News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Labyrinth hosts solstice gathering

Sisters residents and visitors are invited to “move, smile, and drum in the new season” on summer solstice at Sisters Community Labyrinth. The gathering takes place Sunday, June 20 beginning at 7:30 p.m. It’s a chance to welcome a light new season during solstice, when the sun stays up much longer than usual.

“The labyrinth has become a special place for many of us in Sisters,” said Sharlene Weed, who sits on the official committee that oversees the outdoor facility. “I especially like it when we gather there as a group to celebrate and reflect on the changing of the seasons.”

People of all beliefs — or none in particular — take part in labyrinth walks. Events on solstices and equinoxes usually feature a brief, nonreligious talk or ceremony to help visitors engage with the labyrinth, each other, and the season.

Committee member Pat Leiser enjoys “meditating on the movement of the earth around the sun through the changing seasons, the wandering path of the moon, and the back-and-forthing of the planets as mysterious patterns in the night sky that connect all humanity through time in a quest to understand our place in the universe.”

The word “solstice” has a connection to the town’s name, via the Latin “sistere.” The Latin “solstitium” means “point at which the sun seems to stand still.” “Sol” means the sun. The last bit of the word is the “past participle stem of ‘sistere’... to stand still, take a stand; to set, place, cause to stand,” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Where winter solstice often finds a silent meditation at the labyrinth, summer solstice is different. Participants are invited to make some jubilant noise — regardless of whether they’re musicians. Folks are encouraged to bring drums, bells, and other instruments.

People are also invited to dress in bright colors or white clothes, if convenient. Some participants wear festive hats, flowers, ribbons, or leis.

The Summer Solstice Gathering & Labyrinth Walk begins at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 20, with casual gathering time. At 7:45, participants will gather for a circle. The walk begins at 8 p.m. sharp. Unvaccinated participants are asked to wear masks.

The event takes place at Sisters Community Labyrinth on West Hood Avenue. The labyrinth is located within East Portal, the U.S. Forest Service site where Highway 20 and Highway 242 meet, roughly between Bi-Mart and Les Schwab.


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