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Posts Tagged ‘sunrise’

So for the last 20 or so months I’ve worked on the 9th floor of a building, in a cubicle on the east side near some big windows. Watching the sunrise was a large part of my morning, and I’ve taken quite a few pictures in my efforts to track the sun from south in the winter to north in the summer and back again. Right now the sun is rising almost directly behind downtown, and it’s quite the stunning site, especially from nine floors up with no other buildings to block the view.

Sadly, we have had a reorganization at my company, and that meant moving to the other side of the building. I actually face the windows (and the entrance to our quad-cube this time too, so no more having people sneak up on me because I face the wall), but these windows face west… directly into the next building. While I can see some reflected sunlight, it’s not quite the same.

Also the new inhabitants of the other side of the building have decided that they are (apparently) against all forms of natural light and have tightly closed all the blinds (only to turn on desk lamps to have more light).

As such, I’m calling this the end of my official sunrise exercise. Now that it’s late enough in the year, I’m no longer driving during the sunrise (it’s still dark when I get to work now), but with the new move, it’s just not looking like I’ll be able to watch my sunrises like I used to.

I’ll still be doing my morning devotional, with my morning cup of tea, but without the gorgeous views of the sun rising over Houston.

To be honest, I’m trying to keep a good spirit about this move. I moved from a spot where I could see natural light, and watch the sunrise, that was right next to both the kitchen and the women’s restroom, and very close to two printers. Now I’m on the other side of the building from the kitchen and the bathroom and the printers, and my view out the windows is straight into the windows of the next building. Many of my Secret Agent Druid practices are going to change because of this, which is a little sad.

I guess I just have to come up with new ones!

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I did the Solitary Druid morning devotional this morning in my car. It was dark in the parking garage, and raining, so there wasn’t much sun to speak of, but I think I will continue doing them. I put together a little cauldron, a piece of orange fabric, and a tiny metal leaf for my traveling hallows – it’s not ideal, but they seem to work well in the car, and they all fit in a bag about the size of a pack of cards, which is perfect for keeping in the arm rest of my car. There fortunately aren’t very many people in the parking garage at 7am, so nobody will bother me!

Overall I like the devotion, though the “we are one in solitude” thing wears on me a little. I know it really appeals to some of the other solitaries, but for some reason I find it a bit… saccharine. If I don’t warm to it after doing it a few times, I may just skip that part and work only with the attunement to the hallows. Or edit it to be more to my liking.

I also definitely want to add a prayer to Sunna, and I found one that I like at NorthernPaganism.org

Morning Prayer to Sunna
by Galina Krasskova

Hail the rising of the Sun,
Great Goddess, Bestower of all good things,
Shining brightly, You traverse the heavens
Driving back the blanket of night.
Mighty Sunna, be my pace-setter.
Help me to structure my day rightly
With time to work, and play, and pray.
Let me not lose myself to the hammering call
Of all that has to be done.
Help me to follow Your rhythms,
For You are wise and practical
And Your presence blesses us all.

I’m going to write this up on an index card that I can keep in my car. Hopefully with a few repetitions I’ll have memorized it. (I may let my artsy side out and decorate the card a little too, since it will essentially be a prayer card, and that deserves to be pretty!) Even if I don’t get it memorized very quickly, I can add it to the end of my other morning devotions in the car.

Maybe I’ll make TWO index cards, one with the SDF devotional and one my prayer card to Sunna. That will be a fun little project.

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I’m on the hunt for a morning devotion I can do in my car.

This is slightly unorthodox, I’ll admit, but I can’t really greet the sun before I leave for work, because it’s still quite dark when I leave. I love the idea of having a practice at a shrine in the mornings as the sun rises, but that’s just not going to be possible with my current commute.*

Most mornings, the sun comes up while I’m in my car. (I have quite a long commute) I don’t get to watch, since I’m driving North and … well, watching the sunrise while driving in traffic seems like a really good way to get either a ticket or an accident. Still, I enjoy watching the reflections off of buildings and signs, and having the world go from starry night to grey pre-dawn to bright early morning.

So I’d like to do a devotion while I’m experiencing that trip. I really like the morning devotional that the Solitary Druid Fellowship posted recently, but it feels very shrine based. I try to keep clutter down in my car, but I suppose I could keep a little electric candle, a water bottle, and a stick in a little bag for impromptu devotion. (A crane bag for my car?)

I don’t know if the parking garage is an ideal place for a sun devotion though. I will be giving this part a try anyway, I think, since I really do like the liturgy of that ritual. It’ll be limited in time (I can’t do it at sunrise every day, since I’m sitting in the parking garage at about the same time, regardless of when the sun comes up), but having a moment of grounding before I start the day sounds very nice.* I could also easily incorporate a daily divination, since I have my phone with me.

As for greeting the actual sun, maybe my first devotional writing in the Norse hearth will be to research poetry styles and write something simple to Sunna. If I can memorize it easily (which shouldn’t be a problem, since I’ll be writing it), I can say the prayer as I see the first glimmers and beams of light reflecting across the city. Not as good as the actual sunrise, but as close as I can get. Maybe I’ll write the prayer to reflect (ha ha) those reflections!

*While I like the idea of getting up on weekends to do a sunrise ritual, weekends are when I catch up on sleep, so I’m rarely out of bed before 9. Maybe I’ll do a sunset ritual on weekends instead? How do you guys differentiate the various schedules of your week if they have super different timing?

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This isn’t much of a secret Druid tip, so much as just a good way to celebrate the Solstice in a way that pretty much anyone can understand. It’s also the latest you’ll be able to get up and see a sunrise, so if you’ve not done that in awhile, today’s a good day for it (or tomorrow morning). Make sure you get up 10-15 minutes before the actual sunrise, so you have a chance to make a cup of tea or coffee and find a good watching spot. (And hopefully it’s not still snowing where you are!) Take some deep breaths, honor the return of the sun, and be reminded of the beauty in the natural world at liminal times like sunrise. It’s a good time to be a Druid.

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Fall is slowly creeping in here, with the leaves on some of the trees turning and falling. Many of the trees here are Live Oaks though, so they’ll keep their leaves until spring, when the new leaves will push the old ones off the trees. Our yard has mainly a southern variety of weeping Ash trees and a Poplar tree (plus palm trees of various types), so we’ll be dealing with fallen leaves for a bit longer. The grass is mostly dormant at this point, so we’re only mowing once every 2-3 weeks. Things are looking pretty dry, so I’m hoping we get some rain soon.

The monarch butterflies are pretty much gone by now as well – they pass through here on their southerly migrations, so we get a good number of them. They’re one of the reasons I really love my butterfly garden in the fall. Sadly my salvias don’t seem to be doing well – I will try giving the garden a good watering, but they just don’t seem to be making it right now. Which is sad, as they were huge and gorgeous.

We also had a cold front this week, so some of the less hardy potted plants are coming inside. We need to build a drape frame for our lime tree as well, since it’s now too big to keep in a pot, and will need to be sheltered if it actually gets cold. Our lows this week are in the lower 40F range, so some of the tropicals definitely need to join the dumcane inside the porch. This will be interesting with the plumeria, which has gotten so large that we’ve put it’s pot on a wheeled platter. I’m not sure it will fit through the porch door, but I guess we’ll find out!

The lizards know where the warms are and have been attempting at cost to life and limb to get inside the house or screen porch. Unfortunately the cats think they’re both fun and tasty, so we’ve found a few corpses and made a few rescues so far. That will likely continue through the winter.

It’s probably time to get the bird feeders up as well. (Or the squirrel feeders, really) There won’t be any more hummingbirds this year for sure; we only saw two all summer, which was sad. Usually there are tons. I wonder if the climate is affecting their migration, or maybe we didn’t have the feeders up soon enough or something. I love having birds in the yard, especially when it’s cold – we’ve had breeding pairs of cardinals and bluejays for a few years now. The wrens usually make a nest in the yard (or in the wreath on my door), but I’ve yet to find a seed they’ll eat. I think they’re more interested in the bugs living in my potted plants.

I’m not planting a winter garden this year, mostly because things were too crazy when I would have needed to get it planted. Instead, we’ll compost the garden plot with leaves and kitchen compost over the winter. It could stand to rest for a little bit anyway, especially since we planted corn this summer. I don’t think I’ll grow corn again, just because it takes up a lot of space for not a lot of produce in the end. Maybe one more try now that I’ve done it before, but I’m not sold on corn as a backyard crop.

The days are approaching their shortest now, and the sun has already set when I get home from work at 5:30. The sun is about 15 minutes shy of rising when I get to work at 6:30am.  Having it be dark when I leave and dark when I get home is hard, but at least I still get some afternoon sun on my commute home.

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