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Happy Solstice

I recognized the chameleon and no longer want to crawl on the earth and change colors and be reborn; instead I want to exist from my own force, like the sun which gives light and does not suck light.

— Carl Jung

“You are a child of the universe
No less than the trees and the stars
You have a right to be here
And whether or not it is clear to you
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should…”

— Desiderata, Max Ehrmann, 1927

“The maiden whom the Valar chose from among the Maiar to guide the vessel of the Sun was named Arien, and he that steered the island of the Moon was Tilion. In the days of the Trees Arien had tended the golden flowers in the gardens of Vána, and watered them with the bright dews of Laurelin;

Arien the maiden was mightier than he, and she was chosen because she had not feared the heats of Laurelin, and was unhurt by them, being from the beginning a spirit of fire, whom Melkor had not deceived nor drawn to his service. Too bright were the eyes of Arien for even the Eldar to look on, and leaving Valinor she forsook the form and raiment which like the Valar she had worn there, and she was as a naked flame, terrible in the fullness of her splendour.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, p.99-100 (Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor).



6 Responses

  1. the winter solstice has deep spiritual significance for me, because from now on i’ll be getting more solar power.

  2. Off topic: Hey, guess what? The Bible doesn’t condemn consensual adult homosexuality; rather, it condemns pedophilia!

    • Well, if you’re looking at Leviticus (Vayikra in Hebrew) you should probably be reading it in Hebrew rather than the Greek translation:

       וְאֶת-זָכָר–לֹא תִשְׁכַּב, מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה: תּוֹעֵבָה, הִוא.

      Which, word for word, reads (to my rather rusty old eyes):

      “And (with) the male — not you shall lie down as the lying-down of (i.e., with) a woman: an abomination/disgusting thing this (is).”


      1) Hebrew is written right-to-left (like Arabic and Sanskrit)
      2) the word אֶת is pretty much impossible to translate. It’s a grammatical particle that indicates that the word (זָכָר, which just means “male”) after it is the definite direct object of a transitive verb ( תִשְׁכַּב, in this case)
      3) מִשְׁכְּבֵי is plural, so I assume it encompasses all the ways of lying down with someone.
      4) The “is” is in parentheses because Hebrew (like Russian) has a “zero copula”. If you want to connect a subject with a noun or adjective, you just put them next to each other.
      5) The syntax of Hebrew is such that word-for-word translations tend to sound like Yoda-speak to me.

      So, the Bronze Age tribal taboo of my desert-dwelling ancestors doesn’t say bupkis about children. It also, lest we forget, doesn’t say anything about lesbians (i.e., there’s no prohibition against lying with a female as one would with a man).

      A couple of observations:

      1) We’re not living in the Bronze Age anymore. I realize that comes as a shock to some people.
      2) Why pick just *one* tribal taboo to obsess over? I understand that St. Paul said it was okay to eat pulled pork sandwiches and cheeseburgers, but he never gave you permission to wear mixed fabrics or light a fire on Friday night. If you’re inferring that St. Paul meant to free you from all the Bronze Age tribal taboos of my desert-dwelling ancestors (and Christians apparently do, because they don’t punish people for wearing polyester-cotton blends or getting tattoos), then why exclude this one in particular?

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