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The Winter Solstice – Handsome Essential Darkness

December 17, 2013

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“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” – Anne Bradstreet


In all it’s handsome darkness the Winter Solstice teaches you about the need for withdrawal as an essential part of renewal. The season requires you to honour it’s courage and respect it’s wisdom. As each night before the solstice grows longer and the air circling around you gets colder, the earth withdraws, sleeps and renews itself.

Some of you abominate winter. You struggle through the season’s bleakness. You tire of the endless dark and dreary skies and wish you can fast-forward to spring. Some of you rejoice in winter’s beauty. In the essential darkness you celebrate the Winter Solstice because it signals the return of light and warmth to the hemisphere, more and more each day.

The Winter Solstice begins the turn to greater daylight and the slow return of the sun. Our planet prepares to come forth from this time of darkness and withdrawal, into a season filled with light, hope and the coming of spring.


December Solstice

The December solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, it is when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun.

Known as the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, the December solstice marks the day of the year with the least hours of daylight. In the southern hemisphere the December solstice is known as the Summer Solstice and marks the longest day of the year.

Winter Solstice - Image 2

Winter Solstice Dates 2013 & 2014

Northern Hemisphere: (North America, Central America, Europe, Asia, northern Africa) – Winter Solstice Dates: December 21, 2013, at 17:11 UTC / December 21, 2014, at 23:03 UTC
Southern Hemisphere: (Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southern Africa) – Winter Solstice Dates: June 21, 2013, at 05:04 UTC / June 21, 2013, at 10:51 UTC


A Blessed Yule

Yule began as an indigenous winter solstice festival celebrated by the Germanic peoples of ancient times. It was later absorbed into celebrations surrounding Christmas with Christianization.

The observance of Yule, the Winter Solstice was significant to our ancestors. It was a holy day when the sun god’s return meant spring was on its way, and with it, the birth of new animals and the planting of new crops.  Much of the folklore surrounding winter solstice rituals has to do with very basic symbols of agriculture and animal husbandry.

This song (video) wonderfully sums up the spirit and energy of the Winter Solstice: Damh The Bard – Noon Of The Solstice. Enjoy.

Winter Solstice - Image 3

Written & Adapted by John Zeus | Primary Source:, Video: YouTube, Images 1, 2 & 3: Google Images, Winter Tree photo by John Zeus

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KALO PASCHA – Happy Orthodox Easter 2013

May 5, 2013


Christos Anesti, Kalo Pascha and a happy Orthodox Easter to all my friends celebrating.


Pascha is the Greek Orthodox Easter. In 2013, Greek and Eastern Orthodox Easter arrived later in the year and was welcomed by beautiful spring summer weather. Pascha observations started at the beginning of the week with Good Friday observed May 3rd and Easter Sunday celebrated May 5th. Kalo Pascha is Happy Easter in Greek. Greek Easter is a beautiful time of year. A great time to reflect on what is good in our world.

Paschal Light

These photos were taken in the early hours after midnight. We gathered for a small traditional meal at home after the saturday night Liturgy. We transported the lit candles home from church and lit an oil lamp that burns with olive oil. They call this flame “light of the resurrection”, It came from the alter of a Greek Orthodox church. I’m not the most religious person but I do love spirituality, tradition and heritage.

Enjoy this set taken in the kitchen where modern meets traditionalism. Peace and love to all of us.

Click on any thumbnail to open gallery and scroll through photos.

Photos by John Zeus

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Greek Baptism

April 15, 2013


I’ve participated in many baptisms in my life. After all, I have a big fat Greek family…

4:30 pm EDT – April 14, 2013 | Annunciation of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Toronto Ontario | My baby nephew Yiorgo at his baptism.
Greeks believe that baptizing children from infancy is an expression of God’s love for us. It shows that God loves us and accepts us before we can ever know Him or love Him. Greeks believe the Sacrament of Baptism was instituted by Christ Himself when He commanded to his Apostles. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

The many gestures involved in the performance of the Sacrament of Baptism in the Greek Orthodox Church are not mere forms devoid of meaning. Symbolically, Christ’s baptism, death and Resurrection, as well as the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles at Pentecost, are re-enacted in the Ceremony.

Christianity is life. Each action in the Sacrament of Baptism expresses what Christ is actually doing for us through that Sacrament. ^

Click on any thumbnail to journey through the gallery.

Slideshow – Reception

After the baptismal service at church we gather for dinner and have a big fat Greek party…

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Video Tie-In

20 second clip

Photo and Video Source: John Zeus. Taken on my Samsung Galaxy S3

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