In my Anishinaabe culture, the constellation with three stars in a row is called “Kabibonokka”, not “Orion”. Kabibonokka is the personification of winter (“biboon”), striding powerfully into our nights in the fall, bringing frigid cold by January when he rules the nights. A few days ago I pointed him out to my sons, thanking him for winter, but also sharing my happy anticipation of the coming bike rides and campfires. Just after dusk, you too can see Kabibonokka – now wandering dejectedly toward the sunset in defeat, closer with every passing day. When he gets to the sunset, he’ll be gone – and with him, the cold of winter, at least for now.
I work a regular 8-5 job, and now the evenings are so noticeably brighter, even before the time change for daylight savings. It’s coming! Longer days! (Apologies – and humble thanks- to our Southern Hemisphere Pagan friends, from whom we are about to steal the light). The excitement in my family is building for Ostara, just days away now. Another way we are building this anticipation here is with this new video by John Boswell at the Symphony of Science* that also celebrates light. If you like, find a big screen TV. Darken the room. Remove distractions, and settle down comfortably – either alone or with others – and let these waves of light and wonder wash over you, reminding us of the now victorious light. Or save it for Ostara itself. Hey, is that a sacred stone circle at 1:40?
*As many of us know, the Symphony of Science videos are powerfully spiritual celebrations of science. I’m sure I’ll mention them again. The video above, celebrating stars and light, also seems to me to be a good fit for the Winter Solstice.
Dr. Jon Cleland Host is a scientist who earned his PhD in materials science at Northwestern University & has conducted research at Hemlock Semiconductor and Dow Corning since 1997. He holds eight patents and has authored over three dozen internal scientific papers and eleven papers for peer-reviewed scientific journals, including the journal Nature. He has taught classes on biology, math, chemistry, physics and general science at Delta College and Saginaw Valley State University. Jon grew up near Pontiac, and has been building a reality-based spirituality for over 30 years, first as a Catholic and now as a Unitarian Universalist, including collaborating with Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow to spread the awe and wonder of the Great Story of our Universe (see www.thegreatstory.org, and the blog at evolutionarytimes.org). Jon and his wife have four sons, whom they embrace within a Universe-centered, Pagan, family spirituality. He currently moderates the yahoo group Naturalistic Paganism.