Embraceable Yule

Nothing will send a Dallasite into a panic faster than an SUV's broken air conditioner in July. Summer commands fear and respect while winter is merely a brief relief from the angry sun god. Already Winter Solstice is upon us and, after this week, the sun will start getting higher in the sky with longer days on their way.

To mark the occasion, Celestial Rhythm Celebrations presents Winter SolstiCelebration. Dedicated to putting the ritual back into this astronomical event, Celestial Rhythm Celebrations offers a program divided into two halves--spiritual and festive--with an intermission to cleanse the soul as the season begins.

The first half, called Embraceable Darkness, combines poetry readings, symbolic dances, chants, and other faith-inspired performances with audience participation. Everyone is asked to bring rattles and shakers to define the space as sacred and small flashlights or lighters to help symbolically bring back the light.


Celestial Rhythm Celebrations brings Winter SolstiCelebration to the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs at Inwood, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. Call (972) 498-8788.

During the intermission, the audience is asked to transfer all of their negative energy onto a Bogeyman, an Indian tradition where villagers would hand off their bad mojo to the phantom by touching his cloak. After he takes the sins into exile with him and leaves the room full of good luck, the second half begins.

Called Celebrating the Light, it starts with ritual dancing through the center of a sun. Drum ensemble Constellation and flamenco jazz group American Bedouin perform, followed by more poetry, monologues, and a burning of a Yule Log.

The organizers and performers may be accused of being a little creatively anachronistic, but if that's a crime in an age when wiring a Christmas wreath to the grill of a Range Rover is an accepted holiday tradition, then perhaps the old ways should enjoy a little more observing. Look for us taking the chill off with a stiff belt from a flagon of mead.


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