Memories Of Solstice Past… again

It’s summer! No doubt about it. While we’ve been lucky in my corner of SoCal and haven’t had the ridiculous heat, it’s coming. I’m still in recovery mode, so I’m not doing very much. As I lay around, my mind wanders back to the late 90s when Solstice was an event to look forward to.

I originally wrote this post several years ago. This is a refreshed version. The original is here.

Back in the 90s I was still a healthy working mom with two young daughters and a husband. I was in management for a major corporation and my husband had his own small landscaping company. We were both very involved with PTA and classroom volunteers. We were also part of a group of grassroots activists. My husband & I ran the local Leonard Peltier Defence Committee & AIM, American Indian Movement. With our group of friends/activists we were also part of the Committee Against Police Brutality, Peace & Freedom Party, LGBT rights and homelessness. We would feed the homeless a couple times a year. Just set up a BBQ in a park and feed people. All the kids of our core group would be dragged along with us to events, protests and ceremonies. We always got the kids out before any trouble started, and the kids grew up learning about giving back and participating.

Solstice was always something to look forward to because we would have an Aztec ceremony to celebrate the longest day of the year. The ceremony was held at the beach and lead by an Aztec friend of ours. It was a corn ceremony and everyone that was at the beach joined in. Sometimes there would be over 100 of us honoring the sun and giving thanks for the corn. I miss gatherings like that.

The ceremony happend at Sunset and a conch shell was blown to call the ancestors and spirits. There was a fire, usually in a hibachi cuz there weren’t any fire rings at that beach, and we would all join hands in a circle. We each had a small amount of corn kernels, or even corn meal, to toss onto the fire as an offering. Our Aztec friend, in full Regalia would lead us in a spiraling dance around the fire, eventually TO the fire to offer our corn.

It was a beautiful way to celebrate the longest day of the year, and another culture. Even if the ceremony was modified, it was something and it was enough to bring all the other folks in the area in to join us and participate.

After the ceremony, we shared a potluck meal. It was always a good time with good people of all ages, religious beliefs, culture and skin colors. Summer Solstice is special to me because of those times, and every year I get a little nostalgic.

We used to camp at pow wow every year too. My ex is native though not from here. He is Anishinaabe from northern Michigan. His grandfather disenrolled so my ex was trying very hard to reclaim his heritage. His family was never able to.

Solstice is a special time for me. At least it used to be. Now it’s just another reminder of what my life used to be before the fibromyalgia took over. Before my ex lost his battle with addiction and tore our lives apart.

I really miss the good times but I wouldn’t want to bring back the bad times.

Have you ever been to a Pow Wow or Native American ceremony? Do you do anything to celebrate the Solstice? Winter Solstice is usually around the Winter Holidays, Spring Equinox is around the time of Easter and Passover… A lot of pagan holidays were co-opted by the Catholic Church and changed to Saint’s Days to try to convert people and still allow them their celebrations.

Thanks for stopping by!

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HUGS!

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33 thoughts on “Memories Of Solstice Past… again

  1. I’ve never been to a Pow Wow or a Native American Ceremony. It sounds like a really special way to honor the Solstice. That’s pretty neat about the corn as an offering. Thanks for sharing about it today. Happy Solstice!! Hugs 🤗 ✨🌽💐💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here in Oz, of course, it is cold, especially as you go south. In Hobart, which is on our southern island, people get together to enjoy a naked swim in freezing waters … not only to celebrate the turning of the seasons (and the planet) but to get together and laugh and celebrate what it is to be human. https://youtu.be/oIMirkwVp-M

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  3. That sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate Solstice, and I would have happily joined in the festivities.

    One of my aunts would take my sister and I to Pow Wows when we were little. I was too young to really grasp the full concept, but I remember it being fascinating, with the drumming and the fire circles. We also had an uncle on the other side of the family who would participate in Pow Wows and he would wrangle me into helping him do some of the beadwork for his accessories. (I don’t think I was very good at, but rather that he was just creating some bonding-time and helping me learn about other cultures.)

    This was a terrific piece, and I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good for you for helping bead the regalia!! The bonding is important! Each dancer’s regalia tells a story of their life, their family and their tribe.

      I still play drum music sometimes. Its very soothing! Camping at Pow Wow showed this white girl what it was like to be the minority that gets stared at. It was a good lesson for me!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Regalia! I couldn’t think of the right word, so I went with “accessories” even though I knew that wasn’t right (and may have even come across as mildly dismissive, not my intent). And yes, my uncle would tell me about the various beads and colors and how the arrangements of such meant different things. Thanks for triggering more of the memories…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I just read an article about a climate protest is Lahore. I’m always waiting for Summer to be over. I hate being too hot!
      We’ve been really lucky this year and had actual Spring weather. No rain, but the Marine Layer came in a lot of nights and kept the temperatures in the 70s to low 80s.
      🤗🥰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was great! We felt like we were making a difference, even if it was small.
      I look back and wonder how I had the energy to DO all that stuff plus work full time, then I remember I was in my late 20s – early 30s and not completely broken down by chronic pain, and it makes more sense😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, lordy. How we had the energy to do all that? I wonder about that too. However: YIPES. But you WERE making a difference. And continue to do so…just in a different format in the moment. there is a TON of food for thought here. Also as …er…survivors we’re entitled to a bit of listing to and fro. IMHO.
        Anyway, carry on! doing all the truly amazing things you do. and, folic acid any help?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t know if the Folic Acid is helping or not. I guess I was always supposed to be taking it with the Methotrexate 🤷🏼‍♀️ Either the doctor didn’t tell me, or (probably more likely) he told me and I blew it off, not understanding that it was IMPORTANT 😂😂
          I am SOOO cured of EVER wanting to be in hospital again that I just take whatever pills they tell me to take. And STOPPED taking the pills they told me to stop🤷🏼‍♀️
          🤗🥰

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I used to be more motivated by these things. However, it is just another day, or rather it was.

    Now yesterday, already fading, l was awakened by my alarm of 3.45am, it was still mostly dark, l was out the front door by 4.17am, the sunrise was due to be on the Stour by 4.38. It was misty however, so mattering not either way, l was there, it wasn’t – not clearly. However, retiring for the night at 9.14 which ironically was yesterday’s sunrise time, the meaning of days no longer matter.

    I go to bed, l get up, l live the day, l go to bed.

    one day is pretty much the same as the next, different day, different season, different weathers and yet strangely still all the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like you’re in a bit of a rut. I guess that’s better than a bunch of Drama Llama Ding Dong!
      My days can easily blur together… especially when they’re very long, like when Ben isn’t sleeping well, or I’m not.

      I think of Summer Solstice because of the ceremony, but I think of Winter Solstice and the Equinoxes because of my Sciencey Stuff observations during lockdown. 🤷🏼‍♀️

      I haven’t been getting outside, even in the yard, as much since the whole Left Foot drama began. I’m physically getting better, just in time for hot weather🤪 It’s 93°F today, with Monsoonal influence. We get the humidty, but no rain☹️

      Meh🤷🏼‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This was such an interesting glimpse into your earlier life. ♥️

    I knew nothing about any of this. Frankly, being so far north in this hemisphere, you would think Solstice should be much more celebrated in Canada than it is. I mean, we yearn for longer days and sunshine for 6, 7 months… 😐

    Wonderful, descriptive share, Angie. 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you🥰 I bet it stays light late up there. We wind up with a little over 14 hours of daylight on Solstice and I think it drops to 10 on Winter Solstice. It’s not a huge difference.

      I can’t believe all the stuff we used to be involved in. We marched in the Pride Parade one year… one of our group was running for Mayor. She didn’t win, but we irritated the “Establishment” by having a punk band play the election night party😝🎶💃🏼

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  6. These days, other than note that solstices and equinoxes are happening, I don’t really do anything. Native american traditions are unknown to me. Not much activity in the DC area which is where I spent my life. I totally get what you mean about missing the old days while also not wanting to return to them. I call it the ‘sobriety paradox.’ It’s acknowledging that the party days were the most enjoyable in my life while also recognizing they were the most destructive and dangerous. Yin/yang. Or maybe just shades of gray. Nothing is black and white.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing is black and white, that’s for sure. I get nostalgic but I’m not looking thru Rose Colored Glasses. I remember all the work I put in before and after every event that was enjoyable.

      Summer Solstice was always a Thing, but I didn’t really pay attention to the Winter Solstice or the Equinoxes until I did my Sciencey Stuff observations during lockdown. Now I can look out my side door and know where the Sun will set at the Equinoxes and both Solstices. I could be an old school Shaman or Priestess 😉 😂😂😂

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  7. Sounds like it was a really cool experience. I do not know much about Native American culture besides what I learned from you. I don’t follow the solstices either. I kind of hear about them after the fact. I’ll have to pay more attention to the summer one and think about your experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t believe all the stuff I used to do… on top of a full time job😲 No wonder I’m so tired now😂😂😂
      I was talking to Daughter about what a workout we all got, dancing in the spiral on the sand… the loose sand, not the hard sand by the water. I must’ve been in better shape then cuz I don’t remember being sore the next day😂😂

      I only got interested in Winter Solstice and the Equinoxes by doing my Sciencey Stuff 🤓 observations during lockdown 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s great to hear about your Indian heritage and traditions Angie. Very interesting. I’ve recently been into listening and following indigenous people and learning about their culture and food. I’m growing 4 different types of corn. It’s fascinating. The colors, varieties and what I can make with them have been interesting. The blue corn is doing the best. I recently learned about a business called Bolita Masa that is making corn tortillas with three different colors of corn. They are beautiful. So i bought a huge bag of masa to try to make corn tortillas myself. One of my neighbors makes them. I can borrow his press. We will see how it goes.

    Other than that, Andrew was laid off as well as 54 others from his robotic start up company. It’s somewhat of a concern since he has expensive rent from my mother of all people. He is motivated to find something and has signed up for a coding refresher class to polish up on his skills.

    Curtis has planned a Vegas trip for himself, which is his favorite thing besides Tahoe. I don’t love it, but everyone needs a vacation, right?

    We took my husband out last weekend to Oakland to a few fun places to celebrate Father’s day. It was nice.

    Trying to get inspired to write a blog. You have been doing a good job getting yours out.

    Take care and glad you are getting stronger.
    Teri

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck with the multi colored tortillas! We only grew regular corn in our garden, but it grew well.

      That’s sucky about Andrew’s job. The entire company, huh? All those people☹️

      Vegas isn’t my vibe either, but if Curtis likes it, good for him for booking a trip. I hope he enjoys himself!

      I’m glad you guys did something fun for Father’s Day. I sent emails to my bio-father, and my Dad. I was gonna text my brother and completely spaced it!🤦🏼‍♀️ Daughter worked the night before, so I was on Ben Duty all morning, and I just forgot it was even Father’s Day🤷🏼‍♀️

      We’re still trying to figure out what happened. I’m having MORE blood tests on Monday or Tuesday, then seeing my doctor on Friday to go over the results.
      My foot is still a little swollen and stiff, but it looks a lot better, and I feel fine. Except being chronically tired🤦🏼‍♀️ Ben hasn’t been sleeping well. But he has NEVER slept well.🤷🏼‍♀️

      Looking forward to seeing your blue corn tortillas!!💌💌💌💌

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      1. Could you have gout? My friends husband was just diagnosed with it.
        Glad they are giving you good care. Not fun to be laid up.
        Can you give Ben Melatonin? I bet you have thought of that.
        So far i have yellow corn 🌽 meal. But i want to try these fancy tortillas. I think they sell them in SF at a farmers market. Not easy access.
        And it wasn’t the entire Starship company. Just 55 of them.
        He seems motivated to get a better one.
        I even took my dad to the casino overnight with my sister. He loved it.
        Get better soon.
        Teri

        Liked by 1 person

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