Published : 09/02/2009 13:29:00
Categories : Seasonal Parties
My sister in law is an artist, musician, teacher, and amateur astronomer. It's quite a combination of interests that intersect for her in strange ways. She has also completed studies at a seminary, and, except for a biological obstacle, has the educational qualifications to be a priest. Despite her religious education, she is very open to exploring other religious traditions, especially when that exploration can utilize her other skills, or turn into a party.
Great examples of these events are her solstice parties. She and her astronomy club love to go out into the woods on the shortest and longest days of the year for a party filled with drumming, dancing, and chanting. She brings drums and maracas from her school music class. Many of the astronomy club members have also bought twist drums just for the party.
The sun is the theme for the longest day. They bring home grown vegetables and fresh fruits to celebrate the gifts of the earth. For the shortest day, they light a fire and dance around it. The theme for the winter solstice is the moon, and once the dancing really gets going they howl like wolves.
She has told us about rituals that celebrate rocks, water, and the stars. They light incense, and sing "The Age of Aquarius". It all seems very pagan for someone who, had she been born a man, would be a priest. She did point out that during one of her celebrations a group of real Wiccans did show up in "their" field, apparently to celebrate the same solstice. In the spirit of ecumenical outreach, the two groups joined together to dance, sing, chant, and celebrate the solstice. It would not surprise me to hear that my sister in law also talked them into attending church with her on Sunday.