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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?

Fairies, angels, tarot, and you’re all weird

By Psyche | January 10, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | Comments Off

Saturday Signal on Plutonica.netSaturday Signal: sifting the signal from the noise of the Internet’s occultural cacophony.

Holy cow. December was quite a month for holy days. (Though none, in fact, observed cows – as far as I know…?)

Hanukkah, Agnostica, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Natalis Invicti, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Day of Ashura – and apparently December 12th, 2009 was also the 53rd anniversary of patenting the first hovercraft. (Who knew?)

It kept me busy. So did work on the (not so) Secret Project ™ announced on the Facebook group. Beta version to be released Monday.

Now, on to the linkage:

  • However, fairies can’t fly, so says Graeme Paton in the Telegraph, who also advises that angels can’t fly either. Paton writes: “A leading biologist has compared the physiology of flighted species with the representations of spiritual and mythical creatures in art – and found the angels and fairies that sit atop of Christmas trees did not get there under their own steam.” I know, deep down, you’re just as disappointed as I am.

Speaking of weird, after my festive Cthulhu-themed gift idea post I thought I’d also mention a search engine I found: Cthuugle, which bills itself as “the complete HP Lovecraft Search Engine”. Indeed.

That’s it for this week, folks. I still have half an hour to post this where it can still be considered Saturn Day, so I’d better make it quick!

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