Winner of 2014 ECHO Award from The Winston-Salem Foundation
June 15, 2015
When hearing the words, Summer Solstice, what do you immediately think of? Heat? A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Faeries? If so, then all of those would be correct. And then some. In its own right, the Summer Solstice is probably the most publicly celebrated solstice out of all the Solstices.
As with most seasonal celebrations (or holidays, if you prefer), the Summer Solstice dates back to before Christ, leaving this world-known celebrated day to be described as a neo-pagan tradition. All the Summer Solstice truly represents is an honoring of the longest day and shortest night of the year. Yet over time, meaning was applied to this auspicious day, and as we all know, people love a reason to party. Even back in the times of the ancient.
Stepping forward to today, the Summer Solstice has become an occasion for people to come together to celebrate in a most unusual fashion. Not unlike a Star Wars or Star Trek convention – you know, when all those ‘weirdos’ (y’all know I’m just kidding, I hope) get dressed up as aliens, Spock or Obi-Wan Kenobi… Only, with this particular “conference” there are wings and tails and kilts and pixie dresses and fire. And glitter.
For the last eight years, Susan Sassmann has coordinated a large festival right here in our ‘very own back yard’, otherwise known as the Greensboro Summer Solstice. Held at the Greensboro Arboretum Lindley Park, a hodge-podge, eclectic group of people from ALL different walks in life come to enjoy the magickal side of life for a short afternoon. Over 7,000 people attend.
They come dressed as brownies, pixies, dragon slayers or centaurs. Basically anything you can imagine from any magickal fairy tale you’ve ever seen will be there. It’s a fairyland delight for anyone’s inner child. Just bring your imagination, and lots of glitter.
The core of the Summer Solstice is merely a time for magick. A time for dreams to come true, a time to let your inhibitions run wild. It is a time for glitter to permeate every molecule of your being. It is a time to be in tune with nature herself and the ambiguous nature of our humanity.
This year’s fire festival at the Greensboro Summer Solstice is sure to delight even the most drudgery of humanity’s psyche. Although I don’t think we’ll need the fire to warn off evil spirits or dragons.
Interfaith WS will be co-sharing an information table at the Solstice with the Piedmont Interfaith Council. I hope to see you amongst all the glimmer of the midsummer’s eve, imaginations, fire and, glitter.
Chair, Interfaith WS
(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the writer and may -- or may not -- represent the views of Interfaith Winston-Salem.)
A Focus on Hare Krishna Monday, June 15
The richness of our area’s spiritual traditions will be on display again Monday evening during Interfaith Winston-Salem’s Interfaith Conversations gathering at 7 p.m. at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem.
Sarva-drik Das, a follower of Hare Krishna Consciousness for more than 40 years, will share his thoughts and stir our discussion. He will make a short presentation about the formula for peace according to the Bhagavad-gita and invite attendees during the interactive portion of the evening to consider what it takes to bring peace to human society.
He is a resident of Prabhupada Village, tucked away in an idyllic section of Stokes County. The village was established in 1992 and currently is home to several families. A Vedic style temple is under construction.
Prabhupada Village gathers its inspiration and guidance from the spiritual principles found in the books, letters, lectures, and example of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
We Thank Our Financial Supporters
With your donations you make it possible for Interfaith Winston-Salem to offer its programs at no cost to participants. For your convenience, tax-deductible online contributions to Interfaith Winston-Salem can be made using the donate button on our home page. We thank you for your support in the past and encourage you to join the following generous people who have made contributions in 2015:
Joe and Martha Allman
Jim and Johnne Armentrout
Carolyn and John Ashburn
Philip and Vicky Auchincloss
Dale and Linda Brown
Centenary United Methodist Church Circle 9
Jim and Anne Collins
Terri and John Davis III
Nicky R. Jamison
JoAnn and David F. Mount
Nancy M. Murray
Sybil and Jerry McLeese
Oldtown School PTA
Rollin and Elizabeth Russell
Bob and Rebecca Schwartz
Bonnie Sue Smith
Mary Ben Stroupe
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem
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