Summer Solstice / Litha

+ The Hinge of the Year +

SUMMER SOLSTICE READING

“Now the sun reaches its highest point. dense greening trees are opaque, screening hills and sky. we relax into warmth, stretch greenly into long languorous days, grow plump and sensual. now the sun stands still, imperceptibly turns to descend, and the dark washes up from below. this is the hinge of the year, the door made of oak.”

From The Feminine of History is Mystery, facing page 33

ASTRONOMY

Solstice is the longest day and shortest night, days are longer than nights, days begin growing shorter slowly.

SOLSTICE

We celebrate the peaks of our endeavors and acknowledge their inevitable waning. The longest day of the year, when the sun rises its farthest north. This is the day when the sun rises over the Heelstone at Stonehenge.

SUMMER VERSE FROM THE FOUR SEASONS

When leaves are long in the days of summer
And the light drifts through them cool and green
The great trees stand in their dreaming sleep
And sing slow tales of the years they’ve seen.

The dance goes on and it’s never ending
The circle turns and the tale unfolds
The year turns round but the woods in summer
Has no thought for the winter’s cold.

DANCES WE DO AT THIS TIME OF YEAR

FOUR SEASONS – traditional dance from the Faeroes

SUMER IS ICUMEN IN – a choreographed dance to a Medieval English Canon

BACH SUN MEDITATION – a meditative dance choreographed by Bernard Wosien

INTITUSUY – a dance associated with the sun, music from South America

MA(i)ZE – a meditative dance with birds singing on the recording, lovely to do outside on a hot day. The dance is a “square zigzag” if that makes sense, its name is a pun on the corn and the labyrinth

SEAL WOMAN – a dance to a Celtic song about a Silkie, done to celebrate the sun sign Cancer

STIVELL AN DRO – a traditional Breton dance done to music of bagpipes and flutes, that always make me feel like I’m at sunrise at Stonehenge

THESE ARE THE DAYS – “… of the endless summer…” our favorite summertime dance. We do a choreography to Van Morrison’s song.

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