Solstice River, Stonehenge and more Celebrations – View From the Eye

2011 Summer Solstice has officially passed, in the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice began on Jun 21 2011 at 1:16 P.M. EDT and our facebook community got updates on the 21st, but here’s a rundown of the highlights:

The core world event was the Summer Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge, Wiltshire.  If you go to visit Stonehenge at any other time of year, you will find it roped off to protect the site.  But there is a special dispensation for summer solstice, when all the Druids and Pagans gather to celebrate the sun and people slept in the shadows of the great stones. The Guardian has captured this year’s event in photos»

Then, there was the Times Square Yoga event.  Instead of a ball dropping to mark a new year, hands raised and bodies stretched to celebrate the sun.

There were also several pagan festivals centered around the solstice.  The largest was probably PSG (Pagan Spirit Gathering) which moved to a new location this year.  Closer to home, you could find the Earth House Midsummer Gather.

But wait, there’s more!  Not to be outdone, Solstice RiverSolstice River is an annual event, here in Minneapolis.  This was the 15th annual Solstice River, and it was just one of dozens of Global Water Dances which took place around the world on June 25th. Global Water Dances is an event which uses participatory art-making to raise consciousness about environmental problems, specifically, the critical need for safe drinking water. This is definitely a global effort, with 60 locations worldwide. Beginning in the Western Pacific Rim, and circling the globe, the series of dances was broadcast online.  Each location focuses on local water issues and tie it to the global struggle to ensure safe water for all human beings.

The Solstice River Dance in Minneapolis was held at the Mississippi River, with the audience gathering on the Stone Arch Bridge to watch the performance and listen to the music.  This is a site sacred to the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations. It is also the birthplace of the City of Minneapolis, where early residents used the power of the falls for lumber and grain milling. The major water issue here is the Non-Point Source Pollution, or run-off from fertilizers and pesticides draining into the river creating the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Participants and viewers of Global Water Dances learn about the critical role of humans in protecting water supplies. The Solstice River partners are the US Army Corps of Engineers, the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, Mill City Museum, the Guthrie, KBEM, Twin Cities T’ai-Chi Ch’uan Studio, and Earth Spirit Environments, Inc.  Click here to sign up to learn more or participate in future events»

Visit the event site for more details about the choreographers, support and local resources »