Posts tagged: star gazing

Celebrating the Light

By , December 13, 2012

We have entered my favorite time of year, the Winter Solstice, midwinter, the darkest part of the year and the Christmas season where light and dark are juxtaposed.

Most of the minor celebrations centered around the Christmas season seem to be related to the solstice in one way or another. Today is St. Lucia’s Day, Sweden’s “Little Yule,” and a celebration of light in the darkness. It’s a holiday we were fond of celebrating when Aly was growing up. The 3rd and 4th Advent Sundays, also a light celebration, will bracket the Winter Solstice itself. Continue reading 'Celebrating the Light'»

March Astronomical and Weather Trivia

By , March 3, 2012

Here’s a cool little coincidence: on this 3rd of March, the month named for the god Mars, the planet named after the same deity is in opposition to earth. That is to say, the planet Mars is as close to Earth as it can get in its orbit.

The night of February 29th was beautifully clear. Admiring the quarter moon and the brighter stars and planets from the edge of our homestead, I noticed that Mars seemed a bit brighter than normal. It turns out that it is brighter, because it’s coming closer.

Right here is where I’d love to insert a photo of that view, but as I’ve complained before, I have neither the talent or the equipment to take good photos of the night sky, so I’ll have to leave it to your imagination, or, if tonight is clear, your own observation.

Today is also Saint Winnal’s Day, the day from which we get the March coming in as a lion or lamb tradition. St. Winnal is apparently associated with storms. Some say he’s one of those pagan gods thinly dressed up as a Christian saint (like my all time favorite, Saint Dionysus. I mean, come on!). He may possibly be a Christianized Aegir, the Teutonic god of the sea, in charge of tides and weather. That would make a certain amount of sense.

March 1st is Saint David’s Day, March 2nd is Saint Chad’s. That, and the information above account for this funny little traditional weather rhyme:

“First comes David, next comes Chad, then comes Winnal, roaring mad!”

Panorama Theme by Themocracy