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Today at 6:09PM [CDT] is the Summer Solstice, technically considered the “first day of Summer”, but the mid Summer by much of Europe.

Many Wiccans celebrate the day as Litha, while computer programmers honor their predecessors, the druids, who build the first solid-state computing devices, the megaliths, like Stonehenge.

The Slavs celebrate St. John’s Night, Иван Купала [Ivan Kupala], the battle between the White god [Белобог – Belobog] and the Black god [Чёрнобог – Chyornobog] for control of the Sun. The Black god always wins and the night begins to expand.

The sound track to the battle is Иванова Ночь на Лысой Горе [Night on Bald Mountain ] by Модест Петрович Мусоргский [Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky], which everyone should play very loudly.

Archæoastronomy tracks all of the important solar events, another of the many things I learned from Andante.


1 Badtux { 06.20.12 at 9:47 pm }

The Black god always wins and the night begins to expand.

Hmm, that works on so many levels…

2 Bryan { 06.20.12 at 10:24 pm }

Solstices are a big deal when you are as far North as Russia, so they really party. The summer is the time of the ‘white nights’ when you have the twilight and dawn meeting with no darkness in the middle. Above the Arctic Circle the sun doesn’t fully set.

The Slavs believe that if things are good, they will get bad, and if they are bad, they will get worse before they get better.

3 Badtux { 06.22.12 at 2:00 am }

Yes, I’ve known a fair number of Russians, and that last sentence sums up their world view in a nutshell :).

4 Bryan { 06.22.12 at 5:09 pm }

It always sounded depressing to me, but they have survived a lot as various groups moved through the area so it works for them.