our ancestors who must have felt this same way. Speaking of this, in ancient times it was known as “Alban Artuan”, the Light of Arthur. “Art” is the Gaelic word for Bear, and Ursa Minor meteor showers happen at this time. I find this an interesting synchronicity.

327 December 21, Winter Solstice

327 December 21, Winter Solstice

In the next post find out about the auspicious days next week.

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