At the Winter Solstice, the Sun enters the part of the space-time continuum belonging to Capricorn. This year, that’s Saturday, the 22nd of December. This is the official first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The word Solstice is derived from the Latin sol, or “Sun,” and stitium, or “stoppage.” At the Solstice, the Sun appears to both rise and set at the same spot on the horizon. At New Grange the sun gradually lights the chamber over the five days, peaking on Dec 21-23.
On or around June 21-23, the Summer Solstice, the North Pole is tilted most directly Sunward. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere experience this as the longest day and shortest night of the year. On or around December 21-23, the Winter Solstice, the North Pole is pointed away from the Sun giving us in the Northern Hemisphere, our shortest day and longest night. It is this tilting of the Earth’s rotational axis that gives us our seasons.
If you want more information on how this works, just ask and I can recommend some articles and books that explain it really well. I don’t know about you, but to me, the important part of this is that from here on out, we get a few minutes more of daylight each day, until the Summer Solstice, that is.
Symbols of Winter:
Snow, bare-branched trees, icicles, yule log, Santa Claus with his elves and reindeer, a crèche with Magi and star, etc.
Capricorn is represented by onyx, hematite and garnet.
Aquarius is represented by pietersite, malachite and amethyst.
Pisces is represented by aquamarine, and turquoise and jade.
Activities of Winter:
Skiing and snowshoeing, hanging up lights and decorations, Holiday celebrations, shoveling snow and watching movies like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas, Die Hard, Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…
What color is your front door?
Here is a good short article on front door colors based on Feng Shui. You’ll need to know your exposure, for instance, I have a Southern facing front door so I have a steel door with a fiberglass wood veneer that I stained with two colors of gel stain, cedar and a color called bark, to resemble reddish woodgrain with darker streaking. It gives me the Feng Shui red/South door and it also looks like real wood but with the security of steel. I could have simply painted it red, or purple, or even magenta, but I wanted the look of wood so I choose a warmer redder wood-tone rather than a cooler-tone.
weft will be the colors of the warp, but in random sequence.
I liked that last shawl, the blue and natural cotton one, so much that I tied a new wool warp to the end of that warp and kept the same threading and tie up for this one on the big Millbruck. You are looking at Zigzag twill #63 from handweaving.net. It requires 4 shafts and 6 treadles. I think I’ll cut this yardage up and sew it into zippered pouches.
On September 23rd, the Sun enters Libra and Autumn begins. In the same way that the Solstice marks the days of longest and shortest “light,” the Equinoxes mark the day of equal light. Nox is the Roman goddess of night so equinox literally means “equal night.” The glyph for Libra represents the setting sun expressing the balance between night and day. In traditional Astrology, the Sun is “exalted” in Aries while halfway through its circuit along the ecliptic, it is in “fall” in Libra, Aries’ opposite sign.
The rising of the constellation Libra marked the beginning of the New Year in ancient Egypt. Equinoxes are the two points in the year (March 19-21 and September 21-23) when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. At these times, day and night in Northern and Southern hemispheres are of equal length. The Spring (vernal) Equinox occurs midway between the Winter and Summer solstices; the Autumnal Equinox occurs midway between the Summer and Winter solstices. The Autumn equinoctial festival of Mabon mirrors the spring equinoctial festival of Oestara with the Light and Dark forces of the Universe switching ascendancy.
In myth, the goddess Persephone departs the earth to join her husband in the underworld. It is time to give thanks for the summer and to welcome the impending dark. Traditionally, this was when some of the heaviest work of the agricultural year began, the final harvest was still to be stored away and the fields readied for the coming Winter. This is why so much feasting goes on now. Fresh meat and ripe fruit only last so long.
My disclaimer, I don’t really need this. I top off my tank whenever I am at Costco and the gas-lines aren’t too horrid, so I am like never anywhere near E, but I know there are people who need this information, my Mom comes to mind.
Mom always flirted with that tank-fill indicator, driving faster as the light got brighter, daring it. It made me chuckle to realize that my Tacoma can go 63-75 miles once the little tank indicator light comes on and yet I start feeling anxious when I get below a half a tank. I guess her driving around “gaming” the gas tank really got into my programming.
Are you a “wait until the indicator comes on” filler, or a “top-off” filler?
Click link for the full article with a bigger chart from Your Mechanic.
I have read a couple of interesting articles about makeup in history in the last couple of days and thought you might enjoy them. The first is by Erin Blakemore on How Makeup went Mainstream and she discusses the way actresses were used to market makeup in the early 20th century. Testimonials from actresses and makeup artists were used to convince, non-actresses that we needed the stuff to look our best. I love the irony of creating a “natural look.” 🙂
The second is weirder, 100 years of banned beauty products. Yep, click the link to see hair removers that can kill you, hair dyes that blind, all kinds of crazy stuff, and these are recent, not even counting the ones you already knew about like the Elizabethan’s white lead makeup, the Victorian’s favorite arsenic face cream, or the ancient Egyptian penchant for mixing sacred crocodile dung in kohl eye makeup. Here is a bonus link: In the realm of “more dangerous than crocodile dung,” the FDA issued a periodic statement to avoid kohl, kajal, and al kahl in eye makeup because they have been found to consist of salts of heavy metals, such as antimony and lead, leading to lead poisoning in children, they are probably not so good for your eyes either.