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Winter Solstice traditions

By Psyche | December 23, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | Leave a Comment

The 21st Annual Kensington Market Festival of LightsEvery solstice and equinox my husband and I host a large dinner party for our friends. Or, as near to the date as we can, usually whichever Saturday is closest.

This year was no exception, and though I failed to get a picture of it on Saturday, I did have a go at making Riz Aleister Crowley, Crowley’s recipe for pilaf.

Crowley’s original recipe doesn’t give quantities for the ingredients he lists, so I’ve made my best guess, and detailed my process here. It was delicious.

For the bakers among you, there’s also an awesome shortbread recipe you should totally try out.

This year my husband and I also woke up in the middle of the night to watch the eclipse. we had a great view from our porch, even with various wires strung across our narrow street, and streetlights ablaze. I was surprised to see that we were the only people out that night.

There’s been a lot of kerfuffle about this rare red eclipse occurring on the winter solstice, as it hasn’t done so for several hundred years. It was a beautiful night, and I hope you got to experience it.

Kensington Market is a small neighbourhood in downtown Toronto, and for the past twenty-one years there has been the Kensington Market Festival of Lights, a parade with music, puppets, paper lanterns, a stilt-walker, and crowds of people following along. I try to make it every year; I love it. The picture above is taken from this year’s Festival, with two more shared on my personal blog.

Dinner parties, good food, and a parade to celebrate the sun returning to the world are how I celebrate my winter solstice every year. What are your traditions?

Love that Lovecraft

By Psyche | December 8, 2009 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 2 Comments

Unbearably Scary Solstice Combo (featuring tentacle stocking)Wondering what to buy that special twisted someone for Yule, Agnostica, Hanukkah, Kawanza, Christmas, Giftmas or whatever else it’s possible to celebrate in December?


Classics such as At the Mountains of Madness, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and of course The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories are must haves.

For the occultniks on your list there’s Simon’s cheesy The Necronomicon, H. R. Giger’s Necronomicon, or Phil Hine’s Pseudonomicon.

There’s also Anthony B Pearsall’s compendium, The Lovecraft Lexicon, several biographies and Lovecraft’s selected letters for those who like to get behind the scenes and learn more about the author and solve that endless riddle: where did he get those ideas from?

Sculptures & busts

For the serious enthusiast there are many strange artifacts one may purchase. Continue reading »

Summer solstice

By Psyche | June 22, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 3 Comments

Solstice occurs at different times around the world, though here in Toronto the summer solstice usually occurs on the 21st or 22nd of June.

Like an ancient recess bell, it sounds the kickoff to summer holidays.

I’ve written about our Feasts before, dinner parties my husband and I host for our friends on the solstices and equinoxes. The blog has been quiet the past few days as we were in preparation for Our Midsummer Feast held yesterday. Continue reading »