Yule and Winter Solstice: Mysteries of the Dark and LightA Solstice Celebration, Gift Exchange and Extravagant Yuletide Feast!
Friday, December 14 - Sunday, December 16, 2012
“So the shortest day came, and the year died,And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white worldCame people singing, dancing,To drive the dark away.They lighted candles in the winter trees;They hung their homes with evergreen;They burned beseeching fires all night longTo keep the year alive,And when the new year's sunshine blazed awakeThey shouted, reveling.”"The Shortest Day" by Susan Cooper
The Wheel has turned: the harvest has ended and frost covers the land. The days have grown short and the nights long and cold. Now we yearn for the long, warm days of summer, for the green grass and the scent of flowers on the breeze. We must bring back the Sun.
Prepare with us for the Long Night; Celebrate with us the rebirth of the Sun; Share with us the works of your Hands, Heart and Spirit. Exchange with us Gifts of Love and Laughter, and Remember with us that the Wheel does turn, and soon the Sun’s light will once again warm our faces. Come and share the Solstice with us: there is always room in our hearts for wandering souls. Celebrate the return of the Light in the heart of Darkness.
Now it is time for us to gather around the hearth, to drink warm cider and count our blessings--and, as we do so, to remember those who are less fortunate.
What can you bring? - If you would like to participate in the Gift-Giving exchange, please bring a small wrapped gift (~$10) to share. Regifting is welcome! - Our Breakfast Potlucks are dependent upon donations: please bring a store-bought item to share. - As a celebration of giving, we are collecting extra warm clothing or blankets to be donated to a local charity serving those in need.
Tentative schedule (activities and times are approximate; check back for updates):
Friday, Dec. 14: "Gathering In the Dark"6 pm Blessings of the Hearth- As we arrive, we greet each other over a warm Cup of Welcome!
8 pm Opening Ceremony: The Long Dark Begins- Where has the Sun gone? Will it ever return?
9 pm Solstice Stories: Past and Present Traditions- Hear tales of how Solstices Past were observed and celebrated, and Share a story of how your family celebrates the season!
Saturday, Dec. 15: "Preparing for the Return of the Light"9 am Potluck Continental Breakfast- Bring your storebought goodies to share! (bagels & cream cheese, fruit, danish, etc.)
10 am - 12 pm "Talk, Listen, Teach, Learn" - In the time of the Long Dark, our ancestors gathered around the hearth to converse, to create, and to teach each other new arts. Bring your different skills: conversation, knitting, needlework, crafting, drawing--whatever your specialty*. Gather around our hearth (or in this case, next to the wood stove), learn a new skill, teach a lesson, talk, laugh!
*If you plan on allowing hands-on learning, please bring the appropriate materials or contact us to see if we have what you need on hand.
Options may include:"Tools for Ritual: Preparing to Journey from Dark to Light"“Holiday Decorations”
12 pm Blessing the Land on the Shortest Day- Join us as we bless the spirits of the Land to support and bless us in the coming year!2 pm Preparing for the Journey- Join us to decorate and create a reflective place for the evening ritual
5 pm The Feast- Wonderful Yummies in store for us all!
7 pm Main Ceremony: Shamanic Journeys: Seeking the Light- How can we ask the Sun to Return? 8 pm The Gift Exchange: What is the meaning of Giving?- Join us as we exchange tokens of Love, Light and Laughter with each other, and receive a gift in return! (Please bring a small wrapped gift if you would like to exchange)
9:30 pm Songs for the Season! - Join us as we sing in the season! Yummy beverages of a Spirited Nature available to all!
Sunday, Dec. 16: "The Light Has Returned"9am Potluck Continental Breakfast- Bring your storebought goodies to share! (bagels & cream cheese, fruit, danish, etc.)
11am Thanks and Farewells!Through all the frosty ages you can hear themEchoing behind us - Listen!!All the long echoes sing the same delight,This shortest day,As promise wakens in the sleeping land:They carol, feast, give thanks,And dearly love their friends,And hope for peace.And so do we, here, now,This year and every year.Welcome Yule!!
The Weather? Sometimes cold, sometimes not. Dress warmly, our Yule Ceremonies will be at the Bunkhouse, if the weather cooperates! The Gift Exchange is easy. Just bring a small wrapped gift for your fellow Tribemates. It can be something you made, something you buy, or something you would like to pass along. (suggested price range: ~$10 or less...the intent is more important than the item!)
We will have ample heated sleepover space for all, allocated on first come-first serve. Please, do RSVP or register online if you will be staying over. Just bring your bedding, your warm clothing, something for the little donation box if you can spare it, but mostly let your heart come to Four Quarters for Yule.Children under 16 are loved, cherished and free. Members $35, Guests $45 R.S.V.P. if you please, will ensure sleeping space. Register On-Line Feel free to call ahead with questions, 814-784-3080.
We are closer than you think, 100 miles and less than 2 hours from Baltimore-Washington Beltways. About 2 hours from State College, Pitt's, Harrisburg and Harrisonburg VA, 3 hours from Philly and Wilmington, about 6 hours from NYC, Columbus and Cinn. OH.
Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary190 Walker Lane Artemas PA 17211 USA 814-784-3080 email@example.comIncorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an InterFaith Non-Denominational Church, Monastery and Spiritual Retreat Center. All donations fully tax deductible as allowed by law. PA EXMP 75-538-546 FED EIN 25-1853964© 1995-2013 The Church of Four Quarters™, Four Quarters™ and Four Quarters Farm™ Free use of text expressly granted for all non-profit purposes; unchanged and with attribution to Four Quarters. All other rights reserved.