Solstice Satire

Solstice Satire 18th December 2005. Not the bumper event I was hoping it was going to be with a very small turnout. This was due to the missed opportunity of fly posting two weeks earlier at a tree dressing event, which I had scheduled in but sacrificed for the sake of showing some loyalty to a future working friend. Still, it was a success with 7 children turning up. The procession from the nature reserve did not happen but our timing with the light was still good. With a larger group we would have started at the entrance of the allotments. As it goes we all rendezvoused at the fire where we had hot drinks. I was dressed up as the Green Man, Emma as Creature, and Christine as the Moon Hag. Emma’s mask was definitely a work of art. The site had been prepared earlier by myself and the volunteers with the placing of t-lights along the willow lines. We also set up a stand to place a big effigy of the Sun god on top and a bowl behind it, which had frozen over. The entrance had a gaudy, plastic hanging around it, as did the area where Creature would perform. With such a minimalist set-up we commenced by gathering everyone around the campfire and I sang my new song about a blackbird and a squirrel. We then took the children half way down the path and I told them a story about my real-life adventures at a canal and the way I saved a squirrel. Then on we progressed and Moon Hag led them up the path and gave them a white ribbon each. On approaching the Sun god they were asked to make a wish that only the sun could give, and tie their bands to the sun effigy itself. Then off to Creature who taught the kids a warming, stamping dance and song, to finish moving through the archway making animal sounds of whatever kind. Even some of the adults were joining in at this stage. We finalised the event with hot soup and home-made bread, with a mince pie to end. In my review of the dating of this event it appears that being one week before Christmas may have affected people’s inclinations to come, as well as it being a pagan celebration. The satirical banter did not happen either, as it had at Sweet Chestnut Day, but that also will develop with time. My vision here is not to create some overnight sensation, but to develop a core of loyal people and a learning experience that can be analysed. By starting each individual project small one can gauge the evolution and dynamics of it. I believe this will become our Christmas pantomime eventually, even if I promote the event as an experience of death. My other bias towards developing a learning experience must not shy from the essentialities of existence despite receiving some negative feedback about the need to express Death as a character. How else could this project develop as a soteriologic experience.