pegkerr: (Light in dark places soulcollage)
I often post a song for the Winter Solstice on my blog. I went to YouTube looking for one and found an entire mix. If you'd like to hear some lovely Solstice songs, here is the link.

Enjoy the music, and happy Solstice! Lighter days are coming, and I, for one, am glad.
pegkerr: (candle)
Here's a song that's on my Midwinter list, and it's a lovely song that touches upon Solstice, Advent, and the end of the year and beginning of the new. It's a good wish to send out to my readers near and far. I hope you have a lovely

Jiggernaut - Midwinter (Album: The Well. See it on CD Baby here and on iTunes here)

Blossoms of spring
are the green leaves of summer
then autumn's splendor
will follow the sun
carvings in stone and
seasons encircle
the old year has ended
a new one's begun

Chorus:

Set a light in your heart
to ward off the darkness
set a fire in your heart
to keep till the spring
let the Advent of love
keep us warm in midwinter
find a song in your heart and sing
find a song in your heart and sing

gather regrets
like deadwood for kindling
sweep out your soul
release doubt and fear
plant seeds of joy
let your light flourish
light a fire on the darkest
day of the year

Chorus

Make ready your home
and welcome the stranger
bring what you have
and take what you need
the table is set
the door it is open
love's feast is prepared
and time for to feed

Chorus

keep watch in the night
a new day is dawning
when love and peace
shall blanket the earth
hunger and war
will be all but forgotten
when death will give way to rebirth
when death will give way to rebirth

Chorus

(here's the song in Mog. If I'm doing it right, I think you'll be able to listen to it there.).
pegkerr: (Light in dark places soulcollage)
Here's my favorite Solstice song from one of my favorite singers, Peter Mayer.




Lyrics )

(Available for purchase on Peter's website here.)

Edited to add: I don't remember a Winter Solstice where I've been so genuinely happy. Or at least for a long time. Honestly, I almost don't recognize myself! The depression is nowhere in sight this year. It's just wonderful.

Even if there is no drum jam at the Cedar Cultural Center tonight. Which is just wrong.)
pegkerr: (candle)
In honor of this day, and in honor of the sunlight returning, here is one of my favorite songs, by the Minnesota songwriter Peter Mayer.




Lyrics and chords )
pegkerr: (candle)
Someone on my Facebook friends list noted that the last time a lunar eclipse and the winter solstice coincided happened in 1638.

Alas, here in Minnesota we'll have trouble seeing it because of all the snow.

Solstice

Dec. 22nd, 2009 08:52 am
pegkerr: (Default)
I went to the drum jam. I drummed (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha for the loan of the drum. I danced.

I hope you are all pleased that I help drive the dark away.
pegkerr: (candle)
I honestly don't know what to think of this one. The concept of this card is so important to me. Part of me thinks it's fabulous and part of me wants to scrap it and start all over again. I think my uncertainty stems partly from the fact that I'm up way past my bedtime and I'm COUGHING MY GUTS OUT ARGH RAWR STABBITY STABBITY STAB. It's been over two weeks since I first caught the H1N1, and it feels like this damn cough has moved in for the winter (no, it's not a productive cough so I don't think it's a bacterial infection/pneumonia. It's just that the coughing mechanism is stuck in the permanently 'on' position.)

Anyway, the card:


Light in Dark Places - Council Suit
Light in Dark Places - Council Suit
I am the One who lights your way when all other lights go out.



What do you think? Edited to add: I changed the color balance on and enlarged the central image; I think it looks better now! Thanks for your suggestions.

(From the top center, going clockwise: St. Lucia Day in Sweden, a firewalker I photographed at the Minneapolis winter solstice celebration, menorahs, Christmas Eve candlelight service, random lady with lamp, the winter illumination on Winter solstice day in Newgrange, Ireland. The central image is Galadriel handing Frodo her phial which she has described to be "the light of Earendil's star, set amid the waters of my fountain." (Earendil's ship shining with the light of one of the Simarils is the tiny image between Frodo's hand and the firewalker.)
pegkerr: (candle)
Tonight's the winter solstice drum jam at the Cedar Cultural Center. Come see the firewalkers and help drum away the longest night of the year. Tickets available at the door, only $10. Kids under 10 are free!
pegkerr: (Default)
It was great. I busted my top, a velvet bustier, from dancing too hard (a plastic stay burst out of the seam and started poking into my hip). I was wearing this jacket, so I took it off and danced in just my (thankfully rather nice looking) black bra with the jacket over it. No one seemed to notice.

Oh, yeah, and pants, too. Get your mind out of the gutter, you perverts.

The firewalkers were excellent, great fun to watch. Playful and sensuous and lithe and athletic. And sexy. In between their demonstrations, we danced as the drummers drummed. I left, reluctantly, at 11:00, since I have my red belt test tomorrow. I left it to [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha B. and K. and [livejournal.com profile] jbru to keep the party running properly without me.

Blessings to you on this darkest night of the year. I lit a candle on the stage before I left, and I tried to imagine the brighter days coming soon.











Click here to see some videos of the firewalkers )
pegkerr: (candle)
Tomorrow night (Friday the 21st) the Cedar Cultural Center will celebrate the longest night of the year by holding their annual Winter Solstice Drum, Dance and Fire jam. This is a really fun event which goes all night long, featuring jugglers and fire walkers and many, many drummers. See the Cedar Cultural Center's description of the event here. I went last year and had a fantastic time; see my post about it, along with some photographs and videos of the firewalkers here. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the opening ceremony is at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.00. Well worth it, in my opinion. Kids are welcome. Bring your drum and your dancing feet.

(And thanks once again, [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha and [livejournal.com profile] jbru, for telling me about it!)
pegkerr: (candle)
I now have a YouTube account! I've edited my Solstice Drum Jam entry to add at the end a couple videos shot with my digital camera. Crude, but it gives you an idea of what the firewalkers were like. And you can hear a bit of the drumming.
pegkerr: (candle)
I could hear the drums even out in the lobby. Perhaps a hundred people, perhaps more, sat in a circle, hands pounding on a huge variety of drums: djembes, congas, dununs, and shaking bells and shakers. A woman came forward with a singing bowl. She walked slowly, following the beat of the drums, chiming the side of the bowl. She called forth air, fire, water and earth, and women representing each of these figures came out and danced. Other dancers dressed in white came out, holding candles, which were used to light torches, and then the fire dances began.

Click here for pictures )

The fire dancers came out about once every hour and danced for us, strutting, sweating, laughing, throwing torches and catching them and spinning them around, feet pounding in time to the beat. They were sinuous and sweaty, powerful and mesmerizing. Meanwhile, the drumbeats thundered on and on, even when the dancers retired, rumbling the ground under our feet, sounding in the blood and the bone, like the heartbeat of the earth itself. I drummed for awhile when someone let me use his instrument. I've never done it before, and I managed to jam a finger somehow, so I stopped and relinquished the drum again. Anyway, I preferred to dance. I danced for a couple of hours, grinning with joy, sometimes holding my finger to the pulse in my neck so that I danced in time with my own heartbeat, sometimes twirling so that the torchlight and the fairy lights slurred in my vision into tracks of whirling orange, yellow and red. The smell of incense mingled with the tang of the fuel from the torches. The room stayed dark, except for the fire, and the candles set on the altar on the stage, and the black lights that illuminated the scarves that the jugglers kept flying. That was all right; we weren't afraid of the dark, but sang out to it, keeping the drum beat going to call forth the light that we knew was still there waiting for us, once we danced our way through the longest night. On and on it went, utterly powerful and confident and sexy and primal, and I was stunned by the waves of joy I felt welling up inside myself in response. Joy from knowing that I have made it to this darkest night and that I know I will make it through it. Joy that the depression that I suffered from so last year has lifted, because of the walks I have taken every day in the sun.

I knew that the drummers would drum throughout the entire night and I wanted to stay. But I was tired, and I knew I needed to get up early, so I said goodbye at about 11:30.

I could still hear and feel the drumbeat thrumming through my veins as I drove home.

I definitely plan to come back next year.

Edited to add: Click here to see videos ).
pegkerr: (candle)
I just got back from the Winter Solstice drum jam at the Cedar Cultural Center. It runs all night and I wanted to stay, but I bailed at 11:30 p.m. I have to get up at 6 a.m. to get to work; let's get real.

Anyway, it was TERRIFIC, and I am so glad I went. I have pictures and I want to do a report, but I'm bushed and so will crash for now. Later.

I might even set up a YouTube account so I can post the video I took with my digital camera of the fire walkers. Very cool.
pegkerr: (candle)
Light a candle
Sing a song
Say that the shadows
Shall not cross
Make an oblation
Out of all you've lost
In the longest night
Gather friends
Cast your hopes
Into the fire
As it snows
Stare at God
Through the dark windows
Of the longest night
Of the year
A night that seems like a lifetime
If you're waiting for the sun
So why not sing to the night time
And the burning stars up above?
Come with drums
Bells and horns
Come in silence
Come forlorn
Come like miner
To the door
Of the longest night
Deep in the stillness
Deep in the cold
Deep in the darkness
A miner knows
That there is a diamond
In the soul
Of the longest night
Of the year
A night that seems like a lifetime
If you're waiting for the sun
So why not sing to the night time
And the burning stars up above?
Maybe peace hides in a storm
Maybe winter's heart is warm
Maybe Light itself is born
In the longest night
In the longest night

-- Peter Mayer, Midwinter

A blessed and bright Solstice to you all.
pegkerr: (candle)
I am awfully tempted to go to this. [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha B. and K. told me about it.
Mystik Toyz, Robin "Adnan" Anders, and Illumination Fire Dancers Present A Winter Solstice Drum And Dance Circle

What better way to celebrate the winter solstice and darkest day of the year than with drums and fire? Robin "Adnan" Anders and some of the Twin Cities' hottest percussionists lead the drumming as Illumination Fire Dancers heat things up even more with soulful and mesmerizing dances of fire. Bring your drums and dancing feet as everyone is encouraged to participate in this annual celebration - all skill levels are welcome! You don't have to travel all the way to Hawaii (although that would be pretty nice this time of year) to experience fire dancing at its finest. Illumination is the Twin Cities' premier fire troupe and will be featuring a variety of fire dances such as baton, staff, poi, devil stick, as well as elegant fire fingers, fans, palms, and wands. Nothing fuels these dances more than the heartbeat of the drum. Read more
Hmm . . . $10.00. Reasonable if it just me. But [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K. and B. say it goes very late. Logistical problem. Thursday night is Rob's night out, and if I take the girls and pay for them too (they would probably enjoy it), it'd be more of a financial stretch. And what do I do when it's time for them to go to bed, if I want to stay? They have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to get to school for heavens sake. (Well, I have to get up at 6:00 a.m., too, but I'm tougher about going without sleep.)

Not asking for advice, exactly, just thinking out loud. Maybe I can work something out with Rob. Anyway, it does sound like fun. Anyone else going? If not to this event, what are you doing to celebrate the solstice in your area?
pegkerr: (candle)
This goes out to you all my LiveJournal friends, both the ones I've gotten to know and the lurkers too, on this, the darkest day of the year:

The day was as black as a raven
With winter's cold breath blowing hard
She issued a warm invitation
Printed plain on a simple white card
Bring your lamps and lanterns here
On this last darkest day of the year
Let our hearts be burning bright
Through the window, I'll see you tonight

Candles and other relations
Waltzed through the door and in time
There were stories of illumination
While Aurora went dancing outside
Bring your lamps and lanterns here
On this last darkest day of the year
Let our hearts be burning bright
Through the window, I'll see you tonight

There were pictures of lighthouses shining
A red miner's helmet aglow
And the moon would come out of its hiding
Flowing down on the cover of snow
And a small quiet few sat together
Faces she knew and had spent
Seasons for worse or for better
She raised up her glass then to them
And she said, "You're my friends
And wherever life takes me or when
You're my home, that's the truth
And the light through the window is you.
"

So bring your lamps and lanterns here
On this last darkest day of the year
Let our hearts be burning bright
Through the window, I'll see you tonight
Through the window, I'll see you tonight


--Ann Reed

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