Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Solstice, Solstice People!

So, the Solstice snuck up on me this year. 

Usually it's something like Lammas or Candlemas that sneaks up on me. This year it's the Solstice, probably because of all the Eksmas* rush and all the "omg Mayan apocalypse" End of the World crap that has been occupying my mind. 

Solstice falls two minutes after midnight on the 22nd, so I'll just celebrate at midnight. It's actually rather a pleasing time for it to occur, so I'm getting a bit excited. I haven't deliberately celebrated at exactly midnight for a long, long time. I suppose I should do it more often. It's a "border" type of time. Although I suppose it's only a border time because we made it so. Dusk and dawn are more proper border times. But midnight does appeal to one's sense of the dramatic.

I sleep mornings rather than nights, against my wishes tbh but what can you do - and as a result I tend to think of the New Day beginning at dawn rather than at midnight. This has become so ingrained in my mind that I become seriously confused if people start referring to pre-midnight as "yesterday" before the sun has come up. This was an issue when I was in hospital for my appendix at about 4 in the morning, and the doctor kept asking if the pain had started "yesterday" and I kept correcting him and saying "no, it was around 11 o'clock this morning". He gave me very strange looks. I mean I know it's only practical to have a set time for the day to end and the new one to begin, but socially can we change it? It only makes sense that "today" start at dawn.

You know what's been confusing me about the "End of the World" Mayan Apocalypse stuff? There are all these Christian groups who have latched onto it. Why would another culture's End of the World be like yours? Jesus isn't coming back, I mean, you'd get.... I was trying to think of a Mayan deity and the only one Who sprung to mind was Ixtab and that doesn't seem appropriate somehow. Not for the Apocalypse, anyway. 

And the Nibiru-pushers are pretty out-there. We know there's no such planet. Brian Cox said so. NASA said so. It's just a lot of New Age authors trying to make a buck. But the people who piss me off most are the people who say "if the Mayans knew so much about the future how come they're all dead?". They're not all dead, douchebags. The Maya people are still around. OK? So can we stop being cocks about that please. Thanks.

The "ascending consciousness" Age of Aquarius thing bothers me more, somehow. Maybe it's just because I'm such a cynic, but I really do not anticipate anyone "changing". I think when you get right down to it, there are quite a few people who seem to have this idea that their consciousness is already halfway ascended, or something, because they're "aware" of this change in whatever and waiting expectantly for it and therefore must be ahead of the curve. That really bugs me. I mean if everyone is meant to "wake up", what makes you think they're going to wake up in the direction you think they should? What if being an ascended consciousness means being a racist, sexist, abusive violent bastard? My idea of what direction humanity should mentally/spiritually "ascend" towards is probably different from yours, so I would bet mine (and yours) would differ from that of whoever it is that is meant to be installing Consciousness 4.0. 

I really prefer the idea of humanity battling to better themselves as a species rather than magical niceness descending from on high. I like the idea of conflicting opinions, society moving forward by pushing at our own preconceptions. The whole "awakening" I think is kind of creepy, like a mental system update from a suspicious organisation. I don't trust that whole sort of idea. I instinctively rail against it. I want to read the update notes before I agree to anything that changes the very layout of my brain. Maybe it's a Heathen thing. 

I mean think of how long I complained about the blogger update. I am not a person who likes change. (I'm working on that. It's very deeply-ingrained. But I'm working on it.)

But! Enough about the end of the Long Count. That's all so much irrelevance. It is Solstice and it is Summer and the sky is blue and the sun is warm and we haven't had too many unpleasantly oppressive days yet. Which reminds me.... Cyclone Evan is coming for Eksmas.

Now we here in EnZed love a good storm. We'll go down to the beach to watch the storm surge. I have memories of playing in the waves as a kid. We used to get a cyclone every couple of years. They were good fun. Now this one has caused serious damage in Fiji, but by the time it gets here, it won't really be a storm any more. It will be a low. And it will rain. For seven days.

Seven days of rain, over Eksmas and New Years. What happened to the glorious summer Eksmas of the Southern Hemisphere? How am I meant to have my gin and tonic on the deck while gazing at the sparkling sea? I like a good dump of rain as much as the next person but I don't know... you really sort of hope for the holidays to be representations of the season in which they sit. In the UK people think longingly of snow, I imagine. Here, we like stupidly blue sky and beach-cricket. But not this year, apparently. Cue 4 million people having a sulk.

Still, today is bright and sunny, and perfect for the Solstice. I even went outside, briefly. The sea looked very nice from the deck. (I know I sound like a complete shut-in but I burn easily and there's a big spread about melanoma in today's paper and I have a paranoia about cancer.) It's always a pleasing thing to have the sun around on a sun-based holiday, which the Solstice is for me. And tomorrow, Midsummerblót, and I'll drink to Tyr and Sunna.

Midsummerblót is a holiday I have a hard time putting my finger on. But one tries, one keeps on keeping on. Maybe I'll drink to Forseti this year as well. I've never met Him, you know.

*As mentioned previously, I tend to refer to the secular celebration of Christmas as Eksmas rather than Xmas. This is because the X in Xmas is short for "Christ", and I respect our Christian friends who are celebrating Christmas as a religious festival who might be a little annoyed with the related secular traditions using the same name. "What the shit do your celebrations have to do with Christ?" they ask. Fair enough, say I, so I refer to it as Eksmas (because I watch too much Futurama) or occasionally Annual Gift Day. Consequently I end up annoying other people who find "Eksmas" as a term offensive, but you can't please everyone, can you?

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