Village’s sacred solstice from dusk until dreamtime

Bring your family for a very special candlelit ceremony in Cumberland on the darkest night of the year, Thursday, Dec. 21, to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

This pagan event merges deep respect and appreciation for nature, with the sights and sounds of a medievally- inspired celebration complete with jugglers, jesters, fire spinners and a concert of beautiful music and stories.

The celebration begins outside at 4:30 p.m. at #6 Mine Park where a welcoming circle-dance leads us down into the nearby Cumberland forest for a quiet, sacred ceremony honouring water and nature.

The sounds of Patrick Desjardin’s enchanting Shakuhachi flute add to the sacred mystery of the night. Please bring candle lamps if you have them-instead of the harsh light of flashlights-and dress for the weather; gumboots are recommended. Park near the Abbey, 2689 Penrith Ave., or The Masonic Hall.

We leave from the park in a musical procession with Dan Vie leading the way. Bring bells, tambourines and small drums to play in this musical procession if you wish.

From the woods we make our way to the Abbey Studio where the dazzling light from Lori Miller’s Cumberland Community Fire Performers invite the revelers in.

Soup is available: vegan, vegetarian and meat; and bread -gluten-free options available – will be served to everyone with tickets. At 6 p.m. settle in to watch the Jesters, Jugglers, Mummers, and Minstrels: Cathy Lee Coates, William Stenson, Jade DeTrey, Lisa Hamilton and Dancing Dan performing to live, acoustic music.

Settling into gentle stillness with the sound of Tracy Canil’s flute and Jolie Nasrella’s crystal bowls, astrologer Angela Van Den Hooven will then take us on a journey into the constellations.

Solstice is an ancient tradition in all cultures, when the wonder and quiet of the season invites a pause in our busy days to notice the abundance in our lives, and to pay homage to nature that supports all life.

Following Hooven’s reading, the concert begins with music and stories that evoke times of old, including a presentation of solstice by Meaghan Cursons and Dan Vie, the Gilmore Family traditional Folk, Hazel Lennox storyteller, Madrigal Minstrels with Carol Anne Parkinson, Robert Udell, Sophie Simard, Brian Lawrence, Kirsten Wood and Joanna Finch; and flautist Tracy Canil playing medieval songs, interspersed with visual delights of juggler William Stenson and hoop dancer Lisa Hamilton.

The final offering of the evening is an opportunity for our guests to fall into deep relaxation with the soothing sounds of a guided visualization and soundscape meditation.

On this long and dark night, the music of soundscape artists, Joanna Finch, Patrick Desjardins and friends will create a “sound bath” that washes over the consciousness with vibrations that bring all to peaceful bliss. Please bring a cover for this time so you can settle into complete relaxation.

This event is supported by the Abbey Studio, Cumberland Culture and Arts Society and presented by Jobird Music and Sweet Intentions Productions. Tickets are available at Riders Pizza in Cumberland and House of Colour in Courtenay.

Adults $15.00; children 18 and under $5.00. FMI please visit FB Events: Villagers’ Sacred Solstice or call 250 336-2474 Tickets are limited.

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