As the days get shorter and the nights get longer -- and the stress of the holiday season begins to take its toll -- it's important to re-member that soon, Earth's tilt will be bringing us closer to the sun and the warmth of spring. "Around the twentieth of December each year, it gets to the point where in the sun's orbit and Earth's tilt on its axis, the sun seems to rise in the same spot for a few days in a row, and 'solstice' means 'the sun stands still,'" notes Renna Shesso, one of the ritual co-officiants at tonight's Winter Solstice Celebration, designed to recognize the Northern Hemisphere's darkest hour even as it welcomes the light back to our part of the planet.
"It takes the edge off the frustrating things about this season," explains Marilyn Megenity of the Mercury Cafe. "The rituals are really uplifting, and people laugh and smile."
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Tonight's celebration kicks off at 8 p.m. at the Merc, 2199 California Street, and will include a ritual wherein participants will be encouraged to write down anything they don't wish to carry with them into the light, plus music by Celtic rockers Tuatha and traditional seasonal dances. "Something about marking the cycles of the year symbolically worked for humans on a really deep level," adds Shesso. "To mark the return of the sunlight and the shift of the seasons seems to link us back to the earth in a really cathartic way."
The celebration costs $13 and is open to all faiths and ages; call 303-294-9258 or visit www.mercurycafe.com.
Sat., Dec. 17, 8 p.m., 2011