There are 8 Cross Calendar days, specific days related to the revolution of the earth planet around the sun which have been celebrated many millennium from ancient days to the present. It made a lot of sense, you know, when we were more likely to watch and listen to our world rather than to read books. The great book of life, after all, was the whole of what was going on.
I can tell you that when you present yourself for learning, the planet is about the largest teacher there is; I did quite well learning from Mount Shasta, from the oldest of trees, redwoods and bristlecone pine, from ocean tides, from the plain dirt in the gardens I built. This is rich learning, there are no fees and there is no matriculation, it goes on and on.
These cross calendar days referred to begin traditionally at the mid winter solstice, officially Yule, about December 21. This time relates to when the sun hovers over the Tropic of Capricorn, at 23.5 degrees south, the Atacama Desert in Chile, through Sao Palo, Brazil, etc around the world. Now, the calendar changes to a new year, then on February 1st or 2nd the sun hovers half way between Tropic of Capricorn and the equator, Imbolc or Ground Hog day made famous by Bill Murray. On March 21st approximately, Oaster, the sun hovers over the equator, marking equal day and night. Next is Beltane or those days of brilliant light beginning the summer season and celebrated by the enthusiastic dancing at fertility festivals. Consider, that pregnancies begun in May terminate in birthing in December, a good time of the year to be inside, taking diligent care of a new born.
Next, as the year ages gracefully, there is summer solstice known as Litha, the sun rests briefly over the Tropic of Cancer, which crosses approximately 15 miles north of Mazatlan in Mexico. In the northern hemisphere, the summer wanes toward the time of harvest which comes August 1st on the Lamas festival also known as Lughnasa. Now the second equinox as sun crosses southerly leaving summer behind for us in the Northern Hemisphere and signaling the Australians to get ready for their blazing summer coming after Hallowmas or Samhein, October 31st. As we have been battening down with sweaters and coats and boots, the Ausies are getting ready for beach time, for floating over the coral reefs with snorkels while the sun overhead heats the land sometimes to tinder dryness making conditions just right for the devastating fires raging there now.
And so it goes, the planet in a solar system follows her path and we here follow her path decorating the year with festival and fun, with dancing and feasting. Even if you are not familiar with any of this, even if you believe in the distortions of the media for instance, that June 21 is the beginning of summer, etc; nonetheless there is an effect on all of us as we travel the revolution of the earth around the sun.\Our lives are made in the cauldron of these days and no matter what we think or believe, we are affected by these changes.
So, what now? The days of dancing around the standing stones at a Stonehenge, or making bonfires on the beaches around the season of Samhein are mostly over for the majority of us. It might be said we have better things to do! But let us now contemplate what might be, if we were to put on again the garments of the lore of these 8 strategic days around the year.
This is what I know for sure (thank you Oprah!): when I moved into my van and began a tour of our Turtle Island in 1995, I did not know what might be in store. I simply presented myself and my curiosity to the road, to the land and to my own ancient spirit. And I did some dancing up there on the mountain; I swam in the cold waters of Castle Lake, an alpine lake on the top of the mountain receiving water direct from the heavens; I sat around campfires in National Forest shooting the breeze with my companions as we stoked a polite fire under the trees. Stuff gets pretty simple really, time cools the imperatives of a corporate obligation, money loses its thrill when we learn to live relaxed and simply. The games lose their thrall in favor of a renewed relationship within ourselves and with our friends and neighbors, our own kin.
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