It's been a hot week in Adelaide, just in time for the Summer Solstice and Christmas. The solstice newsletter went out from HQ (please feel free to subscribe).
Solstice and Christmas - the one usually ignored and the other obscured in commercialism - can come and go without us enjoying their cosmic gifts.
The solstice times draw our attention to the "great cosmic liturgy"or "moments when the numinous dimension of the universe reveals itself with special intimacy," writes Thomas Berry (such as dawn and sunset everyday). Indeed these dimensions were entwined and enshrined in the setting of the date for Christmas - thanks Wikipedia:
"Although it is not known why December 25 became a date of celebration, there are several factors that may have influenced the choice. December 25 was the date the Romans marked as the winter solstice, and Jesus was identified with the Sun based on an Old Testament verse. The date is exactly nine months following Annunciation, when the conception of Jesus is celebrated. Finally, the Romans had a series of pagan festivals near the end of the year, so Christmas may have been scheduled at this time to appropriate, or compete with, one or more of these festivals.
Christmas can be a very cosmic time, carrying great themes of light permeating the world. The more well-known traditional stories include a star that marks the birth of Jesus and the most esoteric of the Christian gospels, the book of John, is poetry about the coming of the light and the beginning of the universe. These dimensions are buried now under the lesser, parochial themes of religion and dogma...but still "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." (John 1:5)
From us three at the CCP, we hope you have or will give yourself to the numinous in this season, enjoying and understanding "the universe primarily as celebration." (Berry)